I thought the amount of doctor appointments and lab visits was bad when I was pregnant….with the illustrious trifecta of being a high risk pregnancy, a female of “advanced maternal age,” and having type 1 diabetes, I swear I was at a doctor’s office of some sort every week. Twice a week, there near the end of pregnancy.
But this whole working-towards-having-gastric-sleeve-surgery schedule of events, paperwork to fill out, appointments, and lab-work that I just put on my calendar looks even more daunting. Within 1 month, I will have had 8 different appointments for things related to the potential surgery (on top of my usual appointments like: weekly Chiropractor visits, 6 month checkup with my podiatrist, hair cut and color – oh wait, the hair cut isn’t of medical concern. But it does soak up time! Anyway.) I have created a spreadsheet just to keep track, on top of adding all the appointments to my Google calendar.
Here’s the list, starting at the very beginning, just for fun:
- Required Intro Seminar about the various surgeries
- New patient consult with the surgeon
- Sleep study (to determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea, aren’t getting enough oxygen at night, etc)
- Fasting lab-work that includes tests: CBC w/ Diff, Comprehensive metabolic panel, Ferritin, Folate level, Hemoglobin A1c, Lipid panel, Thiamin WB, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, Vitamin D (25 OH-D2 + D3), Vitamin B12
- Consult with Gastroenterologist (I believe to have tests done to determine if my GI tract is OK for surgery, more questions/info on that later.)
- Group Nutrition Counseling class (through the surgeon’s practice, one of several to come.)
- Meeting and testing with Psychologist for psychiatric evaluation. Gotta make sure my head is in the right place for all this.
- Follow-up with surgeon after all the above has been done to go over results and next steps.
For each of these appointments/meetings, I have varying amounts of paperwork each of them wants me to fill out for them. Pages and pages of it. Paperwork on PAPER. Do you know how horrible my handwriting is? More importantly, do THEY know? There’s a reason why I type almost every correspondence – I want you to be able to read it. Tonight I am having the sleep study done, and need to fill out about 10 pages of a questionnaire, on top of listing all my medications/vitamins taken and their dosages. I’m going ahead and creating a spreadsheet of all that kind of stuff just so I’ll have it on hand to print out and include for all of these doctor’s appointments.
Oh, the humanity. (Get it, “huge manatee?” :) ) Just like I have to pick myself up by the diabetic bootstraps sometimes, and give myself the pep-talk when I feel overwhelmingly weighed down by the 24/7 management of it all…. I keep telling myself: It will all be worth it.