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My 600-lb Life exclusive: Jeanne struggles on journey to Dr. Now — ‘I’m not interested in being a freak show’

Jeanne has a long drive in Texas to get help, but now its uncertain if she can make it. Pic credit: TLC
Jeanne has a long drive in Texas to get help, but now its uncertain if she can make it. Pic credit: TLC

The cruelty of humanity is on full display in our exclusive clip from this week’s My 600-lb Life. Texas native Jeanne is trying to get from Big Sandy, Texas, all the way to Houston, where weight loss surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan waits on her.

This is a nearly four-hour drive on the 59 Interstate highway, and the toll of the journey is wearing out Jeanne.  Her mother makes a pit stop to get a drink but Jeanne refuses to leave the vehicle, sensing people are mocking her.

Jeanne’s anxiety and fears are also getting the best of her emotionally, and our clip shows that it is now or never for this sensitive woman’s journey to wellness. And the outcome depends on Jeanne and her ability to make this trip.

Her weight has deprived her of a normal life. At almost 40, she’s aware that the damage she has suffered at the hands of mentally ill family members must be put behind her so she can live what is left of her life. None of Jeanne’s story from the past is good.

Jeanne lives in Big Sandy with her mother and a father who is afflicted with mental illness. His condition caused him to leave their family home when Jeanne was a kid and his return was met with anxiety and stress.

Jeanne’s father abandoned her as a child, and even though Jeanne has forgiven him, the fallout has been a lifetime of severe weight gain.

Her home was defined by abuse and coming from a grandmother who tormented Jeanne all through her childhood. Growing up with this relentless abuse and a chaotic and frankly filthy home, void of any proper hygiene, added to Jeanne’s psychological makeup.

Now at over 600 pounds, Jeanne is saddled with an ulceration and leg infection which never clears up, as we find out an “unexpected tragedy” that occurs in her family may derail her whole journey to Houston.

In our clip her mother asks if she is okay. “We need to stop so I can open the door and stretch a little. I would like to go to the
bathroom…” she says.

Jeanne sees people gathering and looking at her. “I’ll just stay in the car…no I’m not getting out here!”

Telling her mother to go and get a drink, she says: “I just want a cigarette and I want to try to calm down because I’m getting really anxious.”

She adds: “Get me a soda a…really big one please. I need something with sugar to help my nerves.”

Then Jeanne lets us in on her state of being. “I”m in so much pain right now I don’t know how I’m going to make it three more hours. I just wish we had a bigger vehicle or that there was somewhere I could get out on rest but I can’t walk far and I’m not interested in being a freak show.”

She says: “I can see people already staring at me and probably making comments about how big I am. And I don’t need to deal with that so I’m just not getting out because people are jerks.”

Her mother comes out and brings the two giant sodas. Jeanne is upset and says: “There are people over there on the grass staring and pointing just like I told you! And this lady just drove by and slowed down and just stared at me.”

Jeanne says: “I hate people. They think that having some kind of disability…that it’s funny, you know, because they’re normal or whatever, you know but Karma’s a bitch and it will come back on them.

“But I tried my best not to let them get to me but when they’re sitting over there talking and walking around and everything I want to tell them, if you want, to take a picture… take a picture!”

She adds: “Let’s just get back on the road. This is why I’d rather stay home. People have no compassion, no sense of humanity no morals no nothing!”

“If everybody minded their own business, people like me wouldn’t feel like the way we do. We wouldn’t feel like that we weren’t a part of society.”

Her mother tries to calm her down and says: “I know honey.” Tune in tonight to see if Jeanne can stick it out and get to Houston.

My 600-lb Life airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on TLC.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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