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I have wanted a flat stomach forever and a day --...

I have wanted a flat stomach forever and a day -- I have tried EVERYTHING to get rid of it. Rigorous work-outs, rediculous diets. Nothing has affected my self esteem more. I don't like for men to touch my stomach (which causes me to be very self concious during sex), I have to walk around sucking it in, I wear loose T-shirts to hide it and you will NEVER see me in any skimpy tops like a bikini. I am not sure why my stomach is like this, I have never been pregnant. I have horrible stretch marks all over my hips, legs, arms and breasts. Is it genetic?

I decided to get a tummy tuck on whim. I thought to myself, wow I am getting a lot of taxes back and if I work a few extra hours I am sure I can get it done around my birthday. I am turning 30 by the way, so this is sort of a large hurdle for me and I thought I'd buy myself a gift. The procedure is scheduled the day after my birthday.

I am planning on getting a full tummy tuck with muscle plication, as well as liposuction of the mid-back and flanks. I am hoping for some curves, ladies, because I am straight up and down at the moment. This is my dream body, part one. The saga will continue, but for now I am focusing on my midsection.

I do have to say that surgery is very scary to me. I have never had a surgery in my life. I've never had a broken bone, a cavity, or a pregnancy so I am sure that I don't know what real pain is like.

I should mention that I am 5ft 9 and weigh about...

I should mention that I am 5ft 9 and weigh about 165 lbs. My high weight was 245. I have had men tell me things like "well this just shows that things don't always look the same when you take someone's shirt off". Thanks, guys. There is a lot of damage to my breast tissue as well, but those can be tucked away. The tummy is always in public view and also really defines your figure.

I am working hard to save up for my month off of work. I hadn't quite figured out that expense when I decided a date to have my surgery. I am a bit frusterated because a) I don't always get to work as many hours as I want and b) odd hours, questionable breaks, and job stress lead to minimal availability of healthy food options and bad food choices.

At least I am getting my 2000 daily steps in (more like 10 miles of walking every day I work).

I am starting to feel less worried about pain, even though I don't tolerate pain medicaitons. Lately I am more worried about whether I will end up with the result I really want. Will my scar be too high or end up looking really bad? Will I be as flat? Also....will I end up with an infection or other problems? I am SO excited about having the body I've dreamed of but I am a worry wart.

Also I should mention that I am a nurse, and subject to seeing every type of horrible surgery complication.

It's amazing the emotions we go through. I imagine...

It's amazing the emotions we go through. I imagine this happens no matter which giant barrier you are coming face to face with. I have only told my best friend about the procedure. I am worried that others will say things like, "well 10 grand could buy you a car" or "10 grand is a nice start to a downpayment on a house". Even my best friend was like..."I would never spend that much, but I would get lipo from head to toe". Then my friend admitted that I would feel a lot better about myself if I got things in my midsection fixed.
I wonder more every day about WHY my tummy is so puffy looking. It is soft and squishy, like fat. It's been around for more than half my life. Is it because I was so heavy at one point and lost 100 lbs in 6 months? I was young and stupid and used unhealthy means...perhaps those means caused my abdominal wall to stretch to the point of no return? I have stretch marks around my back, thighs, upper arms and ... oh yeah....my breasts are sad little sacks of stretched skin. Those, I will fix later.

My current emotion: guilty.

Yesterday I had my pre-op appointment. I had my...

Yesterday I had my pre-op appointment. I had my "before" pictures taken, which was pretty embarassing. My PS will send the before and after photos to me via email per my request. I was also given instructions on drains, and advice on stage 2 compression garments after the original comes off. I am supposed to wash with hibiclense for a week prior to surgery (a strong antiseptic soap) and start taking antibiotics the day before.

My surgeon is board certified and works at a local hospital doing reconstructive surgeries as well as being a partner in a plastic surgery business. He has a large binder with photos from various surgeries including tummy tucks. There were various body types but none really matched mine. I don't have as much fat or loose skin as others, I believe my problem is mainly a weak abdominal wall.

I selected my surgeon based on recommendations, the fact that he has a good track record and visually appealing results, and his bedside manner. I aslo got a discount because I work at the same hospital as him. I saved about $1000.00.

My currebnt emotion is worry. Of course I am worried that things won't turn out the way I am dreaming of, but I am sure that everyone has their worries prior to surgery. I can't believe this is real! I am excited to finally fix my abdomen.

Yesterday I co-worker notice I was having trouble...

Yesterday I co-worker notice I was having trouble bending over to pick something up off the floor. It isn't my stomach really, rather it's my joints. Because of what I do for a living, I have been lifting/pushing/pulling large amounts of weight for 15 years. Yes I am only turning 30 so I started young. I also was a gymnast and ballet dancer when I was a teenager so that also wreaked havoc on my body.

Anyway, we were getting ready to do some lifting and she offered to do the heavy part because she doesnt want to "strain the bambino". Which led to me saying I wasn't pregnant. But then 5 other people asked me the same thing. I guess it is just getting harder and harder to suck it in . . . I am not sure why that is.

I think I am carrying extra bulk in my abdominal area not only because I have a weak abdominal wall but also because of stress. My job is soooooo stressful. The last three weeks I havent' taken a break or even had the chance to take sips of water or use the bathroom for 12 hours, and then I end up having to stay late to finish paperwork!!!!

Even though recovering from this surgery will be hard I honestly cannot wait to get a month off work.

Does anyone have this problem, of storing fat at your waistline due to stress?

Well guys, I am officially 30 and am having...

Well guys, I am officially 30 and am having surgery in less than 36 hours! I am very excited and trying to get everything together. I will be staying with a guy friend for the first few days so I am packing a suitcase. Comfy sweats, my plethora of pharmaceuticals. Hairbrush. Granny panties for a week. And my inner nerd.....gaming laptop for when I feel good enough to play, tablet for media consumption -- I am a windows girl. Android and Apple have both disappointed me. And of course I will have to have my Nook.

I haven't ordered my stage 2 binder but plan to do this in the morning. I am thinking of going with the Veronique brand does anyone have any experience or suggestions?

Oh so the drama by the way will probably ensue once I get back from the surgery. First off my guy friend, who is my best friend, has been avoiding my phone calls all weekend because his phone "doesn't have reception" where he is at (with a girl). Sooooo I told him I would kill him if he flakes out on me because he is my best friend and I honestly don't have any idea who would help me out if he suddenly bails. The closer it gets without him cancelling I feel a bit better.

But he DID tell me he is probably going to have girls over. I was like, dude really? I asked you to care of me. The last thing I want is hot 18 year olds in pink panties dancing around while I go hunched over, swollen, makeupless with frizzy hair and a bathrobe. Eew.

You'd think a guy just south of 40 would date people his own age. Though I am sure I will have several drug induced diary rants.

Onward and hopefully flatter.

THE PAIN. After waking up from anesthesia I...

THE PAIN. After waking up from anesthesia I shivered uncontrollably for an hour. This caused the pain to start. I got a shot of Demerol/vistiril and fell sleep again. Apparently my recovery took 3 hours.

Getting into the car was pure hell. I felt like a billion razors were cutting into.my belly yet the surface is numb. My friend pulled through. And I have to say thank god for a strong man. I had to lean on him sooooo hard. He had to take me to the bathroom and luckily enough we have been around enough to have no shame.

I slept the last 12 hours. Now it is the middle of the night and he is partly deaf so does not wake up. I just tried to go to the bathroom by my self and it worked out ok surprisingly. My drains are getting a lot of clots which worries me.

It took me about 8 hours to eat a tiny bag of
Animal crackers and I've had about 2 cups Gatorade. I am Taking Tylenol3 for pain.

My hands are shaking with the effort of typing. I will update as soon as I can. Thanks for listening.

So my friend flaked out. I can't stop crying. He...

So my friend flaked out. I can't stop crying. He basically room me to his house and stayed for 12 hours then took off to stay with his girlfriend and hour away. The bathroom is pretty far away and so is the kitchen. I was counting on his help. Instead I have been stuck on the couch without being able to get up to pee or get food or water. I think I have a fever and the room is spinning.

Most of you would ask, where is my support system. Well I moved to WA from MN not too long ago so I don't have many close friends. I considered this guy my best friend as I have known him about 5 years. He promised not to do this. I trusted him enough to undergo a drastic surgery with him as my only support.... I guess I was crazy and shouldn't have done it then?

I have an appointment with my PS at 8 am tomorrow and no way to get there. I am in a rural area (again I did not expect to be left alone) so there is no bus or cab service here. My appointment is a half hour away by car.

Please give me some sort of encouragement or advice. I can't hardly see for the tears.

Well, I spent the last half of yesterday a...

Well, I spent the last half of yesterday a blubbering mess. I was able to work myself over to the bathroom twice and got some tap water in a bottle. At my friends home there is a very long distance between the couch and the bathroom/kitchen (which are in opposite directions).

I am very blessed that a wonderful co worker picked me up and took me to my MD appointment and then dropped me home. She is so great, she has a huge family and even foster children on top as well as teaching Sunday school! She has had me over for dinner a few times since she knows my family isn't close by. She is very open minded and doesn't discriminate against anyone.

Now, I am home. The PS undid parts of my binder to make sure things were going well. I caught a glimpse of the scar and it is so low and thin! He used surgical glue and Steristrips. My belly button does have a round scar outside it (I know it is insider for some people) and I could actually see the real shape of my belly button! Just a quick peek though.

My left upper ab area is killing me. I am not sure why? I am taking Tylenol 3 for pain and it had been doing ok but this burning! Also my belly is starting to wake up and gas is not comfortable at all.

My PS said I could shower and go to a stage 2 binder when I feel comfortable. I am not having much swelling. Maybe it is because the drains will be in for a couple weeks? There is no way I am getting in a shower. I can barely get up and its all I can do to wash the important bits at the sink.

On the bright side I am able to move slightly better. I don't want to make this post too long, I will tell you why I feel scared to be alone while recovering tomorrow.

When did you start applying scar creams?

Today things are getting easier. I have been able...

Today things are getting easier. I have been able to keep up on liquids and even had half a sandwich yesterday. I am drinking Gatorade to supplement calories and taking vitamins and such.

I have been moving around. I took two Tylenol 3, waited an hour, and then went to the bathroom and bathed at the sink. I did have to take lots of
breaks but I feel better. Sooooo tired after though, and laying down. Pain is a lot better but ---

The swelling has begun.

I posted a picture of part of my incision, belly button, and drains. Excuse feminine bits I didn't have a way to edit it out but will do this soon. I was looking at different methods of making the new belly button, because mine is stitched in a triangle which I find unusual.

Thanks for being supportive guys I look forward to your input and support.

I itch. Like crazy. I take vistiril however the...

I itch. Like crazy. I take vistiril however the itching doesn't stop. Today I've been undoing parts of my stage one garment to massage the skin underneath... its especially my back. And I am so restless. I ordered a stage two garment online because my PS wanted me to get full back coverage as well as thighs. He suggested even having my arms in compression...(assuming due to lymph nodes?). I've not found the long sleeved addition yet

Guys even with the swelling...my stomach is sooooo flat. Problem is, the rest of my body isn't as awesome!

So I'm a bit of a computer nut. I live close to...

So I'm a bit of a computer nut. I live close to some shopping and I must have been delirious because for some reason I took it upon myself to walk across the street to the store late last night to get a part.

This morning I awoke in excruciating agony. A different kind of pain-- not the sharp stabbing pain in my incision but rather an unbearable ache. It was all I could do to reach next to me for pain meds.

I have been laying still since. I am still sleeping with my back propped up against pillows and my legs evaluated. Today my hands feel swollen. My drains didn't put out much overnight and I've not had to pee. I will be a bit worried if it doesn't resolve. The pain is growing as I type this on my tablet in "bed".

Yesterday I had a half sandwich, a 4 oz. Yogurt, and a granola bar as well as Gatorade and some flat soda. I am trying to increase my intake for optimum wound healing but I have no appetite. I've not had enough food to justify a BM either....

I have this horribly tender spot on my right hip that sends fire shooting across my hip when I touch it.

Two steps forward one step back.

Today I feel emotional. I am scared that I am...

Today I feel emotional. I am scared that I am alone. Last summer I found a friend nearly dead in his apartment and he had to be in ICU for 6 weeks. He didn't have anyone checking on him, and neither do I.

There are so many things that can go wrong after a major surgery like this.... I see it every day since I work at a hospital. My apartment is secured and you can't get in without a keycard. I don't think I could make it down to open there door if something goes wrong. What if I can't make a phone call because I am unconscious?

I am going to try taking a shower. My stage 2 garment will arrive either today or tomorrow. I will update how the shower went and try to get some new photos of my tummy.

I added some photos I took yesterday, my first day...

I added some photos I took yesterday, my first day out of binder. I never noticed how lopsided my breasts are...also they appear too low. I will have to make that a future project.

The shower was strange. I felt awful out of my binder, so unsupported. I was cold because I couldn't stand under the stream (no soaking incision.) getting back into my stage 1 binder was hell. My stage should arrive today.

So my couch is leather and has one of those recliner seats I thought to sleep in last night. Bad idea...I slid down into this strange sideways position with my right leg ending up off the recliner in the air and perhaps even stretching my hip past. I woke up and thought "crap" and tried to reposition myself.

My right side was/is on fire. I screamed and started crying because I could not move without a million knives slicing into my incision. I was able to reach my pain meds which I had placed in a convenient position, took two, waited 30 minutes, and took every ounce of will to move.

I ditched the recliner and went back to the short end of my L shape couch. Every time I try to move my right side burns so I will probably not move much today. I am sooooo worried I tore stitches!!!!!!

I would love to say "every day I'm getting better" but that doesn't seem the case.

SO I missed posting yesterday. For some reason I...

SO I missed posting yesterday. For some reason I took it upon myself in the middle of the night to wash my hair in the bathtub because I hadn't washed it in like 10 days. Mind you I have coarse frizzy hair and I only need to was h it once a week but it was starting to bother me. So what I did was sit on my knees and lean forward resting pressure on my elbows, so that I had as little abdominal involvement as possible. It took a while, and I was exhausted at the end, but it worked out ok.

I was sore and slept most of the day because of the exertion washing my hair. When I woke up I felt ok. I was going to go get food since I only had some apples and yogurt left in the house, but I made the mistake of checking my mail first and receiving news that my job is not allowing me every other Monday off for college courses -- I will graduate in 3 months --so this is a really big stressor for me.

Anyway I struggled into my Stage 2 garment. I got http://showcase.designveronique.com/designveronique/index.php/non-zippered-high-back-body-girdle.html

I need to have a high back because I had lipo on my mid back. I got an XL because I am tall and my hips/thighs are "thick". Once I got the thing past my hips it was fine. It is super comfortable and more supportive than my Stage 1 garment. I do have to have the straps crossed over my chest In front because the way it is shown in the photo cuts off the circulation to my arms. Does anyone else have a horrible time getting the darn thing on?

I only got 1 because they are expensive. I will just have to put my stage 1 back on when this one is air drying.

Today I walked across the street to get food. Going was ok. Coming back I started having horrible muscle spasms in my left hip, and my lower back because I am still walking a bit stooped over. Ouch. I slipped and fell on the wet steps next to my apartment, and my phone went flying into one of the shallow decorative pools in the courtyard.

So now I have no phone and no way to get a new one because there is no way I can drive at the moment.

On another note, I may be able to get one of my drains pulled maybe on Monday.....that is, if I can CALL the PS without a PHONE.....FML :(

Oh , and tried on my jeans thinking the binder was super slimming....no way was it buttoning. I did get it ON to my waist though. Just not buttoned. Also I have gained 10 lbs I hope it's fluids and not lack of activity/fat.

I should mention that, my incision still hurts...

I should mention that, my incision still hurts like heck and I have been putting ice on it. Ive also been taking way more pain medications, like I was on day 1. I have stuffed surgical pads in my garment, to catch any bleeding. I have not taken off my garment to see the damage done by today's fall. The whole no phone thing and no driving = no doctor for me. It's ok though, I know wound care. I am powering through it and trying to push myself to go for walks so that I don't end up with even more problems.

So I slid down to flat last night and ended up on...

So I slid down to flat last night and ended up on fire, mainly on my hips and below the incision on the inside of my thighs.

The areas that are exposed and the glue flaked off hurt the most. And it hurt a lot more when I rolled my binder down far enough to check for bleeding.

I am going absolutely crazy stuck at home. I ran out of groceries and don't have a phone. I feel like crying and yelling and pulling my hair out. I'd drive if I wasn't taking pain medications today.

Omg all my photos got deleted and I broke my phone...

Omg all my photos got deleted and I broke my phone which had the "before" photos. I guess I'll post the ones I get from my MD. I have all my post op ones on the computer so I'll add them...

Ok after some failed attempts stating "something's...

Ok after some failed attempts stating "something's gone wrong. We notified our developers" I got some of my post op pictures. I'll see if I can add more without all of them being deleted. I also updated to "worth it" -- I don't have to suck it in anymore! Yesterday I was complimented on how flat I am. I also added my doctor since a few people were wondering who!

So I got my "friend", the one who was supposed to take care of me and left me to rot, to take me grocery shopping. I went to WalMart so I could buy more pants. I found some maternity jeans. What an excellent solution! Ladies, write that down because it may come in handy!

I haven't had an appetite but I've been eating because I know I need to in order to heal. Trying to get in 1200-1500 a day. My pain has been coming and going. I've been trying to go for walks, since its been sunny out. Imagine that... sun in WA!

I noticed a tiny bump on the part of my incision where the glue came off (where a lot oh my pain is). I will post photos for opinions when I can get them to load!

Also, what do y'all think of my BB? What'll it look like when it heals?

Guys, I tried driving to the pharmacy today (1...

Guys, I tried driving to the pharmacy today (1 mile) even though I am not supposed to drive yet. I have a semi-automatic all wheel drive sports car. It is very low to the ground so hard to get in and out. Also steering it was a lot harder than I expected. Turning corners was the hardest. When I got to the pharmacy, it had been closed for 5 minutes, and they told me I have to come back tomorrow to get my medications, which I am out of. They are anti-epileptic medications...The effort is not worth it. Ladies don't drive before your body is ready if you can at all help it.

Hey all. So, I am on day 14. I seem to have turned...

Hey all. So, I am on day 14. I seem to have turned a curve and all of a sudden feel better over the last few days, pain wise. I got one of my drains out, which hurt like crazy, but it feels SO much better now. I have been doing short walks outside. It has been beautiful here, high 60's and sunny, there is a marina and beautiful sculptures by my apartment that are nice to sit by.

I don't have an appetite but I am trying to eat around 1200-1300 calories a day. I have been eating a lot of fruit and veg. Occasionally I slip in a piece of dark chocolate. Ive been eating celery with peanut butter like I used to as a kid. Other then that I never really eat meat...I have some eggs in the fridge which I usually love, but it just turns me off. I do have greek yogurt which I like. I am still drinking Gatorade as a supplement also.

I am worried about going back to work at the end of next week. I get tired really easily and since I am trying not to use my abs (hurts) my arms and back get really tired too. I had to carry a backpack yesterday to school (across the street) and it was horrible. It took me an hour to get there, and then I kept falling asleep in class I was so tired from it. I have been eating ibuprofen and Tylenol like candy.

So my new stressor in my life... I am in college. I take classes M and W. I am scheduled to work every other M. I have done everything in my power (a list as long as my arm) to try and get this day off including finding someone to work for me till summer. I had applied for an Educational Leave which was declined. I wasn't expecting it to be declined either. So...not sure what to do. Call in sick? Go down to per diem? I really do need an income esp after the cost of this procedure. :(

What would you do? I am not willing to give up my education.

Oh and my before photos are not retrievable but I have added a couple from today.

Hey everyone :) Today is a good day! I got the...

Hey everyone :) Today is a good day! I got the second drain removed and it feels wonderful. I mean it is still a bit red and itchy at the site but the pain and pulling is gone. This one did not hurt at all when it came out, and it was about a foot long inside me.

I will post some pictures tomorrow. I am swollen today, probably because I ate too much salt yesterday! Salt = the enemy. I swear all the staff at the PS office have had a ton of surgeries -- everyone tells me about their tummy tucks. So maybe that is why so many women on the beach have perfect stomachs! Now I don't feel so bad ;)

All the steri strips are off my front, as the nurse pulled them off. I still have a bunch of glue. She said I could start massaging it with creams and such. I do have to pull the steri strips off my back still though.

The lipo area is still swollen. It is funny it has ripples exactly where the cannula sucked out all the fat. It is a bit hard and sore to the touch. I am massaging my back a bit and taking warm showers. I can't believe that the giant fat fold under my bra line is gone!

I am still nervous about going back to work/ I am having trouble bending over still. I have felt a really strong urge to stretch my muscles so during my sleep I will wake myself up because I am stretching and tit hurts my tummy. I think it is related to my back....my back muscles are constantly cramping. Maybe part of it is because of the lipo.

I am walking a lot the last couple days because it was nice out. I like to sit by the water and people watch. Today it is raining so no walking for me, although I did go to the grocery store. I live on the 4th floor of an apartment building, so carrying everything up the stairs was a bit difficult. I bought some fresh fruit and veg. I think apple season exploded because there are apples from floor to ceiling in the hospital.

I have applied for a part time position at work so that it fits my school schedule. While I am at it I am considering going on to graduate school. It must mean I am feeling better! :)

Every day is a bit easier.

So last night I had a lot of trouble sleeping. I...

So last night I had a lot of trouble sleeping. I still can't lay flat or stand up straight. I think that my body is just sick and tired of sitting in such a weird position.

Most of my sharp pains have gone away with the removal of the last drain. I do get twinges and aches when I change positions ie sitting to standing, attempting to bend (I always support myself so I am not activating my core so much). I haven't needed to take much for pain.

There is still a lot of swelling. And my incision appears very angry! Mainly above my pubis area, it is very red and a bit lumpy. I started with some gentle massaging and started putting silicone on. I had bought the paint on stuff, and while it helped a bit with the "angry" look I don't like the fact that it doesn't stick well.

I will have to buy some silicone sheets.Does anyone have recommendations for a good brand? I thought of Maruka Honey, but it doesn't have a lot of research to back it up yet.

I am getting the strangest sensations. I feel like there is a band of tingling circling around my stomach but at the same time it is still that weird numb feeling too. And when I rub it, it feels so round! But when I look in the mirror it isn't round at all. When I rub the scar, there is one area that I can feel it up near my belly button! How strange.

So yesterday I took a shower and afterwards all...

So yesterday I took a shower and afterwards all the remaining surgical glue came off. Under the glue there are these wired open areas and my scar looks horrible in the center. The affected area is about 3 inches long. I found a clear suture tail sticking out the middle too.

Is it something I did wrong?

Yesterday I think I badly pulled a groin muscles... can't walk up right and limp anyway with horrible pain and spasms right lower ab/ groin area :(

Hey everyone. So I went to my PS yesterday because...

Hey everyone. So I went to my PS yesterday because I was concerned about my incision. I have been having the muscle spasms in my groin area continuing for several days. From sit to stand and leaning forward are the worst. After I am standing (I have to get up learning forward at a 90 degree angle) I can gently massage the area and relax it. I did this in public the other day and someone asked me if I was grabbing my crotch.

My PS says that my incision looks good, the dissolvable suture is coming to the surface a bit but he used a running stitch extending from one side to the other of my incision so he definitely did not want me to clip it. He just cut the tail end off. Boy am I glad I didn't touch the thing the last thing I want is for my incision to split open completely.

My PS said I could start scar therapy now. He recommended the silicone sheets and gave me a list of medical grade brands he approved of. I checked online and they were all expensive so I just bought the one he had available at the office. It is the long curved kind that runs from one hip to the other, which I cut in half lengthwise to get double the wear. I also put a piece over my belly button. The package actually says "for sale with prescription only". I can tell you one thing, those silicone strips are soo soothing! Like putting aloe vera on after a sunburn.

Apparently I can take my garment off to sleep now. However I still feel like my body is not quite attached to itself yet and also the compression garment helps support my muscles and prevent minor aches and pains. I did have to take a Tylenol 3 last night because of contiguous painful muscle spasms.

I am supposed to go back to work on Friday. I am not on weight restrictions but my PS said not to overdo it and to listen to my body. Well on a good healthy day my body takes a beating at work. I don't get to eat, pee, drink water or anything generally. I asked if I could be given a lighter load for the first few days but my manager said no.

I applied for a part time position due to my studies, which was also denied. I am planning to go to graduate school in the fall as well, so unfortunately I may be looking for another job :( Did I mention how much I hate all the drama?!

On another note I am going to go see Flashdance (broadway) in the theater two weeks from now. Has anyone seen it? I love the movie. Then again I love any movies with dancing in it.

Oh and I wanted to add, does anyone else pee...

Oh and I wanted to add, does anyone else pee funny? I have to lean way forward to pee straight down. The first time I noticed this was when the drains came out and the swelling started to go down...I peed on the floor by accident the first time by sitting "normal"! eek!

I am supposed to go back to work tomorrow. I am...

I am supposed to go back to work tomorrow. I am worried. My physician told me not to lift really heavy things but I could lift more than 20 lbs so he doesn't want me on light duty. I asked my manager not to assign me 300 lb patients and he said "if you can't preform your duties as a critical care nurse then its your responsibility to get a note". Sigh. If I start to hurt too much I will just have to go home sick or call in or whatever I guess.

Someone with more seniority applied to the 0.6 FTE (2x12hr shifts per week). So since I complained to my union about work being too ridged to let me attend my university classes they are meeting with my union rep thank goodness. Maybe something will come of it.

Anyway back to my tummy tuck. I don't feel hungry often. Yesterday I had some volunteer orientation that lasted 7 hours with no official lunch break. I had brought an apple, carrots, grapes, 1oz cheese, and a handful of pretzels totally like 300 calories or something like that. I had had a yogurt for breakfast at 6am and then I got a chocolate coffee shake from Bigfoot Java if you know what that is. Bad girl. I got hungry in the evening for the first time. The other problem is, that I can't tell when I eat too much. So, I have to go by sight. I don't want to stretch my stomach out tho :(

Last night I went to the mall and ended up coming home with a new outfit to wear to the theater next weekend, and a ridiculous sweater with sequins sewn on which I will probably wear to school for giggles. I had gone to the mall to get looser scrubs because mine will be tight over my incision, but everything decided to close before I could get there. I guess I will have to go today even though I really wanted to stay home and rest.

So I think I might still be swollen but I am not sure? Am I supposed to be flatter or is this it?

What do you guys think about my BB? I added a new photo of it. The bottom is puffing out, will it go away?

So this past Saturday and Sunday were my first...

So this past Saturday and Sunday were my first days back at work.

I have to say that the first day was not bad at all. I am a nurse on a busy unit with a lot of heavy lifting/pushing/pulling. I was very lucky to have enough staff to help me out. I didn't get to eat or drink for most of the day, and only peed once. I am thinking it went to the swelling in my belly because I had a big pot belly by the end of the day. Thank goodness for compression garments.

Sunday was hell. About 4 hours in, my left hip incision and muscles started killing me. I asked to go home early, but another nurse got to go home since she had more seniority. I was limping around all day, I though to bring two litres of Gatorade with me this time so I did have liquids but not much to eat. I didn't feel hungry but my energy was zip. When I got home my entire body was sore head to toe and I didn't pee until this morning. When I finally did pee, it has been gallons and gallons. Sunday night I was so swollen that the swelling was around my feet and ankles as well. I need to buy compression hose.

Since I had not eaten for 2 days I binged on a pint of Ben&Jerrys. I feel so guilty because I have gone through all of this, and I am having nightmares of my giant belly returning overnight. I know that is not realistic but if I continue to eat unhealthy due to stress I know it will come right back. I wish my before pictures hadnt dissapeared! The only ones I will have are the comparison pics I will get from my PS at 3 months, so I will show you all at that time.

Also, I found my old belly button scar. If you look at the close up pictures of my incision, in the center right above the scar line, you will see a tiny hole. That is the top of my piercing! My PS had said in the consultation that my belly button piercing would probably end up there, what an accurate estimate! I think it is quite funny actually.

I am not sure if I will get my new BB pierced. I will have to see how it looks in a year or so. I am thinking of taking out my nostril stud, I feel like I am getting a bit old for it. I always think it doesnt look as good on older women. I also am thinking of tattoo ideas to cover my TT scar as I know a lot of us do. I have an entire Pintrest page devoted to it :)

Well guys I feel like I look worse than I did. I...

Well guys I feel like I look worse than I did. I don't get hungry or full so I am worried that maybe I am drinking too many liquids at once and stretching out my tummy. I have been so thirsty lately. I wonder if it is possible to stretch it out that way?

I am still sleeping in the "beach chair" position on my couch. Even though my skin itself doesn't feel tight anymore (it is when you touch it, just not that feeling inside), my incision pulls and sometimes the muscles in my groin spasm.

There is an open area on my incision that is really bothering me. It doesn't hurt but it has a reddened border, drains a lot (though it is clear), and just isn't getting any smaller after all these weeks. My PS told me that it will go away on its own. He also said that the dissolvable stitch runs the entire length of my scar so not to start pulling at stuff (though I don't see any thread but maybe that is what is keeping it open?).

The scars where my drains were, in the crotch area, are really annoying because they itch a lot.

Anyway, I haven't felt fat since my procedure. But the last 2-3 days, I have. I don't think it is swelling either. Maybe my abdominal contents have a lot of fat and are pushing out my repair :(

I added some new photos, but it is hard to tell.

Well I am going on 6 weeks post op and am sort of...

Well I am going on 6 weeks post op and am sort of starting to feel normalish. I have been using my ab muscles more to do regular things (I was bracing my abdomen with my hand before) -- my abs always feel as if I had worked out really hard the day before (trust me I haven't been running any marathons).
I feel like my recovery is taking longer than most if I was in hell for 6 weeks?

Anyway I found out my thyroid is low and started on medications. I have an IUD and haven't had a period in like a year but a couple of weeks after starting thyroid medications I sm having one. I have never been one to have menstrual pain but omg ithurts. I am sure that it is not helping the swelling which I have am excess of.

My hair texture has suddenly changed. All the hair growth from the last month or so (my hair grows fast so probably at least an inch) has grown in as corkscrew curls. I had a lot of waves before but never actual curls.

Anyway since I look the same I will wait to post photos until next week.
Frederick W. Ehret, MD

I was recommended by my therapist actually. She had her eyes done, and is planning on getting a Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift. She is a lovely person.

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
4 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
3 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Thanks for your story im also getting my tummy tuck before my 30th birthday here's hoping I don't have too much swelling and can fit into my dress. I can't believe your friend of 5 years did that to you what a dog he would no longer be a friend of mine! Can't imagine how you would have felt during those days you poor thing. I bet it made you stronger good luck with everything
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Well, to me you don't look fat at all! I just think it is the ups and downs of this procedure. I have soooo much to look forward to. lol..Thanks for the update!
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you look wonderful congrats gbu
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You look great! You are just swollen which we all know can last up to a year. Congrats to your success! I am on the final week count down!! hooray!
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I see you are using the steri-sheets. I have been using BioCorneum scar treatment silicone gel. It dries quickly and does not peel. I have been using it since the scar healed up, 2x a day. BioCornium has a website where you can track your progress with their product. It is about $100 per bottle and lasts over 3 months. I don;t know it that is cheaper than the steri-sheets. Also, I am still shrinking in size at 3 months but I also have found that the swelling is not so bad. I think I may be ready to finally give up my cg and spanks; they are both so annoying and I feel pretty good without them on during the day and at night. If I do wear the cg around the house, it is way looser than I have been wearing it. I think you look great. Good luck at work tomorrow.
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The sheet that I am using cost about $100. I cut it in half, to cover my entire scar and belly button. It is supposed to last forever but I dont see it lasting more than a few months. On my new scar it is nice because it pads it, but after this sheet is done for I may try the scar treatment you are using. At this point I cant imagine not wearing my CG! I agree it can get annoying sometimes, I get claustrophobic in it when I am super swollen but I know it needs to be on.
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I think you look wonderful! I wouldn't worry about your BB.. You are very early with your recovery and I think it just looks swollen. My BB is also swollen, ( and don't care for it ) but my PS said it will change. And your tummy just looks swollen too.. Ugh for swelling, eh?! It gets better, promise! I am 5 weeks and every day gets better, with an occasional crappy day.. :) But more good then bad! Congrats on the beautiful new you!
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swelling sucks! Your BB looks fine to me but I think we are really critical of our own bodies because A) you cant see everything in a photo and B) we have to live with it forever. Lol. Thank you for your response :)
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How in the world did you have no bruising from Lipo?? I am black, blue, purple, green, etc all around my sides and part of my back??? That looked like a terribley uncomfortable place to insert your drains!!! My one was on my side... hope you are doing well!!! You look GREAT!
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Hi there and thank you! :) my physician used pure tumescent liposuction. So they inject a mixture of anesthetic and epinephrine into the tissues until it is rock hard, and then suction it out. The epinephrine constricts blood vessels leading to less bruising and blood loss. Well, this is my understanding of it anyway. So, it's possible you had a different kind of lipo :)
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Hang in there girly..you are looking great..I never experienced drains but they seem kinda painful..hope you heal up quick..(0;
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I also had the same issue with the stitches sticking out of my incision and around them the skin separated. its because instead of your body absorbing them it is rejecting them and they are coming out. its ok as long as you don't get an infection when the skin is opened. but where it opens might make your scar a little wider in those areas. that's how mine did. Good luck. looking forward to following your journey.
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Did your PS take the stitches out? Mine said to leave it alone because its a running stitch the whole length of the incision.
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no he didnt he told me to put cortisporin on it and leave it along
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The groin pain is supposed to be really common. I have it pretty bad, and like you I thought I pulled a muscle, turns out its all the reconnecting happening between the abdominal flap tissues and the pubic tissues. Totally standard apparently. And the burning band? I have that too! I call it the ring of fire! It's scar tissue deep beneath your skin. Doc says they do layers of sutures, and when the deep ones start to heal etc it can feel like a burning all along the suture line.
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I saw my PS yesterday and he said "unfortunately it's quite common". Funny the things we don't know about until we go through it eh? That's so interesting that you say that about the burning sensation, my scar is a giant ridge that I swear is an inch tall, so I can imagine there are a ton of sutures. Odd that it would hurt when it is healing! Maybe it is your body's reaction to foreign objects ?
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The center of the scar over the pubis bone seems to be where a lot of stitches split. I have one small area to the right above the pubis that is a little wider than the rest, but it has finally flattened out and started to lighten up. I still have a bump below the belly button under the scar above the pubis that is about 4 inches long or so, but it is getting smaller by the weeks. It is the most swollen looking area along the whole scar. Also, where my drains were there is a much deeper and darker scar there.; the right side almost looks keloid-ish but I continue to massage these areas and hope for the best with time. The odd feelings in my tummy from the nerves repairing themselves are sensational. My tummy is so sensitive and sometimes, when touched by my fiancé, it is super sensational. I have deemed it my other G-spot! :)
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I am glad to hear that your tummy feels wonderful in more ways than one! :) I am worried about my scar staying this ugly forever but from what you and others have described it just takes time. It feels like a giant ridge right now! Are you doing silicone or anything for scar therapy?
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Wow! hun... you have really been through a great deal... but you look fabulous girlfriend... have you asked your PS about neosporin/ bactroban cream or been using it as lots of the women here glob it on or they are on rx antibiotics or combination of both... if your feel it's an infection i would speak to the PS ASAP... so here also they swear by the surgical paper tape to help the appearance of the scar in the early stages and silicone strips/belt after they have healed completely. I hope this helps hun.
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Hey there, and thank you! I was taking massive amounts of antibiotics for 20 days. I took 400mg cephalexin 4 times a day! I know there are some types of topical antibiotic creams to stay away from because they don't allow the wound to breathe, but I can't say which off the top of my head.
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Sounds like you have a spitting stitch. That's when your body rejects a dissolvable stitch. Your incision won't heal with it in there. go to your ps and he will snip it out for you or look for instructions online and you can do it yourself.
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Hi there, thank you for your advice! I looked it up after I saw your post but I decided to go to the PS and have him check it out. good thing I did because he said it is a running stitch that closes the entire top layer of skin!
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Wowzie! You look great! I am so happy for you. Maybe the "circling" is from the drains that were in there for so long? Phantom pains, perhaps? Anyways...thanks for all your updates!
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Thank you! Yes I am thinking part of the groin spasms I am having is related to the second drain I had pulled since it started the next day. Perhaps it was something positional? Also yes there is definitely some referred pain! When I wash my genital region my right hip hurts like crazy and when I touch my incision on the left I feel fingers on my right just below my breast. Crazy.
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Are you going back to work already? You look great! Swelling has gone down a lot! Are you able to stand pretty straight now? I would not sacrifice my edu. If no one is willing to trade Monday for another with you then I don't know if online is an option. That's what I would do if it were available that way or work float pool and maybe even angency. When in college I worked fri-sat-sun (full time) to accommodate school mon-thur and never had a day off.
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