Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The journey begins

Now I don't even remember what the trigger was to get me going. Something just clicked and enough was enough. I went to a surgical weight loss seminar back in the spring. I half heartedly piddled with the paperwork after the fact, but didn't really make any progress. In late September, I just had enough with being obese and sick and called to make an appointment with a surgeon.

I had my first appointment with Dr. Williams on October 3rd and things have been moving quickly. I wasn't supposed to see a doctor until November, but a cancellation happened and I got in a month earlier. While at the clinic, I got a check list of everything I need to do in order to submit my paperwork to the insurance company for approval. I am lucky--my list is relatively short:

  • Lose 10% of my weight. It's an insurance thing to prove your dedication. Fortunately they use your highest documented weight from the past 2 years. So when you factor that in, I only have to lose 10 more pounds, since I had lost about 15 pounds last year when I did physical therapy
  • Psych consult. Gotta make sure I'm not a total froot loop and am doing this for the right reasons. I think I am. I just need assistance. I have too much to lose to do it completely on my own. Plus I do better when I have a lot of support from the doctor's office. That's scheduled for late November.
  • Letter of medical necessity. My primary care has to write this and it shouldn't be a problem. He also has to provide medical records to prove I've been fat more than 5 years. Yeah, ask my knees. They'll tell ya!
  • Meet with a dietician. There are 3 required visits: a group class, a one on one consultation and a pre op consultation. I've done the group and have the one-on-one scheduled for early November.
  • Go to support groups. Two required, though one plus active participation on a weight loss website will suffice. Check those off my list.
There are tons of medical clearances (cardiology, pulmonology, sleep studies, GI studies, etc.), but based on my previous medical testing and records, I got out of them. Yippee!

Since I made the decision to do this (still waffling on the exact type of surgery), I have felt this odd sense of calm. Though my eating is far from perfect at this point, I am paying more attention to what goes in the old hatch. And I have significantly upped my exercise in order to get those 10 pounds off. I'm doing lots of walking and for the last week, I've gotten up and done 20 minutes on the old elliptical trainer. The pre-op pounds are starting to come off and that makes me happy.

I have also started doing some test runs. After surgery, you have to go through phases of sustenance, like clear liquids, full liquids, pureed food, soft solids and regular food. And protein, protein, protein! Apparently post-op, you have to do a lot of protein powder drinks. So I'm researching them now, trying to find ones that are not grainy or disgusting. I'd rather have my ducks in a row now, than have to figure this out later.

So the journey has begun. I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

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