Growing Up... Welcoming the 3rd Decade - Calgary, AB

I think “Teen Mom” is a stigma…...

I think “Teen Mom” is a stigma… one in which I will never outgrow. But after nearly 16 years, I have learned to accept it, embrace it even. Along with a strong sense of pride, a personal vow to preserve it, and the refusal to become a statistic, I have conquered every challenge that life has bestowed me with. I am strong, educated and accomplished. I am proud of myself, and I am confident that my (illegitimate) children will continue to be my greatest success! I wish my tummy told the same story.

My tummy has taunted me… Not only has it beat down my self-esteem and body image, it reminds me daily of the ‘lost’ teen years and of the criticism that was my life for so long. It tells me that I am forever a damaged teen, that I am weak, ugly and that I don’t deserve to feel comfortable in my own skin. My tummy will not allow me to embrace being a woman I actually am!

“TUMMY, I am fighting back! I deserve to feel good, I have worked hard, I will show you! I am leaving you behind for good!”

Well, after years of naively trying to work off the skin and wrinkles, a near 60lb weight loss, maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, many doctor advices and 2 plastic surgeon consults, I took the plunge!!

On April 4, 2011, I LET THE TUMMY GO! As I write this review, I am only 5 days post-op, and have yet to really see my results, but I already feel liberated, and I can’t put a price on that. I am amazed at what an ordeal this has been; the planning and preparing, the emotions, the opinions, the challenges. It is ironic, that all this tummy talk is the result of my controversial choice to have a beautiful baby at the ripe age of 16, and yet it is the only life event that can compare. I hope these results continue to be as rewarding as my wonderful 13 and 15 year old boys!

Thank you to all the RealSelf bloggers that helped me make it here… I can’t wait to continue this journey with you all.

Great story. You look wonderful.
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Talk about me, wait until your all healed up! You're going to look darn good yourself! U already looked good preop!
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Who would've thought that there could be so...

Who would've thought that there could be so many questions and debates about binders and compression garments?! Until 2 days ago, I assumed they were one in the same.

I have decided to post pics of my binder, and my 'tank top solution', for those interested.
I will also make mention that I googled "what is the difference between abdominal binder and compression garment" for further clarification.

I am 12 days post-op, and I absolutely dread taking my binder off. I reserve the "event" for showering and "flipping" only! (I bought a second for washing.) I am queasy by nature, and almost everything TT brings it on. When the binder opens, I feel like my insides falling out and I can't hold myself up. I know it is all in my head, but none-the-less, I become nauseous,sweaty and panicked. I am developing an odd love-hate relationship with my binder. LOL

Flipping: I was told that my binder will develop a memory, and start conforming to my shape if worn the same way 24/7 and will then start diggig in and become unecessarily uncomfortable. To avoid this, it must be "flipped" at least once per day. Top becomes bottom and bottom becomes top.

Who would've thought that there could be so...

Who would've thought that there could be so many questions and debates about binders and compression garments?! Until 2 days ago, I assumed they were one in the same.

I have decided to post pics of my binder, and my 'tank top solution', for those interested.
I will also make mention that I googled "what is the difference between abdominal binder and compression garment" for further clarification.

I am 12 days post-op, and I absolutely dread taking my binder off. I reserve the "event" for showering and "flipping" only! (I bought a second for washing.) I am queasy by nature, and almost everything TT brings it on. When the binder opens, I feel like my insides falling out and I can't hold myself up. I know it is all in my head, but none-the-less, I become nauseous,sweaty and panicked. I am developing an odd love-hate relationship with my binder. LOL

Flipping: I was told that my binder will develop a memory, and start conforming to my shape if worn the same way 24/7 and will then start digging in to my skin and become unecessarily uncomfortable. To avoid this, it must be "flipped" at least once per day. Top becomes bottom and bottom becomes top.
Hey girl,
Got ya - I just saw some tanks at costco / I should have picked them up.
Well I'm glad things are moving along for you babe :)
Good to know!

Im hanging n there ... Still a but nervous...
I Have a slight Cough left from the cold , but have been on the antibiotic and the darn side affects have not been good :(

So anyways , I will call the PS tomorrow to see if we are moving forward come tue.

Do you have. Any regrets ?
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Hey J~
how are you feeling ???
Hope all is well....
Quick question?? Where do you find the micro fiber tanks??
That's an awesome idea about cutting a whole through it..
Think I might try that :)

M~
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Hi M~
I'm feeling good...mostly. Frustration of my physical limitations is starting to set in, and I'm having a tough time being patient about my progress. The good news is, I haven't much pain at all! ...and considering that I am already seriously looking getting a BR, soon, it must not be sooo bad! LOL
As for the tanks... I suppose you culd use any tank, but the microfiber is seamless and super stretchy. I wear a 'cami' under my tops for work, so I have tons in my drawer, but I picked up the latest editions at Costco. Twin pack, super cheap, $12 CDN. Any Target, or Sears type store, in either lingerie or active wear. Also, VS has, but a lil more pricey. You only need to cut 1 or 2 for drains.
So 2 more days for you!!! How are YOU feeling? :p
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The weeks have flown by, and I can honestly say...

The weeks have flown by, and I can honestly say that this process has not been as physically painful as I anticipated! Admittedly, I am a huge wimp, and I was convinced that I had signed up for the worst pain of my life, but I caused myself a lot of undue fear. In hindsight, the pain from having my tonsils removed was worse than this… or even the complicated (vaginal) birth of my fist son. The first 5 days post-op were a little rough, but I had my great friends, Percocet and Zofran, to help me deal with the pain. And for the weeks since, I only use Advil or Robax for back pain, some evenings before bed. I am pleasantly surprised with my “pain rating”, and I would describe this as mostly uncomfortable –not painful. Ironically, recovery has still felt long and been far more mentally and emotionally challenging than I was prepared for.

Prior to surgery, I tried to inform myself of the recovery process, but I could not find any two recovery stories that were the same. Some women were back to the gym after 3 weeks, and others were still swelling and tired after 3 months. (A good friend suggested that I will encounter as many different TT recovery stories as I would pregnancy and labour stories –spot on.) My PS gave me a few guidelines and couple strict rules (which also differ with every surgeon) for movement and exercise. I decided that I would not risk wrecking my new tummy and abide by the 3 months no soccer, no yoga rule, but completely expected that I would be bouncing back to my desk at the office after a generous 4 weeks of rest! Ha…ha…ha…joke’s on me.

Four weeks post-op, I am taking an additional 2 week leave from work. There is no way that I could “bounce” anywhere… I am still not walking upright! Also, I am still wearing my abdominal binder (as prescribed), and I am swelling like a soggy marshmallow… Maybe it is a combination of all of the above, but I am not permitted, nor would I want to, wear stretchy yoga pants, flip flops and baggy tees to work. Truth be told, I am less than impressed to leave the house like this… especially considering my post-op activities do not include sport or yoga! (I did manage to squeeze into my “old, fat, pms jeans” for ONE day.) Despite my discontentment, I still go out almost every day, to walk, or run small errands. People gawk, I accomplish only half of what I need to, and I come home very tired. Few friends are privy to my procedure, and my griping may be exhausting the ones that are. I read a post from someone who had TT same day as I, and she is doing track laps, weights and cardio… I am so impressed, and I wanted to say congrats, but I found myself bawling for hours, and avoiding RealSelf for a week. I am not accustomed to feeling so vulnerable and weak, I feel less than pretty, I may be lonely and my serotonin levels are down. I miss “life” :(

I am usually confident and mildly unemotional, so I am chalking this all up to post-op blues that will pass in time. I hope to reclaim my body, mind and that sense of accomplishment… SOON!
I just read your story. Im usually on the mommy make over forum instead of the TT forum so Ive missed your posts. We are close to the same op day. I read your discouragement and frustration and my heart goes out to you. I want to say that from my perspective your results look fantastic. The incision is one of the lowest Ive seen. I can see the swelling but even with that you have more curves than pre op and only better results to look forward too. Drink tons of water. This can help with swelling. Arnica helps for some. Watch salt. And most of all trust your body to heal, and do something you always wanted to do with your rest time. You're a good writer and have a good story. I could see you writing a book. Keep me update.
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Oh girl!! I went through the EXACT same thing...word for word! I was told I could return to work after a week or 10 days...uhhh NO! I went ahead and took 6 weeks just because I had the time saved up and I could! I am so glad I did!! It took me 5+ weeks alone just to stand up straight. He did so much muscle repair on me that there's no way I could stand up straight even when I tried. A friend of mine had her TT done 3+ weeks ago and didn't have near the muscle damage I had and she stood up straight in 10 days. It's so different for everyone of us b/c we have different situations. I am 3 months out and still swelling up and down off and on. It took me about 5-6 weeks to fit into my jeans. My sides are more swollen than anything else. I am still sore right down the middle from the muscle repair. Don't get frustrated! It's going to be a long recovery but well worth it in the end!
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hey girl....how are you?
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It has been 4 weeks since my last review update; I...

It has been 4 weeks since my last review update; I am now 8 weeks post-op. I have already spent one-sixth of my year in “Swell Hell”, and according to my PS, I will likely endure another month or two!

I have changed my review from “worth it” to “undecided”. Initially, I was thrilled to have all my loose, saggy, wrinkly skin removed and the idea of NOT tucking my tummy flap into my panties was beyond exciting. I thought that the trials and pains of recovery would be worth it. But nearly 2 months after my TT, I still have not seen the worth. Prior to surgery, people would comment about how slender I was, and nobody would guess that I was sporting an atrocious mommy tummy. Now post surgery, I actually look like I have a bun in the oven... and unfortunately, I cannot hide my “new” tummy in my panties.

I expressed my concern to PS at my 6 week check up. My PS did consider my swelling to be “extreme”, as he sees it in only 10-15% of his patients. However he was not concerned and insisted that this type of Lymphederma will subside... in time... said I need to be patient. ((UGH!)) I also asked him if my tummy will even be tight when all this swelling is gone. He basically said that my tummy will be flat, but never tight. Apparently the damage to my skin is irreversible and “tight tummy” is impossible. The skin is so thin and overstretched and it has no elasticity anymore. How sad will that be if the wrinkles return?

As a side note, I have planned a Vegas vacation to include sun and shopping in 2 weeks. (A Canadian luxury LOL) But now, I will NOT be wearing a swimsuit of any kind, nor will I be inclined to take advantage of buying cute labels that will not fit. I will take a suitcase full of jersey knit tanks and leggings...bleh!

Pre surgery, I relished the idea of wearing a crop top to Bikram yoga, or a bikini at the beach – I haven’t bared my belly since I was about 12 years old, so this is a long time coming. It seems that I was so fixated on my destroyed tummy that I completely failed to notice or admit the magnitude of my (hip) stretch marks... most of which are still very large and noticeable and not for display with a bikini or crop top. So... if I am still not inclined to bare my tummy after spending $9000 + 6 weeks salary, and months of limited lifestyle, what is the worth?

I really hope that this is all just a lack of patience and possible ignorance on my behalf; I would love to confidently say my TT was “worth it!”

 

Hi: I'm hoping you will answer as I noticed you haven't posted in a while. I have chosen Dr. Perron as my surgeon for a TT. I am the same weight a you (128 pounds) and 5'4". I ams worried, nervous, anxious, and ready to pick up the phone to cancel one day, but brave the next to go through with it. I am wondering if you are thinking it is "worth it" as you weren't too sure last time you posted. Thank-you : ). (If you don't answer, I'm thinking to PM you, but do not want to bother you at all.)
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*"am" not "ams" :-P
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hi I was wondering if they have any payment plan or you have to have the cash at front ? Im desperate but not much money lol
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Calgary Plastic Surgeon

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