I am a 29 year old type 1 diabetic. I've been T1 for 24 years now. I am a Medtronic pump user, CGM (for now), and i'm overweight. I have been fighting this battle for a long time and i've tried everything. Symlin, phentermine, lots of exercise, diet, and also Victoza. Victoza has helped but not enough, and it's not a long term solution. Luckily, my doctor is very supportive, as I look into this "Last Resort".

I know most insurances cover the GB, but for the moment i do not have insurance. Long story, but i qualify for California's Pre-existing condition Insurance Plan at the end of January. My plan is to get all the paperwork together so that when i am finally on the plan (all things going accordingly, that would be March 1st), i can get the ball rolling right away and things can move quicker.

I've done a lot of research on the subject- lapband vs. gastric sleeve vs. bypass. Hospital stays, how long before one can get back to work, the liquid diet, dietary requirements after the surgery, etc... I'm curious to know if anyone, preferably in California, has gone through the process and how long it took from turning in first forms to surgery date. As a diabetic, did you have to do a 6 month diet? Were you required to lose weight before the surgery? Can past records of say, 1 year, be used to show weight fluctuations, exercise programs used, medications tried, etc.. or do you have to apply for the surgery first and then go on a regimented program for a certain amount of time before qualifying? I know that with my diabetes and a BMI over 35 already "qualifies" me, but i know there are also other qualifications the hospital or insurance programs need fulfilled.

Being diabetic makes it so much harder to lose weight, and not everyone can understand that. Which is why i thought i would post here. Anyone that can offer some advice, suggestions, or experiences would be greatly appreciated!!

Thank you so much!!

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hi char, i'm not from california but i can snswer some of your questions. i did talk about my experience's as i had them. in one of them is a web page that goes into what GP and lapband is and what you will go through. also there is a support group called obesityhelp.com. there is a lot of discussion on there plus people asking questions. if you don't see a question that you are interested in gettin an answer for then you can ask it and someone or more then one will answer your question. it's a mixed bag of people. some who have had GP years ago, some are only a ayear or so into it and then there are the new ones who have just had their operation and the ones who haven't had it yet. there are sone who had the full GP and there are others who have had lapband and so on. some with type 2, (a few with type 1 because until recently they wouldn't discuss a GP with a type 1). so ther are all kinds with a ton of reasons and tons of questions and answers.
i am not doing as well as i should be, about a year ago last sept i started having problems with my knee. they took away my exercise until the problem is fixed. so instead of losing weight i am gaining again. i had authrocopic surgery on it this last sept and it's worse now then before, so when i see my doctor on wednseday he is going to have to come up with something else. he thought it was fluid on my knee the last time and gave me a shot but it only helped for a few days. hopefully he can fix this without doing a knee replacement. my fingers are crossed.
what kind of questions do you have? it can normally take anywhere from a few months to close to ayear before everything is all said and done. one of the first things tyou need to do is pick out a doctor you think you will like and find out when he is doing a seminar. they go in depth on what to expect. the seminar usually will have around 100 people or more. when that is done and you still are intersted in having the surgery then there is a small stack of paperwork to fill out. lots of questions about your life bith medically and your life in general, from childhood to present. as far as things that need to be done, if you smoke or drink you will have to quit. if warrented, you might need to have a colonoscopy, then there is the visit you will need with a mental doctor, and the sleep apnea testing to see if you have sleep apnea. my doctor goes with the south beach diet plan, but not all doctor's do. also they will tell you how many pounds you will need to lose before the surgery. they figure it from your BMI. it seem crazy to have to lose weight before the surgery but as you lose weight your liver will shrink (that is good) and they can get past it better and easier to get to your stomach. the fter surgery stuff seems overwhelming at times but just take it one thing at a time and don't forget to keep a journal. just like with diabetes it helps to keep a journal so that you can catch a problem as it appears.
if ,silly me, when you have any questions, if i can give you an answer just ask and i will answer it, if i know it that is. lol. i have a friend who wasn't very heavy and went through a really bad tiime in her life, several family members died in a 1 month period. she went into a deep depresssion and basically ate herself up to around 400 pounds. she didn't do it all at once but over a couple of years time she became overweight.we started doing the craft show curciut and got her interested in knitting and crocheting again and slowly she started coming out of her depression. she decided on GP and the doctor talked her into a lesser surgery, because he didn't think she would be able to make it through the bypass surgery. so he went in and tied/stapled her stomach which took a lot less time and it is helping her lose the weight. she has lost a little under 100 pounds and when she has lost a bit more he will take some of her stomach skin away and then if she still wants it he will do the GP. you should see her, she is getting around so much better, you can almost see a spring in her step. she doesn't sit still as much as she did, but like i said she does ahve a long ways to go. so do i for that matter.
when i get asked when will i be done losing the weight i answer, i am a work in progress. however long it takes is the only answer i can give. but i will be a work in progress for the rest of my life. as is everyone else in this world.
i hope i helped a bit ,and do write me with any questions.

Debb-

Thank you for your wonderful reply! I have read your posts before and they were very informative. I do hope your knee is improving. I know what it's like to want to exercise and can't. Hang in there, stay strong and i believe you will do great!

I do have some questions, but i'm not sure anything can really be answered until i get my insurance and then start "applying" (for lack of a better term) for the surgery. What if i can't lose weight before the surgery? Will i have to go on a special diet (not the liquid diet that you do 1 week pre-op) and/or exercise program before the surgery before i can get approved for it? I have been seeing a psychologist for over 2 years, and she is wonderful. She has seen my efforts and struggles, and fully supports my decision for the surgery. But will i have to meet with a different therapist for a mental evaluation?

Since I cannot apply for my insurance until Feb. 1, i am trying to think of all i can to try and get things lined up so when i do get my insurance, i can get the ball rolling faster. I'm just a planner that way. :)

Thanks again!!

Hey Char,
I am 2 week post op from GBP & am from PA but can tell you my experiences. My Dr wants you to go on a high protein, low carb diet and try to lose some weight. There was no specified amt but to shrink your liver prior to surgery. They encourage any kind of exercise. My insurance required 6 months with the Bariatric program. You need to meet with a psychologist, don't know if they'll accept it from an "outsider" it's usually one that works with the Bariatric group and asks appropriate questions to make sure you understand what this change will require.
Keep lots of documentation. Records for weight loss programs, drugs, exercise programs etc will be accepted for the last 2 years. I also did not meet the BMI but had several co-morbidities along with my Diabetes and was still rejected the first time till I had to accumulate all the documentation and then was accepted.They will advise you on "pouch rules" and the progression of diet post surgery. I am already eating chicken and fish. There are a lot of no-no foods or things you need to give up. Smoking, alcohol use, carbonated drinks and NSAIDS are not allowed afterwards.

If I can answer any other questions just let me know. All I know is I'm off my meds and the highest BS I've had in 2 weeks is 118.It's definately not an easy way out but a very do-able approach to a healthier life.

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