2 months post tummy tuck and back lipo. :)

I am 33 years old and i grew up in California, a...

I am 33 years old and i grew up in California, a breeding zone for image disorders and bikini summers. From a very young age i learned that a protruding belly was unlovable and my worth was contingent with my weight. I dieted, took diet pills, did speed and anything i could to "fit" the mold. Of course, this led into a decade or more of eating disorder behaviors and substance abuse. It has not been an easy road to recovery but i have come very far: sober 6 years, maintaining my weight for 5 years. I scheduled a tummy tuck for December in the sincere hope that it would mirror a very important step in my recovery. I know it seems ironic- even all out hypocritical - that in my search for self acceptance i am compelled to do this. When i look down or feel into my stomach there is anxiety and pain and trauma. I have never had children but my weight fluctuations have stretched my middle beyond self-repair. Will it actually help heal the deep wounds that i hold inside myself? No. Will violence and abuse (the nature of surgery) be what it takes to appease my sense of self, or feel less focused on my imperfections and less anxious with everyday life? No. Am i taking another short-cut? Maybe. You see there are so many questions unanswered and yet I am willing to proceed...and SUPER excited about it!! I have to quit smoking which is a benefit. More later...thanks for reading!

5'6: 160 lbs.
full tummy tuck with muscle repair and liposuction of the hips, flanks and back.

One thing that I am concerned about is how my...

One thing that I am concerned about is how my bulimia will affect the surgery. I am very close to total recovery but purge occasionally (maybe once a week). I guess that I should have told this to the surgeon before i scheduled the surgery, but now I KNOW i must provide full disclosure in order to fully care for myself. i am scared!! Anyone go this this too??

I wanted to add some more details with less drama: I practice yoga 4-5 times a week and take a spin class maybe twice a week. I am a massage therapist and also in school for my Masters in Medicine. Taking 3 weeks off from school and who knows how long i will have to take off from work?! I have a vacation planned Jan 2 so God willing, I can join in the fun and enjoy my family--toddler niece and nephew! Has anyone worn a bathing suit and gone swimming 3 weeks PO??

I'm going through the self-proclaime phase of "what should i do about my boobs?" Oh well. It's so hard to stay focused sometimes ;-)

Well, I've decided to quit the cigarettes and the...

Well, I've decided to quit the cigarettes and the purging cold-turkey. That is quite a lot to ask of myself seeing as i have been in battle with both for so long, HOW MANY times have i said that only to be disappointed!? However, the idea of going under the knife has me frightened and i want to be in tip top physical and mental health when i finally do this. This is NOT something that will be easy but I have tons of support and love from my family and I am ready to retire these habits because they simply don't cherish/represent/honor my Real Self becoming. Love and Light to all of you who are fighting a hard battle. Cheers! :)

I'm feeling wholly unprepared right now as my...

I'm feeling wholly unprepared right now as my surgery is in December and I don't have a chair, walker, nothing, and no SOLID plan. In fact, I'm not sure who is gonna drive me to surgery and stay the night with be at the motel next door! I live by myself and have no one but a cat to take care of and I'm wondering how much 24hr. care I am going to need. A few friends have agreed to be available and perhaps my sister will fly in for the first few days. Will that be enough? My doc doesn't use drains so at least I won't deal with that. Because i'm flying solo do I need any of the assistant gadgets like the recliner or toilet seat thing??

I'm counting on you girls!

On another not: i put all my cigarettes into a ziplock last night, when outside and prayed to and with the full moon and then went inside to fill the bag with water and throw those cancer stick into the trash. FREEDOM at last!!

Awesome. the doc, the nurse, the me and the...

Awesome. the doc, the nurse, the me and the therapist are all on the same page. Electrolyte testz forthcoming. Here's to progress!

I quite smoking on Oct. 1! When i called to...

I quite smoking on Oct. 1!

When i called to talk with the nurse about being symptomatic (purging)--she was not kind or helpful; apparently she knows a lot about surgery and very little about shame and fear. We agreed to schedule the pre-op a week before the surgery and include more blood tests. Ironically, the anxiety of this disclosure increased my symptoms but now i am back on track and making excellent progress. I am really looking forward to this surgery but have mainly spent my time focused on the day at hand. Please forgive me in my personal exploration of this topic; i'm sure you all want to read about recliners and silicone strips, however, if i only focus on the physical implications of this process I am denying myself a more whole experience.

Feeling absolved from any uncertainty as yet...

Feeling absolved from any uncertainty as yet another person asks me if I am "expecting"...so ready for that to be over!

Update! I have successfully quit smoking (10...

Update!

I have successfully quit smoking (10 weeks) and to my surprise, the bulimia as well (6 weeks). Surgery is Thursday and my dreams are out of control. My goodness, this is the most expensive, crazy and inspirational thing i have yet to do. I wish i can say that the agency i have gifted myself has cured me of an eating disorder but the truth is, it took a lot of time, therapy and yoga.

Im alive!! In surgery 7 hours, very groggy and...

Im alive!! In surgery 7 hours, very groggy and nauseous but slept it of for a few days. more pain than expected. most def needed help getting up to pee. totally soaked sheets at hotel. got period on the 2nd day. pooped on the 4th. home now and researching leg pain. when i woke up from surgery i had a sharp pain on the anterior right thigh and its now extending to my knee, also numb. hope this goes away, the nurse said it was common. have i mentioned how much i LOVE my nurse!!!
and my mom, she stayed with me 3 nights at a hotel near the doc. I'm feeling so much better now at 5 days.

all i can say is IT GETS BETTER EVERYDAY. hard to believe, but true.

some things i am taking in addition to western meds:

Milk thistle
Grapeseed extract
Gotu Kola
chinese herbs from Golden flower: Trauma 1 Formula
pro biotics
vitamin c
Traumeel
Bromaline
and emergenC

Why spend so much money on compression garments...

why spend so much money on compression garments when we can just use leotards?!

My motivation is nothing short of deep inspiration...

My motivation is nothing short of deep inspiration within a long journey toward health. The outcome, which is great thus far, is only part of the journey. Dr. Hopkins and my decision to have this surgery--a mere stitch in time... I am just glad he is so good with stitches! Just trust your instincts, be honest, know your vulnerabilities and never give up. The office angels at Plastic Surgery Center are there to help.

I have stopped all meds except half na oxy at...

I have stopped all meds except half na oxy at night,
couldn't sleep because my skin was creepy crawly like CRAZY!!

Help?!

4 weeks today, feeling good. Anxious to work out;...

4 weeks today, feeling good. Anxious to work out; concerned i'm gaining weight, may be swelling upper abs?

6 weeks. still tight in the torso and swollen in...

6 weeks. still tight in the torso and swollen in back. this really takes patience! i'm very pleased with the results thus far and am looking forward to a familiar routine with exercise. the hardest part of this process has been the social changes and not working. i use bio oil, palmers oil and vitamin e on the scars and occasionally silicone gel strips called cica gel.

@ 7 weeks my back is less sore and i feel more...

@ 7 weeks my back is less sore and i feel more comfortable in my body. I had a surprise period that is 2 weeks early and very heavy and clotting but i presume this is normal. All is well, hoping that i am still swollen in the back regions and looking forward to the future...

6 months post;

Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

I can't express enough my appreciation and admiration for this team. Just amazing. "Best tummy tuck in the nation"claimed the anesthesiologist. I agree. The nurse and receptionist and scrub tech are all so friendly and professional. HIGHLY RECOMMEND :) Dr. Hopkins is kind, highly skilled and works with an AMAZING team. Everyone there is ridiculously helpful and even loving. So happy with Dr Hopkins, he is honest and innovative. I absolutely ADORE the nurse; she is an Angel. Scrub tech might be the most approachable man i have ever met.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Hello there! I'm not sure if you'll read this but I just had to say, THANK YOU for sharing your journey. I have to say, I am in the same situation as you were. I've never had any kids but my weight has always been a problem for me. I was very over weight at one point but when I lost it I got loose skin which made me feel like there is no hope :/ I've been contemplating a TT for over a year now, and at the beginning I couldn't wait! But now I'm hesitant & afraid...I'm not sure if I should go through with it..I mean I'm scheduled for surgery next month but I feel stuck now! Anyway, your story made me feel better. Thank you!
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Apparently weird/early/late/missing etc. periods are not uncommon. I agree with Lotus, your scar contour is fantastic. Looking fantastic girlie!!
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You look great! Love how low the scar dips in the center.
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Awesome detail i never appreciated, thanks for noticing that Lotus!
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Happy 7 week to us !
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YAY!!!
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You look really good! Scar is thin and low. Imagine what it's going to look like at 6 months. Happy healing!
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thank you!!
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Looking good and yes the swelling does take patience
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so true...
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Nameuser I meant to follow your story and somehow missed your page completely :( but am so happy to have refound it. We were close on height weight and age so It's interesting for me to compare. I'm six weeks today and started the gym this week. Slow but something. We both have the lipo scars under our breast too! It took me forever to figure out what those were on me lol. The dr said when you have nice breast definition it's an easy access place to get better lipo. Lucky us :) sounds like all is well and you look awesome!!! I bet your so happy!
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im about to upload some pix from today. I'm still really sore on my back and i think it is swollen... my app. is tomorrow and i will as the doc. I wish i could go to yoga but it feels so tight everywhere. Overall, i am happy. How are you?!
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oh yeah lipo takes for ever to heal from. Its my sorest spots. Im doing wll and am happy but ready to work on the rest of me. Gym time =) Good luck tomorrow =)
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I'm a few days over 4 weeks post op & I've been feeling my upper abs are swollen also! I asked my Dr. About it and he said it is probably from the compression garment because it ends just below where the bulging starts. I also feel my lower abs aren't as flat as they were.
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Great inspiratinal story. Thanks for sharing!
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Thanks for sharing your story. While we need to read about recliners and drains, we also need to read other's personal reasons for wanting this surgery. I'm sure everyone on here can relate to some part or all of your story. Good luck on your continued recovery both physically and mentally.
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thank you Junebug (cute name!) Merry Xmas :)
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Wow your testimony to getting to this place is inspiring. Good for you and hope your road to recovery goes well
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thank you so much
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Oh, i weigh 170 apparently (darn scales) and the nurse is so wonderful and kind...a strange thing how people are more scary over the phone, but i took that risk to be forthcoming and with it, i empowered myself!
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Good for you. If the surgery is the motivation and encouragement that you need to make better, more important health choices (stopping smoking and purging) then that is a GREAT thing. I understand what you mean about self-acceptance, but on the other hand your concerns are valid and not in your head -- your stomach skin IS stretched out, and cannot be fixed through healthy eating and exercise. Considering your obvious tendency towards compulsive behavious, I would advise that you absolutely STOP thinking about breast augmentation, liposuction, or anything else at this time. Where would it stop? We could all pick ourselves apart and line up 27 different surgeries, but thats where a valid personal improvement crosses over into sickness and obsession. Set a new goal for yourself. I personally cant make myself run unless I have registered for a race. Use the website "the schedule" and look up a 5k race that is about a week before your surgery date. (That is 3.1 miles.) Buy a simple book that tells you how to run (I recommend Dave Khuels "4 Months To A 4 Hour Marathon") and do what he says. You wont be running a marathon, but he covers everything in his short easy to read book like proper shoe selection. Now start running like he tells you. Start with a goal of just 5 continuous minutes 3 times a week. After you finish your 5k and just before your surgery, look ahead and choose a 10k about 6 months after your surgery, and a half marathon about 8 months after your surgery. Yes, you CAN do it !!! :) A few years ago I trained over 40 people to run a 10k, 20 to run a half marathon, and 4 to run a full marathon all in the same year -- and almost none if them had ever run a step before! Tell your doc about the purging and the cigarettes. Yes they need full disclosure. And then focus on what you WILL do. :) You WILL run a 5k before your surgery. You WILL run a half marathon next fall. I know you can do it! :) Let me know when you have been properly fitted for shoes at a real running store.... :)
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You have me excited! I ordered that book on Amazon :) Honestly, i've never been a fan of running but sometimes we have to face the things that are the hardest. Thank you so much for that inspiration. Really, i'm excited.
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On another NOTE! man this site is a wreck for us Virgos. i need to be able to edit :)
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Well, I've decided to quit the cigarettes and the purging cold-turkey. That is quite a lot to ask of myself seeing as i have been in battle with both for so long, HOW MANY times have i said that only to be disappointed!? However, the idea of going under the knife has me frightened and i want to be in tip top physical and mental health when i finally do this. This is NOT something that will be easy but I have tons of support and love from my family and I am ready to retire these habits because they simply don't cherish/represent/honor my Real Self becoming. Love and Light to all of you who are fighting a hard battle. Cheers! :)
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This is great really try hard and not smoke any more.. It's son bad for your mind & body.. Your better off with a new start, & a new body. You will feel so much better . And those smoke sticks are very bad.. Think about how much longer you will live giving up those bad things... Your family will really love you even more for doing this... You Go Girl...
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