I've been a record breaking yo-yo dieter most of...
I've been a record breaking yo-yo dieter most of my adult life. I say record breaking because the numbers that I yo-yo are between 80 and 150 pounds. On average, I've lost 100 pounds 6 times in 20 years. My biggest loss was 150 pounds. Each time I lost that weight, I was basically at my goal weight, with the exception of all the excess skin that hanging in my belly. I would deal with it for a while. I could hide it fairly well in clothes, but I was limited to the kinds of things I could wear if I was going to pull it off. Eventually it would become frustrating and I'd convince myself that it was easier to deal with when it's just loaded with fat, so the scale would start to climb again and I didn't care! I was never in a position to get this operation. My insurance would not cover it and I could not afford it.
A few years would pass, I would be really really big again and then I'd decide how unhappy I was to be so big and how much I missed being small and fit, so I start all over again. I'd lose 100 pounds and once again, be at my fighting weight, working out hard on a regular basis, feeling strong and muscular ready to take on the world! Then there was that belly! :( I would wear undergarments to compress it as much as I could tolerate but I was never comfortable with them. I have never in my life enjoyed going out shopping for clothes, not even at my smallest weight! People would often tell me that I should STOP losing weight, I was getting too thin..... they had no idea what was lurking under my clothes. It was my own personal pain. I just deal with it (or I didn't deal with it and gained it all back)
My last big loss was in the fall of 2010. I lost 86 pounds and once again, reached my personal goal. I made a promise to myself that I would maintain this weight until 2013 and I was going to get this skin removed once and for all! It was time for ME! In late spring of 2013, after much research on docs in my area, I found the one I wanted to meet with and I set up a consultation! I was a smoker at the time, and I knew that would have to change, but I was ready! The doc told me I was an ideal candidate for the procedure but I needed to be smoke free for 8 weeks before he would touch me! My response was simple, If I'm a good candidate for this and smoking is the only hurdle, then lets book it for 8 weeks and I"ll walk out the door a nonsmoker! I never looked back!
I was so excited that I was finally going to do this! I did struggle mentally with the smoking in the first 4 weeks! I took out all of that anxiety on my workouts! I worked out harder than I had ever worked out in my life. Seven days a week, never skipped a day. I did an hour of cardio almost every day, followed by 20 minutes of weight training 4 times a week! I used my dumbbells and kettlebells every day for 10 minutes in the morning. I just had to keep moving and keep feeling strong! I could not smoke! I could not binge (that would defeat the purpose but what else can you do when you have so much anxiety?) hop on the elliptical and pound it out at level 8/ 4mph and sweat your butt off! That's how I rolled!
In a blink, it was the day before surgery! I never had so much anxiety in my life! I was so scared. What if I didn't wake up? What if I'm in over my head, since I live alone now and I'll have to rely on people coming over to help. What if things just go wrong? I was so scared I was literally trembling. I had to leave the house at 4:30 a.m. My son spent the night with me so he could just roll out the door and come with me to the hospital (the hospital is 50 miles away) By the time I got there, I imagine I'd be ready to have the big one! that's just not how it went! I was overcome by a sense of calm. I don't know what was going on. My blood pressure was lower than I'd ever seen it and I have never had a blood pressure problem so it's always been normal.
The doc marked my belly, I met with the anesthesiologists and the rest is history! (I'll be sharing my post op recovery as well)
First few days post op.....
OK Constipation???? Really??? I think it was the worst thing about the recovery! I thought I would die before I found relief. I knew it would happen. I was prepared. I was taking colace 2x a day for a whole week prior, and every day after, but nothing seemed to help me. I was eating prunes, apples, drinking tons of water etc, then one day a friend shared with me a GENIUS idea. "Sit your butt on a heating pad" WOW I knew this was going to be miraculous! I just knew it! I sat for 20 minutes on the heating pad. Not only did it feel AMAZING to my very uncomfortable body but it did the trick! I felt things stirring about in there and voila! 20 minutes later I found the relief that I had been dreaming of for a few days! Pass this one along! I have to get the word out there! It's truly a miracle and I've since been telling everyone I know, especially those with little kids who suffer from this problem. It's a miracle tip and it must be shared :)
Flying solo!! Things that helped me.....
Being alone most of the time I found myself getting annoyed at some of the limitations in the first week especially. If I dropped the remote once I was finally settled into the recliner and all comfy, it was a catastrophe! I found an app for my iPhone that replaced the remote (thank god for smartphones) and it became my backup remote! I couldn't always just wait until 12 hours passed and someone came to help me out! Same thing when I forgot to shut off the light! I ordered a remote control for the living room lamp. It worked like a charm! I also had a remote for the oscillating fan, that was a MUST have! I bought myself a fantastic laptop desk for my computer after the first couple of days were just impossible to get computer comfy! I had a table on both sides of my recliner. One had my meds, tissue, lip balm, body lotion and body spray, a couple of bottles of water, container of prunes and some ricola throat drops! The other table was for my computer, my chargers for the laptop and phone, extention cord access and magazines. I bought a raised toilet seat to get me through the first week. It was a great thing for me personally, especially in the middle of the night! It just made it a little easier. I also had my Zero Gravity lawn chair set up for the days when my back was just KILLING me from that damn position! The zero gravity was AMAZING on the lower back!!! A few hours lounging in that would make a world of difference in my lower back pain! I used it daily for a couple of hours for about a week. (would have used it sooner if the lightbulb moment hadn't taken so long)
The drains just suck!!!!
But you quickly forget the burden the moment they are gone!!! My whole procedure was off the charts in terms of flawless, no complications, no pain whatsoever, never took a pain med. I was walking and standing up straight on day one. It was weird actually. I was fully prepared for brutal pain, but I never got it! I didn't expect to have so much energy so quickly but there it was. I was a rockstar! Well, then there were the drains I was hoping they'd be long gone by day 8 but that's just not how it went. I had one removed on day 10 and the second one on day 15. It was rough on me emotionally. I had pity parties every day from day 8 to day 15. I just wanted to get rid of them, figure out the next garment for me and get ready to return to work. I had only 14 days off (clearly that didn't quite work out) I went back to work on day 16. I felt very deprived of the break after the drains. I came home from the doc, exhausted from the road trip, took a nap, got clothes ready for the morning and head off to work. it was a rough transition! Nonetheless, I guess I was doing too much perhaps. The drains just kept pumping it out. Could have had one removed on day 9 but I went on day 10. I didn't feel the need to rush since the second one clearly was not ready yet. I was fortunate to have mine placed at the ends of the incision on my hips! I couldn't imagine having them in the pubic zone but that's what I see out here more than anything. I feel very fortunate for my placement. I found after about a week, the site where the drains were place, were becoming really quite sore, from all of the tugging. It was just beginning to feel like a burden but I knew it was temporary! I've only been drain free for 5 days but it feels like it's been so much longer! Just needed to get there!!!!! ;)
Garments & Clothing!!!!!
Well, being delayed by drains overstaying their welcome, it was a bit of a setback for me in terms of being prepared for the return to work. I was literally in a scramble the day before. I ordered some things online that were to arrive on the day before returning to work. I was really cutting it close and feeling very stressed out. I couldn't imagine figuring things out with the drains in place so I just waited it out. I ordered the MOST AMAZING compression garment from makemeheal.com and I could not be more comfortable!!!! I was worried it wouldn't fit right or provide enough compression. it was perfect!
High Back Below Knee Plastic Surgery Compression Garment- Stage 2
I contemplated the above the version but I was afraid I'd get cut at the thigh and have an obvious bulge so I went for the longer leg. it does NOT make me warm and it's summertime!!!! I love it so much, I've just ordered my second! I'm quite swollen in the hips and I just wanted as much coverage as I could get. I feel very ery secure and together with this. The open crotch is pretty awesome once you get used to it! It's a must have for me!
I also wear a longline bra (unbelievabra) that offers a little compression as well, (I've worn these bras for YEARS to help me hide the belly) So I have double action going on in the belly zone.
In case that garment didn't fit, I also ordered a Waist Cincher which also feels AMAZING!!!! What I've been doing with it the first week, is put that waist cincher on when I get home from work, right on top of the stage 2 and keep it on for a while, while I tidy up and do my after work thing. It's nice to get that extra SQUEEZE in the belly at the end of the workday (I have been sitting for about 45 minutes then walking for 15 to 20 before sitting again... since I returned to work it's a good schedule for me) I also wore the girdle on my day off, for most of the day, on top of the stage 2. It just feels incredible and comfy!
What about the clothes????
Geez! This is what happens to the brain when you sit on your butt for 2 weeks! :) I went back to work in a rush! My pre op jeans fit fine so I never thought twice about it. Boy did I drop the ball there! Sitting at my desk was really rough for more than 30 minutes. The waistband on my jeans was just way too uncomfortable. I literally had to get up and walk around every half hour all day. I was so numb each time too! the jeans just put too much pressure on me in a seated position! I could not make it through the 8 hour day. I was EXHAUSTED and I blamed the jeans and how uncomfortable I was. I lasted just barely 7 but would have liked to go home after 5. The jeans just plain SUCKED for day one back to work (16 days post op) When i got home I scrambled for a better solution. I had only one pair of pants that has a little bit of a stretchy waist ... they felt a LITTLE bit better but the same thing was happening. I would have to get up and walk around the building every half hour max. It was rough!! The numb area seems to spread any time I was sitting. I just hated the way I felt and I was getting a little bummed out that I would not be OK to continue to work fully days!
A friend suggested maternity pants!!!!!! Absolutely genius!! Once again, just genius! I left work early and went to the store and found myself a pair of maternity jeans, 2nd & 3rd trimester with the FULL BELLY band..... OMG it was like wearing my jammies!!!!!!! I could not have been more comfy in clothes!! You'd never know that's what I had on but WOW they were amazing to wear. I went to work with them on the next day and I had no discomfort whatsoever, I was able to work my full 9 hour shift and getting up to walk around every 45 minutes or so was ideal, without that excessive numbness that I had felt the two days prior! Took me a couple of days but I guess that was the price I had to pay for missing out on some free time post drain removal to play around with garments and clothing until I found my comfort zone! I'm good to go now! Going to try to find another pair or two of maternity pants! They're just perfect!!!!
Ok so I keep reading about everyone's swelling! I'm 24 days PO today, mine has been rather consistent I think??? (most of it is at and below the incision line right at the pubic zone. I had quite a lift in that sensitive area) The drains have been out for 9 days. I don't want to be paranoid about it but the moment they came out, I basically dove back into work. I work 9 hour days and have 30 minutes commute each way. My job allows me as much sitting, standing and/or walking around that I want whenever I need so I'm very fortunate for that. Problem is this...... with the drains gone and suddenly back to work, my body is up and down and moving so much more than it was even just the day before with the drains, what if all of this sudden activity is causing a fluid buildup? Trying not to be paranoid, but this swelling ... ugh ... I'm going to keep an eye on it over the weekend and then if I'm still worried, I'll have to reach out and see if someone can look at it. I know my doc is not available on my upcoming 2 days off (which sucks) but someone could look at it and give me peace of mind. My next follow up is in 13 days (way late because of the holiday)
Smoking .... or not smoking ....
My doc insisted on 8 weeks of non smoking or he would not do the surgery. I know I've read many pre Op plans that say 3 weeks, but not my doc. So 8 weeks was his magic number. He explained the types of complications that can come from having nicotine in the system. UGH, that's all I needed to hear! I imagined that after the operation, I would find my way back to the terrible and expensive habit. Well, I'm in the 12th weeks since I smoked my last cigarette and I'm really really happy to say that I am a non smoker all the way! I have NOT had an urge of any kind, since I had the surgery. It never crosses my mind, I don't feel the need, and I'm just thrilled beyond words!! I have such a sense of calm inside of me since the big day. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of my back (or my belly) and I no longer feel the need! I will call this a BONUS of the whole procedure! I really would not have expected to just be done but here I am. YAY!!!!!!!!
Energy & the return to work.....
So I thought I had it made with a job that allows me to pretty much do my own thing, whether I'm at my desk working or walking around the building tending to other things. I can go at my own pace however I feel the need. My days are 9 hours long, not counting the commute (add 30 minutes each way) When I'm "up and down" all day, that includes a massive set of stairs. I'm probably up and down every 45 minutes to an hour now. It was much more frequent the first few days because I was so not comfy. I have to say, the walking around is the most comfy. Sitting in a chair at a desk? not so much, I have to slouch and lean back to feel OK but I do mix it up. By the time my 9 hour day is over, and I drive home.... i'm just DONE. I'm lucky to have any energy to tidy up the house from my morning mess. I would say I'll skip 2 days and just go straight to relax mode, then I might put a 30 minute tidy up into the loop. I keep wishing for hard core workouts again, then I say WHO am I kidding? I don't have the energy at the end of my work day yet. I'm hoping another 2 weeks maybe? Might that be the magic number for me to at very least get a 30 minute cardio workout after work? eventually getting back up to 60 minutes? OH I hope so! Feeling soft and squishy in my legs and butt and I know how much better I feel AFTER those awesome workouts... I'm just eager for my energy to come back....
27 days PO, new pics
Thought I'd take a few new pics today since I braved up and took of the rest of the steri strips! I realize now that I have a pic to look at, my boobs look HUGE with such a flat belly!!!! I was pulling the shirt snug in the back so you can see my flat belly, I would never wear a shirt so fitted! lol Here's a close up of the scar, while the swelling wasn't so bad, then I have another shot of the scar when the swelling was horrible. I feel better that it's going up and down and not just stuck at huge! that would worry me I think.
What about my jacked up girl parts?
I'm thrilled that this is part of the procedure, though the healing process and the swelling is WILD. One person out here calls is "dude bulge" (lol still kills me) another called it "Ken doll syndrome" (that's about right lol) but no matter what you want to call it, it's like another brand new body part and we have to be patient for this to takes it new shape, just as we do with our bellies! (I keep saying this to myself every day so I don't ever find myself frustrated while I wait it out) lol In the meantime, there it is! Monster crotch!! UGH lol from the front? not so much..... from the side? OY!!..... What about the hairline? It's molded itself nicely into the incision line! Now how the hell am I gonna shave THAT to look cute? and WHEN can I shave that to look cute? CAN I shave that to look cute? I read a post out here about people getting laser hair removal. Is that a permanent solution? or another regular expense to try to keep up with our ever changing new bodies?
I feel rambly today, quite possibly because I just woke up, my swelling seems to have gone down overnight for the first time in 31 days, but not my monster crotch! It's just POW! there it is!! So it spawned a ramble... but the rest of my swelling is noticeably smaller today so it got me fired up! ;)
OMG just had a lightbulb moment!! I can SEE the girl parts and access this zone without having to push the beast around and hold it up and out of my way so I can get to it.... I might just be able to work some magic once I'm healed, and that landscaping moment will be yet another FIRST.... to add to my long list of brand new FIRSTS that come with this life changing unfrickenbelievable experience!!!!!
.... end ramble!
OMG the MOOD SWING!!!!
I have no idea what happened to me overnight, but I feel the need to smash things this morning!!!!!!!!! I think I'm extremely frustrated by my limitations at this point, and being home alone without someone to help, I just have to suck it up! I'm tired of sucking it up! I hate that I can't do everything I NEED to do, I have to wait. Wait til I'm further along or wait til I can have some help, but I HATE relying on other people when that is just not how I roll. UGH!!!!! Maybe I just need to bitch about it for a minute and it'll pass! OY I hope so, otherwise today will be an impossibly long day at work
... end pity party
....And the swelling goes down
Woke up this morning feeling soooo deflated! Major drop in swelling overnight! Everywhere except the girl parts (sorry to report) that's gonna take a while! Nonetheless WOW I'm feeling like a peanut! Now if only I could find my damn measuring tape! I just used it a week ago, it's my only real monitoring system lol I think it's gonna be a great day :)
PO day 34....Increase in energy, decrease in appetite?
Not sure what's going on here. lol I felt great when I woke up. Decided to hop on my elliptical. Did a nice 30 minute jaunt at level 5, 3.0 mph and worked up a nice sweat. Did some upper body work on my total gym and then cleaned my kitchen. Still felt great, took a nice hot shower, still felt great. Then it dawned on me that it's midafternoon and I've not eaten a thing today, and I'm not the least bit hungry and honestly, nothing appeals to me at all! I just ate a Chobani yogurt because I know it's not a good thing to be empty! Gotta figure out what else to put in there since I really don't want anything... My doc told me that a "side effect" of muscle repair is often loss of appetite, but I've not had such a problem post op. I think my appetite has been consistent. I have lost some weight, surprisingly enough since I"ve spent so much time sitting on my ass, but I am really just NOT hungry at ALL today. I wonder if that's anywhere near the norm this far along post op? hmmmmmmm
OK so increase in energy leads to ........ overdoing it?
Not sure!!! Worked out for almost an hour today (cardio and weights) Did some yard work, including some weeding! Felt really good, spent about 6 hours on my feet before I paused. Once I did HOLY CRAP did I swell up!!!! UGH!!! Hoping to wake up in the morning and see it back down! Felt good though, so I'm not complaining TOO much lol Just stunned at the swelling after what I thought was a great day!
Heading off to see the doc for my 1 month followup
Yes, it's late lol it's 38 days today! He has office hours only twice a week. He had emergency surgery somewhere in there and then there was a Monday holiday which squeezed his schedule so YAY I get to go today! I've never been so excited to see a doctor in my life! I just want him to say everything is great, there's no fluid i there, bla bla bla .. tell me what physical limitation I need to continue with if any? OH that would be awesome, getting back to everything? just taking it easy? we'll see :) More to come ... :)
And the doctor says......
No fluid in there! YAY!!! That was what I needed to hear most! He said my incision is healing BEAUTIFULLY (with a huge lovely smile on his face) He's very pleased with everything. I can resume all activity at this point, but no crunches for about 3 more weeks. Just use caution but go ahead and RAMP up the workouts and my energy will start to turn around (only really concerned about it at the end of the work days) So YAY for this visit! I will go back in 3 months. He was looking for dog ears, and one side is just perfectly flat and smooth, but the other side, the one that was the thickiest and most swollen, has a TINY lil bump at the end, smaller than a pencil eraser head but he said in three months, when I go back, if it's not gone on it's own, they'll just snip it right there on that appointment and be done with it! So I made it to work after that visit and it was a CRAZY day for me. All I did was run around the building, up and down the stairs, one end of the property to another. Never really stopped. I felt great! I was hoping that an uplifting visit would spawn a burst of energy lol Well, it worked! I was a madwoman and felt great all day! When I got home I jumped right on the elliptical and did 30 minutes, 4.0 mph mostly at level 7 (minus the 5 minute warmup) It felt good, I felt confident. I guess I've been really cautious up til now because I just haven't seen the doc enough to feel secure about all that I do! This changed today and I'm comin' back baby lol Just got done cleaning my kitchen and filling up the veggie steamer with nice fresh native zucchini! YUMMO! :)
5.5 weeks PO
Hanky Pankys that cover the entire swollen zone! The bright bright coral color almost masks the monster crotch but it's still there lol
6 weeks today ~ Yep! Still very swollen!
10 Sep 2013
2 months post
I feel great! Slept in my bed all night last night. The few times I've tried to transition back there, I ended up in the recliner in the middle of the night. I think because I live alone, that damn chair is my security blanket. I slept good last night though! It was the first time I let myself stretch out and lay flat! OMG It felt so good to do that! I was able to sleep on my left side for a while and spoon my body pillow LOL The right side was not so comfy (not sure why) but MAN it felt good to sprawl out! So YAY for being back in the bed.
I worked out HARD yesterday (on my day off) as my PS told me to not be afraid to "ramp it up". I did a powerful 35 minute elliptical workout (level 9 every so often mixed up with level 7) I love love love reverse with a strong resistance! I also had a super workout on the total gym for another 30 minutes. This morning I'm sore and it hurts to sit on the toilet LOL (my thighs are sore not my belly) As the day went by I hopped on my new recumbent bike and pedaled away for another 25 minutes and actually got sweaty again (that was shocking to me) Nonetheless, I really pushed myself and it was good to know I COULD.
Got a package with 10 new pairs of panties! lol I was playing dress up this morning. Took some new pics ... monster crotch is scary still... got a great angle there too! I think I might take home the prize on this one!! OY My scar looks awesome! The swelling ... well... it'll go away eventually... it's way better than it was!!! Happy healing TT friends.... :)
Up before the birds this morning.....
12 Sep 2013
2 months post
Not sure what's up with me this time lol I woke up just after 3:30 a.m. and I tossed around for about 20 minutes and decided to just get UP. I usually wake up at 5 a.m. but here I am having a cup of coffee. I decided not to waste the extra time I seem to have given myself so I'm going to go get my cardio out of the way! Good way to start the day! I'm gonna shoot for 45 minutes this morning!
I was SO tired yesterday all day ... Not sure what that's about either! I felt like a fricken zombie! I wonder if my body is just SO happy to be back in my bed, it wants me to get more sleep! (contradicts this mornings predawn wakeup though) Anyway, about the bed... OMG I went to bed around 9 I guess and started off with a couple of pillows under my head, and the foam wedge under my legs. I guess that lasted about 10 minutes because I said "screw this" and tossed the foam to the floor and just stretched out flat! lol I really didn't feel any tugs or pulls or anything. I rolled over to my right side with my body pillow and found a comfy spot (that's my favorite side but so far it's been uncomfy) I guess I was supercomfy because next thing I know, it's 3:30 a.m. and I'm just awake!
And there's my super early a.m. pre-cardio ramble! Hoping for a better (more alert and energetic) day today!!!
.... off I go to get sweaty!
The evolution of a cute belly button LOL
12 Sep 2013
2 months post
OK so I was just asked today if I got a new belly button or not since I didn't dedicate an update to this, it wasn't obvious so I guess it's time to make a big deal about it. Since this whole thing happened to me, i have really just been bowled over by the fact that all that STUFF is just gone! I love love love my new belly button, it IS a big deal! I'm still in LA LA land about this whole thing. I feel like I'm having an out of body experience these days. Someone needs to pull me back in! The belly button is CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!! My OLD belly button was a fricken CAVE and you could lose an arm in there if you weren't careful! No lie!!!! Q-tip? that was dangerous, it would swallow the whole thing if GOD forbid, I sneezed or coughed while cleaning out that ABYSS I used to call my navel! lol So here's my new beautiful tiny cute lil belly button, over time, from the day before until the 6th week! lol 1 Day pre OP, 10 days Post op, 27 days post op and 6 weeks post op! wowzy is all I can say!!!! ;)
Pre dawn workouts... Feeling JACKED!!!
13 Sep 2013
2 months post
So I did it again today! I felt SO GREAT yesterday having done my workout so early in the morning. Felt awesome all day at work! Cardio was amazing at 4am lol then I did my total gym lower body workout. Today I decided to do it again, though I HAD set an alarm for 3:45, I woke up on my own again, just about the same time 3:15 ish and stayed put until 3:30 before getting up. What the hell right? I'm awake, might as well take advantage of the time. Did my cardio, got drenched in sweat, then went back to the total gym for my upper body workout! WOW this is awesome! Feeling quite JACKED in the shoulders right now :) When I get home from work tonight I know it would be a challenge for me to find the energy and stamina to give everything to my workout like I just did these past two mornings! (oh I'd workout, but it would not be the same) I'm really feeling good about this!!! Now it's 5am, drinking some coffee and by now I'd just be hitting the snooze button!
Forgot the pic.....
13 Sep 2013
2 months post
Jacked? Yep, feeling jacked...it's true!!! lol a month off, didn't hurt me, still feeling strong!!
Just ordered the AbCrunch attachment....
16 Sep 2013
2 months post
....for my total gym! can't WAIT! I've been eyeballing it for a couple of years but didn't want to spend the money! Funny how things change with a cute new belly :) I'm actually excited to do something different than just boring crunches. It won't get here until a week from tomorrow, which will put me exactly at the date the doc said I can get back to crunches :) YAY!!!
OK wasn't meant to be.... LOL
16 Sep 2013
2 months post
I tried..... Just wanted to show this thing in action... embed code didn't work...
Side by Side
17 Sep 2013
2 months post
1 day Pre OP and 6 weeks Post Op! OK I've been so obsessed with the fact that the beast is GONE.... I haven't taken a lot of time to appreciate the fact that this new belly of mine is CRAZY flat and beautiful. For me, my goal here was to just get rid of that crap that hung so badly I broke a sweat trying to finagle it into my clothes Mission accomplished. Still trying to comprehend the bonus I got out of it... this gorgeous belly! I saw someone (sorry I forgot who) with a 6 week progression shot and I wish I had done the same. Nonetheless, it got me to thinking that to have these side by side might just help my brain realize what's happened to me LOL So here I am :)
Cost of my procedure... bottom line...
18 Sep 2013
2 months post
Someone asked me about the LOW cost for a TT in Boston with an overnight stay? OK I guess I should be more clear about it. The cost I listed on my review did not include the overnight stay. That part was optional to begin with, although my PS recommended it! I pondered it for a while. The cost for the overnight stay at this hospital in Boston was just about $2500 more .... I left that out of the cost I listed so as to not scare people away lol Most people I see on here go home the day of surgery ... (this IS in fact, a day surgery) I opted to spend the night because I live alone! it was worth every penny! And if you can get this done in boston and go home afterwards and have the appropriate help? Then it's much less :)
7 weeks PO and it still sucks to sneeze! lol
18 Sep 2013
2 months post
OMG I usually feel it coming on and I hold my belly (it's a reflex these days) and even then, it kinda sucks (probably more scary psychologically than anything) but OY I just had a MASSIVE sneeze creep up outta nowhere and I didn't even have a chance to hold my belly!! OUCH!!!! OMG talk about freak me out!! I thought I just disconnected my whole new belly!!!!! When does that stop? lol When can I sneeze like a normal person?
Woooo HOoooooo the Ab Crunch arrived.....
19 Sep 2013
2 months post
OMG I'm gonna LOVE this damn thing! I've been hunting all over the place trying to find a video with embed code that works! GEEZ. So this video (if it works) is a slightly different model Total gym than mine but they all do the same thing. The attachment is awesome! I've been considering it for a long time, didn't want to spend the money! I've seen it for $200 and $159 but then the other day I found it for $99, but I'm READY for this so I would have paid $200 LOL Nice to save 50% ;) I can start with this on Tuesday. I will not be able to do quite of few of these right out of the gate but I'm gonna keep plugging away! I'm STOKED!
Slept without a binder last night.........
21 Sep 2013
2 months post
My very first time!! Doc told me I could start to wean off but I just don't want to LOL Last night I spent most of the evening without one on, stripped down after work and just lounged in my jammies, trying to spend more time out of these things when I'm not doing anything physical. I will continue with the stage 2 CG for work, for a few months I'm thinking....
Anyway, I went to bed after starting to doze in the chair. It dawned on me when I rolled over to get my comfy spot, that I forgot to put it ON. I decided to give it a shot without it (I really didn't want to go back downstairs) lol
I woke up SWOLLEN!!!! More swollen than I've seen just outta bed in a while. Usually I'm just swollen front center, monster crotch zone, this swelling was all above the incision from one side to the other I'm going to keep that damn binder on for sleeping for a while longer ... this freaked me out a bit! It's not been like this in a while... Here's a pic... it's CLEAR as a bell in this photo LOL I had my robe on and just opened it up, hence the dark background (kinda cool though) not quite so swollen tonight after working all day. That's how I woke up!! UGH
Happy Birthday to ME!
23 Sep 2013
2 months post
Today I am 46 years old. I stand here this morning in front of the mirror just in AWE of my belly. I can't believe that's the bely of a 46 year old lol
I got myself super thin when I was 18 years old, first time in my life I had been thin, lost about 40 pounds that time, and my belly didn't look this nice. I had my son when I was 20 and that's when the flap first appeared after I'd gained 88 pounds in my pregnancy I lost 90 in the first 18 months after I had him, but there was that hanging flap of yuck!!! I was a heavy kid all throughout my childhood and always had quite the chunkalunka belly. I've never seen my belly even look half-way decent.... it's just never happened.
This is by FAR the best birthday present EVER, the best birthday EVER and I've never in my life felt so good about my number going up on this day lol I've never in my life felt so GOOD!!! ;)
Yep, it's true.... I'm 46! (I know, I know, my belly looks 25 but it's true, I'm 46) LOL ;) Only here with my TT friends, can I share such a moment! Thank you :)
8 weeks today! Did a few crunches yesterday......
24 Sep 2013
2 months post
EASY crunches at that. I did not put a lot of effort into it but I did do 35 of them. I had no pain whatsoever, in fact it felt so good to work them .... I was a bit nervous though! I had a really over the top workout yesterday then to throw in this little set of easy crunches ... might have been too much or maybe this is normal.... my belly swelled up like crazy! Above the belly button, there was a definite ridge, haven't seen anything like that yet. It was a little concerning last night but I kept telling myself that this is what WILL Happen when I work the abs. I'm cleared to resume ab work as of today, I just wanted to dive in yesterday lol This morning it's not so swollen, so it did go down, but I can FEEL that I've worked them, something is a little different (might just be all in my head, who knows?) I have no pain or discomfort so I'm going to roll with it. Not quite as anxious to DIVE into abs now though LOL Maybe I'll just continue to do little easy sets like that for a while until I feel more secure about it. Anyone working abs yet??? I see so many people told to wait up to 6 months, but then I see docs on here that say they recommend working the core at 6 to 8 weeks, slowly getting back into it. Anyone have thoughts on this??? What does YOUR doc say?
9 weeks PO today!
Not much has changed in the past week. Swelling is the same. I feel like my stamina is where it was pre OP. My workouts have been awesome. Effortlessly blowing through an hour of cardio again. I think I would do 2 hours of cardio if life allowed so much time to be devoted to these things. Most days I do 35 to 45 minutes because I want to get that Total Gym time ... Days off allow for me to go to town, hence the 60 minutes lol I thought getting up before the birds was going to be a great solution, get the cardio out of the way before work, hit the Total gym after work and not tie up too much time on either end of the day but that was short lived I found myself just exhausted when that alarm rang and I couldn't move my butt for the life of me. I hit the snooze button until it was too late to workout LOL OK so the full week I did it ... was awesome! I haven't given up on it, and I hope that in time, I can change my internal clock to make this happen. It's the most logical thing for me timewise!
It's been pretty chilly here in New England, which I love by the way. I had to dig out some sweatshirts and put away summer tops. I find myself now wearing really way-too-big sweatshirts from last year and I think it's time for me to get my butt out there to find something new! Nervous about the first shopping experience, even for something as boring as sweatshirts LOL Shopping has always stressed me out and honestly I have no idea how to dress now! I'm stuck in a rut and I have to break out. I've always worn TALLS in womens tops/sweatshirts so that they would be long enough to cover all that crap that got tucked down into my jeans, but once it was there, it was a horrible thing for someone to have to see so I hid it with long tops. NOW those long tops, are SUPER LONG because there just fall without that belly to take up some space! UGH! NO more talls for this girl. it'll be weird to SHOW myself LOL not having tops that go to the hip. I can't remember the last time I wore anything that didn't land at or beyond the hip!!!
Ramble ramble ramble.... I hope to get out there soon to find a few things, but honestly, I'm nervous about it! I do NOT want to come home empty handed as I have always done, and feel frustrated and hate the whole concept of clothes! LOL I feel fragile in this area, psychologically delicate so to speak! I wanted this new belly to open up a world of possibilities for me and my lack of a wardrobe! God forbid I need to dress up for something, I'm screwed!
Summary: Feeling great week 9, still uncertain about clothes, exercising is awesome, still nervous about abs, but feeling no pain when I work the core, still sleeping in the binder like a baby, (as long as I don't start to suck my thumb I'll be OK) oh and still loving my maternity jeans! lol going to order one more pair!
I'll take new pics in another week since nothing has changed!
1 month Vs. 2 months
I think I'm smaller? lol I FEEL smaller. Swelling is probably not much different, the boobs are still too big to hover over my new flat belly LOL however, these side by sides are kinda fun. More to come....
10 weeks PO today
Interesting thing.... I have been sleeping with my Post op binder every night, since surgery! I tired one night and posted a pic (9/21) of how badly I swelled overnight without it! So I have continued to keep it on! Last night I woke up around 2am for my nightly bathroom trip and I decided to take it off. Not even sure why? lol Thought I'd be up 3 to 4 hours later but it turns out my body wanted me to sleep IN. I slept 7 hours without the binder. When I got out of bed, everything in my tummy felt REALLY TIGHT and my abs felt SORE as if I'd worked them out hard yesterday (but I have not done abs yet, only 1 time, 1 small set and I've kinda stayed away from them because of how bad I swelled afterward) Standing up straight is pulling? which it hasn't done since the first few weeks. I'm just WOW over here this morning..... Anyone experience this in the morning after sleeping without the rigid binder? Oh I LOVE my binder when I sleep lol I just feel safe and secure and even though the doc told me I "could" start to wean off of it for sleeping, I have NOT. I'm psychologically attached to it! lol Still wearing my stage 2 all day every day on work day and I only wear it when I run errands on days off. I spend quite a bit of time with no garment at all when I'm home on days off. Sometimes I just wrap up in my neoprene waist belt (I wear it when I workout but I'll wrap in it and wear it around the house for a while when I do my domestic thing)
Monster crotch is sticking around I'm afraid. OY I cannot wait to see that zone go down a lil bit! Jeez!!! I think I shouldn't get my hopes up for a new crotch for Christmas at this point! lol
I DO have a tiny lil dog ear on my left side ... the left side was always the most swollen for some reason and it always looked like the potential was there, however, I don't go to the doc until early December and it still has time to disappear! POOF! Like THAT! lol Just be GONE. But if not, he said he'd snip it right there in the office, it's really small but it's there and not smooth like the right side. Surprisingly enough because the right side was where all my scarring was from the appendectomy when I was a kid. I imagined THAT would be the trouble spot but nope, the big big hanging ugly flap of skin side, that's where the problem lies!!! By the way, while on the topic, it's amazing to look at my belly and those scars are gone! Just gone! So awesome!!!
My belly button feels a lil neglected today. I don't pay much attention to it in terms of cleaning it out??? I used to always put a Qtip in there but that's when it was a deep dark cave one could get lost in.... now it's a delicate lil flower and I don't know what to do with it? lol I usually just soap over it while I'm in the shower. Wash it with my poofy like I do everything else. Is that enough? Does anyone do anything additional to their new bellybuttons at this point?
OK that's it for the morning ramble. Might as well call it afternoon ramble I slept so damn late today I'm kinda pissed at myself! lol Clearly I needed it but damn, I'm usually up by 7:30 the latest on my days off. More often than not, it's 5:30 to 6am ... Feel like I lost have the day already! (drama drama drama)
Have a good day everyone :)
BLAST from the PAST (Pre OP fashion or lack thereof...LOL)
OK so THIS is how I've been dressing for over 20 years. Fat or thin, makes no difference. Always always always oversized tops/shirts/sweatshirts you name it, I had frumpy everything. The only difference is that the oversized tops would get smaller as I got smaller but they were still always BIG and LONG and I had to HIDE that belly as best I could. Now it's gone!! YAY btw! I still wear Tshirts because it's all I know. They are just much much smaller and they fit like a normal Tshirt. The fitted shirts in the pics I posted earlier, only something I wear around the house! It's going to take me a LONG time to adjust I think, and change up the only way of dressing I've ever really known. It's a whole new adventure for me, but honestly, I do not know WHERE to start! I do not know HOW to shop! I do not have a CLUE what would look nice or even RIGHT on me? This ridiculous oversized stuff, it's all I know .... Open to suggestions... ideas.... thoughts? help me please! lol I'm going to get through the winter just fine. Sweatshirts and fleece, that's easy. Come springtime, it's gonna freak me out I think! I have to be prepared to get out there to HUNT! Scared? Yes! The only thing I'm sure of right now is that I do not WANT to continue dressing this way!
My new body does not like junk food!!!!!!
10 Oct 2013
3 months post
And this is a good thing! I'm NOT a junk food person anymore, haven't been for a very long time, but I ate some JUNK today and I feel like crap! lol My stomach feels bloated and puffy like it's about to pop! I didn't eat a LOT of junk, but I did eat some sweet treats (fall favorites, hard to turn down) and my body is bitching me out big time! I still say that if our bodies reacted this way to BAD food before.... none of us would have ever had a weight issue!! lol OY!!!!!
11 weeks PO today :)
15 Oct 2013
3 months post
Can't think of a better way to celebrate such a day then a 90 minute hard core cardio workout lol OMG so for me, the biggest thrill is sweating buckets!!!! I just feel incredible when I get soaked lol Today, I put on my hanky pankys, a long clingy tank top, my neoprene SUIT (which goes from just above the knees up to just below the boobs) I had my 4 pound ankle weights on as well. 10 minute warm at 2.5 mph level 5 before kicking it up to 4.0 level 7. 5 minutes forward, 5 minutes in reverse, 2 minutes at 5.0 mph, then back to 4.0 mph 5 minutes etc etc etc and on and on until 90 minutes had passed! My hand towel is soaked from wiping my face and neck. The sweat was literally running down my legs for the entire 2nd half. When I got done and stripped down, my SOCKS were soaked, my ankle weights were soaked, my hanky pankys could be WRUNG out!! The neoprene suit was drenched, my tank top was an entirely different shade of pink! lol Let me just say OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE sweating like this when i workout! I could have kept on going .... I plan to spend about 45 minutes on my total gym in a bit. My days off always get the best workouts but I think today is going to be a record breaker (post op) for this girl.
Still not seeing alot of change other than more swelling lol mostly ab zone, not incision zone. Monster crotch is absolutely ridiculous still, above the incision anyway, below the incision is like a bowl of jello. OY VEY. I have no idea what will come of that, but we'll see. I know it's the last thing to show final results so I'll continue to be patient. However, I have not ruled out having to do something about that area down the road..... Fingers crossed that time does the trick. :)
OK so some might think I'm out of control......
15 Oct 2013
3 months post
LOL I'm addicted to cardio and my thighs need all the help they can get! I found this damn thing online and now I'm obsessed! This is SICK! How come I just found this now??? This is crazy! I applied for special financing through amazon and got this at 0% interest if paid in 12 months (which it will be) and it'll arrive in 2 days! OMG I can't WAIT ... this looks like the most amazing thing EVER MADE for women and our legs and butts!!!! OH I can't wait to post an update after my first workout!!!!!!!!!!! Hope this video link works this time lol
Lateral Trainer arrives today.....
21 Oct 2013
3 months post
OMG it was here on Friday but I was not home to sign :( Had no idea I had to sign or I would have made arrangements. SOOOO annoyed and bummed I had to wait til today (Monday) so here I sit .. chomping at the bit. UPS left a note that said between 3 and 5pm. it's 2:15 and I'm afraid to run out to get a coffee LOL what if they screwed up the time? OY VEY ups. I have been dying for a DUNKS since noon! Guess it's time to put on a new pot :) Spent the morning getting the basement/gym ready .... My legs/hips/butt are so excited! lol I love my elliptical but now I'm gonna get all angles of the lower body and I won't miss a beat!!!!!
Still not smoking......
21 Oct 2013
3 months post
This is an awesome thing to brag about right now! I'm 20 weeks smoke free and for the first time in my life, I have not gained weight! I've had moment's where I would LIKE to smoke, not gonna lie..... but I have not had cravings or big urges. Habitual moments creeping into my head if I'm stressed or having a bad day, in those moments, it would be nice to light one up but I have not and I feel totally in control. I get past it. I can't believe it's been 20 weeks!!! My lungs are happy and my cardio workouts are better than ever! :) 3:30 and I'm still waiting for my UPS guy lol tick tock tick tock
12 weeks Post Op.....
22 Oct 2013
3 months post
Wow! Hard to believe! I wish I could report some awesome 12 week changes but today is not a good day for it! Girl time arrived this morning and I'm super bloated! I've been feeling more swollen the past couple of weeks and I'm not so sure it's changed much, perhaps the rumors are "after" the 12th week the worst of swelling is over? lol We'll see.... As soon as I feel there's a change of some kind I will post new pics.
I feel great overall. My belly is still numb in the center from the bellybutton to the incision. The girl parts have softened up quite a bit UNDER the incision (not sure what the final result will be but I'm going to be patient with that as well) My lil dog ear on the left is still a lil dog ear on the left LOL I guess I'm not feeling too confident that it will disappear on it's own by Dec 2 when I return to the doc. HOWEVER, I'm confident he's going to make it nice regardless. I have a couple of little lumps in my incision line. Feels like almonds. I'm guessing scar tissue? Nothing visible, just something I feel when I scope out my scar. I haven't been very diligent about putting the Palmer's oil on there.
My energy is 100% back to where it was pre OP. I still wear my stage 2 to work all day but not when I'm at home. I still sleep with something wrapped around my midsection because it's comforting to me ;) I have not used the post op binder in about 10 days lol I have been using my neoprene belt because it's so soft and comfy! I will eventually wean off the night time thing but for now, I have no desire to do that!
My beauteous new machine arrived last night! OMG OMG OMG AMAZING is all I can say! Took me about 2 hours to assemble on my own, would have been quicker with a helper...I jumped right on for a test run when I got done. I felt every inch of the inner thighs, outer thighs, and hips! Deep squat position targets the glutes but I didn't do those yet! I was beyond thrilled. I even started to SWEAT in only 5 minutes, it REALLY targets these areas! As I sat on my couch admiring this machine, I could still feel the targeted areas burning! How awesome is that???? I have not been so happy about a purchase like this since I bought my elliptical 4 years ago! These two machines, together, are going to transform my lower half. I'm going to take some "before" pics and then new ones in about 6 weeks! I'm so pumped up about this! (In case you can't tell) LOL
Junk guy is coming today to help me clear out some clutter in the basement so I can expand the home gym! :) I will finally be able to have it all in the basement. Right now I have the elliptical down there, but the total gym is upstairs in the spare bedroom lol The Helix is in the livingroom for now until I get the basement situated!
OK TT friends, Have a great day!!! :)
15 weeks tomorrow…...
11 Nov 2013
4 months post
OK I was going to wait and do some side by sides but I'm just gonna share the new pics.
Monster crotch zone does not seem to have changed much at all since maybe the 6th week. My belly is still quite swollen up a few inches above my belly button and all the way down. My lil dog ear is not going away on it's own, as the PS said it MIGHT, so I will have it snipped on the 2nd of December when I see him again. I will post pics of that too. I was curious how it would all happen in his office but I've since seen a few pics and it doesn't seem to be much of a big deal to have it removed.
I feel great. My energy is still going strong and keeping at the 100% mark. My mood swings around quite a bit but I can't attribute that to the surgery lol LOVING my new lateral trainer! My legs are in heaven and I'm really looking forward to seeing the transformation when the warm weather comes back around and it's time for shorts :)
My scar is thin and lovely but I have not taken the time to put anything on it. No silicone anything, or I suppose it might be lighter in color by now? I don't care though. The color of it does not bother me one bit! I'm the only one looking at it! (besides you guys)
I'm still wearing my stage 2. I wonder if I'm the only one??? I love it and I feel awesome in it, but I will say I look forward to the day when I'm really ready to cut the cord :) I imagined it would be after the holidays and I have not changed my mind about it (yet) I still wear the maternity jeans every day. They look great, and they feel like pajamas so it's another habit that's hard to break. I will probably shake them both at the same time. I have not put on real jeans in a while though, might be interesting to try them on!
It's been 5 months now, without a smoke. I have my days (mostly mood related) when I just WISH I could sit down and have a bottle of wine and a bunch of cigarettes! I get passed it, and I do not cave. I do not turn to food OFTEN but I've had my moments and then I feel like crap about it. I have not gained an ounce which is amazing in itself ..... given the smoking and actually the wine, no wine since April. I stopped drinking alcohol 2 months earlier than quitting smokes because I knew it was coming and I wanted to be ready to deal with it, and not feel COMPLETELY deprived of every vice all at once! I was hoping I would have lost a few more by now but having not gained is a huge accomplishment and I'll take that one to the bank!
I have 3 weeks before seeing the doc. I hope to lose 5 pounds by then! (and if not, I'll be happy to continue to maintain)
Back to the grind. That's all I have for now! :) I'll update again after the dog ear is removed.
Dog ear removal postponed…..
Well I was to go today but I had to postpone … Now I will not go until 1/6/14 so while I'm there, having my followup and getting the dog ear snipped, I will also have my consult for a breast lift!!! SO scared all over again but I'm going to start the next adventure. Once I decide if it's a doable thing for me, both for recovery time and financially speaking, I will book it and carry on to share that adventure! We shall see. Jan 6 :)
Had my consult…..
12 Jan 2014
6 months post
We decided that the best option for me is a slight reduction with no vertical scar. I have so much excess to work with, he feels it's a much better option than that with an anchor incision. Unfortunately, he would have to cut up almost as far as the armpits in order to reduce the excess skin on the sides of the breasts. Liposuction wouldn't get the job done. Well, I suspected this would be the case, but I'm a little bummed because I really didn't want to have to take too much time off for this one but he think I should be out of work for 2-3 weeks, the same as my tummy tuck. I would never take more than 2, but I'm a little bummed by that part. He wants to see if my insurance might cover some of this. It'll take about a month to hear back so I have time to ponder. I guess the way I'm going to look at it for now …. if they say yes, they'll contribute then I will just get it done! If they say no, I may ponder it longer and put it off until next winter. In the meantime, I'm going to learn more about this procedure with no vertical incision!
I did not get my dog ear snipped. I had been waiting so long that day and the office was really busy, my consult was more important to me than the dog ear. I opted to do it another time if I felt it necessary! At this point, it really doesn't bother me much … maybe down the road.
I'll be updating on my Tummy tuck soon, with new pics, even though they will most likely look the same as the last pics I posted!
8 Months PO! Time for the boobs!
I feel fantastic. My belly is still kind of numb around the bellybutton and below. I still have monster crotch, though I guess it's fair to say It's gone down SOME! Working out at about 60% of what I was doing before my tummy tuck…. Doing OK with it though. I've lost weight, total of 18 pounds but I had gained 5 over the holidays so really 13 pounds since after sugary. Thrilled with where I'm at. I've scheduled my breast reduction/lift for April 22 and it's coming FAST. Doc intends to do one without a vertical scar. Can't wait to be done! :)
Side by Side 6 weeks vs. 8 months
Wanted to do this yesterday with my update, but I rushed so I thought I'd put it here today! 6 weeks vs. 8 months Love the side by sides!
29 Apr 2014
9 months post
I had my breast surgery on 4/22. Turned out with the 20 pounds I just lost… I did lose quite a bit in the boobs. We decided to opt out of the procedure without the vertical scar and do a traditional reduction/lift. Most of the reduction was the 'side boobs" which had to be completely cut out and removed.. Lipo was not an option as it is for most people. My "excess" baggage was extreme. In addition… he removed some tissue from my larger breast to balance out the size and of course, the lift… is just AMAZING! I have had no pain with this procedure. Just basic soreness but mostly on the sides. I've been VERY tired and lazy…or at least it feels more noticeable to me this time around compared to my tummy tuck. My boobs are great… I'm healing… I'm lacking energy but otherwise way ahead of where I should be according to the doc. Energy level is expected to be low for another week. My range of motion is great, no problem showering/shampooing, driving and light housework. I came home on surgery day with NO drains. I stayed at the hospital for 8 hours after surgery, at which point, the output was so low, the doc removed them (yay) Feeling fantastic overall… Just really really lacking energy! LOVING my new boobs!!