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The countdown is on!


Debbest

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My decision has been made and this is the heaviest I am for the last time in my life!! The date is March 21st in the picture of the weigh scale.Coming from Alberta Canada, I am so confident in choosing this facility and I am very excited. My surgery date is April 13,2015. I have started my pre-op diet and will say the dreaded headache from withdrawal of sugar/carbs only lasted a day. I am in full swing now just really working on getting the 8 glasses of water into me. I am doing something physical every day for 20 minutes. More than I was doing before. And yes I count shoveling snow and activity! The Protein shakes from Costco are great, easy to take with and tasty. I am waiting for my Vitaleph products to arrive as they were ordered last week and having to go through customs I am sure it will be a bit of a wait. Anyone even thinking of doing this , please research and DO IT.... no looking back for this chick!

I am so excited... countdown 18 more days!!!

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Hi Debbest,

I also am from Alberta. I had my surgery in March 2015 and am 2.5 weeks postop. I have been really pleased by how smoothly everything went. If you have any questions about what the process was, etc, I'd be happy to answer them.

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Thank you Alberta I most certainly would love to chat about your experience

I am sure you have some great advice. How did you feel the day of surgery? I am hearing a lot about no pain but overall how did you feel otherwise? groggy , tired, like a bus ran you over? are you hungry? thirsty? bored? The other thing my best bud is going with me and we were planning on hanging out that the Marriot til Thursday... Surgery is the Monday... is that sufficient? if you live in southern Alberta I would love to meet you.

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Hi Debbest,

I felt pretty good on the day of surgery. I did my tests the day before surgery and met with the nutritionist. On the day of surgery they take you to your private room, you change into your gown and put on some compression stockings, the nurse starts your IV. You meet with the surgeon and get a chance to ask all of your questions. The nurse gives you an IV antibiotic before surgery. Then you get a medication to prevent nausea and an anti-anxiety med. I didn't ask her what it was but it worked really well. You have to go to the bathroom before surgery because they don't give you a catheter, which I thought was great. Then you walk to the OR. I only remember the nurse starting to put on some additional pneumatic compression stockings and the anesthetist telling me he was giving me Versed and Fentanyl in the IV - then I was out.

I briefly remember being transferred onto my bed and then I didn't wake up until the evening. The other two women who had surgery after me were already up and walking in the hallway and their voices woke me up. I actually felt surprisingly good and walked up and down the hall a bit. There was a physician who came and talked to me briefly to see how I was feeling. He said he was staying there overnight which was reassuring. I wondered if maybe he was the equivalent of a medical resident but didn't ask him. The nurse came and gave me a pain med in my IV even though I was pain free at that time and a crushed sleeping pill to put under my tongue. I fell asleep almost immediately and they woke me up in the AM around 6:30 because they want to discharge you by 7:00 ish.

Before you leave, you have to pay for your prescription meds (180 US dollars - plus an extra 25% if you use a credit card). You get non-narcotic pain pills (you crush it), a liquid antibiotic, and pill (which you crush) that helps the stomach empty faster, and an antacid. The next day you have to return to the clinic around noon and have a leak test. You only have to have a few small sips of barium while the physician watches it empty from your stomach on the fluoroscopy X-ray. After that you are officially discharged.

I stayed at Hotel Lucerne but the others were staying at the Marriott, which they said was a great place. On the day after surgery, I was able to walk 6 blocks to find a store to buy water (my hotel only provided 2 bottles per day), vitamin water, and Pedialyte. If you are staying at the Marriott, I believe there is a Walmart nearby. If you are arriving early, you may want to get some drinks in advance. Pedialyte tastes lousy but I tried to drink some for the electrolytes but I'm not sure it's necessary. You can get chicken broth from room service. I used the coffee maker to warm it up when needed.

I stayed for 2 nights and can honestly say that I didn't ever feel any pain. They put surgical glue on your incisions so that helped to prevent my pants from rubbing on them. I didn't have any nausea or any problems at all. I felt well enough to sit in the shade at the pool and to walk a few blocks at a time.

Getting across the border was pretty easy and they give you a letter that you show so that you can go to the front of the line and don't have to stand so long. After you cross the border (going home) you have to walk one block to the place where you wait for the driver. This is the only time that I felt kind of unwell because it was hot out and the other person who was going home at the same time as me was a really fast walker! I think the combination of walking faster than I was comfortable with, the heat, and pulling the suitcase made me feel a little light headed. Also, I hadn't taken any water along because I thought they would have the 3 ounce fluid rule at the Mexico/US border. They must not have because the other person with me had a litre of water and took it across the border. I'd recommend that you have some water so that you can keep drinking until you get to the airport as this helps you feel better.

I took 10 days off of work and felt great the whole time. You are eating very few. calories so I found that if I walked uphill, even slight inclines, I felt a bit weak. I also found that I was a bit tired in the morning on the first few days that I returned to work.

I have never felt hungry and it's hard to determine when you are full. At first, it takes a long time to get in your 8 cups of liquids as you can feel the restriction when you swallow. It seems like you spend your whole day drinking small sips. I assume it is from the postoperative swelling of the stomach. I found this initially kind of discouraging but it only takes a few days and then you can swallow a bit more volume at a time, so drinking gets easier. Now it's not hard to drink 8 cups a day and I don't feel like it's my full time job. I think it's really important to get your 8 cups per day in no matter what or you can become dehydrated easily and can be quite serious. You'll find that the sleeve makes a lot of really loud gurgling noises with each sip at first but I have found that this is getting less over time.

I think the most important advice is that if you get back to your hotel and have any concerns at all about how you are feeling, make sure you call the clinic right away. Also, make sure you drink, drink, drink.

Your plans to stay in Tijuana until Thursday sound completely adequate. I stayed 2 nights but would have loved to have been able to stay longer as my hotel was great and the weather was fantastic. I didn't do any sight seeing in Tijuana but my hotel shuttle driver told me there are tours you can take. I believe there are places to shop near the Marriott. I traveled alone and didn't really feel like doing these things by myself. I felt so good that I was able to fly to Calgary, go and visit my son for a couple of hours, and then drive myself to my home town, which was a 2 hour drive.

The most troubling thing for me was that the 3 week pre-surgery liquid diet made me very constipated. I contacted the nutritionist for advice but eventually had to resort to using glycerin suppositories. I had to use them before surgery and then a couple of times since coming home, but now things are normal. I only tell you this because it was the only thing that made me really uncomfortable and I have read on some of the other online forums about people getting so constipated that they had to go to the emergency department.

I'm sorry for the really long reply but I'm giving it because I would have appreciating knowing what to expect and I want to reassure you that it was a very positive experience and you can feel confident that you are making a good decision for yourself. I'd love to hear about your experience once you come back. I'll keep checking your blog to see how you're doing.

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Wow Thank you for taking the time to give me such a detailed report of your trip, I have read and re read this, it is wonderful and very insightful, I am more at ease with each new post I read about the procedures done here. I do have a strange question, did you find sugar free popsicles here? I have searched, walmart, sobeys, co-op, no frills, no luck!!! and out of all of those only one sugar free already to go Jello. I am shocked! I have convinced myself that a popsicle is my treat, so far an unattainable treat. Thank you again for your kind words and story, how is the weight loss going?

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I haven't found sugar free popsicles here. I haven't looked for sugar free pudding or jello. If you can't find those here, maybe you'll be able to find them in Tijuana at Walmart. I was a sugar addict pre surgery and loved to have puddings, anything from the bakery, etc. I've found that once I started the pre surgery diet, I didn't really crave sugar. I actually bought some Kozy Shack pudding thinking that I'd allow myself a spoon a day as a treat but I haven't wanted it at all. Thank goodness because I'm sure that would be a slippery slope! The weight loss is going well. From reading many comments on other forums, it sounds like weight loss is generally pretty easy at this stage. I lost 11 pounds on the 3 week liquid diet before surgery and have lost 10 in the 18 days since surgery. I started to use the My Fitness Pal website once I started on pureed foods. It can be a little challenging to record one ounce of this and 1/2 ounce of that but it can be done. I have found that I usually have around 500 calories a day, which includes my 1.5 protein shakes (I need this to meet the protein goal) I am going to try to increase my calories a bit because the nutritionist said to start exercising at 3 weeks post surgery.

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Hey there both of you!

I'm just outside of Edmonton, and my sleeve is scheduled for May 11th........I cannot wait to begin my weight loss journey (with real results!!) My good friends husband had his sleeve done at OCC in February and he's doing really well too!

How are you finding support from your family in this decision? Mine is mostly positive (my husband is 110% on board!) but some seem indifferent...

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Hello Leah, welcome to our little 'ALBERTA' group! I am almost counting the hours I am that excited. I have been selective about who I tell. My family and others I am telling I am going to San Diego for a trip. My family was super supportive, actually anyone I have told have been very positive. Only one had a funny look on her face when I said Mexico, but when I continued with the research I have done , she was all good with it. The Stigma that goes with Mexico needs to be broken, and I am such a sales person I will surely promote this once the proof is in the pudding!

So glad to hear you have a friend who already has done the experience, I will surely keep this blog going and thanks for the post.

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Hi Leah. I was also selective about who I told about the surgery. I told only my adult daughter and my manager at work. My daughter kept her opinion about it to herself so I don't know how she really felt about it. My manager was supportive. I had a co-worker who had the surgery in Alberta last year and it was really life changing for her so I guess that's why my manager thought it was a good idea. My co-workers knew that I was off work for surgery and after returning to work, one of them asked me outright what kind of surgery I had. I really hadn't wanted to discuss it with anyone but didn't feel comfortable lying so I told her. She was very good about keeping her opinions to herself and was just curious about it. I believe that weight loss surgery is a truly personal decision and I am not going to worry about what anybody else thinks about it, or about anything else for that matter. Words to live by. lol I'll be interested to hear how your surgery experience is.

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