I'm 6 foot 4 and my highest weight was 656. I've been off work for 6 years, unable to work due to back pain and joint pain. I had originally slipped on a wet porch, fell over the steps, and landed on my metal toolbox. The corner dug in right above my belt, and to the right of my spine. My leg went numb, and I was in a lot of pain, but a couple weeks later it was ok, and I went back to work. Fast forward about a year. Back pain is increasing, I'm getting spasms. Discover I have pinched nerve, and it was slowly shutting down because of weight gain. Get up one morning, sharp pain, spasms, leg not working. Was bedfast for aobout 2 and a half years with partial leg paralysis, due to those pinched nerves in my back, then mostly housebound for 2 more. I'm slowly working my way back to life. I'm getting out of the house some, walking some, and trying to get moving.
Below are old entries transferred from my old profile.
October 30, 2005
I had my consultation this past Thursday, October 27, with Dr. Barbara of Barix Clinics in Groveport Ohio. I had talked to them before, but they were not on the list for my insurance. I called them a few days ago, and as of November 1st, they can take my insurance (Aetna), and they happened to have an opening for a consultation 2 days later. Coincidence? I think not. I think this is God's way of showing me it's my time.
I've started this path several times, and backed out, and changed my mind. I just kept thinking.. I can do this myself. Well, the time has finally come for me to admit I need to do something different, so.. here I go.
The consultation went really well. Dr. Barbara answered all my questions, and seems very knowledgeble. I already knew most of the stuff, but there were a few points. Both of my sisters, and one of my good friends have had bypass, so I've had a lot of "insider info" into the process.
I have to do 2 tests, a stress test for my heart, and a sleep test. I don't have any known heart problems, and as far as I know, I don't have sleep apnea.. but Doc says he wants to check for sure, since I'm so big.
This is at once terrifying, and thrilling. Terrifying in the thought of what I'm about to do to my body, and thrilling at the thought of losing the weight.. finally.
I weighed in at 621... he said he thinks I can get to about 290-320.. which would be good for my frame.
Saturday November 5, 2005
I am scheduled for a sleep test this coming Tuesday, November 8. They think I should have sleep apnea, since I'm so big. I tried to tell them, I've never had it because I don't sleep on my back.. but... they have to check anyway, since I'll be laying on my back during surgery and recovery. I hope they don't find anything, as I don't want any delays. Things seem to be moving along smoothly now.
Next Tuesday, November 15, I am scheduled for a stress test. I am having it at Mt. Carmel West Hospital in Columbus. I took one a few years ago, but it's been too long. The last one I rode a stationary bike for. This time, since my knees and back are messed up, they're just going to do a 'chemical' stress test. I don't know the actual name, but apparently it will make my heart speed up like I'm working out.
Dr. Barbara seems to think approval should go smoothly once I get thru these two tests. If so, he said 'best case scenario', I could possibly get surgery as early as mid December. That's a big 'if'... assuming everything goes smoothly, and the insurance doesn't find something to pick at.
Monday November 21, 2005
Well, what a week! Last Tuesday, I had the adenosine stress test. WOW. Felt like someone sat on my chest and choked me at the same time, but I came thru it fine, and the doc said my heart is in good shape!
Saturday, I got a letter in the mail from Barix Centers stating my insurance had an exclusion policy listed for Bariatric Surgery. Well, to say the least, my heart dropped out the bottom of my stomach. I was so stunned, I felt like someone had slugged me in the gut. I had to wait all weekend, going thru all this stress, feeling like all hope was gone. At church people promised to pray for me, and my daughter kept reminding me that "Where God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window... just sometimes it's in the closet!"... well, I still went all day yesterday with all these thoughts racing thru my head, "Is this the end of my journey?, It's over just like that before it begins? I had all these visions of myself at half the size... all these plans..."...
Anyway, talked to Aetna this morning, found out, yes, it was true, tho Aetna did indeed pay for bariatric surgery, my employer had an excemption on their policy, no exceptions, no review.
As I'm about to hang up, the rep says "wait a sec, let me check something".... she came back all excited!~ She checked the updates for the new year, and discovered that the exemption will be lifted on January 1, 2006!! WOOHOOOOOO! I asked her if it would be wrong to tell her I loved her... LOL.. she said.. "Nahhhh".. LOL....
She made my day, week, month and year, with one little check that she didn't have to do... she could have just gave me the facts and hung up, and left me to 'drown'.. but.. of her own accord, she checked further. I will always be greatful to her for that.
So.. I called Barix centers back and informed them of the coming policy change, and I'm still on track!
March 29, 2007
Well, I disapeared from here for over a year. Life is what happens when you're busy making plans, and life sidetracked me again. I had started the process, even consulted with my surgeon, and only had the 6 month requisite diet to finish in order to qualify.
Well, in Feb 2006 I lost my mother, and the same month, my brother was diagnosed with bone cancer. My own plans were put on hold. I'm glad to say after a year of long painful treatments, an experimental bone marrow, stem cell transplant from my sister, and lots of prayer from folks all over.. my brother is home and doing well.
Now, I can get back to me.
I just started a new 6 month diet plan with dietician Carol Douglas in Circleville, Ohio. It's basically just a common sense, lowered fat, balanced carb/protein diet, with a lot of accountibility, and record keeping. In a couple of months, I will recontact the Barix Center, and my insurance company and start the ball rolling again.
Bad news is, with all the stress, I have shot back up to a new high, 656.
Pray for me please.