Lists Recaps Reviews Interviews Explainers

Will Mercedes make it on My 600-lb Life? This mom uses her kids as carers

Mercedes is eating herself to death, can she be saved? Pic credit: TLC
Mercedes is eating herself to death, can she be saved? Pic credit: TLC

On Wednesday’s episode of My 600-lb Life, TLC is keeping its cards close to its chest and little is given out about the night’s subject — Mercedes.

What do we know?

On Season 7, episode 19 titled Mercedes’ Story airing May 1, we meet a mother, Mercedes, who uses her children as her carers.

The official logline from TLC:

With severe lymphedema, Mercedes can barely stand and only cares for her two small children with the help of her extended family. Dr. Now can give her the tools to lose weight, but to succeed she must face the trauma inflicted by her late abusive father.

Mobility is everything and if Mercedes cannot walk she will likely be admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Houston where Dr. Younan Nowzaradan is based and operates on patients.

She will likely be prescribed a strict no carbohydrate 1200-calorie a day diet and be under psychoanalysis from Lola Clay, who has a huge Reddit following of admirers.

Clay will attempt to get to the root of the trauma Mercedes suffered as a child while trying to unravel the behavior that is undermining her.

What is lymphedema?

In morbidly obese patients like Mercedes, the lymph glands stop functioning like a normal person’s and fluids start to accumulate in extremities — legs being one of the most common because of gravity and the pooling of circulation.

The fluid is not just excess water but a protein-filled fluid that creates havoc for the heart, liver and other organs.

According to the National Institute of Medicine:

Lymphedema is a chronic, incurable condition caused by the anomalous development of the lymphatic system (primary lymphedema) or injury to the lymphatic vasculature (secondary lymphedema). It is estimated that nearly 5 million Americans suffer from lymphedema of the extremities or genitalia.1 In these cases, chronic interstitial fluid accumulation leads to fibrosis, persistent inflammation, and adipose deposition, often resulting in massive hypertrophy of the affected area.

What will happen to Mercedes?

Hopefully, the first part of the show will give details about her backstory and then as time progresses, her trip to Houston to enter Dr. Now’s weight loss program will begin.

Because of her size and immobility, she will likely be admitted as a patient for at least a month to get her weight down in a controlled setting.

If she achieves a certain weight loss and her labs and tests look good, Dr. Now will release her and she will be asked to move to Houston to check in for regular visits.

If finances and mobility are still an issue, she may not qualify for the program.

If she can stick to the rigid diet, and her tests are positive, she will be approved for weight loss surgery as long as she shows she can lose weight outside of a controlled environment like the hospital.

Hopefully, she will resolve to change her habits. Check back with us to get an update on how she did.

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