Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Prednisone Is An Evil Drug

Hello all! I have been in hiding trying to get well for some time now, and I am about ready to come out and join society again. I have been going through a very tough time with the high dosage of prednisone. As with all medications, there are risks developing side effects, and I have developed quite a few side effects from the prednisone.

I have been sweating in large amounts. When I say large amounts, I mean that I wake up with my body soaked from head to toe and my fingers and toes are pruned from the sweat. My hair is half soaked and the bed sheets are wet. During the day I have been taking at least 2 showers a day due to the amount of sweat that I have been dealing with.

The prednisone has caused my mouth to become extremely dry and I have no taste at all! I can not drink enough of anything to make my mouth feel normal. Soda, water, gatorade, nothing has taste or moisture. I have found my alter ego, and she’s a tornado, ripping apart anything and anyone that crosses her path. My alter ego visits at random times throughout the day and disappears as quickly as she appears. Sometimes I am mad and God help anyone around me. Sometimes I’m sad and do nothing but cry.

My boyfriend is the most loving, caring, understanding man on the face of this planet, and I have taken every ounce of frustration and pain out on him. He is still here kissing me on the forehead and telling me how much he loves me and that I will be well soon.

I have four more days and 5 more pills, God help me survive the rest of this week.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Life Is Always Throwing Something At Me

I have been in bed ill with an inner ear infection since July 9, 2013 under the care of two physicians who have placed me on an aggressive prednisone treatment and took me off work until July 23.  The side effect so far are nausea, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, and extreme sweating.  The sweating is the WORST of the symptoms, I am taking three to four showers a day and have three fans in my bedroom and am still sweating like I am sitting in a sauna.

All this down time is giving me plenty of time to read up on the diet I will be eating after my surgery. Been bookmarking lots of pages.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Timeline to Surgery

1.  Attend an educational seminar.  ~~Accomplished July 11, 2013
2.  Verify and review insurance benefits. ~~Accomplished July 19, 2013
3.  Receive phone call to discuss next steps. (5 to 7 business days) ~~Accomplished July 19, 2013
4.  Obtain a referral to our program. (only if required by your insurance) ~~Not Required July 19, 2013
5.  Your patient advocate will inform you when it is time to complete the online registration.
6.  Complete intake testing and consults.
  • Psych Evaluation
  • Blood and Lab Work
  • EKG
  • Chest X-Ray
  • Nutritional Counseling  ~~Not Required July 19, 2013
  • Primary Care Physician Clearance  ~~Not Required July 19, 2013
7.  Office consultation.
8.  Precertification.
9.  Preoperative Appointment
  • Added July 19, 2013 - $4,500 ~ They might as well have said a million dollars there is no way I can come up with or afford this.
10.  Surgery
11.  Follow up
Carpet pulled out from under me once again and for the last time.

Friday, July 12, 2013

(Re) Starting My Journey

I was approved for lap band surgery in February 2009.  I went through all the necessary steps, tests, evaluations and paperwork and was attempting to schedule my surgery in March 2009. At this time my insurance company decided that they DID NOT cover this procedure that I was told in February that they did. I appealed and lost. Blue Cross Blue Shield SUCKS!

The following is a list of my health in detail as of February 2009.

Height: 66 Inches 
Weight: 278.1 
BMI: 45.2 
Frame Size: Medium 
Ideal Body Weight : 137.7 
Excess Body Weight: 142.4 

Current Medical Issues: GERD, Hypertension, Hypercholesterolemia, Hyperlipidemia, Metabolic Snydrome, and Impaired Glucose Tolerance. 

My dreams were shattered.  I reached for the stars and was struck by lightning.  A lot has happened since March 2009.   I have moved three times, got a new job, separated from my husband who I am in the process of divorcing and met the true love of my life.

My weight went crazy out of control going up and down with my mood, sickness, boredom, stress finally it reached a high of 298.6.  I was standing on that scale looking down at this number slapping me in the face and I swore I would NOT reach 300 pounds!  I immediately started changing my eating habits, walking daily, cutting out soda, fast food, anything that was tasty and brought me joy was now off limits.  My weight went up and down, I discovered I enjoyed walking (I have walked two 5K marathons since 2012)  I managed to lose 55.8 pounds, bad habits returned and to date I have gained 27.8 pounds of it back.

My love and I were recently discussing my current frustration with my recent weight loss failure and he asked if I had ever thought about lap band surgery.  It caught me off guard and he asked again babe have you ever thought of looking into lap band surgery.   I responded I heard you and told him to hold on a moment, I went and opened a filing cabinet and took out these three dusty folders held together with a rubber band and returned and handed them to him.  He asked what is this, I said open it and see.  He flipped through them and told me how sorry he was that I went through all that and had the carpet pulled from under me in the final hour.

His next statement was "Does your current insurance cover this?" to which I responded yes, I know several people at work who have had it performed.   He said "What are you waiting for?"  My response "I am afraid of getting my hope up again, I could not physically, mentally, emotionally go through being turned down again.

To which he responded, "You will never forgive yourself if you do not try"

I went to the Surgical Weight Control Center seminar tonight to attempt to reach my dream again.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It's Always Best To Start At The Beginning

I originally started this journey in January 2008.  I made the decision to start researching the lap band, a less risky version of the gastric bypass. There is no actual cutting of the stomach, just a band that is placed around the top of your stomach to limit the amount of food that is digested at a time.  After about a year I felt comfortable enough with my research and decision to proceed.

In January 2009 my first step was to attend a seminar at Surgical Weight Control Center, they get your information and a copy of your insurance card and then you spend a couple of hours listening to one of the doctors who performs the surgery talk you through each one.  Educational and somewhat boring because if you are like me you have already researched this to death and know all you can possibly know.

A few days later I got the phone call that my insurance company approved my surgery I would have to come up with a copay of $500.00 and meet some other requirements. Proof of a six month supervised weight loss diet and medical records for 5 years showing my BMI had been over 40.  I had to have blood work performed, a EKG and chest x-ray.  I had to have a psychological evaluation, see a  nutritionist and attend classes on how to properly eat after the procedure was performed.

I was able to complete all the requirements and attend my office consultation by early March, I was cleared for surgery a week later, and my preoperative appointment was on March 18, 2009 and my surgery date was set for April 9, 2009. Everything was perfect and then at the end of March I found a denial letter in my mailbox from Anthem Blood Cross Blue Shield stating they did not and have never covered this procedure. I appealed they denied a second time,  my doctor wrote letters, The staff at the Surgical Weight Control Center did everything they could without success. The only way I was having this surgery was to pay cash upfront or manage to receive financial assistant, neither I was able to do.

I was yet again a failure something I am very use to being.