Well all my Real Self pals, I'm FINALLY gonna post...
Well all my Real Self pals, I'm FINALLY gonna post my profile! Been kinda chicken, but here goes. I am 51 years YOUNG, 5'5", 223 lbs. I have 3 grown children (32, 29 and 27) and one beautiful, energetic grand daughter Delilah (18months). My hubby is a WONDERFUL, supportive and amazing man. He is TOTALLY in my corner at ALL times. Even though he is nervous about me "going under the knife" (doesn't want anything to happen to me, or to lose me), he definitely wants me to get this done. He says, if he were me, he'd do it too. He has watched me struggle with weight and trying to keep in shape for all 21 years we have been together. I had kept the weight down pretty well until the dreaded MENOPAUSE hit at 45! Though I was overweight when it hit, the weight just PILED on since then. Add to that, some rough times (cancer and deaths in the family), and I simply let myself go. At my highest, 245, I just about wanted to give in. But I didn't. First thing was to change how and what I ate. 18 months ago I QUIT ALL artificial sweeteners, most dairy, and all grains except brown rice (though sweets crept in off and on). We also started eating virtually ALL organic (meat, veggies, fruits). I'm feeling pretty good, but am still a rather sedentary (not active). Find it hard to want to move much lugging around these oversized TATA's and my leftover mommy flap (C-section on second child). Started talking about the whole "mommy makeover" with the hubby about 2 years ago. Both of us agreed it would be most helpful to change the eating habits and drop some weight before surgery, as we KNOW how much that can help. I should also mention, I also take vitamins/supplements and have no other health problems.
I have dropped 22 lbs, and continue to work on it.
So now the makeover begins...
I will be having the first of two procedures, this coming Monday, 14 Oct, the Breast Reduction! I think this will help me getting moving more, get the next chunk of weight off, and get my legs and back stronger. Have read from all my RS pals that THIS is important, so LISTEN I have!
I will spend the time I need to heal completely and then I plan to continue the journey with a "trip to the flat side"!
I must take the time to thank Mrs Determined and LiveLoveBelieve, for all your "shares" and helpful words. You both have helped me in my mental journey, and eased my nerves. Much love and healing to you both.
I have posted (nervously) my before pics (TATA's and mommy flap)...warning, it's not pretty, LOL, but it is ME....and I LOVE me!
Night before jitters...
I've been busy all day doing my fall decorating (I host Thanksgiving for about 24 people each year). So I figured it'd be good to stay busy, keep my mind off tomorrow and have the decorating done so I can rest up all the way til Turkey Day.
I'll post some pics of my fall decs, just for fun.
Post op 5 hours
14 Oct 2013
Day of treatment
Everything went just fine...like ALL said it would.
Went in to surgery at 9 am,
it took 2 1/2 hours, and I spent about an hour in recovery.
Got home at 1, been resting and napping in my select comfort adjustable bed, AWESOME!
Hubby waiting on me hand n foot. Pain not too bad so far. They gave me a pill before I left, haven't needed one again yet.
That's all for now. Love n hugs to all my RS buddies ;-)
So far, doing real well
Well, it's 5 am, couldn't sleep anymore, so here I am.
I did just great the rest of the day yesterday ( must have been ALL those prayers and good wishes from my family, friends and you guys here on Real Self).
Pain is not too bad, I only had to take 2 pain pills, one at supper time and one at bed time, mainly to let myself rest. I have not had ANY nausea so far. Have been drinking LOTS of water. Was able to eat some homemade, organic stew the hubby made! He is a ROCK and oh so sweet.
I look down and see a "small" chest, WOO HOO! Won't get to actually see "the girls" until tomorrow, lol. But I ALREADY LOVE THEM!!!
I feel LOTS of love, health and healing pouring into me and am BEYOND grateful.
(((HUGS))) and healing to all who are out there recovering with me :-)
Day 2 post op, STILL progressing well
Hi there . Yesterday was good, a bit more sore, but only had 4 pain pills between 5 am and 10:30 pm. Slept from about 11 until 7:15, only woke up once to potty and get drink of water.
Not draining too much, 36ml yesterday. Have to be below 30ml in 24 hour period before drains can come out. Maybe tomorrow, just hoping before weekend.
I go back for check up on Monday .
Will take a spongy bath today, SOOOO I'll get to see the girls...NERVOUS.
Will try and post a pic later.
In good spirits, hubby says "I rock" and am doing well. Hugs and healing to all!
Day 3 Post op/hanging in there
Yesterday went real well. Got pooped out by end of day. Drainage ok (33.5ml), so prob will keep drains in til Monday, my follow up appt. (my doc doesn't like to take drains out on Fridays).
Mostly regular Tylenol for pain yesterday, and one pain pill to go to sleep last nite. Slept from 11 til 6:30, with one wake-up.
Feeling kinda fuzzy today...to be expected they say.
Hubby looked at "the girls" for the first time last nite. Didn't freak out, lol. Was worried they looked like they hurt, but they don't really. Soreness is mainly along the incisions and at the drain exits. Have some, what feels like, muscle soreness in the mid back. Not used to sleeping on my back. But thank goodness for my Select Comfort Adjustable bed...it's like having a hospital bed, but WAY MORE comfy. We got this bed about three years ago...each of us have our own (2 twin beds side by side), so we can sleep EXACTLY how we need.
I am SOOOO THANKFUL! I'm sure it's why I have been able to sleep at all.
Anyway....doing okay, just kinda tired today. Keep reminding myself that I had surgery, and to take it easy.
Much love and (((hugs))) to all you gals out there healing. ;-)
Day 4/Shower day!!!
Yesterday was a little rough. Was pretty sore and tired. Turns out I just should have taken more pain med (tried to stick with Tylenol only, got OVERLY sore). Anyhoo, took a pill before bed last nite and once in middle of the nite, so I slept WAY BETTER.
My AWESOME sister (who is a nurse), came over today and helped me get a shower and wash my hair. I needed help cause I still have the drains, they should come out Monday at my first post-op appt, as I'm not draining too much.
Feel much better now that I'm all the way clean.
Sis says I'm doing and looking good ;-)
Gonna take it easy and try and nap this afternoon.
Hugs n healing everybody ;-)
7 Days/Post Op
Ding dong, the drains are gone!!!
The drainage was pretty much non-existent by Friday, but my doc doesn't like them coming out right before a weekend. They had started working themselves out by yesterday.
Anyhoo, better safe than sorry.
They also removed a couple of stitches and the surgical tape from the nipples today as well. Sensitivity returned to the nipples on day two, so tape/stitch removal was a little sting-y.
My range of motion is good, and soreness is mostly concentrated on the sides, at the drainage sites. Little waves of stinging occur regularly along the incision lines, but nothing too bad. I basically have been on regular Tylenol during the day, and a pain pill at nite since day 2 post-op.
"The girls" are kinda funny shaped and still firm/swollen, and there is a fair amount of bruising on the under side. The bruising is already yellow, so that means it's fading fast...GOOD SIGN. All of this is well within the normal range, and my pre/post-op nurse Bonnie says I'm doing great,
I'm scheduled to go back in a week, and they will likely remove the few, other external stitches along the incision lines.
Gonna wait til next weeks post-op visit to take more pics...
But in the mean time, keep healing out there girls. And if you are on the fence about whether or not to do this...all I can say is
DO IT !!!
"The girls" are feeling better each day. My range of motion is really good. Showering and washing/drying my hair on my own with no problems. The horizontal incision lines are tight but not too uncomfortable. The drain holes closed up in only two days. Bruising is nearly gone. Feeling/sensation is back on top of breasts, but not on under side yet.
I go back to doc on Monday to get more/rest of external stitches removed. Hoping by then we'll see that all incisions are closed.
I am SOOO GLAD I did this!
I am extremely motivated now to get my weight down and get ready for PHASE 2 of my makeover, my Tummy Tuck.
Have a great weekend all and continued HUGS and HEALING :-)
2 Week follow-up
All is well with my "new girls". Had my 2 week follow-up this morning. ALL incision lines are closing up nicely. Left vertical incision is the "angriest" looking, but nurse Bonnie says nothing to worry about. Absolutely NO oozing or puss anywhere so far! THIS was my worst fear in all this....that the incisions wouldn't close up quickly/well.
Though the girls continue to take shape and "drop", I am happy with how they look so far.
It's probably a little too early to tell for sure, but it looks like I will/may have some "side boobage" when all is said and done, but not to worry. I will likely have my PS target any problem areas with lipo at the same time he does my tummy tuck.
I feel great. Had some MAJOR zinging/stinging in both breasts over the weekend with all the nerve regeneration. Kept me up a fair amount Saturday nite, had to take two pain pills that nite. Otherwise, doing very well. Trying to make myself take it easy and not overdo. I do feel the need to nap a little each day, in the afternoon. Am VERY grateful I am able to do that!
Will post a few pics
I've been really weepy all day today. "The girls" are okay...little sore, and a tiny open spot at the t-section of left breast, but nothing bad. For some reason, it made me feel bummed. Fighting of tears all afternoon...what's up with that?
New day/New me
Okay, so I need to jerk myself out of this little funk I'm in. I'm doing good, "the girls" are healing nicely, and life is GOOD,
SOOOO, to make myself plug back into reality all the way, I got back in the kitchen to cook. Making homemade meat sauce and spaghetti squash for dinner. It's one of my favs and the family too. Doing this makes me feel "normal", lol.
Any hoo...I'll be fine and so will ALL OF YOU out there in "Real Self land"!
Love you all, thanks for checking in on me ;-)
I realized when I woke up this morning that, in all the emotional turmoil, I have not yet shared something REALLY important...my OVERWHELMING gratitude for my AMAZING hubby and everything he has done to support this "makeover journey".
To say he is supportive just does NOT begin to cover it. He has been taking care of anything I want/need/ask for. He also has started/ended each and EVERY day with "You're doing great hunny, and you look terrific"....and HE MEANS IT!
FYI, he is NOT prone to over-embellishing or overstating, he is a realist. He keeps reminding me that this procedure (as well as the next/TT), is NOT just a cosmetic...it is a "restart for my long-term health". He really gets how important this is to me, both physically and emotionally. How's that for being in my corner?!
In any case, I simply want to express how grateful I am that I have him and that I KNOW I could NOT have done this without him.
I hope all of you out there has someone you can count on as you go thru your "health journeys".
Take care, happy healing and have a great weekend!
The T-section of my left breast is separating a little, little drainage also, but no fever. This breast has been the most sore since the surgery. Called my doc, talked to nurse Bonnie, she had me get a three day refill of my antibiotic. Not certain there is actually an infection, just doing this as a precaution. The splitting thing seems to be fairly common, so trying not to get too worried. If it doesn't get better after the three days of antibiotic, I'll go in to be seen. In the mean time, trying to relax and rest a little more...was a little TOO busy over the weekend.
Love n hugs all of you out there ;-)
4 Week Check Up and Pics
Doing good and feeling good. Not getting tired out so easily. Saw my doc today for the 4 week post op check. The girls are healing nicely and taking pretty good shape. As you can see in pics, I have three , very small spots that are still closing up, but otherwise the incisions are healing nicely. I think they will be nice and smooth. Have started using Bio Oil on the closed incisions, and it really helps.
I do/will have some residual side boobies, cause I didn't get lipo, but no prob, will take care of that when I do my tummy tuck. Overall, my recovery from this surgery has gone VERY well and I feel good. I'm okay start cardio and work out careful upper body workout.
QUESTION: I asked my doc how soon I would be ready for the TT/muscle repair/lipo and he said as soon as the girls are closed up/healed (about a month from now), and as soon as I felt up to it. I was thinking I should be at least 3 months post op from the reduction. Feedback? Any thoughts?
More Week 4 Update
The doc said he removed
600 from left breast
800 from right breast (cause it was bigger)
I forgot, is that grams or CCs?
Bottom line, the girls are 3 cup sizes down...half their size
PHASE TWO of my "health/mommy makeover"... It's ON!
After consulting with my PS, and soliciting input/feedback from other highly reputable PS's and the AWESOME ladies here on RS, I have decided to proceed with my plan for phase two. The overall consensus, given my excellent recovery from the BR, as well as the general rule of thumb for surgery timing, is that 3 months between procedures is adequate and safe.
SOOOO, I have an appointment with my PS on 26 Nov and we will discuss the Tummy Tuck, Muscle Repair and areas for Liposuction. I have rather moderate goals/expectations for this surgery. I primarily want to remove the "mommy flap", tighten the tummy muscles that got stretched out from my c-section/delivery of my beautiful 8lb6oz son (27 years ago), and lightly contour my hips and the sides of my lovely new breasts (we didn't do that at the time of the reduction). These goals are what factored in to my PS saying it would be fine to do this next procedure sooner than later. Though I do plan to work on losing more weight, both before this TT/MR and after, I think BOTH of these procedures will aide this endeavor...so does my PS. I am already moving around much better, just with the BR!
Thanks to ALL who have followed my progress, shared their experiences, and provided MUCH APPRECIATED input! Hugs to you ALL ;-)
6 Weeks Post Op Update
Well gals, I am 6 weeks post op now and the biggest challenge is NOT doing things that seem simple...like reaching up or out too far, or lifting what seems to be "light" things. Guess I have been doing too much, cause the area right under the t-section on both breast seem like they are trying to open back up along the horizontal incision line, AHHHH!!! On the left side, it has opened a little, and on the right it seems like it's trying to, YIKES! SOOO, long story short, BE CAREFUL , it's easy to overdo. Even if it doesn't feel like it hurts, it could be stressing things more than you realize. I see my PS on Tuesday, will see what we can do to get these two areas to calm down and heal up. I SOOO want them to heal up SOON so we can plan my TT/MR (hoping for Jan surgery date).
Other than that, I am feeling pretty good. Energy level is nearly completely normal....which is a good thing cause I have 22 people coming for Thanksgiving ;-O.
Keep healing and taking good care of yourselves out there girls. Big Texas size hugs to you ALL !
6 week check up at PS - PLUS, I scheduled my TT/MR w/lipo on Hips -YIKES
Saw my PS today, he checked on "the girls". They are doing pretty well, still healing at the t-section. The raw area on the leftie, it turns out, is most likely due to the adhesive on the pads that I have been using....DUUHHH ! I have sensitive skin, shoulda thought about that. Anyhoo, have non-stick pads on now and they feel better already ;-)
Once he was done checking the girls, we talked about my TT/MR. He said the girls should be totally healed and that there shouldn't be any reason I can't do the tummy in January. I asked him about my weight and possible complications. He said that the weight can sometimes affect the healing, but that he does lots of TT's like mine with good success. My PRIMARY goal is removal of the flap and a little tightening of muscle. The largest part of my tummy is in the lower area, so that helps. We also talked about doing some lipo on my hips, to contour me a little, and he said he could def do that.
SOOO, I met with the surgery coordinator, and I'm sked for 6 Jan 2014!
Now I'm SCARED - YIKES. Tell me, am I crazy or what?!
7 Weeks Post Breast Reduction/8 Weeks Pre Tummy Tuck
Breast reduction: "The Girls" continue to heal. The raw/open area under the left is closing up, SLOWLY :-(, and the small spot at the t-section of the right is nearly completely closed. A little disappointed that they are not all closed already, but the body does what it does, in its own time. I still get zingers, cause of the continued healing. Saw somewhere here on RS that massaging them when you get the zingers helps alleviate, so I've been doing that and it HAS helped. Not too mention, it feels comforting and that I'm doing SOMETHING to help, lol.
Tummy Tuck: originally sked for 6 Jan, moved to 27 Jan. Some sked conflicts with the hubbies work, needed to make sure he is freed up for two weeks. Plus, it doesn't hurt to wait a few more weeks I think, given that "the girls" are healing a little slower than anticipated. It also puts me closer to 4 months between surgeries, which is also probably not a bad idea.
All in all, feeling good. Energy level gets better every day. Don't feel like I have any residual effects from first surgery. Working on losing some more weight before surgery...hoping for 10 lbs, 15 would be better. I was careful over Thanksgiving, didn't gain any. Now just need to get thru Christmas as well.
Wishing all my BR, TT pals out there the very best as you go thru your surgeries. Stay strong and be well, (((HUGS)))
TT/MR w/lipo of Hips questions
I am preparing for my TT/MR with Lipo of hips in January. Getting supplies together. I have a few questions:
1. I have seen/read here on RS, that several gals have gotten a walker and toilet riser to aide in moving around for the first week or two...is this a good idea?
2. I don't have a recliner, electric or otherwise. I do have a sleep number bed that is adjustable - head and feet move up and down, like a hospital bed. I think the bed will do, am I right?
3. Any other pointers for post surgery "MUST HAVES" ?
Appreciate any feedback/ideas, thanks a bunch ;-)
11 Dec 2013
2 months post
Saw my doc, the raw spots along horizontal at t-sections are improving. They are just being a little slow. I'm gonna post pics of them at 6 weeks and 8 weeks, to show what this kind of issue is. I thought I was the only one with this kind of problem, but have been corresponding with a couple of gals here on RS, who had same. Though it's not a serious thing, just want to share in case it could help someone else ;-)
14 Dec 2013
2 months post
I've been getting increasingly more anxious this last week about the TT. I keep reading the profiles of ladies who have lost a lot more weight and who are in better shape prior to surgery...makes me wonder if I should wait ;-/
I have lost 30lbs in the last two years, and have changed the way I eat dramatically. So that part of my makeover I feel good about. The breast reduction 8 weeks ago has given me a BIG boost (mental and physical). I can move around much better just with this. I definitely think the TT will aide my mobility the rest of the way, not to mention give me the added MENTAL boost to get and stay more ACTIVE, which is the goal of doing BOTH surgeries. I know I will not have a "bikini bod" when it is done and healed, lol. Just want a less "encumbered" one.
I've seen ALL shaped women do this...women MY size. So why not ME?
I guess the point of all this rambling is...
Is NOW the time to do this? Is this just normal nerves I'm having?
Getting "mentally ready" for the TT
17 Dec 2013
2 months post
I have decided and am FULLY committing to the Full TT (with muscle repair) and lipo of the hips. After lots of soul searching, research, feedback from my RS pals and family (hubby, mom and sister the nurse), I really think NOW is my time. My hubby says "Hun, you can do this. It may be tough, but you are one tough momma and have been thru worse. And when it's all done, you'll be so happy"... Is he awesome or what? He is going to be home with me for two weeks, one totally "unplugged from work", and the other "working from home". My sweet sister the nurse has put in for three days off for the first three days after my surgery, which has made me feel so secure. She came over after my BR on PO day 3, and got in the shower with me to help me (cause I had my drains in still). I am unbelievably lucky to have these amazing people in my life/family. So I am gonna do my best to do my part. My sister has challenged me to do 40 squats each day between now and surgery, to strengthen my legs, so I will begin tomorrow. As I've said earlier, I'm not much of an exercise person, but that's gonna CHANGE! Especially after I heal from this second surgery. I've already been able to do my walks much more easily since the BR. WATCH OUT after I get rid of this "mommy flap"...
So thanks to ALL of you out there who have read my profile and responded to it and all the questions/fears. You are ALL amazing women and will FOREVER be in my debt!
Happy Holidays and MUCH love and (((HUGS))) ;-)
17 Dec 2013
2 months post
The phrase above SHOULD read...
"You are ALL amazing women, I will be FOREVER in YOUR debt"
(Leave it to me to try and be poetic and screw it up, lol)
Breast reduction Update AND TT surgery prep is underway!
28 Dec 2013
2 months post
Hey there RS buddies!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with lots of loved ones around you. I was lucky to have a lovely holiday with several days of family time. My cup runneth over ;-)
Also, hope you all are healing well and/or prepping well for your upcoming surgeries.
BREAST update: Saw my PS on Thursday. Turns out my raw/irritated areas along the horizontal incision have been due to my body rejecting some of the internal stitching! NOT the normal stitch spitting that happens, actually rejecting whole sections of the stitch. Crazy right? This hardly EVER happens. Leave it to my "sensitive" body, lol. Anyway the result was that the area that was raw had to "stitch itself" back together, and that just takes time. They are doing much better and I will post pics of how it looks now. If you look at all the pics, you'll see the progression of the healing. I'm actually quite relieved. I was worried I would have similar or worse trouble with the TT. But doc says because of this, he will prob use fewer internal stitches and use staples on the exterior. This makes me glad I separated the two surgeries! I would have hated to have two areas with this problem at the same time. Fortunately, I NEVER got infected. I've watched it closely taken good care of the incisions, and it worked out okay. The body is an amazing thing...it can often HEAL ITSELF! I am grateful and in awe ;-)
Have gathered together most all of my supplies. Still need to get a walker and toilet riser. Several ladies swear by the walker, others say not necessary. I'm gonna err on the side of caution and get one. I'm no "spring chicken" lol, and I don't have a very strong back. I had some pretty major muscle spasms after my
c-section years ago. I don't want to have anything impede my mobility (walking around etc), and I think it will get/keep me walking and NOT "whimping out", AND get me more independent quicker. The hubby will be home with me for a week solid, and off/on the second week. He's a great care taker, but I don't want to wear him out. He'll have lots of other things to do (cooking/prepping his own meals, and I usually do ALL of that) and taking care of our two doggies.
I'm also prepping nutritionally. As I said before, I changed my eating habits drastically two years ago. I eat virtually all organic, and primarily Paleo (protein, fresh veggies and fresh fruits, some nuts and brown rice on occasion). So that's all good. Have been having sweets over the last month, not a TON, but still. Starting today I'm cutting out ALL sugar and flour. Also plan to do a 3-4 day fresh veggie/juice fast one week prior to surgery, then back on protein and veggies for the 2-3 days prior to surgery, so I am strong for surgery. I don't really drink (alcohol) much, so New Years won't be a big deal. Will also make sure I stay hydrated, LOTS of water, between now and surgery day. I usually drink a fair amount, but will be vigilant. Being well hydrated helps you tolerate stress, and surgery is definitely stressful on the body.
I guess I've rambled on long enough. Hope this info is helpful. I know other ladies who have shared their prep process, and it GREATLY helped me, so THANKS!
HUGS, HEALING and Happy New Year!
Breast Reduction/10 weeks PO
28 Dec 2013
2 months post
Wanted to share pics depicting the healing/progression of this "anomaly" of breasts rejecting internal stitches.
The pink/red areas are ALL CLOSED! Far left breast is pretty tender. It tried to reject a stitch, but didn't, just got irritated/tender. Now putting Bio Oil on both of them.
Happy New Year in our "New" Selves
31 Dec 2013
2 months post
As we head fearlessly, courageously and with much anticipation into 2014, I would like to wish you all the healthiest, happiest and most fulfilling New Year!
For those who have undergone your surgeries, may you have speedy and trouble-free recoveries. To those that are struggling with recovery, may you turn the corner and begin to heal well.
For those of us awaiting ours, may we stay courageous, healthy and calm as we await our day.
And last but not least, to those trying to decide...May you gain the knowledge and clarity necessary to make your decision. Remember, you only get one life, so it's TOTALLY appropriate to do the things YOU need to do, to make it a GOOD one. ;-)
Thanks to everyone who has been following, enlightening and encouraging me on my journey thus far. You are TRULY helping me make my transformation, and I am unbelievably GRATEFUL !!!
2014 - Year of GREAT Changes
Well gals, hope all have made it thru their holidays and are feeling good.
I have been watching my eating pretty strictly since the breast reduction and I am HAPPY to report, I have lost 9 lbs. To be fair, have to give credit to my PS for 3 lbs of it, but the rest is all ME! Can't believe I managed to lose 6 lbs over three MAJOR food holidays. This is a FIRST for me. This now makes for a total of 31 pounds lost since January 2012.
So, current stats: Height - 5'5" Weight - 214
I am working on at least 5 more lbs before surgery (26 days away). This is very doable I think, maybe even a few more. If I can do this, then it's possible that post op I might actually weigh in the 100's...
As I type that last phrase, I could almost cry. It's been a while since I've weighed that...
I think this will give me an incredible mental boost. Even since the breast reduction, I feel different. I look at myself differently. I'm "seeing" new possibilities.
Ladies, I think that THIS feeling/perspective is a byproduct of these kind of surgeries! One that most people don't realize occurs...One I didn't expect, and am QUITE HAPPY to have discovered.
Soooo, when people ask you/us why we are doing this, it's because it makes for new possibilities...new perspectives...possibly even a new life. And if that's NOT a good enough reason, well I just don't know what is!!!
Well, gonna try and busy myself for the next 26 days preparing my body and mind for the second of my makeover surgeries. Lots of good fresh produce and protein, WATER WATER WATER, and REST REST REST. Have just a few last supplies to pick up. Then it's WAIT WAIT WAIT ;-/. Course I need to de-frock the house of all the holiday decs and put them away, so that will give me something to do. And there are a few early spring cleaning things I could get done.
That's all for now...continued good healing and BIG Texas-sized HUGS to you ALL
Slight Change in Procedure
Tummy Tuck w/ Muscle Repair is still on. I decided, however, to NOT do any lipo.
I've been on the fence about the lipo to the hips. Have heard about the pain from lipo, and really wasn't too excited about it, figure there's enough to deal with just with the TT/MR. But more than that, there are several areas that need lipo for the best overall look, and I DEFINITELY do not want to do ALL THAT! Plus, some of those areas my PS won't do/doesn't recommend doing at the same time.
Bottom line, I feel much more confident about the recovery by NOT doing the lipo. I know my limits/weaknesses, and have factored them into the decision as well.
So, will get the TT/MR, take the time necessary to recover and adjust. Then continue on my weight loss and body toning work. I figure somewhere between 9-12 months after this second surgery, I'll assess the situation - both breasts and tummy - and see what might be needed (revisions or lipo).
I called my surgery coordinator and talk to her about my decision. She was great, and said everyone has to do what's best for them and what they feel most comfortable with. I LOVE my PS and his staff.
Also, she told me I will have the same anesthesiologist that I had for my breast reduction...I'm SOOOOO happy. Dr Melish is wonderful and makes being put under MUCH easier and NOT scary.
FEELIN GOOD about everything now! ;-)
THANK YOU to all my RS cheerleaders!
You keep giving me such LOVE and ENCOURAGEMENT - it really calms me and makes me focus on the positive.
BIG Texas-size HUGS to you all ;-)
Breast TOTALLY Healed - WHOOP!
As of this morning, the last of the tiny areas along the horizontal incision on my left breast is HEALED AND CLOSED OVER!!!
I post this because I know several gals have or had little hiccups and anomalies that lengthen their complete recovery. PROOF positive that we ALL heal in our OWN time. Our bodies are amazing, really.
So, if you're having little obstacles and anomalies, HANG IN THERE! You'll get there...FULL RECOVERY.
Now I'm TOTALLY stoked for my TT/MR...21 days...
Oh and a little nervous too ;-/
Happy healing and BIG Texas-size HUGS!
OFFICIALLY CLEARED for Surgery!
Doc did final check of my breasts today to make sure all is healed and sealed...
YIPPEE! Good to go. I even high-fived him, lol. He laughed.
What about me rejecting stitches? What's the plan?
He is gonna check into another possible type of stitching material, but I didn't have a too severe a reaction (allergic) with breasts, so he's not too concerned for TT. I didn't get infected or anything, just spit/rejected some of them, so I'm going to trust his judgement.
What kind of meds will I get ?
Same pain med, anti-nausea med as for my breast reduction
Also, a muscle relaxer - glad, cause I got terrible muscle spasms after my c-section
And, of course, the pre/post op vitamins and bruising and swelling supplements
So, it's on to Pre-op on Monday and surgery two weeks later!!!
Will post my pre-op photos just before surgery (I'm working on losing a few more pounds).
HUGS AND HEALING ;-)
Pre-Op Appt - DONE
13 Jan 2014
3 months post
Just got back from my pre-op, all went smooth. Barring any unexpected/unforeseen issue with blood work....
I AM GOOD TO GO for my TT/MR on the 27th!
Continuing to watch my food/intake. Have lost another 1/2 pond this last week, totaling 10.5 since the breast reduction. Would like to lose few more pounds before surgery, but not at the expense of becoming weak. Will do a 3-4 day, fruit/veggie juice fast starting next Monday, and will be eating VERY clean (protein and veggies/fruit only) the rest of the time.
Gonna have hubby take a few pre-op pics of the tummy for me...I can't seem to take a very good selfie...will post soon.
Hugs and healing to all those brave gals already in recovery...you have inspired me, encouraged me, and made me feel brave...LOVE YOU BUNCHES!
TUMMY TUCK / PRE-OP PHOTO SHOOT (LOL)
21 Jan 2014
3 months post
Thought I'd share my latest photos.
Some without my bra so you can see my breast reduction healing progress. They are doing just great. As you will see, I do have a little dog ear issue that is visible especially when I raise my arms. Also a little "side boobage". As I said before, I opted to NOT have any lipo, so that accounts for that. I have decide to not do any revision right now. Want to recover/heal from the TT/MR and work on losing some more weight. Then I'll assess what, if any revisions I may need or want (breast and tummy).
So here goes...hope you have strong stomachs, lol :-p
24 Jan 2014
3 months post
I got the call...I have to report to the surgery center by 7am on Monday, I'm the first surgery of the day! Glad about that, so I will be able to have as much recovery time there as needed (surgery center closes at 6pm). My surgery is projected to take 2 1/2 - 3 hours, so I should probably be home mid day sometime. My breast reduction was scheduled the same, and I was home by 1 pm.
Well, I have ALL my supplies. Have done ALL my meal preps and they are in the freezer. Made my medication/dose chart (Thank you AVA 07) so the hubby can see what to give me and right it down when he does. The doc provides a drain chart when we leave the surgery center.
So now it's just WAIT....
My daughter gave us tickets to see a Big Band musical show tomorrow afternoon. That will give us something to do tomorrow...gonna go have a "date nite" dinner after :-)
THANKS AGAIN to all you terrific women who have beef checking in and cheering me on...
I TRULY treasure your input...it's really a GIANT confidence builder for me!
26 Jan 2014
3 months post
Sitting here on the sofa...snuggled up next to my sweet pups, Katy n Molly, a million thoughts runnin through my head...rubbing this tummy and saying goodbye to it. Funny, I've had it so long, can't really picture myself without it.
Little waves of nerves wash over me...then deep breath and I say to myself
"Just let go, all will be what it will be, you're prepared, and you have the most wonderful man in world by your side to get you through this."
To those of you sweet, wonderful ladies out there heading into surgery tomorrow, let's join hands (emotionally) and pull each other thru to the other side safely and smoothly...Let go and believe !
All my LOVE AND HUGS my friends :-D
27 Jan 2014
3 months post
ALL went fine.
LOVE LOVE LOVE my doc, anasthesiologist and the BEST nurses ever.
Surgery went smooth as silk, only 2 hours, and was home by 12:00 noon.
Have gotten up 6 times to pee. Hubby is a real Florence Nightingale. Staying on top,of meds. Had couple graham crackers and hubby made me an Almond milk smoothie.
WALKER and TOILET RISER - TOTAL lifesaver !
Better go, meds making me a little goofy. My best the everyone who were, thinking of and praying for me today. Pictures,in a few days.
Day 2 Post Op
28 Jan 2014
3 months post
Thanks to my amazing Adjustable Sleep Number Bed, I got some decent sleep last nite ! It also HUGELY to get up and down.
Am walking to the restroom using the walker...BIG HELP...plus it enables me to take lots of walks, yesterday I walked all around the downstairs 3 times (in addition to the 9 times to potty)
Alternating muscle relaxer and pain med...otherwise I think I'd be in CONSIDERABLE pain. Following everybody's suggestion to stay medicated the first 3 days.
Am completely wrapped, so not much to see...only gonna post once pic.
Take care my lovely ladies ;-)
REAL Day 2 - Post Op
29 Jan 2014
3 months post
Surgery day was Monday so, silly me, today is actually day 2 post op.
MEDS: Keeping up a regular sked for pain meds as suggested by many here on RS as well as my sister the nurse and the nurses at the surgery center. Basically am taking 1 pain pill OR 1 muscle relaxer every 3-4 hours. Taking both at same time makes me too sleepy AND I don't need both at same time, so alternating seems to do the trick.
MOVEMENT: I'm getting up and walking around the house every 1.5-2 hours. Hubby helps me get up, then I walk around using the walker to keep me steady and so I can walk MORE.
EATING/DRINKING: Drinking lots of water. Had an almond milk smoothie for breakfast and a few prunes (I like them and they help in the BM department). Had some sliced turkey and 1/4 apple for lunch. Dinner will be a light beef and veggie stew.
PICTURES: Don't really have any new pics, cause I was told to stay wrapped up til I go to my first post-op on Monday. Might unwrap at least the binder tomorrow so I can try and see what the scar looks like. I can tell that it's nice and low ;-)
All in all, I feel pretty darn good. I was expecting to feel much worse...VERY pleasantly surprised. Don't know what tomorrow will bring, but so far so good.
HUGS and HEALING to you all ;-)
Day 3 Post Op
30 Jan 2014
3 months post
Hey there gals,
Day three isn't too bad.
MOBILITY: Can get in and out of my adjustable bed on my own now. Still taking walks every hour or so. Soreness in lower back and a little along the incision (similar to c-section). Tummy muscles sore but tolerable with meds.
MEDS: Alternating pain med and muscle relaxer...DEFINITELY do NOT need them both at the same time, so that's good.
EATING: Not super hungry. Almond milk smoothie and vitamins for breakfast; sliced turkey and fruit for lunch; meat sauce and spaghetti squash for dinner.
EMOTIONS: Had a big wave of anxiety this morning...strange. Had woke up early (4am), so I took a pain pill at 8:30 and zonked out til 10:30. When I woke up, I felt much better. Think the adrenalin from surgery is wearing off, hence the anxiety.
PICTURES: Am allowed to unwrap tomorrow, so will take a few pics then. Peeked at things today, what I can see looks pretty good, incision looks nice and low, belly button kinda high (think it'll prob drop some as I heal and stretch/stand back up).
Guess that's all for now. Best wishes to everybody that's healing. (((HUGS)))
DAY 4 - PO
31 Jan 2014
3 months post
Kinda tired today, but that's to be expected, right?
I did sleep really well last nite. Took my meds at 11:00 and zonked out til 6:30 this morning, only got up once to pee.
My main objective for today is to go POO, lol.
I took some MoM yesterday afternoon and today at noon, but nothin.
So now I'm trying a technique shared by AVA 07;
Step 1. Take a dose and a half of MoM
Step 2. Drink a nice sized mug of coffee
Step 3. Drink 32 ozs of water
Step 4. When ya get the urge to go, sit on the pot, lean all the way back so you are resting against the tank (this helps propel BM forward)
Step 5. Take slow deep breaths and do "baby pushes" (no long straining pushes)
I'm on Step 3...wish me luck. I'll let ya know how it goes, lol
On the POSITIVE side...
I took off my binder today for a few minutes to change out the gauze pads for maxi pads. My incision is LOW and shaped like a smiley face!!! Also, it looks like it's gonna be fairly thin...just like my c-section scar used to be. Have a fair amount swelling, but once it goes down, I think my tummy is gonna be FLAT! Will try and post a pic later.
I am definitely GLAD I did this!!! I'm amazed at my body and it's ability to bounce back. I'm kinda "falling in love" with my body...really, for the first time...guess that sounds strange. I just mean that I'm looking at myself thru different eyes these days...and I LIKE what I see. This has not always been the case for me. Better late than never, right?!
Hope everybody out there is doing well. Keep loving yourselves...
DAY 4 PO Pics
31 Jan 2014
3 months post
I'm laying down on the bed, so my hips look pretty wide, UGH. Pretty swollen right now.
Day 5 - Post Op
Hallelujah, my "tummy" woke me up at 1:30am and success...I went POO!
THANK YOU AVA 07, for sharing the method/technique of getting things moving. If you're having troubles in this department, do the steps above...you'll be glad you did!
So even though it's 3am, I am one Happy Camper. The anesthesia is pretty much out of my system I think, and I'm feeling good. The tummy is tight like a drum and numb to the touch. The incision is a little sore in spots, but overall not bad. My low back gets sore when I am up walking around, due to walking hunched. Only using the walker off and on, don't need it all the time, but VERY glad I have it. Hubby will probably be going back to work on Tuesday, so having the walker as a safety measure makes me feel good, not to mention it got me walking right away. And just like when I had my c-section, walking and movement is crucial to good/speedy recovery. Per doctors instructions, I am wearing the binder 24/7, and it makes me feel secure. I'm rather "hippy" so it rides up on the sides. I have a better binder that I think will go over the hips and stay put, so I'm going to ask the doc at my post op on Monday if I can switch to that.
Bottom line is I think I've gotten over the worst days and have turned the corner. Lots of swelling, but it doesn't really bother me...I ALREADY look better than I have in YEARS. I can't wait to see what each new day brings.
HUGS to all those recovering ;-)
Day 6 - PO TT/MR
Observation: Doing little, everyday things makes ya feel "normal"
Little thing #1: Went potty on the toilet with no riser, by myself
Little thing #2: Ate dinner at the dining table, rinsed and put my own dish in the dish washer, and wiped down all counters and stove
Little thing #3: Started doing my drains myself
How it made me feel: Like a prize fighter...Rocky to be exact
(Cue the music they play when he runs the streets of Philly and then up the steps at the town square)
The reason I shared this...
I woke up this morning feeling like an invalid. I'm not overly sore or anything, in fact I feel pretty good. But this morning it really HIT ME, that it's gonna be awhile before I feel "normal" again.
Even though EVERYONE has talked about this and I have read about it numerous times, I didn't really get it. I think it's one of the parts of recovery that you have to experience before you understand it fully.
Anyway, it's day 6, and I'm doing fine. Getting more mobile each day, not needing the walker much. Still not a big appetite, but eating anyways. Not needing to take meds (pain & muscle relaxer) as often. Almost back to normal sleep patterns, hubby slept with me in the bed last nite (he had been sleeping in his study in the recliner). Drainage is lessening considerably, but I don't think enough to get them pulled. I tire pretty easily, of course.
I have my first post-op with my doctor tomorrow, am looking forward to hearing how he thinks I'm doing.
HUGS to you all
1 WEEK - PO TT/MR
Woo hoo, 1 week DONE....and doing GREAT!
Had my first PO appt today. They removed one of the two drains, and expect the other to be removed by Friday, next Monday at the latest. They also removed some of the belly button stitches, but it's still too early to tell what it's gonna look like.
Some STATS you might wanna know:
PAIN: Not too bad. Muscle area of tummy sore but tolerable. Incision stings off and on. Lower back very sore while up and walking, cause I can't straighten all the way up yet.
MOBILITY: Can get up/down out of chairs and in/out bed by myself, SLOWLY and carefully. Walking around quite a bit, NOT using walker at all now. Probably don't really need the toilet riser much longer, it's nice to have though cause of being groggy/unstable during the night.
BATHING/HYGENE: Though I'm cleared to shower, I've chosen to do the sponge bath thing until the other drain comes out. It's fine cause I'm not really doing much to get "dirty". Washed my hair at the sink. Sat down to dry and style my hair.
MEDS: Muscle relaxer every 6-8 hours. Pain pills every 6 hours, think I can switch over to regular Tylenol soon.
ENERGY: GOOD the first half of the day. Need a nap in the afternoon. Getting ready for and going to my PO appt and then a quick lunch out today was VERY tiring.
EMOTIONS: Good so far. Have had a view waves of anxiety, which have subsided now than I'm more mobile and independent. Though I'm still pretty swollen, I really don't mind, cause I look SO MUCH BETTER! I think I can "see" what I might look like when I'm fully healed...so excited.
Overall, I think my recovery is going really well. I am SOOOO GLAD I did this. Taking things one day at a time....feeling GRATEFUL and HAPPY.
HUGS and HEALING everybody ;-)
Second drain coming out Friday morning !!!!!
11 Days - PO TT/MR
I'm so excited
And I just can't hide it....
Got my other drain out this morning...WOO HOO!
My wonderful nurse Bonnie also removed a few stitches and all the tape from my incision. She didn't put more tape on...my doc prefers the incision to remain open to the air to finish healing. So unless it oozes or bleeds, I am to leave it uncovered. She also said everything looks good and for me to come back in two weeks when I'll see the doc.
Ladies, I feel GREAT! So far it looks like I'm healing better than I did with breast reduction. Once the rest of the scabbing comes off and I get cleared to do scar therapy, it will look even better than it does. I think it's going to be a fairly thin and flat scar...I can hardly believe it! I haven't looked this good since I was active duty Air Force (1981-1991). I still have some work to do...lose more weight and tone up the legs and arms...but I feel like NOW, I can do this!
Update of the stats:
PAIN - Less and less each day, very tolerable.
MEDS - one muscle relaxer and one pain pill during the day and one of each at bed time so I can sleep well.
HYGENE- I can shower FULLY now without worrying about the drains, YIPPEE!
MOBILITY - Very good, can do most things all by myself. Not bending over yet, still protecting the core.. Not cleared to do anything yet accept walking, will probably be cleared or more when I see the doc in two weeks.
ENERGY - Good. Some days more tired than others, when that happens, I just sit/lay down. For example, yesterday I was kinda tired so I took a nap in the morning and I the afternoon. Just listening to my body...doing what it wants me to.
EMOTIONS: Honestly, really good. I sooooo expected to be in more pain or distress and I simply am NOT. Other than a few waves of anxiety in the first few days, I have become progressively happier each day. Happier and ever more grateful.
Posting some pics...have some swelling, but who cares, lol. Like I said, I look SO MUCH BETTER...I have absolutely NO COMPLAINTS.
Oh ya, I think there is a "pretty underwear shopping" trip in my future ;-)
HUGS and HEALING to ALL you fantastic, strong and fearless women out there!
2 WEEKS - PO TT/MR
10 Feb 2014
4 months post
WOW, 2 weeks already!
Other than being tired, I feel pretty dang good. Feel like I'm napping a little too much, but hubby says our best healing happens when we sleep.
PAIN: Almost NONE. Yep, you read that right. My back gets sore when I've been up too long, but no real pain in the tummy area. Oh sure, it's tight feeling, but it no longer hurts when I get up and down. It gets a little sore feeling when I've been up awhile, but that's about it. The belly button and incision are a little pinkish/reddish on the edges and numb, and the incision has begun to be rather itchy...guess that means it healing, so that's good.
MEDS: One muscle relaxer about midday and one at night before bed. Pain pills, only as needed which has been one during the day, and one at bedtime. Think I'll be replacing the daytime pain pill with Tylenol this week.
BATHING/SHOWERING: I am able to take a shower all by myself. Turns out I'm using the shower chair to sit on while I dry my hair, NOT in the shower. As for the handheld shower head, it's more hassle than it's worth, it's just easier to do a quicker, stand up shower.
ENERGY: Not too bad. Like I said, I feel like I'm napping a lot. Not gonna worry about that for now. Hubby and I went grocery shopping yesterday....took us longer than normal as I was walking much slower. By the time we got back, put everything away and I drank a protein smoothie, I was POOPED...so what did I do...I NAPPED, lol.
EMOTIONS: Again, REALLY GOOD. Which surprises me. Based on what I've read, I keep expecting to become sad or even a little depressed, but not yet. I have a theory about this though. I think our emotions depend largely on our expectations. I went into this journey not expecting that the surgeries would be a cure or answer to anything. I didn't/don't need answers/cures...I'm not sick! I simply wanted help trimming/shaping a couple areas of my body that were slowing me down and draining my energy. I truly DO like my overall shape...my fullness...my womanhood. So when I look in the mirror now, swelling and all, I see a HAPPY, more energetic woman...and I am GRATEFUL. And this gratitude carries the day.
So, I shall let this amazing body do it's thing...HEAL itself...in it's own time...at it's own pace.
2 WEEK - PO TT/MR PICS
10 Feb 2014
4 months post
Couple pics of my tummy and belly button. Both are a little red. Neither hurt but are itchy. I'm not putting any bandages or gauze on them. My doc prefers them to be left uncovered, feels that is best for healing (as long as they aren't oozing, which they are not).
Any thoughts as to how they look?
Hello Swell Hell - I don't like you
12 Feb 2014
4 months post
Ok, so I've had swelling ever since surgery really. But today, i feel especially puffy. It's mostly all above the incision, the upper abdomen.
And it feels tight like a drum. Because it's uniformly puffy and tight, I assume it's just normal swell hell.
I'm not eating high sodium foods, concentrating on protein and veggies and a little fruit (apples, oranges and prunes).
Am also massaging tummy each evening with Bio Oil, to encourage good circulation.
So ladies, any suggestions of getting thru swell hell?
"MY PUFFY VALENTINE, SWEET COMIC VALENTINE"
14 Feb 2014
4 months post
Well, I'm the most spoiled gal ever.
Hubby knew that Swell Hell was making me a little blue, so to cheer me up, I woke up from a nap to find this...
NOT Letting Swell Hell Get the Best of Me
16 Feb 2014
4 months post
I woke up feeling MUCH better today. Not sure exactly why, but it's probably due to the fact that I've been sleeping well and napping when my body tells me to, as well as taking Bromelain and Arnica 3 times a day. Of course, I can't discount the obvious factor, TIME. Nothing can do for you what time does...it heals all wounds. I will be 3 weeks PO exactly tomorrow. Many gals here on this wonderful forum have testified that somewhere between week 3 and 4, "normalcy" really starts to return, and I am in agreement. More normal is a good way to describe how I've started to feel.
So with this said, I've decided that I'm just gonna "roll with the punches" to quote my mom. Swell Hell can throw whatever she wants at me. Cause me and my wonderful new body are strong enough to take it and WE will WIN, lol.
One thing I have been doing since the swelling reared it's ugly head, is massaging my whole tummy with Bio Oil once a day. Usually, every afternoon or evening, I go get he oil, lay down on the bed, and gently apply the oil and do my own lymphatic type massage. The result is that it relaxes and calms me, hydrates my skin, and I think it promotes good circulation. Especially the upper tummy, it feels less tight. I also think it help ease the swelling some. Bottom line, it's been the best way I've found to mentally and physically "battle" Swell Hell.
I guess that's all for now. I have a follow up with my doc this Tuesday, and so we'll see what he thinks. Near as I can tell, all is well. Will post new pics after the appointment, along with any feedback he gives me.
Take care all my RS ladies. No matter where you are in the process, know that you are strong and capable of GREAT things. HUGS ;-)
Happy Day ;-)
18 Feb 2014
4 months post
Had my PO appt today (early one month).
Doc said I'm looking good and healing well, he is pleased and I go back again in a month. Normally it would be at 3 month mark, but he's keeping an eye on me cause I rejected stitches after the breast reduction. Good and cautious doc, just love him!
SURGERY: It took approx 2 hours, and he removed 9-10 lbs of skin/tissue...WOWZERS ! Scale is showing 5.5lbs, but I am still very swollen, so that probably accounts for the rest of the weight (I hope ;-/)
DIET: Eating clean - protein, veggies and fruit and LOTS of water. Gotta keep decent amount of protein to aide the healing process. Most mornings I have an Almond milk smoothie with Hemp seeds (high in protein) and all my vitamins/supplements. Lunch is either a fruit/veggie smoothie with Hemp seeds, or large apple w/honey flavored almond butter (yum). Dinner is some type protein, veggie or green salad, and sometimes brown rice or sweet potato.
MOBILITY/EXERCISE: He cleared me to WALK only, until he sees me in a month. Gonna start with a mile and work my way up to two.
MEDS/PAIN: Pain is pretty low, really just sore, at the end of the day mostly, and controlled with Tylenol or Advil. Still taking a muscle relaxer most days in early afternoon to ease stiffness in lower back and tummy. Weaning off pain med (hydrocodone), only take it at bed time if I'm sore, helps me sleep better as I am still sleeping on my back.
CG/BINDER: Doc cleared me to switch to Spanx type compression garment,
Woo Hoo! I went right out today and bought two (one black, one nude) Spanx Spoil Me Cotton High Waisted Panty. Ladies, I LOVE this garment! It doesn't feel like cotton, more like a light weight polyester but with good compression. I actually wear it over a seamless panty, like a high-waisted panty girdle. It provides a med-firm compression, yet is comfy and flexible. I don't feel like an overstuffed sausage, lol. I will likely wear my binder during exercise or at nite...we'll see.
EMOTIONS: Feeling really pretty happy. Swelling stinks, but it's just part of this process, so I'm "embracing the puffiness" with a grateful heart.
Will post pics next week at the 4 week/1month mark.
Happy healing and LOTS of hugs ;-)
4 WEEK TT//4 MONTH BR - PO UPDATES
26 Feb 2014
4 months post
WOW, it's been 4 WEEKS since my TT and 4 MONTHS since my breast reduction!
I'm doing just great. This update is gonna be SHORT and SWEET, cause really not much to say...ALL good news.
BREASTS: Fully settled out, shape and size. Have a little side boobage, as I figured, cause I didn't do lipo (my choice). I LOVE the size 40C. Am wearing the Bali Comfort Revolution bras exclusively. Though I LOVE the look of the underwire bras, I really don't like wearing them...quit several years ago, not sure I'll start back up. I'm a comfort first kinda gal, and these Bali's fit the bill.
TUMMY: Well, first off, I am healing so well and so quickly from the TT/MR, I can hardly believe it. The incision has been trouble free...and I am right now at the point where my breast started "rejecting stitches"...and there is NO SIGN of this! I'm ECSTATIC. Plus, pain/discomfort level is really minimal now. I take a muscle relaxer most days, toward the late afternoon, as it helps with the discomfort of swelling. Only taken 1/2 of a pain pill a few nite's over the last week, Aleve actually does a better job. Seems like the swelling is diminishing some, it's the worst on days when I'm busiest I think. Not really focusing on it too much, got better things to do/think about. Wearing binder when at home and at nite still, and Spanx when I'm out and about. My RS bestie AVA07, has recently ditched her CG/binder, switched to Spanx in the daytime and just panties for sleeping...she is 6 weeks PO...think I may copy her, SOON!
Posting new pics...
Breast incisions are fading. Tummy incision looks like it's gonna be nice and thin, woo hoo! I am VERY happy with my results. NOT perfect...but OH SO MUCH BETTER, RIGHT?
My plan now is to continue on my weight loss journey. So far, I have lost 40 lbs, current weight is 204. I still have swelling, think that accounts for 2-4 lbs. Working on 30 more. Once I get where I want, I'm going to assess what revisions if any I may want...possibly lipo to hips/thighs/side boobs. 'Course, who knows, after I lose weight, may not need ANYTHING! ;-D
HUGS, HEALING N HAPPINESS
Tummy Tuck/4 Weeks PO
26 Feb 2014
4 months post
Little bit of a NEW UNDIES fashion show TOO ;-D
A TOUGH/SAD WEEKEND
Dear RS friends. My amazing, sweet hubby's 90 yr old mom suffered a series of strokes over the last few days. It began on Friday morning, with a trip to the ER. There was nothing they could really do for her at the hospital, so Hospice was called in and she was transferred to one of their facilities, and is being made comfortable.
I've spent the weekend trying to help my WONDERFUL, strong husband begin to deal with the very likely imminent passing of his dear, sweet mother. He lost his dad 6 years ago and took over for his dad as head of the family and, as promised to his dad, took on the responsibility of seeing to his mom and 4 (very high maintenance) sisters. My friends, he is tired and struggling, at it breaks my heart. His momma is the one person, besides me, who has loved and cheered him on in ALL he does. Losing his dad was tough...losing his momma is going to be deeply painful. I can bear many things, but seeing him is pain is particularly difficult.
Sorry for going on...thanks for listening...Hope you all are doing ok.
Thank you all
Hey there RS friends,
My mother in law has had quite a turn around. After spending the last 5 days in a hospice facility, sleeping nearly round the clock and receiving various medicines to help calm her, she began to regain her speech and recognize family members. Today, the doctor released her to go home with a family member (my sister in law, a former nurse), under Hospice care and support, to continue recovering. Though it is uncertain how much capability she will regain, we are hoping for the best. She will definitely no longer be able to live in assisted living, she will need 24 hour supervision/oversight. For now it will be at my sister in laws home. Depending on how she does/improves will determine where she will need to be long term. We were told by the doctor that for the next 30 days, she has a significant possibility of follow on stroke(s).
BUT, for now, we have her back! All 5 of her children are here in town now and spending time with her, as well as several grand children. So we will wait and see and hope for the best.
Thank you all for your well wishes and all the amazing positive vibes sent my way...IT WORKED (at least that's what I believe)! Me and hubby are so relieved.
LOVE and HUGS to you all :-DSuzy
GREAT BIG THANKS AND HUGS
You all are the most WONDERFUL woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Your love and generosity of spirit lift me up. I passed on you beautiful wishes to my hubby and he is touched.
Hope all of your worlds are healthy and happy... HUGS
LOVE and HEALING VIBES WORK!
11 Mar 2014
5 months post
My mother in law is doing GREAT! She is now living with her daughter a Sandy, who is a retired nurse. She has begun physical therapy and is getting up and down and walking around with her walker, has a great appetite and has had lots of visitors to cheer her on. Looks like she will be with us for some time to come!
Though this event was a bit traumatic (for all of us), it ended up being a "wake up call"...it identified the need for a different living situation for my mother in law. So grateful that it wasn't worse and that we got the chance to make the necessary changes.
Thanks again for ALL THE LOVE...YOU ROCK ladies! :-DSuzy
Paying it Forward
11 Mar 2014
5 months post
Well I did it....CLEANED OUT THE CLOSET of everything that doesn't fit anymore.
Though a lot no longer fit, I had a whole section of tops/sweaters that do.
Aaaaaand, it turns out that one of my sister in laws, who was in town visiting my mother in law, can wear ALL of the clothes I no longer can. Because she drove, she was able to take them all back with her! I was so happy, cause she is so sweet and kind. She has had a rough couple of years, she lost her hubby of 38 years to lung cancer, two years ago. But recently, a man she has known for over 10 years, confessed to her he has been in love with her this whole time. So now, she has love and a whole new wardrobe!!!
Life is amazing sometimes :-DSuzy
TT/MR - 2 MONTH PO
20 Mar 2014
5 months post
Doing very well ladies.
- SURGERY FOLLOW-UP: Saw my doc this week and he's VERY happy with my healing, incision and tummy both look great. He also told me I can do pretty much whatever exercise I can tolerate, except ABs, which have to wait til 3 months. The exterior incision is healed fine, just need to wait the extra month to ensure interior healing is complete. We talked about potential lipo to finish shaping up my breasts (sides), and to contour my hips and thighs. I told him my desire/plan to work on losing 20-30lbs more as well as tone up. He agreed, and added that it's prob best to wait at least 6 months PO from TT/MR before doing anything.
- INCISION: ALL healed up and closed! Scar is still red, but flat and pretty thin. For therapy I have been rubbing coconut oil on the incision and whole tummy, every nite before bed. (FYI; coconut oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties, so it calms down the end of day swollen/inflamed tummy muscles.). Also, I just started doing silicone strips; I put them on in the morning and wear them all day. They are supposed to flatten and lighten the scar...gonna try them for a month, will let ya know if I have any success.
- SWELLING: YUP, still some at the end of every day and a little more the days I walk/exercise. Doesn't really bother me much.
- COMPRESSION GARMENT: Have switched to Spanx type compression/support garment completely, daytime ONLY. I don't wear compression at nite anymore. I asked the doc, he said after week 6-8, compression no longer required, it's a matter of choice.
- FOLLOW-ON SURGERY PREP: So, I've decided my target is October for follow up, contouring lipo. This gives me 6 months to get as much weight off as possible (hubby says make a goal of at least 20lbs) AND work on muscle toning. I'm seriously thinking of doing kick-boxing where my hubby takes Taekwondo. He says there are lots of gals that go, EVERY age, shape and size! The instructor is very motivating and supportive. Going two days a week can really have good results. Anybody ever done kickboxing? Any pointers/suggestions? Gonna try to do some swimming this summer as well, love being in the water, and it's hotter than HECK here in south Texas.
So I guess I've got my work cut out for me. I like having a goal. And putting a timeline I place will help keep me focused and working. And if everything goes well, I'll have a whole new bod by the end of this year! It's really fitting too, cause hubby and I will be celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary this November!
P.S. Will take and post pics tomorrow (I'm swollen right now).
HUGS, HEALING and lots of LOVE
TT/MR - 2 Month PO PICS
21 Mar 2014
5 months post
Here are my 2 month pics. Some are bathroom lighting, some daylight so you can see incision healing progress. HUGS :-DSuzy
Hey there ladies,
SHORT TT update:
- Incision is healing fine, getting thinner and softer all the time, not much change in color. Massaging incision and whole tummy daily with coconut oil...therapeutic physically and mentally.
- Swelling, daily still, by the end of the day...some days more than others, but honestly I'm not that bothered by it. It's only been 10 weeks and I'm in this for the long haul. Have other things I'm focusing on regarding the "whole new me".
My mom went into the hospital, then on to rehab and is now home, all in the span of the last 3 weeks. She has two serious chronic illnesses, one of which put her in the hospital and is likely the one which will take her from us. She has been battling this illness and her others valiantly for the last five years. Friends, she is tired and her body, it seems, is in it's final fight. She is home, and we are trying to keep her there as long as is feasible, as this is her wish. We will see her doctor this Monday (14th) and talk about plans and options (Hospice/palliative care/final care). We are all hoping that this time for her is pain and fear free...we will do EVERYTHING possible to ensure this, her doctor is great and knows this and is in total support. My sister the nurse, and I will be caring for her, while she is home at least. This will take me away from my own home and hubby A LOT, but he is, AS USUAL, in total support...MY ROCK. My brother is coming into town to visit with her for a week, so this will be nice and good for her.
REQUEST: I can use ALL the good vibes you wonderful ladies can muster to help me get thru this...feeling kinda CHALLENGED at the moment.
Thank you ALL
12 Apr 2014
6 months post
Hey sweet gals,
Thanks for all the beautiful words of encouragement. Mom is pretty much sleeping round the clock and not eating much. She is comfortable and peaceful. We are visiting with her and reminiscing. Looking forward to my brothers coming this week.
I'm taking care of myself. Eating well and resting as much as I can.
OH, BY THE WAY, I had to do my measurements to try and figure out a bathing suit....
My bust is now a 38C ! I've been a 40-something for YEARS!
Tummy and hips haven't changed since week 8 PO, but I haven't gained any weight. Given the current circumstances, I'll take that as a WIN!
Thanks SO MUCH, once again, for being here. Coming on RS is actually quite helpful. I LOVE seeing everyone's progress...it cheers me up...and provides a nice distraction (is that bad to say? :-/ ).
Love ya BUNCHES
15 Apr 2014
6 months post
Saw her primary doctor yesterday. Mom asked to be put on hospice. Cried and hugged her doctor goodbye...Dr Robin Eickhoff is an amazing doc, we could not have asked for more.
Mom is home and under the oversight and care of Odyssey Hospice here in San Antonio...a terrific organization. One of my sisters or I are with her round the clock. My two brothers are coming into town over the next few days.
She isn't eating, drinking very little (hasn't been for awhile actually). She is comfortable and we are hoping she can stay home til the end.
Hope all is well with you awesome ladies,
Not much new
24 Apr 2014
6 months post
Not much new to report, recovery-wise.
TT/MR: TT is healed up fine. Incision/scar is flattening out nicely. I continue to do nightly tummy massages with coconut oil, think this helps with the flattening/softening of the incision. Color of incision is about the same, pinkish-red, doesn't bother me. If it fades, great, if not, don't really care. No change in weight. Haven't exercised at all really for the last three weeks...this is undoubtedly why no further weight loss. Just not concerned about it for now...eating pretty clean and not GAINING weight right now is all I can manage.
Breast Reduction: Continues to be my greatest decision EVER! I did go get a proper bra fitting. In a wired/molded cup bra I am a 38D. In a soft/non-formed/sports bra I'm 38 C/D. What a joy! I realize NOW, that pre-surgery I measured a 40 DDD/E in a soft form bra (which is all I could tolerate wearing)....I can't imagine what size I was in a wired/molded cup bra...AHHHH! Makes my joy even greater. I simply LOVE my "new girls" and I'm so GRATEFUL I was able to get this surgery.
Mom: My brothers both came to visit mom. It was really nice and mom seemed to really enjoy it. It gave both brothers a "good bye".
Side note: brothers kept hugging me saying "my skinny sister".... These words have NEVER been uttered by any of my siblings, my WHOLE life! I was always the "chubby, happy sister that baked cookies". Well, I still bake cookies...just NOT so chubby :-D
Guess that's all for now...gonna post a pic of me in my new "two-piece" bathing suit when I get it in the mail.
HUGS to all my RS sisters...MUCH love to you all!
Weight gain and mind set
30 Apr 2014
6 months post
Try as I might, I haven't been successful in NOT gaining weight during my current situation. Looks like about 3-4 pounds I've gained. Overall, still eating good. It's likely the "mindless" snacking on a few chips and my "arch nemesis" peanut butter M&Ms! I don't allow them in MY house, but they are at mom/sisters place...which is where I spend the better part of my time these days (5 days a week, 10-14 hours a day). I bring good food with me (protein and fruit)...the chips n candy are just "emotional snacking" :-(((
GOTTA get a grip!
Mom continues to decline. Had a hospital bed delivered yesterday....she's not getting out of bed now. Very weak. Sleeping 18-20 out of 24 hours a day. Keeping her comfortable, she's on extended release morphine around the clock. Makes her "goofy", we've been laughing a lot, she keeps saying really random things. As long as she's happy, right?
Oh ya, got my two-piece swimsuit...YUKKO! NOT well made at all, sent it back. DO NOT order a swimsuit from "Swimsuits for All". Decided to order a Halter-style Tankini from Lands End that has gotten good reviews. If it turns out to be a good one for me, will take pics of that.
Sorry these posts aren't my normal "happy/positive" ones. I'm doing okay. Trying NOT to get to freaked out about the weight...
Re-focusing and trying to stay more mindful of ALL of my eating.
HUGS to ALL you great ladies preparing for and recovering from your surgeries.
Today was Goodbye
My mom passed away this morning, at home, my sisters and I were with her.
There was no pain....except ours.
12 May 2014
7 months post
To all my dear sweet RS ladies
For the many warm wishes, prayers and heartfelt expressions of love.
This last week has been a trial on my spirit, and your support has been remarkable and uplifting.
Today we went thru mothers things...
Her clothes will go to the Battered Women and Children's Center of San Antonio, she would like that. I kept a favorite winter cardigan that I helped her pick out years ago...in the hopes it will provide a warm hug next winter, when I need it most. Some furniture and linens went to a woman my sister works with who recently had to begin her life anew (she was kicked out of her home by an abusive ex with nothing but the clothes in her back).
All of her photos came home with me, and when I am able, will go thru them and put them together in a scrapbook for the family.
The days are tolerable, keeping busy...it's the quiet of the night, when there is too much time to think. Hadn't realized how much time I spent thinking and worrying about her these last few years.
Time...yes time is what is needed.
Decided to start Jazzercise. LOVE music and for me, it's easier to do than Zumba. Plus there is a Jazzercise studio about 10 minutes from my house. Signing up on the 15th, they've got a special running on the start up fee. Gotta get the body moving in a positive direction....hoping the mind will follow.
MUCH love and thanks again to you all, HUGS :-DSuzy
TT/MR 4 Month PO Update
28 May 2014
7 months post
Have been getting myself back on track over the last two weeks. Have cleaned up my act eating wise; eating protein, veggies and fruits and increased my water intake. Joined Jazzercise, have gone three times this week already, and I'm really liking it. The ladies are terrific and supportive and the routines are really great. It's changed quite a bit since I last saw it. It's now a combination cardio, Pilates, strength/weights and a little kick-boxing (without the bag). The music is awesome, which REALLY keeps me going. It'll be awhile before I get the routines down, but no worries, cause I'm in this for the long haul. It's going to be part of my life for NOW ON!
Update on my TT/MR:
SCAR/INCISION: Nice and flat but still pretty bright pink/red. I may get a revision towards the end of this year. Depends on how much weight I lose and how things look at that point. If so, I'll do it the same time I do my little revision on my breast reduction (little dog ear and side boobage). All in all, VERY happy with my result.
WEIGHT: Happy to report, I have lost 4 of the 6 pounds I gained during the time I was seeing to my mom. Side note, thought I was DONE having periods...haven't had one in ten months, and BAM it hits last week (part of the reason I delayed starting Jazzercise til this week). My sister said this happened to her too, so hoping it's a fluke and I'm really mostly done with them. It may have accounted for 1-2 of the pounds I gained, not sure.
EMOTIONS: Pretty good. Mothers Day was a little hard, but my AMAZING hubby n kids made a beautiful, healthy brunch for me and I watched movies on the couch (it was raining here).
1. Weight gain, even as little as 5 pounds is VERY noticeable and uncomfortable NOW! This has NEVER been the case in the past for me. I don't know about y'all, but THIS makes me very happy. It makes me more confident that I will NOT gain a bunch of weight back and undo/ruin all this work.
2. The removal of the extra skin/fat (mommy flap), as well as the breast reduction, has made exercising SO MUCH EASIER!!! Though I'm not moving at lightning speed or anything, lol...I AM moving with much more ease and grace, and NOT like a bull in a china shop. I haven't fallen down once, bahahahaha !
3. I feel TRULY hopeful for my future. I believe I will be healthy and active for the rest of my life. These surgeries have given me a RE-START and I am INCREDIBLY thankful and grateful...to my doctor, you wonderful women here on RS, and most of all my ROCK - my hubby, the man who makes ALL things possible for me.
I'll take some new pics tomorrow morning (I'm flattest then :-D), including one in my new Tankini bathing suit...NOT quite ready for a bikini/two piece, next year maybe.
Hope everyone is doing well,
GREAT BIG HUGS :-DSuzy
UPDATE: ALMOST 5 Months PO TT/MR, 8 months PO Breast Reduction
16 Jun 2014
8 months post
Hey there. Finally got around to taking a few new pics. Not a huge difference in look I don't think. But, feeling GREAT!
SCAR/INCISIONS: Breast reduction scars are lightening a LOT! TT/MR about the same. As you can see in the pics, there are some dog ear issues with one breast and one side of the TT/MR. Im working on toning and shaping, so we'll see how things look toward the end of summer, when I have a follow up with my PS. Will get a consult on revision of the sides of both breasts and the hips and thighs. Will likely be a combination of lipo and extension of incisions (breast and TT). Am hoping to do the revisions in mid Oct or early Nov, so I'm healed before the holidays and go into 2015 DONE with all procedures.
EMOTIONS: Better each day. Miss momma but keeping busy and staying positive. Know she'd be proud of me working hard at getting healthy. My daughter who lives in Virginia came for a visit and we had a lot of fun...just what the doctor ordered. She went thru an emotionally devastating divorce a while back but is now dating a really nice young man who is WONDERFUL to her. Such a relief...it's amazing, now matter how old your kids are, when THEY HURT, YOU HURT, right? Anyhoo, things are going well, and I remain thankful and happy.
EXERCISE: Jazzercise is going GREAT. Have been going three time a week. Am kicking it up a notch, have challenged myself to go 5 times a week from now until my 52nd birthday, 4 August (7 weeks)...My own personal BOOT CAMP. Would appreciate any PERSEVERANCE vibes y'all can send my way.
Guess that's all for now. Will check in on your profiles to see how y'all are doing. Thanks for checking on me...you keep me motivated and focused on what matters.
BIG HUGS :-DSuzy
21 Jun 2014
8 months post
Just spent the last hour or so reading profile updates....
PERSPECTIVE is everything. One woman's' "oh my, I need to be smaller/thinner/flatter" is another woman's "ideal result". Ya know what I mean?
We are often too HARD on ourselves. Pick ourselves apart. I really believe it's NOT good to compare our results TOO closely with others. We each have our own, unique attributes and bodies.
Reason I mention this: I've been a bit obsessed with the scale recently. It isn't budging much. But I've been compliment after compliment from family, friends and workout classmates. Conclusion; I'm losing inches NOT pounds. Gaining muscle...THIS is GOOD!
So, I'm gonna try NOT to obsessively weigh myself and concentrate on the results I SEE in the mirror.
Have a nice weekend :-DSuzy
THANK YOU !!!
21 Jun 2014
8 months post
I am touched no RELIEVED to hear all the comments that feel the same.
It's good to know that I am not CRAZY and ON TRACK with the norm.
LOVE LOVE LOVE you ladies...dear friends here on Real self.
BIGGEST of HUGS to you all !
Came across these old pics of me the other day. Got me to thinking and chatting with hubby. I discovered a few things that really made me take pause:
- Aug -Nov 2011: I started ACTIVELY making changes in my diet and life. I began with portion control and monitoring what I was actually eating....Instead of mindlessly eating my way thru the day, with NO recognition or accountability. Began eating primarily protein and veggies/fruits, organic as much as possible. Only ate treats on weekends. I literally didn't have the courage to get on the scale yet...I have no idea what I weighed. Hubby says he thinks I was likely around 255-260 !!!!
- Dec 2011: Finally got on scale, 248, UGGH!
- Jan 2012: Read up on artificial sweeteners, YIKES! Quit them all together. Only had Agave or real sugar from this point on. Kept trying to eat sensibly and control crazy sweets binges...no other BIG changes.
- Feb-Dec 2012 - weight stayed at 240
- Jan-Oct 2013: This is when I began to FINALLY get serious. Started limiting and/or eliminating foods that I thought were giving me troubles; dairy, gluten, peanuts, all forms grain (except brown rice or quinoa). Weight dropped too 223!
- Oct 2013 - NOW: Had breast reduction, then TT/MR...BOTH of which helped me begin exercising for REAL and CHANGE MY LIFE FOREVER!
- It's NOT always about the BIG changes. Sometimes it's the incremental and mindful daily choices we make.
- These surgeries can help us in ways we NEVER thought they would.
PO 6 Month - TT/MR
28 Jul 2014
9 months post
Not a lot to report since 4 month PO. As you'll see by pics, no real change. Scar a little lighter. Shape is roughly the same.
Working out 4-5 days a week, even added a once a week "boot camp" session for the next four weeks. Eating clean, with an occasional piece of chocolate for my psyche. Weight keeps fluctuating between 205-207 :-(
I KNOW I'm getting muscle, but "Jeez Louise" (as my mom used to say), you'd think my weight would have dropped at least a few pounds in the last 8 weeks!
I KNOW the scale is not the only/real judge of health or fitness, but as a woman, I sure use it as a guide at least. Trying not to let the scale rule my world (or mind)...a little depressed, though, I must admit. Doesn't help my bday is coming up, and it's CLEAR I won't make my weight goal.
That said...trying to focus on the long haul. Focusing on keeping up my new, healthy lifestyle.
I see my PS on 21 Aug, will talk about my revisions - lipo to the hips/low back and thighs, hopefully sked for first week of Oct. I'm realistic, I know he can't fix everything, but I'd like some contouring (I think you can see why in my pics).
Hope all is well with all you wonderful ladies out there is RS-land
THIRD/LAST PHASE OF MAKEOVER SCHEDULED !!!
21 Aug 2014
10 months post
Happy news to report:
FIRST: I scheduled my last surgery for 29 Sept! Saw my PS today to review my breast and TT results and he was very happy (and so am I) with how I look. So we talked about what would be best to finish "shaping me up". He said lipo would get me what I was looking for, YIPPEE! I really didn't want to have to do an incision revision (extension) on the TT. As I have said before, my desire and expectation is not that of a "bikini bod", but a "trimmed up version of me". I like my overall shape and curves, just want to smooth them out a little. So, the plan is to do contour Lipo of the hips/love handles, inner and outer thighs, bra roll area, and axilary (side boobage). What's REALLY awesome is he's only charging me for 3 areas! He explained he does the bra roll area in the back as part of the hip/love handle area because it makes the final look better AND, he is doing the side boobage FREE! I think this is for two reasons; one, this is my third surgery and two, that I sent my sister in law in and she just had a breast reduction by him and is thrilled. Regardless, it's VERY nice and shows his professionalism...wanting to get the final product to look it's best. One of the MANY reasons I chose him.
SECOND: I have dropped a few more pounds, YEA! I am now three pounds away from ONE-derland (weighing in the 100's). All the Jazzercise must be kicking in. That, and I have REALLY cut/been watching the sugar very closely. Eating protein, fresh veggies and fruits, and a little brown rice occasionally. Will keep you posted when I hit ONE-derland :-)
Will take and post new "before" front, side and back photos soon.
I am so excited to FINISH what I've started! Thanks for listening ladies. Much love to you all!
FEE UPDATE & FEAR/QUESTIONS
28 Aug 2014
10 months post
I updated the fee/cost to reflect my third and upcoming surgery. That way, someone looking can see cost for, what I consider, a COMPLETE Mommy Makeover; Breast reduction/lift, TT/MR and Liposuction/sculpture.
Okay, so now for what is probably TOTALLY irrational...
For some reason, this lipo surgery has me more nervous than the breast reduction or TT/MR. It just seems like such a strange procedure. I've watched animated videos depicting the procedure (don't have the stomach for "live/actual" video), so I understand what is done. But seriously, it seems so, well, for lack of a better word, CREEPY. Sticking a rod/cannula into the skin and sucking stuff out. EWWWW!
Guess I'll just have to accept that this is just how it's done :-p
So, what I need is some feedback on recovery:
1. Pain wise, how does it compare to breast reduction or TT? ( I gotta believe it's not as bad)
2. I know there will be bruising and swelling. (My doc provides supplements for both, so I'm hoping it's not too bad.). How long does the bruising and swelling usually last?
3. I've heard about "hard spots", is there anything I can do to prevent or soften/get rid of them?
4. As the skin and tissue "adjusts into place", is there anything I do to help it?
5. Any tips on aiding in the recovery?
Any of you wonderful ladies out there who can help, I REALLY appreciate it.
Thanks bunches, :-DSuzy
Last Surgery - Reschedule
30 Aug 2014
10 months post
Well gals, seems I've been pushing my wonderful body a little too hard, and it REBELLED!
I have had gallbladder flare ups off and on for the last year and a half. It gets angry and hurts like the dickens. Usually I can take the flare ups, but yesterday, I had an attack that sent me to the ER...crying! OMG, thought I was gonna die. They ran blood tests and did an ultra sound...confirmed my gallbladder was indeed inflamed and I have gallstones. Most people just go ahead and let them yank it out, but I REALLY don't want to do that, if at all possible. My mom and sister both had theirs out, and then proceeded to have LOTS of other digestive track and kidney issues. So, they gave me the option of treating the infection/inflammation with antibiotics (and pain pills, cause it's sore as heck), and keep an eye on it. Plus, I will follow up with a surgeon to get his thoughts/recommendations this week.
I don't know, but I really think my body is telling me to ease up...cut back on the HEAVY workouts (5 days a week, summertime heat), HYDRATE, and watch even more closely what I eat. AND, that I should give myself some more time before STRESSING IT OUT with another surgery.
So, gonna be cautious, take care of my body and resked my surgery for 1 Dec. That gives me three more months to get this gallbladder in control and just get strong in general.
Hope y'all are well and taking GOOD care of yourselves. HUGS :-DSuzy
GALLBLADDER won't wait
3 Sep 2014
11 months post
I ended back up in the ER on Monday nite in the worst pain I can ever remember having. After another ultrasound and an MRI, turns out I had a stone stuck in the bile duct. Thoe entire pancreas, gallbladder and bile duct was inflamed and rocking and rolling my abdomen...a NOT in a good way.
So, they admitted me, did endoscopic surgery to remove the blockage-stones yesterday. Today the gall bladder has to come out.
Trying to think on positive side: I'm OUT OF PAIN, neither my gallbladder or pancreas ruptured, the infection/inflammation is under control, and once the gallbladder comes out, I should be doing fine.
As for future lipo surgery, well, it's just gonna have to WAIT. I'm canceling for now. GOT to get this body strong and healthy again.
Will keep ya posted. Hope y'all are feeling well. :-DSuzy
HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL
5 Sep 2014
11 months post
HOME...After two trips to the ER for gallbladder attacks (last Friday and this past Monday), the second of which they kept me. Turned out I not only tried to pass a gallstone, but also had acute pancreatitis and inflamed common bile duct!!!! Ladies, this was the MOST PAINFUL THING OF MY LIFE! Made the TT/MR recovery seem like a breeze.
So, two surgeries, two days in a row. First was endoscopic to remove and clear the bile duct and explore pancreas. The second was the laparoscopic gallbladder removal. Seems both went fine, NO complications. Except now I have three new holes/scars on my brand new belly :-(((.
So I'm home. a EXTREMELY sore and tired. Gonna be a while before I feel normal. Just glad it's over. HUGS :-DSuzy
Starting to feel like a new day...
8 Sep 2014
11 months post
What a difference a few days can make. Though my abdomen remains a bit swollen and sore, seems like a lot of the gas from the laparoscopic surgery is either being absorbed or expelled (TMI, I KNOW). Still tired, but not napping as much. Still trying to go POO also. Stopped taking pain med the second day home, but was on Dilaudid in hospital :-/. Eating soft food and fluids. Took MoM yesterday, twice. Will take some more tonite before bed. Crossing fingers. Go back to surgeon for follow-up on Wednesday to get the staples out.
Surgeon said it'll take a few months to recover, so I resked (tentatively) my lipo surgery for 5 Jan. That'll be four months recovery time, so it should be fine. I'm a pretty quick healer and, USUALLY....pretty healthy.
Sidenote: I've lost 5 pounds....that'll happen when you can't tolerate anything but liquids for a week! A forced fast, lol.
The result is I weigh 195.5...I'm in ONE-DERLAND!!!
That's all for now. Stay well ladies and be good to yourselves...you deserve it
GB SURGERY UPDATE
10 Sep 2014
11 months post
Saw the surgeon today, pulled out my staples, everything else is fine. Low straining or exercising for at least 3 weeks. Have to follow up with my primary care doc next week...no doubt will give me dietary instructions. Funny thing is, I've already been eating the right way for the last three years. Gallstones were already there...and it's very difficult to get rid of them. This, plus a biological anomaly with my pancreatic duct and bile duct, made this a "fait au complis".
In any case, will have to be EXTREMELY vigilant about NO bad oils/fats (corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil etc) in my diet. There are so many foods with theses things in them. This all good, cause eating clean and right helps EVERYTHING!
That's all for now, HUGS :-DSuzy
Back to Jazzercise Today!!!
Got back to Jazzercise today, WHOOP! I did low impact, but made it thru the ENTIRE class! Felt pretty good, was being careful of the abdomen (per docs instructions). I'm okay'ed to go 3 days a week for the first few weeks, then I can add in a fourth/fifth day when I feel up to it.
Just glad to be getting back to my normal routine.
Coming up on my 9 TT/PO soon, will post some picks soon.
I FINISHED cleaning out my closet...got rid of all the rest of my "roomy/fat" clothes! BIG step for me...a sign I FINALLY feel confident that I will keep the weight off. Passed on the clothes to a dear friend who needed them. So it was a good feeling all the way around.
Also went SHOPPING...bought my first pair of "skinny" jeans, a few form fitting tops, and some heeled "booties" (shoe boots). AAAND....
Because hubby and I are celebrating our 20th anniversary, he said we need to do something special. I have wanted to go to New York City to see the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center since I was a little girl. Hubby said "Let's do it"! So, I hopped on the Internet, got our plane & hotel reservations made and looked for tickets to the lighting. We are set for our trip Dec 2-5. We will be seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and going to a Private dinner/cocktail party/tree lighting (Birdseye view) at a restaurant at Rockefeller Center. Planning on a walk thru Central Park, a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art and LOTS of people watching & window shopping :-D Color me EXCITED!!!
Still on track for my next surgery, scheduled for 5 Jan. Working on dropping a little more weight before hand. Lost 6 pounds after the gallbladder surgery/fiasco, so far it's staying off. Would like to lose at least 5 more. Gonna be eating CLEAN and careful from now til then. Will allow for a LITTLE splurging on holidays and our trip...but hard core the rest of the time.
Hope all you gals are doing good and taking care of yourselves...
9 Month PO TT/MR, 1 Year PO Breast Reduction
It's been a bit. I'm doing well. It's been 8 weeks since my emergency gallbladder surgery and I'm feeling MUCH better. Been back to Jazzercise for 3 weeks, 3 times a week. Next week I'm going to up it to 4 times.
It's been a whole YEAR since my makeover journey began, hard to believe. My breast reduction is a resounding success for the most part. I am also VERY happy with my tummy tuck results. I look back at the before pics and can hardly believe it.
Am looking forward to my lipo surgery in Jan. As you can see in the pics, there is a little extra flab on the sides of my breasts and my hips are a little lumpy. Lipo to these areas and a little contouring of my outer and inner thighs, and I should get the shape I've been dreaming of.
I'm so grateful to have been able to get all this done. It's truly been a "restart" of sorts. I realize wholeheartedly that not many women get to do this, so I am going to do my best to make all of this worth. I am going to continue my life changes and take good care of myself...stay healthy...and of course, OH SO HAPPY!
Hope all you wonderful gals are doing well out there. Take care of yourselves
Just HAD to share my grand daughter's Halloween costume pic...
Hope all are well this Hallows Eve...try it to eat to much candy, lol.
My sweet, courageous, lovely, 90 year old mother-in-law is nearing her passing. She has had a series of mini strokes over the last few weeks and has been on hospice. She stopped eating two weeks ago, and no fluids for there days now. On round the clock morphine. It won't be long now, perhaps only hours or a day. She is at home with my sister in law, retired nurse...and we are all here.
Trying to help my hubby and his four sisters cope. This woman has been an amazing tour-de-force in their lives. An inspiration and source of undying love and support. This family is quite remarkable. I'm lucky to have married into it. Though her life has been long and fruitful, everyone is trying to imagine her not being here...it's simply a surreal thought.
Seems this year has been one of MANY changes for me. My surgeries, which have been life-altering. And then losing my mom and now hubby's mom. Loss and renewal, all at the same time. Surreal.
Take care out there, my friends...life is short, make the best of it ;-)
Well friends, my hubby's mom passed this week...
Peacefully, quietly and at home in her bed. She had been in a morphine induced coma for about 9 days, and slipped away with one of her grand daughters holding her hand and singing quietly to her...never even opened hers eyes.
A beautiful, love-filled memorial arranged by her daughter Melissa was held at the church she attended for years. Lots of family and friends...some laughter...some tears...kinda perfect really..
It was a joy and a gift to part of it...and the MAGNIFICENT life that was
Margaret Elizabeth Sutterfield. She lived and loved many for nearly 91 years.
Hubby and family doing well. They ALL have her strength, courage and heart. They will be fine...in time.
HUGS to you all out there.
Getting Back into the Swing of Things
Well ladies, got back into exercise mode over the last two weeks. Makes me feel better...not so slug like.
Thanksgiving was nice, we hosted, had 21 total...kind of EXHAUSTING though. Not to mention, very odd feeling, with our moms being gone now. Adjusting as best we can. Trying to prep for Christmas. Have the house decorated, which always helps me get in the mood...I love my house decked out for Christmas the best.
I gained four pounds during my brief hiatus from exercise, but I've gotten 2 of it off. Trying to get the other two, plus five more, off before my lipo surgery on 5 Jan. Tough during the holidays...especially cause I eat sweets when I get sad. Gonna have to work out really hard. Wish me luck ;-q
Hope everyone is doing well. Will touch bases again before my surgery in Jan. Much Love and Best Wishes to you ALL for a Happy, Safe and Peaceful Holiday Season.
Liposculpture Surgery is Tomorrow!
Hey there gals,
I go tomorrow morning at 10am for my lipo surgery. I'll be having my inner and outer thighs, hips/love handles and axilla (side boobage, lol).
For some reason I'm nearly as nervous about this as I was the TT/MR. Not sure why. Guess it's just that the procedure seems kinda creepy to me...sucking out fat...EWWWW. Can't quite figure out how they do this exactly. I'm probably overthinking this...as I often do.
Anyhoo, will be glad when it's done.
Hope I don't have a ton of bruising. My doc has me on the vitamins, Bromelain and Arnica like before, and this time he added in B-12 and Iron. Precautionary to make sure I don't get anemic, he does this for all his Lipo patients. He sure is on top of his game in the preventative side of things. Like I said before, one of the BIG reasons I selected him.
I'm posting pics, so you can see the areas I'm getting worked on...sorry if they are a little graphic, I don't have the photoshop thingee.
Wish me luck, and I'll post after surgery some time. :-DSuzy
1 Day PO - Liposuction
Surgery day - Went into surgery at 10:30, was done by 1:30, hubby picked me up at 2:30. Not gonna lie, was in a fair bit of pain for the first few hours home. They had given me a pain pill (hydro-codone) at 1:30, but Once I got home I couldn't wait the 4 hours, took one at 3:30. Took another at 9:00, went to bed. Woke up at 2:45, took another pill but couldn't get back to sleep til about 4:30, then slept til 7:00.
Today - Doing pretty well. Have only had to take 1 Hydrocodone so far. Drainage not too bad, fairly heavy til bedtime last nite, lightened up by morning, really only one spot draining today. Most of it has been semi-clear fluid, and a little light blood. I am able to get around pretty easily and on my own. Getting up and down hurts, but not much pain when I'm still. Drinking lots of water, so that makes me get up and down a lot...but that's good for healing. Can't take a shower til tomorrow. No BM yet, not worried though, will take Colace tonight and it'll do the trick. Okay by me, rather not "go" til after I stop draining anyway.
That's about it for now. Will try and take some pics tomorrow after shower if I'm not to whacked. Take care my friends. :-DSuzy
2nd Day PO - Liposuction
NOT gonna lie....bruising is pretty heavy duty. Sore and very firm in most areas of bruising. Thighs are the most swelled and bruised. According to post op instructions and info, all this is normal. Am icing the thighs a few times a day.
Keeping the compression wear on.
Did manage to get a shower today. Exhausted after so no pics. Will,try when the soreness lets up.
This soreness is very different than the TT/MR or Breast reduction..kind of hard to describe. Anyhoo, will post more when there is something differerent to say.
5 Days PO - Liposuction
Starting to turn the corner, pain-wise and bruising/swelling. As I said before, the pain is different than the TT/MR or Breast reduction. This is more of a combination burning and achy, and is most painful when moving or touching it. I started light touch massage two days ago which helps the inflammation and circulation. Read where this is important to help soften the firm areas, which are pretty significant on the thighs, but the hips and back not as firm. Also, all the areas feel numb and tingley at the same time, weird.
Will take some pics later today, should have taken some a few days ago so you could see how heavy the bruising can be...EXTENSIVE in my case. My thighs look like they were beaten with a baseball bat :-\. Anyhoo, they are getting better each day.
Bottom line on Lipo - when you have several areas done, it's NO joke. Glad I waited and got mine done separately from the other surgeries. For me, it has been the best option. Will find out on Monday at my 1-week follow up how much was removed (liters/CCs), seems like quite a bit. I could see the shape change the day after, but I'm swelling up a bit now (like they said I would), so will need to wait til about week 4-6 to have a better idea. Think it's gonna be good.
Take care out there ladies :-DSuzy
9 Days PO - Liposuction
Finally got around to taking some pics to post.
As you can see, quite a bit of bruising. Some has faded, but new has surfaced.
As for pain, well it's definitely easing up. I'd say by about 50%. Mostly it hurts getting up/down and because of the location of the bruising getting situated on or sitting on hard surfaces (chairs, toilet, shower bench) is uncomfortable.
I really only take 1 or 2 pain pills a day, one usually midday and one in the evening before bed.
Swelling is still pretty significant. My inner thighs are so swollen I can't quite close my legs all the way comfortably. Kinda feels like I have a bowling ball between my legs.
ALL the areas that were worked on are numb...we'll sort of. There is some surface sensation but numb under that. Does that make sense? As with the other surgeries, doc says the nerves have been disrupted and full sensation will take a while to return...and of course there is a possibility that some won't.
As for the results, visually, I can def see some already, even with all the swelling. Am anxious to get to the 4 week mark, as that's when results really begin to show.
Energy level is picking up. I don't get exhausted taking a shower anymore, lol. I'm taking it easy still. I've only left the house to go for my 1 week check up and stitch removal. Gonna try and get out this weekend for a bit, will see.
For those of you contemplating multiple area lipo, I estimate that it takes a good two weeks recovery time before you're ready for most all activity. Exercise/work outs have to wait until 4-6 weeks PO.
That's all for now, HUGS :-DSuzy
10 Days PO - Liposuction
In re-reading my posts since surgeries, it occurs to me that I haven't really expressed whether I think doing lipo is "worth it". Also, the posts didn't read as "positive" as I actually feel.
So...in a word YES, it IS worth it. It has been a little surprising that it's been as significant of a recovery as my TT/MR. I think it's because I chose to do as many areas as I did, as well as which areas. There is also the bruising factor...everybody bruises differently (amount/severity)...some bruising is deep and some surface. And of course, you have to factor in my age, 52. I say all this so you know that it CAN BE a bit of a tough recovery (pain-wise and length).
Having said all this, I'm glad I did it. I think my results are going to be what I asked/hoped for. I'm excited more every day to see my final results. I already can't believe the changes/transformation since the beginning of my journey. I am thankful and ever so grateful to have been able to do this...this RESTART of my health and body.
HUGS to all you beautiful women out there, wherever you are in YOUR journey.
12 Days PO - Liposuction
Doing pretty good the last two days.
Yesterday, I rook a long hot soak in a Lavendar Epsom salt bath and did some nice light lymph massage on all my lipo areas. It REALLY helped to soften the hard spots and start evening out the lumpy areas (as are expected after Lipo).
Today, hubby and I went grocery shopping, it took about 2 hours. Got home, put it all away, aaaand I was pooped. But, real glad I got out, got some fresh air and back into the normal things. Plus, fridge was EMPTY...needed fresh fruit n veggies. Can't stand being out of those.
The bruising on the thighs is definitely lightening...going from dark purple to a lovely shade of yellowish green, lol. Even though the spots on hips, low back and axila are still pretty sore, there's very little bruising for some reason. Swelling seems to be easing up a little more each day as well. So, guess all is normal and on track recovery wise.
Hugs n healing :-DSuzy
3 Weeks PO - Liposuction
Hey there ladies,
It's been 3 weeks, and I'm doing GREAT!
Bruising - 98% GONE, can you believe it.
Swelling - 80-90% gone, again, AWESOME!
Still have sore/numb/hard spots, but I've been doing hot Lavendar Epsom salt baths and massaging all the areas. Epsom salt soaks are AMAZING for soft tissue, muscle repair as well as bruising and swelling reduction. I HIGHLY recommend this for PO recovery.
I switched over to my Stage 2 Marena compression garment. I'm wearing it during the day, and switch back to the one the doc put me in PO for night time. The stage 2 is lighter weight, but compresses a little more, plus no zippers. The stiff zippers in the PO garment were digging into my sides and bugging me. So, even though the stage two is tighter, it's easier to bend/sit etc, does that make sense? I plan on wearing compression til at least 6 weeks PO. It's recommended for best final shape results.
Attached are pics of me in the stage 2 garment. Will post undressed pics next week after the 4 week PO doctor appointment, along with the details on surgery (amount/liters of tissue/fat removed).
HUGS n HEALING :-DSuzy
1 Month PO - Liposuction
Hi there friends,
It's now been one month since my multi-area Lipo surgery.
Bruising is completely gone.
Swelling is 90-95% gone. I do swell up some during the day, which makes me sore by the end of the day.
Still wearing the compression garments. Stage 2 (tighter one) during the day, and post surgical/Stage 1 at night. Doc says its up to me how much I wear either from here on out and that I can switch to Spanx if I want. It does feel good to have the support. The areas that were lipo'd feel a little sensitive and the garment helps with that and to keep swelling under control. Will probably continue wearing compression for at least two more weeks.
Saw my doc yesterday, he was very pleased with result, and SO AM I. He said he removed 7.5 liters of fluid/tissue/fat. That equates to around 15lbs! Some of this volume comes from the fluid they inject to do the lipo, and he estimated around 10-12lbs is the approx amount of fatty tissue removed. So far the scale is showing around 7lbs, and I'm still somewhat swollen. Will see final result around 3 months PO.
I am pretty thrilled with the look ALREADY! Matter of fact, when I took off the robe in the docs office, he said "Whoa, you're really shrinking". That sure was nice to hear. I've come a LOOOONG way since the beginning of my journey...weight as well as shape. He okay'ed me to start working out again, 3 days a weeks to start.
After we finished admiring his/my work and the results, I asked him about my arms. Now that everything else has been shaped up, my upper arms kind of look bad. I asked him about an arm lift (brachioplasty). He took a look and suggested I do a modified (vertical) arm lift with Lipo. With this type of lift, there would be a smaller scar, hidden up under the arm pit area verses the long one that goes from arm pit to elbow. Though it would not remove as much tissue, he felt it would look better on me and keep my upper and lower arms in proportion to one another. I like this approach, and really don't want the big long scar associated with the traditional arm lift.
I talked with hubby, and he is in total agreement and says to go for it as soon as I feel up to it. I'd like to be have 3 months recovery time beofre doing another procedure. Thinking around 30 March or 7 April.
So, I'm thinking there is one last small procedure to finish my makeover. I want to have 3 months recovery time before doing this last procedure, so I'm looking at somewhere around 30 March - 7 April. Will keep yall posted.
Check out my pics...I finally got the app to do before and afters.
HUGS and HEALING, :-DSuzy
Tummy Tuck and Lipo - 1 Year Before/After
Thought I'd add few more pics. The befores are one year ago, after the Breast reduction and before the Tummy Tuck. The afters are today, one year after TT/MR and one month after Lipo. What a difference, eh?
18 Months PO/Tummy Tuck, 8 Months PO/Thigh n Hip Lipo
It's been quite a while. Life has been keeping me hopping these days.
All is well. Have been working out 5 days a week for quite a while now and it's paying off. I have lost 11 more pounds this year and I'm getting pretty strong. Jazzercise is my new best friend...I can't recommend highly enough. It's fun and it really works (for me).
I'm feeling great and happy with my TT and Lipo. I will likely be getting work done on my arms next January...Lipo and maybe a lift, we'll see. Working on getting some more weight off by the end of the year.
For now, enjoying all the results and progress I'm making.
Will post a few pics to show ya..me...in a BIKINI, :-0
Brachioplasty/Back Lipo - Last Phase of My Mommy Makeover
I'm back, and ready for what will probably be my LAST surgery. Been working out like crazy this last year and have dropped 12 more pounds. I'm still at least 10 pounds from my goal, though I'd like to drop 15-20. The main thing is, I now work out (Jazzercise) 4-5 times a week, REGULARLY! BIG change in lifestyle for me. I feel really good, and I like how I look. As it turns out though, with all the working out, my upper arms have gotten completely giggly...I call them my "arm boobs", LOL. I didn't really expect this to happen, so I thought I was done with my mommy makeover surgeries.
Well, my doc says he can definitely get me improvement. He doesn't like to have visible scars and originally we discussed a mini lift and Lipo, but I just don't think I will get enough reduction. So I opted for the full Brachioplasty. Also, I have some ridges of fat on my back that bug me like crazy, so gonna do that at the same time. I'm scheduled for 30 Nov and can't wait. These "Arm Boobies" have got to go :-D
I've posted pics of the arms and my "rippley" back.
My arm current arm measurements:
Left arm - 16 inches
Right arm - 15 inches
Left arm is a full inch bigger than the right...and its visible (see pics). Hoping the doc can get them closer to the same size.
I'll check back in with you right before surgery.
Hope you all are doing well,
Happy Suzy :-D
TOTAL Cost Update - Brachioplasty & Additional Lipo Added
Just added in the cost of my next/last surgery ($9600), which brings my TOTAL Mommy Makeover cost $27,600.
I decided to go ahead and get my whole mid section (tummy and lower back) Lipo'd while I was doing the arms. Figured this would finish me up pretty well. Hubby said "go for it", such a sweetheart and completely supportive. He told me I deserved it because of all my hard work to lose the weight (75 pounds) and get in shape ( I work out 4-5 days a week regularly now). Im such a lucky woman :-).
I've done a fair amount of research, and four surgeries for under $30,000 is pretty good. I could have saved some money by combining some of the procedures, but I really wanted to keep my anesthesia time down to 4 hours or less. This last surgery is expected to be the longest, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. I'm happy with my recoveries, healing and results so far. I think the way I've chosen to go about my makeover worked out well...at least for me.
Just got the call from my doctors office, I report in for surgery on Monday at 7am, GREAT! Glad to be first on the sked...should be home by around 2. My doc shares a practice with another PS and they have their own surgery suite, which is only 10 minutes from home.
Well, gonna be busy hosting Thanksgiving (for 20) tomorrow. Then up to Austin on Friday, for a Christmas Jazz concert to celebrate our 21st Anniversary. Will decorate for Christmas on the weekend. ALL my Christmas shopping is done and wrapped, so I can just rest and recoup til Christmas...which my sister-in-law and best buddy will be hosting.
Hope all of you are doing well. Happy Thanksgiving