42 Years Old, 4 Kids, It's My Time Now - Tulsa, OK

When I turned 40, I was determined to find the...

When I turned 40, I was determined to find the better me that had been covered for years! This journey began with a weight loss challenge at work, which I won! It quickly turned me into a fitness fanatic as I was introduced to a life filled with Zumba and Weight Lifting, I wouldn't trade this love for anything, it caused me to feel strong, confident and in control at least with my clothes on! After weight loss we can tuck, position and hide those areas that we don't know what to do with but when I stood naked in front of the mirror, those areas were still there! My husband, who is my biggest proponent, actually nudged me to my first consulation! After my first one I actually felt like maybe those areas that wouldn't fall in line with my goals, could possibly be fixed! After a couple consults, I knew I wanted to take the next step! I was a smoker and had tried many times to quit, this was just the motivation I needed, especially after realizing that no extra money would come out of our budget because the amount I was spending every month on cigarettes, was the exact payment amount we needed it to be! You guessed it I scheduled a BL/BA, TT w/ associated liposuction of abdomen and waist! I was nervous but more excited than anything because I was finally going to get my body back!

Upon waking up from the procedures, I felt like I had defied everything I had heard! I could do things that others said I couldn't and my recovery was going great! At 2 we post op I was faced with severe pain in my abdomen which turned out to be hematoma that had to be extracted by being opened back up and a new drain being placed in just above where my old one was.

Currently, I am 4 weeks and 1 day post op and the healing process is slow at best! My emotions are heightened and frustration levels are very evident. I just started back to work yesterday which has been difficult because by the time I go home I feel like I have been run over by a mack truck! I know that all of this will be worth it in the end and will have an amazing testimonial of this experience but sometimes it is hard seeing the end of this all!! I welcome any and all comments that will assist me positively in moving forward! It's always nice to know that you are not the only one riding this roller coaster!

3 Comments

I'm sorry you've had to deal with that hematoma set back, but congrats on getting in shape, quitting smoking, and getting this done. Look how far you've come! You should be very proud. And be patient with your body. You will be back to yourself before you know it. Please keep us updated!
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You've come so far, and that is inspirational! I hear you about the energy levels. I have wanted to just put my head down and sleep in public in the middle of the day. It's tough, but think of how at you've come. The relatively short period of discomfort during these few weeks of recovery will pale in comparison to a lifetime of better health, exercise, no smoking and better shape that you and your loved ones can enjoy! Hang in there!
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Good for you!! Your passed the hard part now just the healing. Soon enough I will be on the roller coaster with you :) Thanks for sharing your journey.
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Back to the PS at 5 weeks (3 weeks after hematoma)

Monday, which is 5 weeks from my initial procedures, PS wants to take a culture. He is is pretty sure I have developed an infection. There is an area on the left side of my incision that has opened up a little and is draining a clear/bloody fluid and my tummy is a lil red and swollen. Not sure if this is just normal swelling or that of an infection. First a hematoma and now this! I really hope that I do not have another setback, I just want to move forward with my recovery!

5 Comments

So sorry to hear you're having a rough recovery! In due time it will get better. You're just a few days further post op than me and I'm finally just starting to feel somewhat normal. Sending healing vibes your way
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Thank u for the the encouragement! I can't tell u how nice it is to hear other women with similar struggles and knowing that there will be a light around this corner!
Loved your story. You will get through whatever set back you might have. You've got this!
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5 Week Post Op

Yesterday I went back to my PS and I didn't have to have a culture taken because there is no infection! ! Woot Woot! I was really scared that I was having another setback!! Some of my internal stitches were trying to work their way out and found a few soft spots to do that to and that is why I was red and swollen in a few areas. The nurse cleaned those areas and pulled out those stitches that were causing irritation. My right breast didn't like them at all and is having a harder time healing on the underneath side. PS said my body is generating new skin and that it will heal up nicely. I am still very tight in my tummy area which is to be expected and will continue to decrease in size and tightness over the next 6 - 8 months. I don't have to return until June unless something is wrong. I gained a lot of piece of mind by talking to PS!

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0 Comments

Emotions seem to be getting the best of me

My emotions are still all over the board. So completely different than what I am normally like. I just feel like I should be far ahead of where I am at, recovery wise. Being patient is not one of my strengths!

2 Comments

I can understand how the emotions and frustration of the healing process can get the best of you. I haven't had my surgery yet but during my recovery from a c section, it was a nightmare. My baby was in the NICU and I could barely walk. It was so frustrating and I felt helpless. Just take it 1 day at a time and be glad each set back is a healable set back. You are a strong woman by the story you presented and these set backs are not going to get the best of you! Keep pushing along and allow your body to heal! Best of wishes to you!
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I also had a c section but my recovery time was not this long. Sorry to hear that you had a rough time during yours. Thanks so much for the encouraging words as they are what helps to push me forward! Thank you!

Feeling Better Every Day

Tomorrow is 7 weeks post op and I am feeling better every day! I have been getting very antsy in wanting to get back to my life as it was. Last week I started walking on the treadmill and using my resistance band a little bit. I sure do miss my Zumba and lifting weights but I know that I have to start slow! Yesterday I walked the Color Me Rad 5K and I had a blast! It was like a big party afterwards which was a great experience for me considering I was feeling like I was going stir crazy and full of frustration! It's not to say that it came without consequences. I was soo tired last night not to mention swollen in the abdominal area but after resting last night, but today is a new day for new successes!

2 Comments

Hey Nikki...how are you?
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I am feeling great! It took a while to get to where I could do some of the things I love! Last weekend I ran a 5K and beat my time from last year! I am still swollen but it's a lot better than last month!

11 Weeks Post Op

I am at about 80% and feeling great! 2 weeks ago I ran a 5K and actually beat my time from last year, which probably had something to do with me not smoking!! Also am doing my Zumba and easing back to lifting weights which makes me ecstatic!! I am still swollen but will continue to decrease every month! My next PS appt is June 2 and at that point I will have my before and after composites which I am really looking forward to seeing!!

3 Comments

Congrats on the weight loss and getting healthy. I'd love to see your results.
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Oh and what week was it when you stated running again?
It was almost 7 weeks when I walked my first 5K (post op) and I even passed some people! I power - walked and was able to finish in under an hour! I ran my first one at almost 10 weeks!
Dr. Angelo Cuzalina

I felt VERY comfortable with Dr. Cuzalina and he came highly recommended! He has a great bed - side manner and answered all of my questions and concerns!

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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