Friday, November 11, 2011


Today was my upper GI.  The radiologist confirmed there is some esophageal dilation and his recommendation is no more tightening of the band. 

So the truth is out there now.  I am a confirmed Lap-Band failure.  Not sure what my next move is as I won't follow up with the bariatric specialist until next week sometime.  If revision is recommended, I may look back at Johns Hopkins as I'm not sure I want this particular practice cutting on me.  The hospital they are affiliated with doesn't have the greatest reputation around here for one, and secondly, I'm not sure they offer the procedure I'm currently considering.


Friday, November 4, 2011

It Shouldn't Be This Hard

getting follow up care, that is.  As I posted previously, getting post surgical follow up as a transient military spouse has been a challenge that I honestly did not foresee, nor was I ever warned about.  I'm not sure it would have changed my mind about having weight loss surgery, but it may have changed the type of surgery I had.

Anyways, as I posted last, I have been fighting with the staff at Johns Hopkins and I thought it had been resolved.  However, I was wrong.  I received a voicemail yesterday stating that my the physician that had agreed to see me was not familiar with the "AP Lap-Band".   He would still do a consult if I would consider revision. Seriously?!  I researched this doctor and his bio was all about how he was one of the leading surgeons in pioneering "Lap-Band" surgery in the US.  Not "Realize Band" but specifically Lap-Band and honestly isn't the mechanism behind both bands the same?  At this point I was very near the brink of tears due to my sheer frustration with the situation.  An eye-roll punctuated the "WTF-ever!" sentiment running through my head as I hung up the phone.  So, out of desperation I called another bariatric place I had heard of expecting another fight.

What I got was a pleasant surprise.

When the person answered the phone, my on the brink of tears self did my best to calmly explain my situation:
Military spouse with procedure done in one state, follow up in another and recent transplant to this area with concerns of possible slippage or erosion due to the epigastric pain I am having just to the left of the xiphoid process under my ribcage.  Will they see me?

Their answer was yes.  They scheduled me an appointment for this coming Wednesday.  No bullshit administrative fees to line their own pockets, no "well we didn't do it so we won't touch you" attitudes.  Just a "how can we help" attitude and it was such a relief.  Her staff took care of me in less than 5 minutes while I had been going round after round with Johns Hopkins.  That my friends, is what patient centered medical home is all about and this physician and her office will be receiving a letter of appreciation for treating me as a person and not a procedure or a paycheck. 

Of course, my next call was to my insurance company which is contracted with Johns Hopkins and I was almost sure this new physician wouldn't be covered since she's affiliated with a different health care system, but to my surprise she is an "in network" provider.  I called my PCM for a new referral to the new surgeon and they were also awesome, faxing it over today for me.  So here's hoping I am finally able to get some serious follow up and keep moving on this journey.

Tomorrow is Zumba with a new friend (she's teaching). But it's early for a weekend (9:00), so good night!