On 8/31/2012 I arrived at the San Diego airport and was picked up by the transportation arranged by Ready4aChange. We drove for a little over an hour because traffic was horrible to get into TJ that day. He says its always busy but never this busy. It was a soccer game that night and it was also a Friday afternoon. I arrived at the WONDERFUL Marriott TJ and tried to settle my nerves for the next day. The Facilitator called and I told her that instead of her coming by I would rather just relax. She gave me instructions on what to do the next morning and a brief rundown of what to expect the next day. She also informed me that I was the only surgery scheduled for 9/1 and should be in surgery no later that 1pm. She set up a wake up call at the front desk for me and I finally dozed off to sleep.

Saturday morning I was in the lobby of the hotel waiting on Marriott transportation. I arrived at the Hospital Mi Doctor 10 min after the driver drove away from the Marriott. Was a ball of nerves and I must have looked it because the gentleman that escorted me to the 3rd floor reminded me that everything was going to be OK and I should try to relax. I filled out my paper work, completed my labs, met with R4ac Coordinators, the Doctor, and the Anesthesiologist. I had my EKG, IV in and compression stockings on all before 12:30 MX time. Also one of the Dr’s informed me that she had the sleeve 2 years early and gave me some great advise. The last meeting was with Dr. Garcia. He sat beside me and sketched on his IPad exactly what would happen and discussed diet, answered all my questions and told me that he would be ready for me in 5 min. I must say that this was very personable and I loved the fact fact that he gave me one last visual of what he would do for the 45 mins I would be in surgery. I forgot to mention that every doctor I met reminded me, a thousand times, that I should walk as soon as I felt able to. I was wheeled to the operating room and climbed on the table. Everyone was smiling and so so nice, however, all I wanted to do was pray. When I thought it was safe to close my eyes I started praying and that was the last thing I remember.

I awoke to beeps and talking and instantly felt sick. They rushed to my bedside to assist and when it was all done I looked down and it was blood. I started to freak out at the site and was informed that was from the operation and was normal. I was sick one more time and haven’t been sick again. Seconds after being transported to my hospital room I was up using the bathroom without any help and walking the halls. Everyone informed me that I was doing well and didn’t look like I had surgery. I’m not sure if they tell us all that, however I felt like a million bucks. I guess I was one of the lucky ones or all that praying paid off. I never had the dry mouth, the chapped lips, the horrible gas pains. Just a lot of discomfort, however I was sleeping on my side within and hour of getting out of recovery. That fist day I did nothing but sleep and walk. When I was awoke I walked. Day 2 I went down for my leak test and did the swallow. I was informed that it is not a Barium because Barium is too heavy. Sorry I failed to write down the name of what it is. It did taste bad, kinda like bitter medication. I did 3 big swallows (bigger than I thought I would be able to do after being sleeved) and watched my little sleeve on the monitor. I was given ice chips and after the blue die test, some green tea. I only had water and ice chips for the remainder of my 2 night 3 day stay in the hospital.

After getting settled into my hotel room (I asked for a room with no windows so I could rest), I started walking the halls. I walked for about 1 hour on that first night and around 2 hours the next day. I took a cab by myself to go shopping (cost $5 each way). Walmart was about a 5 min. walk away from the hotel, however I didn’t want to walk for fear of getting lost. I Skyped my friends and family and was informed that I look like I didn’t have surgery at all. My best friend asked if I was sure I was sleeved. Before going shopping, my Care Coordinator came for one last visit to my hotel room and answered all my questions and even called the doctor for me. I had a wonderful experience and would do this again if I had to.

To clear it up I do have some pain, it’s not constant throbbing, but it is pain. I felt much better in the hospital, probably due to the round the clock pain meds. The hospital was very clean (cleaner than any US hospital I have been in), everyone was friendly and kind, and only 1 nurse didn’t speak English. She had to tell me that she didn’t because she spoke so many words clearly I assumed that she did. She even complimented me on my nails. The driving in Mexico is nothing like the US, and that was the only thing that scared me a bit during my stay.

I would like to thank Secret Sleeve, because if not for you, I may have never talked to Ready4aChange.com

Ebony Green