Hi y'all! I'm sooooo excited to be here sharing...
Hi y'all! I'm sooooo excited to be here sharing my story! I'm 41 years old (turning 42 soon!), and I had my first child at 19, second at 21, third at 22, and my fourth at 33. I've also raised my two step-children, and feel very blessed to have six wonderful kids! But for about 15 years I have dreamed of, wished for and thought about having a TT, though I never thought it would actually happen. I'm now scheduled for March 26, 2014 and I'm THRILLED!
I'm 4'11" and weigh between 107-110 typically. I've always been in really good shape, but since my first pregnancy I've always had a large amount of stretched, loose skin, mostly below my bb. Of course, with each additional pregnancy it got worse and worse, and with my fourth pregnancy I was on bed rest from my second trimester on, couldn't exercise, had a lot of fluid retention, etc., so that one really did me in! I never got the experience of fully enjoying my "young body". Since the age of 19, I could never go to the store and just buy a bikini off the rack, much less order one online -- I've always had to buy a bigger bottom and had to try on numerous styles in order to find something that I could "tuck" all my skin into and that would cover/come up to my bb to hide all the stretched mess. Even when I could find something that worked, wearing a bikini meant "adjusting" it to pull it up every time I stood, sat, swam, etc.
This past year we planned, hosted and paid for two weddings -- one for my son, one for my daughter, and also had another daughter graduate high school. Then we found out that we're going to be Grandparents! I finally decided that it's now or never, and that it's time (after taking care of everyone else for 23 years!) for me to do something for ME. My husband is so wonderful -- he loves me no matter what, and my stomach has never bothered him (though I don't let him see it very often, lol), but he knows how badly I have wanted this, and he's super supportive. I'm so blessed!
The final "tipping point" for me was being told by both of the surgeons that I saw that I would only require a mini tummy tuck, skin only, no muscle repair. I was sooooo relieved! All these years I had assumed that I would need a full TT, muscle repair, etc. I wish I had actually gotten consultations years ago! I'm so looking forward to this new chapter in my life. I can't wait to be able to wear jeans and bikini's without worrying about this skin hanging over! :)
Second consult with first PS tomorrow morning...
I've gone back & forth on which doc to go with, partly because of the dates/schedule. I have a trip to Disney planned with my son for April 26-May 3 and the dates can't be changed. After originally scheduling for 3/26, I realized that I need more time for recovery. Two of the docs I saw said that I'll be fine for the trip only 4 weeks out since I'm doing skin only, but I feel like I need more. I don't want to be restricted, and I want my son to have the best experience...not a Momma that is exhausted and can't do everything.
In the meantime, I've come up with a lot more questions that I want to ask...
Happy Birthday To ME!
Yep, today is my birthday! The "re-discuss" appt I was supposed to have yesterday got mixed up, so it will be today. Still HOPING to schedule my TT for Monday, March 10. Is that crazy?!? Am I gonna be able to get everything done in time? Eeeekkk!
Obviously, I've got this TT on the brain! Keep having these crazy vivid dreams about the procedure, the recovery, etc. They're so real that I wake up and have to look down because it feels like I've already had the TT, lol. Last night I dreamt that my drain line must've gotten clogged or something, cuz when we started trying to "strip it", a ton of drainage started coming through and my drain bulb completely overflowed! Geeze...
Cleaning my carpets today, mopping the floors, grocery shopping...trying to get ready!
I haven't been able to sleep soundly for days now....my energy level is through the roof! I just keep thinking that I'll sleep a LOT after the surgery, lol. So I'm doing Spring Cleaning and getting everything ready and making lists and checking and rechecking them.... I can't believe it's only two days away....eeeekk!
I've got this song stuck in my head...
"Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you TOMORROW". Haha. Excited, nervous, relieved, hopeful...just some of the things I'm feeling today. I seriously can NOT believe I'm doing this. Twenty-three years of living with this stretched skin. Wow. I'm wondering if I'll ever lose the habits associated with that skin -- like pulling my shirt down to hide it, pulling my jeans/pants up every time I sit and every time I stand up, constantly adjusting my clothing, pulling my hubby's hands away every time he goes near my stomach, etc.
I was finally able to sleep last night, thank God! But today I feel sick -- stuffed up, sneezing, nauseous/cramping stomach, chills, and really really dizzy! I hope & pray that I'm not coming down with something.....
I've started preparing a basket of supplies for after surgery, and my awesome hubby has moved the recliner from the den into the living room. Will spend the rest of the day finishing up some more preparations. I can't wait!!!!!
Oh, and here's a couple pics of the garment I will be wearing after surgery -- I snapped a pic in my ps's office when I tried it on the other day. ;) It seems a bit big on me, and I do have it roll it down under my breast because of my height, lol
On The Flat Side!!!!
10 Mar 2014
Day of treatment
Oh geeze, I can't believe I can say that!!! I'm so elated right now, and I haven't even seen my tummy, lol!
I'll start from last night... Lots of nervous energy, kept checking and rechecking lists, my bag, docs orders, etc. Had "romance time" with hubby ;) took my antibacterial shower, got in bed around 11:30and tried to sleep. Keyword: TRIED. I swear I was looking at the clock every 30 minutes. Finally dozed off into a decent slumber, only to wake up at 4:30 with my eyes all itchy and watering, my left nostril completely plugged, the right one running like a faucet, and a sneeze attack that last a good 10 minutes. I was having a major allergy attack. Uuuggghhhh. I was panicked. I grabbed my iPad and started Googling "Claritin before surgery" and "Zyrtec before surgery". Of course, just like any other thing you Google, there were different answers. Great. So I decided to call the surgery center (and at this point I realize that I never have heard from the anesthesiologist like the nurse said I would...). Spoke with a surgical nurse who said Zyrtec would be fine, so I swallowed one, with no water, and a dry itchy mouth/throat...not fun!
Got to surgical center, standard stuff -- urinalysis, weight, blood pressure, IV started, compression socks on, etc. All was good. Nurse was super nice and very sweet, great sense of humor, which I loved. They were surprised at how low my blood pressure was right before surgery, but that's the way I've always been. Doc was running late, but that didn't bother me, I was in no rush, lol! He got me all marked up and next thing I know my "cocktail" is started and I'm kissing my hubby and that's the last thing I remember. :))))
I know I went in close to 9:00 am, and I can barely see without glasses/contacts, but I do remember seeing that I was around 12:10 when I opened my eyes in recovery. I was trying so hard to get with it, but failing miserably. Anesthesia always knocks me out hard and takes a while to pull out of. My doc was there and I remember him saying something about a few internal stitches, and something about that it was nice & tight and that I'd be very happy. Then I was out again, lol.
So it's now going on 5:00 and I've been home since just before 2:00. I. FEEL. AMAZING!!! I can't believe it, but I do. The nurse said he had put long lasting numbing stuff on my belly so that's probably why. I'm trying to remember that I still can't "do" stuff, I'm literally having to force myself to slow down. I think for me, feeling pain would be better, lol. Hubby helped me to the bathroom the first time, but I've gone by myself since then. I feel no pain! I haven't taken any pain meds (or nausea meds). I just feel tightness and soreness. Others have described it as feeling like you did 1,000 crunches -- that's about right. I was STARVING before surgery and STARVING after -- so I ate a gluten free protein bar, and an apple with almond butter. Yum!
I have one drain and it's barely made it to about 2/3 of the way to the 25 mark on the bulb. Doc said that the drain will most likely come out in 3-5 days. Also, the binder garment can NOT be opened or removed for 48 hours, but when I do take it off I am to shower and put it right back on.
That's about all I can think of right now, and I feel myself dozing off again...
That's what hydrocodone makes me feel like...like I'm in the Twilight Zone, lol. I stopped taking it yesterday because I can't stand feeling like that. Now just taking extra strength Tylenol every 6-8 hours. I still feel really GREAT! I'm sore, and tender, can't stand up straight, can't move quickly, etc., but really, there's not a lot of actual pain. Not sure if it's because I'm still pretty numb, but it's been great. :) I'm starting to get some tingling and "shock" type feelings in my belly. Very strange!
So the BIG NEWS... I finally got a look!! To be honest, it wasn't what I was expecting. I mean, it's so WEIRD! It's pretty flat, which I LOVE. I mean, bending over there's no hanging skin!! Really?!?! Yaayyyyyy!! But then it seems as if my bb and my incision line are sooooo close together. ?? And the stretch marks are more noticeable now. And there's still some wrinkly skin around my bb. Granted, it's only Day 2 PO, and I'm sure things will look a lot different over the next few weeks. But I do love it so far....it's just...different! ;)
I just took a shower -- oh there's a thin line between love & hate! Felt so good to be cleaning myself and to have warm water running down my body, but the whole process sucked, to be blunt! Trying to maneuver the hand-held sprayer while trying to hold on to my drain bulb while my hubby was standing there with the shower door open letting all the cold air in (I hate that!!!!) and then asking me why I was spraying water all over the place?!?! Yeah....fun! Haha. And it was quite exhausting, but it's over now and I'm glad to be feeling somewhat "refreshed". ;)
My drain bulb was filling quite a bit yesterday, and doing the same again today. I think it will be a while before it slows down. I finally figured out that the drain tube was bent over/kinked, so I had to cut a hole in my garment to get the line to lay straight....and now it's flowing!
I was able to have the infamous bowel movement the first night, though it was difficult. Had another difficult one last night. Taking stool softener, drinking nothing but water, hoping it gets easier.
So that's my journey so far....happy healing y'all! :)
Well it's Friday, and looks like I'll have to have this darn drain in until at least Monday....blah! I was really hoping to have it out today, but I'm not quite to where my PS wants me to be...but I'm close, so hopefully I can get it out Monday. It hasn't really bothered me much until today. And even now it doesn't really hurt, but it's tender, it came loose, and it's just a plain ol' PITA!
Took a shower all by myself. I really didn't want my hubby trying to help me, so I waited until he was busy outside. I even shaved my legs (very quickly, lol), so that was nice and felt good. :)
Not much else has changed. Haven't had any problems at all, my appetite has been good, no problems going to the bathroom, etc. Tired of this garment -- it's soooooo uncomfortable in the crotch area! And I'm starting to feel a little trapped, so am gonna try to venture out this weekend. ;)
Took some pics after my shower -- obviously a lot will change in the next several weeks, but I can't believe what a difference there is! Wow....
6 Days Post-Op
A week ago today I was a nervous wreck...lol. I'm so glad that's over, and I'm glad that I've had such a pleasant recovery so far. ;)
I'm feeling really well. I even went fishing for a bit with my hubby and kids yesterday! It was so nice to get out of the house and be near the water, but it was pretty exhausting and I was glad to get home and get comfy in my recliner. :)
I took some more pics this morning, and I have some comments/questions about them for anyone who's looking:
1. Should I be able to stick both hands down my garment, or should it be tighter??
2. Why does my right hip seem sooooo much higher and so different looking than my left hip? I didn't have any lipo...
3. Am I swelling?? I really don't see any swelling really, but I feel swollen. Or is that right hip area swollen?
Texas weather is being bi-polar again....and it's cold & windy outside, so there goes my ability to have all the doors and windows open enjoying the fresh air...but it was nice while it lasted. ;).
Got cleaned up, washed my hair, put on makeup, and we treated our whole fam to lunch at a Mexican restaurant for my oldest sons birthday today. It was so nice -- especially the margarita!!-- but it took a lot out of me and I was soooo tired. My drain bulb started filling right up again and I felt swollen...so I took a pic when I got home and yep, I can definitely see it! So glad kids are back to school and hubby back to work tomorrow so I can really rest, lol! ;)
Yayyyy for No More Drain!!
I went for mr first post-op with Dr. Camp this morning, great visit! Once again he spent a lot of time with us, we did not feel rushed at all, and all of our questions were answered. The greatest news -- his awesome nurse Stacey removed my drain!!! It was very odd....I mean, how the heck can all of that tubing be in there?!? The feeling of it pulling through my entire abdomen was WEIRD and seeing it was FREAKY! But, I'm sooooo glad it's out! I feel FREE! ;) Life will be so much easier now.
I will continue to wear a binder/garment, per Dr.'s orders...but he said it was fine for me to switch to Spanx or similar, as long as it covers lower abdomen. I pulled out my ol' Flexees and it feels a LOT better wearing it -- the other garment was irritating to my crotch area and very uncomfortable.
He thinks I look great, told me not to start exercising yet, and that the steri-strips will start falling off on their own. Other than that, I wait to go see him again next week. :)
I've posted some new pics....still think my hips looks so odd! (Doc says it might be tilted pelvis?). And yes my belly button looks crooked, but I plan on re-piercing it anyway. The skin is still very tight of course and will loosen up some, so that might change how my bb looks. The puckering should also start to go away. Overall I am thrilled, and still think it's a HUGE improvement over what I had before TT. I absolutely LOVE the fact that I can sit and bend over and not have anything hanging!!! BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD! :)
What is this?!
I was just looking at my pics and zeroed in on this left hip....does this look like it might be a dog ear??
First Peek at Incision!
Ok, so during my shower today, some of the steri strips started peeling off. I gently pulled up on them and clipped them off, and was in a little bit of shock. Not sure why my mind was expecting to see something different.... Anyway, that's my news for today. ;)
Had this all typed up and then it disappeared...uuuggghh. Ok, quick update:
*Feeling great, but over-did it yesterday and feeling it today! Sore and tender, but not enough to need any meds or anything
*Parts of scar where steri strips came off are sore/tender, clothes rubbing them is irritating
*I was a rebel last night and slept withOUT my garment! I need to find one that is more comfortable....any suggestions??
*Posting more pics -- can anyone give me any insight and/or ease my concern about that left hip?? It just looks BAD.... :(
Anybody in MORE pain with their binder/garment on??
Not much else to report...I honestly can't believe it's been two weeks! I feel great! I think I'm in that stage where I feel like I should be able to do so much more, but realistically I know I just had major surgery...and I'm getting impatient, lol. The weather has been beautiful, I want to go jogging, I want to work on my garden, I want to build something, etc., and yet I *know* I can't yet. ;)
I finally figured out what is causing so much pain with my garment -- it's one of my scars from the laparoscopic surgery I had back in January, down on my right side, just above my incision. It's being pulled, but wearing the garment also pushes on it and causes even more intense pain. :/ Will discuss with Dr. Camp tomorrow at my next follow-up.
Posting some pics...I don't know, pretty sure that's a dog ear on my left hip, and my scar is obviously going to show in my favorite bikini, and my lop-sided belly button is aggravating me....but, overall I'm still very happy with my results. My "girl time" is about to start so I'm just blah right now anyway....lol.
Yep, that's how I feel! My PS is fabulous, his staff is fabulous, and my experience has been fabulous. I am feeling super blessed (despite the fact that I'm pms'ing, lol)!
Had my second post-op yesterday, Dr. Camp says everything is exactly as it should be. What a relief to hear that. My hubby kept insisting that I was going to get in trouble for not wearing a garment the last few days, but thankfully Dr. Camp was fine with it and said I don't really need to wear it anymore. ;) Woohoo! He also cleared me to start exercising, SLOWLY, and no ab work yet, of course. But I'll take it! I feel great, and it's so awesome to hear that I can start getting "active" again. (Walking, 3-4 mph, per the good doc).
So after I left his office, I had some errands to run -- needed to get some new clothes for my 8-year-old Little Man whose recent growth spurt took him from a size 8 to a size 10!! And of course here in Texas, they've already had bathing suits out for a bit....so yes, I tried on a few (okay...several, lol). Let me just say it was the best feeling to finally be able to fit into a SMALL bottom! I've always had to buy a bigger size because of all that I had to cover up and all the skin that needed to be tucked in/hidden. Amazing! Felt. So. Good. !!! :)
Hope everyone is having a FABULOUS day!
Sooooo #%*~*%!!! MAD AT MYSELF!!
Just gonna write this fir now, and hopefully my mistake will serve as a really good lesson to all of you still in the healing process, and to those of you who have not yet had their TT. I will respond to the other messages I've received in a day or two, but right now I'm depressed and sad and angry and upset at MYSELF.
We were at my sons baseball practice earlier today when a baseball was hit over the fence. My initial reaction was to grab that ball and throw it right back over....and when I did, I felt a pulling-pinch on the right side of my incision. I immediately thought "Oh you shouldn't have done that." As I was walking back to the bleachers I felt a gush of warm liquid running down. Yep, I tore my incision open. At first I thought maybe it was just a small tear...but then my jeans were getting soaked and I knew something was wrong. I undid my zipper and looked, all I could see underneath of my now-soaked garment was that there was, indeed, a large portion of my incision that was now a gaping hole. I lifted my garment up and could see a 4+" opening, along with muscle??? I'm not sure. I know there's no fat there, lol. So I called my awesome doc, met him at the office and he stitched me back up. Now I'm back on restricted activities, walking hunched over, sleeping in my recliner, etc. I'm sooooooo upset. This was all my own fault (although I told Dr. Camp that it was his fault because he had done SUCH a good job on me and I was feeling soooo good that it felt normal to be out there throwing a baseball, haha!).
Ladies.....please try to remember that even though you feel good, and feel like you can do things, that skin takes a while to fully fuse back together!! I have been doing so much these last several days -- yard work, bowling, etc. But that motion of reaching up over my head and using my abdominal muscles to chuck that ball over the fence....well, that was just too much strain on the incision. :-(
***WARNING -- GRUESOME PIC!***
I'm posting a pic of my open incision that I took yesterday before I got to Dr. Camp. If it's bothersome to people I will remove it! I'm not trying to make anyone sick, but believe me -- after this happened, before I met up with my Dr., I was online searching for pics and I wanted to see the worst of the worst so that I felt better about my situation. As sick as that might sound, it's the truth. ;)
I also want to take a few minutes to brag on Dr. Camp again. ;) He really is an amazing Dr. When I called him yesterday, I could tell by the screaming children in the background that it was not a great time for my emergency, lol. But he was so calm & cool with his kids, and with me. His wife was out if town, so he had to load up his small children and buckle them in and bring them to his office. He gave me a hug and reassured me through the whole process. He kept telling me that I was doing great, that everything was okay, that it would all be fine....and I believe(d) him! He told me that eventually I'll look back on this and laugh...we will see about that, lol! ;) I watched a lot of what he did -- cleaning me out, numbing me as best he could, and stitching me back up. It was all very interesting to me! Thankfully I still hadn't gotten much "feeling" back in my incision, so there was some pain, mostly towards my hip, but it wasn't bad at all. It was really cool to see what those internal stitches looked like! And I must stress that this was all my own doing -- there is nothing Dr. Camp did to cause this, and no way he could've prevented it. I love Dr. Camp and am thankful to have such a great Dr. that made me a priority and who has taken such good care of me!
One funny part of yesterday was that my son had to "go number two" while I was being taken care of....and I can assure you that this process takes a while for him! Lol! So my husband went to go check on him, and then went outside to get a drink from our Suburban. He had put a rock in the doorway to keep it open, but then my son came out and moved the rock....so they were locked outside the building, lol! My jeans and my panties were soaked, and I couldn't put them back on. Thankfully I also had a zip-up hoodie, so I had to take that and wrap it around myself and walk out like that....it was a sight!! Lol!
Again, I really just want everyone to know that although this is not something that might happen very often, it CAN happen. We give up so much and invest so much financially, physically, emotionally, put added responsibilities on our families and loved ones, etc. when we choose to have a TT (or any procedure like this!), and we really need and deserve to give ourselves the time for full healing to take place.
Love to you all, thank you all so much for your support and thoughts & prayers! xoxo
Just A Little Bump In The Road ;)
Well...I think I might finally be getting to the point of forgiving myself, so hopefully I can move forward and just look at this like "just a little bump in the road". My husband asked me last night, and again this morning, if I thought it was worth it to have done the TT. Hmmmmm. Well..... YES!!! Even with my current situation, I would do it all over again, in a heartbeat!
I've been super hard on myself these last couple of days, but still haven't cried about it. I feel like I will, but I don't. Maybe I never will. Or maybe tomorrow, or even later today, I'll have a major meltdown. Who knows. WHO CARES. It is what it is!
The night before I tore my incision open, I had just been showing my hubby how parts of my scar/incision were healing up sooooo nicely, laying flat, scabs coming off, and could see how thin the scar was! Unfortunately, I didn't take a pic of it at the time, and now it's re-stitched anyway and covered in steri-strips again. So this morning I took a pic of my left hip -- the one that had a big lump/bump on it not too long ago. Oh, and the bikini top I ordered came in yesterday, so I tried that suit back on too.
It's a beautiful day! :)
Am I Crazy??
Yes, I think I am! I did (half-jokingly) mention to Dr. Camp a while back that I'd love to have a BBL....now I've been looking at some of the results here and I'm thinking I might seriously want one! LOL. My hubby always says I have a nice, round "cheerleader ass"....but it's not as round as it used to be, and I could use some more junk in my trunk, lol! Aaahhhhh...pretty sure I'd never do it, but it's nice to dream right? ;)
New BB Ring!
Well I bought a cheapo bb ring yesterday at Wally World, just to see if
1) I could actually get it back in (it's been over a year since I've had one in)
2) To see if it or my bb still looked crooked, lol
So yes, it went in, but not easily. And I think when I had it pierced (15+ years ago!!!) they actually did it crooked, cuz it's always been crooked! But I might see if they're able to straighten it out. Later. Down the road. ;)
I think my incision/scar is looking great on the left side. Of course I can't see the right side at the moment. But on the left there's just the one little scab area that needs to fall off, the rest is so thin! Love it! And it's not all that dark to me. Hoping I can see the right side soon and start scar treatments.
The weather here is bi-polar once again...Friday afternoon it was almost 90, today it's in the 50's. Hubby and I are supposed to be going to the Nascar race tomorrow, but it's supposed to rain all day. Blah. :/ So maybe we will go and just tailgate in the parking lot all day, lol!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!!
Reached The One Month Mark!
Well I haven't been on here in a week, it will take me a bit to catch up on all the updated reviews, lol! I've been trying to focus on healing, and I think I'm doing good so far. ;)
I had another post-op visit with Dr. Camp this past Tuesday. He removed the new stitches from the area I tore open, put another steri-strip on, told me I'm doing great, and then gave me the bad/depressing/extremely sad news.... I will NOT be riding any of the rides with my son when we spend a week in Disney at the end of this month!!!!! :((((((((( Yes, I cried. Yes, I thought about just canceling the trip all together. Yes, I thought about having someone else go with him while I stay home and sulk and cry. Yes, I spent the rest of Tuesday and all day Wednesday beating myself up again and again and again for picking up that stupid baseball!!!! But, I finally came to terms with it. It is what it is. I can't go back and I can't live in that mistake any longer. So, I'm going to spend a week in Disney with my son and I will make the best of it!
Other than that, there's not much news on my end. I'm staying down and resting as much as I can. From my left hip all the to the center I feel great! I'm still numb on the scar of course, but there's no pain, tenderness or irritation whatsoever. It's awesome. My right side is a different story. It hurts. It's irritated. And it's a PITA! But again, it is what it is...
And that's all I have to say for my one month update! ;)