I was overweight from childhood to age 18. Once I...
I've kept that weight off for almost 12 years now, but the loose skin on my belly is a constant reminder.
My frown belly button and crepe-paper skin have kept me from a lot, unfortunately, and I'm finally ready to shed them.
My PS confirmed that my muscles don't need tightening, so I'm doing a skin/fat removal only - and I'd like to share that experience here.Updated on 15 Dec 2011:My doctor recommends renting a walker and an electric bed to make recovery as easy as possible.
Has anyone out there done this? It seems like most everyone gets by with a recliner, and I've got one of those!
Thank you.Updated on 18 Dec 2011:Alright, I added some before pics... whoa.
More about me. I'm about to turn 30. I'm 5'8" 150lbs. At my heaviest I was just over 200 lbs.
TT is day after tomorrow!!!
I'm off to pick up prescriptions and groceries for the week.
I thought I saw a post somewhere about all the things you should have/would love to have for TT recovery, but now I can't find it... or maybe I made it up?
Either way - if you have any must haves, please send 'em my way. Thank you!Updated on 20 Dec 2011:Alright, TODAY is the day!
Surgery is at 1130am, and I am STARVING. :)
I feel ready. I've been fueling myself with some great visualizations of how I know I will look post-surgery, and more importantly, how I know I will feel.
For example, I can't wait to return to working out and doing plyos. Jumping without my loose skin flopping around and making my pants move down. Or worse, a roll flying out! TMI, I know.
Or even the simple act of being able to lift my shirt to wipe sweat of my face, without turning to face a corner.
It's the little things...:)
Alright, I'll update more this afternoon.
Your thoughts and prayers are with me!Updated on 20 Dec 2011:Hi everyone,
I'm back at home & I feel great. I've already eaten, peed twice, talked to my mother for hours, and walked around. I'm sure some of this is do to the local anesthesia still being there?
Either way, I'll take it... knowing the next 2 days could be different (i.e. harder).
As for the surgery, here's the update:
Per my decision, my surgical team used local anesthesia and IV sedation and I as very comfortable, breathing on my own, and woke up feeling normal and not nauseous, or at least not yet...
Turns out my lower abs WERE separated by an inch or so :( , so my PS went ahead and repaired them (per my permission/our discussion prior to surgery.) I'm grateful for that.
As for the rest, sounds like they removed quite a slice of skin/fat (NY pizza sized! eww?) and are thrilled with the result. PS told my friend I was in phenomenal shape :) ! so he thinks I'll be thrilled with the result. Fingers crossed... WOO!
Another important thing I wanted to mention. I have NO DRAINS.
My PS uses the quilting stitch method to eliminate the vacuous space and, ideally, the need for drains. Also, I have really no binder on. Just gauze and a gauze wrap... so my experience seems different from the majority?
Hmm... okay that's it for now. I'm going to eat more soup, I'm STARVING still.
I hope all my fellow Tuesday TTers are doing well, my thoughts are with you.
More soon.Updated on 20 Dec 2011:* * *
Quick update before bed. Surgery was at 1pm, actually. Around about 930pm I could tell my local anesthesia wore off. Nothing too shocking, just mild pain all over by tummy more or less, like I had just had the best core workout of my life.
I took a crushed up vicodin in apple sauce and felt better in 15 mins. There is bleeding around my new belly button, but not too bad. I have a post op tomorrow, so hoping to get a glimpse then.
Should be memorable!Updated on 21 Dec 2011:* * * *
Alright. 1 day post op.
I feel great.
I've already had 2 BMs. I credit 2 cups of Smooth Move tea (Traditional Medicinal brand), dried prunes and lots of water. Oh, and a healthy appetite. :)
I also went for a nice slow walk with the dog.
My only complaint is not being able to stand up straight. I'm very tight, but it's okay.
Other than that, I feel much better than I could have hoped. I am so so grateful, there are no words.
I also had my post-of appointment today. They changed the bandages and I saw everything. Looked good to me...
Here are some pics.Updated on 21 Dec 2011:Well, by "some pics" I meant one pic. Ha!
Anyways, I should add, I didn't sleep much last night. Not for pain, but for excitement! I just sat there thinking, I can't believe it. I did it. Wow.
Might have been the steriods I'm on too, they tend to make folks wired...
* * * Day 2. Not too much to report...
Day 2. Not too much to report today. Another BM, another walk, some gift wrapping, finally some good napping! That was the best part.
I can stand up a little straighter today, but still not straight. My back muscles are super sore but the heating pad is miraculous. My tummy is very tight and I am getting some swelling on my lower right side. All to be expected.
I think that is it for now. Oh, I took a shower too, felt great.
another post op mtg tomorrow. Last one until the new year, so i'll have to make sure I ask about everything... like how come I don't need to wear a binder?
Hi again, Day 3 PO. Feel better. Much easier to...
Day 3 PO. Feel better. Much easier to walk, although definitely not upright.
Saw my surgeon today, says everything is looking great.
I'm headed out to buy spanks or some sort of compression garment from the store.
Send your favorite brands if you have them.
The tenting from being pulled so tight (plus the swelling) has definitely given me extra inches in the waist. I'm posting a picture to show this. Can't wait to see this go down, but hey - day 3, not bad.
Alright, today is 8 days PO. I feel great. I can...
I feel great. I can pretty much function normally with day to day stuff with the exception of:
I still can't stand up straight
I'm still sleeping in the recliner
I had the stitches removed from my new bb yesterday, it was super easy and painless. And I love it. OMG, I love it. I cannot remember ever having an actual belly button and not just a belly... roll, I guess. I still can't get over it.
My side view is not as amazing. I'm so tight that I really see a LOT of tenting. The angle of the skin coming down from my rib cage is soooooo different than it was. It juts away from me. And I'm wider... but FLAT. So the battle to stand up straight continues. As does the battle against swelling.
To that point, I am going to try lymphatic massage tomorrow with someone who works with my PS. Has anyone out there done this? I'm excited.
To all my fellow swollen sufferers, have you tried...
My PS's office recommended a couple of folks, I went to one and O.M.G. what a difference. I literally got off the table with over an inch of swelling gone!
The idea is that unlike our circulatory system which as a pump (our heard) our lymphatic system uses muscle contraction (and gravity) to move lymph around. Since we all can't get too much muscle contraction, this massage helped move it manually and HOLY MOLY did it ever. I am so much less swollen. Look into it, I bet you could Google search your town and lymphatic drainage massage and get something...
I'll post new pics soon.
Alright, I posted a picture to try to show how...
Still not up straight, but almost... :)
I also finally slept in a bed last night, with a ton of pillows, but a bed nonetheless.
The only other update is that I had a bit of a reaction around the steristrips(the tape over my incision). Went to my PS, they removed them and there was some areas of blistering. They gave me some cream and it's much better, almost gone already. I'll post close ups of my incision too, in case any of you have or get this.
Hope you are all doing well. Wishing us all the best in 2012.
Just past the 3 day PO mark,and I feel...
Sorry I've fallen so behind on updating. Here's my recap.
I returned to work (desk job) after 2 weeks, and around the same time I returned to working out daily.
I couldn't stand up straight for almost 15 days, and then it took about 3 days after that to make it through the day straight up. I still get tight after sitting too long, but that's about it.
As for working out, I got the go ahead from my PS to do non-high-impact WOs, so I started off slow on the recumbant bike, built up to walking on the treadmill at an incline, then the raised bike and stairmaster. I also do some light body work like calf raised, etc - no twisting and no heavy upper body lifting.
I also work out in a Target brand version of spanx, and I have to say - working out has seemed to make ALL THE DIFFERENCE. The very next morning after my first WO, I had SO much less swelling. I've kept it up and increased it a little every day and I think it's working. Oh, but again - I do workout in spanx and I do ice for 20 mins after I am done, just to send some extra love to the TT.
I've also tried to maintain a pretty good diet, and I do feel able to eat less at each sitting, which has been helpful.
My only lingering "issues", if you can even call them that, is that I still have tightness, especially in my hip flexors (hip crease area,) and I still have a pretty red ring around my BB. Oh, and I still have a pretty significant ridge on my left side at the incision. I think that all this will continue to subside with time, though.
Oh, and right around 2.5 weeks, I was finally able to sleep in really any position.
That's it for now.
get moving and keep moving
start slow and take extra precautions
ice afterwards, even if you're not sore
sleep, nap, send positive love your way
lots of visualizations of how you'll know you'll look soon.
Okay, good luck to all of you out there. I'll update again next week.
Er, that post was meant to say just past the 3...
So far, Dr. Z has WONDERFUL! He is so great, spends as much time as I want sitting with me, answering my questions, showing me where the incision will be, even letting me try on my panties to see if I'll like where the incision will be! He is extremely competent and seems to be so invested in me and my outcome. When my friend wheeled me out to the car, he even ran out to say goodbye and shake my hand again. I'll see him tomorrow to see about post-op care, but so far 2 enthusiastic thumbs up! UPDATE: I've visited the office 3 times since my TT and every time it is a pleasure. Super friendly and helpful staff, super attentive, simply the best!