Month: June 2007

My Journey Toward A New Life

Hi everyone!!  Well, I had my surgery on Thursday, June 21st and my doctor said that all went great!  I felt pretty good considering I had major surgery, and thought I would be home sometime Friday, however I had a lot of trouble with the anesthesia and gas build up which created some complications.  I was in so much pain that I had to be put back on the IV, I also had to stop oral meds because I became extremely sick.  I just got home yesterday afternoon and I am trying to catch up on sleep and get into a routine for getting my fluids, vitamins and medications in and timing potty visits.  I am so excited about the future and what life holds for me and I thank God and praise Him for seeing me safely through the surgery and getting me back on my feet.  Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes, I will be in touch with you all very soon.  Right now my main goal is to stay hydrated and get my strength back.  Before I go, I wanted to let you know that I lost almost 9 pounds in 10 days during my pre-surgery phase diet.  I am not sure how much I have lost since the surgery since I was taking in a lot of fluids via IV and didn’t really do much potty.  I was also able to walk without pain 4-5 times a day around the entire floor and I haven’t been able to walk more than 20 feet without my knees and back stopping me in my tracks with crippling pain.  Well, I gotta go, getting a bit tired and it’s time to get more fluids in.  Love and kisses to everyone, God Bless you all.

My Journey Toward A New Life

So, after I got the all clear from my breast surgeon, I waited to hear from my doctors office to let let me know when I should start my pre-op diet and when I would have my surgery.  So, I waited…and waited…and waited.  It was now mid February so I called the doctors office to make sure they got the information from my breast surgeon and you can imagine my shock when they said, yes, we got the information but you are not scheduled for surgery, your insurance company has denied your coverage.  What?? There must be some misunderstanding, I have already been pre-approved, I personally spoke with the insurance company back in November 2006, and your office also got pre-approval!!  I was told to call my insurance to see if I could clear things up, which I figured would be smooth sailing – – -WRONG!!!  I cannot begin to tell you how incompetant, unprofessional, misinformed, argumentative, inconsiderate, uncaring, untruthful and ignorant the people I spoke with were.  I got a different answer, or should I say excuse every time I spoke with someone.  I got the run around every time I called, I was put on hold, hung up on and promised returned phone calls that never came.  Over the next 4 months I was told, they did not have a request from the doctors office, then they said I did not use a referral, then I was declined because I had an HMO, then I was told HMO was okay but the doctor was not participating, then it was the doctor was participating but the hospital he operated was not and then it went back to your policy does not cover this procedure, then they finally said they would approve it once they reviewed the medical necessity so they requested my records from Dr. Dallal.  Whew, I knew once they reviewed my medical files it would be a no brainer especially since my family doctor had been recommending the surgery for years and my surgeon felt I was an excellent candidate for the surgery.  Imagine how I felt when I opened my mail 2 days later to find I was rejected because my BMI was 60.  They stated that there was no evidence that operating on someone my size would be beneficial to  my health.  What??  If I was 1″ taller or 15 pounds lighter it would be okay because my BMI would be 59, but since it was 60, rejected!  I sunk into such a deep depression it worried my friends and family.  I lost all hope and thought God was telling me not to have the surgery.  My doctor called one day to tell me that there was no reason for them to deny me coverage and he recommended Obesity Law, a firm in California that helps people in my situation fight the insurance companies, so I began to check them out.  The manager of employee benefits at my husbands job also called to say that she was requesting an independant consultant to review my case and I should hear something within a few weeks.  As far as I was concerned, I didn’t have a few weeks, I needed an answer now, I needed something to bring me closure one way or the other.  I went to obesitylaw.com and checked out their site and filled in the request to have them represent me.  It would cost me between $400 and $800 depending on how fast I wanted them to procede and they were fairly sure they could get the denial overturned.  I was literally about to press “enter” on my computer when I got a phone call from the insurance company stating they reversed their decision and my surgery would be scheduled for June 28th and I needed to have pre-admission testing done on June 4th.  WHat???? Was I dreaming, did I hear correctly??  No I was not dreaming and yes I heard right.  They never admitted they were wrong, they simply said they reconsidered their decision and approved my surgery.  WOW!!!!!!  I began to get everything I needed for my 2 week pre-op diet and had it all planned out and then the phone rang again.  It was my doctors office asking if I would like to push up my surgery date – – uh – – yeah!!  So, I’ve been on my pre-op diet for 10 days (short notice) and I followed the plan with only some minor oopsies. Today, the day before my surgery is all clear liquids and I really thought I would not make it, but oddly enough I did.  Lenore, a new buddy from the doctors office told me to stay busy and she was right.  When I kept busy, I forgot about food, except for when my stomach would tell me to put something in it.  I put a few things in an overnight bag and my daughter came over to help shave my legs and paint my toenails; can’t go on the table with funky feet ya know!  So, now I am going to get ready for bed, I have to be on the road by 630am to be in Elkins Park by 730am.  I’m nervous and a bit scared.  I haven’t slept well the past couple of nights but I made up for it by sleeping most of the day.  I’m going to miss my doggie Biskit and my family and my computer and my own bed but God willing I will be home by Friday night.  The next time I post I will give more details about the pre-op diet and I’ll have a true “before” picture.  My goal is to post an update to the picture every month and to list my weight.  Well, gonna go for now, God bless you all and please lift me up in prayer.  ^i^

Jehovah Nissi – The Lord Our Banner

What do you think The Lord Our Banner represents?  What does it mean to you?  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of God as Jehovah Nissi?  Until I studied the Word, I had no true understanding of The Lord Our Banner aside from knowing that God was always right there with me.  As I did further reading and research I was directed to Exodus 17:15 with the reference that it declares God on the battlefield as lifting us up.  If you read Chapter 17 in Exodus, it tells how the people after leaving Egypt are thirsty and want Moses to bring forth water.  Moses, never really feeling he was the one who should have led them out of bondage or be the one the people looked to, wanted the people to seek God for their provisions instead of always making Moses go before God.  Moses knew by faith that God had brought them that far and had made provisions for them throughout their days.  He wanted the people to have and understand the same faith that he had, have access to God the same as he did, to hear Him and speak with Him just as he did.  He felt the people were simply testing God, blaming and using Moses to do it but he wanted no part of it.  Not knowing what else to do, Moses cried out to God and asked Him what to do as he feared the crowds would stone him and God told him to take his staff and strike the rock and that He would go before Moses and stand with him at the rock.  You could say that the people at that moment were the enemy to Moses and that the land between them and the rock was his battlefield.  He knew the people were angry and ready to kill him if necessary so trusting God and putting his faith in Him, he went to the rock knowing that no harm would come to him because God was with him, and that God went before him to prepare the way for him.   When I think of a banner I think of a big sign or flag waving on display for all to see.  For example, in a parade you will see people carrying a large banner with the name of their group on it so that everyone knows who is following them.  However in the case of Exodus 17, God went before Moses as his banner so that the people knew who Moses was following and who was leading him!  In this instance, The Banner is more important than what is following it.  If we follow God, let Him be our banner, and carry Him before us at all times, He will direct our paths, He will make a way for us, He will lead us on the battlefield and He will stand with us always!

My Journey Toward A New Life

Okay, so I left off at the point where I found Dr. Dallal and Einstein Bariatrics.  I completed the gigantic pre-screening packet and went to office depot and faxed it to them at like 930pm, that’s how eager I was to get the process started.  I must have called their office like 3 times in 2 weeks to make sure they got the packet and if they were considering taking me on as a patient.  The week before Thanksgiving I got the call and I was officially one of their patients and had my first appointment Dec 8th, just 3 days before my 47th birthday, what a great present I was giving myself!!  Just a few days after I got the call, I got another call from my stepmom saying my dad had suddenly passed away—pause—WHAT???—no way, I just talked to him last week he was fine, what happened???  I was devastated, my dad apparently had a blood clot that went to  his brain and he died instantly.  I was upset because I was not able to say goodbye, but thankful that he did not suffer.  I pretty much shut down for a bit, and then the day before my appointment with Dr. Dallal, I got a call from their office stating they had to reschedule my appointment because his wife was in labor.  Ugh, I mean really, something was conspiring against me and all I could hear was my husband saying, maybe this is God saying he doesn’t want you to have this surgery.  He never actually said that to me, but I know he was thinking it, and I was kinda thinking maybe God was trying to tell me not to do it.  Needless to say I bound the enemy and the thoughts that were in my head, rescheduled my appointment and moved forward.  I finally had my first appointment with Dr. Dallal the week before Christmas and if I had any doubts about him or his staff, they were blown away.  I knew I found the right doctor, he was everything I had hoped for and more, and what was even better, my husband really liked him and got behind me 200%.  My next appointment was with the nutrionist, physical therapist, physcologist and Dr. Dallal’s assistant.  It ended up being about a 4 hour appointment but I was just thrilled to have met everyone and to know that I had the best team of doctors, nurses and support staff.  I spent the next month getting all the tests they wanted me to have and had a bit of a scare when they found 2 lumps in my left breast during a routine mammogram.  Linda from Dr. Dallal’s office called me early one morning to tell me I had a lump and they wanted me to see a breast surgeon.  She referred me to Dr. Jablon and she is the best there is, trust me.  I had to battle my doctors office and the insurance company to get the referral to see Dr. Jablon but it was worth it, she is thorough and let’s you know exactly what she is doing and why.  Dr. Jablon said because the 2 lumps were small and connected, she would just remove them and then do a biopsy to avoid having to  make another trip.  I had everyone praying for me and praise God, when they did the Needle Location both the lumps were gone – only God could do that, and the entire office was so happy and excited and praising God with me!  I have to get follow-up mammo’s every 6 months but I don’t mind, better safe than sorry.  I’ll stop here for now, take care and God Bless.