My TT Journey (Still on It) with Necrosis, Debridement, Holes & a Wound Vac! - Temecula, CA

This has to have been the scariest surgery for me,...

This has to have been the scariest surgery for me, why.... cause I chose to have it! Thank goodness for the valium the night before, otherwise I'm sure I wouldn't have slept a wink.

My surgery was scheduled first thing in the morning, yay, so I wouldn't have all day to be scared, anxious, excited... scared some more. lol We show up to the place where the TT is to be performed & I'm taken back to change & have my IV put in. The lady doing my IV stuck me and said she hit a brick wall (ouch) so she was going to try my other hand. She stuck me in my other hand and said the same thing, wiggled the needle around inside (yah, that felt great) and said that she thinks shes got it. She put a whole bunch of tape on it cause it wasn't dripping right. Then they called my husband back. My IV stopped dripping completely so I asked him to let one of the nurses know, she came over (checked nothing) and said that it wasn't supposed to be because its turned off. Wrong! Anyhow, so then they have hubby leave cause its time to wheel me into the surgery room. As they're wheeling me back the nurse tells the anesthesiologist that we may have a problem with my IV and he says that he can't have a bad IV and that he may need to change it out. Once in the operating room and on the operating table the anesthesiologist starts wiggling my IV around to try to get it working right. He wrapped it around my ring finger and I remember looking up at it and seeing that it wasn't dripping consistently and wanting to just get up & leave. That's the last thing I remember.

I woke up in recovery, everything was great! They said they were going to call my hubby to come & pick me up. YAY! And then it happened.... I started feeling like I couldn't breathe. The nurse tried to reassure me that I couldn't breathe because I had a binder on me... wrong! Then the coughing started. At first I had them hand me tissues to spit what I was coughing up into. It was blood. By the time hubby got there I was couching and spitting the blood into the bowl & they had me on oxygen. Even with the oxygen at 10 my O2 saturation was only at 85! They gave me a breathing treatment and morphine (not sure why they gave me that). A nurse came by and asked the other nurse why I was so sleepy and she said she didn't know why. Then she asked me & I said cause she gave me morphine! The anesthesiologist came in to show me a breathing exercise to make my O2 saturation jump up. He said, now watch the screen, its crazy how much its going to go up. Every time I did it (which he had me do it like 5 times) my O2 saturation dropped.... whoops. Looks like that didn't work! After a while I was able to breathe on my own & released that Friday afternoon / evening.

Once home I couldn't eat much but I made sure I was taking all my pills and still the injections of lovenox (ouch those hurt & I was so glad when I was done with them!). The only pill giving me any issue was the gel capsule antibiotic. It kept irritating my throat and causing me to cough (btw, coughing after surgery is not only not suggested, its really painful!). We called my doc and she said that we could break open the capsule and put it in food but that didn't work, it tasted horrid! Saturday I was doing good, talking on the phone, walking around the house and sleeping in the automatic recliner. Sunday I couldn't breathe again. :( We called the doc and she wanted us to go to the emergency room at the affiliated facility of where I had my procedure done, but I really didn't want to go. I sat for a while on the toilet (just sitting there) and it seemed that sitting in a more upright position, I was actually able to breathe. Come to find out that sitting reclined back in the recliner when I had possible fluid in my lungs / chest probably wasn't a good thing! lol Never had a breathing problem after that!

Went to my first PO appointment where I almost fainted when the doc removed my binder! lol Its so weird to have it removed at first. I suggest laying down at least that first time when they remove it.

Not really sure when I actually got diagnosed with the necrosis but the doc knew pretty much at the first PO appointment that there may be an issue, it was just a matter of my body struggling and the affected area really declaring itself.

Its been a barrage of doctors appointments ever since.

I made it a personal goal of mine that I would not ask for either of my drains to be removed because my doctor told me that I would have them for 6-8 weeks due to my TT being such a large one (almost 12 pounds removed). On July 15th one drain was removed, the doctor also removed the tape (I wasn't allowed to shower so it wasn't coming off on its own) and after consulting with her peer, she did some debridement which is when my first hole appeared.

After more debridement that hole became much bigger on July 26th and we found out why my other drain wouldn't hold suction... it was exposed within the hole so it had to be removed. After that debridement I was told (doing wet to dry gauze, which we bought in bulk because we needed so much!) that I am going to be amazed at how much better this is going to look in 2 weeks.

Just a few days later (Aug. 2nd) I went into the doctors office and left with two huge holes. Not the amazing results I was expecting in the least!

So of course, now I'm starting to doubt my PS. I think she's in over her head. I did some more research on necrosis & debridement because at this point I just didn't want to be cut any more! Come to find out... that is not the answer at all. The debridement actually helps to speed the process up even though it seems like you're going backwards and not healing, all this bad tissue needs to be removed so that the good tissue down under it can multiply and fill it all in. During my research I discovered wound vacs and I brought it up to my PS who agreed that we should look into that. We went to a wound clinic on Aug. 8th. Not actually having the wound vac yet, Edith, at the wound clinic took measurements and packed my wounds (the two holes & where my belly button was supposed to be) with Hydrophera Blue. The very next day my hubby was laid off. :(

Time for the wound vac! On Monday Aug. 12 the wound vac came in and off to the wound clinic we went to have it put in. For the most part it's not painful but there is this one part that hurts so bad! It feels like I'm being stabbed in my open wound with a hot soldering iron! Lately the sponges have been getting stuck in my wounds because my body is healing that fast! The results from the wound vac are amazing! I've had it on for almost 3 weeks and everybody can tell that there's a huge difference in the size of the holes. We do sponge changes on Mon, Wed & Fri and those are the days that I get to shower... yay! Much better than the 52 some odd days I went without a shower before getting the wound vac!

Not sure how much longer I will need it (Sara from KCI, the maker of the wound vac, thinks mid to end of September but Edith at the wound clinic thinks end of October or November!) but I'm hoping to be healed by Halloween, my favorite holiday and my birthday is the next day. I am drinking my greens daily where I get 24 servings of fruits & vegetables and trying to keep my protein at 90 grams a day to help healing. The protein proves difficult at times due to it taking up so many of my allotted calories each day but I've recently found a protein powder that will give me 30 grams of protein for 125 calories... not bad! Oh, and its supposed to taste good too, looking forward to trying it.

Oh, and even though hubby getting laid off was a bad thing, it couldn't have happened at a better time. Dorothy at KCI said that we qualify for 100% of the wound vac charges to be free! This could have cost us $50 a day even with our blue cross blue shield insurance!

3 weeks with the wound vac / just over 11 weeks PO

Everything is going well, wound vac is kicking butt! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to the day that I would become cordless though! lol

PS -

Just wanted to add that this surgery was actually a reward for me. At my highest weigh (pregnant with my son) I was 309 at 5'1.5" and 2 years after he was born I was 279. I had chest pains and was so scared that I was having a heart attack. That's when I decided to lose weight.

I was a tomboy growing up and played sports my whole life. AYSO soccer from age 5 all the way through my sophomore or junior year of high school. Played a couple of years of indoor soccer during the outdoor off season and then my freshman year in high school I lettered in Tennis, Soccer & Softball. Sophmore & junior year it was just Tennis & Soccer but I rode my bike to & from school and lived in my parents pool in the summer. After high school I played some roller hockey but shortly thereafter I became pregnant with my daughter. I had pre-eclampsia so I gained a lot of weight and never saw below 200 until she was about 16 years old!

Through diet & exercise I lost nearly 100 lbs, so this surgery was my reward for all that hard work.

4 weeks with wound vac - just over 12 weeks PO

We did our sponge change out today (we do it mon, wed & fri). I've been putting up pics every Monday so that anybody interested can see the healing week by week.

I don't know if its not quite as painful on my left or the fact that I've been the one taking off the tape & sponges on that side. It does seem to hurt a bit more while the wound vac is actually on though, but just every so often.

We used up the last of the white stuff we put in the holes (I call it Permagrin cause I couldn't understand what the wound clinic girl was calling it) before the sponges today. :( We're supposed to go to the wound clinic this Friday but I'm not sure whats going on with that. Last I heard from them they were calling because our insurance didn't go through... duh, hubby got laid off. We told them that. So they mentioned doing a cash in advance thing for visits... that's not gonna happen with how much we shelled out for the surgery, prescriptions, gauze and supplies for all this recovering after the surgery that we didn't anticipate!

So we shall see. The PS doesn't seem worried that we won't be going back to the wound clinic but I'd like to continue to see them. I think that a lot of my healing success is due to them. They're just more experienced with healing big wounds like mine than my PS is. We're doing all the sponge changes but we don't know what to do as it get shallower & shallower. At what point do we stop the wound vac?

So I'm hoping to see them a couple more times.

Just trying to figure out what happened...

Researching necrosis you can't help but notice that over & over again being a smoker puts you at greater risk. Heres the problem that I have with accepting that. I only smoked when I drank and we only went out drinking once a week. So a pack of cigarettes would last me 2+ weeks!

Also, when looking up necrosis it always says midline below belly button is the place that it occurs, yet mine wounds are on either side of that.

I'm wondering if this could be a complication from my drains?

The left side (which was removed last at just over 6 weeks) was removed because my drain wouldn't hold suction because it was exposed in the hole. My right side was supposed to be ok and the PS had said that the area that was struggling was just skin deap, no holes. That drain was removed first at 4.5 weeks.

Maybe my body rejected the drains? I know many sutures had to be cut out due to them being exposed in the holes. Could my body have been rejecting the foreign objects? I dunno

5 weeks with wound vac - just over 13 weeks PO

Here is my newest pic. Seems like its not progressing as fast as it was but maybe its just the camera angle or my perception. I don't know.

Found out that it would cost at least $655 plus doctors fees to go to the wound clinic without insurance... wow, right! So that's not gonna happen. Sucks but I guess my care is in the hands of my PS now. :(

Still hoping to be healed by Halloween of this year. *crosses fingers*

6 weeks with wound vac - just over 14 weeks PO

This weeks it seems that my skin is growing in more. What I call "the bridge" is getting wider and on the triangle hole the top is coming down. Wonder if the skin is going to cover up the shallow parts and then my body will focus on the deeper areas closer to my incision area.

This Wednesday we go back to the PS and the KCI rep will be there so we can get her take on how my body is progressing. Last week my doctor mentioned skin graft again but said that we're not there yet. Skin graft just sounds so horrific, like I've been in some terrible accident, ugh!

We also have our family pictures on Wednesday. I'm thinking of turning off the wound vac for the pics (I was going to wait until I didn't have the wound vac anymore but we need to also get my daughters senior pictures done and my Groupon is going to expire), but I have to figure out what to do with the tubing attached to me, it can't just hang down out of my dress! lol

7 weeks with wound vac - just over 15 weeks PO

Well it seems to be getting smaller & smaller. When we went to my doctors appointment last Wednesday the other doctor in the office wanted to see it. When I showed him he was shocked at how much smaller it had gotten. He hadn't seen it since before the wound vac. He estimates it to be healed by the end of Oct or Nov but probably closer to November. :(

I also found out that my PS read my review and was none too happy about it. It was never meant as an attack on her but it is my honest feelings & take on the situation.

I'm just going to keep on focusing my energy on healing.

Another week down

Here we are at 8 weeks with the wound vac and just over 16 weeks PO. I'm continuing with drinking my greens and keeping my protein at 90 or above. The scar tissue seems to be closing in which its looking like I'm going to have a couple of indentations from where the holes were and my belly button indentation is flattening out, so I think I'm just going to be left with a scar there as well.

We had a bad seal from the change out on Friday (10/4) so we ended up doing a change out on Sunday (10/6) which leaves us with changes on Tue/Thur/Sat this week. Nice to kinda change it up a bit and it works out for me taking a shower on Saturday when I have plans that day. yay

My PS wouldn't discuss what was covered as far as scar revision or skin graft, saying that we're not there yet. Sure would be nice to have a game plan. But would I really want / allow that anyhow... who knows.

UGH!!!!! I just want to be healed already! No more complications.... just healed! I don't think I'm being impatient. Look at how long my life has been turned upside down!

On the plus side, we have plans for the whole month of October and they even take us into the first weekend of November! Yay. I love this time of year. (sucks to wear a jacket with the wound vac though, hope I'm healed before it gets too cold)

Another week closer to being done???

9 weeks with the wound vac and just over 17 weeks PO. The holes are getting smaller and smaller thanks to the wound vac. I'm a little worried though as it sounds like KCI might not be sending us out any more supplies. We only have 2 more sponge packs and when we called to order more they said that they have to sort out the "bill to" but we're supposed to be getting this for 100% free. UGH!

As much as I hate lugging this machine around everywhere... I'm not ready to get rid of it... I'm not healed yet! We're trying to come up with ways to make my packs last longer. We don't use all the sponge or tape and the canister is lasting me over a week so really its just the tubing that attaches to the sponge and to the machine. Hope this gets sorted out.

When we went to the PS today it was looking kind of yellow-y (which it had the last change out as well) so I asked her about it. She said its not an infection or anything. She scuffed it up to stimulate granulation, so that's why its bloody in the pic. Hopefully we'll see a boost in it filling in now.

Only a few weeks until Halloween so now my goal is November 12th, only because then it will have been 3 months with the wound vac (assuming that we get more supplies).

I have been sliding the wound vac machine around to the backside of me so it is more out of the way. I like it (and then its not banging against my tummy) but the wider part of the shoulder strap is then on my chest... oh well. lol I ran on my treadmill the other day when it was raining, it was nice to run without having all that extra skin & fat in my way. I'm trying to take it easy with my exercise though until I can start lifting. So really right now I'm more maintaining my weight at around 168 which is down 18 pounds since surgery. I track my calories on myfitnesspal but I'm finding it hard to track on the weekends. I try not to beat myself up about it as that wouldn't be constructive with all the stuff that I'm having to go through.

I just want to be healed.

I got a living social deal for zombie shooting so my hubby, myself & a couple of friends went over the weekend. I'll put up some pics.

Only 10 days until Halloween

So I'm not going to make the healed by Halloween goal but I'm still hopeful that I'll be healed by our Thanksgiving camping trip. Its been nice having all these Halloween events to keep me busy. On some level it keeps my mind off of the fact that I a STILL healing from a surgery that I had over 4 months ago but on another level (like when my bag swings out of place when I bend over or when I can't just put a jacket on or off or when my wound vac wakes me up at midnight sounding like a racing motorcycle) it makes it more apparent and makes me mad.

This weekend we had the Oktoberfest and Rob Zombie haunted house mazes on Friday. Saturday we had my sons soccer game, the trunk or treat and then a friends b-day party. This coming weekend we have tickets to another haunted house and then it will be Halloween, Knotts scary farm on my b-day (nov. 1st) and the Halloween poker party here on nov. 2nd.

I love this time of year!

I finally did a side by side by side photo. I put it as my profile pic but not sure how well it can be seen. I will attach it here. I was 279 lbs, about 215 & 169, in the pics.

Time for my weekly update :)

So they're not nearly as closed as I'd like them to be... honestly the seem to have kind of stalled out to me. Or maybe its just my patience is wearing thin at this point. lol

We've been keeping really busy and having lots of fun. Halloween is our favorite holiday afterall. So Friday we went to Slaters 50/50 for the first time... YUM!! then we went to Scandia for their haunted house mazes (we had a groupon so it was only $15 for the both of us!) and I gotta say, they were awesome! Saturday we had my sons next to last soccer game (we had half time snack & after game treats) and then that night we went out for a costume contest and won for best couples costume! Looking forward to scaring the kiddies on Halloween and then dressing up in our couples costume again and hopefully wining. Then Friday November 1st is my birthday and Knotts scary farm and then Saturday is our Halloween poker party!

Seems to be slowing as its getting closer to closing

This week we're on the sunday, Tuesday, Thursday change out so I'll put up a pic from sunday and from today (Tuesday).

I haven't been drinking my protein in the hopes that I will start drinking it again and I will have a boost of growth / closure / healing. I am also planning on not drinking when we go out for our weekly night out in the hopes that not only will it help the healing but also I won't want fast food when we come in at 2 or 3 am! lol

Talked to the friend of the family that also had apron surgery and ended up with a wound vac but her case seems completely different. She had about 16 lbs removed so not too far off from my 12 lbs but she had the wound vac because her incision opened up and she only had it for 6 weeks. She lost her belly button but is not worried about it as she's 67 and nobody would be seeing it anyhow. I'm not too worried about a revision on my belly button but I think my other scars and indentations are going to need something. Call me crazy but I'm thinking of asking how much lipo to my back fat / roll would be if / when I have to go under for scar revision. Of course I would want to know what any possible complications could be from it. I've just noticed that now that I'm into a size 10 jeans that it pushes this roll of fat up and with a clingy top you can really see the back fat. ugh!

Last weekend was absolutely awesome, draining but awesome! Now for some weekends of just chill time before we go out camping for Thanksgiving. Possibly going up to my in laws cabin for the long veterans day weekend.

Not sure that I'll be healed by the end of this month with the way it seems to be slowing down.... come on body, you can do this! :)

Pics

They wouldn't post with my last update so here they are. :)

Not much change so....

Doesn't seem like there was much change so I did a side by side for each month.

I saw my PS on Monday, she suggested that I keep the wound vac on for a couple more weeks and then switch to the wet to dry gauze. She said that with how small my holes are now, most people wouldn't even have a wound vac. She also compared my holes to scrapping your knee. I personally think its a bit more than a knee scrape, my right one is still definitely a hole, the left one is super small but it still has some filling in to do. I like having the option to get off the vac but I'm just not sure that would be the best thing to do right now.

Next appointment, Dec. 9th, I hope to be fully closed and to be able to talk about a scar revision and trying to get rid of this roll on my back.

Now cordless!

That's right, today I am cordless! When we went to do the wound vac change out I noticed that there was a blood blister right along the side of my right hole. We called Sara the KCI rep, sent her a pic and not only was she concerned about the yellow (which we've already asked the ps about and she said it was fine) but she also suggested to go off the wound vac for a while. She said not only would it allow the blood blister time to go away but that it would also help jumpstart the wound vacs progress because if you have it on for a long time (which I think we can all agree that I have! Lol) it can stall out. So we're doing wet to dry gauze with the gauze dipped in vinegar & saline. Cross your fingers everyone, I don't want to get an infection or regress but it sure is nice being cordless!

I made it!

First time showering with open wounds since the jaws incident where I started bleeding like crazy and screaming for hubby!

Last night when we changed out the wet / dry gauze hubby actually said that it looked like the floor of the hole had actually come up... and that was just from this morning! Really loving being without the wound vac, I feel so much more like my normal self, just able to jump up and do things without lugging the bag along.

It dawned on me this morning... I haven't named my holes yet, so here's what I've come up with: tweedle dee & tweedle dum, Tom & Jerry, Thing I & Thing II, Wylie Coyote & The Roadrunner. Any suggestions?

Introducing... Bonnie & Clyde!

Thanks for your help in identifying these two bandits! Bonnie is of course the smaller one (on my left) because its ladies first (for closing) and Clyde is the bigger one (on my right).

My husband says that its really filling in using the wet to dry gauze with vinegar. I am concerned about the yellow, especially when we're going out camping but my ps had said that it was fine when she saw it in October.

Anyhow, take a look a the pics... big difference, right!

Yellow every where!

So camping was great, felt like my old self... less a bunch of skin & fat though. Had to take in my buggy seatbelt a lot!

Didn't use the wound vac at all, still not. Thinking about seeing if I can get in to the ps this week because the yellow is every where now. She had said that it wasn't an infection but that it was my body finishing up. I hope that's still true. I have actually felt it when washing in the shower (and oh how I love being able to take a shower every day now!) and it feels kind of rough, like fried egg yolk. Its definitely not liquid-y or oozing.

In October when I set my monthly appointment for November I though I could be healed by then but that didn't happen. I thought for sure in November when I set my appointment for December that I would definitely be healed... looks like wrong again! I don't know whats going on with my healing... its been almost 6 months since my surgery! I'm wondering also, why do we have to wait for this to completely close??? Isn't this all going to be cut away during a revision?

I'm ready to start really working out and lifting weights so hopefully my ps will give me the thumbs up on that.

Hope everybody had a great T-day... now its time to get ready for Christmas! :)

Bye bye yellow

So I went to the PS today and she cut away the yellow. She thinks that Bonnie will close up and is hoping that Clyde will come together some more from the edges which are granulating. Apparently the yellow was a protective layer that my body put down but she said she didn't want it on there. She would also like me to go back to the wound vac, even if just only at night, on Clyde only... Bonnie is too small for that. Oh and no more wet to dry and definitely no more vinegar, vinegar is an antibacterial but its also a drying agent and open wounds need to be somewhat wet. So now we're using antibacterial ointment (like Neosporin) and possibly the wound vac at night.

Bonnie & Clyde go their seperate ways

So its time for Bonnie & Clyde to go their separate ways. Clyde with the wound vac and Bonnie with ointment & a bandaid. It should be interesting to see how they progress using different treatments.

The PS had asked if I could use the wound vac at night so that it wouldn't bother me too much but I'm not one to do things half assed so I'm using it day & night. We put it back on Tuesday night, changed it out Thursday morning and I will take it off either Friday night or Saturday morning. Depending on the progress that Clyde has made, I may or may not put it back on, on Sunday.

Question

Anybody else experience a bit of leakage when you run (not really jog, but more of a run) or do jumping jacks?

Sorry its been a while....

Just been trying to get back into the swing of things with working out.

I was unable to continue with the wound vac since last week because the supplies were back ordered but they said they would be here on Thursday. They didn't come until Monday! I had told myself that I was only going to use the vac until Thursday 12/19 but Clyde wasn't as small as I was wanting him to be so I had planned to continue until Christmas morning and then the gift to myself for Christmas was no more vac. Which might have worked if the supplies weren't delayed... ugh! Soooooo.... last night we put the vac on, then took it off in the morning so I could work out and go about my day. We just put it back on about an hour ago. Not sure how much longer I'm going to be able to hang with it so that's why I'm just trying to have it on when its not inconvenient for me or my life.

Still trying to get back the $2300 dollars that we overpaid by because our insurance has a set rate for in network providers and Dr. Kim is an in network provider. Been working on that for 3+ months now!

Ready to start talking revision and get this hole business behind me! My surgery was over 6 months ago and I've been healing from it ever since. WOW!

Bringing back the vac

So I saw the doc today, she scrapped away the layer of yellow skin crust and suggested putting the vac back on for as long as I could stand it. So hubby and I put it on when we got home and I'm going to see how / if I can just detach it for my workout.

Clyde is getting smaller, Bonnie is almost gone. So that's good but it just seems so slow going.

Doc said that she like that the scar tissue isn't as hard as it used to be. I've been massaging it in the shower so that must be helping. She also said that I may have my belly button underneath the skin. Still no talk of revision. We were going to talk with Lisa about the $2300 but she was serving on jury duty. Guess we'll have to call about that next week.

Next appointment is about 3 weeks from now. Ordered what I hope to be the last wound vac supplies that I'll need. *fingers crossed*

What to do, what to do???

Saying that I am OVER having the wound vac would be an understatement at this point. Lol It has been 5 months on the vac, I think I've pretty much given it my all. So my plan was to put it on tuesday morning after my workout and keep it on until Thursday morning (i dont usually workout on wednesdays) when I would take it off for my workout and leave it off for good. But here's the dilema. Its being super loud. Last night I tried putting it under my bed. I tried sleeping at the other end of the bed, finally I put ear plugs in. Ugh! So obviously it's not gonna make it until tomorrow morning. I have errands to run today and I really don't want to bring along my machine that kinda makes it sound like I'm passing gas. Lol So its gotta come off. Not sure if / when I'll be putting it back on though. Here's the latest pic of Bonnie & Clyde, may they soon either ride off into the sunset or be sent to their eternal resting place!

Lets see where we're at tomorrow.

So tomorrow I have an appointment with my PS to scrape away any yellow. Last week she did that and also cut the hole bigger to freshen up the edges. Well the circumference hasn't shrunk back down so I don't think we'll be doing that again. Hubby says it has gotten shallower though. After my appointment with her we are going to meet with Dr. W to discuss how much we over paid by and how this is going to be fixed. We've been trying to get that settled since September! But I guess that's not as bad as healing from a surgery for 8 months and still not being closed! Lol Hopefully there will be some resolution tomorrow but at least this hole is no longer holding me back (except from submerging in water).

Bad appointment....

So I won't be going back to Dr. Kim and I don't suggest that anybody else go there either. She is now lying saying that she told me not to smoke 6 weeks before & 6 weeks after the surgery. This is a blatant lie! I have done everything I could possibly do to make sure that I would get the best results possible from this surgery. Why would I sabotage it all by smoking when I was told not to. That makes no sense, especially given that I only smoked once a week and it wasn't hard to switch over to a no nicotine e-cigarette.

So I was told today that not only did we pay the exact amount that we should have whether this procedure went through insurance (like we requested repeatedly) or we paid cash like we did but also that she would not be doing a revision because she can't operate on somebody who doesn't trust her. So I'm left with a hole, massive scars going from where my belly button should be all the way down to my incision line, no belly button and that's totally fine with A1 Cosmetic Surgery. WOW! How terrible! Where is the pride in their work, where are their ethics?!?1?

I'm gonna go cry now.

Sorry I haven't posted

But theres really no change. I'm still not closed! Almost a year later. :( I actually had a dream about not being closed and that a lawyer was going to fight for me because I shouldn't have been left like this. I get so tired of having to take care of Clyde, clean him out in the shower, gauze & cover him everyday. It would be so nice to just be able to be normal by now. And now summer is coming and I won't be able to go in a pool or lake or ocean... again! ugh!

All I can hold on to is that Karma is a mother *@%$&. I've been done wrong and those that have done me wrong will get theirs... 10 times over!

On a more pleasant note, it the Temecula Balloon & Wine Festival this weekend. We volunteer at the mainstage beer booth every year, so I'm really looking forward to that. My shirt size is different this year and I don't have to worry about the sweating & heat rash under my apron. YAY! Oh... and I'm down to a size 6. :) Pre-op I was a 16/18.

Pics

Here are some pics. They range in size from probably size 10-6. Usually its just selfie pics so not full body and it seems that I don't have many full body pics. lol Although I've been told that my pics don't do me justice at all. lol

Update... why yes, I'd love to buuuuuttttt

I so want to update on here but knowing that my previous PS has access to this, I'm just not sure if that would be the wisest thing to do.

Clyde is still with me and actually he looks bigger than the last pic I saw of him in a previous review from the end of february. So here's another summer without being able to go in a pool, lake or to the beach!

Went from a 16/18 pre op to a 6/8 post op... I wonder if there's enough tissue to fix this scarring. (I know the answer to this as I'm sure Dr. Kim does as well)

Wish I could share more.

Seriously???

Did realself just lose my update. :(

Short version. $18,000 to fix me. My scar tissue has attached to my muscle causing pain. :( My hole is about the size of a quarter but under the unattached skin it's about the size of a silver dollar. This doc seems to think it will take one month to heal but after that quote i doubt we'll be seeing him again. Sad that I suffer and my doctor doesn't even care.

Amazing

It's amazing the results I'm getting now that I'm no longer doing the hydrogen peroxide and neosporin that Dr. Kim had me doing.

I will never tire of being called the incredible shrinking woman!

Cross your fingers RealSelf!!!!

I emailed "Botched"! I'm really hoping that they see my case as one that they'd like to feature on their show.

My daughter graduated this year and turned 18. She was planning to go in the Navy after graduation but that idea seems to have stalled out now.

I will be coaching my sons AYSO soccer team this year so of course I had to get a pic with the Budweiser box soccer guy. :)

Botched on camera audition!!!

Botched called me back yesterday, I have an on camera interview on Monday 8/4!! I'm so excited! Please wish me luck, I'm sure that they have hundreds of people to choose from and it looks like about only 12 make it on the show each season. :]

Botched outfit

This is the outfit that I'm planning on wearing for the on camera audition on Monday. I put in a call to get my hair done. I don't mind my roots (in fact I like a little bit of root showing) but I'm sure it wouldn't look good for the show.

My friend said they're going to think I had breast augmentation and they went too big. lol

Surprised at what they're surprised about...

I'm amazed that what people who see my current pics are most shocked about is, not my scarring, not my alien belly without a belly button, but my Ken doll FUPA! Once they work up the courage, thats what they always comment on and ask me why its like that. I honestly don't know... botched much?!?!? I look forward to the day when I can look in the mirror and see a normal looking womans body.

Tonight is my twenty year high school reunion. The contrast between my beautiful cocktail dress and what lies underneath is crazy. Good thing I didn't go to some crazy california nudist school! lol

Headed to the reunion

Hubby and I were headed to my 20 year reunion. This is also the dress that I wore for the Botched audition.

Working out too hard???

I'm thinking that I might be depleting my body of too many calories & protein needed to heal. For the past couple of months I was working out everyday and netting about 1000 calories a day (I used myfitnesspal but imput my food calories and cardio (not the lifting of weights that I do), so I'm not sure how accurate my net calories are). I just started back on protein shakes to try to increase my protein but I'm thinking that I might need to cut back on my workouts. I also just started back with drinking my greens that get me something like 22 servings of fruits and vegetables.

My husband thinks that I shouldn't be trying to lose weight while my body is trying to heal but I was really wanting to get into the 140's. But if that's what is making my body lag on healing... well then I'll just maintain at the 153-155 that I'm at. It's still over 30 down since my surgery. :)

Still waiting for a referral to go through so that I can be seen at a wound care clinic because wouldn't these all be great questions for a doctor actually trained in this field instead of Dr. Google! lol

Thanks for the support everyone! Hope you're all healing well or healed and loving your results! :)

Updated pic

It seems Clyde isn't changing at all to me but I guess the proof is in the pics so I took this last night.

New pics

I actually feel like Clyde is closing up, which is amazing since I still haven't seen a doctor because I'm still waiting on my referral!

I do have to admit that it hurt quite a bit, over this labor day weekend, to see my family and friends swimming and playing in the pool while I had to sit on the sidelines. At one point I came out of my friends house to see all the ladies bonding together by jumping in the pool together so I went back in her house and had a couple of oreo's. :( Not something I would usually eat but it helped fill the void for the moment.

I shared my story with everybody there and showed them my pics and scars. They all just sat there in awe. Everybody always says that I should get a lawyer, wish it was that easy.

So it's September now... hoping to get that million dollar, you've just won the lottery, call from Botched saying that I've been chosen to be on the show! :)

Happy planning, healing or living life everyone! :)

Got my referral... yay!

Finally got my referral and an appointment to actually have my wound treated. I go in tomorrow 9/9/14 to the rehabilitation center / wound clinic. Hopefully they will have answers to my questions of how to get this wound to heal up... finally!

I'm continuing to have my protein at 105+ daily and only worked out tuesday & thursday of last week but did get in a hike yesterday. I'm taking Skin, Hair, Nails and Orac Greens from the Vitamin Shoppe and have just added 500mg of L-Arginine. I clean my wound in the shower with dial gold and then clean it with a q-tip and wound wash when I get out of the shower. Sometimes I put Eucerine on it, sometimes I put the brown perscription and sometimes I use the white perscription. So it will be nice to finally be under the care of a wound care specialist who can tell me exactly what I need to be doing and what I need to be avoiding. YAY! :)

Wound care clinic... oh how I've missed you

Why is it sideways???
So glad that the wound care clinic at Riverside Regional Medical Center was able to get me in so quickly. As expected they said the wound is very clean and fairly superficial, then I showed them what it used to look like and how slowly its been progressing lately. I told them how it's been 15 months since my surgery and about 14 months since Bonnie & Clyde came to visit and I'm really ready for Clyde to be on his way now! lol

They were so great! The doctor checked and it doesn't seem that my wound goes under my skin anymore... yay! He set up to see me in a month and says that I should be healed by then. If not, then there are other products that we can look at to help me heal. He also mentioned using a type of skin graft that doesn't come from me but said that would be a last resort.

He said that working out should be fine, just don't do anything that would stress / strain that area. I also found out that I shouldn't have been cleaning it so much or leaving it open. They said each time that you clean it or leave it open, it takes about 2 hours for the wound bed to get back to the temperature that its supposed to be at which delays healing. Who would have known! lol So they gave me a care package of supplies and told me to leave the wound covered as much as possible (2-3 days at a time if possible). Guess I'm back to no showers again... but not as extreme as when I first had the surgery (53 without a shower). I think I'll wash my hair every other day and in between I'll either sponge bathe or shower but keep my abdomin away from the shower water.

I've been piecing together my mermaid costume for Halloween. I mentioned it last year that Halloween is our favorite holiday and we start planning our costumes the day after Halloween. lol We had wanted to have me be a mermaid and my husband be a fisherman (I would be his catch), last year but with the wound vac, open wounds and no belly button... that wasn't happening. lol Hoping to be able to fulfill that this year.

Hope you're all healing well or having fun planning!

Bye bye Clyde!

Clyde is finally riding off into the sunset and isn't it about time! I mean I know a guy doesn't like to ask for directions but heck, Bonnie has been gone for about 9 months!
Thank you all for your support... I'm so glad that this journey is almost over. :)
Temecula Plastic Surgeon

I chose Dr. Kim because I really liked her, I thought that she was a very skilled & thorough surgeon, honest & caring. I do however feel that she was in over her head with my necrosis and that maybe there was a way that this could have been handled before it became this large of a wound. I see now that she is trying to completely blame this wound on me and smoking but find it hard to believe when smoking was not an issue to her or myself prior to surgery or thereafter. I only smoked once a week and when the lady at the wound care clinic told me after surgery that I shouldn't smoke, I easily switched over to a no nicotine e-cigarette because its the hand to mouth motion, not the nicotine that I needed. Due to the tightness I am thinking that maybe too much was taken. If you look at my before & after pics you will see that there was quite a lot removed. I think that Dr. Kim and her office should willing to fix the terrible scarring and lack of belly button as it reflects poorly on her.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 26 others found this helpful

Comments (405)

Sort by

Omg. Glad you're getting fixed. :)
  • Reply
Omg, I just read all your ordeal. Have you gotten your money back from Dr. Kim? Did your insurance paid your surgery? She should pay the revision as you will need one once the twins are healed. I'm very sorry, but I really think am Angel was giving you all the signs you had to leave after the iv closed up.
  • Reply
Nope, I didn't get my money back. I'm not sure what happened with the insurance because my insurance company told me that they covered part of my surgery but Dr. Kim said that I paid the same price paying cash as I would have if it went through insurance. I know that's impossible and that's the straw that broke the camels back. Then we went our separate ways. She's doing nothing for a revision. She said she wouldn't operate on me because she believed that I didn't trust her. lol Sorry, I find her statement a bit amusing.... I mean, with all I went through with her. Every week she told me that she had cut to good, healthy tissue and then one week later it would need to be cut out. She told me that one side didn't have a hole and that I would have amazing results and then a few days later I had two huge holes. Who in their right mind would trust her! lol Hopefully if / when I do get a revision, everything will go beautifully since I already went through this. lol
  • Reply
Wow! Even my Dr is doing a scar revision... Whatta b***h!!! I mean they make you sign all these disclaimers so you DON'T sue them, the least they can do is make you happy to fix their work, regardless if your body didn't respond well. I'm from Jersey so if I'm a bit harsh in my thinking it's bc it's the damn truth. I would rely my patients to say positive things about me to get more clients. If she doesn't stand by her work then that's pretty pathetic of her. Just sayin. XD
  • Reply
What's crazy is that if she had agreed to do the revision, I would have let her. So maybe she saved me from myself cause honestly... should I let her operate on me? lol So maybe I dodged a bullet on that one. lol
  • Reply
Hallelujah chica!! This is great news!!! I'm so happy for you! This is tremendous! Your a trooper. Can't wait to see the next update.
  • Reply
Thank you... I'm so glad that an end is in sight. I will update with new pics probably on Monday. :)
  • Reply
Omgosh! your story scares me so much. I admire your bravery so much. It makes me really want to double double check my dr.'s credentials. Thank you so much for sharing your story and photos. I hope you keep improving and some good dr. steps up and does you justice.
  • Reply
Sorry that my story is so freaky but I figured it's better to have it out here in realself land so that anybody else that might encounter a similar situation wouldn't feel so alone. I'm sure the odds of my situation happening are so rare so please don't be scared but it does give you questions for your surgeon. I'm hoping that there is some doctor out there that still has a heart of gold and that will fix me up right. Thank you for the hope and kind words!
  • Reply
Girl, what a journey you have had! I hope you are finally on your final leg of healing! I can relate to the wound vac - mine was even KCI brand! After my hysterectomy, I had complications. Ended up having major surgery 3 times in the same month, and on a wound vac with a home health nurse. Spent 19 days total in the hospital and a month on the vac. But you are so right. People who deal with serious wounds on a daily basis know what they are doing. I was very nervous to go into this surgery after that experience and made up my mind that if something happened, I was going right back to that surgeon who "fixed" me up after the last time. (Terrible staph infection was what I had). You sound like you have been much more patient and had a positive outlook - as best you could. Kudos to you and happy healing!
  • Reply
Thank you... although my husband and I both agree that while this process makes me seem like I have great patience... patience really isn't my strong point. lol But what can you do, right. You can't just give up and crawl under a rock... so you do the best you can to live a productive and happy life. I'm off to go check out your review now. :)
  • Reply
You had an AMAZING Story it was very inspirational . I hate you had to expirance the storm . I think we all have expirance bad situation In order for us to be "STRONGER"!! I luv how (POSITIVE ) you were through your struggle . Your going to have so many BLESSING that will come your way. The only thing I don't like is people forget what goes around comes back to you in full force. You look amazing .
  • Reply
Thank you so much krudolph! I am a true believer in Karma and try to put as much good karma out there as possible because I know bad karma will come back and bite you in the butt! lol
  • Reply
Thank You for sharing your experience. You and HUbby looked Great for the re-union. I wish you coulda sued her!!
  • Reply
Thank you... it was so nice to get all dolled up for the reunion. I wish we could have too because I think that she needs to know how much myself and my family have suffered but I'm confident that karma will get her and I hope that she has learned a lesson from this experience and will get her patients the proper care if this should happen to another one of them.
  • Reply
YW! I LOVE getting all pretty for a special occasion. :) It is FUN! I can't imagine her still practicing. WOW! You are right Karma is something i do believe in as well. Have a Happy Tuesday.
  • Reply
It is looking so much better! Yea! Good luck and I'm so happy the wound clinic is working with you!
  • Reply
Thank you az! I'm so happy to be working with a wound care clinic as well. They're experts in healing wounds. Honestly I think that if somebody has an open wound from a surgery, they should be sent to wound care clinic, no matter how wonderful or skilled their surgeon is. The people at wound care clinics are trained for healing wounds and have so many things to help us heal. Our surgeons are skilled in their own right but wound care isn't their specialty. You wouldn't go to a general practitioner to get a tooth pulled... you'd go to a dentist. lol At least that's the way I see it. lol
  • Reply
This this very true I'm with you...wound are spica list people.
  • Reply
Girl you are a trooper! Holy crap what a transition and healing journey. That would be awesome if you got on Botched, I love that show lol I'll keep reading your post, it's helpful as a Fellow Wound-Opening person lol :D
  • Reply
OMG really???? cannot Wait to hear on Botched!!!!
  • Reply
Great news!!! So happy they chose you. Will be looking forward to seeing your episode.
  • Reply
Woooooo hoooooo im SOOOOOOOO happy for you!!!!! Cant wait to see The result! Hope it happens before I Get My revision so I can see what a great job that they Will do, big hugs this news has just Made My day!!!!!
  • Reply
So glad you are going to get it fixed.
  • Reply
Happy dance, drink VITAMIN C (1000mg) to heal faster and build up more skin and help the tissue regenerate faster, Yeahhhhh baby Botched time is coming soon for you. God bless you. Muahhh
  • Reply