I am booked for a full tummy tuck with lipo and I...
Status update: 58 days to go :)
A little about me, I am a 35 year old mother of 4 (13, 10, and 2 year old twins). The twin pregnancy really did me in and the C section left me feeling, well, scarred. I am a Clinical Psychologist working in a Prison. I had my original BA in 2003 and always wished they were a little bigger. I have a larger size frame (in particular my shoulders are pretty wide) so my C cups do not really stand out as much as I'd like them to, if you know what I mean? Another thing you should know about me...I am a neurotic list maker, here are my surgery prep lists:
What I have done to prepare so far:
-Started into a regular work out routine about 3 months ago
-Bought a power recliner (Lazy Boy guaranteed it would be here by the week before surgery)
-Arranged for help after (my mom and grandma will be staying with me to watch my kids, Grandma will be cooking all of my recovery meals as she is the best cookon the planet and specializes in healthy easy to digest goodness like soups, soufflés, etc, my hubby who normally stays at home to take care of the kids will be by my side catering to my every whim, lol, and assisting me with all of my recovery needs)
-Arranged my time off from work
-Set up an account on RS ;)
-Scoured this site and others for before and afters
What I have left to do:
-lose at least 10 pounds (I start a 1400 cal diet +Alli tomorrow)
-buy recovery supplies other than recliner
-pre op appointment 12/2
Oh, after reading some of your reviews I realized that those of you whose PSs included flank, hip, and waist lipo seemed to be pleased with the results. I emailed my surgery coordinator and she told me that my doctor is a "body contouring specialist" and that he includes those areas and any places he feels will aid in the final result. OMG... I am so excited!!! Can't wait to get my sexy back!!!
Ughhhh!!! Before pics :(
Had to change my username (again)
I had a dream
I am so glad it was just a dream! This is going to motivate me to be really really prepared!
Holiday shopping is just about done
On a more positive note, I have lost a few pounds, have been faithfully working out and feel a lot less "fluffy". I almost bought "Smooth Move" tea on Amazon for $20 but then found it at the grocery store for $4 so ya, don't buy it on Amazon!
Hope all of you out there on the "flat side" are healing well
Some good news
Feeling fat :(
Our guests have all gone home now. I need to turn this day around and not let this be my giving up point. Ugh! Then I think that Thanksgiving is coming up and my plan was to just "eat sensibly". It always ends up all or nothing, either I count every calorie and restrict or I eat whatever I want. There is no in between. Sometimes I wish I was morbidly obese so I could have the Lap Band because throwing up is the absolute worst thing to me, I really would rather have a finger chopped off than throw up so I know the fear of throwing up would keep me from over filling my stomach. There was a point in time where I actually considered trying to gain weight to be eligible for the surgery. That is how desperate I get!
Less than 3 weeks away!
Now that my mind is a little lighter I seem to be getting less excited about the surgery. I think it is just because my anxiety is spiking a bit. It seems like time is flying by right now. I still have a lot to do before D-Day… This weekend we are traveling 5 hours to my Aunt's house for Thanksgiving/Channukah extended weekend. Next Friday I have to travel for a 3 day work conference. I will come home on Sunday and plan on putting up the tree and decking the Halls for Xmas (I am Jewish hubby is Baptist so we celebrate both holidays). Then the weekend before surgery we are taking our 2 older kids on a trip to Universal Studios. Plus, I have only 7 work days to get all of my patients' paperwork prepared for the doctors that will be covering for me. It feels like I am so close but have some big things between me and my finish line. I'm hoping all of the activity will keep my mind from obsessing too much but I know by the the 17th I will be beyond pooped!
Happy Turkey Day (and Channukah for my fellow Jews)!!
Oh, I forgot...
Preop done, I wish I could cancel!
The surgery center is 2 hours and 45 minutes from my house, I expressed my concern about that and she said; "most of our patients make it home ok". Not comforting at all, what about the ones that do not?
She told me that I will "probably need to bring a snack and something bubbly to drink in recovery", what the hell kind of surgery center does not even stock Ginger Ale?
On top of all that, I stepped on the scale (fully clothed but still) and my weight was exactly what it was at my consult!!!! I did not pig out during Thanksgiving, I really did not. I did miss 2 days at the gym because I was out of town but I went for 2 long walks and continued to do my core training.
I was supposed to do my blood draw but I am fighting a cold at the moment so I did not.
Right now I feel like I would cancel if I could do so without any penalty. :''''(
Found some left over Percoset
omg omg omg they cancelled me :''''''(
Still feeling very let down but moving on...
Then I decided to call the doctor who did my rhinoplasty revision, same company that did my BA just to see what their prices were like. That office is about 3.5 hours from my house but it is in a town where most of my family lives so I would stay with my Grandma (which I did for my previous surgeries). Because I was a return customer they already had a lot of my info and offered me a discount. I decided to go with Dr. Hodnett. He is very good. The total cost will be $11,300. Much better than going local and it actually might be a good thing I won't be at home because I won't have to worry about my dogs/kids jumping on me. My hubby said it will be no problem to bring my chair down to my Grandma's :)
Hope you are all doing well. Sorry I have been MIA, I have been sulking.
Been reading bad reviews...
Ok, another change of plans...
Had my pre op today
Losing more weight… um, not happening :(
I have been looking at scars and I think I want a V or U shape. I am not sure why but I really like the way the Vs look. My PS said he will do it any way I want. He also wants me to wear panties that I will want to cover my scar. Made a little trip to VS this past weekend to buy some.
I have 4 days and a wake up!
Tomorrow is my last day of work. I actually will be going back to work in a different location after my surgery so it is my last day working with the patients I currently work with and the treatment team I currently work with. That is also adding to my anxiety but at least I do not have to explain too much about my change in appearance since it will be all new. It will be an easy but sad day tomorrow and then I have Saturday and Sunday to prep. Here is my to do list:
Friday: finish transferring files to the doctors that will be taking over my patients, turn in my paperwork to personnel for my medical leave, and move my stuff to my new office.
Saturday: Start packing and shave… everything!
Sunday: Finish packing, get pedicure, load the car.
Monday: SURGERY!!!! OMG!!!!!
Only 2 more days….
Please let these next 2 days fly by!
Why am I not as anxious as I was the past few days? Weird!
Oh and thanks for the well wishes ladies, you guys rock!
Here we go!
Well lovely ladies, I will see you all on the flat side!
Flat and loopy side!
IV went well, vitals were good. They were running about 20 minutes behind so they gave me a little "cocktail" for the wait. I'd say the worst part of the whole pre op was getting painted up in OR standing, I couldn't stop shivering. Then I laid down and the (very personable anesthesiologist put O2 mask on and told me to think about being on a warm beach, that is the last thing I remember.
Woke up feeling groggy and a bit nauseous and in a bit of pain. They took care of that right away :)The ride home (to Grandma's) I do not remember. Since then it has just been a battle to keep my eyes open and focus them. I have been up to the bathroom once and did some small laps. Had to empty drains already. I am about to embark on another bathroom trip. Pain is about a 6/10, mostly tight. No nausea but taking Zofran.
Thoughts so far: I am worried about boobs. They only went up 100CCs and I wanted a full cup size bigger. He said he made the determination based on my anatomy. I just hope I can tell the difference. The main reason I had the exchange was to go up in size. I have heard silicone actually runs smaller than Saline so that is extra concerning.
Pain is about as expected. No pain from breasts AT ALL, and he told me as much because it was an exchange and not initial BA.
I will end on a positive… they removed 10 lbs of skin and fat!!!! Woohoo! So if I lose another 10 before going back to work I will be where I was before my last pregnancy!!!
What has been helpful:
1) not my husband! He has been sound asleep on the couch next to me since 8. I figure I will wake him if I really need him.
2) drinking a lot of water- not only do I feel like it is flushing the anesthesia out of my system, it makes me have to get up to pee and walk about every 1.5 hours.
3) toilet seat riser- I do not know how I would do it without it!
4) walker- so glad I have it
5) my dear sweet Grandma, (sleeping in her bed), she gets whatever I ask for before I even ask and has more empathy than anyone on the planet. Her easy to digest food stuffs are perfect.
6) bendy straws, cannot forget the bendy straws
7) and last but not least, my electric recliner- if you can afford one… get one!!! I definitely would not be able to get up and down by myself without it.
I got a peek of my BB and incision and they look ok. The BB has a crease below it and bled a bit when I removed the gauze (as directed). I am sure the crease will go away. My hubby and Grandma both think my boobs look bigger, so that is good. I haven't slept for more than 1 hour at a time yet. It seems like every time I fall asleep I have to pee.
My drainage has decreased some and has gone from very red to purple (yesterday) to pink and straw colored today. I am up walking a lot. I am noticeably straighter today with less tension in my abdomen when standing. My back hurt very badly this morning but it is not so bad now.
The worst part at this point is the binder and feeling like it is squeezing me to where I cannot take deep breaths. And the not pooping, that and the associated feeling of bowel fullness are not pleasant. I do not want to paint a picture that I am all healed and back to normal life, I go from my recliner to the bathroom, to laps with my walker, to napping, and start the whole routine all over again. I get very tired very quickly but I rest comfortably (aside from the binder).
Hope you all had a great New Year's Eve and that this new year brings us all good changes :)
Early day 3
If my tea does not produce a BM today I will be sending dear Grandma out for some MOM later. DH had to return home to care for the twins. He may come back tonight or tomorrow. I would like to return home as soon as I feel I can make the 3.5 hour trip, Grandma's is great but it's not my house.
After my potty dance I took a shower and washed my hair. It was quite an ordeal but I think it was harder on Grandma than on me. I did not get a pic but my tummy looks good. My boobs look no bigger than before. Still trying to be positive about it. With my old implants I had the problem of seeing my breast tissue separate from the implant, I'm not sure if they were bottoming out or what. With the silicone I should not have that problem. Still a little annoyed they aren't bigger though. They are very soft.
Feeling really good on day 4
I am draining a lot less. I keep stripping the tubes thinking something must be stuck but no. In the past 24 hours it was only about 40 ML out of each. I supposed that is still quite a bit but very different than the first 2 days (about 150 out of each).
My belly button is kind of hidden. I am thinking it will be more belly button like when the swelling goes down. The crease under the button is almost all gone (no more butt, yay). Haven't investigated the incision much yet, I will leave that excitement for my post op I think. My first post op is not until my drains put out less than 25ML each for 24 hours x2, unless I am having a problem.
Back pain oy!
Took another shower today (yay)! That garment sure gets gross and makes me feel gross. In hindsight I should have purchased 2, one to wear while the other is washing. I ordered a stage 2 garment that I will post a pic of. I had one like this post C section and it was amazing!!! I plan on moving to that and spanks like bottoms for my thighs after my drains are removed. Speaking of my drains, they are more likely than not going to be removed on Monday since the output has been under 30 now for 2 days. They do not bother me so much but it will be nice to be rid of them, they gross my husband out and I know my kids would not like to see them.
My husband again made the 3.5 hour drive to my Grandma's house with the plan being that my Grandma and I would return with him to our house and I would just come back when I need to get my drains removed. But… after learning that my drains will likely come out on Monday, I decided to send him home alone. I have a tentative appointment at 4:30 Monday so he will likely come get me Tuesday.
Anyways, here are some more pics. I am delighted that I seem to have no more stretch marks. I do not seem to be very flat at all and hope that is a whole lot of swelling. I will work on some before after boob collages but I deleted the bare boob ones from my phone so I have to play with it.
Day 6 post op
I did not sleep on my recliner last night. Since the guest bed here at Grandma's is very hard, I opted for the couch where I rather comfortably slept on my side :) My lipo sites started itching really badly during the night. I scratched very lightly. My drain sites have really been bothering me since putting on my CG after my shower yesterday. I spent the day trying to readjust the tubing but nothing seems to help. It feels like pulling. I will be happy to be rid of the drains tomorrow, they didn't bother me until yesterday though.
This morning I woke up and am standing almost 100% straight. Aside from the lipo and drain sites hurting, I'm all good. The dizziness is still there a tad bit but it has also lessened.
Day 7, So long drains!
I am feeling great still and am loving what I see in the mirror more and more each day. I will take pics tomorrow at shower time but my BB is looking more like a BB and everything is coming along better than I could have dreamed! I am a tiny bit more tired today than yesterday but nothing drastic. Boy does it feel good to be rid of those drains!
Day 8 and some shopping
I slept well last night (possibly because I took some IB before bed) and woke up feeling good and full of energy. My life is back to normal now for all intents and purposes (minus the gym and lifting things, of course). My lipo sites continue to be very tender and are still purple, swelling seems to be going down each day.
Day 9 update
I am pretty sure the reason I recovered so quickly is because I did not have to worry about anything in the week post op. I had my wonderful Grandmother taking care of my every need with no kids or playful dogs to tend to. I was able to put my full concentration into my recovery. Like my wonderful PS said last night when he called to check on me (which by the way he has done several times); the need for me to change plastic surgeons from one in my town to elsewhere was a blessing in disguise. Not only because I got amazing doctors out of it but also leaving home for a solid week of hard core R&R&R rest, relaxation, and recovery was very valuable.
Oh, I slept in my own bed last night! It was nice but more painful than sleeping in my chair.
Day 10, hematoma :(
The attending physician looked at me and said he had no idea what was going on. My wonderful PS had already been in touch with a local PS (again because I am home now and 3.5 hours from my surgeon) that he knew. My PS spoke to the attending as well and arranged for this local PS to come and evaluate me. My PS told me that it was likely a bleed (hematoma) and that everything should be ok.
They gave me morphine and zofran and I was able to relax a bit. The pain was still up at about a 5-6/10 but I did not like the feeling of the morphine so I told the nurse not to give me any more than my initial dose. Truthfully, I was terrified of throwing up because of my abdominal muscles. I sneezed yesterday for the first time and I was doubled over in pain.
The local PS had one more surgery to perform before he could come to me so I waited in the ER from 12:45 until 6 when he arrived and confirmed it was most likely a hematoma and I needed surgery to drain it and fix the bleed. He was such a sweet man (Dr. Hon) and stayed with my husband and I the entire time from his arrival until the OR and anesthesiologist was ready for me, even helping wheel my gurney to the OR.
I was put out for the surgery which consisted of my incision being reopened, implant being removed (and washed off), the bleed being located and cauterized, the implant being replaced, a drain being put in and the incision being sewn up again. I woke up in significant pain which they medicated. I was discharged around 9:45.
The night went ok, I slept in bed propped up and did not even try to change positions throughout the night. Woke up in significant pain early this morning so I took a pain pill. I am still kind of spinning from the whole experience but am so thankful to my PS who I felt was there for me every step of the way dispute being out of town and for my wonderful family who was able to step in and take my kids.
Day 11 and 12
Day 12- today I woke up with significant pain but very little dizziness and no nausea. I have been taking Tylenol throughout the day but think I am going to try and only take it at bed time tomorrow (I really do not like taking meds). It only hurts under my right breast/armpit area now. I have much more mobility of my right arm which I think was just recovering from the muscles contracting for so long in reaction to the pain in my breast. I was able to get dressed and take a half shower (can't get upper half wet until after drain removal) by myself. My devoted husband has been hovering and seems afraid I am going to hurt myself should I do anything. To be honest, I am a little afraid of that too. I have been trying not to lift anything (even a cup of water) with my right hand as it hurts when those muscles engage and I just imagine blood rushing in and that horrific pain associated with my hematoma. So, I will baby myself and accept being babied by my family, for now.
2 weeks Tape removal
I tried to only take Tylenol at bed time but needed it in the afternoon. The night was painful but may have been because I could not lay on my back so I switched back and forth from side to tender side. And the babies woke up 2x screaming in the middle of the night. Ever since yesterday afternoon I have been having these like cramping sensations, almost like a charlie horse in my upper abdomen, not sure what that is about?
My mission for the day, at the 2 week mark was to remove the tape on my abdominal incision… It was pretty easy. I really need a new mirror situation in my bathroom because it is difficult to see but looks pretty good. I seem to either still be more swollen on the left side or it is just uneven but with panties and or clothes on it is not noticeable so I'm not stressing on it. Here are some pics.
Day 15- Breast drain removal
Went for my 1st post op after my surgery for my breast hematoma (1/9/13) and the PS said everything looks good. He took my drain out. Hurt a bit more than the abdominal ones but still not too bad. Man am I glad to be rid of that thing. It bothered me more than my 2 original drains, I think it is because when I got the other drains out it was like "yes, I am free!!!" and then to have one again was like a regression. I think regression is the name of the game right now. I feel much weaker, more tired, more sore, more everything today on day 15 than I did on day 5 :(
On another note, I put the silicone scar strip on my abdominal incision for the first time today and have had no problems with it. I was a tiny bit nervous about it because it advises that if you have sensitive skin you may have a reaction and might only be able to wear it for a few hours. I have very sensitive skin and an adhesive allergy and have had no issues.
Day 16, feeling better
I weighed myself last week and was only down like 5 pounds since pre op. Weighed again today and am down another 7!! The swelling issue must be a factor but honestly, I cannot tell when I am swollen and when I am not. I REALLY need to get a new mirror situation in my bathroom because it is really hard to really see everything I need to see. I am down from a size 14 to a 10-12. I am vary happy with where I am now. If it gets better, great but if not, once I can get back to the gym so I can get back some firmness in my arms and butt I will be over the moon. My hubby said; "it's like you are a whole new person" yesterday, he is not one to throw out compliments so that comment alone made any suffering I have endured, totally worth it. I have a feeling I am going to sleep well again tonight as I have been up and on the go more than I have been since before my 2nd surgery :)
Day 17 turning a corner
I have not had a period or vaginal bleeding in a over a year (due to my IUD) and today I have been having some light bleeding, not sure if that has something to do with the surgery messing with my hormones or what? I have read some reviews that talk about women's periods coming sooner and heavier after surgery so I'm not too worried. One of the reasons I am on the IUD is because I tend to become anemic with my periods so, I guess I am going to have to make an appointment with my primary care doctor to keep an eye on that since my PS thinks I may be anemic anyways with the hematoma.
I am experiencing a sort of disconnect between my mind and body right now. I feel like regular old me and then I pass by a mirror or see my reflection in glass and I have to take a double take!
day 20 updated pics
It is weird still though, after the birth of my twins (since the belly flap started) I went into hiding. Prior to that I used to enjoy getting looks out on the street, having guys flirt with me, etc, but since that last pregnancy I just didn't feel the same. I lost all of my pregnancy weight within the 1st 2 months post partum but none of my clothes fit well. So, then I gained weigh and just stopped caring about how I looked. I lived in stretchy clothes because nothing fit well. When out I ALWAYS wore a sweater and I avoided eye contact with people. What I saw in the mirror just wasn't me so I feel like I lost myself in some regards. This surgery has reacquainted me with me, if that makes sense? I am enjoying getting dressed, having my husband look at me, having guys take second looks at me, etc, but I am still in an in-between stage in my head. Going back to work is going to be a major head trip. I got transferred shortly after I had my twins but there are a few people at my new location who knew the "me" before the twins but most everyone there only knows the "me" that was in hiding. I am also going to be working in a different unit when I return with all new coworkers and patients, so they will only know this version of me (kind of nice). But I will still see my old co workers at meetings and such. So, I need to figure out how to just be the new me completely :)
On another note, I am finding myself reading other people's reviews who are getting close to surgery day and feeling a little sad wishing I was back at that stage… despite my hematoma scare this was such an exciting and enjoyable journey that I will forever remember fondly. Not just because of the body transformation… I got to spend some real quality time with my Grandma who I do not see nearly enough, I have had time to allow myself to be pampered and just relax without always thinking about what the next thing I am going to do is (living in the moment), and I have reconnected with my husband on an emotional level. I would go through it all again in a heartbeat!
Back to work
I am going to try and just relax this weekend but that is easier said than done with 4 kids :( I would look into getting a modified work schedule for now but the problem is I have a 3 hour commute, work 10 hour days, and work in a prison that requires a lot of walking. Whatever I need during the day (water, paperwork, food, etc) I need to have on my person. I ride in a vanpool that has set times based on mine and my coworkers' work schedules (0700-1700). If I got a modification that said I can only work half days, I cannot ride in the van which means I have to drive myself which is hard in and of itself. There is not way around me carrying my bag, I mean what can I do? Go without any water, food, or my paperwork? Ughhh… I'm stuck. On a good note though, energy wise I was fine all day yesterday (until I got home) and was able to fully do my job working with murderers and rapists.
Here are some pics of the bb progression.
I am getting lots of positive feedback from my friends and acquaintances. People at work were blown away. I am not shy, and here in Cali I think it is a little more socially acceptable to have work done so pretty much everyone that knows me knows what I had done. I have given out my doctor's name and number to 5 people!
The biggest change I think is in my head. For a few years now I have felt invisible. I used to be proud of my body and enjoyed getting attention from the opposite sex. But in the past few years I felt like a blob and I wore clothes that would help me hide. Now I walk with my head high and am once again enjoying the looks I get and even just looking people in the eye as they pass and flashing a smile. I know my body is not perfect but it is sexy and curvy in all the right places. My BFF said; "you look like Jessica Rabbit" when she saw me naked. I will take it!
Down here in Southern CA there are tons of very qualified, very well publicized, and very fair priced plastic surgeons. After narrowing it down to 3 (very qualified) surgeons I ended up going with Dr (s) Kryger (brothers) because I really like the fact that they work together as a team which means less time under anesthesia. Dr. Kryger (Zol) is very professional, driven, serious, and up on the latest research and practices. Given that he is of this nature, his bedside manner suffers a bit (i.e. he is all business). When he looked at me I think I could hear the wheels turning and measurements being calculated in his mind. While his intense focus leaves something to be desired in the warm and fuzzy department, I felt 100% confident in his skill and ability levels based on the questions he asked, the explanations he gave, and the method to his process. On a side note, his brother, while I only briefly got to meet him, seems to have more of an outgoing personality (sorry I am a psychologist, I cannot help but to analyze them). One of the things that concerned me a tad bit was the fact that it seems they do a lot of reconstructive work in addition to cosmetic. I had no doubt they were very skilled surgeons but I wondered if they were as good at the aesthetics of things. But I no longer have this doubt. I am beyond thrilled with my result. The doctors, and my experience exceeded all expectations I had!!! I would recommend them to anyone considering surgery in the Southern CA region. Since I was an out of town patient my experience was a bit untraditional, for example, I had my consult and pre op via Face Time and did not have the opportunity to meet my doctor(s) in person until surgery day. They fully accommodated my schedule and the limitations associated with my geographical distance from them. Dr(s) Kryger… you rock and I intend to shout it from the (virtual) mountain tops! Thank you so much for the hard work you put in on this mother of 4's run down body!