Medfet's Weblog

Medical Fetish Fun and Fantasy

Surgical weight loss… a journey AND a destination.

Life’s a journey and not a destination. We’ve all heard that so many times that it’s become a bit clichéd. But when you think about it, isn’t it really both? I mean for different people, different perspectives, and different opinions… it means something a little different for everyone. Since I’ve thrown out that little conundrum I’d like to bring up another one… one that seems to be a controversial topic for a lot of people out there. Surgical weight loss is something we’ve all heard of even if we’re not overweight. Chances are we know someone or have a friend of a friend that knows someone who has gone through something like gastric-bypass, banding, and others. It’s not really those that I want to discuss here but the overall surgery itself. It’s a polarizing topic and I am trying to understand why.

I started my weight loss journey within the last few months. I’ve been grossly overweight all of my life and, like most, I’ve tried things here and there to lose weight. To most it’s a black and white issue. If you’re overweight then stop eating so much and exercise. Well, the reality of it is that those people are right. The harsh reality of it is that those people are also wrong and that’s one reason I think this ends up being such a polarizing topic both in the obese and non-obese communities. Broken down to its simplest form one can easily say that if you are overweight that means you eat too much and you have to eat less. From a physiological standpoint that’s logical and it makes sense to everything we know about maintaining a healthy weight. For those that don’t fall into the morbidly obese category or haven’t developed any comorbidities it may be as simple as that. But for some of us it’s not the food that’s the problem and it’s not the lack of exercise. It’s the lifestyle that’s the problem. It’s learned behavior that we’ve dealt with for years and it’s become habit. No, it’s not an excuse… it’s just a reason, a theory, a starting point, etc… Ultimately every single one of us who are overweight the dissenters are correct that WE have to do something about the problem. We’re the only ones that can decide it’s the right time to go down that road. There is not a single solution out there that should be taken callously though as each person’s decision making is a little different and they have to find a method that works both for and with them. To those of you who want to say it’s just eating less and exercising more… this is where I have a major problem with you.

I’ve chosen to lose weight and modify my lifestyle to be able to make healthy choices and keep them healthy. Why is that not enough for some of you? Setting the wheels in motion you’d think would be enough. What I have found is that there is an almost cult-like feeling that taking the surgical route is making it too easy, is the simple way out, is giving up doing it on your own. Well, if you think that then chances are that’s as far as your opinion goes… it must be so easy for someone to volunteer to lay down and get their fat taken out and the next day they’re magically slim. Think I am saying that a little too drastically? Perhaps… but it’s how you react to me and my fellow companions who have made this choice. What you are not seeing is the amount of time that goes into such an undertaking both before and after the surgery. Yes, the inside of my body may be going to be physically altered to change the way I digest and absorb food but that’s not the end of it. Really it’s about mentally changing the way I approach food and so many other things in my life to make sure that I “cooperate” with the surgical changes they’re going to make to my body. In the simplest form it’s going to be a journey that lasts months and months and months. But in reality, if it’s going to work 100%, it’s something that’s going to last for the rest of my life.

So for those of you who question why I would do this to myself or those of you who think it’s the easy way out why not stop and talk to me or any number of us out there who are going through the process, have been through it, or who even just familiar with the topic. I think you’ll see something that you’re not aware of and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Overweight people who choose to genuinely do something about their weight problem, from the simple of portion control or counting calories all the way up to surgical intervention, are good people and we’re something on the inside that you may never see until you look past the outside. So go ahead, let me prove to you how right I am.

April 12, 2011 Posted by | Life, Weight loss | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Health insurance is only as good as what it will actually cover…

I usually limit my blogs and posts to funny things or quirky things or just comments and photos in general that just are meant to poke a sleeping bear and spark some conversation.  I’m going to take a little different approach for this post and do a little ranting.  For those of you that know me very well I’ve been researching and contemplating weight loss surgery off and on for a good 5 years now.  I’ve recently started down the path of moving forward and getting the ball rolling.  It’s not an easy path, or a fun one, or even one that lets you feel any kind of emotional relief anywhere before or soon after any surgery.  But it’s one that has to be done for who are in my category of morbid obesity.

The biggest hurdle I thought would be just the mental barrier of making that first step and getting things going.  Little did I know it was going to be the health insurance that I carry.  I have a policy that was offered by my previous employer.  Like anyone else my costs went up while I was in that plan, services went down, and interaction with the provider got more and more different.  I had looked into what my coverage was for weight-related issues in general last week and found that pretty much everything is excluded, specifically weight loss surgery.  Funny thing is I bet they’ll cover stuff like Viagra and certain cosmetic procedures.  I didn’t let that stop me too much since it was just a cursory quick check with the insurance and I hadn’t even been to talk to the surgical group that would be doing the surgery yet.  I figured when I went to meet with them for the first time I’d get the specifics on how to request that kind of coverage, who to ask for, etc….

I attended one of the small seminars the surgical practice offers to familiarize potential patients with the specifics of the various procedures as well as all of the things you need to take care of for the benefit of the insurance providers.  I even was approached by the administrator of the practice that traditionally they have difficulties with United Healthcare.  I took this into account today when I sat down to call my insurance provider again.  This time I was armed with billing and diagnosis codes as well as knowing to ask for a specific case manager and not just the first representative that answers the phone.  I dialed the number, again pleased by how fast I got through to someone.  After doing the typical song and dance to verify who I am I get right to the point.  Knowing they said they don’t cover it wasn’t really deterring me perhaps the way it should have.  I felt somewhat optimistic that, having armed myself with the right information and the right procedure, I’d get somewhere.  Well, in short… I GOT NOWHERE.

So where does that leave all of this?  Well, no farther along than where I started I suppose.  I can’t even comprehend going on such an epic journey without the support of friends and family and especially those people that I’ve been faithfully paying bills to for several years now.  But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m here, with no one interested in even knowing what this is all about or discussing it, and with an insurance provider that won’t pay the bills.  Not even part of them!  So, pay with cash perhaps?  I’m sure that’s a possibility but I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of questions that brings up or what kind of unforeseen situations it might breed.

Thanks for listening to my rant.  It’s rare that I ask for someone to understand how something makes me feel but generally I feel like why bother if no one asks ahead of time.  Comment if you will.

March 4, 2011 Posted by | Life, Rants | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment