Thursday, May 10, 2012


Griffin Bariatrics As I mentioned in my last post, I have just ONE more month left of my 6 month supervised pre-op diet, and my insurance requires that I attend support groups as part of the submission process. So last night I went to Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT for my first meeting. I was so nervous, I didn't know where the hospital was, where the room was, who and how many people would be there, what it would be like, etc. I was scared as hell! So i showed up 30 minutes early and listened to NPR in my car for 15 minutes to settle my nerves. I walked in and asked the woman at the front desk where to go.

"Oh, you want cafeteria room 2..."

"Ok, where's the cafeteria?"

Woman rolls eyes... "It's down the hall, take a right, then take a left, and go into the cafe, it's on the left side. It's ALWAYS there."


Her attitude distracted me, and I quickly found myself standing in the middle of a nearly empty hospital cafeteria, with carpeted floors, and a single table of people eating and laughing. I saw an open door on the far left side of the room, and a tall, slender man in aqua shorts walked into it. I remembered seeing him in my doctor's office earlier that month, only that time he was wearing salmon colored shorts. I figured that must be the place!

I entered the room and noticed there were 3 long tables pushed together, forming what I imagined would promote a "round-table" type discussion. I sincerely hoped these people were nice. And they were! The woman moderating the group, the Griffin Hosp chaplain, had been a Lap Band patient of Dr. Ehrlich's 7 years earlier. She was great at keeping our attention, and the women (and 2 men) of the group talked and laughed, as if we had just sit down to a family dinner. Being the only pre-op patient, they offered me advice, shared their personal hurdles, and applauded my (albeit minimal) success since January.

I was thrilled to hear that the man in blue shorts and I both have the same insurance, and his approval came just 3 days after submitting his information. I have been dreading the seemingly arbitrary approval process and waiting times. On TTF, I've found that patients with the same insurance company as me have received their approval in anywhere from 4 days to 8 weeks. So I was quite relieved to find out that this man had heard so promptly. I hope I am that lucky!

Anyway, I was very happy with the group. I will definitely be going back there. I've found it's SO important to have some type of support system. One woman at the group said only her husband knew she'd had the surgery, she hadn't even told her parents, and she was 8 weeks post-op. I couldn't even START to imagine going through this process without my parents' support. It's been so important to me. But then again, my parents are awesome. And support me through all my decisions, mistakes, and challenges. I'm sure not everyone is so lucky. So if YOU are not as fortunate as I am, please find an external support system. Even if you're not telling friends, family, or co-workers, having a support system almost guarantees your success. Reach out to your surgeon's office, or local hospital for a schedule of free support groups in your area, or simply Google it! :D

Best of luck to us all...


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