Monday, January 11, 2010

#2. The Psychological Exam

After the initial consultation I had a list of things to do in order to qualify for surgery. Number 2 was a psychological exam.

I seriously think the hardest part of this step was working with my insurance company to understand how the exam would (or wouldn't) be covered and what my copay would be! To get moving on my psych exam I called the insurance to ask if it would be covered. They said it was covered. OK, then I wanted to know what my portion of the bill would be...a regular doctor office co-pay since it was required for a medical procedure, or would it be paid as a mental health bill. After several phone calls and a lot of aggravation I found out it was covered under my mental health benefits, meaning it wouldn't be a $20 co-pay, but a $150 bill I'd need to pay myself. I have a $200 deductible that hadn't been met for mental health benefits.

I was a little nervous about going, I wondered what exactly they would ask, and what if I answered wrong and they turned me down!?!?! Anyhow, I found a pyschiatrist in my area that was a preferred provider for my insurance and scheduled my appointment. She was very friendly and told me that I should plan on being there for a couple of hours because she would need to meet with me, and then I would have to take an MMPI 2 test.

When I arrived I had to fill out a personal history packet. The questions asked about my childhood, marriage, relationships with family, history of alcohol or drug abuse, and family history of mental health. When I sat down with her she went over the packet with me and then asked why I wanted to have surgery, and what made me feel that I'd be able to keep the weight off after surgery. Once this step was done she gave me the answer guide and booklet for the MMPI2 test. It's 567 questions!!!! They are all true and false questions. Some of the questions seemed to repeat over and over and over...but I'm assuming that is in order to catch liars.

Here are a few of the questions I remember:
1.I like mechanics magazines (this one made me laugh!)
2.I have a good appetite (this one I thought - seriously??)
3.I wake up fresh & rested most mornings
4.I think I would like the work of a librarian
5.I am easily awakened by noise

The psychiatrist told me that this test is widely used and that police/forensics use these alot with suspects. They can apparently tell a lot about you based on your answers.

After I finished the test she said she would gather the results and send a letter to the bariatric clinic and a copy to me of her summary. Within about 2 weeks I received the information and she said she thought I would be a good candidate for the surgery. However, she did highly recommend that I seek a support group afterward.

I was happy as could be! I had already planned on attending the support group meetings that my clinic has, and figured if that didn't work out I could always look online to find support of some sort. I called the clinic to make sure they had received the documents and updated my file. Sure enough they had, and we were ready to move on to the next step...go in to see my family doctor for surgical clearance!

Until next time...Hugs, Prayers & Yeah, I'm Not Crazy!

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