i couldn’t fall asleep until 3 am last night. as the idea of surgery becomes more and more real to me, i have begun to consider the way i would feel if i was told i couldn’t have it. i remember my mom telling me “oh god, yes! it’s covered. out insurance covers that, and even the reconstructive surgery!” but my mom has a habit of jumping the gun. she wants nothing but the best for me, and to give me whatever i need. still, sometimes she overshoots her expectations, and i always foolishly believe her. so i spent all night looking up insurance coverage and all of the policies available. good news, i’m about 90 percent sure i should be covered.

I went downtown today to the hospital where I’m going to have my surgery for an informational seminar. one of the surgeons talked about the digestive system to a room full of overweight middle aged people and myself. he explained all of the options for surgery- roux- en- y, gastric sleeve, gastric banding. he explained the preparation process for surgery- papers that needed to be filed and tests that needed to be done… and pounds that needed to be lost.he said that patients need to lose 5% of their body fat before the surgery to both get them used to their new lifestyle and demonstrate their ability to adhere to a diet and lose weight. after the talk, i went to the bariatric clinic upstairs to get my initial weight. i stepped on the scale, and the nurse wrote down a number. 315.4. she asked me some questions, including my date of birth.


“how old are you?”


“uh, hon, you have to be 21 for surgery.”

“you’re joking, right?”

“wish i was. we’ll have to have the NP give you a call.”

i knew it was too good to be true. i left the office feeling like a deflated balloon, ready to go back to my fat life in my parents’ house forever. i tossed my half- inch thick application folder on the back seat of my car and drove home in tears. i got home and immediately looked up other hospitals in the area, trying to find another solution. the only other hospital that offered the surgery only practiced open bypasses, where they cut open your entire stomach lengthwise. this includes a far longer recovery time, one that as a student, i do NOT have, a far greater chance for infection, more pain, and a serious scar.

i was stressed, to put it lightly. and as i sat on my bed browsing the web for more options, i began to question whether or not i ever really intended to have this surgery. whether or not i could ever set my mind to an complete a major task.

then the phone rang.

“hi Jenna? Jenna this is Tammy at the General Hospital. Hi how are you. Yeah i was just calling to let you know that i talked to the surgeons and they said as long as you have the support of your doctor and family, everything should be fine with going through with the procedure.”

i’m back, baby.

the biggest wave of relief i’ve ever felt poured over me.

i just finished filling out my application, which is going back to the hospital as soon as i get my doctor’s letter.


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