Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A visit to the doctor

I visited with a new surgeon today, someone who's actually IN my insurance network, who's willing to help me with my tummy troubles.

It all started back in 1997 when I underwent a stomach-stapling procedure and lost about a hundred pounds. It was great; I even got pregnant a year afterward and had Isaac, now 8. Fast-forward to a couple of years ago, when I began to have more and more trouble getting "stuck" -- meaning, I would swallow food and it would not go through the apparatus in my tummy, so it had to come back up. Blech. That is NO FUN, especially in a public place. I don't like public restrooms much anyway; who wants to get their face anywhere near... well, that's enough info.

This past year I've been absolutely miserable and have finally become so intolerant of bulk that I've gone to a soup diet. I knew it was time to consult a bariatric surgeon who had enough experience to know what to do about my condition. I visited one guy back in June who I really liked, but he wasn't in my network and therefore the insurance would not cover it.

Problem was, most bariatric surgeons don't even want to touch a revision patient unless they're THEIR original patient to begin with. I can't go back to my original doctor because he's in Iowa and he's been retired for several years now. I had finally found this one guy in Dallas who would take me, and the door was slamming there, too.

I was quite irritated with this, but since we are in such dire financial straits, there was nothing to be done. Rick, however, in his infinite patience, continued to wrangle with the insurance company until they gave us a name of an in-network surgeon who would consult with me.

Today I went to see this fellow and I'm very encouraged. He agreed with my conclusions about the best course of action, and he even gave me a nice surprise when I found out he wants to revise me using a better procedure that I hadn't really known anyone around here performed. Instead of the normal Roux-en-Y (RNY) gastric bypass that's been the gold standard for years now, there's a better procedure (in my estimation) called a Bilio-Pancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS) (see diagram)

There are still insurance hurdles to be cleared, so there's no set date for my fixup, but there's a light at the end of this tunnel.

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