52 and Loving It... - Scottsdale, AZ

I am 52 years old, have two grown kids and 6...

I am 52 years old, have two grown kids and 6 grandkids. I've recently moved to a new area and broken up with an true idiot so I decided to start over. In 1998 I had a breast reduction and I must say... It made me incredibly happy. I went to my PS after a few consultations, chose him and decided to go all out... Arm Lift, Lipo, and TT. I have left bundle branch block which means my heart doesn't fire correctly. I had to have clearance from my cardiologist as well as blood work etc. I had a echo cardio gram and a nuclear stress test and was so happy to hear I am cleared! Surgery is August 12. Sooo close!

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So happy for you and looking forward to pictures! You will be fine. It is not always easy making this decision but know you have a terrific support group on RS!
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Reactions

I have found it quite interesting to hear reactions of friends or family when I've told them what I've signed on to do. Some supportive, some act supportive and talk behind your back and some just say crap to your face. It's not easy to explain to some people why this is so important but at first I tried... I told them about my breast reduction and how all the sudden I could wear cute bras ( or no bra! ) and my shirts fit better. It was a big difference in how I saw myself. Heavy, saggy breasts were not pretty to me or on me. I've wanted an arm lift forever. My arms feel huge to me. I wear jackets and sweaters and I kid myself into thinking that hides them but if someone snaps of picture of me... My huge arms are the first thing I see and I feel like I look like a line backer. I see other people wearing sleeveless dresses or shirts and they have large arms and I never think a bad thing about them. Ever. Yet people have hinted to me about lifting weights or arms the size of thighs. Uh those comments stick around and are not likely forgotten. My tummy isn't huge but it isn't pretty either. Is anyone gonna see it? Yep. Me!! I am all that matters and my happiness is not depending on this surgery. I am a happy person. I am not vain. I just want what I want. I walk, ride my bike and I do weight resistant work outs... Nothing is going to fix saggy skin and muscles in my tummy that are beyond help from a gym... So I began to think why do I work out? Yah I feel better and I look better in my clothes but my body just doesn't look like it's responding when I see it naked. And u know what? I want the outside of me to match the inside of me. So when someone tells me they want me happy but fear this won't be enough... That hurts. I didn't respond ( it was sent in a text ) but I easily could have in a mean hurtful way. Why be like that? I'm just wondering if anyone else is getting mixed messages. Do you feel you need to be defensive on this subject? I'm sure some of my family are going on and on about my spending money like this... Oh well. When I went to see the surgeon I chose for my surgery... Part of my consultation he drew all over me like he will the day of my surgery. He showed me what he can do and he pulled and lifted my skin to show me what I will look like... ( kind of like we all have done standing naked in front of the mirror pulling skin ---dreaming! ). I was excited and so thrilled to see it could happen. The date I was given was closer than I thought it would be and I dove on it! I'm not sorry for wanting this. I hope everyone on this site knows they deserve to have their outside match their inside! I've read so many stories on here and I appreciate each and every person that has shared their journey. It lets us know we are not alone and we are not selfish.

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I agree with the others. My grown kids were all wonderful and said "You don't really need this, Mom, you're already beautiful. But if it is important to YOU, then we are behind you 100%". I can't ask more than that...let's face it, our kids worry every day we might die so they don't want us to do anything to increase that risk. And I think I am EXACTLY the same about them. When my 19 yr old son wanted to go to Africa and tour with a friend I wanted him to have what he wanted but from my standpoint I DESPARATELY did not want him to go! It's the same thing. Rare to find a loved one who isn't worried about us.... but absolutely no one but we ourselves can know what we need. Your "friend" who texted that odd message? Here's what I would do: call her and say you didn't quite understand what she meant. (I actually don't-- unless she is suggesting you are always depressed and "nothing will make me happy" in which case I would tell her she is NOT a friend and never give her another thought.) If she says, "Well, you think a TT will relieve all your problems" then say, "Why on earth would you think that is what I have in mind?? I have overly large arms and belly. I am fit and have done the right things, but this INHERITED part of my physique makes me look --- whatever you feel, if you want to share with this nosy person --- and I feel certain that just a few things like this will really enable me to totally forget myself and take care of others, as I always have loved doing." Let's see if she has an answer for THAT!!!!! Quite seriously, I HAVE told a few people that my belly and thighs are an inherited trait and they plagued my poor mum her whole life. When she was starving during WWII in England she only weighed 85 lbs and did not have the problem. Likewise, when I was 20 I weighed 96 lbs. (too small for both of us.) But pregnancy and turning 30 changed everything for both of us. The weight went to arms, thighs, and belly. As she aged she again lost ALL EXTRA WEIGHT (116 lbs) but the tummy, flabby thighs and arms remained. So I don't need to work out at a gym and drop 50 lbs to discover, "Darn, all that miserable fat, sloppy tissue in my thighs and belly and arms is still there!" I already KNOW!! And MY SELF IMAGE is affected. MY SELF -- that's who, and I don't believe the majority of people want to THINK they are judging me for being overweight, but quite frankly, they are. I still say so what? The so what? is ME, MYSELF and I. I only wish I could have given this gift to my mum.... You go girl and get it done! You'll LOVE the new you, and hopefully you will find supportive friends who don't care what you look like, and allow you to be the whole, real, person you are. The rest can go and whisper in a corner. I am not ashamed of needing lipo and TT -- it IS GENETIC and there are a helluva lot of genes for which I am very very grateful. But some CAN be altered sufficiently that it does not have to color every single event I go to, that I don't have to DREAD every morning finding clothes that "flatter" me. I'm proud of you and I think you are going to find a HUGE MAJORITY of people on this site who recognize WHY WE ARE DOING THIS and that it is NOT because we will look like Marilyn Monroe or Halle Berry or all the beauties on TV and the movies. It is because we want to please our inner selves, so that then we can FORGET about ourselves and think of others, as God intended us to do. (imo anyway.) xo Maggie
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Thanks Maggie! You hit many points and you are so correct. I think it just threw me cause the person that made that comment was someone who was going to help care for me. I think a little jealousy set in as she maybe didnt think I would be cleared because of my heart condition. I don't really know but it doesn't matter if she thinks that about me... Cause I know the truth. I know what I see and what I feel and I am so happy to have this opportunity. I had the money and the time off work and it all worked out. Even my cardiologist was excited for me! Ha!
Thank you so much for those comments! You are an inspiration and very beautiful! Tears came to my eyes as you poured out to us and I know exactly how you must have felt. You are right, it's not vanity. Stay strong, stay beautiful!
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Yikes!!

Here at a few photos and boy these would have cinched my decision if I had any doubts! I go in next week for my pre op appt. The surgeon office called to go over my times and little things. I was surprised she told me I can't have acrylic nails! OMG. I would almost rather shave my head than pull those off! Anyone else told that? I was thinking I would have a mani/pedi before the big day and at least something would look good... But no! Oh well.

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Yea for you and your decision! I am scheduled for August 11th! I am so excited - telling everybody I know about it! LOL. Having a TT and BL with lipo to flanks. Yes, I am nervous. Some people have told me the same "you don't need a tummy tuck or a breast lift". But how would they know? I don't NEED them. I WANT them. And I am paying all on my own (I am divorced) and I know that I will feel so much better about myself when I am all done. My kids are supportive and my best friend is going to let me stay with him and take care of me until I can come home and take care of myself. (He offered! I warned him what he was getting into but he is a great friend and willing....both of my kids are grown and gone and can't get away to come home...so he is it! Very funny guy....told him he can't make me laugh!) Anyhow, I look forward to watching your journey and will be right there with ya! Life is short - be happy!
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Well, I'm fortunate in that two of my friends have already had TTs so they are very helpful and supportive. But, to those who say "you don't need a TT!" I simply reply "you haven't seen me naked". So far nobody wants to take me up on that visual! But seriously, nobody "needs" plastic surgery- it's ELECTIVE- we elect to do it to feel better about whatever body part we're fixing. So I guess some women think improving their looks is vain- do they keep their gray hairs, or dye- do they wear makeup??- do they whiten their teeth?? wear padded bras? or a minimizer? spanx??the list goes on and one. We all want to look and feel better, and do different things to achieve that. The list also gets longer as we get older, so much of these examples are lost on the young girls, but give them a few years and they'll get it. That said, there are many people I'm just not gonna tell, because it's none of their business!! Anyway, I'm about 11 days ahead of you so we can just support each other :-)
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Boy you are so right on with all the things everyone ... Male or female do to look better! It sounds like you are all ready to go! I can't wait to hear about it! Your before pic looks great.. you are gonna have awesome results!!!

Well that's done!

I went to my pre op appt the other day and signed all my paperwork. I was given some items to take home, copies of the paperwork, all my prescriptions and was given a list of items needed for recovery. There were not too many items in that list just peroxide, q-tips, bactracin zinc cream and gauze pads. All my garments are included in my cost and will be given to me as needed. I don't take any medications and I never take vitamins so I asked if I needed vitamins since I've seen so many people post they were taking them and I was told if I don't take them now I really didn't need them. That's good cause I was given 5 prescriptions! To me that's a ton of meds... And I laughed cause the side effect to the anti naseaua med is vomiting! I was weighed and all the dreaded photos were taken... So I'm feeling pretty set! My sister went with me to the appt and since she will e my caregiver she was shown a few things and asked all her questions. She was worried about the drains and they showed her how it will work. They told us they only put in one drain for the tummy tuck and a pain pump. They will both go inside a fanny pack I will wear so I can shower 48 hrs after surgery which surprised me. Understanding the drains, seeing one and learning how to empty them made my sister feel better too. I will have my grandkids visiting with me the week before my surgery so that should keep me busy and make my week go fast. I must say I enjoy reading everyone's journey and learning about all the different procedures. Thanks to everyone for being brave and posting the pictures pre and post. It all helps with questions, anxiety and the unknown. Looking at before and after pics on a surgeons page is one thing but seeing the ones posted here and learning their path makes it real. Keep 'em coming!

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Just in case I am too loopy to post after my surgery tomorrow.....good luck and happy healing to you on Tuesday! I am so ready and excited and nervous.....see ya on the flat side!
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Thank you! One more muffin top day for you then you are there! I will be thinking about you and can't wait to hear all about it!
I just found your profile, and I will be checking in on you! I especially enjoy those of you who are my age (55), as we've waited so long for this, and we deserve it more than anyone ;-) !! I love your attitude about the reaction of others. I found that so disappointing when I had my facelift (one year before my TT). Therefore, when I had my TT, I never mentioned it. We do for us what we need to do to match our insides as you said. That is not selfish in any way. I am also single, have been for a few years. I found even if I did meet someone, I was so uncomfortable with my own body image, that there was no way I could be comfortable with a man again. Now, loving my new self, I can't wait for him to come along. But like all good things, ( i.e., a TT recovery), we must be patient ;-) Keep us posted, as we are here for you all the way.
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Almost There

Two more days... I'm so excited! I had my grandkids all last week and they kept me very busy! I didn't have much time to think of anything but them so that was nice. Today I cleaned the house, changed all bedding, did laundry and I even cleaned out the pantry! Total nesting mode. I went through all my instructions and paperwork. I've put together a caddy with meds, creams, wipes and gauze. I made a chart to note the drains in both my tummy and arms. Tomorrow I am going to get a pedicure and my acrylic nails removed ( boo! ). I will grocery shop and get that all done. I'm scheduled to be at the surgery center at 05:30 and my SX is at 07:30. Since I'm having an arm lift, TT, lipo in bra area, hips, inner and outer thighs the SX will take about 5.5 hours. I'm a little worried cause that's a long time especially with my heart condition but I have faith and the tests on my heart all came back good. I do have to stay one night in the hospital and I think that's a good thing. So here's to a better body and a flat tummy! Bring it on!

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Hmmm...decided to check in on you after your full day, but...what? No post? What happened?...did you have surgery of something? LOL. Just wanted to wish you well whenever you get a chance to regroup after surgery. Thought of you today a couple times and hope all went well. Get some rest and welcome to the 'flat' side!
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WOW! You are going to look amazing! Way to go with your decision about you! Will be sending prayers and good healing vibes your way. Thanks for sharing your journey!
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Your waiting is almost over. Excited for you as you take this step. Wishing you well tomorrow. Looking forward to hearing how everything goes. Take care and get a good night's rest.
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It's a done deal!

I did it! SX was over by 1:00 and I had to wait for a room to open up. I haven't had any pain meds but I have a pain pump so maybe that's why. The dr called my sis when I was done and said I looked great and am a new woman,,, let's hope so! I missed dinner cause I was waiting for a room so it's a jello cup and applesauce soooo I see how it is-- they cut off all ur fat and then starve you! Ha! I'll fill up on water and breakfast tomorrow can be crap but I'm gonna eat it!! I told my ps this am I was most excited about my arms. I can hide my tummy but never really my arms. I spent sooo many times just pulling arm fat back to see what it was like to look normal, I never ever thought I would get it done. My arms are wrapped and I have small drains in them, thet burn a little but I can raise them up over my head, I'm shocked! Anyways i wanted to post I did it and feel great. Thanks to everyone for all the love and support!!

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Thanks so much for the update! Great things- a night at the hospital, a pain pump, and a doc that makes you follow his instructions. Happy the surgery is over, and now it is your time to rest and recover. Take care....and we are waiting for pics when you can. Can't wait to see your arms!slim and trim soon.
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So happy for you surgery date buddy! Can't wait to follow more of your story! Congrats!
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Congrats!!!! Please provide pics when you feel up to it.
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1st post op appt

I had my first post op appt today, I had been good and not unwrapped anything. I am still not standing very straight and the nurse got me on the table and laid me back... Yikes! But it was a good thing. They took off all my wrappings and garment. I didn't get to really stand and look but we took photos so I could see. Wow. I'm soooo excited and happy. My scar is very low and the belly button looks good. I have been doing well... Not really taking meds ... Only Tylenol... I did take Percocet last night so I would sleep all night and I did! Yah! So I will attach the photos so you can get an idea... I really am soooo thrilled w my arms... The tummy will excite me when I stand and see it but man the arms!! I never ever thought I would get that! I used to pull in them to see what it looked like to be normal... And now I don't have to do that!!!

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Your arms look great. Congratulations.
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I really appreciate your honest, thorough, and candid posts! I totally understand where you're coming from on so many fronts! People don't understand and it's up to you if they're worth trying to make understand. I'm so proud of you sister! I'm scared to death! Mine is supposed to be in Jan but I'm scared. I see the "meltdown" posts from people and I'm afraid I'll back out. Keep posting your progress, it's inspiring. You're so brave! Congratulations on your arms honey, I know you've cried tears of joy.
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Picture says it!

I slept sound again last nigh and even napped all morning. Guess I have a lot to catch up on! I'm getting up so much better and standing better too. Not over doing it but I feel pretty good. I got a smaller garment yesterday at dr office and it's tight. My sister and I laughed she is never going to get me back in that thing when I shower or she has to change a bandage... I told her " call the kings horses and all the kings men... They have to get me in this garment again!" Haaa I've been eating well, no nausea and I'm taking mostly Tylenol and the antibiotic for infection. Plan on being lazy the extra couple days as my strength comes back. I'm thrilled w no pain and I think I will shower tomorrow so I can take a good look at my tummy then and maybe post more pics. I can't wait to get the drain out, not cause its a bother but because then I'm closer to normal. I hope everyone has a good day... Keep looking at the prize as my nurse said as I left the hospital. How right she was!

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Looking great!
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Yay, you did it! Looking good! Thank you so much for the narrative, looking forward to following your progress with you, take care of yourself!
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Thanks for the update....you are doing amazing!
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Shower Time

I am doing well, sleeping well, still napping off and in all day, eating well and today I took a shower! Yah! It felt great just to have water running on me and to feel a little independent. I used a shower chair and hate it but it was much needed. I was able to dry off and do my hair. We got the cg back on w no issues ( yah! ) and my arms are wrapped back up. I have a fanny pack to hold my drain and I wore it in the shower so it got soaking wet. I wasn't able to get any good pics w that in the way but my tummy looks nice and tight and my scar is so very low. I took one pic of my arm from the side view. I'm still thrilled w them! My sister is taking such great care of me, making dinner and cleaning up, doing laundry.... I can't thank her enough! My drain will come out tomorrow and I'm going to be happy about that. It's not a bother but once it's gone its one less thing to worry about. I've only been wearing pajamas so tomorrow will be first time to wear normal clothing. I have no idea what to even wear. I'm walking so much better and I'm standing up better too. I have read where some people are completely straight and upright by now but I'm def not! Baby steps! I'm feeling better every day and if you are nervous about this journey or your decision to have any procedure done just know it's your path and you make it your own. We are all diff and we heal diff too. There is no right or wrong way! I'm just so excited to have made it this far!

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To God be the glory. I wish I would have saw your post earlier. I got some of the same responses you did and thempn some, being ordained clergy I got even got some scripture why I shouldn't do it. But to God be the glory, He knows my heart and it is done! Read my review and congradulations my journey sister!
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You sound and look fabulous for 5 days post op. Love your spirit! Keep on with happy healing!
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Wow, you are looking great! Here's to a speedy recovery!!
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Drain Free

I went to my 2nd post op appt today. The nurse removed the stitches from lipo and the dr came in and took the drain out. He cleaned up the belly button and checked my incisions. He unwrapped my arms and told me everything looks good and is healing fine. One more week of taking it easy and next week the glue is removed... Yah! I'm feeling pretty good, eating too good, walking straight... And I'm still happy to be kind of lazy! I don't have much bruising but I'm afraid swell hell will be on the way since the drain is gone. It was good to get out even if it was to a dr appt. I'm gonna keep trying to get out a little more each day. It's funny I think I walk straight but I know I don't cause my arms hang down like an ape.... So yah that's sexy. I've been surprised by those that are supportive and I guess I've learned who I really matter to that knew the SX date and I have not heard a word from. No loss... I very thrilled I did this and I still am shocked I got here because it's always been a dream. I'm so happy I was able to make this dream come true!

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Forget the friends who you've now learned really aren't friends. Sad (but worth it) to find out who they are! Only times like this will prove true friendship. I am also glad you lost the idiot X, who you've left far behind!! You are so fabulous, and now you look fab too. I've been single a long long time, too long. I passed on a couple of potential opportunities for a relationship because I was so self conscious of saggy, droopy self. I feel so confident in myself, I am ready to meet someone, but now I also have the confidence I need to be very picky lol!! Our new lives begin today!
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Great outlook!
Awesome results, and you seem to have the emotional roller coaster totally under control. It is funny how our 'friends' react to this surgery. Glad you got your dream! You deserve it!
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Busy Day

I didn't intend for this to be a busy day but my sister and I got up, had breakfast and I decided to shower and I did it wo any help! Yah! I stood a bit then used my shower chair to shave my legs. After I was able to get back into my garment and dressed and we left to get out nails done. So I had a manicure and my sis got a pedicure. Her apt was ready today so she signed her ppr work, got the keys and we took a bunch of her stuff over. I didn't lift anything but I was able to stay at the apt to wait for a furniture delivery. Then we came back to my place, made dinner and now I am sitting w my feet up. It was a nice full day and I know I may have over done it but it was so nice to seem busy! My arms are a little sore but I think it's cause they are wrapped up and it's just bugging me. I was able to look at myself a little better this am before I showered since I was alone and I am still shocked to see myself. I had rolls on the top of my thighs and they r gone! I couldn't believe it! I thought oh yah I'm flat but that doesn't mean bikini cause well... Other parts don't match but I might get away with it! Ha! I know many people stories I have read are younger than me and I know their body and wearing a bathing suit is more important to them. I just wanted to match all my work outs, my stomach to not hang out in rolls when I sat down and my arms to not be so huge. I didn't race to look like everyone else and I'm not sure why but today when I looked I just grinned. I'm so happy! I'm not planning on a love life or gaining anything from this surgery except how I felt this morning. I look soooo good and I'm so happy about that!! Anyways I took more pics... Not much changes and I didn't take any in panties or anything sexy... Just naked and then I cropped it and u can't see the thigh thing. Ha! I'm just a dork but I'm sincere when I say I appreciate everyone that's checked on me, answered my questions, let me peak into their life so I know I'm not alone and given advice wo even knowing they have given it. I can only hope to help someone else like others have helped me. Today a lady in my nail shop (after everyone was looking and wanting to ask ) asked me how long Since I had my surgery ( my arms were all aced bandaged) and I told her only a week and she told me she was having her eye lids done next week. She told me she was nervous about bruising and it not working and I showed her this sight so she could connect with others. She was so happy. We all need this type of support while taking this path cause it's a bumpy one! And sometimes the bumpy and hardest path is the best one for us. Keep looking at the prize ladies!! I will add the pics but my stomach looks plastic... I might start answering to the name Barbie....

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Fabulous! Keep living! God has given you this gift and don't let anyone take it away!
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Congratulations on your HUGE day. My goodness. You were a busy girl. Hope you don't 'pay a dear price today (although in some respects it may have well been worth it!) I love your positive response to your surgery. You have a good attitude. Can't wait to see your pics! Way to go!
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You look great!
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Deflate me... please!

It was a busy last couple of days. I have been feeling pretty good and my sister is moving into her apt so all day Friday was spent doing a little shopping to get her set and Saturday was spent w family that came to help move her in completely. It was hot and I went along for the ride, getting in and out of the car a ton of times sucked but I didn't carry anything or do any heavy work. I feel like I walked a ton and just doing what I did wore me out since it was a long long day. I am paying for it w a ton of swelling. I am worried I over did it and I go to the dr tomorrow... Not sure what he is gonna say... But man I wish I could just stick my tummy w a pin and bounce around the room! I am still sleeping in my recliner and I tried the couch ... it didn't work. I washed my garment this morning and showered and tried to feel normal but man seeing the swelling made me feel worse! But the garment is clean, and I'm grateful I have lots of dresses to wear since I'm sure I own no pants to button over this belly! I'm sitting w my feet up, drinking a ton of water and I'm feeling stuffed. Oh well... I did it to myself but honestly I couldn't not be there for my sister. Someone tell me it will pass!!! Still happy I did this procedure and I honestly thought I was three weeks out instead of almost two. Oops! I'm walking straighter every day and my back still hurts but Tylenol helps. Have a good week ladies and keep looking at the prize!

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Dear friend, I know exactly how you feel, as I overdid it in my 2nd week too! Why is it we don't listen? Our bodies feel good, and off we go forgetting we had major surgery only days before. I think it is also because we are on such a high with our new-found body and confidence! Let's hope you haven't developed a seroma as I did, keep wearing your garment, and let us know what your doctor says! Like me, please learn your lesson well! You have several more weeks of recovery to manage with care. Love your body, give it lots of TLC, and take it slow from now on!
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YES, it will pass!! I am proof of it :-)
Hi Connie. Don't be discouraged. First, the swelling will go down. At 16 days (a few days past you) I was having a lot of pain--not from the incisions so much, but from the swelling. I remember walking around the house wishing I had a pressure valve that I could turn to reduce the stress on my abdomen. Be assured that "this too shall pass"....just takes patience (wow...look at me? Miss Impatient 2014 telling someone else to be patient!). Second, your doctor won't be shocked to hear of your activity nor that you are swollen. He may have some suggestions (other than the obvious, 'take it easy'). Third, I read that pineapple is supposed to help with swelling. I didn't read that nugget of news until most of my swelling was behind me but it did (I think) help around that 16 day mark. Don't be discouraged. Look at it as one step in your recovery. You now know what your body can and cannot handle at this point....the limits as it were. Go to your doctor's appointment, return home and ENJOY vegging the rest of the day! I assure you--life will quickly return to normal and you'll soon be on the other side wishing you had some time to slow down and watch the flowers grow. ;-). Have a good day, Connie!
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Two Weeks

I am at the two week mark... I actually felt so good last weekend that I thought I was three weeks out! I went to the dr yesterday. I was supposed to use bactracin on my incision tape/glue the night before and in the morning but no one told me that. The nurse used her removal gunk and pulled it all off. She scrubbed over it lightly and all the residue was removed. It didn't hurt as I thought it would. I am still numb and it was weird while she rubbed it cause I was itchy and it felt good but strange. Hard to explain. Anyways the dr came in and looked me over. He said I wasn't too swollen and I told him I had done a lot of walking and was in the heat a lot of the weekend. He said he didn't feel any fluids but when I swell up to massage the area w arnica gel. He will keep an eye on it and deal w it later if it's still an issue. The nurse gave me the info on how to order the gel strips for my scar therapy. She said to use them 12 hours and then just vitamin E the other twelve. Same on my arms. I have a cg for my arms to start wearing since I was only using ace bandage while the glue/tape was over the incision. I was given a new cg to wear and it looked soo little. I told the nurse she had to be kidding and she brought a bigger one out and said well this is extra up...it looked too big. So I went w the smaller one and it fits fine. Ladies ... Proof we never trust we are smaller than we think. I'm happy in the new garment for it doesn't have hooks and zippers! I stayed in today and kept my feet up... Watched TV, tried to nap ( that didn't work cause the cat crawled up on me and she napped and was spread out all over me! ) and I played XBox... Killed some zombies for a bit.... So it was a good day! I am still worried about the belly swelling up but I tried to massage it some. I'm not that good at it cause I just don't want to see it... Another weirdo thing. I haven't signed up for those massages I read about... I got a flyer in my packet from the dr office... Just not sure it's worth it or really needed. I have no clue what they do or how they work. I got the pictures from my surgery.,. The pics of skin removed from my arms and my tummy. Amazing. It looks like a ton! He gave me a copy and told me to frame it. Ha! I'm going to post them on here... It may be too graphic for some but to me this is my journey and it's a blessing to document it so I can look back and see how far I've come. And if I happen to help anyone along the way ... That's wonderful. It's funny because someone I worked with just last year had her TT a week ago... And I had no idea she was thinking about it or anything! A girl we are both friends with connected us and we have been texting. It's nice to have a buddy and I have told her how happy I am to have found all of you on this site. I have a pain or a twinge and I search for it on here and read your stories... And then I feel better. Thank you! Let's keep moving forward... On to week Three!!!

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I am having my arms done a tummy tuck and a breast reduction. I am 55...so I love reading your review.... I will go back and read it again. first thing tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing. :)
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Loved your review, and your positive movement forward. Thank you so very much for sharing your journey. Sounds like the PS was a good appt, got the glue and goop off, a good report, and killed some zombies along the way! Made me smile. Great big hugs!
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I totally get the not wanting to massage your tummy because you don't want to look at it! I had a terrible time cleaning my BB for at least a week because it looked so gross to me! Started my sono treatments for my tummy, to smooth hard areas and when they told me to massage it I thought "no way!!". But I tried it and got used to it. Helps to massage it through a thin shirt or nightie at first- just not with oil of course :-). I am surprised how much just 2 sono treatments and 3-4 massages myself have helped. My only trouble now is that my fingers get tired quickly trying to massage!

Looking thirty, feeling a hundred

Ha! I haven't thought about taking a pic in a bikini ( I don't own one ) or in panties ( thankfully I do own some ) ... But today I was standing straighter and getting ready for a shower so I thought what the hell... I put on some panties and I was so surprised! I looked pretty great! I actually felt like a different person there for a min! The old me! Then I showered, massaged my scars a bit, and then put on my compression garments for my arms and lower body and threw a dress on over them ... Now I look Amish. Haaaa! Covered head to toe! Oh well... It's the new normal!

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Oh ya, and I'll be watching your progress. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. BIG HUGS :-DSuzy
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Girl you are so funny! Great review/blog. So tell me, how much lipo did you have? Do the lipo areas hurt a lot? Course, compared to the incisions, they prob aren't too bad. As you know, I'm heading in for lipo in about 5 weeks, and kinda nervous.
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Thanks! To tell you the truth I was worried about the lipo cause I heard u drain and all that... But ur right... My biggest pain was the back pain from walking. The lipo stuff really didn't bother me much at all until maybe the second week when I noticed some areas felt bruised especially to the touch. I never leaked any fluids like I assumed but I did make sure to wear old pajamas etc. My lipo was part of my arms, back, bra rolls, hips, inner and outer thighs. You have already done the hard stuff and did great! This will be a cake walk for ya!

Let's hear it for the BED!!!

Last night I was in the recliner and feeling antsy like i needed to stretch so I got up and walked around a little to see if that helped. I had a lazy day and was in that chair pretty much all day. My sister and I went to Sweet Tomatoes (soup plantation) for lunch/dinner and I had already napped when I got home... So while walking off the weird feeling in my legs I thought how I miss sleeping in bed. Once I washed my face, pottied, brushed my teeth, took my Tylenol I wondered if maybe I could lay on the couch. So as my audience of two ( the cats ) watched my every move I laid out the pillows and moved some blankets... Laid down and thought omg this sucks too. Soooo I announced to my two biggest fans that I'm gonna try the bed. We all moved down the hall and to my room. They watched me intently as I pulled the covers back, turned on the fan and moved pillows around. Soooo my bed is high but I got up there and then was on my hands and knees, yah it was a sight to see and the cats got up there too like " what are we doing??" And I announced we r sleeping in here by God! I was able to get on my side, placed a pillow between my knees and though I had a little pulling and tugging ... I was in bed and on my side and feeling like I might win this battle! And I did!! I fell asleep and didn't move all night. Now when I woke up... Well I didn't think I would be able to get up. Now given my age and all you ladies my age know... I was afraid if I can't get up I'm gonna just pee right here. Bladder control flew out the window the day I turned 40... Like my bday gift from God. But I did it!!!! It's things like this... Little things we take for granted and look how wonderful it is! I can't sleep on that arm cg. It's torture.... Anyone else have that issue? I'm wearing it during the day after using vitamin E oil and doing my best to massage the incision. I started bromelain pills today. I hope they help w swelling and I have been massaging my stomach w the arnica gel. My showers are mostly all standing on my own even to shave my legs but I sit in the chair for a bit to just enjoy the warm water on my back. So I am seeing progress ladies! I was thinking about when I'm able to work out again and by that I mean walking and bike riding. I hope it is soon and it makes me feel like myself again. So far I see her every now and then. I know it's not much but sleeping in my bed is huge. I've missed it. So if you are still in your recliner and you are uncomfortable and feeling stuck there... Just know ur bed is gonna be there when ur ready. And hats off to all you ladies that travel out of the country for your surgery. I read one post tonight and she flew over 7 hours to get home post op day 15. Holy moly ... That's a strong strong determined woman. I applaud you!!! Here I am all proud I got into a bed... And it's nothing compared to being searched and going thru customs. So now off to BED and I really mean it! Night ladies. Keep posting, keep smiling, keep over coming whatever obstacle you have... And we will do it together no matter how big or small. Hugs!

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Congratulations! I am in Scottsdale at the Piper center on Shea right now. TT was this morning. I read your review and journey and am happy for you. I can't even imagine you were up so quickly. However, your review DID reinforce for me to not overdo it because of swelling. I fully intend on being a bed/recliner/sofa potato for as long as needed! Hope the swelling is going down for you. You look great and I am so happy for you!
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How are you doing this week? love reading your journey and hope you keep writing.
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Loved your review! So happy for your progress !!
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"Stand up Straight!!", said my mom

Three weeks out and going strong. I felt better today than any other day so that's a blessing! I'm standing straight and laying flat in my bed while I sleep (cept the pillow under my head)! I was at the market yesterday and saw a lady I mentioned in this blog that asked me about my surgery at the nail salon. She was very sweet and said I looked great and asked a lot of questions. She was very nice to remember me. But today I went to nail salon for a pedicure and manicure and the girls cracked me up cause they all said OMG you look so much better! I guess I was not looking so hot when I was there week one to get my nails done! Ha! They asked about my surgery as well and I showed one a picture and then she took my phone and showed everyone in the whole shop! Good thing it was not a naked shot! It was cute though because she was so excited about the before and after. I've started the silicone strips for my scars. The cats, once again followed me into the bathroom and watched as I stood in front of the mirror naked unrolling these long strips of silicone. As I tried to figure the length needed for my arms they grabbed and reached for them making this a comedy sketch instead of the serious business this was. As with all little ones they soon felt the plastic cartons they came in were more fun and I was left to cut and tape these suckers on. I'm not sure how they will last for as long as I will need them but at first they do not stick well. I used some medical tape to help keep them in place and after the long night of them being adhered, they were sticking pretty well. I hope that keeps up! My arms feel a little less swollen and I've been wearing this horrible contraption some man invented called a cg. It was more painful in the beginning and I have to admit I went back to the ace bandages around my arms for a few days. Now I'm back in it and I am doing ok. My body cg is just a third stage pull on crotchless cg that goes to below my knees. I have only been wearing dresses since my surgery. I'm terrified to try on pants and have them not fit. So my excuse is that it's very hot on Az right now! My belly is still a little swollen... I can't judge it in preggo time like 2 mos or 5 mos cause as soon as I had sex and got pregnant the next day my clothes didn't fit! I gained me some weight! Allll for that baby of course! I've been taking the bromelain tablets and I don't see much difference. I will keep taking them tho just to make sure I'm doing what I can to keep whatever swelling down. I can't wait to get back to really walking and riding my bike... I think I will add some weight training when I'm at 100 percent. I'm gonna be honest... I'm not the best at eating... I've never followed a diet from a book or article or fad... I don't know carbs from crap... I don't care. I eat. I have to move and just count my calories. I use an app on my phone to log my food intake and I add my work out. It's been working for the last few years and I stay where I'm a size 8-10. Good enough cause girls I have a candy drawer and I ain't afraid to dig into it! Sometimes I think I should work harder, I should try to figure out what does what and how to lose more weight or eat healthy... Then I think crap.. I'm old... I've been through a lot and I work a stressful job that deals w reality of life... I'm just gonna love my food and just watch those calories. But I truely admit I admire all of you that know how to eat healthy and how you have all lost so much weight to get to the place you are now... Being the best you can be! I must admit I force myself to drink water but I'm much better at it than a few years ago. With this procedure I've been a lot better!! So keep doing what is best for you and keep sharing how you got here and how you are surviving this path we have all decided upon. I'm learning from you every day!

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Awesome update! Thanks so much for sharing. Love your spirit, can't wait for your next post!
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U bounce back pretty quick. I enjoyed reading ur story! Happy healing! ! Get plenty of rest!
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We're all learning from one another. ... Prayers
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First Time for everything...

My sister and I went shopping yesterday at the mall. We had fun walking around and I had fun cause I got lots of stares! I think I might look suspicious because it was 108 outside and I was pretty much covered head to knees in cg w a dress over it. We went to Old Navy and I found a couple dresses in the mark down section and I joked to my sister I could get a bikini.... She said, "do it! You've earned it!" So I found a top and no bottom so I mixed them up and mid matched them. They were 4.88 ea piece. I thought oh well.... It might be fun. So I found an orange too and pink bottom and got it. I tried it on today and I was still shocked by my body--- though I know I've made these changes. I never wore a bikini when I was a teen and in great shape... Why? Because I thought I was fat then. Oh how I wish I could go back and slap that girl and tell her a few things! I'm still getting used to the arm cg and didn't sleep very well last night cause my arms hurt. But I'm going to look into some other options and see if I can't fix that! My belly is still a bit swollen and worse by the end of the day. Guess that's just normal. I did some laundry, cleaned the house up and then did nothing all day. Kind of nice to be lazy. I'm very excited my son is coming into town tomorrow and Monday night we are going to the NFL Charger/Cardinal football game. That's gonna be fun and my son has not seen me since my surgery. When I had the breast reduction he was just a kid in high school and didn't seem to care much. When I got home I was in the living room resting and he came home from school and asked how I was. I told him I was doing pretty good and feeling ok. He then asked if I could still make meatballs. I said, "yeah, I don't think this changed how I cook." He grinned and said "ok, I'm good with it! " I bet he doesn't remember that. It was just cute. He and his wife are getting ready to have a baby boy in Oct. They have a 6 yr old daughter and lost a baby at birth a few years ago. We are so excited about this blessing and all tests have told us he is healthy. I'm going to post the bikini pic though I'm not sure I will ever go outside in it. I'm also going to post a pic I found that I loved. I heard someone on TV say " you are never too old to invest in yourself." So very true. I envy all the younger women on here that are able to do this surgery. I wish I had but am so grateful to be better late than never!

6 Comments

You look amazing! Congrats!! :-)
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You look stunning in the bikini, go ahead, wear it!
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Girl, you look great and you can so wear that bikini in public!! Every year I travel with several of my friends from high school. We live all over the US and meet up somewhere - usually a cruise. This year we rented a house in Key West for a week, and I am SO gonna be rockin' a bikini! 51 years old....don't care! Have a wonderful visit with your son. I know you are looking forward to that grandbaby!
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One Month Down!!

It's so hard to believe I'm at the one month mark! I'm walking perfectly straight and feeling great. I still have a little pain in my arms at night while wearing the silicone scar treatment strips. I'm getting more used to the cg for my arms during the day. At night I wrap them in ace bandages over the strips. My TT scars are getting flatter and starting to lighten up some. I'm happy about that! I had a fun time with my son visiting. We went to dinner, some shopping and we had a blast at the Monday Night Football game even tho our team didn't win. Lots of drama this week... The person that said "I wouldn't ever be happy even with this surgery." ... Well she contacted me and said I hurt her feelings because I didn't respond to her. I actually stopped because this wasn't the first time she said something mean to me and I wasn't expecting to never speak to her again... I just didn't want to get into a fight and me say something mean I couldn't take back. But she seems to think because ur friends and have known one another a long time you can just say mean sarcastic hateful things. Really? She was all for this surgery and even offered to take care of me! But once I told her the cost ( and she is the only one I told cause she is such a big part of my life) she turned on me. I'm sure she felt it was a waste of money since she has none but it still wasn't her choice and she could have said many other things to me. So guess what!? I think being a friend doesn't give you the right to be hurtful to someone on purpose. It just blew me away she said that I hurt her! I have a sister having kittens over my having this surgery too. It's been amazing to see these responses! I'm so so happy I did it and I don't care what others think. I feel like I'm coming full circle and I am myself again! My cats are still excited over these silicone strips and they seem to be thrilled I'm back in the bed! Life is almost normal again for them! I'm gonna post some pics of my scars and how they are looking. I see my ps next week... I hope he is happy w the results! And ooohhhh this is a pic of us at the football game and in that jersey I look like a line backer! Ha!

16 Comments

Looking good Connie, your arms look fabulous and your scars are healing so well. Thank you for sharing your journey. Im so happy for you! I'll be keeping in touch! {{Hugs}}
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yes you are healing so well :)
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Your scars are so light and perfect! Looking good!
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Retrain the Brain

I'm 5 weeks post op and feeling wonderful. I saw my ps yesterday and he was very happy with my incisions. He showed me how he wants the incisions massaged and told me to stay in my garments until I see him again... Don't panic... I'm gonna wash them! Next visit will be new pictures so I can compare the new me to the old me. I have a small pooch of swelling and he gave me a cortisone shot just above my incision line. He advised this will start to work in a few days and I should see a difference in a month. His nurse is great and she was telling me I will be swollen for a year at least but not like this which really isn't that bad. My PS said I was clear to walk, jog and even lift some weights. No crunches ( bless his heart to think I would do crunches)!!!
I went to Kohls the other day to return something and found myself wandering around the store. I bought a smaller spanx since they were on sale and it was funny because I found myself looking at the same kind of things I bought before my SX. I even saw some dresses that were cap sleeve or none at all and I thought how I couldn't wear that. Then I thought ... Hey dork you fixed that! Ha! I grabbed things I would never have and tried them on. How fun was it to see I CAN wear cap sleeves! I bought some wild ( for me! ) designed casual pants in the junior section and a few other things. I'm going to have to work on my shopping skills. I've always dressed younger than I should but always tasteful. But I layered, wore jackets, sweaters, zip up hoodys... I hated sitting and the rolls in my tummy just collected. I could look flat and thin standing but sitting... Sheesh... It was like rolling pins stacked under my shirts! It's funny because when I sit down now I still think it's there. It feels like it's there. I even sit to pee and I think I don't want to look down at my tummy sitting on my lap! It's hard to believe its just gone. This is as much a part of our recovery ladies. It's all wrapped together this physical and emotional journey!
For all if you RS Girlies ... How blessed you are to have done this so you can truly enjoy your body again and hopefully live to the fullest. If someone is reading this and is worried, scared or thinking they are crazy to want this... I say " don't waste your worry, face your fear and you're crazy to NOT want this! ". This has been a great journey and a decision I will never regret. I feel like I took my life back.

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Oh my, all the things you have said and all the experiences you have had with family , friends are so what I have gone through! Sometimes people say the dumbest things! I like what cruzen said "When people show who they are ... Believe them". I am so happy for you! I am going to have TT, arm lift, BL with BA. Do your arms still hurt now? Do your arms hurt more than your TT? You look amazing!!! Love the bikini. You are rocking it! I have not worn cap sleeves since I was 18 yrs old...I am 50 now. I can not wait to see what I will look like in cap sleeves! Be happy and keep up the great shopping!
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Thanks so much! My arms didnt hurt at all in the beginning but as time goes on I am getting more feeling back in them. They just feel tight at times. There are some aches if I do too much but it's definitely something I would do again. I'm so happy with the results!
Love your journey. People change or turn on you when they are jealous . When people show who they are..... Believe them ! Thanks for all your kind words:))
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I'm swell!

I'm almost at my 2 month mark and I'm feeling great. I've been walking 5 miles every morning and started some light weights. After I had the cortisone shot for my swelling I decided to look into lymphatic massage. I thought maybe I was already too far out but I called a lady here on Scottsdale and she said to come in and try it and I was not too late in my recovery. I really could feel a difference and she was great about explaining how the massage worked and I spent 30 mins in the sauna after. I could see much better definition in my tummy after and the massage on my arm scars helped so much. She worked the knots out in them and they feel so much better. I use the scar gel strips on my TT incision but I had to stop using them on my arms. I couldn't get those suckers to stick in the areas like by my arm pit and I used some cloth medical tape to help and by morning that tape was so stuck to me I wound up pulling off skin..., yah... I'm the one w no noticeable scars from the arm lift but some major scars from medical tape! Ha! So I bought a scar treatment online after reading a ton of reviews of a million diff brands and I'm just hoping for the best. It seems to be working and helping w the left over redness. I'm getting tired of wearing my compression garments especially to sleep in. But I'm gonna be good and keep them on! I've enjoyed reading everyone's posts and I am learning every day from you all. I am still so happy with this choice I've made and sometimes wish I would have had something done in the back... Cause I look good coming but not so great going! Oh well... I'm going to accept what I am... And guess what?? I love me again... And I feel so happy walking cause I finally feel like I match the insides! Yah!!!

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Hey GF , so good to hear from you!! I'm going to look into the tape and massage you're talking about. I love that you've started working out again . I started using light weights for my arms as they are getting saggy. Sleeping at night it's the worst part for me , my legs really are achy they wake me up. I'm going to talk to my Doctor about this??? Have a fantastic day!!
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Oh my goodness! Let me know what your dr says. I wonder if it's the garment cause I have that too! It's so hard to fall asleep and I wake up a lot. My legs feel like they need to stretch... I was thinking oh man I better not be getting restless legs syndrome! That's all I need! Take care of you!
Right! Thinking the same thing. I have a massager I have to use for about ten min , then climb back in bed. You're right it feels like you need to stretch ......for days . You still have this after two months that's a worry.. Humm , I see my doc on Monday and will let you know.

A few pictures

Just a few pics of my new BB and my TT scar... And these cg... I swear the one for my arms ... If you are small breasted like I am ur ok w it but man... I can't imagine having a larger chest! These things are killer!

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You look amazing, and can barely see the scar! Good work girl!
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Your scar looks awesome!!! What are you using for scar therapy??
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I'm using the new gel silicone strips on the TT incision, I was using them on the arms too but it's so hard to get them to stay put! So now for them I'm using a silicone based gel and massaging them 3 times a day and wrg cg all day except shower time. I am really happy w the way they are looking! The strips are washable and kind of expensive... http://www.newgelplus.com/products/abdomen-stomach-products.html

Getting there!

I've seen everyone wearing jeans and I want to too but I am sooo nervous about it. That's kind of true test... Comfort and them fitting and all that... So I wore pants today but not jeans... But still! I'm getting there girls! Hugs!!

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Looking good!
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I haven't worn jeans yet either. They just feel weird on my tummy! And I am afraid I will swell too much during the day and they will be tight. I might try to wear them Friday at work (casual day) but make sure I have something to change into if they get too tight later in the day. When I turn into THE HULK! LOL.
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I am here in The Valley of the Sun and you are a real trooper recovering in the hot summer months. I have heard excellent reviews about Dr. Guerra. I am having my full TT on the 21st of November. I really enjoyed reading your journey. So very happy for you. ;-)
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Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

I can't even begin to say enough about him! He is very approachable and polite. I have a left bundle branch block and his staff told me I would need a clearance before seeing Dr. Guerra for a consultation. I was so very worried I wouldn't get clearance but I finally did and set up my appt. His staff brought me into an office and went over many details before I met him. Once he came in the room he sat down with me, asked a few questions about myself and why I wanted this surgery. Then he said get undressed and put on a robe and I will be right back. He came back and drew on me as he would the day of surgery. He pulled skin up and said this is how this part will look and this is what I can fix.,, sooo exciting and the visual made me want it more than ever. He then gave me some cotton and alcohol and told me to clean up, he came back in once I was dressed and he went over what he will do and what was best for me. I didn't see him at the pre op appt but that wasn't needed. I saw him just before my surgery, he asked if I had any other questions and then he drew on me for real. He has a sense of humor and he is very personalable. Post op appt was very encouraging and I told him I wanted to hug him. He said I could hug him all I want once I'm all healed up. Ha! He did a great job keeping my scar low and made it clear he is avail any time for a question. I recommend him to anyone in this area looking to get work done.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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