Changes and Progress
Okay, so let me start by saying that I am getting MAD EXCITED for this surgery. I am almost there!
This week I have a doctor appointment scheduled, which is one of the last I'll have with my PCP, and I have my psych evaluation, which as you know from a previous entry, I should have had on August 14th. After that, and the records that I'm hoping my PCP has sent in to my surgeon's office, I should have a consultation scheduled soon. My best friend told me that when she went in for consultation, she was told her surgery date. So...things are definitely heating up. I'm VERY excited about this.
Here are some things to note: In my last post, I mentioned how I was told I needed to have comorbidity or I wouldn't qualify by virtue of the fact that I was morbidly obese alone, so my back pain was fudged (by the insurance company) to look like it would fit the criterion, only to find out that it wasn't strictly necessary for me to have comorbidity. If you have a BMI of 40+ and do nothave these issues, or if you do and they are unrelated to your obesity, don'tadmit to them as it will slow down your process. It all goes back to what I said in my last entry: be your own advocator and familiarize yourself with your insurance company's policies. The comorbidities for Health Advantage Gold are:
Coronary Artery Disease
Congestive Heart Failure
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
High Blood Pressure
Let me also add this note: In terms of funding, here's what I know about how to get this accomplished; there are lots of avenues. If you have health insurance and you want to bill it, go ahead. I, however, only recently just got blessed with health insurance so I will speak on how I am getting this done. I applied for disability when I was unemployed on the basis of my right arm birth defect and my bipolar disorder. Will your obesity most likely qualify you for disability? Probably. So I would take advantage of that, if you can. The upside to applying for disability is that, if approved, you automatically qualify for Medicaid and if you're able to work, you don't lose your Medicaid. Medicaid, then, becomes your secondary insurance and picks up what your primary insurance does not. It's worth applying because the worst that they can say is that you don't qualify for benefit and you're no better or worse off than you currently are.
I have never been the type of person to just sit back and let things happen once I make up my mind that I want something; I go get it. Depending on whom you ask, that is both a character flaw and a strength. I see it as a strength, personally. In this process, that translates into my pressing doctors' offices and insurance for the results that need to happen, whether that means pushing them to send records that I have released or pressing for a decision. By Wednesday of this week, I'm going to call the surgeon and ask whether my PCP has sent the additional records that I have asked them to send for the past year and, if they haven't, I'll ask that they do on the 13th when I have my appointment. I just don't want any dawdling on anyone's part when I have worked so hard to keep things moving briskly. I refuse to be thwarted. I have already filled out a release to provide records for my surgeon when I go in for my psychiatric evaluation so that will be one less form to fill out. I take no chances; NONE. This is one key advantage to being organized.
In terms of lifestyle changes, I have started to address one key component of my life; I have started decreasing my portions and altering my perceptions. On Friday, my coworkers went out to eat lunch and I was served up a large burger that I could have eaten in that single sitting. But, I decided to hold back and test myself with 1/4 of that burger to see if I could just be satisfied withbeing satisfied instead of full. It worked, and I took it home for dinner. I just wanted to begin adjusting my perceptions so that, after the surgery, I cut down on the frustration of being served an extremely large portion serving and not being able to eat it all. I know that it's coming, I know that I will be frustrated with not being able to eat everything on my plate... but after surgery, that is dangerous, and I don't even want to go there.
What has been normal for me in the past has been trying to finish everything on my plate, or stuffing myself with food because it tastes good. There have also been occasions where, because I didn't leave myself enough to take home and constitute a meal, I have then made myself finish the food, making myself full, uncomfortable, and ready to vomit.
These are all things that I am ready to let go of. I am ready to embrace smaller portions and I can't wait to tell that to the psychiatrist. It is worth mentioning that, though I haven't lost any more than about 5-6 pounds in the past 6 months, that I have not gained any weight either. Maintaining weight is just as important as losing it, so I am proud that I have been able to do at least that. If you recall, I had concerns that I would gain significant weight while I was waiting for approval. Within my next few entries, I'll post before pictures as I prepare for the big day and then I will post progress photos once monthly at the end of each month.