My insurance is Kaiser and I've just started the 6 month pre-surgery requirements. I'm divorced with 3 children, 44 years old, 5'4", and 254lbs. I've been struggling with my weight since I was 13 years old.
I went to my first Gastric Bypass class this week and I was so uncomfortable being there, it's hard for me to admit that it's gotten to this point. I'm still really scared about having the surgery and keep thinking I should try harder to do it through diet and exercise, and yet I know how futile that has been over the years. Other than the physical and mental discomfort, the only problems I've had (yet!) are mild hypertension and edema which is controlled by meds. Reading all the positive comments about peoples experience with WLS is reassuring, but I still vascillate back and forth between excited... and afraid. I have some friends who have lost weight through diet and exercise and they are generally not in favor of the surgery, however obesity runs in my family so I'm pretty convinced that it's the best choice for me right now.
Well, I'm pretty much a daily visitor to this website now and am feeling much better about the prospect of having WLS. My only problem now is having patience with my insurance company's requirement that I lose 15lbs by June before I can be referred to the surgeon. It's more difficult than I thought it would be to do what's necessary to drop some weight, but I'm sure as it gets closer to surgery time I'll get my a@@ in gear!!
After 5 months working with the nutritionist and losing only 9lbs (they lowered the weight loss requirement from 5% to 3%, thank you GOD!) I finally got official approval from my insurance company yesterday, yipeee!! I've made an appt with the surgeon for my first consultation on July 11 and then hopefully I'll be able to schedule my surgery date. I was hoping to get in sooner, but that's the first available appt. I was assigned to a Kaiser surgeon instead of Dr. Lin, a surgeon I specifically requested because he has many years experience... but since my BMI is just over 40 and I don't have any other medical problems, I'm considered low risk. They use Dr. Lin for more difficult cases and are assigned more and more patients to Dr. Cantor. I'm sure he's a good surgeon, but I can't seem to find out anything about him other than he graduated from University of MD in 1996, completed his residency in 2001, and is specially trained in laparoscopic (bypass?) surgery. He has a profile on here but there's only one patient comment so I'm hoping I can find out more about his surgical skills and experience.
Well, my persistence paid off and on Friday when I called to check for any newly available appointments with Dr. Cantor I was able to get in yesterday!! The consult went so well, he seems extremely well informed and has performed approximately 150 WLS proceedures. I was so impressed with his warmth and kindness that I felt like I trusted him immediately. Now I have to complete 3 pre-op tests before I can schedule the surgery: EGD; abdominal ultrasound to check for gallstones; and a pulmonary consult to rule out sleep apnea. Hopefully I'll be able to complete all of these in July and can then schedule the surgery for August. :)
I finally have a date, August 7th.... WOOHOO!!
It's been a long and difficult 3 months since the surgery and I'm just now finally starting to feel grateful that I went through with it. I had a personal tragedy 4 days after my surgery... my 28 year old son died unexpectedly, which was absolutely devastating for me and my family. However, through lots of support and a good therapist, I've been able to manage fairly well and am adjusting to my new body. I've had to be very careful about what, how, and when I eat or else I feel sick... and sometimes no matter what I do I still feel a little bit sick after I eat, but it's gradually getting better and the weight is steadily coming off. I started out at 255lbs (size 22) and now am down to 208 (size 16/18) which feels great. I started walking recently and am really enjoying moving my body and being outdoors. I am planning to start running in the springtime, something that I used to do and really love.