Almost, But Not Quite

Jul 09, 2007

Monday, July 9, 2007

Today I went for all of my tests at the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, in Atlantic City. My appointment was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and I got there at 8:15 a.m. Registering was a total breeze. I was so happy when I wasn't asked to pay the $200 deductible, I could've jumped for joy. 

The first thing they did was take my chest X-rays which was immediately followed by the upper GI test where I had to drink a thick, chalky substance called barium. That was kinda interesting. I felt like a rotisserie chicken being that I was asked to rotate from side to side.

Immediately after that, I had my EKG followed by the ECHOcardiogram. I was just zip zipping along. 
I had a urinalysis done for nicotine, and had blood work done, what fun!!!!!

The pulmonary studies were the ones that took the longest to do. First, blood was drawn from my artery to check for the oxygen level. Then I had a breathing test done which I didn't care too much for. They pinched my nose closed, and I had to breathe through a mouthpiece and my breath was measured. Since I'm asthmatic, that didn't go too well, and I was given a breathing therapy on the nebulizer. After that, the test results were a little bit better. I was out by 11:30 a.m.

Being that my PCP is also in Atlantic City, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone and go to his office to get a medical clearance from him. The thing I love about this doctor is that you don't have to schedule an appointment, it's a walk-in office, and I just love it. Well, I waited for about an hour before I was called in to see him. I told him what I needed and he told me he can't write a clearance letter until he sees all the labwork results. He told me that once my surgeon has the results to have his office fax the results over to him so he can look at them and decide if I'm okay for clearance. If I would've know that I would have not wasted time sitting in his office. No matter, I have an appointment with the nutritionist this coming Thursday, and I'll ask the office to fax the results to my doctor. Hopefully, my PCP will give me a clearance. 

I'm almost done with all of my tests. Tomorrow I go to the pulmonologist, Wednesday I go to the lap band support group meeting, and Thursday, I have the appointment with the nutritionist. I'm almost there, but not quite.


Kinda Down Today

Jul 06, 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007

I feel depressed today. My teaching contract wasn't renewed for the upcoming '07-'08 school year which has left me in the unemployment line. Our finances are a complete disaster, and I have checks bouncing like a rubber ball. I won't receive my first unemployment check until the 18th of July, and in the meantime, we're subsisting on my husband's miserly salary.

I think I'm more depressed at the fact that I'm no longer covered under my employer's medical insurance, BC/BS. I received a call today from AtlantiCare to verify all the information I had given them when I first called to make the appointment for all of my tests. I'm using my husband's insurance and we haven't made the $200 deductible. I was told that I have to bring in $200 on Monday for my appointment. Then, on Tuesday I have to pay $25 copay for the pulmonologist, and on Thursday I need to pay $250 for the nutritionist, money that I definitely don't have now.

I know that my teaching contract is going to be renewed. We're  just waiting for the State to grant me my standard teaching certification, and I'm in, but, in the meantime, we have bills to pay, a mortgage that I pay, car payments, groceries to buy, and the list goes on and on.

My Lord has never forsaken us, and I know He's our provider, but that doesn't take away the fact that I do worry.


Moving Along

Jul 04, 2007

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Well, things are sorta moving along, but not fast enough for me. I went to the gastric bypass support group on Monday, July 2, and it was interesting. It's amazing on how people have lost sooo much weight after this surgery. 

Yesterday I went for my psychiatric evaluation and took my husband with me. He was under the impression that I was having the lapband surgery, and became upset when he found out that I'm considering the gastric bypass. He kept insisting that I should have the lapband, but I've made up my mind. I've done my research, and I'm sticking to my guns.

The psychiatrist asked me some questions pertaining to my eating habits, intents of losing weight on my own, health issues I have, and other things. He asked me how committed I was in losing weight from a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest. Of course I said 10, after all, having this surgery is drastic, and if I'm not committed 100% all of this will be for naught. He told me the surgeon will have the report by Friday, the latest.

I have all my testings scheduled for Monday, July 9, and I go to the pulmonologist on the 10th. On the 11th I'm going to the lapband support meeting, and to the nutritionist on the 12th. Although I go to the pulmonologist on the 10th, I'm pretty sure he's going to give me another appointment for the sleep apnea test. I doubt it will be done during my initial consultation. I know that this test is done at night.

I was told that the paperwork to the insurance company won't be submitted until the doctor has all of my test results. After all of that's done, they set up another appointment for me and a date for my surgery. I can't wait. I'm hoping the surgery is scheduled for next month, right before I return to work.

I'll keep you posted.


My Consultation Was Today

Jun 22, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

I'm sooo excited! After waiting two months, I was able to go for my initial consult today. I went to Dr. Opochenko's office today, and had to wait a very long time before everything was done. 

I was taken to the back where a nurse did the routine stuff, asking what my age, birthday, height was. She took my blood pressure, which was a tad high, and asked me to step on a scale. I weigh 238.5 with a 39 BMI.

I was then taken to another room where I waited for Dr. O. He looked over my diet history, which is glim, at best, and asked me why I hadn't tried dieting recently. I told him that it's very difficult for me and he told me that it wasn't going to get any easier with the surgery. He told me he wasn't sure if I would be eligible given the fact that my BMI isn't 40, but after checking my blood pressure and knowing that I'm on hypertension medication, he said that I was a good candidate for the surgery. I still don't know if I should go with the lapband or the bypass. He explained to me what the pros and cons are for both procedures and requested I go to one of each support group meetings so I can get a better understanding of what each one entails.

I'm supposed to get some tests done, but I have to make the appointments myself. That's all fine, except that I won't be here for a whole week, and I feel I'll be losing so much in that week. I would love to get everything done tomorrow, but it's Saturday, and everything's closed. I also have to make an appointment with the nutritionist and that's a whopping $500 out of pocket expense. That hurts!!

I think I'm going to stick with the bypass, only because it's going to help me not to eat certain foods. I understand that with the lapband I can still eat the foods I want, and not lose any weight.

Now I have to wait for the insurance to approve it, and I'll be on my way to a slimmer, and healthier me. I'm hoping that with my weight loss I'll also stop snoring. That really bothers my husband, and my children make merciless jokes about my snoring.

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Waiting Inpatiently

May 27, 2007

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I called Dr. O's office in hopes that there might have been a cancellation and I could push my appointment up, but had no luck. He's booked solid throughout the entire summer, and him being out for a week didn't help any. I have to keep my initial consultation of June 22. I asked if I could schedule an appointment with the nutritionist and I was told that I should really wait until Dr. O sees me. The wait is killing me.

In the mean time, I went to a gyn and had a pap smear done, and I'm already scheduled for a mammogram and a pelvic ultrasound. I want these days to just fly by.

Psychiatric Evaluation

May 15, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I've had people who've done the WLS give me different advices, and I'm going nuts. Some will say something, others will say something else, and I'm at my wit's end. For example, a coworker, who recently had the lap band, told me that I should schedule the psychiatric evaluation right away because it takes forever for them to schedule you. I called the surgeon's office and they told me that they could schedule the appointment, but I would have to be seen by the psychiatrist after my consultation with the surgeon. They want to be sure that I qualify before doing anything else.

One person told me that I should get all the testing done, but the doctor's office told me not to do a thing. All I have to do is go to the consultation, and they will take it from there. I was hoping to have this surgery before the next school year. I'm a high school teacher and I'll be returning to work in September, so, I would have the summer to do this.

I went to my personal doctor today for my lab results and I have high cholesterol; it's 229. My blood pressure was 133/80 (I've been taking my blood pressure pills), and I have low iron in my blood. He didn't mention anything about my sugar, so I'm assuming that came back normal.

I haven't seen a gynecologist since I had my youngest child almost 12 years ago. I know, I know, shame on me!!! I haven't had a pap smear since 1995. I had my third child and had a tubal ligation, and I didn't even return for my 6 week checkup. I already scheduled an appointment with a gyn, and I'm really not looking forward to having a pap smear, but I have to. Apart from the fact that it's for my own benefit, the surgeon requires his patients having these records up to date, which I don't.

My sister is discouraging me...

May 13, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I wish everybody I talk to about my plans of having WLS were as excited for me as I am. My youngest sister isn't too thrilled about me having this surgery. She says that I'm not too obese, and that I can lose weight by not eating so much and doing excercise. She's in the army reserve and is very physically active. She does push ups, runs for miles without any problems. She's very active, and I'm happy for her, but she's never been overweight, either. She doesn't understand what I feel. She keeps telling me that the surgery is the easy way out, and I'm trying to explain to her that if anything, having this surgery is the hardest thing to do. It's something drastic, and my eating habits will drastically change.

If, for any reason, the surgeon says that I'm not eligible, I know there are other options for me. He's got a nutritionist and dietitian on board who could help me plan a regime for me to follow. I would prefer having the surgery done, though. Let's see what happens.

Going to seminar

May 11, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

I'm really considering having WLS, but my husband of 16 years is totally unsupportive. He believes I can lose the weight without having to take "the easy way out," as he puts it.

I'm 40 years old, married with 3 beautiful children. I'm 235 lbs, and a couple of people have told me that I'm not obese enough for the surgery and that I should look at other options. I just started treatment for high blood pressure, and got my blood work done by my doctor. I go to the seminar tomorrow and I can't wait to go to bed and wake up tomorrow morning knowing that it will be the day I make my decision.

I don't know what surgery will be best for me: lap band, or bypass, but I know Dr. Opochenko will give me the best advice. I'll keep you posted.

About Me
Pleasantville, NJ
Surgery Date
May 02, 2007
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