Before & After
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Meeting Dr. Sauceda in San Francisco 8-16-10 on August 16, 2010 10:42 pm
Dinner was wonderful Dr. S was such a wonderful host. I was so impressed by him. He was overly generous by treating all of us to a wonderful banquet dinner & was willing to share his time by doing one on one consultations after dinner with those of us who were interested.
It meant so much to my husband & I that he was willing to do a detailed hands on consultation. He was able to show my husband where my incisions were going to be & what to expect. Sean felt immediately comfortable with him. He knows I am going to be in good hands & that Dr. S is going to be personally involved in all of my care. That means a lot to him because he is not accompanying me on my trip.
It is extremely rare to meet a plastic surgeon that is so honest, humble, & caring as well as talented. I was surprised that his English is nearly perfect.
I also enjoyed meeting his wife, Dr. Sauceda. Her English is not as good, but I was able to talk to her too. She an anesthesiologist. She has a very calming demeanor & I really enjoyed being able to meet her in advance. I feel very blessed to have had this opportunity.
In some ways I wish I was going tomorrow! But, I have a lot to get prepared, so I am glad that I have the next 6 weeks to get ready for my surgery.
I enjoyed meeting everyone. It was a lot of fun as well as informative.
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Took the leap of faith...PS Sept 27th!!! on August 11, 2010 10:31 pm
The post weight loss surgery journey is not one I gave much thought to when I was deciding to have WLS. It is so many things that I never considered...well it is so many things I never knew to consider until I was done loosing all of my weight. I knew that every day I would have to make a choice. A choice to do my best everyday to stay healthy & maintain all that I have accomplished over the past 2-3 years.
What I did not give much thought to was how I would deal with my body after I got "skinny". Did I think that decades of over stretched skin would just shrink back into normal form? Did I think that I would miraculously loose 100 pounds & still have boobies left over to fill out a bra? Honestly I do not think I did consider any of that, and truthfully I am glad that I did not. Because I may have used that as an excuse not to have the surgery. I have heard it ALL when it comes to people saying why they think WLS is not a good idea. EVERYONE knows SOMEBODY who DIED or at least gained ALL their weight back. Someone even once told me that they knew someone who had the WLS surgery & decided because they did not like all the extra skin they had they "chose" to gain all the weight back...because it looked so bad! It is all BS! I am telling you this with 100% honesty! I would never choose to be fat again! Even because I want my boobs big again or my arms not to flap around! I guarantee even though I may not have as much excess skin to deal with (as some post WLS pts do), no matter how much I had I would live with it if I had to.
I am now 2 years post op RNY & I have lost over 100lbs on my journey. I have been the same weight for well over a year & half. I have been thinking about having plastic surgery for many months now. I realize that even though I am thrilled with my weight loss, I am uncomfortable with my breasts being gone. In someways I feel like they are a part of my femininity that I did loose along with the weight. My abdomen is also stretched out (the muscles themselves) & even if I lost more weight it would not make my tummy any flatter. So, I have researched for hours nearly everyday for months. I have had consultations with surgeons in & out of the United States. I have been so torn on what surgeries to have, where to have them, & when to have them.
This is what I learned...
I would love to be able to afford to have everything done at some point in the future. Who wouldn't love to look like Barbie (even if it is just in my clothes)? But, at this time my priorities are my breasts & my abdomen. I tired everything I could to figure out a way to have my surgery here in my area with a PS. But, for many reasons I won't go into... that just can't happen. So I did even more hours of research, email consultations, phone consultations, & talking to people who have had their plastic surgery outside of the US. You have to decide where you are willing to travel to, what the surgeons reputation is, & what results you want to get. Let's just say it is a BIG DECISION (at least for me)!
I chose to go to Monterrey Mexico & have Dr. Sauceda do an extended TT & a full breast lift with augmentation. I am tempted to have more done because of his reasonable prices, but I think I am going to do my best to stick with my original plan. I really want to get my backside (butt lift) done & my arms done at some point in the future. All pending on the results & recovery of this first surgery of course. I chose Dr. S for 2 main reasons his reputation & his reputation! He has nothing but praise from his patients & I am lucky enough to know one personally. Her name is Suzanne & she had her PS done in December of 2009. She is thrilled with her experience & her results. I am even luckier in that she is willing to accompany on my trip & stay with me in Mexico through out my surgery & recovery! She was my WLS Angel & now she is going to be my plastic surgery Angel. I do not know what I did to deserve her love & care but I am grateful for it.
Am I nervous? Heck ya! Do I feel scared not only to be having PS but to be having it so far away from home? Hell ya! But, do I think I made the right decision? Yes, I do. My children are going to be able to be cared for by my husband (as much as I would love for him to be there with me) & everything will work out in the end. Do I think I am going to get some smack from family & friends for doing this? For sure! I have family members that seemed oddly unsupportive of my WLS especially once I got around a normal body weight (weird I know)! It has always perplexed me that people that I love are unable to be happy for me...because somehow my success makes them uncomfortable. So as far as what others think... others will just need to keep their own personal insecurities to themselves. People who love me & really know me will understand that this decision was not made lightly & they will understand why this is important to me & why I have chosen this route in my journey. I understand that something could go wrong, and that all surgery is a risk. I even understand that having my surgery away from my home adds some additional risk. I for one do not love to fly! So as silly as that sounds I even consider that an additional risk (more for my nerves). The most important thing is that I feel good about my decision. I have the approval & support from my husband, & I have a dear friend who will watch over me while I am there.
My BIG PLANS...are to actually buy a small digital video camera & video blog this journey. I want to document my plastic journey abroad for others who find themselves traveling this road. Pictures & blogs have helped me so much. I would like to give back & I would like to take it one step further. We will see how this all turns out & if I do photo or video blog the journey. I will be sure to post the links here on OH first. This site & the people who support one another mean the world to me. I can never say thank you enough to so many who have taken their time to help others. I hope I will be as helpful as others have been to me...
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OH I Come back when I need you! on June 20, 2010 9:23 pm
I have once again not posted in way too long. A whole year has passed! Where has the time gone?
So a fast update is that I am 146 lb still & tend to just stay right there no matter what I do. I am happy that my tool is working for me, because I do not always work my tool the way it was meant to be used. I have good days & bad days, but over all I think my eating is pretty balanced. If I have a bad day & eat too much or the wrong foods, I try to make up for it the next day or two.
I am not exercising regularly & I have a lot of guilty/worried feelings attached to this issue. I have had a rough 8 months with my chronic pain. My doctor thinks I have Fibromyalgia & I have been trying to do the best job I can with what my body is doing right now. I stretch a lot & I am beginning to do some basic Yoga. Even that makes me very sore, but I am in pain if I just lay around too. So I have decided I might as well live my life, take the pain meds when I really need them, & just take it one day at a time. My goal is to start water aerobics this week. It is so hard to get myself to go when I am hurting, but I am just going to do it!
I am planning to have plastic surgery this fall & I am researching my options with an obsession! I want to have a BL/BA & a tummy tuck together without compromise. I would love to have a LBL as well. But, my wallet may have something to say about that especially if I do it here in the states. I am looking for PS in Mexico, but I am not sure I feel secure doing that. There are a lot of reasons I am concerned about being away from home. Due to my health issues & the fact that I have young children at home. My oldest baby is 7 & she has very special needs. I know I will not be able to care for her physically after PS, but I would be so anxious if anything happened to her why I am off recovering far from home. I know there are good surgeons in & out of the states, but the facts are that we do not have the money or the credit to spend too much money on my PS. Ideally I would like to spend no more than $12K but I also do not want to only be able to do one area for that much money! I am searching the boards looking at pictures, reading posts, & trying to figure out what is best for me. I even posted "before PS pics" so that others with similar body types can chime in on what they had done & hopefully share what worked out for them. The one thing I do know is that not having PS is not an option for me. I thought I would be fine without it, and never even considered this part of my journey (duh right?). But, I do not feel like I will be happy with the way I look unless I repair the breasts & the abdomen. I am not trying to be a VS model. I just want to feel "womanly" again.
So that is it for now, I will keep you all posted on my progress!
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Past goal, update pics, and more! on June 18, 2009 11:29 am
OMG! I am the all time OH trader! I have been away since February! Ouch! So sorry to those friends I made on here and left when the times got good! lol!
Ok, here is the update...
It has been 9 months today that I had RNY. I was so lucky to sail through with out any complications. Of course I look back now and think it was pretty easy (just like child birth, we forget)! But, if I really ponder the early months...there was a lot of days I felt pretty bad. I remember being very tired a lot for about 2 months post op. I had trouble with water in the at first. I also had a lot of trouble with poultry for many months (probably until I was 6 months post op).
I hit my goal of 150 lb at about 7 months post op. I have continued to loose a little bit more since. I wanted to loose an even 100lb so I set a secondary goal of 146lb. I hit that goal and have stayed right around 146lb ever since. I went from a size 22 down to a size 6!!!
I went on a cruise (pictures to follow in my album) a couple of weeks ago. I was so nervous I would get sick or eat too much and gain a ton of wt. But, actually over all I did really well (I did gain 4lb, but got it off with in a week). I ate small amounts of pretty much of what ever I wanted, when ever I wanted it. The only thing I am ashamed to admit is despite the fact that I dump off of sugar...I could not handle it! I ordered the SF dessert (diet cake usually). They normally were not very great. My husband ordered and I ate some of his sugared desserts. Well, 2 times I over did it and dumped! Once in the beginning and once at the end of the cruise. I guess I am lucky because I do not throw up or have explosive diarrhea. But, oh it feels so bad! I feel like I am going to die! Heart rate increases, severe weakness, severe cramping, and a desire to lay down so intense I would lay on the floor if I could not make it to my room. Oh, and will I ever stop eating sugar 100%? Will I ever learn? Obviously not!
Any how the cruise was wonderful! I loved the spa on the Carnival Splendor. It was amazing, but expensive. I spent way too much money there. But, it was so relaxing! I even worked out a little. We walked a ton while off the ship so I should count that too. lol!
So, now it is back to "real life". My next phase of my journey is to really commit to weight training at the gym. I know you loose fat, but you also loose muscle after surgery. Especially when you have not been consistently going to the gym. But, I am ready!
After I have achieved some fitness goals, the next thing I want to do is to have plastic surgery. I am still early out and my skin is not terrible. I feel I am pretty lucky actually. But, I would #1 like to get a breast lift and implants if needed. #2 if I can afford it I would like to get abdominoplasty. Only time will tell what I will need and can afford.
Well, I hope each of you are doing well. I miss the support but with 3 kids, work, and just life...it seems I have very little time left to post on the boards.
I will add some pics from the cruise. I can't wait to go on another! :-)
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Again... it has been way too long since I wrote! on February 15, 2009 11:45 pm
It has been way too long since I journaled again!
I am recommitting to documenting my food. I have been at a stall for 2 weeks and actually show a gain of 3 lb. I was down to 161.8 at my lowest last week. Then I went up to 165 yesterday. Today I was 164.2. So, I am kind of freaked out! I also started wt. lifting about 2 weeks ago. So, I am not sure if the gain is food, fluid, or muscle related. I will only know if I start documenting everything again! I felt a little sick today (Sean & the kids have been sick). But, I rested a lot today. Now my back & hip is killing me, but my sore throat feels better. I really want to go to the gym tomorrow, even though Sean has to work all day and the kids are off school for President's Day. I really enjoy wt. training, despite the fact I am always in pain the next day! But, I can already feel myself getting stronger. I am already going up on the amount I can lift. I have also added new machines. I really like to work out my lower body more than my upper. But, I do both. I am going MWF and alternating upper and lower body. I am still doing the cardio. Lately I have been riding the bike for 30 minutes. I am able to work out at a higher level lately. I really enjoy seeing my progress! I have tried to rationalize that I need to stop the wt. lifting and stick to the cardio. because of the wt. gain. But truthfully working out with the amount of wts I am will only make me stronger and make me healthier. Eventually I will start loosing again. I think I would have to! I am still not eating a lot of calories. Although I ate a lot of calories on Valentine’s Day. I had a night time eating fit! I ate 1,219 calories! That is the most I have ever eaten since surgery! I happened to go down in wt. after yesterday, so I will see if maybe I do need more calories to start the wt. loss again. It could be, but I am not assuming anything. I am serious about tracking, journaling, and getting in everything I should in a day (water, protein, exercise etc).
I plan on taking my 20 week pictures tomorrow! I will post them as soon as I can down load them. I think I need to look at side by side pics too. I have been feeling like I can’t see the changes lately when I look in the mirror. Everyone else can, but usually not me. Do not get me wrong. I am feeling better overall, and I have certain moments where I catch myself in the mirror and I am astonished. It happened at the gym last week. I was walking by a mirror and I saw myself from the side. I literally stopped and backed up for a moment to look at myself. It was a wow moment! But, then why do I not feel that way everyday? Is it just part of being a woman? Or is it a WLS post-op thing? I think maybe a bit of both???
I have also gotten some comments lately that I should not lose anymore wt. It is a compliment, but I also get irritated by it. Then as some of you know I am so open about having WLS to 99.9% of people. Maybe that is too many. I saw people I have not seen in years at our Valentine’s Day dance last night. I was in the bathroom and a lady I knew since I was a young girl said wow you look great you have really been working hard. I said yes. Then I said I had RNY. She is a nurse and automatically I felt the tone in our conversation totally change. I was babbling about how great it has been. She had to get in a couple of comments about how many things can go wrong and that it is the long term wt. loss (yada, yada). I was so irritated; I was kind of anxious inside after that. Then my Mom asked me what I say when people ask about my wt. loss. She was being very respectful & basically asking what I wanted her to tell people when they ask her how I lost my wt. I told her oh I just tell them I had WLS! So, she could too. But, then when incidents like what happened in the bathroom occur, I sometimes doubt my “openness”. I am super sensitive and I tend to ramble and get nervous when people say negative things. I am passive aggressive. I just get pissed later, instead of tell them the way it is and sticking up for myself! I hate that I am that way! I need to find the right balance of whom I tell and who I don’t. Or else be ready to defend my decision, with clear cut certainly. I do not want to sound like a Bitch, but I want to be 100% assertive… I am going to work on it! J
Here was today’s food log. The carb servings are off because I did not eat all of the stuffing or the green beans in the dinner for tonight.
How many calories am I supposed to eat at 5 months out? I am not really sure!
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OK this is my story...
I am a 37 yo female, married for 13.5 years to my hubby Sean. We have 3 children. A 2.5 yo little girl named Bethany, a 5.5 yo girl named Juliana, and a 13 yo girl named Valerie. My husband and I did not have children for about 7 yr. into our marriage due to my health issues, including a severe back injury and they fact that I had PCOS and probably couldn't get pregnant even if I could have handled the pregnancy physically. My health issues are all wrapped up together in that I had a injury which caused me to be inactive, become severely depressed, and gained even more wt. I have been over wt. my entire life. I have always been the chubby girl or the fat girl, but despite all of that, I remained pretty active and happy until I hurt my back. After about 8 years of putting off back surgery I finally decided to have anterior/posterior spinal fusion in 2000. The surgeon said I had to loose 50 lb to have the surgery and help it be successful. I went to Jenny Craig and then WW in 1999 and in one year I lost 60lb (I always try to beat my goals)!
I have lost and gained wt. all of my life but this was a big loss for me, and I really thought I would keep it off forever this time! I was around 246 when I started and lost 60 lb. I kept it off for awhile, but my wt. slowly crept up. Then I got pregnant and had my first daughter, Juliana in 2003. She was born with a very rare syndrome, and despite keeping my wt. off during my pregnancy; after she was born is when things really started going down hill for me. I think I kind of gave up, having a child with a serious medical condition and being a new Mom was tough, not only did I not have time to take care of myself, I decided it was not important any more. Well, my wt. my depression and then my pain became even more of an issue after my second daughter was born. I still did not hit my max until sometime after she was born. My pain issues increased with the wt. my energy level was so bad, I was not taking care of the kids like I felt I should have, and the symptoms of the PCOS came back with a vengeance! At this point I had after gained all of my wt I had lost plus gaining a little extra.
So, I have been on every diet you could probably name. I started dieting at around age 10 and the yo-yo has been happening ever since.
I started the WLS process with Kaiser over a year ago. I wt. 246 at my first wt in. I am currently 220 and I am ready to start the rest of my life! I have had an emotional struggle about which surgery to have LB or GB. I decided on LB in the beginning becasue I felt that it was the least risky and because the amount of wt I wanted to loose was about 96 lb. I thought it was not enough to have GB. I also hear from people all of the time "you do not need WLS, you are not big enough"! So, I felt like I could justify the lesser surgery to everyone. Well, once I got my surgery date I have done a lot of research, soul searching, and chatting with others. I am pretty sure if my surgeon still feels good about me as a GB candidate... that is the surgery I am going to do! I will keep you all posted.
I need to grow a thicker skin becasue the skinny people in my life tell me I do not need WLS, becasue they have no clue what I have been through in my life, or what it feels like to carry around an extra 100 lb! Everyone is used to seeing me as "heavy" and for some reason are comfortable with that. They do not know me as anything else, so they can't fathom me at my goal wt of around 150! The bigger people in my life (even on this website) have told me I do not need WLS because I am not heavy enough! Well, let me set the record straight for anyone who is curious... I am 5'8" and I was 250 at one point (and probably could easily get back there fast with my wt history of yo-yoing). That is 100 lb of being over wt.! Even though I have lost 30lb pre-op 70 lb is a lot of wt. to loose and keep off with my chronic pain. I think with a tool like WLS it will help me get to where I can feel better. Then I can really start working on getting my trunk muscles (all of the other too) strengthened up. I know I will feel better, be a better more active mother, and be able to lift and carry my disabled daughter (she can't walk yet).
So, that is my story in a nut shell. I am sure now that I have explained my story I will never have to justify how or why I got approved for WLS in the first place to anyone else on this forum who may read this. But, if there is ever someone else in a similar situation that reads my story and would like some guidance with Kaiser's system... I may be able to help you with that.
I know I have made the right decision for me, and it is a joke to me when people tell me well "why don't you just keep doing what you have been and loose the wt. yourself". Like choosing WLS is taking the easy way out! HAHHA! I would say to those people stay tuned because the hard part of a life long change is about to begin... and I know it!!! Take care and stay tuned for my future blogs!