3 weeks POSTOP

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I am 42 and have 8 children. Two of them were born...

I am 42 and have 8 children. Two of them were born by c-section. I have struggled with weight my entire life. I would love to be 30 pounds lighter than I am right now, but that would make me the same weight as my 16 year old. I'm not sure that's realistic! LOL.

I am 5' 3" and have recently lost 11 lb using Weight Watchers. I weighed 167 this morning. I had upper abdominal liposuction on February 15th, as the surgeon felt I'd get a better result that way. I have developed a seroma on my upper abdomen, which he says he will drain during the surgery. I am also having my inner thighs liposuctioned.

Surgery is tomorrow! I'm nervous, excited and a...

Surgery is tomorrow! I'm nervous, excited and a teeny bit scared. And of course I started my period this morning so that should be fun with the garments! I'll be sure to update as I recover. I want to keep track for myself also. I guess my biggest fear is just the unknown. I don't know if it'll hurt more than a c-section, or just different or what.

Sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. I'm...

Sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. I'm first case so surgery is supposed to begin at 8:30. Took some final pics this am so I'll upload those later after I get home. I'm staying the night in the hospital.

Woke up from surgery and thought I was gonna die...

Woke up from surgery and thought I was gonna die from the pain. It was for sure a 10 on the pain scale they were able to bring It down to a 7 with IV morphine. The doctor stopped by and said he had taken out 5 lb. that's a lot!!

The pain is definitely less than that today, although I am anxiously waiting for each four hours to be up so I can have more Percocet the nurse just took out my catheter but I haven't been up yet.

When the dr came in last night he was positively ecstatic with how things had gone. He said he did some liposuction in my waist and flank area and tightened the muscles a great deal. He said he made a nice little flap for the belly button. I'm a little. Er ous about getting up for the first time. I'll be going home this afternoon. Through my surgeons office I was able to rent a hospital bed for home for $75 for a month.

Day three: I'm actually standing a little...

Day three:

I'm actually standing a little straighter. Last night I had a moment where I thought, "Was this a mistake? Will I really ever feel 'normal'" again? But I know I will. Today the pain is MUCH more manageable and I attribute that 100% to the prescription motrin that I am taking every 8 hours. It has really helped with the back spasms and shoulder/neck pain.

I can see in the mirror that I am going to look amazing. Especially when I can stand up again! There's not a lot of swelling, although from other people's posts it seems the worst is yet to come. I've been sleeping really well at night, although I'm extremely stiff when I first wake up, most likely from the hospital bed combined with the awkward positions I need to sleep in. I'm anxious for my post-op on Monday when I will see my belly button for the first time. I'd like to try and get some pics later, next time I take my garment off I guess. Though since I can't stand straight, I don't know how well they will show progress.

Day 5. I can stand even straighter today. Took a...

Day 5. I can stand even straighter today. Took a couple pics, but since I can't stand completely straight, it's hard to see the real result. I went all night without pain meds. So each day is getting better and better.

8 days postop. My drain came out today. That was...

8 days postop. My drain came out today. That was a relief! The stitch that was holding it in was poking me. The nurse seemed slightly concerned that my belly button looked "dark" on Monday (necrosis??????) but the doctor said he felt it was just bruised. I get to shower tomorrow. Yay! I can ALMOST stand up straight. I am down to taking pain meds about 3x a day instead of every four hours routinely. The 800 mg motrin helps the most. After sitting for a while, I feel very stiff and sore when I stand up and it takes me a while to get moving. I can roll over in bed and get up out of bed without too much trouble now.

All in all, I think the healing is going quite well. I do have quite a bit of swelling by the afternoon each day, but even with that, I am still just thrilled with the way I already look. It is an amazing difference.

I have 8 children, two of them born by c-section. ...

I have 8 children, two of them born by c-section. I have struggled with weight my entire life and I have disliked my tummy for years and years. I wanted a better abdominal and inner thigh contour.

I am FREAKING OUT this morning! I finally got the...

I am FREAKING OUT this morning! I finally got the dressing off my belly button and took a shower last night The swelling was pretty high because it was the end of the day so I didn't notice it then, but this morning with the swelling down my belly button looks completely off center Like if you look at the muscle line, it is completely to the right of the line, not even on it at all. I called the surgeons office the lady there said with swelling and everything that things can look off for a while. She said to give things six months to settle and if I'm still not happy that is something he could fix in the office. Someone PLEASE tell me theirs looked off center and got better. Please??

The more I look at the pic with the orange shirt...

The more I look at the pic with the orange shirt the better I feel about things, even if the BB ends up off center. DANG I look SEXAY!!!! Like, I might even agree to have sex with the lights on! LOL!

Day 11 Went to church for the first time since...

Day 11

Went to church for the first time since the surgery. Good to get out, but now I'm really sleepy this afternoon. Still need occasional percocet at the end of the day, I get really sore. Almost completely upright now, it just looks like my boobs are too heavy for me to support. LOL.

I discovered there are two other kids I have with off center BBs. And looking at past pics, I am 99% sure mine was off center before the surgery. So I'm chilled out about it all. Plus, the chances anyone else will notice are almost nill. So I'm generally feeling really good.

So I've chilled a lot about the location of my...

So I've chilled a lot about the location of my belly button, but today I'm super teary and feeling down. I feel like the skin is toooooo tight and won't ever look normal. It seems to have pulled some of the belly button skin so it looks like I will have quite a lot of scarring around this deep slit. I'm wondering if I will ever look normal enough to wear a swimsuit. I do like the new contour in clothes but I was hoping for a tummy that looked more like SpecialKay's.

Day 19. Doing stuff during the day still causes...

Day 19. Doing stuff during the day still causes quite a bit of swelling. I pigged out yesterday at my daughter's bday party and then in a movie (Hunger Games -- it was amazing). So today I was up .5 lb and swollen. :(

My total weight loss since January is 19 lb, but now I'm hitting a plateau. I still don't see a whole lot of difference in my thighs from the lipo. Like, I really don't see any difference at all, except the difference that could easily be from a near 20 lb weight loss. I have lost 1" on each thigh. That's it. My waist is still 34" which seems like a lot to me. I still look "thick" from the side, in my opinion.

When I get swollen, that's when I have the most pain, and still have a little trouble standing all the way straight.

I'm really having a down day today. I KNOW in my HEAD that it takes a long time for all the swelling to go down, but I"m not encouraged about my thighs (they still touch when my feet are hip-width apart.)

My BB is definitely off to the side, but who knows how much the swelling is influencing that and how much it will center eventually.

Someone who's further in their recovery please tell me how great I will look later?

Is there any way to change the order of my photos...

Is there any way to change the order of my photos without deleting and starting over?

Yesterday I was pumping gas for my huge 15 passenger van. As I was climbing back up into the drivers seat, my ankle twisted and I caught myself with the steering wheel. I felt something pull inside and ever since then, there is a very distinct SPOT that is painful to the touch, sharp pain, and throbbing. PS office said it's ok, but to watch for increasing pain, bleeding, swelling, etc. I had a lot more generalized swelling yesterday, but probably from having three big days in a row where I probably did too much. Trying to lay low today.

I'm getting so FRUSTRATED with doing nothing. Not lifting the toddler, not picking up, etc. I feel like my whole family is getting resentful of me.

Yesterday was 3 weeks. I had an AWESOME day and...

Yesterday was 3 weeks. I had an AWESOME day and felt great all day long. No pain. I ordered a new dress from Old Navy because they were on sale for CHEAP. I was able to order a medium! All my old medium clothes are starting to fit well again. I'm really pleased. DH and I did the horizontal mambo for the first time last night. It was ok I really felt bad for him waiting so long, even though I;m really not interested yet. My BB is healing, steri strips are getting looser and looser and the swelling is down a bit every day. All in all, this is probably the best thing I have ever done for myself!

Tomorrow is four weeks. It seems like the three...

Tomorrow is four weeks. It seems like the three week point was a major turning point for me. I have felt really great pretty much every day since then. Saturday I took my 5 daughters shopping for Easter dresses. We spent several hours in the mall, going to different stores. That was really too much and I was EXHAUSTED and swollen that night.

I have continued to lose weight -- total lost is 22 lb. I am down to 156. I was 174 the day of my consultation in January. I'm pretty sure my BB is going to be just fine, as soon as the skin gets some slack and it's not pulled so open any more. My scar is going to be amazing and thin, although it's a bit high (but that also may lower with some slack.

My ONLY remaining complaint is that my thighs really don't have much change when I'm standing upright (except the change that could be from losing 22 lb). When I bend slightly forward, I can see that my thighs are smaller, but when I stand up, there's some posterior fat that kind of squishes forward, so when I'm standing up straight, my thighs touch just as much as before. I'm going to talk to him about it at my 6 week postop.

I have quit wearing my compression garment at night (PS said I could quit at four weeks, so it was a few days early, but I just couldn't take it any more).

How is everyone else doing?
Columbia Plastic Surgeon

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