Where to start. I turned 40 this year. ugh. I...
Where to start. I turned 40 this year. ugh. I still don't like that number. But you're only as old as you feel, right? I am healthier now, than I have ever been. I've been over weight my entire adult life. 2 years ago I started my weight loss journey, and for whatever reason, this time it worked. I lost 60 pounds and have kept it off for over a year. I'm 5'7 and weigh 143. I have 4 kids, 15, 11, and 7 year old twins. The weight loss and pregnancies did a number on my belly. I have also had multiple abdominal surgeries: appendix, gallbladder, and hysterectomy. I'm a nurse, and while you would think that would make me less nervous, it is actually quite the opposite. I went last week and had my pre-op appointment, paid for the procedure, and haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. I am a nervous wreck. I get on this site multiple times a day, and I take great comfort in others stories & transformations. So, I thought that maybe I could help someone else out. My husband is super supportive, he has never said a bad word towards my weight, even at my heaviest. He thinks I deserve this for my hard work, but wants me to know that he loves me with or without it. This is for me, not him. I think he's ready for it to be over, though, because I am driving him crazy with the daily "should I REALLY do this?"
I feel very vain for doing this, even though I realize that it's necessary. I've only told my closest 3 friends, and I would like to keep it from everyone else. Is that possible?
I would gladly accept others advice, on must have items, what has helped you. Thanks so much!
Battle of the nerves...10 days until full Tummy Tuck
The count down is on. It seems like each day I go through a process....looking in the mirror, asking myself "do I really need this; what if I just lose 5 more pounds; should I CANCEL, am I going to be able to handle the pain???" Overwhelmed with guilt for spending money on ME, and not being the "caregiver" for me family. It's a constant battle of the mind. I tend to over think things, and worry about everything. It's only magnified now. The day cannot get here soon enough.
I decided to take more "before" photos today, and I'm back on the LETS DO THIS wagon. No amount of weight is going to make my mother of 4/twin skin/60# weight loss belly go ANYWHERE.
I've been frantically cleaning and organizing the house. Yesterday I made meals for the weeks when I am down. I'm sure my family wouldn't starve if I didn't do this, but it seems to lessen my guilt, and put my mind on something other than worrying. At least I'm being productive!
Lab work done, it's becoming more real!
Pre - op lab work done today. I guess this makes it official. I kept telling myself that I could cancel since I hadn't done my lab work yet. Now there's no backing out!
1 week from now I will be in the recovery phase. I know there's going to be a great deal of pain involved, and that is what I'm most nervous about. I'm a big wimp when it comes to pain. I'm hoping I'll be surprised & it's going to be easier than I'm imagining. (Wishful thinking I'm sure! )
I'm usually a very "prepared/lists" kind of person, but I still feel very confused about what I will need in the post op period!?!?
Love following everyone's stories! It's so encouraging to see others experience the same feelings and concerns. It's nice to know that you are "normal."
3 Days away Full TT with MR
This week has flown by. I'm just hoping the weekend goes equally as fast. I'm super anxious, but excited at the same. Still feeling guilty about the money, and being unable to care for my family. I still haven't told anyone else that I'm doing this, (other than my 3 closest friends) so I appreciate everyone's support on here! ! I'm not even telling my kids unless I absolutely can't fake it. I'm hoping go be off in my bedroom "not feeling well," so they can steer clear for a few days. Am I crazy for thinking this way? Why am I so against telling people?!!
I got all my supplies that I think I will need for Monday. I ordered a wedge pillow on Amazon, hopefully I will be able to switch off and on between my bed and my living room recliner, seamless tank tops for under CG, benadryl in case I'm itching, stool softeners, MOM, dulcolax tabs (just in case - I'm prone to constipation), cough drops, RX for pain meds & antibiotics, 4x4 gauze, paper tape, granny panties, books to read, extension cord for my chargers for living room, warm socks.
Thanks for all your posts and updates! I really don't think I could get through without you guys!! Keep me in your prayers!!
Tomorrow is the big day! Tummy Tuck with MR!
Tomorrow is the day! Still nervous as ever, just ready to be in the recovery phase. Please keep me in your prayers, that everything will go smoothly tomorrow. Thanks!!
Today is the Day!
13 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
I slept rather well last night. I have my scapolamine patch on to prevent nausea. (I've used it with previous surgeries and it worked wonders!) Time to get ready so we can do this. See you all on the flat side. Keep praying! Thanks!!
Made it to the flat side!
13 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
Had surgery this morning at 9am. I was really nervous going into the OR, but once they gave me Versed, I was out. The Doctor said he removed 3 pounds of skin & 1 pound of lipo to my flanks Stayed in recovery for about 2 hours, then headed home. Just took my first pain pill. I've gotten up twice and walked. Walking isn't too painful, just getting up and down is a little tricky. Haven't had any nausea, think my scapolamine patch has a lot to do with that. I bought a wedge pillow, and so far, I am loving it. Definitely worth the money. ($32 on amazon). I think I'm going to take a little nap! Thanks for the prayers!
1st Day Post Op
Today has been tough. The pain from the muscle repair is NO JOKE. The lortab wasn't even touching my pain. When I'm in bed or recliner, I just feel a little sore, but getting up to the bathroom is pretty painful. (which I do every 2 hours because I'm drinking tons of water) It feels like my muscles are being ripped apart. Getting into the bed or recliner is easier than getting out of it.
I had my first post op visit today. Surgeon says everything looks great. He wrote me prescription for demerol and phenergan. My husband is filling it now.
I thought I'd be ready to shower as soon as we got home, but the car ride alone was enough for me. I need to rest just so I can have strength to shower.
I haven't had much of an appetite, but I am eating small things with my pain meds, Like
crackers, granola bar, & turkey breast.
My husband will go back to work tomorrow, so I will be on my own. I'm a little nervous about that.
Happy Healing everyone. Thanks for your kind words & prayers!
2nd Post-op day TT with muscle repair & lipo flanks
I slept better last night. (My first night I only slept 2 hrs). My pain has gone down a little today, and the Demerol is helping a lot. My main problem right now is nausea and SWELLING. My Dr told me to try dulcolax tabs yesterday.(laxative) I took two at noon yesterday, and still nothing. I did throw up once today, and I thought I was going to die. Today I took milk of magnesia. (To help with bm).Still, nothing. I've been extremely nauseated today, I feel like it might get better if I could just go to bathroom.
I took a shower last night. My husband put a plastic lawn chair in the shower for me to sit on. We also attached my drains to shoe string around my neck. The shower felt wonderful, but I didn't like being out of the binder while it was being washed. I couldn't snap any pics yesterday, because I was flat beat.
My husband went to work today, and I was home alone. I did okay getting up and down myself.
I got three library books and all kinds of movies to watch, but I can't stay awake or focused enough to do anything. I'm sure it's the pain meds and phenergan.
I have lots of swelling on my belly, and thighs. The swelling is actually worse on my right abdomen, and it makes my belly button look off center. I'm sure it'll look better once swelling goes down. didn't do anything with my thighs, so not sure why they are swollen.
Appreciate all of you out there sharing your stories. Hope everyone is recovering well.
Holy SWELL!! 3rd day post-op
Today overall has been MUCH better. My pain has decreased by at least half. I switched back to the lortab, & I'm taking 1 every 6-8 hours. Compared to the Demerol & phenergan I was taking every 4 hrs, I would say that's progress! I feel like I have more energy, but taking a shower still wore me out!
The nausea is gone today, but still no bm. Hopefully soon. Taking stool softeners and MOM twice a day.
The swelling....I look like I'm pregnant. I know that this is a part of the process, but it's still hard to feel like you are going through all this stuff and you can't picture the end result.
My husband got home from work early this afternoon, I was so glad, cause I needed a shower BAD. He washed and hung my garment up outside to dry. I only had it off for an hour, but I felt like a stuffed sausage being put back into it! Can you really swell that much in an hour? I may have to buy an extra from the Dr office. I think it's silly that they only gave me one. I totally understand when everyone says they feel better with it on. I feel like my abdomen is heavy and pulling without it. Please tell me the swelling will get better from here!
I have a small basket set up next to me with things I might need. Lord knows once you get into that comfortable spot, you DO NOT want to have to get back up. Some things that I have: kleenex, hand sanitizer, RX, paper & pen (to write down the times of your medicine), gum, chapstick, saltines, granola bars, animal crackers, book, bottle of water.
Hope that helps!
Happy Healing to you all!
Day 3 post op photos
Here are some photos from today. My entire abdomen is swollen, but the right is significantly worse than the left. I'm a visual person, that's why I did the side by side comparisons.
Day 4 post op. I've hit "the wall!"
I knew coming into this, that there would be a point in my recovery where I would regret my procedure. I'd seen it here on several people's posts. The pain phase, the swell phase, the "why did I do this?" phase, the happy with results phase. Well I'm there, & it ain't pretty. We have all done our homework, researched countless before & afters photos. Read others advice, prepared ourselves with everything we think we might need. I even told my husband that i was going to swell, be miserable, & regret doing this. But that didn't begin to mentally prepare me for feeling like this....How do you prepare yourself when you are so tired, from the fact that you can't sleep, because you've laid in the same position for 4.5 days straight, sore - but won't take pain medicine because even after 2 dulcolax tabs, 12 stool softeners, & 4 doses of MOM - You still haven't gone to bathroom. (Tomorrow makes 7 days since bm) So swollen, that even after just a few bites of food, you feel like you could rip your muscles apart. Feel guilty, watching your husband work all day and still come home and take care of you and everything else, all the while you wish you could just go back and undo what is already done. That's where I am. I'm sorry. I wanted to be more positive here. But today, I can't. Please tell me this phase doesn't last very long.
Better day post-op day 5
Sorry for my melt down yesterday! My emotions kind of took over!Today has been a better day. Finally had the much needed bm. Had to do a fleets enema, but the relief was so worth it! After I showered today, I fixed my hair, then spent some time outside in the sunshine. That was the pick me up that I needed. I spent the afternoon napping.
Tomorrow will probably be another lazy day. Then Monday will be my second follow up appointment. I am supposed to get one drain out then. I'm honing to get both of them out.
Happy Healing. Thanks for all your support!
Each day does get easier...
Post-op day 6:
Rested really well last night. Still sleeping on my back in the v position. Can't wait until I can sleep on my sides. I was a little less swollen this morning, & the scale showed it too. Day of surgery I weighed 143. Day 3 post-op my scale was up to 147. Today it was at 140. I've never seen that number! I still have swelling in my lower abdomen, so it's still hard to imagine what the outcome will be.
My emotions seem all over the place the last few days. I'll feel "normal, " but once I try to get up and do things, I get exhausted, which then I turn into a weepy mess. I am definitely going to have to take this day by day. Pain is more soreness & tightness in uppers abs. I take Tylenol throughout the day, but by evening I'm ready for a pain pill. Usually by then my stomach and back just ache. I'm still taking it easy and not doing a whole lot, although each day I am doing more than the day before.
I get one (hopefully both) drain out tomorrow. My output for the last 24 hrs was only 15 cc from each side.
Here's a few pics from today.
1 week Post Tummy tuck
Can't believe it's been a week! Not a lot of change in the last few days. I stand straighter in morning, but as the day goes on, my belly gets stiff and I walk more bent over. My energy still isn't where I'd like it to be, I know I just had surgery, but I've never been a patient person! My lower abdomen is still swollen, & it just feels "weird." (Kind of hard to explain.) It's heavy, and puffy, and numb. It almost doesn't feel like it's a part of me. I go in tomorrow to get my last drain out. Yay!! I tried on my jeans today. They buttoned up, but they were tight & uncomfortable. I have no idea what I'm going to wear in the meantime.
Hope everyone is doing well!
oops! 8 days post tummy tuck!
Oops. Guess I lost track of the days! Today is 8 days post-op!
Got my last drain out today! That was such a relief. Didn't hurt getting it taken out at all. The spot where it was is tender, but I'm relieved to have it gone!
Went shopping today and bought some leggings. I can't wear any of my regular clothes due to swelling. Even though I am swollen, I can still see a difference in clothes. I may be swollen, but I don't have a gigantic pouch on my belly. That is a nice change!
All my errands, appointments, & kids activities today....I OVER DID IT! This is the most I have been up, & I'm afraid I'm going to pay for it. I'm so swollen & so achy. For those of you trying to plan how much time you need off work....I would say 3-4 weeks. At 9 days I am NO WHERE near ready to be back to work!
I was really swollen last night!!! But after much needed rest and lots of water, it was a little better today. I've been swollen since 3 Days post-op, but some days it's better than others. Here's some pics from today, enjoy!
Follow up appointment today
Saw my PS today. I was a little surprised by his reaction when he saw my belly and said "OH, you're swollen!" that was of course first thing in the morning, when my swelling is better than later in the day. He said it was completely normal, that this is a 90 day process, & we're on day 11. Blah blah blah. I do not want to feel like Shamu for 79 more days. Ugh. He checked me for a seroma, which I didn't have (fluid build up under skin since drains were removed). It was really weird when he stabbed me with the needle & I felt NOTHING. How long does this numbness last? Afterwards I ran a few errands, met my husband for lunch, & then came home to put my feet up. When I walked into the restaurant for lunch, my husband did a double take. I actually fixed myself up, had new clothes on & his jaw was on the floor. He said "wow, you look GOOD, WOW!" I know I keep repeating how swollen I am, & believe me, I AM, but even with the swelling - I'm so much smaller than I ever was. It's like finally after the 60 pound weight loss, I can actually "see" myself thin now. I don't see some big flabby pregnant looking belly anymore. So, swelling or not, this has given me that. And the look on my husband's face :)
Since I got home, I have swelled up even more. It's almost like I need a larger garment in the evenings. Does anyone else do this? I should measure the difference i am from morning to evening. It's so uncomfortable, I am not going to ever get used to this.
Swelling swelling and MORE swelling
Just when I thought it couldn't get worse. I'm so swollen and so sore from the swelling. My abdomen looks deformed. I'm going to measure myself tonight and compare it to what I am in the morning. It's hard to stay positive when it just keeps getting worse. Hoping to have a better day tomorrow.....
17 days post-op
Went shopping & I bought a new dress! You know the one...that you put on & you just FEEL like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman? Well if you don't know that feeling...hang on. Cause you will! I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd look like this. EVER. I am swollen. OH SO SWOLLEN. But that is part of the process, & if I'm already liking what I'm seeing~then what is it going to be like when the swelling subsides? I'm going to be BROKE! I have many many years of shopping to make up! I used to be a size 16, now I'm a 6-8. Feeling good & accomplished!
Added a photo of the dress, & some updates of my scar, plus the SWELLING.
3 weeks post-op
I saw my Dr. today for my 3 week check up. I cant believe it has already been 3 weeks. The last week has flown by! I'm cleared for work & exercise. No abdominal or core exercise though. He said I can sleep on my side, although it still pulls when I lay flat or on my side. I'll probably still sleep upright with the wedge pillow for a while longer. My swelling has gone down considerably. I measured around my waist, 4 inches below, at my incision, and at my mons area last Monday. Today from all those measurements the swelling is down 10 inches. That's a huge difference! My PS said I'm still about 30% swollen. Not sure what that will look like, but at least I know it will continue to look better. Yay. I am worried about working on my feet all day and regressing! I am standing up completely straight. Sometimes my abs feel super tight, but if they are too uncomfortable, Tylenol or motrin does the trick. Laughing and coughing doesn't hurt anymore. Sneezing, on the other hand-oye! As long as I splint before, it's not as bad though. I took some more pics today. (I had been up for a few hours before I took them, but my swelling is so much better!) Starting to feel more normal!
1st day back at work, 3.5 weeks post-op
Worked my first 12 hour shift today. Ugh. I was actually up 16 hrs getting ready for work, commute etc. After about 6 hours I was wishing I was home. It was rough. I could feel myself swelling as the day went on, & there wasn't anything I could do about it. This morning the scale said 139 (I've NEVER been in the 130 ' s as an adult! ). But right now, my swelling is as bad as it has ever been. I guess I know what I'm doing this weekend....nothing. Time to put my feet up and rest! I know this is a process, I remind myself of this daily. But until you're actually IN the recovery phase, it's hard to grasp just how TAXING normal everyday things are-both mentally and physically. Physically is self explanatory. The mental part is even harder to deal with. You're "ready" to do everything that you normally do, & when you can't it's very frustrating & depressing. You feel silly complaining about something that you essentially paid $ for & willingly signed up for. I know my husband has got to be sick of me talking about the swelling. I'm even sick hearing about it.
Hope everyone is recovering well. Here's a picture from today. Huge difference from 4 days ago (when I wasn't as swollen).
Garments & scar treatment
Two big questions:
1. What kind of garment, binder do you use for stage 2? I've looked around, actually bought one, but I don't love it. It has good compression, but it is constantly giving me a wedgie!
2. Scar treatment. My PS just told me to do vitamin E oil on the scar once a day. It also hasn't been taped since 2 weeks post-op. I've read some people like silicone strips, heard a little about bicorneum? (I think that's the name of it)
Just wondering what everyone is using and how it's working. Thanks!
5 weeks Post-op with pics
I can't believe it's been 5 weeks! I'm feeling better & more normal. I am still swelling, but it does seem to be getting better.
I'm still using the wedge pillow at night. I slept on my side for 2 hours last night, but I woke up when I moved and it pulled and didn't feel so good. I think I've just gotten used to the security of my pillow.
I wore jeans yesterday, & realized - I need NEW jeans! My size 8 jeans are FALLING off me! That's something to celebrate!
My scar has started the redness healing phase. It looks really thin & straight. I like how low it is, I just wish I didn't have a ring around my belly button. I swore I'd never wear a bikini, honestly I've never worn one. But I feel good enough now, that I'd consider it! The scar around my belly button would have to really fade for me to do it. I'm still using vitamin E oil for the scar. Any other recommendations? ?
The scale is staying at 139 (I was 143 on the day of surgery).
Here's some photos.
Having one of THOSE days
Was supposed to go have 6 week pictures at the office today. On Sunday I weighed 138 (wahoo...lowest EVER). Wore my new jeans this weekend, & have been feeling pretty good. Yesterday I noticed that I was swelling more than I had been. Well, today it is worse. I called the office & rescheduled my pics for later this week. It's crazy how much the swelling can affect your spirit. Today, I'm an emotional wreck. Weepy and I feel like a whale! (No it's not PMS I've had a hysterectomy). Anyways, would love to say that it's smooth sailing after a certain week...but I guess it's not.
Thanks for all the encouragement!
Sorry about my pity party earlier. I swear this recovery has made me bi-polar! The mood swings have been crazy! I did as someone suggested & made myself a side by side comparison of my pre-op & my newest photo (1 month post). I'm still swollen tonight, but this photo was what I needed to re - focus me on how far I've come.
7+ weeks post-op. weaning off my binder!
My Dr office told me last week that I didn't have to wear my garment or spanx anymore. I'm still having a hard time ditching them though. Anyone else feel like this? For the last week, I've stopped wearing it at night, which frankly is HEAVEN! I've tried to not wear it during the day if I'm at home, but after a few hours of being up and around, I feel like I need it. I don't know if it's a mental thing, or a true physiologic thing. When I don't have it on, I feel like I'm swelling more, & it just feels weird.
Starting to sleep on my side, but still wake up quite a bit when I turn over. I feel a lot of pulling when I move in my sleep & it's uncomfortable enough to wake me up.
My husband is quite enjoying my new found confidence! I walk around our room half naked which NEVER would have happened before! Hope everyone is healing well! New pics...
Before & After. Is this really me?!!
I know I just posted these pics yesterday, but when you make a collage with them all together, & you can really compare the difference....wow! I don't know what it is, but I don't "see" this when I look at it in the mirror. I don't know if my mind needs to catch up or what. Needless to say, I'm thrilled with these results. The fact that I'm still swollen & it'll keep getting better...that amazes me!
23 Mar 2014
2 months post
Haven't updated in a while. Went on vacation for spring break. Poor eating habits, plus 20 hour drive each way did a number on me. I was up 5 pounds on the scale. I know part of that is swelling, because my entire abdomen is tight and puffy. I feel absolutely horrible! I've been back for a couple of days, my scale is now only up 3 pounds, but tonight my swelling has gone up even more than right after the trip. Trying to get my eating back on track. Was doing good until today. Mexican for lunch. Tons of sodium. Just goes to show that I'm still in the recovery phase. There's not a fast forward button. Just going to have to grin and bear it I suppose.
I've been sleeping without my wedge pillow, vacation broke me of that. I've also only been wearing spanx or compression if I'm going to be up a lot (always wear it at work). For example, I wore it at work Friday, took it off when I got home and have had it off since. Maybe that's why I'm so swollen, but I figure I'm going to swell either way, may as well be comfortable. I am seriously OVER that thing.
3 Months Post Tummy Tuck
17 Apr 2014
3 months post
Hope everyone is recovering well! I've been doing good. I haven't used my CG or spanx in over a month. I consider that a huge victory! I'm also sleeping on my side, & my swelling has gone down a lot. I will still get some at the lower part of belly towards end of the day, but not like it was before.
I went on vacation, then had family visiting for a week. Of course my eating was bad, & I'm still trying to get that off. I am up 3 pounds right now. Although you may not be able to tell in the pics, I can FEEL it. I don't knew if it's because now my abd is so tight or what, but when you eat to much, or gain a few pounds it feels so different. Hopefully someone else knows what I mean!
4 months Post Tummy Tuck
17 May 2014
4 months post
The time really has flown by. I have been doing really good. I still get a little swollen at the end of the day, but it's tolerable, & I think I'm the only one that notices. My weight still fluctuates about 3 pounds, but today was a low day, so I was thrilled. I haven't worn any type of Spanx or compression since my last update. Guess it's been almost 2 months. I haven't done any ab work, but I have been jogging and doing a little weights. I want to do more weights, just not really sure what to do. Anyone have any ideas, websites or programs that you recommend?
I can tell that my skin has loosened up from surgery, but I think that it's supposed to. Otherwise, we'd all be walking hunched over!
I decided to take some pictures today. I made a collage of my pictures that I got from my plastic surgeon appointment from before surgery and then my pics from today. WOW! I can't believe the difference! I think you forget how far you've actually come. It's nice to have the side by side comparisons. I know that I look better than before, but I don't see these differences daily. Maybe my brain hasn't caught up with my body?!
6 months after Tummy Tuck
16 Jul 2014
6 months post
I can't believe I've hit the 6 month mark! Life really does get back to normal. (For those of you who don't think it will, and I was one of them!) I still struggle with food, but I think that's something I will always struggle with. I try to keep myself in check, weighing a few times a week and if I'm up more than 3 pounds, I try to log my food intake, and pay more attention. It's easy to slip back into old habits, stop exercising, have a cheat meal, and another, and another. It's all about balance, and forgiving yourself when you slip up. I feel better about myself at 40, then I ever did in my 20's. The fact that my husband can't keep his eyes and hands off of me is a big bonus! Live life to the fullest. We only get one & you are WORTH it!