Jump to content
Are you looking for the BariatricPal Store? Go now!


LAP-BAND Patients
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by TheSkinnyCow73

  1. For those of you that are thinking about being sleeved in MX with Dr. Rodriguez, dont hesitate! I researched and chose Dr. Rod because of his ability to work with scar tissue after talking with some of his former patients that had a revision surgery. I had the Molina band for 17 years (had it removed here in the states since insurance was nice enough to cover it!!) so needless to say, my tummy had some scar tissue and i needed a surgeon that could handle this. Dr. Rod did with ease! Here is my detailed journey/experience... My husband and I arrived on Friday, 2/10/12 at 5-ish due to our plane being late. Sergio, the driver, met us at the doors of the airport and guided us to one of his drivers, Alfonso, for the ride across the border. It was uneventful driving across and we laughed and joked with Alfonso about eating real mexican food and what is was like living in MX. He was very open and honest and made us feel less like tourists and more like a long lost relative. It took about 20 minutes to get to Star Medica Hospital from El Paso Airport. Once we were at the hospital, Alfonso grabbed our suitcases and delivered us to Dr. Calderon, the psychiatrist and the first person you meet on staff with Dr. Rodriguez's team. He is very quiet/soft spoken and explains everything to you in great detail. He answered all of our questions about the surgery and paperwork (my husband was asking most of the questions) and then off I went with him to have my chest xray. That took all of 15 minutes total and we were off to our room on the 3rd floor. The rooms are fantastic!! Other than the hospital bed, you get the feeling of a hotel room more than a hospital room. The shower is huge and everything is super clean. The couch/bed that my husband slept on was a memory foam and very comfy for him and of course, I had a hospital bed, nuff said on that! Once we got settled in, the nurses came in and weighed me, drew my blood and did the ekg. We had the rest of the night to do whatever so we went and walked down to Denny's for my "last meal" of sorts... I had a lower bmi so Dr. Calderon said it was okay if i had a healthy last meal as long as I didnt eat or drink anything after midnight. Deal! Something that everyone needs to remember is that not everyone speaks English so using the handout that BeLiteWeight gives you or Google Translator is a must! The next morning (2/11/12), I woke up to the nurses getting me ready for my IV. Martha got me on the first stick and I was so thankful for that! Once she was done, the anesthesiologist came in and talked with me for about 15 minutes asking the usual questions. She was really nice but I cant remember her name to save my life! Then Dr. Rod came in and sat down and explained everything that was going to happen and answered all my questions and my husband's questions too. Didnt hurt that he smells damn good too! Around 1pm, they came in and wheeled my entire bed to the surgery waiting room.. that is when I really got nervous. Hubby was upstairs, I was there alone, hardly anyone spoke english in the surgery waiting area so I broke out into a sweat and the mind started racing. eeek! Then it was my turn... they wheeled me into the surgery room.. I calmed down when I heard the mexican music playing.. the surgical room looked just like the one I was in here in Houston. The last thing I remember was the Anesthesiologist looking over the top of my head and asking if I was okay and telling me that everything was going to be fine. I was out and she was right! I came out of recovery without any problems (I have read where some folks have tubes down their throats when they wake up, this wasnt the case for me) so they wheeled me back into my room where my hubby was.. boy, was he a sight for sore eyes!!! Seeing him assured me that everything was good! By the time I got back to my room it was around 4-4:30pm. I had some gas pains but nothing out of the ordinary. I kinda knew what to expect since I had my band removed a month earlier and went through the same thing. The only thing that bothered me was the drain. ugh! that teeny-tiny incision hurt the worst and still gives me trouble 11 days post op! Throughout the next couple of days they stick my finger for blood sugar and get my bp reading/temperature ever 6 hours or so. You cant drink anything for the first 24 hours and that didnt really bother me. I was too busy trying to manage the drain and walk around to get the damn gas out of me. burping never felt soooo good! Since you have an IV hoooked up the whole time, pain management was really good and any time I felt queasy, they handled it immediately. If you hit the nurse button, they were there within 2 minutes of it going off. Just make sure you are ready to ask them in Spanish if you have someone that doesnt speak good english. Anna and Anna were the two best nurses on the floor for me. The one thing I recommend to everyone is to make sure you have a bowel movement before you leave. The nurses will ask you how much you are peeing and pooping... make sure they give you something to make you go if you havent!! Seriously! We got home and i hadnt had one in 5 days and it was horrible giving myself an enema that soon after surgery! The leak test was cool but awful! You cant have any ice chips/broth/jello/apple juice until you have the leak test with Dr. Elmo... that liquid is horrible tasting but watching it go through your new nanner tummy is amazing and worth the two gulps you have to take! Dr. Elmo gives you Water to wash it down once you are done. They give you a copy of your leak test xray to bring home.. it shows the progression of the Fluid as it moves through the tummy. They even let my husband go in and watch it! How awesome was that! Once the leak test is over and you pass, you get the dreaded drain out ( Dr. Elmo takes it out and does it very well! But dont watch it! LOL) and you get ice chips and broth! Yay! The broth they serve you is delicious and tastes like Ramen Soup chicken broth! The also bring you Jello and fresh squeezed apple juice. YUMMY! you are also given hot water and a cup/ tea bag/ sugar if you want warm tea. Take it slow when you start sipping the broth... the warmness feels good going down but everyone is different. My sleeve sister couldnt handle the broth and hated the jello. I loved them both! Dr. Rod, Dr. Elmo and Dr. Calderon come in each day and check on you and talk to you if you have any questions. The day before you leave they deliver your operative report, leak test xray/chest xray, prescription for the antibiotics, acid reducer pills, and pain meds. On Monday morning, 2/13/12) Dr. Rod came in and said goodbye to us. He offered his phone number or to contact Beliteweight if there are any questions. Sergio calls you when he gets to the hospital and off you go to the airport. Be prepared because that is the bumpiest damn ride ever!!!!! bring a pillow or something to hold close to your tummy! We left at 11am on Monday morning and it took us 1 hour to get across the border bridge (our flight left at 3pm so we had plenty of time). We flashed our passports, they asked if we bought anything, and we were on our way. And tip Sergio well! He was very entertaining and full of stories and information about Juarez and the lifestyle there. If you have time (and make sure you do!), ask him to bring you by the restaurant to get the wonderful homemade chicken broth. for $5 you get a container of the best chicken broth ever!!! All in all, I am sooo happy I chose Beliteweight and Dr. Rod! Beliteweight (JoAnne, Jamie, Amy, and Sharon) helped me with ALL my FMLA, FSA credit card payments and paperwork, and my short-term disability papers. They were very understanding and helpful and i cant thank them enough! I started this journey at 213 and 11 days post op I am sitting at 206. (this includes the 7-8 days (14 lbs of fluid retention from the IV) it took to get back to my pre op weight of 213!) If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me! xoxox - Amy p.s. - Dont forget to bring the following! personal pillow - stuff it in a suitcase but dont forget it! chapstick! flipflops for walking the halls although they provide slippers heating pad - it helped with the pain soo much! computer/smartphone for communicating - we have ATT and didnt have any roaming in Juarez and the hospital has wifi too. pajama pants to wear while walking the halls. you are hooked to an IV so the top is pretty much useless until you are ready to go home or take a shower. clothes to wear home that are 2x bigger than what you normally wear... you will most likely gain weight with the IV if you have to be on it more than 2 days, so be prepared!
  2. TheSkinnyCow73

    Finally! Stall Is Broken.

    That is awesome to hear Lissa! Congrats!
  3. TheSkinnyCow73

    Short-Term Disability For Mexico Surgery

    I was able to get 6 weeks STD (paid at 60%), with my Docs approval. Didnt matter at all that it was in Mexico and they never questioned me about it either. I was able to use my PTO hours to pay for my insurance benefits so nothing was pulled from our pockets to pay for anything. I would also like to add that my Flexible Spending Account (FSA) credit card worked in Mexico and I didnt have any problems at all getting reimbursed. You should be good to go as long as the doc signs off on all the paperwork!! Congrats and Good Luck!!
  4. Yes, from the original post I found on this board from Tiffykins, it does work and she also used yogurt.... which might be better for those with cottage cheese issues! LOL http://www.verticalsleevetalk.com/topic/20941-cottage-cheese-pouch-test/page__hl__%2Bcottage+%2Bcheese+%2Btest__fromsearch__1
  5. TheSkinnyCow73

    February 2012 Mexico Patients!?!

    You will LOVE him and the staff! Are you going to TJ or Juarez? My experience is from Star Medica in Juarez and it was amazing! Good Luck!!!
  6. TheSkinnyCow73

    What Size French Bougie?

    Here is a great link that explains the bougie......... http://www.obesityhelp.com/member/carmelita/blog/2011/03/31/-2/
  7. TheSkinnyCow73

    Late Periods?

    this is great to hear! I am now 4 days late and am usually right on time each month! Whew! Not going to waste any money on a pregnancy test just yet! Thanks for posting this too!
  8. We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel and so I dont have access to a stove to cook or sink to wash dishes. I am looking for easy throw-away snacks/ meals.... What do you buy that is healthy and Sleeve-specific??? Thanks!
  9. TheSkinnyCow73

    80 Pounds Down! New Pic!

    You look absolutely fantastic!!! An inspiration to all of us!!! Keep Rockin' that sleeve!!!!
  10. You will NOT be disappointed with Dr. Rod and his staff!!! Good Luck!!!!
  11. TheSkinnyCow73

    My Biggest Nsv To Date...

    I totally got chills reading this Irene!!!!! You are such an inspiration to all of us on the boards and you totally deserve to have all your dreams come true! I am a firm believer of the old saying, "God doesnt close one door without opening another" and he has done that for you! He has closed the door on the old Irene and you have created the new and improved! Good for you girlie!!!
  12. I love this!!!!! I had the same 3 week stall happen to me and it was soooo frustrating! Even though we are losing inches, there is something about that dang scale and its numbers that make it all the more real that the weight is coming off! I keep having to remind myself that I didnt gain it overnight and I am not going to lose it overnight! Keep rockin' that sleeve! You look wonderful!!!!
  13. Finally! After almost a 3 week stall it broke this morning and I am at 198.2!!!!! It is WONDERFUL in ONEderland!!! These 13-15 pounds that I have been dealing with for about 4-5 months (when I actually tipped 199) have drove me craaazy! I am here to tell everyone that the stalls DO break and as frustrating as it was DURING the stall, stepping on that scale and FINALLY seeing it MOVE is soooooo REFRESHING!!!!!!!!!!!! So everyone that is about 5 1/2 weeks out.... tie a knot at the end of your rope and hang in there, this too shall pass if you are in a stall!!!! ALWAYS KEEP ROCKIN' YOUR SLEEVE!!!! XOXOXOX! Amy
  14. TheSkinnyCow73

    First Nsv!

    I too am a sweet junkie... hubby and I had blizzards every other night before surgery! My stepdaughter had her 10th birthday and wanted an ice cream cake... omg! it was soooo good (the tiny sliver I ate) but boy did I pay for it! I got cold sweats and my tummy started doing flips.... so no ice cream for me anymore cuz that was miserable! I LOVE MY SLEEVE!!!
  15. TheSkinnyCow73

    Residual Band Scarring Issues

    I have a similar case... after having a band for 17+ years, the xrays show my little pouch at the base of my esophogus. I dont get a "stuck" feeling like before with the band but if I over eat something or I drink too soon after eating, I can throw it back up easily because it ends up sitting in that little pouched area. This has happened a couple of times for me and it isnt painful and the vomitting is nothing like when I had the band and having all that slime. The docs told me that it will take time for that pouch area to straighten out. They never expressed any concern to me about the pouch being there either and I had lots of scarring after my band removal. This gets back to portion control and being very aware of what you are putting in your mouth. As I said, it is NOTHING like the band. I just got home from work and ate 3 meatballs with cheese on them. I would NEVER have been able to eat that with the band without it getting stuck and puking! The sleeve is a wonderful tool and I am still getting used to it honestly. I have found that I cannot, under no circumstances, tolerate carbs in larger quantities without getting what I call a "dumping" episode even though we dont have the same setup as bypas folks. My norm is about 4-6 oz depending on what it is. meats are less and soft foods are more. As long as you follow the docs orders, you will be fine! You will learn your triggers by trial and error and you learn to stop when you know it is time because it is literally that one extra bite that can send you over the top!
  16. TheSkinnyCow73


    Thank you for posting this! I have been the same weight for the last week and I am 28 days out today. AND, I went and visited my Mom this week and she said the exact same thing to me about doing this all for 11 measely pounds!!!!!!!!!! My reply.. OH HELL NO! THERE IS NO WAY I AM STOPPING AT 11 MEASELY POUNDS!! We laughed! We need to sit back, do what we are supposed to do, and let the sleeve do its part too! I have to keep telling myself that I didnt get fat overnight and it isnt going to come off overnight either! (it sounds good!) Thanks again!
  17. I am 3 weeks post op tomorrow and have lost a total of 11 lbs since surgery as of today. Does this make me a slow loser? I dont know if I should include the 14 lbs of IV Fluid that it took me 8 days to lose also once I got home? What consititutes being considered a "slow loser" and is there anything to kick it into a higher gear? My husband keeps screaming (not really but he is stressing this) that I need to stay away from the scales this early and relax. I understand his point but really, isnt this what everyone wants to see and report? I am obsessed with the scales and it is driving me nuts! I am trying to weigh every 3-4 days and report on my ticker every 10 days. I can already tell a difference in some of my clothes... I have been squeeeeeeezing into my work pants (16's) for months and months and now they fit nicely without cutting my circulation off. Thanks y'all!
  18. Awesome to hear! You wont be disappointed either! Dr. Rod is fantastic! Which hospital are you going to? I went to Star Medica in Juarez and it is a really nice hospital. I liked the fact that I was in a hospital the entire time... no moving all my stuff to a hotel while I was trying to recover. There is another member that went to INT in TJ and didnt have that great of an experience with the nurses there but that was also about a year ago. I would hope that they would have fixed that by now! I am trying to figure out if I am a slow loser since I had a lower BMI to begin with but as of today, I have lost 11lbs in 3 weeks (this doesnt include the 14lbs of IV Fluid weight I gained in the hospital and had to lose once I got back home!). Good luck! Keep us posted on when you will be having surgery.
  19. You are doing great! Just sit back and relax and work that sleeve!! I had 3 days of IV fluid/ pain meds and that had me UP 14lbs after surgery. I am JUST NOW getting back to my pre-op weight (213) a week and some days later! Talk about frustrating but it goes to show you that the body is confused and trying to figure things out after the trauma it received. To be honest, I have skipped around with what I have been eating since about day 5 and I am still losing the inches. I can tell already in my clothes and the way they fit. Give it time.. we are all still pretty early in our journey and together we will make this work! Good luck!
  20. I am 5 days post op and the swelling in my legs, ankles, and feet are about to drive me to tears! I can barely put my flipflops on and cant wear my wedding rings right now either! I GAINED 14-ish pounds after surgery after being on a constant IV drip for 3 days. I need some relief FAST! I am walking the dogs 2-3 times a day for about 15-20 minutes and trying to get in all my Water too. I am miserable with this tight feeling in my skin. does anyone have any tips on getting this Fluid to go away? I am tempted to go to my GP tomorrow and get them to give me a water pill. Looking down and seeing my fingers, legs and ankles like this is sooo depressing and scary! I know it is still early for me but damn, this is really sucking!!!! Other than this fluid retention I am doing pretty darn good. I cannot find ANY posts where people talked about the fluid retention and gaining this much weight from being on an IV. And of course, I am making myself believe that I was right and I am failing my sleeve already.
  21. TheSkinnyCow73

    High Protein Frappuccino Recipe

    I havent tried this yet but thought I would share..... :smile1: High Protein Frappuccino 1/2 Premier Protein vanilla shake 1/2 Premier Protein chocolate Shake 2 tsp instant coffee 3 drops sugar free kahlua syrup 6 ice cubes Directions: Add all ingredients into blender and pulse on high until combined and enjoy!
  22. Thanks everyone! I appreciate the replies! I have researched and researched and dont remember anyone talking about this Fluid retention being so bad! I am walking around the house and sipping on Water and/or Jello right now. We are going to the store to get SF popsicles, etc... Right now I can eat about 5 tablespoons of jello and get what I call a "full" sensation. It is pretty cool! I am loving this!!!
  23. TheSkinnyCow73

    Almost A Year Out.............

    Wow! You all are such inspirations for me. I get sleeved next Saturday and I cannot wait to be able to post awesome stats like this!!! I am squeezing, and I stress SQUEEZING, into 16's but should righfully be in 18's..... I cant imagine being in a size 10 or 12 for longer than 6 months! I was probably that old when i was wearing that size!! Congrats to you all for your hard work and rockin' that sleeve!!! And thank you for sharing your experiences too!!!
  24. How would any of you feel if you found out that someone was deliberately trying to take food out of your family's mouth by spreading rumors about your career? A career that you have spent years and years training and educating yourself in? I dont think that would make any of you very happy and especially when everyone keeps asking you the same questions over and over and over again. ALM didnt even have the balls to tell Dr. Kelly to his face! They just started moving patients to Dr. Garcia and he had NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON!! CLASSY!!! And I know this first hand because I spoke to Dr. Kelly personally when all this started back at the beginning of January. I dont blame Dr. Kelly a bit for being offended and changing his attitude or even being rude. He has worked damn hard to become the surgeon that he is today, I researched the hell out of him before I made the decision to go with him.... His credentials and record speaks for itself and I am sure he is tired of hearing all the bullshit that A Lighter Me is spreading.... I easily found his license #2006280 and verified it at www.cedulaprofesional.sep.gob.mx/cedula/indexAvanzada.action so GottaGo, get a grip. Isnt it funny how Linda and Sandy from ALighterMe didnt mind standing next to Dr. Kelly at his induction into FACS last year (www.prweb.com/releases/2011/10/prweb8910330.htm) Do all of you understand how elite that group of surgeons really is and for him to be recognized speaks volumes!! He was an awesome surgeon back then and ALM didnt mind putting that all over his credentials on their website at the time.... so what happened? I will tell you what happened, JEALOUSY.. ALM didnt like the fact that Dr. Kelly was still working with Trish (the other woman!! Oh, my!!!) and she was giving his patients what ALM couldnt, PERSONAL ATTENTION!!! Gottago, you really need get off these boards. We all know that you are Sandy or Linda or one of their trolls and trying to drum up more business for Dr. Garcia. Why dont you GO DO YOUR JOB and really go out and market Dr. Garcia and build his business and reputation instead of trying to ruin an excellent surgeon's reputation and wasting all this time on these boards? Give Dr. Garcia what he is paying you for.. representation of his skills! Not a smear campaign against another doctor!
  25. This is a great post!!!! I thought I would bring it back up to the top of the list for those of you that are thinking that the band is a good option. I am a former band patient (not the lapband) on my way to being sleeved and cannot wait to be able to have restriction AND keep food down!!!!

PatchAid Vitamin Patches