It was a wonderful experience *

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  • Name: sleevebeliever
  • Age: 46
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery date: August 12th, 2014
  • Testimonial date: February 12th, 2015
  • Surgeon: Dr. Almanza
I called one week earlier than my surgery date. I hopped on the flight to S.D. and meet with the driver to cross the border. All I had was a driver's license and birth certificate so I could get across. All went fine. I was taken straight to the hospital, got a blood draw, put on a hospital gown, and then had my I.V. put in and they don't use a pain killer topical for the IV., it went into my hand and the first nurse couldn't get the vein so another came and got it. I met with the doctor who didn't speak good English but the nurse's all spoke very good English and he had a translator. He said he would be taking 85% of my stomach out and I begged for 90% but he held his ground. I had no pain after surgery and woke up in recovery and stayed the night in the hospital room. In the morning we took the doctor's shuttle to the hotel and I opted to be in a room alone so I paid like $160 for 3-4 nights, I can't remember. That was the best decision ever. I didn't want to talk to family or Skype with my husband while some stranger was sharing a room. The hotel gives you ice pops and chicken broth coupons from the restaurant downstairs. The hotel tries to keep all surgical patients on the same floor. The nurse's come at least 3 times during the day to change bandages and clean your surgery sites and check B.P. and temp. If you need anything you just call the front desk and they send a nurse or house keeping right away. You are supposed to walk the hotel floor through the day but I stayed in my room and danced with my I tunes. It was funny cause the check up doctor and the nurse's like American hip hop music. They take you on the third day to ex ray you to see if you have any leaks and you do get a copy of the ex ray. You have to drink this terrible purple juice in the hotel before you go and then when you get to the ex ray dept. You have to drink this chalk right when they take the ex ray and none of my group had leaks. I didn't hear of any one having a leak. Some people went shopping and some went to gamble but I just stayed in my room since first thing my father told me when I called him from the hotel was "Jesus Christ kid, there are gangs there". So needless to say I stayed in my room except to go get my broth. It was the day before we left for the border that I got my blood bulb and I. V. taken out so it was a good night sleep. Every night while I had the bulb in it would leak all over my pajamas and bed so it was a relief to get it out. Take comfortable clothes, sandals or slippers or booties. I took my sports bra and loose top and bottom pajamas to wear there. One of the nurse's came in to change my bandages and I had 2 bottles of coconut spray oil and gave 1 to her and she was so happy. I tipped everyone that came to my door either house keeping or the nurse's. I thought they did such a good job and don't make allot of money so I was happy to help out. We left for the border and it only took about an hour to cross. There are allot of vendors on the street selling food, fresh fruit, churros, bags and other things since you can't have anything carbonated or edible, you just have to say no. That is easy since you have no appetite for days but have to get your protein in. I got my flight back from S.D. to CO with no problem. I had tried the lap band twice in America and they didn't work so since my mother went to Mexico for the band about 10 years ago she last allot of weight, then the band slipped and she was throwing up everything she would try to eat and drink. She almost died so the band was taken out right away. She gained $50 lbs back from the $100 she lost. So she studied up on the sleeve and found that would work better for her since she is a bad diabetic on the pump, still has ups to the 900's down to the 20's. The sleeve she went back to Mexico to a different doctor and paid $7500. Then her and her boyfriend shared a room and a little Mexican boy would come to their room and bring the burritos and hamburgers her boyfriend had every tasted. He tipped well so the boy would come back for all 3 meals. She didn't have any pain after her surgery either. Her surgeon took 40% of her stomach so she can eat more than I can. She had her last surgery 3 years ago. And I had mine for $4999 because it was $500 to take off the band and then do the sleeve. You are on liquids for 2 weeks and then soft food for 2 weeks before going to regular food. I'm 6 months out and 122 lbs less than when I left. I weigh what my mother does and a size smaller than she is. I'm taller with longer legs so it makes sense. After my mother last her weight it was very hard to listen to her and how she still see's herself as fat and that was hard to shop with her when I was buying 26/28's and she was in a 14. And then to hear how fat she was. It hurt so bad, now that I have had the surgery and now feel the best I've ever felt. I just wish I would of done it sooner like in my 20's instead of 45. I weigh less than I did in 6th grade. I watch my 600 lb life and what they go through and I can feel for them because at 280, I could see myself gaining and never stopping. I would teach water aerobics and then go to Krispy Kreams donuts and eat 6 on the way home. I would go weigh in at weight watchers and lose 3 lbs then go to Sonic and order 3 deep fried burritos for a congratulations for losing the weight. I have struggled my whole life since I was about 5 and for the rest of my life. I met my husband 7 years ago, after losing 50 lbs. I felt my best but would be at the gym until midnight, drinking 3-4 cans of red bull a day. I would have to get up at 5:00 am to get to work. My husband was the last date I was going on and then I figured I would be alone by myself for the rest of my life. Robert and I have been together 8 years and married on 12-12-12 at 12:00 in Las Vegas and that was my dream wedding. Stayed at the Bellagio with a fountain view room. My first marriage was a farce and I knew it wasn't going to work before I said I do. I've been abused by men my whole adult life and the only thing I have to show for it is a wonderful perfect daughter. She is obese, 5'2" and weighs 250 lbs. She had insurance that would allow her to have the surgery but she won't do it. She is 26 now and has only gotten bigger over the years. I talk to her and tell her I would pay and go to Mexico so she can have surgery without doing the run around that the insurance makes you do. It took me 1 1/2 years to get approved for the lap band through Aetna. It took me 1 week to have surgery in Mexico. My daughter tells me and my mother that she is afraid to have surgery because she won't be able to eat what she wants, when she wants, and how much she wants. I can totally remember thinking how she does. Food is an addiction, I was addicted and since surgery I have had to break that addiction. You learn to eat your protein first. I was deprived of protein and would start talking as though I was drunk, I would stumble and fall, start conversations by myself without anyone in the room with me, I would drive and see images in front of the car and swerve to miss them. I lost all memory, I would forget to eat. I found these protein nibs called Raps protein nibs. There are 200 calories and 20 grams of protein so I have 2-3 bags a day. And feel so much better. I talked my primary physician into writing me a script for phentermine which is an upper and a diet pill to curb your appetite. He wrote that for about 4 months, then he said I was losing weight to quickly and stopped writing it for me. I eat about 600-800 calories a day and the Dr said I wasn't eating enough. With the size of my stomach, I can eat about 2-4 small bites of a meal. I throw up allot from being so full and so uncomfortable like I ate a whole meal. My mother jokes that I'll be the healthiest anorexic there is. I take my gummy vitamins everyday, calcium twice a day, b-12, multi-vitamin, fiber advantage because I only poop about once a week, and then a probiotic. Since losing the weight, my joints and bones crack every morning so I take glucosamine. I'm on allot of different mood stabilizers, anti-depression meds, anti-anxiety, sleeping pills. As I lost weight the shrink never changed my dosage and I would fall asleep in front of customer's until I was sent home, then taken for a U.A. for narcotics. Finally, after so many incidences I was let go from a job of 6 years and $50,000 annually. I ran into parked and moving cars because I would fall asleep while driving. I can't tell you how many poles and boulders I hit. Finally, coming home I opened the garage door and feel asleep from the drive way to the garage and ended up running into my house waking me up. So you need to stay up on your medication and the dosage. I was taking the same meds and dosages, I was taking at 280 lbs and now at 157 the Dr took me off of my sleeping medication. I have to take percocet and morphine for my back since I have disks that they want to fuse together but I don't want to risk it. I'm only 7 lbs away from my goal before I want my tummy tuck. I had a breast redux in 1999 for being 220 lbs and a 42DD and went to a C cup. That felt better on my back and shoulders but the surgeon had one bigger than the other and my nipples pointed side ways. I was happy to have them perky and not pointing to the floor. So since then I missed my big boobs, so in 2012, I had 2 total knee replacements that went wrong and had to have another. Both of my knee caps are broken but the surgeries hurt so bad, I won't do anything with them until they start to hurt. In less than 2 months, I finally had my breast aug and went to a 44DDD. I was so happy with the surgeon, my breasts were finally perfect to me. I had 4 surgeries in less than 2 months. I had my sleeve done august of 2013, since I've lost a cup size going down to a 42DD. I can't fit some shirts or dresses over my boobs and that is frustrating cause I want to wear outfits that show off my curves and not look like a size 3x again. That's my only regret is not getting the sleeve done before I lost all the weight. Now back to what I go through after surgery and losing the weight. My family are the only ones that know and I don't feel like being judged by people who say I took the easy way out. What's so easy about not being able to eat what, when, and how much you have become accustomed to? You have to break your addiction and be mentally prepared to stop eating after a few bites. I can have almost a whole small egg, or a piece of whole grain toast with a small layer of peanut butter and agave sprinkled on it. And then usually I'm so full I go throw up. At dinner when we go out I order a side salad and can eat half and save the rest for layer that night or the next day. I've had reflux since the surgery. It has gotten so bad that I take the 8-10 otc medication that is meant for 1 pill to last all day. I wake up choking on vomit and coughing all night from it. I can't get a prescription for a stronger medication without seeing a GI Dr. And having a camera shoved down my throat into my stomach. My mother had to sleep in a recliner because of her's and now with the prescribed medication she is better. I haven't tried steak or red meat because I don't know if it will go down or come back up. I can have 2 small cut up pieces of chicken breast about the size of a dime or 2 small bites of fish. I usually just eat off a small paper plate or a small cup and share someone's meal. My husband wouldn't believe how little I could eat. We went to Florida for vacation and finally got to try the famous lobster roll. I took a small bite ofa mini roll and 5 pieces of lobster mac & cheese that was so good. Went threw it up. 2 weeks in Florida and 5 more lbs down. So I did fine. Even after 6 months you learn how much and of what you can safely eat. My mother still has trouble with over eating and having to throw up. When I had the band if I over ate I couldn't just go throw up to feel better but with the sleeve there is no projectile vomiting, you have to do all the work and not to be gross but chewed up food just rolls off your tongue and you have to force it. But you learn. I would never regret picking Dr Almanza or flying alone to tijuana. This program is wonderful how there is always someone from the states to talk to or ask questions if needed. You knew you were out of the states when you get to the hospital. But it just looks generic but very clean. The appointment setters always keep in contact with you on the phone and by email and text. They have recommended a Dr for my tummy tuck and I trust them. If my daughter finally wants the surgery, the weight loss agency is the first one's I'll call and then book the flight without hesitation.
    * 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.