Firewalking - Change of Life *

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  • Name: Bazan
  • Age: 31
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery date: July 2nd, 2019
  • Testimonial date: July 13th, 2014
  • Surgeon: Dr. Almanza
I come from a small city where everyone knows everyone.  I'm going to do my best to give you an idea of how may visit went the week of July 2nd in TJ. 

Our flight was scheduled for July 1st and confirmed.  We were called plenty of times from weight loss agent consultants and most of the time they spoke with me and answered all of my questions.  That made me comfortable from the start.  Eventually the calls, to me, seemed to be come sales calls as if there were unsure whether I'd be going or not.  I guess its safe to say both parties, them and I, wanted to make sure we weren't pulling each other strings.  I began first by making my deposit and then posted final payment one week before my flight date.

The night prior to leaving to the airport I was already having second thoughts but didn't tell anyone.  Heck, I have kids and the last thing I wanted was to leave them fatherless.  I, at some point, remember telling my wife to make sure she knew where my life insurance papers were.  Little drastic but I'm a realist too.  The time finally came to leave, of course, the kids were asleep so I couldn't really say goodbye but it was time to go.  One the way to the airport, my friends and me, had very interesting comments and at some points the conversation made me uneasy but we were leaving.  Once we were at the airport, we thought we were early but actually we were quite late.  If you are planning on leaving from an international airport make plans to be there 2-3 hours early.  We barely made our flight and we were early.  The flight was exactly that, a flight!  Nothing interesting! 

Finally we arrived to San Diego, California as scheduled and called the number as instructed.  The driver was already there but we arrived on the opposite side of the airport so he was hard to find.  As we were walking up to him, I knew we would have to be picked up by some type of shuttle van.  We saw a van in Zone F and, I remember saying to myself, if that's him I'm not getting in.  That's guy is surely after my organs, all of them!  Luckily, the first van wasn't ours but they second one was.  That van was a slight step above the first but I would later find out that this company would provide us with the best available in the country.  You will see what I mean as I continue.  The ride was interesting, heck, Omar drives faster and worse than I do. I will say, Omar is dedicated,respectful, and probably a strong asset to the company! He did though, give me a taste of my own medicine.  Finally we crossed the border and we were in Mexico.  As we were coming up to Tijuana, I told my friend, seriously, look around, is this where we are really going...aggghhhhh! 

Finally we got to the hotel, again a nice hotel, everything around it needs help but its a nice hotel.  Again,  I have to say that this is probably one of the finer hotels in this area.  Do not expect a Hyatt or one of those type places but this place is really nice.  I worked in the fast food business for a long time so my eyes are trained to look for dirt.  I will say that I think this hotel is much cleaner that most of the hotels in the US.  Man, the room was clean, the base boards were clean.  I thought, bet the top of the pictures are dirty.  NOPE! they too were clean.  As we stayed I noticed the housekeepers cleaned all day.  I couldn't believe that they were cleaning rooms all day long detailing everything.  This is what I meant by the best in Mexico.  Probably come close to a nice Holiday Inn but much much cleaner and way better service. 

That day we went to lab and where if you had not made payment will do so.  That place is clean but makes you wonder, please don't cut me open in here.  We got blood drawn and an EKG done.  All went well, and we left to the hotel.  Now more to eat, only clear liquids until the 10pm.
The morning of surgery things were going pretty quickly.  We met downstairs and were loaded in our van and drove to the hospital.  Again probably one of the nicest hospitals but not your typical US hospital.  My friends and I were separated and this made me a little uneasy but its not like they could slaughter us altogether.  However, we were finally all called in and a nurse put leg wraps on us and iv's.  The doctor finally came in, introduced himself and took photos with everyone.  He was sincere and I have to guess that's what made me feel good.  I'm a big joker, but could not deal with someone who was going to perform surgery on me to be that way.  He left and as I hoped I was first up.  I was lead to a room, walking.  We got to a door and the nurse yells, "paciente!". No one came so I thought great let's go.  No, she yelled like three times until someone finally came and led me to a bed.  The room was, well, slightly scary looking.  I'm being serious too.  I laid on a bed and was covered because it was cold.  I was then asked too get up and walk to the operating room.  I'm a dude but that some scary sh!t when you are in a different country and the room looks nothing like a hospital.  But heck, it was too late to turn back.  I was already being tied down.  Later I woke up in recovery, I didn't remember anything else.

In recovery, later I learned from my friends that I was taken to ICU of some sort because I was shaking really bad.  Guess they took care of me because I ended up in regular recovery for my overnight stay.  I slept a lot and was very irritable.  The overnight stay for me was the worse.  Man, it sucked.  I hurt, I was uncomfortable, I had fever, my blood pressure was high.  I was just sick.  I finally checked my phone, had a lot of missed calls but I couldn't call or text.  I was weak.  That night I tried getting up as the nurses said the more I walked the pain from the gas would subside.  I swear even know I think they lied.  It hurt...  Luis, the overnight nurse probably hated me but every time I asked for drugs, he came.  He gave me, what I believe is a nitro, because my blood pressure was thru the roof. He gave me something for fever cause I was burning up.  This night was literally my "fire walking!". After this night things only had to get better.  What I will say is out of 7 patients I had to be probably 2nd from the worst.  But heck, plan for the worst hope for the best.  All the other 4-5 patients seemed to sail through the first night without any trouble at all.  The morning came and it was time to leave.  I was not sure that I wanted to leave because I still felt sick but I was leaving whether I wanted to or not.
We arrived back to the hotel, and just wanted to sleep. I was tired. I would get up occasionally to walk and would move from side to side to try to get the gas out. The next day or so, I really started feeling really good and was thinking the worse was over. To present, it was. I walked alot because the gas pain does hurt. You would think the cuts hurt but no, didn't even feel them.
The day before it was time to leave they leave you an 8oz bottom of some dye stuff. Do your best to get 5oz down before going to the lobby. When they do the xray, you have to drink one gulp of some contrast stuff, its nasty, but didn't make me throw up. Shortly, they are fast, you will be back at the hotel where the doctor will look at your film. He explains a lot and is really respectful. Ask questions, he will answer. Later that even they take out the drain tube. Doesn't hurt but fills awkward, you will be glad when it's out!
Finally! The next morning we left...
Now the post-op for me is the most important. The day I got home I was already feeling good and went to work. I have an office job but functioned well, a little sore when getting up but otherwise OK. I scheduled to see the doctor that day. When I went in she could not believe my blood pressure was so good. She cut my meds in half (I'm one week out). To date, I'm down to 10mg of BP meds and may be off of that very very soon. The doctor is amazed that I'm at this point. I, myself, am excited as I've had BP problems since high school. Presently, I am not hungry all the time as I was before. I've been taken off all my meds, except 10mg of BP meds. I have lost 31 lbs as of July 12th. I have lost one full pant size. Many said I didn't need the surgery, but, thus far, this is the best decision I have made for MY life. I really would do it again. Remember, there may be a language barrier, you are in another country. Be courteous! All the staff was respectful, by your side, and cared for you. You can tell, the Mexican nurses have a lot of pride in what they do. Remember, for two days you will hate it, but after that... You'll be so happy!
    * This is an actual testimonial, however, your results may vary. For more information, please read our Testimonial Disclaimer and Risks of Surgery.

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      * The testimonials, statements, and opinions presented on our website are only applicable to the individuals depicted, and may not be representative of the experience of others. For more information, please read our Testimonial Disclaimer and Risks of Surgery.