Monday, February 21, 2011

My Weight Loss Journey Begins - Running Toward My Goal

Hi Everyone.  This is my first blog.  I can't actually believe I am doing this but I am hoping it will help me along the way and help to keep me accountable on this journey and maybe I will learn something.  Maybe others will learn something, too.  Who knows?!?!!?!?  So, here goes.............
My name is Deb and I live in the Des Moines, Iowa area. I have been married for six years and we have a gorgeous four year old little girl, who is the light of both of our lives.

My journey began 30 years ago, when I was 8 years old. This is the age that I began to gain weight. I was always the fattest kid in the class and by the time I graduated from high school, I weighed 210 lbs and wore a size 18. Over the years, I have tried every diet/exercise/pills/diet drink/starvation diet out there (my parents put me on my first diet when I was around 10 years old). I have had limited success, usually losing 25-30 lbs and then gaining it all back, plus an additional 20 lbs just for good measure. Now, 20 years after high school, I weigh quite a bit more than that.  I can't even bring myself to put the actual weight on here because it's just too embarrassing.  I have found myself depressed, full of anxiety, with my body deteriorating rapidly. It's time to take drastic measures and FAST!

This brings us to the journey toward the first day of the rest of my life. It began a little over a year ago. In January 2010, I decided I wanted to get Lap Band surgery and attended an informational session at a local surgeon's office. I found out I needed to do a six month doctor supervised diet, per the requirements of one of my insurance companies (three month requirement for the other) and things started out fine. I got going but was pretty much on my own for the long haul of the six month diet. I got frustrated and didn't feel like I was being supported by the surgeon's office and guess what? Like always, I quit.

Last summer, a co-worker of mine had Gastric Bypass surgery at a different surgeon's office in town and was extremely happy with her experience, which got me thinking......maybe I should give it another try. It took a few months, but in December 2010, I finally attended an informational meeting at this surgeon's office. I went in, again thinking I wanted Lap Band surgery, but by the time the session was over, I was 99% sure I wanted the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.  For those who don't know what that is, they basically go in and remove 80% of your stomach.  Drastic, I know!  But, it's relatively safe and the results are mostly very positive. I loved the new surgeon's office. I got TONS of information, got to meet the entire team at the info session and not only that, I was scheduled for an appointment to meet with the surgeon three days later, which I was very impressed with! I will admit, the insurance lady is not always the nicest, but I will cut her some slack since I realize she is hounded 8 hours a day by people like me!

My surgeon and I both agree that the Gastric Sleeve is the best option for me and we both look for great results. I have hit a few bumps along the way, like my PCP's medical records provider taking almost two months to get all of my medical records to the surgeon's office but FINALLY they arrived. Everything was submitted to my insurance company on Wednesday, February 16th. I called my insurance company today and while I was on the phone, the representative gathered all the info and sent it to their review department. She said it takes up to 14 business days to get an answer and of course, I am hoping it won't take nearly that long (fingers crossed)! I imagine I will have to call again before the week is done, just to check on the status!

I know the finish line coming right up for this part of the race and I couldn't be happier and then it's on to the next race. I know this is the right decision for me and my family.  I have many great family and friends, who have been very supportive.  I am very lucky.  I know this is not a miracle cure but I am going to do everything in my power to make this tool work for me and I am committed to making it this time! I have never been thin before and have no idea what I will look like or what it will feel like but I sure can't wait to find out!!!! Wish me luck!  I am ready to run!