Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You're Freaking Kidding Me!!!

Ok, so it's 5 days until my Nutritionist appt, and she is having me journal everything I eat, and when I eat, and why I eat for 3 weekdays, and 2 weekend days.  It's a challenge to remember to do it, but I got into the swing of it again quickly, flashbacking to my weight watcher days. 

I try not to let my writing influence what I ate, to keep it real, but just the fact that you are conscious of what you eat, restricts what you eat.  It was kind of like a pre-mini-diet.
I did good though, and was 100% honest.

So on to today....
At 9:00 is my nutritionist appointment.  I go to check in, and the old bats at the desk are all flustered and confused and send me to wait.  When they call me back up, they tell me that my appointment was cancelled because insurance did not approve it.  UMMM CRAP???
So, I call the surgeon's office, and they confirm that insurance was denied, that it just wouldn't cover the sleeve done by a civilian doctor. 

Well, I get back to my car, and do the only thing I have a choice to do.  I call the Army Hospital. 
I am still on their bypass list.  (ohhhh, quick flashback....)
A week or so ago, before the Hospital A seminar, I get a call from the Army hospital head nurse telling me they won't be doing any bypasses til after the first of the year.  Me, being honest to a fault, tell her I am attempting to have surgery at Hospital A.  She asks if I'm having the sleeve done, and when I said yeah, cuz that's all they offer, she says "oh, well, I can offer you the sleeve surgery on the 21st of this month.  You'd have to start your liquid diet now."
JAW ON FLOOR.  Wow, tempting.  But I REALLY want to have it done at the nice, clean civilian hospital, and my husband won't even be home until November anyhow, so thank you but no. 
I asked about dates in November, and again, she refused to say anything.

Ok, back to present day.  I call this head nurse back, and ask to switch from bypass to sleeve at the army hospital.  She informs me that I will be going from #2 to............#10 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I hem and haw, she advises me to go with the surgery that I think is right for me, not just the one that will happen sooner.  So, RELUCTANTLY, I remove myself from Gastric and #2, and onto the sleeve list at #10.  UGH.

Then I just lose it.  An entire year comes crashing down on me at once.  6 months of waiting on a non moving list.....  I am in the parking lot bawling.  I just know I won't get this surgery done for another 6 mos to a year. My husband is gone for the month, so I call him (praying he'll actually pick up) and leave a blubbering bawling message for him about what happened.  My mom was in town overnight, and she didn't pick up either.  When she calls back, she has a near heart attack thinking I'd been in an accident. 

She does her best to calm me down, and have me look on the brite side. 
I'm glad she was home though.  It's SO much worse when there's no one anywhere.
She left within the hour, but she was there when I needed her.

So, here I am.  Back to waiting.  Mom suggested I begin being proactive, and start dieting on my own.
After having journalled for 5 days, I'm sort of ready. 
I just don't know what kind of diet.  I can't exercise worth a crap due to my bum foot, and I have no money for weight watchers.  I do know the program though.

I'm soooo frustrated and beat down. 
Mom says things happen for a reason, and if I hadn't tried to switch, I wouldn't have changed my mind to the sleeve, so I guess she's right. 
I'm just ready to start my new life, you know?? 

So, here I sit, writing my tale.  I know I skipped a bunch of details, but I'll probably get to them one day. 
I do plan on posting pictures showing my progress both pre surgery diet and post surgery (if it ever happens).

Thanks for reading!!!

To Continue...

OK, so we decided to go ahead with Gastric Bypass.  This is a big deal, because if I ever brought it up for myself, or my mother for my dad, it was a touchy subject, and a big deal.  The possibilities of complications or death made it too scary to consider.  But after doing my Pro/Con list, we saw that the good outweighed the bad.  Namely: it would help my foot A LOT, it would reverse my prediabetes, and my PCOS, so I could get prego.  Oh yeah, and I'd lose weight.  I figured giving up food would be a good exchange for all that. 

So I went to my PCM (primary care physician), and he gave me a referral to have it done on post.  When having it done on post, the bariatric surgeries fall under General Surgeries.  Therefore, basically EVERYTHING gets precedence over you.  You are not an emergency, and it's an elective surgery.  Ugh, oh well, so I continued. 
I went to the Bariatric Seminar, which is mandatory for all possible candidates.  I was screened, passed all the criteria, and learned about the differences and risks and yadda yadda yadda in the lap band, vertical sleeve, and gastric bypass.
To me, the LapBand wasn't aggressive enough.  It restricted your food intake, but that was all.  The sleeve removes 7/8th's of your stomach, which restricts intake, and removes the production of the hunger hormone -ghrelin.  And lastly, the bypass seperates by staples an egg/walnut sized pouch from the rest of your stomach, and then reroutes your intestines from the pouch, to about a foot lower on the intestine tract, than it originally was.  (hence the name bypass).  This causes malabsorption, which causes MASSIVE and fast weight loss.  Because you are not absorbing most of what you eat, and you can't eat hardly anything. 

When I asked why a person would choose the sleeve over the bypass, the Colonel doctor told me that when dealing with ulcers, or gallbladder issues, its better to have your stomach there, rather than removed.  Well, that was good enough for me, and I wanted results quickly, so I got on the list for Bypass.

Well, scratch that.  I decided on bypass.  First though, I had to have a psych evaluation to prove I was sane enough and had a support system, and not an obsessive eater. 
I do have an obsessive personality, so I was really sweating this evaluation.  I got a letter from my podiatrist stating the benefits of the surgery on my foot.  I told him about my previous bouts of depression, but that I am in counselling, and it's not an issue anymore. 
The psychiatrist dude took like 5 minutes, talked at me more than to me, and then sent me to take the test.  It was a general test, and stupid questions, so he advised to not overanalyze the answers, just do what fits you most.  The 3 hour slotted appt lasted 30 mintues.

Ok....so here comes another conflict.  My husband gets scheduled to go to BNCO (pronounced B-Noc, Basic Non Commissioned Officer school), a 3 month stint in Virginia from June 1st- Sept 1st.  Well, I had NO clue when my surgery would be, but there was a GOOD chance it'd be in that window.  So, his commanders told him if I could get them a letter stating my surgery date, he could get out of it. 
Well, I tried, and the psych eval still hadn't gone thru.  So, I called and begged the receptionist lady to push it through.  She did, and told me, "in a year from now, I want you to look in the mirror at your new self and remember me". 
So, I get put on the list.  I am #3, and the head nurse says over and over how she can't give me any guesstimation of when I will have my surgery, because she has no idea. 
Well, it was a miracle that he was able to get out of BNOC on the potential of surgery.

So, I'm waiting.  I call back every 2 weeks to a month, and I get a hint from a nurse that surgery could be potentially 2 weeks per person on the list.  (and I'd moved to #2).  So, I am thinking and telling people "surgery this summer".  I even get "confirmation" from the head nurse that it could be July or August.

Months go by, and it becomes "August or September", then "September or October".  And as always, the Army keeps assigning my husband out, and he was scheduled to go to NTC for a month, and JRTC for a month.  Again, we're worried surgery will happen during this time, so he is able to stay on rear detail for one, but has to go to another.  And.....still no surgery.  Still #2.  Still living pre-surgery life and eating foods I will be giving up forever.  Still living in constant anticipation.

At the end of September, I finally decide to start looking into going to a civilian hospital.  A friend had just had the sleeve done there, and was in and out with the whole process in a month.  The main difference, she paid cash, I am using army insurance. 
So, I call two local hospitals, get the ins and outs, and what hoops I'd need to jump through. 
I learn that I'd basically have to start over.  I'd have to take their seminar, get my psych eval transferred over, meet with their docs, and get on the bottom of the list. 
Hospital A doesn't do the bypass, only sleeve or lap band, but could do the surgery "in the next month".  Hospital B offers bypass, but there was no chance I'd have surgery before next year.  So, I research the sleeve, and the differences, and came to the conclusion that I'd be happy with that surgery. 

I get on their pre-seminar list, fax over the psych eval, and whatever they needed. 
A month later, I go to the seminar, and am really excited.  They have openings for November, I like the surgeon, and had an appt with him the next day.
The next day I go see the surgeon (which is farther than I EVER got with the army hospital), and he assumes I am there for the lapband because of my insurance.  I say, noo...sleeve, and he is the FIRST of a dozen people to inform me that the military insurance does not cover the sleeve by civilian doctors!!!!!
WHAAAAT??!!!!!! Are you FREAKING kidding me??????

He promises to try to get it approved anyway, and "assures" me, he can make it happen, so we go ahead and schedule my Nutritionist appt too.

TBC next blog

Here We Go....

Well, Hi, and welcome to my new blog!  This is my first blogging experience, so bare with me. 
My name is Manda, and I have been trying for a year now to have weight loss surgery done, and have gone through a lovely rollercoaster, with still no results. 
Today was a particularly devastating day, so I decided I needed to vent and express myself some, and maybe someone out there would wanna hear about it, or heck, maybe even benefit from it. 

Ok, so about me: 
I am a big girl.  Ha, bet you couldn't guess that!!  I am a goof, I love to laugh and smile, though I admit, I don't always do it.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE animals of every shape and size, and have my own personal zoo at home.  (I'm sure I will be referencing them sometime).
I am an Army wife.  One of the biggest influences on this rollercoaster ride, is the military insurance and hospital. 
I love to scrapbook and make cards, and well, anything that gets my creative juices flowing.  It's an addiction, I admit, but one I love!!

Since I was about 9 maybe, I started to get chubby, and have struggled with my weight my entire life.  I have a couple contributing factors; I have PCOS - polycystic ovarian syndrome.  http://women.webmd.com/tc/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos-topic-overview
PCOS (imbalance of hormones) for me has caused weight gain, insulin resistance/pre-diabetes, infertility, and I'm sure some other lovely things, but those are the biggies.
I've also had 2 doctors now suggest I may have Lymphodema in my legs.  Joy.

I have gone on many diets many times, and was most successful about a year ago with Weight Watchers.  I lost almost 55 lbs.  I attribute a large portion of my success to my husband being deployed, because I could control what foods came into my home.  Between him coming home, and my hurting my foot, over the next year, I put it all back on.  (I'm not blaming my husband for my weight gain, its just a factor.  He can eat anything without gaining a pound, and we can only afford one set of groceries, ya know, anyways.)

Regarding hurting my foot- in summer of 2009, I was doing WW and training for their 5k challenge.  To train, I'd go to the gym, and every day I would walk the 5k as fast as I could.  Well, I already had Plantaar Fasciitus, so I wore orthodics, and had a lot of pain after being on them a while.  Then I began walk/running and one day, my foot got to hurting like it always does, and the pain never went away.  I saw a doc, and the xray showed a heel spur.  I went to a podiatrist, and he said I have a torn ligament, so I was put into a cast for 6 weeks.  I still had pain, so now he thinks its ligament and nerve damage. 
That's where the WLS (weight loss surgery) came up.  A nurse at the podiatrist shared her story with gastric bypass, and she and the doc agreed that my losing a significant amount of weight would help my foot issues. 
So, around January 2009, I made a pro/con list, talked it over with my husband and decided to pursue gastric bypass surgery. 

ok, I have a housefull of hungry animals, so I will continue in another post!