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Anxious, Excited, Nervous - Rockville, MD

I just had my first consult and really liked the...

I just had my first consult and really liked the doctor and was able to get on the books in 3 weeks!!! So much to do and so little time. I'm nervous about the pain---it's my first major surgery! I just keep gong back to my reason for doing this and how much better I feel after a few weeks. It's a lifetime of Christmas gifts I'm buying myself.

I'm All About the Details

This time three weeks from now, I'll most likely be in misery. But my life will change forever! I'm concerned about some of the detail stuff...do I need additional blood work, am I for certain scheduled for 12/11? Will I have another appointment before my surgery? Can I continue to take my sublingual B-12? What kind of spanx will I need? Prime usually flies. I'm super busy at work...hosting a two day meeting, doing performance management stuff, all before I go on leave. That's in addition to the home/Christmas/birthday prep I have to do. Which reminds me, are you all working the day before your surgery? I just want to know everything is taken care of. I've made the decision to go through with it, now I just want it to go smoothly and get here. Also, are you all doing personal maintenance stuff (pedicure, wax, etc) the day before your surgery? Any information is welcomed!

Stomach Selfies 3 weeks pre-op

Approved! (In the target lady voice)

I got the word from the doctor's office that I've been cleared for surgery (I just need to continue to take my vitamin D & B-12 because I'm low in those). And, the charge showed up on my credit card. So now I start paying for it!

On another note, I was thinking about working the day before surgery, but now I think I might take it off and get a pedicure, wax, & maybe a massage...things I like but won't be able to do for awhile.

So I'm one step closer to really being able to shine!

Second to last Zumba class

I'm trying not to obsess but I took a minute and thought about how much my life is going to change in two weeks. I out on a workout top, which I wore because I liked the color but boy did my stomach look big! And as I was shaking it in Zumba, I also accidentally hit my stomach. Which made me think, I can't wait to come back to Zumba (or low rows for that matter) and not have to deal with that. I was a little sad though because I started thinking about all of the ways I use my ab muscles & I won't be able to do stuff for awhile. However, I'm keeping focused on the positive.

In another note, I bought toe wedge pillows & a toilet seat rider today. My question for y'all is what kind of shirts did you wear during your first couple of weeks recovering? And did you wear a sports bra or shelf bra tank in on the day of surgery or did you just wear a regular bra? I'm a detail oriented gal sometimes :)

Good luck to those going to the flat side tomorrow or who are in recovery!

My blog post on how I got here

I wanted to do a blog to document how I got here and after surgery. This is the first part-how I got here. Hope you like.
http://988328301712889589.weebly.com/1/post/2013/11/major-life-changes-the-beginning.html

Updated blog/site

Ugh. I wish I knew how to edit prior updates. Until I figure that out, I want to share my new blog/site. I'll be adding more as time goes on. www.beautifulafterbaby.weebly.com

I told my MIL

I told my mother in law this afternoon about my upcoming surgery. I was a bit hesitant because she blabs. But I asked her not to say anything to anyone. I told her I had muscle separation that needed to be addressed (she mentioned she didn't know that I had ab issues). And somehow she remembered me having loose skin, so she asked about that, to which I responded that it would be addressed. She then asked if I was going to need help the second week. I don't want to seem as though I'm always coming to her when I need something, so I left it that I might but we'll see how I'm feeling. But that it would be helping my husband with the kids. Tough conversation for me, but at least it's over. And I'm expecting the entire family to know.

Holy Hemorrhoid!

Ever since I've had my kids, I've had hemorrhoids. I've also had a fissure. And I've had a procedure to remove them (that didn't work & caused me to have it surgically removed which hurt like a bit€h). Anyway, I've had itching lately & was able to get some prescription cream to help with it. Tonight though, the vein had a clot I think (because that's what it looked like when I had blood pouring down me as I was washing up). So I did a sitz bath with Epsom salt, let warm water rinse the area, put my bum in the air with a cold compress & thanked The Lord this was happening now instead of two weeks from now. I'm going to call the doctor's office tomorrow to see if I could get some advice because I can't have this issue when I'm recovering. No gym this weekend & definitely taking it as easy as I can so I can heal!

Diet & Exercise & Passing Time

So I'm finishing up the whole 30 challenge I did this month (one full month dairy, grain, sugar, and legume-free). My surgery is scheduled on the 11th and I'm seeing a friend's band this Friday & a holiday party on Saturday. Because of the hemorrhoid issue, I'm cutting down/out weights & at least adding dairy back this coming week. I want to go into the weekend at 168 so I've got a couple of pounds to offset the weekend splurge. Then I'll have two days before surgery to maintain. I'm a planner so even though I've got 11 days until the surgery, I'm a planner & pack a ton of stuff into the time I have. For example, I've got a two day meeting at work, need to finish up performance evaluations, do my performance plan, get the kids' Christmas gifts, book the place for my daughter's birthday party in January, and get the kids pictures with Santa this coming weekend! I'm sure (hoping) time flies. I can't wait for the surgery. I am nervous that I'll get a call from the doctor's office saying there's been a scheduling error and my surgery is postponed! Really hoping that doesn't happen! Healthy healing to folks on the flat side. Excited to join you there!

Single digits

I'm so excited! I've hit the single digits!!! Nine more days until my surgery. I want the 11th to get here so quickly. So far here's what I have purchased: wedge pillows, toilet riser, granny panties in a size larger than what I currently wear, mineral oil, citrucel, and colace. I need to buy throat lozenges. I've got the entertainment covered with a book and my ipad. What else am I missing? I'm giving the doctor's office until Wednesday but then I'm calling to see when I'll get my prescriptions. I want everything to go smoothly! Oh, I'm also waiting to buy the compression garment. I think I'll be in the binder for a solid week, so I have a little time (plus, I'm at a loss for which one to get and what size to get). So happy I can count my days on two hands now!

The big questions in life (can I use any color polish on toes)

I emaile my doctor's office yesterday to ask about the prescriptions (when would I get them) & whether the no polish rule applied to toenails. The prescriptions were mailed out yesterday I think. I can wait to fill them. I'm a little anxious that I'm going to be bumped. I wanted to confirm the date again but I know when it is. I just can't wait to get my surgery time (next Tuesday). Oh and I can wear any color polish in toes ;)

Belly's Last Party

As I was getting dressed for a party at the boss's house & saw that my tank was, yet again, tight in the tummy area. But I tried to look as nice as possible and even told my tummy to live it up...it's the last party you'll make an appearance at. And I'm so happy about that!!!

Side note: got my prescriptions in the mail, but I need to call the office because I need to replace Percocet (which makes me sick). Yay! It's almost here!!

Belly's last day of work!

Today was a doozy. Delayed opening because of weather, conducted three interviews, two performance evaluation discussions, and wrapped up as much as I could before leaving the office at 7:30! I got my prescriptions in the mail Saturday and I need to get them filled tomorrow. Hopefully the forecasted snow won't cause significant problems. I'm hoping that I can still get my haircut, wax, & pedicure! And I really hope it doesn't impact my surgery Wednesday!

Flat Eve

You guys/gals. Belly had her last Zumba class. She won't be missed. I also got my time earlier today...I have to be there at 11am, scheduled for surgery a little after noon. I'm so excited and nervous. The person from the surgery center told me to wear bikini bottoms, because of the doctor's preference, but I thought I could wear thongs as long as they had a seam in the side for him to use as a guide. So, I've got three sets of underwear laid out...the thongs (1st choice), polka dot 1" lace string bikini (2nd), and then low rise bikinis (3rd). I'll see if I can go with the thongs.

I'm nervous about the pain. I keep telling myself that the first two weeks are gonna suck big time, but then after that, it will get better (don't ruin my hopes and dreams for those on the flat side)! I am really happy that I decided to take off the extra week at work...so now I go back January 6th. I have a bunch of appointments lined up for January 3rd, which I think will be a good way to segue back into work.

Ugh. I just ate a bunch of food. I had a light dinner but then went to Zumba and was hungry, and then was like, if I can't eat after midnight and my surgery isn't until noon, I better fill up. And I'm sipping on a citrucel drink, as directed.

Oh, we had snow today and it came in went in the morning, thank goodness. I picked out my outfit. I know I won't care, but not wearing a bra out is gonna be weird and since I had an ivory cardigan planned, I swapped it out for a dark one. So, I've got a navy/burgundy/gold leopard print cardigan (last year from target), navy knit palazzo pants (old navy), and goldish flats. I went out and got my prescriptions filled, got a bikini wax, ordered my son's birthday cake, paid for my daughter's birthday party in January, bought a few things at Old Navy that I could wear while recovering (major sales!). I'm a bit concerned about cabin fever, but I'll have my computer and well, I'll just need to suck it up.

So here's the plan for tomorrow:
6am-Wake up and pretend to have coffee with half and half. Instead of having the nectar of Gods, I will be checking to see what traffic is like to the surgical center. As of right now, it's 37 minutes.
7am-Get kiddos ready and take them to school
8am-Clean out car which is a hot mess and my husband is not going to dig driving me in a dirty car.
9am-Get basement (where I'll be recuperating) ready...put sheets over the couch, get my wedge pillows out and set up, move the toys in the kid section of the basement so we can put the air mattress up if needed. Relocate computer, ipad, phone to basement.
9:45/10am-Leave for the flat side. We are taking two cars (mom driving one, husband driving the other) in case one person has to leave and get kids from daycare/after school care. By the way, can you tell I'm a planner?

Also, I came downstairs wearing this old plain looking nightshirt and asked my mom if she remembered it. Nope. I wore it 21 years ago (dang, I feel old) when I had my wisdom teeth out (and was the last time I had general anesthesia, I think).

I wonder what the marking up process is going to be like and will I be busy for the hour I'm there before surgery? I guess I better read up on other folks who are on the flat side and see what's up.
I'll try to post some gibberish tomorrow when I get home. Night all! See ya on the flat side!

I made it to the flat side

Sorry I haven't posted before now. My surgery was delayed so instead of noon-ish, I went in around 3 My nurse had a hard time getting an IV In me and between that & not having anything to eat/drink since Tuesday at 9:30pm, I passed out.

Everyone was so nice. I haven't peeked at my stomach yet but I can tell it's flat . I've been sleeping most of the day, a big result of the anti-nausea med I was taking., which I needed for Percocet but we were able to get Vicodin, so hopefully I won't be so tired. Signing off for now. Happy healing !

Progress!

I am very pleased to report that I ate a few things yesterday! And my drainage is looking better. Last night, I was able to get off of the couch by myself and it's less painful now than it had been.

I was actually awake for awhile and got to see the kids. My 3 year old was great. She saw the drain and said that's to drain the fluid from your tummy mommy. I was able to give them kisses which was fantastic. The switch from Percocet to Vicodin really did help me out and allowed me to be more awake.

I'm using my incentive spirometer, which is difficult, but my nurse (my mom) sees progress, so that's good. Coughing hurts like a bi$(& but I try every once in awhile because it's better than getting pneumonia. I'm also going to start taking my mineral oil shots today, now that I've had a full day of not throwing up.

I was able to walk up and down our steps a couple of times yesterday, which is progress! I'm hoping that I'll have a little more energy today. Happy healing!

Pretty pleased

I'm pretty pleased with my progress so far. I scheduled my follow up appointment a little later than normal so that I only had to travel 20 minutes, not 45. I've been up and moving a good bit yesterday and I've been able to get off of the couch, where I'm recuperating, by myself a couple of times. My appetizer started coming back yesterday and after dinner (roast, carrots, sweet potatoes an fair piece of French bread with butter). Oh my, my binder felt so tight. I think my back is starting to feel the pain now, but I'm hoping it's not too bad.

I have to tell you all something funny. My son came downstairs to visit me & asked what I had watched on TV. I had told him, I hadn't watched any tv. He couldn't believe it. No Tv for two days!!!! Oh and he also made me this picture. It's Jesus praying for me. So cute. Happy healing to those on the flat side and for those who are making their journey next week...good luck!

Mini Rant & Identifying Boundaries

Mini rant first. The company I went through to do our Christmas cards & mail them out sent the wrong cards!!!! I am beyond pissed because they weren't cheap and I spent a fair amount of time customizing them. I've contacted customer service so hopefully they can get it fixed like today.

Today has been much slower than what I would have liked. I'm one of those on the go types so sitting doing the occasional laps is slow going for me. However, I did kind of wash my hair (well my mom did with waterless shampoo) and I poured soapy water over my legs, and took a washcloth and washed my upper body and carefully poured soapy water over my swollen vag (yikes!). I tried making some vegetable beef soup but I couldn't open the can of tomatoes. Boundary defined. I can't reach high. Another boundary defined. I am thankful that I goofed off when I was younger and tried to pick up things with my feet because that helps now. And I'm thankful that I have strong leg muscles as it helps getting in/out of recliner easier. I switched to sleeping in the recliner and wow! I slept from 10p-4a. Yay!!! I'm doing well with my incentive spirometer too. All good news. I'm just having a low energy kind of day. I weighed myself and was about a pound more than prior to surgery. So I need to cut back on the prepared soups and French bread (hence the homemade vegetable beef soup). I primarily ate paleo before so this is off the wagon. But I'll be a bit lenient and once I'm through the worst of it, then I'll hop back on :)

Oh my follow up appointment is scheduled for Friday (a few days after when it should have been) but at least I only have to go 20 not 45 minutes. And maybe I can take a quick trip to the oil & vinegar shop for a Christmas gift.

Oh and one more thing, I've been draining about 120cc and today I've got about 60 so far. Gotta get to that magic number of 30, hopefully by Friday!

Picture from day 2 post op

I forgot to add this picture

A couple more pics

Apparently six days post op is when I start getting brave :) I think I'm gonna love my flat tummy.

Drain site

My drain site was pinching and felt like it was pulling, so I changed the pad on it and took a picture. I think maybe the nerves are coming alive or maybe I just was lying on it awkwardly. Either way, I got to see it up close and personal. And it made me nervous. I hope I'm doing things right. My mom who had been taking care of me had to go home because she got a really bad cold. I had a little crying session because I've gone through all of this and I don't want to eff up my scar or healing.
My MIL is up now and she's been fine but hubs is acting like a total a$$wipe (that's his disposition most of the time and he really brings me down). I spent the entire morning by myself and it was glorious. I fixed breakfast, took meds, slept. The only care I had was getting better.

Tomorrow will be a big day. I'm going to try to go to my son's award ceremony that's 20 minutes long and only 5 minutes from the house.
My follow up appointment is in Friday and I can't wait!!! I'm kicking out about 30-40cc now so by Friday maybe I'll be down below 30 and the drains can come out. Here's wishful thinking.

Outside of the first couple of days, I've been pleased with my recovery. I'm moving, identifying boundaries, and doing well with the incentive spirometer.

Happy healing & for those going to the flat side soon---good luck!!!

One week flativersary

This sure has been a week. The first night was the roughest due to being nauseous & just plain in pain. I'm able to be a little more independent, which I love. But it's been very difficult for me not to go go go! I've found that by the time I get ready in the morning, I need to rest. Then if I go out for 30-45 minutes like I did at my son's school today, I need to rest and sleep. I'm still taking pain and muscle relaxers because I'm not at the point that I can really do too much skipping. I also notice I get emotional when I start feeling pain. My mother in law is really helpful and she even noticed that I was standing straighter than I had even a day ago. My drain site annoys me because it's uncomfortable. I have my one week follow up on Friday but since I'm still throwing off 50-55cc over the last two days, my guess is that I'm going to have to keep it in until the next visit. Overall, I feel like I'm making good progress. Hopefully Dr. T agrees. And a big thanks to everyone with their encouraging words. I'm hoping I have a little more energy tomorrow to tackle a to-do list (that can be done from my recliner).

My 1st follow up

Well, it seems that Dr.T did not like me going to target even though I hung on to a cart. And he advised against me going to my son's birthday party tomorrow at chuck e cheese (the up/down motion). That seriously bummed me out because I thought I was doing well with listening to my body and resting when I was tired. It's hard for me to slow slow slow when I'm used to go go go. But I didn't go through all of this to mess up my healing or scar, so we'll just celebrate on his actual birthday at home. I was emotional in the doctor's office today because of needing to go slower and because I'd miss Alex's party and because my life will change with my new ab area. See for yourself!

As suspected, I need to keep my drain in as I'm throwing off about 45 CCs but I have another follow up appointment on Tuesday and I should be able to get it out then. They also said I could shower but I'm too scared. Actually all I want to do is shave my legs. Hubs won't do that (pretty sure on that one) so maybe my mom will. Oh and no pads under binder. The top abs were a little more swollen, so I need to keep the binder tight. But the. After binder it's spanx!! And I should be able to wear normal clothes. Yeehaw!

Happy healing and for those approaching the flat side, good luck!!!

I'm so proud of myself

You all. After having a craptastic start to the day. The kids & a$$ of a husband is out of the house for awhile. So you know what I did? I used my problem solving skills and strong leg muscles and shaved my legs!!! Woohoo! And kinda washed my hair though it feels totally gross. And I put a maxi dress on and makeup. And I feel almost like my normal self. And while my scar is a little lopsided, I'll deal with it. And I'm hoping my drain comes out on Christmas Eve! Now the only thing I wish for is for someone to do the dishes, for me to go shopping (trying to take it easy), & for someone to bring me a really great salad. Here's a few photos today today!

Under 30 CC

For the first time!!! Yay!!! If all goes well, the drain should come out on Tuesday (13 days PO). I would like to get out of the house and go out to eat tomorrow though, but the dr didn't like when I went to target at 8 days PO. But I want to get out of this house! But I don't want to jeopardize getting my drain out. What's a girl to do??

Drain, Showering & Compression Garment

Yay!!!! My drain is out!! Woohoo! Not not to overdo it, which they told me a few times (I guess they know me). I took my first shower and it was heavenly. Heavenly I tell ya. They want to see me next week and then it will get spaced out a bit more.

Now the compression garment. Holy hell. This is an ever loving nightmare. They recommended the Assets brand by Sara Blakley (spanx) but it had to be high waist and mid thigh. Holy cow. Getting that thing on was tiring. I need to drink water but I'm afraid of going through that whole rigamaroll again. And I bought one large and a few mediums, so guess who's gonna have to return a few things at target. Yikes! Ok. I'm gonna sit here for 30 minutes, relax, then wrap some gifts.

Oh and I totally cried in the shower, it felt so good. We are strong for going through this!

Happy healthy healing!

Merry Christmas Y'All

Yay! It's Christmas and I as I got dressed today, I thought, wow, I can't wait to wear my normal push-up bra and huh, my quads are showing. And those thoughts are awesome! You know why? because I didn't think about how gross my stomach looks. And my small boobs need the help of Fredericks or Victoria's Secret (and I'm okay with that). And I'm okay with my legs bulging out a bit, because I love working out my legs...they are strong and make me feel like a sexy mama (I'll show a pic why). So Merry Christmas to me, the first Christmas in at least six years where I'm not upset about my stomach & I think that rocks! Happy healthy healing over the holidays!!! Much love, Emily

Love/Hate CG

I wore a CG yesterday that provided nice support in the lower ab area but it didn't come up high enough. Holy heck. My binder was in the wash and I had to just grin and bare it. But boy did I pay for it. The top ab hurt and I feel like crud again today. Ugh. Lesson learned!! My sister is buying me some suddenly skinny by maidenform and another binder. I don't want to feel down and out all day. I have this feeling that I need to get on my feet soon since I go back to work in about a week (12 hours away from house)!

Ups and Downs

Today and yesterday have been filled with ups and downs. I compared it to being pregnant and waiting between doctors appointments. I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right, wearing the right compression, doing enough activity/not overdoing it, just basically making sure I'm doing everything okay so that I don't mess up the work Dr. T did. My ab muscles hurt a little towards the top. I picked a 1/2 appointment so that I could drive to it by myself but now I wish I picked a Tuesday appointment so that I could see the doctor sooner. But kids are still out of school and when I had to yell at them today it totally hurt (in my defense, they were rolling dog toys where I was walking after I repeatedly told them not to). My upper abs seem to be more swollen than the lower and the scar seems to be raised a bit, but I don't know if I'm just scrutinizing.

Ready for Debbie Downer to be gone!

I am constantly comparing my ab area to see how it's changing and I don't like what I see today. I see more swelling and my scar doesn't look as good.

I'm generally a positive person but being in this mode of being cautious not to do too much, laying around, walking a bit, not being able to properly shave my legs, seeing swelling is down right blah. It doesn't help that I'm not the most patience. And I'm bored and I don't feel sexy. And wah, wah, wah! Maybe I need to rest. Which I'm tired of doing. Okay, sorry for being Debbie Downer, hopefully it will change course soon!

Debbie Downer is Being Kicked to the Curb

Hey y'all. Debbie Downer is on her way out! I ordered a wireless fitbit & until it arrives, I'm using a pedometer app on my phone up estimate my steps. I'm a very analytical, gold oriented person, so giving me a goal I can measure (like try for 4,000 steps tomorrow it whatever) will really help me out. Plus, outside of the evening swelling, the CG I'm wearing make me feel flatterso I had a set back because I wore a bad CG one day & it's taken two days to make up for it. Oh well. Life happens. A couple more days here at mom & dad's and I want the kids and I to enjoy it.

The sides of my incision hurt a bit, but I'll suck it up buttercup. Also, I'm going to try just using Tylenol tonight since I need to be off narcotics tomorrow if I want to drive on 1/2. All of the comments have inspired me! Thank ya, thank ya, thank ya.

3 weeks post op!

What a great way to mark the new year! I feel pretty good. Went to a party last night & stood for about 1.5 hours after sitting in the truck for 1.5 hours (kids & I came back from my parents where we stayed the last seven days). I did really well. The surgery was obvious (like my neighbor said it's like it magically came off). I basically told her I had a tummy tuck without saying the words.

I took some pics to document 3 weeks post op & what I would look like now if I were in sexy wexy & regular panties.

Oh and I drove to grocery store & did the shopping and boy am I beat (and it's Tylenol time) But, I needed to do it. I go back to work on Monday and I've got to start doing stuff...a little at a time.

Side view 3 wks post

I wish I could edit/change photos without doing another update

Comparison: Pre-Op vs 21 Day Post Op

I am obsessed with seeing what my abdominal area looks like. So, I put this comparison together of pre-op, 9 days post op (first time I took binder off & they took surgical tape off), & today, 21 days post op. Pretty awesome!

Kinda sad...Going Back to Work Monday

Even though I haven't spent the last 20 some days having fun, I'm not really looking forward to going back to work on Monday. I'm just now feeling like I can do stuff. Though I put the Christmas decorations away, baked cookies for kiddo snow day & I'm in the recliner now, because I felt tired. Good thing is that I have an acupuncture appointment Monday afternoon, and I think my last weekly visit with Dr. T on Thursday, and I'm planning to work about 7 hour days (usually work 9 hours with a total of 2.5 hour commute round trip). But, I will listen to my body & use common sense & not push myself (that will be a major task)! Happy healthy healing RS sisters!

Getting back to normal routine

So today, I decided to go to the gym and walk super slow on the treadmill (1.3 mph) as folks were running around me. That was frustrating. I originally wanted to do some light upper body weights, but was reaching a limit where I knew I needed to call it quits, especially since I was going to Target and grocery shopping right after the gym. By the time I got home at 12:30, I was exhausted and for good reason. I had as many steps as the prior day. And I have to say, while my pics without clothes didn't get me excited, I almost wanted to cry when I got dressed for the gym. These aren't great because I feel like I was hunched over more today. But you know what, my shirt looked better than the pic...there was no belly protruding. So while I went super slow on the treadmill and was hunched over, I didn't care because I felt great mentally.

I did a lot today though. After my outing and lunch, I folded all of my laundry that had accumulated over the last few weeks, tried on clothes so that I could get an idea as to what I could wear next week. My son was great but my daughter who is almost 3, was a handful. I was on the go so much (relative to previous days) that I felt awful around dinner & finally gave up and sat for as long as I could. I was so tired at 7:30, it wasn't even funny. But I managed to outlast the kids with the help of my mother in law and am trying to sleep in my own bed for the first time since the surgery. We'll see how it goes! Hopefully I sleep through the night because my bed is a lot nicer than the recliner in front of the window which is super cold. Here are some photos from today.

'Twas the Night Before Returning to Work

And thank God my mother in law is here to help. My husband is on a mancation with his friends and I'm not at the point where I feel comfortable doing some things yet and in the evening, I'm short on patience.

I've picked out my outfit (the green maxi dress I wore to Christmas) with a warm cardigan & flats. I also have acupuncture tomorrow evening, so I'm looking forward to that.

I think I overdid it on Saturday (scratch that, I know I did) and perhaps as a result, I feel like I was more swollen today.
I taught Sunday school and I'm not ready for that. The kids weren't listening and one of them kept jumping around and I thought, dude, if you hit my stomach, I'm gonna freak out on you. It was mentally exhausting. I wish I could have just gone to the service because the pastor was super nice to chat with me and wish me luck for tomorrow.

I feel like time has flown by. I did my normal stuff today and rested when I felt like I needed a break. I'm still a little apprehensive that I'm somehow gonna mess this up. Like I'm gonna get up & down too many times or spend to much time sitting or not enough time sitting. I wish things were a little more definitive (like do this x number of times). Love Dr. T and he says to use common sense, balance, moderation & take it easy. All things I can do well, unless it's a major, life-changing surgery, then I'm nervous.

I can't wait to stabilize, to be past the point where I'm not gonna mess anything up. And if I'm honest, I can't wait to be past the whole puffy incision, the worst is yet to come part, either. But first priority is to get past the not messing anything up part.

Happy healthy healing & for the RS sisters going back to work tomorrow too, good luck!!!!

First Day Done

I. Really trying to take to heart what Dr. T said...minimize the ups & downs. So, if I was up, I stayed up for awhile and if I sat, the. I sat for awhile. By 1:30, I was losing focus and energy. Thankfully my acupuncturist had a 3:30 appointment available, so I left work at 2:30. I just felt drained...and I have a desk job! I'm hoping that I can work closer to my nine hours tomorrow! The first day wasn't so bad. Now I'm off to extra strength Tylenol & dreamland. Happy healthy healing!

OMG...I think this is swell hell

I worked for about 8.5 hours today and while at work, took about 5000 or so steps. I didn't realize how bad I felt until I stood up from a meeting and felt like I wanted to cry. Then on the car ride home, my incision started to burn. So I know I overdid it. But the thing is, I actually tried to be good. I minimized my up & down movements...when I was up, I stayed standing for awhile. When I was seated, I sat for awhile. I think I have an extra couple of pounds tonight just due to swelling! It's so uncomfortable. For those that have gone before me, is this normal upon returning to work? Or is it part of the recovery. Is this the beginning of 'it gets worse before it gets better' ?

I do have to say the funny thing is that I begged my doctor to let me go to the gym and do light cardio & limited light upper body work. Ya know how many times I've been since last Thursday when he gave me the okay? Once! And I only did cardio (at a whopping 1.3mph). I figure, if I can't do a whole day of work, I have no business (never mind no energy) to be at the gym.

Oh but to prevent me from overdoing it again, I'll work hopefully 6.5-7 hours tomorrow, basically a half day on Thursday (follow up appt) & then I get to work from home on Friday where I will be working from the recliner.

Wisdom, advice or a virtual shoulder to cry on would be nice right about now.

Hope you all had a great day!

1 month post op

As you can tell from my prior post, I'm dealing with swelling. I'm hoping it's a result of overdoing it yesterday. I didn't realize I overdid it until it was too late. The swelling from last night to today has gotten worse but thankfully I have my doctor's appointment tomorrow so I can follow up with him on it. In addition, the lymph nodes in my groin are a bit hard from the extra fluid. I'm going to try to rub them a little but I've been told that's normal too (and why my dr likes a CG that covers the pubic area...which if that's the case, I'd hate to see what it would look like without that coverage). And now I finally get it when people have said they look or feel like a Barbie or Ken doll. I'm totally feeling that way right now.

I think I'm getting little zings (they actually feel like sharp shooting pains to me though) and I think my body doesn't like a couple of stitches, as I think I feel a couple poking through on my incision. Outside of the swelling, it looks like the incision is turning purple.

I know I don't have a lot of patience and it's frustrating not to be able to work and feel like this. I'm hoping I start feeling better soon.

Oh one more thing, I'm using a fitbit tracker to monitor my steps taken. I think I've seen a pattern where if I take more than 4000 or 45000 steps in a day, I feel bad afterwards. So, I'm targeting to keep it in the 3000-4000 range for right now. Today was tough though because I took 3200 steps when I left work at 12:30. So if was on pace for 6000 (which didn't help my swelling I'm sure). I didn't even realize I walked that much because I was in a two and a half hour meeting today. I'll check with the doctor to see if that step range makes sense.

I hope you all have healthy healing and good luck to those who are scheduled to have their surgery. Even with this swelling, I know the final result will be worth it.

4 week post op dr appt

Today's doctor's appointment went well! I go back to see Dr. T at the end of the month, in Annapolis location (which is way easier for me than the Rockville location). My healing is coming along well. He knows me well and told me he knew I was frustrated because I was active before the surgery, but I need to give my body time to heal...6-8 weeks before I start feeling good again. Just to recap some other things...I can start scar therapy, which he recommended just vitamin e oil or cocoa butter massaging the belly button and incision for 15 minutes a day; swelling will likely get worse (oh boy!) and peaks at 3 months. I'm going to have good days, overdo it, then slack off, that's all normal, just try to do too much! My muscles have relaxed some as they should, and the body is trying to find its equilibrium. I asked about lying flat or stretching out in bed, and he said I could try it and if it hurts, then stop. That's the typical Tattelbaum response...common sense, moderation, balance. At the end of the day, I'm off the of radar for the serious stuff, so that good news!
Luckily for me, I can work from home tomorrow and then I go into the weekend and hopefully Monday will bring a 6.5/7 hour workday (unless I start feeling bad, then I'm getting out of dodge...I don't want that swelling again)! Happy healthy healing!!

Guess Who Didn't Think? This Girl

I am a about 4.5 weeks post op. And I wasn't thinking, when my 3 year old daughter (who weighs about 29 pounds) said she wanted to go with me to Target and the grocery shopping. Didn't think at all. So I realized my mistake when I saw the carts at Target. I totally did not think about getting her in and out of the carts. But I was stuck, it was raining, I was out, and I needed to get this done so that I could cook meals tomorrow (because I think doing both might be too much). Target wasn't too bad. Then came the grocery store. And wouldn't you know it, this was the time she had to go potty TWICE! I started feeling bad towards the end of the shopping trip...upper left near ribs. So, I'm having some zings and aches, probably because my muscles are saying WTF to me and I took my Tylenol at 11:15, so now I need to tough it out until 5:15-ish. Ugh, I really wish I used my brain. I admitted my ignorance to my husband and as soon as I got home, I warmed up my lunch and layed in the recliner, where I currently sit...and will sit for as long as humanly possible.

1 month post op

So I didn't realize it until I posted my prior post that it's been one months since my surgery! Wow. Time has kind of flown. Sort of. Not going to rehash my prior post but I do feel better after sitting in the recliner all afternoon & evening. Then I realized that I should take some pictures to document. Here's the downside of that..the 15 day PO pics we're take. In the morning while tonight's pictures we're taken around 9pm, so it's not a great comparison, but it's something. I'm looking forward to being brighter than I was today.

Oh I started scar therapy and am using palmer's skin therapy oil or vitamin e oil. The dr said to massage for 15 minutes a day. How come when I go to massage the scar, I haven't even worked up to 15 minutes and it seems like it takes forever and is weird but when I go to get a massage (this was pre op), 15 minutes flies by. I working my way up to 15 minutes...I'm probably at 3. It's really weird. The incision isn't so bad but the belly button...that weirds me out. Hmm incision is starting to burn a little now and I don't know why...maybe it didn't like me talking about it. Who knows. If you all have any tips on massaging your belly button or incision, please let me know!

Since I did the grocery shopping today, tomorrow will basically be cooking meals for the week and trying to have a low key day. I'm going to try to work until 3pm on Monday (which would be 6.5 hours). We'll see how it goes. I think I can do it. By Thursday, I'd like to be close to my regular 9 hour day as possible. Mama's sick leave is running out! We'll see what my body has in store for me. It normally takes me two days to recover from a bad day, so I definitely don't want that again.

Oh another random question that just popped into my head. For those ladies that get bikini waxes, when did you start getting them or when would you recommend getting them after surgery?

On that note...I think it's almost time to turn in. Happy healing!

Now I'm worried...

I am having a down day. My abdomen & incision hurts today and I'm tired. I've been really flinchy too. I helped my 3 year old, who weighs about 30 lb, into store carts three times yesterday (of course she'd have to go potty twice at the grocery store). It didn't hurt while I was doing it but at the end of the grocery trip, I could definitely feel it. Anyway, I rested all yesterday afterwards and I felt better in the evening but today, I feel lethargic and my abdomen & incision hurts. I'm hoping that it's normal but now I'm a little worried that I've done some damage. Ugh. I am figuratively kicking myself for being so dumb to not think about needing to lift her into carts. Okay, Debbie Downer rant over. Thanks for reading.

Ugh...Now I Know Why I Don't Feel Well

I happen to weigh myself this afternoon before dinner and whoa baby...I'm up like 4 pounds from this morning. Now, some of this is normal nightly gain...but that's about 2 pounds typically for me. My incision hurts and who know what doesn't feel good? When your shirt gets caught in the compression garment, as you're trying to pull it down. Definitely tummy tuck problems! I'm laid out in my recliner and I wonder if I will ever sleep a few consecutive nights in my bed. The recliner is pretty comfy and big, so I'm okay with it (for now). On the plus side, I think my last post & a little cry helped, because I mentally felt better even though physically I feel not so great. Gotta buck up buttercup and get my head in the game for work tomorrow. Happy healthy healing!

Today Totally Rocked

Oh my Tattelbaum (yep, totally worshipping my doctor right now)! I felt pretty good all day. Worked seven hours and made a trip to the store on the way home when I tried some clothes on that I purchased from the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale. Oh my God! That's all I can say. First, I bought a bikini. It was a super low price (like $25 bucks) and if I didn't like it, I could return it. A picture is worth a 1000 words so check 'em out. The best thing was that my mom said wow and my little sister said I looked good and that she was proud of me for doing this! I almost cried. I can't wait to get back to the gym because I feel like my legs are going to mush. And I got a dress that looks pretty good and will look even better when the swelling goes down. And besides all that clothing fun, I felt okay at work today. I contemplated going to the gym just to do a light upper body workout but I'm starting to feel the swelling, so I might quit while I'm ahead. Maybe tomorrow. Someone commented at work that I looked thinner. My standard response is that I had abdominal surgery and with not really eating for a couple of days, that will do it. Anyway, I'm really happy because now a bikini is an option!! I can't believe it. And it motivates me even more to workout!!

5 Weeks...My Turning Point?

After a not so fantastic weekend, I feel so much better this week! I've worked a little bit longer hours and today I worked 7.5 hours...this is progress! I might shoot for 8 hours tomorrow, depending on how I feel. My stomach doesn't feel so sticky and the swelling, while still there, hasn't felt so bad. I even went to the gym tonight and did very limited upper body work and went to the grocery store afterwards to get a few things. It felt great to do something like my normal routine. Even though I went to the gym, I didn't really stress myself doing the weights. I am trying to ease up so that I don't have to spend two days recovering from one bad decision/day. I don't think there's a noticeable difference between this week and last, but that's ok. My energy is up and I feel better, so I'll take it! Now, time for me to get some shut-eye! Happy healthy healing RSers!

First Day with No Medicine

Not one single Tylenol! Yay!!!! I'll consider that a milestone...it means I'm getting better even if I have to take some tomorrow. So what else has been going on? People at work have commented that I'm a lot thinner, asking what I've done. My standard response is "I had my ab muscles repaired and didn't eat for a couple of days. That will do it!"

I also worked 8.5 hours this past week, so I should be good to try 8.5 or 9. I also went to the gym a couple of times and it felt fantastic! And I loved wearing my new sweatpink tank. I can't wait to do more!! But I was happy to crank up the treadmill to a whopping 2.7mph. Slowly but surely, I'll get there!

I'm trying to sleep in my bed, but our recliner is so super comfy. I should be asleep now but I can't. Hopefully soon, I'll want to sleep and stay in bed. In the recliner, I've slept a little on my side, and it was awesome!

Oh, we had my daughter's 3rd birthday party today and it was fun. And I loved my outfit because I felt like I looked good and didn't worry about my tummy. It's such a relief!

Let's see, what else? Oh, I'm still swollen such that I can't wear my normal work clothes. Prior to surgery, I was wearing a size 10, after surgery, I can fit into my 12s. My wardrobe is built on dresses and skirts, so this don't wear tight elastic thing and swelling is really cramping my style. My plan is to wear heels to work this coming week. At least that will give me a little more in the way of options.

Oh, and my three year old daughter asks to see my cut. So I show her. Then I think she thought she might have a scar like I do and told me that she didn't want to grow up big like me, she wanted to grow up big like her brother! But she asked again tonight to see my cut and she noted how far it goes around. I let her touch it (& surprisingly, she did) and then I told her that this cut is only for me. That it doesn't mean that she'll get one. And when tucking her in, she gave me a hug & kiss and gave my tummy a hug too. So cute!

I hope you all have a happy healthy healing!

Six week update

Wow. Six weeks has passed and knock on wood, I'm doing so much better! My energy is rebounding and I'm not having a lot of zings. I'm still a little lumpy around the incision but that's to be expected. And I started working out more...chat made me feel great. I'm now up to 3.5mph at 1-2% incline. I had a thought about jogging and did it for like two seconds before I decided that I wasn't ready to try it yet. But I think I'll be ready to go back to Zumba next week (low impact). I've been doing upper body weights and this evening, started back on lower body. For lower body, machines I did not feel comfortable doing include: glutes & angled leg press. I felt comfortable doing sitting leg curls, leg extensions, and plié squats (I love squats, so I was really happy). I couldn't do as many as I would have liked...probably more because it felt a little funny and I didn't want to push myself too much.

We've had inclement weather so tomorrow will be my first opportunity to west my heeled boots since surgery. Oh, I've tried my pre-surgery clothes on and most fit. I'm a little disappointed that they aren't roomier but 1) I think I'm still swollen and 2) I didn't have that much removed. I'm not going to see a big drop on the scale. But my clothes look better. I tired on a dress that is a little too big for me, but still looks nice and I almost cried. Because now I look like I'm supposed to. There was no pouch sticking out. So, all in all, a good week. I'm still waking up in the middle of the night. Sometimes it's good, like a few minutes here or there. But other times it's 2 or so hours. And when the alarm goes off at 4:45, that's not fun. I hope you all have happy healthy healing and hopefully I didn't forget anything (my memory sucks lately).

Oh the photos. I feel like I'm not as flat but I'm also trying to manage my expectations...my muscle is going to relax. So, my goal is to be comfortable with how I am currently, then if I get flatter, then it will seem like a bonus! I did however suck it in for just a few seconds and it looks like I have a little definition. And how cool would that be, if that were to happen?!?!!

High Waist Cincher

I ventured out for a bit. Instead of using my compression garment as I had been, I went with a high waist cincher from Fredericks http://www.fredericks.com/Stretch_Lace_High_Waist_Cincher/53002,default,pd.html and a pair of super control high waist briefs from spanx. I loved how it felt...like more support than the CGs I had been wearing. But as the day wore on, it got to be more uncomfortable and felt like it was poking in me (and I think I have the marks to prove it). It could be several things, a little nighttime swelling, the home are Chinese I ate, the amount of walking I did today. Either way, around 7:30pm, I took it off and am back in a CG. My question to you all: if you wore a CG, when did you transition to something else and what did you transition to: waist cincher? control briefs? I'm six weeks now and I'd really like to move away from CG. But, I'm hoping that I have just a little swelling (because I would like to be a little flatter than what I am now, though I'm not sure that's actually going to happen).

Thanks all! Happy healthy healing!

Seven Weeks & Getting Stronger

Pic can definitely see improvement in my capabilities. I can do more on the treadmill (actually jogged on and off for 10 of 30 minutes, at about 5mph on varying inclines). I'm doing more weights, but haven't done the angled leg press, deadlifts, skull-crushers, or any ab work (intentionally). I started back at Zumba last night and I made it through the class, but I was really careful. No high intensity for me! People at work have told me that the sparkle is back in my eye & I'm talking more, so they know I'm feeling better.

I wore my platform heels today for the first time after surgery. Last week I introduced my heeled boots. I can also fit into pretty much all of my clothes but I don't want anything tight around my waist.

My doctors appointment is on Friday, and I can't wait to see what Dr. T says. I feel like my muscles have relaxed and therefore I'm not flat like I once was. What I'd like to learn is whether this will likely be my new shape. I can feel my hipbone more now, so I'm thinking I don't have a lot of swelling around the incision. I still have some swelling in the upper abs I think.

I think that's pretty much how I've been doing. I've taken pictures for the seven week mark, which are attached. Let me know what you think.

8 weeks and feeling conflicted

Here is my major challenge...my muscles have relaxed and I'm no longer flat (see pics). I ate horribly (I didn't push back when my husband asked for pizza & five guys on two consecutive nights) which along with wine caused me to gain six freaking pounds in one weekend. Ugh. And I started lifting again and when I told my doctor that I was doing squats, I thought I saw his eyes bug out. I was looking forward to moving away from compression, but he still recommends it. He recommended the torsets (bodysuit type), which I've bought a couple from Macy's and Target. I was looking forward to getting back to my normal workout routine but he advised against putting stress on my core, especially if I want to be as flat as possible. For workouts, I'm doing upper body stuff, rows, and I'm doing limited legs, and cardio.

He did say that my body could still change but dang, I'm a little disappointed. I knew I wouldn't stay flat but I was hoping my muscles wouldn't relax too much. So much for that. Good news is that I still look good in clothes and it's overall still worth it. I just have to look back at my stomach selfies to remind me of that.

He did tell me that I would start to feel the nerves start to wake up soon. Oh and my scar is healing nicely.

Three Months!

It feels like such a long time ago since I've had the surgery, I can't believe it. As some of you who have read my updates have probably noticed, I have been absent for the last month or so. I felt like I was paying too much attention to how my abdomen had changed. I am (unfortunately?) one of those people who had their ab muscles relax after the surgery, which has been a little challenging to deal with, especially when I was so flat after surgery. I was also frustrated because my waist size did not go down (the last time I measured it)! Even though I'm not flat, I am completely happy with my results...they are 1000% better than pre-surgery.

So what's been going on? Well, it no longer feels super weird to toss and turn at night :) I still have numbness in my abodomen. Every once in awhile I'll feel itching behind the skin like others have had and boy does it feel weird. My scar is a nice deep purple right now but still very nice and thin. It's great! I have some asymmetry but hopefully that will work itself out. I'll post some pictures soon.


As for workouts, I've primarily been running on the treadmill for a couple of reasons. 1) My doctor wanted to be conservative, given the muscles changing, so he didn't want to put stress on my core by me doing squats. 2) I'm training to run a 10k in mid-May. I still can't reach up and do a really good stretch. Today I tried to do lat pull downs again, and it feels weird, like a slight pull on my muscles. But the weight was light, so there was this conflict of 'I can go heavier' but my abs were saying 'no you can't.' I did squats today, and they felt great. As a matter of fact, I'll probably transition to the squat rack soon.

I am about 2-3 pounds heavier than my pre-surgery weight, but I'm in my normal range. I need to lose about 7 or so pounds to be at my ideal weight/look. Because I like working out, I am getting ready to start training with a personal trainer (online) to give me a little more structure that I need to get back to where I want to be. It's very much focused on weights and I'm very excited and a little nervous about the amount of effort it's going to take. But, I have a goal and I'm looking forward to working on it. In November, I did my first Whole30 and I'm currently doing my second one. It's a little difficult, but not so bad, and it helps me hit the reset button on my eating habits.

And lastly, I have bought two bikinis (yay)! Even though I want/need to do a little work, I think I can still rock one, even with the non-flat abs. The surgery was totally worth it and I am so much happier than before.

Take care, y'all!

Three month pics!

Here are the pics I took at 3 months & some bikini pics (woohoo! It's an option :)

Six months! Where has the time gone?

It's been six months and it feels like time has flown (after the first few months, lol)! My belly has definitely gotten softer, I still don't have feeling in my ab area, and it feels weird to do ab exercises (so I limit what I do still). Of course I can't wait for my scar to lighten (I hope it does) and I wish my belly were flatter (I'm working in losing 10-13 lbs so I'm not considered overweight). Other than that, I'm so happy I did this and I'm basically back to normal. I've attached pictures to show where I am.
Happy six months to me and happy Mother's Day to all the mommas!
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon

I have already recommended Dr. T to one of my friends who inquired about my experience with him. From the consultation appointment to each follow up, Dr. T answers my questions and I asked a lot! Like with others, his follow up is tremendous. He can read into what I was saying or asking and was able to address my concern. The only reason why I didn't give five stars in wait times is because I always have to wait in the Rockville office, whereas my wait times in the Annapolis office is generally minimal. While I'm not planning any other procedures (I really felt like this was corrective, regardless of what others/insurance might think), I would, without a doubt, go back to Dr. T.

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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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