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Old 03-02-2011, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default hygiene question don't want to offend

I wanted to ask a personal question. If you are uncomfortable with answering I apologize in advance as I do not want to offend anyone.

Here it goes... My son is very large. I can only guess a weight based on what I see on the biggest loser or other similiar shows. I would guess he weighs over 500 LBS. He is about six feet and thirty-years-old. He lives in another state. His weight is a huge source of worry for me as I am afraid I will lose him. He is single and I do not think he has ever had a girlfriend. He is a very private person as is his father. He does not encourage any discussion regarding his size.

He showers daily but I'm afraid he has gotten too large to get really clean. The last two times he was home he used my room and there was a very strong bad smell that lingered for weeks after he visited. I washed all the bedding immediately and it persisted. It doesn't really smell like feet or BO or a yeast infection (I've had those in skin folds).

I feel that I should approach him with some advice because he would or if he does know would not want to smell bad. He was teased and bullied when he was younger and I know it continues as I have been with him when people made rude comments. His roomate recently moved out and he had to move into a smaller place as he doesn't have much money. My daughter has stayed at his place and thinks his friend may have left because of the smell.

I am guessing that the smell is coming from bacteria growing between skin folds that he is unable to reach. I've been wondering about making him a long washcoth like devise with loops on the ends so that he can reach into the folds especially on his back.

WHAT DO YOU THINK??? Should I mind my own business and keep my mouth shut? Should I gently tell him that I have noticed a problem? Should I make a suggestion about what he could about it? This is scary stuff for me.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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This is a hard one. I know that I would want to know if I smelled. That is for damn sure. But how to approach it is the key thing..
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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Oh dear I would wanna know too... Maybe gently approach him about it.. Be careful it may come out sounding offensive even though it isn't and you care a lot! Good luck sweetie!
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:14 PM   #4
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I feel for you, in regards to your worry for your son and about bringing this up. I'd prepare yourself for him to feel offended and if not, then that's a bonus. I think for health reasons he should know, an odor like that is absolutely not normal and very concerning. Best wishes!
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:18 PM   #5
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I think you should definitely tell him. Do it sometime when it's just you and him in private. Maybe give him a warning before your chat..."I have something to talk to you about and I really hope it doesn't offend you but I've got some concerns."

Hope it goes well. Like someone said before, I'd want to know if I had a smell. Who better to tell him than his mother?
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:28 PM   #6
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I did a search and found this thread that might be helpful for you:
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/gene...at-smelly.html
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittycarlson View Post
I've been wondering about making him a long washcoth like devise with loops on the ends so that he can reach into the folds especially on his back.
Kitty, I would whip up a couple of these for him and give them as a gift with a sweet mom-like note about how you have found them to be so helpful to you in the shower. If that doesn't work, I would probably try to sit down with him, gently, one on one.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:42 PM   #8
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If he has an infection of any type, he may need to see a doctor about it. Obviously it would be embarrassing but it might not go away with just cleaning. I actually didn't have skin problems until after I lost weight due to the excess skin. Every once in a while something will pop up and I'll need to use diaper rash cream.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:51 PM   #9
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I think the long washcloth is a good idea but I would break it too him gently. Tell him about the problems that you have had in the past with your skin and how it tends to smell if every crevice hasn't been washed. I feel for you because I know you don't want to hurt your son's feelings but you also don't want him to be hurt by the outside world either. Best wishes.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:00 PM   #10
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I don't envy you the decision or the conversation.

That said, livingxl.com or activeforever.com should have, erm, hygiene aides that would work for him.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:37 PM   #11
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I'm going to be blunt here

Quote:
Originally Posted by nelie View Post
I did a search and found this thread that might be helpful for you:
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/gene...at-smelly.html
I also recommend this thread. I have a post in there that makes the recommendation, but I'm going to repeat it here.

The Amplestuff website or the ones MariaMaria mentions. You can find hygiene and other personal care items, designed for people with mobility and reach issues, including very obese folk. A website is going to be a more palatable choice than a way,way too-personal gift from mom.

I would tell your son that you noticed the problem, and I would give him the website addresses for the personal care resources, but under no circumstances would I suggest that you make the washcloths youself. I can't imagine anyone considering that a "thoughtful gift." Special-use, intimate personal hygiene supplies are far too personal and mortifying a gift to receive from anyone and doubly so (and creepy to boot) to receive from Mom.

I wasn't at all offended when someone recommended the site to me, but I would have been offended as **** if someone (and doubly so if it was Mom) had decided to make personal care products for me. It sends the message "I don't consider you adult enough to handle the responsibility of personal hygeine without assistance." Double and triple "Ewww."

When someone recommended Amplestuff to me (another large person). I was grateful, but if the person had bought me soap or special washing aids, as if I couldn't be trusted to find a solution for myself - yeah, that would cross a line and I'd be as offended as **** (and creeped out for life if it was my Mom or Dad).

At my most disabled, I did have to make a washing cloth, but I just cut a beach towel lengthwise into three wide strips. Those were my new washcloths.

I had sewing skills and could have finished the edges, but I didn't. I just used scissors. They worked fine, and no one but me needed to know.

Your son will figure it out for himself as well. Seeing the catalog's supplies, he'll either order them, or fashion some for himself.

To use the "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink," analogy - making him washcloths unrequested, is a bit like pouring water down the poor horse's throat.

It will be embarassing enough without having to add another layer of shame. Tell him about the problem, but let him come up with the solutions for it. It's what you'd do for an adult child in any other problem situation (I would hope).

Offer input, but let the solution be in his control.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:56 PM   #12
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Kaplods, this is off topic, but I make my own body wash because I'm frugal. When I run low, I love to add a little Head and Shoulder's shampoo because of you
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Kaplods, this is off topic, but I make my own body wash because I'm frugal. When I run low, I love to add a little Head and Shoulder's shampoo because of you
I love the zinc pyrithione shampoo as body wash. I still can't believe how well it prevents yeast and bacterial infections. My only regret is that there aren't more scents available. I've thought about mixing my own, but never have.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:03 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone. I really value the advice. I think I will tell him I noticed a problem and give the websites. Maybe even by email. I did check them out but didn't notice anything for washing except a sponge on a brush. He is very intelligent so I agree if confronted with a problem he would probably make adaptive products himself. Maybe things will improve with his having his own place and bathroom where he can leave stuff. I did notice a tube of desitin a couple of times a few years ago when he was visiting our lake place.

I have tried the head and sholders on the itchy folds myself. I've also noticed a seat belt extension in his vehicle so maybe he has already been to those sites.

Before the holidays he said he was doing that primal plan. Don't know if he still is but I would like to take him grocery shopping the next time I go to visit as I know he has very limited funds and let him buy healthy foods. I have done this before and he doesn't mind.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:31 AM   #15
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kitty, how did it all go? I have been wondering and hoping your son was not offended by your e-mail approach on the matter.
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