So I have two reasons for wanting to write about my experience:
1) When I was looking for information on Low BMI'ers, and I mean really loooow I came up with very little and really nothing about Sleevers with BMI's as low as mine. I am sure I will get some flack for having this surgery at such a low Bmi, but we're all on our own journey, and trollers are gonna troll.
I am 33 years old. On Sleeve day my height was 5'6 & 3/4 inches and weight, I estimate, was about 183 lbs. I say estimate, because the last time I got on a scale was a week before going to Cancun (179 lbs) and I spent 2 days in Cancun vacationing. Okay so at the most my BMI was 27.9. Not only that but I wore a size 8/9 on sleeve day.
2) I could not find much information about my doctor, Dr. Hector Perez Corzo in Cancun. He was exceptional. He called, e-mailed, we had a pre-op appt where he assuaged all my fears. I want to do him a service by telling my story.
Here is my story:
I am Josie the eater. My friends and family are astonished at how much and how quickly I can eat. My heaviest weight was 220 lbs 13 years ago. I grew up overweight, and had a BMI considered obese in my teens and early twenties. The past thirteen years i have kept my weight between 160-180 with stringent diet and exercise. It felt like I was constantly fighting a losing battle. I thought about surgery for the past 7 years, but never thought I could find someone to do it on me. I finally did some searching online and found a patient facilitator, Bianca, at medical tourism.com. She put in some requests and Dr. Perez approved me for a gastric sleeve. I traveled to Mexico on 4/22 with my dad and my boyfriend.
4/23/14 I met with Dr. Perez 2 days before the surgery, at my request. He told me what to expect, that he basically blows gas into the abdomen to separate everything so he can cut the sleeve. He says that most of my pain will be from that and that painkillers are not likely to help with this pain. He assured me he had done sleeves to low BMI'ers, and even models after they've had children. I liked his professionalism. He was clear cut, and he wanted me to be at ease. He showed me around the clinic where I would be having surgery. I went home to the resort I was staying at feeling confident about the decision and Dr. I had chosen
4/25/15 Surgery day- Holy freaking smokes! Pain, pain, pain, pain. When I woke up from surgery, I thought WTF have I done. Maybe if I don't move or breathe the pain will go away. Because I had a tight abdomen from an abdominoplasty he had to blow extra air into it and I was freaking miserable. The nurses told my father (a Spanish speaker) that I had to get up and walk which i refused for like 5 hours. However, as soon as I got up to walk the halls the pain slowly dissipated. And I mean slowly. That ish hurt. Every hour or two my dad would wake me up, we'd walk, and that would tire me out then I would sleep a bit. The nurses set a timer on my IV and whenever it went off they would bring me nausea and pain meds. If i needed meds in the interim, my father would tell them and they would bring me them as needed. I have to say having a Spanish speaker with me was comforting. The hospital/Dr. Perez provides you with an English speaking patient helper but I never saw her. Admittedly, that could be because she knew I had a translator (my dad) staying in my room. I was truly lucky to have him there.
4/26/15- Up at 9 am. I feel good enough to check my phone (Clinica Victoria has wifi). Dr Perez comes to check on me and says everything went off without a hitch. He said I paid to stay two nights but i can go home later if I'm feeling up to it. I am prompted to drink some blue gunk which I down like a tequila shot. I did throw a little bit back up. If the blue gunk shows up in your drain you're leaking. No blue gunk in the drain! YAY! Twenty minutes later I am taken down one floor and put in front of a real-time x-ray. Dr. Perez is there, and hands me a styrofoam cup of some clear sweet liquid. I drink up, then watch the liquid go down into my esophagus and into my new little sleeve. Everything is working fine. I leave at 3:30 pm that day. My pain is still a 6 out of 10, and comes and goes. Back at the resort I sleep the rest of the night and don't get up for much. I don't want to be talked to or messed with. I do not take any painkillers though the Dr. sent me home with some.
4/27/15- I'm in bed. I don't know how to handle this. I doubt myself. Everything I read says I should get in 64oz of liquid, but every sip I take (Dr sent me home with three bottles of Gatorade) I feel the liquid moving down, expanding my new sleeve uncomfortably. I do what I can. I stay in bed ALL day. I watch about 2 hours worth of movies. I rest. I shower about 8pm. i lie down some more. The next resort over is having a dance party, the booming beats are not conducive to me resting. I get up and go outside and suddenly feel the urge to dance. So I dance a little. I pack my bags. I sleep okay.
4/28/15- Up at 5am, at the airport. No more pain really, just discomfort. Liquids start to go down easier. At one of my layovers I have the broth from a small bowl of miso soup. Its delicious. Now, I am home and feeling pretty darn good. I fixed my family dinner and now I'm ready for bed.
Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Starting Weight: 183 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery: 183 lbs
Current Weight: 162 lbs
Goal Weight: 140 lbs
Weight Lost: 21 lbs
Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 04/23/2015
Surgery Date: 04/25/2017
Hospital Stay: 1 Day
Surgery Funding: Self Paid
Insurance Outcome: n/a