Starting a new life at 40!

I am 39 years old and a married mother to 3 kids...

I am 39 years old and a married mother to 3 kids (19,16,&14). Numerous times over the years I have researched bariatric surgery. Each time I stop short of actually attending a seminar. Well..... I went to the bariatric surgery seminar on 06/30/15. After listening (with my very supportive husband) to the surgeon, psychiatrist, and a prior patient, I decided that I would like to pursue the vertical sleeve gastrectomy. I have my first appointment with the surgeons office to go over my insurance company's requirements on 07/28/15. I am excited. I barely qualify without a medical condition (my BMI is 41). I have Cardiomyopathy with a pacemaker/defibrillator, but that is not an "approved condition" so I will likely have to get my cardiologist to say that I need the procedure. This should be an interesting journey and I am excited to be getting it started.

First Surgeon Appt

This afternoon I had my first appointment at the surgeon's office to go over my insurance's requirements. I weighed in at 239.6 lbs, I am 5'4", and my BMI is 41. I have to do the 6 month physician supervised diet which mean 5 more monthly appointments to the surgeon's office. I need a psychological evaluation. The surgeon's office will request my last 2 years medical records from my primary care physician. Lastly, I have to get cardiac clearance.

I met with the PA and the insurance coordinator. They were both very friendly and helpful. I was a little embarrassed and ashamed by my need for bariatric surgery and they made me feel really comfortable. My next appointment is September 2nd. If all goes smoothly, I should be getting sleeved around February-March 2016.


Misc pictures to show where I'm starting at.

Psych Evaluation done

This morning I met with Dr Morgan who did my psych evaluation for surgery. It was very relaxed. He asked about family history, my medical history, and my home life. He asked if I'm an emotional eater and I was honest and said, "Yes, I tend to gravitate towards carbs and comfort foods when I get stressed". He asked why I wanted the surgery and I told him that I want to take the stress off of my heart and be healthy! He told me that he has no problem recommending me for surgery and that he thinks I'm a perfect candidate and I'm doing it for the right reasons. One me step complete! My next appt with the surgeons office was rescheduled for next Thursday, September 10th. I'll update again after that visit.

2nd Diet Plan Appt with the Surgeon's PA

I believe that was the fastest doctor's appointment I have ever had in my life. She was in and out in 10 minutes. I was weighed and had my vitals done by the nurse's aide. I lost 3 lbs last month. Most likely because I have been dealing with a kidney stone for the past 4 weeks (that is a whole different situation!). The PA came in, asked me what I've been eating, asked if I had my psych evaluation done (I have), and told me to come back in a month. It was kind of crazy! Not at all what I expected. Four more months of visits and cardiac clearance, then they will submit to my insurance.

3rd Diet Plan Appt with the Surgeon's PA

Just finished my third diet plan appointment. I gained 2 pound. :/ I am now half way through my six month plan. It seems to be going faster than I thought it would. My next appointment and my cardiologist appointment are scheduled for November. Hurry up and wait.

4th Diet Plan Appt with the Surgeon's PA

I had my 4th appointmant last Thursday. It was pretty uneventful. I get to mee a new PA at each visit. They are all very nice and they each give me great advice. They all seem to be on the same page, so it doesn't bother me. I was told I need to start eating breakfast even though I'm not hungry in the morning. I'm going to have to force myself to eat hungry or not after the surgery, so starting now will help make it a seamless transition. I have started drinking the ViSalus Protein shakes with coconut milk, chia and flax seeds mixed in. I also renewed my gym membership, so I am going to start going 5x a week like I used to.

I'm beginning to get bored with the whole waiting. My impatience is getting the best of me. The longer I wait, the more I worry about geting denied by the insurance. I will be so devastated if I am not able to get my surgery. I have 2 more monthly visits before they can submit everything to the insurance. I'm more than 1/2 way there.

Fifth Surgeon Appt

I'm getting more excited. I had my 5th appt yesterday. I have passed all of the tests and approvals. My last appointment is on January 29th and then my paperwork gets submitted to the insurance company. I am excited to see what my pre-surgery weight will be. I've been put on a more strict diet.

Last Surgeon Weigh In

Last Friday I had the last of my six monthly weigh-in appountments with the surgeon's office. My paperwork is now being submitted to my insurance for approval. I keep having nightmares that I get denied or that I have the surgery and don't lose any weight. I am obviously a little nervous. ;) I signed up for my pre-op nutrition class and will be attending this month's support group. I cannot wait to have a date for surgery.

BRS? Who has heard of it?

My dr submitted my preapproval to my insurance in February. I received a letter last week saying I had to join the Bariatric Resource Services (BRS) before they would even consider my surgery. I had to call a number and register with them, make an appointment to speak to their nurse. I did that. The nurse called this morning to go over all the same information I've gotten from my doctor's office over the last 8 months!!! So frustrating. So supposedly now I'm back in the system for approval. They will let me know in the next 45 days. My Dr's office had never even heard of this. So much red tape. The Np at my Dr's office calls me a hoop jumper and just told me to keep jumping until they say yes.

I have a DATE!!!!

My insurance approval came in the mail on Friday. I called my Dr.'s office today and I am being scheduled for May 2nd. I have my pre-op appointment on Wednesday, April 20th. It feels amazing to know exactly when my new life will begin! I am so excited! I feel like I'm nesting (like right before giving birth). I want to make sure everything is prepared for after. I already have all my liquids and protein shakes, gas-x strips, vitamins, etc. ready for my first couple of weeks. Now I'm going to start meal prepping for my family to make it easier on everyone.

How soon did you all go back to work after? My Dr said whenever I feel up to it because I have a very sedentary job. I sit at a desk and I don't have to lift anything heavier than a file folder. Four days after having my gall bladder out, I drove from California to Oregon. I'm hoping for another quick recovery.

I am SLEEVED!!!!

HW 247
SW 220
CW 217 (3 days post op)

I had my surgery on Monday, 05/02/16 and I was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday, 05/04/16. I feel great so far. Liquids are going down easy. I'm getting my 64 oz of liquids and my 60 g of protein in. I've only felt nausea once for a few moments. I'm sore, but I'm getting around really well. I haven't felt hungry at all. I could not be happier with my new pouch.

40 Year Old Starting My New Life

I was sleeved 15 days ago. I could not be happier with my new tool. I have had no complications and have been able to get my fluid and proteins down with no problems. The clear liquids (the first 7 days) was a challenge because I got tired of all the things I was drinking. Since then, everything is great. I am very excited that my journey is now started!

HW 247
SW 220
CW 208 (Down 12 lbs in 15 days)

5 Months Post Op

I was sleeved on 05/02/16. I've had no complications. Best decision I've ever made.
HW 247
SW 220
CW 154
GW 140
Dr. Matthew Coates

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