I finally did it!! I went for my consultation with a bariatric surgeon today! I went to a seminar on June 1 and made an appointment then.
Originally I thought I would want to have lap band surgery. After reading some things, talking to some people and doing some research I decided that the band wasn't going to be for me. I don't want to continue going to the doctor for the rest of my life to have the band filled and I also don't want to end up needing surgery at a later date to remove it and possibly have an RNY or a gastric sleeve done any way. Your stomach can only be squeezed so much before the tissue becomes damaged. It doesn't seem like a life long solution to me.
Also, I love sweets and the band is not as effective for people like me. I decided with the help of the surgeon to go with the gastric sleeve. In the event that I ever had to deal with my autoimmune problem in the future it would be necessary for me to be able to swallow pills and that would be very difficult if I had a pouch like in a gastric bypass. There are also less malabsorption issues with the sleeve than with the bypass.
So....my insurance requires 3 months of meeting with a dietician, a meeting with a psychiatrist and letters stating that I have been treated for weight loss before. The doctor wants me to lose 10-15 pounds prior to surgery and I also have to go for some test to prove that I don't smoke. I don't smoke at all but they have to make sure you don't smoke for at least 30 days prior to or after the surgery. Anyway... in 10 days from now I will get a letter from the doctor's office and will then be able to move forward with all of the requirements. At that time I'll also be able to find out what my co-pays and out of pocket expenses will be.
I'm very excited that by September I will have this surgery and by Christmas I should be about 50 pounds lighter and much healthier. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. When the doctor asked me how long I had been overweight and I really had to think about it I came to the realization that for more than half my life I've dealt with being horribly overweight. I am heavier now than I have ever been.