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Surgeon TestimonialMario Alberto Almanza-ReyesI only saw and spoke to Dr. Almanza for about 10 minutes before my surgery and never again after so it's kind of hard to give a review for him. The surgery went well and I am doing well almost a year later. I did have a pretty severe infection (serratia) immediately after surgery which I feel was due to pretty poor after care while at the "hospital" and recovery house in Mexico. (I now have thousands of dollars in doctor/hospital bills due to this complication.)
I was told I would speak with a nutritionist, but that didn't happen. The whole nutritional plan is a .pdf file that doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.
I'm glad I had the surgery and I DO recommend the VSG as a weight loss surgery... but I would not recommend this surgeon, especially if he is still in business with Betancourt. Save your money and go elsewhere. The savings are NOT worth the possible complications.
They aren't all happy stories on August 8, 2010 6:26 am
I just stumbled across a post by a sixteen year old girl whose mother is in ICU
after surgery with Dr. Almanza. I am once again reminded of how very LUCKY I was to have come through surgery with just an infection and not something much worse. Weeks and weeks of packing an infected wound (thank you to my husband for his help with that by the way!) is a small price to pay compared to what this poor girl and her mom are going through.
I am so happy that my surgery is working for me. I believe in the surgery. But... I do not ever
want anyone to think that is in any way an endorsement for Dr. Almanza or Betancourt. It isn't. Like I said... I was lucky.
Okay... enough of that.
Nothing really to update. The scale is still creeeeeeeping down. I need to drink more water. Otherwise, things are good!
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222 on July 29, 2010 9:17 pm
That was how much I weighed yesterday. Of course I expect a little fluctuation, but hey... the scale has moved in the last month so that is happy news! I still haven't gotten around to taking new pictures yet. It's on my to-do list!
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One Hundred on June 13, 2010 2:20 am
I'm officially minus 100 pounds. FINALLY. A little OVER one hundred, actually. YAY! On the bright side, I can comfortably and consistantly wear 2XL shirts from Old Navy! I was never able to wear anything from there before surgery. My size 24 skinny jeans are perhaps getting a little big on me (or maybe that's wishful thinking). My mom gave me a pair of 18/20 stretchy workout pants and THEY FIT, but they are a little tight. My husband and I went swimming for the first time since surgery a couple nights ago and my bathing suit is too big. It still fits, but it probably wouldn't hurt to start looking for a new one - too bad they are so freaking expensive. I can cross my legs easily now. I can fit into movie theater seats and booths with NO problems. I haven't tried an airplane seat yet but I don't think it would be a problem. I can't wait to fly and NOT have to ask for a seatbelt extender!
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Now, on the other hand... It feels like the weight is coming off very slowly now, and that's probably my fault. I've been eating too much stuff that I should probably just avoid. I also have this nasty iced caramel macchiatto addiction. I've convinced myself the protein in it (14 g I think?) is good for me. But if I'm being honest, there are probably way too many calories in it to be worth it (every day). I could even live with the calories if I wasn't also enjoying chocolate and cake too often as well. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself though because 1) the weight is still coming off, 2) I DO NOT want to be on a diet and 3) I'm not completely out of control. I still do protein above all else. I think it is time for a reality check though. I need to start measuring, weighing, accounting for what I am putting in my face. If I want some chocolate I'll have some, I just need to work on making better choices. And drink more water!
In other news... My job has ended for the season and I am once again unemployed. Fun. So I'm busy looking for something until next season starts around January (assuming I get called back). And by busy I mean sleeping 10 hours a day and playing video games all night. I do get a job search in there every once in awhile though! I'm still dealing with the stupid tailbone pain. Since my job ended I couldn't afford to continue seeing the chiropractor, but I don't think it was doing a lot of good anyway. The pain is slightly less than it has been previously so maybe it did a little good, but I don't really know. It could just be because I am sitting on it less now (or was, when I was working).
I went back home and saw lots of aunts and uncles who hadn't seen me since December and they were all blown away by how much I'd lost. So that was nice! I'm hoping to get some new pictures taken in a day or week or so.... soon!
Move dammit! on April 16, 2010 2:41 pm
For the past few weeks I've been fluxuating between 250 and 255. I can't seem to get below 250. I think I know why. Once I started my job, they keep feeding me. And I keep feeding myself. I'm bringing too many snacks and I've also somehow convinced myself that a regular 9.5 oz 100 calorie bottle of Starbucks Frappucino is pretty much the same thing as a full-calorie ~20 oz bottle. Go go denial! So I'm instead switching to the lite frappucino from the actual store if I need a coffee fix. It's still not ideal, but it's a little better. I'm also not getting in enough water, though I do love me some Sobe Lifewater (0 calories).
And I'm not exercising enough. I hate to exercise. All I do now is walk to and from my car and around my building at work. It's a BIG building, mind you, but I don't think it's quite the same thing as actually exercising. I'm thinking about joining Curves, but I dunno. My apartment complex unfortunately doesn't have a gym on site, but it does offer a discounted price at a local gym ($15/mo per person). However... there's always a however, isn't there? I looked up the gym online and it got some pretty bad reviews. I'll probably go down and check it out in person though. $15/mo seems like a decent deal. We'll see!
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Oh the drama on March 28, 2010 12:04 am
Those crazy Dr. Almanza patients are stirring things up again! ;) Good for them... us... everyone. And, shockingly, it seems like people are starting to take things seriously. Hopefully some official action will be taken to make things safer for everyone wanting surgery at an affordable price.
As for me: The new job is... a job. It goes by pretty fast. The building I work in is HUUUUGE so between the walk from the equally HUUUUGE parking lot down the LONNNG hallways, I'm actually getting some exercise. Nice. I'm kind of half-heartedly looking for a gym but I still suffer from fat shame so like I said, half-hearted effort. I'd like to tighten up some skin though. My arms are already pretty bad already and omg my chin/neck. GOBBLE GOBBLE. That's all I have to say about that.
In other news, I went to the doctor today and he diagnosed me with coccydynia. What's that, you ask? Ass pain. Technically tailbone pain which, in this particular case, is due to causes unknown. All I know is that it mothereffin hurts. And apparently there's not a whole hell of a lot doctors can do about it. Mine suggested acupuncture and St. John's Wort. I haven't decided if I think he's a fruitcake or not. I'm going to try the St. John's Wort... probably the acupuncture too, but I'm not sure about that one. He also said use a special butt pillow (which I already have) and "change the way I sit." Umm, okay. Thanks, doc. At least he didn't tell me to LOSE WEIGHT, though he kind of hinted at it. He said something about people with extra weight... bleh blah something, I don't remember. But I was ready to chime in and say but I LOST 80 lbs after the pain started! But it didn't come to that. He was pretty diplomatic about the subject and didn't say "lose weight now or else!" which is a good thing. He said coccydynia usually fixes itself eventually, even though mine has gone on for almost a year. I HOPE it goes away. I cannot imagine being in this much pain for every day of my life. Srsly. No.
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Birth through age 8 - Probably "normal" sized, who remembers back that far?
Ages 8 through 19 - Bigger than my friends. I tried TOPS, phentermine and those mechanized torture machines that do all the exercising for you while you lay there with your feet strapped to the sitrrup-thingies. Didn't help.
Ages 19 through 21 - Apparently I lost a little weight in there somewhere, but I never noticed until afterwards. My dieting secret? Working my butt off cleaning hotel rooms during the day, then chatting the night away on that newfangled internet contraption. And in between, being too distracted to eat much more than a McDonald's cheeseburger every once in awhile.
Age 21+ - This was about the time I met my husband and
tricked him into moving 1500 miles across the country we moved in together. This was, of course, before he was actually my husband. That didn't happen for another year and a half, in 1999. We lived in Oklahoma, then Delaware and now Texas. All that time I was a fatty fat fat. I tried weight watchers, oh, about a million and three times. At age 24 I started looking into WLS and had several false starts. Once I got as far as a psych consult, but then I decided maybe I could just try Weight Watchers "one more time". Yeah, it didn't work that time either. So here I am now at age 33 with no insurance, planning to go to Mexico for WLS - and totally looking forward to it.