Friday, January 30, 2009


So, I have been waiting to see my primary care provider to hopefully get a referral into a weight loss surgery program. Unfortunately, I forgot to schedule the appointment for a time when I could get a ride to the office. My mother is my usual transportation provider and somehow I forgot that she is leaving the state next week, so I had to call the doctor's office and reschedule the appointment. My appointment isn't until February 20th at 8:30 am. This also means that I won't be able to attend the next 2 support meetings because I won't have a ride.

I knew when I started this journey that it was going to be a lesson in patience. I've had to wait over 2 years to get medicare, so I know that I can be patient. I will update this blog after I have had the appointment, unless something comes up before then or I just feel the need to say something about what I am feeling or finding in my research.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let's Get Started

My name is Beverly and I am in the super morbidly obese category. I have to use a cane and a walker to get around, and even with those items, I am not able to get very far. I have lost my job. I don't feel safe to drive. I need a lift chair to get up and I sleep in it too, because I cannot get in and out of bed. Almost every week, I notice something new that I can no longer do as well as I used to, or at all. I do almost nothing without the assistance of others. I am in fear of what I will become and I want this decline to stop NOW. (wow, I didn't realize how painful this would be to actually share.)

My plan: weight loss surgery. I have dieted since I was 9 years old when my mother put me on my first diet, "Diet Workshop". I have spent most of my life on diets of one type or another. They work....for a little while. Then I gain it all back plus a little more. Over time that little more has really added up.

A little over a year ago, my doctor at that time, referred me to EMMC's Surgical Weight Loss Program even though I told her that I thought it was a waste of time since I didn't have any health insurance. She insisted, so I went to the information meeting and the support meeting and I learned a lot. Such as, I was right; there was nothing that they would do for me without some way to pay for it. So, I went home to wait out the rest of my 2 year waiting period to qualify for medicare coverage. A waiting period which I have never understood, since I qualified for disability due to a host of medical problems, so of course I don't need health care!

Recently, I received my medicare card with an effective date of May 1, 2009. I have hope! Receiving that card is what prompted me to think about starting this blog to document everything from the beginning. I have barely 2 months to lay the ground work to try to make this process go as smoothly as possible. I have heard and read of nightmare experiences in just trying to get approval for this procedure. Many people have an opportunity to slow down or completely derail the process. Insurance providers, surgeons, psychologists, dietitians, and probably more that I am unaware of, all have a say in whether or not I get to have the surgery that I so desperately need and want.

Taking the first step. Today, I called and spoke to Edith at EMMC's Surgical Weight Loss Program. She told me that I needed a new referral from my current doctor because the previous referral expired while I waited for Medicare to kick in. I was told that there had been some changes to the program since I attended a meeting. She also informed me that the future support group meetings are at the Mason Auditorium at EMMC and are scheduled: Feb. 6 @ 4:30-6:30, Feb. 17 @ 4:30-6:30, March 6 @ 4:30-6:30. I need to find someone to start taking me to these meetings as there is a lot to be learned from those who have gone through the procedure already. Probably Mom will take me, if she can. She is amazing.

Next, I called my new doctors office (I just moved to a new town) and set up an appointment for Feb. 6th @ 8:30 am, to get established at the office and to hopefully get a referral to the surgical weight loss program. I am aware that this is very optimistic of me, since the doctor will just be getting to know me and will probably not give me the referral at the first appointment. My records have already been transferred, but they never look over that stuff in advance.

So, that is where I stand. Waiting, researching, reading inspirational blogs and stories as well as the horror stories of surgeries gone wrong and post-op complications. I want to know it all. I know that there will be people who will make comments on here that may be very negative and I am prepared for that. I also know that I have some wonderful people in my life who are very supportive and that I will find a way with their help and support. Please feel free to leave me comments. I will read them all. Hang on tight now, cause this could be a bumpy ride!