Saturday, April 26, 2008

Girly troubles-EEK!

So I hope all of you readers are female-if not WARNING as this is going to involve all things feminine-periods, blood, cramps, sanitary napkins, specula? or is that speculums?. If you have already had creepy shudders just from reading this list STOP READING NOW and COME BACK FOR ANOTHER POST!

So I have tried to retain this blog for mostly lapband topics but this one is definitely encroaching on my lapband (or as I fear maybe postponing it!). A few short weeks ago right about the Suckier post I noticed that I had not had a period in quite a while. I don't really worry about being preggers as I had my tubes tied when I had my youngest daughter 6 years ago. Well....So I missed my period. When it stretched to two months I went into the doctor for a consult. Although I had never missed a period before. I am a regular (very regular) person-so this was very odd. I was frankly looking forward to no more periods so was hoping for Menopause. The doctor figured I would catch up next month. She was correct and while in Spain I "got the visit". It lasted for 3 WEEKS! I went back into the doctors. She sent me in for an ultrasound (Wow the internal ones are indignant!!). So not to worried at this point until two days later when whammo--the "the red cloud descended in force!" I was changing overflowing pads every 15 minutes for three days. I called the doctor and was quickly sent to a gyno. She decided that a uterine biopsy was required (YEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWCHHHHH)-then a blood test for blood counts and a bunch of stuff to figure out what is going on. She put me on the pill (Im really crazy hormonal on the pill).

So here is how it stands:

1. I am on the pill and things have almost stopped (sigh of relief)
2. I am cramping like crazy
3. I might have a thyroid condition, cancer, a polyp, hormonal issues etc.
4. I'm not sure that I will be allowed to have surgery on the 15th
5. I am kinda crazy-already-very short tempered. I am not looking forward to playing grandma for 10 days. I just want to stay home and sleep.

So....more later. The blood work said stat. I will call on Monday to see what the results were and get back to you.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The pre-op office visit and I'm a grandma

so as of yesterday at 6:15 a.m. Pacific Time I became a grandma. My oldest daughter had a little boy. The poor guy had to have the toilet plunger treatment to get out and today is sporting a cone head, and bruises. His cord was wrapped around his neck four times. He seems to be ok-as per phone calls from to them but next week I will get to see for myself when my youngest daughter and I fly up for a couple of weeks to do the grandma baby-sitting gig. I have never been to Alaska so it should be an adventure.

Last Monday I went into the surgeons office to do all of the pre-op check in stuff. I started the day with an appointment with my surgeon-He was very my three sons dad (If you are too young to remember this check on the web). He gave me a hard time stating that i was too thin to need this surgery (geez the only place in the world where someone has said that!). He also had it written in his records that I like to read research so he gave me the low down on the effectiveness knowledge of weight loss surgeries. Basically the news is that they are all about the same in effectiveness (but he thinks rny is a bit better). He said that 1/3 of lapband patients will have some complication that requires their removal-1/3 have great success and 1/3 have less than satisfactory success. If this is true than my assumption is that the 1/3 who have to have their bands removed were not part of the 10 year study released in Europe a few years ago that said that the weight loss was slightly better than other kinds of surgery and that an average of 60% of desired weight loss was achieved over this period. he did say most of his research came from Australia and New Zealand and that he was trained by them. Anyway-he then went on to say that right now no ones knows how to know if one method will work any better than another an that they leave it up to patients. an finally right before i was ready to leave he said-well since you have had so many abdominal surgeries (4 c sections, a gallbladder and hernia repair) he said that lapband was probably the best choice for me!! soooo lap band it is!

After that I went in for pre-op testing. I had an ekg, conversation about my allergies and medical history, and finally a blood draw-3 pokes later sporting a bruise the size of a coffee cup I was 5 minutes late for my next appt. upstairs.

I ran upstairs for a required seminar on weight loss surgery. The main speaker was not very comfortable or skilled at the job but went through instructions on how to check in for surgery, where to park (bad directions that we will not use!) and retold us all the stuff we already were presented at the pre-appt. seminar. They spent most of the time talking about rny and then gave me a folder with info about labpand (Im not sure why i couldnt have been let off and given the packet without the talk).

They tried to get me to sign up for various research projects except that by the time I showed up to hear about these projects the person was missing and never came back. I went to lunch, waited around for like 15 minutes but she never did show up so I left. I was going to let them use me as a subject because i remember how hard it was to find people when i was doing research but I wasnt going to wait around forever!

Sooo april and may are gong to be busy busy busy. I go to alaska for two weeks, i have to get my supervisory jobs done first, travel come back do some more observations, have surgery, three days later help to move my daughter back to her university town after she comes back from Spain, go to one of my work conferences 8 days after surgery, get ready for my younger daughters high school graduation (and the party i must host) 17 days after surgery. Keep your fingers crossed that I heal quick!

Friday, April 11, 2008

I Have A Date!

So there has been some movement in things during the last two weeks. When I got bak from Spain (it was a great vacation by the way) I hoped for a phone message but instead I got an approval letter from my insurance company. Again true to form the records person at the doctors office was flakey- I called them to tell them I had an approval letter and her reply was "you do?"

I said "yes and it says on the letter than you do to. You received a cc."

Doctors office person said, "Well I don't have it. Perhaps it is floating around on the doctor's desk. We often don't get some of these thing."

Comforting Eh? Really boosts your confidence in their abilities to function-and say not amputate my leg instead of the asked for surgery!

Anyway I was asked to fax her the insurance letter. I did so then waited for two days. I called back and was told that the letter did not come with a billing number and that she had left two message (something I highly doubt) but that the insurance company had not called back.

I asked her what specific number is she looking for (she reiterated a billing number). I called the insurance company's customer service and had a number in about 5 minutes (I know that these companies answer the calls from doctors much faster than they do for patients! thus putting into doubt her story of two messages.

The next day while I was running around dong student teacher observations I got a message to call the office and tadahhhhh drum roll pleaase! They gave me a doctors appointment, assigned me a doctor and gave me a surgery date. Now don't get me wrong I'm really happy to have all of these dates. I'm just freaked that I have not even met this surgeon, nor been given any indication or information about the test results I have been sending in one after another. Shouldn't a patient meet their surgeon before they commit to a surgery date? Its just doesn't feel right. Now of course im not going to cancel any of them-nor am I going to raise too much of a stink about the whole idea.

I know those of you in the UK will read this and probably say-yep thats how it works here. You wait around until they call you and hope that it is sooner than 5 years. If you are lucky enough to get a surgeon you go with him sight unseen but here in our land of commercial for profit medicine I would have hoped for some kick butt customer service don't you?

So in a nut shell-I will have a day long doctors appointment on Monday for pre-op tests and my surgery is scheduled for May 15. Keep your fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong!