Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Days After Surgery

Day 1: So when they took me back to my room and I remember asking for my pillow. What they still had under my head was the pink foam thing my head was on during surgery! They don't have pillows here! Thank GOODNESS Mary told me to bring a pillow from the hotel or I would of never made it! Thanks Mary!! Anyway, at this point I must of dozed off for a couple more hours. Between surgery and after that's the most sleep I have gotten in months! Ha ha! Anyway, so I woke up, I don't remember if the light was on or not...and went for the TV remote, what else was I going to do. But remember when I said the garments went right on after surgery with no issue, heh, that wasn't the case any more. My body swelled up like Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor!! I had my fat hands back, fat face, and just about fat everything, it was amazing I wasn't bursting! Anyway, besides watch TV and chat with mom when she came, I didn't do much this day. Had an IV, had a catheter and was so sore I could barely move. Dr. S came around 10 or so and he looked so tired. The man is a trooper! 15 hour surgery, I cannot believe it! Not just him, his wife, the nurses, all of them! They are fantastic!

Anyway, he told me my assignment for that day was to sit up in bed for 30 minutes (I had been doing this off and on all day though, the bed goes up and down) and then to sit on the side of the bed with my feet hanging off for 30 minutes, then walk around the room. I guess most patients do this around lunch time or so, but he told me to do it around dinner time since it was so late when I got out of surgery. But when Patty came she said the doctor said in the morning, I wasn't arguing with that because I don't think I could of done it.

Day 2: So the next day around maybe 10 or so I finally wanted to sit up and walk around (I finally felt like moving) and the nurse got me up, walked me around, took off the garments and the bandages (all this took like FOREVER) and then I got in the shower. It was a quick shower, just enough to wash the hair and the parts of the body I could reach, with really swollen arms and a really swollen body it wasn't much. It also just got some of the old blood off, etc. There is a chair in the shower which is good, but it's really hard to even wash your hair, nevertheless wash your body. My mom wasn't there yet so I couldn't ask her to help and I felt odd asking the nurse to wash my butt! Ha ha..I guess I shouldn't of felt that way, but whatever. Anyway, so then I was freezing from the shower. She did dry me off well and then started bandaging me up again. She did this while I was sitting on the love seat which was at some times difficult, but nothing compared with trying to get the compression garments back on. She was huffing and puffing and all I could do was go "ow, ow, ow, ow." It was hell trying to fit this swollen body back into those garments, ouch! Mom came in while she was bandaging me up so even she was helping get the garments on. She had one leg and the nurse had the other and they were just trying to get it up! It would of been a funny sight had it not hurt so much. There are two or three really tender in my left arm, one on my thigh, and one on my back. They are just small spots but touching them there sends a shooting nerve of pain through me. Needless to say we got them about all on and I got back into bed. I was exhausted and so was the nurse! By this time it was past lunch so we finally ordered lunch, took over an hour to get it, we ate. Mom napped on the couch a bit, I think I may have dozed a tiny bit, but not much. Mom left about 8:30 and I took a sleeping pill around 10:30...this is why I am up right now (it's 5am here) because it wore off...but I finally slept a good solid 5 hours or so. That's good! And I feel better today. It's difficult to get up or down because of the muscle repair on the stomach (it is so sore!!) but I did it this morning. Got up, went to the bathroom, and now am sitting on the side of the bed with my feet down updating my blog. :)

Just to reiterate what I had done, long thigh lift (scar from knee to groin), long arm lift (scar from elbow to armpit), lower body lift (scar completely around body at hips to remove skin from all around), fat grafting in the butt (they took some fat out and put it back in my butt so it won't be flat), breast lift, breast augmentation (yes, I got boobs!) and lipo in most of those areas as well as the lower back and side area. It is a LOT to have done in one day! My body was in shock as much as I was. And by the way, I can already see a difference, even with the swelling. I just know I am going to be so happy with all of this! I am still amazed I even did it, wow!

I don't want to shower today, because I don't want to have to get the garments back on and for those who know me, I don't usually NOT want to shower. That was a bitch! :)

Well, going to go now, hopefully will go to the hotel some time today. I am looking forward to having all my stuff and laying in a normal bed. I will say, I am very impressed in Mexico with their doctors (mom was super impressed with the dentist and his whole team), but I am definitely not impressed with their facilities. It's like the US facilities 20 years ago or something. Hard ass bed, no pillows, etc. Anyway, I can make it through that for the fantastic results I know I will have. :)

More later.... :)


Dr. S picked me up at a little after 7:30 out front (he will come in the lobby for you, but why waste time of him coming in!) with my little carry-on suitcase with my essentials in it and a pillow. The night before Mary told me to take a pillow from the hotel, and I think this was the single greatest advice I have been given, honestly. You'll see why later.

We get to the clinic, which is in the same building as his right around the corner, but you have to get on the highway, go to the next exit, and get off the highway so you're on the other side. Anyway, same building, different floor. We went to the reception area and I filled out one form with stats on it (name, address, dob, allergies, hubby's name and number, etc.) and signed another paper that was all in Spanish, but Dr. S said it was the form that gave him permission to do the surgery. Of course I was signing that! About 10 minutes later, Dr. S came back and said they were ready for me. He took me to a changing room with lockers, gave me a gown to put on and when I came out, someone led me to a bed in their presurgery/recovery area. I laid down and within just a few minutes a nurse came and tried to talk to Spanish...and then he left and Dr. S's wife came who is the anesthesiologist. All I could think was how beautiful she was. They gave me a little white pill to take with the tiniest bit of water. I asked her what that was and she said it was to calm me down. I didn't think I was that nervous, but I guess it was for maybe once they get started too? I felt like I was on the Matrix, ha ha. Anyway, took the pill, she gave me the IV and then I walked into the operating room. They stood me on this pad and two nurses, one in front and one in back, started scrubbing me down with betadine from neck to ankle, 4 times. At least the betadine was warmed! So after that, I had to sit down on the operating table without touching anything, that was a bit hard. Completely naked other than my booties on my feet and my lovely hair net, and had to get up on the stool and sit down on the bed without touching it. It was not hard, just awkward. They put an oxygen mask on me at this point too. I don't remember much after that. I remember still having the key in my hand, and I remember looking up at the surgery lights. You know, the kind you always look at on TV, the ones with three lamps in them. Anyway, that's the last thing I remember before being 'gone.'

During surgery I did remember waking up once. If you didn't know this from my previous posts or forgot, I will remind you. He doesn't use general anesthesia, he uses twilight sedation, epidural, and not sure what he uses for the arms and boobs...maybe local? Don't know, should ask. Anyway, twilight sedation is much more easier on the body and you don't have to be on a breathing tube or anything like that but there is a chance of you 'waking up.' I remember waking up and I think he was working on my right arm or breast or something, in that area, and I remember saying "It hurts, it hurts" and that was it. I do remember after surgery was done, we were still in the operating room and they had me stand up and put the compression garments on and those suckers slid right on. I thought wow, mine won't be so tight, yay! (heh, big laugh at that one!) They then had me lay on a different bed and wheeled me to the recovery area where I was apparently at for a couple more hours before I finally woke up again. It was 2am when they wheeled me into my room and mom said Dr. S called her right at midnight when he was done. She was getting worried since she hadn't heard from him.

So, this was the day of surgery...wait to see more! :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


So, I am sitting in the hotel room at 6:30 am, waiting for Dr. S to pick me up in an hour. My Ambien wore off, so I did sleep well, but I am anxious to get started! Here's what happened yesterday...

Mom and I flew from Dulles to Dallas, and then to Monterrey. At first we didn't see Dr. S waiting, and then turned around and there he was. Of course I immediately recognized him...and he said "I thought that was you" but he hadn't even seen pictures of me. The pictures I sent him had my head cut maybe he was recognizing the wreck of body I have here. :)

The ride was nice, we all chatted a bit and he called the dentist for mom. That is his own dentist so we feel good about that. He took us to the hotel and took us to our room and then said he would be back in an hour and 15 minutes to pick me up for marking...and that I may want to shower. So, we tried to unpack fast, I tried to get the Internet router up fast (didn't work) and then showered. I was feeling kind of stressed because I couldn't get that to work.

So then he was here...I was feeling a bit nervous. We went to his office...which is small...very small...and then did our consultation. He marked me up for a couple of hours, at some times there was no conversation because he was so intent. His brows would furrow and he would just be concentrating on something so hard...even my mom said he looked like an artist at work.

He did the lower body markings first and by the time he was done and showed me what he was doing, I was in shock! If I put my middle finger on the top of my pubic line, and stretch my thumb as far up as it can go above the belly button (he will make a new belly button or move this one...not sure which) then that is the amount of skin he is removing from my belly...and my butt isn't so tall, but he's removing quite a bit from there too! The lower body lift goes all the way around my body and he removes skin. I will have a scar completely around...just call me Frankenstein. :) Ok, so after the LBL markings, he did the thighs...of course he had to say "this is where most of the fat is". I have always been shaped like a pear! Anyway, AMAZING the amount he is going to take off the skin won't knock into each other around the knees like it does now. I am just so completely in shock! Then on to the boobs! We are doing a lift and an implant with about a large C size. I put a shirt on he had and put some plastic molds of boobs over my existing ones and looked in the mirror. I picked the first size he showed me...I want something to fit with my frame, not look too small or too large! I hope I picked right! So then, on to the arms. I am still amazed at how much he marked to remove...WOW. After each set of markings, he made me look in the mirror and showed me what was going to be done. I knew I wouldn't be Barbie, but I surely didn't expect this much removal...we will have to see the final result in six months...since that's about how long it takes for it to completely stop swelling, etc. I am positive I am going to see results within the first few weeks though...with that much, how can it not!

I have to throw this in here too. At one point in his office I thought I was going to pass out. He had it warm in there and I hadn't eaten dinner yet, so I needed water. Mom went down to get me a bottle of water and I had taken some nuts to eat...but I had to sit down. Dr. S says it happens and it was ok, and took advantage of the time by answering emails, but I felt weak doing that! So, after a few minutes I was fine, and it went on as normal. One last one point he was marking up my lower back/upper butt and I had to pass gas. Of course I didn't, but it took all I had the entire marking session not too! I am taking these stool softeners so that I don't get backed up with all the medication he will have me on so it was hard, but I refrained, ha ha! If you guys could of been reading my mind the whole time, I was just praying not to pass gas! :D

The one good thing he did say to me was when we were talking about lipo on the back area, he told me I didn't have much fat there! YAY! There was one spot on my body where I didn't have much fat!!! :) Woohooo!

So then, back to the hotel. Was no eating after midnight so we had to hurry up and eat. After I checked in on Mary and gave her the sleeping pills from Dr. S and mom got her phone call from the dentist, we went to Applebee's and then got back to the hotel. I got the Internet and Skype working right and made sure mom's computer was hooked up so she could use it while I am gone. The dentist also called us at 9 last night and is picking up mom today at 10:30 while I am in surgery. She is getting 5 crowns while she is here! Much cheaper!! I don't want her sitting in the clinic for 13-14 hours...and by the time I am done it will be like 11pm so I told her to stay at the hotel. Dr. S said as soon as he is taking his gloves off, he will call her first. She will send the emails out to Tim and all letting everyone know I made it fine!

So, that was yesterday....and now it's today. I am kinda talking to mom while typing, so it's taking a bit to type is chatty this morning. :D I guess she's nervous too! Although I am not nervous, I am a bit anxious. Meeting Dr. S took all the nerves out of me. He is very personable and calming. He makes you feel totally comfortable and not like the ugly duckling who he was 'fixing.'

Ok, so time to go brush the teeth and wash the face and off to the clinic I go! Pray for me, wish me luck, etc. I will be back online maybe Friday if the clinic Internet works right, otherwise not until Sunday or so when I am back to the hotel. :) Talk to you guys then!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

4 Days!

Ok, so as I sit here on the computer this Sunday morning, everyone else asleep...I think "Holy cow! Only 4 more days to go!" As well as "I can't believe everyone else is still asleep!" We went down to Charlottesville, VA yesterday to look at houses...I accepted a job down there last week...and it was tiring, so I guess that's why they are all still asleep. :)

Anyway, so today I have to get a few things done. Have to get a pedicure. For those who know me, you know how I hate feet, so I can't stand to have some ugly nails poking out while I am in surgery, ha ha. I have to get a Brazilian wax...yes, I said Brazilian. With surgery there will be stitches and drains around 'that area' and so they say it's easier to change the bandages with nothing know, the bandage tape...and hair. YEOCH! Ok, but the thing is, I think I am more nervous about getting this waxing done today than I am about the surgery! I mean, my stomach is actually upset, which will NOT be good! In addition to just the concept itself, there is a reason I am getting these surgeries! And I am very uncomfortable with allowing someone that much access to the girlie parts to cause me that much pain! LOL

Oh well, no pain no gain, right? Little humility never hurt anyone...and I hope to never see this person again. :D

Thursday, January 21, 2010

7 Days, What If and Other Stuff!

Ok, so butterflies in my belly just typing the title! 7 more days and I will be under the knife, all cut open!! Ha ha! I am ok with that...but of course I am super excited to see what I look like when I am done. I put on a pair of pants this morning, and I forgot they are sort of low riders...but not that low because I don't wear them like that...but I had a little 'muffin top' of skin hanging over it. Ugh. Had to wear a shirt that would cover it. And it was only a small muffin top..not like the BIG ones you see some women wear. I saw a woman the other day at Wal-Mart and she squeezed into such tight jeans that the muffin top was HUGE. I mean...really, is that a tire you're wearing around your waist? Literally? Anyway, I digress.

7 days...7 days! Wow, it's amazing that the time is coming up so fast. I have done the thoughts of 'what if' like anyone has to and spoke to Gregory the other day. Now, he's 11, and he's such a momma's boy. He doesn't see his father maybe but once a year and his father doesn't ever call, but he calls his father occasionally and talks to him. I think they email occasionally too. Anyway, Tim is more of a father to him than his father...he really is, and he loves Tim. Anyway, digressing again...I asked Gregory who he would want to live with if something happened to me. I listed some people like his grandparents, his Aunt, Tim, his dad, etc. He told me he couldn't live with his Auntie because of his cousin Lexa...she's one little rough girl and beats up Gregory...ok, she's 6, but he's a momma's boy I told you! He said he would probably want to stay with Tim. It's his home, it's what he knows. The dogs are here, his room is here, Tim is here. I felt good at that, because although it would be a fight if I were gone to have Tim keep Gregory (I would assume), Tim really needs someone to take care of him! Tim and Gregory do just about everything together. Tim doesn't even like going to get his dry cleaning without Gregory going with him. :) I told Gregory he would have to take care of Tim and he responded by saying "Yeah, Tim can't cook anything!" Ha ha, it makes me laugh. Gregory will make Tim some food sometimes. :) So, on the same topic, the very next day my sister emails me and says she knows all will be ok (she's worried about me) but she will pray for me, etc. And then it says "if anything happens to you we want gregory, I'm serious." Ha ha, I found it such matter of fact and just out of the blue that it made me laugh, but it also made me feel good because I know if anything did happen to me, there are still plenty of people to love Gregory, Charlotte and Tim! And of course the 4 dogs, but who wouldn't love all of them. :) I just want them all to continue to take care of each other too!

Ok, so next topic...the fat injection in the butt. I am starting to really lean towards this! I read someone's response saying her butt always hurt her when she sat too long because she was sitting right on her tailbone but since she has the fat injection she doesn't have that anymore. My butt ALWAYS hurts since I lost I may have to do it for comfort reasons alone! :D

Keep me in your prayers and send me good vibes! :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

15 Days and Counting

So, today started the real countdown. Starting today I am not allowed to smoke (I quit anyway!!), take aspirin, take my vitamins that contain vitamin E, or take my birth control (was perfect timing, at the end of the month yesterday). I also have to up my protein so instead of taking one protein shake a day, I will take two. is 15 days and counting until surgery, and 14 days until we leave. Wow, how exciting! I am so extremely excited! Can you tell?

So, I haven't packed yet, so I am not that bad, but the appointment for the waxing is done...yes, the suggestion is to wax the girlie parts completly because of the bandages that will be so close to there...yanno, imagine ripping tape off of there...would not be fun on top of all the other pains going on. I have a hair appointment the weekend before I I can look good of course (?!?!?!)....have to get a dye job....have to get the eybrows'd think I was going on vacation, right? This doctor and these nurses will see me at my worst...naked...should make it as best I can for them, right? Ha ha!

I put on my bra this morning, pushed all the skin in the cups and thought that I had 15 days until I had new real boobies!! Yay!! :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

People just don't understand...

I had a conversation with someone this weekend who I hadn't talked to in years and they were asking all sorts of questions about my weight loss surgery. One thing that they what was the worst part? The worst part is the mental part. I hate to say this, I am going to change an old 80's song by Will Smith from "Parents just don't understand" to "people just don't understand" and most don't.

I didn't get fat as an adult, or after getting married, or after having a child....I got fatter after all of those, but I was already fat. I wore a size 24 in high school and was 215lbs in middle school. My mother may argue with me, but in my eyes, I don't ever remember having a salad growing up, or being encouraged to drink a glass of water. I do remember my mother having carrot sticks in the fridge hoping I'd snack from those rather than the cake that was on the table, but that didn't work. I probably ate both, ha ha. Right now I am still considered obese even after losing over 150 lbs. Ok, I should be at least at 175 lost right now, but the Holidays...I swear! I'm working on it and will continue to work on it and battle it all my life, even with weight loss surgery, I am sure of that.

I am life is fat...I know nothing else but to be fat. Food is a reward, not a necessity, even now. Yesterday I was in the mood for a donut...yes, fat filled donut so I went to Dunkin' and you know what I did? I bought a WHOLE DOZEN! I don't know why, I don't need them, I can't eat them, my family doesn't need them, but I did. A whole damn dozen. That's what fat people do...and yes, I am fat, always will be no matter my weight.

Can you name anything that doesn't involve food? Bad food? Fat-filled sugary desserts, big fat-filled over-sized meals? Weddings, funerals, vacations, engagement parties, Christmas parties, EVERY party, birthdays, weddings, good days at work, bad days at work, going bowling, going to the movies, etc. I had a co-worker years ago, right after I lost all the weight say "You look so good. We should go have lunch!" I looked at him like he was crazy. And he was crazy considering he made me cry by calling me fat many times (isn't that funny, now I call myself fat!).

When I was growing up, I don't ever remember knowing anyone who went to a gym or exercised on a regular basis...nobody. It wasn't something we did, it wasn't something anyone did or if they did we paid no attention to it. We had sweet tea, Coke and kool-aid in the fridge along with a cake on the counter for dessert. Bottled water? Did they even make it back then? Not that I am that old, but I honestly don't remember anyone drinking bottled water. If you were thirsty, you had a Coke.

That is my life, that is what I know. Changing it now is HARD. I find myself eating just to eat. Just because I am supposed to eat. It is so hard to not eat. After weight loss surgery you don't feel hunger like normal least I don't. I not only had the stomach staple but I had 3/4 of my actual stomach removed. Most people's stomachs are the size of a deflated 2 liter bottle, mine is the size of a banana. The reason I did that was because they said it would take away that 'hunger' feeling. took away the hunger feeling, but it didn't take away the habit, the mental inability to push food away, the addiction to food. Last night I made a sandwich around 9pm or so because I hadn't eaten dinner (I had snacked on Doritos and donuts all night) and about half way through the sandwich I threw it way. I threw it away! I didn't put it in a bag and save it to eat an in hour, or just leave it sitting next to me until I picked at it until it was gone, I threw it away. That was a HUGE feat! Now if I could just throw away the rest of the donuts I'd be golden, heh.

Anyway, I post this also because I have heard from other women who have had weight loss surgery (and I am sure it's happened to men too) that had friends, co-workers, or even family tell them they took the easy way out. The easy way out? This is EASY? Screw you! You took the easy way out, you've been skinny all your life. I want to see you get or be fat and battle your way out. YOU are the one who took the easy way!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This is some of why...

I don't know if I can link this, but on the boards, the Dr. Sauceda group, this is one post...and just one of the many reasons I chose Dr. S...if you can look at the whole thing, here it is:

Why I chose Dr. S.

Let me know if you can't see it...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

So, my sister called me this morning (I love you!!) and expressed her concern by saying "Are you sure you want to do this?" My answer was short and sweet..."Yes!" I love the concern people have for me, my husband is also very concerned. He said to me one night "I don't know what I would do if anything ever happened to you." That's very sweet and although I *hope* nothing happens to me, you absolutely never know. One woman was on the way to the airport to head to Mexico for her surgeries in the past week or so...and got into a car accident (all this dang snow everywhere!!). Luckily and thank God she's ok, but you never know, absolutely never know. They say if it's my time, it will happen one way or another, right?

Just to make note, if something were to happen to me and I didn't make it through, I am happy with my life and I know that my kids especially (as well as all of my family) will make it through. The ones I would worry the most about are my son, Gregory...he's only daughter, Charlotte...she's 19 and lost on her path right now...and my husband, Tim. Although he's 37, he's a big baby at heart. I would hope that he and Gregory would stay together to take care of each other and Charlotte would take care of them both. Tim is Gregory and Charlotte's step-father, but he loves him as he would love his own, if he had any. :)

Ok, that's enough of that...I'm just saying if... :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back from Carribean Cruise

So...back from the cruise, and I really couldn't enjoy it. I mean, Gregory had an absolute blast with the childrens program. We said he was 12 so he got into the 12-14 year old program (instead of the 0-11) and he LOVED it! But...feeling so self conscious because of the skin...and looking at everyone else having so much fun, wearing cute sun dresses and looking good...I just couldn't feel good...I don't know. We did this pirate ship excursion..where you are on this pirate ship, they make the kids scrub the deck (just for fun) and you walk the was fun...but I was the only woman wearing men's board shorts over my bathing suit and felt so odd about it. Ugh, anyway, can't wait to feel a little more normal...I do not want to be Barbie, and I know that I won't be...but I feel like everyone knows I was so fat with all the skin. I also feel like everyone is staring at may just be me though. Anyway, 25 more days until my surgery!! Wewt!

Information I Have Gathered

Contact Information:
Name: Francisco Gerardo Sauceda Mireles
Office address:
Centro de Especialidades Médicas (CEM)
José Benítez 2704 int 401
Col. Obispado Monterrey, México
Telephone: (81) 82204477

Hospital: Christus Muguerza
Toll-Free (from US/CAN): 1-866-558-6070

Hotel: Hampton Inn by Hilton Monterrey/Galerias-Obispado
Avenida Gonzalitos 415 Sur Obispado, Monterrey, Mexico 64060
Tel: +52-81-8625 2450 Fax: +52-81-8625 2451 n=MTYGAHX

American Embassy in Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtemoc
06500 Mexico, D.F.
From Mexico:
Tel : ( 01-55 ) 5080-2000
Fax: ( 01-55 ) 5525-5040
From the U.S.:
Tel: 011-52-55-5080-2000
Fax: 011-52-55-5525-5040

Payment Information: Can be done via certified check or direct bank transfer to Dr. S's bank. He also used MedChoice Financial, but they changed their policies recently so he doesn't want to use them any more. Check with him to confirm if he is still using them. He also accepts credit cards but will charge 4% more because of the bank fees.

Surgery Start Time: Usually between 7:00-9:00 am

Shower After Surgery: Usually next day.

Sedation: You get twilight sedation via IV before you get Epidural, not general anesthesia. With this there is no need for breathing tube and a smoother wake-up. During sedation they check the oxygenation of the body to make sure everything is fine. They can adjust the sedation depending on how the patient is doing. Anesthesiologist's name: Dra Gabriela Moreno Ramos. ***Note: Lower body lift under twilight: some PS do not recommend the LBL under twilight because since we are laying on the tummy, the oygenation by the mouth is more difficult. Dr. S does the LBL on the sides so no problem of oxygenation!!

Does Dr. S do tattoo removal: No, because that usually takes several visits.

Vitamins: Stop taking vitamin E 15 days prior to surgery and until healed (prevents blood clotting) and add protein to your diet (an extra protein shake/day). Only vitamin I have found without Vitamin E is but was told Centrum had very little and they were told (by another Dr., not Dr. S) that the minimal amount was ok.

Stop 15 days prior to surgery: Smoking and birth control pills.

Airline Traveling Info: Ask for wheelchair assistance for plane ride home before leaving States. If flying American within 14 days of surgery, will need letter from Dr. S confirming that you are OK to fly. Some people have had their compression garments set off the metal detector! Be prepared in case!

Scar treatment: Do not bring any scar stuff because Dr. S will give you vitacilina (to prevent infection) to use. Start your own treatment 3 weeks out (if wounds are healed) and use for 8-12 weeks. One using Kel-o-cote gel, and scar FX strips another using Scar Guard gel and Scar Away strips. Interesting (and funny) read:

Cream for wounds: Dr. S. gives you a tube of cream to apply every morning to your wounds to prevent infection when Patty comes to shower and redress you. I was told by several people that we could buy it at the HEB when we ran out. Searched high and low at the HEB and couldn't find it. Asked Dr. S. and he told us it comes under a different name. So... when you run out and go to the HEB, go to the pharmacy counter and on the far left side you will find a green box called VITACILINA. It is exactly the same cream the Dr. S. gives us but when you ask for the cream by the other name (Neomicina Retinol) they tell you they don't have it.

Stool softener: If you get stopped up from the narcotics, ask Dr. S for a stool softener. Don't need to bring any. One site I read suggested starting them a few days before surgery.

Shopping information: There are people who will bag your groceries at HEB. They are people who the store brings on and lets them bag for tips since many are poor. Also, if the checker keeps your change it goes to the poor. Sometimes they will ask to keep it and sometimes they will just keep it. They will also if you ask, help you transport your purchase to the hotel at most stores (for an additional tip). Will also want to hit up the malls on the latter end of your stay. There is the Galleria down the street and then there is a big mall called Plaza de Fiesta St Augustine (sp?). It's only 10 minutes away. There is also a Starbucks within walking distance.

Hotel Electrical Outlet Information: Do not need to bring any type of converters, same as US.

Hotel Refrigerator/Silverware/Dishes/Microwave/Iron: Ensure they put refrigerator in room and borrow silverware/dishes from breakfast buffet to use in room. There is not a microwave in the room. They have one in the kitchen area off the lobby and you can ask for something to be heated or pop some popcorn. There is an iron in the room.

Where to eat: While you are staying at the clinic you order off of a menu for all 3 meals. While at the hotel there is a full service breakfast every morning, a McDonalds right out the front door, a Starbucks right past that, an Applebees on the back side of the hotel (delivers), an Italian place right next to that (does not deliver) and a large grocery store (HEB) where you can get sandwich stuff, fruit, and anything you want. There is a mall that is connected to the HEB grocery store that has a food court in it and many other restaurants. The front desk has menu's to most places. The hotel has a happy hour on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:30pm to 8:00 pm with free appetizers, sodas, and beer. One night they might serve pizza and hot wings, another night might be hot dogs, and etc etc. They also have pork rinds, chips, and other little finger foods.

Hotel visits by Dr & staff: Dr S comes and visits everyday unless he is in a long surgery thay day. Patty (the nurse) comes every day to help you bathe, change your bandages, get your garments on, and dress everyday. She is also the night nurse in the clinic and speaks some broken English.

Travel information while in Mexico: Dr S picks you up at the airport unless he is in surgery, and then he sends his driver Sergio. Dr S also picks you up at the hotel the morning of surgery and takes you back to the hotel after you are released from the clinic. He also will take you to the airport or provide a taxi for you when you leave Monterrey. This is all included in your quote. The hotel also offers a free shuttle within 10 minutes of the hotel. They will take you to the malls and wherever you want to go. If you need to go to the clinic for any reason like visiting friends, then the shuttle will take you.

Is the area safe? Many patients say the area is completelty safe and they walked around at night time to the store, etc. and never felt uncomfortable. But again, remember you have the hotel shuttle if you feel unsafe.

What if you need something in the middle of the night while at hotel? Dr S will give you his cell phone number and will be right there if you have any concerns. The first few days are usually the toughest and might need something but you should still be in the clinic during that time and will have 24 hour nursing care.

What if there is an emergency during surgery? 1. They have all the necessary first aid equipment for an intervention in the O.R (reanimation,etc.). 2. They stabilize you in the recovery room. 3. Once you are stabilized, they transfer you in one of the 2 biggest hospitals that are in the same area. One of the hospitals is the Christus Muguerza alta especialidad.

TV: In the hotel there are 2 HBO channels, People and Arts, and CNN that is in English. It has older movies and stuff like Charmed, My Own Worst Enemy, etc.

REMEMBER: Some of this you can buy while you are there at the HEB...

Packing List:
--Grape Seed Extract (wound healing, 100 mg doses)
--Vitamin A (700mg doses)
--Vitamin C
--Vitamins (without Vitamin E)
--Calcium & Magnesium
--Omega 3
--Vitamin D
--Vitamin B-12

--No Bra's (except maybe one to show the Dr. what size you want)
--Bikini Underwear (for marking)
--Sweat Pants/loose shirts
--Underwear or men's boxers to wear over garments (not really necessary...)
--Tennis shoes

--Hair Clips/Bandanna's
--Facial Soap
--Razor/shaving cream
--Anti-bacterial hand cleaner
--Hand lotion

Purex All In One Sheets
Protein drink powder & shaker
Books/Magazines to read
Extra gauze and medical tape Pads for drains
Lanyard to hang drains on in shower
Camera Charger
Camera Cord to download pictures
U Shaped Travel pillow
Disk of Pictures to show Dr Sauceda
Baby Wipes
Deck of cards
Cash for tips
Chap stick
Ethernet Cord for the hotel room (10-15 ft)
Calling cards or call T-Mobile about international calling or Skype
Spanish/English Dictionary
Cheat Sheet for translation

Tell hotel we want refrigerator in room & can get extra silverware/plates to use in room breakfast bar.