I am on my phone right now, so I apologize in...
I have read reviews, pored over countless before and after pictures, and practically stalked doctors. I like Dra. Baez. Her work is beautiful, natural, and just what I am looking for. So I emailed her and am waiting for her quote. Hopefully I will be meeting her in person soon....and enjoying a better view in the mirror, too!
Here are some before pictures....try to keep your food down! Oh well....the after pictures will be what counts, right ladies? :D
Better before pictures
Change is coming!
A little OCD, anyone?
List of Supplies from other posts:
• Space bags (for travel)
• puppy pads or Depends
• Maxipads (overnight size) or Poise pads
• Granny panties, 5 prs.
• 2 Fajas, powernet **research best brand and style
• Lipo foam (can get on Amazon)
• Antibacterial soap
• 4 Maxi dresses
• 3 nightgowns, button-front or zip front
• Slides or flip flops
• Snacks (dried fruit, nuts, power bars)
• ear plugs
• antibacterial wipes
• baby wipes
• Milk of Magnesia
• Stool softener
• 2 Fleet Enemas (1 for the night before surgery, 1 for the morning of!)
• exercise band or elastic hairband (whole head kind) to secure drains while showering
Tips from posts by others:
(Tattoomama36) SO some tips and tricks I've learned so far:
1. Sit backwards on the toilet for the first few days. You can use the toilet lid as a "crutch" and it's much easier to get up and down.
2. Sit on the side of the tub to wash the nether parts. Use a stretchy headband to attach your drains to so they are up and out of the way.
3. To wash your hair, get a towel put it on the floor then put a pillow on top of that. Lean over the tub and have someone wash your hair for you. The pillow helps so much!!
4. When getting in and out of bed, swing your legs over the side of the bed while at the same time, dig your elbow into the bed to help give you leverage to get up.
5. Go to Costco and get their tank tops!!! Super soft, they come in a pack of 2 and they are wonderful against your skin. I wear one under my binder so there are no compression marks on my skin and everything is evened out.
6. A grabber is the way to go. It's probably the thing I have used the most. It's hard to bend over and pick stuff up.
7. If you can get ahold of a scooter, Like a kids scooter... it's awesome to take walks outside with. Instead of the walker, I have used that. No one knows what is going on and it glides right on the road perfectly.
8. Drink protein shakes!! Your body needs that protein, just as if you went to the gym and lifted heavy weights. It needs the protein to help rebuild!!
Advice from Dra. Robles' assistant on pre-surgery prep:
1- Please start taking 300mgs of Iron twice a day,
2- 5mgs of folic acid once a day. Also, stop taking aspirin or aspirin related compounds, and vitamin E and Vitamin A as well.
2- Schedule an appointment with your local lab or clinic, in order to have a CBC (complete blood count) done.
Dr. Robles needs to check your hemoglobin levels, as well as other important things the test shows.
3- Please drink 2-4 litter of water daily.
4- Eat healthy.
5- Complex B once a day
6-Vitamin C once a day
Here are some tips for getting ready for your surgery:
Protein is the building block of healing:
I recommend about 1/2 gram of protein per pound body weight in the weeks before surgery
cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness will help to reduce complications
muscle toning will help your tummy repair
your body stores the protein you'll need for repair in your muscles
Vitamins: ask your surgeon about the right supplements to help with healing
Care full!! Some supplements can cause undesirable thinning of the blood
"Unhook the Phone!"
Make sure you will have enough quiet and unobligated, stress-free time
Choose a good nurse
choose someone who is nurturing, a good caregiver
plan for someone to be with you 24 hours/day for the first 3-5 days
help you get out of bed
make sure you are hydrating well
keep track of your medications
assist with dressing changes
get you to post-op appointments
Rent a Hospital Bed for a week
this will help you position comfortably
use the bed to sit you up so you don't stress your abdominal repair
set the bed up in your living room so you're close to the kitchen and don't have to climb the stairs
Rent a walker
You'll be bent over by the tightness of the repair
the walker will take the stress off your back when you are walking
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
hydration is important to help healing
hydration is important to prevent complications
hydration is important to feeling better
you know you are drinking enough, if you have to urinate every two-to-three (at most!) hours (during waking hours)
That's all I've got so far. I'll add more stuff as I find it!
Excellent video on drain care
One doctor who started out very high on my list because of his photos and credentials offered more surgery than I asked for, said he could do it all at once, and didn't express any qualms at doing so. That scared me, because I've seen so many doctors who won't do too many procedures at once. I'm not looking to be a Barbie doll, ladies! I just want to nip a little and lift a little, no bada boom bada bing for me, haha! So I dreamed for a minute of a Kim Kardashian booty...amd then said no, thank you!
Let's see, we have three left...so, number 5 never even responded. I stumbled on number 6 in the comments on another review, researched him, and became very quickly impressed. I'm very detail-oriented. I like to be informed, and not only did his assistant contact me quickly, but he responded quickly as well, and asked me questions about what I wanted, gave me some options, and explained in detail the pros and cons. His resume is superb, and his before and after photos are wonderful! I was excited! I had sent a list of questions to every doctor, and he responded with the most detail. He took time with his responses. I had found my doctor.
Oh, and he asked a local patient to switch dates so that I could have my surgery on the date I wanted it!!
Then number 7 contacted me with an apology for the delay and
anyway, her quote was (brace yourselves!) $1500 cheaper than number 6...$1500!!! That's a LOT of difference! I talked to my husband, my mom, my mother-in-law...they all basically said the same thing. $1500 is not a lot when it comes to my body. If you take away the money aspect, I would choose #6 in a heartbeat, I really connected with him, and I was happy with his price before I got that last quote. So.....I went with number 6! I messaged Angiemcc to ask her to change my doctor again. His name is Dr. Luis Fernandez Goico. He's young, but he studied in Brazil with the man considered to be the father of modern plastic surgery, and he did a clinical rotation at Harvard...call me a snob, but I'm impressed!
Someone on here inspired me. She said that she was going to give the review for her doctor, and get him on the map. Currently, Dr. FG has very little on here. I plan to give him a detailed review so people will know him better. Stay tuned!
"Don't worry, I did think of that because of the short time between your arrival and the surgery. I contacted the patient scheduled for the 15th, so if it becomes too tight or your flight gets delayed, that she takes the 14th and we move you to the 15th.
Don't carry any pressure or stress about the time of your arrival, leave that to us."
I will tell you, I am so incredibly impressed with Dr. Goico and Karel....they are wonderful! I can't wait to meet them in person!
So hopefully the check will come TODAY, and I can stop planning and start DOING things to get this ball rolling!
Have a great day!
Topic of the Day: Time Management . Talk Amongst Yourselves.
Two zip-front/snap-front nightgowns
5 prs. granny panties
4 soft ribbed tank tops
3 maxi dresses
snap-front shirt to wear back to RRA after surgery
hibiclens, 4 oz.
hydrogen peroxide, 16 oz.
waterproof bandages (to cover BB during shower--won't take to DR)
bio-oil (won't take to DR)
Bacitracin (I'm allergic to Neosporin)
Motion-relief wristbands (I hear they help with nausea, and I don't like Phenergan)
3 hot/cold compresses
dried mangoes, pineapple, and apricots
One More Pound!!!!
The Cat is Out of the Bag
Internal vs. External
On the flip side, some mornings I wake up, and I just know when I step on the scale, I will have gained 20 lbs. back overnight. My eyes do not process what my mind knows is fact-- I am smaller. I was a size 14 just six months ago. I am now a size 10. And yet I look in the mirror, and I don't see the change. I don't FEEL the change. How is it that I can still paw through all the clothes in my closet, and not find anything that I feel looks good on me??
I'm a positive person. I don't focus on the negative. Today, in my size 10 Anne Taylor loft jeans ($4.50 ladies, oh yeah!), I turned and checked out my butt in the mirror, and I looked kinda smokin'! But naked? Yeah, I don't see the change. I see......blob. I feel sexy. I feel strong. I feel beautiful. And then I catch a glimpse of my pasty white, stretch mark-covered, gelatinous mass of a tummy, and my ego is deflated. Talk about an exercise in humility! haha!
That's okay.....the blob's days are numbered.....57, to be exact!
Things I Won't Miss
2. My frowning belly button.
3. "When are you due?"
4. "You'd look great if you lost twenty pounds in your stomach (because wishing for it makes it happen....)."
5. That horrible split-second zero gravity jiggly feeling when I jump.
6. Play time with my husband....with a shirt on!
7. Facing my blob reflection every time I step out of the shower.
8. Feeling like my clothes don't fit me right.
9. Ugly panties.
10. Saucer areolas (yes, ladies, I said it!).
11. Sensible bras.
I think I will ask DR. FG to use his judgment to suggest what would be proportionate to my frame. You ladies who are looking to supervise, more power to you! But be ready for feeling top-heavy, cumbersome, and having them get in the way. I, for one, am ready for a change, I do believe!
Updated Before Pictures
The Old OLD Me
Passport Appointment Scheduled!!
Disappointment and Truth
Then my dad told me there are foods I can eat and exercises I can do to shrink my stomach. Ummmm....no. There aren't. Some people just don't have enough elasticity. And some people just won't get why I'm doing this. It's disappointing.
A woman from my exercise class the other day told me that if I keep exercising and losing weight, the skin will tighten up. Funny thing is, I would have bet you that she has had a tummy tuck! She's lost a lot of weight, and has loose skin on her arms and thighs, but her tummy is flat and perfect. So....she doesn't want to admit it? Or her belly skin is somehow much more elastic than everywhere else on her body.
So what is the truth? For the first person, perhaps she's jealous. She still has a lot of weight to lose. She also doesn't have the financial ability to have surgery. For my dad, I think he's scared. His health is failing, and I think he's worried that something will happen to me. He's also worried that I'm too focused on the physical, that my relationship with the Lord will suffer because of the surgery. For the last person, perhaps she is embarrassed because she hid the fact that she had the surgery from everyone, and so now it would be hard to admit it. I don't know.
Does this make me seem petty? Has anyone else experienced adverse reactions in surprising ways? It doesn't sway my decision at all. I'm happy about the surgery. I've prayed about it. My husband and I have talked about it. I'm comfortable with my decision. I'm actually very excited! And I'm also rambling, lol! Time for bed, I think. Tomorrow, we will apply for our passports, accomplishing one more goal in this journey. Yay!!!
I think it's attitude. I'm exercising less and eating more, but I'm not stressing about it. I'm excited about the upcoming surgery, and although I want the best possible results, I am not worried about whether I lose any more weight. So maybe the attitude change is helping! Should anyone care to know, this attitude change started in January, when my husband prayed for me because of my food struggles. The next day I stumbled on the Harcombe Diet online, and my thinking about food has drastically changed since!
My husband and I have been married for almost a year and a half. This is my second marriage. We met in 2011, and very quickly became best friends. He is truly amazing, and the best stepdad to my kids, as well. And did I mention he's hot? haha! Now, here's the kicker. Before we got married, we only kissed.
That's right, and just pop kissed! I told him it was important to me that I model for my kids how I want them to find a spouse. We are both Christians, and while we were friends we had talked about the desire to save sex for the wedding night. Our first kiss was in October of 2012, and we got married in December! The wedding night was stressful, because thanks to social media, I was able to see many of his former girlfriends, who were all skinny and gorgeous. And I knew what I was bringing to our marriage was a body that had seen better days.
I feel confident with my husband, and I adore him, and I know he adores me....but I am self-conscious about my body. As a result, I've never been completely naked while intimate with him. Most of the time I wear a tank top with a shelf bra (so the girls won't hang to my knees, and to hold my belly in a bit), and then a T-shirt over that. I know-- sexy, right?! On special occasions, I will wear a cute black nightie, but a full underwire bra under it, so, again, the girls don't hang. But when I wear that, I'm very conscious of my belly, should the nightie come a little too far up, and show it. Not exactly conducive to romance.
Now that I've lost this much weight, and am seriously thinking about being in the room with my husband before and after surgery, I don't want to scare him! So, the other day, I came out of the bathroom in my bra and panties and showed him my belly. I had shown him the same pictures I've posted here (I think that was easier, because my head wasn't showing, if that makes any sense!), but this was the first time he had seen my belly in person, so to speak. Isn't that sad?
So, why am I sharing these intimate details with you ladies (and potentially everyone on the world wide web)? I think it's important to talk about these things. I know we all have body issues. That's why we're here, right? And I am quite sure that I am not alone in understanding that I can feel sexy, and yet completely NOT sexy, depending on whether certain parts of my body are covered. I don't want to feel that way anymore!
So, back to the room, and being marked up by the ps. I want my husband to be part of the whole experience, as much as he feels comfortable with, at least. I want his input when we talk about the possibility of a lift vs. a reduction. I want him to see under bright fluorescent lights the BEFORE me, so he can fully appreciate the AFTER me in all my glory!
Of course, I might just chicken out and ask him to stay in the waiting room....lol!
Email response from Dr. FG's assistant about the death of Yily's patient
I personally haven't heard about it, but as you mentioned yourself our medical center has nothing to do with those clinics.
It's obvious that every surgery involves risks, but many surgeons perform these procedures even when the patient is not in optimal health conditions, specially when it's a combined procedure such as a mommy make over, etc, and that's when normally you hear these unfortunate situations.
Dr. FG declines more patients than those he accepts for surgery because most patients that look for plastic surgery procedures are overweight or have health issues. Popular thinking is that plastic surgeons make women "thinner" and "loose weight", when it's not like that at all. They just change the shape of the body and enhance it according to socially established beauty patterns. (Important: when I mean decline, is not that he'll deny surgery, just asks to normalize whatever health condition they have). The sad thing is that we have sometimes seen these patients had surgery with other surgeons.
Another point is our modern medical center, but most of all, the medical staff that works with us. Our chief anaesthesilogist is the Chief of ICU in one of the most important hospitals in DR, as well as one of the only certified anaesthesiologists for Heart Transplant Surgery (in other words, the man is a reliable solid rock physician that has Dr. FG's complete trust). Plastimedic is at the moment the most updated and safest plastic surgery center in the country (by far). If you haven't taken a look at the medical center appearance, just click here: http://fernandezgoico.com/english/medical-space/the-clinic/
I'm contacting a few nurses for you. Don't worry cause if I cannot find anyone, I'll stay myself as long as you feel comfortable and your husband feels more secure.
I can only tell you, you'll be in excellent hands. Dr. FG pampers his patients like very few doctors I've seen out there nowadays.
Let me know anything else you may need. I'll get back to you when I have confirmation of an english speaking nurse.
Hmmmm.....Other Things I Won't Miss
2) Repositioning my boobs in a bra so that my nipples will be even.
3) That horrible feeling when I'm working out and my panties ride down under my overhanging belly.
4) Wearing jeans that fit my belly, but are too loose everywhere else.
5) Lying in bed, on my back, and having my boobs lying on either side of me!
6) Knowing I have abs, but not being able to see ANY evidence of them! (Okay, so it may take awhile for this one to change!)
7) Looking pregnant in some clothes.
8) Feeling horrible in a bathing suit.
A Little Humor
(If you've just had your surgery, and it hurts to laugh, you might want to wait until you read it!)
The first thing you should know is that hair removal is not my friend.
The particular talent of removing unwanted hair has eluded me.
All methods have tricked me with their promises of easy,painless removal - the Epilady, the standard razor, the scissors, the Nair, the EpilStop, and now
My night began as any other normal weekday night. I came home from
work, fixed dinner for my son and we played for a while. I then had the
thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next couple
hours: maybe I should use that wax in my medicine cabinet.
I set up my boy with a video and head to the site of my demise, um, I
mean bathroom. It was one of those cold wax kits. No melting a
clump of hot wax, you just rub the clear strips in your hand, peel them
apart, press it on your leg (or wherever) and ignore the frantically
rising crescendo of string instruments in the background. No muss, no
fuss. How hard can this be? I mean, I'm not the girly-est of girls but
I'm mechanically inclined so maybe I can figure out how this
So I pull one of the thin strips out. It's two strips facing each
other, stuck together. I'm supposed to rub it in my hand to warm and
soften the wax (I'm guessing). I go one better: I pull out the
hair dryer and heat the stuff to ten thousand degrees. Cold wax, my foot.
(Oh, how that phrase will come back to haunt me.) I lay the strip across
my thigh. I hold the skin around it and pull. OK, so it wasn't the best
feeling in the world, but it wasn't bad. I can do this! Hair removal
no longer eludes me!
I am Sheera, fighter of all wayward body hair and smooth skin
With my next wax strip, I move north.
After checking on the boy and verifying that he was, in fact, becoming
one with Bear and learning all about smells, I sneak into the bathroom
for The Ultimate Hair Fighting Championship. I drop my panties and
place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I then apply the
wax strip across the right side on my bikini line, covering the right
half of my vagina and stretching up into the inside of the right butt
cheek. (Yeah,it was a long strip.) I inhale deeply. I brace myself.
I'm blind! Blind from the pain! Vision returning. Oh crap. I've managed to
pull off half an inch of the strip. Another deep breath. And RIIIP!
Everything is swirly and tie-dyed? Do I hear crashing drums? OK,
coming back to normal again. I want to see my trophy - my wax covered
pelt that caused me so much agony. I want to revel in the glory that
is my triumph over body hair. I hold the wax strip like an Olympic gold
But why is there no hair on it? Why is the wax mostly gone? Where
could the wax go, if not on the strip? Slowly, I eased my head down, my
foot still perched on the toilet. I see hair - the hair that should be
on the strip. I touch. I feel. I am touching wax. I look to the
ceiling and silently shout "nooooooo!!" And realize I have just begun
living my own personal version of "The Tar Baby."
I peel my fingers off the softest, most sensitive part of my body that
is now covered in cold wax and matted hair, and make the next big
mistake - up until this point, you'll remember, I've had my foot on the
toilet. I know I need to move, to do something. So I put my foot down
on the floor. And then I hear the slamming of the cell door.
Vagina? Sealed shut.
Butt? Sealed shut.
A little voice in my head says "I hope you don't have to potty anytime
soon. Your head just might pop off." I penguin walk around the bathroom
trying desperately to figure out what I should do next. Hot water!
Hot water melts wax! I'll run the hottest water I can stand and get in -
wax should melt and I can gently wipe it away, right? Wrong. I
get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than is used to torture
prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment. And I sit.
Now the only thing worse than having your goodies glued together is
having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of a tub. In
scalding hot water. Which, by the way, does not melt the cold wax. So
now I'm stuck to the tub.
I call my friend, C, because she once dropped out of beauty school so
surely she has some secret knowledge or trick to get wax off skin. It's
never good to start a conversation with "So my nether regions are stuck
to the tub." She doesn't have a trick. She does her best to suppress
She wants to know exactly where the wax is on the butt - "Are we talking
cheek or hole, here?" she asks. She isn't even trying to hide the
I give her the run-down of the entire night. She tells me to call the
number on the side of the box, but to have a good cover story for where
the wax actually is. "You know that if we were working the help line at
XX Wax Co. and somebody called with their entire crack sealed shut we'd
just put them on hold then record the conversation for everyone we know.
You're going to end up on a radio show or the internet if you tell them
"While we go through various solutions, I have resorted to scraping the
wax off with a razor. Boy, nothing feels better to the girly goodies
than covering them in wax, sticking them to a tub in super hot water and
THEN dry shaving the sticky wax off!
In the middle of the conversation (which has inexplicably turned to
other subjects!) I find the little, beautiful saving grace that is the
lotion provided with wax to remove the excess. I rub some in and start
screaming "It's working! It's working!" I get hearty congratulations
from C and we hang up.
I successfully remove all the wax and notice, to my dismay, that the
hair is still there. So I shaved the stuff off. I was
numb by that point anyway. And then I put the box of wax back in my
medicine cabinet. Never know when a moustache might start to come in.
Tonight, I attempt hair dying.
Countdown, Eating, Hydration
I have been applying coconut oil to my upper belly and breasts every night after I shower. I read that coconut oil helps your skin absorb the water, so it provides extra hydration as well as moisturization. I want my skin to be in the best shape it can be before for my surgery!
I've been having weird dreams, which for me usually means that I'm under stress, but that's to be expected. I have a lot going on in my life right now, and juggling it all can take its toll. Normally, that also manifests itself in my eating habits going awry, but with a goal in mind and a plan in place, that should not be an issue.
I keep reading all of your reviews and making mental notes that swelling is to be expected, my expectations should be realistic, I need to take it easy and let my body heal-- it's like a mental checklist. I'm wondering-- how much of this will I actually remember after my surgery?? lol!
But it's keeping me busy now. Sad truth...I started packing last night. In my defense, I bought a carry-on for a really good price at Costco, and it's been sitting on my bedroom floor next to my growing pile of supplies, all in neatly tied bags. I decided to consolidate, and went ahead and packed the carry-on. So, that's not REALLY packing, is it ladies?? haha!
Have a wonderful and blessed Friday! :-)
Take time. Take time to show love to your family and friends. Take time to talk about the things that matter. Take time to share your heart, give of yourself, and enjoy life. Take time to breathe. Take time to consider others. Some may need a friend. Some may need a hug. Some may need a little grace on your commute to work. Some may need a smile, a wave, a "thank you" or a card. Some may need prayer. In fact, we ALL need prayer!
Take time to play. Take time to enjoy life. It is fleeting. Take time to tell the people who are instrumental to you that you appreciate them, that you care.
Most of all, take time to consider your purpose. Take time to consider why you are here. I assure you, you are NOT an accident, nor are you the legacy of a primordial ooze that was a chance happening. You are created, and your Creator loves you! Take time to consider what happens after this life. The single most important questions you can wrestle with are this: Who is Jesus? and What does He mean to me?
You may not believe. You have free will. But don't go through life from one event to another, from one distraction to another, never allowing yourself to consider these questions. If you have, and have decided against believing, then that is your choice. But don't let life pass you by without taking the time.
I am saying this for one reason and one reason only, I care. I have read your stories and have seen your hoohas! We are connected for a reason, I believe, and maybe that reason is so that today, when I am struggling with the mess that is this life, I would share my heart with you and spark a small desire in someone to seek out the answers to these questions. If so, it's worth it!
Okay, okay, so there are.....drawbacks. Am I minimizing them? Maybe. It is impossible for me to know exactly what my healing experience will be like until I'm actually in it, but I feel like you ladies have helped me SO MUCH in preparing for whatever may come. I still haven't received our passports, but they should be coming soon. I have printed out, bookmarked, and copied and pasted paragraph after paragraph of advice, information, warnings, suggestions, details, TMI! haha! All from this wonderful website and all of you! I will be taking you on my journey, and I promise to pay it forward by being honest, helpful, and detailed, so that others who are taking the same path will benefit (hopefully!) from my review!
Sooo......30 days to the flat side! Yay!!!!!!
No Weight Changes :-(
I've been working on logistics. My husband and I will be in the DR for 13 days. Two days after we come back, he goes back to work. My biggest fear is that I would have to have a BM, would be home alone with my kids, and wouldn't be able to get out of my CG! I don't want my kids to see my incisions. Ladies, will that be an issue?? Will I be well enough at 2 weeks post-op to be able to get in and out of my CG on my own?
I've worked out where the kids will be while we're gone. Thankfully, I have a big family and a wonderful support system when it comes to that! I keep looking at that number on my countdown app go down (unlike the scale, but I digress!), and I can't believe it's 25 days!! My youngest's birthday is coming up, and then Mother's Day, and then we leave the week after that! But what a way to celebrate 10 years since I was pregnant. My Mother's Day gift is a Mommy Makeover! :-D
On a humorous note, my mom told my 90 year-old grandmother about my surgery....in her words, "She is getting what?" "Where?" "That's nice, dear." My sweet grandmother, lol!
Have a wonderful Easter, ladies! Christ is risen!
Full before photos
On a side note, someone please stop me from shopping online!! I'm buying cute summer dresses like they're going out of style...or in this case, like they're the hottest style, haha!! I've bought 3 maxi dresses and 11 short dresses! But they're on sale (some for $8!!!), super cute, and I wore one today for lunch with colleagues, and got so many compliments on how skinny I look! Love it!!!
New Surgery Date
Our pastor spoke this morning on living in community, and being authentic with people. During the message, I prayed once again if this is something the Lord is good with, or if I am justifying what I so selfishly want. I asked the Lord to show me that He wants me to walk through this door. After church, I talked to one of my friends from church in private, and without planning to, just blurted out that I was having the abdominal repair and a tummy tuck. She was beyond positive about it, very happy for me, and supportive. I look up to her for her faith and so it confirmed for me that the Lord was giving me the go-ahead. She also told me something that I hadn't considered before. She said what a great thing it was that I wanted to do this for my marriage and my husband, but also for ME, to reward myself for the weight loss, and to be able to really see the results of my hard work. She's very active and athletic, so it surprised me that SHE would connect that before I did! But she was so right! So today, I'm celebrating the new me and excited about the final step--my new flat tummy and perky breasts! Have a blessed day!
I know some people have been unhappy with their results. I'm trying to set my expectations at a realistic level. I look in the mirror and try to shift my belly this way and that, trying to anticipate how many stretch marks will remain, and wondering where they will end up. I know I will still have them, unfortunately that's a foregone conclusion. I look at my breasts, and I know I will have an anchor scar. Will I be able to wear a v-neck dress or top without the scars showing? It's not often that I show that much cleavage, but in a bathing suit or on a date night with my husband I may want to show a little. How small will my areolas be? Will my breasts be even? Will I be happy with them if they aren't? My PS has amazing TT scars, from what I've seen, they are elliptical and low. Will mine look the same? Is a little curve to my waist too much to hope for? Bottom line, will I be happy with an improvement, which there will most certainly be, or will I continue to cast a critical eye on my body, seeking an ever-elusive standard of perfection? My prayer is that I would maintain the right attitude and perspective.
As I reflect on my years of yo-yo dieting and face the fear that I will let my weight get out of control again, I think about how much motivation my reflection will provide for me to keep my focus on "just 5 lbs." of weight fluctuation. I will no longer have the frustration of a sad, hanging belly and droopy, sagging breasts to face me when I step out of the shower. I may even shower with my husband in the future...you know--conserve water! ;-) I will be HOT!!! And I want to keep it that way!!!!!
About Last Night......
Yesterday I was trying close on at one of my favorite stores. I love dresses now and I tried on only body con dresses and they were all size 6 or 8. And they all fit me-- even the 6!! It is enough for me to get used to being a little, but now to be able to look at my reflection in the mirror and be happy about what I see-- the prospect of it is a bit overwhelming. So when my husband asked me if I was okay and I got silent, he pressed me to tell him what was going on and I broke down. That poor man! I'm so emotional! I'm usually very positive about this whole process and I'm actually really excited!! In less than two weeks I will be joining those of you have crossed over to the flat side, and I realize my recovery time when I look back at it will have gone just as quickly as this time leading up to my surgery. Before I know it I will be walking around with a flat tiny little tummy and perky breasts! The scars will be fading, I will be walking upright, I won't feel any pain anymore, and I'll be back to my normal routine. But my body will be significantly different.
In my 20s I didn't appreciate the body I had. I don't remember ever looking at myself naked in the mirror and thinking, 'You're one hot babe!' I think I took my body for granted. Let's face it-- I took a lot of things for granted in my 20s! For most of my 30s I was very unhappy with my body. I was happy that I was a mom, but I felt frumpy and very, very unattractive. Even after I lost some weight, I still wasn't happy with my belly.
I think I'm just really going to have to process this whole change..... But I barely have time to pack!! Maybe on the flight down there? Or the extra day that I have now that my surgery has been moved to the 15th..... I tell you what--pondering THAT while on the beach in a bathing suit would be a really great idea! Haha! Maybe I should wear a bikini for the first time in forever...... let my tummy go out with a bang!! ;-)
Have a wonderful Friday, my RS sisters!!!
Let's Get Physical
10 Days-- Can It Be Possible??
I have been so blessed through this process to experience very little negativity. I've told several of my friends from church, one at a time, and they are all very supportive. Some have shared their insecurities that they have dealt with, and a couple have even said they would like to have some work done. My husband is, of course, awesome, and we have talked about how much fun it will be to experience this time together, just the two of us. We both feel like it will bring us even closer together.
I'm feeling strong today, and grateful for this opportunity, and healthy, and happy! I just did a new routine for my cardio dance class to "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. Here are the lyrics, and they describe exactly how I feel!
It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do
Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold it back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Hey, come on
Bring me down
Can't nothing bring me down
My level's too high
Bring me down
Can't nothing bring me down
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can't nothing bring me down
My level's too high
Bring me down
Can't nothing bring me down
Hey, come on
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level's too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)
I hope each of you are having a HAPPY day! :-)
For the first time in about two weeks, I slept well last night. I was so exhausted, I didn't even tuck the kids in--they tucked ME in, haha! I went to bed at 9pm, and slept until 6! I woke feeling refreshed and my mind is clear. Praise God! Now, to pack! :-)
Back to the Drawing Board
Usually, a lack of sleep means my mind won't shut down. It means I'm stressed about something. The stress I feel about the surgery has to do with what I can control...have I packed everything (yes! I'm packed!)? Am I missing something? Those things I can't control--or even truly anticipate, since I don't know what to expect-- I have to let them go. Yes, the thought has crossed my mind that something could happen, but I'm not really worried about that so much. I'm in my best health ever, have a positive mental attitude, and the chances of complications are slim. Flying is not a stressor for me. Going to a new country isn't, either. I know, I must be crazy, right? No, I just have a very healthy sense of adventure!
I am worried about my husband. He doesn't do very well with any perceived threat to me, whether it be sickness, injury, or even the the thought of something bad happening to me. I pray that he will be able to handle seeing me in pain. I'll try to minimize the extent of it for him, but I'll be REAL with you ladies!! :-)
Happy Mother's Day to all you mommies!!
Two Weeks Away
I didn't sleep much last night, had a teary moment in the airport thinking about how much I'm going to miss my kids, and I just started my period....oh.joy.
I'm going to coordinate some things with Myra, then take a NAP!! Later, taters! :-))
On to my pre-op!!!
I go in at 7:30, and my surgery should start around 8. Dr. FG and Karel have been amazing as well. He's very funny! And Giovanny, his driver, is very nice, although he does not speak English, so our attempts to communicate have been comical!
I'm a little worried about laughing after the surgery. My husband is very funny, and makes me laugh all the time! And I hear the pain in your abdomen is no joke when laughing, coughing, or sneezing....in this case, laughter is NOT the best medicine! But I guess we will have to see, because I won't know until it happens.
We skyped with the kids again last night. I felt a pang of guilt because I promised my youngest I was going to be fine. Sounds crazy, huh? But I know there is a small chance of something happening, and the thought crossed my mind that she would be angry because I had lied to her if I die. Morbid much? Haha! Other than sending a Facebook message to my parents, best friend, and mother-in-law saying I love them, I haven't bought into the notion that anything bad is going to happen, and that was just a precaution, so to speak.
I slept well, snuggled up with my husband, and this morning he said some very sweet things to me. I love that man!
Please keep me in your prayers, and I will update later today!
I Made It!!
So now I have to wait for the anti-nausea medicine to kick in. The doctor came in tonight, but I was too loopy to remember.
Oh, now I remember what I was going to tell you guys..when I threw up, it didn't really hurt my abs. It was sore but no more than that!
No Pain So Far.....except.....
I had thought I was starting my period the other day, but it was a false alarm. Instead, it started last night! Thankfully, I have a Mirena iud in, so it's just spotting.
Dr. FG came in last night and talked to my husband, but I don't even remember him being here. I'll get the whole scoop later, but apparently I had a couple of hernias that he had to remove as well. My husband prayed with him and his surgical assistant.
My husband said the surgery too several more hours than he planned, perhaps because of the hernias. He spent three hours on my breasts alone, so hopefully they will look fantastic!
They've given me Phenergan, but I keep getting nauseous. And I can't see the rest of my body, but my arms and hands are very swollen. Overall, I feel good, even with the nausea. I love the surgery center, Plastimedic--the nurses are wonderful! It's a modern facility, too. No issues like I've heard of at other places.
I would also like to point out that Dr. FG spent a lot of time with my husband and me, and even gave me a cellphone to use while I'm here. I feel very at ease with him. I'll wait until I see my results before I give a detailed review on him, but so far everything has been amazing!
GOT A PEEK!!!!
As for my results, I am extremely happy! The girls are higher than I thought they would be, even accounting for the fact that they will drop into their permanent position within the next two months. My incision is low, and he said he took 10lbs. of skin off my abdomen, and 2000 ml of fat from my back and flanks!! I'm very swollen, but impressed with my shape already. I told him to do whatever he thought best with my breasts (reduction or just lift), and he made me a full C. I am thrilled beyond belief with that! I haven't worn a C-cup since I was 13!!! He got rid of most of my stretch marks and said that if I lose any more weight, it will be proportionate to my body. I had FOUR small hernias, all of which he removed, and he said I had severe diastasis-- my abdominal muscles were 6 inches apart! Overall, he said he is very pleased with my results, and I am, too!
I will say this-- I cannot imagine someone coming here who does not know the language. What I remember from high school and college has thankfully come back to me. My husband was very frustrated last night because I was in pain, and although he had the translator app, he didn't think to use it. I don't remember any of this, but I'm so glad he is here!
Let me tell you-- the cook here at Real Recovery Armonia is phenomenal! Her name is Helena and she pays attention. I told her the other day that I loved the soup, and she made more for me today. She doesn't put vegetables or salad on my husband's plate because he doesn't like them. We are getting awesome care!
Didn't mean to submit...
I woke up from surgery with a binder on. When my PS took it off to change my dressings, I knew exactly what you ladies were talking about when you said you felt unprotected. I felt like i was going to split open! NOT a good feeling! When they put the cg on, I immediately felt better.
Speaking of the cg, I have a love/hate relationship with it already. Mine does not extend to my thighs, but is cut like a bathing suit. There is so much swelling in my legs that the pain is horrible in the crease between my inner thighs and pubic area. I have to put something soft between my skin and the cg or I will go crazy with the pain!
I've also felt the burning, stinging sensation in my back, like being stung deep by the biggest hornet ever. It's only happened twice so far.
I cannot find a comfortable position for my butt. Even with a pillow under it, there's all this pressure! I have two wedge pillows and six regular pillows that I'm lying on. My hubby says I look like royalty....now all I need are grapes and palm leaves, lol! Speaking of the lol, my husband has made me chuckle, and there's a tightening in my abs, but nothing like the pain I felt when I threw up. Praise God for that!!
I'm not trying to complain...I just want to be honest about my journey. For those who are considering surgery, Day 1 post-op, walking like a granny, feeling like an invalid, and having weird pains in different parts of my body, I would still say hands down it's worth it! When I slipped on a size Medium maxi dress that I'll be wearing to go home, and even with the swelling I could see curves in all the RIGHT places, when I stare at my perky boobs (did I mention how happy I am with them??), when I look down and see the flatness of my tummy.....I simply cannot stop grinning, even through the pain!
Oh, and it does not take much for me to feel full. A few bites, and I'm not hungry anymore, a few more and I'm stuffed.
Totally worth it!!!
5am, Pain in the A$$, Commode Conversations
So, while I'm sitting on the toilet, about to fall asleep, because the porcelain throne is preferable, my wonderful husband asks me how to say "butt" in Spanish. Only I don't remember the word for "butt"...only the word for "A$$"! So he goes to the night nurse and says, "Mi esposa culo dolor"....haha! The night nurse came, I explained to her what was going on (nothing she can do about it), and I ended up telling her my whole life story in broken Spanish while sitting on the commode at 5 am....that poor woman! It didn't occur to me that maybe she would rather be sleeping. I was just enjoying the company.....while sitting on the toilet. No shame! Lol!
So, for those of you who haven't had your surgery yet, look out for the pain in your butt!
I've heard that days 2 and 3 are the worst, and after that it gets a little better every day. Day 2 down, Day 3 to go. I've got this!!
Day 4--Spanish, Cerra la puerta, y mucho dolor en mi espalda
Speaking of my wonderful, dear husband, he lost it last night. I was in so much pain, had already taken my pain pill (which hasn't really done anything for me), and could not get comfortable. It was 3 am, and he went all through the recovery house trying to find the night nurse (there are two), but could not find anyone. He said, "hello" several times, but no one came. He's not happy. He's also not happy that every time they come in our room, they leave the door open. The main areas don't have air conditioning, but the bedrooms do, so when they do that, all the cool air goes out. Add to that the fact that he's not sleeping well because I'm not sleeping well. He messaged the PS this morning. The nurse suggested at my follow-up appointment today, I ask the doctor for sleep medicine and something stronger for the pain.
For those who have not had surgery yet, I will describe the pain the best I can. When I am getting up from a reclining position, or lying down in a reclining position, it feels like my skin and flesh are tearing apart. It's like my body is trying to knit itself back together, and I'm undoing the healing when I move my back. This may not be what is happening, but it is the best way I can describe the pain.
I'm trying to stay positive, but it is really hard. My husband messaged the doctor, and he said he's going to remove my drains today, and that will help a lot. He said the back drain adds more pain, but with the Lipo on my back, it was the best way to drain the fluids and assure healing. I'm confident in his abilities and care. I will also ask about sleep medicine and better pain medicine. My appointment is at noon.
There are ups and downs to this journey. As I watched my husband sleeping at one point last night, I thought to myself I would trade the surgery for one good night's sleep. Lack of sleep can drastically change one's perspective!
Meet Juan and Pablo
What a difference a drain makes!!
In my mind, I'm doing a happy dance!
I will try to load a picture of me from today. It's bride of Frankenstein, BUT focus on the difference in my breasts and tummy. I have a ton of swelling that will eventually subside, but I am so incredibly happy already with my outcome! I love, love, LOVE my breasts, and my belly button!!
I have a two-hour lymphatic massage today. I'm still very swollen, and I know exactly what you ladies mean by "swell hell"! But I am so happy to be here in swell hell rather than in my saggy boobs and hanging belly! This too shall pass!!
A note on my pictures....my husband says I look so much better than the pictures indicate. He said my coloring is better, and the scars are not as dark. Everything in my tummy is swelling, and after that resolves, I am confident I will be flat. I am over the moon about my breasts, though!!! My thighs also have a ton of swelling. I've never had thunder thighs before!!!
I slept in two four-hour stretches last night, so I'm seeing great improvement in my sleep. It's easier to fall asleep and go back to sleep, and if I wake up uncomfortable, I can slowly and carefully adjust my position so that I can go back to sleep. I will continue taking the sleeping pills until the end of the week, and then try a night without them to see if I can continue on my own.
The new pain meds are working better. I don't get loopy, but I get more talkative (I'm sure my husband loves THAT side effect!). I take them every 8 hours. This morning I woke up with a shooting pain in my left breast. I am not sure where it came from, but I took a scheduled pain pill and the sensation has subsided. I will mention it to my PS today, but I think it's probably just nerves reawakening. Up until now I have felt no pain at all in my breasts. My tt incision has not hurt, though I feel a tightness in my belly, and sometimes a pain in the crease between my right thigh and my pubic region. I think it is because of the swelling. The vast majority of my pain comes from my back, where the Lipo was done, and from hunching over.
Dr. FG is pleased with my progress, and will check me again today. He said that when I return home, I will still be in his care, and he will ask me to email him pictures or Skype with him so he can see my progress. He also said that if I follow his direction regarding my scars for three months, they will not be noticeable to me after that time. A bold claim! I think I will take him up on that! I really like him! He's very down-to-earth. I am flat-out astounded by his breastwork. It's difficult to envision my tummy because of all the swelling right now, but I am focusing on the fact that my hanging belly is gone, my scar is low and my belly button is perfect! :-) There was a lot of trauma to my body, between the Lipo and the hernias and the muscle repair, in addition to the breast lift and tummy tuck!! Because of that, I have more pronounced swelling. It won't last forever, though!
There's a scale in my PS's office. I was very tempted to get on it yesterday. I think I probably weigh about the same as when I had the surgery. I could be wrong, but with all this swelling, it feels like it. But I would rather wait until I get home to weigh myself, so that I can deal with it in the privacy of my bathroom....or yell out for everyone to come see, haha! I'd be good with that!!
My PS did talk with me about the importance of not striving for perfection. He said that a PS is not there to make you look good in clothes, but to look good naked. Scar placement is key, as well as sutures and scar care. Having a healthy diet, getting plenty of water and vitamins and minerals also play a part. But I should not compare my body or my progress to other women's. I'm not them. I don't have their bone structure, body type, skin, etc. That's a very good reminder. My PS is amazing, but he's not God. I need to be happy with the skin I'm in. This surgery is not a fast fix to a self esteem. It certainly will boost your confidence, but unless you already have a healthy attitude about yourself, the surgery will only exacerbate any insecurities and you will become more obsessed with being "perfect". True beauty comes from within. What is outside is fleeting. Okay, sermon over! :-)
Have a great day, ladies!! I'm going to shower (an hour process!) And get ready for my massage. Be blessed!!
Oh, my PS gave me a 5lb. bag of rice to wear on my abdomen while implying down, so that the pressure will help redistribute the swelling that is pooling in the middle of my lower abdomen and pubic area. I slept with it last night, but woke up with it by my side. Hopefully it made some difference before falling down on the job!
Good morning!! It's been one week since my surgery, and I really do feel better every day! Life is good! Not everyone can afford to have this done. We are all so blessed to have people in our lives who will help out after, the financial resources, and the bravery (as my husband says) to follow through with it!
The ONLY negative about this experience for me (outside of the expected pain, discomfort, etc.) has been the lack of reliability in what are everyday expectations in the States-- lack of hot water for showers, sporadic internet accessibility, and electricity that flickers, and generators that won't power the a.c.....these are annoyances. I've read a lot of other reviews about D.R., and knew what to expect, but it is still frustrating at times.
Back to me, haha! I eventually calmed down, my husband messaged Dr. FG, and I put the stronger faja on (with help, of course!). I settled down and slept almost 8 hours without waking up! I will not be taking anymore keeping pills. They make me feel lethargic during the day, like the sleep I got was not quality sleep, so it's just not worth it to me to take them.
I am hoping that when I go to the Dr. today, I will see a remarkable improvement in the contour of my belly. Dr. FG said that my belly skin is very soft. He's right--I have NO elasticity. Which means my belly will not look like a teenager's. But he assures me it will be flat, and that I will be happy with the results.
On a perkier note *ahem*, my breasts are still fabulous and problem-free! :-D
Have a wonderful day, ladies!!!
A Dose of Surreality
There's No Place Like Home
My husband took some pictures of me yesterday in the dress I'm wearing home today. It doesn't look as good without my face (okay, okay, not being vain, here! It's hard to have a frame of reference for my size with my head cropped off!), but I want to maintain my anonymity on here. At least it gives you an idea of the curves I've got!
We are leaving for the doctor's office at 8:15. Yesterday was tough. I feel a mixture of excitement and sadness. These women here at the recovery house are so amazing! I will probably misspell some of their names, but Reina, the cook, is flat out amazing! She has a smile that lights up a room, and she pays attention to details. She makes sure that my husband gets lots of coffee, has wowed me with her soups because I complimented her on the first one, and her cooking is wonderful. The nurses-- Olga, Veronica, Elsa Rosario, Ingrid, Beanisa, and Carolina-- have been attentive, but trusting of my husband's desire to take care of me. They've given us a lot of space, but been there when we needed them. The rest of the staff are wonderful, too. Milagros made me smile every day. I'm going to miss them!
And Yaniriy, the massage therapist that Dr. FG uses, is wonderful! She spoke very little English, but somehow we managed to become friends. And Karel, Dr. FG's assistant, is just wonderful! We hit it off the first day! Now about my PS....I won't recommend that EVERYONE go to him, because then he would be too busy!! Seriously, surgery outside of the States is not for everyone. I would suggest a minimum of two weeks spent there, a very positive and easygoing companion, a basic understanding of Spanish, and thorough research. But if you are already thinking about heading to the DR for your surgery, you can trust that with Dr. FG you will be in excellent hands! I will miss them all!
But HOME!! I miss my kids so much! And my family and friends, church, house, BED!!!! I can't wait to get there!
Okay, now that I got that out, lol! The post that disappeared had a revised list of things to bring. I'll update that later. I feel so good! My body is healing, the swelling has improved remarkably, I'm walking upright, with the exception of when I first get out of bed-- I'm hunched over for just a few moments. My appetite has decreased to the point where I eat very small portions, but I get hungry more frequently. No room in the faja, lol! I have no swelling in my legs, feet, or hands. The only areas where I am swollen are my back, where the Lipo was done, and my abdomen. But they are getting better and better. I'm still over the moon about my breasts, and I'm beginning to appreciate my tummy. While reapplying my dressings after my shower last night, I looked down and saw a flat belly. No overhang, no misshapen form. Is this really me?! It's hard to believe!
I'm sleeping better, only taking Tylenol or Advil as needed, and drinking plenty of water, pineapple juice, and eating soups. When I get home, I will transition to green smoothies with coconut water and pineapple and I will juice at least once a day. I can't wait to try on my clothes and see how they fit! And buy more!!!
I am so thankful for the people the Lord put in our life during this adventure! And I'm so thankful for the opportunity to have this experience with my husband by my side. He's been so amazing!
Okay, gotta get ready!! Have a lovely day, ladies!
We had a three hour layover in Atlanta, because I had read that going through immigration would take a long time and, well, it's Atlanta. Biggest airport, most gate changes, furthest distance from gate to gate-- I figured it was better safe than sorry. Our three hour layover turned into a nightmare. Our flight was delayed half an hour, then when they got us on the plane ( I will say this-- they bumped us up to Economy Comfort because of Dr. FG's letter-- yay, Delta!!). After 90 minutes, we had to deboard, because the navigation system wasn't working, and they couldn't get it fixed. Then after another hour's wait, we boarded yet another plane to get home. All in all, we were in travel mode for over 13 hours. By the time we got home at 1:00 a.m., I was so swollen, I was almost in tears. Despite the compression hose, my toes looked like sausages. My faja was incredibly tight, and here's a little TMI....my pubic area was swollen to the point of being hard to the touch! OUCH!
Annnnnd.....what's the first thing I did when I got home? Got on the scale! Sad, huh? But even with clothes on and all the swelling, I weighed 155, which is exactly what I weighed the day I went into surgery. This morning, with compression garment, bra, and nightgown on, I weighed 152 ( I peed a LOT during the night!) This morning I woke up with my nice, thin ankles again, even though some of the swelling has not gone down in my lady bits. Ken doll syndrome, here we go.
I'm delighted to be home! My husband goes back to work on Thursday, and I want to spend as much time with him and the kids as I can before then, so I will update more on Thursday, while he is at work, and I will check up on you ladies as well. In the mean time, happy healing and be blessed!
My son settled me on the sofa with tons of pillows, and we all sat down to a movie. Then we had my son's boy scouts court of honor last night, and we were supposed to bring a covered dish. I made baked macaroni and cheese and pasta salad, with a lot of help from my son. Then after scouts, we went to my mom's to see one of my sister's (or, so she could see ME, lol!). She oohed and aahed, and asked me if it was worth it. Ummm....YES!!!!
We got home at around 8:30, and I felt like I was wearing clothes that were twenty sizes too small for me! Ouch!! I drank some pineapple juice and put my feet up. I slept for 10 hours last night, and woke up feeling refreshed. After peeing for what felt like an hour (no joke!), I stepped on the scale, and.......151!!!!!! I'm in shock! So I did a little fashion show for my husband, and then put my cg back on, and I'm on the second row of hooks now!!! Here are some pictures from this morning. Have a great day!!!
2 Weeks Post-op
Yesterday I took it easy-- no trips to the store, no visits, I didn't even get dressed. I was either in bed or on the sofa, with my feet propped up, all day. We watched movies, snuggled, I napped while my husband and kids played outside-- it's so good to be home! My reward for taking it easy? 149.6 on the scale this morning! Woo hoo!!!
I'm feeling better every day. My incisions are itching the unscratchable itch, and although laughing doesn't bother me, coughing and sneezing do. I don't feel pain, per se, just an uncomfortable tightness in my abdomen. I laugh a lot more than I cough or sneeze, though! My left breast is beginning to drop, ever so slightly. I noticed it last night, after my shower. As per PS directions, I am keeping medpore tape on my anchor incisions (the vertical and under breast parts, not the areolas), and on my tt incision. I'm putting bacitracin ointment on my incisions, as well. I have a few places on my breast incisions that are seeping fluid a little bit, but I'm told that is normal, so no worries there. My tt incision is nice and thin and healing well. My belly button is adorable! Once the swelling in my lower abdomen and pubic area resolves, I think it will look even cuter. I don't feel that weird "coming apart" pain in my back anymore. When I first stand up, I walk hunched over for just a few moments, and then I straighten up. I've snuggled with my husband while lying on my side briefly a couple of times, but it feels uncomfortable. I will be so happy when I have other sleep position options!!
After I can start driving again in 2 weeks, I am thinking about going to Victoria's Secret and getting sized for a bra....and maybe buying some sexy lingerie! I am going to have to relearn shopping! For years, I've shopped for clothes that camouflaged my belly. I concentrated on V-necks because they elongated my frame, stayed away from horizontal stripes, because they made me look even bigger, bought blousy tops because they hid my tummy....now, I will have to throw out all of those rules! Something tells me I'm going to LOVE trying on clothes now!!
Have a lovely day, lovely ladies!
Updated Supply List
4 Maxi dresses -- I really could have done with one more, I think. Maxi dresses, because they hide the drains, while they're in, and the compression hose on the trip there and home.
1-2 light cardigans-- I brought a black one and a white one, to cover up the straps of the compression garment.
4 zip-front or snap-front housecoats. I bought mine at Walmart, two of them were on sale for $3! They were light cotton, had big square pockets in the front that were perfect for my drains, and were easy to get into and out of.
2 bars Dial anti-bacterial soap
3x3 gauze pads
5 pairs granny panties, in a size larger than you are used to wearing
protein bars, dried fruit, raw almonds-- any healthy snack that will fit in your purse. You will want to keep something with you at all times, in case a doctor's appointment runs late or causes you to miss a meal.
vitamins and supplements
Advil-- check with your PS on this, but I couldn't take it before the surgery, so I didn't think to bring it after. It helps with pain AND inflammation!
muscle rub-- you will have back pain, and although the muscle rub doesn't really stop it, it feels much better once it's rubbed on. My husband rubbed it on my back before I put my faja on, after a shower, and I slept much better that night. Unfortunately, I didn't think to use it until a few nights before we left!
Ecodrink-- if you don't like drinking plain water, this is especially good. It's a vitamin drink mix that is berry or orange-flavored (I like both). I bought it at Costco, or you can get it on Amazon. This is a great way to get you vitamins if you don't like taking pills!
flushable wipes-- I brought six packs of them, and used 4.
anti-bacterial hand wipes-- great for when it's too much trouble to get out of bed, but you need to wash your hands!
5 white ribbed tank tops-- wear them under your faja, it's much more comfortable
5 hand towels-- used exclusively for drying off your incision sites after showers
bacitracin ointment-- you can use Neosporin but I'm allergic to it. I put this on my incision sites, and in my belly button, every time I changed dressings.
fragrance-free moisturizer-- I use Olay body wash at home, so I don't usually need a moisturizer after my shower. The Dial soap dried out my skin big time, so I applied Cetaphil cream to it before putting on my faja after showers. It felt so much better!
Collapsible luggage-- you can buy it at Walmart. It's like a duffle bag. There's a lot of supplies you'll be taking with you that you will use in the D.R. Going home, you can just stow it in your carry-on.
Neck pillow-- I did not bring one, and regretted it! They let me use one at the recovery house, but on the trip home, I really could have used one.
Ask your PS before you start buying supplies specifically what they provide. I bought lipofoam and compression hose, and my PS provided them. I could have saved the money if I had asked first.
Bring lots of books, puzzles, playing cards, dvd's, a laptop, or other electronic device-- they have Netflix in the D.R., and a better selection than they do here! We watched a lot of movies, read, talked, wished we would have brought playing cards. It can get monotonous staring at the same four walls!
Almost 3 weeks
But the emotional part of my brain, which my husband can verify makes up certainly more than one half, has counted my recovery in the hours spent with my feet up, the loads of wash that aren't getting done, the floors that aren't getting swept, the grocery shopping that is not getting done, and the minutes-- then endless, sausage-encased minutes-- spent in that medieval torture device they call a compression garment!
Let's talk compression garments for a moment. Oh. My. Word. For those of you who may not have had your surgery yet, if you currently wear Spanx in an effort to smooth your lumps when going out on the town with your man, imagine, if you will, that you accidently washed your Spanx in hot water, then dried them on the highest setting, so that when they came out of the dryer, they looked more like a child's biker shorts. But, in this imaginary scenario, you really want to look nice for your night out, so you think to yourself, 'How bad can it be?', and then find out just exactly how bad it can be when you have to call three of your closest friends to help you get them over your hips!
For those of you who had already had surgery when I asked the very naïve question about whether wearing a compression garment was much the same as wearing said Spanx prior to surgery........have you stopped laughing at me now?
Here are the very positive things that are happening:
1) In the morning, I am T.I.N.Y. under my ribcage. It looks like I'm sucking it in with all my might, but I'm not.
2) 148. That was the number on the scale this morning. As my dear mother-in-law says, "Color me happy!"
3) I'm walking upright all the time, and when I walk, I walk at the same pace as normal people. I'm not normal, of course! I usually walk at breakneck speed, with my little legs scurrying along, and I'm definitely not there yet, but if I went to the store, I would be able to get around without looking like Quasimodo.
4) My breasts are falling into place, and I'm still very happy with their size and shape, and the size of my areolas.
5) My tt incision is thin and healing nicely.
1) I have places that are slow to heal on my breasts, which I knew was to be expected. I will be skyping with Dr. FG tomorrow so he can see how my incisions are healing, and I will mention it to him then.
2) I have very sensitive skin, and I think I had an allergic reaction on my areolas to the bacitracin ointment I've been putting on them. Not too bad, though, and it seems to be clearing up now.
3) I still have a lot of swelling in my lower abdomen ALL THE TIME, and I definitely have the Ken doll thing going on. When I press on my lower abdomen, I can hear the fluid gurgling...gross, huh? Whenever I am lying down, I keep a 5 lb. bag of rice on my lower abdomen and pubic area for extra pressure, but it has still not resolved.
4) I am stir crazy. We need food staples, and I can't just get in the car and go get them. I am on the go all the time, and that's a big frustration for me. Today is going to be an active day-- my husband is off work, and we are going to visit friends this afternoon, go to the grocery store for those much needed groceries, and then tonight we're going to have a date night! I just hope by the time the afternoon is over, I don't look like a beached whale for our date!
Ladies, I hope you are doing well. I need to play catch-up on your updates! In the mean time, happy healing!
3 Weeks Post-op
On Tuesday evening, my cg was cutting into my waist so much that it was painful. I took it off and put on a Flexees that I had from before the surgery. I slept so much better that night! I continued wearing it yesterday. I was really active yesterday. We went to Wal-Mart, and I decided I was up for walking, since I didn't need that much, but as usual I ended up going all over the store and getting more than I had planned. By the time I was almost done, I knew I had overdone it. We went home, and after putting the groceries away, I went and put my feet up. My husband and I had planned on going out, and I wanted to rest up for it!
I really enjoyed our date night, and didn't feel that bad, although I knew my swelling had gotten worse. After my shower, we put my new cg on (after a long conversation about whether Dr. FG would approve of the cg I'd been wearing all day!), and whereas before it was relatively easy to close it on the last row of hooks, it was extremely difficult just getting the FIRST row hooked!!! Ladies, learn from my mistake! Wear your cg. Follow your doctor's orders! I will say that I put Lipo foam in my cg around my waist, so it won't cut into my sides anymore.
Here's a few things I have forgotten to mention before:
My last dose of pain meds was taken the day we left the DR. I have taken Advil a couple of times since then for discomfort, but I haven't really been in any pain.
I'm wearing a size Medium in dresses, but I am not buying any other clothes until the end of summer. The dresses will be easy to wear all summer, and by the end of August, I should have a better idea of how shorts and jeans will fit me. Until then, there's not really any point in buying tops.
I think my bladder must be gallon-sized, with the amount of peeing I do first thing in the morning!
My wonderful husband is still washing my hair, but I can do everything else with my shower now. I rather enjoy it! ;-D
I find that the days when I drink a lot of water tend to be the best for me.
I'm keeping my sodium intake down. That little sprinkle of salt is just not worth extra swelling!
3 Weeks Post-op Part Two
Four Weeks Post-Op Update
I will update pictures as well. As of this morning, I weigh 147!! Woo hoo! I'm celebrating every pound! And at night, when I weigh myself, there's only a couple of pounds difference, whereas two weeks ago, there was 5-7 lbs. difference by the end of the day. Yesterday I had a very active day, and I didn't feel horribly swollen at the end of it.
Per doctor's orders (and much to my husband's delight!), I have been air drying my incisions after my nightly showers. I walk around naked like it's the most natural thing in the world. I enjoy it when I catch my husband looking at me. The first thing I see when I get out of the shower is my body, and rather than immediately look away, I now take a long moment to absorb the fact that the reflection in the mirror is MINE! I am thrilled beyond belief!
Yesterday I tried on bathing suits. It was a disappointment, but not because of my shape for once. I have no idea what size I should be wearing in bathing suits, and the ones I tried on were ill-fitting. I will not be buying a bikini (that's showing way too much skin for me!), but I did try a cute one on, and it fit me and my scar was covered completely by the bottoms. Dr. FG did such a great job! I never liked trying on clothes before, but because of the way I looked no matter what I tried on. Yesterday it was more about the aggravation of taking off and putting on the cg between trips to the fitting room, trying on different sizes, looking through jumbled racks of tangled suits....I will try again when I'm not wearing my cg in a couple of weeks. We are going to the beach in July for a couple of days, so I need to find one before then, but there's no rush. I DID, however, try on a pair of size 6 boyfriend jeans, and they were LOOSE in the waist!!! It was probably just the cut, as I know boyfriend jeans are supposed to be loose, but that still means I could probably be wearing a size 6 jeans before it's over, and I am in awe of that possibility.
My incisions are healing nicely, and my T-incisions are closed up, except for one tiny hole that should be closed by the weekend at the rate it's going. I've been putting Vaseline on my incisions, but today I have graduated to silicone scar sheets!! I am excited about it, because I've moved onto the scar therapy part of my healing. My PS suggested Rose Mosqueta oil, which I purchased on Amazon, to start putting on my incisions. I also mixed up a concoction consisting of raw shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, vitamin E oil, and rose mosqueta oil, and I am using that as a moisturizer and massage oil. I apply it after my shower every night.
I am so happy to be done with medipore tape!!! I have very sensitive skin, and my poor belly looks like it has a rash from all the medipore tape I've used. But I'm done with that now. As of last night, I coiled up the gauze I put in my belly button area, then put on my tank top, and it held it in place. What a relief!
Starting today, I can wear my cg for only 12 hours. I haven't decided yet whether I will wear it at night and while I sleep, or during the day. I will try both, and see how I feel. I no longer feel....insecure not wearing my cg. I feel fine without it on. I feel a little twinge in my breast incisions when reaching for something, and phantom itches and needle-like sensations at random times in my breasts. I know it's normal, and I'm just thankful that I still have sensation in my nipples!!
My TT incision is healing nicely. It's going to look wrinkled in the pictures, because of my stretch marks and also because of my tank top and cg. But it's nice and thin, and I'm very happy with it. All the panties I have are either bikini or hip huggers, and my scar is covered by all of them. I can stretch with no problems, and last night I was aware of turning onto my side, and feeling comfortable, so I went back to sleep in that position. What bliss!
I am anxious to start working out. I tentatively tried a few hip moves yesterday (we do a lot of those in my class), and although I felt a little tugging, there was no pain, and I loved the way my stomach moved! I have to wait two more weeks before I can ease back into working out (translation: light treadmill walking--boring!!), but I do not want to overdo it, so I will obey doctor's orders. I want to go visit my class next week, though, and see everyone. And I might pick up a few new routines from the substitute! :-)
I feel more energy this week. The swelling is getting better in my lower abdomen and pubic area. When I look at pictures from the first week compared to this morning, I am amazed! I bought more dresses from Old Navy, size 8, and they're a little big on me, but they still look good, so I'm happy! That is one big change in me. I used to hate wearing dresses and shorts. Ironically, I've always had rather nice legs, but I just didn't think I looked nice in them. Now, I wear dresses especially all the time. I feel pretty and comfortable and fashionable in them-- what a great feeling!
I think I've about covered it all. Have a wonderful day!!
My husband joked that I keep showing naked pictures to more and more men, lol! It was just more confirmation that I did the right thing and chose the right PS for me!
I have had several friends ask me for information, and one after another who has said they want something done. Who knows? I may start a medical tourism company with packages to go see my PS, haha!
The number 1 question I get asked is if I would do it all over again now that I know what I had to go through. I give a resounding "YES!!" It is so very worth it for the change in my confidence, the ability to wear clothes not for their ability to hide my stomach, but just because I like them. I know the swelling, the exhaustion that comes when I overdo it a little, and the weird sensations I feel in my back and tummy will go away. But the changes in me--mentally as well as physically-- are long-lasting.
My PS cleared me for light exercise, so yesterday I went to the Y and walked on the treadmill. 30 minutes for 1 mile, and it whooped my butt! But it felt great, and I got to see the ladies from my cardio dance class, who were over the moon about my results! I am itching to get back to doing cardio dance, but I will bide my time on the treadmill and work my way up to it. Patience is not my forte, but maybe a lesson in all of this is that I could do with more of it.
I was wearing my cg during the day, and sleeping without it at night, but I'm transitioning to wearing it at night so that my discomfort will be managed while I'm unconscious, lol! We'll see how that works out! I find I have more wardrobe options without it. My husband said I'm getting shallow now, haha! I want to dress nicely all the time! :-)
I want to mention something else....as delicately as I can. Ease back into intimacy at a pace you can handle. Listen to your body, and know that things may be a bit different at first. I am more sensitive now, and my husband and I are enjoying the adventure of seeing how things work all over again! ;-)
7 Week Post-Op Update
Here is the rundown on my progress:
-- I weigh 146!!! Woo hoo! It is also my TOM, which means when it's over I may be at 145. I really don't want to go any lower, mainly because...
-- I went clothes shopping!!!! My wonderful husband took me shopping, and it was so much fun trying on clothes for him! Not to mention hot, lol! I wear a size 6 in dresses, a 6p in pants/jeans, and a small in shirts, with the exception of button-down, where I need a medium so the shirt won't gap at the girls. I also need to find a really good seamstress, as my pants gap at the waist.
-- I went from an apple to an hourglass figure-- talk about an identity crisis, but in a GOOD way! It has been an adjustment, though. Ladies, please don't take lightly the psychological changes that happen with this surgery. Be prepared for tears, a roller coaster of emotions and an adjustment period.
-- There are whole hours that go by without me thinking about the surgery. By that, I mean that my body doesn't remind me with little twinges or swelling. Usually by the end of the day, I'm a little swollen in my lower belly, but it is very little and certainly manageable. When I sit down, and get up, I feel that flesh-replaced-with-rubber-foam feeling in my back, but I am relatively used to it now, as it seems to be my new normal. I can sleep on my side very comfortably, and have woken up on my stomach a few times, but still feel not quite right lying on my stomach.
-- I've been very open about my surgery. I have had no negative reactions to it. In fact, most people are very happy for me, and then tell me that they would like to have something done.
-- I clean the house, do the laundry, even overhauled my closet yesterday to organize it and make room for my new clothes! I don't notice any extra fatigue.
-- My scars are healing nicely, no complaints there.
-- I'm still in love with my breasts!! haha!
I am thrilled beyond belief with the changes in my body. Dr. FG greatly exceeded my expectations! Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine the positive effect this surgery has had on me!
Here are the reasons why I chose Dr. Fernandez Goico: 1) His tummy tuck and breast life without implants pictures. 2) His education-- he studied in Brazil with Dr. Pitanguay, who is known as the father of modern plastic surgery, and he did a clinical rotation at Harvard. Call me a snob, but that matters to me! 3) He's young, and establishing his practice. That means he has more time for each patient, and sees each patient as a person. 4) In his first email response to my pictures, he talked to me about my weight loss, what I wanted to do, my options, and asked me questions. NO other doctor I contacted did that. They all just sent me a quote, some of them for procedures I didn't even ask for! 5) Karel, his assistant, is a gem! She is wonderful! 6) They both speak English. If you are having surgery in the DR, even if you speak Spanish, too, this is a welcome change! Reasons I am happy with my choice: 1) The after care-- I never felt rushed. I never felt forgotten. He took the absolute BEST care of me! 2) My results--let's be honest, if he was amazing, funny, and caring, but didn't do a great job, I would not be singing his praises! I LOVE my breasts! I mean really, truly LOVE. And my TT scar is nice and low, and although I have swelling, I can see that my belly is flat and is going to get even more flat. And I have CURVES! Bada-bing! 3) I have read reviews where people compromised on bedside manner in exchange for results. I have read reviews where people chose based on their rapport with the doctor, and are unhappy with their results. I got bedside manner, rapport, results-- the works! No compromises!