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Prayed, Believed, & Received

I went for a consult with Dr. Aldea. After plenty...

I went for a consult with Dr. Aldea. After plenty of research and reading great reviews on this forum, I went in feeling like I made the right decision. Don't get me wrong, the consult was great. He was very informative and explained everything in detail. However, he explained that having just the procedure that I want is not enough to get my tummy flat. He recommended that I have a fleur de lis tummy tuck. This made me soooo sad and confused being that I've seen women way bigger than me get great results with a traditional tummy tuck. I do not want a vertical scar that will be visible as that will keep me in the box that I am in. If I wanted to continue to hide my stomach, then I may as well keep it as is. I'm skeptical now on what my results will be if I don't proceed with his recommendation. I've had a consult with another Dr that didn't seem as knowledgable and will NOT go back there, but am wondering if I should get more opinions....this is major to me and Im scared of making the wrong decision. Does anybody wave before and after pics of tummy tuck by Dr. Aldea? Please feel free to share!

Going back in....

I'm going back for another consult with the same Dr. After googling pictures, seeing results, and reading reviews, it seems like the fleur de lis tummy tuck would give me great results. I'm just worried what the vertical scar will look like on African American skin....decisions...decisions....

Switch!!!!!

Ok...after careful review, I have opted to travel to Nashville to have my tt. I had a consult with Dr. Melinda Haws. She is awesome! Very knowledgable and her before and afters are amazing. My preop is at the end of May, and I'm super amped! Flat side here I come!!!!!!!!!!!

So here goes.....

It took some time for me to decide whether or not I was going to post pics of myself to such a public forum, but then I realized how much you guys have helped me by being open and willing to share. It's because if this forum that I found my doctor. You guys have afforded me the opportunity to experience the ups and downs of what to expect before my surgery day arrives. I am overwhelmed with happiness, and look forward to seeing my lower extremities very soon. No more flap!!! Lol!

Vitamins...

So I've started my vitamins, and I must admit that I should have been taking at least a mutivitamin daily. I feel great! I amped and full of energy all day! I take women's one a day, and 2 chewable vitamin C tablets by Nature Made (500mg). I'm getting my exercise routine together so that I can get at least drop 30lbs before my surgery date. The countdown is near!!!!!

Taking suggestions

Hi Ladies! Im taking all suggestions on some things I might need. The time is coming quickly and I want to be as prepared as possible. I know I need a recliner. I already have a walker. Any suggestions on Compression Garments? Scar cream? Anything? Please let me know! Also, I will post more pics, both clothed and unclothed asap just to give the RS ladies that have my body type some really good insight on what I started with and where I will soon be! Be blessed!

FlatSiders......

Hey ladies that are already on the flat side! What are some websites to buy postop faja/compression garments from? I am one month out tomorrow (YAY) and am trying to get all of what I need purchased/ordered ASAP....thanks in advance ladies!

more pics

Long story, short......

I will have more pics up as promised ASAP. I need a photographer to help me..lol! I wanted to post more because my initial pics just look like a huge blob (which it is), lol! but I wanted to give you all a better view of what I'm working with. The fourth picture that I posted from the side shows the indent where the extra skin just sits on my abdomen. My PS said its little to no fat there. After losing weight, I was left with sooooooooo much skin. For years, I have worked out to try to get rid of it, but nothing has helped. My lower pooch would just hang lower....SMH! I use to call it a soggy six pack. I actually have a small waist line, but not sure how to make that come across with the angle on my phone. I often pull my stomach up to flatten it out as much as possible to get a feel for what my after body may look like. I think my butt will look a little bigger then...lol! I have still been taking my vitamins and in the gym....just a month a way to the flat side^_^

Yuck!

Will post more pics when hubby is off work...lol

Hidden Treasures...NOT!!!!

Here are just a few pics of what my "Flap" looks like in clothing. I am still in the gym to bring my waist in more. I'm also working on my arms and legs so that my body matches..my goal isnt to be fat with a flat tummy. I want to be HEALThY and in shape!!!!! This money will not be spent in vain. Im going to use this as a second chance to make my body my temple. After all, we only get one and we have to live with it forever....lets take care of them!!! Thank God for Second Chances:)))

Waaaaiiiiiist a minute...lol

Just a quick update....wanted to show how this waist is comng on in....the pouch is still squared underneath, but that will soon be gone....no shaper, no garment....just me in a high waisted skirt. My day is getting closer and closer. Im so excited. I pray that you all are having a blessed Sunday!

Any Same Day Sistas?????

Hello ladies, hope everyone is doing well. Anyone scheduled for June 6th or any day that same week? I'm super geeked about my procedure and feel honored to have this opportunity. God is so awesome!!!

Pre-op tomorrow

Hey ladies, I'm almost to the flat side. \o/ (Glory to God) My preop is tomorrow and I'm super amped. I have been getting last minute items and will continue to prepare my house for my recovery. I am border line OCD (lol) and I can't imagine not being able to clean, but my mom has volunteered to do those things for me...she knows my hubby is NOT going to do it the way I like...lol....he tries though! Anyway, I have my recliner, arnica cream, arnica pellets, Tylenol, stool softener, milk of magnesia, CG, loose dresses, and a few other items....will wait to see what the doc has to say tomorrow before I purchase anything else....best wishes to all that are going to the flat side tomorrow! Be blessed!

Weight loss

Oh, and I didn't reach my 30lbs goal....didn't even lose 10lbs, but I'm not gonna let that get me down.....I do see a difference in the inches in my waist though and some definition in my arms...my legs still need work....I'm sure my flat tummy will only motivate me to stay on the right path to getting the rest of me right and tight on my own^_^. I'm so ready!!!!

I Love Dr. Haws!!!!!

I had my preop appointment today. DR. Haws went over what to expect the day of surgery, answered all my questions, took a look at me to describe again what she is going to do, took my pictures, and gave me my prescriptions to get filled. She is very informative and spunky! Lol! She noticed that I lost some inches from my waist and complimented me on that (made me feel so good). I'm so excited and ready for my day. I pray all goes well!!! Just the way she describes what she is gonna do has me so geeked....I'm expecting the Grrrrreeeeaaatttttt!!!( Tony the Tiger voice) lol!

Anticipation or Nah......

I dont know what is going on with my Tummy...maybe im nervous, stressed, or too excited...all i know is my bowel movements are slim to none...my PS told me to start laxative and stool softners now until my date, and to make sure to continue green leefy diet...wish me luck..am i constipated because of anticipation...lol

correction

*Leafy

Casting my cares upon The Lord...

What is this that I'm feeling?? Ugh!!! I'm trying to shake it, but I've been feeling sick to my stomach since Sunday...I don't know if I'm overwhelmed, stressed, or just anxious about the procedure. To my prayer closet I go! Fix what is broken Jesus!!! And it is so... Be blessed y'all:)

June 1st!!!!!!!!!!

Let the countdown begin!!!!!!! My date is getting closer and closer....I'm almost in disbelief. This seems so surreal, but I thank God for the opportunity. No more flap!!! I will be able to see my private part without looking in the mirror...no more lifting my flap to dry underneath....no more putting powder and deodorant under the flap to keep from chafing....no more making love to my husband feeling ashamed of my midsection hanging....no more being afraid to wear certain shirts, lingerie, or cute panties....whewwwww!!! Thank god!!! I'm so excited!!! It's such a burden lifted y'all!!! Don't get me wrong, I love me some me:) but I always knew I could be better so I stayed in the gym and ate right for years to see if I could do it on my own, but when there is no elasticity and muscles are spread it's very hard to achieve the look I desire! Ladies we deserve this!!! I wish the best to you all during surgery, recovery, and beyond!!! To GOD be all the Glory!!!!!

Things gettin real!

As I grow closer to my SX date, I start to see myself in a new light....I feel so much better, and whatever sickness that was trying to creep in has since ceased...Thank God!!!! All smiles and full of positive energy!!!!

Change is good!!!... I mean great:)

Hey ladies, I feel really good! ^_^ I am ready to cross over to the flatside. Yay!!!! I have been overweight since age 5 and have NEVER HAD A FLAT TUMMY IN MY LIFE! Thank GOD for second changes...thank you Father for allowing my finances to be in order to fulfill a dream that I've dreamt for over 10 years....thank you for allowing my circle ( family(select few) & BFF) to be on one accord with me and support my decision as they will be helping me with recovery. I don't take this opportunity for granted and have prepared myself mentally for this. Sometimes we get our hopes up, and are disappointed when things don't end up the way we anticipate, but I have given this to God. I asked him in advance to guide Dr. Haws mind and hands to perform at the highest level of her ability to sculpt me into what I desire. However, I am prepared to do work on my own afterwards to get the rest of my body on point. I wish the best to us all! May God's will be done! Ready for great changes.....Love y'all;)

My Dream...

Why did I awake from a dream this morning about me missing my procedure appointment?!?..the dream felt so real! I was looking like @_@! I called the surgery center about 4-5 times asking to speak with Dr. Haws, and she was in surgery on someone else..wth...at the end of the dream I cried cause I knew that I would have to wait til the weekend was over to reshedule....keep in mind this was only a dream...so needless to say, i am setting all the alarms in the house tonight....LOL! Guess who is super excited.... Too excited:)...I am!

Today is the day!!!!!

Hey Ladies! I'm up, dressed, prayed up, and headed to check in...I will keep you guys posted as much as possible over the next few days....I am overjoyed, and thank God continuously for this opportunity.....May God bless!

Flatside, this is Soon2BNew, Soon2BNew meet the flatside!!!!!!...

Ladies, words cannot express the gratitude I have towards God as well as you guys...I have made it to the flat side and Im thrilled! Just a little recap from yesterday...I arrived to Nashville about 7:30am. Since it was early, my hubby stopped for Breakfast at IHOP ( and ate in my face) LOL! Anyway, we arrived to check in at about 8:45am( i was suppose to be there at 9). During checkin, i made my final payment to the surgery center, received some paperwork and waited to be called to the back for prepping. After I was called the the back, I was asked a few more questions by a nurse..she gave me a gown to put on, had me make sure there were no pins in my hair, or jewelry to remove....after that I waited for the the anesthesiologist to come in to start my IV. After my IV was started, they allowed my hubby to come to the back to see me before surgery....Dr. Haws came in to answer last minute questions and to make markings on me.....when she was done, the anesthesiologist put valium into my IV, I started to feel woozy...the nurse came to wheel me off and my hubby kissed me as he was asked to return to the waiting room...All i remember after that is being wheeled to the OR. When i woke up, i was crying....i was uncomforatable and in some pain...the nurse immediately gave me pain meds which took the edge off...my hubby said Dr. Haws came in to give instructions on the proper care of drain (i only have one) and the God forbidden catheter...since i was traveling 3+ hours back home, my PS requested that I leave in. She gave my hubby instructions on how to remove it as well...once my IV was removed and i was dressed, i was free to go. The ride home was rough at certain times, but overall, it wasnt unbearable. My throat was very sore fron the tube so i could hardly talk...i texted my sis, bff , and called my mother and child to advise them my surgery was a suceess and that i was headed home...my hubby said that Dr. Haws said that she was abke to do better than she expected ..(yay)..she removed 7 POUNDS OF SKIN!!!! She also confirmed that some of what she thought was just skin was FAT and removed that as well..once i arrived home, I felt ok...my discomfort was more than my pain..havnt been in any pain that i cant tolerate..Im so grateful for that...I jumped right on into taking my meds which consist of Percocet, an antibiotic, stool softner, and my arnica....my abs feel very tight which im glad about...my binder is pretty snug, but for some reason im still trying to hold my stomach in..Its second nature to me since Ive done it for so long. Lol! Will keep yoy guys posted along the way..my next appointment with Dr. Haws is 6/11....cant wait to see my new tunmy..best wishes to all my ladies going in on Monday..stay prayed up and focus on the ultimate goal....the pain, discomfort, and swelling will cease over time....so dont be consumed by that..Happg Saturday ladies!!!!

Oh, by the way...

Dr. Haws and the sugical staff were super nice to my husband....they made sure he had all the info and necessary items to make me as comfy as possible..AND A VERY SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO MZ. DIVA!!!!...LADIES IF YALL HAVE NOT READ HER BLOG, PLEASE DO SO...SHE IS THE EPITOME OF A SUPPORTER, MOTIVATOR, AND IS SUPER INSPIRATIONAL..by being so open and truthful about this process, i was able to enter my procedure with strength , courage, and a positive mind set..I thank God for her!!!!

The catheter is out...

I am excited to say the catheter is out..my hubby took it out this morning..i was so glad because it was uncomfortable..other than that, no real pain. My abs are sore, but the discomfort is minimal and off and on. Of course I am swollen as well, but its not a bother to me at this point. Im actually very content and have walked around this morning....trying to stay mobile so that no clots form.

2 day PO...

Hey ladies, just wanted to give a little update about my recovery thus far. Yesterday evening was a two headed monster!!!! However, it was still tolerable. Around 4:30pm I became very swollen. My skin felt as it was going to rip. Before this, I had not felt any pain or pressure along my incision line, but since I was so swollen, my incision hurt and I experienced a stinging sensation. My ab muscles burned as if I had did 1million sit-ups and been beaten with a bat across my abdomen afterwards. (My goal is not to scare anyone, but to be as a honest as possible about my discomfort) The crazy part about this was it happened shortly after I had taken my meds so I just had to sit and wait for relief. I plugged my ears with Leandria Johnson's "This is the day that The Lord has made"....I wasn't about to let any negative mindset creep in on me. Even my thighs had swollen up....After about an hour, I had relief. Seems like the swelling subsided, or I had grown to handle it. So far, that has been the worst part. I pray that this arnica relieves any additional swelling that may come along. I have been walking every other hour and rotating my ankles even while lying down. I've had no real appetite, but ate about 4 spoons of some rice and mushrooms for dinner yesterday ( just so hubby would leave me alone) lol! Other than that I've been drinking pinapple juice, and a lot of water. I eat a few crackers with my meds. Since my PS said I can shower right away, I will do so today and hopefully post sneak peaks for us all to see....until then ladies....love y'all!

Bare with me....

So my hubby helped me get a good shower in. The water felt so refreshing However, i am exhausted now...I left my phone in the room and he didnt want to leave me alone, so when I Got back to the room i took a selfie...hopefully yall get the picture. Since my back was hurting from standing in the shower, I leaned against the bed to use the mirror to take the picture...i dont know about you ladies, but it looks to be the start of something beautiful! -_- i will post more pics as they come.

Forgot to upload the pic..lol

Day 5 Post Op...

Hey ladies! I am still doing pretty well. However, days 3 & 4 were pretty overwhelming. They were tolerable, but I was super irritated and groggy. I had pain from the incision sight that was none stop, even with meds. When I did get a chance to fall asleep, I was awakened shortly thereafter by a nagging, stinging, or burning sensation from the incision. BUT then came Glory! Lol:) after my shower on the 4th night, I got a bit of rest. The shower helped me to relax and loosen up a little. On today, I was totally fine. I traveled to Nashville for my 1st post op appointment with Dr. Haws. The ride was ok, minus the bumps and turns. Once my husband and I arrived, I noticed that my feet had swollen:( Once I was called to the back, Dr. Haw's nurse asked me about my drain. Since it was draining 20cc or less in a 24hr period, she said that Dr. Haws might remove it. YAY! She then took the paper tape off of my incision, cleaned it, took the gauze from my belly button, cleaned it, then retaped the incision again. Once Dr. Haws came in, she confirmed that the drain could come out. She also pressed around my tummy just to make sure everything felt right. She said I looked really well, but severely swollen. She said it was expected at only 5 days PO, but that it will subside over time. She told me no lifting, or strenuous activities until week 4-6 weeks ( or until my body says its time) and to make sure to keep my belly button (which I love) and the drain site dry so that they scab over and heal properly. Again my tummy is very swollen and I am bruised so badly around my belly button. I'm not too worried about it though, because I know swelling and bruising temporarily comes with this territory. Dr. Haws gave me the ok to start using the arnica cream on my belly, so that should help with both. Other than that, I'm still walking bent over....after about 2 mins of walking, I'm so tired as if I have really done hard work. I'm ready to stand straight up so that my back pain can end because naturally I'm a busy body, so this is way out of the ordinary for me. My husband, mother, sister, and daughter (when she isn't staring at me like a science project..lol) have been very helpful. I'm so blessed to have them in my circle. For any new ladies, I will admit the experience is challenging, but it's not impossible. It gets better day by day, and I don't regret my decision at all. I'm forever grateful for this opportunity. If I left out anything, or if anyone has questions, I'm here!


Oh, my appetite has been on and off...trying to keep it clean when I do eat though. As far as liquids, plenty of water and pinapple juice.

a few pics

Just a few pictures....the swelling and bruising can be discouraging, but i know that it' s a part of of the natural healing process..im excited to see me without swelling though@_@! I'll update pics again at day 10....it has to be an uphill journey from here on. Happy Healing!!

Onward to week 2

Hey ladies! Just a few updates as I merge into the second week of my recovery. First off, I will say that I am so relieved that im past week 1 as I hear thats the worst of them all. Well, I survived! LOL! Some parts of last week seem a little blurry, (blame the oxycodone:) but I do remember most things. I am still walking bent over! My tummy is pulled extra tight and very swollen! I do, however see the swelling go down at certain parts of the day. I still need help doing things. No driving! My husband and mom have been wondeful helping me to shower and are at my every call (thankful). Im usually very active and not ever this still, so this is a huge change for me. Im so swollen that i cant even reach my butt to wipe...tmi..i know....my thighs are huge and feel as if they are gonna burst. My little lady part suffered for about the first 4 days. It was swollen too. I have since started rubbing arnica on my thighs and tummy to rid the swelling and brusing...it helps with relief, but is not a permanent fix...lets face it ladies, in most cases, the swelling and bruising is going to happen whether we like it or not. I have started drinking lemon water to help release fluid. It works!!! Still dont have much of an appetite though...i was trying to rush my recovery day by day, but I understand that this was a drastic change! My PS took off 7 lbs of fat and skin! My body needs this time to restore itself. I will be patient because I dont want to hinder my healing in any way. I am very pleased with my results so far... im sure after the swelling, things will just get better. This journey has its ups and downs, but I DO NOT REGRET MY DECISION AT ALL!!! Its such a joy to be able to look down and be "flapless" without extra hanging skin. Oh, im off of all prescribed meds..yay! my PS cleared me to take ibuprofen if needed for pain. Happy to report that im not in any real pain..more discomfort at the incision than anything...oh, and my paper tape over my incision had to be removed...seems that it was causing blisters....ugh!! I spoke with the nurse, she said to take the tape off, clean, and use gauze to put antibiotic ointment on the two areas for now.....she isnt sure if its an allergic reaction to the tape or if the 2 spots were blistered fron tension....either way im glad it was addressed now, rather than later. Happy Healing to you all!

Bruising update....

Hey ladies, just a really quick update on the brusing that I have....the top pic is from today, however the morning after I initially posted the bottom picture, the bruisng was amasingly lighter after just one application of my arnica cream....I must say that im impressed...I am still very tight and although the swelling is going down, im still super tight, hunched over, and uncomfortable.( just being honest, not complaining:-).....my incision is very low (which I love)...waiting until tomorrow to check with Dr. Haws and Nurse Lynn about applying the paper tape to my incision again...they wanted to play it safe so its covered with gauze for now ....will continue to keep you all posted....Happy Sunday:-)

Headaches anyone?...

I have been experiencing severe headaches/migraines since Wednesday of last week. Since I was just getting off of the prescribed meds, I thought it was just my body's way of adjusting back to normality. I was wrong!!! My head is pounding. I haven't had full relief yet. However, I found that Aleve or Ibuprofen takes the edge off. I don't usually suffer from headaches so now that it's approaching a week of having these severe headaches I'm getting worried. I thought they would go away on their own, but I'm going to call my PS in the morning. I'm not sure if they have anything to to do with the anesthesia or the narcotics, but I did a little research about it and found that it is common after abdominoplasty and that you should definitely alert your PS. Has anyone else suffered from this? Please let me know!

2 weeks PO...pretty hurts!!!

Hello everyone, my apologies for taking a minute to update, but I have been going through a few things the last past days. I'm happy to say that I am almost at zero pain when it comes to my incision, but the headaches remain. I am also standing straighter, but still bent over just a little. Ugh!!!!! I am trying to be as patient as possible because I know it can't get worse than this, so I look forward to better days.

I went for my 2 week post op appointment on yesterday and upon the nurse cleaning my incision, she discovered that it was beginning to open on my left side. She also wanted to check for fluid behind the incision thinking that was the reason my incision was healing slowly. Well, it was just as she suspected. She deadened an area under my belly button and with a huge turkey basting looking needle drew about 15-20cc of blood out. This didn't sit well with the nurse so she took pictures of my incison and called the doctor on duty (since Dr.Haws was out of town for a Plastics seminar). The Dr. On duty came immediately and took a look at my belly and incision. She noticed that my thighs, legs, amd feet were very swollen. She was very honest and straight forward and told me that the incision was starting to open and to be on the absolute safe side she needed to go ahead and open it up. Once she cut a few sutures, she discovered that a hematoma had formed behind the incision. She had to remove the blood clot and clean the wound with a bleach dilute. It was very uncomfortable for me as I could hear the blood and feel the pressure. She assured me that opening the incison now was the best thing to do as it would have only gotten worse if she did not do this now. She swabbed the area to send to the lab to see if I had an infection. She said that it did not look like it, but wanted to be proactive. She and the nurse were very apologetic and assured me that it wasn't anything I did, but that sometimes this happens. They both promised to do everything possible to help me through this and said that I could have scar revision done in the office if I wasn't happy with the scar...after it heals. I felt as if my soul had been ripped from my body and ran over by a tractor. I didn't know what to say, so I just cried! Not from pain, but from disappointment. I had been looking forward to progression this week....but this happened. She says that it can take weeks for the wound to heal/close. She explained that the wound has to be packed twice a day and showed my husband how to pack it. I was so disgusted!! I haven't looked at the wound, nor do I want to see it. I felt so useless because now not only do I need help with bathing, but I have to have someone change my dressing and repack this wound twice a day. I know upon electing to have this surgery, you pretty much have to accept the consequences that come along with it, but it can be difficult. I got all my tears out on yesterday, now I'm prepared to go forward and heal. Dwelling on the problem won't work, so I will focus on the solution and follow the doctor's instructions. I have a very solid support system so I know I will be fine....I'm just use to doing things on my own. During my ride back home, the nurse called to check in me. She called in some more antibiotics (just in case), told me to increase my protein to promote healing, and to continue with my vitamins. She also told me to call her or email her anytime if I had problems or questions. Once I arrived home, Dr. Haws called and explained why she wasn't in the office, apologized for what happened, and told me to lock her cell# in and to call her if I needed to for anything. She requested to see me back in the office on Monday morning. She stressed the fact that she will do whatever is in her will to make this right. She told me that it's natural for me to freak out because I don't see this often, but promised me the worst part is over. I look forward to better days, and being able to get out of the house soon. I have given this to God, so I will not allow it to consume me. When/If I get the courage to post pics, I will. Part of me wants to because somebody somewhere else is going through the same thing and may need encouragement. The other half of me doesn't want to because I don't want to see it myself. Incisons, incisions, incisons:-) Happy Healing to you all!!!!!

Progress is a Process!

Hey ladies,

I hope all is well. My headaches are GonE!!!!!! Praise GOd \0/!!!! Also, I am healing up pretty nicely. Went to see my PS on yesterday and she said my would has started to heal already...it is smaller, and should be completely closed in less than 2 weeks. I look forward to feeling 100% MYself again:) im still bent over a little, but my back doesn't hurt as much so thats a plus. Im getting through this. It hasnt been easy, but with you all's support, prayers, and well wishes I certainly know that y'all care, and I'm not alone;-) The rest of my scar, ans my belly button looks amazing. I cant wait until i'm totally healed so that i can workout and post after pics.

Nobody told me the road would be easy...

Hey my fellow tt'ers!! I wanted to greet you all as I haven't been on this forum as much as I was before. I have honestly been quite overwhelmed with my recovery, but I am yet hanging in here. My expectations are still set very high. I look forward to trying on clothes and walking with a straight back asap. Im just waiting for my body to catch up with my mind. Lol!! I saw my PS on yesterday. My wound has closed up even more since last week. Despite the open wound, I look about 3-4 months pregnant, but she assured me the extra swelling is due to the wound and will subside over time. I guess I get a little antsy about my healing period when I see ladies that had surgery a couple of weeks after me, but are up and about, at the gym, walking upright, going on trips, and out shopping. Lol!!! I know everything happens for a reason and we are all different, so I will continue to rest, pray, take my vitamins, and heal up so when im back up and running I can be the best me that I can be:-) Be blessed!

WHEN WILL I WALK UPRIGHT??!!???!?!!

Just laying here thinking...yesterday marked 1 month post op for me. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have been trying very hard to stay positive, but everybody needs to vent sometimes. As of tonight, I still need help getting dressed and bathing. I cant stand for long periods of time because im still bent over. Although, my back straightened out some, i still look like the hunch back of Notre dame. People stare at me so awkwardly when I go out in public as if they are trying to figure out whats wrong. It dosent bother me much, just wanted to sort of give a visual..lol I just want to feel normal and be able to do something for myself soon. I spent the holiday in the house because I didnt want my family members asking why im walking funny, whats wrong, what happened to my back, etc....im still having to have my wound changed twice a day as well. I just want to get back to feeling and moving like me (minus the hanging fat flabby flap) lol! But seriously it has to get better...my mom has been an amazing help to me and My daughter since my hubby has gone back to work (my daughter is big enough to tend to herself) so thats no worry, but I have a husband that i miss so much and need to tend to ;-)...poor man has been so afraid to touch me in fear that he will hurt me...its difficult and so uncomfortable for me to lay in bed with him, but i managed to do so for a little while one night because he wanted to be close to me...OMG!!! I hurried back to the recliner asap....not one way i turned was comfy as I can only lay on my back, but I need about 6 pillows to even do that...ugh, im tired of complaining...i just pray that God works a miracle and heals my body right now...and it is so:-) later loves!

Prayer works!!!

Hey ladies, just wanted to brag on God and let you ladies know that I feel so much better since my last update. Yes, I'm still bent over but I have no back pain and I have been straighter today than I've been in the last 4 weeks. Glory! That gave me relief and hope all in one. In addition, my incision and wound is down to very little to NO PAIN!!!! I'm still VERY swollen, but this too shall pass. I wasn't going to post until tomorrow after my appointment with my PS, but I could not keep this to myself. Thank you ladies for all your thoughts, hugs, encouragement, and especially your prayers!!! Shout out to MZ. D! Lady, you are such a jewel! I told you I was in agreement with you on last night for my healing and restoration....there GOD was in the midst! Whew! Prayers answered!!! Motivation+Determination=Elevation. Be blessed y'all!!

Another Praise Report!!!

Hey ladies, just wanted to give an update about my progression and my appointment with my PS today. I am elated to say that my wound has closed nicely...there is just a small part that needs to mend. Dr. Haws was highly impressed with the amount of progress that has been made since just last week. She said my mom has been doing an awesome job and that she needs to put her on payroll! Lol! Im so blessed to have my mom to help take care of me and to have a PS like Dr. Haws. She and Nurse Lynn have made themselves readily available to help in any way possible with my recovery. They ensured me that my health is the number one priority. Dr. Haws suggested that I start massaging my tummy for 10 minutes a day. She confirmed that once the wound is totally closed, the fluid and swelling will start to decrease. Although im still hunched over, my spirits are high. I feel like i can conquer anything. My PS says that I need ro relax my muscles and that I could be still bent from instinct considering that I have had to guard my tummy due to the surgery itself, but also because of the wound ...my mom said the same thing. So ReLax it is! Dr .Haws requested that I also try taking a valium at bedtime 1-2 times a week to relax and minimiZe spasms. I truly appreciate all the support you guys have given me. I will be posting pics of my wound ONLY BECAUSE I want to encourage someone that may have experienced or that may be experiencing an incision opening right now. Its not the prettiest thing, but it happens. When/if it does, know that it is NOT the end of the world, progress is a process, and time heals all! My healing my have been derailed, but my blessing of obtaining great results WILL PREVAIL! Love u guys;-)
**Will post pics tomorrow**

**Warning** Pics as Promised

Hey ladies, here are the pics as promised. I've included pics of the wound during the first days as well as pics from today. In addition, I will post pics of my belly at my appointment on yesterday, and a pic of me this morning after doing my 10 minute belly massage and drinkng my fluid flushing tea last night. Im not flat, but its a major difference to me AND a 5lb decrease on the scale. *warning* my little girl is usually groomed, nevertheless here goes...

White thing under my undies...

Just in case you ladies are wondering what the white garment is under my undies...it is netting to keep my bandages in place as my PS realized that I was allergic to the tape. It caused blisters, itching, and bruising.

Nothing is impossible for MY GOD!!!!

Hey ladies...guess who is standing up straight?!? MEeeeeeeeeee (Soprano voice) LOL! I am so excited. My mom has a binder similar to the one they give after surgery that I tried on yesterday. It seemed to give me so much more support so I wore it throughout the day on yesterday. I could tell how it helped my posture so i wanted to sleep in it, but my mom said I didnt need to so I slept with my regular binder and my ab board....man, I woke up, started walking around and walked past a mirror. I was like hey, im walking upright! I called my daughter to have her confirm...I said, "look at me! Do I look straight to you"? She said yes! She was happier than me...lol! my hubby is out of town on business, but he returns tomorrow....I cant wait to show him....im not gonna tell him, I'd rather wait to see the shock and amazement on his face in person ...whew! This has been some journey with twists, turns, ups, and downs, but im happy about my new body! When more swelling subsides, I will try on all the new clothes I purchased prior to surgery and the old clothes that I can still wear that will look 100% better without the pouch;-)...im so ready to get in the gym now, but I know due to my wound, I still have to take it slow....happy healing to us all!!!!

Six Weeks Post Op

Hey ladies. I am Officially 6 weeks post op today....i went to see my nurse today. She says my wound and scar look amazing...the wound is completely closed, but has to seal in one small spot. Other than that, I feel great! No pain at all! However, I still tend to bend after a certain time of the day....still swollen too! Ugh...I cant wait to get in the gym...Can anyone recommend a comfortable compression garment that dosent show under clothes...i love the support my binder gives, but its over for it..lol...its starting to bunch and wrinkle, but I feel naked without it...please let me know asap...thanks loves!

Went for a walk....

Hey ladies!!! I hope everyone is doing well! Im getting better day by day...I went for a 45 minute walk this morning and it was so rejuvenating. I wanted to jog a bit, or walk longer, but I was listening to my body. It said sit down..lol! Although I want to tone and get in shape, i dont want to risk harming my wound or any part of what was fixed. Its been quite a journey, but im loving the progress that im making. The swelling still remains, but i can see a difference every other day...its slow, but surely dissolving. Before my surgery, I weighed about 183lbs...after surgery (with the most swelling) i got up to 195-196lbs

Getting comfy in my skin:-)

Not sure why the end of my last update was cut off...

Today I weigh 170lbs. My goal weight is 145-150lbs. I have consulted with a personal trainer to help me reach my goal, but I won't start until after I speak with Dr. haws on tomorrow at my appointment. I will ask her what is safe for me to do without injury. Recovery has its ups and downs and can be tedious, but GOD wont bring you to something that he cannot carry you through, and bring you out of....be blessed:-)

Just a Little Update...

Hey ladies, I pray all is well with you guys:-). My apologies for the late update, but its been a busy week for me. First off, I want to say that this has been an amazing journey. Though all my recovery days weren't easy, the outcome was worth it. Nevertheless, I still have work to do, so as I stated before I will work towards being a more healthy, toned me. I was cleared by Dr. Haws to do what my body allows...that being said, ive been in the gym with my personal trainer since last Thursday. Its really a challenge because I tire so easily since the surgery, but I push myself to do my best. Other than that, because im still really swollen ( more on the left side where wound was) im still taking bromelain and quercetin, plus my one a day vitamins. Hopefully the swelling gets minimal to none sooner than I expect.....either way, its better than the "flap" I had before. However, I still dont like the pregnant look...lol! I want total flatness!!!! I know we have to allow our bodies to do their own thing though so im trying to be patient. For the new ladies..stay positive, stay encouraged, and eat as clean as possible during and after recovery....lets not let our hard earned money and precious time it takes to heal be in vain....I will post a few pics to show my progress to date^_^ and when I get a chance to take Pics of my sealed wound and incision, I will post as well...Dr. Haws is not sure if scar revision will be needed yet, since the healing exceeded her expectations, but still said to wait until 3 months. At that point I should be less swollen and incision more settled...so we will see! Praying for the best:-) love u guys & Happy Saturday!!!!

Clothed in strength & dignity!

ths NAked truth...

1day shy of 9 weeks...

Being back in the gym hasnt been easy, but I know it will pay off in the long run....some nights I am swollen beyond belief, but I always wake up flatter than I did before I went to sleep...I pray I continue to get flatter everyday until I can see my goodies:-) by just looking down...i also want definition and tone, so im working for it! Faith without works is Dead!!!!

Pooch, pooch, go away....

Hey ladies, just a real quick update....I am doing well with my exercising and clean eating..my body seems to change daily! Yay!!! Now if I can only get this lower pooch to go away -_-...im not totally flat either, but its 150% better than my before. Lol! I am trying to be very patient, but am starting to wonder if its fat or fluid. I have an appointment with Dr. Haws on next week...at that time, I will ask her about it, but other than that I am extremely happy!

Peace and Blessings to you all:-)

Incision and pooch

Trying to add pics again....

a couple more pics

Ladies, I've been trying for the last few days to get good pics of my incision front and sides (without my goodies showing) lol! I hope these pics are good enough. Just FYI, im only using 100% raw cocoa butter and raw shea butter on my incision. Seems to be working well for now. My PS said that because of my sensitivity to tape I wouldn't be able to use the tape or strips..anybody else using something thats providing great results and worth buying?!?...if so, Please share:-)

2 month post op check up

Hey Ladies...hope all is well! Just wanted to give a quick update about my journey thus far. I have gotten sooooooo many compliments from neighbors, freinds, and of course my family. I feel so rejuvinated, however, I must be honest and say that I wasnt able to see what other people see until my appointment with Dr. Haws on yesterday when she gave me before and after pics. She said that I looked great...my incisison has healed better and faster than she expected. HOWEVER, I STILL HAVE SWELLING!!!!! Im learning to get over it as I know it comes with the territory. She stressed the fact that my prolonged swelling in my lower abdominal area is due to the wound which delayed my healing process...nevertheless, Dr. Haws says that she expects it to diminish over the next two months, which is what she told me initially, (that the swelling will subside more after 3 months) and of course I know final results can vary and swelling has potential to come and go up until 1 whole year so im very optimistic. Other than that, everything is fine..Im still working out and have almost perfected my gym form without modification....yay! I dont know why I feel so heavy though....everyone is saying " you are so little"...I guess we are indeed our own worst critics, but I know it may take time for it all to sink in...I still have no regrets! Regardless of my swelling, before and after pics dont lie..lol!....Dr. Haws was so happy with my progression that she wanted to take pics, but she will take pics again at my next appointment which is in October to reflect what she suspects will be way less swelling and more of my final result. She also said over these next 2 months, I should lose more weight since the fat pockets are not there to store fat anymore, hence helping my body's metabolic rate speed up....Glory to God! Im expecting the great....you ladies be blessed and stay encouraged!!

You be the judge...

Here are my before and after pics so far...I think I was even more swollen from the 3 hour ride to Nashville, but the pics dont lie so I cant complain because even with swelling its a huge difference from what was:-)
Dr. Melinda Haws/Nashville, TN

Dr. Melinda Haws is an excellent doctor. She is confident in her skills and knows how to help you achieve your desired look. She is very knowledgable and personable. She made me feel so comfortable and made sure all my questions were answered. I highly recommend her. She is an artist!!! Her staff is amazing as well. Any time that I called with a question, I got a call back the same day, within hours with answers from her nurse, Lynn. They are very professional and organized. Love them!!!

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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