Here we go. My pregnancy with my last daughter did me in....I started at 135, and 9 months later....ended up leaving the hospital at 238. I somehow managed to gain all that weight while throwing up almost every day during the pregnancy. I really think it was a hormonal thing. My body just gains weight SO quickly! But on the plus side, it seems to loose it fairly quickly. 2 years later, I am back down to 126, and have been saving for this surgery ever since I had my precious one haha.
I will post a couple of before photos, and then update you all as I go along! Hopefully I won't die from complications, but if I do someone please make sure to put me in my red bikini with an open casket. Haha just kidding. Not really.
So surgery scheduled for next Wednesday January 9th. It is fully paid for, and I am very confident in the surgeon I have chosen. He is in Folsom, CA Dr. David Kauffman. He used to be a Navy Seal, and now is a plastic surgeon and has been for quite some time. His wife is a nurse in his operating room which I find very sweet that they work together :)
I have all of my prescriptions filled and ready to roll!
Here we go. My pregnancy with my last daughter did...
Here we go. My pregnancy with my last daughter did me in....I started at 135, and 9 months later....ended up leaving the hospital at 238. I somehow managed to gain all that weight while throwing up almost every day during the pregnancy. I really think it was a hormonal thing. My body just gains weight SO quickly! But on the plus side, it seems to loose it fairly quickly. 2 years later, I am back down to 126, and have been saving for this surgery ever since I had my precious one haha.
Also forgot to say, I have 2 daughters, age 5 and...
4 more days until my surgery! Making final...
The only other thing I'm concerned about is getting sick. Flu, colds, they are going around and I am taking extra precautions: taking my probiotics like my doctor suggested, vitamin C, daily vitamins, and juicing fresh juice and vegetables twice a day. Hopefully I, or anyone else in my household won't get sick in the next few weeks (gosh I can't even imagine getting the flu after the surgery while recovering....how awful would that be).
Ok, it's coming up so quickly! Very excited.
I am 2 days away from surgery. Didn't sleep well...
I am wondering about the Stryker Pain Pump that will be in place for 3 days after surgery. It's suppose to numb me and make the recovery easier. Has anyone had this? How difficult is the recovery with the pain pump in place? Supposedly they walk my husband through taking it out on the third day.....yikes.....haha. I think I might have my mom do it instead (she's a nurse :)
I am back to work today after a lovely couple weeks of Christmas break (I am a piano teacher). I teach Mondays and Tuesdays (so today and tomorrow) and then my surgery is on Wednesday. Trying to make last minute preparations....need to go out and get a bag of kiwis-as I've been told eating 2-3 a day after recovery will help prevent blood clots...so I'm all for trying that.
I'm thinking about taping a goodbye video to my girls and husband. Silly I know, but just in case? I don't know....I don't even know if I could get through a taping I love them so much. But I know fully and completely that my life is in God's hands. My mother used to have this quote printed on her checks and I always loved it: "A man of God, in the will of God, is immortal until his work on earth is finished". I trust the Lord. He has been so good to me and my family, and blessed us with so much. So whether I die or live I trust Him.
Ok off to get ready for work.
Wow I can't believe how well I'm doing (must be...
So then he marks me, scar should be pretty low (haven't seen it yet though). Then I get back in the bed, the anesthesiologist comes back in and shoots a relaxer in my IV which made me feel like I'd had 2.5 glasses of wine within 5 seconds it was wonderful. Then he walks me over to the OR and asks me to get on the bed. He then says "here is an oxygen mask", and the next thing I remember is waking up. It was SO fast. Well, actually yes the surgery in reality was quite fast-an hour and a half. He repaired a 1.5 inch muscle separation, and took off about 1.5 pounds of skin. Yay!!! No lipo needed.
I remember first waking up in the recovery room and the first thing I said was "I'm alive!" haha. I was in pain, lots of pain though. It was very tight....I'm flat as a board, but still very tight. I asked for a sip of water about 30 times. I saw my mom and husband and said "oh you guys are here! I'm so glad" haha (they didn't go anywhere, although my husband did ask if he could run to the gym for a quick workout while I was being cut open lol). I guess he loves his new Christmas present (a gym membership)....and I love mine! My tummy tuck! Let's see, I remember the nurse telling my mom and husband and me that there was a nursing school student in the room observing my surgery and she had to leave like 10 times because she couldn't handle it. Then a few more minutes pass (I was in the recovery room 1 hour). Then the nurse helps me stand up, and then get into a wheelchair and head home! I wasn't feeling any nausea at this point (thank you Emend), but she warned me that as the car ride got going I could become very nauseous. And she was right. We had to stop 2 times on the way home, first time I quickly jammed a suppository up the back end, waited a few minutes and it helped. Got back on the road, then 5 minutes later the nasseau came back worse. I started to throw up (didn't), but dry heaved one time and yeah it was pretty painful. My husband pulled over and I asked for a cracker. I had a feeling I needed something in my stomach, and that did the trick! Made it home in about 45, sat in the car a little while longer....wasn't ready to get out yet. My husband brought me a piece of bread and I ate half. Also brought me some sparkling water which helped a lot. My husband (Tass, pronounced "Toss") got the walker out and I SLOWLY made my way inside the house (took me 20 minutes to walk from the car to inside our bedroom). It was difficult and painful. Got in my rented recliner (what a God send, definitely worth the 80 bucks. Hey guess what I never knew before?....You use your stomach muscles to TALK. Yup, well at least I do. The first couple of hours at home from about 10:00-1:00PM were the most painful, which is weird because I'm supposedly numb from the localized stuff they gave me as well during surgery. But I was in a lot of pain (but I would rather deal with awful pain ANY time over nausea). Then about 1:00 came and I turned a corner. My mom came over, I got up to pee, and felt and still feel pretty good (it's not 4:00PM). I don't know if the internal pain pump "kicked in" or what but I feel pretty good. I've taken Percocet twice, 4 hours in between, 1.5 capsule each time (my doc said I could take 2 capsules if I wanted). I also have been taking stool softeners with each does of pain meds. Now I am drinking my wonderful tea Smooth Move! Hopefully won't get too backed up. Got up to pee another time and this time was even easier than the time before. Oh I also have squeezers on my legs.....that squeeze my legs every 30 seconds or so to keep the flood flowing. It actually feels pretty good. Since I was concerned about blood clots, my surgeon asked if I wanted to be sent home with them :) So in addition to having them on during the surgery, I have them at home too :) I have only 1 drain which is nice, not bothersome yet, but I'm anticipating it will be as time goes on.
I'm feeling pretty good! Much better than I expected. Although I've heard tomorrow will probably be the worst day so I'm bracing myself for that. My mom picked up the kids from school, brought them by real quick to see me and now they are headed out to spend the rest of the week with her and my dad :)
I will update more as time goes on :)
1 day Post Op. Last night I slept....alright. I...
Well, that was a miserable FAIL at my first post...
2 Days Post Op Now. I should title this post "Why...
I SO enjoy this recliner. Was worried I wouldn't be able to sleep in it, but I don't know how I would have slept in my bed without it! I love this thing. When I do sleep, I sleep pretty well, which is saying something for an insomniac.
I have been eating mostly fruit and crackers. Had a little bit of a quesadilla last night from Chipotle.....that's probably been the most solid thing I've had. I tolerated it pretty well.
Now let's talk about my husband. Who is normally the sweetest and almost perfect man in every way. Man is he grumpy! I want a new nurse lol. I think I've been a pretty good patient, and he thinks he's been a pretty good nurse, but we both disagree.
My pain pump medication is almost out, which means it'll have to come out tomorrow. My drain isn't really bugging me...it's fine. I'm pretty tired still. When I went to the bathroom this morning, I noticed I was standing much straighter. I wasn't even trying to....I just was. It actually hurt to hunch over like I've been doing.
I'm sleepy, I'm going to go back to sleep. I'll update more later.
2 Days Post Op it's 2:30PM as I write this. I...
Wow, what a difference just a day makes. Last...
Let's see....I know a lot of people have complained about the drains, but to be completely honest my drain hasn't bothered me at all. Not one bit. Doesn't hurt. Isn't sore. The drain site is directly in my incision site, on my left hip. I don't know if it's numb or something, but it really truly hasn't been bothersome. I've got 5 more days with it in, but shouldn't be too big of a deal. It's really not that gross either. I was prepared for way worse, but have been pleasantly surprised.
Swelling is usually pretty bad at night, I have to loosen the CG a little bit every night for about an hour. I'm also going to borrow a boppy pillow from a friend to see if that helps with all the back pain I've been having. Might ask the doctor to prescribe me some Flexoril (a muscle relaxant...which I've taken before for migraines).
I'm down to 1/2 Percocet every 4 hours, as well as 600mg of Motrin every 8 hours. The Motrin really helps the tummy. I actually am not too sore in my stomach at all. Can't wait for the back pain to stop though. I've got a heating pad on it, but not sure what else to do. It hurts so bad.
I took a half of Valium last night and that helped me sleep I think. I think I'll take another one tonight. So far so good! Kids come home Monday from my mother in laws. Our families have been SO great. My dad brought us Claim Jumper last night (which I was SO full after 4 bites of my blueberry muffin). I get full so easily now.....as there's probably not a lot of room down there now anyway. Oh one thing that kept happening last night was in my upper left part of my stomach it kept feeling like someone was kicking me from the inside. Like a baby or something lol. A spasm of some sort, poking, moving....probably nerves trying to reconnect or something....but it was a weird and slightly painful sensation (I never liked it when my kids moved in the womb....I'm not the mom that found it adorable and endearing.....it hurt and was annoying lol).
Ok I'm about to catch up on some shows. Oh I'm also taking EmergenC 3 times a day which I think has benefited me SO MUCH. It has electrolytes in it as well as vitamins. I feel so good after I have a glass of it. No constipation yet either! I've had BM's every single day which is great. Other than all the swelling above my incision I'm a pretty happy camper!
4 Days Post Op, which means I had my surgery 5...
My biggest complaint still is the back pain and the compression garment. Any body have any thoughts on the CG? One gal said on here that her surgeon advised AGAINST wearing a CG, which of course is music to my ears. But most surgeons recommend them, otherwise you might "compromise your asthetic goal" whatever that means. So I will obey my doctor. I didn't pay him $8,000 to disobey him, so I will keep this CG on.
Let's see, girls will be home tomorrow. Golden globes are on tonight which I am excited to watch that. Time has actually gone by rather quickly. My one drain is actually putting out less than 25cc in 24 hours, which is the requirement to get it out....but I'm not scheduled to get it out for another 4 days and I don't think they'll do it early. I'd rather leave it in and be safe than take it out and end up with a seroma.
My hubby is having breakfast with Francis Chan tomorrow morning which I'm also excited about. Anyone in the Christian circles knows who he is....an amazing man, leader, speaker, beyond humble....goggle him if you don't know who he is. So he is speaking at a local church this weekend and then having a small breakfast for pastors in the area tomorrow. So I'm excited for my husband.
Let's see....I don't think I'll be able to pick up the girls from school this week. My hubby may have to do it. I don't know...we'll see. I put on a normal shirt just now to see how my drain looks under it and it looks like I'm packin'.....lol....so i think I'll stay out of public until I get this thing removed :)
I'm still swelling a lot, mostly at night, and mostly in my upper abs, waist, and right above the incision line. I can't wait to see what my tummy will look like without all this swelling (which I know won't be for at least several weeks). Overall I'm doing really well!
Ughhh. Today was a hard one. I'm not even quite...
I called my doctor and asked for Flexoril for my muscle spasms, back pain, and to just relax my whole body. I spoke with his wife, a nurse in his operating room, and she is concerned because apparently that's a strong drug which they don't typically prescribe. She says they prescribe is about once every 2 years. I had no idea it was apparently so strong. I've been prescribed it before for my migraines a few years ago. She suggested 800mg of Motrin and I told I can't take too much of that because my ulcer will flare up. She goes "wow you're quite a mess!" haha. So she said she'd speak with him and get back with me (he's in surgery). I'd prefer not to keep taking my percocet but I have a feeling that's what they're going to call back with and suggest. She was surprised when I told her Valium didn't work for me and that it gave me a horrible headache (both times that I took it).
I haven't taken a percocet all day (my last one was a half of one at 4:00am this morning). Since then I've only taken extra strength tylenol.
Ughhhh.....I'm just exhausted. I guess that's my body's way of telling me to rest. I just feel so useless lying here while my husband is cleaning, cooking, busing our kids to and from school AND taking care of me. Poor guy.
I'm thinking about extending my rental time for my rocker. I'm suppose to give it up tomorrow, but I'm not quite sure that I'm ready. I tried to lay down in my bed this afternoon and it took a long time to get comfortable but once I did it was nice....it was nice on my back.
Oh the swelling....I hate it. I don't even want to post any new pictures because the swelling is so bad (people keep saying I don't look swollen....but you know your own body and I'm a swollen MESS). The nurse on the phone today said that the swelling is at it's peak and worst on days 3-7. But I will post photos because this is "REAL self" isn't it haha.
Well the last 2 days have been pretty good. Gave...
I'm still walking hunched over a bit. I took another shower yesterday and same thing happened with my drain-after standing for so long....more red blood came out instead of the yellowish stuff. Is this normal? I think I'll call my doctor. I'm suppose to get this drain out tomorrow.
8 Days PO and drain is out! Was laying down on the...
Let's see....we talked about the swelling. There's no way around it other than letting time go by and my body do it's thing. He did say something that was very interesting and in fact the exact opposite of what I've read from nearly everyone on here: he said that if you want to swell less, you can't be gulping down the water. Yes it flushes out toxins, etc.... but ultimately it is more fluid for your body to try to get rid of and it WILL make the swelling much worse. Interesting. Makes sense though. I drink a lot of water as it is, so we'll just see as the weeks go on if he's right.
All in all I've felt relatively good today. Still not sleeping great....I wish I could sleep on my side but I just can't yet. Still walking hunched over....oh that's another surprising thing my surgeon said he said "it's time for you to be standing up straight now". I said I can't it hurts. He goes "you need to start trying....you won't rip the stitches. Your back will feel much better once you start standing up straight." I guess I've just gotten in the habit of walking hunched over, I have to actively remind myself to try to stand up straight and once I remember, I can almost do it 100% but doesn't last long before I forget again.
I am off the hard narcotics, although still taking flexeril (muscle relaxer) as needed. I'm managing on just Motrin every 8 hours, and tylenol every 4-6 hours. I've also been drinking this tea (just Dandelion Root tea)....it's a liver detoxifier. My liver is probably shot will all of these narcotics....so I've been drinking at least one cup a day to help cleanse it. It's also a natural dieretic :) Which again won't stop the swelling....only time will do that....but at least it might make it go faster? Who knows.
If this back pain would just go away I think I would pretty good! Here's hoping that happens soon...
9 Days Post op, last night I was FINALLY able to...
I'm posting a new photo of my scar....without the tape on it. It's pretty thin I'm surprised. I wish I didn't go up all the way to my hipbone, but that's just how it is. I know it'll fade. The swelling isn't too bad in this picture. But I know I can tell I'm still swollen because I can't see my rib cage. Before, not in an anorexic way but a trim fit way...I could also see my ribcage. Now they are way hidden in there somewhere lol. Oh well, 11 more weeks right? haha
I am 12 Days PO, and probably have some blues. I...
*Not, these are *not* the slutty over the top...
Oooops, I guess I'm 12 Days Post Op, yesterday's...
I went back to work today, I am a piano teacher.....only had 3 lessons and I scheduled them back to back so all I had to do was sit and teach which was great. My hubby drove me and picked me up. Tomorrow will be more difficult as I have 8 lessons to give and they are all over tonight, so he'll drive me to all of those as well.
With pain meds I've been managing with just Motrin 800 every 8 hours, sometimes Tylenol once or twice a day, and then usually a flexeril (muscle relaxer) around 2:00 or 3:00, but tonight I made it until 7:00 before I felt like I needed to take one. Still not able to stand up straight at all. It's like I have to thrust my pelvis and hips forward in order to stand up straighter, it's weird. My husband said "you've gotta stop walking hunched over or else your muscles are going to heal in that position and then you'll walk like that the rest of your life". That's not possible is it? Totally freaked me out. Let me tell ya....I'm really trying to stand up straight but it just hurts and pulls. And of course, just like everyone else says, it's worse by the end of the day, I'm looking like my 92 year old Grandma Muriel again.
Ughhh. I'm not as blue as I was yesterday. I think getting out of the house and teaching helped. My friend brought over some beautiful flowers for me after that and also made my entire family dinner which was such a blessing. My husband has definitely been on the grumpy side lately so it was a wonderful treat for him to walk in the house from a good workout at the gym with dinner on the table. Poor guy has been doing SO much these past 2 weeks. I mean literally everything. Managing the kids, packing lunches, busing them to and from school, making every meal, taking care of ME the patient, working, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, bathing the kids (all you moms know how HORRIBLE this part of the day is....right before bed it takes 1200 hours to get them ready for bed and then IN bed, and then finally asleep). Poor guy. He's not a good multitasker and gets overwhelmed pretty easily. I can't wait to be able to do more though. I feel useless. But I know my body needs this time to rest. I'm jealous of my husband that gets to go to the gym lol.
Oh well, I've posted some updated photos. Nighty night!
14 Days PO. I feel so much better than I did last...
15 Days PO, had my 2 week checkup today. The nurse...
I do have pink eye that's for certain, my girls had it yesterday and I did my best to wash my hands eleven hundred times today, but still got it. At least I've got the antibiotics, but man this thing kills. Ughhh. I guess it's better than puking or coughing up a storm. Thank you Lord for pink eye instead of the stomach flu. No really, I mean it.
Ok I will hopefully attempt the treadmill tomorrow and see how it goes!
16 Days PO. Hey guess what? I'm starting to like...
Ok back to the tummy. Yes I am starting to like it. My scar is SO very thin. I know it's going to fade very very nicely. I've gotta give my surgeon props for including everything I'll need in his cost of surgery. I haven't needed to purchased one single item. They've given me every garment, gauze, luxuriously soft pads lol, and silicone sheets (next apt) for the scar. These things add up to several hundred dollars, and it's nice to not have to worry about them, and just pay for everything all up front. I definitely appreciate that about my surgeon. I love that he uses top of the line stuff (makes sense coming from the gal who carries several LV's haha). Love good quality things.
Ok here are several new photos and here's to tomorrow hoping I feel better and can kick this pink eye :)
21 Days PO, feeling more and more back to normal....
Overall things are going pretty good. I posted some new photos.
22 Days PO, I went bikini shopping yesterday haha....
4 weeks PO, had my second to last post op visit...
Let's see, my apt today was with the MA (medical assistant) and she said everything looks good. Although I do have some small scar tissue right on the edge of my belly button. It's a little red and when you press down you can feel the knot underneath. So she said to massage it a couple times a day, and it should break up. If it's not better in 4 weeks, I can come back in and get steroid injections to help it break up or something. It's tiny....I'm not too worried about it. But I'll keep an eye on it cuz she said it may get worse. But maybe not. She also gave me the silicone sheets to start my scar therapy. I love it...it's a nude/flesh color so blends right in with my tummy. She gave me enough for a month (one strip lasts about 2 weeks). The biggest reason why people do the scar treatment is to speed up time essentially. The silicone takes the color out of the incision (the redness). Time will do that on it's own eventually, and part of how light the scar turns out does depend on your genetics. We'll see how it looks in a month. She said they use the top of the line silicone sheets, and if I want to buy more (a 6 month supply) they will give them to me at cost which is $21. I couldn't believe that lol. They sell for $100 online for each strip. Incredible. But again, even if we all didn't use any sort of scar therapy, it will fade eventually with time anyway. Oh I can also leave it on while I shower which is very convenient.
Let's see, I went shopping yesterday. Had been looking forward to this for quite some time :). Had to buy a size lower than usual because I didn't have any skin to tuck into my jeans haha. Found some amazing Citizens that are so comfy and perfect for spring, and then some cute Free People ones. Two pairs of jeans and nearly $400 later I had to leave Nordstrom haha.
Overall I am very happy with my result. I still haven't returned to the gym since my first try. I'm kinda like "umm, why do I need to go again?" haha. But I do miss the endorphins, runner's high, and of course I know it's good for my heart. But I've been feeling pretty good on my own, not too tired. The last two weeks I've been back to my normal self of running errands, teaching, bathing kids, etc. Some nights I'm more tired than others, but overall I feel pretty good :)
34 Days PO. Hello all. Oooo so this week, guess...
6 Weeks PO, not a whole lot to say other than I'm...
Still tired. Still swelling at night. Nothing...
Famous last words haha. No I really do miss it. I think I'm getting a bit depressed actually because I don't have those endorphins running through my veins anymore, and haven't in 7 weeks. Ughhh. Like I said, long recovery.
8 Weeks PO. The only new photos I have added are...
I'm a little over 3 months PO, 13 weeks PO to be...
Ok, off to the gym I go.
13 Weeks PO, and I ran the fastest I've been able...
5 months PO...only to have to have my gallbladder removed a few days ago :(
5 Months PO...new pictures after recent gall bladder surgery!!!
6 months PO
8 Months PO, new pics!
Almost 10 months PO, cancerous moles found on my stomach, scar revisions, and new pics!
11 months PO
Let's see, on a physical side-I'll admit I have gained a few pounds in the last few months. I didn't think I had....trying to deny it since I threw away our scale in our house.....tried to explain it away as water weight lol.....but when my jeans were consistently very tight, I knew my weight was up-I just didn't know by how much. I threw away our scale about two months ago because it was cheap and not reliant, and we needed a more accurate one. But decided to wait awhile to buy one to see if I could live without knowing the numbers (I am a numbers girl, and can get kind of OCD with it). The scale is a double edged sword for me and probably for many girls. When I finally bought one a few days ago and stepped on (waited until the next morning of course, fully undressed)....my eyes shot wide open. I hadn't seen that number in over 2 years. Yikes. Gotta rein it in. So that's what I've been doing these last few days, focusing on reining it in and denying myself all those carbs that I love. I'll admit the thought crossed my mind "man I should have just had lipo while I was under....then my love handles would be gone forever and I wouldn't have to worry about my stupid muffin top". My friend recently went to my surgeon and had her breasts done and lipo and she looks phenomenal....I was amazed at the lipo results. And I am all about eating clean and exercising and doing ALL that you can do, before you head down the surgery road. Lord knows that's what I did with my stomach-tried every skin tightening cream, serum, supplement, exercise, nutrition plan, etc. But at the end of that road, if it's still not working, I am not opposed to nipping and tucking....not at all. So we'll see. We've got some strong DNA on my side of the family when it comes to love handles lol. Some very stubborn genes.
We are already putting away $ towards my breast lift so when we get there, if I still have these love handles, I'll probably have him suction them away for good.
Any women reading this already have lipo and want to share their experience good/bad please do. I have done a lot of research on it, and the mixed reviews and results always left me saying no, I'd never do that. But with my friend's recent results, it has me open to changing my mind. Of course, with my perfectionist personality- like I've said before-this surgery road could easily become a slippery slope for me because I naturally aim for perfection in everything I do, and I've gotta constantly be checking to make sure I am putting way more focus on perfecting the attributes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. When the scales tip from time to time, I know I've gotta pull back and re-shift focus and priorities. This body will fade away, I know that. Which would bring my family, myself, and the God I serve more joy?....spending thousands of more dollars on me, or giving that away? I wrestle with my selfishness every day. Every.Single.Day.
Ok, wrapping up now. All is really well physically, I am still very glad I had this surgery done, and for anyone considering it-really spend the time researching the procedure, recovery time, and especially your surgeon. And I'm here if you have any questions! xxoo
First couple of days after were kind of confusing. I still felt the burning pain. Exact type of pain. It was actually worse. I got very discouraged that the problem wasn't fixed and that it was something else. But then I thought it could possibly be just from more trauma to the area, nerves are more inflamed, and maybe it will get better. But the first 10 days were very painful. But then on the 11th day I turned a corner and it HASN'T HURT SINCE. I am in awe. I still cannot believe it. I move, I stand, I sit, I pick up my kids….and it doesn't hurt. Spending the last 11 months doing all those things and having it burn and sting like hell….I still can't fathom that it doesn't hurt anymore. I am so grateful. So grateful to Dr. Kaufman. It's not his fault that the stitch ended up hurting and poking me in that one particular spot. I still have the same exact long stitch on the left side of my pubic area and cannot feel a thing. It was just that one particular spot, from 1 Day PO that caused such pain for whatever reason. I am glad it's out. It doesn't affect the tummy tuck results either because the muscles are all healed up anyway, so taking that stitch out doesn't change anything.
During the pre-op he offered to go in through my original scar. But I thought, you know what, let's just leave that alone. It's healed so nicely, is so thin and even….I don't want to mess with it. Plus I knew it would be much easier for him, surgically, to cut right above where the pain was. Sure it was another scar. Honestly, it doesn't phase me anymore. I am all cut up, and am only 27 but will probably incur many more scars throughout my life. Whatever. Plus this one is in my pubic area so the only people that are seeing it are my husband and Dr. Kaufman ha. I am glad I opted for him not to go through the original TT scar, and I think he was too.
Now, no running for me for awhile. I made the mistake of going for a 4 mile run a week after the surgery. It was the day after thanksgiving and I was fat. I needed to run off all that butter from Ruth Chris. Ughhhh. But that definitely aggravated the area more and made it burn and sting further. At my 10 day PO checkup to get the stitches out, it was still hurting. Doc said no running for awhile. Fine. Done. I hate/love it anyway. Ensures himself of more work as well. If I'm not running, my love handles aren't getting any smaller. I gave him a thank you note and included a $100 Fat's Restaurant gift card (a nice Asian Bistro we have in the area). I know it's hardly anything, but wanted to give him something for all that he's done.
The day after I saw him, the pain was gone. And still is. I am so grateful.
Ok man this was a long post. But just wanted to update you all. All is well! I am fine, happy. Christmas decorations are up! I did recently decide to use the money that was set aside for my future breast lift….to go to Haiti next month. Sort of a last minute decision, but one of our senior pastor's at our church invited me to go with a small group of friends. I've never been on a "missions trip" per say, but am very excited to go. I guess Haiti is still ranked as the world's poorest country. Lots of devastation there still, and very dangerous: many kidnappings, armed robberies, murders, rapes, etc. I'm thinking I should dye my hair dark before I go so I don't stand out as much. I also told my husband to up the life insurance policy on me before I go. I probably will get kidnapped. Or have my appendix burst while there, or some sort of horrible thing lol. Oh well. I'm excited to go! Breast lift can wait. STILL will happen. Probably. But might be awhile longer.
Merry Christmas everyone! xxoo
1 Year PO feeling pretty great! New pics.
The tummy tuck scar is healing SO NICELY, I barely notice is anymore. I stopped using any and all scar treatment/silicone strips on the TT scar after our Anguilla vacation last July. But I continue to use the strips for my gallbladder scars (mainly the long vertical one going down from my belly button), and then sometimes will use them to cover the scars from the cancerous moles that were removed as well. My stomach is physically still a hot mess with lots and lots of markings and scars all over it, but again I am fine with it, most of the time. I am just grateful to not have to tuck my skin into my pants anymore :)
Swelling, still does come and go although no where near as bad the first couple of months. If I eat too much, fluid immediately pools around the incision site…I can feel it coming on. But always gone by morning.
I am 3 pounds down from last year at this exact time. Day of surgery I was 128, and I am 125 now. I'm continuing on with my PureTrim protein shakes (email me for more info on those, as I cannot post the link on here). I attribute most all of my 115 pound weight loss to those precious yummy shakes and still have one every morning. Very nutritious, with many anti-aging and anti-stress herbal blends.
Overall I feel pretty great. I am glad to have had that stitch removed that was causing so much pain from 1day PO. Since a week after that surgery (so about 2 months ago now), there has been virtually no pain in that lower pubic area anymore. There are still the occasionally aches and pulls that I feel in my abdomen that are no doubt tummy tuck related, but I am used to them by now. The feeling on my stomach has slowly returned, but there are still parts that are relatively numb, mainly a diameter around my belly button.
I DO regret not having him lipo my love handles while I was under. Because my front is so freaking fantastically flat…it makes my love handles that much more noticeable. And even with my clean eating and healthy and active lifestyle, those suckers just won't go away…so I am considering having him suction them out after my Haiti trip.
I leave for Haiti in 2 weeks I am so excited! I will be in charge of building bunk beds for the kiddos at an orphanage so they don't have to sleep on the floor anymore. I'll also be bringing much needed infant formula, and school supplies such as pens and paper . There is a gal there who runs the orphanage there and the leader of our trip asked her what she would like us to bring her from the states. She said, "Honestly…I'd really like some shampoo & conditioner". Really puts things into perspective for me. I know I will likely come back with a severe attitude adjustment on the things that I "think" I "need". I'm nervous about the travel over there, we have a red eye/layover in an airport in Florida. I don't do well without sleep…in fact my body shuts down and I become pretty sick. Sleep is so important for me, so for any praying women out there who feel led…please pray that my body will be able to handle the trip and that I will be able to serve and be useful to the best of my ability.
Again, I am so happy I had this tummy tuck done. Despite all the physical challenges this year, I really am so grateful.
Blessings to each and every one of you! And as always, any questions that you might have I am happy to help :)
This was my first technical "missions" trip where I purposely went to a third world country for the sole intent of serving the people there, and sharing the love of God. Haiti happens to be our world's poorest country actually. Most people live on less than $1 a day.
We took a team of 11 people total: 8 strong construction type men (electricians, plumbers, builders, etc), and 3 young girls without said skills, including myself. We arrived on my birthday and I was in culture shock. Such poverty. Children walking around on sharp rocky unpaved roads without any shoes on, women carrying large heavy baskets on their heads, no stop signs no lines in the road, and the vehicles played chicken on the road one too many times for my liking. We travelled about an hour and a half outside Port-A-Prince to a mountainous suburb right along the coast. We stayed at a "resort", and the owner of the resort had started what the community called "Mission of Grace"…up in the mountains among the poorest of the poor. We went there to serve and help mission of grace, which consisted of an orphanage with 45 children, 11 full time nanny's 24/7 (getting paid a salary of $100 a month), a school for the children in the orphanage as well as the community, a free medical clinic open to the mountain community (of about 7500 people), a widow's home (also called the "grandma's home) well the elderly are cared for and looked after in a culture where they are often disregarded, and then their latest vision is to start a young men's discipleship home where the men are taught how to be men: how to work hard, care for themselves, care for their families, etc).
Our purpose was to do whatever they needed. One of the biggest needs was beds. Many of the children slept on the floor because they didn't have enough beds, so we bought some lumber and started making bunk beds right away. It took me twice as long as any man to drive a nail into the wood, but I worked hard all day, sanded the wood, and then stained it. It took a few days but we eventually built 6 toddler beds and 5 bunks beds so now all of the kids have their own beds to sleep in. We also built shelves for their food so it wasn't sitting on the ground getting infested with all sorts of bugs and scorpions. We built a chicken coop so they can have chickens and eggs now. We also built a long table and benches for the kids to eat at. Built a toy box. Built 3 more bunk beds for the new men's discipleship home. Built a swing set that the kids just absolutely loved. Let's see what else…fixed the plumbing so they have a working toilet now, fixed some electrical issues, and then me and the two other girls painted the inside and outside of the medical clinic. We had 5 days to do all this and we busted it out…I'll tell you what I never slept better in my life I was so tired by the end of the night. But after the work day, we'd walk back down the mountain, jump in the ocean and cool off (it was around 93 degree with a good dose of humidity). "Resort" was kind of an understatement…at least by American standards. Cockroaches were in our beds and showers. Lizards were also our sleeping buddies. I stopped counting my mosquito bites after 30 or so. Rats, bats, goats, pigs, everywhere. But after that first night, with jet lag and culture shock, I got through my panic attack and realized I needed to stay put and do my best. And I did. I really did. The first night though I cried myself to sleep. I stayed up wracking my brain all night on how I could get our leader to let me go home the next day lol. But I ultimately concluded that I would likely get killed on the way home if I decided to leave on my own. Americans, especially in Port-A-Prince usually aren't safe there. If you attempt to exchange money there, they'll either rob you or kill you or both. So I decided to tough it out and stay put.
My French wasn't too great before the trip, but I was able to pick up quite a bit in just a week. Well, they actually speak Creole which is like a ghetto Jamaican French. Not too many people spoke English there so I had to learn quickly. But I was also able to teach many of the toddlers English. Us girls would work, then stop and cuddle with the kids and spend time with them. Then go back to working, then playing with them. It was really great. By the end of the week, I was not ready to leave. And even now, being home for 3 days-I've cried every day because I miss it so much. Not only the connections that were formed so quickly with the Haitian people and orphans, but the simplicity of living. Here, we've got 600 different kinds of soap. Well which one is the best quality? But which one is the best value for the quality? Over there…soap is soap. Food is food. It was nice having a warm shower twice, but the rest of the time it was cold. Oh well. Life goes on without electricity and power. By day 2 and 3, I realized that if I just closed my eyes at night, I wouldn't have to see the cockroaches in the room. lol. Simple. Here in America there is so much vying for my attention. It's so distracting from what's really important. I think that's what I've had such a hard time with coming back.
Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better trip and a better experience for my first missions trip. I can't wait to go back…take my husband and our girls with us next time.
I will post some photos of my favorite moments, but there are so many more. I encourage anyone who hasn't gone to a 3rd world country…GO. Get out. Get out of your comfortable life, just for a bit, and see how so much of the rest of the world lives. The children at the orphanage were some of the most well behaved, respectful and responsible kids I've ever met. If I were single, I would move there in a heartbeat :)
14 months PO….just got back from Hell on earth.… oops I mean the Happiest place on earth ;)
Let's see, I didn't really think about this ahead of time, but being on my feet all day walking caused some SERIOUS swelling. I mean, I looked 6 months pregnant by the end of the day. And for the record, Indiana Jones (my most favorite ride!), is not the same after a tummy tuck haha. I was holding on and bracing my stomach the entire time-it hurt so much being jolted around like that. Maybe the gallbladder surgery added some extra oooos and ouches, but nevertheless, roller coasters are a no go from now on. Bummer. I think the rides also added to the swelling.
But it was quite comical how pregnant I looked. Naturally it would go down and be gone by morning, but man, my stomach got huge. I should have taken a picture of it. I don't think I've actually ever swollen that bad before…not even in the beginning of recovery.
My scar is faded, I think to the point where this is how it's going to look from here on out. It's nice, light. Gets a little red with monthly hormonal changes (as do my other scars from the gallbladder surgery). Ladies something to keep in mind, if you ever notice your scar getting redder or more noticeable than it was the week before, track your cycle and you're likely either ovulating or PMSing. Hormones cause a number of physical changes in your body.
I still have a slight, and I mean very slight, dog ear type thing on my ride side. I don't know if I can even technically call it a dog ear. All I know is that, compared to the left side, it does not lay as flat. My wonderful surgeon has already fixed it once, but that was about…gosh I don't know maybe 5 months ago…but it's back to looking the same. But it's fine. I'm the only one who really notices it.
Let's see, what else…my husband and I are off to Europe in less than two weeks! So lots of walking around there too. We have missionary friends in Poland who invited us to come over for a visit, see what they do, and take us around their country. We are flying into Warsaw, then driving on down to Krakow (where Schindler's factory is and the Jewish ghetto). They will then take us to Auschwitz. Not that that will be a happy fun vacation day, but I am German through and through, and I absolutely want to see Auschwitz. Then they will drop us off in Prague and my husband and I will have a few days together there :) I am very excited. I was contemplating bringing my shakes, as I did with Disneyland because Disneyland has crap food that is just awful for you, but I can't do that with Europe. I mean…it's EUROPE. I'd be a fool not to indulge in their food. So my Mediterranean shakes be damned for a week ;)
Again, so happy to have had this surgery. I don't regret it one bit. And I owe that to my amazing surgeon, Dr. Kaufman. He has bent over backwards trying to make me happy, and for that I am very grateful :)
If anyone is contemplating having the surgery, or have questions…please feel free to ask me .I love helping people through this process. It really is a great, fun, and exciting process! I think maybe I should have been a surgeon…it's so fascinating to me!
15 months PO…back from Europe vacation!!
Oh where to start…let's start with the plane ride. About 4 hours into the flight I sat up from my husband's lap because I couldn't sleep...only to find him completely unconscious. That's right. His eyes were all white and rolled in the back of his head, completely unresponsive. I called for help...no doctor was on board. The crew on the flight were mostly German speaking (we were, in fact, on Lufthansa) so there was a bit of a disconnect there, but a flight attendant did come stand beside me, talking to him and saying "sir? sir?" trying to get him to wake up. I kept begging him to come to. Two minutes passed and I'm doing my best to hold it together as everyone was now awake and staring. I then had visions of me being a widow, landing in a foreign country all alone having no idea what to do. I felt so alone, I put my head down and said God "I need you!! Please help!" I looked up and within seconds my husband woke up. Then he started to gag….so I lunged forward and cupped my hands to catch his vomit. Then he passed out again. I'm freaking out….I have no idea why his body is doing this. About a minute later he woke up again and vomited even more this time. Someone suggested that he needed to lie down flat. Great…I'll take any suggestions at this point since the crew had no idea what to do. A man helped me get him out of his middle seat but then Tass collapsed on me in the aisle. We then drag him to the back of the plane…the kitchen area. Flight attendant calls the captain to turn the plane around (we had just reached the Atlantic Ocean) and since we didn't know what was wrong and he wasn't waking up they weren't sure if we should continue. Someone brought him an oxygen tank (good job crew!) and he slowly started to came back. A nurse on board finally came to us just as he was starting to be more responsive. She checked his pulse, etc. He was responding accurately to specific questions…he knew his name, who I was, where we were going, etc. He seemed to be doing a lot better, so the plane continued on. I asked the nurse what could this be? At that moment, I then remembered that the same thing had happened to him on his flight to Ethiopia last July. It was an overnight flight, he was exhausted, dehydrated, and was sitting for a long period a time. She said yes it's probably a blood circulation issue and some people are just more sensitive than others. She recommended he get up every 30 minutes and take a lap. After some time trying to clean ourselves the best we can, we retuned to our seats (the flight was full so we could not change seats). They put blankets down for us, and we then spent the next 5 hours covered in vomit lol. He even managed to spray my beautiful Louis Vuitton :( Bummer. But I was so glad he was ok and no brain damage from being passed out and (possibly) seizing for that long. I cried the rest of the flight to Germany. He kept apologizing and apologizing…the whole thing was very terrifying.
So after 3 long flights, we finally arrive in Warsaw Poland, just completely exhausted. We got some good rest, and then our friends who are missionaries in Poland picked us up and showed us the old part of Warsaw. It was beautiful and clean, and we had the yummiest food from several different street vendors (warm mushrooms with melted cheese on toasted bread seems to be the thing in Poland).
We then hopped in their car and headed to their little town/village about an hour and a half away. We spent some time seeing their kid's camp and work that they get to do in Poland. They are around the same age as us and both have 2 kids so we had loads of commonality. Although the husband is from Poland…the wife is American…so it was funny and interesting seeing her flip flop so quickly between the two languages. She made is look so easy (side note: Polish is the number 1 hardest European language for Americans to learn) and she's mastered it! So they show us around their camp and all that they offer the children (for example: during the Christmas season, kids come from all over Poland and experience a live Bethlehem scene-what it would have been like if they were there themselves….with real donkeys and people dressed up as soldiers, etc. They're able to share the gospel openly which is wonderful-considering evangelical Christians account for just 1% of Poland's total population.
Which leads me to another observation. I remember this now about Italy too, but I had forgotten while I was there. Europeans don't smile that much. Does anyone know why? I was walking around looking like a crazy person…smiling at everyone….to which the gal with us said that's a dead give-away that I'm an American lol. But there was a hardness with the Polish people. It was painfully obvious and even awkward at times. Perhaps it's just a culture thing. But no one smiled.
After visiting the kids camp, we get back in the car and drive a few more hours to Krakow. Krakow is beautiful and I had never heard of it until the wife mentioned it to me a few months back when we were planning our itinerary. Krakow used to be Poland's capital, and it is the home of Schindler's Factory and the huge Jewish Ghetto. There is lots of history in Krakow. I loved it. We spent a couple days there walking the streets, seeing the castle, Schindler's factory, etc. They had the best hot mulled wine there as well as some incredible desserts!
A few days later, we checked out of our hotel bright and early and headed to Auschwitz. Now I knew this wasn't going to be a happy day, but since we were so close (about an hour and a half away) I knew we had to see it. I wanted to. I had been doing a lot of research and watching countless documentaries in the weeks leading up to our vacation. And I'm so glad I did too, because there's no way they could fit all that I had learned beforehand into their 2 hour tour.
I wrote a very detailed post about my experience at Auschwitz over on my personal blog, so if you want to read more about my thoughts and response on that…just email me and I will give you the link.
After Auschwitz we jump back in the car for a couple hours and arrive at the train station in the Czech Republic…we buy some tickets to Prague and hop on. 3 hours later (ok this ended up being a REALLY long day) we finally arrive in Prague at night. It was cold, damp, and beautiful. I remember remarking so many times that the streets were like shimmering gold glitter! Days later did I find out Prague is nick named "The Golden City". We spent a couple of days frolicking around Prague (just my husband and I) and then we headed back home.
Overall it was a good trip, but a hard one. My husband did fine on the flights home, as I kept reminding him to get up and walk around. My stomach didn't expand too much on the flight over there, but definitely did for some reason on the flight home (maybe it was all the bread I ate while over there? ;) I mean it was no where close to Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, but still definitely swollen. But doesn't everyone swell on flights anyway? Maybe ours is just more noticeable because we're so darn flat there now.
Ok sorry this was long, but a rather condensed version of our trip. I reviewed all the hotels we stayed at, the restaurants we ate in, etc all up on my blog for anyone interested or planning a trip to Europe.
Ok, happy to report I gained a solid 6 pounds on the trip (ok…well…not "happy" to report that) but started up with the shakes as soon as we got home (having 2 of the shakes a day) and dropped the 6 pounds within 4 days of being home :)
I still do waffle back on forth with having one more procedure done (a breast lift). They are just so sad and wrinkly from all the weight loss, but then I think….k $9,000 could build our family a house in Haiti which I of course would love to move to. I am restless and unsettled here (can you tell from all the traveling??)….but I suppose God has us here for a reason. But the whole perfect little American life….yes I am grateful for all the freedoms and opportunities we have here….but for what purpose? If I'm just spending money to make my life better….more comfortable….what's the point? It's like I am at war with myself: my flesh and my spirit. My flesh wants to have the perfect body, an adorable house, a nice car, etc. My spirit wants to do far more important things. And I'm just searching for the correct balance. And the correct balance is probably different for each of us. Do we adopt another teenage foster child? I know there are so many foster children right in our own backyard that need a solid loving family. I am overwhelmed with the world's needs at times. But we just keep taking one day at a time, seeing what we can do and how we can help someone that day.
Oh man I am getting off topic. Sorry this was long! Love to all you ladies…wonderful dear friends of mine who I am so grateful to know and stay in contact with :) Hope you all are well!
Being healthy is an every day choice...
Wanted to take a moment to update and sort of just talk out my thoughts here. Now that I've been maintaining my weight for some time, I must confess it doesn't get any easier. Friends will comment to me "oh man if I looked like you I would definitely indulge more! You can afford to!". But the truth is I put on fat just like you do. I have to watch what I put in my mouth every day-like we all should. When I eat crap, I feel like crap. When I have chocolate cake at night I toss and turn and get a horrible night's sleep (not because I feel guilty lol but because of the sugar and caffeine). There are consequences to our food choices, and just because I am lean now doesn't mean that I am exempt from them. I'm writing this because I think people often mistake their end goal as just that: the end. But it really is only the beginning…the beginning of a new way of living…every single day. Now of course I don't deprive myself of birthday celebrations, and date nights with my husband, etc…I do live and enjoy food and drinks :) But I am conscious of everything I put in my mouth. I am aware. I have to be. Otherwise I will end right back up at 200+ pounds. I look in the mirror every day and make a choice to KEEP my body like this. I've said this before…I don't have some crazy fast metabolism. I actually have the opposite: incredibly strong fat genes. My shape and body takes after my father's side of the family…where obesity is huge (no pun intended, really). If my father didn't work out for 2+ hours a day…he too would be large like his siblings. Thankfully he set such a good example for me…that even if you have a predisposition of more fat cells than the average person…you don't have to stay that way. You can work hard and be healthy. Now he tends to opt for the exercise way of doing it…while I prefer to control what I eat. I think I've said this before too- but I've found it INCREDIBLY difficult to do both at the same time…(exercise AND eat right) and do both well. If I exercise for an hour a day, 5 days a week, WHILE watching what I eat….one tends to suffer and it's usually my eating. I get so famished from working out, that I'll just eat everything in sight (mainly carbs). And it's not that they're bad carbs, but they're still carbs. And that caloric deficiency that's needed to lose fat gets eaten up real fast when I'm so hungry. So through trial and error I've found it's easier and faster to maintain my weight through nutrition. And from personal experience, I really do fully believe what they say is true: 80% of weight loss has to do with what we put in our mouths. Only a small percentage has to do with exercise.
All the to say, I'm right there with you guys. I struggle with it all too. Every day I do my best to make healthy food choices that day. Some days are harder or easier than others.
Oh! The company that I buy my nutritional shakes through actually just came out with a new flavor last week...Strawberry Sorbet and it is to die for! Chunks of real fresh strawberries….it tastes like I'm having a strawberry milkshake for breakfast. I love it. After consistently having vanilla and chocolate the last few YEARS….I was definitely excited for this new addition. The company also added 20 new herbs and nutrients which make you full for longer.
I've also started this new supplement called "Adaptogen complex" from a different company…Quantum Nutrition Labs I think it is….and it's a blend of herbs that sort of "adapts" to what your body needs. I'm hoping it will balance out my hormones-as I've tried all sorts of female balances that have not done a thing. Other than that I've just been sticking with the shakes, the experience cleanse almost nightly, and then the chocolate truffles that help curb cravings as well. Those are the staples in my weight loss/weight maintenance pantry so to speak. The cleanse I take at night, not only rids your body of toxins, but the herbs work to scrape off the years of built up plague in your colon and small intestine. It also contains a natural diuretic and an herb that is an natural appetite suppressant so it's my 3 for 1 supplement. I love it. The chocolate truffles are good for when twice a month (thanks to hormones) I get that sweet tooth. The ingredients the company put in these little truffles claims to promote lipid fat binding in cells. Not entirely sure how or if it works, but they're great to have on hand when I want some chocolate and know I'm not sabotaging my entire day if I have a few. And they taste great too and do fill me up almost instantly. Although they are kind of expensive so I can't buy them every month. Let's see…what else….I've been trying to watch my sodium intake more. I kicked my soda habit long again thankfully, but still crave that fizz/bubbly drink so I switched to sparkling mineral water and it really does the trick. I buy the little bottles from Trader Joe's. I love love love them. They come out to about 50 cents each.
I've been attempting to exercise more consistently, but since I'm a mesomorph (a certain type of body type…there are three….you can look them up to find out which one you are)…I put on muscle very easily. Which-if I ever decide to do some sort of muscle body building competition…then great lol. But that's not on the agenda for today. And so if I work out more than twice a week…what ends up happening is my body gets wider. And I don't like it. So I'm just still trying to find that balance of keeping my heart and insides healthy, while not having all my pants become tighter :)
All that to say…I struggle just like the next gal does. I think about my weight nearly every day. I'm not magically in this happy place now that I am leaner. There are still problem spots that I can obsess over, things that I wish I could change. But I just do the best that I can, when I can, how I can, and try to let the rest go :) Trying to find the balance in it all.
Take care everyone, and as always, I'm here if you need me or have any questions.
I researched surgeons for HOURS and DAYS. Anywhere from the Sacramento area, to San Francisco, all the way to Salt Lake City. I interviewed and met with several of them in fact. I landed on Dr. Kauffman in Folsom CA because he was so humble (well, as humble as any plastic surgeon can be haha).....and I LOVED the way his belly buttons turned out. I also loved that his used LMA anesthesia (on my review for more info on that). I woke up with no nausea whatsoever. Another thing that I ABSOLUTELY loved, Loved loved loved is that I was never alone with him. Not in one meeting, initial consultation, follow up, etc....I was never alone in a room with him. He always had a female staff present. Probably for his sake and liability more than mine, but I so appreciated that extra step and caution. And it was probably prompted because his wife works there with him too and I'm sure she doesn't want anything going on privately lol. I mean, you've got a man seeing you naked and touching you....it's just a wise to have another person present. In my other consultations with other surgeons, that was not the case. So final outcome/work aside.....he has my respect for that alone. I really would recommend my surgeon, and if fact already have to others who have already booked surgeries with him. It all went really great, and he has my respect, which I don't give out freely. I think he does fantastic work and I think he did fantastic work on me.