In 2017 I set out on a health journey to change my life, and ultimately the life of my family. For 30 years I have struggled with my weight. Name a program, I've done it. Name a magic pill or nutrition plan, I've tried it. Unfortunately, I have a condition that makes it extremely difficult to lose weight. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition that I was diagnosed with officially at 25 years old. You can read about the condition here: http://www.pcosaa.org
When I decided to begin this journey, please know that I had explored many options, and I knew that this journey may include bariatric surgery; it was actually very likely. Bariatric surgery, although very common, it is a tool that has become more commonplace. In order for me to take this step, our medical insurance required me to start a program for 6 months and lose 10% of my body weight. Then, go through an approval process and do another 6 months, losing 10% more. I began the program in January of 2017 and was quickly notified that my insurance is the most difficult to deal with. I pushed on and began meeting with my designated exercise physiologist, dietician, primary care physician and gastroenterologist. I also signed up for a local boot camp class taught at our park board gym facility. I did the things! I made huge changes, tried what was recommended, eventhough I knew it would not work (remember, I've struggled with this for 30 years). One month in and we weren't seeing changes, so we adjusted my plan. Long story short.....in June I completed 6 months of the program. I lost 17 pounds of fat, gained 10 pounds of muscle, and all of my physicians and specialists submitted reports on my behalf to our insurance company.
In July of 2017, I called our insurance company to find out if I was approved to continue with my 2nd six months of this program. FYI - most insurance companies require a one-time 3 month, medically supervised program, psych evaluation, and sleep study and then they will pay all costs for surgery. So, my insurance required a year long program, losing 10% in my first 6 months and 10% more in my second 6 months.
The phone call ended in tears. I was told that I was denied. I requested to speak to a supervisor, and they transferred me. I spoke with the supervisor, and she sent me directly to the person who made the decision on my file. She said "You did not lose the 10%, therefore you cannot continue with the program". I didn't have the emotional stamina to continue the conversation.
Look, if I could lose 20% of my bodyweight I would! I was given a TEAM of experts and still could not reach their standard. I knew this would be a longshot, because in all honesty, I did not know how I was going to accomplish this, but I was ready and open to try.
I have had the past 2 months to process, to decide my next steps, talk with my family, explore any other options, and share my story on Facebook. Within my journey, something really good has come of it, and has inspired someone in my life to explore this option and has since been approved for surgery.
My fundraising is the next step in this chapter in order to get the surgery I need. It is expensive. As an out-of-pocket patient, the gastric sleeve procedure is $12,000. This does not include the costs for pre & post appointments and procedures, but I am prepared to pay for those. I will need to pay for a Psych evaluation as well as pre and post-op appointments. This surgery could happen in as little 3 months. I will be documenting this journey on Facebook, in hopes to inspire others who are struggling in the same way.
My family and I appreciate your support, and as a thank-you I will provide you with detailed updates on my journey. Full disclosure. Because....this is your financial support that is making this possible. I couldn't do it without you, and I am forever grateful for your giving heart.
Please continue to follow my journey here, as well as my hashtag #journeywithjessica
- Barb Moran-Goodrich
- Vicki Clanton
- Brittney Heavener
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- Flourish And Blot
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