Five Years and Two Words ago... Part III

I got my first denial from Cigna about a week after my consultation.

The staff at BTC had warned me about it. "Everyone gets denied the first time. Be prepared for it."

I wasn't. I had read and reread my health insurance policy. It stated that the procedure would be approved if my BMI was over 40, or over 35 with a comorbidity.

Mine was 43.8. AND I had hypertension, which counted as a comorbidity.

To their credit, Cigna spelled out exactly what it would take to get an approval. I was not above jumping through their hoops. I was determined.


First things first. The Sleep Study.

The accommodations at the local hospital were actually quite nice. My room was set up like a hotel room. It was private, I had my own bathroom. There was even a lovely painting on the wall. My window overlooked the Doctor's parking lot and the local Walgreens.

My first bit of advice for someone going for a sleep study. Bring your own pillow. Seriously. Unless you like those crunchy plastic encased delights that the hospital supplies.

Then they hooked me up. Literally.
Every single one of those wires got attached to me. On my scalp, my face, my legs. It was great fun trying to get comfortable in bed. It was even more fun trying to fall asleep at 9pm when I'm used to going to bed much later. I would have sold my soul for an Ambien.

It was quite possibly the worst night of sleep I've ever had.

Have you ever tried to sleep with a nicotine patch on? I don't recommend it. If you're attempting to do this in the presence of someone with a video camera, I ABSOLUTELY discourage it. Pseudo Dad once told me he wished he a way to hook my brain up to the TV when I slept with one of those on.

When all was said and done I found out I had moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea. I stopped breathing on average 60 times an hour.

I guess that explains why I'm tired all of the time.

I became the proud owner of my own CPAP. Complete with heated humidifier.

Providing Cigna with proof of my past weight loss attempts was easy. I had close to eight months of Weight Watchers documentation. I had over 40 pages of charting from my medical records listing my weights. I had never been so glad that they had taken my weight at each appointment.

Proof of all of my attempts and failures. Proof of how weak I was. In black and white.


Two hurdles down. Bring on the last one, the Shrink!

I would have to say that my favorite part of the "hoop jumping" would have to be the psych eval.

They gave me a 600 question "survey" to complete. It took me almost two hours to complete.

How many different ways can they ask if you believe that cupcakes are following you? (The answer is 42, by the way.)

Even more educational was the hour long talk that I had with the extremely handsome Psychiatrist.

"You're an emotional eater. Pretty soon you won't be able to use food as a crutch. How do you plan on dealing with stress once you've had the surgery?"

Shit. That's a good question.

"Epi... Many of my past Gastric Bypass patients have turned from one crutch to another. Sometimes alcohol, sometimes drugs, sometimes sex. Marriages have been destroyed by this. How are you going to cope with stress?"

I really don't have an answer for that.

"Well, that's something we're going to have to work on, isn't it?"

Next up, the surgery and the aftermath.

And maybe a few pictures. Maybe.


Medic61 said...

You're amazing. Seriously. Thank you for writing this.

tracy said...

Oh Epi, you are definately NOT have proved that time and time again. i wish you the very best with all of this.

tons of hugs and love,


Evil Lunch Lady said...

NEVER think of this being the EASY way out! YIKES! It must have been the hardest way to lose weight! Hugs to you!!

Merisi said...

You are an amazing person, good luck with everything!

I came over here thanks to David's Authorblog.

Fyremandoug said...

And Epi the # of cupcakes following you, 42 is the answer to life...... and Fox Mulders Apt#

I am such a freak

you are a positive force in this crap shoot called life

Sandi McBride said...

Good luck, keep your head clear...and don't sleep with the patch...oh the dreams I had while doing this! None of them good lol...hope the procedure works well for you...
warm hugs
David sent me...