Here I am going to try to explain why I did what I did. My story is not that different than million of others around the world battling obesity. After 11 years, I had enough and decided to take a drastic approach because all else failed.
This is my story:
I have been overweight for a very long time. Way too long if you ask me. I started gaining in HS hit my top weight at the end of my senior year and has been there for the past 11 years. I have had enough. I have tried every kind of diet and exercise program. I loose I gain I loose I gain, its a vicious cycle. I even tried to be happy about it. I have had days and even weeks where I say I don't care, I am going to love my body. Well it doesn't last. I am unhappy and no matter how hard I try to tell myself its okay its not. I feel like I am trapped in a body suit and this body suit hides the real me and its always on my mind. I have a serious addiction to food and I can't win this battle on my own, so I decide I needed help and weight loss surgery was the way to go. For over 2 year I have been researching weight loss surgery. I knew I didn't want the lapband because of the upkeep so my only option was the gastric bypass.I was set on doing it until I started researching more and found out that almost everyone has a problem with it afterwards. They change your whole plumbing system, still I was going to go through with it, until I saw this lady on Oprah that had the surgery and was on a iv for a long time after like a year because she couldn't keep anything down.
While loosing this weight will be the best thing I do for myself, I want my quality of life to improve not go downhill so I decided against. Lots of prayers later, another attempt of weight loss and I stumbled upon a youtube video of the vertical gastric sleeve. I started doing what I do best and researched the crap out of it.
The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, it is where they go in laparoscopically and remove about 80% of your stomach leaving it shaped like a tube or sleeve aka banana, hence the name.There is hundreds of videos on youtube of people that went through it. This was introduced in 2006/2007. After all of my research, I have choosen to have this type of WLS instead of the Gastric Bypass ( very evasive, changes your plumbing) or the Lapband which is very high maintenance with the adjustments and fills. These can also slip and have to be adjusted often. The VSG was the most logical choice for me since it is permanent and no maintenance. There are no adjustments like the lap band and no dumping ( throwing up) like the Gastric Bypass. With the VSG, you can eat almost anything but only about 4oz of it.
It is a lifestyle change and it is permanent. I was hooked and knew this was my answer. I researched some more and joined a couple of forums of people that have had this surgery. Not one person regretted and they all have lost all their excess weight in less than 1 year. This was my answer and I was going to have this surgery.
I called my insurance and realized it would take 6 months of me in a doctor controlled diet before they approved. I didn't have 6 months, the hubby was coming home in 3 and then I knew there was a chance we would move and change insurance. I started checking on self pay and got quoted 15k in Florida privately. I was going to dump all my savings and do it, a couple days later my mother landed in the hospital and her heart issues flared up. No way she was going to be able to watch my children now. I prayed some more and decided to do it when the husband came home, well through all the mess of homecoming and trips and etc, I couldn't get my husband to agree with things. He was scared.
We moved to El Paso, got new insurance and found out this new insurance doesn't cover it. I was crushed. Lots more prayers, I started searching on the forums I belong and see how people decided where to have theirs done and I stumbled across a sections called Mexico, self pay. My mom just had a boob reduction and tummy tuck last year in Brazil, having surgeries in another country is no new thing to us. I am sorry but I am not a huge fan of american doctors. Don't hate me for it. Its just a preference.
I read and found out the doctors in Mexico are more qualified when it comes to this surgery, they been doing it for longer and so forth. Also the cost was only $4500. I spoke to over hundred people, read countless blogs, testimonials, and watched more video blogs than I care to admit. I made up my mind. I was going to have this surgery in Mexico. I researched all the available Mexican doctors and decided on this particular one. He has been doing weight loss surgery for over 14 years, he avarages 140 vgs a month, he does a lot of revisions which is taking out the lapband (that doesn't really work) and giving people a vertical sleeve. He has a mortality rate of 0% a infection rate of less than 1% and a leak rate of less than 1%.
I worked hard convinced the husband and really told him I rather be dead than fat one more year. Its really sad how I feel, but my weight is the biggest problem I have in my life and I don't want to go another year dictating my level of happiness. I have lost over 11 years to it. I was done and was going to get control of my life except I found out I was going to have to do it alone. Husband have no leave and need to stay home with the kids, my mother and father are going to Brazil to treat her heart because a doctor her was screwing it up badly, and my best friend is married to a douchebag who won't let her go anywhere. I had a pity party because I have no other family and I am an only child. I cried about it but this was so important to me I was going to do it alone if I had to.
My husband came home on Nov 22nd from a 3 wks tdy to Colorado, I left on Nov 28th to San Diego, met a wonderful friend that I had only met online (through the military forums I belong to, not the weight loss ones, she is beautiful and don't need it at all). She took me around downtown San Diego and made my day. She calmed my fears and I will forever be grateful for the kindness she showed me.
That night I checked in to the hotel in San Diego and tried to sleep. The next morning the driver picked me up, we crossed the border, I got all my pre op testing done and had my surgery at 11 am on Nov 29th. I woke up fine from surgery, a bit nauseous and itchy but that is what anesthesia does to me, also I was a bit sore because of the drain and full of gas. I walked around for a bit but needed to rest and stay off my feet. I was nauseous for a bit longer, by the next day I was feeling better. I left the hospital and was transported to the recovery house. There I stayed for 2 days. I met other patients that just had the same surgery and it was really nice. I was on a liquid post op diet of only gatorade and broth. I had the drain taken out and felt like a new person. I walked around some more and just felt like I was reborn. I had the last of 3 leak tests done. I had to drink 8z of this nasty contrast and then be put in front of an xray machine to make sure no leaks. I had none. I was cleared to go home. I packed up my stuff and at around noon the driver took me over across the border to the airport in San Diego. The drive was only 20 minutes. I went through customs, boarded my flight and came home.
I was feeling great still and my only discomfort was the gas, but that started to go away. When I looked at the post op diet before I had my surgery I was sure I was going to starve..10 days of clear liquids and then 10 days of mush food and then you could start eating solids but only 4 ozs at a time?? Also no drinking while eating?? NO way I could do this. Well I am doing because it doesn't take much to fill my 1/4 cup 4oz stomach.
I am dealing with wicked heartburn but that is my only complain. I couldn't be happier and I am more than ready for this new life/new body.
Later on I will post pictures as my size changes.
Thank you again for all the support.
There isn't many pictures of me because I hide from the camera. But the good thing is my husband did come home from a 1 year deployment end of Sept 2011. So I had to take pictures. They are the most recent and I am somewhere around 230-235lbs in all of them. My highest weight non pregnant was 255. This was not even the highest. How sad :(
Oct 2011: I am the one with a black tank top.
He dragged me to Atlantis because it was on my bucket list even though I never imagined I was going fat Oct 2011:
When I saw the following picture is when I made up my mind about weight loss surgery. You see, this day after putting it off for over 10 years, I decided I was going to go parasailing and never let being fat stop me from anything ever again. Well while waiting for it, my mil snapped this photo. This was my wake up call. I can't believe I let myself get this big. But the main thing about this picture is it shows me that no matter that I waited 10+ years to do something that I have wanted to do it, no matter that I did it and had an amazing time. This picture put a cloud on everything and I realized unless I loose weight, this is how it will be for the rest of my life. No matter how much I accomplish, my weight will forever overshadow everything. So yep this was my "I am going to have surgery because no matter what, I don't want my weight to forever dictate my life".
And these are now :
Here is my stats:
11/29/2011 Surgery date : 233 lbs
11/29/2012 Goal: 150 lb