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Since my breast reduction Oct. 3, 2012 I've been...

Since my breast reduction Oct. 3, 2012 I've been much more aware of my midriff, rolls of fat and the fact that I no longer can wear pants that are not elastic waist since I'm so big & flabby with a fat over-hang in the middle. I know it doesn't help that my weight fluctuates 20+ lbs back & forth sometimes several times every year-depending if my current diet is working. Some years I've even lost as much as 50# at a time, but have never been able to maintain.

Wow my PS office called today and said they had a...

Wow my PS office called today and said they had a cancellation and how would like like to have my TT on March 28th instead of April 9th. That's moving it up 12 days which is wonderful. It's a good thing I worked on my pre-surgery list today. I rented a hospital bed for 1 month. I had to call when I got home and found my surgery date had been moved up to get the bed delivered on March 27th. Since it's a long single bed size I bought the fitted sheet at the store where I rented the bed from. I bought a shower chair & handicap rails for the toilet-have to get hubby to put that together. I bought all kinds of gauze pads and different kinds of tapes, ice packs, tylenol and tylenol PM. I bought all kinda of fruit juices, yogurt & stool softers to help with the constipation issues. Notified my family of my surgery (I planned to tell them when they were all here for Easter) and the fact that I won't be hosting Easter dinner (3 days AFTER surgery now). I'd much rather obsess about surgery for the next 9-10 days than the 3 weeks I thought I had to wait. The PS scheduler is getting me everything I'll need in the next 1-2 days so I'll have final instructions and hopefully my prescriptions so I can have them filled BEFORE my surgery. I've been wearing size 22 or 3X in most my clothes since my middle is so thick. I bought a beautiful skirt & sexy top is size 16 at my favorite consignment shop today. This is my goal with this surgery and healthy eatting.

I received my final instructions today. Since I...

I received my final instructions today. Since I had staph & mersa 2 months (Dec. 2012) after my BR they're taking extra precautions with me for this surgery. I'm starting bactroban cream in my nose, I'll have a antibiotic scrub to use around my middle Sun-Wed. I'll have a motion sickness patch ($50) to put on Wed. night plus they have orders to give me lots of fluids to help avoid the after surgery nausea. They explained all the drugs on an empty stomach are what makes a person nausea. I've never done the patch either so hope it helps. They will use a different antibiotic during surgery than normal so try and ward off my chances of staph & mersa. Since they don't know if I'm a Mersa carrier or I pick it up someplace I'm banned from the pool from now until probably 6 weeks after surgery. I haven't been for 2 days because of the slippery roads and I'm missing the exercises and my friends already....6 weeks will be a LONG time for me. When I told them I had arranged for a hospital bed they said they don't normally like hospital beds because they help you too much when you need to use those muscles. If I find I can do without it or don't like it, I can call the rental company and have it go back. I'll have my vicodin (for pain) & and valium (for muscle spasms) to take with me the day of surgery. I've cleaned my house, washed all the bedding & rugs and mopped the floors....now what do I do to keep myself occupied for another WEEK?

Since I didn't want my husband to disapprove of my...

Since I didn't want my husband to disapprove of my TT I went to the PS open house 15 days ago and made an appointment for a consultation. Then at the consultation 8 days ago I made the appointment for the surgery and paid for it (I was gifted some money from my Mother) THEN I came home and TOLD my husband what I had done and what I was going to do. I'm not 100% sure that was the right approach. My husband has seemed a bit detached since then. I know he thinks I'm being vain and this is totally unnecessary surgery. I probably should of involved him more before I made ALL the decisions by myself, but I figured if I talked to him about it and he said no, then I'd be defying him by going forward with it. I've been pushing forward getting everything ready, telling him he'd have to help me shower, he needs to install a new shower head, have to move stuff to get the hospital bed in and I guess just expecting him to fall into line with everything when he didn't have any say in the decision. We talked more tonight (and had sex for the 1st time in months) and I think we reconnected also. Since he's my support system I should of let him had more say thru the whole process-even thou I had every intention of still doing this. He might be alot more helpful if he was given the chance to be helpful instead of me telling him what he needed to do for ME. I'm hoping we're both on the same page now. I told im I hope I'm sexier to him and he wants me more, he said he thinks I'm sexy now. How can he find me sex...when I don't find my body the slightest bit sexy? Well that's my thoughts for tonight. Probably just my emotions since I'm having surgery in less than 7 days.

Well I've been trying to keep busy the past few...

Well I've been trying to keep busy the past few days so I'm not obsessing about this surgery so much. 3 days po my daughter & son are making Easter dinner at my daughters house 2 miles away then bringing all the food here. So there will be 13 here for Easter and I won't be doing any of the set-up, cooking or cleaning up. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and when I'm tired out I can go in my room and close my door and sleep. Sometimes grandchildren & niece & nephew really tire me out. I took more before pictures today so I can look at them when I'm in pain and know why I'm doing this. I also have stretch marks and a birthmark on my right side so I wanted to document their locations so I'll know how much skin was removed. Eventually after I'm finally healed and look fabulous I hope I forget that I ever looked like this.

Well I'm 2-1/2 days to the flat side and staying...

Well I'm 2-1/2 days to the flat side and staying busy trying not to panic. I want to feel that I can give up control (very hard for me) and fully relax and work on my recooperation for a couple of weeks. I balanced all 4 checkbooks today (we take care of hubby's mothers business & my mother's business) so I won't worry about that for awhile. Made sure 101 yr old MIL's fostercare is paid so she doesn't have to come live with me. I paid my bills & Mom's taxes & her tax preparer. I went to pharmacy to get refill of cholesterol meds that'll run out in 8 days-I still won't be able to drive yet. PS packet said no driving for 2 weeks. Went to bank to get $10 bills for Easter cards and got those signed and ready. Washed hubbys bedding, will wash my bedding on Wed. when we put mattresses up against the wall and they deliver my hospital bed. Having granddaughter over after daycare tomorrow night for awhile & girlfriend and going out for supper. I'll see my daughter so we can go over Easter-she's cooking at her house & bringing here for 13 people. I have plates, table cloths & everything ready for that. I have most everything ready to throw in my overnight bag. I'm calling hotel to make sure they have a microwave for our Thursday night supper of microwaveable mac&ch, soup, granola bars & juice. Calling PS office to see if I can get post-op appt moved up from 11:30 they have me scheduled for. I just want to get out of there and home into my own surroundings so I can sleep. We're normally pretty early risers so by 11:30 we normally had breakfast many hours earlier and we're getting ready for lunch so instead of doing room service and hanging around the hotel bored I'd rather go to Dr. early as possible and head for home to have a light b-fast, pain pills, nap and lunch, pain pills and back to bed. I'll have my bedroom all set-up so I can have my pain pills & bottled water by my bed and set my alarm for every 3 hours to take pain pills. Hubby hooked up shower massage with cord & put handicap rails up on toilet for me tonight. I won't be able to take a shower until Sat. so no rush on putting the shower chair in the shower I guess. I'm using anticeptic wash on my lipo/surgery areas until surgery now. Also using antibiotic cream in my nose (trying to prevent staph & mersa). Will put my motion sickness patch behind my ear on Wed. night hope that helps with nausea which always seems to be a problem with me and surgery. I read thru my PS packet tonight-not very light reading of all the things that can go wrong. Of course they don't normally go wrong but they can so I figure I better add insurance card to hubby's wallet just in case something goes wrong and they end up taking me to the hospital. Well I've rattled on long enough just need to keep busy a couple days longer then I can sleep and forget about everything except getting well. I'm always worried about what ifs-my mother-in-law dies, my 87 yr old mother (who is in Florida) has health issues and needs me to fly down there I'm her POA, 3 days after my BR I was at the hospital with her everyday after she had a mini-stroke. Hubby gets hurt -he broke his back 2-1/2 yrs ago. He also come down with the flu and was no help the day I came home from gallbladder surgery a couple yrs ago and needed him to help me and I ended up waiting on him hand & foot. I just want to be able to relax and not worry about anyone and anything so I can get well. What do you think the chances of that are?

I made a chart today and plan (hopefully to update...

I made a chart today and plan (hopefully to update atleast weekly) with weight, bust, underbust, stomach around belly button, 3" below BB and pubic line. I filled in todays info and figured this would be the best way to watch progress in actual inches & weight instead of guessing if I'm swelling or not, etc. I taped it to the side of my computer stand which I will see all the time from my bed. Maybe I'll make myself notes on the calendar also so I keep up my graph. I thought this might be a good idea to chart progress.

In 24 hours I'll be in the hospital waiting for...

In 24 hours I'll be in the hospital waiting for surgery to start. Surgery is scheduled for 7:30AM. Hopefully I'll be all done by around noon or shortly after. Can't wait to be on the flatside.

Hospital bed was delivered and set up this morning...

Hospital bed was delivered and set up this morning. I now know how to raise & lower the whole bed, the head, and at knee level. I'm sure I'll screw up for awhile but I'll catch on before they come back for it in a month. I put the new foam pad & mattress cover on that I bought yesterday. The mattress cover & sheets were all freshly laundered so everything is nice & fresh. Bought 1 more pillow so now I have 4. I'm arranging lamps & stands so I can see my clock and can set it for every 3 hours day & night so I make sure and keep up on my pain meds. Lots of food in fridge for hubby & me once I get home on Friday. Having lunch with girlfriends I used to work with-I will tell them even thou I haven't told many people. I don't want any criticism about my decision to have elective surgery, spend $11,000+ and have a very long recovery ahead of me. No bodies business but mine. I sure hope all the feedback is positive today. I will still be in surgery 24 hours from now, lets get this show on the road.......

Since I have been wearing elastic waist...

Since I have been wearing elastic waist workout/yoga/walking/running pants since I retired over a year ago I think I'll just keep wearing them for the next few months. I'm hoping that'll keep me from freaking out so much as some women do when their pants are loose in the morning and tight at night. Hopefully someone will remind me of this post when I start complaining of how tight my new blue jeans are.

Night before surgery and of course I can't sleep....

Night before surgery and of course I can't sleep. Doesn't matter that I have to get up at 4:30AM. We haven't had clear skies in Michigan in forever and tonight we have clear skies and a full moon that is coming in the small crack of the blinds right into my eyes when I lay in bed. Do you think that means anything other than it's a full moon on a clear night? So I took a couple more "before" pictures of what I see when I look down. I never noticed this view before BR. The girls got smaller & perky and now I can see "the blob". I wonder what I'll see that I don't like after "the blob" is gone and I've gone over to the flatside?

Well I guess I should of taken a Xanex or Ambien...

Well I guess I should of taken a Xanex or Ambien last night. Normally 2 tylenol PM put me to sleep-not last night I didn't sleep a wink. So I'm a bit punchy from no sleep and I'm starving since I didn't eat anything (drank a diet pop) after 5:30 last night and was awake all night. I have a motion sickness patch on-suppose to help with anestesia making me sick-hope it works. Of course while you lie awake in the night you think of all kinds of things. I thought I was having a reaction to the patch -my throat is dry & kinda sore (don't know what from) and I thought my tongue was puffing up. I wanted to stay awake since I was afraid I wouldn't be able to breath. We'll be leaving home in 30 min. need to be there by 6:30 for 7:30 surgery. Glad it's today and scared to death. As much as I thought I had it together.....now I know I didn't since I didn't sleep 1 wink all night. Not real fond of my hospital bed. I suppose if I'm drugged enough I could sleep on anything-hope that's the case. See everyone on the flat side....

I enjoyed the surgical center since I had lots of...

I enjoyed the surgical center since I had lots of one on one attention. Dr. Alfonso was right on time for surgery. He called our hospital room last night to check on me and one of the nurses called this morning after we got home to see how I was doing and did I have any questions. I really enjoyed all the personal attention.

Well I'm walking almost straight up which is...

Well I'm walking almost straight up which is better than I expected. I'm drinking lots of water, juice & had a diet ruby red squirt. I was afraid I'd get in alot of trouble by eatting pretty normal but so far so good. I took off the patch behind my ear (last 3 days) since I do not feel nausea anymore. The patch makes you dry out like I had cotton in my mouth. I so love the handicap rails on our toilet-other wise I'd have to have more help. I was napping and had to pee, by the time I got to the bathroom I had wet my pants. Good thing I have lots of clean clothes to wear. There was blood across the front must be drainage from incision. I've been up walking around as much as possible and beathing on my little machine trying to keep my lungs clear. I've coughed a couple times which really, really hurts. Hubby is such a trooper cooking, doing laundry and emptying my drains for me. I bet he's emptied them 5 or 6 times today which is good. I took a stool softer but haven't had a BM yet. I haven't had any of the grumbling and hurting other women have talked about. Hope everyone who has had their TT are doing good and those anticipating will get thru this also.

Made it thru my 1st night at home. The hospital...

Made it thru my 1st night at home. The hospital bed was wonderful since it kept my knees and head up. I took my pain pills every 3 hours and got up 2-3 times to go to the bathroom, still no BM. I've taken 2 more stool softners with breakfast and hubby helped me take a shower so I feel human again. I have on top & bottom spanks while hubby washes bloody clothes & CG. I'm posting my 1st after pictures-if you have a weak stomach you might not want to look at them.

Day 3 PO and I feel much better, much stronger and...

Day 3 PO and I feel much better, much stronger and able to get on and off the toilet without passing out or without help. I slept good last night and felt like getting out so I went out to breakfast with hubby and friend this morning. I'm still moving very slow and still get sharp pains in areas but with vicodin every 3 hours all day/all night and valium every 6 hours I feel we're keeping on top of the pain. After my morning shower hubby put my binder on and said he was able to get it on 2" tighter than yesterday-Yah! Still taking stool softners and expect to keep that moving today. I've been up for 2-1/2 hours and I'm ready for a nap now but very positive feeling today. Happy Easter to All and best wishes to those that will be joining me on the flat side this week.

Yesterday -March 30th and 2 days post op I did...

Yesterday -March 30th and 2 days post op I did have two BM's which was a relief. I didn't have any pressure or alot of gas pains so everything was good. I'll continue to take the stool softners since I'd like to keep normal, don't need any pain from constipation. I keep moving ice packs around to where I'm sore-sometimes my back, sometimes side incisions, sometimes front & top. All is well with the world since I'm much better today, still tired. Good luck to next week TTers. Have a happy Easter to all.

I really had a down day yesterday. I was 5 days PO...

I really had a down day yesterday. I was 5 days PO and thought I should have more energy, should have more energy and everytime I sat down I was asleep. I guess it's that emotional "bump" in the road where you think you should look good but don't and don't know when/if you ever will look good again. Well, luckily today I got up early and hubby helped with the shower like normal, I went up to for a quick breakfast with him then home and back to bed. Another nap after lunch, does anyone else feel like they're constantly napping for 1-2 hours at a time? We're going up town to the local Pub's steak night tonight. Won't be gone long but it'll feel good to feel human and get out of the house for a bit. I took a picture. The top is a 2X and I think it covers my CG and drains well. I'm hoping to have atleast 1 drain removed on my 1st Post op appt. on Friday since it doesn't have much output anymore. I'm sure I'll be atleast 1 more week on the 2nd drain since it's slowing down but not enough to be removed yet. Hubby and I went for a small walk outside today which helped lift my spirits even thou it did make me tired. I'll post my "getting out of the house for a bit picture". It's hard for me to be exhausted so much and being away from friends is hard also since I'm sooooo social (I talk alot). Eventually I know I'll be out in the regular world again. Hope all that have joined the flat side are happy with their results. Just remember you're gonna have to take alot of baby steps before you can run with your new flat TT.

1 week after surgery and something is wrong. Last...

1 week after surgery and something is wrong. Last night I kept feeling like I was sleeping on a drainage tube but I wasn't. I tried getting by with ibuprophen but the pain was too bad so I took vicodin thru the night to get thru. This morning I thought once I took my CG off I'd figure out the problem but it still feels like someone is poking a needle into the area around my left drain and the area is very red. I wondering if I pulled a stitch that was holding the drain or if it's just infected. I've put ice on it and nothing seems to help with the poking pain in that area. I'll enclose some pictures so you can see how red it is around the drain. I have a call into the PS office but everyone is in surgery. I've left a message and a nurse will call me back as soon as possible, I'm hoping to get into the office today so maybe they can take out the drain and the pain will quit. I felt for a lose stitch that was sticking thru the skin, but couldn't find anything there either. Luckily this is the drain that isn't draining much anymore so I hope it can go today!

Well after the bactine spray, arnica rubbed on my...

Well after the bactine spray, arnica rubbed on my belly, a vicodin, ditched the too tight underpants and nap I'm feeling MUCH better. I nurse called back and said if possible they would like me to wait until tomorrows appt. so they can consider removing atleast 1 drain at that time. So hubby & I went to the store to pick up more pineapple and pineapple juice and things to help me heal. Now I'm absolutely whipped and think there's a nap in my future. Sure hope I lose atleast one of these drains tomorrow.......

I had a HORRIBLE night last night. I thought I...

I had a HORRIBLE night last night. I thought I would explode.I felt like I couldn't breath. Maybe a panic attack??? I was putting cushioning inside on the spots that felt like they were digging into my skin the worst. I finally took off my CG and put on a tight spanx. It didn't feel like the vicodin was helping at all. I hurt everyplace this morning-back, sides, front. My husband has made sure I wore my CG but I told him he would have to take me to the hospital this morning if he thought he was getting that on me, I just couldn't do it. So after my shower & breakfast and 2 vicodin he washed my CG and it went on relatively well. I'm so glad I have a 11:30 appt. with the PS this morning so he can deal with this. I'll do an update later today when I fel better.

After 1st post-op PS appt today I found out that I...

After 1st post-op PS appt today I found out that I do not have any type of infection (yah) and was able to get one drain removed (yah) and everything looks exactly like it should (yah). The pain I get from inside is from the muscle repair work the PS did, he pulled it approx. 4" closer. He said he removed 6-7# of skin/fat in front PLUS all the liposuction he did in the front & back but did not know how much that was. He was pleased with how well my back is flattening out with no more rolls of fat. He says the front is still very swollen and will continue to be swollen because of all the work that he did up there. Now that one drain has been removed I can now sleep on that side at night instead of always flat on my back (yah). Also, when my CG just gets too uncomfortable I can wear a spanx garmet instead. He wants me to wear the CG as much as possible but understands at times the area needs support but not as much pressure as the CG. I'm extremely sore all over still but very relieved by his reassurances. My next appt is next Wed. which hopefully will also be the day the 2nd drain is removed if I'm down to 20 or less drainage per day. He admitted that the 1st week after this extensive surgery is very, very painful and it will continue to get better from now. I am doing everything right-walking, taking vicodin, valium & stool softners, drinking lots of fruit juices. I was so relieved with my appt. I'm off to have a nap. I hope everyone else is healing well and getting thru their 1st few weeks of pure hell.

And my saga goes on. They had a bit of trouble...

And my saga goes on. They had a bit of trouble pulling out the left drain yesterday which left me extremely sore inside. This morning I woke up all bloody because now the left drain has decided to no longer hold suction so the blood is just leaking out the hole in my side. I tried to sleep without my CG last night (like the Dr. said I could) and I couldn't believe how much I hurt. I know the pain was coming from the inside where they fixed my muscles during my surgery & where they pulled that drain out. I dragged myself out of bed and begged my husband to put the CG back on me. I got every 3 hours and took my vicodin & valium to try and control the pain and it's helping a bit. My PS told me yesterday he's on call this week-end so not to worry if we call him with problems so we will be as soon as hubby gets home. He had to take care of some business at his 101 yr old Mother's home then pick up another vicodin prescription for me since I'll run out before the week-end is over. On a good note my back is getting nice & flat and really itches since it's healing nicely. Hang in there everyone someday I'll look at my flat stomach & back and be thrilled with the results and hopefully won't remember these bumps in the road to recovery.

Well the right drain isn't sucking anymore for...

Well the right drain isn't sucking anymore for whatever reason so we're just using gauze pads until I hear back from PS tomorrow. He'll get us in Monday morning and either pull the drain and we'll continue to take care of the excess blood with pads or take me back to surgery and put it back in-that is not what I want unless I have to. We have lots of sterile pads plus I bought maxi pads sanitary napkins I told my husband we could tape on and they would hold lots of blood until Monday. Oh well, just 1 more bump to get to the flat side. Best wishes to all who have recently had surgery and those contemplating surgery.

Wow, nights seem to be rough, I wake up feeling...

Wow, nights seem to be rough, I wake up feeling like someone beat the living sh-- out of me I'm sore everyplace. I got up around 4AM because I was so sore, put on some Arnica gel and laid back down without my CG for a couple hours and slept wonderfully. So up had shower, hubby fixed yummy breakfast & I'm had my morning pills so I'm ready to head back to the 1st of my many naps. I sure hope we talk with PS surgeon today and get an early morning appointment to remove my last broken drain. We took more pictures today and they do look so much better. I may hurt but atleast the pictures don't lie with the improvements. I hope everyone has a great wonderful Sunday of rest.

Well after laying around napping all day I decided...

Well after laying around napping all day I decided it was time to get cleaned up. I took a nice long shower and even shaved my legs. I also put lavendar mosturizer on and clean clothes. Since I had my BR in Oct. I never really got to enjoy letting the girls go commando. So I took new pictures letting the "perky" girls go commando and to give myself an update on how good my TT is coming along. I'm far from the flat side yet but I'm able to get some ideas how good I'll look in time. Happy healing all my fellow TT's!

PO Day 11:Well after a VERY Painful 2 nights and...

PO Day 11:Well after a VERY Painful 2 nights and almost no sleep I was a mess this morning for sure. I had talked to my PS over the week-end several times about my severe pain which felt like someone was sticking a sword in my side left of my BB and would leave me in tears even with painpills every 3 hours. Plus with my right drain not working (lost it's suction) and leaking all over that didn't really help my pain/mood either I'm afraid. We got to the PS office about 30 min. early and they took us right back, looked at the area and told me that the drain on my left side did not work correctly and it left alot of dead blood in there and that was causing my severe pain. They also took out my right drain that wasn't working (at all) and that was a big relief. So I'm on the PS's surgry schedule for 2:30 tomorrow where he will put me under and cut open my incision and completely clean out that old blood that is stuck in the cavity,sew me back up and put me back in my CG and send me home with my pain pills (and another drain tube) to recover. I'm so happy that I see (I hope) my recovery in site.If you look at my "after" pictures you will see that my left side is much more bruised that my right side or back. My husband didn't sleep 1 bit last night being up and down with me and bringing me pills,ice packs, helping me up to go to the bathroom, he was the very best man and I'm so thankful I married him 18 years ago. 1 more bump (and I hope the last) in my TT saga. Best wishes to all who go this route!

Well hopefully today is my last surgery. It's...

Well hopefully today is my last surgery. It's been 12 days since my original liposuction/muscle repair/tummy tuck on March 28th. My left drain did not drain correctly so it left alot of blood under the skin. Then the right drain lost suction and would only bleed out of the hollle where it went into my skin. Both drains have now been removed and luckily no infection. With the left drain leaving all the blood under the skin I have been in SEVERE pain. It's just like someone sticking me with a sword, sometimes I can't catch my breath until time for my next pain pills. My husband & I both set our alarms so I can take my pills on time 24/7. Since talking to the PS all week-end and being in his office yesterday I have 100% faith in his decisions. I'm on the schedule to have my original TT scar reopened today at 2:30 and the area rinsed out of all the dead blood in the cavity, and sewn back up with 1 drain. I have taken 2 more pictures of what the blood stuck under the skin looks like. Good Day to all my R.S. friends who are going to be on the flatside soon and to those who are healing.

I took my vicodin at 8AM this morning and was not...

I took my vicodin at 8AM this morning and was not allowed any other pain meds until surgery at 2:30PM today. I was hurting so bad I was crying at times, I was so frustrated that I put my hubby and myself thru this this. We went to then PS center early so hopefully they could give me pills that would not upset my anestecia. The hotel where they are has wheel chairs so I was wheeled up to the 6th floor. I was very lucky that the person ahead of me finished up early and they took me in by 2:00 instead of 2:30. They recut my incision since it wasn't heating real well in front & cleaned everything out and were done in about 30 min. I woke up pretty easily, ate crackers, drank and left as soon as possible being home by 5:30PM. I still have lot of discomfort and I'm still going to have to wear 2 draims & take Vicodin & Valium for awile longer but nothing like the pain from the 1st time they did the lipo, muscle repaired & all. I'm so excited to be on the road to healing now. Everyone is so nice at their Surgical Center and helpful when they knew I was in horrible pain. I wish all of you going on the flat side soon to have a good experience and all who have been lately to relax & take care of yourself (better yet someone else do it for you).. Gotta stop writting my drugs are making me lopier than normal..I take new pics in 2 days when I can take my dressings off.

Well I was really feeling my new stitches this...

Well I was really feeling my new stitches this morning AND the sharp sword stabbing pain still so needless to say I'm a bit down today. The nurse called earlier to see how I can doing and talked to hubby. Then the Dr. called and talked to me. We've decided if I continue to feel within pain levels we'll wait until we Friday appt. then decide if I am healing like I'm supposed to or if there really is something more more wrong. He did restitch most my original incision which had scabbed and just wasn't healing correctly. Knowing what I know now, I'd have to tell someone you better be VERY serious about having a Tummy Tuck procedure-it can be hell. As my husband was pushing my wheel chair in for my "fix" yesterday he said that I would need to get a different husband before ever having plastic surgeon again, he just can't go thru this with me again. He's never seen me cry becaue I was in so much pain before and he was unable to help me. Nope, he refuses to do anything like this again. Darn, and I wanted to fix my flappy arms & my thighs but I don't think I'll EVER be able to talk him into taking care of me and watching me go thru this much pain again. I know I wouldn't never find another man who would do the things for me that he has done in the past 2 weeks. He's been the best.

Well the nights are still rought but I feel the...

Well the nights are still rought but I feel the days are a bit better now. I think my 2nd surgery which was 2 days ago is healing well. I'll include a picture so you can compare with my other pictures. Best wishes to all that are starting the process and be very prepare to have all the help you need for 2-3 weeks after surgery-things do go wrong. All that have joined the flat side I hope you will enjoy your new and better look.

Well off to the Drs. office today and I did loose...

Well off to the Drs. office today and I did loose 1 of the two drains I've been sporting since my resurgery on Tuesday. I'm still very sore but now I'm able to do every other vicodin treatment with Motrin which is a big help. The Dr. explained the vicoidn doesn't help as much with muscle pain as motrin but motrin also make us bleed more, since I'm pretty much past the bleeding part I've been moved up to motrin. I'm so looking forward to the pain relief as much as possible. The Dr. explained that TT is a major surgery even for women in their 30's to recooperate from. No need for him to mention I'm almost 60 yrs old. So I'm looking forward to feeling better everyday going forward now. If all goes well the 2nd drain goes next Wednesday. I have a big week coming up next week-cut & color appt on Thursday and I am sponsoring a "Spring" theme table as a fundraiser for our local library club. It's one my girlfriends coming along with daughter & 3 yr old granddaughter, daughter & law & 16 year old granddaughter. We're getting dressed up and wearing fancy spring hats to finish out "the look". It's going to be a fun dress up party for us "girls". Lots of reason to look forward to getting well this week.

Well I had been wearing shapewear but just...

Well I had been wearing shapewear but just couldn't wear my CG because it was so wide it was biting into my skin on the top or bottom. So my wonderful mechanical famer made the perfect suggestion-cut it own to size-dahhh. Now it covers and supports the muscles that are headling inside without gouging the bottom of my boobs or my hips. Has anyone else had the problem?

I'm excited to say I'm making (babystep) progress....

I'm excited to say I'm making (babystep) progress. I'm having my 2nd drain removed on Tuesday. Dr. has okayed for me to take motrin now instead of vicodin since motrin is much better on pain but can not be used directly after surgery because it can cause internal bleeding. I'm always surprised when Dr. Alfonso calls me at home on Sunday to answer questions and check on me.

What do I say other than I've had an extremely...

What do I say other than I've had an extremely frustrating day. I was scheduled to see PS on Wed. to get last drain out. This morning my husband took off the sterile gauze (ouch) so I can take a shower, we dry everything off "down there" then he applies antibiotic gel and bandages it again after my shower. I made a mistake of looking and the last drain hole (taken out last week) has stretched to about 1" wide and it looks so gross/dead down there I started crying and gagging at the same time. I left a message with my PS scheduler that I WOULD see him today or go to the emergency room. She said he was in one of the hospitals not their surgical center so he may want to see me there. After a few more calls HE calls me (very calmly) and says it's not dangerous and he will see me TOMORROW after his two morning procedures to remove the drain and check out the situation. The nurse calls back & schedules another appt to check this out on Wed. then they will decide if they need this vacum stuff that helps the skin heal faster (since mine is almost dead down there and would never hold stitches he told me) and if I need this wrap it I will have to go back to the PS office sometime (to be determined) on Friday. He said this doesn't happen very often. I don't know if that's because of my skin texture or age or what. So needless to say I've sat around crying today. Good news for today: My waist is smaller.

Monday night one of the scariest things was...

Monday night one of the scariest things was sitting at my computer and I could smell my dying skin. I even had my husband come in and smell and it was definantly my dead skin "down there". I went in for my surgery yesterday and was only under local anestesia while they are cutting my dead skin away. The nurses told my husband how he would have to redo my wound twice per day until I go back on Friday. He takes it off before I take a shower and told me to NEVER look at it. Then he put the silverdeen cream on it, fill it with gauge packing, cover it with pads & bandages it back up. I know I over did yesterday with daughter picking out clothes & hats for our Festival of Tables on Saturday she was here until 10PM last night. Today Paul & I went for breakfast they I went back to the restaurant thinking I was meeting all the women I used to work with-but they went someplace else for lunch today. Anyway I talked to one women I used to work with for probably 90 min. (today is her day off since she has to work Sat.) she met me at the restaurant and talked & talked & brought me home (Paul drove me). I was really hurting since it's more than I'm used to being out and around. Then a friend came to see me so it cut my nap short but I love having company so I'm really hurting tonight. Friday I get the "vacum" I have no idea what this is) in their office. It supposidly helps me make skin or make it faster somehow. Something needs to help since Paul says I have "One hell of a wound down there". Thank you for all your support, I'm so looking forward to being well. Best wishes to all who are having trouble and those going into their surgeries soon.

Today I was fit to a medical sponge/vacuum. The...

Today I was fit to a medical sponge/vacuum. The sponge is cut to fit into the hole in my side left by the dead skin they cut out. It's covered with clear celephane so I can take a shower. It contracts 6 min. then rests for 3 min. I've not been able to rest 1 bit since I'm had it since it hurts 99% of the time except when I'm on heavy duty pain meds. The Dr. expects I will wear this for a month then should be able to heal the rest of the wound just with gauze pads. This is suppose to heal a wound like this twice as fast as normal-I sure hope it works There will be nurses in twice per week to change the sponges and I know it's going to hurt like hell!. I've really been missing my Mom who's been in Florida since Oct. 2012 I hadn't told her about my problems since I didn't want her to worry, So today we talked to our dear dear friends (and gave them the money) so they are flying to W. Palm Beach Fl. tomorrow. They will help my 87 year old legal blind mother & her 80 year old companion load up their 5th wheel trailer and drive them home. It was such a hard drive for my mothers companion last year I feel so much better having someone else drive them-I know he's relieved also. Of course I had to tell them about my health problems. Paul was afraid it wouldn't work out trying to get everyone to agree but I knew it would because once Mom found out how ill I am and have been she'd want to be home with me. It will be so good having her home. My daughter asked me tonight if I was telling her and my son everything, since I had asked them not to tell her previously-was there more wrong than I was telling them (was I dying). I told her I just needed my Momma.....of course she understood since she still needs her Momma too. I hope everything is going well with everyone who is on their way to the flat side.....or who recently came over to the flat side.

I hope all are doing well on the flat side or...

I hope all are doing well on the flat side or going to the flat side. I know I haven't been very sociable lately-sorry about that. My husband no longer has to pack my wound with silverdeen (wonderful salve) and wraps so the neighbors no longer can hear me scream when he takes the tape off my raw skin. The Dr. put me in this gizmo (sponge vacuum machine) on Friday which is suppose to help my healing twice as fast as normal. On Saturday it was leaking so we called the service who will be out here every other day and she fixed it and I still had time to get to the luncheon I wanted to go to even though I was in pain the whole time. Just in case any of you ever have to have one of these wound sponges I gave you pictures, my husband hooked up a long extension cord (bless his sole) so I carry my machine in a cloth bag & pull the extention cord all over the house. Mom & her companion should be home in a couple of days I can't wait........ At this point I would gladly go back to have my thick middle forever than go thru what I've been thru.

We called the PS one night and he had us unhook...

We called the PS one night and he had us unhook the wound vac since the pain wouldn't let up. 2 days later he took it out and put in another one, with constant pressure at 60 instead of his original 120. At times I still really hurt (mostly at night) but it's much better than the original set-up. My husband is still up with me at 2AM at times because I hurt so bad I can't stop it. Last night he disconnected my machine and I slept great, then plugged it back in this morning. I sat and gave him directions while he baked a cake, baked meatballs with gravy, made scallopped potatoes & baked potatoes. We had 13 people here today and everyone helped him clean-up since I sat and just enjoyed everyone. He shooed everyone out around 3 and sent me to bed and I slept like a baby. I have a feeling that I'll be going alot less places since it seems like the nights when I've had a full day are the nights when I'm miserable. I know I'm scheduled for 1+ month with this wound vac, 2 times per week with visiting nurses and 1 per week with PS appts. It seems like a horribly long time but I don't have any infections and will get thru this.

Last week Mon. visiting nurse comes and says Dr....

Last week Mon. visiting nurse comes and says Dr. put sponge in wrong and really made some skin raw (hubby verified raw skin), Wed. she came back and said I had a little more dead skin forming. I had a total melt down. At night it hurt and I told hubby to disconnect since I'm getting dead skin anyway. He tried turning on in morning and it hurt just as bad, we cut the cord with scissors and covered it with tape. Friday morning at PS office we took a box loaded with everything to do with wound-vac. We explained that the pain is unreal. They explained they use these on patience with normal bedsores and the skin is so dead they don't feel the pain. The PS said he's never had anyone have so many problems or pain so he looked over my "before" pictures and sais that my birthmark on that side must be causing alot of why it didn't clean out good and the reason it hurts my nerves so bad. Funny thing I got home and looked at my before pictures(included in this bio) and my birthmark was definantly on my right side even thou it seems to be all gone on the right side now and all my problems are on the left-don't know how that happened. I told them I refused to wear that sponge back 1 more minute-I can take alot but you hit my limit. Paul & I were eatting in Bob Evans trying to be optomistic when I told him I slept great without wound vac, he said he didn't sleep very good. When I asked when he said he was too worried about his wife to sleep. That started the crying that didn't ended until after I saw the Dr. I bet that was bad for business that day and I don't care. So the vac made new skin (yah) but we are going into the surgical center on Monday for a 10 min. procedure so he can cut off the dead skin. They can treat with cream but it will take weeks to get the same results so 1 more surgery. So now they take clear cloth stuff, cover it with aquaphore put it in the hole, cover with gauze pads-every 2 days. In between I take sponge bath and wash hair in kitchen sink. Supposidly visiting nurses were going to start doing this (takeing off packing while I shower but they normally come around 3PM) this week but we have no idea how they'll take it off for my shower then put it back on, we may forget visiting nurses and let my my wonder nurse Paul continue to do this since he knows the wound better than everyone else. I was wearing a spanx type underpants last night and didn't get a good grip pulling them up and smacked my wound 5 times (ouch). The wierd thing is it hurt my back more than my front. We tried an ice pack on my back but it felt just like I had a baseball pushing into a VERY sore spot in my back. I know it's all part of the nerve pain. Dr. Alfonso said he was going to check to see if maybe I can take shingles nerve pain meds before we left his office. Later when we called back he said he didn't want me on the meds over the week-end without support in case I have a reaction and wants to talk to my family Dr. 1st also. Good luck since I know Dr. Alfonso has busy, busy surgery days planned. I'd love to think something would stop the nerve pain, then I could quit the other drugs. Well that's next weeks issue I guess. Down the road I may have to have some skin grafts-problems for another time. I FINALLY after cancelling 3 weeks was able to get in and get a cut & color so I'm feeling like I look human again. Good luck to everyone I'm hoping you're all healing well. Thank you so much for all your support and prayers.

I'm finally scheduled for skin graphs for my wound...

I'm finally scheduled for skin graphs for my wound on May 20th. I was hoping to get a free arm lift with this-have him take the skin from my arms for the skin graphs. He said the best skin graphs are where they only take 1/2 thickness of the skin and the best place is in the upper thighs. I'm never going to wear a bikini so I guess this will be okay. I didn't dare mention the arm lift (free for my troubles) with my husband in the room since hubby is sooooo against any PS that isn't 100% necessary. Dang. Anyway last Friday the PS tells me about Neurotin a medicine that helps with nerve pain. I've been crying and screaming how bad this was with the wound vac & all and he mentions this last Friday and says he'll call my family Dr. and call me in a prescriiption. By the end of the day (last Friday) I have no prescription so I call PS and I'm told he doesn't want me starting on the week-end since it has side affects but will call family physician THIS week to help me with nerve pain. I go to PS on Monday this week to have him trim up the dead skin and get the wound ready for skin graph-back to surgery room. I remind him of nerve pain med's prescription and calling my family Dr. so I can get some relief. Thurs this week I call family Drs. office & PS still hasn't called. Another call to PS. He calls family Dr. and gets okay for up to 300mg/3 times per day. I call pharmacy for prescription on Thursday-still nothing. The nerve pain feels like a lightening storm inside my wound. Friday at 2:30 I go into PS and he gives us the paper prescription to take in for 100mg/3 times per day of Neurontin. I should of had this weeks ago....I've had way too much pain that could of been avoided. Not sure it's helping yet since I've only had a couple pills but I hurt so bad after being out and around almost all day I come home, went to bed and cried for 45 min. while I had ANOTHER lightening storm in my wound even after I took my 1st pill. Well I slept like a rock last night and feel really good so far today. I'm going to post wound photos so you may or may not want to see these. I haven't even looked at it up until today when hubby took patch off.

Almost there.......I hope.

I've been doing pretty good since I was able to get the prescription for neurotin last week. Since I've felt better I've been trying to get a million things done before I have my skin graph on 5/20 which is only 2 days away. I'm trying to get the house in shape since I'll be "under the weather" and have to take it easy again once I have 1 more surgery even thou it's only about an hour long. I'm starting to feel like I can remember things and I'm not in such a fog as I have been since all these surgeries, treatments & medicines. When the nurse called from the hospital and asked if I was afraid of any part of having this surgery I told her "I've been pulled back & forth thru hell so many times with this I'm not afraid of anything". I doubt she's heard that answer before. I'm just ready for the graphs to heal and be done with all of this. I'll have to wear my graph bandage for 9 days instead of the normal 5 days because of the holiday week-end. 4 days wasn't long enough, then the holiday, PS gone or in surgery, etc. so I have to wait 9 days to see the end results of the graphs. The purple above my wound has really gotten alot lighter which means my nerves are healing-good news! I've been on the run all day, went for major groceries, made 2 rhubarb pies & a nice supper for hubby tonight so I'm in major swell hell-I took a couple pics to show you. I had to take off some of my clothes since everything feels so tight after this busy day. I hope everyone who has had surgery lately is doing well and wish the best for those who are going to join the flat side soon. I'll post more after the graph surgery I'm sure.

After skin graph

I will give Dr. Alfonso credit for efficiency and always being on time for appointments in the office & operating room. The Dr. was in to talk to me by 3PM and I was in the operating room at 3:30 just like I was scheduled. My husband said it was only about 35 min. and the Dr. was out telling him that the surgery went well. We had to be at the hospital at 1:30 to be ready on time but it went very smooth. Between recovery & in my room we didn't leave until 8:15PM holding ice packs against my wound . They gave me low doses of morphine twice since I'm scared of the stuff my girlfriends husband died from morphine administered in the hospital after surgery many years ago. I got home and started taking narco (higher dose of vicodin), 800 mil motrin which they took me off last week and valium (to help me sleep) and norotin (for nerve pain) and after a toasted cheese sandwich (thank you wonderful husband) I was ready to sleep until my alarm went off at midnight and I took those pills, then the 3AM. Couldn't get back to sleep after 3AM, last time I looked it was 5AM I was dozing off we had a thundershower then Paul's alarm went off at 6. Took my pills, saw the light thru the blinds and knew I'd never get back to sleep. So I got up and washed my hair in the bathtub with the showermassager and used a washcloth for the other stinky areas, got dressed in loose clothes and headed up town for breakfast. I'm sure I'll collapse this afternoon (hopefully before the next set of storms go thru) but for now I feel fantastic for what I expected. The nurse told me sometimes the donor spot hurts more than the actual skin graph area. So far I've wore loose pants and I've had no problem with the donor area. The graph area hurt in the hospital, I like my pain meds at home MUCH better. I took a picture of the donor area which are covered in a medical plastic that's suppose to help make new skin. They only took 1/2 the thickness of my skin because it takes better the Dr. said. There's a white bandage over my hole. In 2 days I can take a shower without getting this too wet. In a few days my hubby can take the white bandage off and I have no idea if there's plastic underneath or what-I'll try and remember to take pictures of the graphed area then. My hospital bed was scheduled to leave Wed. since I've had it 2 months. I don't think I can get in and out or move myself around very easily in my old high bed so I called and I'm keeping it for another month. They will pick it up anytime in that month I want it gone but I still have to pay for the whole month-$175 and they said they will bill me. Sure wish I could get insurance to pay since it'll be almost $600 by the time they get the bed back. But, the original tummy tuck was elective so insurance won't pay back to March I'm sure. I'm wondering how many bills my insurance company will see from the PS office and hospital. Thank God for Blue Cross insurance and my Health Savings Account that I've already paid my deductable on this year.

9 days before I see PS or inner bandages come off and we make sure graph took.

Normally the Dr. takes the bandages off after 5 days, that falls on Friday and he's on vacation for holiday week-end, off on Monday holiday (of course) and in surgery all day on Tuesday so I have to wait 9 days to see what's underneath my bandages & know if the graph took well. Also, the Dr. gave me an antibiotic to take 3 times a day because of my mersa history and raised my nerotin (nerve pill) to 200 mil. 3/day. Must be the pharmacy didn't have that because hubby came back with 90 pills (last time it was only 42) of the 100 mil.(same as I had)which said 2 pills 3 times a day. Hopefully that'll keep the nerve pain at bay. The purple above my wound is hardly noticeable and I think that was where the nerve pain is coming from. I'm hoping once that gets better, I'll be off ALL these pills. Even thou I'd be a mess without them right now. I have a bit of a dog ear on my right side of my original TT scar. One time the Dr. mentioned using something on the scar so it reflects good on their work. So if I mention it next time maybe he'll give me something free (ha,ha) to help with that scar & dog ear.

2 Days and I'm doing great

I woke up this morning feeling great. We're changing the meds from every 3 hours to every 4 hours and I get a bit sore in between but not too bad. I took my 1st shower since surgery, hubby took outside bandage off graph area, anticeptic cream around the outside (like the surgeon told him) of the sutured bandage and put another gauze pad on the outside. There's nothing for us to do with the donor site except leave the clear covering on even thou it looks pretty red and bloody underneath it's my understanding that it's healing. We'll find out how good I'm healing when we met with PS in 1 week from today. I feel like I'm so close to the end of the my nighmare and I'm so happy. I had to take a picture today before I went out to lunch with my "girlfriends" some that have retired from banking like me, and a few that are still punching the the banks timeclock (poor souls). It was a fun luncheon. Then had to go out for steak supper with hubby & brother-in-law who just moved back from Texas to Michigan. I have to start getting some exercise, all this eatting is going to ruin my tummy tuck efforts. I'll include todays picture.

Donor site update

Well the no hassel plastic covering on my donor site desides to open up and I woke up with bloody pj's and all my sheets bloody on Friday 5/24. I had no idea how to handle the very sore raw skin so I went to the medical supply store hubby had been getting my sterile pads to cover my wound (before graph) and had horrible customer service. I had to wait 20 min. because the man told me he couldn't help me because he was busy filling out paperwork. The woman spent 20 min. (just while I was there waiting to pay for 6 sterile pads) going over why she didn't think it was fair that she had been on probation since last June and on and on and on. I sat in their lift chair and waited. I wanted to throw the pads at her and leave but decided I really needed them for the long holiday week-end. Since my PS left for vacation on Friday I couldn't call him and ask him how to handle my raw donor site-that was suppose to stay sealed and worry free for 9 days. We covered sterile pads with Aquaphor, covered with saran wrap since that is what the medical stuff was like & tried to tape it on. The pad wanted to slide down some when I walked just because of gravity (even with tight stretchy yoga style pants on), we finally felt we had it covering the donor site so we left it on for 2 days it was covered with tape, sterile bandage/pads and stretchy ace bandage type stuff to hold everything in place. On Sunday I thought it would be easier to soak all the tape that we'd used off in the shower. After I got the tape and everything else off I found that the aquaphor covered sterile pad had come off the wound in areas and I had to remove it off a couple dry areas. OMG it hurt horribly AND some of the already raw area started bleeding all over and down my leg-it was a painful, bloody mess. I couldn't put any water on the wound since it was shooting pain in that area with water. I very easily pressed a soft towel to the bloody area so I could get out of the shower, then had to wipe blood off my leg and even down around my ankle. After the bleeding quit we put on another aquaphor covered pad & saran wrap and taped it up and decided we had to change this once or twice per day so that it never dried out and got stuck like that again. I've been wearing tight stretchy like tight work-out capri pants to try and keep everything where it should be. Since the pad still wanted to slip down some on Monday we did aquaphor on the wound and just saran wrap over the top plus hospital pads on top to protect my clothes from rubbing on the sore area and the ace bandage type stretchy tape and that worked pretty good. Tuesday the area looks much better and it's not nearly as sensitive so we tried aquaphor on the white hospital pad (since we've used them several times and they never seemed to stick to any wound) and taped that on plus the stretchy ace bandage over it and it kept it all covered and worked pretty good. When we checked it tonight we decided we'd need to redo the aquaphore and new pad since the pad had obsorbed the aquaphore and it was a bit dry but did not pull on the wound. Paul's been putting anticeptic cream around where the skin graph is, there's a medical pad sutured right on top of it so we can't see the graph yet. Sometimes the sutures are uncomfortable and pull. Most skin graphs are uncovered at 5 days but due to PS vacation over long holiday week-end, surgery on Tuesday 5/28 we had to wait 9 days for follow-up.. That's got to be part of the reason the plastic sealant over the donor area broke open, it's only meant for 5 days not 9 days. Of course we had NO INSTRUCTIONS on what to do IF the donor site plastic breaks open. We've been keeping it moist and their words of "you won't have anything to do for 9 days until you come back" was a total lie. We're doing more bandaging and such as ever with 2 sites instead of just the skin graphed area. Pauls been terrific and we talk over new ideas of how to handle the donor area (which was so raw and hurt in the beginning). It really looks like it's healing well. When I took my shower this morning I soaped all around the outside to get the gunk off from all the tape and aquaphor and that cleaned it up. Then I took a clean soft washcloth right to the wound and I was surprised it didn't really hurt much. I wanted to get the old aquaphor and everything off it before we redid it for today. I think the PS will be surprised how well these hillbilly Drs. (us) took care of the donor site when we had to for 6 days with NO SUPPORT OR INSTRUCTIONS from him or his office. I forgot to have Paul take a picture of the donor area with out the bandages so I'll leave the camera out so he can take a picture of it and I'll try to post it tomorrow after we get done at the PS appt. and we see how the graph took and if he has any better ideas on how we should take care of the donor site. I'm so glad now I decided to keep the hospital bed for the 3rd month since I can raise it and Paul doesn't have to bed over while he does all the fixing every morning. After he did it on the big bed (where he sleeps) a couple times all that leaning over left his back sore so I said lets use my hospital bed and when we raise it all the way up it's much easier on his back. I'm still very swollen and sometimes at night I look 6+ months pregnant. I'm going to ask the Dr. why my ankles and hands & fingers are so swollen all the time. My ankles swell over my shoes & I haven't wore my wedding ring since my TT surgery 2 months ago today because my fingers are so swollen. I hope everyone else is doing great and getting flat.


After the skin graph we did pain & nerve pills every 3 hours-24/7. The next day we went to 4 hours on pills and that's worked well 24/7. Since I set my alarm to get up and take pills during the night I'm going to try and go 5 hours at night and after we see PS tomorrow we're going to see if we can continue the 5 hour intervals to wean me slowly off the narco (vicodin) I've been on for 2 months. I may need nerve pills more often but since they aren't considered a narcotic and highly addictive I'm not so worried about taking them a bit more often if I feel the nerve pain. Paul already has plans to stretch the times between pills until I can tolerate or no longer have pain and need them at all. I've heard it's VERY hard to go cold turkey with vicodin so we're going to do this slowly. I'm not so worried about cutting back on the valium which help me sleep or neotin for the nerve pain right now.

Skin graph update

The good news at the PS office is the skin graph took very well. The gooey looking stuff in the picture is just the aquaphor they put on it in the office. The Dr. was happy with the way we took care of the donor site and he put a pad on it that should stay on it until it scabs and heals underneath then it will come off by itself. We will have to cover this area in the shower so it doesn't get wet then cover the pad with aquaphor then a white pad taped to the top to the top to cushion it from my clothes. My skin graph can get wet in the shower now then we will put some aquaphor on that and a white bandage until it toughens up and doesn't hurt when my clothes rub against it. I do not have to go back to the PS for 3 weeks (yippee) then at that time he will decide when I can take a bath and go back to the health club where I had been doing water aerobics daily. Since I put my membership on hold I will need a letter from the Dr. before I can go back to this facility.

Wrong pictures in previous update that was my donor site not skin graph.

Sorry I grabbed the wrong pictures since they were both on my computer dated today since I took the donor site pictures this morning. That's what the donor site looked like before he put the current pad on it that will stay on until it scabs up and is healed underneath. I will include my skin graph site. The skin took well, just aquaphor and some stitches you see around the sides. I'll be happy when this toughens up and I don't have to wear so many pads & tape. I tried to quit taking motrin today but was getting a sharp almost burning type pain in my skin graph area and donor site. I took 600 mg instead of the 800 I was taking twice a day and the pain went away. I will have to pay attention to which pain goes with which medication so I know what I "need" and what medications I do not need to take as often. I've been going 4-5 hours between meds trying to take as little as I need to control the pain. When I 1st got the pain I took neurotin thinking it was nerve pain but that didn't cut it so now I know the burning/stabbing pain means I need motrin. I know cutting back how often I get pain meds will be hard to get used to, I can tolerate some pain, but do not need to be in extreme pain when I have the meds to control it. My ankles are always swollen and my fingers are also swollen so I can't get my wedding ring on. I made an appt with my family Dr. to go over this swelling and see if I need to take a water pill. That might help me lose some of my swell hell also I'm hoping so I don't look 6 mos. pregnant at night. I hope everyone is doing well and getting the flat tummy you want. I have more to write and will continue in a bit, I have company coming soon.

No charge for extras

I was so surprised today when I was in the PS office that he is not billing my insurance for 3 surgeries in their surgery center and my skin graph surgery at the hospital, extra office visits, week-end calls and lots of bandages, tape and other supplies. I was very surprised because my insurance would pay these costs and this has taken alot of his time for all of these extra things. They said I will receive a bill for the hospital and anestesiologist for the last surgery but not for his services. Needless to say I was very surprised since he has spent ALOT of time with me the past 2 months correcting what happened with some faulty drains. I received an explanation of benefits from blue cross the 1st part of April for $138 which was my expense that the insurance didn't pay. The billing person told me they accepted the amount blue cross paid and wrote off the $138 that would normally be billed to me. I collected $38 from my health savings acct since they have a $100 deductable once per year. Once we scheduled the skin graph I asked how much the cost would be since I wanted to pay up front which is their policy. They can check how much is still in my health savings account (which comes to me) and they had me pay that amount before I had my breast reduction in Oct. 2012, when the EOB came from blue cross I turned it in to my health savings account and was paid back the money they had me pay up front. The scheduler/biller just laughed and said she'd let me know. She never let me know and I kinda forgot about it. Now I know why she didn't give me a cost since the Dr. did this surgery on me for free. I'm pretty amazed at the length he went to now to make this BAD situation right. I still have pain, but my skin graph is doing good and my donor area is doing good and the scar from my tummy tuck looks pretty good too. I still don't think he did anything wrong with the original TT, but alot of things just led from one thing to another to another going wrong. Thanks for listening, when the swelling goes down I'll be on the flat side and will post a photo then to finish my very long and rambling bio. Thanks for listening and supporting me thru this difficult time. I hope NONE of you have to go thru anything like I did, if you do I hope your plastic surgeon helps you along this path or you can learn something from my postings. Hope to see you on the flat side soon.

2+ month swell day

Wow I don't know why but I'm swelling up like a pumpkin today. Not in much pain and only taking pain pills maybe 3-4 times in 24 hour period which is excellent. I'm surprised my stomach is so swollen when I'm actually able to see my ankles for the 1st time in 2+ months. My ankles have been terribly swollen and now that they're down my belly looks like I'm 7+mos. pregnant or going as The Great Pumpkin for Halloween.

Thinking birthmark caused some of problems.

After looking at my pictures (taken in the mirror) I thought my birthmark looked like it was on the right side but since everything looks backwards using a mirror it really was on my left side where I've had the scabs and dying skin since from the TT. I believe now my major birthmark had a different texture to it plus the drains screwing up caused alot of my later issues. I remember when I had Mersa (my left breast got huge & hurt) in Dec. at 1st the PS thought it was a rash since I have the birthmark on that side. I misspoke in my previous post that my birthmark was on the right when it was on the left side, which is where I had scabs and sore spots from the beginning. That's something to think about before you have surgery if the texture of the skin is fat or birthmark with a different texture that may not take well to this surgery.

Drs. always want to change things

I went to my family Dr. today asking if maybe I needed a waterpill since my ankles are ALWAYS swollen. I'm thinking tonight atleast maybe it's helping with swell hell too. My family Dr. doesn't mind me taking the high dose motrin so I can get off vicodin. She also wants me to take 300ml of neurotin at night to help relax & get me to sleep and cut my valium in 1/2 until I can quit taking them. She said if the neurotin will keep my menopausal symptoms away that would be much better than taking premarin (estrogen) like I have for many years. Wow that's alot of changes, hope they all work. I go back for my physical in 2+ weeks then they will check my potassium levels to make sure the lasik isn't depleting my supply of potassium.

Almost to the end of my long journey I hope.

Wow, it's been 9 days since I posted and VERY busy time. I'm doing very good, even thou I still do get sore. The skin graph didn't seem to want to adhere on the side where the skin texture is different due to the birthmark. Now that has actually attached so at time it really feels stretched and sore since there's no longer any give in my skin graph area. This healing is a great thing. I've gone back to wearing aquaphor & white pad over my graph area just to protect it from germs & pants rubbing it. I went a few time swithout white pads & I think that irritated it alot. I go back to Dr. end of next week and I'm interested in seeing what he thinks. I don't wear alot of bandages on my donor site anymore since it's still bring pink but looks like it's nearly all healed and really doesn't hurt anymore-yippee. I had a horrible night last night-I drank ice tea (too much caffeine) at 7PM, then we had storm after storm and I really hurt. I called and returned my hospital bed yesterday and it's hard to move around in my big soft bed without stretching and pulling. I kept having terrible hot flashes and decided if the neurotin doesn't stop the hot flashes soon I'm going to have to go back on HRT just so I can sleep. I went to a funeral home visitation for an elderly customer (when I was working) then had supper & gabbed with an old frind last night. I really needed that for sure. Seemed like all Paul & I did was argue and the things he said made me feel like he saw me as stupid and I'm not stupid. Plus I know being off the HRT isn't helping my perspective either. I came home and explained how I felt to him and he said he was sorry and would try to not alway argue. He was great today. I helped out at the information booth of our local "Girls Night out" event which was fun. I went a couple hours early so I could get some shopping done and have supper with hubby and send packages home with him. I'm more swollen tonight than normal, I made sure I didn't have any caffeine after 5PM and I'm feeling exhausted (no hot flashes so far tonight) so I'm hoping for a good nights sleep. I took 4 neurotins for the hot flashes at 5AM and then slept a couple hours and took 4 tonight and 3 ibuprofen so I'm hoping for no hot flashes tonight. I hope everyone is healing well and feeling well. I'm looking forward to the day that I no longer swell (not as bad since I'm on water pill) and feel sore at the end of the day when I have a busy day.

Starting to flatten & shape-Almost 3 mos.

Wow, I'm starting to notice that I'm FINALLY feeling flatter,noticing more of a figure on my sides and having to start wearing a belt to hold up my pants. This is a GREAT thing. Even my skin graph is filling in nicely and getting closer to the top so it's not such a hole anymore. It's been almost 5 weeks since my skin graph surgery and almost 3 mos. since my TT. I see surgeon on Friday and hopefully will be able to get into the pool and my water aerobics class again soon.

No infections

Wow, reviewing and updating my review has brought me to alot of conclusions as I look back. My PS did the 1st 4 surgeries in their own surgery centers. The skin graph was done in the hospital since that is where he was working that day. I know when the pain was very bad and we wanted to call the ambulance he kept us from going to the hospital by saying there were too many infections there. I've had MIRSA before and don't need to have it again. I believe he kept me from having any type of infections and after talking to other people and looking at other bios I could of had some terrible life threatening infections and did not. I think Dr. Alfonso is a very skilled surgeon. Sure wish I could talk my hubby into having my inside thighs and flappy arms done.......maybe someday after he forgets what we went thru with this.

3+ months not much change

Just thought I'd do a bit of an update. I did receive my okay letter to get back into water aerobics class but after I quit wearing a bandaid on my donor site (on my leg where they took the skin for the skin graph) the tender skin blistered, the blisters broke open, bled and it's been pretty sore. I'm trying to toughen this area up, and make sure I no longer have open skin before I head back to the pool. The Dr. suggested I wait until end of July to get into our local lake when I take granddaughter to swim lessons & after vacation. I still have some stretching, pulling & hurting sensations but since there's nothing on the outside where it hurts it must be part of the inside healing from the muscle repair Dr. Alfonso completed. With the skin graph being sunken in my underwear will roll down into the area and be tender. I haven't taken any type of pain pills for sometime which is good. Most of my TT area feels fine except the top part of the skin graph is very hard so I'm thinking of using the silicone strips I bought for scars and see if I can't soften this up. It looks like maybe Dr. Alfonso maybe could of trimmed a little more dead skin on the top part. I'm very happy with my surgery and so glad to be rid of my fatty stomach pouch. Not much more to report. I hope all that are on the flat side (or going there soon) are doing well.

Healing nicely...still no skinny minny.

The scars from my 3-28-13 TT and 5-20-2013 skin graph are healing nicely. I'm still much thicker in the middle than I'd like to be. I don't believe any of it is swelling anymore. With so much lipo and I've gained weight since the TT I'm thinking fat cells in different areas are filling up. The Dr. said my thick middle would respond well to exercise & diet. I wasn't able to go to my water aerobics class for 4-1/2 months. Hopefully now that I'm back some of this will firm up. I like my tight skin even thou it's not flat. I find now my underwear & pants want to roll down to my skin graph since the skin is tight and no roll of fat to sit at my natural waist. I tried some scar treatments but didn't like the 6-8 weeks of daily treatments so I quit that and figure no one will see my scars.

Diet & exercise....

I've gotten back into the water aerobics trying to get rid of the excess fat in my abdomen area and I'm seeing some improvement. I guess I should of talked to the PS about removing this excess fat by lipo when he did tummy tuck. When I mentioned it he said it would respond well to diet & exercise so now I'm trying that. I hope to have my before/after pictures from PS office at Sept visit and I will post those. I will wait until then to post my new thinner middle area pictures. This area is nice & tight, just not flat like I expected. Now I have to work on husband so I can have lipo & arm lift next.

Happy with Results at 6 mos. after TT

I went to Dr. Alfonso today and had my ' 6 mos. after' pictures. I also had my husband take some pictures (with clothes on) before I left today. I talked with Dr. Alfonso regarding my round abdomon and he explained the fat is under the muscle so the only way to get rid of this is thru diet & exercise. You can also see in the pictures where I'm still thicker (and flabby) around the right side of my TT incision and that hip area. I'm scheduled for liposuction under local anestisia on October 22nd. I'll be able to drive myself to and from this procedure (plus eat regularly that day) with only 2 weeks restriction of no water aerobics afterwards. I planned to pay for this procedure when I talked with scheduling and they said "no charge". I did not expect to have any other procedures done without paying. I am extremely happy with my results and will need to continue to eat a low fat diet and water aerobics to lose weight and fat. I still have a fatty roll under my bra line and under my arms that wasn't removed with the lipo I had with my TT. Dr. Alfonso said we could revisit that after more weight loss (maybe in 6 mos) and see if I can remove that without lipo.

Cont. of 6 mos review.

Apparantly I tried to upload too many pictures so I was locked up on this website. I will try to upload more pictures of my "after" pictures. I seem to be having trouble uploading my pictures...may have to try later.

6 mos. photos continued

More pictures I took/and hubby took at 6 mos. post TT.

Doctors before & after pictures

I LOVE the before & after pictures side by side...they really tell the story. I'm far from thin but having all that excess "flab" gone and everything tighter & flatter is a dream come thru. I have to continue to work on the fat under the muscle on the abdomon. This area is unable to be liposuctioned and has to be shrunk with diet & exercise only.

17 Months after TT and did not get the results I was expecting.

It's been 17 months since my TT surgery. I was thinking when I went for this surgery that I'd have a nice flat abdomon and nice waist with definition between my waist & my hips and that did not happen. My Dr. did not tell me until my 6 mos. post op surgery (when I asked) that the fat/thickness in my abdomon is actually under my muscle and could not be lipoed out. He said I'd need diet & expercise to flatten this area out, I've never been able to get rid of this thickness-no matter how much dieting & exercising I do. I now know from my GP that this is actually caused from non-alcoholic fatty liver. So I'm starting the process of Gastric Sleeve (hopefully in Sept 2014) to lose the 65-75# I need to lose for my health issues and hopefully that'll take care of my fatty liver & thick abdomon. I'm not sure I would of had the TT if I'd know I was going to have less than perfect results. Hopefully with losing the weight I will someday have the waist that I've only dreamed about.

Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Alfonso has been wonderful all the way thru my breast reduction and after. He told me at my last appointment that if I was unhappy with my middle (who wouldn't be) there were procedures to fix it. I attended an open house the practice had, researched on this sight and the more I researched the more I knew I wanted to have those "after" photos where my stomach was flat. At their open house I scheduled a consultation for yesterday. I hadn't made up my mind (on tummy tuck) until I got into the office asking for liposuction and finding out that would not be enough to give me a flat stomach, waist and tight skin at my age-58 yrs..

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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so happy things are going so well for you, it's ben a long road. bless your husband for taking such good care of you. that is the way it's supposed to be, we take care of one another. he reminds me of my husband and the way he takes care of me too. we are lucky!
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Thanks for responding. I try to tell him everyday how much I love and appreciate him. He's going to have to take care of me after gastric sleeve surgery on September 8th. Won't be long now.
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you deserve the best, you have a lot to live for, a wonderful husband, children, grandchildren, ask God to guide to take the right path, you are a example for all of us, I wish you all the best, you are beautiful person, went I grow up I want to be like you, LOL, many Blessing for you and you will see after you loose all the weight, be healthy and have a Tummy Tuck revision you will be happy and your dream will come true, keep your positivism and never change, you are a good example of the quote that said "If live bring you lemons, learn to make lemonade". muahh a big kiss for you, I got you in my prayers.
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I'm so sorry you needed a graft! I've just had a sleeve gastrectomy and I know I'll need a TT, but even if I could afford one I don't think I would! Anyway I have a long way to go to a stable weight, so the decision is a while away! Happy healing.
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Allie: I'm so interested in your story, and have been reading thru it tonight. I feel we are a kindered spirit in the fact that I love food, more than the nutrition part. I live to eat and will need to learn to eat to live. I also eat alot when I'm bored. I've lost up to 50# and have tried every diet out there, only to gain the weight back. It's like I'm addicted (or in love) to my fat. I'm lucky that I'm able to walk, ride bike & do water aerobics so hopefully that'll help me with my weight loss. I never accomplished the flat stomach that most people show with a tummy tuck since I have non-alcohol fatty liver. My skin is tight but like with a ball inside/or pregnant up right under my bra (think of a slide) so my pants have to have elastic waist and still sometimes my pantyhose, underpants & regular pants slide down to where my TT incision is. Atleast it's no longer sore in that area, but still not the best situation. I'm hoping with the sleeve to lose the weight (I'd like 80# to get down to 160#)so I can have a waist and look more in purportion instead of like I'm 5 mos. pregnant.
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That's great, but if you lose a lot with the sleeve won't you need the TT revising? You don't look like you have so much that you need to lose to justify it, and a surgeon may be a bit wary if you've had MRSA in the past, I know mine turned a lady away because of it. Let me know how you get on with the process, even if I do think you're cuckoo for considering more surgery after what you've been through :) it's not an easy solution, I updated today and I'm really struggling right now, but if you're prepared to eat properly and exercise it's doable. Good luck.
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I just had my sleeve 1 week ago and my BMI was 36. I was 208. I decided to have my tummy tuck a year ago, and now my sleeve. Because if I should need a revision it will never be as bad as the original tummy tuck. They basically just take out a little skin and pull it tighter. They don't have to go all the way down to the muscle like the original TT.
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Thanks Allie, I've been following your posts. I'm hoping for the day that you are much more mobile and able to have a more enjoyable life. My TT and skin graph is all healed so I'm getting ready to start posting for my GSV procedure. I have the money & go to my free information seminar on Aug. 9th.
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I have a dog eat on one side from my TT and I planned to have that lipoed under local anestetic but I had bronchitis and had to cancel (Oct. 2013) then I had to make an emergency trip to Florida and take care of my Mom (she has dementia) while her care giver was in the hospital for 2-1/2 weeks, then came our BAD winter in Michigan and the dog eat didn't get taken care of. Since it's been 16 mos. since my original TT I don't expect my PS to fix this one area. I'm hoping with GSV I'll lose weight and it'll look okay. My stomach is still very tight so I don't forsee needing a revision. I agree Lauren that a revision would be nothing after the original TT.
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I have to tell you, after having had a tummy tuck myself 2 months ago, you must be one of the most positive, strong ladies ever! I'm so sorry you had all these problems, but you look fantastic and your inner beauty just shines through in your photos. Thanks for being an inspiration, and I hope all the complications are behind you so you can at last enjoy the benefits of your tummy tuck. I'm in awe of your attitude through all that awful pain.
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I was scheduled to have a lipo touch-up October 22nd but I currently have bronchitis and Dr. Alfonso thought it would be best to wait until I quit coughing constantly. Plus I was reminded this may be minor surgery but I will heal better once I'm all well again. I've been rescheduled for mid-November. This will involve lipo on my right hip and the end of my TT scar which sticks out some instead of laying flat. This is evident in my Drs. after pictures (some of the last ones I posted). I don't contour but instead it looks like a block of wood (to me) sticking out. I'm sure I'll have new pictures after that is done.
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Hi Happy, Been thinking about you. I'm glad you are better, I hope everything is good with your latest surgery. I have had some health issues and have not been posting much, but I still want to see the "new you" when it's all said and done.
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Hello Happy, I did not have internet for awhile and I never stopped thinking about you. I just came back to R.S and first thing I am doing is seen your progress. It is just AWESOME. I am simply SOOOOOO PROUD OF YOU!!!! Keep the good work with the exercise and good healthy diet and you will be even happier. Keep in touch!!!!
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Glad you're doing so well!!! It was such a long journey, very happy for you!
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Thank you. It feels good to feel wonderful again.
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You look fantastic! I'm so happy for you and that you are healing so great! It's so awesome to be rid of the apron! And you aren't even done healing! Wonderful!
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You look so happy and svelte. This has been such an amazing journey.
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Thanks. I still weigh 225 I still need to lose alot of weight but atleast I'm done with all that excess flab thru my middle.
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I know what you mean I have the same problem. Weight is the same I am doing double water aerobic classes 5 days a week for over a month now and today started doing sprints with my walk. Next week I will start back on my smoothies they really helped with my hot flashes too. Good luck
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Wow the before and after a day it all! Amazing! My friend went for a Tt consult with my ps and he turned her away saying all her belly fat could only be reduced with diet and exercise also and it is very similar to that upper stomach thickness you have. That's the genetic belly fat that causes so any problems. Your progress has been relentless and I know you will conquer this too! Looking awesome! Cheers
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Oops before and after pictures say it all
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I can feel your friends pain. The Dr. never told me this fat was below the muscle until after the TT. He still removed a bunch front with tightening my underneath muscles 4" and removing that blob & lots of lipo to my back. Would a TT and lipo help her with those problems? I'm sure she's very upset over that info.
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Yes I agree. I'll never have a model body since I still weigh 225# but I'm soooo much happier without that blob and all the back fat that's been removed.
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Ha most of us will never have a models body thank god who would want to be soo feeble! My friend was happy because it meant she didn't have to have a surgery and she was in control, man too bad we weren't so lucky? Respect your self and recognize how great you look! Xoxoxo
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