Before Gastric Sleeve Surgery
So here it goes…I am putting it out there
It’s time to let it out of the bag, so to speak. I am proud of the hard work that has gone into creating a new me. In October of last year, I sat across from a doctor who said I was lucky to have another good 10 years and that it was time for me to consider surgery to save my life.
I was 39. I was so unhealthy. There was a huge list of obesity-related items that were ticking time bombs in my body. I remember leaving there looking at my children and my wonderful husband and I thought I was not ready to leave them behind or worse yet, suffer something catastrophic and have them care for me. I was supposed to care for them.
Why I Chose Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Deciding which weight loss surgery to go with…
I looked into all the gastric bypass options. There are four types, did you know that? The full bypass – which is what Al Roker and Carnie Wilson had. They are more popular in the US. They reroute your intestines and your stomach.
Then there is the lap-band, where they put a band around the opening of your stomach. I read about lots of complications on that one.
Next, there is the duodenal switch which is one for bypass patients usually for 400lbs+.
Finally, there was the Gastric Sleeve Surgery, which is what I chose. They go in laparoscopic incisions. They remove 70% of your stomach. That is it, no rerouting. However, the stomach is a stretchable organ and can re-stretch to what it was and then some without care. So it is reversible but by carelessness.
I chose gastric sleeve surgery. Less invasive. Less aftercare. Less money. Less chance of malnutrition and malabsorption. Best decision of my life!
Getting Gastric Sleeve Surgery
The journey to getting surgery with Mexico Bariatric Center
I was going to go to Cleveland Clinic. But alas my very expensive insurance does not cover it for anyone. They make too much money off the long list of pharmaceuticals I was on. The starting cost for gastric sleeve surgery was $26,000.00.
I remember calling my husband balling. We looked into loans. He was going to save my life no matter what it took. It surprised me because I always assumed my husband thought it was a weak way out. In fact, I too thought it was a magic formula. Boy was I wrong.
While researching I found out that gastric surgeries are hard ass work. That was disappointing. I would have to stick to a very healthy eating lifestyle and workout plan to maintain my loss. Well, that sucked. But like with all of the millions of other programs I tried, Weight Watchers, Diet Pills, Jenny Craig…they are TOOLS. YOU have to work at it and unfortunately, this too was ONLY a TOOL.
Choosing a Bariatric Center in Mexico
After a lot of research (and I mean a lot……), we found a facility that did the bariatric surgeries for an amazing price, offered to finance if needed and was very respected and had some of the best surgeons and low complication rates and extremely high referral rate. But it was in a place I was scared to go on vacation too, much less have surgery in Tijuana, Mexico at Mexico Bariatric Center.
I prayed a lot and I kept getting weird signs that this was the place for me. As we told family and friends, many thought I would die, get kidnapped, have my kidneys taken, etc… Some thought I was taking the easy way out (and now after my very hard 8+ months it makes me want to throat punch anyone who says I took the easy way out…seriously nothing pisses me off more.
I work hard and it is one of the hardest but most rewarding things I have ever done. People have questioned my husband for allowing me to make this decision. All he knew he loved me, he too researched the hell out of them, and I was not dying on his watch.
I was put on a strict pre-op diet to shrink my very enlarged sick liver. I lost 43 lbs on it. No, I could not have maintained that for life, so don’t ask. We went in December. I had Gastric sleeve surgery on December 14th with one of the most professional amazing surgeons. In fact, their surgeons come here to the U.S. all the time for free weight loss surgery seminars. Their facility was clean, quaint, and not fancy in the patient rooms.
I was nervous I thought what the hell am I doing, but when I was wheeled into the surgical room it was a scene out Grey’s Anatomy, everything was state of the art. My staff and especially my anesthesiologist, who I wanted to adopt as my dad, were impeccable, professional, and caring.
Post-Op Gastric Sleeve Surgery (Life After Weight Loss Surgery)
After recovery and the day before surgery, we were put up in the brand new gorgeous Hyatt hotel. (The Hyatt is one of the local hotels that Mexico Bariatric Center has worked within accommodating our patients. However, we also work with other quality hotels which the patient may stay in beside the Hyatt based on availability and scheduling.)
My primary care doctor works hand in hand with me checks my blood levels and I am healthier now than my adult entire life. All, and I mean ALL, of weight-related illnesses, are gone. I am off all medications that were for them. No more of those awful side effects. I can jog! I can sleep without a sleep mask! I have a lap. I sit with my legs crossed. I fit in a size 10 from a plus-sized TIGHT 22! And yes I miss pasta and rice and stuff, but I chose not to eat them.
I will never go back to who I was. I eat a high protein, lower fat, low carb diet DAILY. I drink only water and Vitamin Zero Waters. I work out with cardio and resistance workouts. I take a huge vitamin regiment. This is my life from now.
Finally, my center showcased me this Month, in fact, I have been told that in the Dallas Seminar, my photos were used as a success story with them.
Congrats to Jay with her Gastric Sleeve Success!
Jay has done an amazing job and continues to be one of our success stories who we regularly share with others considering surgery due to her wonderful energy and her posts in our support group.
If you are reading this because you yourself are considering weight loss surgery that is affordable. We welcome you to give us a call at 855-768-7247 or visit our PATIENT PROCESS PAGE
Thanks for the inspiring story. You look great and are obviously happy. I also have expensive insurance that does not cover any obesity surgery so I have been looking into more affordable options. Your story addressed much of f the crap I have heard from well meaning friends and family.
Thanks Maryellen. I can not tell you how happy I went to MBC. Sometimes I think my insurance did me a favor by denying me. I got the best care and the best surgeon! Good Luck to you on your journey! I hope MBC is part of it.
Well , as you know , my surgery was the day after yours , I love your story , mostly because it mirrors my own , I remember you and all the other people I met there and I now consider close Friends , I dont think I work at it as hard as you as far as working out all the time , but it is still hard , watching what I eat and being on the road a lot that is very difficult but I manage 98%of the time (LOL) But as I’ve told you before , I was so blessed to met you and others at the hospital because every time I get tired of doing this or in a stall I either read your post or message you and find that you are really inspiring and encouraging to me and it keeps me on track , to date I’ve lost 165 lbs and feel great , off my meds , find myself parking way out in the parking lot at wally world and walking , as you know I live close to Myrtle Beach ,SC. and in 10 years of being here this spring was the first time I was fit enough to walk on the beach , and that my friend was a very big deal!!! to me ok , THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU!!!
John you are a rock star. I just loved your wife when I met her, and then I met you and thought what a wonderful couple! I could not wait for you two to have a different life together while youw ere on this journey. I am so proud of you. You have a friend in me forever…
Hi congratulations on the new healthier you! I also live in sc and will be having the surgery in August I would like to talk to u bout ur surgery if possible thanks!
I had my surgery on 12/3/2016. Jay you are a great spokesperson for MBC, you any many others in MBC Facebook group have been so helpful. I’m so happy with my decision you make a healthly life style change.
Which doctor and hospital did you go to? And how much?
Dr Valunzeula from Mexico Bariatric Center
How much have u lost since ur surgery in dec?
Sorry I am 5.5 years out. The most I lost was 129 lbs I am still at 110 lbs lost this many years later. I love MBC!
Jay your story is amazing! do you have a youtube channel or IG account I can follow?
I am on https://www.instagram.com/thismomsguide/
I watch everything you write on Facebook. Thank you for always being a great role model
Thank you so much. I so have instagram and facebook still https://www.instagram.com/thismomsguide/ and https://www.facebook.com/jay.honbergerbolton/