Surgery Payment Problems

Update: You can find all weight loss/Slimband-related posts under the Weight Loss category or by clicking here.

I write this post at the risk of getting a lot of flak and coming off as an entitled, ungrateful princess.

But I need to write it anyway.

Secretly, I was counting on my grandad to come through with all or most of the money for my Slimband surgery. My mom (who knows him best) was convinced that he would be generous; he’s old, has no other family has loads of money and doesn’t do anything with it. He was there at my birth.

Generous is not a word I would use to describe my grandad at this point.

I don’t know what happened. My mom and I thought that he would give at least $1000 to help me out (if not more!). His daughter was a 500lb obese woman who recently passed away. He knows what it’s like to see someone suffer due to their weight.

Instead, I got $350 from him.

My parents didn’t even call to tell me because they didn’t know how to process this. We’re stunned.

I mean, don’t get me wrong; I respect the fact that it is his money and his choice, and I am grateful for anything that he is willing to give me… but at the same time I’m just stunned that the amount is so low, when he has so many reasons to give more. I can’t fathom his reasoning. Personally I suppose I am more of the helping-mind, I am always trying to help others, make or give them things. Especially family, I would go to the ends of the world for them. If this were me, I would have given a substantial amount to my family member.

I’m so conflicted. I’m happy for the $350 but not, you know what I mean? I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth.

I was just really expecting more (whether that was right or wrong to do so). $350 isn’t even a drop in the bucket when I’m looking at $16,000.

So now I’ve got to find another way to pay for this procedure. I’ve already made a $3000 non-refundable deposit so I’m committed now.

I think I can afford another $3000, and in light of the grandad situation, my parents have decided to give me $3000 also. So I only need about $6600 more to cover it all.

I have the option of borrowing from my granny, but (what is up with rich old people? Are they all miserly like my family?!?!) I would have to pay her interest. Can you believe that?

So now I’m off trying to research interest rates for personal loans. I’ll take that info and negotiate with my grandmother and try and get a better rate. Like a bank. Not like family.

How sad, and cold.

I seriously think my larger family is fucked up when it comes to money. We know a lot about it but our attitudes are bizarre; where is the balanced, happy medium in life???

8 thoughts on “Surgery Payment Problems”

  1. I have to say, even though your grandfather had the money, he doesn't have to give it to you (though it hurts me to think that he could have and didn't for whatever reason). There was a point in time where I was massively in debt and went to my rich grandmother and asked for help and she said no. It hurt. But once I had paid it off on my own I did feel better about doing it on my own.

  2. Not knowing anything about your family dynamic or the financial situation, I have a few thoughts about your situation. It's lovely that you have people that will help you with this elective type of surgery. I'm sorry to hear you feel this is the best way to go with it, though I have been curious about it myself.

    Your grandfather has given you a generous gift towards your elective surgery. Unfortunately – your hopes had been pumped up by thoughts from your other family members. I think your grandmother has it right when she will give you a loan but charge you interest. the surgery is elective – and though it may go a long way to helping you with the fight against your weight, it isn't a life or death situation, or sitting in the same field as terminal cancer for example. As a large woman myself I understand the struggle with weight and how food can rule your life. I'm totally with you on that!

    The part I understand most though, is that while the surgery may be the choice you've made, the behaviour and your relationship with food can't be cured with a surgery – that's a deeply personal, mental fight. So, having family that can offer you aid in having this done is lovely. Asking to be reimbursed by that family member is entirely entitled by the lender, regardless of family lines.

    I wouldn't expect my grandparents to give me the money without me paying them back either. They worked hard for their money. They should be able to know that for their retirement they have enough to keep them until their own death. You may only see surface stuff with your grandparents, and may not see their budget they have for themselves, to keep them until their own death. Appearances can be deceiving.

    I know you'll figure out how to fund the surgery you are electing to have. I hope through it you find the peace of mind you are looking for, and the physical bonuses it will bring.

  3. Hrm…I'm not really sure what to say here. It's always disappointing when we feel like someone's holding out on us, but you're right when you say it's his money to give. Perhaps he feels like it's not a "worthy cause"; maybe he thinks you should pay for it yourself. And while it seems weird that your grandmother wants to charge you interest, I can sort of see where she's coming from. You could borrow from the bank, but they won't be as forgiving as she is with missed payments, so she wants to make sure she's "getting the most for her money" or something like that.

    In the end, I know you'll figure out how to pay for the surgery. However, you shouldn't rely on donations from relatives/friends to do so. This is a huge step in your life that means a lot to you and will change much of your future, and so I'm a bit surprised that you didn't plan more financially for the procedure, especially considering how generally good you are with money.

    I don't know what the answer is, darlin', but if you want it badly enough and it's meant to be, it'll happen for you. Just try not to get bitter or burn any bridges with your grandparents in the meantime.

  4. If I were you I would sit down and have a talk with your grandfather. I think he may not feel the same enthusiasm for the surgery. I would say talk to him and find out if he has some concerns about you doing this sort of surgery, even if he does not up the gift amount. Like a previous commenter said, maybe he feels that this is not something that be cured by surgery and maybe he would be more generous if it was say paying for a personal trainer at a gym or setting up a home gym. Talking to him would make your reasons clear to him.

  5. It's tough to be disappointed after high expectations. As others have pointed out, it's hard to know exactly what your grandfather's motivations were for this decision. I thought your comment about "rich old people" being "miserly" interesting. Lots of people who are "rich" when they're older, are only well off because they saved for a lifetime to get that way. Once that habit is entrenched, it's tough to see why other people don't share it. I wonder if your grandparents are hoping to instill a lifetime habit of saving and financial responsibility in their granddaughter? I don't know-you say your family attitudes about money are strange, I'm just thinking of possible alternatives.

    Regardless of your family's invovlement or not, I hope you are able to reach your goals for physical and financial well–being.

  6. I think an honest conversation with your grandfather is the right way to go here too, and maybe outright ask him for more help. In a very polite way of course. I think it's a little unusual but not inappropriate for your grandmother to charge you interest on a loan. She is forcing you to pick up smart money habits, and let's be honest here… this is as much a financial decision as it is a health decision.

    I think it's unfortunate that your grandfather is not helping you more but I'm having a hard time feeling much sympathy for you here, the biggest reason being that from the way you've written this, it sounds like you made a $3000 non-refundable commitment based on an assumption that he would give you more cash as a gift. That was a mistake, as you are now finding out. And even if he had increased his gift by the extra $650, you'd still be needing to find another $6000 to finance this so really, it wouldn't have covered the whole procedure anyway and you'd still be in the same predicament.

    So you will do what you have to do to make it happen and I'm sure everything will turn out for the best in the end. I wish you nothing but good results :)

  7. Just found your blog – I would suggest you check out Lendingclub.com I just got a loan for about 5.5% to pay off a credit card of 24%

    By the way I have had gastic bypass and have gain a lot of the weight back. Be aware that it does happen.

    Good luck to you

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