Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yes, Bariatric Betty, there is a Santa Claus...

***If you missed my last post, I found out yesterday that my primary care doctor didn't have a record of my weight in 2008 or 2009 because I had started declining being weighed.  Just because I was too proud to let other people see how much I weighed, I might not be able to satisfy my insurance company's requirements to be approved for the surgery.

First of all I must thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers.  They worked, and I got the information I needed today.  My husband had the wonderful idea of my trying to reach my old OB/Gyn to see if they had a weight for me in 2009.  I have been trying to reach them all day.  The nurses have been tied up (there must be a lot of pregnant women in labor today is all I can figure!) because I have been on hold for over 20 minutes twice before hanging up.  Both the medical record persons line and administrator's line went straight to voicemail.  On the latter's voicemail I started begging for them to just call me and tell me if they could just let me know if I had let them weigh me when I came in for my annual pap smear. 

Five minutes ago, the medical record person called me back and said I did indeed get weighed in December of 2009 - and (Thank you, God) my weight put me in at a BMI over 40.  She's faxing the info to Hospital C today.  All of the sudden, I feel like a boulder has been lifted off my shoulders.  I will be saying extra prayers of thanks tonight, and that includes to all of you who have been so supportive in your words, thoughts, and prayers. 

Great lesson learned - being too proud will cost you.  Maybe not now, but eventually.  Be honest with yourself and others, and take what's coming, it's the only way you will keep moving forward.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bariatric Betty's pride goes before a fall...

So, today I reached my 90th day of supervised dieting.  Hurray!  I've lost almost 20 pounds and I'm very proud of myself.  I emailed my patient care coordinator at Hospital C to make sure she had received the records she needed from my primary care doctor from 2008 and 2009.  She wrote back and said she received a packet, but it only had records from 1998-2004.  This was a big problem, because I need multiple years of weight history showing my morbid obesity for insurance pre-approval of partial payment of my bariatric surgery. 

So I got ticked that my past doctor's office could have screwed up my request so badly.  I wrote out specifically what I needed on the record release request.  I calmed down enough to call them and explained that there seemed to have been a mistake.  The woman at first agreed and then pulled my file.  Turns out there was no mistake, except my own.

I remembered going through a phase where I declined to get weighed because I was so embarassed with my weight.  Apparently, that phase was from 2004-2009, because all of of my visits during then don't have weight recorded.  So now because I was too embarrassed back then I might not have enough documentation to be approved my my insurance company.  I have data from my doctors from 2011, late 2010, and then 2004 and earlier. 

This afternoon I was able to get a copy of my record sent electronically from my old weight watcher's location in Central Ohio.  That gave me a starting weight in 1/2008 and an ending weight in 11/2008.  During that entire 10 months I lost just over 20 pounds.  Versus the last 90 days when I've lost just under 20.  I hope my earnest trying helps.  But now I'm really worried that since we don't have data from 2009, I may have shot myself in my foot.  What if my reluctance to face my weight in 2009 results in my not being approved for surgery?

There's nothing to do about it, but pray and wait.  My P.A. that is coordinating my multidisciplenary diet will be writing up his summary and putting together the packet next week.  Then the hospital will submit and we will wait.  And pray.  And try to remember that things will happen the way they should, even if I don't get approved. 

So here's my advice of the day.  Don't decline to be weighed, or have tests done.  Because you can't predit what will be needed in the future.  I never thought I would be looking at having this surgery, and now look what happened.  Pass it on. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 75 and Bariatric Betty has a bumpy ride

So today I've been on my medically monitored diet for 75 days.  Depending on whose scale you're using, I've lost between 13.5 - 19 pounds.  When I met with Drew, the P.A. supervising my diet, he was pleased to see that I had lost 6 pounds in just the last four weeks.  Plus, he was really excited about my latest test results.  My Hemaglobin A1C has gone from 6.8 (really good for a diabetic) to 6.4 (GREAT for a diabetic) in the last three months and my insulin doses have been cut in half.  Then, he said - the next step is that you're going to go off your Novolog (insulin I take with my meals) altogether ."  I'm already down to 3 units with meals.  The next comment was "6.4, that's barely diabetic."  Ouch.  I said I was lucky that my insurance company wasn't making me diet for 6 months, or I might have a hard time qualifying.  He said "Well, for now you're still on three medications, and still diabetic..."  Whew.  No more labs before my case is submitted to the insurance company, and I will consider my self lucky.

A couple of days ago I got an email from my trainer.  She's left her job, and is no longer working as a trainer, but following her other love - photography.  As much as I'd like to be happy for her, she hasn't written up a summary of our work together, so I'm scrambling to print emails that I hadn't deleted yet and a couple comments she made while following my training on  My three month diet only satisfies the insurance company requirements if there is documentation of consults (at least three), behavioral modification sessions, nutritionist sessions (at least three), psych eval, and working with a trainer.  It specifically says "work with trainer may not be entirely remote (i.e. - online)".  And what I have proof of is from online.  My PA says that he talked to her before she left and is aware that we met in person once, and that he will write it up.  Just to be sure I'm covered, though, I'm meeting with another trainer this Friday.  He works at the same gym - I asked if he had access to her stuff or if I should bring copies of the program she designed.  He said "Oh, please bring it" - just like I thought, she left nothing....  

Oh, and if for some reason the insurance company doesn't think I've satisfied their requirements, I can continue to diet and have consults for three more months - but at that point I probably won't qualify because my diabetes would probably be diet controlled and have a BMI under 40. 

On a totally different note, I feel very blessed today.  Yesterday my father in law called.  He had gone to his doctor about pain in one leg and was sent to the hospital to get an ultrasound immediately, because the doctor suspected a blood clot.  He's 87 and in marvelous health for his age - very active and health conscious.  We just lost my mother in law this summer, and the thought of the chance of losing him so soon after was just crushing.  I sent a message out to my friends on facebook asking for prayers and was touched by how many responded so quickly.  Two hours later we found out that the ultrasound showed it WASN'T a blood clot after all!  So he still has to find out why it hurts, and we're a little worried about that - but the chance of a stroke has been pushed far down the list and we're so grateful for that. 

I have to remind myself each day; I have great faith in God.  I believe that God will see me through my journey in the best way.  I think that will include weight loss surgery, but maybe God knows something better.  I will keep reminding myself of this while I go through the last couple weeks of my supervised diet and the weeks waiting for the insurance company to make their decision.