A little discouraged...

I've been pretty much average in weight and body...

I've been pretty much average in weight and body type for most of my life, but after going through 'the change' in my early forties, I ballooned to well over 200 lbs. I've been fighting off the weight over the past couple of years, and although I'm no Miss Twiggy, I did manage to shed 38 lbs. After two kids and an extended 'fat period', though, my belly has lost its resilience and no amount of diet or exercise will get rid of the loose skin and flab. I'm scared to death at the prospect of surgery - I'm chicken, and the recovery process sounds pretty daunting - but I know it's my only option if I want to be rid of my belly. And I do desperately want to be rid of it...

I've been agonizing over this decision and I'm second-guessing myself all the time, going from excited, to scared, to feeling guilty. Guilty that I would spend a crazy amount of money on what amounts to vanity. Guilty that I will take risks with my health while my kids need me; guilty that I will require care, worried that I won't be able to get back to work (I can only take limited time off) - ah well. You ladies all know the drill.

Thank God for the internet and thank God for this site. Reading here has given me a better feel for what I might expect and a sense of how best to prepare... And a great source of support :-)

It's weird to upload tummy pics, when normally all...

It's weird to upload tummy pics, when normally all I am focused on is hiding the bulge... But I decided to go ahead anyway. The better to tell the difference once I make it to the flat side!

I haven't updated at all lately, because in the...

I haven't updated at all lately, because in the run-up to my surgery I have been going all-out on a 7/7 workathon. To clear the decks, as it were, so I can take some time off to heal (and you ladies have convinced me I'd better!). Which is probably just as well, because I havent had time to fret or worry or get second thoughts. Its Saturday eve now, and I'll be working thru the weekend till Monday afternoon... suregery is on Tuesday. I guess I'll have a good old-fashioned full blown panic attack Monday afternoon.

Untill then: hang in there, all, and see you on the flat side!

I wrote an update 1 day PO but something went...

I wrote an update 1 day PO but something went wrong while posting it, So here's a quick recap: my experience has been a bit different from many of the others on the board in that I could stand up completely straight right from the get-go (something about my PS's personal technique, I think). Also I got only one drain, which was removed the 2nd morning after surgery.
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I was taken off narcotics 1 day PO and have been managing on just tylenol and ibuprofen. I'm in swell hell and feel pretty swollen and weak - but that's to be expected. So far, so good...

Today is 8 days PO and I went back to the clinic...

Today is 8 days PO and I went back to the clinic for the first time since my surgery, to have some stitches removed and dressings changed. I didn't want to look, but my SIL went with me and she said the incision looks really good: not red or bunched or whorled at all, very flat and clean looking.

It was a relief to have the stitches in my back out (from the lipo) and I feel pretty good overall - like this is a major milestone on the way to being completely healed and whole again. Now if only the damn swelling would go down! I'm a veritable elephant, thick and square and just HUGE and bigger than I have ever been... I know, I know. This too shall pass.

So I finally clicked the 'worth it' button. Which...

So I finally clicked the 'worth it' button. Which is amazing and maybe a wee bit crazy considering I am still in swell hell, look like a tree trunk (thick all around!), and still sore as hell (good thing I'm not married. I couldn't handle any tree huggers right now).

Life on the flat side for me so far has been a little different from what I imagined. It's flat all right. As in totally horizontal. I spend all of my sleeping and most of my waking hours in bed, and so does everybody else in my household including 2 kids, 2 cats, as well as the occasional visitor and even my PA. I'm 18 days PO and my bed is now doing double duty as rec room, homework assistance office, and as headquarters and home office for my business. Envision a mattress littered with laptops, phones, spreadsheets, and half-eaten bagels; there's a kid perched on one corner doing math, there's a cat sneaking up on the bagels (cream cheese is irresistible, even if low-fat) and a secretary sits on another corner waving a sheaf of papers she wants me to sign. Me, I'm the swollen blob spreading over the pillows, held together by my blessed CG, balancing a cup of coffee on my distended abdomen as I peck away at my keyboard. Welcome to my life on the flat side.

Early in the morning, before the markets open and phones start ringing off the hook, when my tissues are still asleep and haven't yet started bloating for the day, I have started to notice something... I will slip out of bed, careful not to wake cats, kids, laptops, and stare at my Bride-of-Frankenstein bod in the bathroom mirror and I see ... the faintest hint of a figure. With some imagination, perhaps the beginning of a (gasp) waist. It doesn't last long, but it's enough to flip the switch: YES! Its WORTH IT! Or will be. Soon.

20 days PO today, and I'm more swollen than ever...

20 days PO today, and I'm more swollen than ever before... My arms and legs still have their human proportions, but my trunk is a out bursting at the seams. I know that common wisdom says you can expect swelling after being active, but seriously guys - after a mere ten minute walk? And at a snail's pace, too?

For the past three weeks I have had the approximate activity level of a slug on xanax, and I finally decide to get off my lazy behind to take a leisurely stroll, and immediately I balloon to twice my normal size... I can accept a bit of swell hell, but this is ridiculous! Oh, well. Back to my horizontal sloth-like existence it is.

Yesterday was 5 weeks PO and I am getting a little...

Yesterday was 5 weeks PO and I am getting a little discouraged. Haven't added any new photos as not much has changed. Still in 'swell hell' and aching all over, plus a small spot on my incision (where it forms a T with the scar fro my old BB) is still oozing and icky.

As you can see from my pics of a couple of weeks ago, I have something resembling a waist on my right side, but I'm straight as a log on the left side. Is that swelling? Why on earth would I swell like that on one side only? And why isn't the swelling improving at all over the past 2 weeks? I have this creeping suspicion this is as good as it gets, and I will always have just half a waist. Like a misshapen Sponge Bob Square Pants. Yay.
Belgium Plastic Surgeon

I'm currently located in Belgium, and I wanted to get the procedure done someplace local. Years ago I had a facelift done by Dr Decoopman, so I know from first-hand experience he's good at what he does. He is a lot more expensive than other surgeons, but this is major surgery and I just don't want to take any chances. Like they say: if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

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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