The Cost of Losing Weight Escalates

Okay, riddle me this Batman -- Why does the insurance industry refuse to cover known and proven diet medication but yet covers the results of obesity like cholesterol treatments, high blood pressure medications, diabetes treatments, etc? Is someone not paying attention?

Because it's part of the rules of making sure the bean counters of my insurance company know I *tried* to lose weight, I researched recommended diet medications and asked my doctor about Meridia. That particular drug is known to reduce appetite, increase energy, and was developed for weight loss specifically. My doctor's PA agreed it was a great idea, and wrote me the prescription.

I just tried --note the word, tried-- to pick up my new bottle of Meridia at the drugstore. The girl at the window informed me it was ready, but my insurance wouldn't cover the cost. So, the bill was --get this!-- a whopping $120 for one month's supply! That's my entire grocery budget for three adults. Uh...no! I told her to put it back on the shelf. No can do, sweetie.

I'm calling the doctor ASAP. Maybe there's an alternative that doesn't blow my budget.

Now that I'm done fussing, here's an update on what happened at my doctor's today.

My blood tests revealed I have very high cholesterol. This was not unexpected, since they took me off Lipitor over a year ago for fear it might be interfering with the Coumadin or vice-versa. I now have a new drug to try called Welchol. Three pills in the morning with food, three late at night (four hours or more after the Coumadin) with food. Have you ever noticed that when you're trying to lose weight they tell you to take medications with food?

I already told you about the Meridia. I'm very disappointed, but doc already had sufficient evidence that medications don't help me. Call me stubborn, but I wanted to try. I've called the PA and asked for an alternative my insurance will cover. (sigh)

I've been having stomach pains off and on for about two months. We thought maybe my appendix was acting up. Doc has another idea -- diverticulitis. I've been given some antibiotics as a precautionary treatment, and I just scheduled a CAT scan under doc's orders for Monday afternoon. Another day blown where I won't get all my work done. This is getting old and my wallet is beginning to whimper for mercy. I even have two lovely bottles of barium drink chilling in my fridge. This is not going to be fun.

I continue to be amazed at the amount of steps you take to get medical assistance with weight loss. Right now, I feel like a pink poodle in a circus act, wearily jumping through hoops and praying my fur won't catch on fire. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a masochist to put myself in the hands of a profession that causes me so much pain and costs so much money.

Still, I'm determined to see this through to the bitter end. Yes, I know I'm risking a rather painful death. I died on the table when I had my gall bladder out and I had an NDE. I don't fear death at all, though some of the processes leading up to actually dying would not be pleasant. Nor do I actively seek death. I've much too long a "to do" list for that, thanks.

Someone recently inferred they thought I sought bariatric surgery for vanity's sake. Took every ounce of willpower I had not to pop him one in the face. I drew one deep calming breath and patiently explained that I wished it were for vanity. I listed all my obesity-related illnesses, and treated him to the long list of diets, pills, exercises, and dollars I've spent at gyms trying not to be such a lard butt. I admitted some worked, but not as long term solutions and that I'd always gain the weight back the moment I slipped off the hamster wheel or just couldn't keep eating that many heads of lettuce and grapefruits. To cap off my dissertation, I totaled a grocery budget based on the Atkin's diet for myself while still trying to feed two healthy adult males who didn't diet. (He gasped and choked out an apology at that point.)

Gee, I wasn't done. I was going to ask him if he were willing to voluntarily live on 68 g of protein and not much else for the rest of his life. I am, if that's what it takes. I'm willing to give up most of the foods I love for the sake of my health. I'm willing to get out in the hot Florida sun three times a week or more to exercise, and walk when it would be easier and more efficient to drive.

Sigh. Guess I'm tired and grumpy after a few weeks of being poked and prodded. I'm tired of showing parts of my flabby body to people who consider me a dysfunctional machine with a lousy operator in control. My tits have been crushed and manipulated with cold, unsympathetic hands, and my private parts prodded until I'm sore. There have been more pictures taken of my saggy torso with every device known to science than I allow of my face in any given year. My skin has holes and bruises.

This is not something a vain person would easily put up with.

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