ARBARB

So Angry and Upset

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I'm so upset I don't even know where to start. 

I was supposed to do my pre-surgical testing and have surgery next Wed but now that's not going to happen.  The doctors office called me last week and told me that I needed a letter regarding my rheumatoid arthritis medication management to make sure I was ok to have surgery.  Well, I told them prior that my Rheumy did not approve of bariatric surgery because she wants to put me on her crazy diet and drug me up with phentermine and I don't want to do that.  I told them that my husband is a physician and that he said that I've been on the meds more than long enough and they were completely out of my system several weeks ago already and he would be willing to write a letter or speak to them regarding this.  But nope, they want a letter from the Rheumatologist.  I offered for my PCP to write a letter, but nope, has to be the Rheumy.  So I called last Wednesday asking for a letter but she (Rheumy) was actually hospitalized over the weekend and did not return until yesterday and would not write a letter without an appointment.  So they get me in this morning and I had to sit there and be lectured for 1.5 hours about the dangers of bariatric surgery, and how this is impulsive, (who cares that I've been working this for the past year) and that SHE WAS NOT AWARE and therefore she will not give me clearance without further medical testing on her end.  BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.  

And I had the whole thing scheduled, have gone off my meds for RA, had my presurgical testing scheduled, my Endoscopy, took of work, husband took off work, had my kid taking off school because the hospital is almost 3 hours away from home. Jumped through the millions of hoops that the Bariatric center wanted.  

And now I can't get the surgery.  Can't reschedule it now until August.  

And there's not a darn thing I can do about it. 

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Can you get in with a new Rheumy before next week?

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Just now, AustinJ said:

Can you get in with a new Rheumy before next week?

No.  Where I live it takes months to get in.  According to my bariatric office, I needed that paper today or it was a no go.  I'm supposed to start my week of no eating tomorrow and go down there for testing and do additional paperwork and such.  

And what also sucks is that I'm sure as hell not going back to my Rheumatologist either, and she's really good at being a Rheumy.  She just thinks she can cure every other ailment as well and needs to stick with what she does instead of inserting her VERY STRONG and OUTSPOKEN opinions on other topics.  Like when she screamed at me today in her office "YOU WILL FEEL LIKE *&^% FOREVER", multiple times to the point where the office staff was laughing at the reception desk.  Yes, it was that bad. 

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1 hour ago, ARBARB said:

No.  Where I live it takes months to get in.  According to my bariatric office, I needed that paper today or it was a no go.  I'm supposed to start my week of no eating tomorrow and go down there for testing and do additional paperwork and such.  

And what also sucks is that I'm sure as hell not going back to my Rheumatologist either, and she's really good at being a Rheumy.  She just thinks she can cure every other ailment as well and needs to stick with what she does instead of inserting her VERY STRONG and OUTSPOKEN opinions on other topics.  Like when she screamed at me today in her office "YOU WILL FEEL LIKE *&^% FOREVER", multiple times to the point where the office staff was laughing at the reception desk.  Yes, it was that bad. 

Not much to say about this, except it royally blows. I'm sorry to hear it, and I'm angry for you. It also really bites to have a physician that is really good at their job, but is completely uncooperative in other areas.

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Yes, it does royally blow.  And I know this sounds selfish and stupid, but nobody really understands or cares except for me.  And this crazy woman made me make another appointment with her on Monday and now I have to call her office and cancel and I know she's going to call my house and I'm not answering.  

And I know this all sounds dramatic and ridiculous and it is.   I swear my doctor should have a reality show.  

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@ARBARB

Get a new doc lined up while you get whatever this testing is that you need done. 

Blech. 

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2 hours ago, BurgundyBoy said:

@ARBARB

Get a new doc lined up while you get whatever this testing is that you need done. 

Blech. 

I had a very tight schedule of when I could get this done and the window of opportunity has passed all thanks to this lunatic.   Now I won't have time off until August or later and I'll have to start all over again.  I refuse to go back to either one of these doctors after this.  

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I don't know if this will help at all, @ARBARB, but you are basically on the same schedule I was last year.  I started my process in March/April and because of vacation timing (mine in July, my surgeon's in August), I wasn't able to have surgery until September 8.

But on the bright side, it gave me a very long, gradual period in which to ease into the right mindset, learn everything I needed to know about my surgery and the before/after diets, start a low-carb diet to lose weight before surgery (which is always good - lower weights at surgery = fewer complications), and really get my head on right.  I ended up losing 57 lbs before surgery, just between April and September. 

In my case, surgery was actually happening about on the schedule I had expected - I know it has to be super frustrating to have that changed on you at the very last minute.  Your rheumatologist sounds like a total jerk.  But was she willing to give you the release AFTER doing her tests?  Would it be worth it to keep the appointment Monday just to get her sign-off, and THEN be done with her forever?

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1 minute ago, Kio said:

I don't know if this will help at all, @ARBARB, but you are basically on the same schedule I was last year.  I started my process in March/April and because of vacation timing (mine in July, my surgeon's in August), I wasn't able to have surgery until September 8.

But on the bright side, it gave me a very long, gradual period in which to ease into the right mindset, learn everything I needed to know about my surgery and the before/after diets, start a low-carb diet to lose weight before surgery (which is always good - lower weights at surgery = fewer complications), and really get my head on right.  I ended up losing 57 lbs before surgery, just between April and September. 

In my case, surgery was actually happening about on the schedule I had expected - I know it has to be super frustrating to have that changed on you at the very last minute.  Your rheumatologist sounds like a total jerk.  But was she willing to give you the release AFTER doing her tests?  Would it be worth it to keep the appointment Monday just to get her sign-off, and THEN be done with her forever?

She said my husband must come with me on Monday (He is a physician) and neither one of us are willing to be yelled at and treated like idiots.  In my case, for the second time.  I seriously had to sit there while she told me how stupid this was and then she lied to me and told me that she's had MANY patients who have had the exact same surgery I had three times only to gain back double the weight they lost.  That is not even physically possible because there's no way you can have 85% of your stomach removed three times. 

I've been trying to get this scheduled for more than a year now and it's been a year of anticipation. If the bariatric surgery office can't make any sort of accommodations, (like they could have consulted with another Rheumy on their own) then they aren't worthy of my money.  All they want is to know if I've been off my meds long enough for surgery to be safe.  And I've had two doctors (other than the crazy one) sign off and say that I have been .  I refuse to pay another $350 when I was just there yesterday.   She believes I am being impulsive which is ridiculous since I've been working on this for a year now and it took me several years to finally decide to do it.  My husband is an MD and I'm an MBA.  We aren't stupid people.  My husband believes that more than likely she is doing this hopefully for her own financial gain.  

I've already done low carb.  Probably 10 times over the past 20 years.  Once for as long as a 3 year period.  It works great at first, but then you plateau.   And now I have rheumatological problems that prevent me from walking at times.  And I actually went OFF my meds a month ago specifically for this surgery.  

It's just all stupid and this is my frustration talking and I apologize for sounding awful. I do appreciate your kind words of encouragement.  I just need to move on and find a different place with doctors who behave like normal people.  

Perhaps this was a sign not to go to this surgeon?  I am trying to look at it that way. 

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2 minutes ago, ARBARB said:

Perhaps this was a sign not to go to this surgeon?  I am trying to look at it that way. 

You don't sound awful at all - just frustrated, with good reason!

I would say yes, a different surgeon/program seems like a good idea at this point!  Are you in an area where you have options?

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Not really. I was driving 2.5 hours for my appointments at this place.  I just started a topic in the doctor/facility forum asking for recommendations.  

Every place I look at though wants you to go through their "program".  I've already been through the programs.  I don't want to sit through more informational seminars, bazillions of consultations, etc.  I've done all that crap.  But if I refuse all that, I doubt they will take me and if I disclose this fiasco, I doubt they will want me because I'm sure they will conclude that I'm "difficult".  I know I would. 

So, I'm starting from scratch again.  And I'm self pay too.  So I've been paying for all this crap out of my pocket.  Every last dime of it.  Only to start all over again.  

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20 hours ago, ARBARB said:

She said my husband must come with me on Monday (He is a physician) and neither one of us are willing to be yelled at and treated like idiots.  In my case, for the second time.  I seriously had to sit there while she told me how stupid this was and then she lied to me and told me that she's had MANY patients who have had the exact same surgery I had three times only to gain back double the weight they lost.  That is not even physically possible because there's no way you can have 85% of your stomach removed three times. 

I've been trying to get this scheduled for more than a year now and it's been a year of anticipation. If the bariatric surgery office can't make any sort of accommodations, (like they could have consulted with another Rheumy on their own) then they aren't worthy of my money.  All they want is to know if I've been off my meds long enough for surgery to be safe.  And I've had two doctors (other than the crazy one) sign off and say that I have been .  I refuse to pay another $350 when I was just there yesterday.   She believes I am being impulsive which is ridiculous since I've been working on this for a year now and it took me several years to finally decide to do it.  My husband is an MD and I'm an MBA.  We aren't stupid people.  My husband believes that more than likely she is doing this hopefully for her own financial gain.  

I've already done low carb.  Probably 10 times over the past 20 years.  Once for as long as a 3 year period.  It works great at first, but then you plateau.   And now I have rheumatological problems that prevent me from walking at times.  And I actually went OFF my meds a month ago specifically for this surgery.  

It's just all stupid and this is my frustration talking and I apologize for sounding awful. I do appreciate your kind words of encouragement.  I just need to move on and find a different place with doctors who behave like normal people.  

Perhaps this was a sign not to go to this surgeon?  I am trying to look at it that way. 

Am deeply sympathetic. Surgeon's hands may be, at least in part, tied by insurance company. Yes surgeon could talk to another rheumatologist but that person wouldn't know you and it would only be an hypothetical response, and so would be rejected by insurance company monitors. You might consider speaking to a medical monitor with your insurance company since they might be able to approve an exception to the process - you do, after all, have sign-offs from your other docs!

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I am so sorry this has happened to you. I would be livid and so sad. Have you thought about doing this in New Mexico ? Their are quite a few people in here that have done that ? Just a thought.

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Have you checked into bariatric surgery in Mexico?  Since you are self pay?  

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I agree with checking into Mexico. May even be able to get in there next week and stick to original plans.

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11 hours ago, BurgundyBoy said:

Am deeply sympathetic. Surgeon's hands may be, at least in part, tied by insurance company. Yes surgeon could talk to another rheumatologist but that person wouldn't know you and it would only be an hypothetical response, and so would be rejected by insurance company monitors. You might consider speaking to a medical monitor with your insurance company since they might be able to approve an exception to the process - you do, after all, have sign-offs from your other docs!

Thank yo for your kids words.  I'm actually feeling better about it and am just mad now minus the disappointment. 

I am self pay.  No insurance involved.

The whole thing is ridiculous.  They actually called me today to reschedule.  I don't think the bariatric surgeon is understanding the fact that I had a window of time to do this and the window has passed.  I think he is under the impression that when this woman (Rheumy) calls him on Monday and approves, everything will proceed, as someone called me this morning to reschedule and I told them that there really is no need as I'm not available.  The girl on the phone seemed confused.   

He lost a patient and eventually when these stupid people figure it out I'm sure I'll get a phone call from someone. 

 And I know she's (Rheumy) not going to approve anything because I cancelled my appointment with her on Monday.   I'm not paying her $350 to hear a lecture about her magic diet, the wonders of amphetamines, and then be screamed at. I think the woman is having a breakdown or needs medication as there is something wrong with her. 

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9 hours ago, tracyringo said:

I am so sorry this has happened to you. I would be livid and so sad. Have you thought about doing this in New Mexico ? Their are quite a few people in here that have done that ? Just a thought.

No.  Not really.  I don't know much about it and I'm kind of scared and skeptical.  I need to do some research I guess.  

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6 hours ago, Cheesehead said:

Have you checked into bariatric surgery in Mexico?  Since you are self pay?  

I have not yet but I will this weekend.  I'm kind of wary.  

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8 hours ago, ARBARB said:

I have not yet but I will this weekend.  I'm kind of wary.  

Lots of very good surgeons. Invoking @Jen581791 and @NerdyToothpick to see if they might comment on their experiences for you, especially since you are self-pay. 

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On 3/23/2018 at 9:04 AM, BurgundyBoy said:

Lots of very good surgeons. Invoking @Jen581791 and @NerdyToothpick to see if they might comment on their experiences for you, especially since you are self-pay. 

Ah! Mexico! I did extensive research on this option and it was the best decision I have made. Well, besides my education, traveling and having my kid. :)

@ARBARB I’m quite sorry that you are getting a major block from your doc. I was in a different situation. All my docs were supportive of bariatric surgery but my insurance refused to pay. 

I went to Angeles Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico. I chose Tijuana because of the proximity to Los Angeles, where I would recouperate for five weeks with my family. The short version is that I chose my Hospital very carefully. My surgeon was top notch and the hospital was a full service center and not a clinic. These were my criteria because I felt very cautious. 

My GB surgery was more expensive than most stories I have heard of. I know that the increased price tag was because of the hospital I chose. I was OK with paying more because I was getting the care I wanted. I self paid at $11,000 USD I’ve heard of WLS patients paying between 7-9K for surgery in Mexico  

My one year surgiversary is next week and I have lost a total of 90 lbs. Traveling for surgery was a pain (I flew from Boston) but it was worth all the sacrifices. I’m happy to talk about my decision in more detail. 

Hope this helps!

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On 3/23/2018 at 5:04 PM, BurgundyBoy said:

Lots of very good surgeons. Invoking @Jen581791 and @NerdyToothpick to see if they might comment on their experiences for you, especially since you are self-pay. 

Oops, I missed this somehow. 

I'd like to back up all that @NerdyToothpick has said about surgery in Mexico. It was what made it possible for me (my insurance was one of the crap plans that doesn't cover it). I did a bunch of research on surgeons, and chose one with a lot of surgeries under his belt (and one surgery LITERALLY under his belt - he has had WLS, too!). I went to Monterrey. The hotel they put me up in was nice, the hospital I went to was clean and modern, I had my own very large room to myself (plus a pull out bed for my hubs). The doctors and nurses were are friendly and professional. The care I received was excellent. My total cost was something like $8000 - not free, that's for sure, but I'm on my way to recovering those costs just from eating less! :lol:

The remote care has not been an issue for me - I didn't have any complications, and I don't feel like I need a lot of nutritional or other support from them (thanks, TTF fam!). I can call or email any time to get answers, and they'll look at my blood tests to check out my health (I send them by email). 

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