- Username: Richbehr
- Location: North Haven, CT, USA
- Member Since: 2/9/2006
- BMI: 30.5
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: RNY (03/24/08)
- Surgeon: Jonathan Aranow
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Surgeon TestimonialJonathan AranowDr. Aranow's reputation is nothing but awesome. I have not heard a negative word about him. When I first heard him speak on rnSept. 17, 2007 the first things that came to mind was :rn#1: He's so youngrn#2 : BRILLIANT!rn#3: Confidentrn#4: He is for mernWhen I saw him as a patient on Oct 1, 2007rnI was not disappointed, he a great doctor and a great guy. I feel safe and secure in his hands.
- Animals - Bears 'cause I am one. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
- Board Games & Puzzles - Rummikub addict!
- Radio & Television - My favorite tv shows of all time? Married with Children and The Golden Girls
- Bowling - I've been on several leagues, done a few tournaments too
- Roller Skating - Used to be a competitive artistic skater and skating judge. I miss it.
- Boats - I've always had a boat until this past spring when I had to sell it.
- Tropical Fish - I'm having fun with my 45 gallon tank
- Flea Markets - Love the dirt malls!
- Gardening - Got a degree in it. Mom used to call me her Tide poster child!
Nov 14, 2007 on November 14, 2007 5:50 pm
Nov. 14, 2007
What a day today!
It started with a visit to a GI doc to get ready for the endoscopy.
He examined me and everything looks good to go ahead with it.
However because of my sleep apnea he can't do it in the off ice I have to go the hospital to have it done. It is scheduled for Dec 3, 2007 at Milford Hospital. I have to be there for 1:30. Hmmm 1:30, that means if I use a personal day from work I still have the am free. I need to have
an ultra sound of my gall bladder done and the imaging place is in the same building, so I go there and ask if they just might happen to have something open in the am of Dec 3rd? BINGO! They have an opening at 8am. AWESOME! That means I get 2 of my tests done on the same day and I only have to take one day off from work. Leaving the building reality sinks in.
I am doubting my decision to have surgery. Can I give up my comfort zone which is food? What will I turn to? Where will I go? I battle depression and what will happen when I have nothing to turn to? I am scared and worried.
Then my logical mind kicks in.I'll be eating "normal" foods within 6 months, just not the same quanities.I feel better and I realize with all my co-morbidities I'll be dead in 5 years so this is my best option.
This evening I met with Terria for my 2nd session with her.
I think I am trying to depend on her for to many things that I need to take care of myself. She can't fix things, she can only guide me. I have a LONG road ahead. I wonder with my current behavior how will I react when I have surgery? I know surgery is a tool but I feel in my heart when my body changes so will my head. I can feel it and it feels good. When I feel my demons creeping up on me I need to tell them to go away out loud .Vocal positive re-inforcement will be my project. So if you see me in the car talking to myself you'll know why. Tonight I admitted something to her that I have never mentioned to anyone. To hear myself say it was an eye opener. She is off on vacation and my next appointment will be Dec 12.
The 6 th anniversary of mom's passing is Dec 8 and I will be at the same Christmas party I was at the night she died. Terria told me to go and laugh and have fun. I don't know if I can, but I will try.
I am also going to start going back to support group meetings starting this coming monday in Hamden.
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The Turning Point on November 11, 2007 1:38 pm
Nov 8, 2007
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My first appointment with Terria. I was not wrong. I like her and I feel I can trust her.She is gonna have her hands full with me. I have been on
anti-depressants since 1988 with no therapy at all. We discuss the things I want out of therapy and the changes I will be going thru.
I will be seeing her weekly, I am glad. On the way home all kinds of thoughts and emotions are going thru my head, With the holidays approaching and the anniversary of my beloved mothers death I'm going to need someone. I know I'm gonna come out ahead, its just the next
few months are going to be rocky.
Nov 5, 2007
I go to Middlesex Hospital to hear Dr. Aranow's nutritionist and psycologist speak. I need to go to this before I can see either one.
I also find out I need to keep a 2 week food log before i can see the nutrionist and that the psycologist is scheduling appointments 2 months out. Thats ok, I can wait. I will work on the other things I have to have done.
I am now realizing that there will soon be a whole new me and am I ready mentally/emotionally? I have some other issues that I need to deal
with in my head before WLS so I think I better start to see a therapist to get things worked out. I decide I want to see Terria Linn, a social worker
that I have heard speak at the Hamden support group several times.
Oct 1, 2007
It is 2 days before my birthday.
I see Dr. Aranow, my weight is 322, and tell him I want the RNY, he examines me and says fine no problem, but that he wants me to loose 10 pounds before surgery,and that I have the best insurance and that approval will be not be a problem. His main concern is that I am basically alone. All I have is my brother that I live with who is bi-polar that I look after and another brother that is a single parent living in Mass. I tell him I have several friends that will look in on me.Yes I am in this alone, but I will survive. I tell him I don't want the surgery until early spring since I work for the DOT and don't want to miss out on any of the winter overtime. He says no problem, approvals are good for 6 months to a year. AWESOME!
He gives me a list of tests I have to have done before my case can be submitted for approval.
#1: Stress Test
#3: Gall Bladder Ultra Sound
#4: Nutritionist- 2 visits
#5: Psycologist-1 visit
Sept 17, 2007
With Debby in tow I go hear him speak. He is so young!
After the talk I am convinced that he is the doctor for me. He is just awesome, I know I will be successful in his care.
The man is brilliant, confident and on the verge of cocky.
The next day I call the office and make an appointment to see him.
I call to make an appointment with Dr.Aranow but am told I need to go hear his talk first. The next one is the 17th.
July 3, 2007
I see my primary -Dr. Miller for a nagging sore throat and I tell him
that it looks like I will be having the surgery. He is very happy, but wants me to see a different surgeon that he has heard wonderfull things about.
He says his name is Dr. Aranow. I know many people that have gone to him including my friend Debby and they all say wonderfull things about him.
July 2, 2007 (monday)
With new insurance card in hand I call Anthem. I give my id # to the customer service rep and ask if WLS is covered. I am told
YES!!!!! with NO conditions or requirements.
I am shaking with tears in my eyes. I will have WLS.
Now I just have to wait for my 6 month probation to be up and to accumulate sick time. I've waited this long, I can wait a little longer.
The Start of the Journey on November 11, 2007 12:11 pm
It is February 2006.
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I am starting ANOTHER new temp job. I have been out of work since
April 2005. I know I have suffered discrimination because of my weight.
So anyway I start this temp job and as I get freindly with the people on the first day, 2 of the women told me they have had WLS surgery. I told them I have been thinking about it for a number of years, since watching Al Roker on tv having it done. One of them tells me about this site. I log on and check it out. I'm impressed with the site and the people and I sign up as a member. I call and make an appointment with Dr. Miller,my PCP of
I see Dr. Miller and get his blessing. and also the name of a surgeon-
Dr. Barajas. I also go to my diabetic doctor-Dr. Etkind for his blessing and get it. Ok, now I'm all set.So I call the office and speak to Jesse. She tells me of the talk at St. Raphael's hospital I must attend first before seeing the doctor. I go to the talk on Feb 15 and hear the different surgeons speak. Now I know this is for me. The next day I call and make an appointment.
I see Dr. Barajas and she goes over the procedure-LAP RNY and then examines me. She says I'm an ideal candidate for the surgery.
I start attending support group meetings in Hamden at the library and am hooked on having this surgery. I finally meet Debby Marcus from the Connecticut Board and she takes me under her wing.
Now its up to the insurance company-Connecticare.
DENIED!!!!! at the first phone call.
They say that my former employer that I have COBRA thru does not have the WLS coverage. I tell them its medically necessary! Still won't be covered. I told them I'll get a lawyer. They tell me go ahead, the surgery still won't be covered. I still call them about every other week, still get the same answer, I figure harassment may work. It does'nt
My new name for them is Connecti-don't-care.
After many unsuccessfull interviews I finally land a permanent job at a small company 4 miles from home. I am told I go on the insurance as of August 1. I cross my fingers WLS is covered. Mean while I still attend support group meetings.
Ok, I have new insurance card, it says Blue Cross Basic, uh-oh
"Basic" coverage does not sound good. I call Blue Cross and ask if WLS surgery is covered under my employers plan. It is'nt.
No way, no how. The plan is totally basic. I am now at a stand still.
I have now been denied by 2 insurance companies!!!!!!!
My only hope is to find another job with insurance that covers WLS surgery. I continue to go to meetings, but am loosing hope I am the
After support group I go out to dinner with Debby and her friend Joy who works for the state and has had the surgery and says the state's insuurance covers it 100%. I tell my plight to Joy that I am miserable at my job and want out. A week later Joy calls Debby and asks if Richard checks the state website because they are offering the exam for
Purchasing Assistant. which is what I do. I download the paperwork to apply for the exam and fill it out and fax it in. A week later I get a letter saying I am accespted to take the exam and where and when to show.
I take the test along with 24 other people and there is another group of 24 to take it after us. I take the exam, its not that bad, I think I did ok.,
10 days later I get the results: I scored an 84 and 60 is passing!
The letter says to check the state website for any job openings
March 2, 2007 (friday)
I get a letter from the State DOT saying they curreently have 4 openings and if I am interested to fill out the enclosed paperwork and submit it no later than Friday March 9th. I get it to the post office on sunday.
March 7, 2007 (wedensday)
I get a call from the DOT asking if I want to come in for an interview!
They did'nt even wait until the 9th. My interview is scheduled for the following Thursday the 15th at 8:30 am. I get all new clothes and shoes. I need this job, its my last hope for WLS.
It is raining. I don't care. I look sharp, I finally have a proper fitting shirt, new tie, suit has been altered and dry cleaned.
For the first time in a long long time I look good, which makes me feel good. I am going to get this job!
The interview is like a firing squad, that the only way to describe it.
There is a rectangular table with 4 people on one side and me on the other. I take a deep breath hold my head up high and go in.
It goes GREAT. I am happy. They tell me they need people right away, but it make take up to 6 weeks before I know either way.
April 25, 2007
I got the job!!!!!
One day shy of 6 weeks from the interview I am offered the job.
I am to start on Monday May 14, 2007.
I go in and give my notice that Friday May 11 will be my last day.
May 14, 2007
My morning is spent in orientation. All the bennies are gone over.
Health insurance starts the first of the month following 30 days of employment which for me means July 1.