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tehudson

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About tehudson

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  1. tehudson

    Sleep Apnea anyone?

    I was diagnosed with sleep apnea pre-lapband. The doctor told me that I was one of only a few of his patients that he believed would be completely cured just by losing weight. I went the C-PAP route for a while, got the lap band two years ago, lost 100 pounds, and packed my C-PAP away a little less than a year ago.
  2. tehudson

    Lucerna or Marriott

    I've stayed at the Lucerna twice and the Mariott once. The Lucerna is far better--nicer rooms, better staff, better restaurant, and you can actually get in a good walk around the outside of the hotel.
  3. tehudson

    BAND SLAMMED SHUT...AGAIN

    In a conversation I had with Dr. Martinez a couple of days ago when my wife was being banded, he told me that it's not really heartburn/acid reflux we experience when the band is too tight. He called it food stasis (food stays in the pouch instead of going through to the stomach like it's supposed to). I had been having problems and had to have a couple of cc's removed. Dr. Martinez is really a great source of information on this topic. I'd suggest that anyone having problems contact him. He said that usually the only way to resolve the problem is via an unfill. Generally they have to remove between .5 to 1 cc minimum.
  4. tehudson

    Flexible Spending Account

    My flexible spending account (FBMC), along with my wife's (DPAS), paid for the entire cost of my surgery. I'm an employee of the state of Arkansas, and she's an employee of the City of Little Rock. Two different plans, and neither had a problem with it. Dr. Ortiz completed the letter of medical necessity mine required. Her plan didn't ask for one. It's fairly routine for FSA's to ask for these though (they also ask for them for orthodontics). By the way, we're contributing the max amount to both plans again this year and she's planning to have surgery at OCC. Good luck to you!
  5. tehudson

    men lapbanders

    I was banded in March of 2008. I started at 323 pounds, and am at 228 now -- 95 pounds down. Yes, it works for us guys, too. Tom
  6. tehudson

    Lapband used as a tax reduction?

    The way to get the most tax benefit out of it, if your employer makes the option available, is to pay for the surgery using a flexible spending account. FSA's allow you to have money held out of each paycheck, before taxes, and then to use that money to pay for medical expenses. Generally, the maximum per person you can set aside is five thousand dollars, but as long as you've signed up to contribute that amount over the course of the year, the entire 5k is available to you on January 1. By using an FSA, the entire amount you spend is tax free. When I had my lap band surgery in '08, I contributed the maximum amount, as did my wife, so my surgery was tax free (not just anything above 7% of my income). The only thing the plan asked for was a signed statement from my doctor saying that the surgery was medically necessary--which Dr. Ortiz was happy to provide.
  7. tehudson

    Gained 40 pounds since lap band

    Dr. Stephanie Eijsink does fills on alternating Saturdays in Bryan and Tyler Texas. She does the fills under fluoro and charges $200. She will see your husband no matter who did his band. Her number is 903-520-8847.
  8. Dr. Stephanie is great! She even does fills on Saturday. She charges $200; her husband Han operates the fluoroscope and her daughters are the receptionists. It's a real family affair.
  9. It's not just the Lucerna that's having issues with reservations. I was at the OCC for my first fill (3.1cc in a VG band) on Tuesday and paid $279 for the fill, transportation, and hotel. The driver dropped me off at the Camino Real, but they had no reservation for me. It only took half an hour or so to get it straightened out, but in the meantime I had to refuse to allow them to charge the room to my credit card a couple of times. As far as the Camino being nicer -- it's newer, but the rooms are about the same quality and the Lucerna is much more "user friendly" for those of us who don't speak Spanish. I'm sure they had good business reasons for switching to the CR, and all in all it didn't really make that much difference to me anyway.
  10. tehudson

    Financing

    My wife and I each contributed the maximum amount to Flexible Spending Accounts through our respective jobs. By doing it that way, even though insurance didn't cover the procedure, the dollars spent were completely tax free. When you open a flexible spending account, you agree to contribute a specific amount (up to $5000) over the course of the calendar year. If, for example, you get paid 26 times each year and your FSA is for $5000, $192.31 is held out of each check, pre-tax. Because you are being taxed on fewer dollars, your take home pay doesn't actually decrease by $192.31. Additionally, if you've agreed to contribute 5k over the course of the year, and you turn in a bill or a receipt for 5k for a procedure that has been performed -- for example on January 20 -- you get reimbursed within 2 weeks for the entire amount. You have access to the entire amount from day 1 of the year, even though you won't have contributed enough to cover it until the end of the year. Here's an IRS link: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p969/ar02.html#d0e1967. And yes, it works if you have surgery in Mexico -- and you can also use it to pay for fills.
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