I have been considering a tummy tuck since being...
I have been considering a tummy tuck since being pregnant the first time (21 years ago) and having my stomach stretched beyond belief. I hated those stretch marks from day one no matter the encouragement from friends telling me to be proud of those battle wounds. My goal has been to have a TT for my 40th birthday, two years away, but complications with my c-section scar have pushed that date up. I'm not happy to be in pain almost daily but I'm happy to have a better looking tummy sooner. My gynecologist has said that it is endometrial tissue attaching to the inside of the scar; the PS says it could be that or a hernia from the trauma caused when the nurses dropped me in the hospital and tore the incision. I can't imagine that the pain after the TT could possibly be any worse than the pain I've been going through for years. The c-section was for my 2nd daughter in 2002. It was really bad for a few years and then eased up. I thought that was the end of it but apparently not. Some days I can barely bend or move so I guess I've been preparing for years without even knowing it. I just hope after the TT heals this damage will be repaired fully. Photos to be posted soon. (Isn't that the worst part? Sharing the embarrassing part first. The part we've been hiding for years?)
YouTube Videos are Scary!
I'm an analyzer by nature. I go over things a million times before I pull the trigger in almost any aspect of my life. While reading other posts I read about the surgery videos on YouTube. At first I was so freaked out watching the video (30 mins long, the whole 9 yards). The worst part was when they cut out the belly button. Ouch, ouch, ouch! The lipo was even worse than that. Maybe I'm a little crazy but I like to know exactly what's going to happen to my body. After I got over the shock of seeing it and calmed down a bit I felt much better. I have a whole new set of questions for the PS. Like, do you put the stitches on the inside of the belly button or around it, and where do you put the drainage tubes, and does he use a pain pump? I never considered these questions until now. I'm not sure if I'll watch anymore of the videos. Maybe my curiosity is now satisfied but I'm really glad I got up the nerve. 7 weeks to go!
Internal Surgical Adhesive
Something else I forgot to ask about earlier... Has anyone had an experience with internal surgical adhesive being used during their TT? It practically eliminates the need for drains or shortens the time they are needed. The adhesive is used after the muscle has been repaired to glue your new stomach back to your body. I'm sure there is a more eloquent way to say that but that's the gist of it. It is an immediate clotting so that if there is any blood vessel, for instance, that is still bleeding it stops and greatly reduces the amount of fluid that collects in the drains. The TT procedure I watched earlier on YouTube was from a PS in Miami and he said the maximum amount of time his patients wear the drains is for 3 days. It seems that the drains are the worst part of the whole procedure. I'm wondering why more doctors aren't using this method or if there are complications created from it. It's definitely a question added to my list. The only problem is my pre-op is 1 week before my surgery in October. With all this time to think I'm going to have 100 ?'s by then.
The dreaded before pics
Well, it's finally here. The day I see what everyone else does. The worst and most hated part of my body.
Dear tummy skin, Thank you for stretching and holding my precious babies. I'm sorry to get rid of you but trash you I must!
I wish 10/22 would come faster.
Sorry for the blurriness. Still working on selfies. This is not something I do often. Hopefully as I get more practice the quality will improve.
Nightmares Have Started...
Last night I was contemplating my TT (as usual lately) when one of my dachshunds jumped into my lap. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do about them. We have 3 and they are cuddlers. I can't imagine the pain that would cause if they jumped on me after surgery. Ouch!!! My mom has an adjustable hospital bed that I'm borrowing so I'm going to have to figure out where to put it that is away from them. I was thinking of the living room so I don't feel left out of family time now I'm not so sure. Minor problem, I know, but something else I need to figure out before the big day.
This translates into nightmares last night. The day I had surgery my mom brought me home. Not to my home but my childhood home. No clue what that's about. Then, when I started to look at the incision to post pics here of course frozen peas fell out of my pajama bottoms. Apparently the PS in my dreams sticks frozen peas in your pants for pain relief after the surgery. Then, I got into a random argument with a person I've never met about what I don't know and she pushed me right in the stomach. Good grief! I seriously need to stay off here and distract myself before bed. Who knows what the next dream will be.
My Essure procedure is tomorrow @ 2pm. I'm a little nervous, mainly about the coils staying put. I read some really scary reviews but I've also spoken to women with successful outcomes. I'm hoping I'm one of those women. My daughter has soccer games all weekend and I wonder will I miss them or be fine. Hmmm... I guess next to the tummy tuck pain that is coming up, this will be a piece of cake.
There were complications with the procedure yesterday. I arrived an hour early to take a vicodin, 2 valium, 800 mg ibuprofen, and another painkiller injection. By the time I was ready to go back I was relaxed but not as foggy minded as I thought I'd be. I felt a little sleepy but I really thought I wouldn't be able to keep my eyes open.
The nurse took me back where I got undressed and waited for the dr. and the Essure rep. The hysteroscope laying on the table made me very nervous as it should! When the dr. came in she inserted the speculum, and proceeded to clean the area and give me numbing shots which were so many I lost count. Then I waited another 5 minutes for that medicine to work.
This is where the horribleness began. I've been on the pill for a month & a half and another birth control pill called norethindrone to thin out my uterine lining so there would be good visibility. Apparently neither of these really worked for me. I watched on the screen as she maneuvered this torture device at about 100 different angles trying to get into my right Fallopian tube feeling every bit of the stabbing pain. After about 30 minutes she gave up on that side and moved to the other side which might have taken 5 minutes. Thank God because at this point I was trying to hold back the tears. What worried me the most was when the rep said that maybe I should come back after my next period. All I could think was please just make this work now because I don't think I could go through this twice. He also suggested she cut the tissue that was in the way of the camera but I don't think she wanted to do that.
She went back to the right side and minutes later she'd gotten past the floating tissue and inserted the coil (the tissue was "floating" because of the saline). Did I mention that you also feel this coil being screwed into your tube? Every agonizing twist made me want to cry out. Afterwards I just laid there shaking unable to move. After 5 minutes the nurse came back in and asked if I was ready to get dressed and I told her I couldn't move yet. My insides were spasming so bad that I was barely breathing because each breath hurt.
I finally got the courage to stand and when I did blood dripped to the floor. I put on the pad and my clothes and just leaned against the bed until I felt like I could walk without passing out. I was pretty out of it by this time but I don't think it was the drugs but the pain. This procedure was supposed to last 5 - 15 minutes and mine had taken an hour. This is the amount of time the hysteroscope was inside me. As I came into the hall the dr. asked if I thought I'd need something stronger for the pain and of course I said yes. She also said she'd never seen the lining so thick after taking the pill for so long, especially 2 of them. Honestly, I didn't care. I didn't want her apologies, I just wanted to be in my bed. The nurse took me to the car while my mom got the aftercare instructions and prescription. I must've looked awful because she asked at least a dozen times if I was okay.
I've been bleeding non-stop since and think this will probably be the case for several more days. I'm taking oxycodone and ibuprofen every 4 - 5 hours because I'm afraid if I skip a dose I'll feel all that pain again. I plan to stay on the pain meds until I go back to work Monday morning. I've barely been out of the bed since. My dog started making that gross I'm going to throw up noise earlier so I half ran into the kitchen earlier to let him outside and it made the bleeding and pain worse.
After all this I don't really regret it. I still feel like getting my tubes tied would've been worse. I didn't want to go through 2 surgeries in 2 months. At least with the upcoming TT I will be blissfully unaware of what is happening. I made a comment earlier that this would probably be nothing compared to the TT pain, now I wish I'd kept my mouth shut!
This must be a little taste of what's to come
I'm still stuck on my couch. Every time I move the cramps start and I bleed a little more. The doctor called today and said the spasms should've subsided by now. Well, lady, they haven't. She said if it becomes unbearable to call her. I only took 2 percocet today so I know I'm improving, I just didn't expect this at all. It's completely different from any other review I've read. Even the bad reviews. I'm beginning to wonder if this just might be the worst period of my entire life and since my cervix was opened my internal girly parts are going haywire, not to mention the introduction of a foreign object in there. If that's the case, it has to get better, right??? I've learned the downside of taking painkillers, the constipation has kicked in. No bathroom trip since Friday and then it wasn't much either. I figured it was nerves. Drinking lots of water, taking fiber and a stool softener and waiting... I hope my boss isn't too upset with me. I'm taking off the end of October and then there's this unexpected mess. Maybe the saving grace will be that she's coming back from Mexico today so hopefully she will be happy and well-rested and not annoyed.
IBS will be the death of me!
The pain from the Essure finally resolved itself Saturday. I went back to work Friday but was in so much pain I didn't think I'd make it. When I got home, I went straight to bed. Boy, was it a rough week! Then, Saturday there was just homework to do with an occasional pain here and there. I figure it's my body adjusting to the foreign object. By the way, I'm working on finishing my accounting degree. I found it pretty difficult to concentrate while on the percocet so expect to get a little behind after surgery. This term is over next week and then a week off, and then I start again. Luckily, I'll be at the beginning of the semester on surgery day.
Taking percocet has kicked my IBS w/ constipation into overdrive. I look like a pregnant lady! Ugh! How am I going to get through surgery and not bust my stitches if this happens then? I haven't been able to resolve the issue myself so I went to see my family doctor. First, he took xrays to rule out obstruction. Thank goodness there were none. I'm now taking Miralax 6 times a day tomorrow, and then decrease as symptoms improve. I hope things improve soon. I'm miserable and none of my clothes fit. Stupid digestive system. ;)
Worst Pics Yet
This is what I look like now. :( Started Miralax today. 2 doses so far. Hopefully the 6 tomorrow will do the trick and a gallon of water.
Acupuncture is my savior!
Wednesday was my first acupuncture visit. I didn't know what to expect as I know so little about Chinese medicine. Disappointingly, she told me Essure is blocking my energy since it is a literal blockage. There's nothing I can do about that so we moved on. She told me I have a weak digestive system with a cold stomach. The weak digestive system is obvious but the cold stomach not so much but all the symptoms don't lie. Mostly, I have to warm my stomach to strengthen the digestion, so no cold foods and no raw veggies. I didn't think to ask about fruits but I'm sure it's the same. The no raw foods make since b/c there is literally undigested food in the toilet when I do go. Sorry if that's TMI. She said the handful of supplements I'm taking daily are all good for the IBS, leaky gut syndrome, and adrenal fatigue so that's a positive. She added another supplement, too, but I haven't had the chance to really research it yet. The most important of all this is that I'm feeling so much better. I started going to the bathroom that night and have been going regularly since. I'm a believer! I've ordered a book, Voices of Qi, recommended by her to learn a little more. I have to admit I was skeptical but I can't argue with results. I have another appt next Tuesday for the same thing and the following Tuesday before the surgery for a special appointment that is just to help with healing. Anything to speed up healing, right? Wednesday night I even had a dream that I had surgery and went back to work the next day. Funny, right? How fabulous if only we could heal so fast. Twelve days to go! I can't believe it!
Pre-op is finally here
I have my list of lingering questions, then I'm all set. I need to get a granny gown and granny panties and I think I'm good. I'm not even nervous anymore just waiting for next Wednesday. I never thought I'd be so calm about it all.
After getting Essure I went back on the pill which is a very bad thing before surgery since the pill causes blood clots. My first reaction when the PS asked me to stop taking it was "No!", I've just gotten my period back on track but as I thought about it more I stopped taking it. I'd much rather have my period than a blood clot. My hubby has to give me injections in my tummy for 5 consecutive days after -- at least I won't feel the prick. It's funny, hubby says he has no problem sticking me but he's very worried about dealing with the drains. I think they gross him out a little. I don't blame him, they are pretty gross. I guess while we're in surgery they are training our caregivers.
The nurse told me most of my pain will be from lipo which I hadn't really considered before. I was too focused on TT pain. I have all my prescriptions except the blood thinners and Emend. The Emend pill is $90 and I'm wondering should I do that. They also gave me a prescription for Phenergan, isn't that enough? Any thoughts?
I remembered to ask about seeing his TT before and after pics. They were great. I asked him about my belly button b/c I've seen way too many weird looking belly buttons on this site. He says he does a diamond shape and after seeing what he meant I think I will be very happy with my belly button.
The nurse told me not to worry if my pubic area turns purple. What??? Apparently the blood tends to settle there. I can't think of anything else right now. I'm starting the house cleaning tomorrow and then tomorrow night we're going to a corn maze. I want to get out this weekend while the weather is perfect, a sunny 70 degrees here in North Georgia. I still have grocery shopping to do and get caught up on my homework. Intermediate Accounting 3 & Organizational Behavior. Hmmm.... I wonder how I will retain the info on Percocet. Ha, ha. Maybe my accounting textbook will distract me from pain. Hope all you lovely ladies have a wonderful weekend.
Work is completely stressing me out. I'm so worried I'm not going to finish all that needs to be done. My boss really screwed up my schedule last week adding some things and then saying, "Oh, is your surgery next week?" Really? Ugh! So I'm scrambling around trying to get it all done. I went and bought a granny gown today and granny panties but when I took them out of the package they were way too big so back to the store I go tomorrow. I bought some new comfy slippers. Needed those anyway. I have to make a trip to the pharmacy tomorrow. They had to order Emend, go to the nail salon to get my manicure removed on my left index finger (not sacrificing the whole thing!), an appt with the acupuncturist at lunch, and back to the store to change out the granny panties. Hubby is going to put the hospital bed together tomorrow while I'm at work. Oh, I also need to go to the grocery store. Oh, I'm so out of time.
I had the consultation with Dr. Campbell last week. Gosh, I was so nervous. My gynecologist referred him so that made me feel a little better. He was so nice, put me right at ease. The best part is when he left the room so the nurse could take before pics she said how much she loved her TT and lipo that he performed. I guess I can relax a little knowing she trusted him enough to let him perform the surgery and she continued to work for him.