A READER'S STORY
Weight Loss Surgery
Hi there. I am in my 40's and have been overweight most of my life but the past 10 years have been the worst. I have always been afraid of weight loss surgery and said it was never something I would do. I had heard horror stories on the internet about it and thought it was admitting failure to myself that I couldn't lose weight on my own. I would say "I got this way on my own and I'll lose it on my own".
But now I find myself at 430lbs and having a hard time doing normal things like walking, doing my groceries, getting off of the couch, etc. I can't do stairs at all anymore. Everything is just so difficult. And no matter how hard I try I cannot lose weight, I just keep getting heavier.
I have dreams. I want to travel to Rome and visit the Colosseum, Pantheon and other great sights, I want to visit Egypt and see the pyramids, and Australia and Japan and Machu Pichu in Peru. I cannot do this at my current weight and mobility. So, after alot of deliberation, discussions with an obesity doctor, with people who've had the surgery, my family and friends I have decided to have the surgery.
The next few months will be more of a waiting game than anything while I get insurance approval and everything set in motion. I will track here though every step of the process.
March 23 - 2007 - Doctors office called. Apparently OHIP (provincial insurance) had called the clinic to find out some information. Of course the clinic hadn't heard of me yet. So I called them and got some information. But best of all I have an appointment April 14th with the doctor to go over my medical history, questions, etc. They also sent me a list of tests I need to take before the operation. Found out that the pre and post op appointments are all held just over the border (about 1 1/2 hour drive from here) BUT the actual operation is done in Long Island NY (about 9 hour drive). So will take some figuring on how I'm gonna get there and back. My boss actually offered to fly here, rent a car and drive me down. I'm happy, the ball has started rolling. Here are the tests needed : Chest Xray, EKG, Upper Endoscopy with testing for H.Pylori (may substitute H.Pylori breath test PLUS upper GI series xray if endoscopy not available or delayed), LABS: TSH, T4, UA, CBC, chemistry panel, LFT's, serum triglycerides, cholesterol, iron, ferritin, TIBC, B12, folate, INR, PTT, HgbA1c, nicotine, serum H.Pylori Ab.
March 15 - 2007 - Application was mailed Feb 14th. Still waiting for approval. Frustrating to sit and wait.
February 12, 2007 - Met with family doctor. She will complete insurance application and mail next day.
February 9, 2007 - Family doctor received letter - finally!
January 4, 2007 - Met with obesity doctor and told him of my decision. He dictated a letter to my family doctor indicating my decision and giving precise instructions on how to fill out the application for insurance approval. He said my doctor should receive the letter within 4 weeks. (Note: I live in Ontario Canada and will have to go to the US for the surgery so need prior approval from the Provincial health care system for funding).