The Beginning of My Journey. Miami, FL

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Ok, so here goes nothing. I have never been a...

Ok, so here goes nothing. I have never been a heavyset woman. Growing up, I was always thin and was active. After getting married at 19, I remained very dedicated to my appearance and, as a matter of fact, I became even more concerned about maintaining my appearance. Six years into my marriage, I became pregnant and, due to complications in my second trimester, I was put on bed rest. I went from a steady weight gain of 3-4 lbs a month to an out of this world 6-8lbs a month that ended up yielding a total weight gain of 60 lbs. Immediately after giving birth to my beautiful 7.5lbs baby boy, I lost ONE measly pound! I was horrified. With knowledge of the fact that women in my family all tend to never lose weight gained during pregnancy, I knew that I needed to act quickly to get this weight off. After breastfeeding my son for 3 months, my uterus did, in fact, contract and my tummy was significantly flatter-- however, much to my dismay, I only lost 2lbs making my total postpartum weight loss 3lbs. Panic instantly began to set in. I went into my primary care physician and insisted that I begin weight loss treatment immediately. Although he tried to encourage me to give my body a break since I only had a baby 3 months ago, I remained steadfast and chose to stop breastfeeding and begin phentermine. After a month, phentermine became way too much for me and sent me to the hospital with a blood pressure of 210/108. Obviously-- I had to stop taking Phentermine. Next I tried Alli which literally had me holding my baby while I stayed on the toilet, so it was very unrealistic. I then tried Atkins and Belviq coupled with 6 scheduled appointments with a licensed nutritionist. Atkins did work, but only during phase one and Belviq was insanely expensive and made me feel very agitated (possible serotonin syndrome). And so, here I am. My primary physician will be sending in my predetermination forms to my insurance company and I am hoping for the best. I have 4 more months more of Doctor supervised weight loss treatment and a psychiatric evaluation left and I am on my way to a newer, leaner, healthier me.

Finally making progress!!

So I have got to tell you, things are really looking up and headed in the right direction. After going through months of dieting, I am OFFICIALLY moving forward. I went to a seminar hosted by Dr. Elias Chousleb at Jackson Memorial Hospital North and a seminar hosted by Dr. Jorge Sosa at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah. Both doctors made me feel very comfortable about moving forward with them, the ultimate decision came down to brass tax. That being said-- can I get a drum roll please? I went with Dr. Jorge Sosa! The over all price about $2,500 less. Due to my recent diagnosis of pre-diabetes (my hemoglobin a1c level was 5.4 and 2 months later with metformin, diet and exercise, my weight went down but my hemoglobin a1c went UP to 6.2, YIKES!) I have decided to move forward with the roux en y gastric bypass instead of the vertical sleeve as the gastric bypass has a better potential to correct type 2 diabetes.

Yesterday, I met with Dr. Sosa for my first appointment and he corroborated what I was able to research about correcting my diabetes with gastric bypass. I will be meeting with the nutritionist and psychiatrist later this week and then everything will be submitted to my insurance company for approval. Stay tuned for a surgery date and pre-op photos.

Just got out of my operation

So, I finally got my gastric bypass and I have gotta say, I was definitely not expecting the pain that I experienced. I only had to do a 2 day clear liquid diet and it was not that bad, I lost 7 lbs total during the diet and I felt a little dizzy and spacey, but I got through it. The worst part about the clear liquid Preop diet was that I accidentally soiled myself in the middle Victoria's Secret while shopping for some loose fitting clothes for the hospital. It was horribly embarrassing but the staff at Victoria's Secret in Aventura mall didn't make me feel bad about it-- they were really understanding and more concerned about how I felt and making sure I was comfortable before leaving the store.

When I got to the Palmetto general hospital, I was very calm until they told me that my husband could not wait with me in the holding area because our son was with him and they do not allow children under 12 years old in the holding area. They did let my husband come in by himself five minutes before I was rolled into the OR while someone at the same day surgery front desk watched our 11 month old son. That was very nice of them and I appreciated it. The last thing I remember was counting backwards from 10 and then I woke up in the recovery room with my throat sore from the breathing tube they removed earlier, dizzy, nauseous and so incredibly PAINFUL. I was banging on my bed rails and muttering as loud as I could "Help! Pain! Pain!" It was THAT BAD and mind you, I have had liposuction in the past and I gave birth naturally 11 months ago and I would rather have a baby again any day. Once they got me into the room I was given Demerol which STILL didn't help getting up and walking was the only thing that helped the pain. I am feeling much better now.

Day 2 postoperative meal

Just got my first meal and I am scared to eat because I don't want to throw up. They gave me soup, water with a crystal light mixture and gelatin. The smell of the soup makes me feel sick to my stomach so I am sticking to the gelatin and water.

Sorry For the Hiatus-- Almost DIED because of Dr. Sosa!!!

Yes-- you read that title right-- for about a month I have been in the hospital FIGHTING FOR MY LIFE after Dr. Sosa did a "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" RNY surgery on me! So, let's pick up where I left off: on 9/7/16 I had the RNY gastric bypass performed by Dr. Jorge Sosa at Palmetto General Hospital. I was discharged on 9/10/16 and had a follow up appointment with him at his Hialeah office, The Sosa Clinic, on 9/13/16. During my follow up visit-- I mentioned to him that my abdomen was very very swollen and painful and that I had not had one bowel movement or even passed gas since 9/6/16 (the day before my surgery). His response to me was, "Are you belching? Is it foul smelling?" To which I responded, "Yes, I am belching, no-- it is not foul smelling." He said that it's normal and to give my bowel some more time to "wake up". He is the doctor with 12 years baritric experience-- so I took his word for it and moved on with what I thought was the beginning of my beautiful WLS journey. I could not have been more wrong. On 9/15/16, I woke up in so much pain and remained in pain for the entire day. I wrote it off as a normal part of the healing process, but by the following day 9/16/16-- I knew it could not be normal. The pain was so severe I could not sit or lay down, I could only stand which was a very difficult position to throw up in. My stomach was making extremely high pitched gurgling sounds and I could not keep down two sips of water without throwing up. I called Dr. Sosa and only managed to leave a message with his answering service. I felt like I was going to die and could not wait for his response so I told my husband to drive me to nearest ER, Memorial Regional Hospital (I live in Hollywood, Fl). While my husband and I were enroute to Memorial Regional Hospital, Dr. Sosa gave me a call back and in a very annoyed tone told me to go back to Palmetto General which was over half an hour away from me! I told him that I felt way too horrible to make that drive and he threatened that he would not help me if I went to that hospital. So, scared, in pain, throwing up and in tears the entire way-- my husband drove me to Palmetto General hospital. I was in the ER waiting room for LITERALLY over an hour waiting just to get a hallway gurney-- still crying, dry heaving at that point and in the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life (mind you, I had my son naturally) and no one treated me for my pain. The ER doctor there seemed to find my pain amusing, actually. I had to threaten to call AHCA on them and let them know that I am a nurse so I am not stupid and as per AHCA-- no patient should be left untreated for any amount of pain otherwise you get hit with a huge fine. All of a sudden-- it seemed I was speaking their language because while my screams of agonizing pain fell of deaf ears, once I threatened them, all I heard were whispers from behind the nursing station of, "Oh my God, did you know she was a nurse??" I was then immediately admitted. The following morning, Dr. Sosa burst into my room and without making eye contact with me once declared my stomach pouch was inflamed because of something I ate and then turned to leave-- when I stopped him and said to him that was impossible because I was following my diet to the letter he sighed deeply, spun around and in a very irate tone repeated himself and listed a bunch of imaginary things I must have done wrong and accused me of "cheating" my diet. Even though what he was saying made absolutely no sense and I KNEW I was following my diet-- who am I to question the doctor with 12 years baritric speciality, right? On 9/19/16-- Dr. Sosa sent me home with a percription for prednisone for 7 days and still unable to drink even a sip of water without feeling horrible. Later that same night at home as the IV pain medications I was hopped up on from my stay in the hospital began to ware off, I found myself right back where I started: still unable to even sip water in an ungodly amount of pain. Since it was very late at night and the baby was sleeping I told my husband I would just drive to Memorial Regional Hospital's ER, explain my diagnosis to them and get something for pain since Dr. Sosa only prescribed me prednisone. When I arrived to MRH's ER and explained to the ER doctor what had been going on, he looked at me strange and said words that would, unbeknownst to me at that moment in time, save my life, "Let me be the judge of what's going on with you." About an hour later, the ER doctors, two surgeons and my nurse entered my room and told me that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my stomach pouch and that at I had a severe case of pancreatitis. They could not believe that less than 24 hours earlier another hospital discharged in that condition. I was immediately admitted. After doing more digging, the surgical team found out that my pancreatitis and lack of bowel movements was due to a complete obstruction of the second anastomoses caused by an extremely short limb used by Dr. Sosa in my original surgery. Now, obstruction of the bowel or anastomoses MAY occur after RNY gastric bypass-- but they don't happen 7 days after getting the surgery-- it is an issue that may present itself more like 7-10 years post op and is still not very common. When I reached out to Dr. Sosa to tell him what was going on and asked him to fix it since it would be riskier for the MRH bariatric surgeons to go in since they are unfamiliar with my anatomy-- he REFUSED and his parting words were, "I can't help you. Best of luck to you." On 9/23/16, the team of Dr. Eckstein and Dr. Melendez at MRH opened me up (laparoscopic was not an option with the complexity of my case) and revised what Dr. Sosa, for a lack of better words, fucked up. Along with doing an open procedure came many bumps in the road which were as follows:
1. Fluid collected in my pelvis and became infected requiring an additional surgery to place a drain through my right buttock into my pelvis to get the fluid out.
2. Urinary catheter had to be placed which caused UTI
3. Abscess cavity formed behind the 3" open incision in my abdomen that required constant manual draining and packing it iodoform strip.
4. No veins and painful IVs that had me in tears which lead to me needing a PICC line in my right arm.
5. Multiple infections that required an infectious disease specialist to come in on the case as I became septic twice.
6. Having to use a walker to get around as my abdomen and right buttock could give me no support (you don't realize how much your abdominal muscles support you to walk until they are weakened by three surgeries in the space of 30 days)
7. Crazy crazy electrolyte levels that caused heart palpitations (I had hypokalemia).

That is all I can remember off the top of my head. All I can remember throughout the entire ordeal was crying and praying and praying and crying. When I became septic the first time, I remember telling my husband while he was sitting by my bedside instructions on what to do for our 12 month old son (who turned one while I was in the hospital and I missed my first and only child's first birthday) and telling him that it was OK to move on and to make sure that our son has a mother figure in his life. I remember my dad having to carry me to the bathroom and how helpless he looked when he had to yell to get the nurse because I started falling down and my dead weight was too much to carry. I remember my mom telling me it was going to be OK but the look of uncertainty on her face was heartbreaking. I am brought to tears merely recalling those events. On October 3rd I was discharged home, drains and all, with a nurse to come visit me everyday but I was so very greatful-- I cannot put into words how greatful I am to Dr. Eckstein, Dr. Melendez, Dr. Cohen and the entire team at Memorial Regional Hospital. It is still an uphill battle for me right now, but things are, thankfully moving in a generally positive direction and, for that, I could not be happier. Had it been up to Dr. Sosa, I would be laying in the ground 6 feet under. The man doesn't have a compassionate bone in his body.
Dr. Jorge Sosa

Horrible, uncompassionate, jaded, total disregard for a human life. Believe me when I tell you, this man will mess you up, put the blame on you, send you home to die and then tell you family, "Sorry, there was nothing I can do." This man should not be licensed! PLEASE DO NOT BE FOOLED OR LET HIS DECIETFUL STAFF FOOL YOU! They will have you to believe that he is the only doctor in South Florida to accept Medicaid-- this could not be FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!! Dr. Elias Chousleb, Dr. Eckstein, Dr. Melendez, Dr. Cohen-- they all accept Medicaid. Medicaid has changed the rules-- YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO GO TO A CENTER OF BARIATRIC EXCELLENCE!! Who cares if it's a center of bariatric excellence anyway? The standards that make a Hospital a center of bariatric excellence are not based on the service track record of the surgeons, it's based on which hospital has fancy machines and folds towels into the shape of swans in your hospital room. Look at me-- I went to a center of bariatric excellence with Dr. Sosa and this man almost killed me!! Had it not been for Memorial Regional Hospital's bariatric surgeons I likely would not be here today. There are many others with stories like mine that have never been told. Believe me, I will make sure that they soon will be heard. Do yourself a favor-- avoid this murderer!!!

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