To borrow a phrase from another review, "I've been...
To borrow a phrase from another review, "I've been stalking this site for years." I initially thought I wanted to go to Tijuana. I had surgeons narrowed down, even got a consultation once. Somehow, it just didn't feel quite right and I never went forward. I came across someone else's posting comparing Dr. Robles and another doctor. After looking at all the things that stacked up, Dr. Robles won hands down. The fact that her price was all inclusive of transportation, hospital stay for 2 days, a recovery house for 10 days with meals, and all the conventional expectations of surgery. My choice was sealed once I saw her transformations and experienced contact with her. She comes across as a compassionate physician who definitely cares about her patients...very, very genuine. So happy with my choice. I hope to even move my date up a month!
The pic is me taken in December 2013. I'm 5'8" and 217lbs. I hope to be at 180lbs for my surgery. I started this journey actively in September by watching my food intake, working out, and getting more sleep. I weighed 262lbs! GROSS! Ultimately, I want to hang out at 160lbs. I may alter my procedures opting to forego the BBL if liposculpting can give me similar results. The cost I put up is for TT, BL, and Lipo. Quote slightly different for the BBL with no BL (5200).
UPDATES AND MORE PICS AS MY JOURNEY CONTINUES!
....anyone else traveling to see her about this time? Would love to keep in touch.
The scale is not my friend...LOL!
So I decided to weigh in this morning and HOLY CRAP! I'm up to 240lbs! I guess the holiday were not as kind to me as I thought. I think lifting weights kinda got my off kilter a bit because I don't look heavier. I'm also having knee problems that prevent me from doing the circuit training with step aerobics in between my sets. But 240 is 240.
My bday is Monday, so Tuesday it's on and poppin'! I gotta increase my cardio without pounding on my knees. Sucks! I love step aerobics with my kinda music. Looking at spin classes, cardio-boxing, etc.
Weight Loss Counseling Today
Last I posted, I was gonna hit it hard after my bday, 2/3. NOT! In fact I've probably gone up. I seem to lack the usual motivation. I've also been analyzing my habit of losing weight, but not being able to keep it off. I know its stress related, but given that, why can't I work thru my week episodes?
I decided to make an appt with a weight loss counselor/ psychologist to help me get to the bottom of my habit. Once I've cleared this hopefully my nutritional lifestyle change will be permanent. I'm not trying to go through my DR makeover only to gain weight again later on.
Weight loss to get the best results possible...
I want to get the best results possible when I go to DR for my makeover in July with Dr. Robles. I want to be 180lbs when I go. Started at 262 last year in September, got down to 216 by Thanksgiving, then the holidays showed me MUCH love and I ate like there was no tomorrow. So I gained 31lbs back as of March 9th. This was my initial weigh in for the start of my HCG cycle. I weighed in yesterday (I do it weekly instead of daily...that would drive me insane!). I'm down to 11.1lbs! Though the weight loss won't be that big every week (3-4lbs for me in the past), I have my encouragement to keep going. Although I must say I'm contemplating moving my surgery date back a bit to give more time.
Revise, Revise, Revise!
Here are my updates.
First of all, I started eating like I have sense. I take in no more than 1200 calories/day and watch my fat intake. I stopped the sodas and only drink H2O with Mio for flavor (I cannot drink just H2O). I exercise with 1 hour of cardio x 4/week. Or at least that's been my goal. Working nights makes it hard because I just want to sleep when I''m not at work, so I fall short sometimes. I even fall short on my eating sometimes, but I don't kick myself. I just keep moving forward.
Secondly, I weighed in with my doctor on the 10th and I'm down to 224 from the ultimate of 243 (240 on my last posting). I'm hoping o drop 10 more by my surgery date...which brings me to the next update.
Third, I changed my surgery date again. This time it was moved up by 2 days at Dr. Robles request. So I'm scheduled for August 12, 2014. Is there anybody who will be looking to buddy up? Hit me back.
Fourth, I've changed my procedure somewhat after looking long and hard in the mirror, over and over and over and over and over and over again..LOL. I'm still doing the TT. It's a must have. I'm also still doing the BBL, but I've decided to get more aggressive lipo. The back and flanks come with the package, but I also want arms, upper abdomen and thighs. Since Dr. Robles cautioned me against wanting too many procedures at once and since I still have weight to lose (my breasts shrink as I lose), I decided to do this in stages. The next stage will be breast lift (and or augmentation) approx. 6 months later.
Fifth and final, even though I haven't mentioned it to my realself fam, I must come clean and admit I havene't come clean with my guy about my decision to do these procedures. He knows I'm going to the DR with my friends and that I'm staying for an extended period of time, but he has no idea about the surgeries. I want to tell him, but I think he will be totally against it and very adamant about me not doing it. This was all planned out before he and I started up. But I'm sure he won't see it that way and I'm not in the mood to butt heads with him about it. I want to keep a positive attitude through all of it. I know I'm wrong ladies, but just how wrong am I on a scale of 1 to 10? LOL.
T minus 8 days and counting...
Here's my latest... My guy ended up asking me directly why was I staying an extra 2 weeks when everyone else was leaving after 1 week of vacation. A direct question deserves a direct answer (especially since he joked about me meeting someone else, which is his way of being serious). I told him about the procedures with Dr. Robles and we proceeded to have an in-depth discussion. He tends to be a holistic, natural, non-commercialized man. And me? I'm scientific, evidence based, modern medicine's poster child if you will. By the end of the discussion it was all good. He doesn't totally agree with my "shortcut" as he called it, but he wants me happy. He also decided to join me and my friends for the first week of vacation:) Love that man
Well I'm here...KINDA
I got to CECIP, with no problems. I came in from Puerto Plata via Metro. Laura (can't say enough nice things about her) had someone there as soon as I arrived. He was a very nice man as well. Upon my arrival I met Dr. Robles assistant MD and yet again very nice. Dr. Robles looks to be much younger in person and she's absolutely lovely.....that was the sweet...here's the sour. My hemoglobin is still low, 11.3 and for me to have all the procedures, it has to be 13 or better. So add a week of intense iron therapy, new lab to be drawn on Sunday
Surgery Day Update
Since I've been here (8/11) I've had 2 iron shots/day. Today I get the last two. I liter of IV iron every day. Yesterday was the last day. I had lab drawn on Friday and my Hgb was 12.7! Yay for me which is up from the 10.7 that it dropped when I got here due to me being anemic anyway, but my menstrual cycle made it that low. On today, Sunday, I will go and have lab done again to see if it's progressed above 13. To get all the procedures done. The cost of the 5 days of IV iron was about $150 and the shots were about $200 for 10. I also continued taking my iron from home. While here in the recovery house, a special diet was prepared for me with foods rich in iron. I HATE BEANS! But ate them everyday like a champ. I know she's going to throw liver at me today...UGH! But, I must say the cook is excellent here at Paradise Recovery Home. This is where I will be brought back to after surgery..... I've been emailed and asked if I'm upset about my delay. Disappointed? Yes. I'm off schedule now, but had taken a few more days here to rest up anyway. I don't plan on leaving here until the drains are gone. Am I upset? No. Things happen (just as they do in the states) and I like the fact that Dr. Ro is particular about certain things that effect the outcome of my recovery. It shows she's conscientious about her work and my well-being. How do you get upset with that? Anyway, I'm so ready to get this show on the road!!!!!!!!
The day is the day...
I'm back from the clinic to meet with Dr. Robles. She did her markings, asked if I had any questions. She also said I had to choose between getting my arms done and the back lipo. She explained that the more lipo you do, the betterchacI also did my CXR, last lab draw (HALLE-FREAKIN-LUJAH), and EKG. All good. I'm not sleepy since I work nights and usually awake, but I'm not going to kid myself. I'm nervous. Not scared just nervous excitement I guess. See you ladies on the other side...muah!
Post op Day 2
Surgery was a breeze. After I went into pre op and they gave me the infamous "blue pill" within 10 minutes it was lights out. I woke up in my room at the hospital with Dr. Robles' assistants checking on me frequently, as well as hospital staff. Dr. Robles came in on Wednesday morning to look me over to clear me for my return to recovery house. Here I am on post op day two. The only thing that's bugging me is the way my belly is scrunching in, but the other ladies said their abdomens looked the same at first. We'll see.
POST OP DAYS 3-15
So still no pain. I have had none since the very beginning. My biggest complaint was discomfort from trying to find a position that's comfortable. The drains are a bother because I keep forgetting that I have them and they do impede mobility somewhat. NOTE: be sure your caregivers and monitoring the drains for patency and possible clots. Being thorough and ever the examiner, Dr Robles found II had a drain that clotted off and had to be removed and replaced ( I came home with that one). She also did a needle aspiration on my upper abdomen and pulled off about 150-200 cc of fluid that didn't get removed by the suction drain. There was no pain since my abs were still numb. There are numerous pills to take. One of the ones I took in the mornings made me extremely nauseous. NOTE: Eat before you take them; cool intervention was to put alcohol on a cotton ball and sniff it to alleviate the nausea.
Now my main problem(s). I happen to have skin that tends to keloid. I think that's one of the issues with my suture line. As you look at the pics, you will see where my suture line starts to lose its closure. Now, THIS IS NOT THE FAULT OF MY SURGEON. I'm a healthcare professional and have been one for over 30 years. I know when someone has done something wrong. Her procedure was perfect and my suture line was beautiful. If I was the norm and healed like everyone else the little delay probably wouldn't have even come up. Coupled with the fact that I already have back problems which would not allow me to bend over as far as and as long as I needed while my sutures were healing, slowed my healing process down a bit. I had a similar situation before with surgery on my tendons in my wrist. However, this didn't come up because the sutures did not dissolve in my wrist. I think the abdominoplasty sutures dissolved before I could actually heal.
This situation is indicative of my genetic makeup. Once again Dr. Robles was flawless. She came in and cleaned my suture line herself and decided to put in a few more where I had started to separate. She also put a few in my belly button and said that I was doing too much. Slow down, rest, and walk bent over as much as possible.
I've been home a week today and I've been in contact with Dr. Robles' office 5 of those 7 days between her, Dr. Gonzalez and Laura by using Whats App for text and pics (download this app and make your connections BEFORE you go). While in Santo Domingo, I went to the office 3 times and she came to the recovery house to check on us on Sunday afternoon. NOTE: Dr. Robles is extremely busy with surgeries done all day until the evening and lots of patients in and out for consultations, check ups, etc. She has a very competent Dr Gonzalez working with her as well as her assistant Laura. They are both highly professional, resourceful and the most delightful personalities.
Now my main issue is with my PCP who was to follow my progress as I recover. In my opinion, he basically lost it when I came back with a drain, which is not a big deal at all. My suture line disrupted his composure as well. I had such high regard for him; HUGE, HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. He was supposed to do my short term disability paperwork, now he feels I need to consult a plastic surgeon here. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. I have full confidence in Dr. Robles and her team. What I am going to do is drop him as a PCP.
I've dropped a few pics to catch you up on my progress.