Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sleep Study

So on to the sleep study portion of this story. L's sleep study was scheduled for a weekend night. We chose the Leominster office because it's closer than the Concord office. It's in the plaza with the RMV and the hotel where they held the info session we attended. The last building on the left before BJ's Wholesale Club, front right-hand corner as you're facing it, up the elevator, top floor. J & I drove her there for her 8:30 appointment. We sat with her while the doctor was with another patient. Then he showed her to her room. She was super nervous, so he let J & I go in with her while she got settled. She'd worn her pajamas there, so she didn't need to get changed. She had a nice little room with a big TV. We stayed with her for a little bit until she felt comfortable, and then we left.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Met the Surgeon

As I was saying in my last post, we all had our appointments to meet the bariatric surgeon the day after K & I had our upper GIs. What happens on surgeon appointment day is this. He does his consultation visits on Thursdays. So you sign in and then go sit in the waiting area with the other people waiting to see him. Sometimes that takes quite a while, from what I've heard. Ours didn't take that long, though. Enough to watch a little bit of waiting room TV. I don't remember what it was that day. Probably Family Feud with Steve Harvey.

Have I talked about the waiting area yet? It's pretty nice. Low key, and it has mostly extra large seats in case you need them. At 5' 9" and ~255 lbs, I can sit comfortably in the big chairs with my purse sat next to me on the seat. Not squished next to me. Just sitting beside me like it's a bench. Nice. I guess it would be awful for the really high weight people to not be able to fit in a chair at the weight loss doctor.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

October Appointments

I'll get to October in a second, but I was just noticing how it doesn't look like there were as many September appointments as it felt like. But scheduling between the girls & I, while I was in physical therapy twice a week, K is working full time and going to college part time, and K, L, and my son J all had eye doctor and dental visits during the month was basically exhausting. Plus L turned 25 at the end of August and I turned 45 at the end of September. So there's that. Did I mention that we only have the one vehicle (my '97 Blazer that doesn't start when it's raining)? And L & J don't drive, So I have to drive to all the things.

I also forgot to add that after our initial appointments we had to get blood drawn for a million tests they do. They do the tests in a lab upstairs from the office. You don't have to go over to the hospital itself.  Once you get in the chair, they come over with a basket of blood vials. And all three of us were thinking the lady was just going to take a couple of them out to use. Nope. That whole little basket is for you. I hope you have a lot of extra blood. LOL. So that was fun.

Friday, November 21, 2014

More September

So last night I said I would talk about October and November weight loss surgery appointments next, but I completely forgot to mention the appointments we had in September that weren't for me.

When you go to the first appointment and you're filling out paperwork, one of the things you fill out is a sleep apnea self appraisal. You answer questions about how likely it is that you will find yourself falling asleep various situations, such as driving, sitting in traffic, while waiting for something, if you lie down in the afternoon, etc, and how often you find yourself waking up during a typical night. . They use this to determine whether or not you need to have a sleep study done.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

September Appointments

So in September, we were still getting the kinks worked out of scheduling all our appointments together, plus I had started physical therapy for my frozen shoulder. But the appointments I had in September were:

H. pylori test to see if I have ulcer causing bacteria. You can't have anything to eat or drink for at least an hour beforehand. I didn't realize that was the test I was having, so I drank flavored water in the car. When I got there, James and Keisha were just like "oh. well if you want, you can just sit here for an hour and then have it." So I did.

First Appointments

About our first gastric bypass surgery appointment with the Emerson Hospital weight loss program:

Keisha called the three of us in August (2014) to set up our initial appointments. We asked to come in together, so it took us a little longer than normal to get in there. But we got in before the end of August. Two at the same time, one afterward. I saw LeBron, and IIRC the girls both saw Hilda. They basically just weigh you, check your BP, get some history, and then go over the information from the meeting about the differences between the surgeries, and what to expect from the program. And you find out whether or not you have to do the six months of dietician/nutrition meetings before you can have the surgery. (Yes, Medicaid requires it.)

Information Session

So July rolled around, and the girls & I went to an information session about Emerson Hospital's gastric bypass program, at the DoubleTree Hilton in Leominster, MA.

We got there, and having never been inside the hotel, had no idea where to go. So we basically stood around looking lost, and kind of wandered over to the front desk. Kerri (coordinator of the program) intercepted us, asked what we were there/looking for, and introduced herself. She showed us where the meeting room was, and warned us that for the first time since they'd been holding sessions there, there was some kind of event going on out in the hall outside the room. So we had to walk through that to get to the meeting room. I kind of wanted to snag a glass of champagne and some celery sticks from the food they were passing around, but I was good. LOL.The people were super dressed up and kind of looked at us weird for being all casual in shorts and flip flops, but whatever. (And I say that as a social phobic fat person, so if I can whatever them, you can, too.)

The meeting room had complimentary diet soda and water! Yay! Kerri passed out information packets with signup sheets in them. And once the room filled up a bit more, she started the meeting. Dr. Lautz was in surgery. She said he would join us if he got out of surgery in time. Kerri went over a lot of the information about the program with us. Emerson offers Lap Band, Sleeve and Gastric Bypass options. Kerri went over them all. There is a program fee, payable just before surgery of $250 beyond what your insurance pays. This is to cover the information sessions and outreach stuff. If you can't afford that, you can get financial aid for it. they can set you up to pay it in installments.* Kerri and Dr. Lautz said it's one of the lowest fees for a bariatric program in the area. (I have no idea what UMass or anywhere else charges, though, so...)

Dr. Lautz did arrive mid-meeting. He's pretty nice. Operating at a slightly higher speed than everyone else, as surgeons seem to do. LOL. He took over the presentation and answered any questions people had about the program. Differences between the surgeries, hospital stay, whatever. Then at the end of the meeting, anyone who was interested in continuing filled out the signup sheet and gave it to Kerri. She said they would process them and get call us within a few weeks.

*It was my original understanding that there was financial aid for the program fee. After calling all over hell's half-acre, we have learned that there is not. They will allow you to make payments on it. Susan, the financial coordinator, said that they like to have $100 paid prior to surgery, and that they will work with you on the rest afterward, if there is a financial issue. Otherwise, you pay the $250 at the consent signing appointment before surgery. Thus, if you change your mind and drop out of the program before that, presumably you won't have to pay the fee.

The Beginning

So here's how we started our bariatric journey.


I'm going to say it right here at the outset. I'm terrible at keeping up with blogging. But I think my family is in a unique, situation as far as gastric bypass surgery, so I'm going to try and write it down.

I will be having a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in April of 2015. My daughter and her best friend are having it done in March. I'm 45, the girls are 25 and 24 (but will be 25 in a few weeks). Both girls live with me and my 22 year old son.