sick and tired of being sick and tired pt. 2 - Dominican Republic, DO

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Originally I started my review on Dr. Yily,...

Originally I started my review on Dr. Yily, however I've decided to switch over to Dr. Almonte. And so far my decision seems to be the best one. I think Yily's work is great, but I am big on customer service and communication, having to play detective and track someone down in order to give them MY HARD EARNED MONEY as well as trust them with my life does not sit well with me. I have been in constant contact with Dr. Yily's assistant Lesley Maria, not to mention my sx buddy had a few questions and decided to call not realizing she had the wrong number she called Dr. Almonte's cell number on a Saturday, in which Dr. Almonte not only answered but took the time out to have a long conversation with my sx buddy answering all of her questions (as my sx buddy could clearly hear the baby in the background). The professionalism, cooperation, and attentiveness we have received thus far has been amazing. So Dr. Almonte here we (4 of us) come. I am so excited. I will keep you posted as news arise.

If all goes as planned I will be getting a full Tummy Tuck w/lipo, Liposculpture, Fat Grafting to the Buttocks, and a Breast Reduction and Lift. Wish me luck


Deposit made FINALLY!!!

Hello All, I know its been a minute since I've updated everything. And to be honest not much has changed. I made my deposit to Dr. Almonte a week or so ago. That process went really smoothly, honestly it wasn't even a process. Lesley, Dr. Almonte's assistant gave me her Bank of America account number to deposit the funds. Conveniently I have a Bank of America account, so I just set her up to be able to transfer funds directly from my account to hers. This is going to be especially useful when I travel to DR. I won't have to worry about traveling with large amounts of money. I can just take what I think I will need in cash, and transfer my payment within minutes (sometimes I just love technology). I must say, Lesley is the greatest, she's professional, informative, insightful, and patient. I can't wait to actually meet her in person.

Currently I am working on getting my passport, I have an appointment with my local post office next week. After that I will start shopping for the supplies I will need in order to get that out of the way, and from there I can just continue to save up the rest of the money I need for the trip and continue to concentrate on my weight loss. Back in December when I originally started this journey I was 256lbs, I am now down to 244lb. I know its not a lot of weight, but slow progress is better than no progress. By my surgery date I have to be 200lbs, wish me luck.

Until next time.

So much to say I don't know where to begin

Okay so its been 2 months since my last update. I have to search my brain for details and information to make sure I don't forget anything. But so that my post isn't excessively long I will break them up in to shorter versions.

Okay so first things first!! Everything is a GO! I received my passport. It honestly was a lot less painful than I thought. My post office required I make an appointment, which I did. I was able to do so in one phone call, my appointment was set for a week away, I was in and out in less than an hour, and received my passport in two weeks. I am so happy to have one finally, after my surgery I'm definitely going to look into collecting more stamps lol.

Additionally, I decided to purchase new luggage. Originally I was going to take this one huge suitcase I owned, although its just about on its last leg (but I love it so). I didn't want to have to bother with carrying multiple bags. However, my sx buddies convinced me to take more luggage just incase of any incidentals. It kinda does make sense to take what I (think I) will need for the 1st few days as carry on just incase my luggage is misplaced or lost. At least I will have what I need for my surgery and will deal with the rest later. Because I don't really travel as often as I used to I didn't have any luggage sets, and what I did have is beginning to fall apart. So I got to thinking that it is time to finally purchase more luggage. I don't want to carry mismatch broke down luggage for my 1st trip out of the country, not to mention if I'm planning on traveling more often I'm going to need luggage, so I went ahead and purchased a new set. It actually wasn't too bad either, I was able to find a 4 piece set from Amazon for $102 after taxes and with free shipping, and I love my new set. So much I'm damn near packed already lol!!!

I don't have my cell near me, but I downloaded a countdown app, and if I'm not mistaken I'm down to 52 days. And honestly it feels like forever away. I want the days to hurry up and pass, its to the point that I'm beginning to dream about my surgery and trip. I know my friends and family is tired of hearing me talk about it, but its all I seem to think about...smh!

My weight loss........
So I'm only down to 232 from 256. Ugghhh this is not going as smoothly as I would like. I'm only down 24lbs where if I was on target I should be down 40. I have less than two months to loose 32lbs. I'm frustrated because I don't know what to do. I'm exercising 4-6 days a week with at least 1 hour of cardio. I will admit I haven't been as strict with my eating as I should've been but I have been eating much better than usual. I feel like I need to go into starvation mode, is it even possible to loose 32lbs in 52days without going on a liquid diet? Honestly I know it isn't. Worst case scenario I need to loose at least 20lbs by then.....pray for me!

Speaking on weight loss...

According to Dr. Almonte's Assistant Lesley the most important thing is my hemoglobin. From what she explained to me, the more fat you need to have removed the lower your hemoglobin will drop making you a higher risk for a blood transfusion or the inability to have all of your procedures. And I am determined to get all of my work done!! Now I have been good with taking all of my vitamins. I'm working to get my hemo as close to 15 as possible. I started taking vitamins the day I decided to get on this journey. On May 1st I'm going to have my blood work done to see where I am. If my hemo is not where I want it to be I will start drinking my hemoglobin tea I purchased from The Surgery Queen. If my hemo is good, then I will save the tea for post sx to build my hemo back up. Either way I definitely don't want to get a blood transfusion, so I need to burn as much fat as possible and keep this hemo high. *sigh* I knew this mission was going to be a challenge.

Newton's Law is Always in Effect if it can go wrong it will!.....

Okay so now I'm down to crunch time. My finances have not been coming thru as planned, and on top of that I had my physical done the other day and my labs came back. The good news is I'm HIV negative, however even after all the supplements I've been taking CONSISTENTLY my hemo is only 12.2. For those of you that don't know the PS require your hemo to be at least a 13, and when you're having multiple surgeries it needs to be as close to 15 as possible, not to mention for some reason you loose a few point when they do your blood in DR you want it to be as high as possible especially if you're planning on having multiple surgeries. Considering that I want breast and liposculputre which both produce A LOT of bleeding my hemo needs to be high to keep down the risk of it dropping too low or requiring a blood transfusion. I'm not going all the way to DR not to be able to get all of my work done, or risk my life. So now I have to step up my regimen in order to get my hemo up. Then to make things worse come to find out my platelet count is high, like 20 points high. For those of you that don't know platelets is what cause your blood to clot, so when your platelet count is high you're at risk for heart attack and/or stroke and there's the danger of clotting or having a pulmonary embolism during or immediately after surgery which basically will KILL YOU. I just called Lesley and she had me forward over a copy of my labs for Dr. Almonte to look over. In the mean time I've looked up some holistic suggestions to help regulate this issue, so now I've added Ginkgo Biloba to my already extremely long list of pills I take daily. *sigh* and for my iron issue I've added a liquid herbal iron builder and hemoglobin tea to my regimen also. I feel so overwhelmed this is just so much....and the crazy part is I realize this is just the beginning, lord knows what recovery is going to bring. HOWEVER, Ladies, I can not stress how important it is to check your health prior to receiving this procedure, I know you feel like you're in perfect health and you have no medical issues, but YOU NEVER KNOW, I never thought twice about my platelets until going on this journey (thank God my Dr. mentioned to me). Many girls just jump on the plane without doing a full health screen prior to or lie about their health condition because they're so anxious to go under the knife and then everyone wants to get mad at the PS when things go wrong. PLEASE don't think it won't happen to you, take the necessary precautions, get your body and mind ready for what you're about to go through, it can mean the difference between life and death!!

So much to say.....

Hey ladies, so I'm officially 9 days post op still in DR and feeling well. This has been such a long journey, I have so much to say and tell you all the only way I can think to cover all the bases is to write about each event day by day, and I want to write it while it is fresh in my mind. I finally have a moment where I'm in the mood and feeling well enough to do a lot of typing. If I don't get it all done today I promise I will shortly, just bare with me. So here it goes...

Day One....Where the drama began....

So the night before leaving I could not sleep of course. The anticipation was killing me but yet I felt numb. I sat up watching television and talking on the telephone until about 2 a.m., until I tell myself to finally go to sleep. I set the alarm clock on my cell phone for 4 a.m. as my flight was leaving at 6:30 and had arranged to meet my sx buddy at the airport at 5:30, being that we pre-checked in. Needless to say, my alarm never went off, I rolled over at 5 a.m. jumped out of bed in a panic, it would be me to over sleep after all of this time. I live approximately 30 minutes from the airport, and being that I'm all packed and ready to go I should be able to get out of the door in 15 minutes right....WRONG! My nerves finally hit me and guess who get a bad case of the bubble yeah me! After sitting on the toilet for far too long I wake my 19 yro up and we go racing across I20 praying to God I don't get pulled over. I jump out of the car and run to the nearest Kiosk to get my boarding pass, its 5:50 a.m. I know I'm pushing it but I can still make it right?....wrong. The attendant at the kiosk tells me I have to get in line to see a representative at the desk. *sigh* Of course it would be these two slow older ladies gently sipping their coffee savoring the flavor as they give each customer their undivided attention despite the fact that the line is growing and flights are departing. When I finally get to the desk I am told that I would not be allowed to depart because bags have to be checked in at least 45 minutes prior to flights and would have to be placed on standby for the remainder of my trip. The next flight would be leaving in an hour and 55 minutes, and then there would be a 3 hour lay over for the next flight after that, I only had a 50 minute layover on my current itinerary so you know I was pissed right. Needless to say with out any choice, but a real nasty attitude, I changed my itinerary accordingly. I call my sx buddy who had been texting me crazy to inform her of my mistake and told her to proceed on and I would meet her in DR.

Now those who truly know me know the one thing I hate about traveling is going thru TSA I HATE TSA. So I get to the 1st post and there's this handsome TSA agent, normally I would've flirted a bit, but he was the enemy and I was already annoyed so I looked right past him. I guess I caught the eye of another TSA agent because he kindly made his way over, must've noticed the annoyance in my face and asked me if I was okay. I snickered I would be it I could get through this line faster. It was clear I had an attitude so they didn't bother any further. Although as I (slowly) proceeded through the line it was evident I was being watched. I finally arrive at the conveyor belt put my stuff through the machine of course it stops, the TSA agent stares at his screen real closely and then removes my bag and places it on the other side. An older West Indian woman comes along and asks who's bag it is and takes me off to the side to search my bag. Now I'm super annoyed because my bag is packed precisely and now I'm going to have to deal with trying to get my stuff back the way I had it. She opens my bag and her eyes brighten up as she looks at it, I'm looking down at my bad thinking what the fuck are you looking at lord please don't let them start no shit. And then she says "I've never seen a bag packed so neatly, everything is nicely placed". Lady are you serious, you over there admiring how I packed my friggen bag!!! Let's get this going already. So she gently shifts through my stuff trying not to disturb anything, thank god. Only to discover that the culprit was my baby wipes *sigh*. So so goes, oh this is it you can go. Finally, as I sit and try to put my stuff back together (the little that was out of place). I look up to notice the handsome officer walking past me, we catch eye contact for a minute and he winks. Now once again, normally I would've been flattered, but today all I could think was "if you though I was so damn cute you should've given me VIP access through this damn line!"

So 7:55 arrives and I start off great, guess who was selected to get on the flight, I was number 3 of the 3 open seats. YAY!!! okay so I'm a few hours behind but things are turning around.....yeah right. So everything is going smoothly until we arrive in Miami, now this is supposed to be an hour and a half flight and I notice its been two hours and it doesn't look like we're anywhere near landing. Finally the Pilot gets on the overhead and informs us that there is a storm in Miami that we have been flying over it waiting for it to clear but are running out of gas and will have to re-route to Ft. Lauderdale to gas up and return to Miami when the storm passes *sigh* I knew things were too good to be true.

We get to Ft. Lauderdale and there's a sea of airplanes so yup we sit on the tarmac for an hour just waiting. In the mean time I text my sx buddy to inform her of what's going on and she replies telling me that they lost her luggage, *slaps forehead* the plot just keeps getting thicker and thicker. Finally we get the okay to return to Miami, the Captain assures us it will only take another 30 minutes to get us there, which he was correct he got us there in 30 minutes, however the plane that was at the gate prior to us apparently was having mechanical issues. Yep, so there's another hour of just sitting on the tarmac. Now anyone else would've looked at this as a sign not to go, but not me, this is just the story of my life, nothing ever comes easy, EVER!!! My life is just set up to have to battle all kinds of obstacles just to accomplish the simplest things. We are finally exiting the plan, but guess what the next flight leaves in 20 minutes, so what are my chances my next flight departs at the next gate or a few gates down, ABSOULTELY ZERO!!! I depart my flight and began looking for a notification board, of course there's none in my immediate area, after I walk down the corridor for what seems like forever I get to the board to find that my flight is departing from a gate on the other side of the airport.

Now this is not going any where near how I imagined it. Here I am in my pretty long flowing A-line sun dress, no bra, and bling sandals. I imagined myself on a nice relaxing flight to a tropical island on my way to returning a better me. But no time to dwell on that. I hike my dress up and knot it on the side, grip my bad firmly to my shoulder and I take off. Mind you earlier they asked me to check in my carry on luggage which I was reluctant to do, at that very moment I was glad I went against my original judgment because really didn't need the extra baggage. So here I am flying through the airport my 38DDD breast flying everywhere and me trying to hit it in these dainty sandals as if I were wearing a pair of Nike's. And of course when you're trying to get some where, everyone wants to move like snails. Finally all of the working out and weight loss I've been trying to accomplish the past few months has really been worth it cause I actually had some speed and I wasn't tired exhausted or out of breath. With approx. 10 minutes to spare, and stinging feet *note* those sandals are not made for running* I make it to the gate as they are boarding. I go immediately to the desk and told her I was to check in with her, and thank God for the few people who do their jobs, she looked at me and said "Williams?, I've been calling you, here's your boarding pass" and with a smile at that "whew" and with a returned smile I replied "thank you so much".

Thankfully, I was able to text my sx buddy who I'm sure was pissed with me that I would be there shortly.

My plane to Santo Domingo was a damn bus, I haven't seen a plane that large since pre 911. No wonder the flights to DR were so spread out, cause they drop off a thousand people with each flight. After such a long day I decided to try and relax, I wrap myself up in the blankie and get comfortable and try my best to fall asleep but nope it wasn't happening, although it wasn't going the way I planned I was almost in DR. I layed there and tried to relax as much as possible because my life was about to change.

I arrived in DR and tried to remember all the instructions I was given by Lesley as well as the advice I read on RS. I had my $10 bill USD handy for my visitor's pass, which is basically a tax just for coming to DR. I walked down the corridor following the signs to "immigracion", and don't worry if you get a little confused its obvious to the staff that you are and they will point you (and I mean that literally because chances are they don't speak English) in the right direction. I arrive to the area where you can purchase your visitors pass and just as I was walking up there was some sort of large group who arrived at the window prior to me, then I noticed 2 kiosk on the side and decided to use those, and within a minute I had my pass and was free to proceed. I finally get to baggage claim, and this is were I realized I have officially developed Adult A.D.D. DR's airport is really small, so as I read the board I realized that they had THREE different flights of luggage being dispensed from the same conveyor belt. I couldn't help but think no wonder they lost my friend's luggage, I know there is no type of organization at all down there. It took approximately 30-45 minutes before my bag came across the belt. My transition through Customs to get my 1st stamp went fairly smoothly. Nothing like the armed officers with dogs who have you lined up waiting to be sniffed like I imagined lol. I continued down the last corridor trying to remember what Lesly told me. I go through the 1st set of double doors and as it opened I was overwhelmingly surprised, there was a sea of people waiting for their loved ones, but as Lesly said I continued past them down the ramp and looked for a gentleman holding a sign with my name on it. I was praying he was there because my cell was officially dead, but I didn't have to look far there was my name in big bold black print and this 6'1" man standing there......I have officially arrived!!

I walk up to him and tell him my name, he looks at the sign with my name balls it up but is left with one. He tells me that he's waiting for someone else who was on the same flight, and asked me to have a seat we will have to wait. Hungry and with a full bladder I had no problems with it, I told him I was going to the bathroom and would grab something to eat. Thank goodness I already I had my pesos, that was one less thing I had to worry about. So I proceed to the restroom and then stop at a stand a grab me a empananda, which by the way was the best. However, we sat there for an hour. Naper (the driver) would apologize for the wait but was resilient on not leaving until he found the other girl. I watched him make and receive calls back and forth and it was apparent he was talking to Dr. Almonte's office, possibly Lesley, trying to figure out the location of the missing girl. Although I was annoyed because I was ready to go, it brought me comfort that he was so concerned and determined to wait for her, that should something go wrong he wasn't going to leave us alone or stranded. After about an hour he finally gets a phone call that she missed her flight so we could go.


Naper is Dr. Almonte's official driver. He speaks English fluently and is very professional. When I 1st arrived he was a bit quiet but once I started asking questions and he answered them and told a few jokes to break the ice. He hasn't allowed me or anyone else to lift a finger in his presence since we've been here. He always has a pleasant attitude and always prompt. And when I tell you this man is busy he is busy! He not only commutes the girls to and from the airport but to ALL of our appointments whether it be to Dr. Almonte or another facility like the O2 chamber, in addition to making stops to take us places we want to go like McDonald's on the way lol. Everything is approximately 15-20 minutes apart. The airport about 30 minutes. But ladies let me warn you strap in and hold on for life because they CAN NOT drive in DR and have very few driving laws.

And I can't stress ladies please come prepared to tip, I have no idea how much these people make but their worth is so much more. They go above and beyond to cater to us, don't take it for granted!


So I finally arrive to CECIP and as my heart skips a beat I am happy and anxious. I couldn't wait for this day to arrive and its finally here. The place looks exactly how I imagined it after looking at various pics on RS. And yes it is DIRECTLY across the street from the President's Palace. I enter and proceed to Dr. Almonte's office where I am greeted by my sx buddy and Lesley. Lesley is so pleasant and bubbly. She greeted me as if we were old friends. I couldn't have been made more comfortable. She's even prettier than I imagined. She quickly went over my paper work, which I wasn't really stressing because I know my sx buddy was on top of things so all I needed to know was where to sign. And then escorted me to do all of my pre-op testing. I had to do an x-ray of my back, lab work, and an ekg with the cardiologist, and a medical screening with a cute young tech who didn't speak English but was very upbeat and entertaining, lol, thank God for translations apps cause we weren't going to make it far with the little English cheat sheet he had, lol, you have to give him credit for trying.
Ladies please keep in mind that they are not high tech like we are accustomed to for example they drew my blood using a syringe, so if you're used to a butterfly needed you can forget about it (in my broken jersey Italian accent). They are GREAT at what they do but don't expect the conveniences of home, and that goes across the board for everything.

Unfortunately there weren't any beds available at the center so we would have to go to the RH for the night and return in the morning, which we were okay with because that give us a chance to meet them, and unpack prior to the sx. We wanted to go to dinner but couldn't because Naper had to go back to the airport (it seems like this man never sleeps) and pick up the girl that missed her flight, but called the RH to ask them to prepare us dinner, a little disappointed but hey there will be plenty of time for that.
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Almonte and her staff is the best decision I could've made. I am so happy with my results as well as their professionalism and how I was treated. I will be returning next year for my breast and more lipo.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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