Jump to content

I'm in TJ! - my experience so far


Recommended Posts

Hi, everyone - since I found other people's giving a play-by-play of their experience at the OCC so helpful, I've decided to do the same. And, this is REALLY hot off the presses, since I'm at the Tijuana Marriott, but I have not been banded yet. Actually, through the magic of jet lag, it's about 3 am here and I find myself wide awake and unable to sleep. Ah, well, I've already slept for about 6 hours, I'll try to sneak in a few more later.

My Experience so far:

It all started yesterday morning at 9:40 am (EST) when I hopped on a flight from Tampa, FL to Dallas Ft. Worth, to get my connecting flight to San Diego. The first flight went absolutely flawlessly - plane left on time, it was great. I did notice that airplane seats tend to get smaller every time I fly - a trend I hope I've seen the last of. :) Was relieved not to have to ask for a belt extender (but it was close) Sat next to a nice guy who was the perfect mixture of friendly but not-TOO-talkative. Oh, and time to confess - since I somehow DID manage to lose the whole 12 lbs pre-op (I think the water weight going away after TOM was a big factor there) - I treated myself to a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte at the airport. More badness to come later, in the form of pasta... lol :)

The connector flight was not as smooth -- delayed an hour and a half. Seats even smaller. Seemed like the looooooongest flight ever. Finally made it to San Diego an hour and a half behind schedule. Immediately saw a gentleman in baggage claim holding a sign that said simply "Dr. Ortiz" - he didn't have a badge, and the sign didn't have my name on it, as described in the paperwork. He was a very nice gentleman, but spoke very little English. He took my bag for me and led me out to a white van in the parking lot. I have to admit, (although the driver turned out to be perfectly legit) - I was made a little nervous by this whole scenario. I asked him a few questions - like where we are going exactly (he correctly answered the Hotel Marriott) -- and if he was Francisco. No, he said, his name was Ramillio (I think) - or something that sounded like that. I know it sounds paranoid - but, being a single woman travelling alone - it would've gone a long way toward making me feel more secure if pickup had been exactly as described, in a MARKED OCC van, with the person identified in the paperwork. It turned out to be fine, of course, but I was a little worried.

Traffic at the border was hellacious - so it took about an hour to get from the airport to the Marriott. We were actually able to cross the border without even getting out of the car, which was nice. Check-in was quick and without incident and the hotel is pretty nice. It's not exactly the most luxurious 5-star resort I've ever stayed in, but it is clean and modern and perfectly servicable. Ate dinner at the hotel restaurant - found it was just me and one other table - a young couple. As my last meal, I got the hotel's seafood pasta dish. Again, pretty good - perfectly satisfactory. The waitress was lovely - she spent a little time chatting with me about my surgery (since I was her only table she had time - lol) and told me she "enjoys improving her English") and she even taught me a little Spanish. Very sweet. After dinner, I headed to the pool/gym area to read for a while - I was the only one at the pool, and one guy was using the gym. The hotel seems to not have very many guests right now - everything seems pretty empty. Oh, and two more things about the Marriott - the first room I was assigned did not have wireless internet and the "high speed" internet via phone jack did not work with my laptop - I asked and they re-assigned me to a room with wireless. Also, the room phones are set up so that you cannot make international calls from your room - you must do it from the desk in the lobby. I did so - and a two-minute call cost me $11.50 (US $$) - so be forewarned, it's spendy... And that's all she wrote (so far) - now to just try to get a little more sleep and head off to the OCC!

-- Deena

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Deena,

I wanted to say good luck to you! You are about to be on a wonderful journey of becoming the new you! You are going to do great! I remember the anticipation that I had the day before, I could not sleep either. You are in GREAT hands!

One more note: The Anesthesiologist is AWESOME! He came in my room and ask me if I wanted to ask him any questions, I told him I did not have any, he kinda laughed and said "no one ever has questions for him" So I said ok, I do have one question. You are one of the most imp people in the room, will you be there the entire time. He leaned down and said, Have you ever been stalked? I said no, he said well you have now, when we go into the op room, you are the most important thing in my life. You have NO clue how this made me feel. He was the last person I remember talking too and he was the first voice I heard when I woke up. He is TRUELY amazing and I will NEVER forget those words! I wished I could tell him how he affected me that day!!!!

Good luck you !!!!

Carrie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Deena,

I wanted to say good luck to you! You are about to be on a wonderful journey of becoming the new you! You are going to do great! I remember the anticipation that I had the day before, I could not sleep either. You are in GREAT hands!

One more note: The Anesthesiologist is AWESOME! He came in my room and ask me if I wanted to ask him any questions, I told him I did not have any, he kinda laughed and said "no one ever has questions for him" So I said ok, I do have one question. You are one of the most imp people in the room, will you be there the entire time. He leaned down and said, Have you ever been stalked? I said no, he said well you have now, when we go into the op room, you are the most important thing in my life. You have NO clue how this made me feel. He was the last person I remember talking too and he was the first voice I heard when I woke up. He is TRUELY amazing and I will NEVER forget those words! I wished I could tell him how he affected me that day!!!!

Good luck you !!!!

Carrie

I LOVE that anesthesiologist too- so nice and SO cute. The last thing I saw before I went under was his handsome face and I'm pretty sure I was dreaming about him during surgery, haha. He really has a way to make you feel comfortable and safe.

Sabrina:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget the Hotel has 24 hr room service. and your post surgery items are FREE.

So you go girl and get all the hot/cold tea, frozen pops the Mexian way are sooo good.

Anything you can have right now they will bring it to you Free.

Oh and before I forget

any guest with you gets 10% off all hotel food.

The clinic has a watts phone line which means you can call family members in the US

for no additional charger. You will also have a phone in your hospital room to call anytime

to the US for free. Just ask !!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it a requirement that all men at OCC must be hot!!?? :)

Good luck i'm sure it will all go fantastic!! Let us know how it goes once you are done!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got so lightheaded with the clear fluids that I contacted Dr. Miranda today and she okayed me starting drinkable yogurt today, day 5 post op. Thank goodness. Then protein shakes the day after tomorrow. I was getting pretty bitchy.... ;)

Hi-

I am considering the surgery- have pretty much made my mind up that this is the only thing that can help me. I am worried about not being able to stick to the post op diet- 21 days is a long time!!! Are you feeling better?

Thanks-

Leah :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Matilda,

I am feeling MUCH better now that I can have drinkable yogurt. I was not doing well on clear liquids. Frankly clears for 7 days seems a little severe to me because one just cannot get balanced nutrition with it and one needs excellent nutrition to heal wounds. I can totally understand 3-4 days of clears but not 7. That's just me, I guess. So, yes, I am feeling way better. As long as I'm not lightheaded and weak like I was on clears, I can do the 21 days. I know it's for optimal healing of the band on my stomach and I am all for that!

Margaret

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, everybody - just thought I'd give you a quick update. Well, I am officially a Bandito! Surgery went fine, I feel a little bit gassy but nothing terrible. All in all, it's just like everyone says it is - easy and the OCC is ultra-professional. Ok, so now the blow-by-blow...

Got on the OCC van from the Marriott at about 6:50 am yesterday - not too bad, considering it was actually 9:50 "my time." The van was pretty crowded - we had to squish in three to a seat - but, hey, quick way to get to know your neighbors. Everyone seemed very nice - and I got to meet RevyD for the first time! Cool! :)

So we got there - everyone seemed to have already been there yesterday and had some degree of pre-op testing done. This was not the case with me, so I needed ALL the tests before starting. Met with Dr. Miranda - who was lovely, but basically just told me a recap of everything I already knew from this board. Also, she did give me some interesting insights into PCOS, which I think are going to be helpful. Just so as not to bore you with EVERY minutae - I'll say I completed my tests (bloodwork, spirometer and ecg) - all results were fine. Oh, and blood pressure is taken. Now, I'm no medical expert, but it seemed to me like the OCC's testing is very thorough - and that made me feel very good.

Next I met Dr. Ortiz - yes, whatta charmer. :) He was great and came to sit down and chat with me for a while - we talked about all the things I expected to (Realize vs. Inamed band, post-op diet instructions, etc...) and some things I didn't - like how much he likes the Mummy movies (I had one laying at the top of my duffel bag) - Ariel is an archaeology buff, he told me! So that was very cool. Then it was into the OR where I met Dr. Martinez (who is also friendly and awesome) and was just very very nice as he was getting me ready. The last thing I remember saying was "thank you Dr. Martineeeez" before completely drifting off...

oh, there's my husband calling - more later! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, everybody - now that I'm home I thought I'd take the time to finally finish up my play-by-play. Oh, and yes, I have to agree - it must be a contractual requirement for the Doc's at the OCC to be hotties (did you get a load of Dr. Acosta?) :D Anyhoo... I have a very slight recollection of being lifted off of the surgery table and then promptly drifted back to dreamland. I woke up briefly and asked to be taken to the bathroom and a nurse (not Carmelita) did so - then walked me up and down the halls a couple of times. At one point I got pretty woozy and needed to lean against the wall, so she took me back to bed. After that point, Carmelita was the nurse taking care of me - and, let me tell you, she is just as much of a sweetheart as everyone says. It amazed me that, although she speaks only a little English, that she could just convey so much warmth and comfort - she is really something special. So, from that point on - it was all recovery. I've got a little soreness at the port site and a bruise where they gave me a shot of heparin. At one point on the first night I was pretty gassy and found it difficult to get comfortable on the bed - but it must not have been that bad as I was already asleep on my own by the time Carmelita came in to give me my sleeping pill. All in all, it was a great experience -- I tried to get in as much walking as I could, and I think that really helped. There were two snafus on the flight home - one, I drank some orange juice that I didn't realize had pulp until I was several sips in - I know that's a no-no for the first few weeks, so I was worried I'd messed something up (although I really doubt it, it still would've easily gone through a straw). Two - I had the misfortune of sitting next to a man on one looooooong flight who felt the need to gesture wildly the entire time to the person he was talking to (jostling me and my incisions each time) - so that was awesome. :) But, now I'm home with my babies and DH and couldn't be happier -- all in all, a fantastic experience. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, everybody - now that I'm home I thought I'd take the time to finally finish up my play-by-play. Oh, and yes, I have to agree - it must be a contractual requirement for the Doc's at the OCC to be hotties (did you get a load of Dr. Acosta?) :D Anyhoo... I have a very slight recollection of being lifted off of the surgery table and then promptly drifted back to dreamland. I woke up briefly and asked to be taken to the bathroom and a nurse (not Carmelita) did so - then walked me up and down the halls a couple of times. At one point I got pretty woozy and needed to lean against the wall, so she took me back to bed. After that point, Carmelita was the nurse taking care of me - and, let me tell you, she is just as much of a sweetheart as everyone says. It amazed me that, although she speaks only a little English, that she could just convey so much warmth and comfort - she is really something special. So, from that point on - it was all recovery. I've got a little soreness at the port site and a bruise where they gave me a shot of heparin. At one point on the first night I was pretty gassy and found it difficult to get comfortable on the bed - but it must not have been that bad as I was already asleep on my own by the time Carmelita came in to give me my sleeping pill. All in all, it was a great experience -- I tried to get in as much walking as I could, and I think that really helped. There were two snafus on the flight home - one, I drank some orange juice that I didn't realize had pulp until I was several sips in - I know that's a no-no for the first few weeks, so I was worried I'd messed something up (although I really doubt it, it still would've easily gone through a straw). Two - I had the misfortune of sitting next to a man on one looooooong flight who felt the need to gesture wildly the entire time to the person he was talking to (jostling me and my incisions each time) - so that was awesome. :) But, now I'm home with my babies and DH and couldn't be happier -- all in all, a fantastic experience. :)

LOL...They all are really good looking!

It sounds like you did pretty good, I too was very woozy and they took WONDERFUL care of me! Glad to hear you are doing great!

Carrie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So glad you got home safe and are enjoying your family. It was wonderful getting to know you and having someone to talk to and go to dinner with.

Keep me posted of your progress. Are you still feeling hungry today or has it settled down?

My bruising has really increased and is freaking me out a bit. I took pictures and sent it to Dr Ortiz but so far have not heard anything back.

Did anyone else have terrible bruising post op. I literally look like someone kicked me hard right where the port is. I am black , blue and purple

Debbie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Debbie - I'm glad you're home safe, too - and it was great to get to know you as well! It made the experience that much more pleasant - when we got there, I felt as though I already "knew" someone - and that was great! I am sorry to hear about your bruising problems - I am getting a little old-looking (brown) bruising around my incisions, and have seen some dried blood on my port incision - I'm not too worried about it. Also, I have an angry-looking purple and blue bruise on my stomach where they gave me the heparin shot. I've talked to Dr. So - if you are having trouble getting a Doc to call you back, maybe you can do what I did - call Dr. Miranda with a nutrition question (mine was - can I start drinkable yogurt on day 4?) then ask to be transferred to one of the othe docs with a medical question (mine was about the purple bruise - I had forgotten that that's where they gave me the heparin shot and didn't know why I had a bruise in an area where there was no incision). So maybe that might be a way for you to get an answer sooner rather than later. I have heard others say they've had bad bruising - I really hope it's nothing too serious! Oh, and to answer your question, yeah, I'm still dreaming of a grilled cheese! :P (so, yeah, hungry - head or otherwise, I'm not sure!) Otherwise, I'm pretty good - still a little soreness, gas is mostly gone - burping still hurts slightly. Good luck, hope you get reassurance about the bruising today!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ha ha - isn't that the truth, Carrie! :) I agree, they are the best - and I have never gotten care like this in the states. Really wonderful.

LOL...They all are really good looking!

It sounds like you did pretty good, I too was very woozy and they took WONDERFUL care of me! Glad to hear you are doing great!

Carrie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad all is going well! I had some really nasty bruises so don't worry they finally clear. I bruise easily though so it didn't surprise me. My bruises took a while to heal too. I took pics but ended up deleting them b/c they grossed me out so bad. They were nasty!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Shelby. I sent the pictures and heard back from Dr Ortiz and Dr. Martinez today. Dr Martinez said that they have to make a little groove for the port to sit in and sometimes it bleeds a bit and then the blood is absorbed by the surrounding skin. He asked me if it was soft or I could feel anything hard. I told him it was soft and that the bruising was actually changing to yellow and green today. He thinks it is going to be fine. Dr Ortiz says that if it keeps on increasing and gets hard I need to go to my GP and get some antibiotics. He also said to use a heating pad for 15 minutes every 4 hours to help the blood absorb.

Other than the brusing I feel great. Have been walking and tolerating fluids with no problems.

I am glad to hear that you had bruising as well it makes me not feel like it is so strange. Dr. Martinez gave me his cell phone and told me to call with any concerns.

You sure don't get this kind of service in Canada.

Anyways thanks again for telling me about your bruising as it gave me some peace and helped me not to worry so much.

Debbie :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...