Completing My Transformation - Flowood, MS

Since January 2008, I have lost 103 pounds of fat...

Since January 2008, I have lost 103 pounds of fat and gained some muscle. The weight has come off slowly since I am a Type 1 Insulin Dependent Diabetic, but that's fine with me. I think it has a better chance of staying off. As the weight came off, my abdomen began to protrude, especially on the left side of my navel. Scar tissue from insulin injections. I also developed the hanging apron.

I would joke that I would need surgery one day to "fix" this, but never really considered it. Now I wear an insulin pump and for the past 7 months, I've been having difficulty wearing infusion sites in my abdomen due to the loose skin and scar tissue. After discussing with my family, my endo MD & NP, and the PS I chose, it seems like this will help me in the long run. I know I won't be able to use my abdomen for awhile, but down the road is better than not at all.

What's funny is I never even realized the "cosmetic" aspect of it until my husband and I were picking up some postop pajamas. He said, just think how many inches you will lose in one day. I had never even thought about it. I wore a one piece swimsuit last year for the first time in 6 years and to think that one day I could actually wear a two piece - wow. It's funny because I went into this just with the idea that I was going to help myself in the future with my diabetes, but I will gain so much more. I'm now saying that my transformation will be complete.

Right now I'm anxious due to anesthesia, the wound itself and possibly complications. I'm worried because I have taken time off work - 3 weeks- and I don't even call in when I don't feel well. But, everyone at work has been very supportive. My husband is awesome. He is off the week of surgery, which is scheduled July 3rd. Also, my mom, who is also a nurse, works weekends, but she has taken the two weekends after surgery off, so she will be moving in for a couple weeks to help .

I'm also very stressed because I won't be able to exercise the way I do now. Which will be good for my body to rest itself, but exercise is what has changed my life - for the better. So, I will be so ready to get back to it once I'm able to. I started in January 2008 weighing 278 lbs with 56% bodyfat and I currently weigh in at 175-178 with 29% bodyfat. My goal weight is 165, so I'm close enough to proceed at this time.

So, here's to using this site as more encouragement and support to get through this. I'm adding my before and my 100 pound off photos and will add the before surgery photos as soon as I can.

Tomorrow morning is my preop visit. I believe I...

Tomorrow morning is my preop visit. I believe I have all the necessary postop supplies at home. Paid in full. I am starting to get very excited. Going to spend the weekend getting my house good and clean. Also going to spend a little time taking all the photos of my belly that I didn't like for people to see. I guess since it won't be there anymore, I better get them while I can. I can't believe it's only 6 days away now. It really helps coming to this site and reading updates and others experiences. The support here is awesome. The support I'm getting from everyone else is awesome as well. I guess the final countdown has begun.

Pre Op is over and done with. Got all of my final...

Pre Op is over and done with. Got all of my final instructions today. Wow. This morning on the drive to the office, I think it actually sunk in that it's here. I still have alot to do to prep my house and just be as organized and ready as I can be.

I am overwhelmed by the support I am getting from family and friends. It's so awesome to have such wonderful people in my life. As scared and anxious as I am, I feel like if I believe everything "bad" will happen to me, then it'll be alot easier once I crossover to the flat side.

Less than 24 hours I will be on the flat side. Oh...

Less than 24 hours I will be on the flat side. Oh my! I can't believe it is finally here. It truly kind of snuck up on me. It's almost like I've been in an out of body experience the past week just getting my house ready. Spent some time getting some final pictures of my girth in this morning. I can't believe this bane will be gone forever. I don't know what else I could of done to prepare myself. I'm still scared and nervous, but very excited at this point. I'm looking forward to September - once a couple months have passed, I'm sure I'll be feeling better and hopefully will be very happy with the results.

Well, it's been almost 24 hours since I went into...

Well, it's been almost 24 hours since I went into surgery. Everything yesterday went without a hitch. The surgeon and other staff were awesome! He said he removed a "foot and a half" of mostly skin and scar tissue. Said I didn't have alot of subcutaneous fat. He also did "light lipo" on my flanks to give me a better contoured look. I can't wait to see the results. The recovery nurse and PS couldn't believe how well I was doing when I woke up. So far, I'm taking my pain meds on schedule every 4 hours for the first 48. I'm "living" in one of those reclining chairs that actually lifts you up as well. As long as I'm in the right position I don't hurt too bad, but getting in and out of it to go to the bathroom sucks. My wonderful husband and mom are with me. I hate asking for help with anything on a regular day, but right now I'm giving in and being a little less independent. Hopefully later today i can see my abdomen. My mom saw it last night giving me the lovenox injection. I couldn't tell anything cause I was lying back in the chair. She said I looked very thin - cant wait.

Saw my new stomach for the first time. I love it!...

Saw my new stomach for the first time. I love it! I can't believe how good it looks. Pretty swollen but what a difference. I have a couple pics but haven't gotten to the computer to upload yet. Yesterday I pretty much slept on and off. Couldn't pay attention to the tv or my book. Very short attention span, but I'm attributing that to the pain meds. Going to space them out more starting today. Luckily, my pain has not been too bad but that's because I got on a med schedule as soon as I got home.

Well, my second postop appt is today. I can't...

Well, my second postop appt is today. I can't believe I haven't been on my computer in almost 2 weeks. Needless to say, when my PS told me to be still and let my body heal, I took his words seriously. I came home the day of surgery and propped up in the recliner and started my pain med schedule immediately. The only time I got up was to go to the bathroom. The only time I opened the binder was when it was time for a dressing change. I have even been using my grandmother's wheeled walker to assist in the 10 steps it takes to get to the bathroom. So, I gave up my independence and let my husband and mom help me.

At my first appt on Tuesday, he said he couldn't believe how fast I was healing and how good the incision looked. He even pulled out his own pre-op photos taken in the office and said he couldn't believe how good I looked and that I may set a record for fastest healing. Being a Type 1 diabetic, I was thrilled to hear this and we did do an second round of antibiotics just to be on the safe side. I had one drain (the one that I could feel) and my sutures removed that day. Went back home and got back into the recliner.

I have showered every other day, had the dressing changed everyday. I haven't been in any pain (except my hunched over back). I have eaten well and made sure I had lots of veggies and protein. Also drinking my water everyday. I have gotten pretty uncomfortable in the recliner and bored at times because I never watch TV, but I have done nothing but watch TV and read. But I never have time to read either and I've finished 2 books so far.

I have been using my phone for emails and checking the site, but today came to the computer. Just wanted to send a real quick update and the only photos I've gotten of my belly so far.

Back to the PS today for the fourth postop visit....

Back to the PS today for the fourth postop visit. This past Tuesday, he thought I may of developed a seroma and attempted to drain fluid, but there wasn't any free flowing fluid. I didn't even feel the shot of lidocaine since my belly is still numb. I'm trying to stay away from sodium and I'm back up to my gallon of water a day, so hopefully this helps. I know the swelling comes and goes for a few months, but I'm still very excited about my results even with the swelling. I haven't even attempted to put on "real clothes". I've been living in nightgowns at home and tshirts with athletic shorts when I venture out to appointments. Crossing my fingers that the swelling will be down a little today so my PS can tell how I'm healing and maybe get cleared to walk a little bit more.
Jackson Plastic Surgeon

If you ask anyone locally who the best person to perform this surgery would be, it is always Dr. Runnels whose name is mentioned. My endocrinology NP suggested him as well when when we discussed the possibility of this surgery.

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5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
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5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
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