I remember the day all too clearly...August 7, 2010. My friend, Britta and I were having a girls weekend away with friends whom we typically see annually. It's always a fun weekend, but a time when I always want to look my best (but never really do.) There are always lots of pictures taken.Let me tell you, I am ALWAYS the one taking pictures, not IN them! Obviously, I am never really happy with how I look photos!
Today, was no different than any other day in that we had been discussing our frustrations with weight. We had just pulled into our parking space outside of Barnes and Noble. I looked over at Britta, and said "I think I want to get a lap band." She nearly interrupted me and said "you should." I looked at her...surprised. She instantly tried to soften her words in an effort not to offend me. I didn't take offense to the comment...I was surprised that she was encouraging me! No one had ever given me that kind of encouragement. It was a simple statement. She was merely saying that if I felt that choosing gastric banding would be helpful that I should look into it. In no way would she realize how those 2 small words would possibly change my life.
In all honesty, I expected that the conversation would end there and the subject would quickly change, so I quickly began to gather my things to head for the store. I looked at her and tears began to fill up my eyes. She reiterated "really, if you think that would help you and that is what you want, I think you should." I told her how embarrassed I was and she was totally understanding.
As soon as I got home, I immediately began researching weight loss surgery. I watched HOURS and HOURS of youtube videos, read loads of blogs, scoured my insurance information regarding coverage, and even watched an actual surgery online. However, I still didn't really know where to start.
It took me about 3 weeks before I decided the first step was to call my primary care physician. They couldn't get me in for over a month...A MONTH! Those whom know ANYTHING about me is to know that I am not one to wait around once I get an idea in my head. I contacted my doctor and she assured me it was a slow process. Initially, I kind of felt like throwing in the towel. I knew the process was long. However, I quickly came to the realization that a month (or even the 3-6 month period prior to surgery) would be such a small portion of my much longer journey on the road to a healthy life.
Still reluctant to wait a month to see my doctor, I asked the one and only lapband patient I know what she recommended for "the first step." She suggested that I contact my insurance to see if I needed a referral. Regardless, I should make the call and set up an appointment with Dr. Lee. My referral from my primary doctor would "catch up"insurance wise.
It took me 2 days to get up the nerve to call my insurance company (Aetna). Mind you, this entire month, lap band research/questions/anxiety had been consuming EVERY moment of my life. It was all I could think about. The insurance gal was very helpful and answered alot of questions and confirmed info I had been checking (and double checking) regarding my policy. I did NOT need a referral. PHEW!
I was on such a high after that phone call! I immediately messaged Britta and she encouraged me to call the lapband doctor's office while I still had the courage.I felt sick to my stomach! I was a ball of nerves! I picked up the phone and set up an appointment for September 13th. It was about a week and a half away. Surprisingly, after the phone call was made, my nerves have really calmed down and the process hasn't been as consuming. My first appointment is now a mere hour and a half away. I am meeting with the surgeon and a nutritionist and was told to anticipate a 2 hour appointment. I am excited to begin my journey down the road to healthier me!