Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Here's what you gotta do......
If you want a Lapband of your very own.......
I am going to give it to you straight.....
(This is so very exciting! I have been overwhelmed with emails and even a few phone calls after my post yesterday. Looks like there are lots of you who want to join the Lapband family. The more the merrier! )
Instead of emailing everyone individually (which I started to do!), I figured I'd put it all out here on my blog. For those already banded folks out there in blogland--please feel free to add any other details, points of interest or advice in the comment section!
From my experience....here's what I think you need to know to get started....
1. You have to be obese....if you are not sure if you are obese....check here.
2. If you are not obese. but you are at an unhealthy weight...you will need to have 2 co-morbidities (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or pre-dieabetes)
3. You have tried many many many times to lose weight and you are still obese
4. If you don't fall into any of those categories but you still feel like you really need to lose weight to improve your quality of life and you have the cash upfront--there's lots of very highly regarded clinics in Mexico that will do it.....check here for the info
5. Once you have determined that you really do want to explore having a Lapband---go directly to your PCP and discuss it.
6. Even if your doctor is not on board with what you want to do, it's okay! Check here for surgeons in your area who preform the surgery.
7. Check out LapBandTalk.com for state-by-state recommendations on surgeons. And, spend a little time checking out the entire forum--it's chalk full of Lap Band patients who are at various stages of the process. This is an excellent place to hang out and get to know people and find out first hand info on what they are going through and how they are doing! It was a lifesaver for me many times! I met some great, great people there who I now call friends!
8. Most of the time--insurance does cover the cost of the surgery. But, if you want to make sure--call your insurance provider and find out! And, if it's not covered---try to see what you can do to get it covered! LapbandTalk.com has an entire forum for that! Use it!
9. Make an an appointment with a surgeon. Before you go---put together a list of all of the weight loss measures you have tried during your life time. And, be sure to put the results next to it. If you worked with a doctor or have any receipts from programs you joined or anything that would document your struggle--gather it all together. When you go to see the surgeon--you will be armed with all evidence! I had an entire notebook filled with documentation!!! But, even if you don't have that--don't worry! The proof will be at the scale!
10. Don't be surprised if the surgeon first wants you to go on a medically supervised diet to see how you do. Do what you want with this--you can either make it work or not make it work. Just remember--if you lose too much weight---you may not qualify for the surgery! Just thought I'd mention that....
11. Once you talk to the surgeon--do not get discouraged by what you hear! The process can sometimes feel mind numbing--a psych evaluation, several standard medical tests, nutritional counseling, etc. But, it will all go fast. Just do it!!!
12. Do not lose hope as time ticks on! Just think about the fact that you are working towards something positive!!!
13. And, most importantly--do not lose hope if things don't go as perfectly as planned. Keep going back to Lapbandtalk.com and see who else is going through what you are going through. I guarantee you---you will not be alone. And, there will be solutions offered for whatever issue you are grappling with!!! I promise.
14. Make sure you use every resource your surgeon has to offer. Go to the seminars. Go to the support groups. Make it a priority--even if it takes 6 months!! Believe that it will happen!
15. Stay in touch with your surgeon's office. Make sure to keep them up to date on where you are and what you need to do. Push to get a date scheduled if you have to! Once you do all the work that is required--you will find yourself filled with excited anticipation! Trust me on that!
And, if you find yourself in need of a little bit of Judi in Lapband Land----be sure to check in the archives of my blog.....there's lots of information and inspiration tucked inside my Stories from the Road....
And, most of all--- good luck!
Email me your questions or post them in the comment section!