47 Years and Discovering the New Me - Waterloo, ON

Having spent most of my life as an obese...

Having spent most of my life as an obese individual, when I lost 75 lbs, following 10mths of hard work in the gym and totally changing my eating, I decided I wanted to care for the hanging skin on my tummy and arms as a reward for my hard work. On a psychological level, fears of pain, recovery and worry over what people would think of me doing this to my body were real issues I needed to work through. I talked it through with my trainer--who was incredibly supportive--and some family members, I booked my surgery. Going into the surgery I was quite nervous. "Am I really paying someone to do this to me?" The staff were unbelievable! Compassionate, professional, respectful and very comforting. They worked together harmoniously like a well-formed team. They met my needs before, during and after surgery and Dr. Shenker called me at home that night to make sure all was well.

Catching up on my first week

A week ago today was surgery day. I slept remarkably well the night before and headed to the clinic 45 minutes away from my home. Within two hours Dr. Shenker had finished doodling on me for my tummy tuck and arm lift and the surgical team began their work.

My trip home afterwards went well in spite of the distance. Although I was moving slowly I felt great. Whatever drugs they gave me I should have gotten an order for the road! The biggest challenge was learning how to deal with the two drains while going to the washroom!

Day 1--Well, actually the first three days I did a lot of sleeping. I had been warned to stay on top of the pain pills which I gladly did. Didn’t really relish the idea of discovering what it would be like with no pills. The lower body garment brought tears when trying to unhook and rehook each time to use the washroom.

Day 2--Shower day! Finally! Following Dr. Shenker's advice I used a shower chair and was so glad I did! Removing all the bandages and gauze was frightening as I saw the extent of the surgery. Oh my. By the end of my 5 minute shower I was extremely light headed and the room was swimming. I somehow was able to slow my breathing enough to relax until the lightheadedness passed. I strongly recommend shower chairs to those heading into a tt.

Day 4--I was back to the clinic today for a check on progress and hoped the drains would be removed. After peeling out of my garments Julie, the nurse, rewarded me with a huge smile. She said the incisions looked great. That was encouraging. Unfortunately I went home with the drains still in. Hopefully later this week they'll be removed. I also had my first bm which was such a relief (I know, gross to read about but reality). ;)

Day 6 -- Yesterday I waddled to the drug store for some gauze. Who knew such a trip could knock the stuffing out of someone. Oh my, stars! I took a shower in the afternoon--much improved scenario over my first shower. I washed and dried my garments and squeezed my sore parts into the garments (upper arms and lower body). I was THRILLED to be able to get in them on my own. That was a big concern for me. By nighttime I was feeling very (very) sore, swollen and discouraged.

I don't have pics of my tt to post yet but will try to get some in the next few days to post.

Eating WAY off

In my review I mentioned that I've lost 75 lbs over the past 10 mths. I increased activity and significantly changed my eating. I now track everything I eat including all the Macronutrients (carbs, fats, proteins). Everything has gone well. Then...surgery! Trying to figure out how to eat while feeling like the bottom of a shoe has been a challenge. I don't want to return to old habits but being in a weakened state from surgery that is where my body feels most comfortable. I've been eating 'clean' but the caloric value has been way to low to sustain a good recovery. I texted my trainer last night who offered some helpful solutions--eat foods that pack the biggest punch in small doses. He's been such an encouragement through all this. I'm hoping to be able to turn things around. So, here goes! Would be interested to hear how other post-tt people do with this area.

Arm lift pics

Here are pics of my arms following arm lift surgery 6 days post op. I'll get tt pics as soon as possible.

Said, "Goodbye to 'the twins'" today!

Today I was thrilled to say goodbye to my two drains. This is the Friday of a long weekend and I was disappointed to discover that the nurse who was caring for my case is off until next Wednesday. She had told me earlier in the week that when the drains were removing less than 25cc of fluid each in a 24 hour period to contact her. Today was the day that happened. I was willing to keep the drains (wasn't looking forward to the thought of them being removed) until next week. However, the administrator at the doctor's office contacted the nurse and she made arrangements to come in to take the drains out. THAT is commitment! So tonight I won't have to be afraid of yanking on the drain tubes getting in and out of bed.

I felt probably the best today that I have since before surgery. Felt like a new woman. The nurse answered quite a few of my questions and spoke with experience having had the same surgery two years ago. She said her scar looked the same as mine does now when she was one week post op. She asked if I'd like to see her scar. It was SO encouraging to see her scar. It was very light and fine. Hopefully my results will be similar.

I've been instructed to lightly wipe the incisions during my next shower in order to remove the dried glue and blood. Just the thought of that task makes me shiver. Yikes. However, if that is what they want...I'll do it.

Eating has been better today. I had hit a wall on Wednesday/Thursday not sure what to eat and feeling weaker and weaker. Thankfully some good advice has helped me bump up my calories making me feel less 'wonky'. Hopefully I can get back to my regular eating routine. I'm nervous about losing much muscle mass.

Finally some pics!

It's taken time for me to gain enough courage to TAKE pics let alone upload them. I got my drains out today and, therefore don't have any pics with "my twins" (what I called my drains). I still look so ROUND. I realize there is swelling but hope that I will eventually see some flatness. Some of you ladies out there who are post tt have some pretty flat tummies. Hope as time passes I can count myself among you.

On another note, speaking of you ladies, I want to thank you for the encouragement I've received this far. You have been so uplifting and a couple of you have really spoken into my life related to some areas where I've struggled in wrapping my mind around all the changes I've experienced this past year. Just want to thank you all.

Pressing on

Well, cross another day off the recovery calendar. I felt weary today so took it easy for the most part. Went to the grocery store with my sister to pick up a few things. Oh, my stars! Ended up holding my tummy throughout the store feeling like a wrung out dishrag by the end. Oh well. Didn't see anyone I knew so I don't care =) It felt great getting out among the living.

The swelling has been HORRIBLE today. The pain from the surgery is less than the pain caused by the pressure in my abdomen. I've never been pregnant but 'get' what it must feel like!

I also had my first, second and third sneeze today. Ouch, ouch and OUCH! Would sure hate to get a cold right after a tt. Something to be thankful for.

Question for you tt ladies: have any of you dealt with teary moments (emotional lows)? I have felt at times like I've been on an emotional roller coaster. If I hadn't had my period a week ago I'd think that is what I'm dealing with. Has anyone else dealt with this, and do you have hints to pull yourself from those times?

My 19 year old niece spent a day and a bit helping me out. Such a blessing. I told her about my surgery and she was brave enough to look at my incisions. She said to me, "When everything is done (swelling is gone) we'll have to go panty shopping." Never in my life did I EVER think I'd be be in a position to lose my cotton granny panties LET ALONE that I'd be going shopping in one of those lingerie stores for myself. This will definitely be a first for me!

One of my fears is that I'll start gaining weight back that I've worked so hard to lose. I've been told by my PS that I can't do any cardio or weight training for 6 weeks. I've read other posts from some tters that said they had to restrict there activity in the gym after their return (although my PS said that after 6 weeks there are no restrictions with him). I'm so afraid of falling back into the old lifestyle I left a little under a year ago. Believe me--From past experience I can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. It is a real concern for me. I'd love to know how others have handled this.

The other thing I'm battling is how fat I feel. As I said, I've worked hard to slim down. Looking at me now all bloated and swollen, however, I feel bigger than I did presurgery (although the scale is the same). Perhaps I'm just paranoid.

Anyway, that is how I'm feeling today. Trust you ladies have a good evening!

Small steps forward

Today was a good day for which I am thankful. I took a shower--which was amazing...first time since having my drains removed. Glorious! I also did two loads of laundry, walked a block and back to pick up the mail, and returned to my responsibility of being the main caregiver for my mom (she is 72 and we share a home together. Over the past 14 years she has battled cancer and for the past 8 years has been suffering with some type of undiagnosed neurological disorder).

It was a good day all in all but the one thing I seem to be battling is not being able to sleep. The first couple days were wonderful as I could crawl into bed and just flake out. Now...not so much. I think it is the lack of activity that is the issue. I took two Gravol last night in the hopes it would help but it took a couple hours to fall asleep (and then I was up three times before morning). I’m also struggling with jumpy legs...reminds me of restless legs. Tonight seems to be the same. Joy! I took a muscle relaxant in the hopes that this would help. So far...no change.

My arms (from my arm lift) have been sore tonight. The bruising is down considerably since my original pics four days ago. The scars look good. Hopefully the pain is just my body healing the incisions.

Today I followed nurse's instructions and began picking away the glue/dried blood left over from surgery (the dark stuff along the incisions). When she told me that this needed to be done I felt a bit squeamish. "You do realize that my scars are only a week old and I'm still in pain, don't you?!" So, being the dutiful patient that I am, while in the shower I soaped up and using a face cloth, as per her instructions, began "scrubbing" (gently) along the incisions. Oh, my stars. Perhaps that is why my arms are aching sore tonight. I got a tiny bit off but had to stop as I was beginning to feel a bit lightheaded. I'll give it another try on Tuesday. If anyone else has been through this I'd love to hear if you have any suggestions to make this a bit 'easier'.

I have another week until I return to work. I'm going to try going in tomorrow for a couple hours when no one is there (its a holiday) to do a few things and see how well I fair. Time will tell.

Trial Run for a Return to Work

Today I returned to work to do a few odd jobs and see how I fair going back next week. Because it is a holiday I didn't have to worry about being overrun with requests. I made it through the day but don't feel overly tired. There was method in my madness...I'm hoping I'll be zonked come bed time so I'll actually sleep. Last night I had restless legs again and the 2 gravol didn't work their magic. After two hours of tossing and turning I was fit to be tied. Tonight I will also take a muscle relaxant. So...Here's hoping =)

I took my compression sleeves (for my arm lift) off this evening to get a break. They are incredibly itchy and in certain places there's pockets of swelling. Quite interesting. The bruising is down considerably. I'll post pics in the next day or two. My tt incisions are looking good. The swelling actually feels like PMS bloating.

Tomorrow is another day. Small steps forward. B=)

Confiding in a Friend

The day before my surgery I mentioned to a friend at work that I was having surgery. I mentioned it merely so that she knew why I would not be at work. I told her that I preferred to not tell her any details and hoped she'd not push for answers. She honored my wishes.

Throughout my recovery she has texted me several times to check in and to see how I was doing. Today I went to work for a couple hours and had a chance to talk with her. Since my surgery I have had a chance to think through whether I should be sharing my news (about tt and arm surgery) with anyone and, in particular, with her. A couple RealSelf bloggers (Sexy4life and Yogagirl) have been a help as I worked through this process.

For me, the decision to have surgery was difficult. Although I knew this was something I desperately wanted for ME, as a 'people-pleaser, I was concerned with what people would think. People form opinions and judge so quickly without having all the information and I didn't want to set myself up for that. However, my new RealSelf friends helped me to see two particular realities that really hit home. First, people are going to judge and make uninformed comments about anything and everything...you can't control that. Second, the thing I CAN control is who I tell and the information that I share.

As I sat with my coworker this morning and she asked how I was doing, I decided to tell her about the surgery. To my surprise she had already figured it out. I was so thrilled by her support. She said she was proud of me and wished me well. (She also said I looked tired and pale; oh well--if you can't trust a friend to be honest to your face who can you trust) =) I'm just glad I had a chance to download on someone I trust. I doubt if I would readily be transparent with my other coworkers (although I have a good working relationship with them all). I'm glad that I had the courage to trust at least one friend. Just a little something else I've gained as a result of my surgery and the encouraging friends on this Site.

More arm pics

I took some more pics tonight following arm surgery. I'll hope to upload tt pics later this week.

Two Weeks Post Op Appointment

Today was my two week check with the PS. He seemed very happy with the results so far. I've been cleared to begin scar cream and massaging the incisions. My arms (from the arm lift) are still swollen and bruised with a few hard lumps. Apparently the more you massage these areas the looser things will get and the incisions and skin will spread out and heal. I can't say I really relish the idea of rubbing areas that I've protected and babied over the past two weeks but...doctor knows best!

I was a bit discouraged when I asked the nurse and then the doctor about my mid-drift area. I still have a pouch of skin that I was under the impression would be removed during the full tt. The nurse indicated it may not flatten but I need to wait until the 3 mth visit to see how things are going. The doctor came in after the nurse left to check on my progress and when I asked him about the pouch he said it may flatten but, if not, that I may need a second surgery in a year to remove the little bit of excess skin--something he indicated happens sometimes with people who have lost a lot of weight. I'm discouraged by this possible development and praying that the pouch disappears soon. I realize it has only been 2 weeks since surgery. Has anyone else experienced this? Am I worrying too early? I've posted some pics to show the "pouch".

Having said this, I still believe my PS is quality and has my best interests at heart.

Introducing walking into my day

Yesterday at my post op appointment I was cleared to do some "walking". When I asked what they meant by "walking" it was made clear to me that "walking" means a leisurely walk around the block...nothing strenuous. My normal routine is to do a 5 km walk/run most nights so not being able to get out because of surgery has left me climbing the walls. So tonight, with great joy, I threw my headset on, opened the door, waddled carefully to the end of my driveway and was off for a wonderful 15 minute walk...much shorter and slower but it felt wonderful nonetheless!

Earlier today I drove an hour to visit my two nieces and treat them to lunch out. Another opportunity to see some"normal" creep back into my life. Wonderful!

Question for tt recoverers

Just a quick question for those of you have had tt and gone before me. I have been having a feeling like dozens of pins and needles in my swollen abdomen. It can get quite painful. Has anyone else had this? Any idea how to handle this (or should I just 'suck it up'?). Thanks.

Plugging along

Today was a fairly good day. I went for two walks each about 1km. I took my time and found I was a bit winded by the end. I walked (slowly) around the mall today for a bit too. Tried on some clothes--and bought a size SMALL top at a regular women's clothing store (a year ago I was still shopping in 'big girl's stores--oh what a feeling!). My arms (following arm lift surgery) were extremely sore pulling clothes over my head.

I've been having the feeling of pins and needles jamming in my swollen/numb abdomen for the last couple days. Not sure if this is normal. Hope so.

Perhaps about a bit too soon

Today I needed to take my mom out. Normally...not a problem. However, she uses a wheelchair. Seeing as how she had been cooped up since my surgery (July 24) I wanted to give her an opportunity to get out of the house. Well, getting the wheelchair out of the trunk of the car was not too much trouble (thanks to gravity!). Getting it INTO the trunk afterwards...not so easy. I took my time and moved carefully and slowly and DID get the wheelchair in but I think I'll give it another week before I try it again.

Today I went for three glorious 1 km walks! It's pretty slow going but feels good none the less. By the end of this week I hope to bump up the distance by 0.5-1 km. We'll see how that goes.

My incisions are looking fairly good. I am getting used to being able to see my BB. Pre-surgery it sat so low that I couldn't see it unless I pushed my stomach in and moved my rolls of skin out of the way. Now, I just look down and, "Hello!" 'dar she blows...quite cool. My arm incisions (from the arm lift) are looking really good (if I do say so myself).

Tomorrow I head back to work following two weeks of 'vacation'. I've only shared the news of my surgery with a good friend at work so the challenge will be to keep news of it under wraps. Some of my coworkers might understand but I don't have the time to clearly articulate my reasoning and, frankly, I shouldn't have to explain. So...I choose not to share the news.

Today I took my measurements just out of curiosity. To my surprise, my hips and bust are the same size. I THINK that means my measurements are what I’ve heard referred to as an hourglass. You could have blown me over with a feather when I realized that. I could get used to this ;-) Pre-surgery I resembled more of a stopwatch...round!

Hope you ladies all have a good night. Thanks for your support.

Back to Work Success

Hello ladies, today was my first day back to work following my two week "vacation" (translation: surgery recovery). All in all a good day. I was able to work quietly at my desk with basically no interruptions. Sheer heaven. Having my surgery in the summer was part of the madness in my method as many in our office are away on vacation so it is less busy. Tomorrow is another day ;-)

After work I took a walk and then after supper another walk. I've found that the walking is helping me to sleep better at night (that and taking Benadryl). It's only 7:25 PM and I'm ready for bed! I'll try to hold off until 8:00 (oh, I lead such an exciting life!)

I took some more pics tonight as I've not posted any recently. The arm pics seem a bit scarier than I think they really are. I've been told that massaging the incisions and the bruises (and swollen welts on the back of my arms) is very important and that using the scar cream will thin out the incisions lines and cause them to lighten. This is something I need to focus on.

On my arms and tt area I've got a couple spots that are bleeding so I need to be careful with the scar cream. You can really see how swollen I am in my tt pics (with my CG on). I’m trying to be patient and give the swelling time to go down.

Ta ta for now!

Ups and Downs

Today was an up and down day, or should I say a down and up day. This morning I had a lot of pain at work and although I tried to cover it up so no one was suspicious, I discovered my one coworker (the only one I've told about my surgery and is sworn to secrecy) was keeping an eye on me. She caught my eye at one point and mouthed the words, "Sit down!" with a stern look on her face, so I sat down. What she didn’t know until I told her later was that I had had a dizzy spell coming down the back stairs in our office. Everything tilted and was floating around in my head as I descended the stairs. I kept one eye closed to lessen the dizziness and managed to get to a vacant office and "collect myself" before I ended up on the floor. I have NO IDEA what caused it (things like that don't happen to me normally) but it only lasted for a few minutes. I went back to my office and had my morning snack which seemed to help. When "little mother" (my friend at work) found out about my spell she gave me a lecture and made me promise to call her if I needed help. Tonight she texted me and said, "You looked a bit rough today...you okay". I explained that I have good days and bad days and this morning was "bad".

After lunch, however, I was doing better to the point that I was able to take a couple walks--1km before supper and 4 km after supper. I was quite surprised by the longer walk. I kept a slower pace but felt really good by the end and probably could have gone another 1km. I'm slowly getting back to my previous-surgery activity. I'm bumping up my walks (I normally do 5-8 km a night, 3 times a week/10 km each day on weekends) and am eagerly looking forward to getting back to spin class and weight training. I just hope I don't pay for all my activity tomorrow.

I'd be very interested in knowing from recovering tt ladies how you went about integrating activity back into your schedule. I know everyone is different and you have to listen to your body, but I'd like to know, especially for gym goers, how slowly did you get back to squats, Deadlifts, lunges, core workouts, etc., how far along were you in your recovery when you initiated the various movements/exercises. Please do let me know. I'd like to make a plan from now until 6 wks (when my doctor said I can return to the gym) so I don't waste time getting back at it. Thanks ladies!

One Foot in Front of the Other

This morning I was wondering how I would feel after so much walking yesterday (I did 1 km and then 4 km an hour later). I felt great! I didn't feel any more swollen than I have been without my walks. So...today my goal was to give it another go. After work I came home and took a 5 km walk then had supper and went for another 1.5 km walk. I feel like I could go further but am restraining myself. I was having some pain at work but found that once I got moving it seemed to lessen. By the time I had walked 3 km I didn’t feel any pain (or very little).

It feels amazing to get out walking...albeit a bit on the cold side. It felt like 14 degrees C (that's 57F). Good thing I bought a spring/Fall jacket last week!

Thankfully no dizzy spell today. Still not sure what that was yesterday.

Crashing Down

Oh boy...yesterday was not my best day! On a physical level I had enough pain to warrant taking a couple Tylenol X Strength. However, it was the emotional roller coaster that took its toll--and it isn't even "that time of month!". I've been battling the roller coaster off and on since surgery and have read and been told by other wonderful RS emotional-survivors that it is part and parcel of the surgery...which I appreciate knowing.

What frightened me was that I just felt like rolling over and giving up. Is it really worth all this? I'm still swollen, bruised and enduring pain and have not seen signs of "flatness"--after three weeks. I felt so emotionally discouraged (not only by the lack of improvement from my surgery but by comments that a couple well-meaning coworkers made about me being too thin). I’m hearing these comments at a time when I am swollen from my tt: what are people going to say once the swelling goes down and I’ll (hopefully) appear even thinner. For those who have seen my pic, I am not a skinny minny by ANY stretch of the imagination. I’m about 149 lbs (5’6”) and I frankly don’t know what all the alarm is about. I’ve spent the last 40 years (I’m 47) of my life as an obese (and for a time a morbidly obese) person struggling to lose weight and worrying because people were saying I was too fat. Now, I’m a whack lighter, trimmer and feeling the healthiest I have ever felt and finally proud of my accomplishments and I’m still worrying—because people are saying I’m too thin. Good grief… I can’t seem to win! :-) (Sorry…I got side tracked…)

ANYWAY…last night I ended up walking 9 km in an attempt to work off pent up emotional frustration. I spent most of it in tears as I tried to work through all of this garbage. I walked as I normally would have before surgery and remember thinking, “I don’t care if I hurt tomorrow!”

This morning I woke feeling no worse for wear. I haven’t had excessive pain as I somewhat anticipated after such a long walk and this morning, as I looked at myself in the mirror, I saw what I THINK is the beginning of some flatness. My measurement was down about a half an inch compared with what it is normally post-surgery in the morning.

All this to say, I guess, is that surgery for me has been a whole lot more than having someone cut into my body to make needed adjustments. To me it was a necessary part of my transformation. My trainer said to me about 5 months back something that really impacted me. He said, “It has been a blessing watching you come out of your cocoon and morph into a butterfly.” Now, I’ve never had a body building champion make reference to me being like a bug, but in this case I took it as a huge compliment. Has it been a smooth ride? No. And last night was another ripple in the road that will hopefully propel me forward. With chin up, eyes set upward, I’m moving forward!

"Now, That's a Bit Better!"

After a pretty rough day yesterday I had a bit better day today. I was able to talk to my one friend at work today (who knows about my surgery) and told her about the emotional roller coaster ride yesterday. She has undergone two surgeries (for health-related issues) herself and remembers well the emotional ride she was on for both. It was a help to verbally be reassured that what I'm experiencing is "normal". Machine (an awesome RS) friend, was a tremendous encouragement to me as she and I have similar stories about large weight losses and the stupid comments that onlookers make. This has certainly made me more cognizant of comments I may make (as well-meaning as I may intend them to be, people may not take them the way I meant them).

ANYWAY...today was a better day. My tt incisions are as itchy as all get out. That is a sign of things healing. I'm also incredibly itchy elsewhere from my CG. You'd think I had fleas or something! I'm going to start moisturizing my arms and tt scars in order to cut down on itching and, in the case of my arms, to lessen the pain. It's hard to describe the pain but it feels like the skin is being stretched in a not so nice way. Also, the edge of my garments sleeves cut right across the incisions in my arm pits causing incredible pain. I've tried stuffing a sock between me and the garment as a protection...no luck. I've also tried kleenex, and two different kinds of gauze. Kleenex are the cheapest and easiest although the relief is very short lived. Perhaps I should buy those fancy-dancy kleenex with the lotion built into every tissue.

Tonight I went for a 12 km walk. It was perfect walking weather--bright sunshine, cool air--so I wanted to take advantage of it. I didn’t feel worse for wear after last night's 9 km walk so...I pushed the envelope a bit. I don't believe I could do much more in a day at this point. The concern I have is that my body will grow accustomed to this and it will be less beneficial to me from a fat loss perspective. I need to return to high impact interval training but I KNOW right now I can't handle that much intensity. I'm trying to figure out when best to plan a return to the gym. Thanks again, Machine, for sharing with me how you planned your return to activity. Most helpful!

More pics

I took some pics before my shower and thought I'd share. I took one also with clothes on.

Prescription for the day: REST!

Today when I woke up I had grandiose ideas for my day. On the top of the list was to cut the lawn. Joy. I last cut the lawn right before surgery so it is starting to need a clipping. However, as my morning unfolded (and pain set in) I quickly decided against "dancing" across my front and back lawn with my push mower! And decided to take it easy. I did some shopping this morning but felt extremely tired. I figure my heavier walks this week have caught up to me. My tt incisions are a bit sore and the arms are achy. So...rest is the order for today!

During my shopping trip this morning I went into a couple clothing stores. A year ago I shopped in "big girl"-only shops. This morning I shopped in a regular store and I put on a size 5 and size 7 jacket. Normally the sleeves would have been too tight, not to mention my waist. However, it slid on as smooth as silk. A year ago I wore a size 18. WHAT a huge step towards victory.

I've had some ask about the scar gel I was given by the PS. The name is Scar Recovery Gel with centelline (2 oz.). I searched on the web and this is the address:.http://www.skinmedica.ca

Quick question for you garment-wearing women: I'm really struggling with itchiness at night. Last night was horrible. I ended up with hives under my garments and had to use cortisol cream for relief. I figure it was caused by my underwear under the garment. Has anyone else experienced this (or am I in a camp on my own ;-).?

Have a good rest of your day!

Going Garment-less

Last night I only made it about four hours before I had to take off my sleeve garments (used following arm lift) as the edge of the sleeves were cutting across the incisions in my arm pits. As soon as they were off I felt a huge relief from the pain. Glory! Tonight I'm considering going CG-less depending on how itchy it gets. My PS's nurse actually told me at my two week follow up that I didn't need to wear either garment any longer. I guess I just feel a bit more secure in it and a part of me hopes it will make a difference in the long run. We'll see.

Today I walked 10 km (from two walks). I’m hoping that means I'll sleep better tonight. A girl can dream.

Compression sleeves

For those interested here is a pic of my compression sleeves. No, that is not me in the pic; I'd need more surgery (lots more!) to get to looking THAT good ;-)

Let's try that again...

Too early in the morning...hit the wrong button and posted instead of attaching pic. Round #2!

Good Night's Rest

Well, last night I went garment free. No tt garment and no compression sleeves. I slept amazingly well. Didn't even get up to use the washroom. Of course that meant I had to wring out my mattress in the morning! Hard to do after surgery.

Thanks to 'Machine' (an RS friend) I had a better day thanks to some compression sleeve alternatives she suggested. I've complained here before that my garment sleeves rub on my incisions in my arm pits causing a lot of pain. She recommended tubigrip and it works well. Thank you, Machine.

This morning at work I had to go into our archives storage and pull some material. Joy amongst all joys! Funny, but my tt incisions cause me very little pain. At least that was until I started lifting heavy boxes, and twisting trying to find a place to put them down. My arms, however, took the brunt. The sleeves and some Tylenol helped.

Tonight I walked 11 km. Feeling a bit worn out. Heading to bed. Good night ladies.

Only 6 KM

Today I only walked 6km. Did I say 'only'? A year ago I had just started walking and couldn't barely do a couple kms at a time. Now, a year later, I'm 80 lbs lighter, have had what I hope will be life-changing surgery and am preparing for the rest of my life. Not bad for a year's worth of investment.

I've noticed that for the most part I'm feeling pretty normal. (Goodness--this surgery IS wonderful as I've never been 'normal' in my life. I have family that would attest to that. (But I digress) There are times when I'll go to do something and my incisions will scream out by shooting pain that reminds me I'm still recovery.

I've managed to keep my surgery hidden from my coworkers and friends. At work I was quizzed by my supervisor one day last week. I had arrived early to work and he was already there. He noticed me moving slowly up the stairs which is unusual for me (I usually go up them 2 at a time). He's a great guy and not one to pry so when he started asking questions (asked how I was feeling; if I was sore; where I felt sore) I was afraid he had picked up on something. I carefully answered his questions being as vague as possible and when it played out it turns out he thought I had been at the gym and was sore from a hard work out. Whew.

At church a week ago an older woman (friend) came to talk with me and compliment me on my weight loss. I had decided to not wear my garments sleeves for the first time that day. I felt naked without them. She patted me on the back and gave me a sideways hug then began rubbing the back and inside of my one arm (like a kind grandmother might do). Shivers of pain shot through my body. I couldn't wait to get away. All I kept thinking was, "Can she not feel the 'railroad tracks ' of incisions going up my arm? Guess not. Quite an experience. I'm careful and try not to put myself in a situation where that may happen again.

I find I still get tired easily. I said I only did 6 km tonight but that was because at about 4 km I began feeling very tired. I decided to listen to my body and only do 6 km.

Onwards and upwards.

Am I losing it?

Last night I KNOW I began a post for the day. I remember starting it....and commenting on having walked 7 km....I remember being incredibly tired and thinking, I've got to finish this before I fall asleep and forget to post. I also remember, through droopy eyelids clicking on the "Post Update" button. Now, however, I'm not sure what happened as the post isn't showing. Am I losing my mind?

Well, I will say that I had a good day yesterday. Obviously from what I've already written I walked 7 km and was very tired last night. I've noticed the feeling that the swelling seems to be going down overall. Yesterday, however I did swell up in the evening and today, my ”Aunt FLo" is coming for her monthly visit so I will have a couple rough days ahead. She WOULD have to be like clock work now of all times!

Today I celebrate 4 wks since surgery. I fondly think back to the day of my surgery. I felt incredibly peace heading into surgery, no doubt because of the confidence I had (and continue to have) in my PS. I've NEVER been as confident in a medical team as I am with my PS and his staff. I was impressed as I met each one of them. They made the entire process an incredibly experience. A friend of mine had a breast enlargement done a couple years back and I 'picked her brain's a couple weeks before surgery about her experience. I thought she was right loopy when she told me it was like going to the spa. I thought, "I don't know where you go to get YOUR massage and 'spa stuff' done, but it must be some horrible place!" Well, I quite agree with her assessment, although I've never been to a spa. I remember the pre-op room and operating room being filled with bright sunshine and it was incredibly cheery...just like the staff. And amazing experience.

At any rate, today I mark a point where I can technically begin to implement more into my day...AND the gym is just a couple weeks away! Look out!!!

(Now that I KNOW I am awake I will click the "Post Update" button. And here I go...)...CLICK

Picture Time!

As promised I've uploaded some pics. I struggle to get good pics as I'm trying to take them by myself and I can't zoom out far enough to get a better perspective especially where lots of skin is showing. Don't want to be accused of burning anyone's retina with too much "skin". ;-)

Today I was a bit sore and the start of my cycle only added to the pain. I'm quite swollen today (again probably a little bloated too...hard to tell the difference). I did 6 km right after work and felt amazing. I had read how other ladies felt better after working out.

My arms were achey today. I'm faithfully putting scar cream on them but struggle with massaging them. I find that still quite painful. I can massage the TT incisions with no major issues but the arms...not so much.

Although I'm not as flat as I've seen in other reviews I've read (I’m hopeful that things will still deflate and flatten), I have noticed one cool thing. Every time I would sleep on my side, I'd touch my stomach with my hand and feel a large roll. The other day I touched my stomach and only felt the 'baby bump' (my term for the swollen area below my bb). I smiled when I realized 'it' was gone. (Thank you, Dr. Shenker!). Also, when I run downstairs I no longer feel--or hear--the excess skin on my stomach slapping against my legs. I had just noticed slapping skin phenomenon since losing a lot of weight. It grossed me out when I heard it the first couple times. Now...no more slapping.

Feels good to be able to move forward. Have a good night.

"Excuse me...do I know you?"

Today was a very full day. I was up and out the door by 7:30 to attend a funeral 3 hrs away. It was for a former boss who passed away (82 yrs old).

It felt like "homecoming" as I saw people I hadn't seen for some time. I was surprised by the number of people who didn't recognize me, due to the large weight loss. I had a conversation with one woman and she seemed oddly cool to me, which was weird because she normally would greet me with a hug. After I left her, I signed the guest book and headed into the auditorium. She then came over and apologized, gave me the hug that I had been expecting previously and said she recognized my smile but nothing else. My guess is she checked the guest book to see who I was right after I signed. She came back with her hubby, whom I had worked with several years ago and we got caught up on news. The same scenario unfolded for several other people. One woman I had worked with for over 14 yrs and we were good friends. She was speaking with someone else so I waited my turn. When there was a lull in that conversation I waved and smiled. She smiled back and told me afterwards when we were talking that she whispered to her sister who stood beside her, "There's a woman smiling and waving at us and I don't know who it is." We hugged and in the embrace she asked who I was. I told her and she groaned from embarrassment. "Not a problem," I said. The best response came from my former supervisor whom I had worked closely with for 10 yrs. I waved at him when he arrived at the funeral, and he just smiled back. Again, not the response I was expecting. After the funeral, I caught his eye and he came over. I could see the realization come to him. He looked me up and down in shock. He said to those within listening range, "She was my assistant, well, this is only half of her. The other half of her is gone!" He looked shocked. He then asked how much I had lost and said he was proud of me. Pretty cool responses.

For me I felt a keen sense of accomplishment not because of the glowing comments received (although they were encouraging), rather it was how I felt. I wore a new high-waisted black pencil skirt with a coral-colored shirt tucked in. For some of you "skinny minnies" out there, you need to understand that:

#1--I would never be able to wear a pencil skirt, let alone a high-waisted pencil skirt. My tt allowed me the opportunity to wear something that I'd never been able to do before.
#2--I wouldn't have been able to tuck in any shirt prior to my tt.

I returned home from the funeral had supper and went walking (9km). More than ready for bed tonight!

Today I wore my tt CG but because it was humid and I was wearing a dress jacket, I opted not to wear my compression sleeves. THANK GOODNESS I was wearing long sleeves! Two people I spoke with on two different occasions grabbed my arm--one gripped my arm between my elbow and shoulder (right where my incisions are located) and squeezed it (yikes) and a woman took my arm and rubbed the inside up and down...over the incisions. Had it not been for the jacket I was wearing I would have been beside myself!!!

I felt very confident today, a by-product of my surgery.

Wishing you all a good night.

1 mth post. Happy 1 mth anniversary

Had a rough start to today as my tummy wasn't overly happy. My eating was off yesterday because of 6 hrs in the car and I may have played the price today. I cut the lawn this afternoon but didn't get it all done. My manual push mower didn't like the long grass in the back so I'll have to get the weed Wacker out tomorrow. I was concerned about pain from my arms or tt area but it went well. managed to do two walks this afternoon totaling 17 km between the two. Felt great getting out into the fresh air. I'm totally exhausted now. Such is life. Ready for bed.

Finally able to post!

Well, I've tried posting from home but, alas, my computer (tablet) isn't cooperating. It's probably thinking, "Good grief! Why don't you buy shares in RealSelf--your on that site so much!" Well, I figured out a way around the tablet...post an update at work! So...here I am. Several days late. So...here it is in a nutshell.

Sunday—(Realized that TODAY was actually one month since surgery; yesterday was just a practice run); went to church (wore my pencil skirt outfit from the funeral I attended Friday and felt pretty svelte—by the way, svelte is my new favourite word...describes how I feel on most not-so-swollen-day; walked 14 km; felt pretty good all day

Monday—felt winded most of the morning; have NO IDEA what is causing that feeling; reminds me of how I used to feel when I was a couch potato after walking up a flight of stairs. Only lasted for the morning. Not sure if it is weariness following walking the day before but I get it every once in awhile (since surgery). It was worse right after surgery (probably because of being pulled tighter and the shock to the system...I'm no medical person but that would be my guess). Walked 13 km after work.

Tuesday—So far...so good. It is supposed to be "stinking hot" outside today. I may use today as my "rest day" from cardio. I'm trying to keep my arms lubricated and massage them when I can but it is painful. The incision is now a red line with puckering (although if my eyes don't deceive me, the puckering seems to be lessening) and I faithfully put on my scar cream morning and night.

Invite to a Picnic

Well, yesterday I was invited to a picnic. The only draw back was that I wasn’t TOLD I was to be the main course! This morning I woke up following my 11.5 km walk last night to discover large welts--mosquito bites--one being only a few inches from the incisions and thick area of swelling on my right arm. Good to know that the blood thirsty (literally!) mosquitos were able to enjoy a free me "on me" (pun intended). I've tried hard not to scratch as the last thing I need is infection.

I discovered something quite soothing today that I thought I'd share especially as cooler weather is around the corner. Today at work I had my desk-top heater on (no...I'm not insane; I just really feel the cold since losing weight). I've been trying to remember to put lotion on my incisions a couple times a day to keep the skin moist (I find that my arms in particular feel like sausage kins about to break open because they've cooked too long). I put the bottle of body lotion in front of the heater for a few minutes and it was lovely and warm. Really felt luxurious!

Tonight walked 12 km. Hopefully the mosquitoes were dining at home tonight! Tomorrow is 5 wks since surgery. One more week until I'm clear to return to the gym. I hope to post updated pics tomorrow. Until then, have a good night!

Looking Up At the Worms

(5 weeks/1day post op). Had a very full day today and although I'm not sure why, I feel as though I'm looking up at the worms! I took my mom 3 hrs away to visit some friends over lunch and then we returned home. The visit was okay (no surprises) but I feel out of sorts. I feel fairly swollen and numb tonight so that could be part of the reason. Because of the travel I didn't get a chance to do any walking and my eating was off--additional reason to feel off. I tried massaging my incisions while driving but that proved difficult and painful. Also, I'm not sleeping well so perhaps that compounds the issue. I'm hoping tomorrow will be a better day! Just needed to vent a bit.

While out today I went panty shopping. I've mentioned my need to ditch the dreaded granny panties and today I took my first step. Being heavy all my life, shopping for underwear was fairly simple. "Will that by white granny briefs, pastel-colored granny briefs, or would you like to take a walk on the wild side and go for granny briefs in bright, bold colours?" Today I wandered through a couple stores looking at the various styles and colours of regular-sized panties OH, MY STARS!!! So many choices! I could almost feel myself hyperventilating..."Where do I start? What size? How do you wear this one (thong)? WHY would I wear this one (thong)? Where's the rest of this (thong)? I found a cute pair of teal underwear, held them up and thought...these won't fit! Knowing what my hip measurement is, I got out a tape measure to see if the elastic would fit my body. The measurement of the undees was smaller than my hips but they LOOKED like they should fit...so I bought them (on sale!) I got home, went to my room and tried them on. They seem to fit...I think. I'm not the best judge of undees fitting...to me grannies are the way to go...keep you tucked in from your breastbone right on down to your crotch! I'll post a pic in case anyone is interested and can enlighten me. (By the way, I went through this about 3 mths back when I went bra shopping for the first time in a lingerie store. You know you are off to a rough start when the clerk asks your size and you say you don't know! Thankfully the store clerk helping me was amazing when accommodating this 'virgin-bra-shopper'.)

-only 5 more sleeps ;-) until I'm cleared to return to the gym
-walking has been a lifesaver; as of yesterday I had walked 178.5 km (approx. 110 mi) over the past 3 weeks
-first time panty shopping went fairly well with no psychological damage (I think; I'll have to see if I end up dreaming tonight of giant thongs chasing me through the mall)
-friends we visited were very complimentary about my 'results' (chose not to tell about my tt but they said my arms looked good following arm lift surgery)

Update 5.5 wk post surgery

Today I decided to take some pics of me in clothes. I know...quite a change from the skin pics. I don’t feel confident that to download swim suit pic...never wanted tt in order to wear a bathing suit...just to feel more human. I was at work and decided to take a break and do some photos in the washroom...it's much brighter there than my home washroom. The one pic (arms up) shows my arm lift scars a bit. I'm quite happy that they are fairly well hidden (except when lifting my arms--and I don’t intend on lifting my arms unless someone is robbing me!)

Today I felt really drained. I headed out for my first of two walks late afternoon but quickly decided to listen to my body--go back home, kick my feet back and sit on the deck in the sun and read a book. I felt luxurious doing that. That never happens! The one thing surgery has helped me do is to listen more to my body. The days of being lazy (as in a couch potato) are gone and I need to sense when my body has had enough rather than pushing myself. Yesterday's walks (total distance: 20km) was, in hind sight, too much. Today, my body told me so. I did go for a walk after supper. Although I only did 7km I am content with that.

I'm really starting to get nervous about hitting the gym on Thursday. I've looked forward to it since surgery but now that it is so close my stomach does flip flops whenever I think about it. Will I be able to get back to where I was? Will I have the stamina? Will I cause any harm to surgery sights? I know it sounds a bit trivial but these are real concerns. I'll have to pace myself, drink lots and pray I don't get dizzy or black out! (I've come close before!)

Week 6 Update--Return to the Gym

Well,have 6 week anniversary to me! That's right, 6 wks since surgery. I took the day off to celebrate (Note: I worked Labour Day so I could have today off). I Started the day off at the gym--first time in 6 wks. Went fairly well. The butterflies I'd been feeling for the last couple of leading up to it went away as soon as I got busy. I met up with my trainer--an amazing man and body building champ. I wasn't sure what his response to the surgery would be. He was supportive of me having it but standing there in smaller clothes, I felt conspicuous. He didn't say anything initially but I did sense him watching closely at my movements (to see if there were any restrictions). His response came after our first set. He said, "You look incredibly healthy." That just about melted my heart. I teased him that he hadn't asked where the scales are regarding my weight (his weekly question). He said he'd love to know how much the PS took off in surgery. I told him I could answer that for him and I told him how much. He said he was surprised as it looked like quite a bit more had been removed. Wow...two compliments in one session. As far as out workout is concerned, I did split squats (12 reps each legx4sets) alternating with regular squats (12 reps x4sets). Then I did heel touches (12 each leg x 4) alternating with regular standing lunges (12 each leg x4). Does not sound like much or very difficult but I was perspriring a fair amount and feel exhausted tonight. I noticed that the split squats pulled slightly on my left tt incisions near my hip. All in all an excellent workout. So tired...ready for bed! I'm dealing with restless legs tonight. Hopefully it won't be "one of those nights!" Good night all!

Rest: Almost the sweetest word in the English language

Well, day 2 going to the gym. Today I decided to try and get back to spinning. I normally go to two spin classes a week but decided to try on my own to slowly get back at it. I had no issues with pain from incisions. However yesterday's lunges and squats have left my legs very sore and achy. Almost forgot what that pain felt like. It made spinning a very painful endeavor! However I pushed through the pain and did 40 minutes. Tonight I walked 3 km and ended up trying to outwalk a severe thunderstorm that came up fast. Near the end of the route is a rather large hill and I ended up having to run up it as well as about a half a km to keep ahead of lightening. I am happy to report that I AM EXHAUSTED! It's 9:10, I'm in bed and am SO ready to call it a day!

One more thing...This morning I forgot that I had had surgery. What? How? Well, I was sleeping on my side with my arm under my pillow and I rolled over and slid upward on my sheets. Normally I remember about the surgery and move quite carefully. That sally movement just about sent earlier into orbit in pain. Didn't think I'd ever forget about my incisions! Yikes.

Sorry...fell asleep....better click POST UPDATE before it's too late.

Heading to sleep. Have a good night, Ladies!

One for the calendar!

This morning after 6 weeks I FINALLY was able to shave my armpits! I know...not a big deal. However since my arm lift surgery I've not been able to do a good THOROUGH job. Each week I've grown more and more uncomfortable with the irritating hairs along my incisions. When I first saw my incisions I was concerned because of the heavy "puckering" in the pits. They were not even close to being flat and appeared as a ridge. I've tried shaving but the thought of cutting the incisions prohibited me from getting close enough to do the job. The other day I tried to suck it up and get the job done but ended up nicking myself and, ew the pain...just like a paper cut! This morning I tried again and DID IT--nice and clean! I no longer resemble an ape (okay...perhaps not that bad!) Definitely a great "first" following surgery!

Yesterday I was back at the gym and the spin bike. I'm trying to increase my time and was able to do 45 minutes. Today my goal is 50 minutes. I had some twinges in my tt and bb areas but I pushed through it, removing some bike tension when needed. I also got in a total of 10 km of walking. My quads/hamstrings are still sore from my squat/lunge workout on Thursday. Shows me how being away from gym for 6 weeks does impact the body!

I still have some swelling and numbness. To be expected.

Trust you ladies all have a great day.

I thought pain was behind me!

Last night for some reason my tt and arm incisions were sore--achy. I've also found not having as much fat (since weight loss and lipo) that it is difficult to get comfortable in bed because of a lack of padding (translation: I'm more boney). I can actually feel my hip bones when laying flat--something I've never been able to do before!

Today I experienced another first. Every Monday I take my mom to her 3-hour physiotherapist appointment. My mom has neurological disorders that resemble a stroke (slurred speech, difficulty walking, double vision, tremors, etc). . I usually help with her walking and exercises at her appointments but decided to cancel her appointments until my recovery was well on its way. Today was the day we returned. Over all it went well although at the end of 2.5 hrs. my arms were pretty sore. Having to put her wheelchair back in the trunk was more challenging than other times we've had to go out since surgery. My arms have been aching ever since. I'm considering wearing my CG sleeves tonight.

I did spinning very early this morning (trying to get back into shape before I return to spin class) and walked 5.5 km tonight. Ready for bed!

More pain...and just shy of 7 weeks post op

Well, I'm not sure why but yesterday was another day of soreness—to the point that I needed to take a couple extra-strength Tylenol--first time in a couple weeks. My tt incisions were sensitive and then mid-morning my bb started throbbing. My arms have also been sensitive. Not sure what is going on. The pain made me nervous as I knew I would be heading to the gym and I didn't want to cancel my workout.

At the gym...oh, my stars! My trainer put me through the wringer. When he told me what he wanted me to do (and then SHOWED me) I felt like saying, "Excuse me...do you remember me?—the woman still recovering from surgery?" :-) Not once did he ask for my permission to beat the tar out of me! Geez! (Of course, I guess by showing up that is all the permission he needs!) I did side step-ups (onto a 1.5 ft riser while carrying a 20 lb weight), side squats (my hips are still screaming from those babies!) and, the "pièce de résistance" leg press (set at 208 lbs). I was very conscious of the incisions ready to stop at a moments notice should I feel any pain. HOWEVER, nothing! No pain at all. Totally bizarre. The only thing I noticed at the end of my workout was that after the leg press I had assumed the bent over walk which everyone goes through while recovering from a tt. Didn't last long...just until I could walk it out a bit. After a fairly active day, I opted to limit my walking last night and only did 3 km.

This morning I'm not feeling any surgery pain to speak of...thankfully. However, I have the Tylenol standing by just in case!

(Note: I have to say my trainer was a HUGE encouragement to me throughout surgery. Before surgery he listened to me weighing my options and was, frankly, my biggest cheerleader encouraging me to have the surgery, and calming my nerves about possibly gaining weight while off; the evening of my surgery he texted me to see how I was and he kept in close contact via text throughout my recovery. Biggest heart in a body-builder you'll ever find!)

Another Whooping in the Gym -- 7 wks post up as of today

Today was a bit better pain wise than earlier this week. I did have some pain but not bad enough for pills.

This afternoon was another weight workout--this time my arms. Using the TRX straps I did biceps and then triceps. Unlike machines, using straps means you must engage your core more for proper form. The biceps were not too bad. The triceps--another story entirely! The first couple attempts were, we'll, horrible. I had to tighten my core (ab muscles) and that started mini spasms. (Incidentally, has anyone else suffered with ab spasms? I get them usually when I'm in bed and it starts with an involuntary stretch that I can't seem to stop. My ab muscles tighten and spasm...very uncomfortable --especially when recovering from tt surgery! But I digress!). ANYWAY...The spasms only lasted a few seconds but it was difficult to keep form. I tried to hide it from my trainer (as I'd rather 'suck it up, buttercup!" but finally told him the abs were still tender. He said, "I know they are still some sore but we need to strengthen those muscles back up." (I've read RS posts from tt patients who said they had the surgery so they didn't have to worry about their abs any longer. That could be a bit naive thinking--just because the PS stitches your abs tight doesn't mean they are going to have the strength you need to do certain strength-building exercises let alone everyday tasks.) By the end of the workout I was happy with my accomplishments and not as sore as the beginning of the work out. Next session issues Monday.

One thing I've noticed is the swelling is still lingering. Joy amongst all joys! Hopefully it passes...soon!

Here we are--almost 8 wks post. --. 7 wks 5 days post op

It's been a few days since I've updated my review so here goes.

It is hard to believe I'm almost 8 weeks post op. I'm amazed at how quickly the body recovers after such trauma. Talk about being fearfully and wonderfully made! Every once in awhile I'll have an off day and am quickly reminded that I'm still recovering.

I still struggle with taking my mom to her Monday morning doctor's appointments. She has two in two different buildings which means lifting her wheelchair four times out of the car trunk--engaging the core muscles. At the one appointment (physio) I help her with walking (she holds onto my arm as she tries to walk) and I find it is a real work out for me. She isn't a 'light weight' and having someone who is unbalanced and unable to walk, weave and wobble while I try to support her and make sure she doesn't fall is very challenging especially on my arms and abs. I noticed last week (her first appointment since my surgery) and again yesterday that it starts the incisions areas aching. Thankfully pills help ;-).

Today I was back at the gym killing my legs. I did a spin warm up and then squats and lunges and leg extensions. Tonight I did a 6 km walk. It has been rather cool (perfect time fall weather) so I enjoyed the walk. I haven’t returned--yet--to spin class. I want to be able to do at least45 minutes of spinning on my own before I get back again the class. I spoke with the spin instructor today (she knew I was away for 6 wks because of surgery) and she encouraged me to take my time and not rush back. I'm anxious to return which is good incentive.

Not sure if anyone has battled with increased appetite following surgery (weeks after, not days). I've noticed that I wake in the middle of the night hungry. I usually eat half a protein bar and try to go back to sleep. I spoke with my trainer about it and he made a couple changes. I asked him why the increased hunger. His answer was surprising to me: you are still recovering and your body needs extra nutrients to heal. I'm also doing a fair bit more activity since surgery (and being off for 6 wks). It didn't surprise him and I'm still at my new weight of 140lb (80 lbs lighter since last August).

Tomorrow I see my family doctor for the first time since my weight loss and surgery. Not sure if she'll even notice I've lost weight. She has never put any pressure or even mentioned my excess weight (which frankly boggles my mind). Hope the appointment goes well.

Have a good night ladies!

"Excuse me...have we met.?" Post 7 wks, 5 days

Well my doctor's appointment (family doctor) went very well. I had to get some paperwork done (won't bore you with details) and I wasn't sure if my doctor would even notice I'd lost weight. I last saw her in April and she didn’t say anything. Today, quite different. I told her that I have lost 80 lbs and 19% body fat since last August and she smiled. She said, "I knew you were coming in today because your name was on my patient list. However, if didn't have that list I would not have recognized you." I threw my head back and just laughed. She made my day! Not sure what her reaction would be to my tt and arm surgery. Never shared that news with her ;-)

I am finding my arms really sensitive to touch. Yep--I have touchy arms! The other issue I'm experiencing is a sore hip bone. Pretty weird. When in bed and sleep on my side it digs into the mattress and hurts something fierce. Today it ached. I had read or heard someone say that when doing lipo this may happen if they hit a bone. Weird. Has anyone else experienced this?

I'm falling asleep...up in the shower at 4:00 a.m., off to work by 4:3o, home for breakfast. Have a good night!
Waterloo Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Shenker was my surgeon and came highly recommended. He was very thorough and gave me the impression that I was the most important patient on his docket. He seemed excited by the potential he saw in my case and had my best interest in mind. Post surgery he called me at home that evening and answered my questions. He left me with his home and cell number with instructions that if I had any concerns I should not hesitate to contact him. I was, and continue to be very impressed by him and his staff.

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
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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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You are a major inspiration!! Congrats and thanks so much for sharing your story!
  • Reply
Yes, I too have experienced a sore hip issue just like yours. No hip pain until I lie on my side/hip then an intense deep hip pain. My doctor said it was bursitis. He told me not to lie on the affected side--which of course is the side that I favour. He gave me a cortisone shot which ended the pain that I had had for about a year. I doubt if when your doctor did lipo that the needle would have gone right to the bone, but I could be wrong. If your hip pain persists ask your doctor if it could be bursitis.
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Thanks BBNM...I'll have to read up now that. I find it is itchy too (incisions? ) and I've jabbed it into my desk a couple times the last few days...which doesn't help. I'll keep an eye on the situation. Geez, getting old stinks ;-)
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You're doing so much already! I know when I work out (before TT), I would be ravenous! Working out always increases my appetite! If your family doctor doesn't notice your weight loss you might suggest a seeing eye dog! (I kid, but seriously!) You look wonderful!!! :)
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Thanks for the update,glad all is going well. Love the discipline&workouts! Sweet Dreams!
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That sounds like a hard core Butt Kickin'! I hope you feel good today and rest your muscles. Happy Hump Wednesday!
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Thanks, Bella. The scary thing is that I'm doing well--no sore muscles with the exception of the hips. I expected that I wouldn't be able to walk by today but...no problem. I'm in for another beating this afternoon :-) I honestly believe that the walking I've done up until now has helped to "grease up" my joints and prepare me for the gym. Trust you are doing well! Have a great day!
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You're my inspiration :0) I MISS those type of workouts. I need to just do it! Keep up the great work,you're so disciplined. I MISS that too,lol. Have a Great NIght!
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You are such an encourager! Thanks. I had another session today and this time my arms were wooped! We did an hour of biceps and triceps--starting with just my body weight using the TRX. It was the tricep exercises that hurt the most because I had to engage the core (above muscles). OH MY STARS! The more I do in the gym the more the more I hunger to push ahead. At my next PS appointment (Oct. 28) I want to be able to see some definite definition in my arms. At my consult my doctor was doing measurements and marking me and said, "Your arms are going to be 'hot'!" Let me tell you, the only time ANY body part of mine was 'hot' was when I stood too long in front of a roaring campfire! ;-). Anyway...that's my goal! Have a great evening.
  • Reply
Sorry...'above muscles' should be 'ab muscles (silly machine!)
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WOW!! I love the trx for abs and arms it's a KILLER!!! You are making me crave to get to the gym and meet with my my trainer. Congrats!!! Keep it up :) Sweet Dreams!
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Thanks for the kind words :0 i appreciate it. I try to encourage&support everyone equally. :)
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No worries,lol.
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You're doing amazing! :-)
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Thanks, SBG! Feels good to get back to the gym. Today, so far, no pain from incisions and minimal from yesterday's workout (although tomorrow MAY be another story!) ;-) I was glad to read that you got some sleep last night. Oh, what a feeling! That can totally make a difference in your day, not to mention recovery! Do take care.
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I'm amazed at how much weight you're lifting this early on in your recovery!! I would be afraid to do twenty pounds in each hand! I hope your trainer doesn't make you overdo it to the point where you're in agony afterwards! I admire your determination! It's definitely better than mine!! I need to do squats and lunges but never seem to be motivated to just DO IT!!
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Thanks, BBNM, for your message and kind words. I'm more afraid of my trainer beating me up than carrying the weights. :-) I think the advantage is that he has been through surgery himself and knows what it takes to recover. He also reads me very well. He told me last week that he can tell if I'm in pain from my face and yesterday, when I was feeling stressed over a particular situation, he said I didn't need to say a word—he could see the stress in my eyes...and he was right on the money! Very scary that someone can read me so well. At this point I'm only training about once every 5 days or so which is easing me back in. I know that if I said just one word about being in pain that he would pull back on the workout and readjust things. Because I know that I feel it is safe to push my limits...although I am keenly aware of the areas that are hurting (bb, tt, arms). I'm just SO thankful to be feeling good (for the most part) and to be able to get back at it. He did say last week that weight loss is no longer a focus for me so I do not need to worry about HIT any longer. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around that as I have had to focus on losing weight for my entire adult life (and should have focused on it earlier than that too). To all of a sudden stop trying to lose weight is something that is challenging to wrap the mind around. It is nice to be able to go for a good brisk walk and know that I no longer HAVE to do interval running with the walks unless I really want to. I appreciate your lack of desire to do squats and lunges. I was feeling last week's squats and lunges for about four days afterwards. Hard to break through that mental barrier. Not easy. However, your hike the other day--with the elevation climb that you did--is definitely nothing to sneeze at! (and believe me, sneezing for me right now is still painful!) It'll come...just hang in there.
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You are doing great! It's nice to see that recovery is a reality (haha) and that although things come slowly, it does come. Hope you're having a blessed day!! :)
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Thanks, SBG! Recovery is indeed a reality. I had my moments where I would wonder what "normal" felt like. You'll get there... God has been teaching my patience and surgery was one HUGE learning curve that really tested that. I had days where I felt like I was looking up at the worms. Thankfully there are a lot of mile markers in the recovery process and I learned it is important to rejoice at each of them--whether they seemed insignificant at the time. Then, when you look back, you can see each of the mile markers you passed and can be reminded of just how far you've come. Trust you'll hold fast and keep looking forward!
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You're a sweetheart - thank you!!
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Wow! You are one determined woman with regard to sticking with your exercise program! You've got me thinking that I should be doing lunges and squats too to strengthen my legs. I was on a hike a couple of weeks ago and realized that my legs are not all that strong. After two hours of hiking my legs felt weak and began to shake and I was struggling to keep up with the stronger people in my hiking group. I did manage to complete the hike (14 K round trip with almost 800 meters of elevation gain) but it wasn't easy. So I definitely need to work on strengthening my legs. I bike a lot but it seems that different muscles are used for that.
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Thanks, BBNM, for your message. After this morning I don't feel very strong. I put my legs through the wringer today—side step-ups carrying 20 lb weight, deep side squats, and leg press (208 lbs). I have a feeling that by tomorrow I may not be able to walk let alone FEEL my legs (I'll have to get a good walk in tonight and plan for a rest day tomorrow). Wonder if my PS would be willing to give me a prescription for more pain killers? Probably not. I was mostly concerned with my incision pain. I had a rough night (couldn't sleep in part because of discomfort from incisions) and was up and into the office early (5:30) so that I could cut out for lunch early and go to the gym. I took 2 Tylenol X-strength as my bb for some reason started with the pain and the arms as well. Good grief. Thankfully the workout was not hampered by the pain...the pills must have kicked in just in time. I've got them close by for this afternoon--just in case :-) I haven't done any major upper body work yet as the arms are still a bit tender (although this morning I was using my body weight on the TRX straps at the gym and that was challenging). You certainly gave your legs a "run for their money" so to speak. A 14k hike is a lot of activity and elevation to climb. Would give your heart a good workout too. Oh, the beatings our bodies take. As long as they know who is in charge! I have to say I'm hoping my final results look as good as (or even close to) your results. You are so flat and curvy. I still have what I call my "baby bump" and it is hard and numb. I'm only 6 weeks post so realize that I've done well although there is a way to go. Thanks for keeping in contact.
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WOW!! You are so strong to assist your mom,it is difficult and strenuous on the arms. Definitely wear the cg :) Spinning and walking,i'm tired from the spin class. You are on it :0) Energizer bunny. Sweet Dreams!
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Thanks for the encouragement, Bella. My mom lives with me so I was happy when I could turn the responsibility for her care to my sister for a few days after surgery. I shed some tears when her care was left to me after my sister left because I was still so sore and needed to focus on getting better. Such is life. That is behind us...pushing forward. Receiving PS permission to return to walking was a HUGE stress relief! Today I'm off to do weights and cardio at the gym. Yee-haw. Thanks again Bella!!!!
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I know how it is to take care of your mom,i did it as well and it is difficult on your body,life and health. I am happy you are able to enjoy the gym and walks. This is much needed when caring for someone. I commend you :0) You're a Beautiful woman. Enjoy your day!!!!!
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