Friday, August 28, 2009

Good Night, 613 Hugging Bear Lane

Today we finally close on the first home we ever lived in together and purchased together - 613 Hugging Bear Lane.

Originally, our friend Jason & his father owned the house, and we rented it from them for a couple of years. We then purchased it from them, and stayed for 7 years.

Seven years doesn't seem like a long time when you look at the
number, but when you think about
all the memories it seems like a lifetime.

While living in that house, we got married, I lost my mother, he lost his father, we hosted Christmas soirrees, we formed relationships with great neighbors, our pets grew up, we laughed, we cried, we lived a life.

Last night we said good night to 613 Hugging Bear Lane for the last time. We thank you for all the wonderful memories!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Appointment Scheduled

I scheduled my first appointment with an internist at St. Joseph Hospital - Lex-East for next week.

They sent a whole packet to me of everything that they may or may not do during this visit. They said it could take 4+ hours! I wonder if that includes the typical time that we spend in the waiting room waiting for them to call us back so we can wait in a room on a tissue-covered lounge thingy? Maybe these folks won't have that typical waiting period - if so, I'm counting on a good 6 hours for this shindig.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Center of Choice

The next crucial decision was to choose which medical center would perform this surgery. It's a decision that involves many aspects like finances, quality of care, program quality, program benefits, surgeon reputation, hospital reputation, location, and others.

Originally, I did not think UKHMO, my insurance company, would pay a cent for any of this medical service. So I entered this with the notion that I would pay for all of it. While that's not a good thing, it certainly knocks down many of the hoops one has to jump through to get the procedure done. Comparing the prices of the two centers - Georgetown Community Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital Lex-East - I found there was not much difference.

However, St. Joe's staff pointed out that it is likely UKHMO will pay for the pre-op tests which is a nice chunk of change as long as I do them at UK, then just send the results to them. Great!!!

Both places have earned the Excellence designation (see seal above) and both seem to have top notch surgeons; although, Gtown only has one.

The programs for pre- and post-op are similar, but I feel St. Joe's is more in depth. For instance, I will meet with a physiologist at St. Joe and work on exercise programs - a key ingredient to success. I was unable to find that Gtown offered the same service.

Also, Gtown requires that you do the insurance investigation in the beginning yourself; whereas, St. Joe's takes over dealing with the insurance company from jump.

Of course, Gtown is a good 15 extra minutes from Richmond, and I pass by St. Joe's twice a day five days a week already.

Also, I have friends and family that work in the St. Joe Lex system, so I can get some inside scoop!

I think both places have great staff and surgeons with promising programs; however, I think St. Joe's is the best fit for me.

My first appointment with them is scheduled on Aug 27 - and we're off & running!!!

Have a great weekend!

(iphone post)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Surgery Comparisons

Ok so there were two major decisions that needed to be made: which surgery do I have, and where do I have it done?

Below are the two most common options - and the only two I consider, although there are a couple of others:

This is also called the Roux-en-Y

This is the Band option

I chose the Roux-en-Y for several different reasons. The main reason is that it is the most successful option. By that I mean, it is most successful in keeping weight off long-term. It is also the most successful in "curing" those co-morbidities, or the obesity-related health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, GERD/Acid reflux, etc. Many of these conditions go away while you are in surgery, the day after surgery, or a couple of weeks after surgery.

Also, with the banding, you have a foreign object in your body for life. Foreign objects may be prone to infection, it could also grind into your pouch, twist, turn, flip, and deteriorate. The banding is also not recommended for those who have GERD/Acid Reflux as it can actually make the condition worse.

There are upsides to the band: although it is made to be permanent, it can be reversed, and even "traded in" for the gastric bypass some time in the future if it doesn't work out. It is also adjustable through the port under your skin with saline solution injections.

But for me, Roux-en-Y is the best option. I'm still going to discuss this decision with the internist during my first appointment, but I feel confident about this decision.

The next decision to be made is where to have it. I've made that decision too. I attended two seminars - one at St. Joseph Hospital - Lexington - East & one at Georgetown Community Hospital. And I will talk about that decision tomorrow... In the meantime, you can click the links to see what each medical site offers.

Disclaimer: This blog or any of my words are not meant to be considered professional advice or professional claims of any sort. You should make your own decisions and do your own research before embarking on any medical journey.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Journey Began

So if you haven't read twitter (@jamesyounce) or facebook, then you're probably wondering what the hell I have been talking about.

After years of struggling with obesity, I am determined to have gastric bypass surgery. This is going to consume and/or invade possibly every aspect of my life for a long period of time -some of those times more difficult or easier. So I felt this was worthy enough to blog about in 'journey' style as I call it.

I will share my experience with everyone so that others considering it may have some insight, some who have done it can share, and the family of those considering or currently going through it can have another perspective to read about.

I am definitely not the first person to blog about this experience, and I encourage those interested to search for other stories. I do hope to share more of the overall process details and not just my own personal achievements.

You can follow the mini updates on Twitter @jamesyounce then filter the tweets using the hashtag #jazzyjourney. All of my tweets with that hashtag will be about the gastric bypass.

So far I've attended the informational seminar at St. Joe East in Lexington. For comparison, I'm attending a similar seminar tomorrow at Georgetown Community Hospital. I'll give more details tomorrow. Nite nite!

(iphone post)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Journey

I have a journey that begins Monday at 3pm. Wish me luck!

Stay tuned for more details....

(iphone post)