Thursday, September 30, 2010

.....might be getting closer now

This week things have really moved along...I was going to do a video but decided to just blog it. After going to the seminar last week we decided we really liked this new group. The surgeon that did the seminar was very down to earth and I found him very informative. It was very similar to the first seminar we went to with the first group. They do seem to push sleeve and lap band more than RNY....but we cannot have sleeve through our insurance so we are opting for RNY. We scheduled our initial consult with them. We met with them yesterday and it all went well. Weighed and measured (I am only 5'10"...woohoo), shown how the program works, met with the surgeon himself, went over risks and benefits, talked about all the required testing( Dan is ahead of me on all that), talked about surgery dates ****MAYBE NOVEMBER !!! **** and basically got a feel for the whole process. We also are going to our psych evaluations this friday evening. I feel alittle nervous about it but I am sure it will be fine....I will just be as honest as I can about everything.

As far as upcoming appointments, Dan is doing very well getting his completed. He has his second portion of the sleep study next week. He may also need another round of labwork. He needs to meet with the dietitian and the psychologist and he is pretty ready to go.
I still have to do labwork, have initial visit with Gastro( for required endoscopy), schedule the endoscopy, meet with the dietitian and the psychologist.
All in hopes to get mid to late November surgery dates...we are thinking about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks apart. We are planning on helping each other though this...not involve our extended families. Any suggestions from anyone on this? Will that be enough recovery time for the Dan (first) to then have to care for me and him? We were thinking the same day and it was offered to us but after really thinking about was a crazy thought...what if one of us had to stay longer at the hospital or there was a we kinda think about 2 weeks. Any comments on this would be appreciated :)

After looking over the nutritionist's information, it looks like she would like for us to start getting ready by buying items for after surgery, getting our supplements and protein supplements purchased and ready to go. She also wants us to try living like post-op for alittle while before the appt with her to get an idea of how it will be like. Sounds like a great idea to me....we will start working on it...our dietitian appt is Oct 18th.

So all in all this past week was very successful and we are definitely moving forward !

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sleep Study results....and our week

Dan had 2 procedures this week.  He had an Endoscopy done on Monday and a sleep study done Wednesday night.  The doctor went over the results of the endoscopy while we were there and said Dan does not have any hernias.  The sleep study results came today and he seems to have "severe" sleep apnea....scary.  I have been telling him for over a year to go and just have one done because he has alot of trouble sleeping.  He wakes often...sleeps very lightly and just seems tired.  So there is the reason.  He has to go back for another study to get him ready for a c-pap machine.  Just one more reason he needs this surgery. 

We sadly have heard no good news on the insurance front.  She told us that within 3 days of last wednesday it would be taken care of....well it has been 9 days and frustrating.  We cannot even schedule our first consult without the Carefirst records showing it is a covered benefit.

We do have another seminar planned for next thursday with another surgery group in Fairfax.  I wanted to see if it was done differently at a place that is not a "Center of Excellence".  So we are gonna check them out.  We also are going to a WLS Expo on Sunday at the orginal surgery group.  Sounds pretty interesting....tour hospital facility, meet doctors, round table discussions. samples, fashion show (Dan is not to excited about that) and such.....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Watching others going through this.....

We spend alot of time looking through forums and videoblogs getting ideas on how other people have approached this. Learning so much. I had already given you a link to where I found out about Vertical Sleeve from Christie's Blog (a couple going through this together) and now I have come across another couple with a video diary. Ok, so informative and interesting. I am so impressed with how they have done and it just makes me think this is something Dan and I can do together too. I have attached a link to his first video but I think there are 32 in all, spanning over a year or more. They were not covered by insurance at all and decided to go to Mexico. That idea is floating around in our house too because now we (well, especially me) are concerned that the sleeve is not covered by Carefirst unless your BMI is 50+. Well I am just hitting the 40 mark and Dan is about a 42 so I can only hope this is going to work out for us insurance wise. I have been reading that Anemia can be largely effected by malabsorbsion issues and may be a good reason Gastic Bypass would be ruled out for me. I have been anemic in years prior to this and before my heart surgery I was "very" anemic and I have been on Iron since then. I feel after all of our research that the sleeve seems to fall right between and seems perfect for us. Here is the link. Enjoy watching their journey...and I also found through her blog on that they are pregnant sweet. His videos stopped in April of 2010 but she had done an update. He gives you all their usernames so you can following along and see pictures inspiring.

Brooke and Andy's Journey

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Good news.....we hope

Dan finally got an email back from the insurance broker and this really is a covered benefit.  Apparently, the BCBS files were incorrectly written and we have this benefit for Morbid Obesity.  I am so excited but guarded at the same time.  I feel like this is great news and the most positive thing anyone has reported back to us but at the same time we have a long way to go.  I do not know what hoops we will have to jump through before we can actually consider scheduling a date.  We both have already canceled our consultation visits because we originally were not covered.  So we are starting back with scheduling those appts again.  Dan does already have his sleep study test scheduled…..but I am a different story.  I will need to get an appt with my primary doctor to get all that scheduled.  I am sure she will write me a letter of recommendation….we already have spoke about the idea of WLS…..but I also just had my open heart surgery in June.  I do not know if there is a waiting period as far as insurance goes.  I already ran it by my cardiologist and she said I am now in better shape for something like this than I was prior to my surgery.  I also already asked the surgeon at Blue Point (we may go with them) about having this surgery after my heart surgery and he took a few minutes with me after the WLS seminar and explained that nothing with this surgery will effect the healing of my heart surgery.  I kinda feel like Dan will go first and maybe I can do mine a few months later…..but we will see…..but just getting the news that it is covered is making me smile today  :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

1,2,3 GO! ......well not really

Dan and I have been overweight most of our lives.  We met 8 years ago and were just married 1 year ago.  We both have a few health issues and we feel Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) will make a big difference in changing all that for the better.  I had a congenital heart defect, bicuspid aortic valve, that I just had open heart surgery to correct in June 2010. Losing weight would make my heart not have to work so hard.   I also have high blood pressure.  Dan has diverticulitis, fatty liver, back issues and may have sleep apnea (test coming up on Sept 19th).  I just know he will feel so much better if he lost the weight.  I feel if we both could lose 100 pounds we would have a new lease on life.  Our stats right now
Robin- Age: 43           Height: 5'10"           Weight: 288.0   BMI: 41
Dan- Age: 36                  Height: 6'2"          Weight: 322.0     BMI: 41
Dan originally was thinking of having the Lap-Band option but after some research and the fact that I was following an interesting blog of another couple doing this together (check out Christie’s Health and Happiness blog) we are now very interested in having Vertical Sleeve.  Officially called Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, this surgery involves removing 85% of your stomach, it really seems much safer than the Lap-Band (many complications) and Gastric Bypass.  NO nutrition absorption problems, no dumping (food get stuck -vomiting) and seems to be restrictive just enough to , if you are motivated, to help you lose 100+ pounds.  Perfect for us :)
Of course, at this moment in time, we are stuggling with insurance.  Dan got started with all this because he was reading though policy information and saw WLS is a covered benefit if you meet certain requirements ( we do) but after going to a seminar at Bluepoint Surgery and having them speak to BCBS Carefirst PPO.  We are not covered.  So Dan had first appt cancelled due to them saying that.  Dan has gone back and forth with our broker and Carefirst for a few days now.  Yesterday, the broker called and spoke to Dan and now we are covered as long as we meet the requirements….but that all might change today….we will see.