Well, here it goes. I'd like to say my journey is finally starting for WLS but it's not.
I starting researching this probably over 2 years ago. By some strange twist of fate. I was sitting at Central Park Surgery April 2007 waiting for my husband, who is never sick with anything, to get out of his double hernia operation. And in comes a seminar for WLS-banding and re-routing. I was stunned. I looked at my mother and told her that I had been researching this for two years. I thought she was going to cry. She told me she had too, for me, but never knew how to bring it up. So we sat there and listened to the whole thing. I spoke with the patient advocate afterwards but again, like in my 13 years of my spinal disease, Medicare stood in my way. Medicare approved the surgery back in 2007 but not the facilities and the doctors here in the Austin area. But, there was hope, they were working on it.
After months of keeping in touch with Gail, finally the time had come. November 2007 they finally were approvals from Medicare with Southwest Bariatrics. St. David's and Seton of course were already approved with Medicare. So she had me "officially" sign up and come to another seminar. My mom came with me again, along with my husband this time. After numerous failed spinal surgeries, he wanted to see what I was getting into and was really nervous for me. But after the seminar he was set at ease and I set my paperwork, oh the paperwork, in motion.
Now at the time, my shoulder and neck had been really bothering me. Part of my spinal problems. Unfortunately, about the time Gail calls and says, hey lets get you in for a consult, I was already on my way in for a surgery. Only on my shoulder! Yikes!!! Day after Christmas I had rotator cuff surgery and repair. So, fates delayed me again. But I was determined.
Two weeks after my surgery, arm all slinged and wrapped up, I was in with Dr. Fass for my consult. Unfortunately, the delay but me further down the growing list of Medicare patients that had all been waiting for the glorious day that Austin would have the Bariartric surgeon approvals and I had to wait until April to start the required 90 day pre-op program.
Yes, not like with other insurance, where you get approved and the next month you're in surgery. Medicare requires that you do a 90 day pre-op program with diet/nutrition/exercise and pycho reviews. AND they don't pay for their own required program. We have to pay for that upfront, out of pocket.
So. Here I am. Ready to start the program on April 16th.
I'm nervous, excited, anxious, ambitious... some many things all at once.
Wish me luck. Hopefully you'll see me at a Support Group soon.