- Name: Laurie P.
- Username: lapringle
- Location: Oregon House, CA, USA
- Member Since: 1/11/2008
- BMI: 34.2
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: VSG (03/13/08)
- Surgeon: Guillermo Alvarez
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Surgeon TestimonialGuillermo AlvarezDr. A definitley makes a great first impression. He is the most gracious and kind doctor I have ever met.....and I'm an RN so I've met lots of doctors. From the minute I walked into his office it was all about the patients. He took us into his office one at a time and thoroughly explained the procedure and what we should expect. He reaslly put me at ease. His partner is equally as gracious and kind. The other patient went into talk to him first and then Pricilla, his nurse, took her up to her room to get her started on blood work etc. After my meeting with him he personally took my luggage and took me up to the room. On the way up to the room I mnet his father. I'm fortunate that I can speak Spanish and his father asked me where I was from, was I nervous etc. He was also very gracious and put me at ease. Dr. A's staff is awesome. Rosy was right there at the airport waiting for me, and we had wonderful conversations on the way to Eagle Pass, HIs nurse Priscilla is also awesome. I felt very well cared for. The hospital is a tad old, but spotless. I was very impressed with the sterility procedures they use. The gourney that you leave your room on does not go into the OR. You are transferred through a horizontal window to another gourney that remnains in the sterile environment. All the nurses and the anesthesioligis were very attentive talking to me and explaining what they were doing. None of the nurses spoke English, but I was able to communicate with the in Spanish so I didn't have any trouble. But they are so attentive to your needs the language barrier wouldn't matter. They kept me on pain meds without my asking. Dr. does have a strict post-up protocol, which is very well explained. The success of this protocol shows in the fact that he has a very low leakage rate. I think surgical competence is probably the ost imnportant, but the bedside manner plays an important part in your overall well being. Fortunatley Dr. A. has both the competence and bedside manner. I would reccomend him to anywone.
- Pets - 1 Springer Spaniel, 2 Corgis and 1 cat
- Needlework, Knitting & Crocheting - Love to knit and crochet
- Quilting - Love to make quilts and personalize them my embroidery machine
- Music - lean towards country, but I also love to play my piano
- Sewing - I used to make the girls beautiful hand smocked dresses, but now they are teens.
- Horseback Riding - my girls are 3 day eventers, I would just like to lose enough weight to be able
- Horseback Riding - to ride again. I grew up showing hunters/jumpers
- Horses - 5 minis, 1 med pony, 2 large ponies and 1 appendix QH
- RN - I was a labor and delivery nurse, but now I'm home with my kids
- Gardening - working on my garden. Just ordered day lillies, dahlias and daisies
One Year Surgiversary on March 13, 2009 2:45 pm
Post Date: 3/13/09 2:44 pm
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I was chatting with a friend today and she was asking how things were going. I realized that today is my one year surgerversary. It's hard to believe it's been a year. I'm very happy with my results so far. Sure I wish I was losing a little faster, but I feel like my skin is keeping up and there are some advantages to being on the slow side of things. In the first 6 mos I lost 65 lbs. In the last 6 mos only 13, but I have lost 59 1/4 in. Cothing size I've gone from 2X to a L. I bought some capris in a 14 at Sam's club. They are still a little small, but I'm sure they will fit by summer. I have been horrible about exercise, but that is changing. I had my treadmill set up in our tack room and was starting to use it in the fall until we had a big snow storm. There was no way I was going out there in the cold. We have since added a sunroom onto the house and I now have the treadmill out there. I was being really good about till I got a bad case of bronchitis 2 weeks ago. But hopefully this weekend I will be able to start back on it without "hacking up a lung". I also go to a health club twice a week. I would go more but we live way out in a rural community an hour from town. So twice a week is about all I can make. But I'm doing some cardio, weights and I swim and then hit a little sauna and jaccuzzi time . Overall I have a ton more energy. My arthritis symptoms are pretty much gone. I'm back riding horses, which has been huge. I honestly feel like I have my life back and I will be around for my kids. As far as food, I can eat pretty much everything. Most of my protein comes from cheeses and almonds. I also love soups. I don't eat very much red meat, but I do eat chicken but in small amounts. I find that meat is harder for me to digest. When I worry about protein I fall back on my "shake" which is 1/2 C of OJ, 1 C of low sugar grapefruit juice, and a scoop+ of unflavored whey. I eat salads in small amounts. I haven't had a coke since I started theh pre-op , which for me is HUGE!! I was a self-proclaimed coke-aholic, sometime drinking 5-6 a day. I can honestly say I no longer miss it. I rarely drink, sometimes an occasional glass of wine in a social situation, but that's pretty much it.
I have faith that I will get the rest of the weight off. I thank Dr. Alvarez every day. This was the best decision I've ever made. I wish I could meet many of you at the reunion, but I just can't justify the expense right now. I kept hoping Southwest would have special fares, but I never found them. Maybe next year.
For anyone still on the fence, jump off and have the surgery. It will be the best thing you can do for yourself.
5 month surgiversary on August 13, 2008 7:33 pm
Today is my 5 mo. surgiversary. I am down 64 lbs to 201 lbs. Soooooo close to onederland!!!! I continue to love my VSG. I'm so greatful to Dr. Alvarez. I feel like my weight loss has been on the slow side....but then again I could have never lost 64 lbs in 5 months before. The one thing I need to do is get on the exercise wagon. I have been really bad about that. However, I garden and do a lot of other work around our ranch. The biggest accomplishment is that I have been doing some riding on my daughter's horse. And when she goes back to school I will continue her dressage lessons to keep the pony in shape. I no longer have the ambition to jump.....I did enough of that in my younger years. Soooooo, so far everything is going well. I am looking forward to doing some serious shopping in the fall. My clothes are getting saggy/baggy, but I hate the idea of shopping when I still have so much more weight to lose. But I will have to buy some things when the weather cools off. Im sure that none of my long jeans will even come close to fitting. Soooooo onward and upward....or should I say downward. I will try to do a monthly posting. I need to update my measurements....I haven't done that in about 2 mos. .
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Finally an Update!! on July 22, 2008 3:44 pm
Well.....I have been quite remiss in updating my blog. It has been 4 mos....4 1/2 since starting the pre-op. I have lost 58 lbs and couldn't be happier. I am pretty much able to eat whatever I want. I have only had 2 episodes of the foamies. The first time was fairly early on. I had taken the girls out to dinner prior to a 4H meeting. I ordered a sandwhich and took the meat and cheese out and ate about 1/2 of it. I was fine until I decided to eat the quarter slice of pickle.....BIG mistake. I ended up out in the parking lot vomiting.....then I felt better .
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The second time was just a few weeks ago. My daughter was at her math program and I had gone up to the health food store. I got a serving of penne pasta salad. I had eaten it before with no problems. Well this time I ate a little too much and ate it way too fast. I had to pull the car over in a parking lot and got a full on case of the foamies. This time I didn't throw up, and the foamies finally subsided and I felt better. But lesson learned.....smaller proportions.....eat slower.
I tend to eat a lot of cheese....it goes down easy and digests well. I do best if I get a homemade protein drink in every day. I make it with 1/2 C of OJ, 1 C of low sugar grapefruit juice, 2 scoops of unflavored whey protein, and a scoop of benefiber. Very tasty and I know I'm getting at least 1/2 my daily protein requirements. As far as fluids, my drink of choice is Crystal Light Green Tea with honey and lemon. At first I had to make it with extra water, but for the past couple of weeks I can drink it at regular strength. My tastes have definitley changed. I can no longer tolerate plain water, or even water with a splash of lemon. Just doesn't taste good to me. There are days when I really miss an ice cold Coke, but I know it would not be good for my teeny tummy so I haven't even tried one and don't plan to in the future. I haven't tried any alcohol....well actually I had one sip of a lemon drop martini at a horse clinic a couple of weeks ago, but that's it. That has been a little hard, I've always enjoyed a glass of wine with friends....now I politely refuse and sip on my tea. My understanding is that because the stomach is now so small the alcohol doesn't get absorbed until it hits the intestines and that gives an instant and big buzz. Not interested in that .
I haven't been very good about the exercise thing. I bought an eliptical machine but haven't really gotten into it. I did get a Wii fit and I love that, but I need to get into a better routine on that as well. But it is fun!!!!
On the upside my energy levels are incredible....I am able to go up and down the stairs without much problem. the girls were a little miffed about that because I discovered the hell hole they were living in up there. We just spent several days at the northern coast and I was able to go on several hikes and some long beach walks. I felt great. have also ridden my daughter horse a couple of times and hope to be doing more or that in the future.
All in all I have very few complaints. I'm looking forward to shopping for some new clothes in the fall. I've been wearing my old clothes for the summer. Most are too big, but that's OK....I just can't justify buying summer clothes that won't fit next summer. So I will have to buy some new clothes for the fall/winter and I can't wait.
The surgery experience on March 17, 2008 8:23 pm
Well.....things got off to a very rocky start when I almost had to postpone the surgery. My darling 12 yr old daughter was causing a lot of problems and I wasn't sure where I was going to leave her while I was in Mexico. The original plan was for her and my 14 year old daughter to spend the first 2 nights at my friend/neighbor and the other 2 nights an older pony club friend was going to come up and stay. Well that plan fell apart when my 12 yr old got mad at me and sort of ran away a week before my surgery. She went out to feed and blanket the horses and then kept walking. She ended up walking 4.5 miles down a rural country highway to a school mates house. But I had no idea. My neighbor and I looked for her for 2 hours and then finally called the police. While we were waiting for the sheriff she called her sister and said she was at a friends. While the sheriff was tring to find the phone number the kids mother brougt her home. So that crisis was averted. But it changed my plans for her care. Fortunately, I had a friend in our old neighborhood offer to take care of her, and my 14 year old stayed here,
I had an early flight out of Sacramento on Wednesday morning. Since I had to drop daughter #2 off in the old neighborhood she and I left on Tuesday night. I dropped her off and then went to the Sacramento airport and stayed at a hotel there. Got up at 4AM for a 6AM flight. Changed planes in Salt Lake City and arrived in San Antonio at 1:30. Rosy was right there to pick me up. It was about a 2 1/2 - 3 hour trip to Eagle Pass. I was the only rider but we had a very pleasant ride to the hotel. She got me checked in and said she would pick me up at 9:15. (Mexico has not gone on daylight savings yet so it was 8:15 in Mexico) . There was another gal coming in for a lap band but they were from Texas and driving in.
I needed to get some eye drops so I took a cab to the market and then came back and just relaxed and tried to not be totally nervous.
Rosy picked us up at 9;15 and drove us across the border to the Dr. A's office. He was right there to greet us with a warm and sincere smile. He took us in one at a time to explain everything to us. The other gal went first because he always does the lap bands first. After he talked to her, his nurse Priscilla took her up to her room. I spent about 15 minutes talking to him about the procedure, possible complications, getting weighed, settling finances etc. I asked him he would call my 2 sisters and my daughter after the procedure. He said of course and took all the information. Then he and his assistant took my luggage and personally escorted me to my room. (When would that ever happen in the US) We met up with his Dad in the ahllway and I spoke to him in Spanish. He asked if I was nervous and I said, yes of course. He assured me that his son would take good care of me and I had nothing to worry about. YAH RIGHT!!!! The new rooms are quite nice. They all have a computer, hooked up to the internet, and they supply a vonage phone with unlimited long distance. I waited in the room for awhile and then Priscilla came to take me for blood work and chest x-ray. Then back to the room she had me change into a gown. The nurse came into to start the IV but she couldn't find a good vein so she told me they would start it in the OR. About 1/2 hour later they came for me , took me on a gourney to this long horizontal window. You slide through it to another gourney and that is the gourney they take you into the OR on. I'm sure it has something to do with sterility. The word had obviously spread that I spoke Spanish because the anesthesiologist started talking to me, asking where I was from etc. He was able to get the IV started. He then told me he was going to send me to dreamland. That's all I remember. I woke up in my room and vaguely remember fighting the oxygen. Dr. A told them to take it off and I think I went back to sleep. I really don't remember much from that first afternoon. I do know the nurses kept me medicated, I never had to ask for anything. I rememnber Dr. A coming in several times and checking on me. The nurses got me up to pee and the second time I got up Priscilla took me for a walk in the hall. I really don't renmember having pain. I had more pain in my bad back then I had associated with the surgery.
Much more coherent today! Got up and walked frequently. Early afternoon Priscilla came and got me to go down for the barium swallow. Passed that with no problems and was then able to have ice chips. It felt really weird swallowing and it was uncomfortable when the cold water would hit my new tummy. At 6PM I was able to start taking sips of water. That made me nauseous so they gave me something in the IV to help with that. Still kept trying to get sips of water down. They gave me something for pain. Priscilla told me to be ready to leave at 7:15. They had brought in some jello and juice to have in the morning.
When I got up I packed and tried to juice and jello. It tasted heavenly. I was able to drink most of the juice, but didn't get much of the jello down. Dr. A came in with all my meds and explanations of the procedure. Then he took my bag and walked me down to the car. He gave me a big hug and gave me his private email and cell phone number. We crossed the border and headed for San Antonio. Again I was Rosy's only passenger. Got to San Antonio about noon and settled into the room. The wheels on my suitcase had broken so I took the shuttle over to Target and bought a new suitcase and some apple juice. It was the only thing I could easily stomach.
I took a shower (heavenly) and just laid low the rest of the day. I had a 6AM flight so decided to go to bed around 10 PM. I could not fall asleep!! I finally fell asleep around 11:30 but only for a couple of hours. I tossed and turned and finally gave up around 3 AM and watched a movie. UP at 4 to catch the shuttle to the airport. The flight fron San Antonio to Phoenix got out a little late and I almost missed my connection to Sacramento. I almost had to run to catch the connection. I barely made it, but I did and even my luggage made it. That segment of the flight was first class (don't know how that happened) so It was very roomy and comfortable. I slept on and off on the plane, picked up my car in Sacramento and then went and picked up my daughter and headed home. Got home around 1 PM. Was really tired so I finally laid down and tried to get a nap. Not much luck with that,but I took one of the stronger pain killers around 9PM and got a fairly decent nights sleep.
Day 5 (today) Feeling pretty good. For the first time I got almost all my liquids in. I had a litre of water with a protein bullet, a couple of boxes of apple juice and 2 cups of broth. I was pretty tired by this afternoon, but things are going down without pain now. Unless I take it too fast or too large a gulp. I still have to figure all that out,
So that is the first leg of this incredible journey.
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it's official on March 3, 2008 7:25 pm
Well....I officially have my date, March 13th. I made it official today by buying my plane tickets. It gave me a real gut ache when I pushed that button to buy the tickets. I know everything will go OK but I am still nervous about the whole thing. I started the pre-op diet today YUCK!!!!! The Atkins shakes are pretty yucky. I just down it and try not to taste it then I had some jello and chicken broth to get the tast out of my mouth. I weighed myself for the first time today in months. Unfortunatley I weighed 10 lbs more than I thought.....bummer. Now if I could just be assured that I have the girls covered. I know my friend Karen will do it in a pinch, but she has so much going on her life right now I hate to add this to her plate. But maybe it will be good for her to have the girls around for a couple of days to get her mind off things.
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WOW.......where do I begin. I am 53 yrs old and have had a weight problem since high school. Of course back then it was not a huge issue, maybe just 15-20 lbs overweight. I was pretty active in sports....swim team, tennis, and an avid horseback rider. I gained a little more in college and by the end of college was up around 150-160 lbs. I went on all kinds of diets, weight watchers, hcg injections, etc. I would always lose only to gain it back plus an extra 10. The first time I hit 200 lbs I about died!!! Then Phen Phen came out and I went on that and lost about 35 lbs, and gained back about 45. I suffered a miscarriage and went into a huge tailspin and gained even more. Then I went on another form of Phen Phen called Phen Traz and again got below 200 only to gain it back plus. Since then it has just inched up and somehow I got up to 250 lbs. I realize that I will never be able to lose it without help and I think WLS is the only way I will get it off and keep it off. I was never interested in gastric bypass because I have a former neighbor whos daughter almost died from it. She has had severe complications and has been hospitalized 3 times due to severe malnutrition. Then I was all set on the lapband, until I started to hear some of the horror stories surrounding that....not even being able to swallow liquids, and of course the abiity to get fills and unfills. So now I have decided on the VSG with Dr. Alvarez. I am just waiting on a settlement from our other house that finally sold...then I will have the money to proceed. So I'm terrified but also very excited to embark on this adventure.