Updates Galore

I haven’t posted in a while… finals week at school and I always wait until the last freaking minute to get anything done! As I write this, I have a paper due today (7 hours remaining until midnight) and I still haven’t started. But anyway:

  • Ok, so last Thursday I met the nutritionist but then had to reschedule. I’ll get to that in a second.
  • Last Friday, I went back to the primary doctor (Dr. R) for an EKG and bloodwork. I had an EKG in the emergency room and it came back normal, so I didn’t need another. They also took a urine sample, though I’m not sure what they’re testing for. I was a bit scared by the initial bloodwork… new nurse, first of all. But it started with a glucose test and mine was 139. The nurse had her eyebrows all raised that it was definite diabetes, and when I asked she said that it should be under 100. The doctor had me go home, eat (McDonald’s. I know, I’m retarded) and then come back in 2 hours. The second glucose test was at 111, so obviously the lower number is good news. I could have been okay with diabetes, but I’m so glad to know I’ve escaped it! Lab results will be back soon but my next follow-up isn’t scheduled until a month from now.
  • I got a call from the sleep clinic Dr. R referred me to. They’re not a network provider, so they concocted this scheme to have me pay only an in-network rate, but it all sounded kinda strange to me. I found an in-network clinic, so hopefully Dr. R will just refer me there. However, Dr. R’s office is closed until Monday and my appt at the out-of-network sleep study clinic is Monday night. I’m not going to cancel that appt just yet, I’ll wait to make sure Dr. R’s office will refer me elsewhere.
  • I had my first meeting Alice, the nutritionist, two days ago. A teenage anorexic and her mother came out just before I went in, and it’s so hard to know that have an unacknowledged struggle with the same disease. I don’t look like the typical anorexic patient so people very rarely believe me anyway, but discussing my history could jeopardize a chance of surgery. I just want to get this weight off and then I’ll figure out how to have a healthy relationship with food. I’ll be able to start over. Anyhow, Alice was incredibly disorganized and unprepared. I like her, but she had no paper in her printer (or anywhere else), couldn’t find business cards, etc. She also asked me where I live 3 different times. She put me on the “less-structured” program where I’ll have a certain number of grains, proteins, etc each day. I have to keep a food journal and meal-plan at least 5 days in advance. No additional exercise beyond the 3-5 times/week walks I’m supposed to be doing. We agreed to meet once a month for six months and she also referred me to a therapist who specializes in weight issues. If this therapist is covered by my EAP, I’ll probably see her soon. The meal-planning will begin with Friday night’s grocery shopping and Lee is on board. The deal is, he eats the same diet foods as me, but he can have anything additional that he wants. He’s really supportive in all this! Alice also gave me some handouts on behavior modification and she’s going to fax my session recap to Dr. R for my medical file.
  • Someone called back from Dr. Kim’s bariatric program and explained that they are out-of-network but the hospital is not. So I’d have to pay something like $6800 for the surgery, which includes follow-up visits for one year, but the hospital stay would be covered. That, coupled with the fact that 1) you can’t get ahold of anyone on their staff and 2) the stupid orientation had us all herded into a room with skinny-people chairs makes me think that the Dr. Jawad option is looking better and better. However, I did learn that my insurance will want a letter of medical necessity as well as a 5-year documented history of obesity. I haven’t gone to the doctor much, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to provide that history, but I’m damn sure going to try. I need to compile records from Planned Parenthood (where I secretly got birth control while on my parents’ insurance), Centra Care in Sanford, Advanced Women’s Health Specialists, and Dr. Perez. Hopefully that hodgepodge will create sufficient medical history.
  • I checked, and Dr. Jawad is a network provider. Woot!
  • I cancelled my appt with Dr. Jawad’s staff because the information packet they sent explained a $250 “program fee” and I’m not ready to pay that. While on the phone, I learned that they only operate about 1 month in advance of the surgery, so I need to get my 6 months done and then begin working with them.
  • I bought a bariatric scale since I’m too fat for regular–even doctor’s office–scales. It “talks” and goes up to 440 lbs. I weighed in a stinking 364 at the bariatric orientation session, but I’m already down to 361 without even trying. The meal planning starts next week, and I feel like I’m clanking upward to the precipice of a roller coaster. Why am I so scared to start this? More on that later.

If I update more regularly, perhaps these posts won’t have to be so long! Now I need to update my medical expense spreadsheet…


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