5 Month Update! New Photos!

Okay folks, my journey is about to begin. My...

Okay folks, my journey is about to begin. My surgery is scheduled for next Wednesday, 12/19/12. As expected, I'm freaking out a little....mostly about the swelling, not being able to excercise and going back to work after two weeks.

Anyhoo, here are some lovely photos. I'm 49, 5'4" and 115 lbs. As you can see, although I don't have kids, weight gain/loss has trashed my stomach. And I've never had a great core...even though I workout 5-6 days a week.

Today, while I was having a momentary panic attack about my TT, I took these photos and I'm GLAD that I did. Looking at them re-affirmed my decision to move forward with the journey.

Stay tuned...I'll be posting as I move through the process.

Four sleeps until my surgery! Today is my official...

Four sleeps until my surgery! Today is my official "day of beauty" with a mani, pedi and arch; tomorrow is my final pre-surgery deep tissue massage. I also have the major run to for all my recovery items.

Off to workout since these are the last ones for a while. Cardio and weight lifting are in order for today. Trying to eat lots of high quality protein over the next few days and drink a ton of water.

I can't believe that I'm on the countdown to something that I've been waiting so long for.

I spent the weekend buying all sorts of lovely...

I spent the weekend buying all sorts of lovely recovery items including the granny panties and the WalMart Moo Moo's. *Delightful.* I also bought a ton of gauze pads, gauze rolls and tape. I had no idea the variety of gauze products available! I probably over bought. Gads. The power recliner should be delivered tomorrow, so I'll be all set when I return home on Thursday.Just need to pack my bag for Wednesday morning. The surgical nurse will be calling today to confirm my surgery time. So excited and nervous!

Yesterday, I put on my skinny jeans to say good bye to for the next month (?) or so. They fit so well in the ass BUT they are low riders and my little muffin top just rolls over the edge like cookie dough being sqeezed out of a tube. I will be so freaking happy to be able to wear LOW RISE jeans and undies. Oh, and not freak out if my shirt rises up and my tummy is accidentally exposed. This entire process has helped me come to terms with my life long, deep seeded issues with my stomach. Well, say goodbye to those issues (eventually).

Trying to remain calm, cool and collected today and tomorrow. :)

The surgical nurse called - I am scheduled for...

The surgical nurse called - I am scheduled for 6:45 check-in on Wednesday. Here we go!

Sharing a Great Smoothing Recipe Basic Green...

Sharing a Great Smoothing Recipe

Basic Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:
1 frozen sliced banana
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (or other kind of milk)
4 cups baby spinach (or more, or less)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Nutritional stats: 350 calories, 10g fiber, 21g protein

Thinking this may be good for, um, you know when I get all bound up.

Power recliner has been delivered. Dang, that...

Power recliner has been delivered. Dang, that thing is sweet. I wonder what lovely name I'll be calling it in a week?

Leaving for my surgery now. And I must say I look...

Leaving for my surgery now. And I must say I look *very sexy* in my compression thigh highs. (not). A friend recommended that I bring a pillow to hold for support on the car ride home. Good idea.

Yesterday's surgery went off without a hitch. Zero...

Yesterday's surgery went off without a hitch. Zero pain so far but that could also be the vicodin talking. A little sore but feel pretty god. Sore, yep but totally manageable.

Tip: bring a pillow with you for the ride home....

Tip: bring a pillow with you for the ride home. Holding against your belly will help you deal with any rough roads.

Okay folks, this may sound like common sense but...

Okay folks, this may sound like common sense but you have to eat on the days following surgery. You may not want to but ya gotta eat. And the recliner is da bomb...can't imagine this without it.

Day 3 PO. I feel pretty good...my pain is less...

Day 3 PO. I feel pretty good...my pain is less than a 1. I'm more uncomfortable and tired than anything. Keeping up with the pain meds has been the best thing that I've done! Today I can feel my right drain under my binder..slightly tender but completely manageable. So looking forward to my first post op appointment because maybe the left drain will be removed and I want to see what's going on down there!

Feeling good day 4 PO. Tip o the day: take your...

Feeling good day 4 PO. Tip o the day: take your lax\stool softener ladies! So far, *that* has been my biggest issue. I think that I'm finally caught up in that area. :) Today's master plan includes figuring out how to wash my hair and overall move more than the last few days.

Funny story...yesterday a friend came over for a visit. I pulled myself together, put on my makeup and frankly, thought that I looked pretty good. My friend arrived, gave me a hug and her comment was " you look tired". Dang it! I thought I looked good. She's one of my inspirations as she lost over 160lbs and had major TT/skin removal years ago. I appreciated her honesty, though. I guess the vicodin is good for my confidence. LoL.

Happy healing everyone! It's all going to be worth it.

Day 5 PO: on my way to the doctor for a checkup. I...

Day 5 PO: on my way to the doctor for a checkup. I feel pretty good today, too. It will be interesting to see how badly this outing wipes me out. :) I foresee a nap in my future this afternoon.

I actually feel a little guilty that I'm doing so well and some of you are struggling so much. I know that I worked very hard on my strength, cardio, stretching and balance for a couple of months prior to my surgery. I also had weekly deep tissue, trigger point type massages. It makes me wonder if that has helped. ? I've never had any type of surgery before (other than dental), so all of this is new to me. Anyway, wishing everyone a great day. Will post an update after my appointment.

Day 5 update: Whoo-hoo, my left drain is out! For...

Day 5 update: Whoo-hoo, my left drain is out! For me, it was a creepy feeling when she pulled it out but it didn't actually hurt. I really don't know what was more annoying...the tape removal or the drain removal. Both had a suck factor of about 1.5 on a scale of 10. She did tell me to get off the vicodin. Now, I'll do Motrin\advil during the day, saving the vicodin for nights. Keeping my fingers crossed that Motrin\advil will manage the pain.

On a totally awesome note, I saw my stomach. I am so happy with the results so far. I'm having trouble imagining why I'll look like by summer. Check out the new photos!

Happy healing!

Day 6 update: First, for everyone who celebrates...

Day 6 update: First, for everyone who celebrates Christmas today, Merry Christmas! I'm feeling super blessed this morning. My loving husband who really wasn't on board with the surgery (he thought it was unnecessary), has been beyond supportive and helpful. He didn't really 'get it' until he saw the photo of my incision yesterday. His exact words were...well, I won't type them here but his comments were very expressive. :)

When I went into surgery, I weighed 111.5. I hadn't weighed myself since the procedure but I really wanted to know this morning how much I weighed. I mentally prepared myself for 10lbs of swelling. I stepped on the scale....110.5 lbs. Yikes, that's super skinny for me. But I'm also taking it with a grain of salt because it could just mean I'm not swollen at this moment (my drain didn't even have enough to dump this morning). Interesting.

Oh, and I sneezed this morning...suck factor of 10000!

Happy healing all....

Still feel great today, relatively speaking. Sore...

Still feel great today, relatively speaking. Sore but manageable. Made it out to the grocery store in advance of our big snow storm to gather supplies.

I'm definitely Bloated today...I really need to be better about watching the sodium. I'm trying but Gads, its everywhere!

Happy healing!

Day 10 update: I feel really good but tire easily!...

Day 10 update: I feel really good but tire easily! No pain, some swelling but everything is manageable. Truthfully, I'm really not looking at my tummy much, rather I'm concentrating on how my body feels. I feel so good that I have to force myself to rest. I can feel little sharp needle prick pains that assume means that I'm starting to heal. Biggest concern is eating out of boredom and weight gain. Ugh...all I can do is try!

Day 11 update: New Photos! Swollen but pretty flat...

Day 11 update: New Photos! Swollen but pretty flat. I looked better Day 5 PO, LOL.

PLUS, I noticed that the binder is giving me a sore on my back. UGH! Anyone else have this issue?

Hallelujah, I am drain free! Man, I felt better...

Hallelujah, I am drain free! Man, I felt better the second that was out...not that I felt bad to begin with , it was just *such* an annoying PITA. So, I am drain free, tape free and he told me to keep the scar moisturized but NOT to do any type of massage yet. I go back in next week for a check up to ensure that no fluids are building up.

Take a look at my scar...holy frankenscar! Of course, it's late day after I've been running around all day so I have moderated swelling. I love how my scar is up like an extra two inches on the right hip. I know it will settle but gads, super fugly now. Oh, and the hole where my drain was...yucky.

A few minutes ago I "slid" into my Marena stage 2 conpression panty. Talk about a snug fit. Yikes! I ordered the XS, glad that I did but wow, compression is the operative word.

Oh, and i have a belly button!! Whoo-hoo!

Hey, check out the difference in my scar from...

Hey, check out the difference in my scar from yesterday. The healing process is so interesting.

Back to work today. We'll see how this goes! The...

Back to work today. We'll see how this goes! The good news is that I am working from home for the next week, so I'm sure that will help. That being said, I haven't sat upright for two weeks and can't get comfortable in my chair. I'll keep you posted on if I swell and how tired I get by the end of the day. Should be interesting!

Long update, my apologies... Okay, I went back...

Long update, my apologies...

Okay, I went back to work on Day 14. Granted, I am working from home but the day went very well. Surprisingly, I wasn’t tired at the end of the day, either. Mostly, I was uncomfortable sitting in my binder. We take for granted what the muscles needed to sit up straight. Well, not anymore! Gads. At a minimum, I'll have better posture out of all this.

I also walked very s-l-o-w-l-y on the treadmill last night. Talking 1.8 mph! My heart rate maxed out at 76 bpm which is still very low for me (as a comparison, when I work out I normally keep my heart rate over 120 with an average over 142).

The big test was to see how much swelling all this “activity” generated on the scale this morning. I can report that for me, on this day, there was no difference. My weight was 110 this morning which is slightly less than my pre-surgery weight but only by 1.5 lbs. To date, my weight has fluctuated 3 lbs daily. I can also, happily report that I can still fit into my skinny (size 25) jeans! So happy! That being said there is no freaking way that I could even think about wearing them as they rub on Frankenscar. I’m thinking it’s going to be another few weeks before I attempt to wear them or any jeans for that matter.

Scar is looking better although I have a little spot right in front that is healing slower. I also figured out why on me my scar is higher on the right. Initially, I thought it was swelling but that’s not it. The reason is that I am slightly out of alignment – my right hip is higher than my left hip. My massage therapist tells me this damn near every week! We’ve been working on my flexibility and doing trigger point massage to get my hips back into alignment. Funny thing is that they were in alignment when I went for surgery. What a difference a few weeks makes!

I still haven’t driven yet….I’m getting ancy. I may venture forth today. Maybe.

Oh, and ladies who travel and/or carry a briefcase/backpack here’s a thought: since we can’t lift anything for six weeks, you’re most likely going to need a roller bag for your computer. I hadn’t even considered that scenario! My roller bag is on it’s way. Basically, once the new roller bag gets here, I’ll be mobile as I want to be. Think Mel Gibson in Braveheart yelling “FREEDOM”.

I feel great! Swell hell hasn't hit me yet - knock...

I feel great! Swell hell hasn't hit me yet - knock on wood. I'm still sleeping propped up with pillows under my upper body and knees which is driving me insane.

I realized this morning that I have some new current obsessions:

1. Swelling: Am I? Will I? How much will I swell? Will next week kill me when I have to go into the office? Will my lady parts swell? Bromelain, arnica... When will the swelling go away? BAH!!

2. Related to #1 - Compression Garments. I own three spanx and two maranas. All diiferent. All good. Oh, plus three different types of leggings. Plus a new corset which I kinda dig.

3. My Scar - What to say, I check on my little friend every few hours. It's still healing in the front beneath my BB. Will I have a dog ear on my right hip? Will my BB be more than a vertical slit? What the hell am I going to do about the pubes that appear to be growing out of my scar?? What scar therapy to use? Holy shit, the list just goes on and on.

4. Eating and drinking VERY Cleanly - I generally eat low carb and healthy but truthfully, I've never watched my sodium...until now. Truly and eye opener. I'm sure the french fries that I had yesterday will blew me up a little! How will I ever be able to drink my gallon of water when I go back to work? I'm peeing every 15 minutes!

5. Lack of exercise - Will I turn into the blob? How much of a blob will I be? When can I start exercising? What lifting routines can I do that don't involve my core? Will cardio blow me up? Will I be able to run a 5k on St Patrick’s day.


My head is going to explode. It all sounds so much worse than it actually *is* but I was laughing to myself this morning on all these new obsessions.

What are you obessing over?

Happy Healing!

I continue to feel good and each day I feel just a...

I continue to feel good and each day I feel just a little bit more normal. Getting ready for work takes *forever*. Oh, and don't forget to pack up any needed medications and/or supplies that you may need during the work day!

I'm posting a few new photos. I don't think that I see any difference one way or the other from Day 15. My drain holes still haven't scb over, so I'm kinda worried. I see the doctor tomorrow...hopefully all is well.

Last night I tried to sleep "nomally" (ie not propped up and without a pillow under my knees). Fail! I was so uncomfortable. Ugh. I'll be delighted when I can get back to my normal sleep routine.

Happy Healing!

My three week appt well! My nurse said that I'm a...

My three week appt well! My nurse said that I'm a good healer which I hope doesn't jinx anything! My drain holes have started to scab over, thankfully. She said to keep the areas clean, put some Neosporin on those sites, plus the one spot in front that's still healing. The nurse pulled out a couple of stitches and generally cleaned up the incision. I felt like a monkey being preened by her buddy. :)

I don't go back for three weeks which is amazing to me that it's already been three weeks! I wasn't cleared for any type of activity...I have to keep my heartrate under 100 for another three weeks. *heavy sigh*. BUT I do have my regular and lymphatic massages booked for the next month, so I'm happy!

Day 23 Update: I continue to feel very good and...

Day 23 Update: I continue to feel very good and have no issues to report. My swelling is very minimal - if at all. It's hard to tell if I'm swollen or not! My clothes fit the same sans the muffin top (yippee!) but I'm not wearing jeans yet. Sweater dresses, tights and boots are my go-to wardrobe choices.

My PS has me in compression and binder 24x7 which is fine by me and only mildly annoying. My biggest bitch is that I have to do a little hand laundry every day as I cycle through my cg's! Pretty sure I'll be in the cg and binder until six weeks.

I’m trying to eat clean as possible for me which includes low sodium, no carbonation and higher protein. I'll admit my appetite is HUGE. To date, I haven't gained any weight but I really need to keep on plan over the next three weeks. I've been walking slowly (2.4 mph) on the treadmill for about an hour a day IF I feel like I need some additional movement.

The last two nights I've almost slept on my side again! For me, sleeping has really been my biggest challenge. Not being a back sleeper has really hampered y ability to get a good night’s sleep. Hell, I can't even nap which is so, so, sad.

My scar is truly fugly but I'm not worried about it yet. It's healing pretty well - my drain holes are closing and the little spot in front is getting better. The scar is also starting to horizontally settle a bit.

I'm not seeing alot of changes in my shape but I'm happy with the results!! Again, I can't tell if I'm swollen or not. ?

Anyhoo, that's my update. Happy healing everyone!

Not much going on here....I continue to feel good...

Not much going on here....I continue to feel good and seem to be healling at a nice rate. I'm walking on the treadmill for an hour a day at 3.3 mph (okay, maybe 4 days last week). A couple of days ago, I started with some light weights but the goal was testing the waters. not actual lifting. Since I haven't been cleared yet by my PS, I'm keeping my heartrate under 100 and listening to my body!!

I'm still in compression and binder. And yes, I have a love hate relationship with them both. It will be interesting to see what my PS says on Thursday about next steps.

Well, I'm off to pack a bag for a business trip to NYC. Oh, here's another thing to think about for those of you who travel. I had to buy another suitcase this past week that would accomadate my laptop and 1-2 days worth of clothes. Since I can't carry my normal bags due to the lifting/bending restrictions, I hade to come up with a different stratgey. Overall, it's going to work out better because it's forcing me to deal with my liquids and gels. But still, it's one more thing that I hadn't considered in my recovery.

Happy Healing!

I can't believe that it's been six weeks! As...

I can't believe that it's been six weeks!

As of today, I am binder free! My PS said to wear compression when I exercise, otherwise I can start weaning myself off of the cg. He wants me to keep my cg handy just in case I do have some swelling. Addtionally, I'm all clear for *any* type of exercise (including abs) but he just wants me to listen to my body. I'll start my scar therapy today which consists of any type of lotion and massage twice a day for 5-10 minutes.

Whoop!!

Three new photos to share (front, right, left)...

Three new photos to share (front, right, left) with you all. A little swollen most likely frome hitting the gym yesterday, being PMS and eating like crap tis [ast week. BUT my scar is looking freakin' awesome! My PS said that it's past the really ugly stage and that's it's all downhill now. Sweet!

Happy Healing!

I can't believe that I'm 3 months PO! I feel GREAT...

I can't believe that I'm 3 months PO! I feel GREAT and have no issues to report. I'm back on the road, traveling two-three weeks a month which is exhausting *anyway*. My stamina is back, my scar is healing but my belly button is healing slowly. I've put on about 5 lbs since my lowest weight post surgery. I've decided that while I feel great at 107-110 that's just not a realistic weight for me. I'm hanging out at 112 - that's okay. I'm still "skinny" for me.

I'm doing scar therapy at least once a day with Bio Oil. As far as compression and the binder goes...I'm having a little problem giving them up. My PS said only to wear my CG during exercise but I still wear my CG daily. I have a corset thingy that I wear under my clothes during the day. UGH. I'm trying to wean myself off!

This weekend we are heading off to Boston for St. Patrick's Day. It should be off the hook. I'm running in the Southie 5k on Sunday morning which should be a blast. I'm back at the gym 5 days a week doing everything I want to do. Inverted board abs are still hard but I'm working on it slowly.

Do I have any swelling? Maybe a little bit. But truth be told, I think I "swell" normally during the say anyway so it could be that I'm simply noticing it for the first time.

Hope everyone is doing FANTASTIC!

Hi all! Dropping by to post a quick update. First,...

Hi all! Dropping by to post a quick update. First, I love my new tummy. My scar is still fugly but it is getting better. The right drain area is still very red and purple. The rest of the scar is healing much better. My killer new belly button is still healing, however.

I started with silicone strips two weeks ago. I think that I see an improvement but it could be coincidence. Who knows. I see my PS in a month for another checkup.

I wasn't expecting my hairline to be so high. Ugh. I've been dealing with several (and I mean several) ingrown hairs. Very pretty. Not! Moving forward, I will have to wax or do other treatment...its not like I can have my curlies peaking out over the top of my low risers. Shaving only seems to irritate the area.

I've been traveling almost every week since February. I've gained a few pounds which pisses me off. I'm back at the gym doing 97% of my pre-surgery training but I don't think my intensity is completely back. It could also be that I'm wiped out from traveling, too.

Overall, I'm thrilled and so happy that I made the investment in me! I still have a ways to go but I'm down for the ride.

Happy Spring!

Wow, where did the time go! I'm 5 months PO today....

Wow, where did the time go! I'm 5 months PO today. My scar is slowly healing...I'm thinking it looks pretty good considering. :)
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Antimarino and the staff at Aestique are absolutely amazing! I can’t say enough great things about my experience. From my initial consultation through my post surgical follow ups, everyone has been kind, professional, supportive, and thorough. Dr. Antimarino is very kind and compassionate…he’s listened to my ramblings, answered all of my questions and has always made me feel very comfortable. My results are amazing and life changing. Additionally, he and his staff have been available throughout the entire holiday season which is pretty amazing. The nurses are angels, too. All of them. I highly recommend Dr. Antimarino for the tummy tuck procedue! Highly skilled surgeon and nice guy.

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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