I met a few people from my town that had done the surgery there. So, I researched it online and learned that it is the best, safest, and most professional option available!
Even the greatest of all people acquire baggage. However, where it comes from and how we carry it, and even the form (physical, emotional, or sometimes both) and size is different for everyone. Mine started out as physical, made from fat. The fat that clung to my bones and my organs, engorged my skin, and had a tendency to attract negative emotions and latch on for the long ride. A product of this becoming low self esteem, which led to poor decision making, which in turn led to depression. That was my life. I was only born 7lbs 3 oz, but ballooned to highest weight 40 years later of 233lbs. I know this may not be as high of a number as some of you have or are battling with, but for my 5’4 shorty pants frame it was enough to cause all kinds of physical and mental havoc! Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I was the visible minority in my school for being the “fat girl.” It was a hard pill to swallow. And boy, let me tell ya, did I have many pubescent teenage girl nightly cry sessions wishing there was a magic weight loss pill I could swallow to make me look and feel like almost all of the other thin girls in my grade. The ones who ate whatever they wanted to and still seemed to live carefree and happy. I wasn’t though, and I learned to wash away all those feelings with food. Food took all the pain of anything away.. for a very short lived time. College and university years were very difficult. I suffered through depression, anxiety and became very antisocial at times. As I got older, it got harder and I found myself gravitating into empty meaningless relationships with men just in hopes to feel wanted and desired but because of the “fat girl” low self esteem these escapades always ended badly. Self medication with food was my best friend. I, now, know that many women have done the same thing and it breaks my heart knowing what they feel like because of it. I allowed myself to enter into a badly put together marriage thinking that, because I was overweight, this was the best I was going to get. So, I said yes to the proposal, and all the bad, abusive behavior that came along with it. NOT only once, but twice! My health was dragging, the stress of my first failed marriage, having a child, and then shortly after discovering the beginnings of cervical cancer, which quickly led to a hysterectomy. If that wasn’t bad enough, I began having major problems with my back. I had a lamendectomy, which alleviated the pain for a few years, but was told that I would need a spinal fusion by the next year. I was also in a new marriage that was worse than the first one. After all the mental and physical abuse, I was led to believe that because of my weight, I would never be worth anything different. I was at a crossroads where I needed to make a big change immediately. The first step was to lose weight-a large amount of weight-to prevent having a spinal fusion that would leave me unemployed (I work in a dangerous environment and it would be impossible to continue in this career with a steal box holding my back together). I knew I couldn’t do the long and sometimes timeless wait for a gastric sleeve through my healthcare system. I quickly started to research and found many people who had been to the OCC and who had incredible transformations and success, without any complications! I just knew this must be my lifeline. And by this time, I needed a lifeline. I went, I saw, I touched, I felt, and I was so warmly welcomed and cared for by the OCC staff and doctors. I have successfully lost 90lbs since pre-surgery weight, I no longer need a spinal fusion as the pressure on my spine from the excess weight I was carrying no longer exists. Best of all, I had the the courage with my new found self esteem to get out of the abusive marriage, and now have a healthy, happy life. Something I never would have believed possible before having my gastric sleeve at the OCC!
Dr. Ortiz and the amazing clinic have given me a new start on life, a life I always deserved, and never imagined could be my own! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!