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!