To Live Again. The unexpected *

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  • Name: Ashley Viola
  • Age: 37
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery date: January 12th, 2018
  • Testimonial date: August 22nd, 2018
  • Surgeon: Dr. Mario Almanza
Where do I begin? I know, on 1/12/18. I began to live again on 1/12/18. A date that I'll recall just like my kids birthdays or the day I was married. That day changed me forever! Some changes I was aware would occur and couldn't happen fast enough (weight loss) Others were unexpected. I am 8 months post-op and finally feel at peace and strong enough to put this testimony into words. You heard me!! PEACE! STRONG! Those adjectives were rarely used prior to January. I encourage you to make an appointment with YOURSELF!! We all make appointments with doctors, kids teachers, haircuts. It holds us accountable to that time! So....Make the appointment with yourself to eat. I eat about 4 ounces every 4 hours now. Sometimes it's only a bite or 2 depending on what I eat. I can drink about half of an 11 ounce shake over an hours time.
Make the appointment with yourself to exercise! I walk over 1 and half hours in the evening increasing my distance to 4 miles recently and have started running. My goal is to run a 5k on September 22, 2018. This was never possible before surgery!
Prior to surgery, I was always tired and sluggish with little to no energy. I had horrible eating habits bc it didn't matter what diet I tried, I never lost weight. When I lost a few pounds, I gained it right back. I gave up! I was basically killing myself silently. Depressed. Self conscious. Insecure. Miserable. I made excuses not to go places. But when I did, I hid all of that very well. I was funny, smiling, acted like everything was fine. But on the inside, in social settings I felt judged, starred at, not good enough, embarrassed.
I was sick. Not only physically, but mentally. I was on blood Pressure meds, metformin for insulin resistance. My thyroid was out of control. I was on 225mcg of synthroid and increasing every 4 months. Muscle relaxers for back pain. Oh the pain!! Everyday I had pain somewhere. My husband joked I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was 40. I was on 3 anti-depressants. Diagnosed with major depressive disorder. On heart medication for palpitations, (Which probably was due to being overweight). I saw more specialist than a 65 year old woman and more frequently. A cardiologist, endocrinologist, pain management, my gynecologist, a psychiatrist.
I'm only on synthroid now! My endocrinologist decreased the dosage to 112 mcg. The others I don't see again for 1 year or unless I need to. Praise God!!
There were many discussions with friends and family about the surgery itself and if it were safe, the risk, the benefits. My mom said, "you don't need to do that" "you don't need to lose that much weight." I think her biggest fear was me traveling to Mexico for this surgery and something happening. I can tell you, I'm a nurse, and I wish health care in the USA were like it were in Mexico with Dr Almanza. (He was so inspiring himself. He gave me hope the very first time I met him.)
The hospital was very clean. The nurses were trained and skilled but were able to provide such valuable, hands on care to patients. It's very different here in the states. There's so many regulations and red tape with insurance/Medicare, charting, crossing T's and doting I's , that takes away from that hands on genuine care of people that I became a nurse for. With that being said, I took care of everyone else but ME! It was time for ME!!
Looking back, people can't believe the transformation that has taken place both physically, mentally, spiritually!!! The biggest for me was mentally!
When people see me in person, They say, "I don't remember u like that." But I see it and say, "I felt like I looked...Gross!!"
That's not who I was meant to be. That was not God's purpose for my life, to feel in-prisoned in my body. Sure my family loved me then and they love me now. But I didn't love myself!
I am so empowered now! And that is what I'm so thankful for. I never expected that! I knew I'd lose weight and wanted to see those numbers on the scale! And I did, but never did I ever expect the mental transformation that has taken place. It's incredible!! A tool was given to me and I have 100% given everything to myself in turn by having the surgery and went through a total transformation. The wealth of knowledge I have gained on nutrition and diet and started implementing for my family and kids to be healthy also. I don't regret one thing. My life began again on 1/12/18. I'm down 78#. I haven't lost anymore in about 2-3 months. And I'm ok with that too. I'm living my best life and that's what counts, not the numbers on the scale. It's been tough some days, especially the weeks after surgery. For me, that's when the mental transformation takes place. You are faced with those desires and cravings that you had before but were never made consciously aware of. It's like an Ah-ha moment. You physically cannot eat that stuff anymore! Everything we do revolves around food. Birthday parties, holidays, weekend gatherings with friends or family. It was tough but I knew if I ate cake or cookies or the ice cream or even a hamburger patty (one bite too many) (didn't chew 20 times) I was going to face the consequence of feeling bloated and miserable and sometimes throwing up. This surgery forces you to make those changes. I have triggers also that I had to make myself aware of. When I get full, my nose will run, and if I'm at a restaurant the music gets really loud all of a sudden. This is how I know I'm full. The key is eating slowly. Which is hard because we're always in a hurry, right? Get in the car, we're gonna be late! Grab a snack, let's go! Hurry and eat, we're about to get out. The best advise I can give is to just slow down! Enjoy life! Take all of the negative feelings and suppressed emotions that fueled your feedings/hunger before and turn it into something positive like exercise. Don't let the focus of gatherings be food anymore, Let it be your story, your journey! You will absolutely be an inspiration to someone someday.
    * 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.