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  • Name: Cora Carleson
  • Age: 54
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery date: December 10th, 2014
  • Testimonial date: January 9th, 2015
  • Surgeon: Dr. Almanza
I have been pretty quiet about this surgery, I mean that I haven't really told anyone at home what type of surgery I was getting. I just felt embarrassed about it. Like I should have been able to do this on my own, thru diet and exercise, but I haven't been able to with any long term success. My husband, who is eternally skinny, told me: "Everyone has their challenges, this is yours. If you can get help with it, do it!" As time has gone on, I started having joint problems, ankle problems, high cholesterol and a plethora of other minor "obese" related ailments. My mother has high blood pressure and heart problems, along will all my aunts and uncles, and some cousins. So I knew what my fate was, heavy, non active, heart problems with a dash of high cholesterol and frosted with knee replacement surgeries. I have 10 grandchildren, all young and fun! And I wanted to have fun with them. I wanted to go to Disney with them and be able to FIT on the ride! I want to keep up with them, kayak and swim with them, and enjoy all the things that grandchildren bring.
One day, I had read on face book that a friends daughter was going in to "have her lap band adjusted". Now I knew what a lap band was, but I didn't know they needed to be adjusted. But after I read that, I thought, hey, this is nothing to be ashamed of, people do this every day - I need to just do it! So I found Dr. Almanza and started reading all about the different type of surgeries out there. I chose the sleeve. Seemed like the most permanent way to do this.
I made the arraignments for 6 weeks in the future, December 10th. I told my daughter and daughter in laws, and they were very supportive! God bless those beautiful girls! I told my husband that he didn't have to come if he didn't want to, that I would ask my sister to go. But he wanted to come.
When we arrived at the airport, our driver (who was a really great guy) picked us up and took us to a different crossing into Tijuana rather than the I5 crossing. Because I got there late at night, it was the next morning that they picked me up. I went to this very small hospital, and was taken to a waiting area, very nice. A very kind older gentlemen came in and said he was the cardiologist, and gave me an EKG. He spoke English and was very sweet. I then. put on the gown etc and a nurse came in and gave me the IV. I waited with several other people who were having similar surgeries.
It was nice to get to know each other, because we would all be recuperating together too! Everyone was American! All of us at different stages in life, but we all had the same goal....to be healthy! It was amazing to me that we were all had the same outlook. It wasn't the vanity thing....it was the healthy thing!
One by one our names were called - then mine finally. I walked into the prep area, jumped on a gurney and then Dr. Almanza came in as talked with me. He asked what surgery i was having, and was very reassuring - told me not to be scared it was on a 1/2 surgery! That really did make me feel better. Next the Anesthesiologist came in and again asked me what surgery I was having and then......I don't remember a thing!
I woke up with a nurse at the foot of my bed and then I was taken into my room. I was with three other women that I had met in the waiting room. none of us of course felt very good, but we were getting up and moving around. I would have to say the gas was the must uncomfortable part of the whole thing. But walking really helped. The first night was long, and I did ask myself, "what have your done!" but the next day, I was feeling much better.
By the end of the first 24 hours, they gave us some ice chips to chew on - and then an Otter Pop - which was refreshing.
Our nurses were wonderful! Spoke perfect English, and just kind and sweet and compassionate - truly wonderful girls, I honestly can't say enough about them.
The Dr came to visit us and we were all released from the hospital! YEAY! We went outside to wait for our driver, the hotel was about a block away, really close, but they took us all in the van. The hotel was very nice and we all stayed on the same floor. There was nurse and dr. in one of the rooms, and they had a fridge outside the room with juice and jello for us patience. We dutifully walked the halls and met with each other and visited - kept tabs on each others progress, encouraged each other to walk and enjoyed the warm weather - and this was December!
We still had our IV's and they were giving us pain meds - although I really wasn't in a huge amount of pain. We had to drink this strange purple water that night because we had to prepare for our "leak" test the next day. It had no real flavor.
The next day, we all had our IV's removed and our driver took us to get an exray at a clinic in the city. It was nice to drive around and see the city a bit, and we were all feeling better. One by one, we all went into ex ray. We were handed at heavy cup of something and told to drink - which was hard to do since we really hadn't eaten much in the last 48 hours. But he got the pictures he needed, said there were no leaks - yeah! - and gave us our exrays.
whoops - out of room.... more later....am I happy I did it? Oh yes!
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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.