Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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

No comments: