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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by cerenatee

  1. My surgery is Thursday so I started my 3 day clear liquid diet today. It started out ok. When I woke up, I drunk the bottled laxative and had a bottle of Water. A couple of hours later I had a SF strawberry-orange Jello cup. A few hours after that I had a SF pineapple popsicle. That's when all heck broke lose in my head. I normally eat around 12:30 pm or around 5:30 pm. At 5:30 pm, a popsicle was not cutting it. I was thinking of Chili's or S&S Cafeteria but looking at jello and tea. The hungrier I got, the madder I got. Then I thought about all the people whose doctors don't even require them to do a pre-op diet and I really got mad. Suffering for the sake of suffering does not go over well with me. Thank GOD, I remembered I bought some chicken bouillon at Costco's. I bought the organic Better than Bouillon chicken base and beef base. I didn't think chicken broth would help but I went and heated up some water anyway. Ya'll, it was awesome. The sun came out, birds started singing, and rainbows filled the sky. It was clear, it was hot, and it was DELICIOUS! The label states it has chicken meat and broth so maybe that's why it's so good. Whatever the reason, thanks to the geniuses at Superior Touch, I just might make it 72 hours to have my surgery on Thursday. So I'm spreading the word - BUY ORGANIC BETTER THAN BOUILLON CHICKEN BASE! I know there are a lot of cooks on here but I'm not one. I don't cook. I haven't used my stove in years. I mainly use the kitchen for the refrigerator - my sodas and leftovers are in there. I also use the glasses if I buy a 2 liter soda. So for me, even heating up water to dissolve chicken base is a big deal. It's out of my comfort zone. But I did it. I'm making tiny changes and they're sticking. I'm going to have another cup of broth in an hour and after that another popsicle. After that it'll be my bed time and I'll have one day down.
  2. Just fyi for those searching, Dr. Ariel Ortiz was NEVER featured in Newsweek magazine as a top surgeon in America for 2011. It's all over his site and he did a Youtube video about it and it's not true. He was feartured as a top surgeon in Newsweek Showcase, an advertising site that has nothing to do with Newsweek Magazine. Basically you can pay to use them and then claim you were in "Newsweek." Ugghh! And he wasn't "featured" on Oprah. The show was on drastic steps parents are taking to help their teens lose weight. One of his patients - a 13-year old - was on Oprah to discuss having a lapband done in Mexico. US doctors won't touch a child that young. He was in the audience. How the freak is that being featured? I'm not saying the man isn't a good surgeon. He has good and bad reviews, mostly good I think, so it is what it is but he's not into full disclosure and I don't respect that. PS If you love him, that is awesome. Doesn't change the fact that he stretches the truth till it freaking sings.
  3. I set my surgery date yesterday with Ronda at ALighterMe for May 8th with Dr. Alejandro Lopez Ortega. I'm so excited and scared it's not funny. I'm starting my pre-op diet this Saturday and then the 3 day liquid diet on May 5th. I'm going to be in the hospital 2 days and then in the hotel for 2 days before I fly home. I'll get back on the 13th, a Monday. Right now my plans are to start summer school that next day. Do you think that's realistic? When is everybody else starting their diets?
  4. cerenatee

    Scared $hitless

    Ya'll I'm scared. Like real scared. Like don't know what to do, crying scared. I don't like being fat but I really don't have too many health problems yet. Just high cholesterol, I snore, I get tired easily, and my legs fall asleep a lot. I know other health problems are coming but they're not here just yet. Vanity is definitely a part of why I want this surgery but so is peace of mind. I'm tired of worrying about my health. Today it's high cholesterol but tomorrow it may be cancer. I lost my sister, my mother, and my grandmother to cancer within a 7 year period so cancer is consistently on my mind. My mom and sister were relatively healthy and thin and they still died so I know it's only a matter of time before my bad weight and bad genetics meet up. It's like a ticking time bomb and I'm always looking for it to go off. But the complications of this surgery, when they happen, are pretty horrible. And I don't think a lot of us make peace with that really. We just assume they're not going to happen to us. At least that's what I was doing. I can only speak for me. Now I'm really thinking about what I could be putting myself though and I just don't know. What if I'm the leak, the abscess, the stricture, the pneumonia, the excessive swelling, the blood clots, the 1001 things that could go wrong. By God's grace people like Iggy are here to tell us their stories, they have overcome, and they're way better but they went through hell and none of them think the surgery was worth the benefit. No one ever says if they're overall health is better but I'm guessing it's not since they're still being treated for the complications. Then some people don't even get those benefits. They're losing 20 lbs in 3 months, they're still hungry, they don't have a lot of restriction, etc, etc. WTF?!! All that money, time, and pain and you don't get the benefits? I know most people do but some don't and that's another negative I have to weigh. What if I go through all this for nothing? That would be so freaking awful. But the only alternative is to call off the surgery and try to lose the weight on my own, again, like I've tried 100s of times before. But even that's scary. What if I call off the surgery and I'm still in the same place next year, and the year after that, and the year after that, until I look up and 10 or 20 years have passed, but now my health is awful and I'm 100 lbs heavier and I'm living in regret for what could have been if I had just had the gastric sleeve performed back in May 2013. It's so much to think about and so much to consider and my fear vs my wants are blocking my prayers. I just don't know what to do. I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense but I just had ot get it out of my head. I'm hoping someone else has been crazy like this, or is currently freaking out themselves, and understands what I'm going through. Hugs.
  5. Hi, I'm having the gastric sleeve on May 8th and I'm worried about how my Mirena IUD is going to effect the surgery. I know you're suppose to stop all hormonal birth control pills because they increase your risk of blood clots but I can't stop the Mirena. I still have 4 years to go. Plus my return flights are 5 hours and 1.5 hours. Surgery plus the Mirena plus hours being seated make for Fear Factor in my mind. If you have the Mirena, what was your experience? Was your doctor concerned at all? Did you have to walk more? Did you do anything special to reduce your risk of clots?
  6. cerenatee

    May 8, 2013 in Tijuana, Mexico

    Kburn! It's me, the Black female with the dreadlocks. LOL. The one you've been hanging with. Glad to see you're on VST. I was suppose to have my surgery on the 8th but I changed it to the 9th. I'm about to take a nap, if this horrible drain will allow it. I can't wait for the doc to come and take this freaking thing out.
  7. cerenatee

    Surgery Changed to May 9th

    Hi ya'll! I'm back and I'm sleeved. It happened Thursday and I'm alive to tell the tale. It was rough for a long minute there - vomiting, pain, exhaustion - but I made it through. Friday was loads better and Saturday was ok also. Sunday, today, has been rough. I'm tired and this freaking drain hurts. I don't know if it's infected or not but it hurts to move around, even a little. The doctor is coming by tonight to remove it so we'll see. I don't have a ton of time but I wanted to let ya'll know I'm ok. I'm about to head off to take a nap. I'll update some more later. Hugs everybody and thanks for all the well wishes and prayers.
  8. So I spoke to Ronda, with A Lighter Me, and changed my surgery date to May 9th. I wanted the 8th so I wouldn't miss the first day of summer school but I decided I'm not doing summer school this semester. I need a freaking break. Thankfully, it worked out well since Dr. Lopez has too many surgeries scheduled for the 8th. I think he's at 5, when he usually does 2 or 3. On the 9th he only has mine and one other person's scheduled so I feel better about it. But OMG, the fight with United to change my reservations. Generally you pay the change fee and the price difference and it's no big deal. Well the customer service rep ran my card, but the United system didn't update, so she tried to update it again, which ran my card again. The second time, she got a decline, because I'm broke. I had enough in there for one change fee and that's all. What followed was the most frustrating sequence of events, that took freaking hours, and finally had me contacting the complaint department, their facebook page, and the VP head of customer service. As a disabled veteran, I was not freaking playing. You can't put a hold on someone's money and then blame them for not having more money. Thankfully, a complaint rep called me back a few hours later and fixed everything. So I'm now a May 9th patient. I drink my laxative and start my 3 day liquid diet in the morning. Any May 9th people in the house?
  9. cerenatee

    Surgery Changed to May 9th

    At Costco's. I think it's on the spice aisle.
  10. EDITED TO FOCUS ON ME AND MINE I couldn't do my doctor's 2 week diet and I plan to be just fine on the sleeve. I think the point you're missing is if I could follow a diet, I wouldn't need the sleeve. When I get the sleeve, I will be physically restricted from over eating. I will also be less hungry since 65% of my ghrelin should be removed. I will also be fuller quicker. I had none of that going for me on the 2 week low-carb, high Protein diet my doctor wanted me to follow.
  11. If I'm remembering correctly, my hubby spotted the spice aisle, put 2 and 2 together, and that's where the bouillon bases were. Without him, I would have walked right by them. costco confuses the crap out of me. A Lighter Me asks that their clients do a 2 week low carb diet - 2 or 3 Protein shakes a day and 1 meal of salad and meat. Then 3 days before surgery you do a clear liquid diet. The 2 week diet did not happen. I tried it. I couldn't do it. I moved on. I'm sticking to the 3 day liquid diet because it's the most important one to me. I need my body cleaned out and it'll give my liver a chance to shrink if my liver needs to shrink. My bmi is 38.9 so hopefully a big liver will not be an issue. If it is, it just is. If I could stick to a low carb diet for 2 weeks, I wouldn't need the surgery.
  12. cerenatee

    Surgery Changed to May 9th

    It's sucked. I was just about to do a post on it. Thank GOD for organic better than bouillon chicken base from Costco. It's been a God send. I know I couldn't have done it without that broth.
  13. cerenatee

    Surgery Changed to May 9th

    I'll keep you updated on the good, the bad, and the ugly. Please pray for me if you remember and you get a chance.
  14. cerenatee

    Surgery Changed to May 9th

    Luckily, it all got worked out and I'm leaving her Wednesday for surgery on Thursday. Lord help me.
  15. I just spoke with the Veteran Affairs bariatric coordinator for my region and she was not supportive. With me being 5 hours away, she knows it will be months before I can get into the VA diet program - a telephone program - and then I have to wait 6 months before I can be approved for surgery. T'm not waiting another year when I could have the surgery and be at goal in a year. She went on and on about the follow-up needed and when I told her my primary doctor would be handling it, she asked "does she know what's involved?" I'm like, "isn't it looking over my incision site and labwork?" She never answered the question. She moved on to the next negative so I'm guessing it is looking at my incision and labwork. She talked about how the surgery is just a tool and how I'll need to make a lifestyle change and take Vitamins forever. Excuse me but how does having surgery in Mexico stop me from taking vitamins? And I'm still going to join the VA diet program (again, by phone). I'll just be doing it as a WLS patient and not a waiting-for-WLS patient. She mentioned they have a weight loss support group. I'm 5 HOURS AWAY. There is no way I would be going to any VA support group. Thankfully, a hospital here in my city has an open bariatric support group so I'll be going there. The only thing I halfway agreed with is her saying I need to have an arrangement with a bariatric surgeon in my city in case of emergencies because a regular surgeon won't know what to do. That might be the only thing I agree with her about but I don't have the money for that so it's not happening. She never mentioned having an arrangement when we were discussing me having the surgery 5 hours away from home so I'm guessing it's not a necessity. If there's an emergency, I'm going to the emergency room just like I would if I had the surgery 5 hours away from where I live. If it's not an emergency, I'll drive the 5 hours to their hospital. Thankfully the VA can't refuse care and normally does up the follow-up care needed for someone that sees an outside physician, so that's not a concern of mine. Finally she mentioned they had seen patients who had their procedures in Mexico with complications. This woman just got with the program so I highly doubt she's seen anything. But assuming she heard about some previous patients with problems, my level of risk is determined by the level of skill and experience of my surgeon. She didn't even know what procedure I was having done until midway through her concerns. She didn't ask about my doctor's training. She didn't ask about the hospital. She asked nothing. She heard Mexico and her mind closed. But what she didn't realize is that I researched the VA surgeon just like I researched Dr. Lopez. The VA surgeon was educated and trained in India. When did India become ok but Mexico is a no no? The VA surgeon has only been out of residency since 2001 then he focused on transplants and general abdominal surgery. When he came to the US, he had to do another residency - cause the US doesn't trust other countries - and he just finished that residency in 2008. He was still focused on transplants that enire time. He just started focusing on bariatric surgery in 2010. He didn't join his first bariatric surgical association until 2012, which shows how interested in the bariatric field he is. And did I mention he's a professor half the time? Yes, the VA is fine trusting my life to a part-time Indian surgeon who's been doing bariatric surgeries 3 years but a Mexican surgeon, who also did a residency in Chicago, who's been doing bariatric surgeries exclusively since 2008, who belongs to the same bariatric surgical association as the VA doctor since 2008, who has written numerous medical articles, and who has1 single complication on all the VSG boards and Facebook groups I've read, he's a big concern. Whatever. I think I'm going to contact the VA surgeon directly and get his take on things. Maybe since he's not American breed and born he doesn't believe in the fallacy that America is the only decent country and the rest of the world is subpar.
  16. Yipee!! Someone else that's a vet. The coordinator isn't being discouraging about the surgery, she's over the bariatric program and gung ho for the surgery. She just wants me to have it through the VA and not in Mexico, which I can understand. She's done no research about my doctor, about the facility, or about others who have had the procedure there. The only experience my the VA bariatric surgeon has with Mexican surgeons is correcting their complications so he's really not thrilled about people having the procedure there. Which is again understandable. He never sees all the people who are fine. He only sees the ones that have complications. And he forgets that every surgeon has complications. I spoke to the coordinator again today and she's still trying to convince me not to go. She wants me to do the move program, lost 5% of my weight, then have my PCP refer me to the coordinating surgeon in Columbia, then have that surgeon refer me to Charleston, where the surgery is performed. So after I lose 13 lbs in 6 months, not more cause if I drop below a bmi of 35, they won't do the surgery, I have to convince my PCP to refer me, then she has to convince the Columbia surgeon to refer me. Then, if all that is a go, I have to pass the psych eval when I have drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and sexual abuse in my past. That's just going to be lovely. So that's 3 opportunities to be denied the surgery after waiting 6 months to have it, plus another month or two for them to act on my request. OR I can just have my surgery this Wednesday coming and not jump through any hoops. It's a hard choice, believe it or not. A part of me does want to have a program that follows me, and a doctor to call when I'm worried, and it would be awesome to save my money. $4500 isn't much but I really appreciate having it sitting in my savings account, just collecting interest and giving me peace of mind. Of course, I would normally spend 3/4th of that in 6 months eating out but there's something about dribbling the money away that feels ok when spending it all in one big chunk seems crazy. I don't know. I look at what I was and what I am and to think of postponing my surgery for 8 months just to be told no? I don't know if I would be ok. Here's a current pic of me (I'm the girl with the crazy big breasts): Here's a pic of me in 2005 with my sons and my mom. I'm in the rust-colored dress: I went from a average size woman to a severely obese woman in 8 years, mostly due to medication that's still affecting me. That's crazy to me. I don't want to live like this another year.
  17. cerenatee

    Wedding Picture

    From the album: cerenatee

    Here's me in 2005. I'm in the rust colored dress with my 2 sons and my mom.
  18. cerenatee


  19. cerenatee

    Two blog entries in 1 day...dang I am on a role

    I hate saying "studies have shown." If you google "bariatric surgery sexual abuse" or "bariatric surgery drug addiction" or "bariatric surgery alcohol adidiction" you'll get links to research study abstracts that go into detail the latest findings.
  20. cerenatee

    Two blog entries in 1 day...dang I am on a role

    Oh, the math and thinking questions test your reasoning and cognitive ability. Can you really understand and follow what's going on around you. It might sound crazy but some people struggle to follow an entire conversation. The tests just show are you in your right mind logically.
  21. cerenatee

    Two blog entries in 1 day...dang I am on a role

    LOL. Believe it or not, that sounds like a normal psych eval. (Yes, I've had more than one). Many people who were addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, transfer their addiction to food. So when you take away the food, they go back to alcohol and drugs or shopping, sex, exercise, even eating disorders. It can get crazy. He was just trying to determine if that was a risk for you and something you need to watch out for. In addition, study after study has shown that a large percentage of WLS patients have been abused, especially sexually, men and women. They don't talk about it, they don't think about it, they eat. Again, you take away the food, you take away the coping mechanism. That's a problem. Studies have shown that people that have been sexually abused lose significantly less weight with WLS than people who haven't been abused. It shouldn't disqualify you but it's something he should point out to you so you can be aware of it and address it if you see it popping up in your life. If you're open, you're honest, and you're willing to address any issues that may pop up, you're going to be fine.
  22. cerenatee

    Fear of weight lifting failure

    That's a hard one. To get stronger you're going to have to lift past the point where you can handle the weight on your own. When I use to lift, I would have my trainer hold his hands right under the bar as I lifted and we had a code word that meant "no matter what, you grab freakiing bar." In the beginning, he was too quick to give me assistance - male PT with female clients usually are - but after I told him to cut it out, I had to use the code word once or twice. If you're not already doing those two things, think about adding them and see if your trust increases. I don't know how long you've been lifting, but usually over time you get to know your strength and your workouts so you start trusting yourself and your abilities. Kind of like when you have your first baby and you're freaked out about every cold but by the third child it takes broken bones to freak you out and by the sixth child not even that phases you. With time everything becomes the same o, same o.
  23. I just searched for posts by Kat1 about the complications she suffered with Dr. Garcia and I couldn't find her complication posts anywhere. I found ones before and after her complications but none about her complications. Then I remembered reading that another poster that said posts about her complications had been removed. Did VSG do a site overall? Are posts deleted after a certain time period? Anyone know if anything strange happened?
  24. cerenatee

    Hero Worship?

    I'm not there yet but I so hope to get there. I want a great experience and a great outcome so I can recommend him to every and any.
  25. cerenatee

    My op will be on 05 May

    Mine is on May 8th. Are you freaking yet?

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