Whew, this process was so long for me (12 months) and now I'm waiting on the insurance company to call. My surgeons office called Friday and said they put through all the paperwork. The scheduler told me a month ago that my insurance company is one of the easiest to work with because they respond in 24-48 hours. Well, today is the 2nd day. Wouldn't you know that I have to attend a work retreat today! So I figured out how to forward my work phone to my cell phone, that way when I'm on a break, I can check for messages. I tell ya, it seems like it's taking forever but I know it's only been two days! I guess it's because I had to go through this lengthy process of counseling for 12 months. Keeping my fingers crossed that I get the call today!
I have been a member of the Verticalsleevetalk.com forum since December 2011. I log on almost every day to see if there is new information to learn -- and there always is. In April of 2011 I learned that my insurance company (Anthem Covacare) paid for the VSG, but I would have to complete a 12 month counseling process. At that time, I really didn't know if I was going to have surgery. I found a WLS doctor near my home and made an appointment to visit and find out more information. I talked to his surgical coordinator and to the doctor in person. When I met him, I did not get a good feeling but I ignored my initial feelings and thought I was just overwhelmed with information.
I talked to my assigned counselor twice a month. There was a 4 week period where I dialed in to a group conference on the telephone. It wasn't until September or October that I really got serious about surgery. In December I found this forum and became a "peeper" and read for a while until I had questions and then joined.
I found out that a friend of mine was having the gastric bypass in December. I couldn't get a hold of her until late January and she told me about her journey. She wanted the bypass because she wanted the dumping effect. She said that she needed the reminder of what not to eat. Anyway, she told me about the doctor she went to and I had not hear much about him. Turns out he used to be partners with the doctor I had chosen -- even showed my doctor how to do the surgery lapriscopically!
Then in March I contacted my doctors office and asked them what else I could do to get ready for May 2, when the insurance company would be making their decision. The nurse scheduler told me to get a psyc eval and that I had to pay the $1000 to the doctor that was required before surgery. I hit the roof because I was not told this. She said the money was to pay for his fitness gym and additional appointments. They gym is not big at all. I kind of freaked on her and she scheduled me for another appointment with him since it had been a year since I had talked to him. I hung up and immediately contact my friend who had surgery in December and got the number of her doctor. I called and even the front desk girl was so helpful!!! I cancelled the appointment with the first doctor. I had my psyc eval sent to this new doctor - Dr. T. and was told to attend an orientation. Dr. T's PA did the orientation and I learned nothing new but had to go through the process. Next, I had to get an endoscopy which went very smoothly and 4 days later I met with Dr. T. I was blown away by his down-to-earth style. I was immediately drawn in by his charisma and his willingness to answer all my questions -- and believe me, I had a ton! His physician's assistant was just as informative. You could tell these guys knew each other well and have worked together for a long time!
Last week I finished another group session that lasted 3 Mondays. I talked to my counselor for the last time last week and on Wednesday, 5/2 she will send through my paperwork to the insurance company. The Drs. office will put through their paperwork on that day as well. I should know something by Friday, 5/4 or Monday, 5/7. I'm really scared, excited, scared, hopeful, scared, nervous!
I have waited over 14 months for my sleeve day to get here. I've been through a lot of emotions over this time period as well. Approaching the mandatory counseling with a lackadaisical attitude -- not even sure if surgery was right for me. Even got to the point of quitting and then realized that if I ever wanted to consider the surgery down the road, I would have to go through this all over again. I discovered the sleeve (was looking into g-bypass) and that peaked my interest. TI became a sponge and tried to read everything about the VSG. Got super nervous that the insurance company wouldn't approve me but they did. Then changing doctors because I didn't like the first one. Once I got my approval at the beginning of May, I was able to select my own date since I knew I couldn't have the surgery until June due to work logistics. Then waiting for June 14 to get her and now I'm almost there!!! My hat goes off to all of the forum members who had to do more than one day of a pre-op diet. I only had to do it today and I'm freakin' starving!! I've just been keeping my mind busy -- tying up loose ends at work.
I went through the panic stage over the last month, thinking to myself, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING??" I just kept the reasons I'm doing this, in the forefront so as not to lose site of the reason I started this journey. My BFF and my daughter also kept refreshing my memory as to why I'm doing this. I am 55 years old and I truly wish this was an option through my insurance 10 years ago but, hey! whaddya gonna do? LOL
Tomorrow at 9am I will begin the first day of the rest of my life and join all of you kind people on the infamous losers bench!
I have 15 more days until my surgery (6/14). I am completely calm now about getting the sleeve. I was panicked for a few months but the more I read on here, the less I fear it. There are two links I want to put in here so that later if I have to refer to them, I'll know where to go. They are both for if you fall off the wagon and need to "jump start" your sleeve again. Basics Boot Camp - http://www.verticals...ics-boot-camp/� and the 5 Day Pouch Test -
http://www.5daypouch...uchtest.com/��� I hope not to use them but they are a great resource.
On Monday, June 4, I have to attend and Educational workshop at my surgeons office. This is where I will meet a dietician and a nurse. I will also be getting a couple of tests (EKG I think, and maybe something else).
My total costs so far:
Initial Dr. Visit co-pay: $40
2nd Dr. chosen - copay: $40
Psyc Eval - copay - $40
Educational Workshop - $40
InMotion personal trainer fee (mandated by the surgeon) $120
Hospital co-pay $300
(thank goodness my insurance covers this surgery and they also cover a tummy tuck as long as it's associated with the surgery!!)
I have four girlfriends that are size 12 and lower - they've all banded to give me their unwanted clothing! What a great group of friends!! They are always sharing and trading clothes. I can't wait to join "the club."