51 Years Young, Ready to Look As Young As I Feel

I am 51 years young and tired of my kangaroo pouch...

I am 51 years young and tired of my kangaroo pouch and muffin top that just won't go away. I have 2 grown children, have had 3 abdominal surgeries, and of course, my young age might play a factor in my skin laxity and pouch that I cannot get rid of. I weigh less than I did in high school and feel wonderful....at one point I was wearing a size 20 pants. I have now been in a size 8 for the past year and maintained my weight of 150ish for the past 5 years. I have worked hard and saved my money and now it is time for me. I have wanted a tummy tuck for years but never felt justified in spending the money. Now that I have waited so long, the aging tatas need some attention too, and I finally have the money, so I figured why not do it all at one time? One recovery, one anesthesia and faciility charge, one time for everything. So here I go. Scheduled for August 11th... standard tummy tuck, breast lift (no augmentation) and lipo to flanks. I am so excited yet nervous. Anxious and happy. Can't believe I am going to post these humiliating awful pics, but figured they are all part of my journey and I will regret it if I don't have a reference point when I am wondering why the heck I decided to go through this?!?! I have been researching and stalking this site for about 3 months now. Feel like y'all are my friends already! Wish me luck - cause I wish all of you the best of luck. Hugs and happy healing ladies!

Pre-Op tomorrow

Looking forward to my pre-op appointment in the morning. Get my final questions answered, scripts, and marching orders for the next several days. Rented a very comfy power recliner this afternoon. I am ready to get this show on the road!!

Pre-Op appointment went fine

First thing they did was my Playboy photo shoot. LOL. Be looking for me in the senior citizens edition...I'll be the one with the purple panties scrunched down and the kangaroo pouch hanging out! Got my script for pain - hydrocodone- and requested something for nausea, so they gave me promethazine script too. Doc came in and took another look - answered all my questions. He is great - made me feel much more at ease about it all. He thought the power recliner was a great idea. I asked if he thought he could go low enough on my incision to get rid of some of the scar tissue I have from previous surgery. I thinks he can. Yay! It is thick and painful so glad he can remove it! Told me I could shower the next day - no problem. Drains will stay in for a week, sounds like. Cause my first post-op won't be for 8 days. That's OK....I have had drains before and they were bothersome but not too bad. I will go home in a surgical bra and CG that they provide....it will be on me when I wake up in recovery. Stitches in tummy will be dissolving, breasts might have a few that will not be - depends what he ends up doing. He told me I will definitely have the lollipop incision at the least....more likely the T though. Whatever gives me the best lift and shape I am good with. Unless a child gets put on the schedule in the next 2 days, I will report in at 6:45 Monday morning - surgery at 7:30!

I sure am glad

....that I'm not the only one who is so excited, yet nervous, about their surgery! It's all I think about! Monday cannot get here soon enough...

4 more days...

I think I have made more lists in the last month than I have made in my entire life! Supply list, grocery list, things to do before surgery list, what I need to get done at work before surgery list, packing list of what to take to my friend's house for recuperation, etc. Then I update them all with what I have done, and start all over again! LOL. I am more excited than nervous at this point. Feel like all the waiting is gonna be so worthwhile. I did have a dream last night that a light bulb went out in my kitchen and I climbed up to change it and fell and busted all my stitches. I think it stemmed from all the thinking about "gotta let people help me for awhile and not be so independent"...Got a call from my PS office today to confirm surgery time on Monday. They did end up with a child on the schedule, so I don't report until 8:30 - surgery should be around 9:15. Got my yard mowed today. Gotta work both jobs tomorrow, then gonna finish laundry, clean house, cook some chicken, pack and take stuff to my friend's house this weekend. Monday will be here before I know it! Yippee!

Got Brave

I posted pics earlier of the droopy boobs, but deleted them because I felt weird about having half naked pics of myself out here on the internet. Well, I decided the heck with it and am gonna put some out there again. I want a good reflection of my before and after journey, so here goes.

Today is the day I have been waiting for...

I am headed out. Wish me luck!

Surgery went well

and they tell me I am doing great. Thanks to Exparel, pain is not intolerable. Kinda burning and tight feeling at incisions. I have been getting up walking around some this afternoon. Even drained my own drains a few minutes ago. Very tired. Gotta eat a little something and take a pain med soon. I will post more tomorrow.

Still doing very well!

Good morning! So far today, I am doing fine. I can get up by myself and walk around by myself. Not for too long, though. Truthfully, I expected the pain to be much worse. Still all wrapped up, but gonna have a shower this afternoon, so maybe I can get a pic to post. If things keep going as they are now, I will recover quite nicely!

1st shower. Felt wonderful. So I got a peek....here is is.

3 Days Post-Op

I am feeling much better than I expected to be at this point. Still resting a good bit, but finding that the more I get up and move around, the better I feel. My goal is to be able to stand up straight by the end of today. We'll see how that goes. I have been sleeping in the recliner, but just tested out laying in the bed - pillows under my knees - and I think I will try sleeping there tonight. I think it will help my aching back. More sweling and bruising has shown up this morning. But it is all part of the recovery. Hope all my surgery buddies are doing well today!

5-Days Post-Op

Today was a great day! Went to the store with my friend / nurse, we drove around looking at houses, then stopped and ate lunch on the way back to his house. It felt so great to get out of the house and it was a beautiful day! Watched a movie, now getting ready to take a shower before I kinda settle in for the evening. Thinking about going home tomorrow. I live by myself, so stayed with him for a bit, but feel good and think it's time to go home. I am able to do everything myself, and have been off painkillers since day 2. We'll see how I feel in the morning. Hope all my surgery buddies are doing well! Let me know!

Ouchie!

Yes, sneezing does hurt! Be sure to grab a pillow ladies! I am home today. Woke up feeling really good, so decided it was time to move back home and try to start getting back to normal. I am so thankful for my great friend for helping me through the first week. Never could have done it without him. He brought his hand held shower and installed it in my shower when we brought all my stuff home today. I would definitely have missed that. So now I have a couple days all alone...hope I don't get weepy! So far, I haven't had any of the emotional ride, so would like to keep it that way! Looking forward to my post-op on Tuesday morning - thinking they will take out drains and stitches. Hope all you ladies are enjoying your Sunday. Think I'm gonna take a nap....

What supplies did I REALLY use?

I was one of those that bought everything I could think of for recovery. If I read that it helped someone recover easier, better, faster....I was logging into Amazon and placing an order! I did use much of what I purchased, but here is what were the necessities for me: 1) power recliner - I rented it for $80 for a month and it has been wonderful. 2) shower chair - I was able to shower since the day after surgery so the shower chair provided me safety and security and eased my aching back. At one week post-op I am still using it. 3) travel pillow - saved my aching neck at first while sleeping semi-upright in the recliner. 4) tank tops for under my binder - saves me from the itchy red skin! 5) extra front closure sports / surgical bras 6) protein shakes - had little to no appetite the first few days, yet knew I needed to be putting protein in my body! 7) Colace/Milk of Magnesia - I never felt constipated, thank goodness. Started colace 2 days pre-op and MOM 3 days Post-op. 8) Triple antibiotic ointment - for around the drain sites. Kept them from getting dried out and pinching. 9) Extra pillows - for under my knees 10) Lip moisturizer!

I used very little in the way of wound dressing, even though I purchased peroxide, alcohol pads, gauze pads, tape, etc. I cleaned the incision sites with soap and water in the shower, and had no drainage after Post-op day 1. I also purchase coconut water, which I found tastes like sweaty armpits, so I am either going to find someone who wants it, or it is going into the garbage can soon! Blah!

Post-Op Appointment

Today was my first post-op visit with my PS. He took a look and asked me some questions and told me I got a 10 out of 10 on my recovery. I feel like I have done way better than I expected, so glad to hear I was on target. They removed one of my drains, and if the remaining one doesn't put out over 30 cc's in 24 hours, I will get the other one removed Thursday am. I haven't been draining a whole lot, so thinking that will happen. But if not, I'm all for keeping it in until I'm ready. Dang sure don't want a seroma and have to go get drained with a needle twice a week! I have had drains before, so I knew it wouldn't hurt when they pulled them out, but it still causes a little intake of breath, and ya still kinda dread it. So anyhow, 1 down, 1 to go. All of my stitches are dissolving, so that will just take time. Feeling good today and so thankful that all has gone so well for me after this surgery. Hope all you girls are having a great day!

Scar Treatment

Very soon I will begin scar treatment. My PS says there are a lot of good creams out there, but he truly believes that the actual massage is key to healing the scars. I need some input from you ladies that are currently or have previously used scar treatment "stuff". I have mederma and silicon strips. What have y'all found to work the best for you? And are there massage techniques that are best?

No More Drains!

Got the last one removed this morning...yay! I don't feel like an alien anymore! Don't have to go back now for 4 weeks unless i need anything. This lady is ready to get back in the groove!

Finally

I can finally wear my strapless without my saggy boobs pushing it down! Whoohoo!

Here is my new corset....very comfy!

I bought it at WalMart before my surgery and I love it!

Back to Work

Tomorrow will be my first day back to work at my full-time job. I feel like I am ready, although I'm betting I will be ready for a nap when I get home! Been trying to stay up and busy the past few days in preparation.

First day back to work - 14 days post-op

First day back went OK. Keep in mind this was my desk job. Went in about 7:30 and by 1:30 I could hear my recliner calling my name! LOL. Stuck it out until about 3:15 and by then I was feeling tired, very tight, and starting to hunch over and walk kinda slow, which surprised me cause I have been upright for several days. Once again, my body telling me it was time to rest. Came home and have been relaxing for a few hours. Got up to make my lunch for tomorrow and grab a bite to eat, then back to the recliner I go!

Rough Day

Today, just for a fleeting moment - or several - I had the terrible feeling that I was going backward in my recovery progress. I know that I am not, and that so far I have been so fortunate to have had an easy and relatively painless recovery with no complications. But the last couple of days I have been feeling so tired, soooo tight, and having trouble walking up straight, even though I was upright last week. I know its because of going back to work and having a little swelling, but I got nervous for some odd reason. But being a reasonable person, I got to thinking - this is probably just my next phase of healing. Seems to me that if the skin is starting to "knit" back to the muscles and nerves, etc. it would be logical that the tightness would increase some before it gets all better?? Is anyone else experiencing this super tightness? It's not just at the end of my work day. It starts in the morning. Maybe I need to walk more? Any thoughts?

2nd week back to work

Still feeling good, although I do hope this super tight feeling lets up a tad soon. Went to the mall and walked around yesterday afternoon. Got my free panty from VS. (See pic.) Getting ready for work now. Have a great day y'all!

Closeup of puppies!

Haha! Per request by Realitynut, here is a closeup of my "puppies". Lifted - no implants. I am very happy with them. I actually considered a reduction, but the lift made them slightly smaller - and I can pass a pencil test with flying colors now!!

Gelzone

I have not started scar therapy yet, except for massage. Still have some scabs and stitches that haven't dissolved. Today I ordered a Gelzone wrap on Amazon. It provides compression as well as the silicone and looked like it would stay on well. Has anyone used the Gelzone before?

Side view

...of puppies....

Didn't work the first time

Try again

Just a little hiccup

Recovery has been going so well....can't complain too much about a small hiccup. I noticed a place under my right breast a couple days ago that was open slightly. Thought it was just cause of the scab coming off. Put some neosporin on it and went on about my business. Last night it looked worse and red and had some pus draining. I cleaned it up and figured it was a stitch festering in there. Went by my PS office today and sure enough, it was a stitch causing an abscess. Nurse got the stitch, cleaned it up, and called me in a script. Hopefully it will clear up in a few days. Hope no more of these stitches decide to act up! I hope everyone had a good Friday and here's to a great weekend!

No more recliner

So...I called Aaron's and told them to pick up the power recliner that I rented for a month on Monday. I sure will miss that chair. We have spent so much time together over the past month! We even slept together on our first night! LOL. I actually thought about going ahead and buying it, but I really don't have room for it in my living room, so it's gotta go.

I received my Gelzone wrap in the mail yesterday. My incision has finally lost all the scabs - still a few stitches in there to dissolve or work their way out - whichever they decide to do - but I think I am going to put the wrap on after my shower this afternoon. Got the ScarAway sheets to use on my breasts whenever they are finally healed enough, but those scars look like they are already healing very nicely. Do you girls even use anything around the nipple? I don't think I will need to. BB either.

So I got on the scale this morning. Was kinda surprised - even with the swelling and the sitting around like a blob not being able to exercise - I was down 6 lbs. since surgery. I'm ok with my weight - not trying to lose - just need to tone - especially my butt after sitting on it way too much lately! Hoping in a couple weeks I will feel like doing some workouts...

Hope you ladies have a wonderful week. Hugs and happy healing to all!

Gelzone Review

OK ladies. So I wore the Gelzone wrap the night I received it. Lasted all of about 3 hours till I took it off. It is 6" wide and sticks to your skin (as it should), but it was pulling on my skin and I couldn't handle it. I really wanted to use it because the moisture factor is awesome so knew it would be great for my TT scar. Yesterday I cut it in half lengthwise and tried it again. Voila! No more pulling and it felt good! Compression and moisture on my scar! I plan to use it more in the evening and at night while I sleep - not so much at work during the day.

Nothing else really new, other than the fact that it seems like my tummy muscles are tighter this week than week 2. Guessing it's just part of the healing process, but it's all I can do to walk upright the past couple of days! Anyone else feel like that at week 4?

Thought I might have gotten lucky and avoided Swell Hell...

But alas...I did not! Guess I am one of the late bloomers who had little swelling at first, but tomorrow is my one month mark, and the swelling is here with a vengeance! Truthfully, this is the part I dreaded the most. But I expected it, so no surprise. Went from 143 pounds yesterday morning to 148 this morning! And 33 inch waist last week to almost 36 today! LOL. I fully expect when this all settles out to have a smaller waist, just gotta be patient. I wear some sort of CG all the time, including at night. Hoping this phase of the healing passes by soon. But no matter - I DO KNOW it will get better and be so worth it!!

How do I change the Worth It?

Since I started my review prior to surgery, I selected "Not Sure" under Worth it on my original profile. How do I change that to a big THUMBS UP?

Does anybody know?

Trying not to dwell on the swell....(I'm such a poet!)...but does anybody worry that this swelling is kinda stretching out your skin? I want that flat tummy I saw after surgery! Seems like the swelling would stretch the skin?

Before and Afters

Just messing around with different picture collage apps and trying to get some before and afters. Here is one...

Didn't upload...try again...

Looks like a revision is in my future...

So I went for another follow-up with my PS today. I just love him and his staff. Nurse Lisa gave me a once-over. Told me my TT scar looked great - like I was 6 months post instead of 5 weeks. Sounded good so guess I will continue with the gel zone wrap and massage. She took about 3 more "dissolvable" stitches out for me that were trying to worm their way outta my body. Then Doc came in - said TT looked great. Looked at my boobs, kinda tilted his head side to side, and told me that he thought they would look better if he took a little more skin off the bottom and tucked them up a bit more. Wow. I did not expect that at all. Here I am all happy as heck cause they are perky again! But he is a perfectionist - good! - and I walked over to the mirror and he showed me what he was talking about. He also said it would help with future perkiness longevity....I just made that phrase up....and anything that will make them perky till I'm 100 years old works for me! I asked what all it would entail, and he said he could probably do it with just a local - we are gonna have to discuss that some more - not sure I like the sound of that, but also don't wanna go under general anesthesia again - maybe a local with valium - or some good drugs? LOL. He would cut on just the horizontal incisions of my breasts - remove some more skin - and sew me back up. So there would be no additional additions or scarring. I asked if he could do it on a Friday and I go back to work Monday? He said probably - yes. But he wants to wait 2 months and wait until everything is totally settled, then we will make a decision. I really love that he is such a perfectionist. So now I go back in November and we go from there. Oh yea, the PS clinic is also collecting new or gently used bras for a local shelter. I have lots of gently used DD bras that I am going to donate, cause my lift took me to a D - even fit in some Cs. And for every bra you donate you get entered into a drawing for a $150 gift card - gee, if I win, I might have to get some juvederm or botox or something! LOL. Happy healing, girls!

No additional incisions....not additions.

Sure wish we could edit...

Pretty CG

Wanted to show you a pic of my "pretty" new shapewear I got in the mail today. I decided to order a pretty one from Amazon the other day. That is a tough task, cause shapewear is not made to be pretty! I did find this one, however, and I actually really like it! It is made by Curvi, has very pretty embroidery, made of breathable fabric so it's not hot, and it has removable straps. Retails for $59.99, but I paid $19.99 on Amazon. I am going to post a pic and a video, but I have no idea if the video will work cause I have never done it before. I also have been on my feet and worked all day so I am swollen and look like Spongebob Squarepants. LOL. Happy healing to all my RS friends, and have a wonderful weekend!

Scar - one day and 6 weeks post op

I try to remember the kinds of things I wanted to see and read about prior to making the decision to proceed with my surgery. One of them was the TT scar. Not that it was a deciding factor by any means, but I was curious to see progression of scar healing and compare treatments. Here is a pic of my scar the day after my surgery and today. Tomorrow will be 6 weeks post op. Ignore the lines across my tummy - I have been wearing my binder all day. I am pretty happy with the scar treatment and short term results. Thinking in 6 months it will look so much better!

To CG or not to CG....that is the question...

I have been experimenting for about the past week with wearing and not wearing any type of CG, binder, shapewear, whatever you wanna call it. I measured morning and noon with and without it, 5pm with and without it, and bedtime too. I did this on weekend days as well as workdays. My eating and drinking habits are always about the same, so not much of a variable involved with that. My hypothesis was that on the days that I didn't wear a cg, my swelling would be worse, measurements larger, and I would feel miserable. However, that was not the case. Measurements were exactly the same each day, whether I wore one or not! From morning until bedtime, my waist size increases 3 inches every day, and I look like Spongebob Squarepants after 5pm. And truthfully, I am starting to like not wearing any support garments, because on the days that I do, they get tighter and tighter throughout the day and I feel miserable and can't wait to get home from work and take it off for a little while. I do still sleep in my binder every night. So I am asking all my RS sisters out there.....what did your PS tell you about wearing one vs. not? Mine pretty much left it up to me at this point, but I want the best end results, so willing to sacrifice now if I need to. I await your input. : )

Before and After

Today I got my B&A pics from my PS office. Wow. Did I really look that awful? LOL. Just reaffirms that I made a good decision when I had this surgery!

Pics

Valium....

So, I need some help with deciding how to handle this revision I have coming up. The only med I had for my TT and BL surgery was hydrocodone, which I took for the first 4 days. I never had valium or muscle relaxers. I have never taken valium. But my PS wants to do this revision next month and take more skin off my breasts and round them out to look a little better....no cost to me of course...under a local. That freaks me out a bit. I have had foot surgery, cysts removes, etc. under a local. Always makes me a bit nervous. So I know cutting on my boobs is gonna make me very nervous!! Will valium help with this?? I really think I will need something to relax me....

Mammogram

So, I looked at my calendar today and realized that my annual mammogram is scheduled in 3 weeks. I am a little reluctant to go because my boobs are still kind of tender and I don't relish the thought of them being squished like pancakes right now. I am 10 weeks post-op from TT and breast lift - no augmentation. Is anyone else still tender at 10 weeks? Has anyone had a mammogram during the 10 weeks or prior time frame? I also wonder - I still have a lot of numbness in my tummy. And some days I am so tight almost want to hunch over again - the past 3 days have been like that. I chalk it up to a "healing" phase. Does anyone else have that at this point in their healing process?

Missing my RS buddies

It has been a bit since I updated. I have been very busy and not online a lot lately. I am almost done with my Christmas shopping and also made the decision to quit my second job and enjoy life for now. I honestly couldn't fathom the swelling after working from 7am until 10pm, so I decided to not return. Anyhow, been having a good time with all my free time now. Went to an awesome concert last night with my special friend and spent the day at outlet malls and went out to eat before driving back home today. Enjoyed many laughs and had a wonderful time. One of my highlights of last night was that I decided to go braless to the concert! Call me crazy, but at 51 years old - man, that felt so good! And fun! And risque! LOL. I haven't been able to pull off going braless since I was in my teenage years! Haha. Hope all of you are doing well and healing beautifully! Hugs!

Revision scheduled

I went to my 3 month post-op today with my PS. We discussed the revision that he wants to do on my breasts since he feels the nipples are too high. I agree that if they were about 1/2 inch lower they would look better, but I was VERY leery of doing this under a local. Too many shots for my liking! However, I have a large ganglion cyst on the back of my left wrist that I need removed and it just so happens that he can remove it....at the same time he does the revision....and my insurance will pay for the cyst removal...and the LMA anesthesia! Yay!! He is also going to inject my BB scar because it is very raised and red. So I am having it done December 3rd. Hopefully it will be no biggie and I will be back to work the next day. That's the plan. So here we go again....got my pre-op instructions and anti-bacterial sponges from the surgery center today.... Funny - when I think of "plastic surgery" I don't really think about the stuff they do that insurance actually covers. My PS does all kinds of stuff, including carpal tunnel, wound care, and of course TONS of breast reconstruction after mastectomy surgery. I looked at his photo album today of all the reconstruction he has done. Wow. What a great job he does on these women that are left so devastated. Makes me think how blessed I am for sure.
Mississippi Plastic Surgeon

I highly recommend Dr. Elliott. He was professional, very attentive, answered any questions I had, and I am super happy with my results. I was very impressed with the facility and the entire staff. I feel very comfortable with them and they have accommodated my every request. After reading a lot of the reviews here on RS, I wish that everyone could have had as positive experience as I did with Dr. Elliott.

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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