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I Have A (Surgery) Date!

It's time for a REALLY, REALLY big post!

After all of my complaining, I can report that I've been approved for my weight loss surgery. I have a surgery date! 

January 13, 2014

Between my insurance subsidized by my employer and Medicaid, I won't have a copay. The time that it took from the submission of my paperwork phone call scheduling my surgery was approximately 2 weeks. It was a very short two weeks and it was mostly the mail time from one office to another. I got the first letter stating my claim was being submitted by the surgeon to the health insurance (Nov. 11,) the next letter was from the insurance company saying I'd been approved for in-patient hospitalization (Nov. 15,) and the final step was a phone call from the surgeon's office on Nov. 25 to schedule. So it was a firm two weeks from start to finish.

It's been a very long six months. I was tempted to just give up. In fact, last month, I was ready to tell the therapist that I was out. It's not that I wasn't fully committed to the process, but there were so many standstills and so many obstacles in my way that I just asked myself whether or not it would be more effective for me to just try to lose weight on my own.

It all started when I went to the therapist appointment, in fact, it was going to be the appointment during which I would turn and look her in the eye and say, "You know what, this is not working for me and the more I tell you the more delays there are to this process. So, I decided to just go at it alone." I didn't want to give up, but I was feeling very defeated.

That is something to take away from what I'm going through currently. There will be setbacks, in fact, I think that I have said that before. There are going to be setbacks, but you have to be able to weather the storm and it's important that you know that ahead of time because once you start losing weight eventually you will plateau and you need to be prepared for the frustration that you will feel when you do.

I have actually reached the point in this blogging process where I am now in the mood to post progress pictures. So this is a picture of me 47 days prior to surgery. I am holding the one and only item of clothing that I have or will purchase prior to surgery and prior to significant weight loss. 

The bathing suit that I'm holding comes from Monif C. plus sizes, what I like about her clothing line is that it is for plus size women, but it doesn't look like you're morbidly obese. Any woman can wear these clothes and feel gorgeous and/or sexy. You don't have any control over how much weight you lose or how fast you lose the weight, but I am really hoping that after all is said and done I am down to about a size 14 (at least to start.)

To put things in context, I had another picture of my attempt to get as much as my body into the swimsuit as I possibly could, which resulted in my only being able to put the bathing suit on up to my thigh! That is significant because it shows that my thigh is literally the size of a size 14 person!

I am going to pose holding this swimsuit every month until I can fit it and then the final picture will be of me in that swimsuit and on a beach. I have also decided that during this process I am going to save a significant amount of money so that when it's over I can go on a cruise, or to the Caribbean, or maybe even Ireland. I don't know but what I do know is that I am really excited about this journey.

The only snag that I've run into is underestimating the recovery time that it takes to bounce back from a full gastric bypass surgery. I have had to schedule so many presurgical appointments for this that I significantly chipped into my vacation and sick leave at work. So, when I finally do get into the hospital for surgery, I will not have enough leave to cover the recovery. I wish that I didn't have to do this, but I set up a fund raising account so that my family and friends who are supporting me emotionally might be able to offer me a small amount of money so that I can at least cover my bills because I will have to use leave without pay while recovering from surgery. I know that I have said this before, but it is extremely important to have a support network after WLS. My family and friends, and by extension, my friends on Twitter and Facebook have been so amazingly supportive from encouraging me to look into the surgery, to encouraging me to do the surgery, and I know that they'll be even more supportive when I'm recovering and in the process of losing weight.

A lot of things have to change for me. For example, I have to learn how to take smaller bites and I have to chew very, very thoroughly. I even have to learn how to eat a whole lot slower. A lot of people look at this as if these were setbacks or unwanted/unintended consequences of surgery. But I have always gone into this knowing that significant changes to my behavior were going to need to be made and I knew that I wasn't strong enough to do these on my own. I knew that in order for me to be successful in losing weight I was going to have to do something to drastically force a change in my behavior.

I can honestly say that I wish I would have looked into this sooner. I haven't even lost a significant amount of weight yet and I know in my heart that my confidence levels are rising and I couldn't have asked for anything more. At work this week, a coworker asked me if I had lost weight. In my mind, I hadn't lost any. But when I went home and weighed myself that day it turned out that I had actually lost 5 pounds and didn't even know.

Rejoice in the small victories, small victories add to very large windfalls.


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