The next day I'm forwarded an email that includes the name and number of the local lapband programme's patient advocate. Friday morning, after starting my obsessive compulsive online research, I gave her a call and a few hours later was in her office.
Sam is incredible. Not only is she a nurse, but she was the first lapband patient here. She's done soooo... well since her op and was a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.
I was still quite skeptical going into that first meeting, but when I learned that there's a whole programme I'd have to enroll in before being even considered for the surgery, I was sold. First meeting is Monday morning (that's tomorrow!!) with the nutritionist Dr Symonette. I have a number of sessions over the 12 week pre-op programme with her. I will also have a number of sessions (can't remember how many exactly) with a personal trainer... need someone to kick my butt! I will also have at least one session with a clinical psychologist and have a battery of tests (minust the gall bladder scan since I don't have a gall bladder).
I won't find out until about mid-way through the programme whether I'm eligible or if my insurance company will cover it, but I figure there's absolutely nothing wrong with working with a nutritionist, personal trainer and psychologist in any event.