Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I've jumped through all your hoops, now give me my answer!

Well, I've been trying to think of a good way to start this blog but I guess I'll just jump right in. My name is Ashli, I'm 27 years old and have been married to my husband Mike for a little over a year now. I have PCOS which makes it super easy to gain weight, super hard to lose it and very difficult to get pregnant. We've been trying for a few years now with no luck. It's like a viscous circle, PCOS helps make you fat, and being fat makes PCOS worse. So, I've decided that Lap Band may be my answer. My plan is to have the surgery, change my bad eating habits, exercise and get healthy so we can have a baby!! My husband plans on changing some bad eating habits of his own once I do, so we can both get healthy in preparation of building our family.
I had always thought about having Lap Band surgery but I thought, I don't want to push having kids back that long. It would take about a year or so to have the surgery and be healed and ready to go for babies. But then one day I realized, what if a year from now, I still wasn't pregnant. I could have used that year to have the Lap Band surgery done, and lost the weight I needed to lose to help my PCOS and increase my fertility. That's when I decided, I'm gonna do it. I signed up for a Lap Band seminar. I work for a hospital and lucky for me they have their own surgical weight loss center so signing up and going to the meeting was as easy as heading to work and going to the conference room. After the meeting I was just as sure I wanted the surgery and I was before, if not more. I made my appointment with Dr. Price of Saint Luke's Center for Surgical Weight Loss. We met and discussed any questions I had. I was told I had to have a psych eval, sleep study, and be on a medically supervised diet for 3 months. I breezed through the psych eval, it was kinda weird, he asked me if I was taking commands from my frosted flakes lol! We just went over the risks of surgery and he asked me if I was fully aware of all the risks and possible complications. I had to take a little paper/pencil test..no biggie. I passed. Next I had to see a exercise pathologist and dietitian once a month for 3 months as part of my medically supervised diet. The dietitian mainly talked about how I'm expected to eat once I have the band, small bites, chew good, protein protein protein! Vitamins, etc. The exercise lady talked about types of exercise, and gave me goals that I was to achieve before my next visit. Mainly she wanted me to work up to 5-6 days a week of cardio, minimum 3, and increase my minutes by 2 every week. I do have to admit, I jumped through all their hoops and played their game but I didn't really do what I was supposed to. I didn't begin my hard core exercise routine or start eating super healthy. I know I should have but they told me I really wasn't required to lose weight during this period, it was just a technicality for insurance. Basically, a three month wait. But I do have to admit, it was good information, that I will definitely use once I get the band. My thought on that was, I have very little time left to relax and eat what I want so I'm gonna use it. I've been yo-yo dieting my whole life and if diet and exercise on my own worked, I wouldn't be in line for Lap Band surgery. Anyway, during my three month "wait", I had my dreaded sleep study done. I'm a super light sleeper and I was so afraid of just laying there while these people watched me and not being able to sleep. However, it went just fine. I work nights so I went at 7 am after work and I was pretty tired. They hooked me up to a million wires all over my head, face, nose, arms, legs and chest. I told them my fears of not being able to sleep so they offered me a sleeping pill. I gladly accepted and then got tucked into bed. I fell asleep, only waking up a few times to roll over in my tangled mess of wires. I was very thankful when the lady finally came in to say it was over. Thank God that's out of the way! I later found out I had passed. No sleep apnea for me, which is good, but doesn't help me out as far as getting the Lap Band goes. I didn't need that to get approved though. My BMI is over 40 so that's pretty much all I need, or so they tell me. Next, per my doctors requirements (not the insurance company) I had to attend at least one of their support group meetings. It was at the Embassy Suites Hotel. That night, they had a speaker from Realize Band. So after that meeting, I was convinced that that was the band for me. However, I later changed my mind and have decided to go with the Lap Band instead. Why? You ask. I really can't tell you. Probably because I was reading a forum and somebody asked what the difference between the two was and this med student guy was adamant that the Realize Band was TERRIBLE!! Which, I don't believe but it got me thinking maybe I should just go with the tried and true Lap Band. Lastly, I had to go to my primary care doctor and get a "all clear" for surgery. Basically saying I was healthy enough to go under the knife. As with the support group meeting, this was just for my doctor and not for insurance purposes. So, I went and she gave me a letter saying I was good to go. January 13 was the end of my three month medically supervised diet so it was time to gather all my stuff and submit to insurance. OK, let's go over one more time all that was required. I had to have proof that I had a BMI over 40 for at least two years. So I had to get records from my doctor. It was just a copy of one of the times I had seen my doctor for something and it had the date and my weight at the top. That's all they care about. I had to get one from 2008 and 2009. Next, as mentioned above, I had to complete the sleep study, psych eval, and 3 month medically supervised diet. Now, my surgeon had a few requirements of his own and they were to go to one of his support group meetings and to get a note from my primary that I was healthy for surgery. And I'm finally done with all that. Now the wait and wonder game has begun. I've got to sit here and wonder when the doctors office is going to submit my stuff and did the insurance people get it and are they going to approve me...ahhhhhh! It's pretty nerve wracking. But all I can do is wait and hope. Wish me luck!