So here's how we started our bariatric journey.
A long time ago, about 16 years now, my best friend from elementary school, T, had a bypass. She was in a size 26 at the time. It turned out really well for her, and I was considering one myself. But I procrastinate, and I'm kind of really afraid of doctors. I was even worse with that back then. So I extra-procrastinated for a few years. And then a whole bunch of shit went down in my life that I had no control over (very, very long story). I'm finally starting to crawl out of it, but it's taken over a decade.
Anyway, last year another friend of mine, B, had a bypass. And T had to have hers repaired, due to some leakage into her old stomach. I guess they didn't used to separate the stomach from the pouch? Both women told me emphatically that it was the best thing they'd ever done, and that they'd do it again in a heartbeat. T got married last weekend, btw, and she's still super thin. She looks fantastic. B is still losing, I think, but also looks fantastic. B lost over 100 lbs in 6 months.
So I thought about it again, and I decided to do some research. I live in Massachusetts. But in the middle, where there's jack nothing. AFAICT, my options for bariatric programs were Boston, Boston, Boston, Boston, and Boston, and a couple of places near Boston, or Concord. (I've since found out that there's also a program at UMass Memorial in Worcester, but that's not any closer to me than Concord.) So I went to a couple of sites. Concord being the closest, it was my first choice. SO I read up on the program at Emerson Hospital. And now that I'm further into the process, I'm glad I factored distance into the equation. You have to go to a shit-ton of appointments before surgery, which can vary according to your insurance. (I have MassHealth/Tufts Network Health, which is Massachusetts medicaid. It requires 6 months of pre-surgical visits.)
The Emerson program works in conjunction with Mass General Hospital, and apparently you can choose to have your procedure there if you're high risk or something. I'm not sure about how that works, because we're not high risk or interested in going to Boston.
The first step in the surgery process is going to an info meeting. So I checked the schedule. The girls were both extremely interested in surgery too, at this point, although K (daughter's BFF who lives here) had a lot of reservations. But after a few months of talking it over, we all got up the nerve to go ahead and coordinate our schedules and sign up for a session. They usually hold them at the hospital, but occasionally they have one at the office or at the DoubleTree Hilton in Leominster. Leominster is WAY closer to our house, so we signed up for one there in July (2014). (More about that in the next post.)