Sunday, April 12, 2009

The first appointment

I know, bad blogger. But I have been thinking about it.

So since the date of July 9th was set I have learned that my brother in law and his fiancée are getting married in VA on the 25th of July. My date will have to be changed, but am unsure of how the time line is going to work.

But first the visit. The office staff was very nice, if a little clueless. They have you fill out a questionnaire and insurance information. My referral was all set and so all I had to pay was the office visit co-pay. The weighed me and measured my height and also took my pulse and blood pressure. The girl doing this was okay.... the BP machine was automated and it gave a really wonky number. 150 over 110 and she didn't even recheck it!!! After she was done taking vitals she gave me a gown to change into and played a movie for me by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. It was about body contouring after massive weight loss. I swear-- if I looked like the computer animated woman in that video, I wouldn't be having this done! It talked about how long this journey will take, possibly longer than your weight loss surgery journey. Yeah, it was at that point, I opened the door letting the girl know I was ready. She came back in and we went over a brief medical history, she asked when I had had surgery. In February I told her. She asked again, and I was all, oh, I wrote at the bottom of the medical questionnaire that I had lost all of my weight with diet and exercise. I was a little annoyed that she hadn't read that-- it was written in the anything else you would like to share part of the questionnaire and clearly, WLS was NOT Listed under the line that said, please list prior surgeries.

So after we got that out the way she asked if I had any other questions, I asked if she would recheck my BP-- telling her that the number that had come up must be an error. I've never seen a number that high, I run 107 over 81. She wheeled the machine back in in fact she did get a normal reading the second time.

The surgeon was running a little late but when he did come in, the girl who had done all the pre work joined him. She made sure to let him know before he arrived I was not WLS patient. He asked how he could lose weight like me! LoL, I think he was only half joking. We chatted about the procedures I was interested in. He was *very* economy focused. Said that there was no reason to break the bank for this, I imagine that his business must be hurting too, but probably not that bad if he is still booking so far out. He said that he thinks I don't need to have a lower body lift, just the pannulectomy combined with a abdomniplasty. He would extend it to just below my breasts because I have a great deal of extra skin that would look very odd after a simple tummy tuck.

The thighs would have to be done in a second stage. He does not like to do procedures all at once, even if it saves money because those two particular procedures pull on the skin in two different. The thighs are obviously going to be a vertical scar and the middle a horizontal scar. After we were done talking he did a physical exam. Having met a couple of surgeons now, I wonder if they are as surprised as they seem when they see how much skin I have. He took pictures and measure me. Many many pictures. Eeeeek. He showed me in the pictures that I have good lines, (hence no need for the circumferential lift) but all I saw was how lumpy I am. I know I'll never be smooth, but still. Kinda harsh seeing those.

After the exam and I was bundled back up in the jonnie we talked about insurance coverage. He does believe that my HMO, HPHC will cover a pannulectomy but that I would have to cover the rest of my middle. He also said that when we get to thighs that he will seek insurance coverage for that as well because of my knee history. He suggested that I don't take no for an answer. I told him that wouldn't be a problem, I am my own best advocate these days. He said that he didn't doubt that. He sent me for blood work, checking my protein levels. He said that they shouldn't be a problem since i eat normally.

So that was it, he shook my hand and said talk to the front desk about scheduling a date. YaY! She wrote up two price quotes for this first phase. One with insurance cover for the pannulectomy and the other with out. The former was quoted at 7700 and the later at 3400. When I get a second I'll scan one in. Quote is good for 90 days and I liked at how up front they were about it. The girl at the front desk also had a photocopied sheet of how to pay for your surgery at Faulkner hospital. Literally the details regarding who and when. They require up front payment three weeks in advance.

I need to call them back about that, I wonder, is there any sort of wait list if you pay way ahead of time? I do not want to wait until after the 25th of July for this. But if that's what it is, then that's what it is.

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