CHAPTER ONE: "CHILE, I WAS MADDER THAN BERNADINE IN WAITING TO EXHALE"


 

THE BEGINNING OF IT ALL. ..


Deciding to have weight loss surgery (WLS) was not an easy decision for me. 


It’s 2020, and WLS is something that I’ve been considering since about 2017. When I first considered WLS, I spoke with my Mother, just to get a temperature check. 


I knew she would throw her Lioness Cape on and come on the journey with me. 


(WLS Gem: If you decide on having WLS, please have a support person or support system.)


I went on google and found New Jersey Bariatric Center (NJBC). 


After researching the website and surfing through various testimonials, my mom and I attended their information seminar. 


(WLS Gem: Attend a seminar if WLS is something that you are considering. Don’t go into this blindly. You will be given information on the various procedures, health benefits, etc. You want to make sure you have someone to help shift through the information).


After the seminar NJBC asked for my insurance information and I was told that I would get a phone call about the “next steps”. 




Mommy and I left the seminar and we were both excited about where the journey was about to take “us”.


A couple of days later my phone rang and it was NJBC. I will NEVER forget this day. 


Honey, I JUST KNEW they were calling to say “YOU’VE BEEN APPROVED” and I would be screaming louder than Oprah when she yelled “You get a car!” “You get a car!” “You get a car!”.



Nah. I was sadly mistaken.  


NJBC was calling to tell me that I was a GREAT candidate (they always butter you up before dropping a bomb on you) “however we are sorry to inform you that your insurance will not approve bariatric benefits”. 


What the *&#@ ! 


There was silence on the phone. 


The hurt, pain, and disappointment made its way to my heart and stayed there for a couple of days. 


After some investigating, it wasn’t that my insurance would not approve the bariatric benefits, my employer did not add bariatric benefits to our insurance package. 


Yes. You read correctly! 


I felt so many emotions after I got off the phone with my insurance company. 


I was SOOOOOO in denial that I called back and asked to speak to a different rep (surely the first rep I spoke to didn’t know what she was talking about). 


I needed to do a “fact check”


But I was given the same information “We regret to inform you that your employer has opted out of having bariatric benefits added to your insurance package”.


Chileeee, I was madder than Bernadine in Waiting to Exhale, when she was burning up her husband's clothes.


Underneath it all, I truly felt BETRAYED. The employer I go to work for everyday, did not approve a procedure that could help people reach their health and wellness goals. 


Really ? 


I cried for days. 


I walked into work with “The STANK Face”. My attitude might have even been stankier (Oh, well). 


I was slamming down handles on the copy machines.


Punching in the key codes with aggression.  


If I can be honest, I was fueled with rage.


I was upset with my employer and then realized I was disgusted with MYSELF.


I kept thinking “Chyna how did you even get here”? “Why is it so difficult for you to put the food down”? 


I was blaming and shaming myself. My thoughts were NOT kind. 


After a few days, I went to speak to the Head Department Chair of HR. We had a heartfelt conversation and she told me the same thing my insurance company had told me. 


I remember walking out of her office and going on my lunch break. 


I sat in my car at McDonalds and ate until I couldn’t feel anything.  


So at this point, I had pretty much given up on the idea. I was informed that I could take out “Care Credit” which is something similar to a credit card for medical bills. 


I would be able to charge the entire procedure on “Care Credit” and then pay it off monthly. 


My mom and I tossed the idea back and forth for a while and she was willing to help me pay for the procedure. 


To be honest, I really wasn’t feeling that idea. I wasn’t feeling ANYTHING! 


I was past anger. 


I was past sadness. 


I didn’t even have anymore Bernadine left in me. 


I was lost.


I just ate. 


And ate. 


And ate. 


To be continued...







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