Tummy tuck with MR, and a little lipo... worth it!! - Melbourne, AU
It started when someone asked when I was due. At...
My TT journey so far
In January 2014 I became eligible for long service leave with my employer but I had no job security beyond June 2014 so it was a case of now or never. So I spoke with my boss about taking a month off as long service leave in February. My time to get myself and my house in order, ready for surgery. Have my surgery on March 26 - this is exactly 12 months and 1 day after upgrading my cover. This then left me with 6 weeks to recover before heading overseas on a holiday we had already booked. My manager approved of the plan, and even suggested I might need 6 weeks and that was fine as I have plenty of sick leave. It is better for me to break up the absence from work rather than one long stint as there are things I do that no-one else can do. And now it looks like our funding will be continued so I will still have a job after June. But to be honest I haven't really focused on this uncertainty, my focus has been on my upcoming TT and whatever happens beyond that is fine by me. I am excited more than nervous!
So I have just had one month off work in which I cleaned out my house which had become somewhat depressingly cluttered. We did a renovation 5 years ago and all the kids toys just got stuffed into a spare room and there it stayed, but now my kids aren't kids anymore! I have been through nearly every cupboard and drawer in the house during the past 4 weeks and it feels great! The thing is I am one of those people who just can't sit still if there is something to be done so I figure I needed to do this so I could really just relax and recover post surgery. It was also my time to get myself in as good shape as possible, lose a bit of weight and gain some strength. Unfortunately I have had major issues with plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis (my arthritis tends to attack these areas) and walking has been really painful. But I have been eating really well and having fresh juice every day - I am having 3 BM's a day right now so I will keep this up after surgery, for sure!
I have told a few of my work colleagues that I am having an abdominal wall reconstruction, but omitting the TT part. I want them to know it's about restoring function moreso than vanity - which it is. I work in an all-female health care environment where everyone is very supportive and empathetic - though they are a little jealous that I am having so much time off I feel it is well-deserved.
I have put up with so much for so long - not just the unwelcome comments from colleagues who should know better (not those I work directly with but staff from other departments) I have spent countless $ over the years on chiro, physio, remedial massage, naturopaths etc just trying to improve my health and overcome the chronic back pain, muscle tightness, headaches and gut issues. What I have spent would easily have paid for my TT! It is only fairly recently I came across a wonderful remedial massage therapist who believes that all my health issues stem from the back muscles overcompensating for the laxity in my core. This tightens the soas (?) muscle, just inside the bony point near the hip, this in turn tightens the IT band, the glutes, the quads and hammies, the calves and in turn affecting the achilles. This also means that when I walk I am using the wrong muscle groups, so my muscles fatigue really quickly and this leads to more issues. I am starting to realise he is right. I never had all these issues before I had kids! My back was just never the same since my two pregnancies.
The support I am getting on here is wonderful and hopefully my story can inspire and inform others. Thank you all so much and I will get around to posting my pics soon!
I had my pre-op...
Here is the run-down of what will happen: I will stay in hospital for one night. I will have drains but these will be removed before I am discharged (phew!) A massage therapist will come in and do a lymphatic drainage massage on me, I can't remember if this is on the day of my surgery or the following day but there is no cost for this as it's included in the surgeon's fee. When I wake up from my op the CG will be on and I will be very comfortable (according to the nurse) as my PS puts a lot of local anaesthetic in there to keep me comfortable for a couple of days. She says it's important to tell the medical staff if I feel nauseous so they can give me something for the nausea - obviously throwing up is something to be avoided! When I am discharged I will go straight to the surgeon's rooms where they will put me under some special light to assist with healing. I haven't heard of anyone else having this done. Then home to rest and zonk myself out on as many painkillers as I can handle!
The best part of this consult was when the nurse measured me up for my CG, and as soon as I lifted my top she said, "You're going to have a really good result, I can tell" - that made my day. My CG arrived 36 hours later (from interstate, mind you!) It is beige, ugggh, I really wish I had asked if it came in black when she said she had ordered beige. When I looked at the pack I thought, it's not too bad it's just like a wrap around the waist. Then I took it out and it is this awful thing like a corset and straps that go over my shoulders but the straps seem to come down right where my boobs are not on the outside of my boobs like a bra. It has a pee hole but if I have to do a BM it is going to have to come off and it doesn't seem like something that you can remove in a hurry! I actually tried it on, or rather tried to try it on and i struggled to even get it up over my hips. Thank goodness I will be unconscious when they put it on me! Good luck with that. And it was a size LARGE....what?!
It's funny how we have different approaches to our surgery and expectations....I never went in with any expectations around what I want to achieve, it was just like, well here I am, this is what you have to work with, see what you can do! No wish pics, no nothing. The only thing that is a little disappointing is that I will have to remove my belly ring which I love. My PS said I can have my new BB pierced down the track again if I wanted to.
It's hard to believe in just 3 weeks I will be waking up and it will be all over!
Having a bad day
Suddenly I remember the dream that I had this morning...they say when you dream about a house you dream about your own body. Well in my dream there was this old character-style home that I had bought with my ex-husband and I had 'forgotten' about it. No-one had lived in it for years and the weeds were a metre high. It was really run-down and neglected but it was on a nice street and had great views from the second storey. My current husband and I went through room by room and made a mental note of what needed to be done in each room. It was clear this place had loads of potential but it needed quite a bit of money spent on it (!!!) We decided to get an expert in and get him to check that the building was structurally sound before we decided whether to go ahead with the cosmetic stuff like new paint, window furnishings etc. Then when it came time to go and look upstairs I couldn't do it. I said I've never been up there, I felt really scared. My family were there and my sister went and looked upstairs and she came back down and said it's got so much potential.
Well I hope I haven't bored you all with my dream but when all this came back to me I got quite emotional as it is exactly how I feel about my body. I have this huge hang-up about my wobbly belly and this has totally changed the way I feel about myself. I used to be really confident and wear sexy clothes, heels etc. For the last couple of years I have been wearing pants with elastic wait, long tops and kaftans, can't remember the last time I wore heels. I'm on anti-depressants, my sex drive is zero, I just hate the way my body feels when having sex and seeing/feeling my tummy wobbling. My husband tells me I'm the sexiest girl in the world but even that doesn't make me feel better. My husband is incredibly supportive and keeps telling me that once I have this surgery and feeling better about myself I will get my mojo back. I really hope I do.
Still feeling emotional as I write this I am going to pull myself together and make a trip into town to the chemist and stock up on all the supplies I will need post-op. Love and healing to you all.
2 weeks today!
I have been thinking about lipo. So many reviews on here for TT with lipo. I never considered it when I had my consult with PS. I never brought it up. He never suggested it. Does that mean I don't need it? Would he have suggested it if he felt this would get a better result? I have been mulling over this as I weighed myself a couple of weeks back and I was 72kg (about 158lbs). I don't weigh myself often I tend to just go by 'jiggle factor'...apart from the belly jiggle which is always there but hip/butt jiggle and lately I'd been 'feeling' lighter and feeling less jiggle so I felt good....until I jumped on the scales and saw 72kg which is the highest non-pregnant weight I've ever been. Panic stations! I am now on 70kg and hope to be down to 68 when I have my surgery but I have this nagging voice in my head - should I ask about lipo?
I've been waking up every day with so much pain and stiffness because I can't take my arthritis meds I must surely be nuts to want to put myself through more pain.
I have a confession to make. I haven't worn a bra for about 3 months now! I just woke up one day and thought stuff it, I'm tired of being uncomfortable, besides my posture seems so much better when i don't wear one so surely that's got to be better for the girls. So when I read stories of how tight and restrictive the CG is going to be, how it's even hard to breathe....I just know I'm going to hate it. My PS said I should wear it before my surgery to get used to it. The nurse said this is a new idea that he has - well I can tell you right now there is no way I'm going to wear that thing any longer than I absolutely have to, lol.
My pre-op preparation checklist:
Supplements - taking B12 (as I have been feeling tired), Vit C, zinc, green coffee bean extract (supposed to boost metabolism so thought it might help me lose weight) olive leaf extract (for immune support - am also giving the death stare to anyone who dares cough near me!)
Have also gone back on the pill and I will take this continuously for the next 3 months or so to skip periods.
Diet - everything healthy, lots of raw food, juicing everything I can get my hands on, very little of my food comes out of a packet. Plenty of water.
I have had a few appointment with a physio who specializes in women's health at my pilates gym. She has shown me how to do certain exercises that engage my pelvic floor muscles so that my stomach muscles don't bulge up when I do pilates.
2 days before surgery I have booked a remedial massage just to work on any areas that are tight, not functioning properly to get this sorted prior to surgery. I know that being hunched over is going to screw my back/neck in no time.
1 day before surgery I have booked a colonic to have a nice cleanout. Hopefully this will avoid constipation as I always tend to poop lightly for a couple of days after colonic. (sorry TMI)
In exactly 60 days I will be on a plane to Singapore. It boggles my mind to think that between then and now I will have the surgery and be recovered enough to go on a holiday. It is a nice thought that I will be looking fabulous in a bikini!
And one more thing...
It's all going to work out OK
I go to my pilates gym and do a big, strong session. I'm feeling really good. Then the physio at my gym had a vacancy so I saw him about my hip pain. He's a lovely old bloke and he wishes me all the best for my surgery. He knows I have struggled with back issues for a long time and he acknowledges I've tried everything I possibly can to maintain fitness and strength despite these issues. And TT with muscle repair is really my last hope.
When I get home I tidy my outdoor area and sweep, and I realise that I am happier at this point now than I have been for months. After going on antidepressants mid-2013, and being quite depressed (but in denial about the need for chemical help) for a long time before that, I just feel really HAPPY!
It's a gorgeous warm and still autumn day, after a very hot and windy summer. I sit outside on my deck as a thunder storm rolls in and I listen to the rain on the tin roof with my little rescue dog, my constant companion, sitting in my lap, and I just feel extremely grateful and lucky. That I can afford this surgery. That my husband and I both have full time jobs. That I have weeks of sick leave I can use for my recovery. That my husband thinks I am the most beautiful girl in the world, and fully supports my decision to go through with this surgery as he feels it will be great for my confidence and help me get my sexy back. That I have these two lovely dogs to keep me company while I recover. That I have this beautiful garden that my husband and I created together, with its palm trees and bamboo and buddhas.
This whole lead-up to surgery, with the clearing out of the clutter at home (at work also as I have to shift offices) feels like such a therapeutic process. Out with the old, in with the new. Letting go of the past. Hopefully also letting go of the big chip I have on my shoulder from so many people asking me if I am pregnant and feeling quite angry and resentful about this. One thing I haven't done is clear out my clothes - and let me tell you I have a lot! I went through them all recently, my thin clothes, my not-so-thin clothes, the clothes from my corporate phase, the clothes from my hippy phase. A lot of clothes bought to try and cover up a problem. A lot of clothes I've bought and never worn, like the box of sexy figure hugging dresses that I dare not wear because of my sticking-out belly. I decided not to get rid of any of them until I have a chance to see how they look after my TT.
You ladies who decide to book in for your surgery in a weeks time because your PS happened to have an opening, or those of you who go back to work after 2 weeks because you have to, and those of you who come home from surgery to little kids to be cared for....I take my hat off to you - you are incredible!
I have no fear about the surgery. I'm not the type of person to have a hundred questions for my PS. I do my research. I inform myself. I prepare as best I can and then leave it up a higher power. I know from past experience I heal well after surgery. I know I can cope with pain - both my kids were natural, drug-free births. I'm taking the best possible care of myself right now. Bring it on, I say. I can do this!
I still haven't had any bills from my PS. Only 10 days to go. This is the first time in my life I have WANTED to get a bill. It just makes it more final and more real. I hope they haven't forgotten I have booked in.
I guess I am rambling but I don't think anyone reads my blog, lol.
Til next time...
I guess this rollercoaster of emotions is completely normal. My kids were just exasperating when I got home yesterday, I ended up having a full-on meltdown. I don't think they realise just yet that I won't be able to do ANYTHING for at least a couple of weeks.
I rang my surgeon's office yesterday about my bill and silly me, the fee estimate that they sent WAS the bill. Good thing is I can pay for my procedure on my credit card (once I clear it!) so that will postpone actually paying it for a few weeks.
I'm undecided whether to buy bromelain tablets...I already have fresh pineapple juice nearly everyday anyway. Would love to know if anyone has found these helpful.
1 week to go...
Bugger...for the last few days I've been spotting. I have been taking the pill continuously for about 6 weeks now and i usually have no problem skipping periods. But I think I have to listen to my body so I didn't take it today, hopefully I can get it over and done with by next Wednesday. This probably explains my sobfest in front of the kids the other day.
My PS only operates on a Wednesday, by happy coincidence my hubby has a rostered day off this day and he has advised work he will be on carer's leave for the rest of the week. Come the following Monday I am going to play it by ear and he will stay home if I need him. My biggest concern is how to get my CG off if I need to do no. 2! Then how to get it back on. Aaaah first world problems!
Tomorrow I pay for my procedure, once I have cleared the credit card.
I am not sleeping well at all at the moment. I get off to sleep ok but I wake in the early hours and am wide awake so get on my tablet, usually get on RS. Before I know it I've been on for 2-3 hours, then I fall back to sleep, wake up late and have to rush to get ready for work. Add to this my other half is a Type 1 diabetic so often wakes in the night when he has a hypo. I am kind of looking forward to post surgery so I can sleep - a lot!
I have told my hubby and the kids to expect that I will be an absolute cranky bitch for a few days, I said you better pray those drugs knock me out! There are no prizes for not taking the painkillers!
My nerves have settled finally. It helps that my baby (who turns 17 tomorrow) has gone away with his dad for a few days. I miss him but he stresses me out so much, he is high functioning ASD and can just be SO difficult and frustrating.
My hair is freshly colored, pedi done and toe-nails painted. I'll pack an overnight bag on the weekend.
I'm going to order this slimming tea called Bodytea, which comes from China but is marketed by a young guy in the next suburb to me who is apparently earning $45,000 a week selling this stuff. I mean he's in high school FGS! It's supposed to be good for bloating.
I'm going to write a room by room list of jobs that the kids can do while I recover. As much as I feel like I have everything under control right now I know that by the weekend I'll be running around like a mad thing trying to do all the things that no-one else does like clean the poop out of the hen house and brush the spider webs off the house.
Happy healing to you all!
Please make the next few days go quickly!
My anaesthetist bill arrived today. Just over $1400 (not bad considering the guy will have my life in his hands for a couple of hours) and I have to pay upfront but will get some back through Medicare and my private health insurance.
I have so many things I want to do on the weekend it's sure to go fast. I am a bit of a control freak but I know I am going to have to let some things go while I recover and just hope hubby and kids do a bit, I'll have to turn a blind eye to some things otherwise I'll just get cranky and stressed. On Sunday we have to visit my husband's parents and take them grocery shopping as they don't drive. This will take most of the day but my mother-in-law has been baking and freezing meals for us which is really nice so the boys won't starve. I think I'm going to have to make a list of meals and snack suggestions for myself as I want to eat clean and really healthy while I recover and let's just say hubby doesn't share my passion for fresh food. Going to enjoy homemade veggie pizza for dinner, always good on a Friday night and probably the last pizza I will have for a few weeks!
So I have acquired this lovely recliner from the in-laws who were going to give it away to the op shop. Actually it is the ugliest thing you have ever seen, but hey it was free. It has a massage and heat function which is awesome but it is manual recline so I have been practising how to recline in it and get up again without using my abs. I think I have it all sussed out. It's pretty comfy but I will put a doona under it when I sleep I think for some extra padding. When the massage function cuts out you get this really nice tingly, weightless feeling....it's pretty cool. Most importantly there is room for my little dog to snuggle in beside me. I am planning to set up a number of comfort zones around the house in an effort to reduce back pain (which I already have in spades). I figure if I set up the couch in the spare room with lots of cushions, my bed with lots of pillows (and electric blanket - bliss!) and the recliner then that gives me various positions to sit in so hopefully it won't be too taxing on my lower back. We'll wait and see if it works I guess.
So today my wonderful hubby said he would go by himself to take the in-laws shopping as I woke up feeling like crap after the police visit, then having horrid nightmares. I have done the big grocery shop of all the staples, it kind of felt like the day before Xmas when you just madly throw things in your trolley for fear of running out of something!
I also have put together a box of recovery items....I will upload a photo shortly. Hoping to have a nanna nap this afternoon and catch up on some zzzzzs.
Senna tablets for that all-important first BM!
Crystallised ginger and lemongrass/ginger tea - for nausea
Metamucil - fibre supplement
B12, zinc and sugarless C
Celery seed tablets - it says they are are a mild diuretic and helps with fluid retention. And I haven't been able to find bromelain, but hey it's pineapple season here in Australia!
Nasal inhaler - I buy these in Thailand and they are great when you have a blocked nose, it clears your sinuses and I have also used them during flights when I feel a bit queasy.
Rub on Relief - anti-inflammatory pain relief cream.
'White Monkey Holdling a Peach' - a type of tiger balm I get in Thailand also, it's fantastic for aching, stiff muscles.
Camu super food powder - reduces inflammation, promotes skin healing and healthy skin, antioxidant and promotes strong immune system. I'd never heard of it but when I read the pack I thought I just have to get some!
Stay calm and breathe!
I've had a massage this afternoon so feeling pretty chilled right now. I must say I feel very healthy with all this clean eating - I feel really light and lean even if the scales don't show a big difference. I say bugger the scales. I really think us women place too much emphasis on being a certain weight or getting down to a particular number. It all comes down to how you carry it. I'm currently at 70.5kgs (about 154 lbs) and sure I wish I was a bit lighter going into surgery but TBH I look in the mirror and I see slim, toned arms, perky breasts, a pert rounded butt, strong toned thighs and the only thing I see that I don't like is the saggy, sticking out middle bit. Well that's about to change!
I have been thinking about this CG I have to wear and how horrid it looks - I know it is going to feel awful. I still haven't even tried it on. So I figured I had better have a back-up for those times when I just know I am going to want to take it off in the evening and let it all hang out so to speak. Yesterday I went to Kmart and found these seamless, high cut, shaping briefs. I had to buy a size 16 which is ridiculous as I'm fairly petite but when i tried them on at home they fit perfectly and feel amazing - really firm but comfy around the belly and they go all the way up to the waist.
Tonight I am going out for dinner (Thai) for my son's birthday and then tomorrow it is all light and healthy eating. I am hoping that my damn period finishes soon. I nearly always have light and short periods but this one is the heaviest in living memory, lol. Of course my hubby wants some happy time before the op, doesn't he! At this rate he'll be lucky!
Less than 24 hours to go!
This morning work was completely mental. Needed to have things finished off and waiting for people to get back to me and they never called back - so frustrating. I hate leaving things unfinished, I'm a bit of a perfectionist. Well now I'm finished and they can all just deal with it. I've been a bit manic all morning, talking 100 miles an hour. My boss says as soon as I get to hospital they will give me something to calm me down. I sure hope so!
Been to colonic irrigation and thank goodness I got all that out of me before the surgery - it's unreal how stuff is there you aren't even aware of! Sorry for the TMI. I also been given a little bag of white powder (!) by the woman at the clinic - it's called 'colon cleanse' and she said it's great to get things moving in the morning so I will get some of that into me tomorrow.
I'm really glad that I don't have much hair 'down there' to get in the way of healing. I had IPL years ago and I'm almost completely hair free, just a few random hairs that I can pluck, so that's a blessing, no itchy regrowth.
Now I just have to pack an overnight bag, remove the belly ring (boo!) and have a few calming sav blancs with dinner. 24 hours from now the PS will be putting me back together!
I took a few more pre pics yesterday. Bye bye belly. Happy healing to you all.
Today is the day!
Not long now...
My 20yo son went off to work this morning without even popping his head in to wish me luck or anything. 20yo boys think the world revolves around them - so darn selfish! That hurt. Haven't even had a call from my mum. But I've had messages from friends, my sisters and colleagues which is lovely and of course all the wonderful support I get on here. I love it this secret women's business!
Hubby took some more before pics for me - these photos remind me why I want to get this done as I don't look too bad in clothes (baggy shirts, loose tops!) but naked is a different story.
Not too sure if I'll be able to post from hospital - do private hospitals have free wifi? lol But I'll be home in around 24 hours. See you on the flatside!
made it to the flat side!
Bonus...when my PS marked me up he said I will look great and he said he would do a bit of lipo on side if my hips. We had never discussed this before. No worries I said! He told hubby he got around 3/4 kg sorry am not up to converting to lbs. Was such a nervous wreck today but so far it's a breeze. Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes
The big guy up there must have been listening!
up and about
Feel like I would bw fine to go home tomorrow but with my insurance once I pay the excess ($250) I am covered 100 percent for hospital fees so it wont cost me to stay another night. The nurses here are all so nice. She said I am doing really really well. Have to say it's a lot easier than expected. I guess that's where RS is so helpful. If you expect the worst scenario you can only be pleasantly surprised! Happy healing all my TT sisters!
In better news my little recovery buddy has not left my side and seems to understand I'm not well and can't sit on my belly.
I really hope there's no more sickness. So painful although there doesn't seem to be any bleeding around the incision so hopefully no damage.
This morning I had my Bodytea herbal tea. Straight away I was having a very welcome release of gas from both ends that made me feel so much better. Then juice and all my healing vitamins, then GF toast with cheese. Hubby made it so nice! Thankfully no return of the nausea today. I was able to get myself up from the recliner (upright position) by myself. Am grateful for having fairly strong arms and thighs (lots of squats!) Walking like a granny, really hunched over and that's the only time I have pain when I walk I feel like someone used my tummy as a punching bag!
I had a bit of a headache and stiff neck this morning but I used my Rub on Relief on my neck and now it feels much better. I will get hubs to take some pics once my cleaner goes home. At some point today I may have to take this CG off as there is no way I can poop with it on. Otherwise i have to keep it on for a week even in the shower. I had my one drain removed by the nurse at the hospital just before they sent me home. I didn't feel the drain coming out but she did have to cut some stitches or staples to get it out and that really stung. She also changed the dressing on my BB and I got hubby to take a look. He said it looked like a bullet hole but assured me it would heal just fine!
I really recommend putting together a box of items you will need post-op. I have one with vitamins, pain meds, lip balm, mp3 player, laxatives etc just makes it easier for your support person to have everything in one place.
Will have first pics up later today!
Things I've learned
Things I've learned...
The tubes down my throat really made a mess of my mouth. And here i was all worried about my tummy. i have ulcers all through my mouth and some hanging tissue at the back of my throat that i feel every time i bend forward and it makes me want to gag. Lucky i have throat lozenges and difflam gel they help a lot. My PS nuse rang to check on me yesterday and i said my mouth was bothering me. 10 mins later the anaesthetist rang to check on me so she had obviously told him. He apologised but said it can happen!
When you sleep you will breathe shallow if you have a full cg on like me. So when you wake up prepare for a few 'huffs' to clear your chest and do this BEFORE you get up.
Walking - rather than hunching over and hurting my neck and shoulders i prefer to bend my knees and keep my upper half as straight as possible. You will need good leg strength to do this. Do squats every day in lead up to surgery.
Peeing - my toilet is SO low it's like a little kiddies one lol. I find the best way to pee is lower yourself with hands on knees and spread knees as wide as you can as you go down. Then shimmy back on the seat as far as you can. I find it easier to watch the stream to have better control over it as it really has a mind of it's own. Hubby helps me back up to stand and pull my pants up. I guess that is true love!
I took the cg off last night to try and do a BM. No luck there but had a little peek and my god i think I'm gonna have abs lol. Have quite a big bruise on one hip and the incision is all covered with dressing which is ok I don't really want to see a tummy full of staples.
Hope my 4am / typing with one hand post is not too rambling! Happy healing all.
Feeling quite good today. Pain is minimal and only taking panadol, not even 4 hourly. I'm walking 95% upright but I do have to work at it. Had a shower this morning, just used the handheld shower to do my underarms and girl bits. I have to leave the CG on even when in the shower. I washed my face and brushed my teeth while hubby sat on the toilet and dried my CG with the hairdryer. It takes forever to dry. We got it to about 80% dry then gave up as I was tired from standing (for 15 mins!) I even sat out in the sun for a while and it still feels damp.
I can now do more things without assistance. I can get up from my recliner, sit on the toilet, get up off the toilet and I use a grabber (it was a kids toy we thankfully still have) to pull up my pants. Other than that I am not doing anything, just giving orders, lol. Happy healing TT sisters.
Coming up on day 4...
After having the runs all day after my first BM I'm pleased to say I am now a pro at getting on and off the toilet - tuck chin to chest, hands on knees, spread knees wide and lower, then wriggle back as far as you can toward the back of the seat. This position is also idea to do a bit of a neck stretch...drop chin to chest, then drop your head back, eyes to ceiling as far as you comfortably can. Feels SO nice!
Just realised I haven't had any pain meds all day, not even panadol and it's now 4.30pm! I just had a visit from a gorgeous friend who celebrated turning 50 and divorcing by getting a BA so she is partly the reason I went ahead with this TT as I was so inspired by her. We sat outside on a gorgeous sunny afternoon and I completely forgot that I'd had surgery less than 4 days ago.
Don't be afraid of weird feelings down there - so far I've had a baby kicking (haven't felt that for a long while), what felt like worms crawling through my belly, a sensation like cold water being poured over my thighs and I've had the occasional very very painful, but thankfully very brief spasm in my back and shoulders.
Tonight it's back to sleeping in the recliner! Happy healing TT sisters!
4 day pics
I feel really good again today. Walking hunched over for first few steps then I can straighten up to about 90%. Had a great shower this morning, I have to leave cg on for 7 days under dr orders and it is a pain to dry but had to be done. I had a little brain fade this morning when I got up to pee, sat down and thinking something feels strange, then I realise I have my underwear over my cg, as I hadn't been wearing undies for the first few days! Have to laugh!
Took Panadol at bedtime last night and don't even feel the need for more now at 10am.
Slept in the recliner again last night aftera failed attempt at being on the couch with pillows. So glad I have this recliner, even though it is manual lift, most of the time now I can manage to get out of it on my own, if no-one is around to help me. I am getting so creative with doing little things for myself sometimes I feel like MacGyver! The downside of this though is that my husband, who is wonderfully supportive, simply forgets what I can and can't do for myself. Like he will put a drink down next to me but won't move it close enough for me to reach. He really is struggling with taking care of me and the house. He is quite stressed about doing all the little things that I just do without even thinking. I mean on Saturday he did less than HALF the jobs I would do on a typical Saturday and he was so stressed and exhausted and he complained at the end of the day he didn't even get time for a shower. Lol. Granted I am the queen of multi-tasking but girls you have to remember your other half is not a trained care-giver so don't expect them to pre-empt everything and don't nag them to do everything. I am trying really hard to keep my mouth shut, I really am. I think this afternoon we will watch a funny movie just to enjoy each other's company.
I have worked out this little exercise stretching routine for post TT. I think it has helped doing clinical pilates as you learn to work certain muscle groups and isolate your stretches, so I can do little exercises in my recliner or standing at the kitchen counter and this really helps with the tight achy back and shoulders without stretching or straining the core in any way. Maybe I should do a post TT workout DVD!
Have a great day :)
Pain from the incision is minimal, the killer is the neck, back and shoulder pain. Last night I started to get short, stabbing pains from my incision (staples pinching?) and that was no fun. The achy back is managed through changing position, changing chair, stretches, seated exercises (that don't pull on the sx site) then panadol when all else fails.
Here's a few more tips/thoughts from me...
Research....you owe it to yourself to research this procedure and be as informed as possible as to what you are getting yourself into. Don't shy away from reading RS reviews because they are confronting or gross.
Breathe...learn to do yoga breathing. Put your hand on your abdomen, breathe in until your hand rises. It's hard at first to breathe with the cg so you will need to consciously deep breathe especially when you wake from a sleep. And always have a pilow/cushion handy as you may find you cough as you clear your airway. When sitting in your recliner, place your hands behind your head to open up your chest (and also give yourself a nice stretch)
Expectations...TT is not a quick way to lose weight. Your PS can improve only on what nature / genetics gave you or what your kids destroyed. I want to weep when I see some people who have these celebrity wish pics but their before pics show they have an obvious weight issue. The best TT results I have seen are those where diet and exercise have been tried but haven't resolved the pooch.
And by diet I mean a life-long adherence to eating REAL food most of the time. Not a quick fix fad diet where you change your eating habits (or even worse, drink diet shakes) for a few weeks in the hope of losing a few kilos. Your PS can only work with the source material you give him. Do yourself a favor and get into the best shape you can be pre-op to get into the best shape you want to be post-op.
Boredom...I'm amazed when women come on here and complain about being bored during their recovery. For the past 10 years I've worked my ass off in a full time job, raised 2 kids - half that time as a single mum, and spent my weekends doing stuff around the house. My idea of heaven is sitting around in my PJs and watching all the DVDs I've always wanted to watch, read the books I've always wanted to read, I could go on and on but honestly I have heaps to do sitting here for the next month! (And then there's online shopping!) My only frustration is wishing i was further along in my recovery so I can stand straighter, do more for myself etc but I see no point in dwelling on this as I can't change it. So I guess I am saying enjoy your downtime, you deserve it. And don't stress about not being able to do things. I told my PS I was going to sit on my ass and be a princess and he said I totally have the right idea!
Happy healing all.
7 day update - 1st post-op checkup
Went to my PS rooms to see his nurse and she said the incision is healing beautifully and she said she can tell when people have been taking it easy when she looks at the sx site. She said she would remove all the staples today and the 2nd one she did hurt like hell! She didn't expect that at all as she said patients are usually still numb along the incision line. Well this spot was where I had been getting some hurting/pinching so I guess the nerves had started to work again. After that it was all fine just some tugging but no sensation.
I took a little peak and the incision looked kind of gross. And there is a skin crease about 3cm long above my incision on the left, hopefully that will flatten out now. My whole belly is like a waterbed there is so much fluid I barely look different to pre-op. I've been told to keep an eye on this and look for areas of swelling that gets worse or looks uneven, and especially if I don't feel well to come in. Basically she said I can come in everyday if I want to. She also said my PS doesn't pull the skin up too tight above the pubic region as this can affect our ladybits. She said it is not unusual for patients after 6-10 months to ask for this skin to be tightened up some more, that I just have to tell my PS if I'm not happy with how it heals once all the swelling settles down.
My incision has been retaped and I can now take the cg off to shower. Yay! I will take it off tomorrow to wash it as it's probably a bit stinky after being on 24/7 for a week! I'm not taking pics today I am exhausted after being out this morning and besides it was a bit confronting and disappointing to see.
The nurse rang the lymphatic massage therapist while I was at the rooms and I have an appointment on Friday - hope that helps with the swelling. I had one massage before I left hospital (included in my PS fee) but I will have to pay for this one.
Oh btw after you have that first BM, don't stop the laxatives. I repeat - DON'T stop the laxatives!
I felt a bit a bit despondent yesterday after seeing my belly...lying flat on my back is not the best view. I did take the cg off last night just to take another look and check out the swelling. I look great from bb up, very sculpted - a 2 pack maybe! My hips are much slimmer. The fluid is obvious below the bb but when i showed my hubby how i looked he was like 'wow!' And I'm down 2 kgs since the sx, which is down 4kgs from 3 weeks ago. So am pretty happy and just have to remind myself there is a way to go. And keep an eye on this swelling that I don't develop a seroma. The nurse from the PS office just rang to see how I am today and she said I can come in anytime i have concerns. Hopefully i don't need my belly drained!
Last night I only woke up once and it's the first night since sx I didn't have to get up to pee during the night. I even managed to sleep partly on my side and close to flat. Can't tell you how good that feels!
Last night/yesterday I was feeling a bit flat, I don't mean tummy flat, but just like everything was an effort. I took the advice of my PS nurse and went in this morning so they could look at the fluid above my BB. The nurse was glad I came in, she said better to have it checked out than be home stressing about it. She felt that the fluid would resolve itself. She asked another nurse for her opinion. Then said she would get the PS to have a look. He said he would drain it. Oh great. He had me standing on a stool and got this big ol' needle out (well I only had a quick look, it looked massive lol!) He stuck it in and I couldn't feel a thing. Poor hubby who is a type 1 diabetic and has insulin 4 x day, couldn't bear to look and is staring at the ceiling commenting on the paint job! That made me want to laugh - with a damn needle in my belly! I must say I do feel better now. Just feel brighter and less weighed down.
This afternoon I have a lymphatic drainage massage and until then I am going to take it easy. I did a fair bit yesterday...made soup, put washing on, did the dishes etc maybe I did too much. I also read in one RS review that molasses is good for swelling so I have been taking a spoonful a few times a day. We'll see if it helps.
Sleepwise last night was wonderful, I seem to have found the right combination of pillows for a good night's sleep. 3 behind me and 2 under my knees. In this postion though it is very hard for me to get up on my own, it takes a fair bit of effort to get up on my elbows, then push up on my hands to sit up so that I can swing my legs round to the floor. My PS nurse always says not to twist. I always ask hubby for a hand up, it's easier than struggling to do it myself.
After my shower this morning I am walking more upright, probably about 95%. My back and shoulders are so grateful!
Off pain meds
And here's the pics!
And now for the TMI part, I didn't go yesterday. I am usually very regular and have been since day 3 PO. But while walking round the supermarket I told hubs I have to go now. I mean NOW! Lucky the shops are only 5 mins from home. I sat on the toilet for 30 mins for very little result and was so exhausted I got into bed afterwards. I was absolutely wrecked. Mind you I have been religiously taking senna (laxatives), drinking lemon water, eating clean and taking fibre supplement. So unfair! There was so much to be done at home as I am getting the bathroom re-tiled next week so we had to clear out heaps of stuff, and by we I mean me giving instructions and hubs doing the work. My hubs is an absolute angel but he overthinks things, questions repeatedly, gets sidetracked, procrastinates, then thinks on it some more. I was just going crazy. I am the energizer bunny, the queen of multi-tasking, the 'don't think about, just do it' kind of girl, and I desperately wanted to feel normal again and not like a bug that got stuck on it's back. Rant over!
The fluid swelling is much better today and I don't even think it's worse this evening. The lower belly swelling at the sx site is still there but I'm really happy with how things are looking. I can't wait to try on some clothes, many of which I have never worn before.
Things are awakening around the sx site, I keep getting these very sharp stabbing pains in my side that make me cry out in pain and it scares the s*#@ out of hubby and the dogs.
The lovely lady who did my lymphatic massage yesterday gave me a couple of great tips. One is the pillow position for behind the head...2 pilows in a V shape pointing toward the head of the bed, and one on top. Last night was the first night I slept without shoulder pain. The other was getting out of a chair. Slide your bottom forward toward the edge of the chair, hands on arms of chair,feet out flat in front of you. Bend forward until your head is over your knees, then use your arms to push up to standing. I always wait a few seconds before walking off as I tend to get a bit woozy.
I've also noticed my mental acuity since the sx is just terrible. Good for you ladies who go back to work after a week or two but to be honest my short term memory is shot. In my job I'm in a team leader role and I have staff coming to me all day every day wanting advice or help of some sort or authority to put services in place and I honestly couldn't cope with that now. I am really in lala land!
Happy healing to you all and have a wonderful weekend!
When I shower in the morning I am 99% straight afterward but get more hunched as the day goes on. Today I washed my cg and planned to do nothing while it was on the line, as I've grown to depend on the support it provides. But I pulled on these high cut shaping briefs I bought at Kmart and they gave me really good support so I was able to walk around my garden for about 30 mins and enjoy the sun. I am going to buy some more of those knickers for sure, and will wear them once I can ditch the cg at 6 weeks.
We did the supermarket shopping this afternoon and had plenty of stares from people as I did my slow, shuffly walk. Also ran into someone I know who said, "you look terrible, what happened?" Yeah just what you want to hear.
Milestone! Last night hubby was in a deep sleep coma so I managed to push myself back toward the head of the bead using feet and elbows, then push myself up to sitting with my hands and got up to pee ALL BY MYSELF! But I can't bend and still need some help putting my pants on sometimes and there is no way I can shave my legs so they are gross!
Yesterday I was blocked up, today I had the runs. You know that saying 'never trust a fart' well I don't. I have never in my life been so pre-occupied with my bowel movements.
Happy healing, til next time!
There are two exercises I have been doing that are helping with getting back to walking properly. The first one is standing with my back flat to a wall, legs out in front of me and i slowly inch my legs back into the wall as far as is comfortable. Don't strain anything! I do this whenever I am waiting for the kettle to boil, talking on the phone, etc. The other one is standing against a wall with a foam roll against my back and you bend your knees and squat down as far as you can then back up so that you get a nice back massage. I found a $6 foam roll at the supermarket yesterday, prior to that I was using a big roll of Chux wipes that is sealed in plastic (very creative I thought!) those sports rollers cost big bucks!
My car is at the mechanic at the moment but I hope to have it back maybe tomorrow as I think I am ready to drive so that will be my next goal. Happy healing til next time!
Went for another walk around the block after breakfast and shaved at least 5 mins off yesterday's time as it started to rain halfway round!
I've seen pics from another RS member who had the same swelling in the same place (around incision) as I have and she makes a good point that if you can suck it it, it's fat. If you can't it's swelling. So my lower belly barely changes when I suck it in so that is reassuring and her latest pics (6 weeks) look great.
I am back to PS office tomorrow for 14 day checkup. All being well I will drive there. Woo hoo! When did you ladies get the go ahead to start rubbing stuff into your incision? I have started to itch and it is so hard not to scratch!
14 day follow up
There has been no great change in my shape, weight or measurements since the sx but when I look in the mirror the changes are very obvious. Today I was looking in the mirror with a critical eye and thinking, 'oh this hip has a slightly different curve to the other' and I still have swelling above my incision and then I just had to pull myself up and remind myself that I am only 15 days po and my body will continue to change for months. And for me this sx was never about weight loss or achieving a perfectly flat belly it was about restoring function and strength to my core and addressing 20 years of chronic back pain. And on that basis alone, I am over the moon with happiness that I have finally had this done.
I know many women have had days post op when they just cry and get depressed, but I can honestly say I've not had a day like that. I know my figure is not perfect, but it was never about perfection. I know my shape is going to change in 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months. What I see now is not the final result. I think sometimes we lose track of that. Keep your chin up ladies, this recovery is a long, long process.
Day 17 - blues day
So today I just want to curl in the foetal position and cry. Except I can't really get in the foetal position just yet! Can't really cry either, I want to but I am a control freak and control freaks don't let their emotions get the better of them. I took my cg off to wash it this morning and being the impatient type that I am I wanted to drive down to the shops and get a few things. So I wore my shaping knickers which give a bit of support but I really didn't feel right. Walking very slow like a granny, even stepping up onto the path I got a nasty twinge. At least I didn't have every 2nd person asking if I was ok, I hate being helpless. By the time I got home I had swelling above my waist high knickers and my lower belly was all pushed out. I squished myself back into my cg feeling like an overstuffed sausage and retired to my bed to read the weekend papers. Best I stay here for a good while I think, it's a good thing I am home alone because I'm not good company. Except the dogs, who love me regardless. Thank heavens for dogs!
Day 18 - exhausted
Last night I managed to lie fully on my side for the first time since sx. It took a while to fall asleep in that position as I kept expecting to get painful twinges and I did get a couple but it felt so nice to be on my side. However when I woke up I noticed that there was a pleat or crease on my left side which I had seen before but I had thought it was flattening out, so perhaps I need to start sleeping on my right.
At 18 days I can...put washing on but not hang out the heavy stuff, fold washing, wipe down benchtops and wash dishes, pick things up off the floor (carefully) but not good at reaching, straighten the doona on my bed but couldn't make a bed with sheets and blankets, drive and get in/out of the car (carefully) walk upright when I really concentrate but by the end of the day I'm usually too tired to care. And walking is slow! It's a long, long road.
First sneeze - ouch!
I also forgot to mention I now have micropore tape on my incision. It sticks really well and is skin colored. It is designed to flatten the incision. My PS nurse gave me a roll so that I can reapply it myself but it's been on since last Wednesday and doesn't look like it's going anywhere.
Day 19 - pics
Thankfully today I am feeling re-energised and no more neck spasms. The first thing I did today was walk around the block while the sun was out. So nice.....then you think to yourself, if I tripped and fell over it would hurt like hell and I wonder how long it would take until someone noticed me lying on the ground, lol. Then you think, hey I'm walking so straight and it feels great...then you get a nasty twinge in your side that tells you to slow down!
I know some ladies have by now gone through their wardrobe and had a big try-on / throw out session. I am resisting the urge to do so, I honestly don't think it would be good for my mental health at this point I will give it another week. I am not the type to spend ages in front of a mirror scrutinising my results so far I believe it's best to let nature take it's course. I have this noticeable crease on my left side but also on this side I still have a lot of that spongy swelling, a lot moreso than on my right so I figure the crease will flatten out when the swelling goes down. That said though I don't think this spongy swelling has gone down one bit since day 1. Grrrr!
Day 20 - milestones!
Yesterday the shoulders were so sore...to remedy this i got out my big roll of chux wipes (or you could use a foam roll) and sat on the couch with the roll in the small of my back. Then after a bit I put the roll vertically along my spine...instant shoulder pain relief! I've also started doing some stationery exercises....single leg calf raise and single leg squats - I've noticed my ass is so much flatter with all the sitting I've been doing. I also have a 2kg weighted exercise ball that I use sitting in a chair to do arm presses, bicep curls, and other arm exercises that don't strain my core. I just felt I had to do something. I've also increased my walks around the block, one in the morning, one in the afternoon - weather permitting. Today I even did some weeding...knelt down on a foam pad and gently pulled some weeds with no pain or tugging on the incision. Sometimes you just have to test yourself and see what you can do!
I am swollen towards the end of the day, and I honestly can't connect the swelling to anything I do or don't do, or anything I eat or drink. I guess it's just one of those things you need to ride out and let nature take it's course. Happy healing tt ladies!
And the worst thing about swelling...
3 week update - so I'm not flat...
Well this morning I looked down at my swollen belly and saw that above my bb on the RIGHT a little fluid swelling (which 'hid' from the needle) then on my lower belly on the LEFT side I have firm/spongy swelling, so my belly looks a bit like a rollercoaster ride. I tried to take some pics, I'll post later. But really, I never went into this surgery thinking woohoo I'm going to be flat. I did however think it would be great to have a strong core and not feel tired and achy in my lower back at the end of the day and after exercising. I did think it would be nice to have my tummy pulled in a bit so that I didn't look 5 months pregnant anymore. I did think it would be great to be able to buy clothes without having to consider if they would cover my pooch or not.
So I look at my curvy little belly now and think...things can only get better. I honestly like the way may hips have narrowed - I mean I'm a petite little thing really and the only thing that wasn't so petite was the belly. I would love to be one of those hot latino women with the olive skin and thick dark hair, wide hips, full breasts and shapely thighs but I'm never going to be that and no PS is ever going to make me look like that either. When I look back to photos of myself when I was 19 or 20 and eating a largely raw food diet, I look a lot like that now....so I guess that is my real shape. So I'm not going to beat myself up or complain about swell hell because it's not hell, it's just a bit annoying and uncomfortable. And I hope if you are worried or disappointed that you are not as flat as you want to be that you will take a step back and think of how much better you are than pre-surgery.
One thing I do notice when I start walking literally within 2 or 3 mins I can feel my belly 'fill up' and swell, it becomes noticeable tighter and I have a full feeling that lasts the whole walk. Now that I am home and relaxing it feels better. It's the weirdest thing. It will be interesting to see how the swelling goes later today, I normally gauge my swelling by whether I need to unzip the sides of my cg a few cms, or sometimes even undo the top hook. Last night I didn't need to despite having quite an active day - go figure! There is no rhyme or reason to this swelling.
I couldn't help trying on some lacy knickers this morning to check my progress. I can't wait to get back into pilates and start working on my shape!
I've been really careful today not to bend or twist or do anything to aggravate the swelling. We did try a walk earlier but I didn't feel right without my cg so we turned back after a few minutes. Gently does it! It's now nearly 5pm and I don't feel uncomfortable so hopefully there will be no repeat of last night's awful swelling.
Happy Easter and happy healing to all you TT ladies.
Weird bb bruising
Day 26 - still swelling
In bed I have managed to ditch the pillow under the knees, but I still sleep with 3 or 4 pillows under my top half. I can sleep comfortably on my side, even if I do have to gently ease myself onto my side rather than just roll. I'm able to use my abs a bit more to get out of bed, that gets easier every day.
My tummy is starting to itch and the skin is really dry and flaky. I have been putting bio-oil on my belly to help with this. I am still using micropore tape on my incision so haven't started scare therapy yet.
I can know get down on my knees without discomfort, and have done so to pull out a few small weeds in the garden. Bending however is a different story, I feel so tight in my belly it's just not comfortable to do so. I'm looking forward to doing a bit more exercise, for now I am just doing seated arm presses and bicep curls with a weighted ball. Then standing one-legged knee bends and calf raises. Walking - I am walking around the block, it's only a slow 10-15 min walk. I find that if I walk too much or too fast I get an uncomfortable pain like a stitch in my right side. I also get these random sharp pains on the outside (bony part) of my hips, but then if I try to rub the area I can't find the tender spot.
Today I tried on my bikinis and dresses I will take to Thailand in just 20 days. I must admit, even though I'm not flat, I look much better in bikinis now, less lumpy and bumpy and my boobs look so much bigger! I'm beginning to think the swelling above my incision may not be swelling but fat that I should have gotten rid of before my sx! I will ask my PS when I go back for a checkup in 2 weeks. No pics today as no real change!
Day 27 - thorn in my side!
Today I have a 30 min massage scheduled at my pilates gym (I get one a month for free as part of my membership) so I am really looking forward to having my shoulders and upper back worked on as they have really taken a beating since this sx. Last night I tried to lay down on my stomach on the bed just to be sure I would be able to lay on the massage table. It was fine and I had a pillow under my incision so it wasn't uncomfortable. It did however hurt getting back up so perhaps it would be easier to roll onto my side, then onto my back to sit up. Now I'm starting to wonder whether I pulled something last night that is causing this pain now. Dammit...and I am supposed to be back at work this time next week and here I am walking around like an invalid.
My massage went really well. I managed to get myself up on the table on my knees then lower myself down, with no grace whatsoever, but no discomfort thankfully. i took a big fluffy pillow to cushion my belly. My back and shoulders were loving the attention after all they've been through the last month.
Then it was on to my PS rooms and I had thought I would only see the nurse but they had my PS come in and check me out - they are good like that, they always say it's better to come in and get things checked out than stay home and worry, so they never make you feel silly for coming in for an unscheduled visit. My PS thinks I popped an internal suture pulling weeds out yesterday. He said they don't set until around the 2 month mark. So no more gardening for a while. He then had a go at draining my belly again as he noted I look quite swollen. He got about 15ml from the area just above my bb, and it looked better right away. The area below my bb is really swollen but the PS never seems to get anything out of it. Taking it easy for the rest of the day as my sister has invited me over for a girl's dinner, so I'm leaving hubby and boys to fend for themselves!
One month PO - woo hoo!
Today I thought my swelling first thing in the morning was the least I've ever soon. Hopefully I have turned a corner! Oddly enough the area in my lower belly where the PS stuck me with a needle yesterday - and got nothing - is now leaking very slightly. Oh no, I have sprung a leak!! I've just changed my micropore tape and my incision looks fantastic, so flat and almost healed. I think soon I should be able to start treating it - when did you ladies start scar treatment? I have been using bio-oil above and below the incision as my skin is totally dry and flaky. It is really calming the itching down a lot.
It was good couple of hours out at the shops today....a few times I got a bit woozy, I still get woozy if I turn my head quickly. I figure if I am going to be back at work next week then I better get used to being out and about. I spoke to my boss yesterday and she is even happy for me to work shorter days if I want and just get a medical certificate from my PS to support that. I am really lucky to have such a supportive employer.
Damn wish this site had an edit function.....
One month and 2 days!
Today I went back to my pilates gym for my first proper workout. I managed to do all the 'easy' exercises but didn't attempt those that involved and 'bridging' or 'planking'. I kept expecting to feel pain but it was fine. Just a little tight. I didn't go full extension with the exercises just yet. My poor flat and under-used ass felt so good having a workout! A lot of the exercises I did work my butt and thighs. I also spent a bit of time on the Galileo machine (vibration platform) which is like going for a run, without actually going for a run.
I did feel a little swollen in my upper abs post workout, but nothing too bad. We spent the afternoon at the movies and saw 'The Other Woman' for some light entertainment. I laughed so hard I had tears running down my face and my belly didn't hurt at all!
Back into exercise!
Today I had an appointment with my physio who is a specialist in women's health - a very smart young thing she is and we had been working on pelvic floor exercises pre-op so that I could learn to correctly engage my abdominal muscles. I mentioned my frustration with the lower belly swelling that is not fluid but seems to be from the trauma of the surgery. She had me lay on my back and do a proper pelvic floor life and then she said - and this MADE MY DAY! - "oh you should see your stomach now it is so flat. I wish I could take a photo to show you."
So I now have some breathing and pelvic floor exercises to do, and a few postural exercises using thera-band to start in a couple of weeks. The key, she said is not to tense or brace my abs while I am exercising and not to do anything to cause any pain or discomfort. I feel like I'm making real progress now!
Next challenge is back to work tomorrow. Boo! But don't feel sorry for me as I'm only back for 9 days then I'm off to Thailand for a month :)
correction....^^pelvic floor LIFT^^ damn wish this site had an edit function!
Back to work
5 1/2 weeks and feeling good
Yesterday we did a Costco run so we got up early for the one hour drive there, just threw on some clothes as we wanted to get in an out in about 30mins as any longer than that and it drives us nuts. So I threw on some long running pants, runners and an old zip up fleece hoodie, pulled a beanie over my unbrushed hair. Caught a quick look in the mirror as we left and I thought, hey I look really fit and kind of cool, lol. I mean pre-sx if I had dressed like that I would have felt like a total frump and hope like hell I didn't run into anyone I knew. Instead I felt great. And we were in and out of there in 30mins.
I know I'm not flat, you can see that from my pics. I actually never thought about being flat pre-sx. I don't blame my PS, he did the best he could with what he had to work with, now it's up to me to improve things with exercise and diet. I am not interested in going back for lipo to touch things up. I look pretty darn good in clothes and I'm getting used to the new me without clothes. I figure it's pretty unnatural for a woman to have a flat belly anyway, especially one that has had kids, so I will just have to learn to live with the curves if my belly stays as is, but there is always time for it to improve.
Tomorrow I go back to my PS for a checkup. I have a feeling he might try and stick my belly again, there is a little pocket of fluid just above the bb that is quite persistent. In just 7 days we are flying out to Thailand and I don't plan on taking the cg, I know that I will swell in the heat and with all the walking but I will just have to suck it up. I actually still feel really - what's the word? - insecure without the cg so being without it on holiday will be good I think, I will have something to take my mind off the fact that I don't have it on. I didn't sleep in it last night as it was still drying...one thing I certainly haven't missed is going to the loo in the middle of the night and sitting on a cold toilet seat, arrghh that was a shock to the system. When I woke up this morning I had slightly more swelling than usual but really not too bad at all.
I can now roll on my side to get out of bed which is great, I was having to push myself up to sitting using my elbows, then hands. I found that rolling on my side to get out of bed hurt as it twisted my tummy and my PS said don't twist. But it's all good now. Also if I am sitting in a straight back chair I can use my abs to get out of the chair but if it's a lounge chair then I still have to use my arms to get up.
The best thing is the return of energy as I was really getting worried how I would cope on my holiday with no energy.
A couple more things...
As far as exercise goes, I have found a few moves that give me a good workout/stretch without causing discomfort to my tummy.
- clams, where you lie on side, knees bent and open/close the top knee like a clam
- leg extensions, where you are on your hands and knees and you extend one leg out until it is horizontal to the spine...repeat about 10x, don't rest your leg on floor in between reps. As I get stronger I will add in extending the opposite arm at the same time.
Big week over!
Last night I did a short pilates session. Some exercises came really easily, others I couldn't even attempt. Never mind we are off on holidays on Monday so lots of walking. I also ditched the cg after Wednesday. I just found it so uncomfortable sitting at my desk all day at work...slowly strangling me! Thursday the swelling was minimal, today I am really puffy above my bb. It doesn't seem to be fluid, it doesn't 'wave' when I touch it. It is slightly sensitive to touch though.
I've decided to take my cg away with me....just in case.
My big week ended with a job interview, and then a phone call to offer me the job before I had even driven back to my office! They initially said they would decide early next week but after interviewing me they said they had no doubts I was the one they wanted. So I haven't been able to wipe the smile off my face all day!
7 weeks tomorrow
Being out and about in a very busy city has brought back a lot of insecurities for me. If I'm carrying a shopping bag I automatcially carry it in front of my belly to hide it. Today I bought some sandals at a market and when the lady handed me my purchase I thought she looked at my belly and said 'good luck'. I don't know for sure I'm just a bit paranoid! Being around all these tiny little Singaporean women is making me feel like a big white Western frump, lol
This morning we went for a big walk through a park with lots of steps and hills. It was tough in the humidity but my body responded really well. My remedial massage guy talks about correct movement of muscle groups when walking and says the leg ift must come from the muscle at the top of the front of the leg, much like a puppet string being pulled and not using the big muscles like the glutes and hammies to do the work when walking. Post TT I get what he is on about now. Try it next time you walk, especially up a hill and concentrate on lifting form the top of your leg where it bends. You actually lift your feet naturally higher when you do this and walking becomes easier. Pre TT I would always scuff my feet when walking.
I have had no pain whatsover from my TT for days. Today I found I could sit cross-legged (I love to sit cross-legged) Bending over is now much easier. Today I swam in the hotel pool (breaststroke) and had no discomfort at all. Despite the extreme heat I am not more swollen than usual, so that is a blessing as we are in Asia nearly a month. Have to post some bikini pics soon!
The journey so far....7 weeks and 2 days
- in the past week or so I've lost that tight band feeling around my middle. Most days I completely forget I ever had a TT.
- I am getting around in a bikini in Thailand at present and feeling confident for the first time in years.
- I am weaning myself off my anti-depressants...yay!
- I have been working out on the stepper, walking on treadmill and swimming not to mention lots of walking and there is no discomfort at all and better still no swelling.
- I am eating whatever I want, still eating healthy but occasionally indulging in my favorite Lay's Stax chips which I love and can no longer get back home in Oz.
- Had sex in various positions, no discomfort. Even had a Thai masssage today and was fine, I'm just a little stiff when rolling from my front to my back.
- I'm doing my pelvic floor exercises with theraband and will start to do more intense pilates floor work (haven't done crunches and don't intend to)
- my thighs have suffered from 6 weeks of little exercise and need some serious work...gotta up the squats!
- side on my belly is not flat but I'm not real fussed I figure I need to take a long term view. My PS has done his bit now it's time for me to improve on it. I still have the 'egg'... an egg-sized pocket of fluid above my bb that has defied the PS's attempt to drain it. It's no worse at the end of the day. My bb 'pulls in' and my lower belly has some swelling around the incision. But I no longer have a belly that sticks out as far as my boobs do and that's the best feeling in the world!!!!!!
7 weeks and 2 days...recap cont'd
- I wear waist high shape wear panties during the day but even now when I put a bikini on I don't feel like I miss the compression one bit.
- I can bend, twist, roll on my side with no discomfort
- I still use micropore tape on my incision, it's nice and flat and smooth.
This experience has been so much easier than I expected. The pain (which was never a big issue for me) is a thing of the past and so is the frustration of not being able to do stuff. Happy healing tt ladies....there is light at the end of the tunnel!
8 1/2 weeks
The feeling is starting to return to my belly. The part that is most numb is in the centre right above my bb. From there the feeling gets better moving out toward my hips. I am thoroughly sick of wearing these big shape-wear granny knickers...they are a very thick fabric and in this heat they are soaked with sweat in minutes. When I have to go to the loo I literally have to peel them off then trying to get them back on is quite a struggle! I stopped wearing the micropore tape today, I figured I would leave it off for a few days and see what happens. My scar is flat and no sign of dog ears so I'm well pleased with that.
The only time I remember I have had a tt is when lying on my back I just don't have the flexibility in my torso that I used to. There is one exercise my physio gave me at 5 weeks and I started at 6 weeks. Lying on my back, with theraband under the soles of my feet and holding and end with each hand, bring knees to chest, then straighten and dip heels to floor (don't rest them on floor) just touch floor and repeat. I couldn't do this at 5 weeks (I had to do one leg at a time) but know I'm up to 30 reps or more per day.
Happy healing everyone from wonderful Thailand (Just don't mention the coup!)
Also today after my gym workout I got in our private infinity pool (!!!) and jogged laps, forward and backward and did breaststroke - the only stroke I can do. I just want to keep moving and see if I can make some difference to my shape as we are here for a week. Today I also got some color on my new but very white belly so I can post some new pics tomorrow. I do find that when I lie on my tum it is a little ucomfortable as I still have that bubble of swelling above my bb, so it's hard to get a tan on my back....a real first world problem hey? My upper abs are a little swollen and a little sore tonight but I don't think it's really noticeable to anyone but me.
I'm doing great!
My scar...at nearly 4 months is just a neat, thin red line. All the same I do find it a bit confronting still to look at. I just have to remind myself this is a badge of honour for being brave enough to go through with this major surgery. I've been using Bio-oil each morning when I get out of the shower. The little bit of puckering of the skin that I kind of obsessed over in the first few weeks is very slightly visible now and I would imagine will be completely smoothed over in 6 months.
Exercise routine...I've been given the go-ahead to ramp it up so I've got a new clinical pilates program that is a killer. In fact by summer I think I will have the thighs of an Olympic speed skater. My flexibility is back to almost 100% normal, I just can't extend my spine as far back as I used to, which is understandable. As it's winter here I don't get to walk every day as the weather has been appalling. This sucks as walking is the only cardio I do. Kudos to any of you who happily flog yourself at pump class and spin or whatever but I won't do that to myself. I've seen it happen too often with friends who get into this mentality of 'well I did pump this morning so I can eat that muffin / bag of chips etc'. I don't want to sound all preachy but when I read about some ladies on here having a TT then hitting the gym like a maniac to lose more weight, I just shake my head. You don't want to run yourself into the ground, especially if you've got little kids to take care of and a job to do. I'm glad I got my weight to a comfortable point pre-surgery, and my diet has been good before and is still good now. (It helps being coeliac, I just don't eat much packet food). Since coming back home from a month in Thailand where I lived on eggs, rice, fruit, vegetables and seafood, I have had a bit of a bender on pasta and pizza but that will stop soon or I will un-do all that great work my PS did.
My tummy....is cute and small. But it's not flat. Am I bothered? No. Look I'm small and petite and since my sx my boobs seems to have gotten bigger so I just love my shape. I'm 46 next month and I can rock a bikini now. Woohoo! So yes there is a little bulge there and maybe this will resolve in time, maybe it won't. I'm not going to get worked up over it. My number one reason for having the surgery was for people to stop asking if I'm pregnant. Number 2 was to repair my muscles and have a strong core to hopefully have less back pain. The sx has been a success on both counts. I've just come in from 20 mins bending over and pulling weeds out. Normally I'd have terrible lower back pain by now and reaching for NSAIDs. I'm fine.
I do think if your number one reason for this surgery is 'to be flat' then you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Don't want to preach again...but it's natural for us women to have a little curve there. If you want to have ab definition you won't see it if you have a doona wrapped around your waist...you know what I mean? If you're naturally curvy and on the bigger side, celebrate that but be realistic about your results.
My swelling....some days I swell some days I don't. It's not an all-over swelling just a spot above my bb. There is absolutely no connection with exercise, food - nothing. Some days I wear a shape wear tank, it's so tight I practically pop a shoulder out putting it on. It feels nice and snug once on but it doesn't stop the swelling. Even though it makes me feel a bit miserable by evening I don't think anyone else can tell. I will post some pics and see if you all agree.
I still wear my waist-high shape wear Bridget Jones-style big panties. They make me look like Wonder Woman! Honestly I've never had defined hips and a wait in my life but I do when I wear these. My lacy knickers are all shoved to the back of the drawer much to hubby's disappointment...maybe come summer I will get back into them.
A few weeks ago I had this really annoying fluttery sensation in my right side, it would happen every few seconds and last for hours. It seriously felt like my PS had left a midget in there who was kicking the heck out of my insides. I understand this is part of the deep muscle healing that takes place. Hopefully that is all over.
I often ask myself why did it take 15 years to do this and the answer is pretty simple....I always thought this was 'plastic surgery', it was all about looks and just done for cosmetic reasons. Until I met my PS I had never heard of diastasis recti. This is hands down the best thing I've ever done for myself.
I feel completely normal, just that my core feels stronger. I think back to those dark days when I felt like I had a massive rubber band round my middle 24/7 and I was so damn tired all the time, couldn't bend, couldn't twist, sleep disrupted...it takes a while but it does get better and you will feel normal again, trust me!
I always felt like I was in very good hands. He put me at ease from the first consult. I had a sense that he knows exactly what needs to be done and he is hopeful the surgery will help with my IBS and back problems. The suggestion to do lipo just minutes before my surgery was a nice surprise! I trusted him that if he thought this would give a better result then it was worth doing. His nurses and assistants are very professional and caring. Although my appointments with him were not very long that was fine as I didn't have loads of questions.