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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Support Group

Yesterday I made my first real step since my approval.

I went to one of my health plan’s bariatric support group meetings. Out of the 11 people there, only 1 was a post-op patient. Julie, the bariatric nurse/case manager, came to the meeting. I have spoken with her on the phone and conversed with her via email, so it was really nice to put a face to a name/voice. She has been with my health plan as the bariatric nurse for over 20 years, so her knowledge is precious and vast.  She knows the ins and outs of the procedures as well as all the paperwork stuff that goes along with it.

I have not had my consultation yet, so I was many steps behind everyone else that was there.  From hearing other people speak about where they were at in the process, I learned that it was going to take a lot longer than I expected and wanted. The number of referrals has grown and they only have 1 surgeon now. This means everything takes longer. There have been budget cuts in all sorts of departments, so what used to take 2 months is now taking 5-6.

I emailed Julie this morning to ask if she could get me signed up for the mandatory class prior to my first consultation, and again, she did! She is wonderful. My class is a 6hr class on June 6th. They only have one class per month and the April and May classes are full. I am hoping I can schedule my pre-op visit for as soon after June 6th as they will let me.

Another thing I found out, I will have a 2 night stay in the hospital and will be required to take 2-4 weeks off work depending on the doctors’ orders.  A little longer than I was expecting, but that’s ok.
All in all, I was very happy I went to the group. I plan on attending the one in May.  Its nice to get more of the specifics of my health plan from people who have gone through it.