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Thursday, April 2, 2009

4/2/09 The Nitty Gritty

Well, as you know, yesterday was one awesome day! I want to capture the details of what happened here (and there are some ‘points for learning’ for you newbies…if I didn’t scare you off yesterday). Let me unravel my story...(K)nitty gritty...unravel....moving right along....

First, my ‘many messages’ I left at the surgeon’s got through finally and I received a call Tuesday (saying the ins. gal was in clinicals all day). We went through my papers again and I asked again if the Pulmonary paper (from my visit in FEB.!) showed up and it had (take matters into your own hands…I’m glad I called them directly). Suddenly, the Sleep Lab results weren’t in my file (I faxed these myself in March and I had already confirmed they were in my file). So it pays to go through the whole file more than once, as this was the third time. We hung up and I got a call back from her saying the ins. gal had just dropped in and she was to tell me if I got all my papers in tomorrow, then she’d call me with a date (so she got that phone message too…I’m probably on the ‘favorite patients’ list by this point).

So on to yesterday. I was at the PCP office a little after 8am and was taken in. I had a new smiling nurse! She weighed me (about 10# above the BMI min.) and I’d lost 3# since the last visit for a total loss of 9 pounds over the 6 months, which was perfect (they asked me to lose about 5-10#).

Then something amazing happened! The nurse turned to me and said “Are you getting excited for your surgery…do you have a date yet?” I told her I’d get my date today and she said “You know I had the same thing done?” Holy Cow…not a big deal for most of you I’m sure, but it dawned on me that she was the very first person I’d met in person who has the Lap Band! I was SO excited! She told me her experiences and must have said 10 times “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done!” Without asking, she lifted her shirt and showed me her tiny scars (the only one that you’d even notice is the port one). She was babbling on and I was lapping it up when another nurse knocked for some help from her and she left me with well wishes, an offer to call her if I had any questions or needed help, and a big hug! Those few minutes made my day!

My usual CRNP I’ve been seeing for the weigh in’s was next and she was over-the-moon excited for me! She had one piece of bad news…the Letter of Medical Clearance and Necessity wasn’t ready. Yes, the letter that I’d given a sample of with my information already filled in to the other CRNP at my 5th visit…then called 2 weeks later to make sure this CRNP knew about it and would have it ready for me at this visit (and she said it was already in my file). Well, the letter had been done, but they used their own form letter for this and my name was at the top, but they’d left another ladies name in the body. She was so apologetic as she told me there weren’t any doctors in until 9am to sign it. No biggie, I’ll wait the 40min. (NO WAY was I not getting my date today!). Well, 9 came and went (I tried not to pace in my head) and about 9:30 she brought it out whispering apologies and that the doc was late…I didn’t care, I was so happy! Newbies…I should have had her fax me a copy when she told me it was in the file. Oh, and anyone who gets migraines, I got a non NSAID prescription just in case.

I flew home and sent my fax to the surgeon with the three last attachments (monthly form, the PCP letter, and the sleep study-again). I called there to just to make sure it came through, and she told me that the ins. gal just came in to get my file so she must have it. A torturous hour later I finally got the call from the elusive ins. gal….my heart was beating SO FAST…and then it happened…..

We were a few words into the call and….SCREEEEEECH! HUMMMMMM! I’m thinking ‘What’s that sound?!!....a fax machine?!...Why won’t it stop?!’ She tries to talk SCREEEEECH! HUMMMMMMM! Oh, Dear Lord! I LEFT THE FAX MACHINE PLUGGED IN!!!! As I’m running upstairs and down the long hall I’m trying to yell ‘HOLD ON!’ between all the screeches. I hear little words from the other side that make me think she’s getting irritated when I yank the plug. I tried to make a small joke…something about not obviously not using the fax machine often…nothing, not even a peep (I’m thinking now I’ve made it to the ‘Patients Hall of Shame’ bulletin board in her office). After a pause she goes into her schpeel as I’m frantically running back down the hall and back downstairs (trying not to pant too loudly…didn’t know I could still run that fast) where I’d lain out my calendar with all the events and dates DH is traveling (I was wondering why the fax machine didn’t go off when the other asst. called back that second time…probably because it was only a few seconds call…and why did I forget to unplug that stupid thing for an important phone call…then I slapped myself back to focus on her words). She asked “When do you want to get this done?” I wasn’t prepared for that (I thought she’d just give me a date and I’d say whether it worked or not). So I stammered something about “How long is the pre-op diet?”…pause, she must be so done with me…“or isn’t there one?” “No, there’s no pre-op diet.” OK, why don’t I give you the dates that don’t work and we can start there.” I mentioned the bad dates the next two weeks (which left me with 4 dates) and she came back with a date in the third week…well it worked, so I’m thrilled! She told me she’d send to the insurance today and told me the nurse would call me to set-up a physical. She was about to hang up when I asked about the pre-op class. “You haven’t taken that yet?” “Well, no.”…they told me I couldn’t until you set my date…no, I didn’t say it…didn’t want to press my luck. So she told me when/where to come next week and I didn’t let her get away without profusely thanking her until she was laughing…probably a little over the top, but…my approval is still in her hands.

So the rest you can guess…there was dancing and merry-making involved on my part! I called the only person I’m telling, DH who was so thrilled, but also told me he’s not really celebrating until the insurance approval…party pooper (he just doesn't want me to get dissapointed)…God love him, he’s a worrier. So I called my friends right here! Party at my house!!!!

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In response to many Comments:

Thanks SO much gals! Yea, this was my detail that I wanted to remember, I did the fun & excitement blog yesterday...I'm still doing the happy-dance!

MIGRAINES: I take Amitriptyline daily as a migraine preventative, but I've had a few in the last week for the first time since I started the preventative in Nov. (do you think it's the stress of this week LOL?). When I get them I just use an OTC like Excedrin Migraine. I can't take that anymore once I'm banded as no NSAIDS are allowed (I believe most/all docs follow that rule because they can cause stomach ulcers). NSAID = Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug, which includes things like Ibuprophen (Advil, Motrin), Aleve, Asprin, Motrin and there are others. Yours I'm guessing is a preventative, and I'm guessing is not a problem, but it's good to know what you can/can't take if you do get one.

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