SICK, SICK, SICK…….

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I haven’t posted anything at all on http://www.myfitnesspal.com since last Friday. I have been sick, sick, sick…….!

This happens to me every time I start a new weight loss journey! I don’t understand it. It started out as a cold and my body has been fiercely fighting off bronchitis. I have to be really careful when infection goes to my lungs. I have had pneumonia several times throughout my lifetime. As I am writing this, I realize it is probably time for another pneumonia vaccine.

Today is Monday and I’m back to keeping up with my food intake and exercise on MFP. It has been a really stressful past few days. I am more determined than ever to lose this excess weight and go on with my NEW life. I can’t wait – a new life, a new me!

It’s so easy to just give up especially when I feel bad, but writing on here helps me to keep going. My Fitness Pal helps keep me accountable to myself. I just discovered another site called FitBit. I will post on here as soon as I learn more about it.

Until next time…..Peace & Love – may you find it, embrace it and spread it around!

ON HOLD

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Since my last post I explained that I am waiting for my insurance company to approve my pending weight loss surgery. I have received word that the insurance company could take up to 45 days to make a decision regarding surgery. In fact, their exact words were that the decision is ON HOLD awaiting final approval. This is beyond stressful. However, in the midst of my misery I found a website that I never knew existed before. Had I not received the letter from the insurance company I probably would have never even found it. It is called My Fitness Pal and can be found here: http://www.myfitnesspal.com.

The signup was simple. You put in how much you weigh and how much you WANT to weigh. It tells you how much you can eat every day to meet your goal. Since joining, which is free by the way, I have lost 4 pounds. You actually get to eat more food if you exercise. I can’t believe I lost 4 pounds in 5 days’ time. I made sure to drink enough water every day and I consumed appropriate amounts of protein. It’s important to retain muscle. The goal is to lose fat. So far I have been able to stay within my 1,510 calories each day. The hardest has been fat grams. I never realized how much fat I have been eating until I began using MFP. I have also made a point to get in some type of exercise every day. One day I actually burned 605 calories just by walking!

While the weight loss surgery decision may be “on hold” I am not waiting around the have the best life possible. I WILL lose this excess weight, one way or another. I’m slowly learning that my entire mindset is changing. If I want something bad enough I have to find a way to make it work. I AM becoming the person I was meant to be all along. It’s too bad that it’s taken me awhile to learn that I am worthy enough to have an awesome life. Oh well, at least I’m learning  it. It’s never too late, right? So for now…this is all I have to say on the matter. I am off to a new hair salon to get my hair done and then on to some shopping for something more comfortable to exercise in.

Until next time……….Peace & Love – May you find it, embrace it and spread it around.

Take The Power Back and Love Unconditionally

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The closer it gets to learning whether I will be having weight loss surgery in the near future or not, the more stressed I’m feeling. This is not a good thing. I usually react to stress by eating fattening, high-calorie, nutrient dense foods. At least I’m aware of my problem(s), right? A therapist once told me that becoming cognizant of one’s actions is the first step of changing said actions. I’m placing my bets that the statement is correct. I know one thing to be true: I cannot put up with shit while in this state of consciousness. It’s hard trying to deal with fear of the unknown AND overcoming an addiction to all things gloriously sweet. If my body could handle it, I would swim in a pool of vanilla Zingers eating my way from one side to another. Oh my! My mouth is watering thinking about them. I can smell it from memory.

Yes, I realize the song above is mainly about expressing political views, but could it not also represent all of the obese people in this world? Were we not taught about nutrition in our formative years that eventually led to the spread of disease and obesity? Surely I’m not the only one who feels this way. I honestly didn’t understand anything about nutrition while growing up. I was raised up believing that drinking whole milk was healthy. Skim milk was considered inferior to consume. How many of us were told to eat 6-11 servings of grains per day? I remember many years ago going to a Nutritionist. She was very helpful in helping me to learn that I am an emotional eater. Up until that point I really had no idea that I suffered from the affliction of binging. She gave me several recipes to try and I distinctly remember one being for granola. I was to eat granola with skim milk and small glass of juice for breakfast. At the time the “healthy” diet was a low-fat diet. Carbs were highlighted and protein was to be eaten minimally, more like a side-dish rather than the main event. I tried the diet. I lost about 10 pounds over a few months’ time but found that I felt tired throughout the day. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was having blood sugar crashes throughout the day due to all the carbs that I consumed. Over the years “we” have been told that butter is bad for you so eat margarine. Then later we’re told butter is better, eat it. Coffee is bad for you. Later, coffee is good for you. The same thing with eggs. Add all the conflicting information coming from our government agencies concerning nutrition on top of all the fad diets out there. I’ve tried them all. You name it, I’ve tried it. Did I lose weight and keep it off? No.

I’m not trying to point the finger and blame my weight problems on others. I’m simply trying to convey the idea that the obesity problem, in the US, is complex. There is no simple explanation. For those who are not as well-informed or even have the mental capacity to understand any of the information out there – it can be very daunting, to say the least. I would really like to have a successful outcome with weight loss surgery not only for me, but also so that I can be of help to others out there who struggle with the same issues. I have concluded that most of us have problems with addiction, whether it be food, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, etc……
What is causing so many addictive tendencies within the population? I have so many questions without answers and it’s difficult for me to accept. This subject has compelled me to focus on learning all about nutrition and exercise. I’m sick of reading all the new fad diets in the marketplace. Those who write and promote the “next best weight loss diets” out there are charlatans out to make a buck off of one’s desperation and vulnerabilities. It’s sickening.

As to why there are so many of us out there seeking external “things” to anesthetize ourselves with, I believe it’s because we are seeking to connect with others and missing the mark. We long to connect with those who are willing to love and accept us unconditionally. The word, “unconditional,” brings many thoughts to mind. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word unconditional as “not limited in any way; complete and absolute.” How many of us can honestly say that we love and accept ourselves unconditionally. Do we eat, drink, take drugs, have sex, gamble to fill the void within ourselves? If so, why do we continue to follow the path of self-destruction? Why is it easier to notice these behaviors in others, but not in ourselves?

Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright….

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I received a phone call from a Registered Nurse Clinical Case Manager who works for my health insurance company. She explained that all my medical records have been submitted and are waiting to be reviewed. I should hear from the insurance company within a week or so regarding their final decision on whether they will approve my weight loss surgery or not. So I get to wait again……

I ended up having to see my primary doc the other day. It turns out I have had a sinus infection for several weeks. It got so bad that I ended up feeling dizzy a couple of days with uncontrollable nose bleeds. Now my car is in the shop getting a new transmission. I do NOT look forward to the bill. I can only imagine. I swear I’m done with foreign cars. If it aint one thang….it’s another!

I know, I know….this post is really quite boring and by now you’re probably wondering why you are even reading this crap. I get it. I suppose that I need to write this so that one day in the future I can look back and see how far I’ve come. Maybe I’ll finally realize that I’m made of stronger stuff and I can handle whatever I will be going through in the future. I don’t know if all the stress of the last few days have affected my brain or what, but I had the most amazingly lucid dream the other night.

I dreamed I was sitting behind a grand piano and a keyboard. I was playing at this really huge “hall.” There was lots of people there from all over the world. I was playing a few lines of a song while waiting for someone to come out on stage as was everyone else. I was not the main attraction. All of us were waiting, highly anticipating the main “event.” All of a sudden I looked up and who came out on stage but none other than Bob Marley? Bob Friggin’ Marley!!! He walked towards me wearing his infamous dreads, a light blue short-sleeved button up shirt, a pair of cotton trousers and some kind of leather/hemp? shoes. He walked right up to me and hugged me with those long and lean milk chocolate arms. He had a huge grin on his face like he knew me and was truly happy to see me. He stepped up to a mic and everyone fell silent including me sitting behind the piano. Then he began to sing. I sat in awe listening to him sing the first line or so of Redemption SongEveryone was caught up in the emotion of his voice. After he sang the first few lines of the song I began playing backup on a keyboard using an organ sound. When he got to the chorus the emotion increased and I became caught up in the feeling and reached the familiar Zen I’ve felt many times over the years while playing. During the chorus I actually sang with Bob. I was so caught up in the moment. He sang his heart out as I played the chords by rote. At the end of the song he looked up at the crowd smiled that pearly white smile, looked at me, waved goodbye and walked off stage. I woke up hearing the song in my dream playing over and over and the words, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our own minds,” on my tongue. The dream left me with a lighter-feeling in my chest, a fresh case of optimism and a feeling that “everything little thing gonna be alright.”

For your listening pleasure and for all the loyal fans of the great Bob Marley:

You’re Gonna Hear Me Roar

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I met a bariatric surgeon yesterday to discuss the benefits and risks of undergoing weight loss surgery. The day started off by waking up at 5:00 a.m. I got up, took a shower, threw on some clothes and makeup all while half asleep. I had only slept about 5 hours the night before. For two weeks prior my kids had all experienced a nasty stomach virus. One by one, each of them fell victim to sudden vomiting and diarrhea. I hadn’t had a full night’s sleep in over a week. Needless to say,  I was a bit grumpy yesterday morning. My husband drove us to our destination which was  120 miles one way. Right as we drove through the city we were enveloped by all the harried commuters on their way to work.  Driving conditions were hectic and at times frightful. I tried to sleep as he drove, but it was almost impossible with the loud music blaring from the radio. For some crazy reason he found humor in my groggy disposition and continued to rib me until I finally yelled and cursed at him to stop.

Two-and-a-half hours later we arrived at the hospital. I first met with a Nutritionist who weighed and measured me. She began explaining about nutritional supplements that I will be required to take for the rest of my life after surgery. She also told me that I will need to go a 10-day liquid diet prior to surgery, meaning no solid foods but plenty of protein shakes. She asked me if I had any questions and each time that I tried to convey my concerns my husband interrupted me and dominated the conversation. I could tell that she was fast becoming perturbed by his behavior, as was I. I stared at him wondering why he was acting so strangely and at the same time I wondered if he displays this behavior all the time and I have become so used to it over the years that I don’t pay attention to it anymore. Whatever the reason, she seemed displeased by him and left the room. I went upstairs to visit with a nurse, a nurse practitioner and a surgeon. Each of them asked me the same routine questions such as why I wanted the surgery and did I understand what to expect from surgery. I was a bit alarmed when the nurse told me that my resting pulse was 100 and I had a slight fever. I had started feeling a bit nauseated, but I thought it was just nerves. When we met with the surgeon my husband did the same thing again that he had done with the Nutritionist. He began dominating the conversation again. The doctor seemed nice enough. I realized that he had a very busy schedule so I didn’t say much and allowed the meeting to conclude. I had begun to feel very thirsty and quite tired. So we left and found a restaurant so we could eat some lunch. After only eating half of my food I began to feel full and lethargic.

As we started driving back home I began to feel increasingly uncomfortable. I thought that maybe I had simply eaten too much so I began thinking about all the events that had transpired. I was very worried about going on the 10-day liquid diet and thinking that there would be no way I could do it. Just a few nights before I woke up in the middle of the night starving. I ate a protein bar and then went back to bed. It was almost as if I was sleepwalking. I didn’t remember eating in the middle of the night until many hours after I woke up the next morning. I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia back in 2002 and I’ve tried to keep an eye on my blood sugar levels since then. The Nutritionist explained that drinking the protein shakes during those 10 days would help even out my blood sugar levels and I shouldn’t have any problems. She said that if it dropped too low just drink another protein shake to get it back up. It seemed like a simple explanation, but also too good to be true.

Within a couple of hours after we got home I knew something wasn’t right. The nausea had increased exponentially and then the stomach cramps began followed by a fever. I had the same symptoms my kids had a few days before. The stomach virus had caught up to me and it was vicious. I couldn’t move without feeling like I was going to throw up. It was awful. I was up and down all night long trying to fend off the nausea. I found some Phenergan gel and applied it to my wrists. It helped me to sleep and when I woke up this morning I felt much better. I’m feeling better and I’m also optimistic. Just yesterday I was highly doubting that I could go on a 10-day liquid diet for surgery without feeling dizzy and weak. When I was finally able to eat it had been 26 hours since my last meal and blood sugar level was fine. So now I feel hopeful. I know that I can do it. I just have to take one day at a time. Get through one day at a time.

While I’m feeling better about weight loss surgery, I’m feeling worse about my marriage. My husband and I almost divorced about 4 years ago, but reconciled at the last minute. We’ve had our share of ups and downs since then, but things haven’t been so great for about the last year. I’ve tried communicating with him.  In fact I’ve done everything I know to do to make things work. I was told yesterday that if all goes well with the insurance company I should be able to have surgery within the next 3-4 weeks. It seems like the closer we get to my surgery date the worse he is acting. His actions culminated into a fight about an hour ago. I really don’t know what set him off, but he began yelling and pointing his finger in my face. I really hate that and I asked him to stop. He cursed at me and continued to stick his finger in my face. I snapped. I grabbed his finger and twisted it. He accused me of assaulting him, yelled at me some more and told me, “fuck you, I’ll point at you all I want.” He proceeded to stomp through the house yelling at me and told me to go find a lawyer so I could leave him again. I just looked at him like as if I was outside of the situation. I didn’t feel anything. I felt numb. No emotion. The only thing I kept thinking was that my parents were right about him all along. As I’m writing this, I don’t feel anything. I don’t feel anger. I don’t feel like crying. Nothing. I’ve seen it all, heard it all for almost 20 years. I realized with much clarity that I had better go through with this surgery and gain some autonomy. I have been far too dependent on him for the last few months. I am completely at his mercy in the fact that I’m not even working right now. Am I afraid of him? No. I think I deserve to be treated better and definitely talked to better. Having this surgery will open up a door to self-confidence that I am severely lacking. I really hope that my insurance company approves this surgery. I will know something within the next one to two weeks. I know this much: I will either be having surgery or I will be searching high and low for a decent paying job. Either way I am coming out of this suffocating shell that I’ve been existing in for so long. It’s time to take my life back.

Que Sera Sera!

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I am at the cusp of meeting a new bariatric surgeon tomorrow morning. I realized earlier today that I have been subconsciously running away from some of the problems that have caused my weight gain in the first place. Instead of focusing on myself and my pending surgery I have been scatterbrained. For some strange reason I have been focusing on all that is wrong with my house. I have spent countless hours looking at photos on the internet searching for the perfect shade of paint for my living room walls. WTF? I should be focusing on getting prepared for surgery, but maybe I’m not focusing on surgery for the very real reason that the surgery may not happen. I don’t want to get my hopes up too high again.

I have been trying to have weight loss surgery for almost 11 months now. My insurance company called me one month before I was supposed to have surgery last fall and explained that they would pay at a higher level if I went to a different doctor and facility. Otherwise, I would be responsible for a few thousand dollars’ worth of co-payments. I really had no choice but to comply which meant that I had to start all over again with a new doctor and new facility. This whole experience has been surreal. I am at the final step. The next step is when my new physician’s office submits all of my medical records for review to my insurance company. The decision will completely in the hands of my insurance company. I’m dreading the outcome because to be completely honest, I really don’t know what I will do if I get turned down. Actually, my concerns are two-fold. On one hand I’m worried about what I will do if I don’t get approved for surgery and on the other hand I’m worried about what I will do if I do get approved.

I read on the internet that the divorce rates skyrocket after weight loss surgery. Let’s say I’m able to have the surgery and I’m successful at losing all this excess weight: what happens if my husband and I no longer have anything in common and our 20-year marriage crumbles? We’ve often joked that one of our hobbies is eating and finding really great restaurants to go to. I think together we make great parents to our kids, but what about our own relationship? How will it change? Will he become jealous and possessive when the weight falls off? Will he feel insecure by my receiving attention from the opposite sex? These are the kinds of questions that plague my mind. I want to have the surgery, yet at the same time I know that some things will inevitably change. I suppose I should own up to the idea that what this whole post is really about is me being afraid of the changes to come. But, in order to grow I have to be willing to accept change. In order to evolve and allow my authentic self, (inner me), and my outer self to coalesce I have to be willing to adapt to said change, right? I must allow to happen what will happen, good or bad. I realize the outcome is based upon our individual choices. I don’t want to make a bad choice. I honestly can’t see, right now anyway, that having weight loss surgery will be a “bad” thing. I’m doing this to improve my quality of life.

I suppose my reticence about this endeavor is that I want to control the outcome of this decision. I want to keep on living the way that I have for a long time, the status quo, but this impulse to control is based upon fear. FEAR – that dreaded, ugly four-letter word. How do I reconcile this feeling of dread, (fear), with finally just letting go and let whatever will be, will be?

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Carpe Diem

T minus 2 days:

I am highly anticipating my first visit with the new bariatric surgeon scheduled for Thursday of this week. It will take approximately two hours driving one-way into a neighboring state crossing a large mountain range to get to my doctor’s appointment by 9:30 in the a.m. I will have to leave by no later than 7:00 in the morning, just in case there is bad weather up in the mountains and/or congested traffic on the interstate highways once I get across the mountains. Call it desperation or call it stupidity, but I am willing to go in order to have weight loss surgery.

I have completed all of the pre-surgery requirements set forth by my insurance company and the doctor’s office. I am hoping to have a sleeve gastrectomy in the next few weeks. For those of you that are not familiar with this type of procedure, a sleeve gastrectomy is an irreversible surgical procedure which removes about 80% of my stomach performed laparoscopically. Although the procedure seems extreme, no other organs are altered except my stomach. It should take about two hours to complete and I’ll stay in the hospital for a couple of nights. Normally, I would go home the next day but because I live so far away the surgeon will more than likely keep me an extra night to make sure there are no complications that would require me to have further surgery. As with all surgery there is risk. I could die.

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My life has not felt like my own in so many years that I can’t imagine living the rest of my life in my current physical state. I married young. I became a young Mom to three healthy sons. I have been blessed. I focused all my time and energy on raising my sons. My needs and wants have come last on my list of priorities for the last 18 years. My oldest son is grown. My two younger  sons are well on their way to becoming young men. Now it is time for me. That might sound selfish to some of you, but I don’t feel that way. I want to have better quality of life so that I might be an energetic and healthy grandmother one day to my future grandchildren. But before I am thrust into “grand” motherhood, I want to reclaim my life back. I have given and I have sacrificed. I don’t expect a medal. I did what countless of other mothers have done, but now it’s time for Me again. I’m still young, just a little farther towards the middle of my life span. None of us knows when our time is up so I am taking the “bull by the horns” and going for it. I’m living life to the fullest. In order to live in the moment you have to be willing to take risks because it is when we take the biggest risks that we feel the most alive.

My reasons are my own. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I’m not doing this for anyone but me. I want a leaner, healthier body. I want the feeling of accomplishment. I want a new body to go with my new mindset. I have been working on myself for years through self-help books, cathartic writing, learning from my mistakes and humbling myself enough to admit my weaknesses. There is this feeling of disconnection between my mind and my body because of all this excess weight that I am carrying around all the time. It has encumbered me from enjoying life to the fullest. I feel like I have been “existing” not living. I have watched everyone else live their lives from the sidelines. My children have never seen me as a thin person. I had an athletic body before their existence and they can’t imagine me ever being that way.

I am ready for positive changes. I am willing to risk it all – for it is when we take the biggest risks that we feel the most alive. Carpe diem!

Carpe Diem

Pineapple Whip

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This recipe has been circulating all over Facebook recently. I googled it and found that there are many different versions of this recipe so I thought I would add my two cents’ worth, too. Here goes:

Pineapple Whip

Ingredients

1 (20 ounce) can of pineapple chunks in 100% juice

1 lime

4 packets of Splenda or any other sugar substitute of your choice

1 can of Whipped Cream

Directions

Drain the juice from the pineapples and set aside. Put the pineapple chunks in a blender. Squeeze the juice from 1 lime into the pineapple chunks. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved pineapple juice. Blend on high for about 30 seconds until there are no chunks.

Pour the pineapple mixture into 2 small freezer bags. Lay the bags flat in the freezer for about one hour or until the pineapple mixture is slushy. Once the mixture is ready, pour the mixture into a bowl and add about 1/2 of a small can of whipped cream, (or to your taste). Gently fold the mixture together and pour into two glasses. Adorn each glass with a lime wedge and serve cold. Get ready for some lick-smacking taste of summer!

 

***Pictures to follow soon. It looked so good after I made it that I couldn’t wait to take a picture before I drank it.

Chocolate Chai Energy Oatmeal

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This recipe encompasses two of my all-time favorite flavors – chocolate and chai. Now for those of you who don’t know what chai is, here’s a brief explanation:

The word “chai” simply means a mixed spiced tea. In some countries the word “chai” means tea so when ordering a Chai tea at your local tea shop, you are actually asking for “tea tea.” The main ingredients are black tea, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and peppercorns. It is a highly aromatic, sweet-smelling tea that makes me think of Christmas. In fact, it is my absolute favorite tea during the winter months. The traditional preparation involves adding steamed milk to the freshly brewed cup of tea along with any other sweetener. Some like honey, which adds a mellowed sweetness. I drink it using  fresh half-and-half creamer and artificial sweetener like Stevia or Splenda, whichever I happen to have on hand. Anyway, back to the original recipe.

Chocolate Chai Energy Oatmeal

Ingredients

1 cup of milk, (your choice of milk, soy, almond milk or coconut milk)

1 1/2 cups strongly brewed chocolate chai tea, (I use loose tea for the concentrated flavor).

1 heaping tablespoon Hershey’s cocoa

2/3 cup quick-cooking oatmeal

1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter or almond or cashew butter

1/2 cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts, optional

1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional

Stevia, to taste, optional

Whipped Cream, optional

Directions

Put the loose chai tea in a cup and add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Allow to steep 15 minutes. Pour the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. While the tea is steeping, add the cocoa to the milk mixture in the pan, stir well. When the tea has steeped, pour the tea mixture through a strainer into the milk and cocoa in the saucepan. When the liquids are hot and almost boiling, add the oatmeal. Cook the oatmeal, stirring often. When the oatmeal is cooked, remove from the heat and add the peanut butter and the nuts. Stir. Distribute the oatmeal between two bowls. Add the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and the Stevia, mix well and then top with whipped cream. Makes two servings.

Health Benefits:

The oatmeal provides fiber that encourages slow digesting and stabilizes blood glucose levels. The complex carbohydrates offer a good source of energy. Cocoa is a rich source of antioxidants. The nuts offer vitamins B and E, fiber and essential minerals. Chai tea is rich in antioxidants and can improve overall health. The mini semi-sweet chocolate chips offer the same benefits as the cocoa, and adds some sweetness. Stevia is a plant that is native from South America as a natural sweetener. The caffeine from the Chai tea can give you a little boost of energy to get up and get moving. 

***Yes, I’m aware of the current Splenda controversy. Some people cannot tolerate Splenda at all. For those of you that can’t, simply don’t use it. For those of you who don’t have any negative side effects, use at your own discretion.

****I have not been paid or compensated by any person or business for the use of any ingredients mentioned above. If you have any questions regarding the nutritional values either pre-surgery or post-surgery, please refer to your bariatric surgeon or nutritionist.

The World of Chaos and Hoops of Fire

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Today I received a phone call from the surgical group and I have an appointment in a couple of weeks to meet my bariatric surgeon for the first time since embarking upon this new journey towards surgical weight loss. After the meeting, the decision of approval will be completely up to my insurance company. The sad reality is that the insurance companies seemingly “own” the health care providers and we patients are victims of their tyrannical reign. If it sounds like I have a “chip” on my shoulder regarding insurance companies, I do.

I have worked for several physician’s offices over the years working as a Receptionist, Medical Billing Clerk, File Clerk, Collections and Medical Records Clerk. I have seen the ugliness of healthcare. I have witnessed the greed and I have helped corporate healthcare in the process of collecting money from patients and their insurance companies. I have also worked, however briefly, as an Insurance Agent. Yes, I really hate to admit that, but I have worked for the enemy. The problem is that it’s hard to tell who is the worse enemy, corporate healthcare or the insurance companies? I could never totally reconcile the differences and overcome the feelings of guilt while working in both capacities as facilitator and for the opposition. I have worked from both sides of the spectrum and could find no inner balance between the two. The entity that is most negatively affected is the patient, especially those without healthcare coverage. Those without healthcare coverage are not afforded the luxury of choice nor the appropriate level of care. If you can’t pay, you die. That’s the simple and harsh truth.

I am fortunate to have healthcare coverage provided by my husband’s employer. Having worked in healthcare, I am very much aware of how fortuitous I really am. Because of my healthcare coverage I am much more likely to receive better care thereby providing me with overall longevity and better quality of life. At the height of my exuberance of anticipating surgery, I can’t help but feel forlorn for those who need the most basic of care and can’t get it because of their lack of coverage. Quite simply, it sucks.

Part of the reason I decided to pursue this surgery at this stage of my life is because I have health insurance coverage. With the current health care reform in place I am quite aware of the likelihood that private health insurance companies will offer less coverage with a higher out-of-pocket expectation. Again, the entity that is most negatively affected is the patient.

What I would like to know as well as  thousands of others is when and how did the insurance companies gain such power? This “hurry-up-and-wait” game of expecting an answer concerning my future health is very stressful. For those of us who are emotional eaters, this process is counterproductive.

It is my intention to update my status on here so that I can hopefully help someone else who may be considering or going through the same process. If you are reading this because you are feeling the urgency of an impending decision, whether it be yours to make or not, you are not alone. There are many others out there, including me, who completely understand the madness and are also trying to make sense of the World of Chaos called insurance companies and their hoops of fire.

Until next time…..