SURGERY DATE!!!

Finally got the much awaited call from my surgeons office! My surgery is scheduled for August 23rd!!!! I can’t believe it’s only 11 days away. Everyone keeps asking if I am scared and honestly no I’m not. I will probably start getting nervous a few days before maybe, I mean it is a surgery after all. But mainly I’m so excited I can’t stand it.

I don’t think it has really hit me yet. I’m just trying to plan everything out with work and boarding my pups etc etc.

August 17th I have to go to in to the hospital where my surgery is being done and sit through a nutrition class and have blood work done. Then the next day on the 18th I start my 5 day liquid diet. Which while I’m not looking forward to this AT ALL, I’m grateful that I’m only required to do the 5 days!

I can’t believe that after over a year of waiting I’m so close to my new life!

 

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6 Month Supervised Diet COMPLETE

The long awaited moment has arrived! Friday 7/28/17 was my sixth and final month of supervised diet for insurance. I know not everyone is required to do this, but for my insurance it is required…bummer but at least I’m not going to have to pay the full amount.

I have to say it wasn’t as bad as I sometimes made it out to be, I mean yeah I wish I could have already had the surgery by now but I think it will give me an even greater appreciation for the Surgery (btw I’m talking about VSG, a type of weight loss surgery) I spoke to my surgeons office today and they have submitted everything to insurance so now it’s in their hands…I don’t even know what I will do if they deny it…Seriously I can’t even think about it.

If everything with Insurance goes smoothly the surgeon’s office lady said she’s confident I could have the surgery before August is over. I think she said he had openings on the 26th and 28th. Fingers crossed!

I am so excited for this new journey, I have never been so sure of anything in my life. I know it’s going to require hard work and a complete overthrow of my old habits but I am 100% ready.

Bring it on!

Pre-VSG Appointments

This morning I made the pain-staking journey to St.Louis for my “pre-op appointments.” First things first….I DESPISE driving in St.Louis and try to avoid it if at all possible. It’s about a two hour drive from where I live and I had to be there at 830. Being the anxious worrywart that I am I felt the need to leave WAY too early. Now in order to really appreciate the situation fully you should know how exhausted I am. It is 7/17 and I have had two days off so far this month, made worse by the fact that I work 12 hour shifts. I am so far behind in sleep that I really just want to take some NyQuil and slip into a nice comatose state.

Last night I got home about 930 and fell into a pretty good sleep until I woke up at 1am to go to the bathroom and then could not for the life of me go back to sleep. My mind did that adorable thing where it doesn’t shut up…you know creating imaginary scenarios of what could happen at my appointments, and just thinking of anything and everything that could go wrong. Not to mention my fear of sleeping through my alarm and missing my appointments….Needless to say I was (and still am) running on fumes.

When I got to the hospital (which I’m not sure if I will share which hospital that is) the woman at the reception did not see my name on the “schedule” which nearly made my heart stop. Luckily after looking on her computer and making some calls she figured out what was going on and everything worked out.

The receptionist gave me a “patient passport” which essentially had the times and locations of all my appointments on it…see below…

As you can see they were all back to back and a lot quicker than I had anticipated which was fantastic. My first stop was the Psych Consult..I can’t say I was very impressed by this experience. Walking into his office I was welcomed very warmly….by the smell of BO…..the psychiatrist was less than friendly. When he did talk it was yes or no questions or he was sort of answering for me. “You have a good support system? yes?” or “You’ve tried different types of diets? correct?” He also had a thick (I believe Indian accent) and was pretty difficult to understand. All of this topped off by the incessant ringing of his phone…. It was not at all what I was expecting, which is sort of a good thing since I was expecting very deep and personal questioning. Blessing in disguise I suppose.

Next stop was the Dietary Consult. I actually really like the nutritionist I spoke to. She was very friendly while also being straight forward and not sugar coating anything (pun intended.) She thoroughly answered the couple of questions I had about bariatric product brands and also hair loss. Overall I was happy with that appointment.

The EKG was a first for me. I’m still not overly excited about lifting up my shirt for random strangers, odd right??

The Spirometry¬†test was a bit odd, mainly because it was in a tiny closet… Seriously the poor guy’s office reminded me of Ryan’s office from The Office. Wait for it……

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Last but not least was the Chest X-ray, that was pretty straight forward. I mean having to take my bra off was not ideal but all in all it was pretty painless. Stand like this, breath in, hold it, breathe out…done.

So that’s about it, all in all not bad. Sorry if this wasn’t super in depth, I’ve been up since 1am and am stuck here at work until 6am….yay me…

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Halfway there…

Today I went to my third appointment for my supervised diet. Words cannot even express how excited I am to know I’m getting closer and closer to my new life. For those who don’t know or whose process is different. My insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield- Anthem) requires six consecutive months on a medically supervised diet. I know every insurance provider is different and even surgeons require certain things before WLS.

My primary insurance will not touch Bariatric Surgery, luckily I am blessed enough to still be covered on my dads insurance until I’m 26 and they do cover the surgery. Of course his deductible and out of pocket is considerably higher than my primary insurance provider but hey you won’t hear me complain. It’s still way cheaper then paying full price.

Even though the weather today was just a continuous torrential downpour I gladly braved the storm to make it to my appointment.

As far as the supervised diet is concerned it hasn’t been great. Of course I keep running into roadblocks, but I’m trying not to make excuses for myself. April has been a little tough keeping up with exercising and eating healthy. I switched to nights at work so I work 6pm to 6am. I think anyone who works night shift probably understands the struggle to eat healthy. Also on the 18th I had my tonsils taken out… (I will make a whole other post on that nightmare). But somehow the day after surgery I weighed myself and had gained two pounds… I didn’t and still don’t know how that’s possible considering all I’d eaten was chicken broth. Who knows, but luckily I lost that plus a few pounds before today. Whew!

Hopefully the next three months go quickly and smoothly!

 

 

Initial Consult

Monday I met with my surgeon! Doctors, appointments and hospitals give me mega anxiety so normally I end up cancelling. ¬†While I was definitely anxious for this appointment my excitement trumped it. That’s correct, I was actually excited to go to an appointment. My biggest concern was that the surgeon I chose would be mean or arrogant. Or that he would turn me away for surgery for some reason.

My appointment was scheduled for 1130am. I walked into Dr. Minkin’s office and had all the paperwork finished by 1015am. Expecting to be waiting for a for a good while I settled into one of the waiting room chairs. I hadn’t even had a chance to open Words With Friends when my name was called.

The nurse took me back, weighed me, took my blood pressure and got my height. Then showed me into a room where I was to wait for Dr. Minkin. Again, I was prepared to settle in and wait for a while. But again I was surprised when only a few minutes had passed and Dr. Minkin walked in.

I was immediately put at ease by his calm, cool demeanor. He was very articulate and professional but made sure to explain everything thoroughly. He made sure to answer my questions and never made me feel rushed.

The consultation was fairly painless. The surgeon asked me asked me a few questions, reviewed my paperwork. He had me lift up my shirt so he could check my stomach for hernias. And…that’s about it.

I was given some forms that are required by my insurance for monthly check ups with my General Doctor. They also gave me a form with required exams on it and a number to call to set up the appointments.

I paid a $75 fee required for all first time bariatric patients and that was it…Home bound. A lot less traumatizing than anticipated.

My VSG Journey is beginning!

I finally have the ball rolling on my VSG Journey!!!

For those of you who do not know what VSG is it stands for Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. It is a type of weight loss surgery where they remove a large portion of your stomach. You are left with a smaller stomach, about the size of a banana. Which ultimately limits the amount of food you can eat at one time and making you feel full.

I have struggled with my weight my ENTIRE life, I’ve never not been big. I kept telling myself I’d lose the weight but here I am almost 25 and haven’t lost anything.

I’m not ready, emotionally or mentally to start talking numbers. Once I’m further into the process I may be more willing to reveal my weight and pant size and such.

Monday, February the 20th I have my first consultation with my surgeon. I am excited beyond words, but also nervous because I know that he could still turn me down for the surgery. I can’t even let myself think of that possibility now.

Weight loss surgery was not something I ever even thought about before, I never saw it as an option. I always associated it with the TLC “My 600 lb life” and assumed you had to be to that point in order to consider it. It wasn’t until a You tuber that I follow put out a video saying she had had VSG Surgery that I got to thinking about it. She is younger than I am and was no where near as heavy as me.

I started looking into it and reading blogs/watching Youtube vidoes on people who’ve had it. And without me knowing anything about it, my uncle had it done. Seeing how successful he has been with it and all that he is able to do now has pretty well set my mind.

This has already been a stressful, scary and nerve wracking journey. Please pray for me/think happy thoughts for me, especially Monday when I meet with my surgeon. I’ve never been so certain or determined to do something in my life.