Sunday, February 2, 2014

there's not so much of me as there used to be

So, as of 2 days ago, I am down to 188.  I've had to completely re-do my wardrobe (read: bought a whole bunch of new clothes) and am feeling really good.  I can eat just about anything I want;  the only catch is that I can only eat about 4-6 small bites of it.  But it's okay...  it's definitely worth eating 1/8 as much as I used to to lose the weight.  But there are times when I REALLY, REALLY miss eating I like used to.  But life is good!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Still around...

I expect to go back to work on Monday and am looking forward to it, mainly so I can see Tiffers and have adult conversation again.  I feel okay but still get a little tired, but I know that will get better with time.  I'm eating stuff now that I shouldn't be eating yet, but I'm tolerating it, so that's the big thing.  Speaking of...  time for an omelet.....

Thursday, November 14, 2013

On Saturday night, I licked the cheese off a Cheeto.  It was Heavenly.

As of 11/13, I have lost 11 pounds.  I was 227 the day of surgery, so now I am 216.  Not too bad considering I had to spend an extra day in the hospital due to anemia and then having to go back on Monday to get fluids due to dehydration.  And despite all that, I looked WAY better than the other 2 people who had surgery the same day I did, so there!

Friday, October 11, 2013

T minus 24 days...

When I was in The Nuthouse, many years ago, I met a girl named Carey.  We weren't particularly close or anything, and we lost track of each other after I left.  Life went on and then, a few years ago, thanks to Yahoo Groups, we found each other again.  About a year or so ago, she said she was going to have gastric bypass surgery.  I guess she'd had some other weight loss surgery in the past and it didn't work well, so she was going to have another one done.  Anyway, I haven't heard much about her outcome (anything at all, truth be told).  I don't know if she really hasn't lost much weight (which IS possible, if you don't do what you're supposed to do) or what, but I wonder how it worked out for her.  I don't want to ask, because, what if it didn't work?  I've seen pictures of her and I know she had to be close to 300 pounds, so I don't want to ask and have her have to say, Well, I didn't follow the plan and it was a waste of my time.  That would just piss me off, especially since she's on disability and I'm pretty sure my tax dollars were the ones that paid for the surgery.  I guess that's kind of shallow, but this is my place to be honest.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

T minus 25 days...

So, the last time I weighed, which was about 2 weeks ago, I weighed 227.  That's a mere 2 pounds more than the minimum that would keep me at a BMI of 25.  When I went to the doctor the first time, they told me that I couldn't lose any weight, or else I might not be eligible to have the surgery done.  So I ate.  And ate.  And ate some more.  And the most that I weighed was 230 and I think the only reason it was ever that much is because I purposely ate Chinese food the day before.  Hey, anything to make sure I didn't drop below a 25 BMI...

My life is going to change so drastically, and I'm sure it will change in ways that I haven't even thought of yet.  And believe me, I have been doing a lot of thinking about it lately.  Almost like everything I do makes me think of how I'll be doing things differently in just a few weeks.  I think Oh, I'll be able to still eat this, or Nope, I'll probably never be able to eat this again and all kinds of thoughts in between.

Yesterday, I emailed my FMLA paperwork to the doctor and today I got notice from my benefits department at work that it's been approved.  How's that for expediency?  I have to admit I'm impressed.  I expect to be out for about 3 weeks before I go back to work.  That's how long Tiffers was out, as well as how long another friend from work was out.  I really have until December 17, but I'll be way broke before then. 

Speaking of....  yes, my insurance does cover the surgery.  I had to see a dietician and my regular physician at least once every 30 days for 90 days (I ended up having to go 4 times to each just to make sure I had enough visits) and be on a medically supervised diet.  I gotta be honest though...  I didn't even try to diet.  With my luck, I'd have lost those 3 pounds I worked so hard to gain.  LOL  At worst it was just a pain in the butt to do and at best, I've got some pretty good tools to use for after the surgery.  And as you know if you've read the blog from earlier this year, we met our deductible pretty early on, so it should be covered at 100%.

In two days my promotion at work will be official.  Woo hoo!  I've worked long and hard to get where I am and I still want to go further.  Whether we want to admit it or not, obese people are not promoted as quickly as folks of the skinnier variety.  I'm certainly not doing this for a job, but I don't imagine that it will hurt my chances any. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

T-minus 29 Days and Counting...

On Monday, November 4, I will have gastric bypass surgery.  I'm really not all that big, when you compare me to the majority of people who have this surgery, but I'm having it anyway.

This is a process that started way back in April of this year.  One of my dearest friends, Tiffany, and I work with a woman who had the surgery back in August, 2012, and we were so amazed with the difference that it made in her life, that we started looking into it.  For Tiff, it was much more of a serious matter than it was for me.  She is larger and I barely - and I mean, BARELY - made it into the BMI range for being eligible for the surgery.  We went to a seminar put on by Denver Bariatric Surgery and it was amazing.  And our insurance covers it!  How cool is that? 

Anyway, like I was saying, for Tiff, it's more a big deal that it is for me.  Yeah, I know that I weigh about 65 pounds more than I did when Kenin and I got married, but I also know that he loves me no matter what.  As a matter of fact, his prime concern with me having the surgery is that I will get too skinny and he DOES NOT like skinny women.  (Do I have the best husband in the world, or what?)  I guess you could say that I "followed" Tiff into all of this.  I've been heavier than I would like for the majority of my life.  I was made fun of by my brothers for many years as I grew up, and it helped to shape the way that I looked at myself, and that caused a lot of issues for me.  I certainly don't blame them; we were all in bad places at that point in our lives.  But I felt like I wasn't good enough and all I wanted was to feel loved.  I did lots of inappropriate things to get that "love" that I wanted, and as I said, that caused some issues.  Eventually, I grew a backbone and some self esteem, and at that point, I didn't really care what anyone thought of me, because I was (and still am) happy with the me on the inside.  Unfortunately, I'm not as happy with the me on the outside.

Food has always been a big part of my life.  My favorite memories are of me as a small child, and the family gathered around a table, chowing down on a holiday, or just visiting each other.  A lot of my memories of my biological mother involve food - her cooking our favorite things, her dieting and weighing her food on one of those tiny scales.  And I've always had a sweet tooth.  If it had sugar in it, I made a beeline to it.  I can still remember the bake sale that we had at school when I was 6 or 7 years old... there was the most incredible, ooey, gooey, marshallowy Rice Krispy treats that I think I've ever (even to this day) put in my mouth.  So, yeah, I started out young.

To be continued...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

OMG redux

So, this is kind of a follow up from my last post...

About 26 days ago, I bought some meds for Kenin that were $633, and today I spent $412 for 5 days worth of meds.  What the hell, people?  As stunned as I was before, I'm even more so now.  This will not even cover him until his appointment next Tuesday.  I can't believe the cost of trying to stay alive. 

It must not be enough that I have to pay on 23 different doctor or hospital bills every month.  And please note that I said pay "on", not pay off.  I have what I consider to be decent (not great) insurance and still have tens of thousands of dollars in medical debt.  It only took us 2 months to the day to hit our deductible.  Two months!  Now I have just over $3000 until we hit our out of pocket maximum for the year.  That may not sound like much to some of you, but that's an ass of money to me.  That's almost 3 months rent.  That's 8 months of car payments.  That's about 5 months worth of groceries.  That's an ass of money, any way you look at it. 

Please understand, I'm not asking for a handout, or a hand up or anything at all.  I just want to know why it's so freaking expensive to be sick in America.  We make too much money for any kind of assistance, and I'm happy to say that I have a job and insurance, but it's almost not worth it.  Well, actually, it isn't worth it.  The 23 medical bills that I pay every month?  I can't even pay enough on them to keep us out of collections.  According to this CNN article from 2009 (and you know it's a WHOLE lot worse now),

Bankruptcies due to medical bills increased by nearly 50 percent in a six-year period, from 46 percent in 2001 to 62 percent in 2007, and most of those who filed for bankruptcy were middle-class, well-educated homeowners, according to a report that will be published in the August (2009) issue of The American Journal of Medicine.
Overall, three-quarters of the people with a medically-related bankruptcy had health insurance, they say.

"That was actually the predominant problem in patients in our study -- 78 percent of them had health insurance, but many of them were bankrupted anyway because there were gaps in their coverage like co-payments and deductibles and uncovered services," says Woolhandler. "Other people had private insurance but got so sick that they lost their job and lost their insurance."

There is obviously something broken within our healthcare system.  I don't know how to fix it and the folks that might have some good ideas can't agree on anything. 

You know, when I was younger and I had to go to the doctor or even when I had my kids, I had to pay very little, if anything at all.  I think I paid $100 each to have my kids.  The first time I really had to pay any real medical bills at all, it was 6 or 7 years ago and we had a Kaiser Permanente HMO plan.  But I was okay with it.  The co-pays were $25 and then $10 or so for meds.  It was definitely affordable and I'd love to have that now.  But my employer has Cigna and we have a $2400 deductible and an out of pocket maximum of $5500 before they will pay 100%.  And thank goodness they do, or else I'd be well over a hundred thousand dollars in debt versus tens of thousands.  Thinking of it in those terms almost makes it seem bearable.  Almost.

Friday, April 5, 2013

OMG

The other day, we had to purchase some medicine for Kenin.  It's an injectable medicine that he needs to - literally - help him stay alive.  It's called Fragmin and is necessary for keeping Kenin's blood thin enough to break up the blood clot he got (and still has) in his leg after hip replacement surgery last July.  After he had surgery, it cost $200 for 2 tiny little vials.  The other day when we bought it, the cost was $633 (after the insurance knocked off $80) for a single vial.  OMG.  What the hell? 

Yes, we have insurance, and now, we're over halfway to the deductible.  But, OMG....  $633 for a drug that could save your life.  It's a small price to play when you think of it in those terms, but OMG....  $633.  I did not imagine we'd have to pay that much.  I freaked out over the $200 but that was nothing compared to this.  That's half my rent.  That's more than both my car payments each month.  That's pretty much my food budget for the month.  $633 is a lot of money. 

Like I said, it's worth it, but come on, that's just the drug makers getting rich.  The folks who have the hardest time working - and often are not able to work - are the ones that have to pay for expensive drugs like this.  This is just ridiculous.