Ahh, where did the the time go? One minute I had a...
Ahh, where did the the time go? One minute I had a nice athletic and strong body with curves everyone wants now (back then we all wanted to be Skinny Minny) fast forward and self care took a back seat to career, family and home and, WHUMPH, I almost doubled in size.
** Disclaimer- I worked for the insidious processed food industry and was the poster girl what that kind of food does to you.
After years of trying different things and becoming a research junky, I finally lost 85 lbs and was pretty decent, Heck better than decent, only to add back 25lbs (dramatic sob story here) and this weight looks ugly, puckery, rolly. It took full advantage of my degraded collagen and less resilient skin, which I have likely made worse with repeated half assed attempts that resulted in 10 lb yo-yo fluctuations.
MY Public Service Announcement- DO NOT YO YO WEIGHT GAIN!!!
I've thought about a surgical response for a long while and it is very, very hard for me to spend this kind of money on myself, just myself. But my husband and partner in life is very encouraging. He says go for it, I deserve it, I'm worth it, and afterwards we will go to Jamaica. (where did I get such a lovely man?)
So I have started conversation with a couple of Dr.s after looking at reviews, pics, profiles and then reaching out to patients of those Dr.s to see how their experience really was. Although the approaches were disparate, the Dr.s consensus was that I need a Lower Body Lift. BTW when you get conflicting information and approaches, I think you should ask the Dr. to explain their opinion vs. another, you will find out a whole lot of stuff you might not otherwise and some of it might be important to your decision making. After all this and making some good friends here, I have decided on Dr. Victor Gutierrez. He was not the least expensive but he listened to my concerns and priorities, treated me as a unique person, plus the patients of his that I talked to, met and even saw in person the results were fabulous and they all said they felt no real pain. Not like the stories you usually read about.
Meeting the Dr. in Person Tomorrow
Excited to meet the Dr. tomorrow in person! Tagging along with AZDee to TJ and getting a pre-op consult so we can fine tune what needs doing. I have an old trauma at the base of my left buttock that I am wanting attended to, it is the dent that creates an extra ripple below and shows in a lot of things I wear. Not nice. But it will be a fun overnight in the San Diego Area, and a little cooler than our Phoenix. We are hoping we might get a sneek peek at the Doc's new surgery and recovery center that is under construction.
Meanwhile I was in the gym this morning working on the muscles- So this transformation is part me and part the Doc. I want to improve the musculature that I've let go to seed and provide a good scaffold for the LBL. And I want to be as strong as possible for a good recovery as about a month after I'll be visiting with my sister and helping her open her brand new indoor tennis club in Camas WA.
So These 3 Patients and a Plastic Surgeon walk into a Bar...
I mean, where else but Mexico are you going to get to spend lunch hanging out with your Plastic Surgeon?
We got to TJ and Dr. Gutierrez' office and Elsa, office manager, patient coordinator and superhero, tells us the doctor is on his way but suggests we go to the seafood restaurant across the street and have lunch and he will meet us there. So we have a wonderful lunch hanging out with Dr. G and Elsa before we even have our appointments.
When we do finally get to my actual consult, we talk about my entire list of fixes. We discussed medial thigh lift groin incision only, butt lift, full tummy tuck with muscle repair, mini face lift, mini upper arm lift, lipo scupture in various discreet areas and treatment for tuberous breast with breast implants and a small lift. I know, sounds like a lot, and it is.... and it can't all be done at the same time. Of course not. It is too much trauma and too much potential blood loss for me, which would jeopardize my health and recovery, and too much surgery time for him. He is only human after all.
So after a few minutes of pushing things around we decided together that the LBL, which is the butt lift and flankplasty, the medial thigh lift (groin crescent) and the tummy tuck would be done in August and the mini face lift, mini brachioplasty (axilla crescent) and breast work would be done some months down the road.
Now comes the ummmm bad news. I have to lose some 10lbs+/- of fat off my thighs to really get the results that I want. I have a fair amount of thick adipose tissue still sitting in reserve, mostly near the top half of the thighs. I am in the gym weight training now to improve my musculature, trying to make a perkier glute and stronger hamstring. But I was not trying to achieve a net loss of weight. I know some will come, but I was after strength and muscle gain. ( those legs in the blue pair of leggings are not what I look like now but they are my inspiration) And there is no such thing as spot fat reduction, unless it is lipo. However we are avoiding doing a lot of lipo on the thighs because results can be iffy, there is lymph structures you don't want to damage and very superficial fat just can't be lipoed. So I need to add some other components to the program. Apparently cheese had just been stricken from my diet :(
Do you ever feel like you are your own pet? I have to feed me and pet me and take me out for my exercise and check my vitamins, brush my skin, get a chiro adjustment, etc, etc.....
Any weight lifters out there?
So, my trainer is back and we hit the gym today. He seems to still be in arm and core mode and I'm not saying that is not important, but I have a finite window of time before my legs and butt are being done and I want to do more leg work. So I am disappointed. Building more muscle will rev up my metabolism and help me shed the weight Dr. G would like me to lose. Arggh. I am also cycling, both to and from the gym which just counts as my warm up and cool down, and on my non gym days I am trying to cycle about 6 - 8 miles both for cardio and some leg strength. ( these are all just 30 minute work outs, which is optimum) I use the harder gears to keep the intensity up. I may have to add some other activity on my own, but then why am I paying a trainer? Any weight lifters out there? How do you build hand strength?
Also I have had some symptom of peri-m and it struck me that estrogen dominance could be part of why I have not been able to shift any of this fat that came to my middle, so I just started taking CDG (calcium di-glucarate) to help clear out the extra E and maybe that will add to my fat loss efforts.
Sometimes all this work just feels like an out of body experience...
Locked it in today!
I paid my deposit and made my flight arrangements today, so this is getting pretty real. Just to make sure I wasn't dreaming I decided to crack my head on the wall. I must say my clotting factors are great!
Actually not so ow as it could have been as I have been taking bromelain for a little tendonitis in my arm and it works GREAT! My boo boo is an egg on my forehead but it did not bruise and does not really hurt unless I press on it. And my tendonitis is really improved, no nsaids. Today I did not even wear my wrap. You have to get the enteric coated but so worth it as I'm not killing my liver. So I did not bike today, I thought I should take it a little easy. So I've been journaling my diet, which I knew I would find tedious but I am learning how all these calories are sneaking into an otherwise wholesome diet. But I will see how it is after a week, hard to judge one day at a time. The weight training adds water to the muscles so my weight is up a few instead of down. But I can already feel firmer muscles, and cranky ones too.
Went my thigh as I did a lung. It felt like a ripple or a rubberband pulling through. It startled and scared me. Did I just pop a tendon in my quad?
I had pins but not a deep tearing pain, nor bruising nor deformation of the muscle. So we decided it was a nerve that flipped places in the muscle group. It happened in both thighs a couple of days apart. A little freaky. So I work on lunges at home between gym session. I
Adding to my Craziness
SO you would think these last 32 days before a major surgery would be enough to handle, what with organizing recovery supplies, the pre-surgery weight training and strength building, which is coming along nicely even though the scale is barely showing a net loss, more on that...
I just started a new 5 week project consulting on a political campaign. It is one of those fights like the last season of Dallas ( The original 80 series). So there will be lots of things to keep me occupied and my mind off the upcoming surgery so I don't over think it. And with any luck I'll burn a few extra calories too!
So my weigh training, I leg pressed 170lb yesterday, more than my bodyweight. Ladies I can tell you that I can see a difference in one month in the contour of my leg and butt muscles and I only go 3 times a week for 30 minutes. I just have to hang upside down to see it because the RDTS (Redundant Dermal Tissue Syndrome ;) ) still obscures much of it in the pelvic girdle area giving me the ultimate drumstick thigh. But even my bat wings are responding. I'm not saying I or any one can fix all of my RDTS this way, but this will be a great structure over which the Fabulous Dr. G (Gutierrez) will perform his artistry. Can't Wait, really.
I almost forgot I am having and LBL
I know most people are writing that the anticipation is killing them and they have this much time to go. I have been so busy with my job that it has snuck up on me. 10 days from today I get my new lower half. NOW that I am sitting down to think about it, it's a tad scary. The fact that my job, currently, is very anxiety ridden and I am overdosing on cortisol is likely not helping my pannicky feeling.
Am I ready? do I deserve it? will I get the smooth and firm legs and butt that I want? will the lbl flatten by butt too much?
A Mind is a terrible thing- sometimes. SO I keep trying to look at the great outcomes of others have received with Dr, Gutierrez to reassure myself that this flab will be gone, permanently, in 11 days.
I was very sad to hear about some bad comments from someone on this forum. I don't know the explicit details, and I don't want to. My current work environment is filled with, yes women, who actively work to undermine, sabotage, and otherwise tear each other down (including attacks on me). It is the hallmark of a person with a fragile ego who is insecure and immature. Viciousness has no place in a forum of healing and self improvement.
ON another note, I can say that my body has responded very well to my weight lifting work out. Everything is firmer ( well under the excess R.D.T.S.) and I can't wait to see what it really looks like after surgery. And I know I will be anxious to get back to it and keep shaping up my muscles.
BTW, the weight lifting fixed my rotator cuff/frozen shoulder. It made me focus on proper shoulder placement (back and in the pocket) plus it strengthened and stabilized all the little muscles involved. Improper shoulder posture kept impinging the little muscles and aggravating them until there was considerable inflammation. There is a reason your mama told you to sit up straight!
So no shoulder surgery or steroid shots. And I back row 30lb dumbells. Ha!
I am looking forward to the downtime in Mexico at Rosarita Beach. We got a vacation condo there (Wyndham) and my husband and my girlfriend/ campadre/ comrade in arms ( who is a nurse) will hang with me and see to my every need. I hope I get a nice view of the ocean since I wont get to go in it (sighhhhh). So we will be there for 10 days while I recuperate and it is about 20 min from the doctors office. My medical vacation :) I do hope I get a lobster while I am there!
Today is the big day!
19 Aug 2014
Day of treatment
It's a bit surreal. It is finally here. I flew to San Diego yesterday and had my last minute exam by the internist. He said i was very fit and my heart was excellent! We started my markup after 7pm and finished well after 9. You do have to have a little endurance and a sense of humour. After that I went to dinner with the affable Dr. Victor Gutierrez at the Lionfish and had some of the best shrimp tacos I've ever tasted. YUM!
And so a van picked me up at the hotel I stayed at last night and i a. Here, in my surgical gown waiting to, oopps they are here to prep me.
19 Aug 2014
Day of treatment
Got out of surgery close to 10pm. Numbing of block 8s wearing off but other than that.and.being.am little.ctosseyed i feel great. Think I will go get some sleep now.
ok little crosseyed,
But otherwise great! Didn't sleep much between noises, odd pings, and being too warm. The auto massagers on my legs felt fine but they are totally made of vinyl and hot. They finished their cycle between 2 and 3 so she unbuckled the, what a relief! I have pretty.good.feeling in my left leg, right thigh still a little numb but no pain. NO PAIN. Just like AZDee and Lisalias said. A small touch of ache in upper ab if I try to sit up, like if I overdid the crunch. My butt is a bit numb. That is it girls. I was in and out during surgery cracking jokes. Asked them if I was all set for Halloween when they were bandaging me up. I even asked Dr.G if he remembered to sew swarovski crystals into my dress. What can I say? :) I was very calm going in, which supprised even me, but the entire surgical team was very warm and caring. Ulysses the anisthaeseologist was a complete pro, never felt the spinal block go in. Just a totally awesome team took great care of me, start to finish. I am so awake (at 5 am) i am ready to go recuperate at my timeshare at nearby Rosarito beach. Just waiting to see when i can get out of here. No anisthaesea hangover, just a little dry, should have hydrated more the night before. LADIES, if you tend to be the anxious type, or even if you are not, Dr V. GUTIERREZ and his team just could not be more hospitable, attentive, gracious and able to put you at ease. I Iook forward.to my condo and seeing my family today, but i also can't wait
to come back in 3 days to cut the bandages off and get a look at my new me!
2 days post
So all is good. I went into surgery about 9am and came out about 9:30p.m. I was awake and not groggy by the time they wheeled me into my recovery room. I was on the phone with family to about midnight just talking away. Yesterday and today a bit stiff and tight but not really pain just some discomfort like too many stomach crunches. I did not have the tummy tuck; between my good muscle tone and lack of tissue to pull down in order to move belly button, he did a full liposculture instead and on my back as well. So this was a full lbl with crescent medial and a little brazil butt in the hips. I have some bruising in my back and arm pit area but not bad. Even though im swollen in thighs, Im already smaller than before; bye bye chicken drumsticks!
My resort bed is soooo much more comfortable than the hospital bed. Finally got a good nights sleep and the ocean and palm trees are a nice treat to wake up to. Perfect recuperating environment. No pings or loud nurses, etc. My butt and hips are just a little bit numb still. So watching movies and enjoying the tropical breeze and catching up on my reading.
1 Week post
1 week post op. Went to see Dr. G and get my first compression suit m because the compression dressi g bad been too loose for days and not giving me any suppot. However still draining too much to remove drains due to the lipo.
A WORD ABOUT LIPO this is the only thing that gave significant discomfort. I had lipo 360 from waist to underbust. This is the only thing that bruised and produced the majority of swelling that settled in my lower back. Unlike the thigh and butt lift, this was more than uncomfortable when I needed to move. Just laying there wasn't a problem. Rolling over, in and out of bed or going potty was. The paracetamol kept things well in check but I started to get dizzy so switched to ibuprofen Saturday afternoon. Once I got the compression garment and ab binder on Monday, this was all much better as it was supported much better and the ab binder was finally able to address the lower back swelling. (You can see the swelling in the pics). Next hurdle is getting these drains out which are hanging out the bottom of my suit through the open crotch.
Thank god I had spent the time strengthening my legs and arms. It has made a huge difference in the little bit of movement you have to do. I recommend everyone improve their strength before taking this on.
THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE IN THEIR RECOVERY KIT
Toilet seat riser, yes my legs can handle but it was tricky and lower puts undue stress on sutures
She pee, first several days after surgery you dont even attempt to sit and peeing standing up unnecessarily wets the groins sutures.
Burdock, a natural supplement that supports the lymph system which is what handles your swelling. Take the month before surgery stopping just a few days before surgery and then start again 2 or 3 days post. I dont recommend starting right after surgery as it increases urine production, but it does a marvelous job of managing swelling and keeping lymph moving. Skin brushing, which is a non hand lymphatic masage, i also did and recommend before surgery to make sure the lymph system is clear of stagnation and flowing freely. Although I had swelling the surgery areas, I never had swelling in my extremeties or my labia. I like skin brushing over manual lymph massage because your are less likely to over due the pressure, which is counter productive, plus it exfoliates and tonifies the skin. Do not skin brush freshly lipoed skin, but you can do extremeties post op and you can brush over the garment. Google skin brushing for more details and technique.
Protein powder or protein shakes, protein is critical for good recovery but I found my appetite really lacking the first week post op. Most food sounded very unappealing and the smell of bbq was a turn off. I had a steady diet of bananas and protein smoothies made with banana, strawberry and a vegetarian based protein powder for the first 5 or 6 days. I chose to be dairy free due to antibiotics which can upset your gut flora, no need to add digestive distress to the mix. Bonus, this plan plus adequate amounts of water throughout the day kept the bowels moving easily.
Bendable straws, because you wont be so bendable. ;)
Thin soft material like a tee shirt or pillow case, for between your legs when you're laying abed the first several days. You are supposed to keep the groin area dry but keep your legs closed, uh huh yeah right. A wash cloth or hand towel size piece of cloth patted in their does the trick. Depending on how sensitive your skin is, and surgery made me very sensitive- every wrinkle in the sheet became irritating for awhile, I found thin and smooth material was most comfortable. Plus easy to adjust as needed while laying about and having to navigiate the drain lines. Once you are more mobile, switch to pads.
I hope this helps. As i think of other helpful hints, I will post.
Back Home, Dr. Says I was Not a Patient
I am back home home and my cat is so happy he hasn't left my side all weekend. Hubby had to work so I just continued to relax and watch movies with my 8 lb bed hog Charlie. Gosh I missed my comfy bed...
Before I go too much further, I just want to say thank you very much to my husband and girlfriend who went with me and helped me that first week out of surgery. It was difficult getting in and out of bed, I didn't want to eat, and I couldn't reach anything on my body because I could not bend. I felt like I had been super glued from my waist to my hip in a solid 5" band. The LBL and MTL were kind of a breeze, except you can't open your thighs or flex your hips much to protect the sutures. The lipo, though, is very tender, and I did not go into a suit for a week, I just had a compression mummy wrap that was pretty loose after 4 days. I know people do this all on their own, but I just would not recommend it. Plus I have to say, as a primary care giver, it is nice to have someone wait on me for a time. And they took really good care of me. Ah but that is all over now. Back home, back to work and back to taking care of my family and home.
So why did the doctor say I was not a patient? Because I came out of surgery and had a 15 minute cogent talk with the associate surgeon right after, then spent 2 hours on the phone with family. I was ready to leave post op by noon the next day. My swelling went down so fast I all but fell out of the mummy wrap (he prefers not to put you in the suit until the drains are removed). I was standing perfectly erect in 1 week and climbing stairs (slowly) and my overall energy and mood. Also, I worked from bed running the last week of the campaign. He said, although he did multiple procedures, including some fat grafting to even out my derriere, and the lipo removed 3 liters from my torso, I just wasn't "patienty" except for the getting in and out of bed, which had a lot to do with the lack of mobility in my hips.
So 2 weeks post and I can do just about anything but bend over to get flat things off the floor and deep bends in the knee (still protecting those incisions). I know part of this has to do with the pre-op care and conditioning I did, including toning up my lymphatic system which is the main mechanism that manages the swelling, and the other part is the care and detail that Dr. Gutierrez takes during surgery. He does not let you bleed. He is a micro surgeon by training. He is precise in his technique, very gentle with the tissue and this keeps bleeding to an absolute minimum. Less bleeding = less bruising = less swelling and less complications and great recovery. Truthfully, the only thing holding me back is this dang garment.
I am so getting excited to see my scars. I am supposed to leave the tape on and let in come off naturally. Of course the very first area to come off is the groin, which I can't see. But the tape is starting to come off the pubic area and my lines are very straight. I love that Dr. G uses internal stitches and tapes the top skin. NO PUCKERS! or blanket stitching look. Not very red, so far as I can see and just this small straight line. Why doesn't everyone do it this way? It is another reason I chose Dr. G over others.
So I am in my second suit after less than a week and I need to shop for my third as I expect to be out of this one within 2 weeks. I am trying to decide if I should continue in the full body suit or move to an high waist bottom and then a top. The lipo went up my shoulder blades and even a little in the axilla and my left arm ( to even them out) so I am thinking maybe a top with half sleeves? Anyone have an opinion here? I am using lipo foam 360 around the middle which goes up just to my shoulder blade. Gosh it makes this suit feel better,especially the zipper area that bunches whenever you are bent. I'd like to get some compression in the axilla. I shoved some oversized pads in the armpit of my suit until I ran out. Maybe rolled up socks will work? Has anyone used a tummy board?
I think that is it for now.