Ok. First off, let me start by saying that I wish...
Ok. First off, let me start by saying that I wish I had joined this site months BEFORE my surgery. Duh. I had read a few reviews on different doctors but didn't realize this was a sort of blog as well. What an amazing resource...not to mention the great support!!
Next, I will give a bit of background. I am 38, a mom of 4 kids aged 9 to 2, married and live in beachy Florida. As a result we LIVE in our bathing suits! I have always been athletic, with broad shoulders, and have never been small. I have considered lipo for a while because you know the deal - all the working out but there are some stubborn areas!! Some I finally took the plunge.
It has been 5 days since the procedure. I had my abdomen, hip rolls, axilla, and upper back rolls done. Um, can you say OUCH!!??!! Haha. It was done Monday afternoon (try to book mornings as you can't eat!!) and took a couple of hours. I don't live in the town where I got the lipo done so my cousin picked me up and brought me to my hotel room where she hung out with me and our other good friend. Basically, they had a party with PF Chang's takeout while I laid in bed, stoned on Demerol and post op meds! To get up off the bed I would kind of roll my legs over the side and use the nightstand to push myself up. AWFUL so I only got up once or twice that night. By the next morning the pain was kicking in and you really feel sore, tender...I liken it to a few rounds in the ring getting your mid section and back punched repetitively. Nothing broken but definitely teeth clench worthy.
That morning I saw my doc for a follow up. Someone drove me because there was NO way I was driving. I was supposed to check out that day and head home...no can do. Booked another night! Anyway, saw the doc and he removed the garment. Ok, and this is important. When that thing comes off, you feel crazy weird. Taking it off does not hurt, per se, but your skin nd body feel weird...you want to grab your stomach because things feel loose and not attached. I kept thinking my organs were going to fall out. (demerol?? haha) But it really does feel that way. It had been less than 12 hours since the surgery so the swelling had not even kicked in. He showed me a mirror and said, "You won't look like this again for a couple of months because of swelling. But LOOK at the difference!" and man, he was right. I could see so many changes in my shape and it is exciting to know that will be my new body.
My husband had to leave on a business trip so I HAD to drive home Wednesday. I left a few hours short of the 48 hour mark. No demerol by then, only tylenol (and arnica!!), and drove in the slow lane. Very carefully. My motherinlaw helped bring dinner that night, but yeah, I was "on" from then on. Kid stuff. School driving. Real life. 5 days in now, and the bruising was worst on day 3/4, I see tiny improvement today. Also, today was the first minimal pain day. You know, just a touch sore...it is not prohibitive. No working out yet, which I miss.
I had the standing prep done, which if you are shy is weird. However, after 4 kids and a traumatizing experience flashing a basketball team when I was a teenager, I don't get shy. So it didn't bother me. But there was no heads up...it was, "drop your gown" and then cold wet spongy stuff was rubbed ALL over very quickly. It was freezing, I got on the table, and was out. I don't remember anything, but apparently I sang a whole lot of Justin Beiber (so ashamed!!) and demanded to look like Jessica Alba. Hmm.
Any questions? I will answer anything I can and I can not WAIT to see my new body. I will try to find some before pics for reference, but I don't have much....maybe the dr will give me the ones we took and I can post them??
Ok. Quick update. It has been 8 days and the...
Ok. Quick update. It has been 8 days and the bruising is starting to lessen but the swelling is pretty substantial. I have been taking arnica but no pain meds for 6 days (only did 2 days of pain meds) and have been wearing the garments nonstop, 24/7. Saw my dr. yesterday and he was really pleased...said everything was looking even better than he had anticipated. Just general tenderness...no actual pain. The pain was only acute for 3 days, solid pain for another 2 days, and the rest has been just soreness. Here are a few photos of before...and I will try to get the official "before" pics so I can post those and then give some accurate portrayals of after.
Super quick update. You know how you start to look...
Super quick update. You know how you start to look at what was done and all the swelling and start to wonder?? Well, that was me by last night. Like, "I KNOW it has only been 8 days. I KNOW the swelling will take 3 months. But was all that money worth it??" You know, you lose what looked so good just days before and start to doubt it?? Well, I ahd not seen my hubs since two days before the procedure....
He was out of town on business for 8 days. He got back late last night when I was in bed, and so this morning after dropping the older 3 kids at the bus stop, I came back and wanted to show him. I went into the bathroom and took off the compression stuff and put on the new bikini - you know, the one you buy because it is SO hot and you think that yeah, eventually, it will look SO good??? I walked out and asked how I looked and if he could see a difference. He said, "Absolutely. I can't believe the difference!! And you are saying you are still all swollen? You look incredible!"
So I was all happy, but then I was like, "Well, he is married to me. So he HAS to say that. I mean, if he doesn't say that he won't get any a** forever so contractually our husbands have to say it." So I sort of blew it off and went about my day. BUT - then the motherinlaw texted me and said, "I need to see you in a bikini. Your hubby just called me and said you look like a supermodel!" Yeah, that's what he told his mom. HA!! So now I am back to being happy...gonna take some compression garment and nude pics and post if I get brave enough...
Oh I should also have added that I am 5'9" ad was...
Oh I should also have added that I am 5'9" ad was 157 lbs day of surgery. Will probably weigh myself at the 2 week mark!
Ok. I am 12 days in now. Last night was the first...
Ok. I am 12 days in now. Last night was the first time I could really comfortably go back onto my side to sleep. YAY!! Compression garment still on, but I was able to side sleep and I took NO sleep meds. Double yay!! Being a light sleeper, taking one unisom per night has been invaluable. A lot of us are light sleepers, especially once you are a mom!! And so we tend to toss and turn but remember - getting a good night's rest is so important for the healing process, for metabolism, for bruising to go away, for our sanity...so don't scrimp on the sleep!!
Also, I did my first light jog. I only made it a quarter mile before I went back to a fast paced walk as I don't need to cause extra swelling but I did want to see what my body would tolerate. It feels fine throughout my back and stomach...it is only my hip rolls, where I have the most swelling, that it is still uncomfortable. I am going to weigh myself at the 2 week mark and see if there is any change. I expect fat decrease but fluid increase so it probably is pretty even. We will see!!
Day 13 morning...yesterday wa the first day I a.)...
Day 13 morning...yesterday wa the first day I a.) had the compression garment off a little during the day because we had an event b.) I ate salty foods c.) and I ate more than I have been the last two weeks.
I had a pool party to attend so right before we arrived I took the garment off. It felt really weird!! I snacked on some chips and dip (my weakness) but then had the salad and fresh fruit for lunch. However, dinner was on the way home and while it was not healthy, it was definitely not as clean and low sodium as I have been doing. And yes, it made a huge difference. I could literally see the fluid retention! For the first time my tummy poked out a little, and I felt crazy full and bloated. It was pretty unpleasant and a good reminder to avoid the excess salt and to keep up my healthy clean eating. But here is the positive.
I wore these white shorts and a white sheer top other a white bikini underneath. I saw my cousin who was the one who took care of me after surgery and she can't believe the difference in my body. While I still see swelling and weird squishy numb puffiness she sees curves where I never had any. It is also a good reminder to stay focused and driven, get back to the weights this week...and hopefully the swelling will subside because next weekend I have a girls trip to Turks and Caicos woot woot!!!
Ahhhhh!!! And I totally forgot to post a pretty...
Ahhhhh!!! And I totally forgot to post a pretty important update. Two days ago my belly button was itching. I put my finger in there and found a leftover stitch. Then another!! I had NO idea they even went in through there. It was so subtle the nurse didn't notice either when they took out the stitches. Since I live an hour and a half from the surgeon, when I called they said I could go to the ER or take them out myself. Ah!!! I tried and failed but my hubs grabbe the tweezers and cuticle scissors and even though it made him nauseated e handled it like a champ and took two stitches out!! This is a man who pays someone to change our lightbulbs (yes seriously) and can't look t blood. What a trooper!! He said he didn't want me to go to the ER for tiny stitch removal and then come home with Ebola virus from a dirty waiting room!!!
Day 15....my weight is finally down. I started at...
Day 15....my weight is finally down. I started at 157, was 162 at 5 days post op from swelling , and didn't weigh myself again util yesterday. I am 153, so down 4 pounds and still swollen.
I ill say this also...I ran a full two miles yesterday and felt great. Ok, really I did more of a jog but it was not sore or painful. However, I swelled up a lot more that night and weight was back up to 155. That shows how much difference the swelling really makes. I prob won't do a real run again for another week and will stick to boring speed walking and elliptical machines, but I gotta keep moving. The sitting around makes me nuts and I love to work out! I leave in 3 1/2 more days for our girls trip and I am praying the bruising is ALL gone so I can play in the sun and snorkel etc without worrying about exposing t bruises etc. They are mostly gone but we will see...need to pop more arnica. Getting a full massage next Monday so hopefully that will help start to smooth everything out. Will post a picture later today in my favorite tiny bikini and you guys need to be BRUTALLY honest ok???
New pics and update...
About 2 1/2 weeks and the swelling seems to be the same and sometimes worse. It is really making me a little nuts. Be patient, be patient, be patient. I know. But it's just old, you know?? Ok anyway...here is a pic of me in the naughty "goal" suit. Now please don't judge too harshly - still swollen and my boobs are SO long!!! I do those in September or October hopefully. But this I my goal suit for a sexy weekend I plan on taking with the hubs at the end of the year so once I get my boobs done it should be great. And no, I would never wear this suit anywhere I could possibly be recognized. I think a whip and some chains would accessorize nicely, you think? Hahaha...anyway, also some new day 17 pics. I seem a little more swollen than I did a week ago. Grrrrrr......
3 1/2 weeks post op
3 1/2 weeks post op and I have lots to share. First, sorry it has been so long! I had a GREAT girls getaway weekend with all my favorite ladies. I had been concerned because you can't get any sun on the bruises but my doc basically assured me that 2 1/2 weeks I would be fine and he was right!! Now, here are the important things to note.
1.) the bruising was all gone at 2 to 2 1/2 weeks.
2.) the upper body and belly button stitches were pretty much healed and invisible by 3 weeks, but I still have some scabbing on the site of my hip roll incisions.
3.) the majority of swelling in my lower ab region is gone. To note, i was pretty fit there to start with a bit of a pouch and a bit of excess skin - not enough for a tummy tuck. However - I am still VERY puffy in my axilla region (near my arm pits/bra roll area). My upper back rolls? A little swelling...but my hip roll area is where I still have some obvious swelling. As I look at it all though I don't know how swollen I really was. That is something I simply can't tell.
4.) I am not sore in my axilla, upper back (tiny bit) or in my lower ab area at all. Again, it is the hip roll area that is still sore. Since the one time I ran two miles and ended up retaining fluid and getting more sore there I have not run again.
5.) but speaking of working out...yesterday, Wednesday, was my first officially tough workout. I did 30 hard minutes on the elliptical stepper, then some free weight work on the arms. Then, most notably, a very hard, high intensity, high skill step class. Seriously - this class is brutal. I have taken step all over the country for about 20 years now and this one hour class burns about 1000 plus calories. While it does have less impact than pure running (asphalt, distance, no interval...), it is a beast. I made it through and felt great. I was a tiny bit sore today in my hip area, but no real increased swelling. I did wear my garment all afternoon and evening and that surely made a difference!!
6.) I can sleep on my side, back, tummy whatever just fine. That started at 3 weeks.
7.) ok. Here is the big thing. The difference in my stomach is definitely there. But I did not have a ton to remove from my lower abs. My hip roll was prevalent, but not huge, so I see a difference there although that too I subtle. The arm axilla area?? I only see minimal change but that area, although not painful, still has a puffy look and feel so I am really hoping for more definition there. The one BIG change? My waist. My shape has always been pretty standard and not super huge by any means. But I have been tree trunk like. I have never had a defined or curvy waistline. Whether a size 10 or 6, I look the same...straight from the upper back to the hip almost with hardly any curve. NOW - it is huge. I have a waistline for the first time ever...in my life. And it is substantially different. I see a lot of you ladies have defined waists, but more pooch in the tummy so this would prob not impact you. But for me to go from pencil to coke bottle has been pretty exciting. My husband, all my friends on my trip - they all say I look completely different. So be patient, have realistic expectations and don't get too frustrated. I am still really waiting for the 3 month post op but I see my doc in another week at the one month mark. Excited to hear his thoughts!!
1 month post op - An ab workout and serious frustration
Today I did another tough workout, but the important thing to note is that it has new exactly one month since my procedure and I finally did some abdominal work. Lots of upper and lower ab work - crunches, lifts, obelique work... No pain or soreness afterwards but maybe tomorrow??
Also I am pretty frustrated. I think I looked my best a week in. I felt tighter and trimmer. I feel lumpy and flabby and loose right now. My weight is 152 and has stayed there for a little while now so that is prob my new normal. I also have an uneven sort of lump. I need to see my surgeon for my one month post op visit but this is the kids' last week of school and all of that craziness so I have not seen him yet. Will hopefully see him next week to get some questions answered!!