My appointment was for 1:30. If you know me, you'll be proud that I signed in at the front desk at 1:29. A whole minute early. But it wasn't easy - I started off my visit a sweaty mess. It was 90 degrees today and let me say that the walk from the parking garage to the office on the second floor of the medical office building where the clinic is located was ironically long. I mean, you have people who are extremely overweight coming to your office. We aren't good at walking. Can I get some fatty-capped parking or something? Thank goodness for the high quality tri-fold brochures in the office. I had to do some serious fanning.
The nurse called me back at about 1:50 (which was o.k. because I needed the cooling off period anyway). She went over some in-depth medical history of both myself and my family. That part was pretty standard (although the relevance of my siblings menstrual cycles seemed somewhat irrelevant to me). Then I met with a nurse practitioner who asked me a few more questions and then went into depth explaining the pros and cons of both the Gastric Sleeve procedure and the Gastric bypass (which I won't explain here because there are a billion websites that would do a better job than I could). Her opinion was that I should go with the Gastric Bypass because 1. the weight loss is usually greater and longer lasting and 2. my affinity for carbohydrates would be drastically decreased with it as opposed to the sleeve. That's the one we were leaning towards anyway, so I'm thinking that's the current plan.
I then met with a dietitian and we went over my current eating habits, past weight loss attempts, and discussed some goals. But mainly we laughed about our mutual kiwi allergy and how he wouldn't be a good candidate for surgery because he likes Ribeye steaks too much. Again, a little irony - I left the appointment with him quite hungry.
After both of those appointments I was sent down to the lab where they took enough blood to recreate the prom scene from the movie Carrie. Then they had me walk about 39 miles to the cardiology department for an EKG - which, had they actually been open, would have been a disaster because my heart was pumping so hard that when they monitored it, it probably would've looked like the Richter Scale after a major earthquake. But...they were closed. So I walked BACK up to the office and got a hard copy of the EKG order so I could just do it locally. At that point I had abandoned any attempts at masking the sweat from my hairline and I just let it flow. I probably looked like one of the wrestlers from G.L.O.W. (shame on you if you remember that).
Basically, today's appointments were to get me started on the process to evaluate my ability (or inability) to have the surgery and be able to recover afterwards. They are ruling out major health conditions and risk factors. They provided me with a list of stuff to do. Schedule my EKG, schedule a test where they run some sort of scope down your throat to make sure the stomach looks o.k., get cleared by a pulmonologist and a cardiologist for surgery, and then schedule a 4-week class about life after bariatric surgery.
Once ALL of that is complete, they will then submit a request for surgery to my insurance company who will most likely say, "Things look great. We'll approve this once she shows proof that she has been on a doctor supervised weight management program for nine consecutive months." Which I have not. My doctor has been involved in this process with me for years, but we have not met consecutive months. It's been every 2-3 months. Which stinks because they probably won't accept it and I'll be looking at getting scheduled 8-9 months from now.
BUT...I am planning on petitioning God for a fast track. I don't know what is possible and what isn't but rest assured that I will at least be asking the Great Physician to find me a loophole or exception. If it doesn't happen, that's fine. But if it is possible, I am confident He will make it clear. If you have been praying for my journey, that would be a specific request you could go to Him with on my behalf.
Oh. And I need to lose 40 pounds between now and surgery day. That's going to be a challenge. But I'm thinking that if I just keep scheduling appointments at the clinic, surely I can sweat at least 20 of that off.