Thursday, October 18, 2012
On October 4th I flew to San Diego and took a transfer to Tijuana, Mexico to have gastric sleeve surgery. I was frustrated with my weight and had finally managed to take off about 16 pounds before I left, so I was down to 382 pounds before surgery. They took us to stay the night before surgery at the Tijuana Mariott which turned out to be just gorgeous. My meals were provided. I could have up to 3 bowls of chicken broth, 2 bottles of water and 2 popscicles. This was after 3 weeks of drinking 2 protein shakes a day and a salad for dinner with some type of protein on it. I was so anxious I only ate one bowl of broth, a popscicle, and a bottle of water.
They picked up me and another surgery patient at 6:45am the next morning and took us to the hospital for registration. The hospital was very clean and neat, but like out of a time warp as all of their equipment was from about 20 years ago compared to American medicine. It all worked, so no complaints!! Everyone was so friendly and helpful. They led us through preparation for surgery, which I have to admit is a blur now and the next thing I remember is waking up in my hospital room and they told me my surgery was successful. Much to my disgust, they wanted us up walking 20 minutes every 2 hours to help dispel the gas they had filled the abdominal cavity with for the surgery. They said you may have severe left shoulder pain, but I lucked out and didn't have it. I didn't want to walk, I wanted to sleep!! They were really great about keeping your pain under control and the nausea. I protested about walking and have to say I wasn't a very good patient. I forgot to mention that my mom went with me and they gave her a hospital bed in my room for her to stay so she could be with me all the time. It was nice being babied by Mom too during the whole ordeal, even if I am 42 years old! She would also encourage me to walk and I did as little as I could get away with. Of course, in hindsight I paid for it in pain.
The morning after the surgery they wanted me to get up and take a shower. I thought they were joking! How could I possibly shower after I just had surgery?? They were serious. It took every ounce of energy I had, but I did it and they came in and changed my bandages. Everything looked good. I stayed one more night in the hospital and did a repeat of the shower the next morning and they started us on liquids the night before. The doctor came in and talked to me and told me I had done great with my pre-surgery diet and my liver was the size of someone with a much smaller BMI. This helped him a lot in the surgery. They gave me some antibiotics and light pain meds and sent me back to the hotel for another 2 nights.
Although my abdomen was sore, I felt good enough to go on a tour of Tijuana and do a little shopping for Mom and me and the people back home. We had a great taxi driver and he showed us so much of Tijuana in a 3 hour tour. The representative from the company that I had the surgery through came and checked on me twice a day and was in phone contact as well. They were really wonderful. For anyone considering having surgery out of country, Ready 4 A Change is an excellent company. They are so accommodating and friendly as well as reasonably priced.
It's now been 2 weeks since my surgery and I am down 25 pounds already. I was 357.4 when I got on the scale this morning. I average 1.5 pounds to 3 pounds a day right now. I know that will slow down soon, but it is amazing right now. The doctor told me before I left the hospital that she thought I could potentially lose 100 pounds in 3 months if I stayed on plan. Now for the hard part and not try to eat things too early and staying away from sweets. I plan to do my best and see what I look like after that first 100 pounds and then we'll go for the 2nd 100 pounds! I have faith between WW and the surgery that I can do it.