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Finally Me - Oklahoma City, OK

At 40 I decided to live by a quote that I loved so...

At 40 I decided to live by a quote that I loved so much. " If you dont like something change it if you cant change it then change the way you feel about it". I quite my high pressure corporate job and went back to college to become a nurse. Now 4 years later i am a practicing CCU nurse. I often told myself, If I finish this Im going to reward myself with a tummy tuck. After three children, hypothyroidism and a high stress job my belly fat was out of whack. I am a happier person than I was 5 years ago. I am happy with my body. I would just like to change it:) My date is rapidly comming up. I will post pics soon.

Pre op pics

I find reading this site so helpful. I am 5 days pre op and getting nervous. I have to stop thinking about what could go wrong. The thought of being in pain scares me as I get sick with pain meds. I have a great support system so I need to just relax.


3 days to the flat side! Im worried about the little things. I already have chronic constipation so im taking more colace now. Ive decided to to a clear liquids diet the day before. Its easier on the post op bowels. Im doing a cleanse right now to empty me out. I only have 2 weeks off work so im worried about that as well. I work with some amazing nurses so I need to relaxbi know they would be fine if I need to slow down or take multi breaks. Thanks to the advicebon this site I think I have all post op items already. So far I have : arnica tabs and gel, dressing bandages, protien bars snd shakes, lots of pillows, loose fitting clothes, a schedule ofcare givers, dont have a recliner going to have to couch it with the pillows, shower chair, cold and hot packs for the back pain, glass with lid for fluids (I hate to drink out of plastic) . Did I forget anything? My ps does not use drains. Has anyone else recovered without? Ive been eating a low salt diet for 2 years so not worried about that. I have to walk up a flight of stairs so wondering how thats gonna go. Laura my ps nurse called me today to let me know she will be calling in my scripts today. I have to say I have done my research and very hapoy with dr gonce and his office thus far. Dr gonce has a very very low infection rate. I even spoke to nurses to that had worked with him in the OR and had nothing but good things to say about him. He did my friends TT at work and she looks amazing! I think he is an artist with scar placement:) now to just try and relax. To more shifts at the hospital and I will be the patient. Thats gonna feel wierd!!

Day one

Hello all. It's been crazy! I was not suppose to have any drains and ended up with two. I was ready to be in pain but not quite this much. They ended up giving me 15 mg morphine and I don't do well with pain meds. Because of that I vomited on the was home and made myself very, very sore. Norco did not touch my pain all day I just was in bad shape. Right now if the first time I can look at my phone. My step mom is flying out tonight to help me as usually I'm not a wimp to pain . Getting up and down is the hardest part! I'm sure everyday will get better so I'm just wishing the days pass soon;) thank u for all the good wishes

Post op day 1 night

I'm feeling much better. I think all of my pain yesterday was vomiting from morphine. I feel the usual pain and tightness. Did not want to scare u

First look

I'm very hopefully! Looks like arnica is working

Post op

Still trying to keep nausea away. I take ginger tabs Zofran and eat crackers . I'm ok as long as I don't get nauseous and vomit. That takes more muscle strength than I ever knew! Post op app is tom will send pics

Very swollen

Even with 2 drains I feel very swollen. One of the drains is extremely painful if it's moved at all a let out a yell. My mom anchored it with gauze. The other pain was expected, the swelling. My incision site hurts and burns . Nothing meds can't treat . I am very lucky that after my first day of post op my mom flew down to help...I could have never done this by myself or just with my sweet hubby!!! I tried a little solid food today. Don't want to upset the BM gods;)

Drains out!!

Thank god almighty drains are out. My ps said he did lipo on my pubic area as well so yea!!!! I am starting to really bruise. I am walking almost up about 75%. We went to a thrift store and paid $5 for a walker I will use for a few days then donate.

Swell hell

Well I did not much last night and paid for it. I was unable to get comfortable and out of pain all night. Feel better today. I started using arnica cream along with tabs. I still take 1 norco Q 6 hours as I do not want the pain to get the best of me again. Tom I will just use one Q8 until just using Tylenol . God bless the ones that do not need the pain meds but I am not one of them. This hurts incredibly. Tolerable with the meds. My advice get the "toys". I.e. Walker , recliner or pillows, bathroom chair etc....It will just make life easier;)

The all important BM



Feel look more like myself today . Watched a movie with the family. The pain is now a tolerable 3-4 level. Mainly burning at cutting site. Muscles are tight but tolerable. I'm taking 1 pill every 8 hours today and doing fine. My mom was going to leave yesterday but extended her stay until this Tuesday. She has worked in an ER for 32 years so it's been so nice to just relax and let her handle it. She changes my bandages in the morning and gives me alternating ice and cold packs thru the day . The lipo that was done on my pubic area is very sore and hard. I've packs help. I think I'm now over the hump .

The back to work debate

I was going to start back to 12 hour shifts next week. Silly me thinking I was superhuman. I sat at the table for 45 min and could not wait to get back to bed. It's amazing how tired simple things can make u. I'm going to stay off work until the 7th , that will be a 12 hour shift but not on the floor so no lifting. I'm loving the results so far ! My mom is still here so I'm taking advantage of the healing time! She has me walking stairs twice a day and walking laps around the house. I am still taking norco about every 6-8 hours. My husband is a chef so very spoiled on that end, eating very healthy. Every 4 hours or so with lots of protein and veggies. Hope to heal lots in a few days:)

Everyday is better

I'm not swelling anymore thanks to some great advice from this site. I drink cucumber mint water, watch my salt, fresh pineapple and other fruits to snack on. I am drinking Juven, we give it to people with wounds in the hospital,Lots of protein and healthy healing qualities! My stri strips are starting to come off. My PS said I can start scar treatment next week. I start back to work this we'd I think it will be ok;) overall I'm very happy with my results so far!!!

Work update

So 12 hours today was way too much. I was fine until about the 5th hour. Very swollen and more hunched over. Luckily I work around dr and nurses they kept telling me to sit. I work again tom then off until Tuesday. I wich I would have just waited until next week;( oh well such is life


So after 2 12 hr shifts I'm toast. My right side is very swollen. The left side is swollen at the pubic area. I am in so much pain and out of pain meds. I have the next 3 days off so just gonna relax and heal heal heal. Right now I'm so incredibly sore it hurts to move. I'm parking it on the couch for a few days until I feel better . Anyone else have this problem during recovery?

A pick me up

Feeling blue and sore today so decided to try on a very old bikini. Bang I feel better. Can not wait until swelling is down !!!!

Post op app

Went to my ps app today during work. I explained the immense pain during my 12 hour shifts he said it will heal and get better. I have read so many rs updates at this stage of healing with no pain. I have a high pain tolerance and have had surgery before so not sure what's going on. I can only pray it gets easier as I have no pain meds to help. I am ok in the morning but toast about 10 hours into a shift. Trying to stay positive as I'm loving the results. Praying I can heal faster;)

Before and 3 weeks po

Good day !

If i do not work I have zero pain. It felt great today , no swelling and walking upright !! Feeling blessed . It still does not seem real I went shopping for clothes and keep grabbing my old size. I'm loving jeans now and no need to find shirts that cover the tummy it's amazing !!!!

Sleep problems;(

So I'm almost one month out and my only real problem is sleep. I can fall asleep then turn or stretch and wake up. Although the pain is not horrible more like a bad sunburn it still wakes me up. Once up I can fall back asleep. I'm already taking melatonin and sleepy time tea. Any ideas??? Work is getting better. Just trying to listen to my body if it hurts I sit. Not always easy as a nurse. If I had this all to do over I would have asked my PS how he handled post op pain. Most ps are using lidocaine pump or a drug that numbs just before closing. That would have benefited me. Also some drs give muscle relaxers. I would have rather that than norco. I'm not gonna lie recovery was tough the first 2 weeks. I went back to work too early, which my ps said was fine. The research you can do on this site is amazing! I wish I would have asked about post op earlier. I use spanx and a binder at work. At home it's one or the other. Not sure when I will feel I don't need support but for now I need it. It's does feel very strange to bend over now. Not sure if it's because there is no dropping skin to cover or not...lol still eating clean. If I cheat a swell. No exercise beyond walking yet. I work about 4 12hr shifts a week constantly moving bending pushing ....etc I don't want to over do it on my off days.


* can't fall back to sleep


5 weeks and back to the grind

Well I'm back to 5 12 hour shifts a week. Most days are fine. Some pain if I over excerpt myself. Sometimes I swell alittle. I'm alittle worried about my dog ears they do not seem to be going down. Any suggestions? Sleep is still an issue. I'm working on it;) one problem I did not think of before is my scrubs falling off me.... Lol a little silly but my pants keep falling down. I never thought to buy new scrub pants;) I could have worse problems. Can't wait to start working out! For now it's just lots of walking. What do u all wear at night? Just spanx ? Just binder? Or nothing? Can't wait for cooler weather so I can wear jeans!!!!

moving soon!

I decided to take a travel nurse position in Portland so we can be close to our daughter. I still cant lift over 20 pounds but other than that almost back to normal. I don't like to wear the binder anymore so Im down to spanx. Just cant seem to find the perfect one yet. My monds area swells. I read on here another person said she looked like a Ken doll, I totally understand what she is talking about now. At the end of the day my area down there is just swollen and puffy, thankfully no pain:) Sleep is getting somewhat better, thanks to melatonin , Benadryl and the occasional sonata. Like my Dr said, I save lived for a living I need my sleep. I feel pain when I lift too much or just plan do to much. Other then that I am good now. I am so thankful for this site and all of you for not only posting your stories but encouraging me along. Also to my tummy sister WMAC , I feel like we did this together:)) I still have to watch the salt or I blow up. I am surprised at the reactions that I have been getting from the surgery. I have been very open about it at work, a few people are acting very strange about it. I get the negative comments " wasted your money" funny they are all from skinny people...lol In the end it was my decision, my money and my issue. I do not regret being so open about it because it showed me another side to people. Some were very protective and would not let me do a thing. Others were down right rude.....I look at it from the point that Im glad I saw their true side and now I know to stay away. I will post more pics later
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon

Dr gonce is just really amazing. Being a nurse I did my research talking to OR nurses. They all had amazing things to say about him. Although I was not suppose to have drains and woke up with 2 I was very glad when I saw how full they were constantly. His office staff is nice as well. A bit of an issue with paying by credit card is a huge fee . Other than that no complaints

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (64)

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You look great People talked about Jeasus SCREW what anybody says. The people who are giving negative responds their miserable . Your so rite you did what make you happy an keeps a smile on your face. At the end of the day it's all about your happiness . You enjoy being on the FS continue to have a " GREAT HEALING"!!!.
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Hey girl...Was glad to read you are doing well. Slow and steady. I'm humbled by the mention in your post. I SO wish I had found this Site before surgery. We've been through this together and are indeed on the other side. Pretty cool. I'm back to almost normal activity. I'm still careful at the gym. I need to cut the lawn again but, shucks, it rained today! I'm crushed! I also need to pick up a couple of those huge water bottled (18 liters) and some water softener salt (25 kg). Between my tt and arm surgery I'm holding off on that! What you've accomplished is a big deal and I'm glad you have some support. Stand firm and don't let the others get you down. You rock!...my surgery buddy ;-)
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Looking very trim!!! Thanks for the pics. Sorry to read about the dog ears. I have a couple spots I'm wondering about but my PS said to give it time so I am. Nice problem to have with your scrubs...although it could lead to some embarrassing times ahead. I recommend suspenders! What a little fashion plate you will be! I was on one of my walks a week ago and tried jogging up this one little hill. I ended up stopping just short of the top (my endurance has definitely slipped) which was good because I hadn't realized that my pants had slipped down about 6 inches...thankfully I was wearing a long top. Yikes! I've been sleeping garment-free for about 1-1.5 wks. It feels good and I don't itch. That may actually help you sleep. I still wear something during the day (more for my comfort knowing there is support). Hope the sleep turns around for you. Hang in there!
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Just checking in with you to see how you are doing? How goes the shift work? Have you been able to get caught up on some sleep? Hope all is well...
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You're a tough lady! I know my first weeks I wasn't able to stand let alone get back to work I also had the sunburn feeling across the tummy think it's normal - I do hope your body adjusts and you will be able to Get some great sleep soon ! your photos look great ! Happy healing
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Good morning, I know what you are going through in the lack of sleep department. Been there! About two weeks ago I was hit with restless legs which inhibited sleep...then almost a week with only a few hours of sleep. I was beside myself with exhaustion and frustration I was taking two Gravol and it had no effect. Benadryl was recommended to me and it works well. I now take two melatonin and a Benadryl and that does the trick. I may be able to drop the Melatonin. Walking at night also helps to further exhaust me. I have an office job so don't get a lot of exercise (definitely nothing like you would on a shift!). I think I slept through all last night. While I do wake up to turn over or get up a couple times to use the washroom, I am usually able to fall back to sleep. There are times when I get hit with a sharp pain or two. It is usually either my arms or one of the areas in my flank area or where my drains went in that cause me issues. Do you have any numbness at all? Not having any "medical" knowledge at all I'll read on different posts about something the doctors sometimes do in these procedures, like you mentioning doctors adding something that numbs. Wow...you DO learn something every day. I wish I had found this Site before my surgery as I think I would have inquired about having a bit more done (back lipo, thigh lipo/skin removed). I would have known a bit more about the procedure...however, I tend to worry (read my posts and you will have picked that up long ago ;-) so in my case knowledge is not necessarily power but, rather, the opportunity for me to worry about something else! Live and learn. I wear something like my CG during the day (really tight constricting undergarment that holds the tummy area in) but at night go without. I was having significant issues with itchiness (which turned into sleeping woes) so I've gone without. My PS office at the 2 wk mark said I could stop. I find I tend to squat if I need to pick something up. Bending is too uncomfortable. I have avoided lifting as much as possible and strenuous work. I picked up a bag of milk the other day at the store and I felt it pulling on my tt area. Had to carry it close to my body...like a kid carries binders to class. Today, however, I have to cut the lawn. I have a manual push mower so this will be good. I may put my full CG plus my constricting undergarment on for this. Not looking forward to it. If left much longer I'm going to have to buy some goats to eat the grass is stead! I really hope you can get some sleep help. It really makes a huge difference in recovery. Take care...
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Hey girl, I have this Site I visit for exercise/nutrition that has been helpful over this year. ANYHOW...I was just on the site and found an article on sleep and thought of you. I've not read the article yet as I wanted to get it to you. If you go to this Site and do a search on sleep you may find other helpful info on sleep. The site is:.http://www.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/1220/The_Super_List_of_Practical_Ways_to_Get_Better_Sle.aspx Hope you are able to get some help.
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Thank you ! Will try it
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Hey girl: Just checking in to see how the battle is going for you. Can you believe this coming Thursday will be a month since our surgeries? Unbelievable! The last couple mornings I have felt a little bit less swollen. Not sure if I am just getting used to it or if I am indeed less swollen. When I'm in my walking gear I look down and still see a pouch of swelling below my BB--looks like I am a couple months pregnant. I'm really hoping it does flatten out more. How is work going for you? Still having swelling issues? Hang in there... and take care.
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It will be 4 weeks this Thursday too. Time flies! Happy healing.
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Swelling is a bit. Just upper abd after 12 hour shift. I'm wearing spanx and garment while at work. I still can't believe it's flat ;) hang in there with swelling. The drs at my work tell me swelling can last awhile!! Hang in there ! Maybe a lymph massage would help us. I keep meaning to look up someone local
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How are u doing?
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Well, not too bad. My arms have given me the most issues with being uncomfortable. I wouldn't call it out right pain most of the time. The day starts off okay but by mid-morning there is a numbing ache. I am trying new compression sleeves (recommended by Machine here on RS) and they are much more comfortable. Late yesterday I also began using a pair of tight/elastic control pants that help keep the tummy in. I'm back walking and find I most times I can go a pretty good clip. I've jogged a bit but don't have much stamina so I am holding off on that. I am planning on resuming weight training in week 6. I could probably go at 4-5 but I want to give it the extra time just in case. However, I'm not the most patient person so it wouldn't surprise me if I headed back early. Except for being not as flat as I'd like, I'm doing well.
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Wmac and little ,.... I still can't believe it! Other than the sleep issue I'm fine. Some days there is a dull ache but not too much more. How are u both?
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You are looking flat, flat flat. Congrats.
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I was wondering how your shifts were going this week. By the sound of it, not good. Sorry to hear that. I hope that you get some relief soon...Take care.
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OKAY. I didn't get the memo: pineapple reduces swelling? You've been holding out on me! So would it help the horrendous swelling I have?
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Pineapple is def helping me! :) I am down to one drain since yesterday. Today I'm walking more upright. But I feel tight and a little sore. Hoping this is normal. Are you ladies wearing spanx? If so, what style?
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I use spanx boy shorts that go up to ribcage then binder. Feels better at work
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Teachers reported to school today so it was my first day back. I tried to stay down as much as I could but it didn't seem to matter. By 2:00 I was swelling and tight. I got home at 4:00 but have to go back at 6:30 for open house. I sure hope this gets better. Once school starts (Wed.) I am hoping this is better. I teach 8th grade, so I won't need to be up as much as I would for little kids. I am going to put my binder on over my spanx tonight.
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Each week gets better. I still take Tylenol and try not to over do it. Hope for healing your way:)
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How is work going?
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Hey girl, Work is okay. The mornings are usually roughest for me. My arms some mornings seem to just ache. I also find that after sitting for longer periods that when I stand up I can't stand straight. A week ago I stood up and the one coworker who knows of the surgery quietly motioned for me to stand straighter (there were others in the room and she didn't want others to pick up on my lack of mobility). I just shrugged my shoulders letting her know I couldn't go any straighter. On Thursday one of my other coworkers (who does not know about the surgery and actually had some unkind words about my weight loss a week earlier) I guess, unknown to me, had been watching me get paper off the printer. I had been in a lot of pain at the time and I'm not sure if she heard me (following the surgery I found myself tending to try to breathe deeper to get a hold on the pain) or just how she knew something wasn't quite right but she asked if I was okay. I told her I was "hanging in there". There are times when I think coming clean to everyone about having had surgery would be helpful for my recovery (they would understand why I'm moving slower and why some days I look like crap!) However, I don't want her or anyone else knowing of the surgery because I don't believe they will understand. Even if I chose to not tell them what the surgery was for there would be speculation and that would be worse than everyone knowing. So...mum's the word! I see you are working 4.5 hr shifts. How long is that for? I recall they were 6 or 12 hr shifts. Is that an arrangement made to help during your recovery? Your stamina amazes me. Don't think I could do nursing so soon after surgery. You've done well. I hope you can get the sleep under control. Hang in there! You are looking great! (By the way, just wanted to take my hat off go you and other nurses. I have a high level of respect for those in your profession. My mom went through several different rounds of cancer treatments and the last one meant she needed a pic line. I had to clean it, flush it, hook her up to IV every night for hydration, clean and unhook it in the morning, etc, etc. I felt like a sous-nurse (like a sous-chef). Don't think I could do that as a professional. Different doing it for someone you love. So I tip my hat!
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You are rocking that suit!!! You go girl!
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Ouchy...sorry you are in so much pain. You should be commended on doing two 12 hour shifts in a row. Can't imagine doing that! Having said that, I have started getting out and about and have paid for it at night when I go to bed. I've had sharp pains in my sides (along my hip bones) that just cut right through me. Yesterday I was out for 8 hrs and then today I was out for just two hours (nothing compared to your shifts!!!) and found myself winded, in pain and exhausted. I think being at work is more than just being up and about. You have to be alert, on the ball and ready to carry your work load...far cry from being aware of your healing and getting better. Hopefully the next three days you can crash and recover. How many shifts do you have next week? Rest up girl!
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