Karen Sanders. from Joyce
I chose OCC after completing over two years of contemplating to have or not to have surgery, which type of surgery I wanted to have, and which doctor to use. During these two years, I would talk to people who had different surgeries and ask for their advice. I researched the different types of procedures that were available. Meanwhile, I was steadily researching local doctors. While googling gastric sleeve, I accidentally stumbled upon bariatric surgeries in Tijuana. So, I began to research these clinics and their patient testimonials. Then I found OCC. I began to research this clinic and read many articles and even watched video clips about Dr. Ortiz. After reading and doing extensive research on the clinic, Dr. Ortiz, and his credentials and reputation, I finally chose this clinic. I knew that it was a step ahead of the rest and both the clinic and the doctor were highly rated and more than sufficient credentials.
"MEXICO???" "Are you serious?" "You have lost your mind!" "That is dangerous!" "I would be so scared!" "Please don't go, I will pay the difference to have it done here!" These are just a few of the comments that were said to me after I booked my surgery and announced my plans. As a teenager, I never struggled with weight. Only after I began college did I begin to gain weight. I really didn't notice it. It was only five pounds. Then, it was only another five pounds. I never thought about it being ten pounds total that I gained, I just made it okay because I counted them as gaining five pounds here and there. Five isn't a high number so that made it okay in my mind! During college, I had a baby. Naturally, I gained several pounds. That was okay because I had an excuse. After having the baby, I realized that all of those fives added up plus baby weight, I was about a hundred pounds heavier than a couple years back. So, I went on several different fad diets and taking different diet pills. I would loose a few pounds only to gain back those lost pounds plus a few more. I temporarily changed my eating habits and lost about fifty pounds. Then, I found out I was expecting another baby! So, I gained back all of those fifty pounds plus some. After the birth of this baby, I didn't loose a pound. I was too busy with kids to worry about weight so I began the five pound gaining again. I made it okay by saying it was only five pounds! Yet again, only making excuses and using small numbers to justify my situation. Several years down the road, my weight began to become a problem. At the doctor's office, my blood pressure and pulse were always measuring high. When I was off work, I was too tired to go in the yard and play and enjoy my children. All I wanted to do was sleep and lay around. I didn't have the energy to do anything. It bothered me the most not being able to do things with my kids, especially while on vacation. In March 2015, my kids and I went on a cruise to the Bahamas. My before picture was taken as we boarded the ship. While there, I could barely do any physical activities. I decided then, I had to make a change. I had been contemplating bariatric surgery for almost two years and I knew it was time! After my research was complete and my mind was made up about which surgery to have and where, I wanted me and my 16 year old son to go have surgery together. He was so scared to go to Mexico and have a surgery done. My parents were 100% opposed of either of us going. I decided to go alone and have my surgery first. I booked my surgery date. The day before I flew out, my parents came to my house and offered me to just have the surgery done here and they would pay the difference. I told them that my mind was made up. They were very upset with me. On June 17, 2015, I had the gastric sleeve. It was an easy surgery. The next day, I was downtown on Revolution Drive shopping. Upon arriving at home and my parents and son watching the transformation unfold before their eyes, they all three started approving of my decision. In October 2015, my son told me that he wanted to have the teen plication surgery. I called that day and booked his surgery, with both of my parents approval. For them to change their mind about this was unbelievable. In December 2015, his surgery was completed at the age of 17. It was my six month mark and I had already reached my OCC weight loss goal. That goal was 170. In March of 2016, my kids and I went on another cruise. On this vacation, me and both of my boys climbed the Mayan ruins, went zip-lining, climbed Dunn's River Falls, and rode Bobsled Jamaica. Two of us would have NEVER been able to do this prior to surgery. It was the BEST vacation EVER! We were able to do things that we were unable to do before! One of my best friends, who had been sleeved in 2012 here in Louisiana, had been struggling with her weight again and asked me if I thought she could have her sleeve redone so that it would work properly. I told her to call OCC and speak to them. She did and ended up booking her surgery for July 2016, almost 13 months after mine. I accompanied her to OCC for her surgery. My after picture was taken the day of her surgery with a total weight loss of 140, more than half of my beginning weight. I can't even begin to explain to you the benefits of surgery. Possibly, I could tell you that my blood pressure and pulse are now normal. I could even tell you that I am able to go play ball in the yard with my kids. I can't explain to you how it makes me feel to walk in a store and purchase clothes that fit me without having to go to a plus size section. The amount of energy that I have is indescribable as I am no longer tired and want to lay around and sleep all of the time. As a single parent, my level of self-confidence and self-esteem have went from non-existing to now existing. These are some of the positive effects on my life but the most important thing I have gained is a HEALTHY lifestyle with a new outlook on life in general. I have been asked several times if I regretted having the gastric sleeve. My reply is always, "I have no regrets and I would do it all over again tomorrow without thinking twice!"