So I am a 47 year old mom of six kids. I think I...

So I am a 47 year old mom of six kids. I think I look not bad for having six kiddos. But......I've got extra skin from being stretched 6 times, I guess. I work out 6 days a week (cardio kickboxing) and eat very healthy. I've got muscle tone and good core strength, but I don't think anything is going to change my baby belly. From straight on, not bad. But from the side and bending over, you can see the issue. I feel somewhat weird for wanting a tt when I weight 125 pounds....but the skin really bothers me. Wish hard work could get me a flat stomach, but it ain't happening. Not sure if I need just skin tightening, a mini tt.....or the full deal. Consults to come.

extended?

So, I"m looking at my paperwork that the Dr. gave me. It says "extended" tt. How far does that scar go around? He did mention that I had extra skin on my sides and flanks.......but didn't really go into that, other than to say I don't need any lipo. Is the extended going to help that area also?

We have a date!

Got my surgery date set: Nov. 4th!!!! Wow, that is not that far away. Pre-op is Oct. 24th. Now to start making lists.........lol!

A few more before pics.

Thought I'd take a few more shots to remind myself why I am doing this! I am getting excited now that it is so close.

Pre-op done!

Pre-op went great! Got all my meds, Arixtra injections, and all sorts of instructions. lol.
So happy, too, my ps agreed to tighten up the skin on the bottom of my left breast. I had a ba/lift a year ago, and a revision this last June. Still have too much extra skin on one side, so while I'm under he will take care of that too. Yeah! I feel a bit less anxious and just more excited after today. Only 10 days left!!!

Five days!!!!

The countdown has begun and the lack of sleep. I am nervous, excited....mostly preparing myself for the recovery. I know what it was like after my breast aug/lift....and I hear this is worse. Not looking forward to that. But in the meantime, I am cleaning my house like a fiend and stocking my freezer so hubby and kids can feed themselves for a bit. Don't think I can fit another casserole in there! Anyone have any good Netflix recommendations for the recovery period? I have decided to tell everyone that I am having hernia repair, which could actually be true, after having six kids! My first plan was the flu......but I don't think that will cut it. Actually saying I'm having surgery will make it easier to get out of the things I need to post op. I sure wish I could sleep!!!

It's done!

I am home.....actually got home a few hours ago, but promptly went to bed, propped by about 6 pillows and fell asleep. Hubby woke me after a couple hours b/c drains needed emptying. Got up (with help), walked hunchback around the house a few times, went pee (by myself!!!), and ate some soup. Feeling not too bad. Sore as heck and my throat is killing me. Grateful for the pain pump. Am taking Valium--haven't taken Oxy yet, but thinking I should soon as the effects of anesthesia wear off.....feeling more. I will attempt a pic. later........wish I could see something!

Here's me so far......

Well, you can't see much, but it's proof to myself that I actually did it! : )

Day two......woah!

When I first got home yesterday (after taking a good two hour nap) I thought....hmmm....I don't feel so bad. Maybe I won't even take an Oxycodone. Wrong. Today is pretty brutal. Guess everything wore off from the surgery and everything hurts todayl Not if I'm sitting still propped by about six pillows, but getting up, sitting down, walking, adjusting in the chair.....wow. I am staying on top of my pain meds and am ever so grateful for the pain pump right now. Also, very glad I worked out regularly. Can't imagine trying to get out of this recliner if my legs were not strong as they are, since I can't use my abs or left arm (had revision on m left boob, too). Really grateful for all those lunges and squats right now! lol. Looking forward to feeling a bit better tomorrow!

Day 4 - pain pump out and binder off

Well......I got to take the binder off and shower. What I'd been waiting for.......to see under that binder. Almost wish I'd kept the thing on. lol. What a mess! Still pretty bloody looking and lower ab swollen like I'm pregnant. Think I just won't look for awhile. ; ) Too early to get a good vision in my mind of what will be. Patience grasshopper!

Oooops

Ooops, forgot the photos. Dumb Oxycodone. ; )

One week check up

The drains are gone! Yeah! My ps said everything looks good. I can walk as much as I want. No bending, twisting or lifting heavy stuff. Still have to sleep with head and feet elevated--which was no surprise since I still walk hunched over. Next Mon. I get all the tape off, which will be nice since there is blood and gunk under there--will look so much nicer! My only complaint is my.....ummmm....nether region....it looks like someone put a balloon just above all my lady parts. Looks very strange............

Seroma

Well, found out at my 2 week check today I have a seroma. So....had to have it aspirated, which was not a lot of fun, I must say. I got very nauseous afterward, and had to lay down for a bit until it passed. The nurse said some people pass out.....nice. Anyway, have to call in 2 days and will probably have to have it drained again. On a more positive note, got all my tape off and the scar looks awesome. But I won't be losing the binder anytime soon.

No aspiration today!

Good news! The dr. said while there is still some fluid, it's not enough to warrant the risk of aspiration again. He's hoping my body will just absorb what's left. If there's more by Monday, I will have to go back in though. So fingers crossed. Also got the clear to switch to Spanx on Monday if the seroma is no worse! I'm very relieved!!!

2 week pics

Here are my 2 week pics. Drains and tape off. Lots of lower swelling, but I like my belly button.

3 weeks

Well....three weeks. Let's see. Cleared for Spanx, which I don't love.....but is better than cg. I've been trading off, depending on how I feel. Swelling--still bad, but better than week one for sure. Seroma.......had one aspiration and it seems it is getting better. So not calling the Dr. back....just waiting to make sure, but fingers crossed! I can sleep in bed now, with lots of pillows--even on my side, if I do it right. Still hit the recliner some nights just cause it's easier. Feeling like I can move better--more directions--more mobility in general. Cleared to keep walking and do squats and start bending and twisting just a little. Walking totally hunched when I wake up, but once I get going I can straighten pretty good. Still not 100 percent, but I don't look like a little old lady who threw out her back 24/7. Feeling much better.......but still so impatient for this swelling to abate. Patience is not my virtue.......so this is killer. lol. But I'm getting there. Pics are on a good day, swelling wise. The very next day, it got worse, but it's a back and forth thing.

4 weeks - swell hell firmly in place

Well, I wish I had a more positive review. But the swelling is still the most major player right now. Looking at my pic.....it even looks worse than before. Don't know if that's a normal thing, or not. On a more positive note, I have moved from the recliner to my bed full time now and can sleep on my side, which is nice. Not on my tummy yet. And I really like my belly button. Walking pretty good. Not all the way upright, but enough so that I don't look too weird. Starting to feel better, although by the end of the day, I'm pretty wiped out. Really waiting for some improvement in the swelling. At the moment, I am bigger than I was post op. Bleh.

forgot 2nd pic

5 weeks -

Woke up this morning and swelling was down--yeah!!! Thought I better snap a few pics. before I finish my coffee and the swelling is back. lol. At the moment, way better than last week. We will see what the end of the day brings. Even tried on a pair of pre-op jean shorts. They were on the big side pre-op, but I am pleased to be able to button them, even if they don't fit the same yet. They are too tight, and the waist band rubs my incision, so I could not actually WEAR them yet, but hey--from straight on in a picture, they look pretty dang good. A light at the end of the tunnel I will take for sure!

5 weeks - other pics

My computer will not let me do all the pics at the same time.......but here are the other 2 pics from this morning.

6 weeks finally!

Called my ps today, since I am 6 weeks and don't have an appointment till after Christmas. Here's the scoop: I can take a bath. Oh JOY!!!! I can keep walking and do low impact stuff, as long as I stay away from core involvement like knee lifts and kicks. (That leaves out Turbo Fire for a good long while, since the core is built into every aspect of that cardio). That's pretty much what I thought and what felt comfortable when I tried working out a couple of days ago. AND......I can ditch the Spanx. What?!!! She said I could go cold turkey, or wean myself off, whatever I felt comfortable with. She said it was up to me about the Spanx but at this point it's not medically doing any good. She said I could wear it to workout, though, and on days when swelling is flaring up.

So I took it off. It feels SO weird......I might wear it when I go out today--I don't know--I'll see how it goes. I wasn't expecting her to say just ditch it. I feel like I still have a lot of swelling and might still need it here and there.....we'll see.

Haven't taken a 6 week pic. yet....probably will tomorrow, although there's not much change from last week. Just happy to have some milestones, even if I look the same.

6 week pics

Here are 6 week pics, although they are about the same as week 5. There was nice improvement from week 4 to 5.....then I seemed to backslide just a wee bit. Waiting for the next big improvement....maybe next week! Overall, am pleased--just waiting for ken doll and lower belly swelling to get better.

Exercise and first ever bikini pic

I've worked out twice now.....have to say the second time went better. No lower belly pain this time. The issue right now is I can't do enough to break a real sweat. I'm doing a low impact DVD......but I'm not supposed to do anything that involves a lot of core. That leaves out knee lifts, kicks, twists, etc. So it's basically walking, marching, side stepping with some arms thrown in. Too low intensity for me to get a great workout, but I guess it's something. I cannot wait to get back to Turbo Fire! I'm dying to do some punching and kicking! lol.

Also, for fun, I took a bikini picture this morning b/c I woke up pretty flat. So.......for the first time in 47 years......here's me in a bikini! You can't see ken doll and lower gut swelling from the front, so I'm liking this picture! Morale here......while you are waiting for swelling to get better, take pictures from the front first thing in the morning! lol. Can't believe this picture is me! I was going to take a picture last night of how much I swell during the day, compared to morning. But I like this a whole lot better. : )

7 weeks and more swelling

Ugh. I am so ready to get off this swelling roller coaster. One morning this week, I woke up flatter than I've ever been. It lasted all of a half hour, but I am trying to really hold on to that day as a sign of what can be--hopefully what will be. Especially during times like the last couple of days when I feel like my swelling is worse than ever. I feel like I've gone back in time a month. And I am very much over leggings.

Almost 8 week doctor visit

So the first thing I asked about was...you guessed it....swelling. He said in another month, I'll be a lot happier. By my next appointment 2 months from now I won't be "done" but getting there. Love how he pinpointed when the swelling would end. lol. Interestingly enough, he kind of downplayed the salt thing. He said if you were salt sensitive to begin with, maybe.....but otherwise, just don't go crazy with it. No need for a low salt diet--by this point the kidneys should be able to process it. He said the swelling is there and seems so much worse later in the day b/c of normal stuff....food eating, activity, etc. I just notice it more b/c things are so tight. And it hurts b/c things are pushing out on tender tissue. My body will get better at regulating what I eat and things won't be so tender later. But the ridge swelling is still going to take a bit....along with the ken doll. It's the last 2 areas to go. He recommended Beano, of all things to help process things that can blow you up in general, like celery, broccoli, etc.

He also said wearing the Spanx can help with comfort if I am swelling bad, but that medically, it won't prevent or make swelling any less once it's there. But if it hurts and the Spanx help that, throw it on for awhile.

I am cleared for all exercise except straight up core stuff, like crunches and leg lifts. So Turbo Fire here I come! He did warn me to take it slow and that I might be sore.

I asked him if it ever happens that people end up bigger than before their tt. He laughed right out loud! He said, don't worry, we didn't add anything. You'll be able to wear your jeans again. When you start out thin, it takes longer to see results you love....b/c you can actually be bigger than pre-op for awhile. ("awhile", I guess, is ps speak for "months") But he assured me I would get back to wear I was.

I also asked him how much muscle separation I had--he said 8 centimeters. He said for a small person like me that's a pretty good gap! No wonder I now have a waist line for the first time since before kids over 18 years ago! Tangible evidence what six kids can do to you. lol.

So overall, things are good. Doesn't change the swell roller coaster, but good to know there's nothing wrong. Except that I need more patience.

8 weeks

Well, I won't bother with a picture, since I haven't really changed. : / Swelling is still back and forth. A couple of days of ok, then a few days of swell hell. Very much over it, and still, I know there is a long way to go. Thankfully, exercise doesn't seem to make it worse, which was one thing I was scared of.

Turbo Jam is going ok. I am doing all of the moves--kicks, knee lifts, twists, etc....just going slow and careful. Keeping kicks lower, not twisting full range, etc. I was a little sore in the abs, but nothing scary. Every time it gets a bit better and I am less tentative. Actually, broke a good sweat the last time and that felt good!

I am curious that the exercise doesn't make swelling worse. Everything I've read says it does. But so far, the days I exercise are good swelling days--maybe just a coincidence? Today I woke up pretty swollen, which always means trouble later on. I think I'll try working out to test the connection between good/bad swell days and exercise. I know what I'd normally look like tonight, based on this morning......we'll what happens when I work out on a bad swell day. I'll report back later. lol.

Not more swollen!

Update to exercise today. I am def. no more swollen than earlier. I am pleased as heck. I wouldn't say it helped the swelling I had earlier, but it didn't make it worse. Maybe if you've already been pretty active in general (and swelling in general from that), ramping up your exercise doesn't make swelling worse? Whatever....I'll take it!

Daily swelling.

Thought I'd show an example of the swelling rollercoaster. First thing in the morning starts pretty good. This pic. is the flattest I've seen, but every morning usually starts out ok. Then, later on........swelling comes. Yesterday was a good example b/c all I did was vacuum and it hit. Stayed that way the rest of the day. The swollen pic. is me yesterday morning after an hour of vacuuming. The flat pic. is upon waking this morning.

10 weeks

I wasn't going to do an update, but it's 10 weeks....so guess I will. Didn't take pics. b/c honestly there isn't a lot of changes. Still dealing with roller coaster swelling as the number one issue. But am getting tired of being a broken record, so will focus on the positive!

Ten week observations:

exercise - I can now do a full 45 minute cardio class full out. Still on Turbo Jam, but am going to move back up to Turbo Fire next week. Endurance not 100 percent, but I am happy with where I am.

Still hurts to sneeze, but not to laugh--unless I go crazy will an all out belly laugh, then it still does!

Sleeping on my side with only one fluffy pillow against my belly. No tummy sleeping yet.

I wake up flatter than I used to. Still swell at the drop of a hat, seemingly out of nowhere at times, but overall it is better.

I can wear jeans now. NOT my pre-op jeans, but slightly bigger, and very soft ones I bought. It will be a happy day when I can get into my pre-op jeans without a muffin top from swelling.

Still seem to get more tired than I think I should be at the end of the day, but better days are more often the case.

Below belly button still hard, but above is softening up. Below still numb. Feels like there is a very large grapefruit under my skin when I swell!

Overall, feeling pretty good. Willing myself more patience on the swelling front. I know it will end (or I am praying it does!) so trying not to complain every time it strikes lol.

I am so close to the point where a lot of gals say things really take a turn for the better......so am crossing fingers every day that I will soon be there!

11 weeks - waiting, waiting, waiting.......

So I have this secret fear. That this is my final result. I know it's not rational, but the swelling has gone on so long it feels like the new normal. My secret fear is that now that my upper belly is smaller, it is making my lower gut more prominent looking. And this is how it will be. Like I said.....just a fear. My HOPE is that it's still post op swelling and a flat tummy is still in my future. Here are 2 pics. One pre op....one tonight. Not exactly worth 8 grand yet. But I am hoping........

oooops!

So obviously that's not the right picture on the left. lol. That one is my flattest most flat morning, sucking in. Looks nice, though! I will try to find the right pre-op pic. Why can't we delete an edit, anyway?

trying another couple pre-ops

OK, think I have it figured out.....

Trying for the third time for the side by side. Left (dang, I hope) is the pre-op. Right is tonight.

12 Week Milestone

Well, made it to 12 weeks. I pretty much could take my 10 week update and copy and paste it. Or even my 8 week. The difference between 12 and 8 weeks is that now I can do a full Turbo Fire workout--full range of motion or about anything else, except for core targeting work like planks, leg lifts, crunches, etc. And exercise now does make me swell, probably b/c I've stepped it up. That's about the only change from a month ago. My ps told me at 8 weeks (when I complained about swelling) that in a month I would be "much happier" in a month. Well.....not so much. I really feel like I am in a holding pattern, at the moment, healing wise. For the most part, wake up feeling pretty ok, then swelling during the day with night being the worst. That's if I don't work out, vacuum, power shop at Costco, etc. If I am very active, the swelling is worse. It's a pattern I've gotten used to by now. Except for the week before my period, which is horrid, swelling wise. All of this swelling is better, thankfully, than a month post op----but not much different than a month ago. So again, still, my mantra is to wait. Wait for my pre-op jeans. Wait for the swelling roller coaster to end. Waiting for my appointment next month, when my ps mightl finally be right. And hoping I'm not writing a review a month from now saying all of this over again! lol.

Pre-op jeans!!! Twelve weeks and a day.

Finally!!!!! I can get in my pre-op jeans. It only took 12 weeks and a day. lol. I'm even going to attempt wearing them out......it's only for a couple hours, so it will be a good test. No idea if they will fit around ovulation time and am doubtful about the week before my next period, but hey.....you take the little steps, right?

So after a few hours........

I wore my jeans for 3 hours maybe. Came home, worked out, showered and took a picture. Sigh. Not exactly the look I had first thing this morning. But at least I wore them! Gonna wear something else now though, to go back out again. ; )

14 week - nothing new

I continue to live in hope that the swelling roller coaster will end. So far, it hasn't. I'm beginning to think it's going to take 6 months. I read a couple reviews where at 16 weeks, they saw big improvements, so I'm hoping for that--but not expecting anymore. Just waiting........Not taking pics. this time b/c there is no change. In a few days my worst time of month is coming up and I'll update to say if that's any different than last month's swell hell. Not really expecting it to be, since nothing's really changed in the last couple of weeks. Man.....I didn't think this was going to take this long.

Update on UPPER swelling?

So I am doing an update for my above the bb swelling. Which is funny, b/c I didn't even know I had upper ab. swelling. lol. A couple of days ago, I reached down to scratch an itch and felt a flatness below my bra line that was not there before. WTH? I was swollen? It was a pretty dramatic and almost sudden change. I had a couple of small rolls right below my bra line (when I sit) ever since the uppers have softened up, but I figured that was just how it was going to be. But it went away this week! Now if my lower abs would follow suit, that would be great! I know the lower abs are the last to go, though. Don't know if you'll be able to see the difference in the pics. but it feels VERY different in real life. First pics in the series are a week or two ago, the second pics (purple pants) are just now.

15+ week post op. Dr. appointment

So this morning, I vacuumed the house BEFORE my appointment, just to be sure there would be some swelling. lol. Dr. looked at me and even before I could start complaining about swelling, he says, "Well, it looks like you have a bit of swelling, still." I said, "You think?" lol. He assured me that it would NOT stay like this--that he could tell it was swelling. I said he told me 2 months ago that I'd be happy in a month and that two months later I was still waiting.......he said, "Yes, we would like to see more improvement than this at this point." Ah, validation!!! But he assured me yet again that sometimes it just lasts longer. I said, "So how long could it last?" He said a YEAR. Ugh. Now he did say that hopefully by my next appointment (3 months, which would be over my 6 month mark) he thought I'd be pretty good. But still maybe not even my final result. So. It's good to get some validation. But it seems I may still have some time to wait. Tick tock. lol.

Four month update - more of the same

So....four month mark. Even though I've been told the final results could take 6-12 months......deep down, I secretly really thought that by four months, things would be pretty good, even if it wasn't the final final result. Not so much. I"m a broken record, but still my number one concern is swelling. It's the usual pattern: a few days of ok or even good, then back to waking up swollen and swelling more during the day. Even on good days, I swell somewhat after exercise or activity. Is it as bad as month one? No. But it's nowhere near what I had hoped and still do hope is my final result.

Things at four months:
~~coughing and sneezing are now just uncomfortable, wouldn't call it pain anymore unless it's a deep cough or sneezing fit
~~I can sleep on my stomach for short periods of time
~~still numb from belly button to scar line
~~I can exercise at full steam, everything except straight up core, which I am waiting for the 6 month mark, per my Dr. Also some stretching moves I cannot fully extend on quite yet
~~get zinger shooting pains every now and then. which I hope is nerves waking up
~~Swell Hell is real and long. Some days I get a glimpse of what my final result might be, then it's back to swelling and I wonder if I imagined being flat. This week is normally my good time of the month when swelling is the most minimal. Only, this month I didn't get the break as the swelling is still present.....so hoping it's not t sign of things to come as my period gets closer. I can now wear my pre-op jeans--most of the time, after they are stretched out a bit. Some days, though, I still can't get them on. Overall, the good days outnumber the bad, even though swelling is around. But then some days are horrible and I want to pull my hair out! I've used the word roller coaster way too many times, but it really does describe this ride.

So......still waiting. Would I do it again? I guess.......b/c I still do have faith that my final result is coming. If THIS was my final result......I just don't know. Having the skin gone and tight is nice......but I still am uncomfortable with my lower gut wearing anything, (not every day, but most) which is how I was pre-op. So I don't know if just that result is worth $8.000. But I still live in hope for more improvement to make me say YES, YES, YES!!!! it was so worth it! lol. Maybe next month. ; )

Glass half full - and working out thoughts

Today I woke up flat. Yeah! Now, I know I won't look like this tomorrow or probably even this afternoon (cause I have 2 workouts scheduled).....but I'm tired of posting rants about swelling so today I will celebrate the lack of swelling at this moment!

The working out thing is interesting......when I first started workout out, it didn't affect my swelling. Now it does. On rare days, the swelling is minimal, no matter what I do. On other days, swelling is bad even if I don't work out.

Today I am tempted to think I am flat b/c I haven't worked out in 2 days......sometimes it does follow that pattern. But then, like Jennay said.....sometimes it just does what it wants with no regard to anything! lol. I have a new weight lifting program (Chalene Extreme) which I am adding to my beloved Turbo Fire cardio kickboxing. So we will see how that affects swelling. I also work out with friends at church, so some Biggest Loser Jillian is thrown in the mix. In order to get my first week of Extreme in, I have to start today--and I already told my friends I would work out at church with them this morning. So that would be 2 workouts......it will be a good test tonight of what my stomach does! Will update later on swelling--if I make it through today's workouts without a heart attack! Still am doing no crunches, leg lifts or straight up core intense stuff. My abs burn enough with the core built in to everything else I do. And I am really afraid of what crunches might do to swelling.

Anyway.......glass half full today. Lovely picture -- I need to carry it around with me to give me the fortitude to press on with more hope and confidence. Then on bad days, just throw on a big T and forget about it. Glass half full. Speaking of which, I need more coffee! ; )

After workout number one......

Well, not exactly like this morning, but not awful. Baby steps, right?

18 week update

A couple of pics.......a pretty good representation of how I am on any given day. Not my flattest of flat look, but not my most swollen for sure. I had a stretch of a few good days last week and had really hoped I had turned some sort of corner, recovery/swelling wise. But now I am back to the normal swelling routine. I KNOW in my head that I need to wait six month (or more) but every time I have a good day (or I real someone's review where their swelling is gone at 4 months), I hope my swelling roller coaster has ended sooner than that. Even though I know better.....I need more patience, I guess.
Really nothing else to report. Lower belly still numb and firm. Upper abs pretty good. Still hurts a little to sneeze. Doing all workouts, except crunches, etc. When I workout, I swell. Hard to stay motivated to workout, knowing what it will do to my lower gut. BUT.....I do it anyway, hoping my dedication will pay off one day. I alternate being hopeful for that final result and then letting doubt creep in that this is as good as it will get. Hard not to let your brain go there when it lasts so long. lol.

Five months

Well.....five months! I do have to admit I have come a long way.....that's not to say I didn't think I'd be farther along in this healing process than I am. But it is what it is......it's a long dang recovery! The swelling.......it's still there. Some days ok, some days......ugh. The week before my period--wow, it can get bad. I wake up flat a lot now......but exercise or just being upright will bring on the swelling. Admittedly, it's not as severe or dramatic as it used to be, so that's progress. Except the week before you-know-who, then all bets are off. lol.

It still doesn't feel great to sneeze or cough.....and I am still numb below the bb. But I'm pretty used to that by now, so no biggie. No pain anymore.....but I still grab my legs to pull myself up from sitting or laying down or my upper abs burn. Needless to say, I am not doing straight up core work yet. My doctor said six months and I have no desire to push that. One, it hurts. Two....I don't need any more reason to swell. lol.

Scar......in a couple of small places it's really faded. In the middle, it's more red and ropelike for a couple of inches. Trying more massage to see if I can get that area to improve. Been looking into tattoos.....maybe at a year or so, I might do that. I like tattoos and hubby says he finds the scar somewhat distracting.....and I don't know for sure but doubt it will ever fade to nothing.

Overall, getting more pleased with results......but I still go back and forth. Right now swelling is pretty good. In a couple of weeks, I'll probably be pulling my hair out again out of frustration. I live in hope though, that one of these months....that time of month won't be so extreme.

Speaking of hair.....I got my light brown hair highlighted......figured it'd give me something else to focus on for a bit. lol. Threw in a pic. of that just for fun!

I see my ps. next month......I was SO sure by then I'd be all done and good to go, but now know better than to expect that. I thought by four I would be. Now I'm trying not to judge for a year, although I still hope it won't take that long for final results. Today, I am feeling pretty good. I know the roller coaster will kick in again......but I know it has to end some day!!!

5 1/2 months.......as good as it gets?

I am wondering today......is this as good as it gets? I know I don't have a lot to complain about--my stomach is certainly better than it was. But......today I was looking at things......it's the best time of the month swelling wise, I haven't worked out yet today, I don't feel particularly swollen. But I am not flat. Maybe I just won't be flat? I don't know.....do you guys think I am just being too picky about my lower gut? Is this just how I'm gonna look? Things don't seem to be changing anymore. The week before my period is still bad, but not AS bad. But the rest of the month I pretty much look like this, except I get more swollen after exercise or at the end of the day. I know that swelling will still get better. But the normal, "it's noon and I haven't done anything and this is how I look" thing of these pictures......seems to be just how it's gonna be. Shouldn't I be flatter than this or am I just expecting too much?

6 Months

I thought at my six month review update, I'd be all done healing. It was apparent awhile ago, that was probably not going to happen. And it didn't. But.....I can say there is improvement--even with the swelling. Swelling is not a constant annoyance anymore. It falls into two categories now: after workouts and the week before and of my period. Sometimes swelling after a workout is minimal, but other times it can still get bad. And working out during period week.......ugh! Double whammy! BUT.......it is not as bad as it was, so that is something. The bad thing about workout swelling is that I workout six days a week......so yeah.....still swelling every day basically, at least to some degree.

Other news......numbness is better. But I am still completely numb in the middle just above and a lot below my bb. It doesn't bother me at all anymore. I'm used to it.

Pain......only minor now when I cough or sneeze.

Workouts.....I am full steam on everything: Turbo Fire, Chalean Extreme weight program, running, Jillian Michaels. Except I still do NO core isolating work like crunches. This week I plan on starting ab work slowly and see how it goes. I don't want to do anything to cause more swelling, so I'll go slow. My only complaint about working out is that it still causes swelling. But no more on swelling....on to the next thing.....

Scar. Well there are places where it is really getting light. Here and there. Other places it is more darker red than ever. And a 2 inch spot that is raised and ropelike still. Trying to massage that when I remember. But overall not bad. Thinking about a tattoo at maybe a year out.

BB. Liking it a lot. Still a little red scar you can see, but getting better. Scar doesn't bother me there at all.

Above my bb, the skin is soft now....below it is still pretty dang hard. Softer when I sit down--I can push it in, but when I stand up, still hard as a rock there. Still feels weird.

Overall.......feeling better about things. Still am impatient for the swelling thing to end. If it wasn't for that, I'd be thrilled. I go back and forth between thinking, "Well, I'm just one of those people who it's going to take a year for." To......"This is probably as good as it gets. Too bad I couldn't completely get rid of the lower gut for 8 grand." lol. Time will tell which is right!

I have my next check in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know what my doc. says about everything.

So...yeah....better.......but not there yet!

PS post op check up

OK....saw my ps today for my almost 7 month check up. He said everything is looking good. Although I apparently have dogs ears I didn't know I had......getting them taken care of in a couple of weeks. My only complaint to him was.....(hmmm, I wonder?) swelling. He said that yes there is still a bit of swelling. I asked him how he could tell it was swelling and not just the way it was going to be. He pushed on it and said, "See here, how it feels different than the other tissue?" Um....no. But I'll take your word for it, I guess. lol. He said (again) that what's left will get even better still over the next six month. So that takes me to a year. He said it's not major swelling at this point, but since I am thin, I will see every bit of swelling there is. Also asked about tattooing....he said wait another six months, which is what I thought. So headed in the right direction. But I'll say it again.....this is a long dang recovery! I'll post some pics in a day or two when my monthly cycle swelling has subsided. This month was better, I'd say....helped by the fact that I did't work out b/c I was on vacation. There were only a few days I wanted to put my face in a pillow and scream, "Swelling go away!!!!!" lol.

7 month pics

Here are some 7 month pics showing dog ears and first morning non swelling. I will probably add another "post exercise" pic to show the swelling that is still happening then. But for the most part......if it's before a workout and not the week before my period, I'm pretty happy. STILL waiting for that stuff to end, though. lol.

Dog Ears

Had my dog ear revision today. Not too bad. The worst part was the numbing shots....and once I felt something and had to get another one. But it was pretty fast overall. I have tape on and pads to wear over.....Stitches out in 10 days or so. Feeling ok......my hips are pretty dang sore though! Gonna be tough not to sleep on my side tonight! lol. One side is bleeding a little....hope that's ok. See what tomorrow brings.

Dog ear revision

Here are a few pics. of my dog ear revision. I still have the clear tape over, so it's hard to tell what's going on under there for sure. I know one thing....I am pretty puff from it. Not only the dog ear area, but my lower front (usual swelling spot) too. Hope it doesn't last too long. Really have no idea what to expect. Like every other surgery/revision I've had......I know it'll look worse before it looks better! Hope the soreness doesn't last too long. No jeans for a bit.

better......

Well, the dog ear thing turned out to be a little bit more than I expected. I thought, snip in the office and a couple of days back to normal. Not quite. I got the stitches out a couple of days ago at day 10. One side hurt like heck to do.....I guess it was irritated and swollen and a stitch was stuck. That side still hurts like the devil and I still cannot lay on that side to sleep. My favorite side, go figure. lol. I am back to stretchy shorts for the short term b/c anything remotely tight hurts too much. I hope it isn't infected or something. I'll give it a few days and if that side isn't better, I'll call the doc. The other side is mildly sore, but looks to be healing normally. Not red and angry and puffy like the other side. FX.

right side dog ear repair

Here's a couple of pics of the left side. It's better, but still looking red. Still very tender!

9 Months!!!

So 9 months. I'd love to say it flew by, but not so much. lol! Maybe the last couple went faster. I am grateful to be this far out! OK, first things first. Swelling. I am happy to report it IS better. Not gone, but it doesn't rule my day anymore. Mostly it's an hour or so post workout and the few days before and first few days of my period. But it's still not to the extent it was. There are days I wake up and am just swollen for no apparent reason. But I think that happens to all women, really, I just notice EVERY little thing below my bb now b/c things are tighter. I have even experimented this last week with not wearing my Flexees while working out. It's been better than I thought. Only minimal extra swelling. On the days where there is no swelling--it is awesome!!!!

Numbness. I am still numb in the midline below my bb. It's a way smaller area, but it's still numb for sure. Doesn't bother me at all, though. If I run my finger along my stomach sometimes I will get a nerve type zinger on some section where my finger isn't even close to--weird!!!

Sneezing, etc. I can STILL feel that. Amazing. But it's not pain anymore an doesn't bother me.

I have added core workouts, but I am still way behind there---do not have the strength I used to, but it's coming. For those who workout, do not let swelling stop you. Your hard work will pay off and the swelling DOES improve.

Overall, am happy with where I am at. I expected a really flat stomach all the time (media, you know, makes it sound like a tt is the be all end all) but that isn't the reality. I have my flat times, like this time of month in my pics, but I have days where my lower gut still swells up and I feel like I'm 4 months pregnant. Getting used to just letting it be. I pretty much think what I have now is how it will be, but who knows. If the swelling continues to improve, I'll be happy, too.

I am looking at tattoos......but have to wait until December b/c I need to be 6 months past dog ear revision. Oh and that......I guess it was worth it. My dog ears were really small and it seems like I still have a small one on one side. And the other side has a bit to go with healing. Jury is still out on that, but it hasn't been that long.

That's all I can think of for now. Hang in there ladies!!!!!!

9 month pics in clothes

Thought I'd add some pics in regular clothes. Feeling good today. Loving the definition I am seeing from working out, too. Course, next week is period week and I'll be feeling all bloated and yucky, but the good days are more often than they used to be!

One year update

So......a whole year! Thinking about what this tt has meant to me and what it hasn't......overall, yep, would do it again in a heartbeat. What it isn't is a miracle, perfect body fix. I still don't have super flat lower abs. At this point, I think I won't ever will, unless I lose 5 or 10 pounds and I seem to be at my setpoint. My body doesn't go lower than 126-128 without extreme measures, which I am just not willing do take anymore! So even a tt can't fix my body type, which is to have a bit of a lower belly (more common than not in women). I thought a tt would fix that, but no. Although, don't get me wrong....it is MUCH better than before.

But what it did do was tighten everything up. And no more loose skin! Everything fits better and I am not SO self conscious about my lower gut. And between the tt and my ab workouts, my tummy is rock hard. Love that!

Things that are still healing......nerves. I still have a strip of numb area maybe 2 inches wide in the middle, down to pubic bone. Still get those lightening bolt zingers even inches away when I touch that area. So strange! I can STILL feel it when I cough or sneeze, although no pain anymore. When I do a full out stretch, everything still feels too tight. Like doing a superman pose (lay on tummy, with arms and legs lifted up and stretching out). Those are still super hard to do. Scar is coming along....still a few read areas, along with the parts that are turning white. My doctor says it's fine to get a tattoo now, but tattoo guy says, no.....would be better to wait until it's all white. So we will see. Dog ear scars coming along.

My main concern was swelling all along. I think that has ended, at least for the tt part of swelling. What I do have now, I believe, is normal woman swelling before and during my period, or after eating, at the end of the day. But now....that everything is so tight and compact, I notice EVERYTHING. Even not going to the bathroom for a good while, I notice my lower abs pooching out. Crazy. But the tt "swelling" after working out or even walking around seems to be gone. I haven't worn my binder to workout in I don't even know how long.

So, will a tt give you a perfect body. No......but it can make what you got a whole heck of a lot better. Will your tummy stay "better" without work on your part. Again, nope. I notice every pound now for sure. The tt helped, but I work out six days a week and work dang hard the food thing too. So the tt wasn't a magic fix. But more.....part of the fix, if that makes sense. LOL. Between the tt, diet and my crazy workouts......I am feeling good. I won't be on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover anytime soon, but at 48, I am pretty pleasedl
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