I am 60 years old (for 1 more week). I never had...
I am 60 years old (for 1 more week). I never had kids or gained/lost a lot of weight. I have almost no excess skin and no stretch marks. However, I had a hysterectomy in 1987 at age 34. Ever since, I have had a poochy stomach from loss of muscle elasticity. I feel like my insides have fallen and are protruding.
I have a pretty serious auto-immune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. Basically, it causes spinal fusion. It is also a systemic disease, meaning it can affect tissues throughout the body, not just the spine. Accordingly, it can cause inflammation in and injury to other joints away from the spine manifest as arthritis, as well as to other organs, such as the eyes, heart, lungs, and kidneys. I am on some pretty serious medications for this disease.
I've always been extremely self-conscious of my stomach that is out of proportion to the rest of my body. My ex-husband even told me I looked pregnant while having an orgasm. yep.
I've always wanted a TT but never really investigated it. In the last few months, I've met several women that have had them and would do it again in a heartbeat. So, I bit the bullet and saw two surgeons that did friends.
I liked them both, but each had a distinct difference.
Surgeon A: Very highly rated and good. My friend said he was an artist. My concerns with this doctor is he looks at it as an artist. He wanted to do a breast lift along with the TT. He said I was not a candidate for an implant due to extremely dense and conical breasts. I did consider that even thought I do not want my nipples cut. He didn't discuss my medicatons or how my disease might cause problems. Procedure would be done in his operating room at his office, which is certified. I would be transferred to a recovery center for one night.
Surgeon B: Again very highly rated and good. Both doctors agreed about implants and how dense my breasts are. B said he absolutely would NOT do a lift at the same time as the TT. He said that as tight as my stomach is with no loose skin, etc that pulling down for the TT would affect the lift. He also spent a lot of time talking about my medical issues and medications. Procedure would be done at a well known breast cancer hospital with 2 nights in the hospital.
I decided on Surgeon B. I know that A is an excellent surgeon but I felt B looked at it more medically than artistically. I believe 2 nights in the hospital is better as well.
I'm nervously excited!
Interesting reactions.... mostly positive
I'm very open and just tell things like it is. I went to lunch with my dad, stepmom and aunt for my dad's 85th birthday last week. I told them I was having a TT. Of course, I got the "you don't need one" comments. Now keep in mind we were at a busy very LOUD restaurant and non of the three hear well. But they were supportive and said if I want it, I should go for it.
Then my dad says " I want smaller boobs and a bigger dick". omg... Could you say that any louder? My aunt says; "I couldn't hear you....what do you want bigger??". My dad: "A bigger dick" in an even louder voice! The waitress is laughing her ass off!!! As she serves his salad, she says "I heard that!". I really wanted the floor to open up and swallow me!
My cousin told me that she didn't understand why I was having one and she works hard with hers with diet and exercise. I told her I wasn't her and I did need it.
My mom was like: If you want it go for it. So was one of my sisters.
Friends are supportive but some don't understand why I need it. Well, it's because they never see the "real" stomach. Since I have no extra skin, I can suck it in and look ok. Just can't breathe!
I'm obsessed with this site and really enjoy reading all the journeys. The tips and recommendations are awesome!
I'm going to call on Monday and see if they can move up my date if they get a cancellation. There are probably a ton on that list ahead of me, but it's worth a try.
Have a great Sunday!
Bed and leg lounger - Anyone heard of or used?
I found this product on line and it looks interesting. Has any one used this?
Stole this from a male tummy tuck review.
So when I spoke with my primary doctor about this, I'm a guy and she's a she, the look on her face was worth a couple extra quarters in the slot. She said I should spend the money on travel. I told her I have traveled everywhere and lived in 3 foreign countries, speak 2 languages but I travel to the bathroom mirror everyday and it's a trip I hate.
I LOVE this response!
Bought the Bed Lounger
I took the plunge and bought the bed lounger and leg/knee support.
61 years old now!!! My wishes.....
This is me in the orange dress at our birthday Happy Hour with friends. I do love the dress and can clean up well. But....I so can't wait till I don't have to wear dresses to hide my stomach. These are some of my wish dresses!
RealSelf has been such a helpful and informative site. Thank you so much for posting tips, lists, good wishes and of course, your journey's.
Received the bedlounger. I like it. It's light weight and can be positioned for what makes me most comfortable. The leg lounger is good too.
Guilt and shallowness just hit me!!!
My husband's wife fought breast cancer for 5 years and was then diagnosed with ovarian cancer and lost that battle after 6 years. 11 years of fighting cancer.
A couple of years before her death, she was struggling to keep her hair for their son's wedding. One night, hubby took her hand and led her into the bathroom. He shaved her head and told her she was beautiful with or without hair. He offered to do the same. She said not to, but he shaved his pubic hair.
That night, they cried and laughed together, each sharing a new baldness. That is the kind of man I was blessed to marry. She was an amazing woman. No one noticed her baldness... only her personality and the love she gave.
I was relating that story to a friend and it hit me. She lost her life to cancer. Suddenly, I'm feeling very shallow about my desire to have a flat stomach. I can't seem to stop crying. wow.
Cost of TT vs dental bridge
My hubby lost a 3 tooth bridge. The cost to replace is $5500. The cost for dental implants is $8800. HOLY COW!!! Makes a TT seem like a bargain!
That's all I had to say today!!!
Incisions and Scars.....
As I read reviews, I see over and over how so many expect their scar to look better than it does at 1-4 weeks. Remember, it takes up to 2 years for nerves to regenerate.
My hubby just had full knee replacement and his scar took 5 weeks to heal. I had major jaw surgery in march of 2013. It took a year for it to almost disappear and even now at 16 months, my jaw still feels a bit creepy.
I've attached some photos of my jaw just to show how it looked after surgery and now.
So, even though I have not had my TT, I do have some experience with incisions and healing. Be patient, give your body time to regenerate nerves. Be good and kind to yourself. It will pay off in the long run.
My "goal" dress.
My pre-op appt is this Friday. I am 4 weeks away!
I have been away for 10 days to Vegas for a business trip. 12 hour days and no fun. But Hubby joined me on Friday and we moved to Mandalay Bay for the weekend.
I have followed the advice here and have not bought any new clothes. BUT!!! I walked by a store and a dress jumped off the rack and screamed my name! I had to look at it. I loved it! Then I looked at the price! OMG!!! I have never spent that much on a dress so I walked out. My wonderful, loving hubby told me I should try it on. I resisted! I kept saying not before surgery, I won't know what size I'll be, etc.
The next night we were walking around again and he told me to try it on. Ok, a couple drinks later and I did. I really, really loved it except for the pot belly sticking out. The sales gal brought 3 more as well. I kept saying I was not going to buy one because I don't know what size I'll be.
Then when I tried on the 3rd dress she brought, I caved. It was amazing like when you try on THE WEDDING dress, you know, you just know. Needs to be shortened but still amazing. I still hate the pot belly, but know that will be gone. The look and smile on hubby's face said it all. He said I needed to get it and it's my "goal" dress for after my surgery. I so love that man.
I'ts black and white. Elegant, Audrey Hephurn type dress. Mmmmm, you young kids may not know who she is. lol Fit's like a glove! I would never wear one like it now. I actually bought a size smaller as the size I usually wear was too big.
I have sooooo much to be thankful for and sooooo much to look forward to!!!
Today is Pre-op Appt!
I read all the paperwork again today and my pre-op is this afternoon. After reading the paperwork, I am even more ready but got a little emotional.
I'll let you know how it goes!
It went well. He just got a Vectra 3D machine and took images of my body. Then seeing my body on the big screen, he showed me how I'll look after surgery. If it goes like that, I will love it!
He said he will pull up the Mons area and my labia will be higher. He said he had a patient that after the TT said she had her first orgasm during intercourse in her life. I don't have a problem with that, but more is always better!!!
My belly button will be in the same spot and he does most the stitches from the inside so I won't have an incision around the new one. I think I remember that correctly.
The scar will be very low, below my hyst scar and only inches higher from start of labia opening.
One of my friends that was with me had her boobs done by him a year ago. He asked her how she was. She said great except for a scar. He said let's see. She whipped up her top and showed him. He said it was an easy fix and to call to set an appt. lol 2 for 1 appt! He's a great guy and a great surgeon!
Everything is all paid for, I am ready and soooooooo stoked!!!
I met a woman on Friday that had a TT in the early 90's from my doctor. She had nothing but praise for him. I asked how her BB is and she showed me. It's beautiful! I hope mine is half as pretty as hers!!!
I've lost 15 pounds since early June.
2 weeks, 2 days left!
A suggestion... wax your pubic hair
I've read a few reviews about how itchy and irritating the pubic area feels with the hair growing back. I know what that feels like from my hysterectomy. It was worse than the incision. I recommend getting it waxed before your surgery if you usually shave or leave it natural.
When waxed hair grows back, it's finer, softer and does not itch at all. It's the stubble that itches. I lost all my pubic hair in front after my hyst due to no testosterone, but have been getting the rest waxed off for 10+ years.
I think it would make a big difference in comfort.
Be good to yourself and be patient!
This isn't an update about me as much as it's an observation and gentle reminder.
We all think we are capable of doing more than we probably should. I read a lot of reviews where someone thinks they can do things 5 or so days after surgery because they are feel so good. Then they realize that there are consequences like swelling and soreness. Even a friend of mine who had her TT 2 years ago said a doctor could tell she tried standing straight before she should have based on how her scar looks.
I've also read where those that don't do too much seem to not swell as much or are as sore.
Sometimes,it can be from guilt, whether conscious or not, that the kids need us, hubbies need us, family needs us, work needs us, etc. So we feel guilty laying there not doing anything. Other times, boredom sets in.
Remember, beautiful ladies....your body needs you to put it first. Please don't try to do too much too quick. Your kids, hubby, family, work will be there after you heal. You've invested lots of research, money, emotions and physical pain in this.
Be kind to yourself! This is YOUR time and YOU deserve it! Let others do for you! There will be plenty you can do after you are all healed.
Following my own advice!
So yesterday, I met with my boss. I told him about the surgery but didn't go into a lot of details. As we were parting, he asked when I was going to a particular town. Here we go.... MY guilt set in and I'm thinking of how quickly I could go there after surgery. I told hubby and said there is no way I can go for at least 4 weeks, especially since I have heavy samples and things to carry. So...I am going to follow my own advice and NOT stress about it. I will make sure I"m healed before going.
I am nesting! I have a zillion things to do before. I want everything neat and clean. So today, it's the garage. yes, I even scrub the garage floor!
We are having a pool party on Saturday as a last blast before I'm out of commission for a while.
Have a great day!
Yesterday I got waxed and had a pedicure and manicure. I left off all polish. Figured it was a good time to "let them breathe".
I went to several stores to get stuff for the party tomorrow. Today I will prepare for the party.
I'm definitely nesting!
I've done a lot of stuff around the house this week. Why do I feel the need to get certain things done because I'm having surgery when I wouldn't if I wasn't having it??? lol
We have an upstairs that is not used because the kids have moved out. So why did I find it important to wash all the sheets on beds we don't use? Plus all the sheets in the linen closet? Not only did I wash them, I put them in clear plastic zippered bags like they came in from the store and labeled them "queen fitted", etc. Seriously. I'm sick. Oh, I washed all the towels as well. So! My upstairs is nice and clean and organized and no one will be up there!!! lol
In addition to all the food I'm preparing today, I'm marinating pineapple and watermelon in pineapple vodka for the pool party. lol... Probably won't be checking in tomorrow but I will be having fun!
Have a mammogram (not surgery related) in an hour and afterwards will get my car washed. Then home to prepare the food, set buffet table, clean the patio, patio furniture, backwash the pool. vacuum the hot tub and basically get the yard ready for the party.
Wish you all were coming to the party!!
A dose of reality...
As I sat waiting for my mammogram, a friend texted to tell me her biopsy was positive for breast cancer.
I am so sad for her. It also reminds me how blessed and lucky I am and grateful for all I have.
Oh crap, as I am writing this while I wait for results, the radiologist wants more shots and maybe an ultrasound. There is a small nodule on my left breast.
ALL IS GOOD!
Whew!!! They did the ultrasound and it turned out to be dense overlapping breast tissue! I feel so much better. I was so scared. I kept thinking that I didn't want to cancel my TT.
I believe God is watching out for me!
The party was a huge success!! Lots of friendship, food and fun!
We are tired today!! I have 6" bedrisers that we don't use. I put them under the legs of my recliner because it's small. But I have no idea how I'll recline back because it's a push-back recliner.
I'm not really nervous. Maybe I'm too tired.
Tomorrow I will get all my supplies together and the stuff I'll take to the hospital. My friend who is an RN is coming to stay with me on Friday when I'm home.
I'll update more tomorrow with last minute stuff!
Thank you all for your support. That means so much to me and I know it will help me recover. You all the best!!!!
Hugs to all of you!
It just hit me....
Quick update, more later with photos.
I'm getting my room ready and doing stuff around the house. About 1pm it hit me and I got nervous. My hands started getting shaky and I was dropping things.
I am ready!!!!
I think I'm all ready. If I'm not, it won't matter! I have hubby and friends to help me. Here are photos of my room. I have black out fabric covering the doors to make it darker. I put the recliner on 6" bed risers. Not sure it will work but we'll see.
I thought I'd model the amazingly stylish and sexy recovery clothes! lol I showed my husband and his reply was "oh baby baby"!!! lol I'm thinking a call from the Lane Bryant modeling agent is eminent! lol Ok, I can't even say that with a straight face.
I am going to enjoy a glass of wine and relax now. See you on the flat side!
mmm.... I'm getting error messages trying to upload the photos. I'll post this and keep trying.
Finally was able to upload them.
This is it!
2 Sep 2014
Day of treatment
I am at Piper and waiting to be taken back. I am calm and neither nervous or excited. Just ready.
See you later ladies!
2 Sep 2014
Day of treatment
Quick update. surgery went easy and not as long as anticipated.. Had a hard time waking me.
Pain level is low from all the meds. . Just put dilaudio pain med in IV.
Doc even has bed adjusted to how he wants it.
Said he successfully did what I wanted to look like. Lol
So glad I'm in the hospital!
The pain meds are flowing as often as I need them. They make me sleep too. But I slept in 2 hour in increments.
I accidentally coughed a small one while asleep. HOLY CRAP!!! Felt like a chain saw cut me open! Now I have the hiccups!!!
Forgot to add:
I am so glad I am in the hospital! I can't imagine being home. If you can stay 1-2 nights, do it!
But even with that, they just showed me how to get up and sit. They help minimally but want me to to do it on my own. Laying down is the hardest.
They take the catheter out his morning.
I had a headache all night. I'm itching all over either from the anesthesia or pain meds. The pain med is Dilaudid which is stronger than morphine.
They started me on Percoset to see if they work. If so, the IV can come out!
My day nurse changed the dressings and I got a look.
Saw the doc.
Said my separation was 4" and the biggest there is. Said I was a model surgical patient in terms of how the surgery went. Said my waist will be smaller. Was very happy with his work!
Said I can go home after he sees me at 7am and the nurses can get me out of here.
Thank you !!
Keep falling asleep so can't post. You are woo great and I appreciate it!
I turned the corner!!
First of all, please forgive me if I don't personally respond to all the comments below. My mind is still a bit fuzzy and the stuff that comes out of my mouth is pretty funny. Oh and if I keep repeating myself, just laugh and ignore it!
Doc said he removed about 660 grams or 1.45 pounds of "stuff".
On Wednesday in the hospital, I had a turkey sandwich for lunch and a little soft stuff for dinner. I got so bloated that I couldn't breathe and was hyperventilating. I was in so much pain and got a killer headache. The night nurse finally gave me some iv pain meds that they were trying to wean me off of. The next morning at 7am the doc came in and was not happy that I ate. He said to go back to liquids which I gladly did. But he released me to go home.
I got home about 1pm. My friend came over and once hubby got me settled he had to go to a meeting. My friend was awesome. I kept her laughing with what came out of my mouth!
The Bed Lounger pillows I got did not work because I could not move enough to get into position so I have been in the recliner the whole time. Honestly, it was the headache that hurt more than anything.
I slept most of the after noon. I see I posted but have no recollection of it! lol I do remember telling my girlfriend that I needed to make sure I sent steak to my mom in Mexico! lol
My Friend was with me all day. She gave me foot/leg, hand/arm massages. She also gave me a 45 minute head and neck massage that was wonderful even though I fell asleep. omg...I've had so many friends text me and I'd try to reply but I'd fall asleep in the middle and send just nonsense.
My body and lower back and sides were soooooooo itchy. She rubbed my lower back, butt and sides with benedryl cream which was heavenly!
I didn't eat anything all day. I drank Gatorade and water till last night when she made me some cream of wheat that was very thin. I could get that down.
I didn't have any nausea or dizzyness.
Hubby got home and took over. I am so blessed to have her for a friend.
My last percocet was at 9pm. At 2 am I only took some tylenol and slept till 7:15. My headache was gone!!!! What a great feeling.
My belly button looks good. Incision looks good too.
I can't imagine anyone doing anything after surgery. As I type, I'm watching my husband change the sheets and straighten the room . He is THE BEST caretaker and I love him so much! Oh, my kitty is helping with my recovery too. She lays on my lap on top of a pillow. Right now, she is on the recliner between me and the arm of the chair.
My best advice is rest, drink fluids, walk, use the breathing device. Let others do for you!!! Don't force yourself!
I will post some photos as soon as I get them on my computer. `I'm rambling, so I'll sign off and work on photos.
thank you all for your caring support!
You know the feeling when you finally potty train a toddler and they say "mommy I just pooped"? LOLOL Well, I do now!!! Didn't hurt a bit either!
Pics from today
So swollen but I think it looks good! My BB looks great!
One happy camper!
I have so much to share. Hopefully, it's not boring and will help you along the way.
First of all, I can't not emphasize enough to NOT DO ANYTHING!!! I really believe that is why I am doing so good. I am letting hubby and friends do it all. If something doesn't get done, then so what. I'm more important than laundry or a clean house. Is life going to end if you don't exercise for 2-3 weeks? No. But your body will heal better if you don't. I have some, but not much swelling and I intend to stay that way. Is it the end of the world if you are bored? No. Better to be bored than suffer the consequences of going to mall, or taking the kids for a walk. This is YOUR body and you just spent a ton of money on it so protect your investment.
I decided that the granny robes and big underwear were not necessary for me. I found that wearing just a soft tank top was the most comfortable for me.
I also discovered that taking too much laxative isn't real smart either. I won't go into those stories either! lol
Wow...what an amazing 24 hours this has been. Some funny, some not so funny and some just plain emotional.
I'm off the strong pain meds for the most part. Last night about 8, I had a pillow on my lap and my cat was laying on the pillow. Well, the drain sites are starting to come "alive" and she moved and I felt it pull on the drain. I tried to push her off and she hunkered down and then when I pushed harder she sprang off when I yelled in pain. She jumped onto the TV tray next to the chair and knocked it over. There was a big glass of raspberry iced tea and red Gatorade which went EVERYWHERE!. Hubby comes running, I'm a mess trying to pick things up. It was pretty comical. He makes me sit as he cleans everything up.
So we get everything settled. Cat is banned from the room. I fall back asleep and have a bad nightmare and start screaming. Hubby comes running again. I have no idea but it was like I was having a seizure in my dream and no one could hear me telling them so I started yelling. He settles me down again. Then he goes to bed and is snoring like a freight train and I am dreaming that a train is heading towards our house and I can't get out of the way. lol omg... All this from about 8-11pm. Finally fall into a peaceful but wild dream sleep. I wake at 2am and was very uncomfortable. Can't pinpoint any one thing, just uncomfortable. The slightest noise from me wakes him. Remember, he spent many years as a caretaker for his wife when she had cancer so he's very in tune with what's going on. He immediately gets up and asks what he can do for me. I decided I needed a pain pill and took one that wasn't as strong as the others even though it had been well over 24 hours since I had one. We all fell back asleep till 7:30am.
This morning after we woke, I needed to walk so got up and walked around a bit. Honestly, the worst part is the left side of my back that is all messed up from the disease I have and has been spasming a lot. I've been using Arnica cream and it really works. Then my sweet, sweet hubby got the kitchen sink set up to wash my hair and give me a sponge bath. He takes such good care of me. On the other hand, I will owe him forever!!!! Kind of a private joke between us.
We head to our bathroom where I sit on a stool and he cleans the drains and my new bellybutton. For the first time I got a full naked view of my surgeons handiwork. I burst into tears. It is amazing. I never, ever dreamed I could look like this. I am swollen but it's not that bad. My incisions are not read or inflamed at all. They look great too. Love my new BB!! What an emotional moment for me. Basically, a 26 year old dream just came true!
First post-op visit
My first post-op visit was today. Dr. Shaw was very pleased. I have a small area that is "stressed". He said I need to make sure that I stay hunched over and not put any stress on it. It's where my old BB and an old incision from another surgery all come together. He wasn't overly concerned but wants to make sure I don't stress it more.
The drains are still in. Maybe, hopefully Wednesday, but we'll see. I don't want to do anything premature.
As we were leaving, I picked up my small purse and he took it from me and handed it to hubby. That again reinforces that WE all need to make sure we don't do anything to hamper healing. I'm being a good patient and following my own advice to let others do for me! All of you should too. If you are bored, get online and write a review or send me a note!
My girlfriend came over and washed my hair and gave me a sponge bath today. She also massaged my back muscles. That felt so good.
I'm back in my recliner, hunched over, resting. Friends are bringing dinner tonight. It's amazing how little I can eat.
So, I'm happy that he's happy!
Don't have any photos right now but will post some when I get them.
Incision and Bed Lounger
I've had some questions about the bed lounger. It's not working for me because I feel very confined in it and it's just too difficult to move around in bed to get it positioned. The recliner is much easier. However, my friend that stayed with me loved it. I'm 5'9 and weigh 160. She's 5'3 and weighs 115. I think it's sized better for more petite people.
Here is the photo of my incision from today. Looks good except for the area of stress. So we are to keep anti-biotic ointment on it. Doc was not overly concerned and I am darn sure going to make sure there is no stress on it. That area is where my old belly button was and an old incision from where another surgeon took fat to make a new disk for my jaw. That was a difficult place to make it all come together. Over all I think it all looks good for 1 week.
Friends brought dinner from Maggiano's tonight. It was good but I could only eat a tiny bit. It was nice to see them and visit.
Forgot to tell this about my Dad....
So my dad has been checking in every day to see how I'm doing. He's not seen any photos so he really doesn't understand. I asked him if he wanted to see photos. He said sure. I sent him some before and some after. Then I called him. He answered the phone "hi my hot daughter" lol. We talked about the procedure and then he said "I have a tummy. Could I get a tummy tuck? " omg.
I said "Dad, you have thousands of blood clots in your body and no surgeon will touch you, you're 85, and you'd need to lose about 75 pounds." God love him!
On August 12-14th he and I went to to our home town of Chicago to revisit our past. We did 85 years in 2½ days. It was an amazing trip of memories. I am so glad I was able to give him this trip. So here are the photos of us going and coming home dead tired or pretending to be!
My temporary Home Sweet Home!
I figured as long as I was confined to my recliner, I'd post a photo. See? I'm being good! I also posted a photo of the incision and the bad spot.
Drains and stitches are OUT!!!
Yea! Drains came out and that hurt! Stitches came out and that was no big deal. I can't believe I have ZERO bruising!
I saw Dr. Shaw's nurses today as he is in surgery and they are awesome!
Next appointment is Friday. I'm hoping he'll give me the go ahead to sleep in bed laying down in the fetal position as long as I keep tension off the bad spot. But if not, no biggie but I am tired of the recliner.
My friend came over and she washed my hair an dried it straight. I look more "normal" though normal for me is very subjective!!! lol I feel so good but tired.
I get it now.....
Every woman I know that is a friend and had a boob job have no problem showing the off. I didn't quite understand that. But I guess if you paid good money for them you want to show them off. Ok, I get it now.
Friends came over last night to see how I'm doing and just visit a bit. She is the one who had a TT and Boob job from the doctor I did not use. Anyway, I couldn't wait to show her! I took off the CG and as hunched over as I was, showed off my new flat stomach! lol She couldn't believe how amazing I looked.
So now I get it! Well, it's not like I'm going to get naked and show strangers or anything but my girlfriends? Yep!! I hope anyway. lol No, don't worry, I'll wear clothes!!!
Yep, So now I get it!
I'll try to post some more photos later. I still have that yucky spot but I think it's getting better. I'm still staying hunched over and just chilling in my recliner. I'm not going to do anything to hinder the healing.
I am taking photos every day of the stressed spot in my incision to compare them. Today I got more than I bargained for! Without the drains, I got a good shot of the front of my pubic area. Holy Moly!!! So THAT's where it's all supposed to be! Hubby is going to have to learn some new territory! I love it! I showed a friend and she wants me to ask my doctor how much he'd charge for a pussy lift!!! And we're not talking about taking her cat to the vet!!! I sure wish I could post the photos but I do have moments of "mmm.....maybe I'd better not". Amazing!
A Banner Day!
Had my 3rd post-op today and 2nd with surgeon. He told me I looked great, that I could start standing up straighter (thank you God!), sleep in bed and drive! I still have the compression garment for another 2.5 weeks but after that it's up to me. He wants me to keep putting Triple Antibiotic Ointment on the not so great spot but it's really looking pretty good.
I tried on my "goal dress" but was so hunched over, I took it off. It will have to wait. BUT....I had to try on a bikini. Same yellow one in the before photos but without the stomach. Remember, I'm still very hunched over, tire and had to sit on a stool but no belly! I'm a little swollen but not bad.
We went out to happy hour with friends to celebrate and I am one happy camper. Now, remember, I'm still going to rest and take it easy. I don't want the swelling to start or to backslide.
Ok, overdid it a bit!
After the doctor's appt yesterday, hubby and I went to Happy Hour with friends. I think the being up more than usual plus the standing up straighter was a bit of an overdo for me. I was asleep by 9:15pm and not in my bed. I tried, but ended up in the recliner.
My stomach muscles are a bit sore today so just relaxing and taking it easy. Swelling doesn't seem to be real bad either.
What I've learned.....
I've been thinking about the realities of my TT versus what I heard or thought about it.
I always heard it's the most painful of surgeries, the scars are horrible, you're down and out for months. There was nothing that encouraged me to even think about it. I also didn't know anyone who had one.
The realities are so much different. Is it an easy surgery? No, but it's not near as bad as I expected. Why was that for me? Or course, all this is just my opinion and may not apply to others. Everyone’s experience is different and circumstances are different.
1. I've had 2 other surgeries that were horrible: jaw and hemorrhoidectomy. So I was used to post-surgical pain. This was uncomfortable and my stomach felt tight, but I really had zero incision pain.
2. I did not have a lot of fat or loose skin. I believe, mine was mostly muscle repair. Dr. Shaw may disagree and he’s the expert! From what I've read here, lipo is really painful and I didn't have that. Being at ideal or close to ideal weight makes it easier as well.
3. I followed doctor's orders. I gave into the fact I needed to do nothing. I did not do anything I wasn't supposed to. Ok, maybe the turkey sandwich the next day at the hospital wasn't smart but that was a short lived bit of uncomfortableness. I took pain meds as needed. I stayed hunched over. I walked. I slept. I really believe that doing too much too quick slows down healing. They tell us what to do for a reason. As I sit here and type this, my wonderful hubby is doing laundry, dishes, went grocery shopping, brought me flowers and is taking care of me. Do I feel guilty? A bit. Am I going to give in to it? No. I'm resting and healing. lololol...ok, I know I'll owe him plenty when this is over!!!
4. I do not smoke.
5. I am realistic about what I wanted. My doctor wouldn’t do a TT and breast job at the same time. There is a reason for that. Our bodies can only handle so much.
6. I went to the best. Were there less expensive doctors? Yep. Are they as good? Maybe but probably not. This is my body and I only get one. If I felt I couldn’t afford the best, then it would be in my best interest to wait and save until I could. I don’t mean for this to sound snobby but I won’t sacrifice my body to save money.
7. Spending two nights in the hospital was so worth it. I feel I came home 3 days ahead of the game. I can’t even fathom going home the same day from this kind of surgery.
8. Have a friend to help. My hubby was awesome but he did have to work. So when he was at work a friend spent the days with me. She washed my hair, gave me sponge baths, massaged my back, cleaned my drains, fed me, dispensed meds, laughed at my funny comments, took me to the doctor twice for post-op appts and was just there for me. I do love her!
Here is what I learned that worked or not:
• Raised Toilet seat. Absolutely essential.
• Walker: It helped especially when spasms were bad but really didn’t use it that much.
• Recliner: Absolutely essential. I could not lie in bed regardless of how many pillows I had and I had plenty (10+).
• Oversized Granny under panties: Never wore one. Anyone need any? Lol I found that just wearing a soft tank top with the CG was all I wanted. I put a hubby’s t-shirt on the seat and back of recliner. I had a knit twin bed flat sheet to cover myself and a throw if I got cold.
• House dress (robe): Only wore one home from the hospital. Have two unworn ones hanging in my closet. Same reason as the panties.
• Arnica cream: I believed this helped with the back spasms more than the prescription.
• Arnica sublinguals: I am not sure about this.
• Laptop/ipad/cell phone: yep. These kept the boredom at bay and me connected to the world. Although my friends say I sent some pretty humorous texts the first day or two. Have chargers set up and ready for when you come home from hospital.
• Grabber: A long thing with a handle you can squeeze to pick things up. This was great so I didn’t have to reach or get something that had fallen to the floor. Also good for hitting the bed next to the recliner if hubby was snoring. Ok, I really didn’t do that.
• 36” high Stool: Absolutely essential so I could sit when brushing my teeth or trying to groom myself.
• TV trays or something to set things on next to the recliner. Command central, if you will.
• Waste basket next to chair. No explanation needed??? Lol
• Bed lounger/Leg lounger: I think this may help some but not me. I felt too confined and I could not move enough on the bed to get into it. Also, I’m 5’9. My friend that came over to help me is 5’3 and she loved it. I think I’m too big.
Ok, I’ve gone on long enough. I hope some or any of this helps at least one person.
Oh my...hubby washed CG and I looked outside and he hung it from our umbrella to dry! It made me laugh!
Updated incision photos
Here are some updated incision photos 10 days post op. The part in the center that looks bad really looks worse in the photo than it is. It's healing nicely but was a tricky spot.
I am tired this weekend! I can feel my body healing and after HH Friday evening and having friend over for several hours yesterday, even though all I did was move from recliner to sofa, I am beat.
I think the skin at the top of my thighs were also stretched upwards and that feels sore. I feel more of an overall soreness now. More so now that I am standing up straighter and moving more
It still wasn't near as bad as other surgeries though. I am a very happy at how thin the scar is on the sides.
My hubby calls the drain sites "evil eyes"!!! lol
Glad yesterday is over!!!
It wasn't a real bad day, but I was tired and my body was telling me sleep was my best friend. Hubby was sweet and wonderful as usual. He always makes me feel so loved and cherished.
I took a Percocet about 8:30pm. I was kind of testing it too. I hadn't had anything in about 30+ hours. But my stomach felt like it had done hundreds of crunches. lol... In reality, I have never done one! Moving on.... I was so tired but the Percocet did not let me sleep. It put me in the LaLa Land between sleep and wake. I know I did sleep because I dreamed. But I woke a lot all night. So NO MORE Percocet for me at least at bedtime.
I feel much more rested today. Hubby dressed my wound before he went to work. He asked if I wanted breakfast. I said not yet. When I got up to eat something, he had set out the Raisin Bran, bowl, sweetener and 2 different sized spoons so I had a choice. Is that sweet or what? I am so blessed!
I also thought I'd share a pic of my sweet cat, Missy. She loves to lay next to me in the recliner. Well, more accurately, she lets me sit next to her!!! I love her softness and warmth.
I weighted this am with the CG and a tank on. I'm 2 pounds lighter than surgery day. YEA!!! I do feel swollen too so I'm very happy. I think my bad spot is getting better too.
My whole agenda today is my girlfriend is coming over to help me shower, wash and dry my hair and give me a massage. Otherwise, I'm resting! It's all about me!!!
I can't believe I had my first shower since surgery. I have a huge seat in the shower and 2 shower heads: 1 is a hand hel that adjustable up and down a bar and the other is fixed to the wall. I sat on the seat and used the handheld. My friend washed my feet, lower legs and back for me.
Then I dried my hair! WHEW!!!! That took it out of me. But it's clean and semi-styled.
Then she gave me close to a 2 hour massage. I laid on the bed on my side hugging a big firm pillow. She worked my shoulder, neck, back butt, legs arms and hands. I zoned out a few times it was that good. Then I had to get up and change to other side of the bed for her to do the other side.
She also did some lymphatic massage.
I am jello! So nap time here I come!!!
Something weird has come up...
Two nights ago, my labia felt dry and irritated, probably from the stretching. So I put organic coconut oil on them. I felt some lumpy bumps inside the right outer labia. It's pretty noticeable when palpating the labia. I think it's better today but not sure. I bet it's fatty tissue or maybe a hematoma from the surgery. I sure hope it goes away.
Otherwise, I need to tell my PS on Friday that I have a Lumpy Labia. lol
No photos, sorry!!!
Bed and Organic Coconut Oil
First of all, thank you to RealSelf support staff! I emailed them about using the "less than" sign and got an email back within hours that brackets are not allowed as they could signal a HTML code. They fixed my review that kept deleting the text.
I rubbed organic coconut oil on my tummy last night. I hated touching my tummy. If felt so raw and creepy feeling. So I used a very light touch.
Best news is I slept in bed till 4:30 am! First time since surgery. Then I dreamed that I had to pee really bad and that woke me up because I think I was ready to!!!! So I got up and just didn't want to disturb hubby getting settled in bed again so back to the recliner it was.
I think my tummy skin feels better. I'll try to rub some more OCO on it in a bit. I can't take off CG because I can't get it on myself and no one is here with me today.
Have a great day! Hugs to all!
Here are some photos I took today. I'm swollen but I'm so very, very happy! I think my butt looks flatter which I hope is just from the being hunched over still and that it gets rounder as I heal and the swelling goes away. It could also be the way the panties fit. Oh well....I have a flat stomach!!!
Even though I'm still a little hunched over, I had to take these!!! I also know this dress may be too "old" for "you youngsters" but for me? I love it!!!!! No more dresses designed to hide my stomach!
Took a walk....
I walked down the block to our mailbox, got the mail and back home. Then had to talk a nap. I was able to sleep on my side pretty comfortably. My cat, Missy decided she needed a nap too.
Not a good night...
I went to bed about 9:30 and played a few games. Turned on my side, got settled and bam....wide awake. Eyes wide open kind of awake. I could not sleep for anything. Finally about 12:15 am, I moved to the recliner and dozed off sometime after 1am. Woke at 6 am and moved back to the bed and slept on my side till 8. Why could I not do that last night?
Doctor appt update
I showered and dried my hair and felt much better. It took me about the normal amount of time with almost no discomfort. I actually put makeup and jewelry on! I took a pic and sent it to my hubby and told him his wife was back home!!
Saw Dr. Shaw. I didn't realize it but my upper abdomen was full of fluid. He took out 45cc's of redish fluid!!!!! Have to go back on Monday for recheck.
Said I could sleep in any position I find comfortable.
I told him I felt like I could use my stomach muscles without pain. He said a little is ok, but not too much.
That's about it. Oh, keep ointment on the bad spot. Looking better every day but may take up to 6 weeks to heal.
OH, OH, OH....I sneezed 2x today! Didn't hurt near as much as I thought it would.
That's all I can think of today! Have a fun and safe weekend!
I always have more to say!
Ok, thought I was done. It was a big day. After the doctor, I got a pedicure and manicure. That felt wonderful! I texted hubby and told him since I had make up on, we were doing Happy Hour at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. He came back and asked how he would recognize me? lol Isn't he just the cutest thing ever!!!
I'm still a little hunched over. Need to work on my posture!
It's been a long day. I'm taking an Ambien and hopefully going to sleep 8+ hours in the recliner.
Good night all!
Amazing what an Ambien and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep even in the recliner can do! Woke at 6am, feeling great! On the patio having coffee with hubby now!
Binder feels tight but ok. I'd love it if the fluid doesn't come back. We'll see!
Happy Saturday everyone!
Went out for dinner....
SO!!!!! I bought one of my wish dresses and it delivered today! I wore the CG underneath which made it a little bulkier. I can't believe I wore it. The old me would NEVER have even considered buying it. www.venus.com stikes again!!! I have to say that 2 hours after being out, I was ready to come home. My PS made the binder so tight over the area he aspirated fluid from and then 2 drinks and food, my skin was on fire and felt like it was being stretched till it was ready to explode.
I am so thankful that I was able to have this surgery. I can't believe this is me!
Back in my recliner and ready to sleep!
I had a pity party today. Doesn't happen to me often. But. I got so tired of the recliner, bored, my stomach skin feels yucky and was weepy. I know I need estrogen and that will help with the weepiness.
Hubby is his amazing self. .... Just does stuff to make me laugh at him and myself. So, I'm trying a new place to sleep tonight. It's a chaise in our bedroom. I thought he was going to suggest the back yard, but he didn't.
Good night sweet friends. Tomorrow is another day and the sun will shine!
The SUN is shining today!
I have to tell you all here because I can't tell anyone else except a few chosen friends and I want to tell the world!
Hubby was stung in his hand the first couple years of his first marriage back in the middle 70's. Yeah, yeah, long before many of you were a twinkle in your parents eye! He discovered he is deathly allergic to stings. He was in the hospital and his finger was swelling up over his ring. Paramedics were trying to get it off. The doctor came in and told them they had 10 minutes or he was losing his finger. So hubby said to get to it boys! He has never worn any kind of jewelry again.
When we were married the minister wrote "I give you my heart" in place the words where I would say I give you this ring. A heart necklace was the first gift he gave me.
Soooooo..... I have decided he is getting a wedding ring. I don't care if he hardly ever wears is. We are having a get together a few days before our Anniversary in October. He has NO idea that I am doing this. A friend of our is a minister and is going to write a short ring ceremony and I am going to give him the ring. I am going to wear my wedding dress. We got married in our back yard and our bedroom door is off the backyard. He walked me down the aisle at our wedding from the door to the area we got married.
This time, I will disappear and change into my wedding dress and a friend will tell him I need help in the bedroom and point to the door. When he opens it, I'll come out. Then we'll walk to the grassy area (lol fake grass - it's AZ) with our friends around us and do the short ceremony. Then it's PARTY TIME!!!!!
The best part is I found and bought the ring today! I LOVE IT! I'm am so excited!
Not bad for an old lady, huh!!!
I actually walked through Target today. I was leaning on the cart, but I made it!!!
Back to subject at hand! Saw the doc today. He took out 20'cc's and said it all looks great!!!! See him on Friday.
I don't have any stomach photos but I thought I'd post a few of our wedding. Just remember, all you youngin's.... We may be old, but we ain't dead!!! lol
Here is an updated photo of incision and my belly button. I love how both look. The bad spot is healing great, just takes time. PS said he can fix that in the office down the road. The incision is pencil thin, no rippling, even, and I am thrilled! I'm really not near as swollen as I expected. I probably still have some fluid but no worries.
I got my legs waxed today and once again, only my hairdresser only knows for sure if I'm a natural blonde! So all I did was lay on a table and sit in a chair but by the time I got home 5 hours later, I was beat! I took off the CG and chilled.
I'm exploding! Ok, not really.
My dad (yeah, that one) came over so I could help him with his "massive computer problems". Three hours later and I'm still not sure what the problems were. Oh, how do I post in FB? Where did my contacts go? lol.... Anyway, we sat at the kitchen table and I got up frequently. But he left and for the first time I feel like I'm going to explode. I am miserable! This is strange. I just some photos and yep, I'm swollen.
The muscles in my tummy just to the right and below my BB are twitching like crazy! Like an eye twitch!!! WEIRD!!!
HORRIBLE night and non-TT related.
The valve that keeps everything in my stomach doesn't work. So acid reflux has been a problem for 20+ years. It's under control during the day and most nights. I know to eat early and sleep with my upper body elevated. I have also trained my body to wake before it gets too bad when it happens at night. It's called Nocturnal Aspiration (no, not that!)
We ate about 8pm and not smart. Meatloaf and mac and cheese. I really wanted comfort food. I actually fell asleep with upper body elevated in my bed about 10:30. Around Midnight, I woke to some stomach contents getting into my lungs and was choking, coughing and extreme pain. The pain goes down my arm, up my face into my head and all my teeth and of course my chest. It's far worse than any TT pain.
I got into a sitting position as fast as I could. The ONLY resolution is to retch. It's the same thing as someone who is drowning and has to get the water out of their lungs. I need to get the stomach contents out of my lungs. But it's not a throwing up like when we are nauseated. It's mostly dry heaving to get it out of my lungs. It took about 30 minutes of violent retching and I knew it was out.
The pain goes away almost immediately. I'm left with a sore throat and my lungs and esophagus hurt. Here is the most interesting part to me with this episode. Through the whole retching part my stomach muscles never hurt! They don't hurt today either!!! I always felt like someone tore my stomach muscles apart.
I knew better but slipped up.
Doc update 24 days po
Saw my PS today. He removed 17cc's of fluid. Getting less and less. They gave me a new longer compression garment and it feels soooooo much better. The original one hit me about an inch above the incision after he moved it up to cover where I was collecting fluid.
Steri-strips stay on for a total 6 weeks. Then we change to scar treatment and he's not sure yet what we'll use. Depends on the incision and what is best for me. I think my incision looks so good. The marks are from the steri-strips.
I told him we were going on vacation to Mexico on 11/6 and would I be able to get in the water in both the ocean or pool. He said yes. If the center part isn't totally healed, they have a waterproof covering I can use.
I find it interesting the differences between doctors concerning incision healing, compression garments, scar treatments, etc. I read where some of you are buying your own compression garments and choosing what you want within a few weeks. He only wants me wearing the compression garment that he gave me. I also have read where scar treatment is being used as soon as 2 weeks. So many differences and all interesting!
I was up 4.5 pounds yesterday morning. This morning, I'm down 4.7!!!
Turning a corner....
We went out with friends tonight. I expected to be able to stay a couple of hours. Took a nap this afternoon and made it 3 hours!!!! Didn't dance but couldn't stay still! Great band! Home now in the recliner. I think I've turned another corner. A small one but joining life again! Had a great time! I love this new compression garment.
I moved to my bed about 4am and slept on my right side till 7:30. But before I fell back asleep, hubby woke andwe started laughing because we couldn't sleep. He kept telling me to go to sleep. I would say, if I could, I'd already be asleep. We really had a fit of the laughs. Guess you had to be there. Lol. It's not near as funny retelling it!
Can't sleep on left side because of a rotator cuff issue and after 3+ hours on my right, I had enough.
I have my CG off for a bit, we are sitting on the patio having coffee, a cool breeze with 6-8 hummingbirds flying around. It's a beautiful day in AZ!
Have a great day RS sisters!
Another corner is turned.....
We went to a party last night. I did really well. The hosts had a padded chaise on the patio and several of my friends were making sure I didn't over do. They propped my knees with pillows, made sure the back rest was adjusted. I felt like a queen! Most of them have had either TT's or boob jobs.
I thought I'd be really tired and sore today. But I feel great! I don't want to sit in the recliner. I'm not ready to get back in it after being up for 15 minutes. I don't hurt. I feel the tightness but that's good! My skin does not feel yucky. I feel like doing things. Not big stuff but stuff.
We have a lime tree. We got about 180+ limes off of it this year. Not a huge crop but it's only the 2nd year producing limes. I juiced about 40 limes today and I freeze the juice. It is sooooooo good! I did the dishes. I straightened up stuff.
I am getting back to living!!!!!!!!! It feels great!
And yes.... all you mom's out there, I am not going to over do it today. I'll still be good. :)
Boy, it only kept getting better after I posted yesterday. I almost felt like I hadn't even had surgery. I slept in my bed for the first time all night! Part on my back and part on my side.
But now I have a different problem and quandary. Unfortunately, people that have ankylosing spondylitis get stiff, have muscle spasms and lower back pain when not moving. My mattress which is a memory foam mattress is so comfortable, I don't move much. So when I got up this morning, my lower back was killing me. My back never hurt in the recliner because I of the position of my spine. This really has nothing to do with my surgery though. I had just forgotten how my back would hurt sleeping in bed.
It's just amazing how good I feel! Enough so that I might even try to see a couple of customers on Wednesday. I am a happy camper!!!
Hugs to you all. I'll take some photos after my shower and post them.
I want to bring this up again. I have lived with chronic idiopathic constipation for all of my life and ended up having a hemorrhoidectomy in 2011. Before my surgery, a friend told me about a certain brand of magnesium that is taken daily as a supplement. I have used it ever since and it is the best stuff. I have not been constipated at all.
It has worked so much better than stool softeners. I was on 3 stool softeners every day for years plus a prescription drug. I ate lots of fiber and used Metamucil as well. I do not take the prescription med or stool softeners any more.
A couple women from here have told me they've started it and love it too.
It comes in 125mg tablets. You take what your body needs. If you travel, increase the 3 of tablets to keep you soft. It does not have a laxative effect. It is slow release so you don't get gas or bloating.
So, you can start taking it before surgery to soften poop. Increase it after surgery to get you to a soft but still formed stage and pooping should be easy. No "omg I need the bathroom NOW".
It can only be bought on line. When I first started, I took 8 per day. Then I was able to cut it back to 1-2 per day. After my surgery, I was upped it to 5 till I pooped and have lowered it back down to 2 per day.
P.S. I do not work for them!
Non TT related but so embarrassing!
Do you have any idea how awful it is when you accidentally pour diet Dr. Pepper on a piece of sushi instead of soy sauce? I do.
Good and not so good
Hi beautiful ladies!
I am doing really well. That being said, I am very swollen today. I have fluid pockets and you can see them in the photo. They look like rolls of fat. My lower tummy is really swollen too. Doc will aspirate them on Friday.
ugggg....up 4+ pounds from 2 days ago. That is not unusual for me, but it makes my skin feel crappy and burn a lot.
I slept in bed again last night. My lower back hurt so bad this am, hubby had to help me stand up. So, I guess it's back to the recliner.
It's not so much the TT that is causing me to have an off day but the crap I deal with having Ankylosing spondylitis. On the other hand, I don't have cancer and it's not going to kill me. I cherish every day and focus on the positives. Someday's are just a little harder than others.
Another beautiful day in paradise!
I am feeling a little less swollen today. Tired. Hubby went to a concert last night and I was up late. Slept in recliner all night which is just so much easier for me than the bed right now.
Not doing a thing except driving his son home and back. 1 hour. Otherwise I'm just resting.
Hugs to you all. Thank you for caring and sharing!
Lots to tell!
Had a great visit with Dr. Shaw yesterday.
My friend who is the massage therapist had an app with the muscles of the body and was interested in talking to him about what or if he did anything to other muscles. He was just great and spent quite a bit of time with her going over the muscles and how they all interacted.
I felt very swollen and had the fluid pockets. He really manipulated my lower tummy because it was hard and swollen and he wanted to make sure there was no fluid. It didn't hurt but man, did it feel weird and yucky! He said it was just the normal up and down of swelling. He removed 15 cc's from upper belly. So it's getting less: 45, 20, 19, 15. He said I have to wear the compression garment until there is no more fluid. He pretty much cleared me for life except for high impact stuff (uh, what's that?, lol) and said to rest when I can and don't overdo.
He decided to take off the scab in the middle section of my incision. I am to do a wet/dry treatment. I soak a small piece of gauze in saline, crumble it up and put it on that spot. Cover with 2 pieces of gauze. When it's dry 8-10 hours later, I'm to pull it off and it will debride the area.
The steri-strips are off and the incision looks amazing! It's so thin. I now have silicone strips on. They stay on for a week before I change them. The brand is Mepitac. 1" x 36" was $27. I was surprised. I thought it would be a lot more expensive. It will last me a long time.
Then after my appointment, my friend gave me a lymphatic and relaxing massage. That was awesome!
I really believe the reason my incision is so good is because he left the steri-strips on for 4 weeks. They protected it and kept it from stress and tension. Now the silicone strips will do the same and more.
So for an exciting Saturday night's entertainment, I did some online research an scar treatments. Not sure I really learned anything new but I did find something interesting!
Here are some sites with information:
This blew my mind! They have the exact same product "on sale" for $143 that I paid my doctor $27 for. Mepitac. I also found it on Amazon for close to what I paid.
Wow....we really need to do our homework!!!
I have a raging case of allergies! I have NO voice, though I think, no I KNOW hubby is enjoying the silence! My eyes itch and I've been miserable all day.
Not much to report on the TT.
Remind me to never search the net for info when I don't feel good and have allergies!
Doc appt 10/6
Saw the PS yesterday. I didn't think I had fluid build up but he knew immediately. He took out 17cc's which is a little more than last Friday. It was lower cause he went in deep and wiggled the syringe! But he was happy with what he got. He said If I want I can take off the CG for a couple of hours or if I'm going out for dinner. YEA!!! I still wear it most of the time though.
A wonderful woman from RS and I had side by side appts at his office yesterday and we went to happy hour! I wanted to take a photo but forgot! Probably best since I look so crappy! I enjoyed every minute at happy hour with her! Cool, huh?
I am so happy!
Went to happy hour with five girlfriends. Wore skinny jeans and NO CG! It felt great! I put it on when I got home. I can see I'm a bit swollen BUT swollen is still eons better that I was before!
Allergies and bad spot
Allergies are so bad I can hardly lift my head off the pillow. The TT was nothing compared to this! I did cough up a bunch of whitish/clear stuff so no infection. That helped. My nose feels like a water spigot! I wish I felt 10% as good as you all say I look!!! This too shall pass, but it's taking it's own sweet time! I started on Singular yesterday and am also taking MuscinexD and Allegra. Took a big gulp of Niquil last night.
I've been doing the wet/dry dressing on the bad spot. Yesterday it bled when I took out the dried gauze. It bled a bit more today. So I called the doc's office and spoke to a nurse. She said bleeding is good as it shows it's all alive. I feel better after talking to her, but really wish this thing would heal. I've also developed an irritation to the paper tape. So she said to not use any tape at all and let the CG hold it in place.
And so it goes....
Allergies and Life
As I sit here feeling sorry for myself, thinking that if I had had this TT without anesthesia or pain meds, I couldn't be more miserable than I am right, now, I watched a video about a little baby boy that only lived a week. Know what? All of a sudden my allergies are not even worth mentioning.
The good and a little bump in the road.....
The good.... fluid was down to less than 5cc's. Bad spot is doing exactly what it's supposed to do and he said I'm doing a good job with it. I think I am actually a little better today. Finger's crossed!
The bump.... there is a red area under my belly button. He numbed it and started poking around. It did not hurt at all but man, it felt weird. Kind of felt like someone was thumping it on the inside. I've never had a baby and I wonder if that's how it feels when you feel a baby kick. He finally found the stitch that was working it's way out. He knew it had to be there and it was. He put anti-biotic ointment on it and has me on a week of oral anti-biotics. On the off chance, that I have an infection and it's not just allergies, this should do double duty.
What's amazing is I'm kind of afraid to push and poke on my BB and whole stomach. He sure isn't! It's not as fragile as we think.
It's a brand new day!
Believe it or not, I am sitting on the patio having a cup of coffee with hubby. Birds are singing, the sun is shining, there is a light breeze and I am much better!
Now I'm wondering if I had an infection after all. I took an anti-biotic about noon yesterday and last night about 10 was feeling much better. Oh the other hand, allergies can go as quickly as they come. All I know is Thank God, I feel better!
In a bit, I am going to take off off the silicone strips and shower this gross body! After I'm done, I'll take some pics of my incision. BB is still red but I know that is temporary.
I slept in the recliner till 4:30, then moved to the bed. I have no problems laying down anymore.
In fact, you know you are healing when you no longer think about the surgery when turning or moving.
Wow, do I feel better! I showered and life is good again!
I am pretty swollen today. However, I'd take the swelling any day over the old me! In a couple of photos, you can see the imprint from my hand on my stomach.
I am so, so happy with my incision. The right side looks a little better than the left but I'm more swollen on the left too. Not sure why.
My BB is red and irritated but that will get better. You can see where he dug around looking for the elusive stitch.
My "bad" spot looks gross but PS said that it's doing what it's supposed to do and it looks good. Ok then!
It's interesting trying to find freckles and marks to compare where on the body they are after vs before.
Have a great Saturday!
Not much new!
It's 6 weeks today! Can't believe how fast it's gone. Not much new happening. Just keeping bad spot wet/dry dressed. Doing work from home. I am at my lowest weight this am in 5 years!
I did have a little issue yesterday with relaxing and sucking in my stomach muscles and how much it pooched out there when relaxed. A RS friend got me off the ledge and said not to panic, it's most likely swelling. mmmm....not sure but I'm not going to stress. I will ask the doc on Friday.
I feel so much better and pretty much over the allergies.
The spot on my leg that was biopsied last week is NOT cancer. Yea! It's Lichen Simplex Chronicus. Jeeze...
My friend is coming over to give me a massage in a bit.
Hope you all are having a great week so far!
Brain vs Emotions.....
I mentioned that I could see a difference in my after stomach letting it relax or sucking it in. I don't think I've ever been aware of either from surgery until this week.
Intellectually I'm not stressing. However, my emotions, vanity and ego are putting up one heck of a fight!
The first two photos are taken within seconds. Sucking it in and letting it relax. I didn't think it was supposed to pooch out like that when relaxing. If it was swelling, then sucking it in or not would not make a difference. So there goes my brain vs emotions. I see my surgeon tomorrow and am going to "show and ask".
On the other hand, I put the sucking it in with a before photo and well, it's a no brainer! I am loving the new me!
My hole is coming along. Still looks like there is a long way to go and only 3 weeks till Mexico. Fingers are crossed that it's healed by then.
hole in tummy update - 6 weeks and 2 days PO.
Here are 3 photos of the wet/dry treatments.
Chiklet3....this is for you!
So the plug got my mind going. I couldn't help it. Not just any plug, but a champagne cork with matching bikini. So...RS'ers new career for me? Or a trip to the loonybin? lol
6½ week update at PS
So, what a great appointment!
1. My hole is healing. Keep doing what I'm doing.
2. He only aspirated 7 cc's of fluid!
3. Said I could stop wearing the CG! WOOHOO!!!! But he put a breast band and the foam pad over where I'm getting fluid. That I have to leave on but it's so much better than the CG. I am FREE!!!
I know a lot of you love the CG's and wear spanx, etc all the time. Not me! If I get really swollen, I'll put it on but I am so glad I can go with NOTHING!!!
4. The big question about my tummy. He said my core needs to be strengthened. Just because he stitched the rectus back together doesn't mean all the other core muscles are strong. He said anyone can relax and let their muscles and guts fall forward or be pushed out. He said it's totally normal.
He even got on the floor and showed me some beginning core exercises. The I got on the floor with him and did a few with him. Can you imagine? lol.... it was pretty awesome and funny. He and his nurse said it was the first time he's ever done that! But it really shows what a great guy he is in addition to being a great doctor.
He said that contracting/tensing/sucking my tummy muscles won't hurt me and are even a form of core strengthening.
I feel soooooooo much better!
Every time I meet with him, reinforces what a tremendous surgeon and person he is. He does what it takes to have a successful outcome for every patient. He can't do it alone though...it's a partnership between him and I. I have to follow his rules, which I do. And because of that, I am loving the new me!
I also want to thank you and every single RS member. You all are so amazingly supportive and friendly. I am so happy and blessed to have found this site. I wish you all happiness and successful healing!
P.S. I had a baby woodpecker fly into my house today or my cat may have brought it in. It took forever to get it out. It was so stressed and scared. I got it in a towel and held it for a bit. I tried to stroke it's back but it was too fast for me. Poor thing. It flew off and was not hurt.
Just got these from Venus and couldn't wait to show you. There is absolutely NO way I could have worn or even considered wearing these before my surgery. I am so thrilled!
What is going on with the site today?
Comments are not at the end of the reviews. They are mixed in with the review updates. Anyone else have that issue?
I am so not happy with this site change. It's so messy now. Impossible to just read a review and updates are easy to miss. I will never understand why developers have to mess with a good thing.
So if I miss replying to one of your comments, I apologize.
I've not had the compression binder on since Friday except for the narrow band over where I collect fluid. I am loving it. I was pretty swollen last night but even that didn't bother me. I slept pretty good too.
I love not having a "shelf" to rest my laptop on. lol
My hole is pretty goopy today, but I think it looks shallower on one side which is good.
It's a beautiful sunny day in AZ. I have big beautiful blossoms on my hibiscus bush. I've chuckled at a big woodpecker hanging from the hummingbird feeder getting his drink.
You know... life is pretty darn good and I feel so blessed!
I love reading about the emotional excitement of those women who are just 1-2 days from surgery. I get excited for them all over again and I've not even met them!
This is another new top from Venus! It's a halter and you can tie it up higher for a more modest look or not as tight for a sexier look.
Have a wonderful Sunday! Hug and kiss those you love....cherish them and let them know!
Update on not wearing CG. 7 weeks PO
I only wore the narrow breast band all weekend. I just loved not wearing the big one. I got swollen at night, but that was ok. I was fine sleeping without it. As soon as I stop producing fluid, I can lose the small binder. it's only about 4" wide. All is great!
My hole looks like it got a lot better over the weekend too. I see new tissue growth!
Site is even worse.....
I really try to be positive about changes. I have been so appreciative of this site and every woman or man on it.
However, if RealSelf thinks they helped by now hiding ALL the comments, they are sadly mistaken. Now we can't see ANY comments without clicking the arrow? That makes it completely impossible to see if we have new comments.
I do understand that developers who decide to make these changes (and those on any site) do not want to admit they are wrong. Therefore, it probably won't get better. They still have not responded to my email.
I am very disappointed and am losing interest in posting and commenting. They are just making it more difficult and much more time consuming.
Incision and hole update 7 weeks post op
I am amazed and so very happy at how quickly my hole is closing up. I can tell a difference even from this morning. The picture shows it on 10/19 and 10/23.
Also, I am so happy with my incision. This is what I expected it to look like at a year, not 7 weeks. The incision photos were from Saturday when I had the scar tape off.
Sometimes I wonder if natural things work or would something have improved anyway. I am becoming more and more of a believer in Arnica gel every time I use it.
Yesterday, I banged my funny bone on a metal bar stool in my backyard. It hurt like hell!!! It started to bruise and it hurt to bend my arm and also throbbed when not moving. I went to bed and it was really hurting. I got up and rubbed Arnica gel on it. All the pain was gone and so was the bruise this am. Pretty cool!
Doc appt today and BIG day tomorrow!
Saw my PS today and he aspirated 5 cc's. Not much but stubborn. He told me he stitched my muscles to my skin like in a drainless TT. Plus as added insurance, he does the drains. So I got the best of both worlds. I didn't know he did that.
My hole is smaller yet and gets smaller every time I change the gauze. It's barely big enough to get the wet gauze in it. COOL!!!
I still have to wear the narrow compression band over where he aspirated but he knows I'm going to Mexico and won't be wearing it, at least when I'm in a bathing suit. He said by then, if I have any fluid, it will probably be absorbed back into my body.
Tomorrow night is the party where I give hubby a wedding ring in a short ring cermony. I've managed to not tell him or even hint! He really has no idea. I'm so excited! I put my wedding dress on today and it fits the same. lol.. I just don't look like a pregnant bride!
I put lights up in the backyard today and have been cleaning the patio. It was near 90 today!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'll post photos of tomorrow night!
My hole is almost closed! I can't believe it. The deep part is less than an 8th of in inch across. The skin part is 3/8?? I'll take photos tomorrow.
I am ready for the party. Friends came over today and helped decorate and make food. So that made it easier on me. They brought a tripod and camcorder but don't know if hubby noticed or not. He hasn't said anything. He wouldn't spoil the surprise if he did figure it out.
I did more physical stuff yesterday and today than I have since surgery. I'm swollen but not bad. I hit a wall last night about 7 though and had to stop. Hubby did all the dishes and cleaned up. I went to bed at 9:45. I did take an Ambien so I would get a good nights' sleep.
I woke at 6am and hubby was up or so i thought. I got up and he was asleep on the sofa. Apparently another woman was sleeping in our bed because he said there was loud snoring all night and it drove him from the room! He said it was a freight train that wouldn't stop!! Couldn't be me... He said one time when he touched "her", she said "thank you"!!! lol I knew I was tired!!!
Party and 8 week update
The party was amazing. He was so surprised and touched. A friend took photos but I don't have them yet. They won't be very good because it was dark. I had Christmas lights over all the bushes, candles everywhere, our pool was alternating blue/teal/purple and the temperature was perfect. 75º!
I did more in the 2 days prior and the day of the party than I've done since surgery. I was pretty swollen but still felt great. I wore the long black dress with the strappy back for the party and my wedding dress for the ceremony. Our friend did awesome and we both had tears. I think many guests did too.
We went to bed about 2am and I woke about 4:30 and could not go back to sleep. ugggg... I ended up being a total slug yesterday. I slept from 7-9, did a few dishes, went back to bed for an hour, got up and did a few things, repeat. Hubby basically did all the clean up and it was a lot!
I could have had the entire RealSelf community from the amount of food we had!
My hole is almost healed. The deep part that still has the goop is maybe 1/8th of an inch. The outer part is closing up nicely. Guess my PS really does know what he's talking about! lol He said it would take 6 weeks to heal and he's pretty much right on the money.
My tummy is a bit swollen still, but even so, I am verrrrrrrrry happy!
These aren't the best but I'm glad we have something!
7 week update
Today is our actual anniversary!
My hole looks like a small scrape. The deep part is gone. I can only get about ¼ of a piece of guaze on it. Not even "in" in but on it. It should be all gone by this weekend.
I don't think I have any fluid which is wonderful. But my PS can tell the minute he sees it and sees things I don't. So fingers crossed when I see him on Friday.
I noticed that the last 2 nights I have an easier time turning over. I don't feel my stomach tightness so much. Oh the other hand, the Ankylosing Spondylitis causes me so much pain in bed that I am still more comfortable in the recliner. But I am sticking it out in bed. Hubby has to help me stand up in the morning. Oh well....I have a flat stomach and am alive and enjoying life!!! Does it get any better than that?
I was worried these latest photos were a bit racy but a Realself friend said to go for it! So if they are....you can blame her!!! Ok, just kidding!
I still can't believe this is me. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have a flat stomach like this.
I have two more things to say.....my breasts look bigger and perkier than before surgery and THANK GOD for good push up bras!!! He was looking out for us "old" women with the invention of these!
Forgot pics of hole.
The first photo is on the 26th and the 2nd is today. Big difference!
Anniversary dinner with hubby
So, remember the reward or goal dress hubby bought me in Vegas? Well, I wore it tonight out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary. It was a wonderful evening! I had oysters on the half shell, tenderloin medallions with lobster, creamed spinach and dessert. OMG!!!! Is was "to die for" incredible!
I am bursting at the seams. I thought I was pacing myself and eating in moderation. Wrong! It's a good thing I don't do this every day!
I am betting my hole is healed by Sunday, it looks that good!
PS appt today - 8.5 weeks PO
My hole isn't a hole anymore!!! WooHoo!!! It just looks like a scrape. No more wet/dry dressings. Just a little antibacterial ointment and a bandaid. I'll post a picture later.
He said I might have a very little amount of fluid but not enough to aspirate today. He wants me to come in on Monday to look at it and see if he can get any out. We leave on Thursday, so he wants to do it closer to when we leave.
So close to being completely healed and fluid free! I feel great!!
Photo of the "not a hole anymore". 8.5 weeks PO
Here is is....wow what a difference! I also posted a photo from a week ago. Hopefully, those of you that have this and feel like it will never heal are reassured it will. It seems to take forever and then BAM! In a weeks time a huge difference!
Have a GREAT weekend! Remember take care of yourselves! You only get one body!
WOOHOO! I'm FREE! 9 week PO!
Saw Dr. Shaw today. My hole is gone! He said I no longer have to do anything to it. He said to wait till I get home from vacation before I use scar tape as the skin is very fragile and the tape could cause it to open again.
He aspirated only 3 cc's. So he said I don't have to wear the band anymore.
NO MORE COMPRESSION BINDERS!!! WOOHOO!!!
But....I may take it and wear at night if I get really swollen from too much fun in the sun. ;) Then again I may not!
9 weeks today and it feels so darn good!
He changed my life and I am profoundly grateful for his expertise as a surgeon. Plus he is a "real" person, not an ego like other doctors. That is a gold medal winning combination!
Hope you all are having a great evening!
For those of you that are struggling, be patient. Your WOOHOO day will come too!
9.5 weeks po. Arrived in Mexico!
So.... This is sooooo vain but! I wore a short skirt and a tank top traveling to Mexico. I wore a push up bra that makes the girls look twice a big and perky. I know I'm kind of too old for this, but damn, I felt sexy and hot! More so than I've ever felt! I sooooo love this TT! Just sayin'!
We are having a marvelous time! There was a candle light bubble bath waiting when we got back to our room the last two nights. Everything is amazing.
So, it's interesting, at least to me, that I can look at a woman and know if she has Diastasis. I have never felt so good wearing a bathing suit! Especially being around other women my age. Oh hell, any age! That still sounds sooooo vain.
I had a massage yesterday and had no problem laying on my stomach. Actually was able to forget I even had a TT.
The first night, I wore a sun dress that I've worn before TT. I felt big and like I did before the TT.
Wore another new Venus dress for dinner last night and felt GREAT!
They had a raggae band on the beach last night so we danced. I was even more confident dancing. Except when we came together and our stomachs touched. I was swollen and it felt weird.
You all will be proud! I have worn the compression belt the last two nights to sleep.
Have a great weekend!
Oh no, I bet I can't post a photo. I'll try.
Yikes! A painful reminder....
No matter that the doc has released me. I still have healing going on even at 9.5 weeks and everyone should remember that.
I have been doing great. Even forget I had surgery at times. However, we were walking the beach today and I was not looking at the ground. I stepped into a low spot and man did it take me by surprise. It killed my lower back and the muscles in my lower stomach felt jarred and hurt.
It sure reminded me that I am still healing. I put the CG on later in the afternoon after my shower before dinner.
10 weeks today!
11 Nov 2014
2 months post
Doing really well. Have had several massages and no issues laying on my stomach. I have been putting the CG on at night. But I really haven't felt swollen, just tight.
Wish I could post pics but those will have to wait.
Hope all is well with everyone!
11 week update!!!
17 Nov 2014
2 months post
We made it back home safe and sound. It was a romantic and incredible vacation. It was our fifth year in a row going to this resort. I love the staff, am friends with many on FB and they go out of their way to make our vacation spectacular. If you ever want to get away for a romantic vacation this is the place: El Dorado Maroma.
I did wear the compression binder in the afternoon when getting ready to go to dinner and at night when I slept.
I had no issues with massages and I had 5!!! I did a body treatment which included a scrub and I showed the therapist my incision and she stayed away from it.
I have a lot of reading here to catch up on! I want to see how everyone is doing.
Here are some photos from the trip. I tried to keep them related to plastic surgery so did not post any that are of the resort except one from the candlelight dinner on the beach for our anniversary.
The before photos in bathing suits are from last year. What a difference, huh?
Wanted to add something else...
17 Nov 2014
2 months post
Hubby told me in the beginning that I didn't need to do the TT for him. I told him I wasn't. That it was for me. He said after the PS consults, that he saw how emotional it was for me to "bare" myself and he wanted me to have it for me.
During our trip, he told me the mental and emotional changes in my confidence far exceeded what he expected. He said that not only am I changed physically, my mind is a new me too.
Of course, he added that I changed his bank account too! Not just from the cost of surgery, but all the clothes I've bought. lol I so love that man!
Happy 12 week Anniversary!
25 Nov 2014
2 months post
Wow! Where did the time go? I can't believe it's been 12 weeks already. I remember in the beginning, being very interested in seeing all 9 week photos because that's where I was when we went to Mexico. And that's a memory already!
So, now at 12 weeks, here is my update. The results far exceeded any expectation I had. I think my scar looks great. I can't say I get swollen as much as my stomach gets very hard and tight at night or if I'm doing a lot. I LOVE my belly button!
I've been sick with a fever of 101.6 the last three days so back in the recliner for me. I've noticed that when sitting for a long time or being hunched over, I get tender or some feel small dull aches along my bottom ribs. I believe it's 100% posture related. But with the new tight muscles, hunching over is making something rub on something. How's that for medical verbiage? It could also still be some healing and return of nerve function. It does take up to two years for nerves to completely heal.
My measurements are starting to change. 2" off my waist. 3" off my abdomen. My "skinny" size fits looser now.
I HATED my breasts before the TT. I thought they looked like droopy dogs ears. One was larger and the center of the nipple was over an inch lower. I don't have upper fullness. Now? They look so much better! It's like they've changed but nothing was done. I actually love them now! How did that happen?
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Cherish and hold tight (if you can) those you love!
You won't believe this....
25 Nov 2014
2 months post
Last week when another RS'r posted a photo of a dress from Venus, I had an idea. lol...they usually get me in trouble.
Anyway, I sent a letter with photos to the president of Venus. I told him about my TT and vacation in Mexico and how amazing his clothes make me feel, especially after my TT. I really figured a secretary would read it, think "how nice" and put it in the circular file. Well! I got a phone call from him tonight! He told me I made his day. We chatted for awhile and I told him how many on RS have Venus dresses and suits and we feel so great in them. I think that was so very cool!
lol....I wanted to suggest that he have a "real woman" section of the catalog and I'd love to be part of it. I didn't but wanted to! Dream on.....
26 Nov 2014
2 months post
If you are unable to reply to my (or any) review, please know I have not done anything to cause that. One RS'r said she can read but not reply. I would contact customer support.
27 Nov 2014
2 months post
I wish for all my RS sisters, a happy, fun and loving Thanksgiving. If you are traveling, safe travels! I know I have much to be thankful for and each of you is a reason!
30 Nov 2014
2 months post
I know this isn't plastic surgery related, but we need all the prayers we can get. My 81 year old mom fell on Thanksgiving and broke 5 ribs. She's in the hospital. She has numerous health issues as well. They are very concerned about pneumonia, blood clots (now on Heperan) and her kidneys are at about a 30% function. So, all prayers are so very welcome.
sorry, I've not been on much or at all lately. So much going on. I am feeling better.
My mom is in rehab doing pretty good. She hurts but is learning how to do things to be independent and mobile again.
I started my annual Christmas turtle making. A friend and I made about 1350 turtles. 40 hours of labor! And it's a labor of love!
I will get back here and post an update.
Hope you beautiful ladies are all doing well!
Hugs and kisses!
Turtles and TT
I have to say that after 10 hours of dipping caramels in chocolate, my tummy was so swollen. It seems that unless I have perfect posture, I get really sore right on my bottom right rib. It almost feels like the bone is bruised. I'm pretty positive it's from the tightly sewn muscles moving stuff around in there.
Otherwise, I've never been happier and so glad I did it.
15 Dec 2014
3 months post
Sorry I've not been on here much. Baking, shopping and all the Christmas stuff is keeping me busy!
My TT is awesome! I do get swollen it seems one day a week. So I put on my binder, sleep in it and it goes away.
I do have news! My friend that took such good care of me had a consult today with my PS about a TT. This is unbelievable but he has an opening on Thursday and she took it! She went through it with me so knows what to expect.
I can't believe it's so fast. Screws up Christmas, but at least it's done.
I'll be back to post my updates when I can.
24 Dec 2014
3 months post
I'm sorry I've not updated lately. I'm doing great! There was lots family stuff going on.
My friend came through surgery and is doing incredible. It's been 7 days and she's not had one pain pill or even Tylenol. She looks great.
I promise I will be back to posting soon.
Attached are some photos from a party this December. I wore it last year but felt so much better in it this year with a flat stomach!
Please love and cherish those with you and far away this Christmas. Also take a moment to remember those no longer with us. Their smiles are shining down from heaven.
Finally! I'm updating!
27 Apr 2015
7 months post
I first want to apologize for not updating. Life is busy, had nothing new to report and I fell behind. My boss asked me to create, design all the pages for our new catalog. That consumed my life till the middle of March.
My husband retired on 1/16 so he's home all day now. Love it and well, sometimes, I'm glad he gets out! Thank you for checking in to see if I had updated. I hope you are all well and enjoying your new bodies!
I'm doing great. Still had a strange "bubble" on my belly button that my surgeon has gone in and dug around several times and can't find anything. The last time was a few weeks ago and it's still gone, so hopefully it doesn't come back.
I had my scar revision on 4/21 on the scar that formed from where he pulled down my old belly button. I get the steri-strips off tomorrow! I can't wait to see how it looks.
It was interesting. As they were prepping me, one gal put pads connected to a wire on my calf. She said it was to ground me. HUH? Then he's getting the local ready and turns around with a syringe with a 5-7" needle. lol I said holy shit! He said close your eyes. I said I wanted to watch. Yeah, bossy even then. But they put a cool cloth over my eyes which probably was smart.
I'm still pretty numb all along the incision area so really didn't feel the local except a little burning on a couple areas. No biggie.
Then he cut out the old scar.
This next part surprised me. He cauterized the opening. That took a good part of the 45 minute procedure. I could smell my skin burning. I always wondered how they control the blood and see things during surgery.
Then for the rest, I could feel him pulling my skin together and stitching it. No pain, just could feel the pulling. I believe he pulled up the mons area up more than he pulled down the stomach. The stitches are the dissolving kind. I have steri-strips, gauze and a breast band to hold the gauze in place. I'm allergic to tape. No bath or showers for 3 days or so. No strenuous exercise for a few days either.
He's very happy with the results. He thought he would have to do a small vertical stitch in the center but he did not. So I should have a nice even line.
OH! When he finished, he asked if I wanted to see. Yes! But the steri-strips were on so there wasn't much to see. However, I asked to see the scar they cut out. Now I think he thinks I'm nuts. But he showed me. It's about 5" long but instead of flat like on my body, it shriveled so it was more shaped like a long piece of string about a 3/8" in diameter.
I was completely numb and felt fine! I will admit I was a little shaky right after.
I had some burning and pain the first two days. But after that, I'm fine.
I'll post some photos of the revision after tomorrow.
Here are some photos taken in January.