Finally after 5 weeks of waiting I have my first appointment with the DHMC bariatric team. I was tired of waiting and called them on Tuesday (11/29) and the nurse practitioner was still reviewing my packet but felt that all the information was there and I could be scheduled for my appointment. PHEW! Seriously!
They had an opening the NEXT DAY! But....I didn't I was busy. I was taking my mom for cataract surgery. I could go this Friday 12/2 but I can't really afford to take 2 days off from work in 1 week so I am going next Friday. I have to be there at 1030 for lab work, then an hour long appointment with a nutritionist/dietician then an hour long appointment with the nurse practitioner. We will go over my previous dieting history, current dietary and lifestyle changes, and medical/surgical history. I will have a brief physical exam. I will be given a handbook to review before the next visit.
So....if you are keeping track of my "steps" this is step 7 of the initial 8 listed on the DHMC website. BUT...when you get your packet there is actually 14 steps and this is still step 7.
In your actual packet the steps were:
1 - attend introductory meeting
2 - complete insurance worksheet and return to DHMC - bariatric surgery program
3 - if under 25 or over 60 review age protocol - if does not apply skip to 4
4 - after you send in your insurance worksheet register for the program on the DHMC website - registrations are processed on Wednesdays (this step actually takes a few weeks - your registrations is NOT processed the Wednesday after you sign up)
5 - view the 3 educational quizzes on the DHMC website & take quizzes - print quizzes off the website or they will be in your packet.
6 - Use your packet checklist to provide all the required medical records and test results. - This includes a physical, pap smear in last year, mammogram in last year, copy of all lab work in the last year, your 3 months of work with a medical professional working on dieting, lifestyle changes etc, and your psychological evaluation (2 visits at least 30 days apart.
7 - 1st appointment with DHMC bariatric dietitian & nurse practitioner. 2 hr visit. Review packet, history, current diet, lifestyle , medical history, get a brief physical. Will receive a handbook that needs to be reviewed before the next visit.
8 - additional testing if needed
9 - 2nd appointment with DHMC bariatric dietitian & nurse practitioner. 2 hr visit. This is a shared appointment with a class size up to 8. You will lean about the pre- and post-op diet, risks and benefits of all surgeries. You will also have a brief individual visit with the nurse practitioner as well.
10 - Appointment with the bariatric surgeon. - They try to combine this with Step 9.
11 - Schedule a date for surgery.
12 - Patient Access department will contact your insurance company to obtain approval (payment) for your surgery. You will set up payment plans for your portion of the cost.
13 - Attend a pre-op class - 2 hours. Review supplements, diet after surgery and what to expect during your hospital stay.
14 - SURGERY!
So....I am getting CLOSER!!!!! I have a bunch of 2 hour appointments left but they go by quickly I am told, but unfortunately not quite quick enough. I wanted the surgery done this year because I have already met my deductible so my out of pocket cost would be a lot lower than it is going to be after the first of the year. After the first of the year I get to pay another years deductible. :( I guess that's what payment plans are for. I will discuss it with the financial department at DHMC though and see if there is a work around, but I am sure there isn't.
So has I prepare for this holiday season I am filled with Joy and Excitement of what is to come for me and my family. This is going to be a huge change and I can't wait!!!!
As the appointments will be coming closer together now - expect more blog posts - don't miss any! - Click here to stay informed!