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.
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!
Also forgot to say, I have 2 daughters, age 5 and...
Also forgot to say, I have 2 daughters, age 5 and 2 and a half. A wonderful husband who is so incredibly helpful and supportive. I am 26 years old, 5'4", not having any more biological children and my husband is fixed!
4 more days until my surgery! Making final...
4 more days until my surgery! Making final preparations, getting kids set, meals planned, house cleaned, recliner rental locked in, etc. I'm actually doing pretty well emotionally. I'm excited. The only thing I'm actually really truly dreading is not being able to drink water for a full 8 hours prior to surgery. I am addicted and married to water (next to my husband of course). And I cannot imagine going 10 minutes, let alone 8 hours without at least a sip of water! Has anyone else had a hard time with this? Do you know if it's allowed to swish water in your mouth and then spit it out? haha. With my sleeping pills, one of the side of effects is dry mouth, so either I deal with awful dry mouth the night before, or don't take the sleeping pills and don't sleep. I don't know which is worse lol.
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 2 days away from surgery. Didn't sleep well last night, I guess some nerves are setting in. But I did a little more research on the type of anesthesia my doctor uses and am put to ease a little more. He uses what's called a LMA (Laryngeal mask airway). So I won't be fully intibated, as with general anesthesia, and it's not like IV sedation either. Basically the anesthesiologist will put a small pliable tube down my throat and instead of releasing the medication that make me fall asleep through an IV, he releases gases directly down my throat so I'm breathing them in on my own. Thus, when they take the tube out, I am no longer breathing in the gases and it's not circulating through my body like IV medication would. The complications are much less with the LMA, rarely do people ever throw up after this, and they have a minimal sore throat afterward, if any. Also the risk of aspiration is reduced with this technique as well. So I am glad my doctor uses this means.
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...
9 Jan 2013
On day of treatment
Wow I can't believe how well I'm doing (must be the pain pump and pain meds :) So I got through last night without drinking my water, which so far, has been the worse part of this whole thing haha. We got to the surgery center at 6:00AM (It is currently 3:00PM as I'm writing this). Got me checked in, changed into a gown, got my IV in and fluids going. I loved my nurse, Julie. She was so kind and great. She kept laughing at all my death jokes. She gave me an antibiotic in my IV, and told me that some patients feel a burning in their groin with this antibiotic but thankfully I didn't. Then the anesthesiologist came to talk with me. My first words to him were "please don't kill me". He goes, "Awww dangit". Hahaha. Told me about how things were going to go down, I would finish his sentences about everything to which he asked me if I worked in the medical field. Haha I said no I just researched this type of anesthesia a lot (LMA). Then my surgeon came in, he asked me how I was, and I said "oh I'm fine....how are YOU? Did you get good rest last night? Have your coffee yet? Are you focused?" haha just wanted to make sure he wasn't distracted from an argument he may have had with his wife the night before, or who knows what. He's still a person just like us and has to focus on what he's doing, so I wanted to make sure HE was doing good lol.
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...
1 day Post Op. Last night I slept....alright. I woke up about every hour. This morning the pain seemed to be more intense....the anesthesia has definitely left my body. Last night I could start to feel my incision sight....out of no where it just started burning...like it was on fire. Lasted about 2 minutes, then went away. Then came back an hour later, then went away. Off and on. No bowl movement yet, I'm hoping I have one today. We'll see. I go in for my first post op appointment today and Dr. will take of my compression garment and let me see everything. I had a dream last night that nothing was different, all the sagging skin was still there haha. I'll tell you what...this binder...compression garment thing hurts like hell. It feels like my ribs are being crushed. I can't wait for him to take it off even just for a few minutes. I imagine I'll be bruised from it-it's that tight. But my mom (who's a nurse) said it needs to be, I need the support. Also, since pain was definitely worse today than yesterday, the doctor said I could stagger Motrin in between my Percocet, which I've done and it's helped. Although it's a little alarming to me that Motrin is on the banned list 2 weeks prior to surgery, and then suddenly the day after surgery it's ok to take. Thoughts anyone on that ??
Well, that was a miserable FAIL at my first post...
Well, that was a miserable FAIL at my first post op. Rode the 40 minute car ride there, walked in with my walker looking like an old lady, pain was pretty bad. Got into the room and the nurse started taking off my compression garment. Because it has been so tight these last 36 hours, when she loosened it something happened with my body and I felt dizzy, my blood pressure dropped and I started shaking uncontrollably. She had me lie down in a recliner, my whole body still shaking. She proceeds to start taking off the tape and gauze and I scream in pain. She says "You're suppose to be numb there!" and I said "Well, I'm not!". She tries to take off tape and gauze in a different section and I sqirm in pain. She said ok let's get you some water and a cold towel for your head. I'm thinking, ok that's not really going to help but I appreciate the gesture. She does that, and then we try again.....nope.....no can do misses. So she says I'm going to get the doctor. lol. He comes in and asks me how I'm doing. I say "I don't really know....I was fine until I got here and then she took off my CG". He asked if I was shaking because I was cold or nervous and I said "I don't know". He then gently tries his hand and removing some of the dressings. Nope. Then he looks me over really carefully and says "Well, we CAN leave this on, instead of putting you through a ton of pain....there's not too much blood and soiled gauze....we can leave it on". At that point, although I wanted to see my new tummy, I opted to leave it put. I then ask him why I'm not numb like I'm suppose to be. I had called the office yesterday and was wondering about the pain pump...because it didn't seem like it was doing anything. They assured me that it was working (which it is). So we concluded that my body just metabolizes pain medication rather quickly. He was able to take the gauze off of my drain site and put a new one on (my only drain is coming out of my left hip....kinda weird, I can feel it now). Then they stand me up and squeeze me back into this awful compression garment which I absolutely hate. Hate. Now that it's back on, I can tell that everything is different.....the pain pump is sitting a new way, tugging and pinching more than it did before, I can feel the drain site....I wish they had never taken the damn CG off. He then proceeds to tell me about showering, which I can do in 2 more days....and I can pull the pain pump out at the point, which I'm terrified of and will likely have my mom do (the nurse). The pain pump is inserted low in my pubic area. There's gauze and tape covering it, so that has to be ripped off first before the tubes can be pulled out. I cringe just thinking about it. I make my way back to the car very slowly. Take my Percocet because it was time, and my husband starts to drive home. I started crying. Don't really know why. Because I was doing pretty well for most of the day, and great the day before, but as soon as they CG came off it's like it all changed. Everything shifted, changed and started hurting somehow. I can't explain it. But the way everything was set up and put into place directly after my surgery must have been working really well for me. And now it's all ruined and doesn't feel the same anymore. Dr. suggested I take some Valium tonight to help relax me. I guess I'll give it another try even though the first time I took it it gave me an awful headache. I'm sad, bummed out, disappointed, pissed off, you name it. :( So, no new photos to add yet.
2 Days Post Op Now. I should title this post "Why...
2 Days Post Op Now. I should title this post "Why In God's Name Did I Do This To Myself??!!! lol. Ok, last night was rough. I didn't want to fall asleep for fear of stiffening my legs and getting a blood clot, but I also know that sleeping is part of the healing process! I did finally fall asleep around 5:00am, slept til 8:00am, fell back asleep around 9:00AM and slept again til 10:00AM which is actually the most sleep I've gotten in a few days. I feel pretty good this morning. Swelling isn't too bad today, I guess by comparison of yesterday yesterday was REALLY bad with swelling. But I head that's to be expected at the end of days. My antibiotics cause diaherra so even though I'm taking my pain pills regularly I've already gone poo maybe 4 or 5 times (which again I would prefer over constipation).
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...
2 Days Post Op it's 2:30PM as I write this. I called the doctor's office around 11:00 and told them I felt a small hard ball forming on my upper abdomen. They wanted to see me right away (my doc wasn't in today, but the other one was....Dr. Clark). I dreaded the long drive again, but off we went. Got there.....got my garment off SLOWLY, and the same nurse that was there last night said "Wanna give this another try?"....and I said "yes"....so she proceeds to take off the tape and gauze. It didn't hurt nearly as bad this time as it did last night. We discovered that I am numb on my left side, but not on the right side of my stomach. Funny....same thing that happened when I got an epideral with my first daughter. Anyway....we get everything off, looks good, take a picture. Dr. Clark comes in a feels what I think may be a seroma forming, and she says "Oh no, that is a stitch...a suture....sometimes on thinner people you can feel them more easily". And that was that. I felt around.....she took my finger and showed me other ones she could feel as well. So.....that's good news I guess. I'm hoping that once the swelling goes down, I won't be able to feel them so easily. Nurse took off old dressings and I got to see my belly button which I think looks pretty good. It's small! I'm pretty swollen and I can see stretch marks still, but overall I'm very happy that I'm just flat and nothing is hanging down anymore :) Doc told me I could take Motrin tonight which I just did and am happy about. Overall I am doing much better than yesterday! Happy I went back to the doc today unexpected. My next visit back is next Thursday to remove my drain :)
Wow, what a difference just a day makes. Last...
Wow, what a difference just a day makes. Last night got the most sleep I've gotten in a while, 4 hours at a time which was great. My body woke up every 4 hours on the dot....must be trained for those pain pills ;) Although after going back to sleep at 6:00am after a dose of percocet, I didn't wake until 10:45 and was definitely in pain. Major BACK pain from all this hunching over while walking and sleeping in a recliner that doesn't have good back support to begin with. I had also missed my alarm to take my antibiotics so I took those around 11:00am. Had a very hard time walking to the bathroom this morning because of all the back pain. Still haven't had much of an appetite at all, but I continue to eat fresh fruit, my protein shakes, and crackers when I need to take medicine. My mom came over around 1:00PM and it was time to take the pain pump out. I got my compression garment off which was just SO nice to be able to breathe. We waited a little while, then I laid back in the recliner, put a pillow over my tummy, took a deep breath, and she went really slow pulling out the pump. Didn't hurt at all really, just felt pressure and pulling. But no pain which was nice. We then threw my compression garment in the wash and headed to the shower. My husband got it all ready, got a hand held shower holder thingy for me, got a shower chair in there which we borrowed from a friend, my mom undressed me and helped me into the shower. I sat, rinsed off, my mom washed my hair, I shaved my legs carefully and slowly. The shower wasn't so incredible and nice as everyone has described...it was more so AFTER the shower that I felt like a new woman haha. My mom got the towel warmer out that she had gotten me for Christmas and plugged that in. She helped me out the shower, dried me off, put some Biofreeze on my back muscles, got me dressed, blow dried my hair, and helped me back to my recliner. I feel AMAZING. It is SO MUCH easier to move around without that damn compression garment on. It feels wonderful. I know I had to fully enjoy the hour and a half it took to wash and dry it-which I did. But now it is back on, and my organs are back to being squished haha. Supposedly this is the LARGE one (stage 1 garment) for the first week to accommodate for extra swelling. The next garment they give me (stage 2) in 5 more days will be even smaller. Can't imagine, but whatever. It's ok. I'm just so glad those first 48 hours are behind me. They truly are the worst.
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...
4 Days Post Op, which means I had my surgery 5 days ago. Tt is true what they say: every day you feel A LITTLE bit better. Today is the day I have felt the most normal, although I'm fore sure hiring a house keeper....enough is enough.
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...
Ughhh. Today was a hard one. I'm not even quite sure why. Yesterday was fantastic. Laid in bed and watched the golden globes. Did minimal walking. Today though....it's like the energy has been completely zapped out of me. My chest hurts and is tight. I have no strength. It's so weird. I took my CG to take a shower, and still haven't put it back on. I really need a break from that thing. It was cutting off my circulation and my feet were going completely numb. My CG has been off for about 2 hours now (it's 3:30PM getting on into the evening) and my swelling has actually gone DOWN since this morning. Another weird thing.
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...
Well the last 2 days have been pretty good. Gave the recliner back and I have been sleeping in my bed alright. Still on the pain meds, but not very much of them. Taking flexeril at night, although last night I could not fall asleep until 2:00am. Woke up this morning, stood up and blood gushed everywhere. My wonderful period decided to show up a few days early. I soaked my newly clean compression garment, got blood all over the floor, and then the door bell rings and my new housekeeper is here to start cleaning lol. Then my daughter's teacher text's me and tell me that my 2 year old spiked a fever of 101 and needs to be picked up. I hadn't even had my first cup of coffee yet and all this was happening lol. My husband goes to pick up our daughter (fevers are serious with her because if they get too high, she has seizures). So cleaning lady introduces herself and starts cleaning. I sit and tell her where everything goes as she's emptying the dishwasher. My husband pulls up with my daughter, we put a movie on for her and she lays in bed next to me (great....fever germs lol). I take another dose of my probiotics. I look at my drain and what was light yellow all night has now turned to red again, and looks like a long thin clot is coming out. I read that the appearance of clot is normal in drains as it makes it's way out. I don't know...what do you guys think? Should I be concerned that it was yellow all night and then went back to red? My output still isn't very much (still less than 25 cc a day, which it has been for the last couple of days). I posted some new pics. I'm still a swollen cow, and that makes me bummed, but I know it'll be like this for the next few months. Just trying to mentally prepare myself that my teeny tiny tummy won't be visible for another 3 months. I'm so puffy. Especially my love handles. Oh well.
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...
8 Days PO and drain is out! Was laying down on the doctor's table recliner thing when the nurse started removing the tape from my scar. I felt some pulling and and tugging, and felt it way more on the right side (what is up with my right side???), but not too bad. She then had to remove the stitches that were holding my drain in place. A little painful....but brief. She then asked if I was ready to have her pull the drain out (which she had already done at that point and I hadn't felt it....she was just trying to trick me lol). I said "Yes I'm ready", and by that time she was behind me putting the drain in the sink she goes "Oh it's done". Hahaha. Nice technique. Didn't even feel a thing. It took less than a second, and I didn't even feel it. Supposedly my surgeon buys the super expensive drains that are made really well and slide out very easily, and painlessly. He said when he had had knee surgery and had a drain in place, it was so painful when they pulled it out-so from then on he bought the expensive drains for his patients. Thanks man. :)
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...
9 Days Post op, last night I was FINALLY able to sleep on my side. It was almost as wonderful as the day I got married. lol. So nice to take the pressure off my back. I felt a little pulling inside my stomach, but not too bad. I had to switch sides in the middle of the night because my incision was getting a little irritated. But overall, best night sleep in awhile. I'm also completely off narcotics, so I'm back to my usual over the counter sleep aid-so I think that helped too.
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...
I am 12 Days PO, and probably have some blues. I am down about all the swelling (I know it's temporary, but still....3-4 months a long time to look down and not recognize or even like your own stomach after you stomach thousands of dollars to like it again). And then secondly, I'm finding that as good as the doctors are, even mine, they will tell us what we want to hear, not necessarily what is absolutely true :/ I've already found that with my doctor TWICE now. And he is once of the most reputable and expensive guys in the area. At my initial consultation with him (before I paid him the big bucks) I asked him EXACTLY where my scar would be...and he showed me.......top/center of my thigh....to the other top center of my thigh (no hip bone to hip bone). Tiny. Minimal. And I exclaimed "oh! that's it?!...that's not a big at all!". Other surgeons I had met and showed me the hip bone to hip bone thing. Well, low and behold on the day of my surgery he marked me hip bone to hip bone and I was a little too out of it and nervous to question him. But I definitely will at my next appointment now that I am completely off of pain pills and can think clearly. Second misleading by him: at my pre-op appointment I raised a concern about something I had read: I read that one gal after a tummy tuck could feel her stitches inside of her....that one stitch had flipped around and started poking her from the inside out. To which he replied, "Yes that happened one time awhile ago with one of my patients too, but since then I've revised the way I suture the stitches inside and the way I place them, and now there's no way you could ever feel them". So I asked again "So I won't be able to feel the stitches at all?" And he said "No". Well, low and behold I go in 2Days PO for what I think feels like a seroma forming. My doctor was not working that day, but his partner, a lady doctor, was. She feels it and goes "Oh no, that's one of your stitches. See.....here feel all along here"....to which she takes my hand and I can feel every one of my stitches inside my abdominal wall. She said "you can usually feel them more on thinner people, like you". Great. Lol. So again, not that I don't trust my surgeon with his skills and abilities, but I think they tend to exaggerate how "minimal" this surgery is. The day of surgery, I brought two of my bikini bottoms in with me to get marked in, but the nurse told me to take everything off-and that he needs to mark me naked. And again I have authority issues, so I didn't challenge his blue pen markings at the time, moments before surgery started. Next time I go in, I am going to discuss a scar revision with him. All this to say....I tried my bikinis on yesterday and was so disappointed....I could see my entire scar in every.single.one.of.them. Not hidden at all. The style of bikini I wear is not the high waisted kind that the 45-year old moms wear. I'm 26. I expected I'd maybe see a little bit of the scar....but not the entire thing! And mind you, these are slutty over the top skimpy bathing suits. They are the regular kind. Like low rise jeans. My incision is ridiculously high (I think). And I am just bummed. Bummed that I didn't have the balls to say on the day of surgery "hey....can we make it more horizontal instead of so curved?". I've seen others' scars who are more of just a straight line, and I would love that. Like I said, I will be discussing a scar revision with him. It would have been a straight line if he had actually done what he said he could have done in my initial consult. My only hesitation in doing a scar revision is all the down time again, and severing those lymphic channels again and having to deal with 3-4 more months of swelling (scar revisions usually don't take place until a year after surgery, once you're fully healed, and you can see there is still need for a revision). I'm just bummed. I don't even want to post pictures it looks so awful, but I will.
*Not, these are *not* the slutty over the top...
*Not, these are *not* the slutty over the top skimpy bathing suits, just regular ones.
Oooops, I guess I'm 12 Days Post Op, yesterday's...
Oooops, I guess I'm 12 Days Post Op, yesterday's post was technically 11 Days PO. I took some pictures in the morning when the swelling is the least amount it will be all day. But still, I have lots of swelling....you can definitely tell from the side picture.
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...
14 Days PO. I feel so much better than I did last week. I returned to work yesterday, gave 8 lessons....wasn't too bad. My husband drove me to and from each house so that was nice. I've cut back on the Motrin and Tylenol and I have my 2 week PO tomorrow. I sneezed just now and man that was painful. Ouch. Let's see, swelling is bad at night still. Oh well. But I'm happy that I'm starting to feel normal again. My housekeeper came again today to clean and she does a wonderful job, so I actually think I will keep her even after I'm feeling 100% again lol.
15 Days PO, had my 2 week checkup today. The nurse...
15 Days PO, had my 2 week checkup today. The nurse took a few stitches out, and one out on my belly button. Doc came in and asked me what I thought of my results (wonder if he read my review lol). I asked him if there was any way he could have made the incision more straight, and he said no....he explained why although I wasn't quite tracking with him. But that's ok....the incision is pretty darn thin.....I do think it will fade nicely over time, it just requires patience on my end. He said I could take a bath now! Yay....I love taking baths....especially in the winter. He said there's no risk of infection, everything is completely closed. I asked him when I could go back to the gym, and he said the most motivated patients he's seen have started running again by 3 weeks. I asked him if I could start walking on the treadmill now and he said yes. And knowing me, I am the most motivated person I know (my friends will attest to this), I will attempt running next week. Of course I'll listen to my body, and if it's not ready, then it's not ready. I'm not stupid. But yesterday I felt like I really turned a corner. I felt almost completely back to normal. There's still some soreness and hunching over now and then, but for the most part I'm pretty good. Sex.....nurse said to go for it (this was after the doc left the room). I was like "really?? are you sure??", and as I'm walking out I see the doc in the hallway and just to verify, I ask him if sex is ok now. And he cautiously says, "yes, but continue at your own comfort level" or something like that. So thank goodness. 2 weeks is definitely a long time to go and enough is enough. :)
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...
16 Days PO. Hey guess what? I'm starting to like my new tummy! Swelling was minimal this morning so I snapped a few new photos, and then one before/after photo collage. I've got my new (different size) medical compression garment on and it fits wonderfully. I can breathe in it! I was going to go to the gym today and walk on the treadmill, but I feel too exhausted. My body is trying to fight off this pink eye in addition to recover, so I'm taking it easy today. Tomorrow is my birthday and I hope for my birthday present I'll be able to go back to the gym! It's a bummer though, these past 4 birthdays I have been sick for every single one of them. Then we always say "oh we'll get together with friends and family another time to celebrate" and it somehow never happens. I know I'm an adult now (I'll be 27 tomorrow!) so I should be used to not being celebrated as much as you are when you're a kid.....lol.....but it still is a bummer being so sick every year (and I don't even get sick that often! only on my birthday!).
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....
21 Days PO, feeling more and more back to normal. Walking straighter every day. Sleeping pretty great. Swelling is down from where it was last week. I'm not swelling nearly as much as I used to. Eating fresh fruits, veggies, and protein drinks. Scar is still very thin.....I still wish it didn't curve up, when I see myself naked it gives the illusion that I am somehow shorter (probably because it makes my waist look shorter). But I know it will fade.
Overall things are going pretty good. I posted some new photos.
22 Days PO, I went bikini shopping yesterday haha....
22 Days PO, I went bikini shopping yesterday haha. They were fresh off the Target isles and I wanted to snag some before they were all picked over by spring time. Let's see, I did not find any that will cover my scar. BUT, that's ok. I snagged a cute top that I love, and I paired it with bottoms I already have. Yup you can see my scar, but oh well :) These pics are from yesterday at the end of the day, there's a little bit of swelling, and some puckering at the incision line, but it will all flatten out. It's coming along! So my childhood best friend is getting married this summer, and is having a destination wedding in the british virgin islands! We'll be headed to St. Marteen and then Anguilla for a week this summer. I am looking forward to being in our own little villa right on the aqua blue waters, sipping their famous rum punch with my handsome hubby :) Oh and I put up a fat photo of myself today, it had gotten deleted but now it is back up again. In ii...I'm about 225 pounds haha. Good times.
4 weeks PO, had my second to last post op visit...
4 weeks PO, had my second to last post op visit (last one will be in 6 months). My swelling has been very minimal, if any at all. Not sure why, if it's good luck, or the bromelein I've been taking. Not sure, but the last few weeks I have just been in awe of my stomach and how flat it is. Let's see, I weighed myself this morning and I weigh 120 pounds, which is 8 pounds down from the morning of surgery. Weird. I haven't worked out in a month and I've lost that much weight. I have been getting really full very easily, so that probably lends a hand.
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...
34 Days PO. Hello all. Oooo so this week, guess what? I've been swollen. Can't be sure if it's do to PMS or no CG (maybe a mix of both), but I bought a new smaller and set of spanx to wear throughout the day. Love it. It was $6.99 a Ross (why do I not shop there more? My husband and kids and I left the store with boatloads of things for less than $100). I love a great deal. Let's see, still no working out. Again, in no rush....I have the rest of my life to workout. I've been doing lunges and squats throughout the house though to try to keep at least some muscle tone. Oooo I received a package in the mail yesterday. Opened it up, and it's a gift from my surgeon. A beautiful box of 4 soy smell good candles and a thank you card from him for entrusting my care into his hands, or something like that. Very nice touch. Let's see what else....oh I do like the scar silicone tape thing. I've showered with it on several times and it's still doing great. Will probably take this one off in about 3 more days and replace with another (each sheet lasts 7-10 days). It definitely is making my scar softer, although I don't think enough time has passed for me to tell a difference in color. I uploaded a picture of it so others who were asking can see what it looks like. The tape sometimes puckers, and I flatten it out throughout the day. My posture is still sometimes pretty bad. I have to remind myself throughout the day that I CAN sit up/stand up perfectly straight and that I need to. Overall I am really really happy I did this, got it out of the way, and no longer have to tuck my skin into my pants anymore. It had become this habit the last couple of years, and when I went to teach lessons last week, I went to sit and tuck my skin in, having forgotten there wasn't any lol. Shopping is now more fun. Intimacy is more fun for me. Life is grand!
6 Weeks PO, not a whole lot to say other than I'm...
6 Weeks PO, not a whole lot to say other than I'm exhausted and feel like I've taken a few steps backward even though I haven't changed my activity level at all from 4 weeks PO. I still get a little swollen at night, but by morning it's gone. I've worked out a total of 3 times now since the surgery....5 minutes of cardio and then a few light waits and that's it haha. It was too much for my body the next day and the next day, so I'm still taking it easy. My arms are getting a little flabby but who cares it's still winter. My incision line has been hurting a bit and I've had some pain in the upper abs....had to take a Valium last night. Man that thing put me to sleep. I put 3 new photos up. Hope everyone is doing well!
Still tired. Still swelling at night. Nothing...
Still tired. Still swelling at night. Nothing really new, except I added some recent photos. Found a bikini I like at Target that pretty much covers my scar so happy about that. Going in to see my surgeon next week about the small red scar tissue under my belly button, and he'll possibly inject a steroid into it to break up the scar tissue. Man this recovery is longer than I hoped it would be. Still can't work out. Just utterly exhausted, and even when I try to do 20 lunges around the house or some free weights with just my arms....I am flat on my back by night or the next day in so much pain (not sore, but PAIN in my abdomen). So I'm listening to my body and not pushing it. I think I'll try the gym again next week....
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...
8 Weeks PO. The only new photos I have added are actually completely old ones (pre tummy tuck and pre weight loss). I didn't want any one to think that I am some young thin girl with a super high metabolism. Nope I had to work my butt off and become extremely great at self control. Enjoy the funny photos :)
I'm a little over 3 months PO, 13 weeks PO to be...
10 Apr 2013
3 months post
I'm a little over 3 months PO, 13 weeks PO to be exact. A lot has gone on, and there are too many details, but here is the jist of it. Still having pain in my pubic area which I believe is nerve related. Gets worse if I run, which has kept me from being able to really get back to running. Went to my surgeon yesterday and he injected lidocaine into the area, but that did not help (weird), so he says it's probably not nerve related. He's willing to do other things, but at this point I'm just going to try to wait it out and hope it resolves itself-instead of taking other measures with possible side effects. Which leads me to my next issue. About 5 weeks ago, I went in to the office for a steroid injection because of some hardening scar tissue on the left side of my belly button. It was a small part, but it was very hard and red. They did a small steroid injection which over time, did resolve the hardening scar tissue. The down side though, is that two of the side effects of a steroid injection are thinning of the skin, and lightening of the skin where the injection took place. I did not know this. So as the weeks have progressed, half of my belly button is lighter and looks like a sad old wrinkled up grape...while the other half is nice and plump looking. I'm disappointed and had I known what the side effects were I would have opted out of the shot and just dealt with the small hardening scar tissue. Oh well. My stomach is very flat. On one other thing I wish I had known though was that when they pull the skin down....it's still your skin. I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before...I don't know if I expected new skin or what haha but when I do sit, or bring my knees to my chest, etc things like that....my skin does wrinkle and I get a glimpse of my former tummy. It wrinkles the most right around the incision line (which is pretty long). So for all those out there still mulling over this procedure, just be informed that you still have your OWN skin lol and it's texture and stretch marks, etc. It's tighter, no doubt, but there are ways that I can move my body to where I can see it wrinkling up and sagging again. I don't know why I didn't expect this and it's news to me. I guess I was just expecting it to all go away-but just be aware that it's not possible.
Ok, off to the gym I go.
13 Weeks PO, and I ran the fastest I've been able...
12 Apr 2013
3 months post
13 Weeks PO, and I ran the fastest I've been able to run since having the surgery. My husband and I did sprints together and he could hardly keep up with me ;) haha just kidding, he kicked my butt, but I'm happy that I was at least able to sprint. Things are getting better. Abs a little sore today, but I've been working harder at the gym (still no ab work though).