Monday, December 03, 2007

Well, THAT was helpful

For once, I'm not being sarcastic.

Let me back up.

Some months ago, I became -- for the most part -- unable to eat solid food. There have been things I have occasionally been able to eat IF they meet certain criteria (mainly that they are not poultry, not fibrous, not impossible to chew to oblivion), but most days I just eat soup. It's easier than having to puke because it won't go down. Wanna know something gross? I love beef and love to eat steak, but if I have it, I chew it until it's like a cud, then discreetly remove said cud and hide it under something on my plate. I'm sure the busboys want to puke after picking up my plate, but I can't help it.

I went to several doctors to seek help for this condition, finally landing on one that my health insurance approved of.

But now my health insurance is treating this like someone who's coming in to have bariatric surgery. Which, on paper, is true. But my reasons for doing so are reasons of an acute nature, not an elective nature. Oh HAIL no, I swore after my last round of surgery that I would never EVER let another surgeon put scalpel to my body again. I hate surgery. I always come out of it looking even more weird and freakish than when I went in.

No, people, this is NOT A COSMETIC PROCEDURE.

I would just like to be able to eat an apple again. Or a carrot. Or broccoli. Or grapes.

But no -- I have to go through the normal procedure for any kind of bariatric surgery approval. I have to spend six months BEING COUNSELED ON WHAT THE BEST KINDS OF FOOD TO EAT ARE. I have to attend a seminar explaining bariatric surgery and its results. I have to compile a comprehensive list of every diet I've ever tried, and provide ALL medical records of any nature over the past five years.

This is stuff they do to people who are looking to have a bariatric procedure for the first time.

Needless to say, I'm mildly irritated. This means I will have spent a year on a primarily liquid diet, nursing an acute condition of a blocked stomach outlet, having to fill myself with vile-tasting protein supplements just so I don't start losing my hair.

One of the requirements is a visit to a dietitian for nutritional counseling.


I went to see her today, and she was stunned at what I have been eating (not) for the past (at least) eight months. She had to toss aside all the usual handouts she gives to pre-bariatric patients because it was useless to me. She cobbled together some ideas for me, though, and didn't just give me the same tired spiel she gives to everyone. She actually tailored our session to MEET MY NEEDS. And I have some useful tools with which to combat protein deficiency while awaiting insurance approval.

Thank you, Angie Groves. You are a stand-up gal.

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