11/20/12- welcome to the flat side

After 3 kids, 19,16,13 and losing 100lbs I am...

After 3 kids, 19,16,13 and losing 100lbs I am shedding this fat skin suit once and for all!! November 20th will be my rebirth. I can't wait to look normal again. I will have a tummy tuck, lipo in several areas, and something I didn't expect...fat injections into my flat bum. I'm calling it flat to ghetto phat! Good call, Doc.

It's only been a week since I scheduled my surgery...

It's only been a week since I scheduled my surgery and already I can't stop thinking about it. I've read lots of blogs and watched a ton of videos on YouTube. I've enjoyed the video blogs of the journeys by these brave souls. From their consultation through their milestones they have given me a real inside peek at what I can expect. My thanks to all of them. If you haven't taken an opportunity to view some of these blogs and even the surgery itself, I would take the time to peruse YouTube.

Now I am finding myself in hunting and gathering mode. What do I need? What's the most effective scar therapy? Do I have enough pillows? Should i buy new underwear? LOL. It's kind of funny, actually. Now it's just counting down the days until my preop appointment and then surgery.

29 to go.

A weak to go for my preop appointment and three...

A weak to go for my preop appointment and three for T-Day! I get more excited the closer it gets. I also find myself thinking about the "what if" issues. My list of pre and post op supplies is growing steadily. Every day when I get home from work it's like Christmas. The Fed Ex and postman must grown every time he sees my address. I do love the convenience of online bargain shopping though. Hopefully this weekend I will post some preop pictures. I must admit that I've been procrastinating about that part of my journey. Happy recovery to those that have made it to the flat side.

22 days to go! Like everyone else the anticipation...

22 days to go! Like everyone else the anticipation is driving me insane. I do enjoy the back and forth support and encouragement that this site offers. Next week I have my preop and write the big check. For all my fellow November TTers, keep the faith and the sanity if you can and for all those who've made it, be well and happy recovery.

5 days to preop and 19 for TT-day! I'm so anxious...

5 days to preop and 19 for TT-day! I'm so anxious and excited. I think I have just about everything I need and now I am redecorating my bedroom to give me something to concentrate on and to have a new cozy room to recover in!

The dreaded befores are finally posted. Preop is...

The dreaded befores are finally posted. Preop is Tuesday so I have 16 days left. It's so exciting. Finished redoing my bedroom which was a brief distraction so now I am back to obsessing!

Preop in the morning and T-minus 13 days. I have...

Preop in the morning and T-minus 13 days. I have been really stressing this visit since they will be testing my hemoglobin and I have a chronic iron deficiency causing anemia. I have been so diligent about taking all my vitamins. I would be crushed if I had to reschedule to get my hemoglobin up. Grrr. Whatever will be, will be I suppose. Keeping the fingers crossed. Transferred my funds from savings to checking so I can write that big 'ole check!!

Preop-check. RX's- check. CG-check. Big fat...

Preop-check. RX's- check. CG-check. Big fat check-check!! It's so real now. I can't wait!! T-minus 13!

I can't believe I only have 10 days left! It's so...

I can't believe I only have 10 days left! It's so exciting. I tried on the CG my DR gave me for after the surgery and it really wasn't that bad. I noticed my allergies are starting to bother me. Lots of sneezing so I'll hit the antihistamines. My preop went well. I feel more and more comfortable with the process and my Doc. He did say that I had the worst case of excess skin he had seen. That was demoralizing. I know it shouldn't be. I know the skin is a badge of honor in that its taken me four years of hard work to get to this point but it was still hard to hear. Anyway, in 10 days I will be taking a little siesta and waking up with a flat tummy and NO more skin!! I hope it's as cathartic as I think it will be. Happy healing to all.

I can't believe TT is in 7 days!! I'm getting so...

I can't believe TT is in 7 days!! I'm getting so excited. I'm starting to get a little nervous about recovery. I'm pretty good with pain and have always considered myself to have a high threshold but I read so many issues with not being up to snuff by end of PO week 2. I will be returning to work and while I manage production people I am still running all over the facility to keep things on track. I'm up and down and in and out of my office all day long. I also will have to dress in things other than sweats/PJ/Yoga pants. So just a little nervous about all of that. I'm sure I will work it out. And, my excitement outweighs my nervousness!!

5 days to go!! I can't wait for Tuesday!!

5 days to go!! I can't wait for Tuesday!!

Three days to go. This week has been bittersweet...

Three days to go. This week has been bittersweet for me. Four and a half years ago my best friend and I started this journey to change our lives together. We shared so much for so many years of our lives and were happy to have one another for support. Davi had her GB surgery about three months before I did. We went to DR appointments together. Planned out our recoveries together and eventually lost all of our weight together. Two years ago, on Thanksgiving Day and her 37th birthday, she died unexpectedly. While I know, without a doubt, she is cheering me on and would be so pleased I finally made it I can't help but wish she were here ending this journey with me. I miss her dearly. Because I'll be in recovery mode on her birthday I will stop by the cemetery this weekend to pay her a visit. While she won't be here in body, her spirit is always with me and I know she'll be watching over me. I love you, girl!

I can't believe that this month has flown by so...

I can't believe that this month has flown by so fast. I remember thinking how slowly the countdown to T-day was going. I go to work tomorrow and tie up all my loose ends, make sure my staff is fully prepared to be get through the next couple of weeks without me. After that we hit the road! My surgeon is about 60 miles from where I live and because I have to be there so early we have decided to spend the night in a nearby hotel. I will also spend Tuesday night so that I'm not stuck driving back down on my PO day one visit. So exciting!! Tomorrow will either fly by or take forever. I can't wait.

Tomorrow is the big day!

Tomorrow is the big day!

I'm at the surgery center. Waiting on Doc to mark...

I'm at the surgery center. Waiting on Doc to mark me up. I'm not as nervous as I was yesterday. Just a short nap away from the flat side.

Day 2 PO and today was better than yesterday. Made...

Day 2 PO and today was better than yesterday. Made it downstairs. Had a better shower. Had my first real food ( scrambled eggs and multigrain toast.) swelling like mad. The garment is a nightmare to put on but I do feel better with it. I go tomorrow to get my drain out hopefully. I find myself snapping at my husband. He is too slow, too fast,
too rough, not anticipatory enough. It's terrible. This has been really kind of physically demanding on him too. I can see he's weary from not enough sleep and trying desperately to not get frustrated with me. He is good to me. I'm hoping to feel a little bit better tomorrow and more each day. The fat injections have been very painful. It make it very hard to stay in one position long. Of course there is no other position to move to so I just do the best I can to shift weight. But I'm thankful that I'm here and that I can be with my family. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Post op day 3- just got my drain out. It wasn't...

Post op day 3- just got my drain out. It wasn't too bad. The lowest part of my incision is red and tender. Doc wants to watch it for signs of infection. It may just be that it's from being the spot that's pulled the tightest. I've had nothing but Tylenol this morning for pain. If I continue to feel better pain wise I shouldn't need any more narcotics. Today everything just feels tight. Like I'm wearing a girdle that is four times to small. Once, I'm up and moving I feel ok but if I sit too long or lie down I get pretty stiff again. Coughing is miserable but I keep hacking up gunk I know I need to get out. I am at least able to curl up tighter so it hasn't been too bad. My incision is so low on my tummy. Much lower than I've seen in other pictures and lower than I anticipated. It's uncomfortable to wear pants right now. I don't like anything grazing that area. I do want to thank the makers of my CG for making it crotchless. If I were one of the unlucky people who had to undo it before going, holy hell! I do look forward to being able to switch from full CG to binder.

Post Op day 5- a little rough last night and this...

Post Op day 5- a little rough last night and this morning. Yesterday was my first day off the pain meds and on ibuprofen so last night I had a little more trouble sleeping. This morning I just feel super stiff. I was able to shower and redress in my CG last night all by myself so that was an accomplishment. I laid down briefly yesterday afternoon but didn't sleep and through that I realized the more 'up' I am the more hunched I get throughout the coarse of the day. When I went to lie down I felt like I was really stretching and tugging at the incision even though that's the exact same position I've been in since day of. I'm guessing this is going to be a battle for a while to try and find the happy medium so I'm not suffering from being up or down for too long. I'll try lying down a couple of times today to see if that helps. I just really hate feeling confined. I don't seem to have too much of an appetite. It's increased some but I don't feel like I'm eating all that much. I'm tempted to get on the scale every time I go to the bathroom but I keep telling myself that its pointless with all of the swelling. I do find myself eager to try on a pair a jeans just to see how differently they fit but the thought of going through that,physically, prevents that. The first time, I want to be able to stand up straight and tall(5'3 hehe) and really see Doc's handy work though. I'll wait. OH! I went #2 yesterday. The stool softened weren't helping so I took a womens laxative and waited. It wasn't too bad. I don't know if this is normal because of how low my scar is in front but man I can't stand anything touching my pubs. I'm not wearing underwear and have to keep my pants low slung so there is no brushing in that region. The skin numbness thing, kinda weird. Throughout the day, and right now, I get those pin prickling feelings in different areas of my abdomen. My guess is those are the nerves trying to wake themselves and repair. It looks like I am gonna have the beastly dog ears too. Doc says if that's the case he will fix them in his office free of charge. All in all I do feel like the discomfort is worth it. I went into this saying I just want to look normal again. Don't care about bikinis or a model body, just wanna look normal. I feel like what I have now, excluding the obvious, is normal so I have to be pleased with that.

Post op Day 5 (got a day ahead of myself...

Post op Day 5 (got a day ahead of myself yesterday)--made it another day. The Ibuprofen seems to be enough to help with the minimal pain. Mostly I just have a lot of tightness that makes getting comfortable difficult. Still hunched and haven't seen a lot of improvement in that area. I get fatigued so easily so I've decided to double my iron for a bit. (I have chronic iron deficiency). I'm now in swell hell. It reminds me of being nine months pregnant, uncomfortable, swollen, and unable to just take a normal breathe. On the flip side showering felt better today and loosened everything up for a bit. It is still tiring and slow. My steri strips are coming off so I am putting neosporin on the visible incision lines. Aside from feeling really hard, I think it looks ok. My BB seems to be heeling nicely. I believe I get those stitches out on Wed when I go to the DR. My butt feels REALLY hard. It's still sore. I'm reserving judgement on that part because I really haven't been able to get a good look at those results. I think the fat injections probably added a good degree of discomfort to my recovery so I hope I like what I see.

1 week post op- feeling better daily. Sleeping is...

1 week post op- feeling better daily. Sleeping is terrible. I'm a stomach sleeper so this back sleeping is for the birds. Even to curl up on my side would be a dream but its a no go at this point. I've only been out of the house once since surgery and that was to go to a PO visit. Today I'm going to shower and attempt a short trip to get some Christmas lights. I have another PO appointment tomorrow and want to make sure I'll be ok driving myself. I'm hoping to get the belly button stitches out tomorrow. I'm also going to try wearing a binder after my shower while I wash my CG. I hope it's not too uncomfortable. Wish me luck!

PO day 9. Feeling blue the last couple of days but...

PO day 9. Feeling blue the last couple of days but still pleased with my results so far. Physically getting stronger each day, though.

PO day 13. BB stitches out and it looks good....

PO day 13. BB stitches out and it looks good. Physically I feel good. Still sore in the lipo areas and at a few different spots along my incision. I still feel pretty bottom heavy. My trunk is still swollen. I'm curious to see how much of my butt injections will survive. Right now, buns of steel is an understatement. They are HARD! Once in a while I get burning sensations at different locations. It feels like my skin is going to burst open. It's odd, though because its not in areas where there is an incision. The itching beneath the skin is totally bizzare. To not be able to feel the scratching can get a little annoying but it's all part of the healing process.

Day 18 PO- still pretty swollen. I think the DR...

Day 18 PO- still pretty swollen. I think the DR may have removed my drains way too soon. It has gone down some, though. My preop clothes now fit although some are a smudge snug. I do like the way I look in clothes and that makes me happy I did it. My scar seems to be healing well and I'm getting some feeling back in my tummy. My belly button looks good and seems to be healing nicely. My dr said I could stop wearing the CG after two weeks so I switch off and on with some spanxs. I prefer the CG, though it makes me feel more supported. I am able to lie flat for the most part. I can sleep briefly on my sides but I always end up on my back by morning. I'm a side/tummy sleeper so that is surprising. My body wants to stretch automatically in the mornings before I get out of bed and once in a while I will forget and go a bit too far. Ouch! I have returned to work and get a little achy throughout the day but its not too bad. I finally had my first allergy attack and found the sneezing to hurt but not as much as the coughing which is still a killer. Emotionally, I am ready to be normal again but I try not to get frustrated because this was my choice. At this point I am glad I did it but I'm still not certain I would do it again. I probably would, though. I think that's about it. Happy healing to all.
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

I found Dr. Swanson on Real Self and then did. Ton of research on him and a few other surgeons in my area. I felt pretty comfortable with him during the consultation. He was extremely thorough and explained what he thought I needed and didn't need. He let me pull out my list of questions and didn't make me feel rushed. He staff was extremely pleasant and shared their stories with me. Sarah is a godsend and even made a trip to my hotel the day of my surgery to check on me. She made my entire experience more comfortable and you can tell she loves, and believes in, what she does.

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
4 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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