Finally had my mommy makeover on Monday! I had a...
Finally had my mommy makeover on Monday! I had a full tummy tuck with muscle repair, liposuction of my flanks, auxiliary area (armpits), and bra strap area, liposuction of the inner thigh, and a breast lift (NO implants).
Never thought this would happen as I've been wanting this for over 5 years. My child is 6.5 years old and sucked the life out of my gorgeous body. My days of amazing physique when I was in The US Army ended when I developed a thyroid goiter and gained 85lbs with my pregnancy. 6 months after having my son I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and treated with a total thyroidectomy and radiation. Years of hormone therapy later and my body just couldn't get back to where it was. Now a registered nurse and a divorced/single mother, I stay very busy, very physically active, and eat an almost 100% organic diet consisting of green juices and salads most nights. I spend my free time renovating my house, to include doing all the physical labor myself. And yet I gained weight when I started working nights a year ago. 15 lbs. of it. I finally had enough and decided I was going to get my figure back! So I found the best surgeon in Atlanta, GA and booked my surgery.
I am now 4 days post op and on the road to recovery. Still very swollen and bloated, walking hunched over, and dealing with horrible back pain, but the improvement speaks for itself. I stopped taking the narcotic pain medication day two post op due to constipation (I have IBS with constipation) and have been taking Tylenol and the muscle relaxer since. Today my surgeon approved me to take ibuprofen interchangeably with Tylenol so I'm relieved. He also said I could sleep on my side to relieve my intense back pain (thanks army and nursing). I'm very please with everything so far! My tits look amazing and my tummy will be better with each passing day. I will continue to post pics as I recover and progress in my transformation. Thank you for joining me on my adventure!
Post op day 6
I'm standing up straighter today, sleeping better, and my period (that crept up on post op day 2) has finished. My bowels aren't back to their usual daily self, so that will be nice once my IBS system kicks the anesthesia and narcotics out. I have my drains in till Tuesday when I have my first follow-up appt. They are starting to get irritated around the site of insertion, so I've started using gauze around the site to protect them from the compression garment. I'm so ready to have them removed and feel like a complete person again. The compression garment is also a pain and I plan to ask my surgeon how much longer I have to wear it 24/7.
Day 6 post op
Just a quick comparison pic. Bruising is still there, and so are the drains and swelling.
Post op day 7 struggles
Today was a very difficult day. Each day has had its ups and downs, but I have felt myself healing and getting stronger, until today. My drain tubes are burning the $%!& out of my skin, causing the whole pubic region where they are inserted to throb and give off sharp shooting pain. It hurts to walk because every move of the hip and thigh vibrates through the drain site irritating it more. So much so that I took a shower tonight and couldn't get myself to put back on the compression garments for like 5 hours! I had to wait for the inflammation to subside. I also feel swollen like a whale. A fat one in the winter.
I guess I should back up a bit. Today I took my son to the movies. We saw Alice Through the Looking Glass. It was fantastically magical! I felt great minus the horrible burning drains. Then we went to a late lunch/early dinner at our favorite local organic cafe. I had a grass fed burger (half the burger, thank you very much) and a little bit of their home made fries. We sat outside in the heat. This was followed by a stop at my brother's house and a little bit more heat. Then my son wanted to play outside for a few minutes, in the heat. By the time I got home I was exhausted, over heated (feel like I'm wearing a thermal suite with this compression bra, abdominal garment, and tight biker shorts surgeon suggested for thigh lipo), and in so much pain. Some how my dumb ass thought it would be a lovely idea to stop the Tylenol and ibuprofen on the busiest day I've had post op. Oh did I mention I also didn't get a 3 hour nap, which I've been taking religiously every day? So yes, I over did it and suffered the consequences. I guess I was getting antsy to get my life back on track. I am a doer! I am a multitasker! I am a strong woman! What the hell is going on? lol Ok, surgery has officially kicked my ass.
Well I took that shower, washed the garments, stared at my big bloated body in the mirror convincing myself it wasn't fat, and ended up lying in bed watching movies with my kiddo sans any sort of compression for hours till it was bedtime. I just finally convinced myself it would not be a good idea to fall asleep without these painful unforgiving garments, so I stuffed myself into them like a sausage and actually feel ok. Except fat. I still feel fat. Good night.
Well well, swell hell!
I had my first post op appt today at 1pm. Drive to ATL wasn't bad. Dad drove, and kiddo kicked it in the back. I have not driven as of yet. That will be tomorrow!
Surgeon said everything looks great, results are great, and approved drain removal. Oh happy day! Told me I need to continue wearing garments 2 more weeks and can start to return to normal life. He also approved my use of all my pre-op supplements. Thank you Jesus! I am so happy I can start taking my Turmeric/ginger supplements for inflammation and IBS, and my Boswellia (also for inflammation and sciatic/joint pain). Then the nurse came to remove the drains. Oh Lawd. I nearly passed out. Embarrassing. This macho nurse was going to pull them herself! Yes, me, I was originally going to pull them out myself. Then I had surgery, pain, and gained common sense somewhere. I'm so glad I didn't. Hurt like a B and was an awful nasty feeling. I could feel them drag along my whole abdominal wall as she pulled them. Ack. First one not so terrible, but hurt. Second one, the life went out of me. She revived me, put little gauze dressings over them and I got dressed. Nurses make the worst patients. ????????????
After our hour drive home, I took a little nap. Got up and mom took us grocery shopping. Hours later I was home with my son, in my house, all unpacked and back to normal life. Mom was amazing. Helped with everything and even carried all the groceries into the house. I made my son dinner, cleaned up, unpacked, and bathed him. Champion right here! Then I looked in the mirror. Holy swell hell!!! Now I know why the ladies here call it that. I'm pregnant with fluid. Please refer to picture for evidence of horrid swelling. I'm cool though. I did so much today and actually felt human again with the tentacles gone (drains), I'm home and taking care of my son alone again, and I feel more like myself. Doc said I look great and the swelling will take months. Ok. Fine. I'll ride it out and in the mean time, take excellent care of myself. Tomorrow, we shall juice! I've got to clean my system of the anesthesia haze. Will post pics of my organic juices. Good night!
Today is post op day 10. I am almost back to normal, minus needing a little more sleep than usual and getting tired faster. Oh and sometimes I walk a little slower when my belly feels tight. I am wearing my compression garment 24/7 when it's not in the wash. I'm still sleeping on my side (tummy sleeper so this has been very difficult), and I'm still unable to hyper-extend by upper torso. I have been taking my supplements and added back in the Turmeric/Ginger and Boswellia supplements. They have helped drastically with the IBS bloat, indigestion, and my abdominal swelling. I still get swollen in the evenings, especially around the incision site, but it's not as bad as it was a couple days ago. Made an organic green juice tonight with some of the ingredients we got at the farmer's market yesterday. Then my son & I took a walk in the neighborhood. We didn't walk as long as we usually do, but it was the first walk post-op, so I'm proud I made it 30 min. I walked slower than usual, but it felt great to be back out there! I have been taking my son to the country club and pool every day and relaxing as much as possible. I'm back to running errands, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and living life. I'm saving the home renovations till I feel confident I won't pop something in there. Oh my goodness! I should add that yesterday I sneezed for the first time and Lord, I felt I split my abdomen right open!!! lol It hurt. I have also been getting these odd tight cramp-type pains in random areas of my belly. Right now I have one to the left of my umbiliicus. Earlier it was on the right. Pressure seems to help ease the tight feeling. I've been trying to massage the belly and my inner thighs. My inner thighs are so sore from lipo that I can barely handle a light massage. But each day is getting better. The incision burns a lot, as well as my lower abdomen and mons. When it starts to get bad, I take a Tylenol and 30 min later the burning is gone. I've been trying on some dresses in my closet I couldn't wear anymore or had to cover up with a sweater because my belly was evident. I'm flat and feeling sexy!!! Can't wait till I'm all healed up and can enjoy an evening out in a pretty dress and heals, bloat free and incision healed. Till then I'll be patiently healing with rest, organic green juices, and easy walks.
Pics of swelling.
Today I spent the whole day out, from morning till about 4pm we were at the farmer's market, then at a block party supporting local vendors and farmers. It was outside, in the heat, standing up most of the time. Lots of walking and standing. Did I mention in the Georgia heat? Came home smelly and sticky, in need of a major shower, which means I gotta unwrap myself from the sausage suit (compression garments) and put them in the wash, giving me a great opportunity to show y'all the swelling that takes place. It's mostly around my incision and thighs. I'm also sun burned and am kinda swollen around my upper body, which happens when I get too much sun. Either way, I think the pictures speak for themselves and show just how swollen everything gets. It's depressing and makes me feel sad about my progress. The whole chunk of abdomen when my incision is, is very firm and rounded, the skin is numb, and where it's not numb, it's painfully burning. I think the tape is also causing a lot of discomfort and I can't wait to have it removed. Anyway, here are the pics.
To bikini or not...
Received my first bikini in 15 years in the mail last night. Tried it on first thing in the morning. Not as terrible as I thought, but still returning it. This is not exactly a family friendly suite for the country club. lol I ended up buying the swim skirt from Target in the last pic. Did not but the striped top from that pic as it was too restricting and not the right cut for my shape. The swim skirt is comfy, covers what's necessary, and will allow me to play with my son without constant adjustments or fears of all my lady parts slipping out for the teenage boys to stare at.
Almost a month!
Hello folks! It's been a good bit since I last posted an update. Nothing to update till yesterday. Yesterday I had my 3 week follow up appt and had my tape removed. The tape on my abdominal incision progressively fell off last week, so it was just my breasts that he took the tape off from. I'm pretty happy with the scars so far. I think my nipples are a little smaller than is natural, as they were not this small before & I'm just not used to it. I know they will continue to look better as they heal. My belly scar is ok. The middle is raised and more pink, plus my old belly button that he sutured together looks terrible, but will also flatten and fade. They say scar wise you heal outside in, and it's true. The incision on my hips looks great, and it gets worse as you go towards the midline. I have so much swelling around the scar, more so on my left side. By evening it's like a huge role, and is so firm it's crazy! Plus the part where my rains were (inferior to the scar), looks like I have dimples on both sides of my mons pubis. That part sinks in and the scar area sticks out. You can see it in my close up I posted today. Doc said it will get better as the swelling and scar heal, and that if anything, he can always do a revision in office. He also said he can do scar revision on my previous belly button later if need be. He asked me yesterday if it was worth it. Hmmm...let me think...YES! Hell to the yes!!! Although it's a work in progress as the stages of healing come with their own physical and emotional difficulties, I can't imagine going back to how things were before! I'm beyond happy with my results and I can't wait to see how they get better. I've been wearing outfits I never would have before, only for the fact that there's no more pooch down there! Im more confident. And I'm much happier.
On a different note, I had an endocrinology appt last week (routine due to my history of thyroid cancer, total thyroidectomy, and permanent dependence on artificial thyroid hormone). The labs came back confirming what I already knew, that I was more hypothyroid than I have been in years, and needed an increase in my dose of hormones. Something I've been fighting for since last year and he finally listened. This is great. Metabolism is controlled by and all cellular functions depend on thyroid hormones. I should start to feel better, more energetic, and weight loss should be easier. I'm excited of what's to come.
I went back to work last Saturday. I worked 13 hours Saturday and Sunday night at the hospital on the floor. I had 5 patients both nights. Some were total care, but I just asked co-workers to lift them in the bed. I was terrified going back, but handled it without any problems. I was a bit more swollen in the mornings after my shifts, but sleep took care of that. I wore my compression garment both shifts and I think that helped as well. I'll be back at work on Saturday, as I only work weekends. Now, off to the pool with my son. BTW, doc cleared me to swim on Friday!!! Yay!!!
One more thing, I purchased the scar treatment serum they sell at my PS' office. It has silicone in it. Doc said to start using it on Friday. Small amount rubbed into the scars twice a day. They said it works great and one bottle should last at least 3 months with the size of my incisions. I paid a little under $65 for the bottle with the discount she gave me. I'll post a pic of the product and update as I use it.