Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Week 6

Today being my 6 week anniversary, or as it has been cleverly labeled as “surgiversary”, (which was clever the first 20 times I heard it said or written), I thought I would blog a bit about my progress so far, feelings, general health and where I am in my head.

To start with, I weighed in this morning at 216.2.  I believe that is a loss of 1.2 pounds from last week.  I stopped taking a prescription water pill about a week or so ago and immediately found my weight fluctuating all over the place…mostly up!  It was very discouraging to me, but I knew that there wasn’t anything I was doing wrong as far as diet goes, and I have started to exercise more now that I am this far out from surgery.  And I was right, the weight started to come down each day by small increments until I achieved this number this morning.  I will take it!  Do I wish that it was 3 pounds or 5 pounds?  YES!  But, I am hopeful I will still have some weeks like that too in the future.  Mostly, I don’t want to have to log a gain.

My general health has improved a lot.  I went on a walk at my break today and needed to tie my shoes.  I was able to just bend over and tie them.  No huffing and puffing, no blood rushing to my face because of lack of oxygen and no awkward squatting to try and find a way to balance my body without it tipping over.  It’s funny the things others might take for granted, but as for me, this was one of those NSV’s I guess.  My blood sugar has taken a dramatic jump to normal results in the past week.  When I saw my PCP last week, she recommended I take Metformin again, so I do that in the morning.  She also said I could take the lantus insulin in the evening, but only 5 units.  With the numbers being normal every time I check them, I haven’t used the insulin in the evening, because I am afraid it would go too low.  I think I will monitor them for a few more days and send her the information.  Hopefully, she will agree with me on just taking the metformin for now.  In 3 months, she will take my A1C again and I believe it’s going to be low enough to stop taking metformin.  I could be wrong, she may want me to continue it, but I guess we will see.

I am still experiencing some head hunger, which really makes me crazy!  It occurs primarily in the evenings, even after I have had my dinner.  I am not in the least hungry.  I don’t necessarily do anything about it, but I find myself looking in the fridge or the pantry as are my old habits and feeling frustrated because there genuinely is nothing there for me to eat (that I would even want to eat) and it’s just bad addictive habits.  I think this will be a demon that will stick with me for the rest of my life…

I went back to work yesterday.  It’s quite a different experience after being home for 6 weeks during recovery.  It’s not too bad.  I am having a difficult time gauging how much food to bring with me.  On Tuesday, it didn’t feel like I brought quite enough and so at the end of my shift at 6PM, I had to make up a whopping 30 grams of protein.  I used my old standby, which is shrimp, but I can’t eat that every day or I will get tired of it.  Then today, I decided to pack a couple extra small snacks and here I am at the end of my shift with a lot of extra food in my lunch box that isn’t going to get eaten today.  I just get so busy that I don’t have time or just plain forget to eat.  And obviously the absence of the ghrelin hormone means I am not feeling the hunger pangs like I used to before surgery.  I know that work and my stress levels are going to impact my progress (based off my work environment) but I will do my best to adjust.

Right now my 2 biggest obstacles are drinking enough fluids and making time for exercise.  I REALLY want to get on that treadmill.  (we have about a foot of snow outside, so no walking on those slippery sidewalks for me.  Plus it is so cold!) The nutritionist wants me to workout for 45-60 minutes a day.  If I could break that up into 2, 30 minutes workouts, I might be able to work it in, but I think they really want it to be one long workout for the full benefit.  I keep telling myself that I have put myself through a lot to get to this surgery, have the surgery and reach my goals, so making excuses isn’t really the thinking I want to have.  But, it certainly is hard to imagine finding another hour in the day without more sacrifice.  I think though, I am going to have to make it a higher priority than some quiet down time after work.  I am trying to figure this one out still.

So, that’s my progress after 6 weeks.  I am down 30.8 lbs.  It’s a good start!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!  Yesterday we had a lovely family event for Christmas Eve.  Everyone that lived in the area was able to come over and celebrate with us. Of course, my sons, Jordan and Trey were not able to be there because Jordan is in Hawaii now and Trey in the mission training center.

I did get some very nice photos though, and thought I would share on this post.

Here is my husband and I
We woke up to a snowy morning.  It actually started the day before so we accumulated a lot before Christmas Eve,
My two oldest sons.  Brandon on the left and Jeremy on the right.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that my face and overall body appeared better in the photographs.  I was concerned about that to be honest.  Since I have to go back to work on Tuesday, I feel a little bit of anxiety that I will be gone for 6 weeks and have nothing to show for it.  I know that I have some body dysmorphia and probably always will, but these pictures made me feel good about my progress.

The past week has  been a bit hard on me.  Mainly because Trey is gone for 2 years and  this big house seems very empty without him.  I tried to stay busy though and focus on getting ready for Christmas.  I also had 3 doctors appointments.  First of all, I saw Rachel, the surgeon's PA concerning my progress. She was pleased and said I was doing well. She doesn't want to see me again until February 1st.  After that, I met with the nutritionist, and she laid out the plan for the next 3 months.  Basically, I can eat most things except for pasta, bread, starchy vegetables and crackers.  I expected that to be the case and I understand why.  These kind of carbs are my trouble foods anyway, so it would be best I avoid them until I can get my weight where I need it to be.

I also visited with my primary care physician on Friday.  She is pleased with my progress too.  In only 1 month my blood sugar went from an A1C score of 10.2 to 7.8.  I am hoping to get below 7 or even a 6 at my next appointment in March.  My blood sugars have been very low in the past week.  And when I say low, I mean NORMAL!  Sometimes under 100 and normally, all under 110.  I can't even believe it.  I am taking Metformin again once a day and a quarter of the dose I used to take.  I am not giving myself any insulin injections now because I would be too worried about low blood sugar because that can be something rather difficult  to manage.  Especially since I am going back to work this week.

I guess I haven't talked about weight loss.  Especially since week 5 officially occurred 5 days ago.  My weight has been a strange thing.  I am tracking my food everyday and know that the protein is where it should be, as well as calories (although I am not really tracking calories), and my weight actually went up.  Its my own fault for weighing myself every day, but I also know I am not likely to quit that habit.  At least one day in the week, I was down to 117.4 lbs.  That's nearly 30 pounds lost since surgery!  It will be interesting to see where I end up this week because it seems like the weight isn't changing much.  I know its all to be expected from time to time.

My husband got me a new Fitbit Charge 2 for Christmas and I am rededicating myself to getting on the treadmill while its snowy and icy outside and then I will hit the pathways and roads in the spring when the weather improves.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

An emotional Week

I didn't get my one month results in for week 4 this week, but I will weigh myself tomorrow to make that official.  With our trip to Salt Lake City this week, I wasn't home to weigh myself and to be honest, have been a little depressed since then.  It's to be expected, I said goodbye to my youngest son for 2 years.  I am proud of him, but do feel very emotional at this point.

Anyway, the week has been difficult as far as weight loss goes.  I suppose it's adjusting to eating soft foods and salt in the food and how I retain water.  I am not really sure.  I know there is something about the 3 week stall, and I suppose that I could have done the 4 week stall instead.  But, I can't seriously have supposed that I continue losing at the same rate I was previously.  I imagine that wouldn't be very safe.  It sure was exciting though!!

Tonight was the first time since my surgery that I vomited after eating.  I made myself a lovely piece of cod and some asparagus.  I am not quite sure what happened but about 1/2 way through I started to feel so very full.  I did get up and put the remainder away and just felt the worst sensation of being so full that it was painful.  I knew I needed to try and take the "top" off of what was seeming to feel like it was sitting at the top of my sleeve or the opening to my sleeve, and before I knew it, the entire contents of my sleeve was up and out.  It was pretty bad too.  I discovered that there was no bile, which is a good thing and part of the worst when having to vomit, but I also felt like I was going to choke before I could get through the process.  Ugh...awful moment.

I am still having a very difficult time with my liquids.  I am hard pressed to get in 64 oz a day, let alone 1/2 that amount.  Tomorrow, I am going to make a concentrated effort to get it accomplished.

This past week I decided to make some traditional Christmas cookies.  Of course, since I am not tempted by sweets, I didn't have much difficulty avoiding just eating one.  They were really fun to make though.  All eaten up now too, since we offered them as part of my son's open house refreshments. 

 One thing I have enjoyed this week are homemade soups.  This is a white bean soup that I made in my crock pot.  It was quite delicious  I will add the recipe to my collection to share.  I froze a bunch of small portions of it so I can eat it later on too.  

While in Salt Lake City, my son wanted to eat in a special restaurant that overlooked temple square.  It was a lovely restaurant, but a bit overpriced.  I knew that whatever I ate, it would only be a small portion...and I was correct!  But, I did have the /salmon.  There were mashed potatoes and a balsamic/cranberry sauce at the bottom that I avoided for the most part, but the fish and asparagus were tasty.  I ate about 1/2 of that.  It was sort of a waste of money, but the occasion was special, so I am going with that.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Week 3 Results

I am happy to report that I lost another 5 pounds this week, bringing me to a total loss of 26 pounds since my surgery.  Yay!

The past 3 weeks have been sort of like an eternity and yet really fast.  I am not sure if that makes any sense, but now that I can eat soft foods, I think things will start to normalize.

This morning I made a poached egg and had 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce with 1 T unflavored protein powder.  The first bite of the egg was delicious, but then as it progressed, it made me feel a little queasy.  I am not sure if that was due to the vsg or if it was just me.  In the past, eggs have, at times, made me feel a little nauseated after eating them.  The applesauce's texture wasn't right after adding the protein powder.  It did give me an additional 10 grams of protein, however.

For a mid morning snack, I wrapped a string cheese in 1 oz of ham.  This really went down more like a meal.  But it also added another 12 grams of protein, so that's good!  I think next time, however, I want to heat it up so the cheese is more gooey, or soft.

I am not sure what I am going to do for lunch today, but tonight I plan on making the Ricotta bake I found at this link.  I have not enjoyed too much ricotta in the past, but am hopeful that if I don't care for it, my son will love it and finish it off.  It sounds like it would be a noodle-free lasagna,

Making Changes

I decided for a change of plan.  I still had today left of the full liquid diet and decided that I am ready to move to the soft diet.  I need to eat food!  The trick will now be making sure I eat enough protein and drink enough water.  And that will be a trick!  But, I am determined.

I started the day out with:
1 egg
.5 oz cheese
.5 oz ham
I made an omelet with it.  It came to only 10-11 grams of protein.  Considering I need to get in 60-80 grams a day, I have a long ways to go.
Plates are about 5-6" 

Sugar free jello Pudding cup
2T unflavored protein powder
This came to 10 grams of protein and it puts me at 21 so far for the day.

So far, I have drank about 24 ounces of water.  I better get on it!  I will check back in later.

I finished the day out pretty good.  For lunch I had 2 oz Tuna fish and 2 oz cottage cheese.  The tuna was a bit dry even though I added some mayonnaise into it.

I couldn't quite finish it all...

I had an afternoon snack which went down really well!  I made a deviled egg and was able to eat all of it.

Dinner was 2 oz of tilapia and 1/2 small zucchini.  I foil wrapped it and baked it all together in the oven.  The zucchini was my favorite part, although the protein is what I needed more of,  The fish seemed really dry to me and so I tried to make a simple sauce using some butter, lemon juice and garlic,  It helped.  I am sure that butter isn't something I should be eating too much of, but in the big scheme of calorie and overall fat content is pretty low, so I don't think it was a bad thing.

Overall, it went pretty good as far as first day eating goes.  There were moments of queasy, but they went away fairly fast.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Keeping hydrated

Getting enough fluids in each day is the bane of my existence right now.  I seem to be able to drink about 8 ounces in a sitting if I focus on it, but I sure do get tired of water.  I have even been adding some flavored additives to make it interesting, but I am so tired of sweet things.  I don't intend to sound like I am complaining...but drinking enough in a day is concerning.

I am only talking about 64 ounces here.  You would think I could manage this, but I barely make it by bedtime, and sometimes I don't.  I have to set a goal now that I WILL drink enough and get up and move more, because I am really starting to see the problems with my BM's and the way I feel in general.  I also need more exercise.  I am sure that would make a big difference in the way I feel and my body chooses to respond.

In the evenings I have been craving a dill pickle.  I haven't broken down and actually eaten one as of yet, but I have taken some sips of pickle juice.  I think that's pretty strange.  I think I am craving the salt, to be honest.  I do get in my cup of chicken broth every day.  It's really been the highlight of my day so far.  Once again, salt....

Today, I am trying to drink a full premier protein shake in one sitting.  They are 11 ounces.  I am tired of remembering to drink 1/2 four times a day.  Evening creeps up and I don't get that last ounces in.  Not good.  My son and I have a lot going on today though, and I don't want the worry of whether I got enough protein or  drank enough water while I am busy.  He leaves for his mission next week, and we still need to pick up a few items to pack.  Plus, we have been wanting to see a movie together today sometime.  Snow is in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow, and I'd really like to stay home where it's warm and dry tomorrow.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Awaiting soft food stage

The days keep rolling by and I am waiting with anticipation to start eating some normalish foods again. On Wednesday I get to start my soft diet plan. It will be nice to get to chew and roll flavors around in my mouth again!

Only one more week before Trey leaves for the MTC and his mission far away in Virginia. It will be strange here alone in this big house. We have reserved a hotel in Salt Lake City for the 2 nights preceding our taking him to Provo to say goodbye. Jim will have to work some of the time, so Trey and I will go on some walking adventures downtown. There are many historical sites to see. It should be nice, especially at Christmas time. I am going to miss him...

I have very little pain now and find for the most part am getting around fairly well. I am struggling again in getting my fluids in as I should. I am not thirsty! I know how necessary it is that I do though, so am trying. Also, protein shakes are starting to be something I want to avoid all together. I am trying there too, though, as I know I need that protein to stay healthy. If I count calories, however, I am only taking in around 300 a day. I hope that's normal?  I think my body is eating itself!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Week 2 Results

I have updated my weight chart, but I lost 8.6 pounds this week, bringing me to a total loss of 21 pounds in the last 2 weeks.  TWO WEEKS!?  It's crazy!  But, it's true!  I had my follow up appointment with the doctor today and I am doing well. They want me to continue the meds I have been taking to control my blood sugar and blood pressure, but if I find my blood pressure is going low, to just stop taking the medication.  She also said I don't need to check my blood sugars every 6 hours like I have been, unless I see it going high again above 150, but it hasn't done that in a week, so I don't anticipate that it will.

It's looking really good so far.  I don't have to return to see them for another 4 weeks.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


In looking back over previous attempts to lose weight, I am reminded of about 7-8 years ago when I decided to try the Nutrisystem program (for the 2nd time).  I had been laid off from my job and was trying to fill my life with something to focus on while I was picking up those pieces.  I decided that I would sign up for this program, shell out a whole lot of cash and make this my primary focus.  I was somewhere around 270 pounds at the time, possibly more, but I can't find any documentation at this point to confirm the exact number.  I did just as I planned and starting following their program, eating their food as outlined and supplementing where applicable,  I also started walking every morning, sometimes in the evenings as well.  And it worked.  The pounds were falling off of me and before too long I was at 250, then 230...within 5-6 months I was down around 217 pounds.  My life was back, amd my health was back, I was fitting into much smaller sizes, very physically healthy...but I stalled there.  I was sick to death of the food (it's really not the greatest food, and it's easy to tire of the same choices I made that I could tolerate), and I got a new job.  My focus shifted to the stress of the job (and it was very stressful), and I soon lost sight of my weigh loss goals.  I quickly put back on 20 pounds, and over the next year, found myself back up to 270 again.  Very depressing, but so typical.  I was able, in later years to lose some weight again, and had maintained the 245-250 range for a few years.  Which brings me to the present.

With my weight at 247 when I had my surgery, and the fact that in the last 2 weeks I have been shedding weight rapidly, I am excited.  I believe I will in no time be at that lowest weight I can remember of 217.  I don't have an official weigh in to report today, (since I weigh in tomorrow) but this morning I did see 226 on the scale.  That is crazy to me.  To lose this much weight in only 2 weeks?  But to add some perspective, I am able to do this because of the sleeve as my tool.  I have had nothing solid to eat in 16 days, but have maintained my strength and health with protein shakes each day that equal 60 grams of protein,  Without the sleeve, I would have felt so hungry and unable to take advantage of this time where my stomach is still healing and unable to accommodate very much at one time.  Plus, I have been very vigilant at following the plan exactly as outlined.  I haven't allowed myself to test my limits to see what I can actually meet.  I believe my sleeve probably could manage a little soft food right now, but I am waiting until I have the clear to move forward.  I think I am getting better results by doing this.

Have I been tempted to eat something?  Oh yes!  Head hunger is a very real thing.  The 1st time it really affected me was on Thanksgiving.  Jim had bought himself a Papa Murphy's Canadian Bacon Pizza, (my favorite).  When it was baking, I could imagine the delicious tomato sauce and cheese and how that would taste on my tongue.  It also happened a couple days later when I cooked some pork chops for him and my son.  They looked so delicious and I really wanted to have a bite and chew on them.  I am not even a huge fan of pork chops, but these would have been fantastic.  Was I hungry?  Not at all.  I just wanted to taste.  That's head hunger.  Luckily, I know my limitations and have been very fortunate to not experience any nausea so far on this journey, so wanted to remain careful and focused.

I can predict some difficult situations in my future, but right now, it feels so good to see that scale moving down every day.  In fact it's fantastic!

I am not exactly sure how long it has been since I was under 200 pounds, let alone under 210 pounds.  I believe it was in the very early 90's, when my 3rd son was young and my last son had not yet been born.  It would have been when I was living in Arizona still and joined Weight Watchers a few times.  My guess it's easily 25 years or more.  To think, I may even see that number before the end of this year?  Unimaginable.

Premier Protein Chocolate shake, blended with small banana chunk, crushed ice a PBfit peanut butter powder.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Numbers So Far

I don't know why I have been having such a hard time talking about weight loss so far.  Technically, my 1 week started yesterday since Tuesday was my surgery day, but I was also released on Thursday so I think I will make Wednesday's my official weigh in day.  And, with that being said, here is the low down on numbers so far.

On the day of surgery, I weighed in at the hospital at 247.  Last Friday when I got up and took my shower here at home after leaving the hospital, my weight was 253.  I wasn't concerned because I knew there would be fluid retention and bloating, etc.  So, this morning, when I weighed in I came in at 234.6.  The only discrepancy with this number is, I know weighing in at home, naked, in the privacy of my bathroom, is much different than weighing in at the doctor, fully clothed and wearing shoes.  But, I need a solid place I can follow numbers at and I know I will not be satisfied relying on my doctor's scale to make things official, since my visits with him will not be very frequent. So from now forward, any weight I record will be my own scale. (although, with a doctor follow up today, it will be interesting to see what the difference in numbers between scales will be.)

Week one:  12.4 lbs

I will come back and update how my 1st follow up appointment went after I get home.

My appointment went fine.  Overall, I am doing good.  I saw the Nurse Practitioner, Rachael.  She was pretty brisk, sort of a let's hurry and get through all this information so we get you out the door.  She was nice, but no one is going to be as excited on my progress as I am, and I understand that.  She was concerned, however, about my blood pressure being overly high.  And, it has been.  I told her I was taking medication for that previously, but have not since the day of my surgery.  She prescribed for me to go ahead and start taking that every day, keep monitoring and I have to come back next week to follow up with her.  She also was concerned that I am not getting my fluids in as I should, and I do know that I am not quite making that goal every day, so I am committed to try harder.  She sent me to get blood work done to make certain I don't have anything going on that could damage my kidneys, and I have to get it done again next week before my 2nd follow up appointment.

One thing that I realized today that is pretty exciting news as well, is I am now 39 BMI.  I am pretty sure I haven't been under 40 for at least 4 years, maybe 5.  Good for me!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Blood Sugar Tracking

As was my original reason for seeking information about the vsg surgery, my motivation was based on the ever increasing blood sugar I was reporting.  I had my A1C done a week before surgery and it was an all time high of 10.1.  To explain it more clearly, someone who is in this range is averaging a blood sugar glucose level of 243 every day.  Since I have been home from the hospital, I have been monitoring my blood sugar 3 times a day and supplementing as needed with insulin.  I am very excited that I see numbers like 144 or 153.  Yes, these are still higher than I want them to be, but I have not had a result like this in easily 2 years.  I feel optimism for the first time in a very long time.

Today I received flowers from my work.. They are so pretty.  The 2nd picture is the remainder of the flowers from Jim and also from Brandon's family.  Some of them were wilting so I kept the ones that were still pretty and put them together in the same vase.  Fresh flowers are so special.  I feel badly that they are just going to die, but honestly, they grow to why not sitting on my counter?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sunday night-Monday morning

Dates are running together and sleep is often very elusive for me, especially at night time. I tried going to bed upstairs in my own bed with my husband last night but only made it until midnight before I had to take my painful body back down to our oversized armchair. It's unfortunate, but my abdomen muscles and incisions were hurting so badly and laying on my side was out of the question. I will try again tonight though.

I have stopped taking the pain pills almost completely. I did have 2 of them yesterday, but considering I was taking 2 every 4 hours only having 1 -2 times in 24 hours is a big step. I was going to run out of them anyway and wanted to see what I could handle. I do still have some gas rumbling around in me and I am not sure if it is residual from the surgery or just intestinal from the liquid diet I am on. I have started taking stool softeners though because other than the aforementioned gas, I've had no bowel movements in 6 days. I also have not had a significant weight loss since surgery either but the issues just mentioned probably have a lot to do with that. I haven't been very worried about that'll come. 

My husband reminded me that I have not had any solid food in my stomach since last Sunday. I don't believe I have ever, in my lifetime, not eaten anything for 7 straight days. Of course,since I am on a liquid diet, I really have a couple more weeks of this to go through. I was watching a movie a few hours ago and a woman was eating a crunchy apple. I had the normal reaction of thinking that an apple sounded really good...and then reality slammed into my head that I CAN'T eat an apple.  It was a very weird moment. I also discovered that I am not immune to the idea of food. Yesterday I was watching food videos and even a quick trip with my husband to Walmart revealed that visually I still want food. My husband picked up a rotisserie chicken for his dinner. When we got home from the store and I opened the grocery bag,the smells wafting up into my face were so intense and rich and really overpowering. It smelled wonderful. Of course, later that day when I opened the fridge to get out my protein drink, the chicken was there and it smelled much less appealing and really offensive. I must make sure that Trey finishes that chicken off today. 

So my days now consist of, checking blood sugar in the morning.  If the numbers are 120 or higher, I am to take 10 units of lantus insulin. If they are 150 or higher, then I also take regular insulin based on a sliding scale. So far, I have only had to take 2 units at a time of the regular insulin. My fasting blood sugar yesterday morning was 138!! I honestly have not seen a number like that in a couple years at least. The doctor thinks the diabetes will go away. It is possible I will always need to monitor it now to make certain I am not over those 120 or even 150 numbers. I am not sure how that will work itself out. I also never had to give myself insulin until now because I was treating my diabetes with pills. I have learned that the process is not as daunting as I once thought.

As for food...I am required to drink 4 protein shakes a day. I was using the inspire powdered protein but after a couple days of dealing with blender bottles,  clumps and foamy drinks, I admitted defeat and my husband took me to buy some of the premier protein. It's already pre-measured and I know that 1 container is 2 shakes. I can deal with it. It simplified my process and eliminated some of the dread. So far, I don't mind the way it tastes. Probably what I do mind about "food" in this stage is that almost everything is sweet. Protein shakes, jello, popsicles, G2, crystal light...I miss savory! I was never one to treat myself overly much with desserts or sweet treats, and always preferred meat or breads or something like that.  I was actually rather shocked to discover how much I enjoy and even look forward to a cup of hot chicken broth. So nice and salty.  Pre-op, I was actually dreading that I would need to drink the broth. Now, I believe it's my favorite part!  Today, I am going to step outside of the box and blend up some canned soup I bought. I am nervous about it, to be truthful. But my diet did say I could try a bean or lentil soup. I can also have a cream soup. I just have to make certain it's completely blended.

I have started a very weird habit. I get these little gasps of air, perhaps they are yawns or just sudden intakes of breath, and I immediately stifle them with a little suck in of breath. It's not even conscious, until after I realize I just did it. It's super strange. I think I am trying to protect my new little tummy from any pain or expansion?   I also find it very odd that I will sip on some liquid and it seems to go down just fine, and then a few minutes later, I get a very tight and uncomfortable pressure that stretches across from shoulder to shoulder. I have to hold my breath for a few seconds until it passes. It's no wonder it's such a struggle to get in all the liquid I need in a day.

Well, this is pretty fair recap of my journey so far. Today, Jim heads back to SLC for work and may be gone for a couple days. Trey is home with me though, and I am going to put him to work this morning. This house is a wreck and I am tired of seeing it this way. I shall sit on the couch and supervise him. He'll love it!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Day 4

It took most of the day, but I finally came home yesterday in the late afternoon. The doctor was concerned that I wasn't drinking enough, and I wasn't, but that is definitely a struggle. Additionally, the fact that I haven't peed that much was also a concern. I see what everyone was talking about. It's very difficult to drink all the time. There's no room for it all!  As of this afternoon, I am setting my timer for every 15 minutes so I can work through this cup of water that has been taunting me. 

Last night was pretty rough. I was in quite a bit of pain and much I can attribute to gas pains. I started sleeping upstairs in our bed,but it seemed so flat and difficult to get comfortable. I was able to fall asleep with much pillow propping but at 11:00 pm I woke up in a lot of pain and needed to roll over. I flopped around to the other side, but that became even more painful, so I gathered up my necessities and went downstairs to try and see if I could get some rest, sitting up on the couch. Trey happened to be coming to bed about that time so he helped me downstairs and got me situated. 

And sleep came. It was good. And I woke up this morning feeling so much better!

Today I have been getting around pretty well and drinking water. Some very exciting news is I checked my blood sugar and it was 151!! I haven't had it that low in such a long time!!  Of course, when I checked it a 2nd time 6 hours later, it went up to 166. Still, it's better than the 200+ levels from before. I now have to take insulin until I can get my blood sugar back down to normal. But, it's only day 4, so it all takes time and is a process. 

Last night, when I was sore and couldn't get comfortable, I felt so overwhelmed!  I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into. Today, I feel much more optimistic and knowi v
Can manage this. Just have to remember to sip, sip, sip! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Day 2

Day 2  started out pretty good, but once they took the catheter out I couldn't urinate by myself. That evening around 7:00 PM the nurse had to put a new catheter in and it was not fun at all. I also started in on extreme gas pains in my stomach., back and neck. I was fairly miserable all night and couldn't find a comfortable position. One of the nurses located me a heat pad and that helped somewhat.  Finally at 6am I asked the nurse if I could get up and walk around. She helped me tuck the catheter up out of sight and I did a couple laps around the ward.  I was still in a lot of pain, but it was time for my pain medication s I asked to sit in a chair instead of getting back in that bed. Now that they have taken me off of the pain pump, I am no longer in that pain-free, rosy place where all is easy.

I have found that ice chips are my friend. My throat keeps going so dry with a lot of nasty phlegm, but the ice chips are helping to keep that lubrication gong.  They have the chewy ice too that is easy on my teeth. I think sonic sells this stuff by the bag so I think I will see if we can pick me up some when I go home.

Now I am starting day 3. I'm not sure if I get to go home today because the catheter issue might have set me back a day. But I am hopeful that walking will help.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


I am officially on the other side. My surgery weight is 247. 

My husband Jim and I arrived at the hospital on the15th of November around 7:15 to get me checked in for surgery. Everything seemed to work as planned with my surgery time of 9:30 AM. Everyone was very nice and thorough and before too long I was being wheeled to the OR. Up until this point I had very little anxiety and in fact had not needed any medication to relax me, but once they put me over onto the surgical table, I did begin to feel some anxiety. It really didn't take very long from that point that they had me breathe in some oxygen and I was losing consciousness. 

The next thing I remembered was waking up in recovery, needing to cough and having a painful heavy feeling in my upper left side. A nurse was there, talking me through everything and giving me pain medications to ease my discomfort. She was great. My blood sugars were a whopping 389 though!  The nurse gave me a small chunk of ice to roll around n my mouth and it was heavenly.   Eventually she was able to assign me to a room on the 6th floor.  At this point it was 2:30 in the afternoon so I had spent 5 hours between surgery and recovery. 

I was still in quite a lot of pain, but the nurse had hooked me up with a pain pump so that I could self-administer pain medicine as needed. When they had to transfer me over to my new bed it was quite shockingly painful for a moment, but improved quickly. 

Jim was waiting in my room and after the nurses left him and I alone for a few moments he told me what Dr. Korn had shared about the surgery. It all went fine except for the fact that my spleen was connected to my stomach because it was sharing some blood vessels and tissue that had strangely developed, so they needed to remove some of my spleen.  Because of this, I was on total bed rest that day, and unable to start walking around or drinks no any water or food. 

I really am not in any way hungry and they did supply me with a small sponge and a cup of water that I can use to moisten my gums and tongue,and that has helped immensely. Plus, they provided me with an oral spray that hydrates my mouth as well. 

It was great to see my husband and visit with him. I am sure it was difficult for him to see me so highly medicated and in some pain.  Dr. Korn came in to fill me in the details of my surgery and indicated that because of the little complication, I would likely stay an additional day. 

Jim left for a couple hours to let me get some rest, and the groggy way I was feeling I soon did. He returned later with Trey and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Soon after that Brandon, Elisha and their darling little grandsons came to visit, also bringing another gorgeous bouquet of flowers. 

Jim said goodbye to me about an hour later and I have been in and out of it ever since. I am fortunate in that I haven't had any nausea so far. The gas pains have been minimal. I haven't had to swallow anything yet, so it's been a true day of fasting. The strangest experience so far is that I must be swallowing some air and my sleeve doesn't have the capacity to hold it, so I can feel it working its way back up with little burps. 

It's 2:14 in the AM as I am writing this so I should probably try to sleep some more. The nurses check on me frequently so there isn't solid sleeping as it is   I did want to mention before I end though is that they are giving me insulin and my last reading was 250. Crazy high numbers. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Pre-Surgery Appointment

Last Thursday I had my pre admission and pre surgery appointment with the surgeon.  This is finally happening!  I found the building downtown after I was re-routed 3 times due to wonky streets in downtown Boise.  The pre-admission process was really simple.  They wanted blood, asked my medical history and that's about all.  I then went to the surgeon's office to meet with him.  I expected an exam of some sort, but nothing like that occurred.  He spoke with me about stopping certain medications the day before and day of surgery and my liquid diet the day before.  So, I asked him a few questions I had prepared:

  • When should I exercise?  Gradually, as I feel I am ready.  Mostly walking to begin with
  • How long in hospital?  2 nights most likely
  • CPAP? Use at least a month after surgery
  • Next visit after surgery?  one week
  • Constipation or gas pains?  Colace for constipation and walking for gas
  • What should my goal weight be?  170 to start--don't be wrapped up in numbers
  • What medications?  He gave me a few to avoid the night before and morning of.
Next Monday I will go to a pre-bariatric surgery workshop.  It lasts for 2 hours on the eve of my surgery.  I invited Jim to come with me, but it is doubtful he will want to come along.  And, that's fine.  He is my support system, but quite honestly, he also will not be around that much in my 1st 6 weeks because his job takes him away.  I think I am pretty self-efficient enough to handle everything.  I also have Trey here during most of it if I get in a pinch.

I am going to be off work for 6 weeks!  What a wonderful thing!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I have my surgery date

It's been a fairly drawn out process, but I finally have my surgery date!  Pre-approval came through on Monday and yesterday, the nurse called me to say they were ready to schedule me.  I am going to have this done on November 15th.  That is 2 weeks away!  This Thursday I need to go have my pre-op appointment.  They will run some lab work, and EKG and I am not sure what else.  Then after that, I will meet with the surgeon and he will do my last exam before surgery.  I also do not know what to expect at that appointment, but at this point, I am up for what they bring.

What a relief to have it in the works now!

I feel like I have a lot to do before.  I am not even sure where to start, but I think it's going to be quite a ride.  Oh!  The nurse did say the doctor would prefer 4-6 weeks before returning to work.  I told her that my work will pay for the full 6 and she advised that be what I take then.  With that being the case, since the 11th is a holiday, the 10th is my last day of work.  I have tons of stuff to get done at work before I leave.  It looks like I won't be back until the Tuesday after Christmas.

Its time to get ready for work, so I will just leave this here.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

With today being Day 7 of the wait for pre-approval for my weight loss surgery, I took the initiative to make some phone calls this afternoon.  I first called the surgeon’s office to enquire if they had heard anything.  They hadn’t, but reminded me that bluecross blueshield can take 2 weeks to process pre-approvals.  So, I called the insurance company and it was there!  The woman I spoke with said it just showed up a few minutes ago and so she opened it up and read the approval letter to me.  Yay….I quickly called the insurance specialist at the surgeon’s office, but it went to voice mail and it was in fact about 15 minutes to 5, so I don’t expect anyone would answer the phone.  I believe I can assume I will be getting a call tomorrow to schedule my surgery date.  Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Blah Day

I challenged myself to re-read my blog so far and find my motivation and excitement for the upcoming surgery.  My hope was to recharge my batteries and get myself back into the right groove to make this a success.  Here are my conclusions:

  • I am a moaner and a groaner
  • My weight issues have probably been directly associated to my attitudes
  • I seem like an unhappy person
  • I don’t have much stick-with-it
    My biggest thought on this realization is, I accept that I have been disappointed over and over again in life.  People have disappointed me, I have disappointed me, situations don’t always go as planned and life really isn’t a golden storybook where everything is laid out and we all live happily ever after.  I have met people that seem golden.  They glow with health and happiness, they seem to say the right thing at the right time, they appear to walk through life with little conflict outwardly, they don’t appear to be self-destructive or negative.  Amazing people who you either look up to or envy.  But, there are no perfect lives.  Everyone has trials and tribulations.  I think that some are able to handle these trials with more grace and composure.
    As for me, I am a trainwreck!
    I also have had a few comments lately from people who know me, have learned of my pending surgery and tell me that they haven’t really seen me as someone who needs a surgery like this.  I find that a little interesting because while I see myself as a behemoth, I know that I am not.  I am in a class of obesity, and seem to have no success with losing enough weight on my own or reaching a level where there is improvement with my health.  It is what it is.  I need to finish what I’ve started.
    I have a fairly good idea that once I get the call that I am all approved and ready to schedule my date for surgery, I will snap out of this funk.  So, snap out of it already!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My Pre-Op is winding down

I received news that my information was submitted to insurance on October 20th, which as of today, makes 4 business days.  The insurance average is 7-10 business days for their turn-around, which of course could be sooner, as they always want to give the longest time frame to cover all deviations.  I am expecting the 10 day scenario, but hopeful that it is less.

There is a girl at work that is about a month behind me in this process.  She has had to attend the 6 month pre-op diet classes (where I didn't have to) but she was told the doctor schedules 2 weeks out.  With all things being equal and going by that schedule, I could be looking at my surgery the week before Thanksgiving!

I almost don't know what to think or feel about everything.  I have been running on a lot of "let's get this done" energy and not very much focus on the reality of it actually happening,   I think I need to find a way to get in tune with the emotions and feelings that led up to this decision to begin with.  I think I will spend some time re-reading my previous posts and reminding myself of the whys.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Murphy's Law...again

Murphy's Law is basically the one where if something can go wrong, it probably will.  Which is me on replay...over and over again.  Last Friday, as I wrote earlier, very excitedly...the pulmonology doctor said I was released for surgery.  I point blank asked him how soon he would send that over to my surgeon.  He said he'd have his notes written up by lunch time.  I guess I should have made him be more specific on which day, lunch.  Ugh...

Two days of calling the surgeon to find out if things are ready for insurance...6 days after he told me he would fax information over...I find out he never did,.  They don't have it.  The insurance specialist with the surgeon said she would give them a call.

After about an hour of thinking about it, I also called the pulmonology office to discover...they still HAD NOT faxed it.  Then the big reveal of why they didn't became apparent when the girl on the other end said, "oh we don't have the doctor's fax number".  So, yeah.  My husband and I talked about this later...most likely someone looked at it, didn't see a fax number and added it to the bottom of the pile to be looked at another day.  Considering the things discussed in that appointment, I would have to agree that is exactly what happened because there were a couple follow up things the doctor recommended and a week later I have not heard a peep about that.  They made me do some blood work for something the doctor wanted to be looked at and he sent a new prescript over to Norco to change the settings remotely on my cpap.  None of those things have occurred,  I honestly don't care about those 2 things...but I DO care about the information getting to my surgeon,

So..while I had her on the phone, I made her wait while I LOOKED UP THE FAX NUMBER MYSELF online, and gave it to her, and she assured me she was sending it now.

Am I going to call tomorrow and check if they received it?  YES I AM.

Just frustrated.  One more week wasted.  Someday this won't matter, but right now, it matters.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Where it Stands

I finally had my appointment with the pulmonologist last Friday, concerning the results of my 30 day cpap usage.  He was pleased with the numbers I had pulled and said he would release me for surgery.  He was, however, concerned that I am not getting solid sleep at night and is afraid that there may be other reasons why this is.  I wish I had not said anything, because quite frankly, I have been this way for many years.  Perhaps all my life.  He made me take some blood tests to check my iron levels, and if they are low, he will have me take iron supplements.  If the iron is fine, he assumes it may be something else entirely and talked about a medication for parkinson’s disease,  that is supposed to help.  I honestly DO NOT want to take this medication and have been stressed ever since worrying about it.  Additionally, I have to see him again in another month to follow up with this issue.  Me and my big mouth.  If I had said all was fine, I don’t think this would be such an issue.

I am really despising the Cpap machine right now.  I can’t keep my mask on at night and I truly believe that is what is making me wake up all the time.  Last night was an exceptionally miserable night; waking about 3:30 AM and not being able to get the mask to stop leaking on me while it constantly slipped from beneath my nose.  I wonder if I need to talk to Norco about trying another mask.  There are things I really like about this one…but if it slips all night, then that is not a good thing!

So, this week I am hoping that my paperwork is getting compiled in readiness to go to the insurance company for approval.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Today I received a voicemail from the Bariatric clinic.  Say what?  This is the first contact they have made with me since my initial appointment back in July.  They wanted to know when the pulmonologist was going to send the results of my cpap over so they can get my pre-op appointments scheduled.  What?  I immediately called them back and received a voicemail (of course) and told her they moved my appointment out to 10/7 from 9/28 due to the drama with Norco.  We can read about that awfulness here.  How did this make me feel?  LIKE I EXIST!  Suddenly it feels like they might want to give me this surgery after all.  Insert big smile!

And as for the Cpap...last night I registered a 0 for my AHI.  I didn’t even know a person could do that!  I want to try and figure out my average, but I have never been over a 2, so I am assuming it’s all going to be fine.  It better be fine.  This process is really a tough one!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Life Update

Every morning I get on my scales and weigh myself.  I have been monitoring daily since I started this journey back in June.  Every morning I am within a range of a 5 pound spread.  Never has it gone over 250 and never has it gone under 240.  And, it really makes me crazy.  Not because I have been working really hard and deserve a great weight loss.  Not because I even deserve a little weight loss.  Apparently, I am eating enough calories and am sedentary enough to maintain my weight.  Maintaining sounds like a good thing, unless it’s at 100 pounds overweight!  This weight thing is such a mind game.  I have a lot riding on my hopes of weight loss surgery, and then I am not even making a true effort to lose a few pounds ahead of time to show I can do this once I get the tool to help me make it happen.  Argh! 

I feel disconnected from where I want to be and I think I need to find that place again.  Many of the vloggers I watch on youtube, that had their surgeries around the time I started paying attention, are getting closer and closer to their goals.  Of course, in watching them I realize that everyone has a difficult time staying focused and on track.  Not to mention the head games that come into play when you can't stay caught up mentally, to the progress you actually have made.  I am sure I will be the same way.  I just want to get started.

I just ended night 23 using the CPAP machine.  I see Dr. Sadaj next Friday morning (day 29) to see what he thinks of my progress.  It's been a strange few weeks.  The 1st week I really hated it, the 2nd week I hated it more.  But now, in the last weeks or so, I have got kind of used to it, and the for the most part am sleeping pretty solidly through the night.  It still wakes me up when the mask slips away from my nose and I realize it's leaking air everywhere, but I usually replace it and fall back to sleep.  I am still uncomfortable wearing it when my husband is home.  I think I feel so unattractive and goofy looking with it on.  Vanity!  But, there alone most weekday nights, I just snuggle in, get steady breathing going and drift away.

Exercise, or the lack thereof has been ridiculous.  When I started this blog, I was doing the couch to 5K.  Now, I am just doing the couch!  I guess this is normal for me in my inconsistencies with exercise.  I really need to get back to work on this.  The days have got shorter, and soon it will be dark again when I leave work.  I have to make a better commitment to doing something.  (or anyway, I should!)

My son is supposed to receive his mission papers this week, and he will be leaving me soon.  It's going to be strange being the only person in this big house most of the week.  I am extremely proud of him, however, and know this is a great step for him as part of his life.  I also realize, that the timing is pretty good,  If I AM the only one here most of the time, I can focus in on what I need for my diet (after surgery) and excepting for weekends, when Jim is home, there shouldn't be too many temptations.  I am honestly not certain how weekends are going to go.  I am not really worried about food temptations, at least at first, but I am worried about disappointing my husband when he wants to go to Texas Roadhouse for a big steak or to Luciano's for some Italian food.  At least, for a few months, I am going to really be limited in what I can eat, or even want.  I do hope I don't have those complications I have read about where no food is tolerated well and there is a lot of vomiting.  That would be a total drag.  I know I will make it through OK, but I don't want others to worry about me too much.

Work is crazy!  It's annual review time, and for the last 2 weeks I have worked like a crazy woman getting the 9 done.  I am down to 3 though, so think it's a good place to be at the end of this week.  Recently, 3 new agents were added to my team, bringing me to 12.  It is definitely a full workload.  Today is the last day of the week, and I still have 2 call evaluations to complete.  It's not that bad, but I would like to be further along at this point.

So, this is my last few weeks in a nutshell.  Not too much of anything to report I guess, but just life and how it's being lived.  Hopefully, things are going to take off soon on the surgery front.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nothing Much To Update

I have meant to come in here and update, but there hasn't been a lot to write about.  I am still in the process of logging days on the CPAP and waiting for my appointment October 7th.  Little did I know that when I started pursuing this back in June, I'd still be here playing a waiting game at the end of September.  But, here I am.  The good news is, I've finally met my deductible based off the many tests and studies I have done.  I am that much closer to my out of pocket requirements when all is said and done.  Of course, if this should drag itself our into next year, then I have to start that part of the process over again.  Fingers crossed it will be in November as I was last told.

In other news, my son's mission papers are on their way to us.  We should know by weeks end where he will be headed and when.  It's quite a milestone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

CPAP Update

Last night I completed Day 6 on my sleep therapy.  The 1st couple night weren't too bad, but Monday night I am not sure what happened, but when I woke up Tuesday I felt like death warmed over.  The therapy results say I am on target, but I felt like I had no sleep at all.  I spent the entire day walking through a tired fog and constantly yawned.  It was terrible.  I am hoping something else was contributing to the exhausted feeling.  I was concerned about dehydration, so am going to try and increase my fluid intake this week.  

This morning I woke up around 3:30, checked that the data said it was sufficient, and tossed the mask off to try and get in some normal sleep before work.  I never could fall back asleep though, so gave up on that and have been awake ever since.  So far, however, I don't feel too badly.  Nothing like yesterday.

I made a protein shake out of chocolate flavored protein isolate powder, a banana and some milk.  I had hoped to use some almond milk, but it was way past expired so I went with real milk.  Why not?  I haven't had surgery yet.

I am trying to limit carbonated drinks and caffeine as I get closer to my surgery month..  (Which I hope is November sometime).  Thinking ahead to November, and Thanksgiving being right at the end, my husband and I discussed that we might want to have a big family dinner before the surgery happens so we can gather the children home and have the turkey with all the trimmings.  I guess we will play that one by ear and see how things transpire.

Another big thing going on is my son sent his mission papers in and we are not sure when he will be leaving us for his mission. We could hear back on this at any time.

I do worry that the pulmonary doctor is going to want to continue to monitor the sleep therapy,  If that is the case, my surgery will be prolonged even longer than I was counting on.  I guess I can only hope and pray that he will be satisfied with the results.

Friday, September 9, 2016

CPAP- Night one

I went to the class to learn how to use my cpap machine yesterday afternoon, and brought it home for my first night.  The guy had recommended wearing it while watching a movie or something like that so I could be distracted while trying to adjust to the breathing.  And it was distracting.  But, I didn't...I put everything off until the last minute and it was time to go to bed.  I set the machine up and that was when I realized that I forgot to buy distilled water for the humidifier, but used tap water instead.  (will get the distilled water today).

The mask is not as terrifying as I thought it would be because they have designed a new one that seems less suffocating.  It just sits under my nose.  Of course this means no more mouth breathing, and I have to remember to breathe through my nose instead. I was going to take a picture of me wearing it, but maybe later.

So, I put the thing on and let it run and practiced not mouth breathing because it makes me breathe in and out through my nose.  If I try to breathe out through my mouth everything gets all screwy!  Kind of like Darth Vader.

I took a melatonin to help me relax and found myself getting tired.  I did fall asleep.  I admit to being glad my husband was out of town so I didn't have to experiment with him in the bed with me, although, tonight he is back in town so I guess we'll see how that goes.

How did it work out?  Well, I woke up a couple times in the night and I think that was because either the mask was bumped off my face, or I tried to breathe through my mouth, but according to the stats on the machine, I slept for 7.7 hours.  Additionally, it stated that I had good mask coverage and my AHI was at 1.  I need to look into this AHI because the results the doctor gave me and the results that the cpap tech told me are way different.  But the tech said I was calculated at a 45.  That would mean severe sleep apnea.  The doctor told me an 8, which is very mild.  Either way, I had a 1 yesterday and I believe that is awesome.  

Do I feel any better rested?  I am not sure about that.  Let's see how the day progresses.  But now, I need to go get ready for work.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

wherein, I take the matter into my own hands

I will be so grateful to put this cpap saga to bed so I can move forward with life.

I got tired of the waiting and wondering so I took control of the situation yesterday, and called my insurance company.  My question was, "why is it taking forever to get a response back to Norco on coverage for my cpap machine?"  Their reply was, "There is no pre-authorization needed to get a cpap.  If your doctor says you need it, we cover it".  I called the doctor and gave them this information and they were like, "oh, really?  Let us call them then".

Ten minutes later I get a call from Norco.  "We looked on your insurance companies website and it said we needed pre-authorization before they would pay."  I explained that I have talked to my insurance company, and they will pay.  They asked me if I would be willing to sign something that states I will be responsible for paying for the machine if they don't pay, and I said "yes" because they will pay.  So the long and short of it is, I am supposed to go there today at 3:00 to get the machine.

They better pay!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I've Been Sick

Last week I started feeling ill; scratchy throat and it was getting hard to swallow.  I felt overall, fine, so went to work as usual.  Friday after work, my husband picked me up from work and we headed out of town for a nice holiday weekend getaway.  We went to Baker City, Oregon, stayed in a motel and had dinner at the Geiser Grand Hotel.  It was really fancy.  We enjoyed ourselves.  
The glass ceiling in the dining room at Geiser Grand Hotel, Baker City, Oregon
this is a stock photo of the hotel itself.  We were there after dark, and I wasn't able to get a good all encompassing shot.  Next time we are in town, we are going to stay the night there too.

The next day we drove over to Sumpter, Oregon, to go to their annual Labor Day City wide swap meet.  It was fun to walk around and do some people watching, looking at other people's junk and being in the mountains. The highlight of the swap meet was that we ran into one of my sons there and his family.  Of course, we had to buy ice cream for everyone.  Considering we were 3 hours away from home, this was a bit of a surprise.
My son
One of the grandchildren.  Look at the cool basket I picked up showing in the foreground.

My Daughter-in-law

Another grandson

After we were done with the swap meet we talked about staying in the area another day, but in the end, we headed back to Boise.  My husband was having a bit of a company issue with one of his drivers having a broken down truck and it seemed smart to be closer to home.  Plus, I was having a real issue with an ingrown toenail that felt like it was getting infected.  When we arrived home, and I took my shoes and socks off, it was apparent this was a real issue.  I have been working on trying to get it back under control and less painful.  (and until I get this surgery going, these are how exciting these kind of blog posts will be)

As the weekend progressed, I also started to feel a bit more under the weather as well.  Monday was the holiday and this is now Wednesday and I am still out from work sick,  It's been good though...I think I needed the rest.

On the C-Pap drama front, I still have not gotten my machine with the medical supply company.  Another week rolls around and all I hear is that they are still waiting to hear back from the insurance company on approval.  Today, out of frustration, I called my insurance company and the agent told me that they don't require a pre-authorization.  If the doctor finds it necessary, they will cover it.  And, they cover it in network with no issue.  I called the doctor's office and it amounted to them saying they would have someone call me back, but I feel like I got further doing the research on my own.  If I have waited 2 weeks already and it wasn't needed....well, there's not a thing I can do about it, but I guess I am not surprised in the least.  ugh!

On another topic...I noticed a few visitors have been here to my blog,  That's a first.  I just happened to note when logging in to make this post today, for the first time in a week, that there has been a little traffic.  That's kind of cool.  Don't be afraid to leave a comment and say hello.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sleep Apnea Redoux

Insurance is great.  It covers the majority of a health issue, but it’s not without its headaches.  Here’s the lowdown on my sleep study drama.  (and only because I am in a whining mood about it all)

Saw the surgeon 7/7/2016.  Was given a list of appointments that need to be taken care of before we can submit everything to the insurance company.  Included in that list was to see a pulmonary physician.  I didn’t hear from anyone on this referral until I started making some calls to see what the hold-up was.  They finally called around 8/9 and said they wouldn’t be able to fit me in to see them until 9/14.  I freaked out a little bit because this was 6 weeks out away and I had already waited 4 weeks just to get the call from them.  I called the surgeon’s office again and they found me another pulmonary doctor, in a nearby town.  His office scheduled me in for the consult 8/11 and my sleep study was completed 8/12.  I was scheduled to follow up with this same doctor 8/24.  So, at this point, I have been playing the waiting game on this issue alone for 7 weeks (which would have been 10 weeks without the 2nd referral).

Now the results are that I have mild apnea.  The doctor tells me he wants to send a referral to the medical supply company to fit me for a cpap.  This is 8/24.  The assure me it should only take a couple days to hear back from them, once it is submitted to insurance for approval.  I wait until 8/29, and call the doctor again.  They tell me they submitted the information, but the insurance is denying the request because my apnea isn’t severe enough to warrant what they are asking.  (in other words, they don’t want to pay).  I am told they are going to send over more information that will include my other comorbidities and it shouldn’t be a problem.  (why wasn’t this done to begin with?)  So, today, 9/1/2016, I still have not heard anything so I call the doctor again.  I once more get the run-around, as expected, but finally the medical supply company calls me to say that they finally resubmitted to the insurance yesterday.  They expect a result in 7-10 business days.

The caveat to all of this is that the doctor is requiring 30 days of usage on the cpap that is positive before he will give me the approval for my surgery.

I also call the surgeon’s office, because I have not heard a peep from them since I saw them 7/7 and am not very sure they even still have me in their file since I haven’t been having monthly appointments with them to follow up on weight loss, etc.  The doctor’s nurse calls me and tells me she will have the insurance coordinator give me a call today and she can go over the details with me.

I speak with Sandra, she’s very nice and understanding and assures me that I am still on their list, she knows I want to get this show on the road, but any diagnosis of sleep apnea is serious and the surgeon will NOT allow anything to be submitted until that is resolved.  She tells me that once I get the cpap, and find that it’s working really well, (2 weeks) I should call the pulmonary doctor and see if that is enough information to give approval.  I tell her that I don’t think this doctor is going to change his policy for me.  However, I do ask her, if I am able to get the all clear on the sleep apnea….how soon could I get my surgery.  Her rough estimate was NOVEMBER.  So….I am fine with that.  I just want the rest of this to go a bit more smoothly.

I know everyone has a lengthy process to be qualified for this surgery.  I didn’t realize it would affect my emotions so much.  But I sure am on a rollercoaster!