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!


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.


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.

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!

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!

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!!

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!!!

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!

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!

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!

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....

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!

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!!!
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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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!
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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 :-)
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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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Oh my gosh you crack me up! I'm really impatient too. I feel so much Better today and I slept a lot. I think the whole busy weekend caught up w me. The tape/glue was removed today and it wasn't so bad. I start scar therapy next week and was put in a smaller cg today. He told me it was fine to walk as much as I did and my swelling isn't bad and to massage it. I heard that about pineapple too ( and you don't think pineapple upside down cake counts right? ) I'm gonna buy a fresh pineapple to see how that helps. I slept w my feet up higher and that made a difference. You always make me smile with your posts and your comments .... Soooo This will make u giggle.... I wear my cg w dresses . I told my sister I'm getting spoiled cuz I never have to pull my pants down to pee and I'm gonna want designer jeans and for them all to be crotchless! Haaa! Have a good day!
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Stand up to pee? If that's the case you probably should have had a second change while you went for the TT and arm lift? ;-). Actually, the one coworker I did tell about the surgery joked that that was the type of surgery I must be having (I didn't tell her initially what type of surgery it was). If you knew me you know that would be the last thing I'd want...I like my feminine perks! But that type of surgery would resolve your desire to pee while in a standing position! Glad you are feeling better. Oh, the difference a night can make! By the way, your pineapple upside down cake may actually count! The tip is to carefully shave off the top of the cake before you turn it upside down. It's a bit technical, but I'll try to explain: This process removes the surface layer of the coagulants that form intricately on the sub-dermal edge of the posterior portion, where fat molecules congele, thus aiding in the elimination of said molecules once the salivary glands interact with the fibre and Macronutrients within the delicacy. Whew! As with your upside down pineapple cake, that's a mouthful. My fingers are tired after typing all that. Translation: go ahead! ;-) You have my permission!
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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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Connie- lucky you on the flat side! You look amazing, and sound happy with your self! And happy you had a busy day, lots of activity, keep healing strong! and thanks for sharing
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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!
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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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You are doing fabulous. Love your comments about being an ape. It will get better. I still walk a bit bent over after sitting for awhile. Congratulations on being drain free...what a feeling! Enjoy.
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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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Thank you for the update, can definitely see improvement, and it gets better for a good while yet. I'm very interested in Dr Guerra also, he sounds like a good listener and a very caring person. Thanks again!
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First StillSouthern your profile pic makes me giggle in a good way... Love it! Dr. Guerra has been wonderful. I love his staff and the way everything was handled. I had to have my medical clearance before even seeing him since I have a heart condition and I understood that. Once I met him I liked him instantly. He asked questions about myself and my life and what I do etc. He has been nothing but polite, honest, humble and even witty... I loved all his before and after pics and just had a good feeling about him. I see you are in Tuscan but it's not too far! My procedures were done at the Greenbaum surgical center in Scottsdale, the nurses and aides had nothing but good things to say about him and said he def had his own way of doing things and that he had called about me etc. Good experience for something so major!
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Congrats on your first shower! What an awesome feeling, huh? For my first shower I was dealing with two drains and a pain pump as well. Scads of fun! Once your drains are out you'll feel human. Hard to believe something so simple can bring so much relief. Your pics look great...nice flat tummy. I'm envious! ;-). Have a good night and best wishes with your drains tomorrow!
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Omg that shower was great! Haaaa! I think I'm standing better and the drain being gone is gonna be so awesome! Thx for always being so encouraging! I adore you!
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Goodness...clean after a shower...being vertical...then...once the drain is gone? You won't be able to live with yourself! LOL You are doing marvelous! (Glad to be a help, as others have [and continue to be] to me :-)
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Looking great!
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