January 2011 on January 27, 2011 5:44 pm
So, I have no idea if I will ever come around to sending anyone to read this blog or not. I have never written a blog and frankly really don't even know what I am doing. But I am looking at this as a journal entry just for myself at this time.
When I started this process of thinking about WLS, I got the idea in my head from a friend who had LapBand. She seemed to be doing pretty good. So that got me curious. After a little bit of research on the LapBand, and looking at the Band forum, I decided that that was the surgery for me!!! So, I had it all in my head to go to Mexico and have it done. Of course there was the money issue, but I felt that for that minimal amount of money ( relatively speaking ) , it was well worth potentially getting my life back! I became OBSESSED!!! I read everything I could find. Then, two specific people who had had the Band previously were talking to me about looking into my choice, that I might not find the Band to be the "Golden Ticket" that I had my hopes up for. They were not being over-powering, but just saying, " Hey, you need to look at the negatives, also." So, that is what I did. Boy did I find the negatives!!! As they say, hind sight is 20/20 but now I am so thankful that going to Mexico at THAT time didn't pan out. ( Still wanna go, but not for a Band!! )
I was then introduced to the VSG. The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. Many, many patients had had a revision from a Band to a VSG. After even more obsession and even more research this time, I am 100% sure the VSG is for me. As I said, I would love to go to Mexico and have it done NOW, but I have found out that my insurance will cover it. YEAH!! BUT... you have to jump through so many hoops to ( possibly ) get approved, I feel like it will be just as expensive for me to have it done in the States, take longer AND the reputable, good surgeons in Mexico have done THOUSANDS of these procedures, whereas the U.S. doctors have not been doing it as long. Part of the insurance approval process is that you complete a 6-month doctor-supervised weight program. Basically, go in once a month for 6 months and get weighed. Secondly, I have to go through 6 months of support group meetings or counseling sessions, and a psychiatric evaluation. I think those things are GREAT, but...since I have been over-weight for over 13 years, now that I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I just want it done YESTERDAY!!! AND...I am afraid of going through that, plus what the surgeon requires, which is a nutritionist/dietitian, an EKG, full lab work, Upper GI, possible sleep study, etc. and after going through/paying for all of that, that I won't even be approved!! I hear of people getting denied and denied through appeals and the process taking a couple years! I want to be able to have this done while I am still relatively young and maybe a lot of my skin will bounce back instead of heading south!
So, I have completed all of my requirements for January. Only 5 MONTHS LEFT!! wow. Time is just FLYING by....NOT!!!
I went to meet the surgeon yesterday for the first time. Might I say he is easy on the eyes!!! That's a plus! Anyway, he told me that he does not do this surgery on anyone who has Acid Reflux. Well, I told him, " Good News, cause I don't have acid reflux!" Spring forward 3 hours and I go and have the Upper GI done and guess what?!?! The radiologist tells me I have acid reflux!!! WTH! I have NO symptoms of acid reflux AT ALL! So, I still don't know what he will say when he gets the report back from the Upper GI !! Also, Dr. Johnson told me that he only uses a "40 french Bougie". For anyone who might be reading and not know what a bougie is, it is a measuring device they use to make your new stomach. It seems to me that the popular size right now is a 32fr. . So I have it set in my mind that I want a 32fr.!!! I have heard some great success stories of people who have a 40, but I have also heard that with a 40, they keep more of your "stretchy" part of your stomach and it is more likely to stretch and have more weight gain in the future. Don't get me wrong, it can stretch (some) in a 32fr., but not as bad, so I've heard. So now, I am waiting for Susie to call me back and let me know if he will accommodate me with a 32fr. ( Susie is his very sweet, but high- strung "patient advocate" ) So, right now, I don't know what will be going on, as far as the Acid Reflux , or the bougie. I hope to find out tomorrow. ( 1-28-11) I also am trying to get a direct answer about how much I am going to have to pay out-of-pocket and what they think my chances are of being denied indefinitely!
That is my first month in a very large nutshell. Is it JUNE YET????
P.S. ( I have NEVER told anyone this, including my husband ) But when I weighed in at the surgeons office yesterday, I was 261 lbs. That is just disgusting and unbelieveable to me. ( I was 118 when I met my husband !) I am 5' 6 1/2" tall.
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