I've been overweight since I was 15 so my high school years was difficult as I always remember I was very popular but "the best friend, never the girlfriend" although I had a lot of guy friends and never really had a real boyfriend, I was happy.
It wasn't till my 20th birthday when i realized that my weight jumped to 300lbs and then it was more of a health risk, I was pre-diabetic, I had high cholesterol and had sleep apnea. My eating was out of control, I remember I could eat an entire medium pizza alone, a 2 liter coke with every meal and even 20 piece chicken nuggets and two Mc Chickens just for myself! And it got to the point that I was lying to my family about the times I would be eating and eat at all hours of the night. I guess you could say I hit rock bottom when my doctor told me that if I didn't loose weight I wasn't going to live to see my 30's, I knew there was something I had to do.
My sister told me about this weight loss surgery called Lap Band and during those times in the US it wasn't very well known but in Mexico it was, I knew this was my chance to get healthy again and I couldn't say no. I contacted the doctor through email and sent him pictures and when he replied all he wanted was for me to undergo some test and after he approved me for surgery, I was off to Mexico.
I always knew this would be a life changing expirrence but I never realized how much i would have to give up in order to achieve my goal and when I mean "so much I had to give up" I am talking about food because at that point in my life, food was the most important thing.
My doctor was a pro at this procedure, his name is Dr. Rumbaut, I knew that lap band would work for me since my own doctor had it and he lost a tremendous amount of weight so you can imagine I felt very comfortable. The procedure wasn't as bad a I thought, because it was laproscoptic and i healed within 3 days. Because of the liquid diet the doctor put me on a week or two of surgery I lost around 15lbs and that made me happy!
Now that I was back home I have to admit i felt frustrated because I thought that I would be thinner after 3 months of surgery and I still looked the same, and that was because I hadn't received my 1st fill but going back to Mexico was not going to be easy especially if it was only for a Band Fill, so I needed to find a local doctor who could do my band fills, now remember there wasn't many and i wasnt sure if the doctor would take me since I didn't get my surgery with them but I was desperate for a fill. Luckily I found a doctor his name was Dr. Elariny and best of all he would see me for my fills. I remember having just one fill and that was enough to see my weight start shedding off! It only took 6 months after the fill for me to loose all weight, it was amazing I had lost 120lbs. And although I was weighing 180lbs I looked super skinny!
My amazing change was anything but easy. I gave up on common foods, like steak, rice and even bread but I not once did i ever regret saying goodbye to the only thing that controled me... Food! I went from a size 26 to a size 12, I didn't even realize how different I looked but everyone around me did! It was a fabulous 4 years Unfortunately I suffered a complication and after only 4 years with my lap band, It was a scary time in my life, I literally almost died!
What I didnt know that I know now is that when you are too tight the food you eat doesn't do down your stomach and you end up vomiting it and your pouch stretches. Not only did Limit my portions but when i did eat i wouldnt let the food settle in my stomach wothout vomittng it, it got to a point that i caused a real bad slip and had no other choice and my doctor told me I needed to get an upper GI, But since my surgery was not done in the US, I didnt have a doctor here and since I was going to Bolivia, I decided to find a doctor there. My flight to Bolivia was horrible, I became very dehydrated and couldn't even swallow water, I was scared for my life and didn't know if I was going to make it. Once I arrived in Bolivia I found a doctor for the Upper GI but to my surprise, I was told that I needed to get my lap band removed that it had flipped and that it was covering the opening to my stomach. I had lost 10lbs in a span of 24 hours, my eyes were yellow and I was dehydrated, 9 1/2 IV'S and a Band Removal later I already felt healthier but no band meant no restriction!
So after a week of recover I was able to go back home, Long story Short, I gained almost all of the weight back because after 4 years I was able to eat all the foods I had once said goodbye too and although I was happy gaining all the weight back didnt make me healthy especially after my 2nd pregnancy. Thats when my co-worker told me that our insurance covered weightloss surgery so decided to apply for the Lap Band surgery again ( yes I know you think im crazy) through my employer. And after 6 months of weightloss supervision with my doctor, my OB's recommendtion, a physiatrist evaluation and 3 chronic conditions I was approved at no cost for Lap Band Surgery!
Finding a Lap Band doctor locally was not going to be easy because this was not the 1st surgery but i was determined! And then i located Bluepoint Surgical, they were so helpful and I got the the lap band surgery on September 2007 this time I was on my way to lose the weight again hopefully keep it off! And I did.... I lost 100lbs.... But because it was my second surgery I had alot of scar tissue around my stomach and needed a larger band placed (VG which holds more cc's) and things haven't been the same, I've had several complications and even once ended up in the emergency room, I have had my band filled and then unfilled completely and with my last pregnancy I again gained 70lbs (unfilled band for baby), although I have lost 45lbs from the 70lbs that I gained.
Now gaining and losing and gaining again just made my skin saggy and it has made me look a lot bigger than what I am in reality. I have decided not to get anymore fills since I have had so many complications. And since right now I am somewhat opened I am able to eat enough and know when to stop when full. Every now and then people as me if I regret getting the lap band, if I would have gotten the Gastic Bypass instead or even if I would do this all over again and my answers are always the same, I don't ever regret the band, I don't think I would have gotten the bypass and I would do this over and over again because I have learned that I can live without food and that you can loose weight as long as you put all your effort into it. I will never forget my doctor telling me I couldn't have any children because I was so heavy and now I am a mother of three and I can definitely thank the lap band for that. And now I am off to my second chapter in my life, a tummy tuck and full body lipo with a BBL. I couldn't love life right now and although it was a hard road I personally wouldn't change a thing!