I was finally sleeved!!!
Worked with: Belite Weight
To begin I started my journey on sites just like this one in search of a doctor and an alternative way to pay. I found several companies, options, and doctors. After careful research I decided to work with BeLiteWeight and Dr. Rodriguez. I wanted to have the most secure and comfortable experience as possible so I chose Star Medica in Juarez. I know you are thinking that's an oxymoron. LOL But for me that was the best choice.
My advice is be open, read, research and talk to everyone but form your own opinions. You must be informed and knowledgeable about your own body, what you want, and what is and isn't acceptable.
I made a sleeve sister through Belite's Facebook page. She is on here too. Her name is Regina. I love her to death now! Its amazing but this experience can bring you very close to a person.
Back to the story...
I arrived at El Paso airport and was met by Regina and the driver (Alfonso). Regina lives in the area and has crossed the border many times. This really helped me to feel better about going. It was Mexico's Mother's day. The weather was rainy and I think both of those things had something to do with the crossing and activity in Juarez being so uneventful and relaxed. I was thankful. It only took about 15 mins to the hospital from the airport. We were taken into a waiting area of the hospital until Dr. Caldron came down to greet us.
It was awesome. The facility is way nicer than any hospital I have been to in the US. Absolutely great! The staff was very attentive and courteous. The rooms are like medical hotels. It was comparable to a really nice hotel room or suite. There are many English speaking channels to watch, if you don't speak Spanish. Most of the staff will be able to understand you even if you don't speak Spanish. Try to show them what you want or use the translation guides you are given. They are really there to help you and that is what they will do.
Back to the story...
Regina and I paid our money, took x-rays, gave blood samples, and had an EKG. We were then allowed to go eat. We decided to go to the restaurant next door. The food was delicious and the service was good. There were several people that spoke English who will be available to wait on you. Our surgery was scheduled for the next day, so, Regina and I just hung out in each other's rooms until we were sleepy. She was so much fun.
The next morning, we were told to take showers and put on the gowns before getting out IV's. Dr. Rodriguez and Caldron came to visit and answer questions that we had. He was really personable. He is really a good guy from what I experienced with him. He came to see me several times before I left the hospital. I truly believe he loves what he does and cares about his patients.
Regina was first out of the gate. This was fine with me. I figured Dr. Rod could warm up on her and be ready for the show when got to me. LOL no offense Regina... Ya know I love ya girl.
So I was willed down to the surgery waiting room and given some drugs to help with nerves, pain and nausea. I was later willed into the room and given something way stronger. Next they put the gas mask on me and all I remember is waking up in the recovery area. You have to wake up and respond to the nurses before they take you back to your room.
I will say that when Dr. Rod and Dr. Elmo came by they said the 1st 8 hours are difficult they weren't lying. It was a tough surgery and thanks to God I brought my mom. She was the one thing that I can say prepared be for that recouping period. If she hadn't been there I would not have been able to do that alone. My sleeve sister came alone but my mom checked on her as much as possible. Regina is a real trooper and managed it better than me. I am usually tough and thick skinned, but this being my first surgery it was very difficult. Nothing I could have ever expected. I was glad that Dr. Rod said I had no complications and everything was perfect.
Take a loved one. They will help you remain calm and keep your spirits up. Its surgery and it takes a lot out of you. So please bring someone to aid you. The nurses are there for you but its not their job hold your hand, stroke your head, or rub your back.
Back to the story....
The next morning I was feeling much better. Dr. Elmo came to see me and give me some instruction on what to expect. Dr. Rod came by to check on me and give me some encouragement. Dr. Caldron came by as well and told me how to eat and what to expect over the next few weeks.
So later that day Regina, my mom, Dr. Elmo and I went down to do leak tests. It was interesting to see my tiny stomach. Our tests were great. Later that day Dr. Elmo removed our drains. This was sweet relief. I was still sore but the drain causes so much discomfort. Later that day the pharmacist brought our prescriptions in exchange for the purchase price. KEEP IN MIND you can use US DOLLARS. There is no need to do any exchanging. We eventually had our IV's removed and were given shots to sustain the antibiotics that were being pushed into us from the IV.
The next day Dr. Caldron came over and made sure we were ready for release. Our driver came a little early and so we left early. The ride across the border took over an hour and 1/2. It was interesting to me. I really enjoyed it.
If you have any questions please hit me up and I will be happy to assist you.
Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Starting Weight: 320 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery:
Current Weight: 284 lbs
Goal Weight: 175 lbs
Weight Lost: 36 lbs
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 05/10/2012
Surgery Date: 05/11/2012
Hospital Stay: 3 Days
Surgery Funding: Combination
Insurance Outcome: n/a
Need2bSlim's Bariatric Surgeon