Kapilani: The oranges are on their way out!

I guess what I'm having is technically a "mommy...

I guess what I'm having is technically a "mommy makeover" that's LONG OVERDUE because I'm 46 now with two teen-aged sons. I have never been "under the knife" before, except for two C-sections, and I was completely awake for those. I am scared to death, but super excited to finally do something as a gift to myself. I have to convert my pictures from Bitmap to jpeg, so once I figure out how, I will post. Have any of you had this procedure? And do you know how many drains to expect? I am making cloth drawstring covers for my drains and bulbs. I need to do this because my teen sons' friends sometimes drop by unannounced, and I'm a private person. I just can't have 14 and 15 year old boys seeing my fluids.

I am in the process of ordering my compression...

I am in the process of ordering my compression garments. I find that am between a medium and a large. My stomach puts me in the large category, but this is the part of me that will be "tucked." My hips are medium. Since these are "pre-op" measurements, I'm tempted to go with the medium. But it would be awful the day of the operation to find that the garment cannot be put on! So now I'm thinking of getting one large and one medium and fitting into the medium as the swelling goes down, but normally this should be the reasoning with the sizing for the "Stage 2" garments, which I am ordering in medium. Did anyone else run into this problem?

Look at my droopy breasts. I said size D, but I...

Look at my droopy breasts. I said size D, but I don't even know if they're size D. My PS's nurse keeps referring to my MM as a tummy tuck and a lift. Then I always interrupt her and say, "Reduction, Tummy Tuck and Breast Reduction." And she'll say, "Well, yes, essentially the same thing." But if you take these hooters, only lift what I've got, and not make them any smaller, propped up, they're liable to put out the car windshield. On my on-line question to the doctor team, one of them told me to go look at size B bras before I feel lucky that my PS didn't see any problem with bringing me down to a B. He told me to make sure I know what I'm getting into. I am so confused. No offense to anyone, but I was brought up with the mentality of "thinner is always better." And of course I was gifted with this stocky, boxy, frame with a set of ample breasts. Up until age 16 or so, I liked my breasts. I was a 34B, and they wouldn't hold a pencil. Then when I was 18 one day on the swim team, these two 10-to-12 year old brat boys walked past me and snorted, "Wow! She's got BIG ONES!!!" I should have flung their little toe-headed souls into the deep end. With my luck, they would have just zipped across the pool and hoisted themselves out and their coddling parents would have had me disqualified from the swim meet. Which wouldn't have hurt the team because my swim times were always mediocre at best. Now when I wash in the shower I have to lift them up, but not like I have to take a big breath and heave or anything. So I KNOW they're not as large as many who have a reduction (where it's clearly warranted). But I'm noticing those are the ladies for whom insurance pays. This is on my own, so understandably I'm close to an acceptable size, but if I am to continue being as active as I need to be in order to keep these 40 pounds off (exactly one year ago, I was 197.5), I need to be able to do Zumba and run like the wind, without having to wear 3 tight bras. That gets REALLY old. My PS seems to understand completely. I should just relax and trust in him.

I had my pre-op yesterday. My doctor told me it's...

I had my pre-op yesterday. My doctor told me it's good to have this type of operation when you're at your "normal weight," and I got a pretty clear impression that he was implying that's the case with me. I tend not to agree with this, but what the heck, I'll take the pat on the back. I brought my list of questions; that really helped. Husband remarked at how well-prepared I was. I asked to add lipo to my inner thighs. I think that's another area with me that no amount of exercise will fix, but he said that I'd be under for too long at that point and it wouldn't be safe.

My compression garments came in the mail. Oh my...

My compression garments came in the mail. Oh my GOODNESS, they are TIGHT! I am worried they are too tight. The nurse will have to place her foot on my side to counter-balance the thrust she is going to need to fasten those hook and eye fasteners. I am very nervous and a little upset about this. Will call the company tomorrow. My husband says not to worry because the bulk of the fat pad on my belly won't be there, but I assume I'll be swollen, and it doesn't really matter because these things are even tight in my thighs! And when I asked for thigh lipo, my PS said that would put me under too long, so it's a "No" on the thigh lipo suction. Now his entire staff is going to wish he'd said yes. And what's worse is it's sizse LARGE! Ugh! I'm so upset. Then on the upside, I went to Walmart tonight to purchase a house dress, and I fit into the size small with no problem. Go figure.

I keep imagining myself flat-lining during the...

I keep imagining myself flat-lining during the procedure. I've got to get these negative images out of my mind. I am very nervous and my anxiety has entered my sleep. I really wish my PS would have let me add lipo to my inner thighs to my procedure, but he said I can't be out that long. This probably means that I'll never get my thighs done because I'm all for a bargain, and going back later is not a bargain.

I went to California Family Fitness today to...

I went to California Family Fitness today to suspend my membership for 2 months and the guy doing the paperwork looked at my doctor's note and said, "Oh my gosh! Another surgery! I've had 3 people with upcoming surgeries come through just this morning! Makes me wonder! Are our members okay?????" I didn't want to share my plans, so I just retorted, "Well, obviously not, if we're all headed for under the knife!" Poor guy didn't know whether to laugh or give me a hug.

I ran the American Heart Association 10K today in...

I ran the American Heart Association 10K today in the blazing hot sun of the Sacramento Valley. They began the race 10 minutes early due to the heat, even just a 10 minute earlier finish would help. I kept looking during the course for anyone who has maybe passed out from heat stroke, but they had lots of water pit stops so it was okay. Still I sweat so much my shirt looked like I'd gone swimming when I finally passed the finish line at 1 hour and 1 minute. I forgot I was not supposed to eat nuts and had a natural peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread before the race. Drat.

Every one of my arteries, veins, and capillaries...

Every one of my arteries, veins, and capillaries are going 1,000 miles per hour. My "fight or flight" is in full gear. Part of me just wants to up and bolt and run far, far, away from here and never look back. But alas, we're going out to dinner tonight for Father's Day. I'll eat lightly and then have nothing after midnight. My stomach is doing flip flops...it will take a lot of sedatives to calm down this panic state....

I HATE the recliner we bought! The thing is...

I HATE the recliner we bought! The thing is impossible to get out of! You have to use every stomach muscle you have and then quickly snap and clamp your legs down to lock the footrest part back into its position. My wedge pillow isn't the most comfortable on the couch, and I really don't want to bring a twin bed downstairs, which is where I plan to recover, close to my family. Then it dawned on me. I LOVE our over-sized zero-gravity woven chairs that we lug along to swim meets. They recline all the way back and then lock into place wherever you want in the degree of recline. I'm going to cover one with a soft quilt, get my pillow, and use that to start. Other than that, my husband made a small carpeted ramp for our Honda Element so I can just walk up a little ramp into the car instead of having to step up 18 inches and hoist myself. I am a lucky woman to have him. While he was doing this, I was keeping busy drinking almost a whole bottle of Gatorade, eating a hard boiled egg with very little salt and an hour later, a glass of milk. Took my multivitamin, a vitamin C, and my allergy pill. Now it's 10:00 p.m. and I am done with eating until I am on the flat side. I also found 4 pictures of breasts which I consider to be a nice size and one picture of a breast reduction that I didn't like at all. I made notations next to each picture. I feel funny not packing much. Just my house dress, my CG, and my prescriptions, in case I am to take a pain pill or muscle relaxer right away. And of course the picture guide I made for my doctor. For me, it's out-patient in a surgery "center" that is the upper floor of the doctor's office where he sees patients for consultations and gives seminars. So I don't need to pack much. I'll be checking in at 6:30, out of surgery by 1:30, and out of the office by 3:30. According to Dr. Y, for me, it will all be instantaneous. Weird to think about it that way. I will check back with you all when I am alert enough. This will be my last update until the procedure is over. Thanks to all of you wonderful and beautiful ladies for all of your well wishes.

I am in himw now. in much npain now. my ass is...

i am in himw now. in much npain now. my ass is balck qnd blie ans I DIDNT YHIN HE WAS GNIG TO DO ANYTHING WITH MY HIND QUARTERS. I SNAT SEE MT NRW LITTLE SWEET BREASRS YET CUS OF CG. evetythinh hurts everywhrtr bt i alive. stomach feels flatter thru cg even thoughcant take it odd. it has vlood all over it. husband is a ggod nurs. my leg alloon does work andey wolfld gibe me anew one, frustratinh me.

Starting to feel back to normal as long as I stay...

Starting to feel back to normal as long as I stay in my chair. The meds are getting nauseatingly old, and I never seem to know what day it is. My son made me Reeses Peanut butter cups but there is no way. And I'm drinking a lot of Plumb Smart juice because it tastes way better that prune juice but to no avail.

It's Friday Day 4 Post-op. I can ony sit up for...

It's Friday Day 4 Post-op. I can ony sit up for like 20 minutes at a time. I can get in and out of the recliner pretty well, but it pulls on my stomach muscles. STill no poop yet. The most embarrassing of the whole procedure was that I got up early (like 5:50 the day of the operation) and didn't give my body enough time to rid itself of any B.M. so by the time we got there at 6:30 I was nervous and anxious and that always gives me diarrhea. Sorry for TMI. If you get queazy, stop here. So they took me into my dressing room and told me to use the rest room and change into my gown. So I had this huge movement and the dang thing wouldn't flush all the way. I tried waiting like 25 minutes. They must have thought I had a major case f constipation in there. Finally, I tried flushing again, but nothing gut swirling water. It was MORTIFYING. I had to emerge and tell the nurse the toilet was not working properly and she said she'd take a look at it, as if she had time with all the surgical prep she had to d that day! Then my other nurse commented on how nervous I ws and how I ws shaking. She said, "Ya' know, for the people who get too nervous during this type of elective procedure shouldn't probably even have it done. Remember, it's just cosmetic. I instantly disiked her at that moment. Then the doctor came in and drew his artistic lines on me and I gav him my paper with the 4 pictures of breasts that appealed to me and the one picture that didn't, and he agreed that the bad picture had some problems with technique but I couldn't remember how he worded it. He put the paper up on his bulletin board for reference, which I really appreciated. The anesthesiologist put a mask over my face and I was out until I heard the nurse who told me I shouldn't even be there told me I was all done. I felt like saying, "In your face! You doublting Thomas!" But I didn't have the energy.

I keep swallowing my water and spit--what have...

I keep swallowing my water and spit--what have you--the wrong way, which makes me cough an is so painful. I can get out of the recliner now but I am still like a zombie tired. I've attached some pictures that were taken the morning of the procedure at home when I was still feeling good. I didn't undo the bra yet. THe breasts don't look too much smaller to me, but I do see a degree of separation which was something I was asking for. I still have not gone poop. But not going to force it because I don't feel any pressure there. Now I'm taking 2 Ducollax in the A.M. and 2 in the P.M. I hope things turn around for me soon.

I believe today is officially my "turn-around"...

I believe today is officially my "turn-around" day! My English skills are back! I can actually get up from my recliner when needed without help! I can do a Sudoku puzzle in record time, watch T.V, walk around the interior ground floor of our house 15 times, cough very slightly, laugh a little, and make myself a sandwich and a protein shake. I can now see the humor of the little gift I left in the lavatory at the surgical center, and I can praise that red Siberian Husky of mine for keeping her greedy mouth of of my chicken pot pies since the one mishap. On the flip side, I still have 3 drains very strategically, (and with all due respect to my expert doctor), quite erotically placed--so at least I thought I'd get a kick out of it every time my thighs changed positions...but no such luck. PAIN. Must be retribution for the gift of the toilet log. But that pain and the pain in my back from 6 days of being a triple-blood-purse carrying hunchback of Sacramento California are the only pain I have left. I really think tomorrow or the next day I'll be walking upright. I'm only supposed to take sponge baths, so I don't know yet what I look like naked, I'm thinking my breasts are not that swollen, so not that much was taken off. I think I just got a lift. I may be dreaming when I envision that I may have a sweet little rack like Penny on The Big Bang Theory. I'll have to compare my before and after pics. So glad now that I took all the pics that I did, hard as it was to post them.

Today is my 18th anniversary and I forgot! Oh my...

Today is my 18th anniversary and I forgot! Oh my gosh I feel so bad. Husband forgot too, but he's been taking acre of me so he's off the hook. We will celebrate when I'm well again. Okay, since the mini me story was so popular, here's exactly how everything went down...or didn't for that matter. Let me describe the office. It is posh. Beautiful rock walls surround flower-lined pathways up to the front automatic doors. Treats like fresh-baked cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries greet you as you walk in. Impeccable, beautiful receptionists take your name and show you into a living room like cozy waiting room with several couches and a fireplace for the winter. Once you are called in to consult with with doctor, you'll see there is a atrium complete with exotic birds and Koi fish as part of the decor. Once you've made all our decisions and know what you are going to do, the surgical suite is upstairs. It looks just like a hospital, pristine and sterile. So the whole toilet thing was a surprise. I'd gotten up at 5:10 so as not to be late. That was too early to rid my bowels. So we packed up and made it to the surgery center and got there 10 minutes early, with my stomach churning in knots. It swirled and churned as we sat in the waiting room and I complained to my husband I felt like I had diarrhea. He said it was just nerves. So after 10 minutes, they showed me into an 8 foot by 7 foot rest room with a toilet that looked low flow all the way and I thought, Oh, Great! I've had bad memories of toilets like these. So I sat down and gave the toilet a dose of excrement that was oatmeal in consistency. Any toilet from the 80s could have handled it. Well, the wiping after this kind of movement takes usually extra care and even a little water for added cleanliness. So I thought it first best to flush my bodily deposit, THEN worry about flushing the paper. It took care of the oatmeal consistencey material, well, at least it was out of sight, but the water kept swirling and swirling, not unlike what my stomach was doing in the waiting room. The toilet never stopped making that watery sound like it was still doing its job, so I dared not flush again. I continued to wait, the whole time holding the heavily soiled toilet paper in my hand, waiting it's turn. This is when the wait turned into a 25 minute wait, and I was pushing back everyone else's surgery time for the day. So I had NO CHOICE. The show must go on the road. I had two choices. Either throw the soiled T.P. out the window, which I would never do, throw it into the restroom garbage can, all smeared with poop like some low-life's would do with a child's baby diaper, or gamble on tossing it into the still churning toilet that clearly was planning to go all day without ever really completing that first flush. So that's what I did. I pushed the plunger again, much to the toilet's dismay, and it just swirled all the angrier, and the toilet paper, soiled and all, began to form discolored filaments that floated around the surface of the water like so many putrid synchronized swimmers. I was mortified, but angry more than that. You'd think for over $14,000 that I'm paying for myself having a sanitary toilet wouldn't be too much to ask. I'm sure this is also the toilet that the the doctors and nurses use too because it's one of only two that are side-by-side in the upstairs suite of the surgical center. Unfortunately, it was the sweet nurse whom I saw first and informed her about the toilet. I fear the mean one got out of ever having to deal with the disgusting thing.

I think I'm the only one now who is on day 9 who...

I think I'm the only one now who is on day 9 who has not bee able to take a full normal shower. Only sponge-baths so far because I still have 2 of my original 3 drains in. And I am still in the hosptal-issued compression garment due to the drains. Two days ago, the doctor removed one and I screamed and almost passed out and cut off the circulation in my husband's hand. So they gave me a two day break and I return today for the other two. It probably wouldn't be so bad if the drian holes weren't in my pubes.

AND last night the butterfly clips on my great adjustable lounge chair got weak, and in about 25 minutes, the thing now lowers itself to the floor and a normal sitting position again. So for the first time last night, I crawled into our normal bed. If any of you do this, make sure you use your wedge pillow as intended, and not under your knees. UGGGGH! I almost wet the bed waiting for him to return the boys from swim practice today s he could hoist me up because anything resembling a sit-up just ain't gonna happen.

I am concerned about my butt. It's flat where it had a nice curve before, and the right side is larger than the left. Doctor says it was the lipo that was needed to make a smooth transition from the belly fat that was excised...it kind of extends towards the back, and that area needs to be smoothed out and sculpted. I sure hope my body is not done with the process. I'll post more pics once the bandages are off.

HI Everyone, I saw the doc again today, and every...

HI Everyone, I saw the doc again today, and every time he mentions me being at an ideal weight, or that I'm healing nicely due to my physical fitness, I put a few more stars on his ranking. Today he told me that they excised (between fat and lipo) SIX AND A HALF pounds of material. That's how much my first-born was! I was blown away. I'm not quite sure why I'm only 4 pounds lighter than the morning before the surgery, but I'll take it. He told me that once I transition into the standard compression garment that my rear end will even out and things will look normal.

And are you ready for this? I wailed again for the removal of the second drain. So now I joke with my husband that instead of having the "3 testicles" hanging down that I began with, now I'm down to one.

I have to return tomorrow for the third. Then I can take pictures before I struggle with the new compression garment with the hole in the bottom.

Yea! Day 10 is here! I've been cleared for "light...

Yea! Day 10 is here! I've been cleared for "light activity!" I can go to the grocery store or out to visit someone! (Not that I want to with all my bindings).

Guess what? I cannot have Bromelian. Arnica, yes, but not Bromelian because of some stupid clotting factor that I have that is slow and makes my blood thin. While I appreciate my doctor's care and concern in not wanting me to flood his upstairs surgical suite with all of my blood, it sure would be nice to take a supplement to bring the swelling down.

So I'm on my own, ladies, just me and the clock. Or calendar would probably be better said.

I tried on underwear and see that my scar is high....

I tried on underwear and see that my scar is high. I got all depressed even though I told the doctor I really just want a fit stomach and my aim is not to draw all kinds of unsolicited attention to myself. But my husband explained that it's probably where it is because all of my nice, usable skin was high up on my tummy. Everywhere from the navel down was just wasted skin FULL of stretch marks that will never fade. The scar will fade. Thank God for my level-headed husband! He keeps me sane!

You know what depresses me? My new side view (see...

You know what depresses me? My new side view (see after pics) makes me look like a sausage. Especially the right side. I know I look thinnner, but I"ve lost the small curve that defines the bottom of your back and the top of your hips. Now it's just a tube of flesh. Also, look at my scar. It's crooked, and pretty high. I guess I won't be trying on bikinis any time soon. And why are my breasts still bigger than the pictures I took in to the doc? Oh Gosh. Is this what the depression feels like? I'm on Day 13, and I'm hoping that my worries are all just from swelling...well, except for the scar. That's crooked no matter what.

I actually went and fought my speeding ticket in...

I actually went and fought my speeding ticket in traffic court today. Of course I lost, but it involved a 10 minutes walk to the courtroom, 20 minutes standing in line, 40 minutes sitting in a chair waiting to talk with "YOUR HONOR", then another 25 minutes to pay my fine and sign up for internet traffic school. Then the 10 minute walk back to the car. I'm pissed at the beuracracy that is the traffic court system because the woman on the phone assured me that they have comfortable chairs for me to wait my turn. What she failed to mention is that there is no "ticket-taking" machine like at the DMV where you can sit and wait for your number to be called. You HAVE TO wait your place in line. I'm just so glad I got there right when they opened.

For what it's worth, here are my 2-week post-op...

For what it's worth, here are my 2-week post-op pictures.

For what it's worth, I've added the pics that were...

For what it's worth, I've added the pics that were taken last night on Day 14 Post-Op.

Wow. I really fell off the deep end for a couple...

Wow. I really fell off the deep end for a couple of days there. My poor husband. He is a saint for putting up with my insanity. Being an English major, I certainly was able to avoid most if not all science courses in college, and somehow in high school too, for that matter. I don't know much about swelling, apparently. I was upset that my doctor left my breasts the size of oranges. I cried into my husband's shoulder pretty much all 4th of July. I was glad not to have the grapefruits that I presented my doctor with 17 days ago, but come on...small grapefruits...large oranges....6 of one, half a dozen of the other...not much change for an expense of over 14K. I wanted lemons. More than willing to make lemonade if someone would give me lemons. Getting a package deal is supposed to be a bargain, and the prize I've had my eye on is a cute rack like the one that Penny has on The Big Bang Theory. Lemons. Cute ones. She sure as hell has made a lot of lemonade in her few years at it!
So today was my most recent post-op. I brought with me the husband and the piece of paper where I had printed out the 4 pictures of breasts that I felt looked good. Lemons. All of them. Please keep in mind I had already given a copy of this handy reference sheet to my doctor which was part of what added to the rancor that allowed me to ruin our 4th of July. Husband sat off to the side in the examination room in a chair, probably nervous as hell as to how this appointment would go. I wanted to ask the doctor where the communication fell apart...respectfully. I really do like my doctor and never look forward to confrontations with anyone, so I told myself to take the advice of another poster and be glad that I had the opportunity to have this procedure, be thankful that my stomach looks like it's gonna be pretty cute one day, patiently wait for my cute little butt to return (because bruises do in time go away), and be thankful that I even woke up from the procedure in the first place.
The nurse takes us into the exam room. The previous visits I still didn't feel well and probably was still somewhat medicated and not fully paying attention to much of anything. The nurse would un-velcro my binder and remove some tape and stitches or a drain (while telling me NOT to bite my husband's hand) and when the doctor came in he just looked at a few scar marks and I didn't feel that....naked. For the most part, my clothes were on, just adjusted up or down. Of course, cognitively I know this man has seen me naked because he did the operation. But I think they lift off those blue papers coverings one at at a time, so one is never really naked...and since you're unconscious anyway, it doesn't count. It's kind of like you're temporarily dead. You're a body. By the way, I'm a pretty modest person.
So here is the the case today. I was a little mortified ahead of time because it's TOM, and I recently read Newme's hilarious viewpoint when she discussed the possibility of having a 3 week post-op while being on the rag...."Imagine the horror!" she said. Well, I wouldn't have to imagine for long now....The nurse handed me a gown and told me to take EVERYTHING off and wait for the doctor. Oh joy. I felt that soon I'd either be walking the plank or walking a cat walk, just a little hunched. The choice was mine to make. When life gives you lemons....Oh wait. I have oranges.
So in walks the doctor and he tells me to stand up and undo my robe so he can have a look. I do so, (and remember, I'm miffed about the oranges so who knows what type of expression I had on my face). He looks me up and down, tells me the scar looks fine, it's healing nicely. Keep using the scar cream. The bruising is normal. Don't worry...He looks at me frontways, sideways, upways, downways, backways. All ways.
Then I tell him my concerns about the oranges and show him the pictures to remind him of what I originally asked for. He told me to be patient. Swelling, swelling, swelling. It will all go down. Then I pointed out that my Italian half is winning out in this recovery and that my pubic hair is starting to grow back with a vengeance, and it's taking over and spreading all over the place. It's growing like weeds all over the incision line and curving in and out this way and that and it's an infection waiting to happen. I want to shave it all off. He could tell I've tried. So the man is FOCUSED on that area and tells me the incision is not encumbered by hair yet, and if an infection occurs, we'll handle it then. He noticed my novice attempts at "womanscaping." He tells me NOT to shave over any of the scabbing. That would be bad. I'm sure husband is dying over there in his chair, but he has become skilled at keeping his mouth closed and just observing potentially volatile...potentially humorous situations involving his crazy wife. Because one never knows....The suspense must be torture.
Anyway, I was still fuming inwardly...just a bit...about the oranges. I think I was the only one not finding humor in that damn room. Thanks to Mr. Silence, sitting over in his safe chair keeping to himself by the opposite wall of the examination room, I felt it obviously fell on my shoulders to bring up the discord in our home; the husband could thank me later, I supposed. I opened my mouth and told the doctor I'd been very emotional lately and it's difficult to know where to turn when you're so upset. He then turns his head to face THE HUSBAND. "This is normal," he says. "Also, I'll have you know, it's temporary." Finally, the man (husband) breaks his silence and out comes this huge sigh of relief, audible to the entire medical staff: "WHEW!!". I really get the impression there was a silent bond in the room...and said bond did not include me, standing there, naked, feeling sorry for myself--because of the oranges . Looking back, the situation was probably becoming funny as hell. My poor husband really took a beating, and the doctor seemed to know that he needed to hear those words of assurance more than I did. I am so grateful to my man for not divorcing me in the past two days that I let it go and got back to the oranges. I began speaking to the doctor in a more scientific, mathematical way. I sounded smarter (but I still want to look like Penny).
"I wanted two-thirds of what you've left me with."
"You will end up with that. I know what you want."
"But look at the pictures."
"I did. I put them up on the bulletin board in the operating room and used them as a reference the whole operation. You are swollen. Be patient. You're still very new out of this procedure."
"I know you did one of those procedures pictured. Her "before" was BIGGER than what I came to you with, but her "after" is smaller than I am now."
"You are swollen. Be patient. You are smaller than her."
"I am bigger than her."
"You are swollen."
"I have oranges."
"You are swollen."
"They are lemons."
"Be patient. It may be 6 months to a year before your swelling completely goes away."
Then I opened my mouth one more time and I wish I hadn't, but this doctor has fine-tuned his calm demeanor to a "T," and he didn't appear to take anything personally. I generalized, and I hate it when people generalize so why I said these words, I don't know, but then again, you've all probably figured out I'm a little crazy, and I'll admit to that.
"You plastic surgeons (as if I know more that one) see all these women who come in and want GREAT, BIG, HUGE, PORN-STAR BOOBS. But not everyone wants that. So when you get someone like me who wants to be a little more athletic looking that mother nature is allowing, you've got to doubt what they really want, because most people want BIG. I'm afraid you fell into that trap of thinking. (Listen to me psycho-analyzing my doctor!)
"Since my stomach was destined to become so much smaller, my breasts HAVE to become proportionately smaller, too, in order to maintain my proportionate, but more athletic frame now."
"I know what you want. You're going to get it. Be patient."
That sweet man endured my confusion and crazed way of assessing my chest. SOMEHOW the appointment eventually came to an end, probably to both men's delight, and the doctor left the room. It was time to get dressed.
We eventually got home and my new had CG had arrived via FED-EX. My mind at ease, and now with something new to focus on, I rushed upstairs to the master bedroom mirror to try on the new garment. I take off everything. In a flash, as I fumbled with the packaging, something in the mirror caught my eye. Something clearly stood out in my reflection. Wow. White sure does show up against a black background. My tampon string was hanging out front and center the whole time. And had been, I'm sure. About 4 inches, pristine and white as the driven snow, a single birch tree, its trunk stretching tall against the backdrop of a jet-black night sky: my forest of pubic hair. I panic just a little as it hits me. He must have noticed it immediately upon my robe coming off. And to think the entire time I'd felt quite sure he didn't know. He'd NEVER know. After all, that particular female product is meant to be invisible, right? And Oh GOD. He was doing one of those observations up close and personal. We all know the kind. When the doctor sits in those little wheeled medical chairs and scoots about and has you turn this way and that, 100% in the buff...everything your mama gave you at eye level. Oh God. But thank God for tampons! There! Imagine the horror if I was stark with no tampon and mother nature was gushing like the Nile and I hadn't expected to be told to remove every stitch of clothing and ...well...just following directions. I'd end up being his only patient who never returned for any further follow-ups. "But you've already paid."
"That's okay. Keep the change."

And here I was arguing with the man (well, not with him...but to him) about oranges and lemons and pubic hair giving me some phantom future infection while the birch tree was waving in the wind, doing all it could to draw attention to itself.
He told me at the end he needed to see me for the next post-op.
"Three weeks," he said. "Got that? Tell the secretary three weeks."
Anyone want to guess why he didn't make it four?

I can't believe I forgot something. Get this. I...

I can't believe I forgot something. Get this. I swear to you in addition to all of the above, there was a point where I flung my bra into the garbage can right in front of my doctor. This was kind of funny. Among the evidence that my breasts are too big, I showed my PS the bra that I most recently purchased. It is a "compression bra" that I felt compelled to buy in a desperate attempt to "mold" the oranges into at least apples. I felt that if the torso compression garments help sculpt your tummy smaller, than the same must be true of bras. The thing is, these things are essentially sport bras that smoosh you. I always hated those. They're really hard to get on. But all of that didn't matter in my time of desperation and depression. The smallest one I could squeeze my tender girls into was a LARGE. And that was a struggle, let me tell you.

So at the appointment at some point I walked over to my pile of clothes and took the bra and showed my doctor and complained to him that the smallest I could squeeze into is still a large, which is tight. I postulated this as proof that I still have large breasts. I believe the words his used were "Be patient. You're swollen." I think he might have said that a few times, actually.

Giving up, I fling the bra back over onto the counter-top, which was quite slick. I meant for my bra to join my other clothes on the counter. Instead, it slides its way across ... across the countertop...zipping right past my pile of clothes...right into one of those holes that doctor's counter surfaces often have. It's actually the opening to the garbage. I froze. Except my eyes. I actually felt my eyes grow to about twice their normal size as my mouth opened again and I called out, "Oh, my God. I think I just threw away my bra!"

At this point you know what? My doctor was smiling. This was of little comfort to me as I envisioned cast-off sections of unwanted excised skin sitting in that garbage can. My PS opened the cabinet and took out the garbage can and said, "You're lucky! Look, there were only two things in the garbage." He held it up for me to see. Sitting just under my bra were two rather innocuous items: a twisty-tie and the foil packet that an alcohol prep swab once came in. He scooped out my bra and offered it back to me.

Mortified, I thanked the man and placed my new LARGE, and now rather bacteria-ridden bra with the rest of my clothes.

After we got home and I THOUGHT I'd recovered from the birch tree discovery, I turned to my husband and revisited the "bra-in-the-garbage-can" incident. I said, "You know, it wasn't so bad. Lightened the mood at least. That was the first time the doctor smiled during the whole appointment."

To which my darling husband answered, "No Honey. That's not the first time he smiled. He smiled immediately as soon as your robe came off!" Then he began laughing like crazy.

Getting me back for putting him through emotional hell on the 4th of July. I guess I deserved it.

I'm starting to lose it again...I can feel it...

I'm starting to lose it again...I can feel it coming on. I tried on one of my pre-op bras, and with the exception of a little dimpling at the tip of each cup, it STILL FITS. I measured the oranges. If anything, they are climbing their stubborn way back up to their grapefruit status that they enjoyed so well. I know I went a little in the opposite direction than most on this site by getting a TT and what was supposed to be a lift and a reduction rather than getting the traditional combo of a TT and a lift with augmentation. But this is me and this is what I needed to feel more beautiful.

I felt that my breasts added to my chub factor and after losing 55 pounds, I thought spending some money to turn this station wagon into a sport utility would be a good investment. That's what we're all here for, and that translates to a better state of mind and by extension, better health. That's what I'm talking about. For God's sake, I feel like I've left myself with about $38 in my checking account and I didn't get what I wanted.

This site keeps erasing my "Was it worth it?" response, and I swear, I can't in my heart--at least not right now--check the "not worth it," My doctor is a fine man and I think he took excellent care of me, but either I'm still stupid on this whole swelling thing, which is fine, or he did NOT listen to me, and I gave him picture references and everything, so I know I was perfectly clear in what I wanted. I'll post 3-week pics later tonight if I don't commit myself to the state mental institution before then.

Here are my post-op pics for day 21.

Here are my post-op pics for day 21.

I almost named this review, "Liposuction SUCKS!"...

I almost named this review, "Liposuction SUCKS!" But felt that would sent the wrong message! I AM glad I had it done, but not sure I want to rush back in for more.

Yesterday marked 28 days Post-Op for me. I was looking through the photos of my recovery and was floored by the pictures that chronicled the lipo of my flanks. At the start of this journey, I didn't even know what lipo entailed when I went in for a tummy tuck, and I didn't know that lipo is often part of the procedure. I didn't ask enough questions, (didn't think to) and therefore (by default) left it up to the doctor, who performed lipo of my flanks, I think as routine.

I'm glad he did, because nobody wants unsightly bulges and wrinkles and right angles as a transition from the back to the hip. My doctor denied me lipo of my thighs because he said I'd be out too long. I was a little miffed at that, seeing how many people on this site get that taken care of at the same time as everything else. Now that I look closely at the swelling, especially in my lying down shots where the focus is actually my stomach (the pics with the yellow tape), I cringe to see the balloon of a butt I'm literally balanced and floating on--like those balls in Pilates class. I'm glad he didn't do more lipo than this at one time, and I'm glad my body didn't have to recover with two thighs swollen up like balloons as well.

I really don't remember the pain from the lipo those first couple of weeks. Maybe that pain was overshadowed by the more intense tummy tuck pain or maybe I was still taking pain killers, so the visual is definitely worse than anything I felt. I've had to change all of my pictures around to shift the focus of my discussion to my experience with the healing from lipo and to give a visual to go with my story. I hope it's able to be of help to others who await surgery. I think a layman's discussion like this and pictures would have helped me to be better prepared with what to expect.

At this point (29 days out) I am still sore. My camel hump has gone down, but some days it stores its fluid in a renewed effort to puff up again. I just feel bruised along my sides and the small of my back, and it feels good to do a light fingertip massage over the tender surfaces. I'm not taking pain killers, not even Tylenol.

I am delighted, however, to view the pictures from yesterday, at 28 days. The bruising is very diminished, and I can't wait to welcome my cute little butt back into the fold, in good standing with the rest of me.

I went to my general care doctor last Monday, a...

I went to my general care doctor last Monday, a week ago, and was diagnosed with cellulitis at one, possibly two places on my incision from the tummy tuck. It really only seems to want to get infected after I've been out at a swim meets all weekend, and I panic, call some doctor, somewhere (whoever has time to take me) and then once I go in and am assured I'm not dying of septic shock, I can relax. The doctor kept looking at a suspicious spot under my right breast, but told me he was more worried about the tummy tuck opening in the incision. He told me not to use Neosporin, but to use Bacitracin instead, and to let everything air out, which I am hesitant to do, because I am of the firm belief that the longer I am in the death suit, the better final results I will have. But then the suspicious breast area erupted the next day, and it had a disgusting funk smell to it, no matter how much anti-bacterial soap I used. I began taking the antibiotic treatment that the general care doctor gave me for the tummy incision opening, and by Friday it didn't smell anymore. So I think there may have been more than one infection. I still have my camel hump. It's much smaller, but I want the small of my back, back, dammit! And now I have this small alien-like creature growing in my abdomen, low by my incision and just off to the left. I'm seeing my PS tomorrow and I'm going to ask him to do what he needs to do, but please get rid of it.

The tummy tuck actually looks really good. The doctor gets an A+, and I may even consider a little bit of extra credit on the job he did. He'll need it to balance out that I am still not believing the breasts are all that swollen, and they still have quite a bit of bulk to them. When I met with him, one of the last things I said was, "I want two separate door-knobs." And what I have are still softballs. Maybe between baseballs and softballs, just to be fair in my description. Oranges, still. Since I did not present him with huge breasts, I'm sure I could be quite a bit smaller than I am and I am actually considering asking him to go back in and try it again. I may have to save up a bunch more money since there are no guarantees in PS. Right now my bank account is wiped out.

So this whole "Oh, it's normal to be depressed after this procedure ... for no apparent reason"- kind of thinking..." I don't know. I know exactly why I am down. Not that it's his fault. But the communication probably should have been better. There was only one pre-op appointment, it would have been good if there were at least one more. They're better than they were, just not where I want them to be. And I at this point don't know that this is still a crazy person's reasoning because I have been consistent since the beginning in my stance that he left me too big, not that I'm big. I just don't have athletic little mounds. They are not cones. They are socks with a baseball inside. So his grade shall match the cup size: B-/C+ (probably C+). That's where the extra credit will come in handy.

I saw my PS two days ago. The tummy incision looks...

I saw my PS two days ago. The tummy incision looks better now. It seems to flare up and come apart sporadically, but then heal within days to an angry, purplish hue. Not to promise it won't flare up and open again. I have not gone swimming even in my own backyard pool and I only take showers just to be on the safe side. Honestly, I'm blind as to whether I'm doing all of the right things. My doctor does not seem concerned and told me I didn't need to worry about taking the antibiotic anymore, which is a relief.

The little alien I have growing in my tummy is a little bigger than a golf ball; I don't think it's hard, but I don't want to go pushing on my stomach. My PS is not concerned. I have not presented him with anything that phases him. He mentions at every visit how Im healing faster than anyone else in his practice like it's something I could be proud of, but I still freak out about the slightest thing. He's also not concerned about my camel hump that I've had since the day after my procedure. I told him I want the small of my back ... back. It's just so hard to believe that these issues could hang around our bodies for a year, possibly longer. Nothing is happening fast enough for me.

I did get checked out the other day. It was almost surreal. I was taking a walk during my sons' 2-hour swim practice. While I was crossing a street, a handsome man--who I'm sure was Reggie Theus from the Sacramento Kings 1987 era) was sitting in a classy-looking black sport utility patiently waiting for the green light while I crossed the street in front of him. I looked at him to make sure he saw me in the crosswalk, and eye contact was definitely established. He smiled at me and waved. When you're 46, that counts as getting checked out, right? I waved back; my day looking better and better from that point on.

I guess it's safe now to post a picture of myself in the first bikini I've owned since I was 17. This time my head is not cut off. But I'm a teacher and school is about to start, so the longevity of this photo may be very short-lived. I'm mid-blink, but that doesn't change the body. I am happy with the tummy tuck, but have only slightly alluded to this when in the presence of my P.S. Gotta keep him humble.

Today marks two months since my surgery which I...

Today marks two months since my surgery which I have decided to refer to as my "body transformation." The term "Mommy Makeover" sounds so juvenile and my kids, who are 14 and 16, have not called me "Mommy" for at least six years now. And what about the people out there who have had a TT and breast work done but have never had kids? At least they may agree with this rationale. Besides, it doesn't sound like a term that was coined by the medical community, and this is a pretty invasive medical procedure, elective though it is, as was made unequivocally clear to me by the unwelcoming nurse the morning of my "transformation."

Now it appears I'm cleared to start exercising again. I thought the paperwork said 8 weeks, which would have been last Monday, even though today is officially 2 months. So I began blowing up my treadmill again last Monday. Not with a lot of intensity (because I wasn't sure if I was or was not violating doctor's orders), but with long distances. Today I'll go outside and see if I can jog and, in time, build up to a 10K again. Remember, two days before my procedure, I hauled ass and ran a 10K for the American Heart Association in one hour and one minute. Now that I don't have that ring of flub around my middle, I aim to finish next time in 55 minutes.

The only problem to this might be that my appetite has returned in full force. I find I'm denying myself my favorite foods from the minute I get up until I go to bed. I like this skinny body and don't want to ruin all of my surgeon's hard work. I'm back to work now so that may distract me. Also, I don't have as much free time on my hands, which could be a good thing when it comes to the amount of time I've been known to spend on-line. At work, I'll get in trouble if I surf the net, and it would be wise to avoid this site in particular so that my Mormon boss won't walk up behind me and see pictures of my naked body. That would open a whole 'nother can of worms, which is part of the reason why I removed said images. But I can't promise I won't check in anyway. I'm never all that sure of what I'll end up doing by the end of any given day.

I woke up to find my two florescent belly button...

I woke up to find my two florescent belly button earplugs on my nightstand. In a panic, I tore off my compression garment to find that indeed, they were gone. I went to bed with them in. I remember after my shower drying my belly button with a blow dryer, and then squishing the two earplugs flat and then shoving them in and watching while they expanded like memory foam. As expected, I felt that welcome, familiar, uncomfortable pressure on my "umbilicus." Then I put on my death suit and went to bed.

So this means that-- while asleep--I either took off my C.G. (which has zippers up both sides and 9 hook-and-eye fasteners on each side), which is unlikely, because then I also must have put it back on while asleep. The thing was intact and secure upon my waking. Conversely, I could have thrust my hands down my front, up and over the oranges, inside my compression garment, and down to my new navel and excavated said earplugs in question. If this is the case, this can only mean one thing--well, two. Not only am I vastly talented sleeper, but more importantly, my compression garment is too loose. It is a medium.

So I've done it. I am officially a small person. Except for the oranges. But the compression garment does not cover the oranges. I'm not sure it could. Because it is only a medium, after all.

I’ve still been thinking a lot about the term...

I’ve still been thinking a lot about the term “Mommy Makeover” and its shortcomings. And now I don’t like “Body Transformation” either. It sounds like just anyone can get this done, and they can’t. You have to be a woman.

A “Chick Flip…” That’s a better name. You don’t have to be a mom, and you don’t even have to be of child-bearing age. You just have to be a chick. Then the T.V. execs could come up with a new reality series similar to “Nip and Tuck” and call it “Flip this Chick.”

I ran a 5K for the first time since before surgery. I donned underwear, the death suit, belly button earplugs, three bras, a shirt, shorts, socks, and running shoes. I put on my binder, too, to make my body like a bar of steel. I’m not quite sure I was ready for this…

I brought my awesome Italian last name out of retirement, and kept my Kapilani moniker, too. Life’s too short not to add a little mystery here and there while you can. I ran like the wind (as best as I could) with my lipo areas protesting at each footfall. I crossed the finish line in 26:50. That’s my fastest time in nine years.

My son, who is 1/4th Japanese, ran up to me and said, “You’ve reached Ninja status, Mom!” I figure he’s got the birthright to decree such an honor upon his mom. I accepted the new title.

During awards, I won a raffle. The announcer unfolded the entry ticket, sucked in her breath and called out, “Oh my God! What a cool name!” and I knew it was me. “KAPILANI S!” I paused a moment, just testing to see if there were any other Kapilani S's around. Apparently not. I went up and claimed my prize which just happens to be the coolest water bottle ever. It’s “BPA Free,” and it comes in a little jacket with a zipper pouch for your ipod. And the bottom unscrews so you can turn that bottle upside-down and shotgun that Gatorade into your mouth. Let it pour down your throat without so much as a swallow. I can’t really do this, but my son assures me it can be done. He offered to demonstrate. The boy clearly wanted the bottle, so I gave it up, as any good Ninja Mom would.

Let me reiterate. My doctor did a great job on my...

Let me reiterate. My doctor did a great job on my tummy tuck. I still have lumps and bumps, aliens and a camel hump, (no Seussisms implied or intended) but I think in time these will go away. I believe this. I hope for this.

I went to Victoria’s Secret and got sized. I am a 34 C. Someone pointed out to me not to get depressed, that V.S. tries to “flatter” women who want to be voluptuous, not athletic. Kind of the opposite of vanity sizing. Not quite the same as reverse psychology, but I’d guess it works for some.

I thought maybe I’d get a more accurate sizing from the Hanes/Bali store at the Folsom Outlets. Less “hoity-toity” factor. More honesty. Less indulgence on the part of the staff in self-deception on the part of the customer. That’s what would work for me. MY head’s not up in the clouds.

I got burned. The woman who measured me proudly informed me that I’m a ... “34 C.”

Still? What the hell? I came to him between a C and a D. Could it be true I’m not even one cup size smaller? Holy Mother of God! How am I to accomplish becoming an athletic person for the rest of my life with these two pomegranates on my chest? And the money I spent…this transformation is not cheap.

The woman interrupted my troubled mind. “What bra size are you wearing?” I skirted the question. “I was hoping you’d say I was a B. I just had a breast reduction…maybe I just got a lift…he really didn’t take out very much…” She told me that if my bras aren’t fitting “just right,” I might be wearing the wrong size. She then pointed out that I’m actually bordering on a D. That cruel joke of nature had me running from of the store, covering my ears, and I think spouting expletives (I couldn’t really hear) that I usually try to refrain from. I didn’t buy anything.

Don’t get me wrong. He left them pretty. But also pretty big.

At my last appointment, I shared with him the tales of my ventures to the bra stores of the greater Sacramento area, my hopes of having cute, athletic cones dashed. He agreed with the idea that Victoria’s Secret caters to those who want to think they have a larger breast size than they possibly do. This doesn’t really address the whole “…you might even be a D …” part of the equation at the lower-end store, but I was grasping at straws. I wanted to hear what his ideas at this point might be. He suggested that I try Nordstrom to get a more accurate sizing.

Okay. Maybe this would be my welcome dose of reality. I could go on becoming the angular-shaped, fit person I am endeavoring to become. I’ve been looking forward to feeling better about this situation for a long time now.

So I find myself in Nordstrom today: me and my melons. I got sized. And burned. Again. Worse than before. If once bitten is twice shy, then I’m catatonic. When the bra fitter left the dressing room, I lost no time in scanning the floor for anything at all that can be used to slit one’s wrists. Or hack down the chest by a couple of letters. I’m a 34 D. No question about it. The topic of a C cup never even came up. Not that I want to be a C. And I sure as hell don’t want to be a D. I’ve never been anything larger than a D, so I have no idea what the hell is happening. What I do know is that now I’m on his terms. At Nordstrom, I’m a D.

It feels about as good as getting that grade on an English paper. I’m having to imagine here….

Once again, my unquiet mind was interrupted by the bra lady. “I’ll be right back. I have a whole bunch of high-support bras in a 34 D, you’ll just love them! Don’t go anywhere. I won’t be long!”

So that decides it. I’m going through this again. He may not want to take me on, although he already said he would. He may think I’m too high-maintenance, too unbalanced. But I have a degree in psychology too, so if anyone’s going to diagnose me, I’ll do it myself, thank you very much, and leave the plastic surgery to the expert, who took 96 grams out of one, and an even less 73 out of the other. And according to RealSelf, I paid more for this chick-flip than anyone else in Sacramento county. No insurance coverage. Maybe if insurance covered it, or part of it, I’d have a different outlook; if you get it for free, you really can’t complain….

The only way insurance will cover any of this for me is if I take this surgery into my own hands. Hack away at one with 73 paperclips; do the same to the other with 96 paperclips (the one-inch size weigh a gram each). That would mess them up. I think corrective surgery would be covered, but I’m not sure of the expertise of the plastic surgeons who come to the California state hospitals. I left all the metal pins, clasps, and clips on the floor of the dressing room, my wrists and other members of my anatomy unscathed.

It's been 10 months since the TT and breast...

It's been 10 months since the TT and breast reduction. I still have the oranges I had back in June of 2012. And as you know, I was growing increasingly concerned about the idea that they do not look athletic and petite; they still look like they could one day soon reclaim their former identity as grapefruits.

I waited until I hit the 6-month mark to mention it again to my doctor. He didn’t seem all that surprised that I brought it up, almost like he expected it. So I expanded once again on my non-streamlined body and lamented on how it’s difficult to become the athlete I never was in swimming and running if I’ve got these two baseballs in a sock hanging from each side of my chest.

What I never understood was this doctor of mine comes from a culture of beautiful people, without exception. They have better-than-perfect B.M.I.s and the ones who live in Hawai'i outlive the rest of us by a good 20 years or more. The women are slim and lithe--like dancers. They have perfect, pert breasts that don’t take up more than their share of room on the planet. I don't think they ever visit plastic surgeons. Why he didn’t turn me in to one of them I don’t know; part of me thought that would be his go-to point of reference, and I liked it that way.

Anyway, not only did he not seem surprised by my concern that I’m still a 34 D, he didn’t seem disappointed, either. He told me he’d redo them. It was like he was happy to offer. Simple as that. All this anxiety I've been dealing with was all for naught! And here I wrote that guilt-inducing, dark update back in October where the actions I was contemplating would get me committed and probably invited never to shop at Nordstrom's or visit their dressing rooms again.

I was so relieved by his generosity I forgot to thank him for the thank you note he sent me for the cereal bowl I gave him at Christmas. He did not understand how to use the bowl, but that’s beside the point. Knowledge of cereal bowl usage is not vital in life. The man has skills that are more than redeeming, and he's magnanimous, too, thus rendering misuse of a cereal bowl easily forgivable. Especially if one is lactose-intolerant, which is something I wish I’d considered before I gave him the bowl. But I’m still going to have him cut me open and then put me back together again. I think everything should be okay.
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