Positive self talk & Daily self nurturing
7/4/05 (20th birthday)
It’s kind of sad to admit that one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had was spent in a hospital, but I’ve already addressed my previous bday luck so whatever, I’ll take what I can get. The idea of turning twenty was a pretty huge deal for me. The fact that I was spending it in a place where I was actively working on getting my life in check felt epic. I was excited to spend the day with my family and not have to worry about planning something with my friends. It eliminated my chances of having to face rejection and cry about all of the BBQ’s I didn’t get invited to. A birthday away from home sounded glorious to me.
On the day of, my parents and sister showed up after I finished my breakfast, which now consisted of a turkey sandwich and a diet soda. As my dad would say, “Don’t yuck my yum”. A turkey sandwich in the A.M. is delicious, and after feeling nauseous every morning due to a cocktail of pills and rubbery eggs, I had happily adjusted to eating it every day. Danielle had managed to take off from work and surprised me, making this the first time in years the four of us would be spending actual time together. Shockingly, it wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be.
We spent the day exploring downtown Richmond, going to the movies, and watching the fireworks. It felt almost like we were a functional family living it up on our annual summer vacation. The only nod to our reality would be the food restrictions I had to adhere to. Otherwise we could have passed for the real deal. The hospital wouldn’t grant me an overnight pass, so I had to be back on the unit before 10pm. When the inevitable goodbyes came I was sad, but It had been a surprisingly successful birthday. I liked having my family around me and this time it felt especially hard to watch them go.
Three days later, and two months before my discharge date, my insurance company decided to pull the plug on their funding. After everything they had already put my family through -- after everything they had put me through -- the fact that they were pulling this shit again, and right after my birthday no less, was infuriating. As much as I missed home I was not even close to ready to go back. There was still so much work to do and so much weight to lose. It wasn’t time yet. If I left at this point I would gain everything back, I knew I would. I honestly don’t think I would have survived. I was livid and horrified. We all were.
We couldn’t believe it, but the fight was on again. My poor mom was forced to sign a contract saying she’d pay the outrageous daily rate, money that I knew neither of my parents had, while we waited for my lawyer to file an appeal. I felt guilty, angry, and hurt. But, as scared as I was of being ripped out of there before I was ready, something inside of me knew that we would win again. No one in that hospital or on my team at home was going to let them take this away from me. Not now. I had worked too hard.
I keep thinking about when I go home if I end up having to. I miss home so much but I'm scared that I'm not going to have lost a lot of weight and I'm scared of how I'm going to keep losing weight when I get home. I don't want to become anorexic or bulimic. I don't want to become so obsessed with losing weight that I don't live. What do I do?!?! Well, hopefully we will win the appeal or I get Medicaid and they pay for my stay because then I'll have a while to work this out. I'm glad the reason I went up two pounds on Friday was because I had my period. When I go home (hopefully when I'm ready and not next week) I'm going to get a job and save up to get the extra skin removed. While I'm saving up I'll lose more weight and hopefully get down to 130 at least. I'd really like to be in the 120's because of my height. I'm never going to be really skinny which is okay. I just don't want the extra skin hanging off of me. I hope this isn't the CD that's making my CD player go crazy and that it's just the CD player.
After only one appeal they put my funding back in place. But, the damage they had continuously done to my parents and my faith in the health care system of this country is irreparable. In my opinion, which I believe is backed by a lot of experience at this point, insurance companies are filled with un-empathetic, con-artist assholes who should all be arrested. Insurance is not free. We are literally paying these people to ensure we will get help when we desperately need it. If when we get to that point we are refused the help, well, that is what I would call a scam. And in America, being a participant in a plot to scam a person out of money is illegal. They might as well be sending me an e-mail telling me they’re an American stuck in Nigeria and they desperately need me to wire them thousands of dollars in order for them to be able to come home. Seriously, though, think about it. It’s more or less the same thing.