32 BMI Got Sleeved 5/18/2015 - Mexico, MX

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I am 9 days post op, so late to the party. I went...

I am 9 days post op, so late to the party. I went through researching, the decision making process, the apprehension, the pre-op, the surgery and the first week already. CNN Summary: I decided 15 months ago to look into WLS. Over time, I decided it was for me. I have been a yo-yo dieter for 20+ years. My health is suffering. I am 43 and I have young children....we ALL deserve a healthier me. I was approved (self pay) for a local bariatric surgeon/Center of Excellence and was trying to pull together $13,000. Then I started researching "Medical Tourism" and found A Lighter Me and Dr Ortiz. $4600 + airfare, got me 2 nights in the hospital (vs outpatient) and 3 nights in a nice hotel in Mexico to heal ...done deal! I signed up and had the surgery a month later.

Traveling, the surgery itself, all was good. I feel like I bounced back a bit quicker than some who were having it done the same time as I was. I was walking 2 hours post op. Traveling home was fine (4 hour flight!)

So here I am, back at work, trying to figure out how to get in all my liquids and protein. I am on "full liquids" until the weekend, then will be allowed to switched the pureed foods. Never have I been more excited for apple sauce, LOL.

Recovery is not super easy. I am still sore. It still hurts when I swallow. I can literally feel everything slide down my throat, sit at the bottom of my esophagus, then spill into my tiny tummy. I get cramping, tons of "throat burping" and just got over like 5 days of diarrhea. And I get hot flashes every time I swallow. And OMG am I tired. I could literally sleep for the next 3 days straight through. But....all tolerable!

Stats: I am 5'4". High Weight: 237 (41 BMI) Start Weight: 195 (33.5 BMI) Surgery weight: 187 (32.1 BMI) Current Weight: 174.5 (29.9 BMI)! I am now officially "overweight" and no longer "obese." I am super motivated and ready for my new lifestyle. The smallest I have been in 20 years is 168, and I feel like I will get there quickly!

Added Picture

Not sure what my weight was here.....I know it was close to 220. Never again!

Another thought

I had a lower BMI at the time of surgery. I have been heavier in my lifetime...BMI over 40 more than once. Its horrible how many people with judge you for not being "fat enough." Its insulting. I actually had 2 strangers tell me if "I just tried harder" I would lose the weight. They don't know how many years I have dieted, how many trainers I've had, how many "lifestyle changes" I've tried, what my labs looks like, what my health history is or why I decided this was the option for ME. And frankly....I DON'T CARE. I did this for ME. So I can be healthy and see my kids graduate from High school, so I can meet my Grandchildren someday. For a lot of reasons.

If you are like me and have a "low BMI" with "Only" 50-75 lbs to lose, don't let these people get to you. If this is for you, its for you. I have yet to tell ANYONE in my family or in my "offline" life about it, save my therapist and MD. And no one needs to know. Not that I am ashamed. I am just not needed to hear the stupid commentary from the world. Just because I didn't make it to 300 lbs didn't mean that I wouldn't "next time" and WHY would I WANT to get that big if I could prevent it??

16 days Post Op

I read somewhere that you hit a phase of "depression" after having VGS. I didn't think that would happen to me, but I think its starting. I am supposed to be graduating from Full Fluids to pureed foods this week and I cant do it. :( I have thrown up twice no trying and not only does that really hurt and just completely suck, I am starting to wonder if I will ever be able to eat "real" food again. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo over soups and protein shakes right now.

Just a down moment since I just threw up again and feel like crap. BLAH.
172.1 this morning. Down 14.5 since surgery, and 23.5 since pre-op. In under 1 month, I am down over 23 lbs. That is really unreal to think about. I cant let this stuff get me down. It will come, and I don't need to be rushing back to real foods.

Update Feb 2, 2016

I am happy to say that I hit my goal weight (135), my dream goal weight (127) and my "holy crap that's not even possible weight." I have been maintaining at 118 lbs since Christmas. It is very surreal.

This is NOT the easy way out. Traveling to Mexico, surgery and recovery wasn't difficult, but boy, the first 6 months adapting to life after a sleeve sure is. I have battled heartburn, acid diarrhea, hypoglycemia...all kinds of things. I struggled finding vitamins that I could swallow and tolerate, to stay hydrated, to eat...it has NOT been easy. I can not tolerate red meat, caffeine or anything carbonated. I never thought I would part ways with coffee and diet coke but it happened.

It has been worth it. And lately, I am able to drink more than 1 ounce of liquid at a time. I can finish an entire scrambled egg without running to the toilet. I learned my limits of what I can and cant do. I have had plenty of days I regretted getting the surgery, that I wished I could just EAT. But I learned those were reactions to emotions...stress, etc. So now I get up and walk. I take deep breaths. Sounds so cliché but it works.

Anyway, if you are debating on the surgery, my advice is to pay as much as, if not MORE attention to the advice you get for the life changes afterwards. There is no turning back. And while have no regrets, it is a huge change that was much tougher than I ever anticipated. I don't think there is any way to adequately prepare for what its like, no matter how much you read, try, experiement...kind of like becoming a mother for the first time. Good luck to all!
Elias Ortiz, A Lighter Me

I couldn't be happier with Dr Ortiz, A Lighter Me, and Tijuana. I would do it again tomorrow.

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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