My Journey!!!

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I have 7 days to go! A brief explanation of...

I have 7 days to go! A brief explanation of myself: 39 yrs old, 5 children, a wonderfully loving and encouraging husband who has been my best friend and husband for over 23 yrs. Like many mothers on here my body has been depleted and abused by pregnancies and obesity. Two years ago I went on a weight loss journey and have lost 80 lbs and kept it off by eating right and exercise.

After I came to a place where I could go no more my husband encouraged me to see a PS and just see if they could help with my extra skin and scars (from c-sections, ruptured appendix, gall bladder surgery) after the first consultation I was so excited. Dr Manuel was so honoring and was so professional and he didn't even blink an eye at my wreck of skin. He was realistic and encouraging. So blessed.
Then I found this site and realized how important this site is to share our journeys with others. So I will be up loading some preop photos and hope that they encourage others that although its a bit embarrassing to be so vulnerable it's also so important for others to be encouraged too. So here goes my count down journey.

Went in for my final appointment, for blood work...

Went in for my final appointment, for blood work and registration to the surgery center! Made final payments and even treated myself to a Botox treatment on my lips (they wrinkle from my weight loss). So we will see how good it works. Lol.
Just embracing the excitement!!

5 more sleeps! I'm finding myself very self...

5 more sleeps! I'm finding myself very self reflectant. One minute I'm excited and the next I find myself being very quiet and processing so many emotions. Realizing after reading so many journeys that this isn't a quick recovery and that there will be moments when I will ask myself if its worth it, etc. I know in the end it will be. But honestly when I read the posts where women struggle with the weight gain from the swelling I get nervous, any gain on the scale messes with my emotions even when I know it's my period or in this case extra fluid. I've had to be very disciplined to keep my weight off so without exercise I am nervous.
Tonight I rest my head knowing that I did as much today as I could to prepare and also enjoyed my sons 15th birthday! Such an amazing son!! So thankful for my family!

Only two more sleeps! 3 days ago it seemed like...

Only two more sleeps! 3 days ago it seemed like the day would never come. And then the cleaning and organizing began. Lol time flies when you get that busy. The down side my allergies started up, running nose, head congestion and itchy throat. Called my PS to make sure we could still do the surgery. With my sinuses draining in my throat it makes me have a dry cough. Grrrrr. Praying the Zyrtec will take
That away. He said that as long as it didn't become a chest cold or a fever we could still go ahead. So please send up a few prayers for me to have a quick recovery. The last thing I want is any kind of cough with having muscle repair done.

Today is the big day. I got so nervous last night...

Today is the big day. I got so nervous last night and had so many crazy thoughts running through my head it was ridiculous. And then a friend called me out of the blue who had the surgery and have me a few encouraging words and tips and eased my mind tremendously! So thankful. Was up almost every hour lol. But now ready to shower And head to the surgery center. I'll update when I get back to my house! See u all on the other side! :). It's finally happening!!

Ok 7 hrs post op. struggling with pain, my body is...

Ok 7 hrs post op. struggling with pain, my body is very resistant to pain medicine so keeping my pain under comtrol has been a bit taxing. We have a 45 mn drive he and 13 stairs to climb to my room. Both have been managed but I'm struggling with the pain. Along with side pains. I had my thighs done also if u remember so the pain is everywhere. Finally went and peed. An adventure all in itself. Loll

Day 2, actually the morning after. Went to the...

Day 2, actually the morning after. Went to the bathroom myself. Woohoo. Got my meds adjusted and it helped tremendously. Feeling so much better today. Of course still lots of pain but bearable. My husband is amazing, takes such good care of me.
Main place I have pain is iny sternum or when I stand up
The pressure on my breasts is a lot. Didn't think that would be the case. And my arm pits have hurt a lot. Today I have had a lot of has, but seems to take a lot of the pressure off my stomach so
Although its not pretty it helps relief pressure. Oh and another hint is when my sides start hurting like crazy it helps to go
Pee. :) hope
Everyone is doing well.

Snuck a peak at my new belly button. Lol pic added

Snuck a peak at my new belly button. Lol pic added

Days are starting to blend. But with each new day...

Days are starting to blend. But with each new day comes a new discovery. Some good some bad. Lol the bad being that no matter how u pinch those darn drains to get all the fluid out it has a pinch to it. Lol. Good things, mobility gets easier and my spirits get higher! Staying up on my meds helps so much and just all the help from
My family is priceless. And for all those with reviews about itching from the binders they weren't kidding. Lol lotion helps some and just lifting the binder off the skin helps lots.

Day 7! Washed my hair and sponge bath and feel...

Day 7! Washed my hair and sponge bath and feel like a new person!!!

Day 8. Got stitches out. The 45 mn trip To and...

Day 8. Got stitches out. The 45 mn trip
To and from wiped me
Out. Yikes. New pics added.

And apparently I get to wear the tape for the next...

And apparently I get to wear the tape for the next 3-4 months to prevent the scar from
Raising, stretching or separating!

Day 10. A few ups and downs but mostly great to be...

Day 10. A few ups and downs but mostly great to be honest. For as much work as I've had done I am so blessed the journey has been good. Today I did two
Trips down my flight of stairs. Easy to
Do but unfortunately my nurse said the less u do
The quickly u will
Heal and better results. So for the most part just normal hygiene care and minimal activity. Making things heal faster for sure. Posting a pic of my breasts at day 10. Right one still needing to drop more but i love them.

Day 10 post op

Day started out great. But started feeling a little restless. Needed some items and thought maybe I just need out of the house for
Some fresh air and get a few things I need. Well, after being at the store in my little cart which is hard to sit on because I have my thighlift done also I have a horrible anxiety attack. Had to leave the store, really couldn't stop crying or fretting or getting angry for hours. I do not like to cry! Period! So with much love, encouragement, understanding, prayer etc i thought I wonder of its my meds? Hmm. So I backed off them from every 4 hrs to like 6-8 hrs. Now at first the pain wasn't fun but this morning I feel
like a new person. I will keep
U posted to the end result of this episode. Could have been just one of the emotional
Roller coaster rides we go on with these surgeries or it could have been meds. I'm sharing this story in hopes that if others have these moments then we have a few tools to work with. When others have gone before us we have much we can learn. I pray my journey can be that for others. I know that all of you woman have been that for me!!

Day 12

Ok two things that might seem
Obvious to others but I had to learn the hard way. I let myself get dehydrated today. BAD, all bad. Second thing was when my drain sites became super painful
I called the doc and they said to
clean it and put neoaporin with pain relief on the skin right around the drain site. And of course ice packs. So much relief!!!!!!!

Ok actually TODAY is day 12. Lol

Day 12, woke up with much less pain in my drain sites today. Only two more days til my follow up visit on Monday where hopefully the drains can be removed. I am a little worried about having them removed knowing how much more careful I will need to be with my salt intake and then dealing with more swelling. But one step at a time. It's hard to believe that it's may 18th and its snowing like crazy , so much for spring. So I'm laying in my bed pretending its not may and enjoying the beauty of it falling from the sky. (Denial can be a good thing lol)
On a physical note, I am noticing some more sensation in my breasts. Not so much on the areas where the scars from the lift are on on the nipples. But thankful they haven't lost complete feeling.
Hoping everyone's healing is going well!!!

Day 13

Ugh my 5 year old son right before bed went to hug me goodnight and slipped on the side of my bed and part of his body fell on my stomach. Can you say OUCH!!!!!!

Day 13

Oh and praying that at my post op appointment tomorrow they will remove all my drains. :) and my sons fall didn't set me back any. Feels way more sensitive. Ugh

Day 14 drains out! New pics

This has been such an exciting day! A day that feels like
The biggest turning point thus far. Finally got all
4 of my drains out. Remember I also had a thigh lift which required two extra drains. So it seemed no matter which way I moved forward or side to side the drains would some how get out of position and become very irritated. I tried taping extra padding EVERYTHING it seemed to help them not be painful. SO, today all 4 removed. Two were very painful but I was so grateful for the loss of them I didn't really care!! Yay!! Went don't a size in my compression garments! A medium to a small. That was even exciting. Hehehe. Small has not been used to describe me much in my life. Lol.
After doc visit went to Kohls to get some tank tips to wear under my CG. Love the Jockey silky feeling ones. A few more pjs to wear and I'm all set to enjoy a relaxing evening while my "men" (husband and 3 of my sons) go black bear hunting. I get to kick up my feet and RELAX pain free of my drains!!
A personal day of celebration. Also, all of my stitches looked great, bb is healing and I get to take a full HOT shower tomorrow!! Yay!!!
Good luck to all those going in soon or have recently! So excited to see your results!

New pics day 14



Day 14



Sorry all my pics got added one by one instead of all at once :(

Thigh lift

I wanted to add a more detailed photo of my medial thigh lift I had done with this mommy makeover. As u can see the stitching is a bit puckered. It takes 2-4 months for the deep sutures to dissolve or whatever they do and the scar will look much better. Either way I wanted to share a more up
Close photo. :)

Day 15 shower day!

First time for a full shower. I have been waging my hair in the sink and sponge bathing but afte the tube removal yesterday I got the thumbs up for showering. Now let me just say I have read ALOT of reviews on this experience and wasn't really sure what to expect. Well, in the shower I go wash hair feel suddenly like throwing up, hmmmm weird, thankfully that passed, then conditioner time , oh no, then I felt like I had to poop, ugh, ok that passed. Phew. Get out dry off slowly, start putting all my garments back on (not any easy task) and my husband walks in just as I look up and almost pass out. Good thing his timing was amazing!! So he sweeps me off to bed puts a cool
Fan on me and reminds me that with taking all those compression garments off then getting hot and cold all the blood flow had changed and I needed to be very careful. Lol. So even after being warned I didn't expect it. Lol. So off to bed for a few hour nap
I went. Feeling better. :)
At this point in my journey I'm finding my thighs ache ALOT! So I suppose as one area heals the brain starts picking up on another to remind u of. Hahahhahaa.

Day 16

Today has started off great. Yesterday swelling the day after drain removal was awful. But today is a new day. And time to post new photos!

22 days post op

Memorial Day weekend this year in Alaska meant some of the lowest tides of the year. Which means clam digging. Trip has been planned for months and the day before we are supposed to
Leave I realize how difficult this trip will be on my body. So I decided 3 rd post op visit if dr or nurse says I'm doing good and can go I will. If not ill say no! (Best weather forecast I've seen for year for where we r headed, for those of u who know ak we don't have long summers but we play hard enough in the three months that way we have memories for some long winters, although my family plays all winter so that's ok) anyways. Nurse says u r doing great and u will know you'be over done it by your swelling.
Let me just say, I had a blast! Lots of laughs (which kill the stomach lol) and only half the people knew I had any work done. My family treated me like a queen and I just did my best. Just got home tonight and I am sad to say swelling kicked in this morning and has continued. :( warning to others, I seen so
Much progress this weekend but often times we don't know what's too much until AFTER it is. So, with lots of great memories and my wonderful bed. I am home and will be taking it easy for the next couple of days.
I think one decision that I made was to have the thigh lift done at the same time and with gravity taking the swelling downwards my poor thighs killed me. So when they got swollen I would elevate them, then stomach would bulge then breasts felt strange. Lol. Come on body absorb that fluid. Also, Aleve has been a magical drug for me with swelling. Doesn't help me with a headache but its amazing with this.
Ps. We got so many clams! Whoop whoop and even a few halibut! And some real sun that colored our skins! Oh ya!!
Reception was bad so I have only briefly caught up in some of you ladies who are on the flat side so excited to see and hear from u!
Also, another strange thing happened my breasts started making strange noises, gel
Implants, like squeaky clean hair. Lol. That sound was best description I read. I thought it was strange it started so late in my recovery.
Just tossing that out there for others. :)

Day 22 pics

As you will notice in one photo of the left side I believe I have some serious swelling below bb but

One month and a few days post op

Saw my Ps this week. All is well. Had to add a foam pad to my garments to help with the compression. I have a bit of extra fluid below belly button. Felt very encouraged that I was right on track for healing. I have been struggling emotionally because I still have pain at night enough to take pain meds and that was making me feel discouraged. But dr said with all the work done its normal. Honestly my thighs ache at night from swelling and under my sternum ugh!! So, I decided to be greatful that's the worst of it and enjoy the rest of the journey. No need to suffer in pain. Once a day plus aleve or Advil and I do great.
I started taking my vitamins (not sure when or why I stopped lol) and added some vitamin D and since the one month mark my emotions have began to stabilize. Thank goodness. I was riding a roller coaster. Felt like pms ALOT. But wasn't that. I found myself being critical and frustrated about life and myself. Have been living in a bit of fear with weight gain. Haven't been eating the greatest and then with the swelling and lack of real movement I feel gross! Yesterday I thought to myself, with all the blood, sweat and tears I have shed to get my body back from kids and obesity you would think I would NEVER put another bad thing in my mouth again. Lol and then I find myself eating chips or something. Ugh. Anyways, just being honest. I could eat anything I wanted in portions when I was working and keep the weight off but now I will need to snap it up and get back on the "disciplined" horse so I don't loose what I have worked so hard for.
I have enjoyed reading everyone's recovery stories!
Keep up the healing I'm cheering you all on!!
I'll post some current photos in a week or so. Not much has changed.

6 weeks

Everyday is getting easier. I struggle with swelling at night but even that is tolerable. Can turn over in bed easier and easier. I'm still wearing compression garments and binder. My thighs ache something fierce at night if I don't. My breasts are softening and dropping. Right one still a big higher and tighter but they are feeling more normal. And strangely they feel bigger now. I have had a few days with the blues but less and less each week. Excited to start working out and so ready for some disciplined eating and sweating at the gym. Lol. We bought my daughter a Crossfit gym right when I had my surgery. So chomping at the bit to get there and enjoy her hard work she has invested in there.
To all those healing!! Prayers and hugs!!
Anchorage Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Manuel is an amazingly professional and personable doctor who makes sure that he understands your desires and makes you feel like any issue you have he is able to handle. In my case I was concerned about the removal of an old scar and he was realistic and clear of what he beloved he could do. The results were more then I could have dreamed of. ! Thank you Dr Manuel and staff for helping to change my body!!

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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