Figured this is as a good a place as any to keep...
Figured this is as a good a place as any to keep details of my experience. I've lost 140lbs, and kept it off for a year. After two kids, and all that weight loss my body is a train wreck. I knew that at some point I would need to have my excess skin removed. I found Dr Cochran to be the most experienced surgeon in my area, and he does both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. I went to him and asked what he could do fix my body rather than tell him what I wanted. He addressed everything that I saw as a problem, and made the suggestion that I would have better results with an Anchor or Fleur De Lis tummy tuck, along with lipo of the flanks, waist and outer thigh.
I am also having my breast fixed, seems crazy to have a nice, flat tummy and then leave my breasts in the sorry state they are in...so they will be lifted with implants. I will also be having liposuction on my neck.
I was sitting yesterday at about 4pm and realized that six weeks from now I will hopefully be passed out in my recliner strung out on pain medication (if all goes according to plan).
I plan to add photos of my before as soon as I can...
How I lost the weight...
I know what you want me to tell you...that I took a pill or that I sprinkled some magic dust on my food, also, no...I did it the old fashioned way with an entire lifestyle change. At 315lbs I was told by my doctor that I was pre-diabetic...what a huge wake up call that was. The very next day I made the decision to join a gym and make better choices when it came to what I ate. Small changes that I made have added up to what is a now a healthy, active lifestyle...for me and my two daughters.
Four Weeks To Go!!!!
And I am pretty excited!!!!!
And the final countdown begins...One Week to go!!!!!
Today marks a week til I get my surgery, can I say that I am still a little detached from the fact that this is actually going to happen. I worked so hard the past few years to lose the weight, and then to keep it off...but I still cant believe that I did it! I mean, losing 150lbs the old fashioned way is no easy feat, by any means. I sometimes look back on where I was and where I am now and wonder, what life would be like for me and my family if instead of losing the weight I had continued to gain. Most likely I would be about 400lbs...how scary is that? What would life be like at that kind of weight? All that I can say is that I am so proud of myself for sticking with it, fighting through all of the obstacles that were put in my way in the process, both physical (I have degenerative disk disease in my lower back, and a weak ankle that I rolled twice in the past few years) and mental...but hey, if I can overcome all of that this surgery should be a cake-walk. Okay, maybe not but I should be giving myself a huge pat on the back and shake my own hand that I did it. I really, really did it!
I have everything that I need for my recovery so now the final waiting begins. I hope this week flies by! I plan to keep busy so hopefully the 22nd will be here before I know it.
Less Than 72 hours To Go....
And its all very surreal and I cant believe that its actually happening. Not having any really concerns about the procedure, just hoping that I am able to recover without too much trouble and am free of complications. I see that for some ladies just a regular tummy tuck is rough, but with my extended tummy tuck being from hip to hip bone, plus the vertical scar and the muscle repair I cant help but think it might be a little more rough than I anticipate. My husband will be home for 6 weeks so he is going to take over with everything...and I mean everything. Im not cooking, cleaning, playing taxi driver to our girls...nothing! I have my recovery area set up in the bedroom with my power recliner and a small table so everything is within reach...so if I do nothing else I will be comfortable...he can just take care of the rest. Still need to take some photos, which I really want to do so that I have something to compare myself to 6 months from now...I hope that I see the dramatic difference that others have posted on here.
Tomorrow is the big day...
Finally!!! I thought this day would never come!!!
TODAY IS THE DAY...!!!
22 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
Thanks for all the well wishes! I am up and ready, now just waiting on the kids and the husband to be ready to walk out the door. Today has been a long time coming with lots of blood, sweat and tears along the way...but its been worth it to get my health back and of even more benefit to my family. See you on the flat side!!!
Back to the land of the living!!!!
It has been a rough few days, well two nights and a day really. But I finally am feeling about back to normal. The afternoon and the first night home were pretty rough and I was feeling all kind of pain, probably cause I made the mistake of taking one pain pill, instead of two. But, last night I got a great nights sleep...5 hours at one time and then another 3 hours on top of that, so I feel pretty good this morning. I have to say...this power recliner that I rented from RAC has been a life saver. With just a few pillows under my knees I can get comfortable and actually go to sleep. Which for me is HUGE since I am probably one of the fussiest sleepers I know. If things are not just the way that I like them then I just cant sleep...so having this recliner has been just awesome for me.
Now, as for my surgery...it went GREAT! Dr Cochran is AMAZING!!!!! And his staff are just as awesome. They kept me well informed of everything that was happening prior to putting me under and were just as nice as can be....I wasn't nervous at all in the first place and they made sure that I stayed that way. In the end, they informed me that the Doctor had removed 8 pounds of skin, that's right 8 POUNDS! I was shocked, but it also made sense about why I really couldn't get my weight any lower. He also sucked out 2lbs of fat when he did some body contouring so evidently I really did work my ass off...
continuted...land of the living...
So, over all...so far so good. I have had a few moments when I wondered what the heck I had done to myself, especially that first night but those feelings came and went fairly quickly.
I took off my ACE bandage and sports bra for the first time yesterday afternoon and removed the gauze, unfortunately it was so soaked through that it also removed some of the strips that had been placed on so I called up the doctors office and the Doctor was able to see me pretty much right away. It was nothing big, he just added a new section of strips and also changed out all my other dressings while I was there. I had my first look at my stomach, despite the bruising and a little swelling, it looked so good. The cut up the middle is a little gruesome at the moment but I will take that over a half flabby stomach any day. Oh, and my boobies...at the moment they are as hard as a rock and the implants are sitting up quite high so I have some pain in my pectoral muscle which actually goes all the way up into the shoulder so that is a little uncomfortable. But other than that, I was surprised at how good they looked...a vast improvement of the saggy pancakes that my breasts once were. I ended up with 450cc silicone implants, which should give me a DD cup, they look HUGE right now but I know that will settle down over the next few months.
Overall, coming into day 3 I am about as happy as I would expect to be. I cant wait to get a good look at my stomach today when I take off this binder myself and get a good look in the mirror. I am hoping that I am up for a quick shower but I will see how I go. I might just be using the old-person disposable wash cloths I bought again.
Will keep you all posted...thanks to all those that have checked on me and posted their experiences in the past. It has been so helpful to know just what to expect and that the definition of a "normal" recovery is as vast as our body types.
SHOWER! and how awesome it felt. I almost feel human again but man, it took a lot out of me even though I didn't have to do much but sit and tell my husband what to do. Still, feeling fresh and clean with some straight out of the dryer fleece pajamas is just about as good as it gets right now.
The photos speak for themselves...
So, here are the before and after photos I have so far...they after photos were taken on day two, so obviously this is nothing like what my end result will be...but, I think they speak for themselves as my body being totally transformed. Putting them side by side was a real eye opener and I cant believe that both pictures are of the same person, just two days apart. So glad I went through with this...!
One more thing...
I should probably update that in the months prior to my surgery I didn't try to lose any more weight but just focus on nutrition, and keeping active so that my recovery would be as easy and successful as possible. My heaviest weight was 315lbs (gasp)...the day of my surgery my weight was 159lbs...even I was surprised! So, my total weight loss was 156lbs over the coarse of just over 3 years. Even I am impressed with myself... :)
Feeling all right today, though I would be feeling better if I had got some more sleep last night. I finally figured out how to get more comfortable in this recliner, which I am now having a love/hate relationship with...only cause I know I cant sleep in my own bed since its a wonderful Temperpedic mattress...great for sleeping but not so good if you cant move properly and there is no way I would be able to get out of it once I got in. Still walking hunched over, and will be for a while since the doctor warned me that with the center incision and the incisions under my breasts it would be best to say this way for at least a week...so I better do what he says. Had a quick look under my binder today...and everything looks good, if you can call it good. I have some serious bruising on my inner and outer thighs where he did the lipo and I can feel my belly swelling during the day. And my boobs, well that are huge! I feel like they are going to bust out the top and smack me in the chin cause they are so high and swollen. I am so thankful that I researched as much as I did and found a great, very experienced doctor who told me everything to expect and so far he has been spot on. Its is crazy where I am feeling the most pain...in my shoulders! Apparently the pectoral muscles run up to your shoulders and with the implants being placed underneath they are bound to get sore, its like someone is taking a hold of the muscle and twisting it tight like an elastic band, and then it just stops! Gentle massage has been helping. Ugh, and this horrible drain site...what a pain! It sits right where the top of my knickers and pants want to be, and where the bottom of my binder sits so if I don't have everything just right it rubs a little and pulls...I will live with it though. Its a small price to pay for what looks like a whole new body!
So, apparently today is really day 4...
And Im feeling pretty good. I really feel worse first thing in the morning when I wake up and I have been laying in the same position for four or five hours without moving. I made the mistake of crossing my ankles and I guess they stayed there...I had no feeling in my legs when I tried to move. But once I get up and out of this chair and start moving, stretch where I can I feel much better. I have been going to the bathroom for the past few days so that, combined with the shower that I had today Im thinking that Im doing pretty well.
My swelling is there, but its not terrible on my stomach. My breasts are still very hard and sitting up high but I have found that icing on and off is really helping. I will go and see my surgeon on Tuesday morning and see if there is anything else that he thinks I should do. I see that some recommend a band across the top but since Ive not heard that from him I figured I would just wait and follow the instructions that I have and wait to hear otherwise.
Looking in the mirror I already see my body coming together, which was something that I didn't expect so soon. I love that I am looking much more in proportion than what I did before. I can only imagine what I might look like three and six months from now. Excited much...heck yes!!!!
Evening swelling is the pitts!!!!
Today has been pretty good...minimal pain medication and have been walking around a little more since sitting in this recliner is driving me crazy. But still, I do not want to over-do it since I need to be as recovered as possible by the time my husband has to leave the country again in just over 5 weeks. But this evening, well I feel like my stomach and breasts have doubled in side...and its hurts! Nothing that is like the pain of after surgery, but this horrible tight feeling like Im about to bust out of my skin. I have been wearing my compression garments at all times of course, only taking them off to take a shower this morning so obviously this is all part of it, but man...what an uncomfortable feeling now that I am trying to get to sleep. Ive cut the salt from my diet, pretty much all of it since Ive been living in huge green salads with home cooked lean chicken and lots of other fresh, non-processed foods, and a gallon and a half of water each day...gosh, my focus on nutrition has been even impressing me, probably because I am scared to death of gaining a pound while I cant even walk around the block. I know it will pass, but that doesn't mean its not totally uncomfortable right now. I cant wait to get back to normal...oh, and to get in a good workout...probably a few months out but its in my future, so I can still think about it...!!!
Dont sneeze, dont cough, and pray to God you dont choke!
Or you will feel like you have exploded out of your new flat stomach!
I woke up after a rough night feeling pretty crappy and had told my husband, you know today is just going to be a rough day. I had no idea that I had just jinxed myself for what was probably the most pain I've had the entire time since my surgery.
I was just getting comfortable in my recliner, laid back, pillows packed around when without warning I sneezed. Not a little sneeze but a huge, blow it all out kind of episode. With it coming on so quick I was unable to lean forward and grasp my stomach to lessen the impact. I felt like my insides were now on the outside and that I had ripped my center in two with a hunting knife! It really felt that bad and it was totally unexpected. I removed my CG expecting that the careful cared for wounds, that were looking great the previous evening were now going to be a huge open wound with my insides exposed....thankfullyI had not done any damage at all, despite the intense pain that the sneeze had caused. So, after I had let the panic subside, re-wrapped I thought well it would be a good time for a bite to eat. So, I had my husband prepare what I eat every morning...a slice of toast with a generous serving of almond butter and of course my tall glass of icy cold water, with a straw. So, as usual I drank half my water and took a bite of toast, great, chew it, swallow it and then take a second bite, and then I proceed to cough and choke on it. Once again, its unexpected and the first motions cause that same horrible feeling in my center but what can I do but grab a pillow, lean forward and hope to God that I can cough enough to stop the choking but at the same time not cause myself any damage.
So, yes...that was my morning...I knew some days would be better than others and it did get better. My friend stopped by for a visit and dropped of a home made dinner for tonight, I have some really great friends! Oh, and its supposed to snow here tomorrow...which is pretty cool for Alabama... :)
Just some more comparison pictures. Still cant believe the dramatic difference even with the incisions, bruising and swelling. I didn't realize how much my thighs had swollen til I compared the two. Not looking for perfection at this point, or really at any point. Oh, and my Dr's appointment was rescheduled due to this winter storm that is not upon the southern United States. Ive not had any problems though, so I wasn't worried. I would be far more worried having to go out in this weather, our driveway is almost frozen over!
Dr Cochran was great! He made me feel very comfortable, even standing there practically naked. He knows what he is doing. I said what can you do to "fix" me and he addressed every area that I was personally concerned about. His suggestion of an extended tummy tuck, with an anchor scar was exactly what I wanted to hear, as I have a lot of loose skin above my belly button. Dr Cochran is a very quick and to the point. If you want a doctor to come in and hold your hand, he may not be right for you. That said, I did have a second appointment with him where I had a list of questions on paper and he was more than happy to sit with me, go over the questions and answer them thoroughly, without making me feel stupid. The staff at his office are very friendly and also made me feel totally comfortable, despite my lack of clothing at the time. If you are looking for a surgeon in this area, I would highly suggest a consultation with Dr Cochran!