Category Archives: Weight Loss

Life With Slimband: Impending Rant

Ugh. It’s some godforsaken hour in the morning of Christmas Eve/Day and I can’t sleep.

No, I’m not excited for Santa Claus to bring me a pony or a pair of moon shoes.

Rather I am so pissed off with my current situation with Slimband that I can’t sleep and have composed an angry rant instead.

For a list of all other Slimband related posts, please click here

I’m getting fat again and am not impressed***. I have spent 2 years and over $16,000 trying to lose weight and have only had middling success. Every other day I get an email or a comment on this blog about others in the same position and it makes me so angry that Slimband as a company doesn’t care about what happens with their patients after the wounds heal.

Oh, there are some individuals in the company that may care. I have met them. Slimband discovered how much traffic I get for my articles on having the band that both they and competing clinic CIBO approached me about it. Both tried to buy me off; as some kind of damage control, I suppose. Personally I think that was a silly idea. It’s better to get me on board and on your side and use my expertise to help fix things, than just to get me to shut up. I am a mouthpiece for the people, y’all.

I thought I was getting somewhere with Slimband. They told me about a new program they are hoping to get in place for post-op patients. There were a few little parts to it that sounded promising. But overall it sounds like they still have no clue on how to do it right and fix their reputation.

That’s right, my Slimband friends. Despite your best efforts, you have a shit reputation that will continue to get worse if you don’t take some fast actions and fess up to your mistakes. Some in your company have recognized this and sought my assistance with the situation. Did you know that I have a stellar marketing and advertising background, and specialize in social media? (Duh, I write this blog and stole your Google search rank, didn’t I?) I am an outspoken fattie and made some great suggestions as to how you can develop a truly helpful post op program for patients like me. For whatever reason, the powers that be in your company nixed that idea.

And now me, and my fellow fatties are back at square one. Stranded, abandoned and not sure whether our lack of steady weight loss is our fault or Slimband’s fault. At this point I’m going to lay most of the blame on Slimband because they have thus far chosen to turn a blind eye to our plight. Which from a social media, word of mouth and PR perspective is a dangerous thing. We’re definitely more numerous than the patients that have reached their goal weight.

Want to know what my suggestions for the company were? Since I created them based on knowledge and assumptions readily available to the public, and used my expertise as a marketing consultant to craft them, they are MINE TO SHARE. You saw them here first, folks.

Weight Loss System, not just an installation of a plastic chunk

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a decent post-op program that was part of the Slimband system? I don’t even know who to talk to when I have a problem. No check ups from the company who sells you based on their 4 years of support. I recommend (and as far as I know individuals working at Slimband agree) that I come on board and help evaluate this program they want to get going. Ashamed of our inability to lose weight, many of us don’t speak up and tell Slimband what works, what doesn’t and what we need more of. I can do that. I can be your voice and help develop a kickass program to help you reach your goals.

OMG! Someone that cares and can help you! You’re not alone!

Wouldn’t it be cool to know that there is someone out there just like you, who isn’t afraid to share her story and strive for success in weight loss? I recommended myself as the Patient Champion. The person that you can contact if you don’t know where to start, and the person who cares about your plight and will get you the help you need. It’s all there, the company just doesn’t know how to pull it all together. I do. And I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that can actually get shit done the right way. Because I’m REAL and not drinking the gastric band koolaid. I won’t stand for anything less than happy customers.

Hell, none of these companies seem to know how to do this shit. Imagine if they actually had it all together the success they would achieve! It seems obvious to me, but then again I’m just a dumb little fattie who is $16k poorer.

Let it all hang out

Ok, screw this. Here’s the damn document I went out of my way to prepare for the folks at Slimband. It was their idea to get me on board and involved in the first place, by the way. All the info is based on the emails readers have sent me, my own experiences, anecdotal information gathered from online forums and other public online sources. Again, I am a marketing professional so I have some of my own insights to share. None of this is private or confidential, since I wasn’t given anything to go with. I could write something like this for any company. Fuckin’ Marketing 101 here, folks.

Please note that if you’re thinking of just stealing my ideas and trying to do it yourselves for whatever clinic you work for… well, go ahead. But you won’t do it as well as I would, and in the end you’ll probably fail again and end up with another herd of upset patients. But hey, if it works, all the more power to ya. I hope you can help me lose the last 80 fucking pounds I have to go.

Challenges

Poor Brand Image

Slimband is perceived by many as lacking warmth, caring and the human element. Anecdotally, many clients feel the following:

  • Abandoned after the procedure was completed. Post-op care was not as expected. “Slimband just wanted my money & doesn’t care about me”.
  • Unhappy with their weight loss results, experiencing minimal loss, or a plateau
  • Confused about the post-op process, ongoing support system and who to reach out to if they need help

These feelings toward the company may result in negative PR/Word Of Mouth, or no Word of Mouth where there might have been some if the client felt valued. Further research is recommended.

 Post-Op Program/Education

Older clients do not know what the band does and how it works. Now that the North American medical community has a better understanding of the most effective way to use the band; It is critical that patients receive a more accurate description of the band so that they can properly utilize it. (Ed. note, Slimband is aware of this also and all new patients receive the updated information. But I’m an older patient so I didn’t know until recently and was totally confused. But now I understand things better. All other North American clinics will or should inform their past patients of this new development).

This should be handled in a delicate manner; many clients may feel deceived, confused, upset, etc. by the news despite it being helpful & informative.

Additionally, the new support program should be introduced in a friendly way, and targeted to existing clients that have not experienced full success with their band.

A case study or “poster girl” for this situation would help bring some warmth back into the company, help clients relate, and be a good point of contact for clients.

How May I Help You?

Post-Op Program Consultant

As a current client and influencer/blogger, I have no trouble sharing my thoughts on the effectiveness and accessibility of a post-op support program. My experiences thus far, combined with my insight into the bandster community and my communications expertise can help Slimband create and/or refine their support system to a best-in-class program for existing and future clients.

As I myself go through the process to “get back on track” I can take notes, make suggestions and give quality feedback to Slimband professionals on the best way to approach existing clients and implement the new program of personalized medicine with each individual.

Patient Champion

As discussed previously, a friendly face for the post-op program may be just what the doctor ordered.

I am willing to have my journey through the post-op support program documented and shared with the patient community. This would be a spokesperson role, with or without patient interaction (TBD).

Known for my unbiased and straightforward manner, I can reach out to the clients who feel lost and help them get on track, while being an inspiration and encouraging trust. I would help inject some warmth back into the Slimband image.

Here are some additional ideas and thoughts on this potential role:

  • I have a marketing and customer service background
  •  Currently the exact type of client you need to assist and help satisfy
    Unique insights
  • Outgoing, positive, honest, warm and charismatic, many people trust me and will open up to me
  • My role could function as a spokesperson for the second stage of Slimband, and/or:
  • Gatekeeper/General community outreach
  • Address any concerns that bandsters have & direct them to the right resources
  • Gathering information & insights from clients, conducting surveys, focus groups, coffee meetings
  • Contribute articles & participate in online community
  •  Help Slimband provide a full weight loss program, and not just the surgery

 ***Disclosure:

The folks at Slimand are trying to help me, as a patient but are doing a very poor job of it so far which is why I’m so darn upset. I got my band de-filled, but now I’m not getting enough follow up or any of the other fancy post op support options they were promising me when we still thought I would be helping the company. I feel totally abandoned again and have no idea what to do or who to talk with to get this band shit figured out! So frustrating! My dietician is trying her best, but she seems limited in her abilities to assist me in my journey. And I’m gaining weight. This make me PISSED TO THE EXTREME.

Additionally, I AM trying to get a job with Slimband. The kind where I get paid real money because I provide real services and results. Despite the vitriol and frustration I have just unloaded, I think that if they just brought me on board, let me figure out where they’re going wrong, how to fix it, and then DO IT they could be a great company and be able to help so many people, past, present and future. A company with a good reputation is going to do very, very well in today’s social media world and bring in the big bucks. I’m trying to balance my desire to fix something broken and make it succeed with my desire to help all those past patients like me that don’t realize that THEY DESERVE BETTER.

Disclaimer: This is my personal online journal. I am not trying to sully the reputation of a company, but rather express my frustrations and personal experiences with said company. And hope that they listen to me and talk to me before getting lawyered up or anything because I think we could be beautiful together.

SLIMBAND: I BELIEVE IN YOU! MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE AND EMBRACE CHANGE! I know you can become a great, national company that does right by its’ patients. You just need a little help, is all. Call me.

READERS: I think they should hire me to get things going. Do you? Please show your support in the comments below or you can contact Slimband directly and tell them you want me (Lisa M) to help them help you. Because if you’re happy you’ll recommend the procedure to your friends. If Slimband becomes as awesome as I think they can be, then everyone is happy and new patients and money will flow in. Yay for fitting in your skinny jeans!

Slimband update: 2 years later

This has been on my mind quite a lot lately. Weight loss, getting healthy, getting happy. The emails keep coming in from readers regarding my lap-band procedure. I’m currently in talks with a different clinic for some additional post-op care (yes it’s been 2 years but I still need help!) and I wanted to review my past posts, emails and comments about the process before I sign anything.

For a list of all other Slimband related posts, please click here

Here are some of my previous posts on the subject, and the comments are oh so juicy! The most recent posts are at the top.

Slimband Update: 7 weeks in
Reader Question: Life with Slimband?

The Most Heavenly Coffee: Recovering with Slimband

One day left…

Coming Soon: A New Me

I also wanted to post some of the questions that I get emailed to me (and my answers) in the hopes that this is helpful for anyone who is looking for some answers and perspectives from someone in my position.

Ginger,

I’m thinking of booking a consult for this after four years of thinking about it.  Now that you’re sort of healed up from your surgery, how are your days?  Do you really think of food less or turn to it less when you’re upset?

7/28/2011 – No, my thinking and feelings towards food really haven’t changed that much since the surgery. In fact things are going much slower than I thought they would. I think I need another fill to get to the right restriction, but I can still eat any kind of food I want, just less of it. I am also struggling with a unique situation… I am not eating ENOUGH food throughout the day, which is hindering my progress. Sometimes that can happen with the band.

However what they don’t tell you is that the Slimband is secretly a diet. If you don’t eat your boring chicken breast and cottage cheese and exercise daily, you won’t really lose much. That’s what I’m encountering.

I eat similarly to how I did before surgery. It’s not perfectly healthy but it’s not junk food all the time either. I’m down about 12lbs. since December. I am also struggling with a unique situation… I am not eating ENOUGH food throughout the day, which is hindering my progress. Sometimes that can happen with the band.

What I would suggest is that you go and get your consult since you don’t have to sign anything there. Just keep in mind that the band is not a miracle. If you don’t eat your rabbit food and exercise you won’t lose the weight. If you do, then it will come off faster. Only you can decide if something like this is right for you.

At this point I am not certain whether I would recommend this procedure or not. I need to check in with Slimband and see if they can help me some more. For now I remain neutral.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask more questions.

—————

Hi Ginger,

I found your blog via google when looking up gastric banding surgery. I am considering getting banded at slimband. I noticed you haven’t wrote about your experience past week 7. I was wondering how you were feeling one year + after surgery. Would you do it again?

I am about your age and would be paying for the surgery myself, so I am trying to get as much research done before signing the checks!

Thanks,

KM

16/05/2012 – Thanks for writing in. I definitely encourage doing your research! It is a HUGE decision to make!

I have mixed emotions about my surgery. I am currently down only 30lbs since the surgery which is a bit disappointing. On the other hand, the weight is staying off and slowly coming off, and I also wasn’t following their eating directions. I assume that if you actually do what they suggest, your weight will come off quicker.

One thing I have also pondered is that having the band wasn’t really a massive change to my eating anyway. I was already eating small portions and trying to eat frequently and healthfully throughout the day. Having the band didn’t make a big difference.

However, a friend that I met through Slimband had pretty bad habits before the band. She could eat enough for 4 people at each meal and had an addiction to wine and coca-cola. Now she can’t drink fizzy things nor eat as much as she used to, so she dropped 100lbs in a little over 3 months. One more variable to confuse you even more is that when they did the surgery they found she had a perforated stomach (or something) that was allowing her to eat that much. When they fixed it, I think that played a large role in her weight loss as well.

I don’t really know if I would get this done again. I think my food issues are a lot bigger than I originally thought, and even a band isn’t going to solve them. Keep this in mind when you get the surgery. The band is only a tool. If you don’t work with it and change your lifestyle, it may not be as effective as you hope.

Now I am trying to refocus my efforts on getting healthy. I have reached the sweet spot on the band and am working with a personal trainer/food coach (she is awesome, let me know if you want her details. She’s lost 80lbs the hard way!) and also doing yoga so I hope to jumpstart things again.

I think eventually I’ll reach my goal weight, but its still going to take a long time!

Hope this helps & let me know if you have other questions.

Ginger –
Thanks so much for writing me back – your timing was great as I have decided to go through with the procedure and I am dropping off (gulp!) the check today.
I had have just moved to Toronto from the states and had been seeing a medical doctor for help with weight loss who was amazing – with his help, I had lost about 25 lbs over two years, but since I have been back in Toronto (10 months) I have gained 20 lbs back.  Seeing how dramatically my weight has increased without the medication has made me think that I need a more permanent solution – hence Slimband.
I am doing my best to go in to the procedure with my eyes wide open, but I am concerned that I am going to spend ALL THIS MONEY and then end up up in the same place.  I have never been able to eat for nutrition sake only, so I am hopeful if the band is in place, I won’t be as hungry and therefore won’t eat so much.  I would like to lose about 30 lbs (that would take me to a BMI of 26), and it seems like so much money for 30 lbs, but I do not think I will ever to be able to maintain that weight loss without help.
It is also difficult to get feedback from the message groups.  It seems as if everyone LOVES their band or HATES it.  It was good to get  a little perspective from you.  It is hard to trust the slimband people as it is a business to them.
Thanks again, and if you have any more thoughts, please feel free to send them my way!
KM
—————-

Slimband Update: 7 Weeks In

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

It’s been about 7 weeks since I had my surgery with Slimband. So far I’m down about 12lbs overall and am losing around 1lb per week.

It’s going a lot slower than I thought it would, and I’m not sure whether this is good or bad. Usually slower weight loss means it will not be gained back, but on the other hand, I feel like I’m failing as I do it.

I just had a call with my dietitian and funny enough he was encouraging me to eat MORE… more of everything! Always! Anything! He even said pizza or a cheeseburger! It seems that some of my problems can be attributed to under-eating of all things. Go figure!

My other vice is that I’ve been drinking with meals which is a huge no-no for this type of thing. Reason being that when you drink and eat, the food gets washed through your system much faster. The point of the band is to hold food in your stomach longer so you feel less hungry. If you drink and wash the food down, it won’t stick around to give you that feeling!

But it’s a seriously hard habit to break, I LOVE drinking with my food, it makes me so thirsty!

But yeah, adjusting to the new eating patterns and habits is giving me a lot of trouble. I’m not eating enough, and when I do, I have been choosing a lot of the wrong things. I put it down to bad willpower and also a lack of time and planning.

On the plus side of things, my clothes are fitting me a lot better. One pair of my jeans is actually too big for me now! And one of my winter jackets that was just a little too tight before now fits me well.

My face has thinned out and my skin is really soft.

 

And… I don’t know if this is real or just wishful thinking, but my tits are looking awesome! I think losing some of the flab under my arms has given them some more definition or something! Fingers crossed that they don’t shrink as the rest of me shrinks…

Reader Question: Life with Slimband?

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

 

Dear Ginger,

I came across your blog and saw that you had the Slimband surgery a few weeks ago. I am considering it too but trying to get as much info as possible. Would you mind sharing some of your thoughts with me? I’m in Toronto and was considering the actual Slimband clinic as opposed to other lapband places. What’s your experience with them been like? Are you satisfied?
If you also don’t mind me asking, are you able to eat better now? Just less of everything?
I’m desperate for a solution but if it’s going to involve me being super strict and “sticking to it” (it being anything) I don’t see a point because if I had the self control I wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place..lol

Thanks for any advice you can offer
Cheers,
N.B.

Hi N.B.,

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I hope you have enjoyed reading it :)

I’ll do my best to answer your question here, but if I miss anything I’ll be doing periodic posts about my surgery & experiences on the blog (I’ve just been busy recovering lately!)

The first thing I want to say is that you should really do your research and go with a clinic that not only offers the best service and technology, but one that you feel comfortable with. This is a huge thing to go through and you want everything to go as smooth as possible. I’ll tell you my experiences with Slimband but I encourage you to check out other places as well, every person is different.

What I found is that they all offer roughly the same services for the same cost ($16,000). You want to have someplace that has a good follow-up program with dieticians, communities, and free fills for life. The market is competitive so I think most places offer the same stuff.

Essentially I chose Slimband because I felt that the actual band was superior in construction, the location was more convenient for me and I got a chance to talk with Niki as my consultant. Niki is the lady you see in all the ads everywhere. I also felt that the clinic might be the right choice because they are able to afford the giant ad campaign. I work in advertising so I know that it is not cheap!

Slimband also had Dr. Yau, who has performed over 5000 of these surgeries. I wanted someone competent to do my surgery. Unfortunately I didn’t end up getting him that day, but the other surgeon spoke with me, answered my questions and in the end, he did a good job.

I’m mostly satisfied with the service so far. There were a few issues with payment and my questions not being addressed properly before surgery, so I would just hound them for the answers. In the end most things got sorted out. I think that no matter how much reading material and stuff they give you, there may always be surprises along the way with this type of surgery.

Anyway, at this point I am now able to eat “real food” once again. I’m Sooooo excited. So far I’ve been able to eat what I want, just less of it. You also have to change the order you eat food so that you eat the protein first, then veg, then carbs. But it’s not really hard. You also can’t drink when you eat—just ask them why when you go for your consultation.

I’m not going to lie, the pre-op diet and then having only liquids for 3 weeks after the surgery was torture. I missed food like crazy and got sick of having nothing but soup! But that’s going to happen no matter what—it IS surgery after all! I feel like I am recovering pretty well, though my weight loss is quite slow compared to some other people. So far I am down 7lbs, but hopefully once I start eating & exercising properly again more will come off.

I, too was desperate for a solution. I’ve done all the diets in the past and exercised quite vigorously with limited results. Shortly after beginning something I’d give it up—usually because the diet was unrealistic, anyway!

With Slimband I am hoping that I can just use it as a tool to help create a new lifestyle for me, rather than a diet. Even before the surgery I was trying to eat less and better quality foods in general. I felt like all the processed crap was just too gross (though I still eat some of it, of course!)

I just had my first meeting with the dietitian last night and he confirmed that I can live life pretty normal, even drinking wine and taking shots and eating cake! The key is moderation, and trying to eat properly the rest of the time. Obviously it’s a big life adjustment, but I think/hope that it will work. It’s not like I have any other options!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for right now. I just started eating food so we’ll see how that goes. Feel free to ask more questions here, or even on the blog! I think I may post your question (anonymously) and my answer… a lot of folks have been asking the same thing.

I hope this helps, and let me know what you decide to do!

-G

The Most Heavenly Coffee: Recovering with Slimband

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

I am having what is probably the most delicious coffee drink ever to be created. A small Second Cup “Canadian” maple latte with skim milk.

Heaven.

I don’t think it has anything to do with the brand or even the flavor, but more that I haven’t been able to drink coffee, caffeine or anything with milk in it since my surgery, and it has been hard indeed!

I always enjoy my morning coffee, the taste, the mouth feel and the comforting ritual and warmth. I don’t need something fancy, just a regular cuppa joe will do me fine.

But what I really wanted to talk about today was my recover so far.

Two Surgeries

It’s been tougher than I imagined, but probably not the worst ever. It’s been a little more complicated since I got basically two surgeries for the price of one: the Slimband insertion as well as a hernia operation.

Regarding the hernia: During the operation the surgeon found a hiatal hernia and had to correct it before he could place the Slimband on my upper stomach. According to MedicineNet.com: A hiatal hernia is an anatomical abnormality in which part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm and up into the chest.

On the 30th I went into Slimband’s Toronto clinic to have my operation. My mom tagged along and was there to help me before and after. They took some before photos and my weight, etc. so we would have a record of my progress.

After the surgery I went home to recover. Thankfully my family was very accommodating and put up with my sour mood—I was in a lot of pain and discomfort from the gas they pumped into my abdomen and it sure made me snappy!

That day was pretty rough. I slept most of the time and was hopped up on painkillers the rest of it. It was not a pretty sight. I could only have tiny sips of water that day, too.

The following 4-5 days I improved rapidly. While I understand the importance of the post-op diet, it sucked! I could only have clear liquids which meant that I was restricted to exactly: water, clear juice, jello, clear broth, herbal tea. Nothing else. Believe me, it got boring super-fast.

I suppose I have been recovering well all things considered, but it has been really tough on me. I am impatient to get on with my life and don’t enjoy all the restrictions that are currently in my life. Of course I am following and respecting doctor’s orders…but it doesn’t mean I have to like it!

Limitations

I can’t carry anything heavy, or even bend over. If something falls on the floor it either stays there or I need someone else to get it… so my apartment is looking rather dumpy this week! It has been hard being so helpless… definitely not my natural state. My poor father had to put my socks on for me, by golly!

Due to the hernia sutures, I have been having a lot of difficulty breathing. The first 2 days I could barely talk, walk or anything as my breathing capacity was greatly reduced. It is getting better but I still have trouble catching my breath after movement of some kind. I also have general abdominal and chest pain to deal with as everything heals.

I tire easily (not enough sustenance from the liquid diet. I am losing weight but also my stamina!) and can’t burp! Oh man that is the worst so far! As I sip my drinks I am taking in too much air. A normal person would just burp it out, but my stomach opening is swollen and can’t let the gas through. Now every time I need to burp it presses up against my band and it hurts like crazy before subsiding. Then… well… let’s just say it needs to find another way out!

Speaking of which, my bathroom habits have been nuts. Due to the general pain and discomfort I’ve been in this past week, I haven’t been able to tell when I had to go pee, which is a weird thing indeed. I spent most of my time outside of bed and the La-z-boy on the toilet. Not to mention that I had some diarrhea that also kept me running… (sorry, TMI moment). This all added to my troubles as my mobility has been severely limited. *sigh*

Back to the coffee

Anyway, I am super happy to be on the next phase of recovery. Some of the pain and swelling has subsided, I have lost some weight and can now finally eat things that are closer to real food. Yay! This has helped with the digestion issues and a plethora of other things. I feel more human now.

But after a week of clear liquids only, limited movement, pain and embarrassing TMI moments you can see why I am so happy to have a coffee!

I am really looking forward to eating real food again and not having to deal with pain and discomfort. I know it’s only temporary and I am trying to keep my eye on the prize.

Lend me your strength! The detox saga

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

It’s my first day both at work and on my pre-op detox diet, and man, is it HARD!

This morning we got several chocolate deliveries as well as a large box of mini gourmet cupcakes from some fancy shop.

Pure torture.

At least I’m not alone in this, after death by chocolate (a whole afternoon sampling the entire menu at MoRoCo in Yorkville thanks to work!) on Friday, me and several of the other girls are on detox and other diets. But the temptation is still there… and so easy to fall prey to!

Only one of us was able to abstain from the adorable mini cupcakes (hint, it wasn’t me).

I really need to do better with this diet though, because it directly impacts my surgery. I am hoping that the first day is the hardest and subsequent days will become easier.

The detox diet I am doing is to help reduce the fat around my liver. The smaller my liver is, the less the surgeon has to root around in my innards to install the Slimband. My diet is full of veggies and spinach, and a little low-fat dairy and protein. I’m able to sub in protein/meal replacement shakes at any point, so I picked up some Slimfast to help me out.

I wish there was a better time to do this… The Holidays were definitely NOT my first choice! But I’ll work with what I’ve got; at least it should be pretty quiet and easy up until Christmas Eve (my family is doing a big gathering up north). I’ll have to deal with that when it comes.

Does anyone know how I can spice up spinach salads, low fat cheese, yogurt and chicken breast? What about canned tuna?

It’s day 3 overall and I’m already running out of ideas!!!

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???