Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Met with my surgeon today

Whew! It seemed like a forever-long wait for this day to arrive. The past couple weeks have just dragged by and I've grown more and more anxious about this appointment. Not that I was scared, just that I wanted to get things moving along.

And things definitely moved today! Here are some of the highlights:

  • Do all doctor offices over-book their schedules? My appointment today was scheduled for noon, but I didn't even get called in until 2:00. 
  • After seeing the doctor, dietian and program coordinator, I had to wait for the rest of today's RNY patients to go through their appointments (back to the waiting room). Then the surgeon gathered everyone together for a "class" where he explained in detail the surgery and answered all our questions. It was good that he did it this way, I think, rather than trying to explain it 20 times throughout the day to everyone individually. Although I wonder if there were some people who had questions that went unasked because they didn't want to do it in a group setting. 
  • I found out that I only need 4 things to complete the pre-insurance-approval process: 1) medical records (2/3 done), 2) psych eval (scheduled for 9/20), 3) medical clearance from my doctor and 4) 12 month diet history documentation. No additional testing besides the standard pre-op evaluation. 
  • My primary care physcian (PCP) has a really bad assistant. When I found out they had not sent my medical records that I requested over a month ago (in writing) I called the office today. After being on hold twice for over 8 minutes each, I finally left a message to have her call me back. When I was done with my appointment at the surgeon's office and I still hadn't heard back from her, I decided to go to the office directly - an hour+ drive. I arrived there at 4:45 and asked to see her. A message was passed along and I was told to wait. 25 minutes later I went back to the window and asked if she was available again. She'd left already! Grrrrr!!! So I was put in touch with the office manager (I assume that's who she was) and she was kissing my butt by the time I left there. I expect to hear from her tomorrow as soon as the Dr. comes in. That should take care of both #1 and #3 on the list above.
  • I'm still a bit concerned about the 12 month doctor-supervised diet documentation. I met with my PCP last September and again in January - both time we discussed my current diet and my progress. So technically I DO have 12 months worth, I just hope those discussions are in his notes. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

So once I get the above criteria met, the staff at Hurley will then submit my information to insurance for approval. After I get the insurance approval the surgery is schedule within 2 to 3 weeks. Wow! During those last 2-3 weeks I will have an appointment with the primary physician at the Hurley Bariatric Center for my "pre-op" testing which will include a physical, chest xrays, EKG, blood work and a bunch of other fun stuff.

Then I will get a date!

Something else I learned today is that I will be on a liquid diet for the two weeks prior to surgery. As fun as that sounds, it gets even better. Apparently it is some special diet that I have to purchase from the surgeon's office and it costs $130. I'm a bit leary of this little bit of information, but we'll see how it goes.

I'm happy with Dr. Obeid and his staff. He is a jovial man who has a strong faith in God. His track record for complications and deaths is outstanding (only 4 leakage issues during his first 300 surgeries - none in the past 1500 surgeries and only 1 death which was caused by a blood clot in a high-risk patient several weeks after surgery when he was at home). He's a highly respected surgeon in the state and across the nation. The staff at Hurley is highly skilled, very caring and so pleasant and kind. I am confident I made the right decision in choosing this doctor and facility.

So there's the rundown of how my day went. It was exhausting due to all the waiting and worrying, but it was also exciting because things are finally moving along.

And tomorrow is my second support group meeting. Looking forward to that - my mom and sister will be tagging along.

Talk to you soon!

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