Jumping through Hoops

I met with one of the bariatric surgery physicians earlier today, and he gave me the official green light for the surgery.

My insurance company, however, is making me jump through literal hoops to have it done. Seriously, they require 6-months of dieting before they approve the surgery. Yep, Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or the like. Because having surgery to remove 80% of your stomach isn’t daunting enough. Let’s throw in 6-months of restrictive eating on top of it!

I pretty much dieted in some way, shape or form for about 20 years. I still remember being a size-6 my senior year of high school, afraid to wear my bikini in public. Should I show them my WW Lifetime member card? Yes, I have one of those. I successfully kept my weight off for about 3 years by starving myself between the years 2005 and 2008. I was hungry for 3 years!

Listen, none of this is a surprise to me. I knew this might be the case with my insurance. I wish I could do what Roxane Gay did and just pay out of pocket for the surgery. It costs about $25,000, and unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of cash available to me.

But, to ask a women with a deep history of eating disorders & depression to go on a diet is, frankly, stupid. The negative consequences of that clearly outweigh the positives (pun intended).

If it was so easy to lose weight on a diet and keep it off, wouldn’t we all be a community of thin folks?

As the dr explained to me today, we end up at our body’s normalized weight and for some people, it can bring us to obesity. Without getting into the numbers, my weight is big. But, I don’t want to live by numbers on a scale or by the 45-page document my insurance has created as an obstacle to my health.

I’m going to have to play the game, though, if I want my insurance to cover it. I am going to have to pay for a diet for 6-months just to prove to them that I need surgery. It’s frustrating.

The plus side is that I am working with one of the best bariatric teams in the Boston area – Mt. Auburn – which is affiliated with Harvard University. So, I know I am in good hands!




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