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My path to becoming a healthier and happier me.

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I got good news yesterday. I called the doctor to see if I could go ahead and schedule for October. That is when my new insurance coverage begins. I have an appointment to see him October 5th! Three more weeks and the journey starts stepping into high gear! 


Apparently, what they say is true, you can't believe everything you read on the internet!

Yesterday, I emailed AetnaBetterHealth. I was advised to contact my DHHR case worker and also to contact WV Mountain Trust, the Medicaid Managed Care connection. My case worker was really nice. She gave me Trust's phone number and said I shouldn't have a problem. She was right! I almost can't believe it was this easy! I called and asked to switch plans. I was asked to explain why. The representative changed it on the spot! It goes into effect October 1st.  Only a one month(and perhaps a few days) setback! I can wait one month. I'll just keep doing what I've been doing. Eating less. More focus on protein, less on carbs. Walking more. All that good stuff. I don't have to worry about enrollment, special circumstances or any of that crap. Thank God! I really didn't want to have to find someone to marry, LOL.



Today, I was feeling a little impatient. So, I called the surgeon's office. I was put on hold for 8 minutes. Then, I was told they could not find the referral. I was questioned about my insurance. It turns out they do not accept my Medicaid HMO. If I'm able to switch to Aetna, there won't be a problem. However, I read you can only switch if a major life change, such as marriage, is happening. So, I have to find a doctor who accepts WVFamilyHealth. I'm kinda down about it. After hearing and reading all this hype about him and his staff, I was really looking forward to becoming a patient. I am anxious to get this started.


It Begins

I met with my new doctor today. My anxiety was completely wrong! I was referred to Dr. Shin. As it turns out, my doctor had WLS just a couple years ago. He was her surgeon. She spoke very highly of him. She also told me a bit about the process and such. Between now and a couple weeks, I should be getting a call from his office to set up an appointment. She faxed a letter of referral with my medical history included. Once I meet with him, things will start to happen.  I'll have to see a nutritionist. go on a diet, take a 3 hour mental exam and a series of other tests. She said it takes about 6 months to get things in order.  So, that means this Spring I should be several pounds lighter and feel healthier!  Just gotta wait a bit longer. I've waited most of the summer. A few more weeks won't be that bad.


I received a letter from my (now former) doctor's clinic today. My PCP has resigned. I called and was offered an appointment with the new one. I accepted but can't help but wonder if this will postpone things. I've been a patient at this facility for years. So, they have all my records and info. I don't see why this would change anything. But, my anxiety is telling me this is a setback. Even if it isn't, I have to get comfortable with a new doctor. Luckily though, the waiting time isn't long. The appointment is scheduled for 8/8. The original one was for 8/7.  I'm going to proceed as nothing has changed until I know differently.  This anxiety needs to stop, though.


Nothing really new to share as of late. I noticed today that in exactly 3 weeks, I finally see the doctor to get the ball rolling. I can not wait! In the mean time, I've been researching surgeons, diets, and other tools needed for this journey. I've even somewhat binge watched My 600 lb Life on TLC.  It's not a bad show. Somewhat educational and such. In each show, you see the life of a person as they prepare and deal with WLS. Each show consists of a year.

I've also have been forcing myself to eat veggies. The only ones I like are beans, tomatoes, lettuce and potatoes. I'm trying to expand my tastes. Starting with celery. It's not bad with peanut butter. When I was a child, my mother never really insisted we eat veggies. She tried on occasion to get us to eat corn and peas but I just couldn't get into them. I hate onions. So, this 6 month diet will be challenging in regards to that.

I've also started walking more. It's been really hot, though. The only time I can is late evening. I've been trying to distract myself with hobbies but my mind always returns to this. 3 weeks feels like forever!


Why now?

A Facebook friend asked me why now? Why not a year ago? Or even 6 months ago? It's been obvious for awhile I've needed to do something. I'm going to answer here and send her a link to this blog.

I wasn't ready. That's the simplest and easiest answer.  Now the long (and very honest) answer..

Over the past 6 months, my mobility has decreased greatly.  It started last fall. Out of the blue, while shopping, my legs and back started hurting badly. I felt panicked and became more so when I couldn't find a bench to sit on. It's gotten to the point that I can't shop for myself. I need someone to do it for me. At home, I can barely get down the porch steps to make it to the car. Another example...when I lay down, sometimes turning over or onto my side hurts my knees. You would think that would be enough but no...well...I take that back a started to become enough. I developed venous insufficiency. My doctor prescribed a diet pill along with a water pill. That helped a little. But, not enough. There is still pain. Every day.

At the end of May, a tragedy happened. My aunt died. My mother's sister. They were best friends. Watching my mother mourn has ripped my heart out. Especially during the first week or so. She became very depressed. She is better now, thank God. But, I can not put her through that. I do not want to be the reason she has to mourn again. I don't want to die before she does. I can not do that to her. 

I know I need to do this for myself. Which I am.  She is also the main reason I am taking this journey now.  Hopefully, this explains why now.




The following day after the fall, I saw my doctor. At the time, she mentioned gastric bypass surgery and some of the requirements. It felt overwhelming. So, I said I wanted to research it before agreeing. The following week, I discussed things with my counselor. She had considered surgery for herself but decided against it. However, she knew of a few people who had it done. The majority had no complaints and felt it was one of the best decisions they ever made! She attended one of the free seminars and shared some info. After talking with her, I felt more comfortable. I spent another day researching, talking with family and decided to go for it. Today, I called my doctor and left a message, asking to set up an appointment. Within 10 minutes, her assistant returned my call. We set something up. My first appointment is on August 7th!!

I can't wait! In the mean time, I'm going to go ahead and start cutting back, start calorie counting and walking more. Also, do more research, develop a bit of an online support network and such. I've joined a couple Facebook WLS groups. I have to remember to have some fun, too, though. When I get focused on something, it's hard to re-focus on something else. But, I will need to factor in some gaming, binge watching or something. I don't want to get too focused and burn myself out. This is going to be a long road. So, I have to be careful of not doing that.

August feels like such a long time away, though!



It is said there are many ways people get inspired to make changes. I found my inspiration while falling on the kitchen floor.I was getting a drink and slipped. Only slightly injured. However, I could not get up. My arm was hurt. My other arm wasn't strong enough to support me. My mother and a friend weren't able to, as well. We had to call 911 for help. That was very humiliating. I spoke with my counselor about it. She said I am eligible for WLS.  So, here I am! Healed and completely inspired. I can not wait to start this journey!

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