The journey so far...

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Road So Far

I have to say, the whole process leading up to bariatric surgery has been frustrating so far. Let's recap:

1) Having been thinking about it since shortly after the New Year, I finally asked my doctor what she thought of Lap-Band surgery sometime in March. To my surprise, she thought it was an excellent idea and gave me the contact information for the bariatric practice. I called and signed up for the informational session.

2) Attended the informational session in April. Liked what I heard enough to sign up for the orientation session.

3) Attended the orientation session, paid $50 orientation fee. Received "Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies" (I'm not even kidding) and a notebook with some decent info on pre- and post- surgery diet. Took a nutritional evaluation.

4) Had first meeting with MD for the bariatric practice. The doctor (who is not the one who will do the surgery) seemed knowledgeable and for the most part, he was easy to like. I'm trying to ignore the fact that he looks like he graduated from kindergarten a few years ago. That's a slight exaggeration, but he did look pretty dang young. Paid the first 1/3 of the $400 "program fee" (non-refundable, and not covered by insurance.)

Apparently, the program fee includes the cost of the book and notebook from the orientation meeting, as well as an "InBody" evaluation. This machine reminded me of those old-timey scales that used to be found in drugstores, which would give you "Your Wate and Fate." Those used to give you your weight and fortune for a penny. This one produced a one-page evaluation that told me how much I weigh, my BMI and how much I need to lose...all of which I knew before I stepped on this glorified bathroom scales. There is some other information as well, such as my body water balance (apparently in the normal range), muscle development in all four limbs (also normal) and exactly how much of my body is muscle or fat. Interesting enough, but do I really need to know this? More to the point, was it worth paying for? I'm not convinced, so far. One number that did seem potentially useful was basal metabolic rate, which is the number of calories I burn per day at rest -- 1498 kcal. I have no idea if that is higher or lower than normal.

I told the doctor that I haven't yet decided whether to have gastric bypass or the lap-band. He gave me a little more information (for instance, he said 90 percent of their surgeries are gastric bypass) and told me to do some more thinking about it. Paid $50 for the doctor visit.

The fifth and most-recent happening, I'm going to give its own post.

Anyway, I don't have a clear idea of even when the surgery will take place. One person told me six months of meetings/appointments would be required, one said four, and still another (the one who handles the insurance companies) said three. I'm hoping for three, obviously. And I'm really no closer to deciding between gastric bypass and lap-band. Maybe someone who reads this will have some advice. :)

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