Why Mexico…

Oops…forgot I meant to explain the reasons behind choosing weight-loss surgery in Mexico.

Here are the important ones, although certainly not the only ones:

1. Time to surgery: Here I would have to likely wait 12-18 months for surgery, in Mexico I could book my surgery just weeks out. That said, I’ll be waiting till early 2013 (Jan./Feb.).

2. Surgery timing: I own my own business, and I’m the only full-time employee, which means I am basically 100% responsible. My business is seasonal, which means that there are certain times of the year when being out of commission physically or mentally could be a disaster and mean a huge loss of business etc. If my surgery was covered, I’d be at the mercy of the surgeon as to when it was scheduled. Having surgery in Mexico means being able to choose the best time to have surgery and recover.

3. Surgery Type: I have done my research and I specifically want to have a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), because it is a procedure where weight loss is based on restriction (smaller stomach size) versus malabsorption (re-routing your digestive system) like the Roux-en-Y/Gastric Bypass (RNY) which is the favoured procedure at bariatric centres here. It is possible to have a VSG here, but not a guarantee, and you generally have to convince your surgeon of why it’s necessary. I do not want to take a plethora of vitamins and supplements daily for the rest of my life, and I like my digestive system the way it is, thank you.

4. Surgeon/Hospital: I have only ever read amazing things about Dr. Aceves and Almater Hospital in Mexicali, Mexico. Literally. Haven’t been able to find a single negative thing written about him – just stories from people who have had amazing experiences. Dr. Aceves has done over 1500 VSGs, while any one surgeon at our local bariatric clinic I’m guessing have done less than 100 (since it’s not a popular procedure here). I will always choose quality experience every time, and I have 100% confidence in that decision.

I have been emailing back and forth with Dr. Aceves’ patient coordinator Nina for a few weeks, and am thrilled that I am going to be able to send her an email in the next few days asking her to book me in for early next year and to arrange me deposit payment.

Moving forward in the right direction…I can feel it.

Today was surprising…

So, I made up my mind to have surgery with Dr. Aceves in Mexico, but the last hurdle was figuring out how to pay for it. I am lucky to say that my parents are fairly well off, and although I could have tried to get a personal loan or line of credit, I swallowed my pride and not only let them know about my decision to have surgery and where, but also asked them if they would consider paying for it.

I thought that they would have reservations about me having the surgery, especially have reservations about me having it in Mexico, and definitely have some issues with me asking for $10k+ to do it.

Instead (over lunch of course) they listened attentively to everything I said and told me they were completely supportive of my decision, understood my reasons why, and were will to cover the cost of the surgery etc. 100%.

I have to admit it felt a bit like the twilight zone – I love my parents and they have always been supportive, but the have a way of dealing with things like this, and usually it’s long and drawn out, with much complaining etc. It felt so amazing to have them completely accept what I was doing and support me (not only financially, but just overall).

I am so lucky to have them.

 

Decision time…

The last two weeks have been tough – mentally, emotionally. It feels like it has been a rollercoaster of emotions and introspection.

I’ve really had to take a hard look at the reality of where I am, what I can handle, what’s best for me not just physically but emotionally as well, who I am and what the best course of action is for me and by extension my children, my husband and my family and friends.

And it’s been tough to face it some days, but I knew it needed to be done.

So…after more than a year of research, after thinking I had started (but in reality actually got nowhere), after looking at how much I’m willing to sacrifice and how much I am willing to take, I came to the realization that I’ve known all along – I have to trust my gut.

And it says Dr. Aceves in Mexicali, Mexico is the answer.

More tomorrow…

 

Frustrated…

I’m super-frustrated today, and I’m starting to feel like my gut is right…

I have been thinking about weight-loss surgery (WLS) for years, but researching it very seriously for about a year now (I will post more at a later time about why etc.). About 8 months ago I went to my doctor to try to get a referral to our local Bariatric Centre (bariatric/weight-loss surgery is covered in Canada, in my province, but there is generally a long wait and lots of hoops to jump through).

He agreed that it was an option to pursue, and said he would send in my referral. Fast-foward about five  months and I’m at the doctor’s office for something unrelated, and I was thinking it had ben a while and thought it was sort of odd I hadn’t been contact yet. So I asked the receptionist…

Turns out, no referral was ever done or sent. It was just forgotten about. Fantastic – you can image that just made my day. Five months wasted.

That was in May and I was going on vacation a few days later. Then crazy work time hit, then my grandfather passed away, then…well there is always something, right? So finally today I call to make an appointment (because my doctor has some ridiculous system where you can’t really make appointments ahead of time except in specific situations) and of course – he’s gone this week. 

*sigh*

It’s a small thing, I know, but my doctor is 30 minutes away, and it’s difficult to make time with my work schedule to do it. So, so frustrating.

Lately, I have been considering the idea of WLS in Mexico – that 12-18 months wait here from referral to surgery sure makes Mexico look much more attractive (despite the cost).

 

Let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start)…

So…I’m fat. Not just pleasantly plump or a little chunky. Not chubby or fluffy or rubanesque. Not even just fat, but “super morbidly obese”. Just the sound of it makes me nauseous.

And yet, I’ve been obese or morbidly obese all my life – I would have likely come out of the womb that way if it weren’t for the fact that I had to be delivered 3 weeks early (I still weighed 8 lbs 2 oz, by the way).

I’ve dieted, starved myself, exercised, done all the right things from time to time…but here I am, at my heaviest ever (although who knows what that is, since I don’t own a scale – my best guess is about 450-475 pounds), and I’ve finally had enough.

No more of so many things (more to come on all of those things later)…

So this is my story – the good, the bad, the ugly and everything else that’s fiercely real about this journey.

Join me?