I have always been the biggest kid at school and...
I know I will feel better, have improved movement (be able to touch my toes) and probably eliminate lower back pain and be fitter, but am I doing the right thing. I am actually excited at the prospect.
The Big Day Looms
Two weeks !!
Nervous but excited.
One Week to go
3 More Days of Waiting
I had a weird dream the other night, with all the re-alignment of skin during the surgery, I wonder if my Belly Button will now have a Moustache or a Beard??? I am not a hairy male, so this thought is weird! Wish me luck and I will post when I can.
Lost my umbilical cord
It feels like Christmas Eve...
Bag all packed, moved my recliner into the bedroom, covered it with a wool underlay in case of any leakages, and as it is mid-afternoon on the 17th here already, I have nothing to do. I will have a shower later this evening and use the anti-bacterial soap, and have a blade shave (face) so I won't look too rough after a couple of days. The Hospital rang this morning to see if I was still coming, but couldn't tell me what time the Surgery was going to be. Still excited, not nervous as I know what to expect and just hope I do as well as my RS Harem of supporters have done. I feel like a small child waiting on Christmas Eve for Father Christmas to arrive.
Thursday ; D-Day, 18th SEPT.
In recovery at noon, a Nurse said "Welcome back, how are you feeling" and before I could answer, "Not you, STAN" (Sore, tender about now), and you too. We are going to get along famously.
My PS also retook a leftovers photo for me as well, it was 2kg (4.4lb) and Stan now has 2drains close by and a very low incision. Trussed up in my CG, sohaven't seen anything yet, but the PS was very pleased with it all.
No pain at all, probably the Theater meds still in effect. Very sleepy for the rest of the day and evening.
Post Op Day1 Friday 19th Sept.
Very painful in the bladder area, and after an ultrasound, it was decided to insert a catheter. Poor STAN, I thought "this is going to make my eyes water". It did. Immediately filled 2 bottles with much relief. Caused by incision swelling on the bladder and pressure from CG.
I can concur with 'my girls' reports of swollen and sore 'girly bits' as STAN is starting to turn yellow with bruising, and his 2 mates are already swollen and bruised.
I still have the vertigo problem and am very giddy. Still no incision pain, even when a sneaky cough occurred. Only taking normal painkillers at 4hourly intervals.
The PS commented that he tightened my stomach muscles slightly as they weren't as bad as most women who have stretched theirs beyond the elastic limit during childbirth. He also repaired 2 hernias.
I haven't seen anything yet as it is under the CG.
I am also in awe of the RS girls who went home the same day as their surgery. I definitely couldn't do that.
PS popped in this evening and asked for all dressings to be changed as they were all messy, so I had one of them take a photo for me. Looks nice and flat and low.
Post Op Day 2, Sat 20th Sept.
Had my first look without the binder this morning and was thrilled. The incision is so low and flat and neat, and for the first time since I was a teenager, when I look down I saw poor bruised STAN and my FEET!! Dead flat tummy, can't wait to get home and share my photos. Be here until possibly Wednesday.
Dizzyness is gone, hooray! Next trial - Constipation. Dreading this, all your reports are frightening. My Nurse, (Mother of 5), came in with what she referred too as "Nurses Revenge", a suppository with a reaction time of 0-5mins. Mine was almost zero, having just made it to the toilet. That made everyone happy, and if the Hospital had a newspaper, it would have made headlines.
Still have 2 enormous drain bottles of 500ml each which do not have to be emptied.
Today was a landmark day, feeling really great, and looking forward to a walk tomorrow. I can get in and out of bed by myself.
Post Op Day 3, Sun 21st
A nice shower on my own. STAN and his mates are now completely bruised black, not funny. I didn't see anything about that side effect in any of your comments.
Change of clothes and ready for my walk. Surprised at how vertical I am, but today's Nurse wanted me to walk hunched over and take things gradually. Managed several 50 ft walks and even went outside and sat in the sunshine. Resting and walking is the pattern so far. Can't believe how good I feel. One drain has almost stopped, but the other has reached the 300ml mark.
Really missing following all your journeys, but it gave me a real lift to read your support responses.
Post Op Day 4, Mon 22nd
Having to follow my own advice today and take things slowly. I went for long walks yesterday and last night lay the bed down flat and slept on my side for some of the night. Well, I am paying for it this morning with lower back pain. Still no incision pain at all and just feels like a bruise, and yes, I can feel the wounds if I over reach and pain would be at a nuisance 1.
The sneaky sneeze came from nowhere a few minutes ago, and OMG, it suddenly went to a 10!
My PS came in just as lunch was delivered (naturally), and instructed that the dressings be changed, catheter removed, and both drains to stay in.
I had my Nurse take wound photos, and then complete the dressings. Then it was STAN's (shrunken, terrified about now) turn, as she deflated the securing balloon, then said, "Deep breath", and just ripped the tube out. A life changing moment that.
My wife popped in with a clean binder and a supply of blood free clothes.
I notice that I have over 60 responses to reply to, but IIT will have to wait until I get home.
I apologize for the spelling mistakes as I am not used to typing on a 'tablet' touchscreen. Will catch up soon, so keep positive.
Post Op Day 5, Tues 23rd
Drains did nothing overnight, so I am hopeful they can come out tonight or Wed morning. The plan for today is to drink up to 2 jugs of water and if nothing has improved by 6pm, then a bladder scan and another ' eye-watering catheter. I'm not telling STAN.
Pain is close to zero, but a lot of multi colored bruising is coming out. The man 'giblets' are completely black now which is apparently blood accumulation and will disappear in time. No mention of ice yet, but it is only 5 days.
My Nurses say I will be happy with my result as my PS is well known for his "embroidery". I will get a new side profile photo tommorow. I am still positive and excited.
A note about this Hospital. Probably built in the 1930's, today it is a Private Surgical Hospital. This means that all the patients here are in for planned surgical procedures from various Specialist Surgeons. Many of the Nursing Staff have advanced training in such fields as Theatre, Anesthetic, Cardiac, Chemotherapy and Cancer treatments. As most of us are not sick, but recovering from surgery, many of the nasty super-bugs are not common either.
I keep looking at all " the girls" updates, and I am really proud ofyou.
Day 6 Post Op, 24th Sept.
Waterworks behaved last night, so maybe the end is in sight.
My daughter came in last night, and after showing her my incisions, she commented " Gee, it looks like you have been gutted! Great Post Mortem scar". Er, thanks,I think.
I find I can sleep comfortably on my side at night, but that is in an electric bed, may take a while at home to find the right setup. I practiced going up and down stairs here yesterday as there are 4 steps back and front to get into my house. Went well.
Hopefully tomorrow the drains will come out and I can go home. I sttarrtedd writing down a 1 week report on expectations vs outcomes. I will post later, but the outcomes come out way in front. Can't wait to send my photos.
Post Op Day 6, 24th Sept. Going Home
SURVIVED: Well, at my age there is always a risk over which I have no control.
PAIN LEVEL: Virtually Zero, only taking an antibiotic and 1-2 pain tablets a day.
MOBILITY: Up walking 3hrs after recovery to clear anaesthetic residue in my lungs. Very pleased how well I did, until I fainted (unrelated). Everyday the walking is getting longer and more often.
BATHROOM: Showering upright (lovely), no riser needed for toilet.
WOUNDS: Swollen and bruising coming out, looks worse than it is. Not sore to touch, and only one numb spot so far.
WEIGHT: Even though you all told me not to get on the scales, I couldn't help myself. I am 84kg, an increase of 1Kg, (expect to be about 80Kg after swelling goes down)
SIDE EFFECTS: STAN and the 'Twins', taking the brunt of swelling and accumulated blood in that area, (now Black).
Vertigo, probably caused by more than usual blood loss during surgery.
Bladder, Incision pressure from swelling putting pressure on my bladder plus the effect of the pressure from the Compression Garment, caused an inability to pee (painful).
BINDER: As has been pointed out to me, buy 3, one to wear and 2 drying or being washed. My PS supplied one, 12" wide, and I find this the most comfortable as it covers the hole of the 'T' incision. The others that I bought are only 9" wide and are still comfortable. You will learn that you don't do anything without the binder support. They let you know how far you can reach, twist, or rollover, safely.
PHOTOS: Not being gross, but I find them calming and allow reflection on how far I have come so far. All the Nurses have been great at taking the shots for me, and my PS was thrilled at being asked, so don't be shy in asking, enjoy the experience.
SLEEPING: Day 5, attempted to rollover on my side and found a comfy spot and at almost at full stretch and had a goo sleep. My own bed last night was heaven, crashed about 8-30pm and didn't wake until 7am this morning.
DRAINS: Lunchtime yesterday, the Nurse came in and said "The drains are to come out and then you are going Home". My pulse rate immediately raced and reminded of other 'Girls' experiences, was not looking forward to this. A few minutes later, now ready, she says "Lie back and think od England" . I closed my eyes, expecting the worst, then realised the first one was out and she was applying a dressing. I didn't feel anything. Same for the other one.
TRAVELLING IN THE CAR: Yes use a pillow against your stomach for support. I have a SUV, so I didn't have to lower myself into a seat, but do it slowly and do not 'plop' down on to the seat. Road bumps are magnified as is hard braking, so the whole experience was not fun.
OUTCOME: Really thrilled with the whole experience so far. Anyone still waiting and nervous about making the decision, - don't be, look forward with confidence that you can do this and keep a positive attitude. You will be glad you did it (for yourself first, then family).
Thanks to this Forum and my 'Harem of RS Girls' , I couldn't, and wouldn't have gone through this without your help. Would I do it again, - in a blink. Part two of my journey is to get rid of my ugly 'Man-Boobs' in the New Year, I can't wait.
I Popped !!!
Last night, in the middle of the night, I felt my CG rripp itself open and let go! I thought, 'what was that', is it life threatening, is there any pain, am I comfortable, can it wait till morning?
It could wait till morning. I got up, looked in the mirror and was shocked. I thought, "I've created Medical History, - I'm Pregnant"! No kidding, my waist has increased by 3" overnight! There is no increased pain, discomfort, fluid or any obvious cause. 'My girls' comment on their swellings and feeling bloated, so I guess it is my turn.
What it does mean is that my spare CG's will no longer fit until the swelling goes down. The PS charged my Health Fund $100 for the big 12" wide one, but I won't be paying that for another one.
Feeling great, great to be home, and went out to my shed today to see if I could get into one of my old cars to start it. Mission Impossible at the moment, too much twisting and stretching, maybe in another week.
I am really excited to catch up on my 'Harem' supporters progress and feel really proud of you all.
Not many of you have commented on your partners reactions, but you all look so good so far.
First Check up Day 12 Post Op.
The Nurse looked at me and said " Why are you walking so straight?". Er, because I can and it is comfortable. It is still not 2wks yet and I still feel like a fraud for feeling so well and able. She ripped (literally) off the old dressings like a Brazilian without the wax, sacrificing 2wks of body hair in the process. Ouch!!
She was pleased and told me to clean out my new BB, which up until that point, I had never seen. Mind you, I haven't seen my BB since I was a teenager. A drain exit is still weeping, but no infection anywhere.
A repeat appointment is planned for next week with my PS.
See Photo :- it looks nice and flat and neat. The Nurse reminded me to go easy over the next week as all the dissolving sutures will be dissolving from now on. I had forgotten about that.
TWO WEEK Update
Those of you that a couple of weeks ahead of me are giving me little targets to achieve and I am enjoying the challenge. I have started driving today so I can pick my own potholes. I know they are old photos, but it does show the change. I told my wife that I am going to broach the subject of 'Stage 2, The Boob Job' next week with the Surgeon, with the resulting comment "Not more Money". Tough.
TWO WEEKS (Part 2)
My lunch with my 'old guys' went well yesterday. They all suggested that this procedure is something that they would never do - voluntarily. Sore from sitting so long by the time I got home was the only consequence, so I am happy I did it.
I went for my undulating walk to 'supervise' the new house being built nearby this morning, and was pleased with my effort. My fitness has dropped a little as I was a little out of breath after walking upright at my normal walking pace. No pulling sensation or pain anywhere, so I will repeat it each day to get better at it. I'm not silly, I know it is 'everything in moderation 'at this stage, but it did feel good.
The 'waterworks' that caused me so much grief post-op have settled down, but are still very concentrated in colour (you weren't eating lunch were you?), so I will see what the PS says about the next step. My Nurse neighbour across the road says it is still probably effects from the anaesthetic as it can take up to 1 month to work its way out. She says with most of her TT patients, waterworks is the No1 problem area.
Back in Hospital Day 15 PO
An hour later, again covered in yuck, I am scaring everyone in the waiting room, and a Nurse led me to an Operating Theater. Not a good sign I thought, and after cleaning the mess, left the room and came back with another PS in the Practice who poked and prodded me and said " You have had a big bleed internally and we need to get it out to reduce the risk of Blood Poisoning".This doesn't sound good, and off he went to ring my PS. Next thing, the Nurses arrive with trays and implements and he comes at me with a scalpel. This is going to ruin my afternoon. With that in his hand, I wasn't going to mention STAN and the 'Blue Boys'. He proceeded to give me a couple of local injections and then I decided I wasn't going to watch anymore as he proceeded to cut a large hole on my left side and fit a tiny funnel in the hole and stitch it in place. As he is doing this, I can hear the rush of liquid pouring into a dish. They appear pleased with themselves and cover the area with a large sanitary pad and tape me all up. Then, as I was the ccolor of the walls, they gave me an iced water to drink.
The PS went out to ring my PS again and said that I was not going home but back to Memorial Hospital where I maybe operated on again this evening. It was intended to open me up again and wash out the interior and fix the 'bleeder'.
So, here I sit waiting for my PS to arrive and decide my fate. He decided to let it drain into the pads overnight and see how much can drain on its own and he would see me again on Saturday. I am still waiting.
Last night after 3 dressing changes and drowning me and the bed with the leakage I didn't get much sleep. It is a public holiday weekend over here, so I could be sitting here until Tuesday before anything happens.
The 'Big Slash - Mk2'
Surgery is planned for around 5pm this evening. He is going to make an incision on each side and flush everything out and then stitch up leaving a tube in each side connected to a vacuum pump to assist drainage. He says that it won't be like going back to square one, but slow me down a couple of days.
I am really touched by all the support, even the threats of tying me to a chair, and respect all your advice, but this isn't my fault.
The PS says that it is a MALE thing coupled with the Clexane injections that I was given to thin my blood to prevent DVT's, and my old blood vessels. One of these vessels obviously has aweakness which the thinned blood found and took a messy exit.
I asked if it had anything to do with my walking, and he said that was rubbish and I ccould increase my range as I got fitter. I asked about Sexy's squat classes, and was told to leave that for 6-8 weeks, but sounded like a good thing.
He also says he doesn't like my BB as it is too small and may get infected in the future. There will be a slight revision and a bit of skin tidy up when he gets rid of my boobs in the New Year. He is so confident of my outcome that I feel inspired. He wants me to look good in a T-shirt with no tummy or boobs, not the "Charles Atlas- kick sand" physique. My goal exactly.
Once again, I will acede to my peers and "Hurry up and wait". Love you all.
Survived- again, Monday, 6th Oct.
My 'Harem' of friends, can we step back and take a deep breath. I feel as if I met you all in a dark alley, that you would permanently separate STAN and his 2 mates!!
This was a 1in 10 chance of happening anyway and not of my making. Love your concerns and I am already saying to myself, "l wonder what Rose would say if I did that", or Mummypet would kill me if I even thought about it. You are all getting the message through to me, hasten slowly.
It really is a comfort and uplifting to read your own updates and know you are heading to the 'Fabulous side'.
The problem has been found. PO Day 18, 5th Oct.
My PS has just been in to see me (on a holiday) and said that when he opened me up again in a couple of spots, he could immediately tell what had happened. The skin end had died and the stalk flesh had also died back to the stomach muscle whereit found a larger blood supply, hence the large 'bleeder'. Now I don't have any BB, but he was going to modify it later on when he does my chest anyway, so now he says I can change it's position as well as it's shape.
I will probably go home tomorrow with my battery powered pump 'handbag' and he will leave it connected to make sure everything is sound, then I will go to his office where he will remove the tubing and re-stich everything back up by local aan aesthetic. That's the plan. I hope you aren't eating while reading this. See, it wasn't my fault !
I will get a neighbor to shift my recliner back into the TV room because even thinking about doing it myself will have Tammi (and Myrtle) nailing me to the doorframe!
I'm happy that a cause was found and a solution planned. A bit of a lost week to No3 though wasn't it. Never mind, thanks for your support as it is uplifting.up pitting the
Home Again Day 19 PO 7th Oct
I was in a different Ward this time, but previous Nurses had seen me pounding the hallways and today came to my room to wish me all the best. I don't have to wear my binder at the moment as it was explained to me that the vac pump in sucking the two faces together to allow them to heal together. There are only a few bubbles of stuff every now and then, so it is anticipated that it will dry up in another week.
You will all be pleased to know that as there are 2 unstitched wounds at the moment, walking is a tender experience, so they will have to finish the house without me for the present.
I will download some photos, one of which shows the start of the end of the BB.
Stan and the 'blue boys' are still swollen, but the PS says 'they will come good, think yourself glad it wasn't a Heart Bypass Op, they swell to the size of Cantaloupe!!!' That's a cheery thought and enough to get your cholesterol checked.
Week 3 Review
No pain whatsoever, no pain tablets for over 10 days (even last week).
Laughing, coughing, sneezing and toilet straining - all back to normal with no reaction. Bouncing in the car is still painful for last week's surgery. I am still walking around quite a bit, but I am not about to incur the wrath of 'my Harem' and do anything stupid.
I have to tell you about the funny 'following Doctor's Orders' each morning in Hospital. At 6am wake-up time, my Nurse would come in with an antibiotic tablet, a Clexane/Heprin Injection and inspect my Scrotum, (Blue Boys Container), for swelling and any dry blood lumps. This turned out to be good fun for all concerned. Statements such as "I have been waiting for hours for you to wake me up" and similar were normal. The young Nurses (20's) were embarrassed but I think they learnt something out of it, the married Mum Nurses were very gentle (experienced?), and the older Grandma's, well they just enjoyed it. They all had their revenge by giving me my injection before they left. Prognosis:- "You'll survive". The young Nurse who checked me out of Hospital wished me well and I replied, "I'll think of you tomorrow morning". She blushed bright red, and a queer look from my wife followed.
Fine day today (85F), so I will 'deadhead the Roses' this morning and maybe go for a short walk. I know, Hasten Slowly.
I enjoy reading of your progress via the updates, and also the insight into some of your more intimate moments. I as a MM (Mere Male) had never occurred that you may have different symptoms ( as probably unaware as your partners as well) and do appreciate your sharing those thoughts. I know I am becoming a more understanding and caring person for it .
I Forgot ....
That is a weight loss of 38kg, my ultimate goal (by Christmas) is 40kg which will put me in reach of my ideal (BMI) weight of 76kg. I am really pleased. I am keen to proceed with Part 2 Surgery ASAP, but I know he won't do it until the New Year. My ultimate Journey end is the Family Re-union in Sydney for Christmas 2015! Working hard to look good for that.
A Vote of Thanks
Secondly, I wish to heap praise on my Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Darren Molony. His personal interest in my well being has been outstanding. I know I am not his only patient, but his manner makes you think you are. With the hiccup last weekend, he was in to check on things everyday (on a holiday weekend) and give precise orders to the Nursing Staff, which they appreciate. Even when trying to round up a Surgical Team on a Sunday Night, he kept me informed as to what was going to happen, (as if I wasn't going to turn up).
On discharge morning, he was ringing his Personal Assistant at 7-30am with various instructions, (Sorry Rhonda), for appointments, hiring 'Little Hoover' etc. He was then off to perform Surgery for the day.
Back in his Offie on the initial Emergency Day, his Nursing Staff were very professional and kept me informed. The Building that the Group operate from is called the Day Surgery Clinic, a 4-storey block that is the base for about 8 Plastic Surgeons who conduct all types of Plastic Surgery, including Dental with a couple of floors of Operating Theatres and Treatment Rooms.
I have all the contact numbers for himself and his Staff for 24hr contact if needed and that is reassuring. I am most impressed.
4 WEEK REVIEW
On a brighter not, the TT surgery scars look fabulous, (see Photo), for 4wks, but I can't start any treatment until the other wound has healed. I have been given carte blanche to do anything I want, including my 3/4mile round the block walk, kneeling to do garden weeding, reaching to pick things up from the floor and mowing the lawns, but not yet able to ride my bike or have a great soak in my spa bath (until other wound has healed). That's not a bad result for 4wks though.
I celebrated my 80kg target by buying myself a block of good chocolate and limiting myself to only 3 squares (moderation), and buying myself a set of new digital Bathroom Scales!! I am already down to 79kg, so the 78kg and 40kg loss targets are in sight. I still cannot believe I was 259pounds 4yrs ago and now am 174pounds.
Can't wait to get rid of the machine, and get on with life.
I posted a new Forum yesterday, wanting help and advice to help a friend who has had a mental breakdown after a traumatic accident. If anyone has had experience in helping someone, I would appreciate a response as I feel so helpless.
FYI - Pee Bottles
NO, it is a plastic flat bottomed bottle with and extended neck and a shaped end (for a Female) and incorporates a handle moulded into it as well. The Male one just has a round opening, but the Female one has a more triangular shape to fit your anatomy.
The are about 11" long X 4" wide X 6" high at the neck. Imagine you have just got comfy (day or night) and just want to relax, then, you have to pee. It is usually when your help has just popped down to the shops or just gone to bed and you know it is going to involve pain and discomfort to move. This is where it becomes invaluable. It is discreet, meaning you can leave it 'plugged in' so you don't have to move or even if you have visitors, no-one will ever know it is there. See the photos attached. I have seen them at Walgreens when I have been in the USA, but they are only about $8 here in Australia, so they are not expensive, and are easily cleaned by rinsing.
Hope this will help you to know what you are looking for.
1 Month Today
Free At Last
So, free of tubes and machines at last, a great feeling as I am back on track to a full recovery. To celebrate, I called in to a Department Store on the way home and bought another 2pr of Jeans, size 36". I was a heavy 13yr old the last time I was that small. It was hard tearing myself away from the fitting room mirrors, I couldn't believe I had come so far.
I know I have to take it easy until this gash heals, (didn't expect to see such an open wound), but know it will bee a fabulous result. He did point out to me that the 'Hoover' side of the incision was noticeably flatter than the otherside, but that by Christmas it will have evened out and the swelling would have disappeared. Can't wait.
You can tell I'm excited, and have that 'wound up spring' feeling again, just waiting to get going again.
I have started working on my Life Plan for the next 10years, (while I think I have another 10years), and it is a sobering process. Try it yourself, I am making notes on Health, Family, Bucket List, my Committee activities, Social (friends) etc. It is actually quite hard.
I have posted today's photo showing the scars, patch and BB as well as the just visible drain incision.
Dr. Darren Molony. I am impressed with his confidence of what he can do for me and my expected outcomes. It will be a Fleur-de-Lis Abdominoplasty with a separate 'boob job' later on. His PA is amazing, and is so supportive and enthusiastic. The surgery is planned for 18th Sept. 2014. Post Operative communication has been brilliant. Nursing Staff were ringing him at home at 10-30pm, and he welcomed that. Change the rating from not sure, to Definitely WORTH IT!!!!