Yesterday afternoon, I completed my psych evaluation that is required by my insurance company and the weight management clinic in order to have the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) weight loss surgery. Usually the psych evaluation is something that you do a little bit earlier; however, the scheduling of the evaluation was tough and it turns out that it was the LAST thing I had to do on the checklist.
I’ll back up for a minute. My insurance company and the weight management clinic that I have six months worth of weigh-ins with a diet that is supervised by a physician and registered dietitian, they required behavior modification classes, nutritional classes, a weight loss of 44 lbs, support group meetings, surgical education classes, and finally a psych evaluation. I started this process on November 20th, which was counted as the “Month 1” weigh-in. Everything so far has been going great and so I was a little nervous going into the psych evaluation because I didn’t know what to expect.
So, I showed up at the psych evaluation and apparently I was supposed to have a questionnaire filled out before I got there. DAMN IT! I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten? I can’t remember them telling me that but I’m sure they probably did. Usually I’m very “Type A” and on top of those kinds of things… but there has been so much to do/remember with this program that I guess it slipped my mind. So, I quickly filled it out and they took me to one of their patient rooms.
Here’s the interesting part… my psych evaluation was done at a distance, meaning that I was in a patient room sitting in front of a computer video conferencing with a therapist. The main office for the health system I use is about 2 hours away and they offer the evaluations at a distance to save people travel time/money.
So, she asked about my background in terms of my weight. In an almost 10 year period, I had managed to go from about 170 lbs to 444 lbs in November. WOW….. that’s insane….
She asked me to describe the surgery that I wanted, as well as why I came to that conclusion. She also asked me describe the risks of that particular type of surgery – which was easy because I’ve done so much research. She asked about my eating schedule, the diet I’ve been following, as well as the amount of water that I drink in a day. She asked me the usual medical questions, like “Do you smoke?” “When did you last have a drink” or “How much caffeine do you drink”… it was easy to answer these questions – NO NO NO!
Overall, all of the questions were pretty easy. It felt a job interview to be honest. I knew the kind of answers that she wanted to hear; however, I did answer them openly and honestly. For example, she asked me from 0-100% how sure I was that I wanted to go through with surgery. I told her 95%. She said “What gives you pause?” and I told her that any surgery would give me pause, but also the fact that I’ve lost almost 90 lbs in 5 months gives me pause as well. I think you’d have to be crazy to not step back and say to yourself… “I’ve lost a lot of weight so far, do I need surgery?” and I explained to her that I felt I needed this tool to help in getting me to the finish line.
When it was all said and done, she gave me the “green light” to move forward. In fact, she said “I give you a BRIGHT green light. I wish everyone were as prepared as you!” So it was nice to know that I don’t need to worry about this anymore.
The psych evaluation was the LAST requirement of my supervised six month diet. I. AM. DONE. Obviously this is really only the beginning of a journey that is never over, but at least I’ve done all that I can at this point. It’s up to the insurance gods now to see if I’m approved. I couldn’t be happier to have this all completed.
I will say that I’m a little antsy about scheduling. At this point, I need to meet w/ the surgeon and then at that appointment I get a date. Well, I have no idea when the meeting with the surgeon will happen. The message that the doctor sent me is a little confusing… I think it’s a language barrier thing? This is what the message said:
“I wrote a letter to insurance company today. I wrote a letter to surgery team also. I asked to schedule you as soon as they can. You need to wait for 2 weeks to hear anything back. If you do not have any surgery appointment in 2 weeks, please let me know.”
I think this means that if I haven’t been contacted within two weeks about a surgery appointment, then I need to tell her? I thought before that within two weeks from completing the requirements I would actually HAVE the appointment. I have a small window from mid-May to early June to have the surgery or I have to wait until later in July because of work obligations. I’m stressing out that I won’t be able to make it. UGH! I’m the queen of stressing out about things I can’t control LOL
Thanks to everyone for the continued support!!