(Didn’t that headline read like one of those Upworthy posts on Facebook that is always way less dramatic and impressive than they let on?)
But I did go to the doctor today. Two of them, in fact.
My bariatric surgeon decided that for no other reason than I’m fat that I should go to the cardiologist for a cardiac clearance. When I scheduled the appointment, it took some wiggling, but I scheduled it and Official Weigh In #5 on the same day, so I could just take a whole day off work instead of dicking around and taking off more than one. Today was the day for both appointments.
Victoria offered to take me, which I very much appreciated. We took the scenic route (on 86, which we never do) and made great time, arriving 15 minutes before I was supposed to be there. (My appointment was originally scheduled for 1pm – they called last Friday and asked if I could arrive at 12:15 for a 12:30 appointment, which was fine by me.) I went over my personal information with them, filled out an ROS (Review of Systems) sheet, and was back in a room by 12:15. A quick work up from the nurse, and Dr. Kang was in the room by 12:30. Five minutes of talking, two deep breaths and a quick listen to my heart, and he told me that while I am a moderate surgery risk (because of my weight), I have low indicators and received the “OKAY!!” to have surgery!
We were out of the office by 1:00, which gave us almost 3 hours before my next appointment, which was almost literally across the street. Victoria was starving so we got her some grub (I try not to eat on weigh in days because, well, it’s a weigh in day!), and she asked if she could go to this cute little hippie store called Grasshopper. She didn’t know how to get there, so I talked her through it. She was in the store about ten minutes, purchased a couple of tie dyes to wear to work, then asked if we could go to their other location on the West Side. So we did. By the time we were done there, it was about 2:30, so we decided to go to the bariatrics office to see if there was any way I could be seen early.
We walked into a FULL waiting room. My hopes of getting in to see Jackie, the PA, were almost gone when a woman walked out from the back and announced that the nutrition class would be held in the conference room, and anyone here for that should follow her. The room immediately emptied out, and in under a minute, I was called back for my weigh in.
I lost 5.5 lbs since my last “official” weigh in, which are the only ones bariatrics count. The tech that worked me up told me I was doing great, as I’m now, officially, 5.5 pounds away from my pre op goal. She took my blood pressure (which was higher there than at the cardiologist – Tori took credit for that, saying it was because of her driving!), then walked us back to an exam room, where we waited just a few minutes for Jackie to come in.
Jackie is a very sweet person. I was immediately comfortable talking to her. She said she was going to take a minute to go over my chart and then we’d talk. She congratulated me on my weight loss, and told me I was doing a great job. I reminded her that I’d updated all my meds and medical history via the UPMC portal last week, so everything was up to date, and she thanked me for that. (I am the portal queen for sure!) She went through the list of all my tests and procedures and whatnot that I’d needed to get done for surgery and was very pleased that it’s all been completed. I explained to her that the only thing I didn’t have done was my three support group visits, and that they can be difficult to get to as they are only once a month, and sometimes real life (work, kids, etc) make it difficult. I told her that I’d wanted to have them all done before my six months was up, but September was very difficult – Jamestown doesn’t have a September meeting (1st Monday is Labor Day), Bradford’s meeting was tonight and I couldn’t get there in time, and there isn’t a Warren meeting this month, because the leader is out of town. I told her that I’ve become part of a network of weight loss surgery bloggers, and that I’ve gotten some valuable insight and advice from them, as most of them have already had surgery or are almost to their surgery dates (I’m so excited for you, Alexis!!!!). She said that the reason for the support group meetings is to get that support from others that I’m getting from my blogging friends, so if I don’t make it to all the meetings, that doesn’t necessarily preclude me from being approved for surgery.
Jackie told me today that at my next appointment, THEY COULD BE READY TO SUBMIT FOR APPROVAL!! I about peed my pants! I told her that Dr. Ali had initially said that my surgery would likely be in February or March. She said that they don’t often get patients with weight loss like mine, so she figured he was giving me time to reach my goal. He hadn’t expected me to get so close to soon! I was thrilled!
So now, here is the problem. I have no more v/s/p days to take. I used the last one today to go to my doctor appointments. However, if I can rustle up the money that I would have made at work for the two weeks I need off, and my boss will allow it, theoretically, I could have surgery in November! NOVEMBER! Holy crap! Jackie said I am totally ahead of schedule, and she’s really proud of me! I was beaming!
So now, I have to figure things out. I really would love to have surgery in 2015, because I’ve met my deductible. Waiting until ’16 means a whole new one, which I dread. So, now I do some math and figure out what I can do. Jackie did tell me that once I’m approved, the approval is good for six months, so if I can’t have surgery until next year, they won’t have to resubmit, so that’s something.
If anyone has any input, or any dollars for that matter, let me know! I’m not above begging and panhandling at this point, if it saves me from another GD deductible!
Don’t worry, be happy!