“My 600 Lb. Life” serves up part 2 of the Steven and Justin story, which of course, is more about Steven than anyone else. When we last left him, he got the surprise of his life from Dr. Nowzaradan. Story of part 1, recap.
While we’ve seen the doctor threaten to break ties with a patient before, it was solely based on his or her inability to stay on a diet. Steven got tossed from the hospital for repeatedly harassing staff and lying to get more pain medication. The surprise was that he wasn’t being released to return to his apartment in Houston. Dr. Now informed him about what to expect in his new place of residence, at least for a while.
“Your drug addiction is gonna’ kill you faster than your food addiction. You’re lying about everything you’re doing. You’re done manipulating the system with me involved. I’m suspending you from the weight-loss program and you’re going from here to a drug addiction program. I’m not going to hear on the news about a 700 lb. man overdosing. I wish you the best.”
Bravo Dr. Now. It began to feel like no one was going to address the liability issue for him and the hospital if they kept giving pain meds to Steven. The young man’s final attempt to keep them coming failed, when he was called out for manufacturing a reason to get admitted again.
Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, we watched as one of the worst enablers on “My 600 Lb. Life” kept both his kids in danger of losing their lives. Brother Justin was the quiet one who didn’t cause his father trouble, and was allowed to keep eating what he wanted. Failing to remain on the eating program while at home, Justin had busy days playing games and building things. It was like he lived the life of an eight-year old, despite being almost 20 years older than that.
Steven’s dad actively helped his son fail on the eating program after the kid had lost 100 lbs. while hospitalized. When the calls came for pizza, dad buckled, and Steven got him to use a credit card to order a pepperoni and cheese pie. There was zero discussion about use or abuse of pain meds, of course, because that would have made dear dad stop complaining about the calls that never ceased. Here’s a recommendation, turn your phone off.
Let’s begin with how it all ended; aren’t you ready for part 3, since TLC’s coverage ended with progress being made by Steven, while Justin was still denying he needed a diet to stay healthy? Oh yes, and that dad Steven, Sr. was still spewing profanity and clueless about the son who lives with him and might be in more danger than the one in Texas,
It might seem odd that our takeaway was that Justin needed help as much as, if not more than Steven, but his distance from Dr. Nowzaradan and enabling by his dad gave him the feeling he was just fine. His constant comparison to his brother’s condition made him feel like the healthy one.
The doctor asked that he consider therapy, which he refused to do. He said he’d weigh himself, which he has yet to do, swearing that he hasn’t gained any weight. Dr. Now informed Justin that at 600 lbs., a body is never maintaining; it is either losing or gaining. Yeah, see, that’s when that medical degree and decades in the specialty come in handy.
He can point to his lack of drug abuse, at least that we are aware of, his mobility in a limited sense, and his interest in something that might earn him some money. But, he’s as damaged as Steven, and perhaps more so because of being the object of bullying. Then there’s the obvious: he’s 600 lbs.! He’s used a comparison to Steven as his measure of health, and as Dr. Now told him, it will ultimately kill him early if he keeps it up.
Once again Steven Sr. was the star of this show by laying out money for both boys. The pizza deliveries continued in Houston so Steven didn’t keep his phone buzzing all night. The money to set up the hobby shop might have been a worthy endeavor, but it might have been a better approach to tell Justin that he had a weight goal to reach before the cash was handed over. Steven Sr. was thrilled that his shy and reclusive son had friends, which surprised him, and like Justin, he used it all to normalize his younger son’s situation.
As for younger Steven, well he’s one lucky young man that he didn’t die after taking thousands of Vicodin tablets and unimaginable amounts of Dilaudid, taken intravenously. Were you surprised by the Texas law that cut him off? What took it that long? It finally cut Steven off from his drugs of choice that numb him, as he told the doctors in the detox center.
The true miracle was that something Dr. Now did made an impression. After informing him of the drug cut-off, he made Steven look at himself in the mirror and take responsibility for how he looked and his prospects for life. We all know that Steven could have returned to ordering pizza, but he didn’t.
After more nastiness with Princess, who he tried to frame by calling the cops and accusing her of stealing his TV, he was on his own. With nothing but his iPad to keep him company he took off almost 80 lbs. in two months. It was enough to get Dr. Now to soften and given him the good news that with another month or two of good behavior he would be a candidate for surgery.
The amends Steven attempted with brother Justin seemed sincere. Justin said he would reserve his acceptance of the apology until he let some time pass to see if Steven maintained his sobriety. Let’s face it, two good months for Steven was a drop in the bucket, which is why Dr. Now made him wait for the surgery list.
Most outrageous moment: the fake “I can’t walk” attempt after the slip off the golf cart. Even his enabling father saw it for what it was – another excuse to get to the hospital and beg for pain pills.
Most encouraging moment: the weigh-in at the end when success felt good to Steven.
Check out GRAPHIC sneak peek of Kylie’s story on “Skin Tight”, immediately following Part 2 of Justin and Steven’s story.
“My 600 Lb. Life” airs Wednesdays on TLC, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT Image credit: TLC, used with permission