Happy birthday to me! I'm having my procedure done the day after my 41st birthday. Beachbound in May!
Info about me: I'm almost 41 - 5ft, 8 inches tall...
I'm almost 41 - 5ft, 8 inches tall and weigh between 150-155 on any given day. I work in an office, managing a construction company. I have four grown children (no c-sections) and three grandbabies. My husband is very supportive about my decision to have this plastic surgery. He is just worried that he won't be able to help me when I'm hurting, as I seem to have a low pain threshhold.
I've had a breast augmentation with breast lift back in late 2004. It was quite painful but I never had a moment of regret. Would do it again in an instant.
I don't have fat everywhere, just around my mid section. During my second pregnancy I gained extra weight above my butt - my shelf as I call it - and I'm hoping to get more definition in my rear by having lipo to remove that area of fat.
During the procedure, Dr. Truesdale will also perform a full tummy tuck with minimal lipo to the abdomen - as much as can be done when performing at T.T. - and a lot of liposuction on my flanks. Dr. T. says that is my weakest area and I will probably lose 3" to 4" from that, by itself.
After three consultations, I chose Dr. Truesdale of GPSA because he really seemed to care the most. He gets up close and personal, standing behind you in front of a full-length mirror and actually grabs your fat within his hands and shows you what he's going to remove and how it will look. A nurse is present the entire time he's with you. He is also very hands on with phone calls and emails about every concern you have and his prices are very, very reasonable. Plus, he is the only doctor that ever offered me names and numbers of his past patients that I was able to call and talk to, who had had the same procedure. He's the kind of doctor who will see you out and about and take time to speak with you and see how you're doing, not just walk on past without a word. I went to him upon recommendations from other ladies in my area that I found out about through a stylist at my hair salon. They've all been very happy with his work and I'm hoping I will be too!
Four more days and counting...bought most of the...
I didn't sleep a wink last night. My doc says it's positive energy and that I need to drink plenty of water and eat/drink pineapple for the swelling. I literally tossed and turned every minute of the night after something woke me up at 2am. I kept my baby from sleeping but he didn't care. He just felt bad for me. I get up at 6:45am, and he knows how much I like my sleep. Man I hope the rest of this week flies by! Come on Friday!
D.O.S 3/2/12 (Day of Surgery) 9:45 AM - Arrived...
9:45 AM - Arrived at surgeons office
10:00 AM - Signed consent forms for T.T. & Lipo
10:15 AM - Took anti-nausea and Valium type pills
10:30 AM - Put on bikini - Doc outlined it and marked all areas he would be working on
10:40 AM - Couldn't walk a straight line if I wanted to, hubby said I looked drunk
10:45 AM - Nurses prepped me for surgery
11:00 AM - Surgery began
2:30 PM - Woke up :) Thank you, Lord! In total pain :(
2:15 PM - Walked to recovery, pain intensified
2:30 PM - Couldn't take anymore, started crying and they put Demerol in my IV :)
2:45 PM - Pain went from down from about an 8 to a 2 or 3
2:50 PM - With help from the nurse, I was able to go pee
3:00 PM - Nurse wheeled me to car and followed us to motel (we live 65 mis away)
3:15 PM - Nurse stayed with me till Baby got back with drinks and food
3:30 PM - Pain was returning, I felt like I pulled all of the muscles between my rib cage when I tried to scoot up higher in bed - even with help, it's easy to hurt yourself so I tried one Hydrocodon but ended up having to take a second (1-2 prescribed)
3:45 PM - Ate a Wendy's cheeseburger, slowly :) to help with meds
4:00 PM - Spent about an hour texting and catching up with friends & fam - even talked with Amber (bejeweled) on the phone - hope your burning is subsiding, girl!
4:30 PM - Went pee again
4:35 PM - Got very comfy with wedge & pillows behind me & one on each side to prop my arms up on that really works!
5:30 PM - Fell asleep eating a cracker, found it in bed later
7:00 PM - Woke up, pain started returning
7:45 PM - Took more meds
8:00 PM - Propped up on pillows with icepack on lower back - yes, it's already hurting - got my tablet out to play on the internet and everything is quite alright at this point
9:50 PM - Finally finished typing this update and about to eat a McDonalds parfait & lay back down
All in all, I definitely don't regret it at this point. Go back to doc tomorrow at 9:00 AM, and hopefully get to see his work!
P.O. Day 1 It has been a great day all in all....
It has been a great day all in all. Saw my doctor at 9AM and he said I'm ahead of the curve. Had hubby take pics while the binder was off - posting them now. Slept pretty good through the night but woke up at 5:15 AM feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest and ribs. I believe it was because my neck was getting a crick in it from being propped up so long and sometime during the night I had slid down from the pillows and was laying flat. It hurt so bad I wanted to cry so hubby got me in a sitting position and after a few minutes I began to feel much better. Played on the computer a while and went back to sleep till time to get ready for follow up visit.
Doc said he lipo'd out 800 cc's of fat. Doesn't sound like much but we'll see. I'm starting to feel pain from the liposuction on my butt - like bruising. And pain is starting to settle in overall but it's very tolerable with meds. Doc suggested I start taking one Hydrocodon every 2-3 hours instead of two every 4 hours. He also said I could use Tylenol if needed, and that Tylenol PM would be fine to help me sleep if I need it but that I need to drink lots of water with all of the Acetaminophen I'd be adding. He also said he did a conventional amount of muscle repair from top to bottom and that my lower ab area was worse than upper. The gap was approx an inch wide. He's very caring and considerate, helped me back to the car and made sure I was comfortable. He even sent me an email shortly after we left telling me how great I looked an wished us a safe trip home. I'm supposed to go back to see him next Thursday if nothing serious comes up between now and then.
I slept most of the way home, and once there had to climb 10 stairs to my bedroom. That wasn't too bad, just wore me out a bit so I rested in the recliner while Baby put my hospital bed together. OMG - this thing is so wonderful. It's electric so I can incline the back into the up position and the bed sits high enough for me to get in and out all by myself! I'm even getting up and down from the potty by myself with the help of my shower chair handles.
My doctor told me that I can take showers whenever I want, even though I've read on here that many people weren't able to take them until their drain came out but he said I could do what the internet says or listen to him, my choice, haha. Apparently it's not a big deal if they get wet, according to him anyway. I only have one drain in, not two.
Overall, still feeling pretty decent and very thankful that I woke up and am recovering nicely. Oh, and I found the hospital bed on Craigslist and ended up getting it for $25. People had them posted all the way up to $500 but this lady was asking $50 for an electric hospital bed in excellent condition. I sent her an email last week saying that if she didn't get any better offers that I would like to offer her $25. She wrote me back that night and said she'd take it!
P.O. Day 2 I've slept a lot today. Hard to...
I've slept a lot today. Hard to keep my eyes open and concentrate on things so I just close them and drift off into lala land again. My kids and grandson came by to visit and that was great. I was wide awake and aware and the time seemed to fly. I thought they were here for about 30 minutes and after they left, Baby told me they had been here for nearly two hours!
I'm getting up and about on my own, but only for bathroom trips. My right hip bone is super sore on the front. I've been icing it down as well as my backside. Don't know if it's because that is the side I get out of bed on, and have to lean up to wipe from or if it's because of the lipo. Doc said I did have a more predominant side that needed more lipo so that could be why, too.
No new pics today, sorry. My sis is on her way to bring us some food. Thanks for reading, Lydia :)
P.O. Day 3 It has been a good day. I'm not as...
It has been a good day. I'm not as active as some on here seem to be. Still just getting up to go to the potty or sometime sit in the recliner when I have company. But each time I do get up, it hurts less and less.
FIRST BM: Around 10:00 I thought I needed to go - felt like my compression garment was a really tight seat belt but once I got on the toilet I couldn't go. Less than an hour later, it worked but good! Hubby was sleeping so that was nice. I have been extra hungry. I don't know if it's from the surgery or from just nibbling on little things often instead of real meals.
FIRST SHOWER: Took a shower around 4:00. Felt good and went very easily with my shower chair, a handheld sprayer and the big band around my neck to hang the drain on. Hubby washed my hair and helped me dry off then I let everything air dry on my belly for about 45 minutes before replacing gauze padding.
I'm not taking the meds quite as often, nor sleeping near as much but I'm feeling stronger and stronger everyday. Wishing the best for all my healing friends on here!
P.O. Day 4 Hi all! Today started out rough. ...
Hi all! Today started out rough. When I first woke up to go pee this morning around 8AM, I felt like I was going to pass out when I got to the toilet. I thought I was literally going to hit the floor. I called for my husband but he was asleep and I did not yell loud enough to wake him. I had pulled the binder off on the way to the toilet so at this point I simply thought I needed to get back to bed as quick as possible. So as I rushed myself into the bed, I felt an ouchie, like something pulled inside, but that's not the first time. I laid there with no binder on and fell back to sleep for two hours.
When I awoke again, I had eaten some strawberry oatmeal crispies before getting out of bed. This time I made it into the bathroom alright but had a hard time standing up for him to put the binder back on and ended up sitting down to do it. We decided it was probably low sugar so I ate a chocolate peanut butter moon pie cookie, then had some lunch and drink and haven't had that problem again. My doctor's nurse said that a lot of the gas pills and/or laxatives will also dehydrate you so that's something you have to compensate for or you'll experience the trouble I had.
Today was the first day my hubby went back to work. He didn't leave till about 10:30 and I slept for quite a while. I have been up and down a bit more, changed my own clothes, went downstairs and back up for exercise. Now he's on his way home and my other bffer is on her way to bring me a wonderful "first" cup of coffee! So all in all, the day turned out well.
Earlier I was asked about the pain from lipo vs the tummy tuck. I will try my best to put it in words.
1. The TUMMY TUCK does not seems to "hurt" so to speak. Not unless you pull something when moving, lifting, or getting up and down. I probably have more pain from where the drain actually protrudes from my body. Sometimes it gets in a bind, between your underwear, compression garment, pj's and a blanket, it happens. It's an open sore basically, with stitches around it to hold the drain tube in but it's not that bad. Just like a pinch or sting with a little tug, no biggie. It's very similar to the "bee stings" I felt the first day or two from the stitches I have on each but cheek from the lipo cannula sites. The inside of your belly is so tight that even when you do feel like you need to pass gas, you cannot push it out because it hurts and you feel like you will stretch, pop or damage something. That's the discomfort most people talk about.
2. The LIPO sites can become quite sore, although I don't feel it when I'm taking the pain meds. I can definitely tell where he did more aggressive lipo, on my right side near the front of my hip bone, and because I'm sitting on it all day long - the butt shelf area, too. I've had to put ice on those locations every day. It seems like the more active I am, and if I forget to take the meds on schedule that it really starts hurting. It' like an aching bruised area, as if you ran into a concrete wall at full speed. But I wouldn't rank it higher than a 3, maybe a 4 on the pain scale of 1 to 10. I just pop a pill, put some ice on it and it goes away.
3. The OTHER aches and pains include my tailbone, which always hurts when I sit on it too much and with the lipo above it - uggghhh. Also, my neck cricks and cramps from, again, laying down all day. And mostly just the gas pressure, when you've done all of this trauma to your stomach, eating and filling it up and taking all of the medications, it seems to fill up but it's very hard to release it. Like you've got a stopper plugging you up and pushing just feels different and scary so you just develop this horrible bloated pressure pain. That's probably the worst pain I've had with the entire recuperation process, after the initial waking up pain.
Hope that helps - posting a couple more pictures of my outlook. No body pics to post today, I don't see the surgeon until Friday (he rescheduled) now so I probably will not see myself without dressings and tape until then. He said if my belly button packing came out that it was okay, just start putting neosporin on it. So I might check that out tomorrow. Honestly, I'm kind of scared to see it, lol.
P.O. Day 5 Best day yet! I spent a lot of time...
Best day yet! I spent a lot of time (like maybe 2 hours in total) up and about, walking around the house, fixing my own lunch, even took another shower AND shaved my legs & underarms!!! I took a 3-hour nap in between activities. Still have a healthy appetite. Eating lots of fruit and getting my Vitamins B & C, Bromelain, Arnica and taking my beloved Evening Primrose Oil. Finished my antibiotic this morning and with only two Hydrocodon's left, I'm going longer and filling in with tylenol in it's place.
I feel like I could do a lot more if I pushed myself but I want to give my body all of the rest and fuel it needs to create the energy I will need to prepare me for reality next week.
Finally saw my belly button today and I HATE IT!!! I know it will look better when it heals but it's absolutely disgusting and deformed looking right now. It simply has to heal right :(
P.O. Day 6 Back pain, back pain, back pain. ...
Back pain, back pain, back pain. Worried that I may not be able to go back to work next Monday. Everyday gets better in some ways but there are setbacks that come with each progress step. At this rate of progress, I don't feel like I'll be able to go back on Monday. But tomorrow I plan on trying to drive to Greensboro (with my husband in the car) for my doctor's appointment tomorrow, to see if I can do it. Then with two more days, we will see what's to come. More later...
P.O. Day 7 Amazing what getting out of the...
Amazing what getting out of the house will do for ya! The Bradford Pears have bloomed while I was down and out, lol! It has been a great day, starting with getting up & showering by myself, putting makeup on for the first time and having a wonderful trip out in the sunshine to see the doc. He DID NOT TAKE MY DRAIN OUT. BOO!!! Said he wants the color of the fluid to be amber and not red as it still is. Plus, he doesn't like to take them out until the levels are below 15-20 CC's per day.
He did clean me up and said everything is healing just right. Still thinks I'm ahead of the curve and was quite alright with me returning to work on Monday. When he first removed the tape from the incision he thought it had come open right in the middle but it ended up just being dried blood. After checking it and letting me take a few pictures, he sprayed some glue on the belly button and incision, which is also waterproof and then taped some gauze back over it.
Then we stopped for lunch at IHOP, came home and I slept for three hours, haha! Good day!
P.O. Day 11 As the two week mark quickly...
As the two week mark quickly approaches since my lipo & tummy tuck surgery, I am happy to say that I am FINALLY feeling better. Not perfect, sometimes pretty great and sometimes not, but definitely better. I realized over the past couple of days that I haven't used an icepack since maybe the sixth day out. I've mastered the art of showering, doctoring & dressing alone. Still cursing this damned old drain #!boo-boo-hiss-hiss!# and hoping I will get it out at tomorrow morning's appointment, but worried that I won't. It's so hard to dress appropriately for work when you're trying to conceal a bloody rubber bulb. Maybe I'll turn it into an accessory for Thursday's big client meeting if it's still with me then, lol.
My hyper-sensitive tailbone was suffering the most from so much time spent laying on it, but once my baby modified an old soft pillow into a donut for me last Friday, things have been swell. I still haven't graduated to the big people's bed, but I'm hoping to when I get the drain out. I seem to feel safer in the hospital bed that keeps me pretty much in one position.
I returned to work on Monday (10 days P.O.) and found out it wasn't near as bad as I had dreaded it to be. I washed and prepped my hair the night before so all I would need to do in the morning would be my makeup, getting dressed and minor hair touch-ups. Once at work, I had quite a few things to catch up on and the time seemed to pass quickly since I was so busy. Although I had my husband and son deliver my recliner to a spare room in my office, I didn't get much of a chance to rest. As soon as I got into it, around 1:00, the phone started ringing and I just couldn't relax enough to rest. I work 9A to 6P but ended up leaving around 5:20. I ate leftovers for lunch so I didn't leave at any point during the day. My hipbone started hurting badly late afternoon and it took about 2 hours for the Tylenol to kick in. I was pretty tired when I got home and took a short nap while my daughter brought groceries over and cooked supper for us. All in all, I think getting back to work is helping a lot, because today I feel stronger and better than ever. I'm able to keep the binder on tighter without feeling tortured and I'm walking straighter and straighter.
Still not happy with my ugly belly button. I think he took the stitches out too soon. He left a couple in - just clipped them - and that side (my left) of the belly button is bigger and gaping open which makes me think the final result will look lopsided and weird. I know it's a crap shoot with belly buttons, but I don't feel like it will be a nice little round one. What do you think? (new b.b. pics posted) Of course it will better than the original, I hope...
P.O. Day 12 DRAIN & PAIN FREE AT LAST!!! You...
DRAIN & PAIN FREE AT LAST!!! You cannot imagine how liberating it is to have the drain gone. My fluids were down to 15-20 cc's per 24 hour period and the color was turning from red to amber so my P.S. removed the drain this morning. He gave me some sterile cotton swabs and asked me to clean it out with peroxide daily and if it punctured the wound when I stick the swab in, that that would be good to allow any remaining fluid to drain out. My next follow-up visit is in 4 weeks.
Went straight home to try on "Pre-TT" jeans - they fit!!! They are a pair of Sonoma "mom" jeans that sit high on your waist, size 10 that I used to wear on my fat days. I was going to throw them out - glad I didn't! You know I'll be trying on tons more when I get home this evening :) :) :)
P.O. Day 13 For the record, yesterday - my 12th...
For the record, yesterday - my 12th day after surgery - was the biggest turning point in my recovery. Not only was my drain finally removed, which was completely liberating, but it was also the first day that I was able to walk upright without any back pain for at least 90% of the day. I didn't take any naps and still had enough stamina to carry me through to nighttime. With the exception of the tightness and occasional swelling, I feel close to normal again. Unbelievable! It's simply amazing to go from laying around like a slug and feeling like you will never-ever be the person you used to be, to finding yourself again, literally overnight. :)
P.O. Day 18 I feel so fortunate! I'm able to...
I feel so fortunate! I'm able to do everything I did before surgery with the exception of bathing and lifting heavy objects. I'm starting to really see results and so are others. Belly button is still oozing daily but it's healing nicely. I can really see where it's all going now and just can't wait to start exercising. Gotta get ready for the beach!
P.O. Day 19 Better pictures! Had to put on...
Better pictures! Had to put on matching unders :)
P.O. Day 22 So, I haven't taken the tape off my...
So, I haven't taken the tape off my scar yet. It itches sometimes, especially at the ends over the hip bones but I'm trying to be patient and keep it on as long as I can. My belly button still oozes a lot and I'm starting to get little bumps, like a rash around it from the tape and junk but I think it's healing up pretty nicely. We finally made love on Thursday night, three weeks out, because I was scared to hurt anything too soon, but I think everything's okay. In the middle of the night I woke up and felt like I'd worked out - done a bunch of sit ups - but that passed soon, and the next day my back ached a few times when standing a while but other than that, I'm doing great. Starting to see results and that makes me happy :) :) :) Hoping my left side catches up to the right someday.
P.O. 5 Weeks I'm loving the new look - went on...
I'm loving the new look - went on a sales call in a short dress yesterday and felt fabulous! Scar and belly button healing, slowly but surely. I've ordered a silicone scar strip and will feel so much better when I get it on! I hate how my panties rub it and it's so hard to keep anything on it for a length of time. Otherwise, feeling great!
P.O. 7 Weeks & 3 Days Hi Everybody! Sorry I've...
Hi Everybody! Sorry I've been MIA - life has just been so busy. Work and play, all is back to normal now. At my 6 week checkup, doc said I'm healing extremely well, and fast. Thta most ppl don't see this kind of results for 3 months or more, with all of the nerves, fibers and tissues being traumatized. I owe it mostly to my good health, natural supplements and positive outlook. But I've had tremendous support from my loving family, (especially Baby!) super great friends and wonderful co-workers, not to mention a funny & talented surgeon :)
The first thing Dr. Truesdale said when he came in the room was, "I'm mad at you." I was shocked! Then he said, "You haven't sent me a message in over two weeks!" I guess I drove him nuts there for a while, worrying to death about every little thing, lol. But anyways, he cleared me for exercise - YAY! And I don't have to go back until August, at six months P.O.
I'm posting my before pics that he gave me - GAG - and new scar shots. Happy Healing all my R.S. Friends!!!
Want a little TMI FYI? When I snuck home from...
BABY: "Your tummy is looking sooo good, darling"
ME: "I never knew you looked at my belly"
BABY: "Of course I do"
GAGGGG!!!! They are SOOO visual :(
Thank God for Plastic Surgery :) :) :)
This doctor is amazing. He is very responsive and really cares. Everytime I contacted him with a concern, whether by email, phone, or even his personal cell, he responded within an hour - usually faster! He's had his Plastic Surgiacal practice in Greensboro since 1982 - so he's grandfathered - and, with an A+ rating from BBB. Had privileges at Moses Cone Hospital for just as long and when I did my homework, even calling the hospital to speak with staffing about his records, they highly recommended him and said they would go to him themselves if needing a procedure done. I would recommend Dr. Truesdale over & over again. Oh, and his prices are extremely reasonable. I had a tummy tuck with three areas of lipo for under $8,000! Best I could find in the North Carolina Piedmont area!