Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Big Day Today!

I saw the surgeon today and we have officially submitted to insurance for approval for my revision to the Gastric Sleeve.  I reviewed the insurance requirements and I fit all of the outlined requirements.  I just have to pray to the universe that I get a good natured insurance worker to look at my request with a kind heart and say "well of course she's approved".  That is what I am putting into the universe to happen.  I should hear from them within the next week.  If all goes well I will have my revision at the end of July or beginning of August.  Just enough time to heal and get back in shape for school in the fall.  For now, I have to get back to the pre-op days of getting myself ready for the liquid diet and all that other jazz.  Keep your collective fingers crossed for me.  I can use all the positive energy you can all muster.

Friday, June 14, 2013

2 Year Bandiversary

Me and the Fiance (and some random extra boobs for those who are looking)

Today is my 2 year mark.  I thought it appropriate to get my butt on here and to do a little reflecting.  2 years ago, I had my Lapband put in and I was gung-ho ready to go.  I was single, determined and focused on me.  I had spent a couple months prepping to have my surgery.  Did my pre-op diet.  Made a friend on one of the forums, who till today is one of my biggest supporters.  She had her surgery 2 weeks before me with the same surgeon.  She has had some pretty impressive success.  She has lost over 100 pounds.  She looks phenomenal.  I however have not had as much success.  I have crossed some hurdles, but have not come anywhere near reaching my goals.  I decided to reflect on why. 

Firstly, I have a tendency to take care of others before myself.  I never put myself first.  Ever.  About two months after my surgery, a friend was going through a personal crisis and came to me for help.  Being the do-gooder that I am, of course I obliged.  This resulted in having a friend bunk with me in my apt for 2 months.  Round the clock stress, court dates, restraining orders, etc. all came along with this friend.  Things I had no business trying to help one maneuver while going through my own life transition.  It distracted me from my goal.  It took me away from my focus.  This was the beginning of my failure to succeed. 

Secondly, I was having a terrible time with my band.  I would get a fill, be alright for a while.  Have some success.  Be on track.  Lose some pounds.  Then kaplow!  I'd get stuck, or my monthly cycle would come and I would retain fluids to the point that my band would be tight beyond the point of being able to even get fluids down without issue.  I would then have an unfill, and wind up back at square one.  This would also come along with tons of issues at the doctor because my port is testy and doesn't always like to reveal itself too well.  I would be stuck sometimes 10-15 times, sometime by 3 different doctors/nurse practitioners, who all had to keep going because I couldn't even get in fluids.  Sometimes I'd even drive to northern NJ from NYC to see a particular NP because he was the only one who seemed to be 100% successful at getting into my port every time. 

Because of all the issues with my band disagreeing with me, I developed some pretty intense anxiety.  I was feeling depressed at my lack of success.  I was feeling angry for not being able to stay on task.  I was beating myself up pretty badly in the emotional department and I finally gave up.  My surgeon agreed that the band was just not for me.  I was one of those people who it just does not work for.  My body doesn't like it.  That being said, she discussed revision with me.  We decided that revision from the band to the Gastric Sleeve was the way to go.  That being said, we put things into motion.  I went for an upper endoscopy, another psych evaluation, bloods, etc.   All the prerequisite things necessary before surgery.  We submitted the request to the insurance company, and this is where I hit another wall.  Denied. 

My BMI was at 39.6 or something like that.  They require a BMI of 40.  (REALLY?? WTF!!!).  Then they also have a stipulation that it must be 2 years at a minimum from the original surgery for me to be considered for revision.  This was last September.  9 months would have to pass before I would be allowed to have my revision surgery.  Again I felt so defeated.  I considered going to Mexico for surgery and financing the cost.  I considered getting a lawyer to fight the insurance company.  I considered all sorts of things.  At the end of the day, I would end up having to bend and conform to my insurance company's policy and wait it out.  All the while not losing a single pound because if I did, I would not have a BMI adequate enough for the revision.  I need to get this band out.  Even with it completely emptied, I still get stuck.  I still have pain with every meal.  I still struggle. 

Lastly, I had lost motivation.  I did keep on walking.  Actually I have upped my physical activity.  I believe it is what prevents me from gaining.  I'm not losing and I'm not gaining.  I stay within the same 4-5 pound range at all times.  But my umpf has been gone for some time.  Until now.  Next week on Wednesday, I will be going to my surgeon to start the approval process all over again.  At least she has my back.  She has been totally supportive throughout this process.  Though I have not had the success that I would like, I have had some.  I have lost and maintained the loss of about 55-60 pounds which is no small feat.  Being that I still have close to 90 to lose, I am a long way from my goal.  I came back her because I need to return to being accountable.  Blogging helped me stay focused.  It helped me stay accountable, mostly to myself.  All this being said.  Happy 2 year bandiversary to me.  I wouldn't take back my decision to have had surgery at all.  It was one of the best life decisions I have ever made.  It was a decision that I made for ME.  I did this for ME.  I am doing the revision for ME.  There is nothing wrong with doing something for yourself.  It is the best gift you can give those around you, making yourself happy.

See you folks next week after the visit with the surgeon.  I hope there will be good news to report.  And for the record, I have not stopped reading your blogs, I just finally found my voice again after a hiatus.  I hope you all are still reading too.