It’s Sunday, and my knee is still a mess, so with any luck, I’ll be in my jammies all day. Now, yes, I should probably feel horrible about that, but today I don’t. I received a packet from Valerie at UPMC Bariatrics with wealth of information to go through, and I’d like to get through it all today.
See, initially, the plan was to do everything in Erie through Dr Ali’s office there, go to Pittsburgh if it was absolutely necessary (which I hoped it wasn’t). When I went to the seminar, I was told that Valerie, who is in charge of “regional” patients (those patients like me who don’t live in PGH or ERI or other cities where the UPMC facilities are located) would call to see what could be set up.
She called the next day. During that conversation, Valerie advised me that if I wanted to, I could see a surgeon in Warren, but Dr Ali was not one of the doctors who saw patients there. I told her it was fine, and I would keep my appointment in Erie with him. I really liked him and his demeanor at the seminar, and feel so comfortable with him already, that I think by even meeting another doctor, I’d feel like I was starting over, and I certainly don’t want to go there. She did tell me that UPMC holds a monthly support group meeting at Warren General, which if I wasn’t such a girl, I could practically throw a rock and hit the place, I’m that close. Perfect. She also told me of a local nutritionist that works with UPMC who is located less than 10 MINUTES FROM MY OFFICE!! On top of that, I can do my monthly weigh-ins and my nutritionist meetings with her. THAT’S HUGE! In that one phone call, I went from having to go to Erie at least fifteen times in the next six months (all just to get to the point of submission of the authorization) down to two or three. Considering Erie is sixty miles one way, I am thrilled. Thank you, Valerie!
As our conversation ended, she told me to watch the mail for a packet of information. She said there would be a lot of information in it that I could use, as well as the long in to EMMI to learn about the different surgeries. It came on Friday, and it’s full of checklists about the Pre-op process UPMC uses, a list of what my insurance requires before UPMC can submit for approval, instructions on how to sign up for their patient portal (which I am big believer in), a great phone directory for UPMC Bariatrics, a nutrition questionnaire and, I what will be the most difficult, the sheet for the psych eval, and a list of regional psychologists, so I can get the appointment set up! From what I’ve heard, lots of times, the office has to wait to submit because they’re waiting for psych evals to come back. The problem is that sometimes it takes 3 or 4 months to get in to see the psychologist, so I’ll be making calls to the psychologist and nutritionist tomorrow.
In the meantime, I plan to spend my day with ice on my knee, watching videos online about different weight loss surgeries. I hope their gross and graphic. I LOVE that!
Be kind to each other.