A new start

Sep 19, 2009

Well, I thought I would give the blog thing a try.  I leave in 2 weeks from tomorrow for my DS surgery with Dr. Gilberto Ungson in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. I am a mixture of scared, nervous, excited and happy! I guess that's pretty normal. My mom will be going with me, which I am so happy about because I am really uncomfortable in new situations and its helps to have someone there who I can freak out with. lol

A little background about me. I have been heavy all my life. I am currently about 385 pounds and I stand 5'9". I say about because I don't have a scale that goes high enough to weigh me and since I was laid off last year, I no longer have a PCP. Hence why I am going to Mexico for surgery. I am fortunate in that I just received inheritance, so I am able to self pay without a loan. Thank you grandpa!!

I have been considering an RNY for years now. I had Kaiser medical insurance and they made you just through a ton of hoops to even be considered as well as a requirement of 2 co-morbidity's and I wasn't prepared for the hoops at that time and didn't officially have the co-morbidity's. I also had a stint on anti-depressants for a while after leaving my last job due to POST  and that automatically ruled me out for a number of years as well. Kaiser finally eased up on the restrictions and I had decided to pursue it again and then I was laid off. No insurance and no money means no surgery... ugh!

So Grandpa died and I learned of the money coming and started researching again. My friend had the RNY has lost about 70 pounds in 9 months now. She looks fabulous and feels fabulous as well. She says her only regret was not having it sooner! I talked to a few other acquaintances about it and they all said the same. I look into Kaiser again and they won't insure me. I start looking for self pay surgery- in the US, crazy expensive, abroad pretty reasonable comparatively and almost sounds like a luxury resort vacation. I decide since I am in California, Mexico would be easiest and originally look in Tijuana. I start talking to Dr Lopez Corvala's office in Tijuana about an RNY. I posted here on obesityhelp.com asking about him and got a reply asking why I wasn't looking into the DS instead of an RNY. I knew nothing about the DS.

Checked out a bunch of websites, read the forums here. The DS sounds too good to be true. You keep your stomach except that its narrower, but its still has all the digestive functions. No dumping syndrome. No stoma issues. You can pretty much eat like a normal person for the most part- "normal" foods, "normal" quantities, "normal" habits. The sleeve gets you there and the malabsorbtion keeps the weight off.

I emailed Dr Corvala's office to ask about it. They say that they use a Dr Ungson for DS surgery in special cases but in general do not recommend the surgery except in extreme cases. I found Dr Ungson and started emailing him. He usually replies very quickly- usually from his Blackberry. I was surprised to actually be talking WITH the surgeon rather than an assistant. I asked him a bunch of questions and he was very patient with me. He sent me a medical questionnaire which I filled out and sent back and he said I sounded like a fine candidate for DS surgery. Woo hoo!!

He required me to get some bloodwork done prior to scheduling, which sort of turned out to be a pain in the butt. Since I don't currently have a doctor here I had no one to request the bloodwork from. I went to a lab with the requisition sheet Dr Ungson wrote out for me but they wouldn't take it because it wasn't from a registered California doctor or something. Luckily my aunt works for a doctor's office and was able to write a lab requisition for me. Paid the lab directly- $390. Boy do I miss my Kaiser $10 lab co-pays. There was slight issues with getting him the bloodwork since they wouldn't fax it to him, but they faxed to my aunt's office and she faxed it to him.

Dr Ungson's assistant (Luz), who I have been corresponding with for the past couple weeks, emails me and says Dr Ungson says my bloodwork looks great and that we can schedule surgery! YAY!!! She gave me a choice of 2 dates, one 2 weeks away, the other 3 weeks. I chose the second. That was Tuesday, today is Saturday and I leave in 2 weeks from tomorrow. I need to wire them my deposit money on Monday and then we will be ready to rock and roll! I bought our plane tickets (splurged on 1st class since I thought it would be more comfortable on the way back and because I'll probably never be able to afford 1st class again! lol)

Now the countdown starts! I go on modified diet on Monday and then liquid diet for 5 days before the surgery. The modified diet looks unfun, but the liquid diet downright sucks!! Its basically drinkable yogurt, chicken or beef broth, grape juice and jello... yay.

I learned that there is wi-fi at the hospital and the hotel, so I hope to be able to update when I am down there. That's all for now. I might update during the modified diet to share how great it is  :) I will probably be to grouchy to post during the liquid diet! :P


About Me
Petaluma, CA
Surgery Date
Apr 11, 2009
Member Since

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