I went to the appointment with my diabetologist today and it made me wish I’d go to see her more often. She brings things up that no other doctor or consultant approaches. Like two years ago, it was her who suggested I go to see an endocrinologist to help me figure out my thyroid issues.
Today, completely out of the blue, she asked what I thought about a gastric band or bypass. To be honest, I don’t know exactly which surgery she meant because until I googled around a bit later on, I had no idea there were so many different possibilities. She gave me some term that I forgot, something endo-something, where apparently you get something added / inserted into your stomach for a year. It sounded like a gastric band but upon googling it, I learned that most people don’t have that removed so soon, so I don’t know. But anyway, right now that’s not important yet.
So she asked me about it and at first, I dismissed it because yes, it had crossed my mind a lot, but I thought I wasn’t eligible, so my insurance wouldn’t cover it. To which she said that, of course it would. My BMI is >40 and she / my doctor would recommend it which means that usually, it takes little to no effort for the insurance to give their okay. So all of a sudden, this is a possibility that I can consider.
I am almost 100% sure that I want to do it after a lengthy conversation with her. We checked my diabetes diary together, she looked at my options and efforts thus far and basically, it’s not impossible for me to lost weight, of course, but it will be so slow that it would take me years. It’s a lot to do with the insulin rates I need, my thyroid issues, etc. She said what I need to consider is that during those years, the weight will keep having an influence on my body and I can reduce the risk of any follow-up problems by losing it more quickly due to this surgery.
This is not about taking the easy way out for me at all. I admit that it sounded like it in the first place, yeah. I mean it sounds great. Get surgery, spend a couple days in hospital, then drop weight like whoa. Which is basically what will happen. But along with that, according to experiences of other people I’ve found in forums and on websites, comes a lot of pain, general discomfort, a struggle with adjusting your daily life to the new condition and, of course, nutrition classes that teach you to not just rely on your stomach having a smaller volume but also to learn what to eat and what to avoid so you won’t gain it all back. On the plus side, all these things will be covered by my insurance, I “only” need to bring the motivation and effort.
Also, according to my diabetologist, there’s an almost 100% chance they’ll also cover the follow-up surgery of having the dead skin removed which can’t be avoided. As I mentioned previously, I’m already struggling with that now and if I’ll lose almost half my weight within a year, that part isn’t exactly gonna improve.
It all sounds really, really promising, despite the many risks and things to consider. What I’m most worried about is the surgery itself. My history with any kind of surgery and hospital stays isn’t a positive one and I think that’s what I’ll spend the most research on. Finding the right place and knowing exactly who will be doing what, that is. Without sounding bitter, I feel like the people treating my previous gastro issues were complete amateurs and did more wrong than right. With this, I’ll try to find a really good place rather than just choosing the nearest one for convenience reasons.
If it’s gonna happen, of course. So far, it’s just been brought up once and it’ll be a long way til it actually happens and I’ll see results. Right now we agreed that my diabetologist will speak with her boss, the doctor of their clinic and then I have another appointment, hopefully with both of them, in two weeks where they’ll give me further input. After reading so much about it today, I have way more questions than I had this morning, especially concerning the exact method she meant. And from there, I think the next step would be that I get the required forms and medical checks done to send an application to my insurance. Most people on forums and websites I’ve checked have waited between a month and three for a reply from their insurance, some getting a negative one at first and having to reapply. So I don’t think it’ll all happen this year because when I have the okay, I still need to make an appointment. Fingers crossed it’ll be faster and easier but hey, a few months seem like nothing.
Until then, I’ll just continue this journey as usual, eat as clean as I can, watch my insulin, work out. To get my hba1c in order, I have to do several basal rate tastes which means not eating over the course of six or seven hours, no added insulin either, and then see where that gets me. I started the afternoon test today and it’s hard because I’m still hungry and craving fooooood but I really want to show her that I do care and that I am willing to cooperate. Plus, I just wanna get that damn hba1c in check. The – perhaps justified but still annoying – thing with that is, if this value is too high, basically every doctor or consultant will judge you for it and use that as an explanation for everything and let it justify them giving you a long speech about it.