Recently, some have requested more information as to how I got started with pre-op process for bypass. The first thing you have to do is be really ready for all the information they are going to throw at you. I struggled so much with this decision that when I finally decided to choose me before anyone and any food, I thought it would be easier and much much quicker. However, I was in for a very rude awakening. The entire process takes what we all feel we don't have enough of...time. The first thing I had to do was meet with my doctor and explain my desire to attain more information. Your doctor will refer you out to an informational meeting which is a requirement to move on. Once you have attended the meeting (and internally flipped out and questioned this entire decision again and again) you may pay the cost of the program (which includes pre and post visits to the center) and schedule an appointment with the surgeon. This was the point that I could also get started with a variety of steps I would need to accomplish prior to even receiving a surgery date. They are as follows:
- Six month requirement for Insurance: In order to have my insurance company cover the cost of my RNY surgery, I had to attend an informational meeting about the different surgeries and then embark on a 6 month weigh in regimen where I have to be weighed in once a month for six months at either the Bariatric Center or at my GP's office. If I missed a month, I would have had to start all over again. I also had to lose 5% of my body weight within that time.
- Psych Clearance: I had to drag my butt to a crappy waiting room in a crappy office building and wait to be "shrinked." The psychologist who cleared me held all the power as he sat there balding in front of my eyes, eying me with his self-righteous (I can make or break this for you) look, talking my ear off about his "specialty" with drug addiction and substance abuse. It was almost enough to send me into therapy on a continuous basis.
- Sleep Study: For those people who have had a history with sleep apnea, this would have been MUCH more involved. However, because I have never had any sleep issues, a wonderful woman brought a sleep monitor (goes on your finger) on a Monday and picked it up Tuesday morning. Easy breezy!
- Tests: EKG (stress test only if my EKG had been abnormal but thank goodness, it wasn't) and blood tests galore to check all my levels and see what vitamins I may have needed before surgery.
- Attendance at support group meetings: Must attend three meetings...loved this even though I thought I would hate all the Kumbaya singing and hand holding (we really don't do this...really).
- Lots and lots and lots of patience! All of these steps took time, scheduling and lots of waiting. It was worth it!
~If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading~