First off I have to say how happy I am that I...

First off I have to say how happy I am that I found this site. I was was so wrapped up in reading and looking at pictures that I did not realize it was 5 a.m. I appreciate everyone sharing their journeys.

About me: I am a 43 year old mother of 3 (27,23, and 17) and grandmother of 3. I had my first child at 15 and bounced right back.I decided to breast feed my last 2 and noticed my breast started heading south and getting really flat. With under wires and padding I didn't mind too much. I noticed a few years ago that my breast don't match. They could be from 2 different people.

I am a cup size larger on the right with the areola being 1/3 larger than the one on the left breast. When I was 31 I had a total hysterectomy. I will refrain from calling the surgeon a butcher but what she left me with is not pretty. My granddaughter would scare her little brothers by telling them that I was an alien. I have what she calls 3 belly buttons. Aside from the indentations where the scopes were placed, I have a serious overhand in my lower belly and sides. If that is not bad enough, the overhang is not even. There is a full roll on the right side but not on the left. I have significant back pain now. I don't know it if can be attributed to the excess weight in front or not but I do know it's not helping.

I have always been large I am 5'10 and down to 212. At my heaviest I was 300. I was very active in sports in my younger years and served 22 years in the military. I have no illusion of ever being a size 2. I am currently a size 14 and hope to be a size 10/12 before my surgery. Anything smaller and I look sickly. I have wanted to 'fix' my stomach for a while now. It was a struggle to stop smoking but i finally did it!!! Determination is a powerful thing. I finally got it in my head that I wanted my surgery more than I wanted a nasty cigarette. I have a consult on Feb 22nd. I am excited and a bit scared that they may say no they can't help me. I can't say enough how thankful I am for this site. I now have quite a few questions to ask when I go in. I will update after my appointment. Sending happy thoughts and prayers for continued healing to you all.

Hello Angel and congratulations to you for taking the first step. I just had my TT one week ago and before that I was the same way, I would lose track of time on realself lol. Also, good for you for quitting smoking and thank you for your 22 years of military service. Good luck on your upcoming consultation!
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Welcome to the site.  I am so happy you joined us and look forward to following your journey.  

Keep the posts coming.

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I finally got up enough courage to upload some...

I finally got up enough courage to upload some pictures. I look at them and want to cry. I am so hopeful that the consult tomorrow goes well. I have tried diet and exercise. I have done everything I know how to do. I push past the pain of arthritis and fibromyalgia.

No one said life was fair or easy. At this point I don't care. It is not fair!! I don't want a 20 year old body. I just want my back to stop hurting. I don't want to have to move my belly out of the way to tie my shoes. I am so frustrated. I will end this now before my tears short-circuit the computer.

Sending happy thoughts and prayers for continued healing.

I am so emotional today. I have been spending a...

I am so emotional today. I have been spending a lot of time looking at the before and after pictures. I can't stop crying. I have my consult tomorrow. I am praying so very hard that I hear good news. I am scared to death that there will be a reason that I can't get my TT. I am starting to worry that I won't ever look anything close the ladies in the pictures. I am not normally an overly emotional person. I can't explain it. I am happy, worried, sad, and anxious all at the same time. If I am like this over a consult, how will I ever make it through the pre-op and surgery? Has anyone else gone through this?
Hey Angel, I know what your going through emotionally. I have been overwhelmed with emotions over the past few weeks myself and no life is not easy nor is it fair but we have to believe that everything we go through happens for us to become stronger better individuals and like I always tell my 3 ladies nothing in life great happens with minimal effort. All is going to be well for you, good luck you're definitely in my prayers and please pray for me also.
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'wearing garments that squish the life out of me really isn't living." -------- That was me in the red dress spanx up to my ears, control top panty hose, I couldn't eat a darn thing on Christmas Eve or I would bust, LOL BUt darn it that dress was a size 12 and I was thrilled, LOL I want to be so done with spanx and wear sexy underwear everyday! I will have hubby take them all this weekend, it is my last weekend to do stuff so it is on the list!
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Bejewelme, We now have one more thing in common... a positive attitude. I have come a long way but I am nowhere near where I want to be. I don't look better than you, just different. Have you seen yourself in that red dress? You are beautiful. I could never wear anything like that. The more I read, the more I realize I don't have to live like this. I now know that I don't have to feel guilty or think i'm vain for wanting to take care of me for once in my life. Besides, wearing tents, staying in the house, and wearing garments that squish the life out of me really isn't living. I am ready to live again, not just exist!!!
Go ahead and post the pics. If not for yourself then for someone like me that needs to know that they are not alone.
Sending happy thoughts your way!
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I had my consult today. I am not able to get...

I had my consult today. I am not able to get everything done that I wanted but I am getting the main problem corrected - my belly. My surgery is scheduled for Apr 16th. I had no idea they would schedule me so quickly. I go back for a second visit on Mar 7th. That is when I find out about seeing anesthesia, lab work, and everything else.
Although I am very excited, I can't seem to muster up enough animation to show it right now. I am so tired. I was worried about the appointment and didn't sleep very well last night. Time for a nap.
Hey Angel!!
Welcome!! It was nice and a little emotional reading your posts... I truly feel your pain because I feel the same way about my stomach. Looking at your pictures of your stomach is almost like looking at myself but soon we both will be looking fabulous!! Congrats to you for quitting smoking!I recently quit myself back in November. My surgery is March 1st and I am so ready!!! I am also super excited!! Well I look forward to reading more of journey... Chat with you soon!
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Will be right there cheering you on!!!
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Welcome Angel!  You will be fine!  You will be so happy with your results!  I also spent a good part of my life on this site when I was planning and then recovering from my tummy tuck a year ago (April 8th 2011).  I remember it being so hard to believe that the flabby loose skin would be gone!  You will be amazed at your results.  Just be sure to ask all questions - I went in with a long list the week before my surgery!  I also got so nervous I almost cancelled, but glad I didn't!

I also do not know what I would have done without this site  Especially when I started swelling at around 7 weeks post op & could not believe how big you can get at night!  Also the ups and downs in the weeks following surgery.  It is all normal & I would not have known all that if not for reading the other people's experiences.

Thanks for sharing your photos and your experience.  Keep us posted and before you know it your turn to post your recovery will be here!
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I am so excited about my upcoming surgery. I will...

I am so excited about my upcoming surgery. I will know more details after my Mar 7th evaluation. This entire thing is a little odd. I am having my surgery done at the VA hospital. It was a military doctor who sewed me up crooked so the governement is going to fix it. I am 'technically' having a scar revision because the VA does not perform cosmetic procedures any longer due to budget cuts. The PS said that he would be able to go in a tighten everything up while he was in there.

I woke up feeling really good about life and my surgery. I am starting to make my lists of things I need and who has to do what to help me out. That is going to be pretty interesting considering it's me and my baby girl here at the house. She is in school for the majority of the day. I have a whole new set of questions... What if I have to go to the bathroom? What if I get hungry? What if I fall? What if I drop my pain pills? I am such a worrier.

Sending happy thoughts and prayers for continued healing.
Angle your day is coming soon!!! I am so excited for you!
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Hey I just read your story & saw your pics & I think your going to get great results. You have a very narrow/tiny waist so you'll really get that good hour glass shape. Girl This whole journey is super emotional lol. I'm 3 months post op & still have my momments :) I know how you felt about your pics. When I saw mine I couldnt believe it & I cried. It was very hard to see them & put them on here. I didnt think I looked that bad until i saw it, cuz in clothes I could hide anything. What else did you want to get done besides the TT?
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YOu are going to be fine hun, they will help you and get you well, and we are strong women we will help ourselves the best we can too!!! You deserve this!!!
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I am down to 6 weeks before my surgery. Who knew...

I am down to 6 weeks before my surgery. Who knew that a brain could go through every emotion imaginable in 4 hours.

In the past few years I have done all I could to avoid mirrors. Now that I know a TT is in my future, that has changed. I spend a lot of time in from of the mirror. I turn this way and that way. I suck in and pull things up and around trying to imagine what I'm going to look like. I wonder if it's going to be enough. My flat tummy won't match my thunder thighs or floppy chicken wing arms. But you know what??? That's ok. I can do exercise to tighten that stuff up. No amount of exercise in the world would fix my belly. I have to keep reminding myself of this.

I pray for continued and speedy healing to those already in the flat lands. I will be there soon. For those who have not made it there yet, your time approaches.

Think happy thoughts!!!!!
Angel, you are going to look so good! You already have an amazing shape, so imagine what you'll look like after the surgery.
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Angel, i am going through the same exact emotions as you! Mine is in couple of weeks. Keep us posted :)
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Hello, my tummy tuck is scheduled for May 3rd! So excited for you! Please do keep us posted. My before photos are not up yet but i will post them soon! Can't wait to see your results. Your going to love the new you! Yay!
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I had a followup consult today with the surgeon...

I had a followup consult today with the surgeon who is actually doing my surgery. He was nice, He answered all of my questions. He even volunteered some answers before I got around to asking what was on my mind. He explained exactly where he wanted to cut. The other guy would have done a mini- tuck leaving my belly button and just working on my lower belly. I am so glad he's not my surgeon. This new doctor said he will cut as far around as he needs to to avoid dog ears. He also assured me that if I was not happy with the results that he would go back in and fix it. We talked about pain, scars, drains, binders, and supplements. The thing that blew me away was when he looked at my floppy milk bags and said that he could fix them. Not while doing the TT but later. That works for me. I am so glad that things are finally starting to turn around for me.

As always... Sending happy thoughts and prayers for continued healing..
hey hun..i was looking around on RS and ran across your site bc of course i seen you were from nc like i am :) i had my surgery done in durham..by Dr. gunn..wow she is freakin amazing!! dont worry about the surgery date it will come and go..and you will look fabolous!!! i cant wait to see your updated photos after the surgery..all these sad emotions will b out the window :) good luck hun!!
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Hun I read your post on my thread, I have had a sort of slow recovery but that was me, there is no reason to think you are going to have that!! I know this was harder than I thought, but you are going to have to talk to your daughter and tell her Mama needs help and she is going to have to step it up for you. You must have help the first few days !! BUt dont be afraid, everything I went through was worth it, I had it all, pain, depression, you name it, but it is all OK in the end!! Pray and get that daughter on board and you are going to be fine!!! Promise!!!!
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You never have to settle.  You as the patient always have the last say in it:)

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I had to take a break from RS. This site was...

I had to take a break from RS. This site was consuming my every waking hour. I wanted to absorb all of the information my brain could handle. Instead, I began to stress and worry. I am a nervous eater and gained almost 10 pounds in one week. The worst thing to happen was half of a cigarette. Now I am worried that I won't heal right because of my momentary lapse. I have 2 weeks and 3 days before I go in. I am so anxious. I want a TT so desperately but now I am really starting to get scared. Not so much scared that I won't wake up. But scared that I won't be able to handle the pain or that my wounds won't close up and I will get an infection and be in soo much pain that I wished I was dead. I am probably being melodramatic but I am a 'what if' type person.

I am still working on getting the house in order. My 3rd bedroom has been the storage room for almost a year. I am trying to get everything put away or taken out so that my little helpers can have somewhere comfortable to sleep. I will start working on my supply list over the weekend.

Sending prayers, hugs, and happy thoughts....
good luck!!
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Good luck on ur journey!!!!
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Chin up girl you can do this!!!

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I had my Pre-op appointment today. I am set for...

I had my Pre-op appointment today. I am set for April 16th at 6:00a.m. I don't know exactly what time I go into the OR but I guess it's pretty early. I hope the doctor and the rest of the surgical team have enough time for coffee before they start my procedure.

I will pick up my medication and other supplies while I'm at the hospital. We discussed my allergies and pain tolerance. We talked about what meds to discontinue until after. I had a lot of questions I wanted to ask but of course I got nervous and forgot them all. My list - sitting at home on the coffee table- didn't help at all.

I have been waiting so long for my TT. It is getting real. I guess it's like childbirth or a deployment. You know it's going to happen, you make plans, you prepare and before you know it it's time and you start to panic. That's where I am.

Oh... Did I mention that I still have not met my surgeon?
Angel... I to am getting my tt and lipo on the 16th... I am so nervous, and yet looking forward to July.lol. I will be thinking about you on that day as we will be going thru it together... maybe we can talk here online as we recover together. Best wishes to you girl.
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Actually you looked way better than I did before surgery. You will look great after the surgery. Goodluck for everything and I can't wait to see your after pictures
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Happy Easter, hun email them your list of questions that you forgot that is what I did I kept a list of questions then when it got long I would email it and let them get back to me, you are going to be loving life!!!! Honestly you are going to be fine!!!
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In 46 hours I will be in surgery. 46 hours, less...

In 46 hours I will be in surgery. 46 hours, less than 2 whole days.

I keep feeling like i'm gaining weight. The 10 pounds I thought I gained ended up being 4. I think all together I have gained 7 in the past 3 weeks. I'm doing a lot of nervous eating. It could be that I am trying to eat all the bad stuff that I know I won't have after surgery. Whatever the reason it has to stop.

I pick up my meds at discharge, I have fruit cups, applesauce, broth, crackers, etc. I have my recliner, e-reader, laptop, remote, and I have my phone. I have 8 pillows, 2 comforters, and my lucky socks. What more does a girl need?

I wanted to post what might be the last pics of my...

I wanted to post what might be the last pics of my un-sexy belly. One of the things I hate the most is having my belly on my lap when I sit. I also included a push-up pic. This was the hardest. I tried so hard to not suck in. I think I did though - my belly has to be closer to the floor than that. It sure feels like it.

I plan to spend tomorrow loving up my baby girl and doing something fun.
Good luck again hun....can't wait to see the new u!!!!
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Good luck tomorrow, soon you will be waking up to a new body - so exciting! I will be looking forward to your updates.
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Keep us all posted......you are gonna love the new you.....
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I am here at the hospital. I was so nervous on the...

I am here at the hospital. I was so nervous on the way here. I am feeling relaxed and hungry :( My surgery is scheduled for 11. I will update after it's over.

Sending happy thoughts and prayers for speedy recovery.
o chica have u en mi prayers!
your goin to come thru with flyin'colors,as so many others i am reading here,and mi amiga who did hers last dec. SO flat and sexi,and she is around ur age early forty forties,young.so your goin to love it,
i know i am (late thirties) and i wish you so much luck!GOd will bring u thru,wit flyin'colors!Your going to look FABULOSA!
Noche
(night)
adios.

god speed
can't wait to hear you woke up and have a flat sexi stomach in 2012. GOOD LUCK,keep us posted with pix!
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happy healing! Take it easy...
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Congrats, relax, stay on the meds, happy healing
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It,'s almost 4 am and i cant sleep. Im not in pain...

It,'s almost 4 am and i cant sleep. Im not in pain or uncomfortable I just cant sleep. I wanted to recap my day. I started then inadvertantly hit the post button. Good thing Idid because it was in the wrong place. Sooooo , here we go (again)

My day started with a hour long drive to pick up my driver. She was running late. We dropped her baby off atschool and made it to the hospital by 9a.m. Igot checked in and was told I needed more blood work (type/cross just in case). I go to the lab only to be sent back because it was already done. No big deal. Better safe than sorry. I go to my room, get changed and wait. At 10:30 I start getting nervous. My friend turns on the tv and hands me my nook as a distraction. 11 comes and goes. 12 comes and goes. By this time im getting upset and threatening to putmy clothes on and leave. My friend goes to the desk to find out whats going on. The nurse calls the surg wing. We aretold that they were running behind. At 1:30 my doc comes in and asks if anesthesia came by and he makes his marks. I know I wanted my belly gone but I didn't expect him to try and rip it off in the room. My God he was rough. It is 2p .m. before I walk down the hall to the pre-op prep area. I get my IV anda warm blanket. I wait for the team to assemble. As im waiting this other anesthesia guy starts chatting me up. He lets it slip that they were looking for me earlier. What?? I was lost in my room that they assigned me. Go figure. After I tell him I was checked in before my 9 o'clock time the story changed to how plastic surgery is delicate and they don't rush so they get great results.
Finally at 2:50 I am wheeled into the or. Keep in mind my scheduled time was 11.
In the suite it is a beehive of activity. I scoot to the other table. I'm undressed, and a guy tries to blind me with the oxygen mask. How can you not see that it shifted as you tighten up the thingy?
I wake up in recovery at 7:30. I start feeling all over for you know what. I am happy to report she is GONE!!!!
I was allowed to sit up and was amazed. My first thought was oh my goodness, i can see my cooch.
I am home unable to sleep. No pain, no discomfort, I just cant sleep.
Thanks for all of the prayers and warm wishes!!

HI Angel,

I hope you are still feeling pretty good since surgery. I am so sorry they jerked you around on the day of...that would have been scary thinking they didn't have their act together. You were more patient than I would have been. I'm so glad that part is done now and you have such a great sense of humor about it all. Keep resting even if you feel good and let the inside heal ok. Congrats to you!!
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Rough start eh? Hopefully the recovery will more than make up for it. Healthy and happy healing. Can't wait to see your photos.
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I have been enjoying laying around the house...

I have been enjoying laying around the house having to nothing but recuperate. It has been hard on a few days because I am so independent. When I want something done, I want it done then. This waiting on others to do things for me is driving me crazy. I will catch you all up on the past week.

Day 1 Post-Op
Today was interesting. I took my meds on time, ate, and slept. I didn't drink enough but I still had to go to the bathroom every 5 min It seemed. The only setback was a bout of vomiting when I woke up and had breakfast. I had my pillow for my belly and my basin nearby so it worked out well. The day was uneventful but I would not advise milking the drains at 2 a.m. while doped up on vicoden. I actually pushed the gunk the wrong way. I started to panic once I realized what I was doing and tried to push on my stomach to mash it back out.

Day 2 Post-Op
Another day of sitting around doing nothing. I am taking my meds on schedule so I pretty much sleep all day long. I had my first BM today. It was not bad at all. I started taking MOM 2 days before surgery so it was smooth sailing. Today was my first look at my new belly. Holy Mary Mother I stood up so long looking at it I got a little dizzy. I am so very swollen on the sides I can't see a difference there yet.

Day 3 Post-Op
I had my first follow up. The doc seems pleased with his work. I asked him if he did any muscle repair because I had no pain. I was expecting to be in excruciating pain once anesthesia wore off. He removed the bandages from my belly button. I could not stop smiling. I have a cute little round normal looking belly button for the first time in 15 years. My stretchmarks are no longer up around my ribs. They are now close to my belly button. They do not wrap all the way around me like they used to. I had a little vertical dark line above my old belly button from a piercing gone wrong. That little mark is now incision line. I am still producing quite a bit of belly gunk. I empty my drains twice a day because I don't like looking at it. The doc says if I am producing less than 25 cc's for 2 days I can have them removed on Wednesday (my next follow up). I pray that I can drive myself by then. The friend that gave me a ride not only got me there late, he drove like an idiot. He hit every pothole, made sharp turns, and was so busy fussing with his girlfriend on the phone that he didn't help me in or out of the car.

Day 4 Post-Op
The pain has not been bad at all. The most discomfort is in my back from being hunched over when I walk. It is a serious cramping sensation. I still can't stand up straight. The doc says to continue to walk hunched over and sleep propped up.
I know that it is going to take a while for the swelling to go down. I don't know why I am starting to question whether the doc actually removed enough. I look at my profile and I am happy with the results already. When I look at myself straight on, I look like a big balloon. When I got a look at my scars today I can say that they are coming along pretty good. The incision is pretty low and does not go back as far as I thought it would.

Day 5 Post-Op
Last night was horrible. I had heartburn and nausea. I could not get comfortable. All I wanted to do was lay down. I did not want to sleep in the stupid recliner propped up. I wanted to go get in my bed or at least stretch out on the sofa. I was trying my best not to wake my daughter up at 2 in the morning to join me in my misery. I don't know what that was all about. I expected to have some emotional days. Maybe that was a part of it.
I had my daughter take some close-up pics of my incision. There are 3 small spots that look like they are open. One of them looks like it is splitting open because it is dry. Does that happen? I will ask the doc when I see him in 4 days.
Again, my biggest concern is not pain, infection, or even a seroma. I am starting to think the doc didn't take enough from the sides. I have pics from days 1, 3, and 5. I honestly don't see where there is a change. I guess if I had to pick between pain or swelling, swelling isn't so bad.

I hope to have the pics updated before the weekend is over. Thanks for all of the prayers, happy thoughts, and warm wishes. I am sending those good healing vibes out to those recovering and encouragement to those who are still waiting for their big day.

There were two things I forgot to mention....

There were two things I forgot to mention.

There is no oozing or bleeding from my belly button after the doc removed the gauze. It looks like I had stitches all around it but I didn't. I don't know how that's possible. There are literally little lines that look like stitches were there but were removed.
The second thing.... my butt feels like someone hit me with a hammer. There is like a circle of pain in my left butt cheek. I thought the dog had brought me one of her toys and I slept on it but there was nothing there. I can't explain it.
The butt pain and back pain from being hunched over are the worse. Still no ab pain. My drain feel better.(I tugged one of them while trying to pull my pants up after going to the bathroom.)
Hey Angel!!
Congrats on your surgery!! Can't wait to see pics!!! But you sound like you are doing pretty good!!!! Well I wish you happy healing!!! I will be in touch!!!
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Hun dont go getting upset about your sides or thinking not enough was taken, you have a long way to go, I am almost 8 weeks and still so swollen, I know it is really hard but just focus on healing and getting the incision healed and the rest will follow the darn swelling is insane even if you think you are not swollen you are!!!!!!
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Glad u doing well.....Congrats and happy healing...can't wait to see the new u!!!!
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What an adventure this has been. Days 7 - 14...

What an adventure this has been.

Days 7 - 14 have been interesting. On day 7 my 35 pound lap dog decided to tell me hello. I was sound asleep on the recliner when she took a running start from across the room and jumped on my lap. Needless to say, she knocked the wind out of me, I jumped straight up and was in tears for an hour. My daughter apologized profusely for letting her get away. Although I wanted to, I couldn't be mad at either of them. I had my left drain removed on day 10. Wouldn't you know the drain that is hurting more than everything else is still with me. I even went so far as to clip one of the stitches that's pulling off with cuticle scissors. It still hurts. I am so tempted to yank the thing out. Every time I move I get this horrible pain where it is.

I have a few new pics to upload. I am starting to worry that it is not going to turn out well. My swelling is starting to go down but not where I previously had my muffin top. My belly button looks a little off center and strange. I am looking for a marble to put in there to kind of round it out a bit. I look at my belly now and think how strange it looks. After lugging around all of that blubber and skin for years and now having it gone, it just looks unnatural.

The biggest problem (other than the drain) is the back pain. If anyone has ever strained their back you know what I mean. All in all though, I would do it again in a heartbeat!!

Happy healing to all.

What an adventure this has been. Days 7 - 14...

What an adventure this has been.

Days 7 - 14 have been interesting. On day 7 my 35 pound lap dog decided to tell me hello. I was sound asleep on the recliner when she took a running start from across the room and jumped on my lap. Needless to say, she knocked the wind out of me, I jumped straight up and was in tears for an hour. My daughter apologized profusely for letting her get away. Although I wanted to, I couldn't be mad at either of them. I had my left drain removed on day 10. Wouldn't you know the drain that is hurting more than everything else is still with me. I even went so far as to clip one of the stitches that's pulling off with cuticle scissors. It still hurts. I am so tempted to yank the thing out. Every time I move I get this horrible pain where it is.

I have a few new pics to upload. I am starting to worry that it is not going to turn out well. My swelling is starting to go down but not where I previously had my muffin top. My belly button looks a little off center and strange. I am looking for a marble to put in there to kind of round it out a bit. I look at my belly now and think how strange it looks. After lugging around all of that blubber and skin for years and now having it gone, it just looks unnatural.

The biggest problem (other than the drain) is the back pain. If anyone has ever strained their back you know what I mean. All in all though, I would do it again in a heartbeat!!

Happy healing to all.

*** UPDATE*** My wifi went out but I was...

*** UPDATE***

My wifi went out but I was missing my Real Self support system. I have been sitting here at the desk top for about an hour checking up on all of the lovely ladies who have been giving me lots of love. Well - now I am so sad I am in tears. I have been looking at 'after' pictures. I can't help but be jealous of the people who come out of surgery with an hourglass figure. Swollen and all they still look amazing. I look like the PS implanted an inner-tube around my waist. I have blown up like a balloon. Today, right now I am regretting having this surgery. I have suffered through all this pain to still look hideous.
U r looking good girl and it's only gonna get better!!!! Congrats and happy healing!!!!
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Hey Angel. Girl don't get down on yourself. I am 8 weeks and I am still dealing with the swelling. it will subside. I felt the same way. I still do. But we have to understand the swelling is hard on us. But all in all look where we came from and look where we are. It's just a few days. Girl we got you. Hold that head up (don't worry about holding your stomach in, your doctor took care of that...lol) and work that new body girl, and know God bought us a mighty long way, Just because we asked him too. And know that we are FABULOUS.
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Good, Our body types were so similar and we had the same issues with swelling. Just seeing your 6 weeks PO pics gives me more hope. I was told not to compare and I'm trying to listen but dang... I had to check to see if I had clicked on my page by mistake. I get my other drain out today. I look forward to trying on clothes that don't have elastic all the way around. Happy Healing and thanks for the support!!
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I had my follow-up yesterday. I had my last drain...

I had my follow-up yesterday. I had my last drain removed and could not be happier. I told the doc that it was hurting and oozing gunk the last time I went in. He looked at it and said it was fine. It was NOT fine. He was not feeling my pain. Even after clipping the stitch it still hurt like heck. Anyway, when he came in the room he asked if I was ok. He said I looked nervous. Again I said the drain was giving me soo much pain. He did the doctor thing and explained that the drains were a necessary evil. After I explained again that the other drain did not hurt, my incision did not hurt, nothing in this entire process hurt but that drain, he took pity on me and yanked it out right away. He said that I still had a lot of swelling. I asked if he was sure it was swelling? He reassured me that if it wasn't swelling we would go in for lipo if I still wasn't satisfied with the results in 6 months or so. He still recommends the binder and no strenuous activities for 4 more weeks. My binder looks like an over sized ace bandage. I can wrap it around almost twice now. What do you ladies have?

I was able to put on normal clothes yesterday. I think that did the trick. Even though I am still wide around the middle, I do not have a big fat floppy belly hanging over. Being in jeans is painful though. The waistband hits right at my incision. My pants are actually sliding down. Talk about amazing... I was able to fit in my daughters belt. She wasn't too thrilled. She thinks i'm going to start stealing her clothes. She's right of course. Give me a few more months and it's going to be cute little tank tops and T-shirts. All the things she has in her closet that I would never buy for myself.

I understand now what others were talking about with the emotional roller coaster. One day I am loving my new body and accepting that this is a process. I am able to reassure myself that it gets better. I can tell myself that I did not get big over night and even with the surgery, I can't expect to be small over night. Then there are the days where I don't cut myself any slack. I look in the mirror and still see the poor lonely fat girl. I don't want to be that person anymore.

I accept that I have limitations. I accept that this is a process. I accept that what I see now is not the final product. I accept ME!!!

New pics coming soon. I can't wait to see the comparison.

Sending prayers of peace to those anxiously awaiting their date, prayers for a speedy and uneventful recovery to those on the other side, and... Happy thoughts to all!!!

Comparison pics added. I need to do some work on...

Comparison pics added. I need to do some work on my back and start saving up for BA. My chest is almost as flat as my new tummy.
Looking so cute in your jeans and t shirt! Love it!!!!!!
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Love the smile in the new pic, hey we are bigger girls but still sexy!!! Everyday when I wake up and feel all that flab gone I cant believe it is my stomach!!! I weigh pretty much the same and people think I have lost like 25-30 pounds it is amazing the difference having that skin and flab removed makes!!
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looking good.
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Here I am at day 24 Post Op. I wish I could say...

Here I am at day 24 Post Op. I wish I could say that things are going as well as I hoped. In reality, I am starting to think that this is as good as it's going to get. The swelling in my upper torso is going down. There is no change in my lower love-handle area. My belly is looking great. It still amazes me when I look down and see straight through to my thighs.

I have begun my scar treatment. I am using an organic oil and a scar cream. This has been interesting. When I rub the oil on the dis-solvable stitches that are close to the surface rub off. I have learned something about myself during this process. I am a scab picker :o There was this one scab just barely holding on. I tried to clip it but it wouldn't cut. Word of advice to others... DON'T PULL ANYTHING OFF!!! Most of the thing was not attached. I pulled one little itty bitty section and a huge hole opened up. Ok, maybe not huge but more than I expected. Everything else is going well.

The PS cleared me to start walking last week, I was being lazy and didn't start right away. Yesterday I finally found my motivation. 2 miles all together. 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. My goal was just 1 mile. Before the TT walking would leave me with terrible back pain and muscle spasms. I felt great. A little knee pain from the arthritis but that's about it. I felt so good I walked again. If I keep this up, my thunder thighs will firm up and match my awesome flat tummy.

My daughter had her senior prom on Saturday. She was beautiful. (I will ask her if I can share her pic) I kept looking at her gown thinking one day I will be able to wear something as glamorous as that. I thought about it and thought about it. I just had to see if I could get in it. I put it on and it fit! I was in a size 12 evening gown. I can't even come close to explaining how big this is. The last gown I bought for myself was a size 16 and that was a bit tight. That was the motivation I needed to clean out my closet and get rid of my fat clothes. I said goodbye to my 2 and 3X loose tent dresses I wore to hide my roll. Gone are the XL tops that served the same purpose. Now I feel like a new person. Am I perfect now? Am I at my ultimate goal? Do I have the body for a magazine cover? Not in the least. But I am so much better than I used to be. For now... that is enough.

I will continue to eat right, exercise, and work on maintaining my positive attitude. The fact that the PS has offered to do lipo if I'm not satisfied is also a plus. I will do my part to loose what I can and let him take care of the rest.

Sending happy thoughts and prayers for happy healthy healing to you all.
wow, you look amazing! would love to hear and see how you are doing
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would love to see some 1 year PO pictures. I know you are enjoying your new body
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Wow Angel, look at you! You are looking good in your jeans and tank top. And I love that smile on your face, it feels good doesn't it! You (well your body) have transformed beautifully, as you are already a beautiful person. And I am sure you will be in your own beautiful gown soon. Everything does take time, I know we hear that all the time and get tired of hearing it, lol, but its true. But I agree with what you said about maintaining a positive attitude and things being good enough now and working on the things that we can continue to improve. Also, that is awesome that your dr. is offering to do lipo too! You take care and continue to heal, you look awesome and it is only going to be better as time goes on.
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Dr. Earle

Doctor Steven Earle and his surgical staff did a great job on the actual surgery and recovery process. The office visits are always great. He has such a infectious personality, you can't help but feel good.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 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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