Hello, friends. I've been lurking on this site for...
Hello, friends. I've been lurking on this site for so long and now I think I'm ready to share my story. Brace, yourselves, I tend to talk a lot.
I'm a 43 (almost) year old mom in Arizona. I've always been overweight and it made it very difficult to get pregnant, but 8 years ago we were blessed with a perfect baby boy. My husband is a saint. Never one to date chubby girls, he saw past my body and loved me for who I was. I know I'm so lucky, but despite his understanding, I can tell he has lost his ability to become excited by me. I can literally count on one hand how many times we've had sex since our son was born. And there will be fingers left over! We're so in love, but I quit letting him touch me and he quit trying. I was determined to do something about it, and I got one of those ninja things and started drinking my veggies, and soon I dropped 70 lbs.
I still have a long way to go, but 70 pounds should be something to celebrate, right? Wrong! My once plump body has become a constantly jiggling mass of ooze. My vagina is completely hidden under my long, dangling belly. WTF? I actually look worse. My body is like a well heated lava lamp. Bluuurp goes my belly as it swings from side to side. Who is this person?
I'll tell you what, ladies, taking these pictures has been a humbling and horrific experience. Not one person has ever seen this part of me in 8 years, and only then because I was pregnant and sort of had an excuse.
So I found a doctor who is highly recommended and when I called for the consult, their first available appointment was on my birthday. I think this is a sign. I think this is the last birthday where I have to tuck my pajama pants up under my belly to stop the stickiness. Did I mention I live in the damn desert? Yeah, baby powder is my homeboy.
I haven't met the doctor yet, but Candace has been an angel. She has taken so much time out of her day to answer my questions and put me at ease when I've called.
I have so much more to get off my chest and ask of this community, but for now I will upload these horrible embarrassing pictures and recommend that you all watch a Disney movie afterward to replace what you are about to see...
This is a great community!
Thanks to all you beautiful sisters who have been supporting and encouraging me. I am glad you could identify with my story, but sorry that you carry a similar burden!
I'm freaking out, y'all. I can't afford this! I mean, I have the money, but it is in our dream house down payment savings, and I feel soooo selfish for dipping in to it.
I mean, can you imagine if I do this and my husband still thinks of me as a really cool room mate? What if I don't look any better and I spent all this money? What if my belly isnt the problem? Shit. Shit. I don't want to feel this way. This body is my own secret shame and I could just continue wearing that one pair of pants I don't look too bad in...
See, this is what happens when we stop loving ourselves. We stop thinking we deserve things. Fuck I wonder how long I've been this way. This is the first time I've dared to want anything just for me. Maybe I should take my own advice and realize I deserve better than this. We all do.
What a difference a good night sleep makes
Maybe I was hormonal, or maybe your amazing responses turned everything around, but I woke up feeling much better. I'm more looking forward than ever to my consultation. Exactly one week and one hour from this moment, you guys!
I'm so glad I found this group, and so thankful to y'all for opening up your vulnerable stuff.
Here's a group of total strangers telling me I'm worth it, it's about time I believe it myself!
Holy crap, it's happening
Oh my gosh, you guys I don't know where to begin but I first want to say a big thank you to those of you who have been so kind to take the time to write to me. Your private messages have been so candid and vulnerable and I know we all admitted to th j ngs that were hard. I feel terrible for not writing y'all back and I promise I will! I really enjoyed sharing our stories and I want to keep it up. But this week, as my consultation grew closer, I found myself slipping into some sort of denial. This is too expensive, this is too frivilous, what the hell am I thinking, yadda yadda.
I have lost more sleep this week to anxiety and self doubt, but today, I turned all that shit around.
Today is my birthday, and my first consultation with Dr. Olson. I took my kid to school, gave myself a silkwood shower, and prepared to expose my shameful body.
I'm not gonna lie, y'all. Being chubby sucks. You think you're losing weight, but just because those size 28 jeans are loose, doesn't mean you fit in this world. I was taken to a room and given a small coffee filter which, to the rest of the world is a robe. On me, it looked like round 2 of 'fat guy in a little coat'. I waited there, all exposed and ooky. The surgical coordinator was kind, and she explained some things and took some pictures. I didn't watch any videos, as others here have mentioned.
Dr. Olson was very professional. He told me I could not get a thigh lift at this time, but suggested that lipo would help. I'm disappointed to hear this. I think lipo will just result in even more jiggly skin but I'm not the doctor. I hope the lipo will be enough. I wasn't expecting a thigh gap but I sure would like to create some air flow.
So I have to go get labs and an ekg this week. My pre op appointment is September 29th and surgery is scheduled for October 14!! This shit is really happening! I started crying right there in his office. I couldn't help myself. I just can't believe what was once a dream is actually coming true.
Danger, this is a looooong post
This is a BIG decision, you guys, and a butt load of money. I talked to my mom yesterday and at first I didn't want to listen to her because mom's are always right, especially when they aren't telling you what you want to hear. But it's like when I was remodeling my son's room and she told me not to buy the cheap paint, because I'd have to apply multiple coats and need to repaint in a couple years vs. getting the Benjamin Moore and doing it right the first time. Long story endless, ME WANT TUMMY NOW and truthfully this is not something to rush into! Certainly not without a second opinion, no?
So my friend, we'll call her R, recently got a tummy tuck with a lift and implants, and she looks amazing! She is actually the reason I had the courage to go through with this. I started looking through our old email thread and saw the doctor she had recommended. Why didn't I call him? I think Dr. O was the first doctor I saw and when he had an appointment on my birthday, I thought it was some cosmic message that this was the guy. I wanted to believe that so much that I didn't want to admit that I had a bad feeling about it.
OK, not a bad feeling, but not a good one either.
Now that the endorphins are wearing off, a few things stand out about my consult. For one thing, it felt like maybe it wasn't as comprehensive because it was Free? If I had paid for the consult, would I not have been left in that room for so long with the coffee filter over me, as countless people kept coming in to get stuff out of the drawers? Where's the aforementioned video? Would the doctor have discussed other treatments? Because mine did NOT, you guys. He asked what I wanted and then said you can do that but not that. He didn't understand my thigh problem and I felt too uncomfortable to get into it with him. Let's just say that the years of thighs being stuck together has resulted in a disgusting brownish chicken skin covered in blackheads, boils, and boil scars. I don't care if they're shapely, I want that skin GONE. He said it wouldn't give me shapely thighs but lipo would help the rubbing. That may be, but the disgusting skin would still be there. Once again, my lack of self worth prevented me from saying something right then and there. But I didn't, and if I dont find a doctor to remove this, I will forever regret it.
Also I'd heard Dr. O had a great sense of humor, but my attempt at a joke truly seemed to irritate him. I ended up apologizing, explaining that standing there naked caused me to use humor as a defense mechanism. Honestly I felt like he didn't like me! I even tried to talk myself out of it, thinking he is a brilliant surgeon, not my bestie. But I dunno, last night this feeling hit and is still with me this morning.
So then I call R to tell her about my consult, and she says, "Didn't you just LOVE Dr. Rowley? Wasn't he the best???" And I thought shit. I didn't even go to him, and no, my doctor was not the best.
Also, R sent me a copy of her receipt and everything from the procedure to the surgical center and anesthesia was considerably cheaper than my quote.
Soooo, today I'm going to get on the horn and see if I can get in for a second or maybe third opinion.
And I need to stop being such a mousey little bitch who doesn't stand up for herself. I'm not a second class citizen because I'm fat. My body deserves to be looked at as a canvas and not a deformity, just like every other patient.
I really want to clarify that my rant was absolutely not directed at this doctor. All people get along differently and in no way reflects a doctor's abilities, professionalism, or talents. I wouldn't even characterize it as a bad bedside manner. He is very kind and professional, I just feel like something that I personally need/want to feel from him isn't there. A vibe, if that makes sense?
I just really do not want to sound like I am bagging on him in any way. His before and afters are amazing, it's just something in my gut.
Now back to your regularly scheduled program...
Whew, I'm talkative today. But I wanted to update the update of my updated update.
I called Dr. O's office and explained that I wanted to slow down a bit and get another opinion. Patty was amazing. She gave me some great advice and gladly refunded my deposit and we agreed to keep the lines of communication open. I'm not saying I still wouldn't have him do my surgery, I just think a second or third opinion is a completely reasonable, self loving thing to do. The way they handled this phone call speaks volumes about what kind of office they are. Now I'm off to schedule some consults!
Tomorrow I'm going to a new doctor, who was recommended by my friend who was a patient of his. She looks absolutely amazing and speaks very highly of the doctor.
I'm not looking for warm fuzzy feelings from my doctor, it's not that. But I troll these boards like a fiend, as I'm sure many of you do, and I see reviews that say "I felt like his canvas." That's what I want. I want to feel like he cares about how I'm going to look. Fingers crossed, y'all! I'll keep ya posted.
I found my fuzzies!
Yesterday I went to my consultation with Dr. Rowley. I have been walking on a cloud ever since. Remember that episode of friends when Rachel tells Monica she looked like she slept with a hanger in her mouth? That's me!
From the moment I walked in his lovely office, I felt comfortable. It was professional but not pretentious. Everyone was very kind and welcoming, and most of all they were down to earth, caring people.
I felt like Dr. Rowley genuinely cared about me, wants what is best for me, and treated me with absolute respect and dignity. It was like night and day from my last consult. He sat with me, looked me in the eye, heard me out and told me that what I wanted was totally doable. I love this man. I'm actually glad that my previous consult did not go as I'd hoped, because I appreciate him even more. I can see now why my friend spoke so highly of him. This man is amazing.
Since my research has led me to the unavoidable conclusion that my thighs are not going to be corrected surgically, I have shifted my focus to a tummy tuck with breast lift and implants. I think this will help Balance me out and give me more if an hourglass figure. Look, I'm always gonna be a big girl but when this is done I'm gonna be curvy and bangin!
I'm going back on November 15 for my preop, and surgery is scheduled for November 28.
He told me to wear a tight tank top under my clothes for the preop so we can try on different implant sizes.
Dr. Rowley wants me to stay overnight in the hospital for my recovery. I'm excited to have extra help on the first night. They said it's a boutique type hospital with only 12 beds and everyone gets very personalized service. I feel so good about this. All my questions were answered and I have no doubts or hesitation. We're back on track! My new goal is a new years eve dress to stop traffic!
I understand now why some of y'all keep your surgery a secret. I'm so excited about mine, and I just couldn't wait to talk about it. So one of the moms from my kids school is over, and I tell her I'm considering a TT, and she goes, "why wouldn't you get a gastric bypass?" And I was so stunned that I became tongue tied, and I struggled to explain myself while my brain was like "eat a dick, lady." Here i am thinking ive lost so much weight, and this lady thinks im bypass worthy? So a couple weeks go by, and I'm with another mom and she says, "are you seriously considering this? Let's try a diet first. We'll go on HCG, I'll do it with you." And even though she was trying to be kind, I felt like shit. Here I am, celebrating my trimmer body like I have some kind of bizarro world, reverse anorexia or something.
November 28th, bitches.
Wish the time would go by faster!
It seems like every day, my body gets even more droopy. I was laying in bed the other night, and I felt some discomfort under my belly flap. Looked in the mirror and my skin is raw. Hot pink and painful. This is so gross! I'm disgusting!!! My pants are falling off me now but I refuse to buy clothes until this is over. In the meantime, it's a great reminder of how much I am losing, since my body gets even more grotesque with every pound lost. Ugh!