I went for a consult on 7/14/14 for what I guessed...
I went for a consult on 7/14/14 for what I guessed would be a BR. Everything has been moving very quickly since then.
First, some background. I've been married 24 years to my wonderful husband. He loves me for who I am, and tells me I'm perfect the way I am. He also supports my decisions. I also have two great boys, 19 and 15. The had them both vaginally. Well, the first one weighed 10 lb, 10 oz and the second one shot out and a mere 10 lbs. (haha). I also gained & lost about 50-60 lbs with each them.
So fast forwarding, I am left with very saggy breasts and a pooch for a tummy. I got serious about getting fit two years ago. I exercise with a trainer 3x/week (weight training & cardio) plus cardio or yoga an additional 2x/week. I'm 5'6" and 151. I am trying to eat clean and lose another 3 lbs before surgery. I'm working out more to get in better shape to make my surgeon's job and my recovery easier. I'm obsessed with reading everyone's stories, so I am prepared.
At my consult, the doctor told me a BL was more appropriate than a BR. Although I wear a 34DD bra now, most of my volume is excess skin! A BL would leave me small D cup, maybe even a full C cup. While I was there, I asked about my tummy (thinking it was hard-to-get-rid-of fat). He told me it was extra skin and it was quite obvious that I had muscle separation that could only be repaired through surgery. I've had chronic shoulder and lower back pain. My Dr. believes it will be resolved with the surgery (fixing abs & reducing breast volume/pulling). It took me a few days to think through the information & talk with a few friends who I knew had been through the surgery (one with the same doctor). The final decision is really about me being in "fix-it mode". I'm only 48, so why not make my body function properly and be happy with with how I look? So, my surgery is scheduled for 8/28.
Looking forward to the little things...
I'm looking forward to the little things:
- No more bra marks digging into my shoulders
- No more breast pain after running
- Not having to use talc under my breasts to avoid sweating
- Not having my underwear roll done below my tummy pooch
Geez, and that was just after the gym this morning! I'm so excited! Moving forward...
Life is Good
So the new recliner was delivered (see pic). My husband has always wanted one. I always envisioned the the one my MIL had. Ick. No way. Not in my house. So... When I read RS suggestions about getting one on Craigslist, I thought that was the perfect, TEMPORARY solution. Then I could sell it later. haha. Well, marital compromise had us shopping away that weekend. Win-Win.
So, as I was working out yesterday, I was annoyed with the jiggly roll under my arm that was above my bra. I'm going to ask my PS to lipo it. My back is pretty buff, but what's with that hideous flab roll? Moo.
My Pre Op went well. PS and his PA were patient in answering all my questions. PS amuses me. You can tell he pictures surgery & outcome when he looks at me. His enthusiasm is infectious!
Surprisingly, I do not wear a binder until my drains are removed. The logic is they don't want anything to interfere with the drain sites (that's the priority). Did anyone else experience this? Also, I will have four drains: one in each breast (surprise!) and two for the abdomen.
I asked about the lipo on the jiggly underarm area. PS said it would most likely be addressed with BL, but if not lipo it is. The camera lady was amused because she said there was nothing to take a picture of. I offered to put my bra on. haha. I may be over-analyzing, but want to get it right the first time.
More info (measurements):
Bust 39.5" (wearing great support bra)
Under bust 33"
Thanks for the encouragement!
I called the office this morning to confirm if I would be in a binder coming home. The answer was absolutely yes! My midsection would have a binder and my breasts will be taped and bound. Ok, I feel MUCH better!! Thank you, 5lbHatchelFlax, for nudging me to ask again. I have no idea what his PA thought I was asking, but at least all is well now.
I've got great friends! When I decided to do this surgery only a few weeks ago, I decided quickly and was ready to tell everybody. Shortly afterwards, I had gotten a somewhat negative reaction. While I like to think I don't care what people think, this reaction came from a good friend of mine, whose hand I held during cancer. So, why wasn't she being supportive? It stung.
Since then, I've been selective to whom I've told about the surgery. I want to surround myself my positive people. Everyone has been fantastic! I am a lucky girl.
It's hard to explain this surgery to someone, because it is physical and emotional. The reason I was able to quickly decide to do it is because i want to correct the things I cannot fix myself (abdominal muscle repair) and I want to be a better and fit me. It is not to be instant sexy, nor is it for weight loss. It is to please me alone. Does that make sense?
It's the Little Things
I can't tell you how excited I am over the possibility of wearing a cami or even my new Victoria Secret nightgown (in Pic). The nightie is sooo soft and such a lightweight fabric that you can see how ridiculous my breasts sag and my nipples head south. Image how great it will look after the BL!! I never wear a cami and rarely a tank top because it is so hard to find some that are cut to hide a huge support bra. Oh, it's the little things that make me happy.
My husband loves the new recliner! It might have his butt dent by the time I need it. haha
My girlfriend recommended buying a Home Depot apron ($0.77). It carries all the drains regardless of wardrobe and no pinning. For the price, I added it to the collection of supplies.
I have my prescriptions filled:
Ativan - anti anxiety (just in case)
Keflex - antibiotic
Robaxin - muscle relaxer
Zofran - anti nausea
Percocet - pain killer
I have the majority of supplies now. Today I added a few of the extras. I booked my massage for 8/25 with my favorite person, 3 days before surgery. I bought two coconut waters to try. I also bought Cold-Eze. (My oldest son had a fever today and I'm paranoid. I'm spraying Lysol every time he moves!)
I pray for no migraines after Thursday (14 day mark), as extra strength Tylenol isn't my go to medicine.
At the gym this morning, I thought about how blessed I am to be able to do this for myself now. I am healthy and fit, and I have support from my husband, a few close friends and my RS family. Yeah me!
The primary reason I decided to have this surgery was to fix the things I cannot fix myself, especially the muscle repair. Yet I cannot help but wonder if I will truly ever like my body. Maybe it's because I've spent more years being unhappy and self conscious with how my body looked.
How do you retrain your mind to focus on the positive? Recently, my trainer pointed out my hard-earned triceps . Huh. I hadn't noticed them. I am, however, acutely aware of how my breasts hang down to by elbows.
So, I'm hoping that without the large quantities of excess skin, I will begin to notice the positives. Right now, even after losing weight, I just see a lumpy (albeit smaller) me. Mirror, mirror...
The Difference a Year Makes
As many of you on this journey can relate, it's the year of 'me'! Finally, doing something for me. Putting myself together again. Only better!
This time last year, I was in a very, very dark place, as I was sending my first-born off to college. As I was learning to identify with my new role, it was then that I realized I needed to do more for just me. After all how can I make others happy if I am not happy? I plunged back into fitness twice as hard this spring. I do feel good AFTER exercise. haha
What a difference a year makes. We just moved Boy Wonder back into the dorm. This year, I'm good. Evolved. Now, I've got my big girl panties on. Soon enough, maybe I'll even be sporting bikini bottoms!!
One more week to the flat side!! It's hard not to watch the clock. It's hard not to look in every mirror I pass by. I close my eyes and try to envision my new body. No can do. I can't even squish in my tummy, suck in my belly, hold up my chest, squint really hard and picture my new body. I need to be patient. Oh my, it's hard.
Good news. I'm back down to 147 lbs. My goal for surgery. I've been doing my happy dance all day!
Finally, I've decided I can live with Vita Coco Lemonade, a lemon flavored coconut water. In mid July, when I decided to proceed with the surgery, I also gave up all soda and salt. This was huge, as my occasional treat was the really salty almonds. Also, I was a Diet Mountain Dew addict. Hey, don't judge... Some people drink coffee, I had my Dew. Anyway, 6 weeks cold turkey and I hate to admit it, but I feel great. Not even a sip of soda! Only water. So, the lemonade vita coco is actually too sweet for me and it have to water it down. Whoa. Who am I?
Nesting and Packing
My house is now spotless and I have 5 days to go! Granted, I have family visiting this weekend, but was it necessary to dust the top of the laundry room cabinets? Someone stop me! My friend left me a voicemail yesterday and also told me to get off the darn treadmill. I was actually outside playing with the dog (because I had just gotten back from the gym). haha
Question of the day: If you stayed overnight in a hospital or surgery center, what did you pack?? Thx
Our weekend visitors have left, the washing machine has being running at full tilt for the last 24 hours and is on its last load, the house is clean again thanks to a cleaning service (I cheated and it felt great, haha), overnight bag is partially packed, I got it in my full workout today (felt good after a sluggish weekend off), and most importantly, I had a massage today! Man, what a great idea that was! Regardless of the bruising, it helped relax me again after a crazy weekend. Now just moving supplies to counter tops, so I don't have to bend or reach for stuff I know I'll need.
I got my period today. Oh joy. I actually have it every two weeks. I've been hormonally-challenged, haha, for the last 10 years or so. I had a cryo ablation a few years ago. It helped minimize it a bit. I'm also on two hormones (HRT) to keep migraines at bay. TMUI? Anyway, I hope it stops by Thursday!
I don't feel nervous. I have Xanax if I get anxious. Only sign of nerves is I'm not eating quite enough calories. At least I'm aware of it. Partially, it's because I'm obsessed with only eating uber good things and partly I've been over scheduling myself. So, today I've been packing protein bars for a little extra.
Almost there!!! Yippee!
Last Day Old Me
Enjoying the "lasts" today. Last long run, stretching, arranging everything just so, looking at the old me!
I took my dog (15 months) for boarding (until drains are out). I'll miss her kisses, but she's a spaz.
I've been taking my arnica and stool softener since yesterday. Went to the grocery store and loaded up on last minute fresh fruit and veges, including pineapple.
Arrival time tomorrow is 6:30 am. Ready!
28 Aug 2014
Day of treatment
About to head out the door. I'm squeaky clean and raring to go! Thanks for all of the kind words, prayers, good vibes and positive messages!!!!
I have my iPad and my reading glasses, haha, packed. See you on the flat side!
I made it to the flat side! It's amazing! Got a sneak peek on a bathroom run, the nurse made the comment "don't worry, you're re swollen". ha! I'm flatter than a pancake! I cannot imagine not swollen!
Definitely need to keep on top of pain meds and muscle relaxers. I can overwhelmingly tell when they are needed. So, getting in & out of bed is getting easier with each attempt, which is often from IV and drinking so much water. Getting into bed is much harder than getting out. Getting feet/legs up without twisting is what I need to figure out. I'm looking forward to my recliner!
My lipo stick is right above my tailbone and is very tender. it's leaked blood like a sieve every time I stood. I'm talking puddles on the floor. My poor husband was about to lose it. The nurses eventually put a huge bandage over it to provide pressure. Definitely glad i bought the disposable bed pads (24"x36"). I am very bruised on my flanks from Lipo. Makes getting up and down that much more of a challenge. Everything is bearable if done extremely slowly. It's nice to have my husband there for a hand to grab onto, but he can't pull, I need to push, then it doesn't hurt. Glad leg muscles are strong!
When I woke up in recovery I wasn't in pain, but I was having muscle spasms in the center upper abdominal region. Since I was just waking up, it caused my whole body to tense up. Solution was to get a stress ball. That gave me something to focus on squeezing to relax the rest of my body. The muscle relaxers are just as important, if not more, than pain killers. So the PS told me I had about a 2" muscle separation all the way up in upper abdominals. That surprised me, as I thought just lower abs were the problem. Nurse told me later that they were sutured tightly and stapled. Ewwww.
I have 4 drains. Two in abdomen and 2 in breasts. No CG or binder, that comes later. Once drains are less than 30 cc/day they can come out. So breast drains will most likely be on Tuesday, as they are not filling up much now.
I haven't looked much at incision, as I am just glad to make it to the bathroom at this point, haha. I just got home an hour ago. Feels good!! Love the recliner. So much easier to get in than a bed. No twisting or turning required.
I'm also glad I brought protein bars and powder to surgery center. Surprisingly, the only had things like saltines, applesauce and jello. I only got a little nauseous when preparing to leave, since standing and sitting so long. Took a Zofran for the ride home and also ate 1/2 protein bar. Drive was fine.
I have a little but of a fat lip. Must have been from anesthesia or in recovery. Don't remember getting it. At least I look tough now, haha. Coughing is painful even holding pillow to stomach. I coughed up flem yesterday, but seems to be all gone now. Lungs are clear and I can take deeper breaths.
My husband is doing great. Rising to the challenge. Everyone was a bit skeptical yesterday as he took in the reality of the incision, drains, seepage from lipo, etc. poor guy, I know he hates to see me hurting. Nurses warned me 3rd day (tomorrow) is the worst, as everything is more tender and sore. At least I am home!!
Oh, I hate the granny panties. They are too irritating with all the bruising. It's easier to go commando with big sweatpants or shorts.
I think that's it. Thanks again for all the prayers and well wishes! Will get some pics in the next few days as I gather strength. Upward and forward!! Love and hugs.
Made it through the worst of it, I think. Today, I slept a lot. I could hardly keep my eyes open. My strength was waivering and I was nauceous (even with zofran). So, the solutions were to try and snooze as much as possible, have my hubby support my physically (he hold his hands on the center of my back and neck) when I was getting up and down, and I stopped the oxycodone after 9:00 this morning. I took Tylenol extra strength at next pain time. Still fighting nausea (and starting to panic for fear of vomiting) I took an Xanax (anti-anxiety) to calm me down. We finally called the PS to get another prescription (Vicodin) for bedtime and asked If I could up the dose age on Tylenol during the day. PS said I could now take ibuprofen (which would also help with swelling). So will do Vicodin & muscle relaxers at bedtime for good sleep and ibuprofen during day. I am a warrior! Also tried eating more substantial foods today to fight nausea. I was feeling much better tonight. One day at a time.
Anybody have this? (See pic). It looks like any enormous blister on my hip where bruising is from
Lipo. It's not next to incision. Holy cow . My husband has a call into the PS.
POD 4.. Goals Accomplished... boom!
Woke up at 7, but held in my pee until 8 until my husband woke up, since I woke him up twice last night. I started my day with my first shower! It felt nice. My husband stood near me as I sat on the built-in bench. I used a hand sprayer to minimize soaking my incision tape. I washed my hair (yeah), no problems reaching with BL. Hubby washed what I couldn't easily reach. Toweled off with two hand towels to be more careful of drains and tapes. I was tired. It was about an hour before I was re-gauzed and comfortably back in my recliner.
Ate breakfast, talked with my college son, watched TV, ate lunch and napped. Then I adventured down the stairs and walked around on the main level. Tried sitting in on the couch. No can do. Too low and caused major pain in incision. So I am still in recliner (an helpless once in it).
A few things of note:
I don't like toilet riser; it's too tall. Prefer regular toilet and use walker to get up and down. Easy peasy.
Walker is great. Almost necessary first day home, but I have a really long walk to my bathroom. I could prob get away with not using it now, but I use it to pull up when getting out of recliner and at beginning of laps until I find my sea legs. It gives me reassurance, even tho hubby is nearby.
If you're having lipo, you need bed pee pads (I got at Walgreens). They are 24"x36". My husband didn't think bloody seepage would ever stop (although paperwork said 1-3 days). It stopped beginning of POD 4. It was a LOT of drainage at first (every time you stand) and got better every day, but you can't wear a bandage so you literally had to hold a gauze will you walk a have a pee pad on chair/bed to it doesn't get ruined. Pad got changed every time I got up to pee (2-3 hrs).
Will call nurse in morning. All drains less than 30 cc/day (I think less than 15), so tomorrow will hopefully be drain removal day. Yippee.
So, upward and forward... Until tomorrow beautiful peeps...
The Sun Will Come Out Tmr
I pooped!!!! My husband just said he hasn't seen me smile so big in a long time. Dang, over poop too!
Ok, moving on, I did check myself out a bit in the mirror. Actually, not too bruised. Spots here and there. The worst is the purple red bruising on my waist/hips (both sides) from lipo. That explains why I refuse to wear underwear or pants, regardless how big. Anything that remotely rubs on my waist just plain hurts. Plus the lovely blister, same size, but not too bad. I have a bluefish black bruise on my right breast by my nipple, but it's mostly covered with tape (by sutures). I'm flat but seem wider in hips and waist from swelling.
My friend went to Kohls to get me a snap front housecoat/moo moo to wear to dr office tomorrow (hopefully all drains out) baggy = comfortable and I probably should not go out in public in a bathrobe and no undies, haha!
Drains Be Gone!
All 4 drains were removed at 10:00 am! Life is good.
The stress of making sure you don't yank on one if them is a bit overwhelming. As my husband was helping me assemble (pin) my drain necklace in preparation for a wardrobe change for the PS office, he dropped a tummy drain!! Holy crap, thank goodness the drain cord was long enough and it hit the floor (I was standing). We both look horrified and what 'might have been'. Needless-to-say, a choice word escaped.
The drains did not hurt at all coming out and it was super quick. To be fair, getting the sutures out wasn't as pleasant as I had begun to heal over them in only 5 days! Ewww. But 'Captain Prepared' had taken a hydrocodone AND and anxiety (Xanax) before leaving for the dr. That helped immensely plus a short deep breathing break between sides.
Then we showed the nurse my blister. Now it is downright amusing. When you tell someone you have a humungous blister , no one expects this. So she tried to hide her reaction, which I just find funny now. Hey, this is minor after all. Anyway, she goes to get a PA for a consult. Haha. She was more subdued in her reaction, but still wow'ed. She bet it would pop today. Again, ewww. Said she'd lightly tape it with gauze in case it popped but no worries. Wait 24 hrs before showering, no neosporin, just gauze to protect.
Well, it partially popped on the way home. And again since then. Now it's about 1/2 the size. Lots of fluid!
Oh, did I mention all 4 drains are out??!!! Man, I do have more energy. I walked a lot more inside today. Almost an hour! Nurse said to make sure I rest too. Going to nap soon.
See PS (actual dr) tmr at 2:45.
Btw, nurse said anti-nausea pills (zofran) can cause constipation. Go figure.
I was reading stupid things online and starting laughing, hard. Oh man. Dead puppies, dead puppies! Isn't that what you learned in Fine Arts class in school... to evoke an emotion think of something that make you feel that way. I was going for sadness. Anything to stop laughing and the spasms in my abs. Whoa.
Back to see the doctor today. Not sure what to expect. I prefer no touching. Afraid I'll smack him out of reflex. That would be bad, haha.
My mom is keeping me company today, as hubby is working.
Have a great day!
First PS Follow-Up appt
Appt went well! I attached a pic of my hideous moo-moo in 1x. Hey, it's what they had, it's ridiculously comfortable, and it's great for hot flashes! My husband got a kick out of the rest of the patients/ spouses trying to pretend they weren't staring at me. Yes, waiting room chairs stink on a good day, so I stood some, because it's more comfortable, but you know everyone wanted to just ask me what I had done & where I was in recovery. haha.
Anyway, nurse took off tape from incisions, PS came in and looked me over, answered some questions, welcomed us to call him anytime (we called him twice over holiday weekend), got the two thumbs up, nurse re taped incisions and I was done.
I am attaching some pics finally. These were at 4:30 today after being on my feet all afternoon, so I'm very swollen. I feel it, but it's most obvious in pics in my lower back/hip area, making my butt look funny. We talked about CG today. I go straight to a spanx type garment, but PS said wait til next Wednesday for evaluation when I get re-taped. Normally, I'd start now, but since sooo bruised on hips from lipo on both sides with blisters (and big blister) on left side, he wants to give that time to heal first. The CG would help reduce swelling faster, but no harm if wait a bit, as the rest is more important. Same with bra. Get sports bra, but hold off a bit on wearing until sutures aren't so raw. Just keep everything dry. I've been sweating under my boobs, so I need to wear guaze and change as necessary if I don't feel it's dry. Prevent yeast infection. Boobs are still big. Nipples still point a little downward. PS said he does on purpose with a BL, because the rise with healing. He didn't want them pointing at ceiling at then end. Huh, who knew? I thought my boobs were too far gone and I was still a little too hunchback. Live and learn.
Overall, doing well. Walked even more inside today. Took 2nd shower when I got home all by myself. I'm a big girl now!
I'm overwhelmed trying to decide on what CGs to buy. I need something for next week. PS said it can be any brand (Spanx, Assets, Maidenform, etc), it could even be just under armour. I can chose high waist or reg waist. I asked about sizing and they said get something fairly comfortable, not horribly tight, try them on. Ooookkay, that leaves my options open. Help!
What is your favorite? What's the easiest to get on and off (I always have to pee and the bruises are healing slowly)? Thank you!!
Baby Bird likes her Nest
Today was my first adventure out into the real world (besides the PS office). Hubby took me to Target. I lasted about 15 min. The noise, lack of energy, fear of being bonked, etc was a little overwhelming, let alone it's hot outside in Atlanta! So I got one CG and left. Then made a trip to Walgreens to return some supplies I never used. That did me in. So sad.
Anyway, I have a list of continued improvements & milestones:
- I finally shaved legs today.
- I put on real clothes (T-shirt, short, stretchy compressive tank, and UNDERWEAR) for my outing
- I put on socks and sneakers all by myself
- I got in & out of the car all by myself ( 3 days ago I couldn't raise my right leg into the car). Go me!!
- I continue to bend at waist easier (as I do laundry with front loader). I try not to cheat using grabber or squatting. Hubby likes that I'm back on laundry duty.
- Climb the stairs at least 10x/day (motivation: laundry is upstairs, so is my arnica, haha)
- don't feel guilty wearing nightie all day ; skin is healing (blister finally deflated, now just need to heal)
- underwear wasn't horrible if I wore it over compression tank
- tummy super tight and sore above BB... Provides constant motivation to eat right and drink lots of water and MOVE.
- lost about 2.5 lbs since surgery which doesn't seem possible since I'm super swollen AND I eat like 8x/day (healthy toddler meals)
- I love online shopping even more now. It helps on many levels.
- Recliners are good, if I'm comfortable (I tried the bed for 2 hours last and it was not pretty; my back really paid for it the next 12 hours in the spot where the lipo needle was used. Too much direct pressure.) Patience wins.
- When to try driving (meds not an issue, but seating comfort is an issue)
- when to being the puppy home (I planned for a 10 day boarding, which means we need to get her on Monday or....)
Patience, I will learn it yet!
Veni, Vidi, Vici
I have mastered the recliner!! I can now get in and out of the (non-power lift) recliner all by myself. Freedom! So now my husband can sleep through the night AND not do laundry. Whoa. haha
The Nike Fuelband has also been slapped back on. Time to start moving more and being accountable. I am not so sure it's super accurate at my slo-mo rate, but it's a start!
Puppy has also returned! Happy day.
Making notes for my 2 week PO appt on Wed with PS.
- I have a painful bump in my vein a few inches from where my IV was... Googled it and I don't think it's any big deal, but I'm open to suggestions on how to relieve discomfort
- blister has drained & scabbed; bruises slowly healing... Was going to ask permission for arnica gel or creams for itchiness (I know he prefers nada)
- worst bruise, right side near end if incision is still purple/red
- noticed a hard lump on right waist... Probably from lipo? It's very tender!
- I walk like an ape after 5 pm
- I always feel very swollen & uncomfortable ABOVE my BB. This is also the area (upper abs) that I had the most muscle spasms from MR (waistbands are uncomfortable)
- It's very uncomfortable to sit in a normal chair. I need to recline some. I think it has to do with upper belly swelling.
- my boobs are rising and swelling is decreasing
- I have feeling in my nipples (you remember that bad breast feeding latch?, yeah that one...) I guess it's better than losing feeling
- I had my 4th migraine today since surgery. Boo. What's that about? I'm thankful it's post surgery when I can take meds again!
- my silly Fuelband only records about 1/3 of my steps at my slow pace (I am so bored, I started counting!)
- it's feels sooo good to finally be bored and healing!!
Thanks to everyone in this supportive community!!
Not Bionic, Patient
Tomorrow marks POW2!! Also, patience is a virtue. No joke. Each day is better, each week is exponentially better; however, somehow I expect to be bionic. Patience!!
Today was my check-up with the PS. I'm healing well. Tapes came off for a two week break. I have some blisters on my incisions where it has been taped, so now it's supposed to air. In two weeks, I go back and get checked out again and I think re-taped. The bruises are getting better. Incisions are prickly and sore tonight since it's the first time they've been exposed. I'm going to need Ibuprofen soon. Knot in IV vein will probably take 6 months to resolve. Warm compresses for discomfort. My hand and wrist are just as bruised as body; PS didn't seem too pleased with that. I think it's only bothering me because I rely on my arms so much now for getting up and down from chairs & my wrist is very tender. Boo.
Overall, I am stronger, more energetic, and getting more confident with how much I can do. Sitting in a regular chair is a challenge for any length of time. I prefer my recliner or standing/ walking. I stand sort of straight, but by 5 pm, I walk like an ape. I putter around my house until I feel like I'm panting, go 5 min more, then rest. I manage about 5000 steps; Not too bad, considering I don't like leaving my house.
My goals this week will be to start driving, attempt laying in bed again, and find a CG I like and can live with.
Happy Healing peeps!
Here's updated pics. My tummy incision is very low.
My waist is measuring the 34" (was 35) in the morning before major swelling takes over, hips 39" (was 40.5). That's nice, because I know it'll only get better. I am swollen and have not worn a CG at all yet! I am 5'6" and now weigh 143 (was 147). That blows my mind, as I eat baby meals non-stop... Especially now that I can get out if the chair by myself, haha! Healthy eating pays off!! My indulgence these days are grapes. Geez Louise.
Random Thoughts & Progress
I drove for the first time today. I took my son to school, 10 min away. It was ok! Note to self: The speed bumps on campus need to be avoided.
I have also spent the last two nights in bed. Wed night was pretty restless. Last night, I wore my new skinnygirl boy shorts (thank you Chiklet) and I actually slept for a four hour stretch. That's about as good as it gets for me at one crack (even prior to sx). Got up and peed and slept for another 3 hours. Wow, sleep is under-rated. I sooo needed it. Now, I'm wondering if the CG had a hand in it. Since yesterday was my first day with one, it's likely. It hurts on the bruised areas a bit, especially my upper abs, where I had the majority of muscle spasms from MR, but I'm getting used to it. The support/stability is amazing. I can see why everyone calls them their security blanket. Sometimes I hold it out though, so I can breath and my abs catch a break. Even my fav yoga pants feel constricting now. That's how tender my abs are....
Anyhoo, I am also a big fan of the cami now. I was always much too large and saggy for them. Bras are still uncomfortable on my incision. I have a compression cami too. It's great because it's snug, but not too tight, and it's super long and even covers my TT scar. It's Tees by Tina. I got it at Intimacy (where I had my bras fitted) a while ago. I just ordered a bunch more from Amazon. Yeah, online shopping!
Happy healing everyone!
My surgery was 3 weeks ago today. It's amazing how the human body can heal so quickly!
I sleep in bed now. We also have a 4" memory foam. We had it prior to surgery, but I need it more now for my hips. I can sleep on my side for short periods of time. It's wonderful relief for my back. My hip bruises have faded immensely. My left hip and tummy just requires a lot of lotion for dry skin from tape and blisters etc. No biggie.
I drive now. I try and limit one way trips to 20 min. In Atlanta, that's not far, but the freedom of driving again is great!
I went to the gym this morning for the first time to walk on the treadmill. Nothing heroic. Just one mile at an avg of 2.5. I tried to go a bit faster and it hurt, so I backed off. I got bored and increased the incline to 1.0. That lasted for about 4 minutes, then it started to hurt. I backed off. But I finished my mile and it felt good to be out and about.
I run errands now; stores don't intimidate me. I can even push a grocery cart without it going rogue into the display. haha
I crave water. Maybe it's those memories of being deprived the morning of surgery... I was so happy to take the 3 pills they gave me pre-op with the mere tablespoon of water. Oh, how I wanted that water. How does ones mouth get so dry? Is it nerves? Does the IV suck the moisture out of your mouth? IDK, but I love drinking as much as I want now! It's even better when you can get up out of the chair by yourself! Ah, the little things you appreciate.
I have headaches. I've head 6-7 migraines since surgery. I'm assuming it's my hormones out of whack. I don't know why. I'll ask my PS about it next week. I've read other RS peeps have headaches too.
Tummy still swollen (no surprise), but I see waist definition now. It feels swollen out front, not on sides. My upper abs are still the most sore, occasionally retiring a muscle relaxer (usually in the middle of the night) if I overdo it. No pain anymore, just pings and pangs. Coughing still not pleasant, but I no longer have that dry throat constant cough from surgery. My TT scar is healing well, the center is the scabbiest. It doesn't bother me at all. My tummy sometimes feels tingly, like when your mouth wakes up from novacaine at the dentist; however, mostly it's numb from the BB and below.
My breasts have minimal swelling now. My right breast is still bruised though by the areola. My nipples are not constantly erect anymore either, thank goodness, although they are tender to the touch (including the seat belt). The biggest area of tenderness on both sides is the outside of the scar under my boobs (nearest my underarm). The scar is very thick there. Bras are uncomfortable because it puts pressure on the skin near that scar and my drainage hole scabs. So I'm enjoying compression camis whenever possible.
I still relax the most in my recliner. It's the best position and seems to help with swelling.
I still take Arnica. I think it helps and I take it consistently throughout the day.
I eat small meals like a toddler, but I am hungry! When I wake up in the middle of the night, I now occasionally require something for my screaming belly. I usually opt for 1/2 scoop protein powder mixed with water.
I still need naps sometimes. Even the energizer bunny needs a break. Two words: recliner and pillows. Haha
I am amazed by this transformative surgery. I know my body is not at its final result (thank you, swelling, haha) but I really cannot pinch-an-inch. I have no muffin top, nothing whatever. I know the PS TOLD me it was all extra skin before surgery, but honestly, I didn't believe him. I've grown so accustomed to "rolls" that when they are not there, it's mind-boggling! Even my boobs are a perfect size for me. I don't feel like I'm all chest now. I've probably gone down a size (from 34DD to D). I wonder how long it will take getting used to the new me. Life is good.
Happy healing my peeps. Hugs.
Battle of the Bulge
This morning my tummy was bulged out above my BB more than normal. It's my tender spot where the spasms still hit and has been bruised since surgery. I went to the gym and walked my slow mile. It bulged more. I called the nurse. She had me email a picture. Then she decided she wanted to see me. So, I do have fluid building in that spot, but not enough to stick a needle in yet (thank goodness). The solution is to be active but be very mindful and also try to wear a tighter CG that also does not cut across fluid build up, which could make it worse.
This has been an overly active week. Hubby is traveling, so I have to drive my son to (private) school and activities. I'll chill more during the day. Netflix anyone? haha
What a Spaz
So I relaxed over the weekend and tried to enjoy the recliner. Monday (yesterday) I was back to my normal schedule and the treadmill. I walked 1.25 miles at 2.7 mph. For the day, I had logged about 7000 steps. While I don't feel it at the time, the treadmill must be throwing me over the edge. I awoke again in the middle of the night to severe muscle spasms. I took a muscle relaxer & massaged by upper abs, but the spasms lasted a few hours, so by morning I had to take a pain killer! I read online that the spasms are a normal part of increased activity in conjunction with muscle repair, but ouch! Didn't see that coming. So today I slowed it down again and didn't do the extra walking. Will see what tonight brings. I seriously need sleep. My husband commented on the circles under my eyes this weekend.
I've also been paying more attention to the measuring the swelling. My waist has been approx 31" in the morning and 34" by bedtime. It seems to happen regardless of activity level or whether I wear a CG or just a compression cami (my preference). The swelling is significant by mid day. I pretty much have to wear pants with an stretch waist.
On a positive note, I visited my trainers at the gym today. They've been wonderful and checking on me regularly. I love their positive energy!!
Oh, I forgot, Patience!
I had my checkup with the PS today. The answer to every question boiled down to time and patience. Yeah, I knew that! (Slap on forehead)
The migraines are most likely due to my system being out of whack from anesthesia. PS pointed out that anesthesia alone can throw off your body for several weeks, let alone major surgery. Point taken.
Popped a stitch under right breast. Seriously, that must have happened within the last 24 hours, because I do check myself now with a hand mirror. Little bugger! If more pop, no Neosporin or other goo, just soap and water. PS is a big fan of time, nature, and basic cleanliness. Works for me. Just have to remember "patience".
PS noticed my skin is uber sensitive and said to continue to leave tape off of incisions. Fine by me! Tape helps them flatten faster, but time will take care of that too.
Swelling is normal. I look great. Muscle spasms are also normal, albeit painful. PS reminded me of the extensive muscle repair I had. On the days I walk on the treadmill, he suggested I take 400 mg of ibuprofen before bedtime to help ward of spasms. Will defintately try! He was happy I was walking and making the effort. Upward and forward!
Next appt is in 4 weeks (right before POW 8). I have permission to go back to the gym again at POW6, so we discussed how to "re-enter" as I am a bit gun-shy with the recent spasms. Basically the plan will be, with the help of my trainer, to start slowly and with minimal weights. Same rules, listen to my body, build up slowly, but at POW6 I cannot "hurt" myself and will be ready to try more. I just have to remember the exponential healing. I like having a plan. Will adjust as necessary.
Sometimes things are not as easy as they appear. Outwardly, healing seems transparent. Yet it is much more complex than simple incision. Lately, I've been experiencing highs and lows physically and therefore mentally. While trying to walk a little more or participate more in daily family activities, it comes at a price, often muscle spasms and now charlie horses in my feet. Yuck. I really am not that activite! This morning I awoke to a stinging pain deep in my right hip, at the end of my incision. The scar looks normal. I thought maybe a stitch was coming through or I slept on it funny (I can sleep on my side for a short time). I actually walk with a limp today. I was significant enough that I took 1/2 pain pill! Yet another reminder that this is a process. Internal healing is still continuing, and will for some time! While my bruises are starting to fade and the scabs are starting to go, I am not whole yet.
Sorry for the 'woe is me' attitude today. Honestly, I don't know how all you ladies that work do it and so quickly!
Mind, Body, & Soul
All is aligned again. I am thankful that my first tearful day was 4+ weeks into the healing process. While I had a little bit of pain and a mental downturn, it was temporary. Sunshine, rest, and friends got me through the speed bump. Thank you!
I am getting used to the swelling now. Think of how awesome I will look and feel when it is not part of my normal day. I'm at my max (3" increase in waist) by mid morning now because I walk early which starts the process. Even if I wear double CG, it's the same. I guess it's part of the process.
Good news is the painful bump in my wrist from my IV is finally disapating! The vein is still tender, but I was about ready to put my arm in a cast to protect it. Very happy.
I wake up with muscle spasms yet, but they aren't as severe. It's like my abs are trying to stretch out, so I catch myself trying not to let them in fear that this spontaneous movement will cramp or over extent. It's strange how it only happens at night when my body is totally at rest.
My skin is also looking healthier and less dry and sickly. It was so abused looking from the blisters and tape and not taking vitamins for a month.
I still wake up in the middle of the night. Although I can sleep on my sides for short periods of time (1-1.5 hrs), I cannot roll from my back to my side. I wake up and have to life my body to reposition. It may be psychological, it could also be that I use two thin pillows yet, not sure. No big deal, just a note.
Everything else is back to normal. Sitting in a regular chair gets me tired. After dinner, I'm ready to put on my PJs and sit in the recliner. It's still the most comfortable spot. Happy Healing!
Video & Pics POW6
13 Oct 2014
2 months post
Video of scar. Swollen and everything! POW6. Scab in the very center was caused by blister from tape the first week! It's taking its time! PS just recommends soap, water, and air. No tape or scar cream. Fine by me; incision is a bit tender yet. Scar rises in the center, but is super low. Note, my mole just above scar in the middle was next to my old belly button! Haha. Skin discoloration is leftover from bruising. I'm very fair-skinned. It looks worse than it is!
Behind Closed Doors
14 Oct 2014
2 months post
I'm still a spaz when it comes to sports bra shopping. I tried a racer back , but as usual, I think I am claustrophobic even with the ones with hooks. I end up twisted and half contorted getting it off. I can only image sweaty after a workout! I'd probably resort to cutting the darn thing off. Embarrassingly, I almost had to ask the staff for help. Good gravy!
So, no racer back, got one with hooks (moving comfort Fiona). I ended up a size 34D. Only went down one cup size. Perfect!
I think I dented a boob in the process though. Until I go back to the gym, I'm sticking with my slightly big, stretchy bras and compression camiis.
15 Oct 2014
2 months post
i couldn't hold back any longer... I tried running this morning. At first, my upper abs felt needy. I wasn't wearing my CG, as I was only planning to walk. Then my upper butt/lower flanks twinged. Picture me jogging and doing the macerena. Once I got going, I felt great!! I ran slower than before surgery and only 1.5 miles, so I wouldn't regret it tomorrow. Amazingly, I wasn't winded or anything, which is a miracle considering how much time I've logged in the recliner! Oddly, my left side appears more bruised now (where the lipo bruises were healing/that was also my blistered side). Huh, I guess I got the blood flowing.
Master of Disguise
16 Oct 2014
2 months post
I decided to do some shopping today. Besides my sports bra debacle the other day, it's the first time since surgery. Tomorrow is POW7. I fit into a size 6 jeans!! I'm surprised you all didn't hear the squeal from the fitting room. I tried them on for grins and giggles and just stood there in front of the mirror with my jaw to the floor! Zipped right up. No muffin top. Damn. If that's not motivation to keep me eating healthy, I don't know what is. I really helps when you don't have to squish extra rolls into your pants, haha.
I found a wireless girlie bra so I can wear some real clothes this weekend. We're going to visit boy wonder at college. I am so stinkin' excited! I see PS next week (POW8). On my list of questions is when I can start wearing underwire bras again. On RS, I see that varies. Any bra is still irritating all day though. I think it's a combination of my incision underneath my BL and my drain hole scars. When I'm home, I wear a compression cami. Having worn an underwire out of necessity for a gazillion years, I was surprised at how few options (comparatively) there are for wireless bras, especially in the D cup size.
I'm still holding off on a lot of clothes. I'd like to wait until the swelling subsides more. Also, it's not something I can do without my friends. I tend to lean towards comfort and baggier items. I need to find a new happy place.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
22 Oct 2014
2 months post
Friday is POW 8. I just had my PS follow-up appt today. I got a hug, a big smile, and the usual warm fuzzies because Dr. Beegle is a great doctor. He laughed good-naturedly at me when I expressed my usual concern regarding swelling, explaining my new/former exercise routine of weights and running and how my goal was now to acquire a six pack with the GIFT he had given me. Uh, long story short... I can expect swelling for 6 months with increased exercise. Yeah, my upper abs are up to 5" bigger this week due to returning to the gym. I'm not complaining though. It feels soooo good to be back. Only the normal aches from sitting in army arse for 8 weeks and having all my muscles atrophy, haha. I started running a bit last week, but this week, I'm full blown running. I'm at normal pace (7mph on treadmill) and distance 2-3 miles but haven't gotten back to sprints yet. I love Fall, so I think I want to work on endurance and distance for a few months. I love my new Moving Comfort Fiona bra so much I bought two more! So far, no neck, shoulder, and breast pain after running either!! That defines surgery success right there. As far as weights, I tried approx half my normal weights this week. It was a reasonable. I even attempted a few planks. I didn't like them as well, haha. PS said to ease back into ab exercises. My core took a beating with other weights.
All the scabs finally fell of my TT scar on Tuesday. PS said he didn't recommend over-the-counter scar treatments. I am now, however, supposed to tape my scar weekly. Just the TT. BL scars are as is and healing well too. I didn't ask why no tape on Breasts, but I'm glad because they are much more sensitive and the thought of changing tape weekly is not appealing what so ever.
I can wear underwire bras now, whatever is comfortable. I am still tender on the outermost area of my scar below my breast when I wear a bra. I am good for a few hours and then I wear a compression cami. I can still expect my nipples to rise a bit. My breasts seem heavy, for lack of a better description. They don't sag, but they seem to lie ever so slightly on my bottom incision. The PS said they will still change shape. This is so interesting. I love to look at RS pics of implants and BL and note the differences in the short and long term.
I need to stop weighing & measuring myself. The swelling is messing with my mind. I feel enormous. At least this week I've got my eating back on track (after two weekends of vacation).
These days, I am certainly feeling physically stronger. I just need to build rest days into my schedule as I am still healing. So for the next few months, it's my normal diet and exercise. I know when I blink, my body is going to be just what I wished for... Just a little more healing.
Slowly I Turned
27 Oct 2014
2 months post
I wore actual fitted clothes to the gym today and received a compliment from another woman. I felt like a fraud. Had she complimented my running or weight training, I would have smiled and said thank you. But no, I turn in to a joker. Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch....
Another thought, has anyone asked their PS how long they see them for post-op visits? 3 mo, 6 mo, 1 yr?
I'm itchy on my TT incision again. I just started wearing tape. I'm not sure if it's an allergy to the tape or just the swelling pulling on the tape. I change it Wednesday and will have a better idea. Hopefully it just means more healing!
So I decided to get a Brazilian wax. I've never had one. I'm not a hairy person, so grooming never been much of an issue. I was too scared before surgery and the PS said they'd shave what they needed while I was under. Sounded good to me. Well, it itched like hell growing back (they shaved A LOT), but I kind of liked it. So, I am woman, hear me roar. Literally, I am thinking leftover pain pill... Haha. Suggestions?
Not A Wimp, just Brazillian
28 Oct 2014
2 months post
I should have tried the whole waxing thing years ago... This is great! It did not hurt nearly as bad as I built it up in my mind (and all the horror stories I read on Facebook, haha). In fact, there were only maybe two "bandaid moments", other than that, nothing. Dang. Remember, I did get a recommendation from a friend on who to go to... That may have helped. I got a modified Sphinx Brazillian. I feel so knowledgeable, haha. Basically, bald EVERYWHERE, except for a sexy little trimmed strip. Waxers recommendation. I didn't want to look like a 12 year old. When she asked if I wanted my lips done, my eyes bugged out, and I said no, that sounded way to painful. She assured me it was not, so I went with it. She also did my bottom. I figured at that point, I was already lacking in all modesty. My skin felt tacky for a half an hour or so afterwards; I guess the wax does weird things to you. But now, my skin is as smooth as silk. Whoa. It's good to try new things!
No More High Rise
I've spent the last few days looking for new panty options. When you don't need a high rise to cover your tummy, options are endless! I still prefer to have my booty covered, so I now like hipsters and boyshorts. The colors of the pics aren't great. The first two pics are the same boyshorts in pink, the third is a hipster in white (also bought in black, but the lace didn't photograph well).
Worth It...In Spades
14 Nov 2014
3 months post
To be perfectly frank, my MM was Worth It x100. I am in constant awe of the transformation, physically and psychologically, this surgery has given me.
I admit, I am one of those mirror-loving nit-pickers now. When in reality, I look and feel pretty freaking awesome! I do have a few questions for my PS next week, but as of today (POW 11), WOW, just WOW! The major swelling has subsided. The muscle cramps are gone too, unless I try a planks, then I asked for it, haha. I'm only lifting about 75% of former weights at the gym; however, my muscles are reappearing and I'm down 3 lbs from pre-surgery weight (144). Best of all, I haven't had any lower back, neck and breast pain since surgery. Win-Win-Win.
Revise or Not to Revise BL
20 Nov 2014
3 months post
Went for PS follow-up yesterday. I'll be POW12 tomorrow. TT looks great. Don't need to wear tape anymore. Yeah! The swelling is hardly noticeable anymore. I don't wear compression garments either. The jury is still out on my BL. PS said breasts could still lift more over time. We'll see where they are at the 6 month mark. If not, I will have a revision in my future. The are not quite as perky as should be. It really is hard to complain, because they are 85-90% improved. I do, however, need to wear a bra for that extra lift. I would not pass the pencil test today. I have the utmost confidence in my PS, so I will be patient. I am healing beautifully and feel wonderful!
3 month Update
Last Friday was my 3 month anniversary of the new me. I forgot to update because I was too busy eating (Thanksgiving-family thing) and shopping online, haha. Surgery really seems to be a moment in the past. I haven't worn compression garments in a very long time. I'm 90% at the gym with my former weights, better than I was with my running, and, as of this week, starting an exercises again without a problem. My weight has maintained around 144, around 3 lbs less than surgery, but I have some muscle definition again and don't look & feel like the post surgery waif. My measurements are 38-31-39. Would have loved my waist to be a bit smaller, but my build isn't small to begin with... The sales people at my fav store laugh at me because I still prefer a size 8 skinny jean (and have them a little loose) to the size 6 which fits perfectly. I chalk it up to my age, haha.
I still feel like I have to hike up the girls a bit even after my BL. I'm being patient. Regardless, the MM was so worth it!! My self-esteem & confidence has improved. I am getting used to me, or the lack of me, haha. Even shopping is becoming fun. Lookout!!
Oh, I tend to still sleep on my back. I can lie on my side or even my stomach, but it more comfortable just staying on my back. Never thought that would happen.
22 Dec 2014
4 months post
POW 16 flew by on Friday. I actually have milestones marked on my calendar now, as they aren't readily noticeable anymore.
My main focus has been the gym and my nutrition. I'm still tryin to lose a few pounds while building muscle at the same time. Thanks to wmac, I think I've found a balance that works for me!
Holiday craziness is upon us. I'm thankful my family is home for a long vacation (even hubby off for 2 whole weeks). Even I was forced to slow down today with an unexpected root canal & sinus infection. So, back in pajamas, drugged up with ice on face. I've got lots of shows in the DVR, so all is well.
Just wanted to wish my RS fam a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! You all have helped and supported me through this journey by sharing your lives with me. I am grateful and humbled. Thank you for making me a wiser, better person along the way. Love & Hugs!
Numbness and Weight
On Dec 28, I passed my 4 mo post op mark. At some point during the month of December, the TT numbness disappeared. I never noticed. I added ab exercises again at the beginning of December. The first time I tried a plank, I dropped to my knees after only a few seconds and I broke out in a sweaty mess. Now, I can plank it out many ways like the good old days. I can do many other ab exercises, but plain old crunches hurt like heck. I avoid them. Obviously my body is not ready for them. Only in the last week Have I really noticed that the numbness was gone because I got a knot in the center of my TT scar that was very tender. The knot was not visible, but you could feel it. I've been massaging it & easing up on ab exercises. It seems to be getting smaller. Of course, it looks like I'm playing with myself all the time too, because my scar is so low, haha. I have my PS appt next week, so I'm not very concerned. I just never realized I transitioned from being completely numb to feeling everything! I'm used to my upper abs aching, but never any aches/pains near my scar. I'm curious what the knot is at this stage...
I've also finally met my weight goal! Thanks to a sinus infection & root canal at Christmas, I stayed away from all the goodies. I've lost 11 lbs since my surgery date and now weigh 136.6 (to be exact, haha). I'm 5'6". Thanks to RS sister wmac, I have a great nutritional plan that is working for me.
I'll take some pictures soon. Both TT and BL scars are healing well. My BB is too, however the lower part of my BB scar seems to get irritated from some jeans, depending on where they hit me. It might just be that it is winter and my skin is drier. I've been wearing tucked in T-shirts with jeans and that seems to prevent major rubbing.
I love my results and hope every is healing well. Hugs!
4.5 Month Photos
11 Jan 2015
5 months post
As promised, new pictures.
Measurements changed slightly
At night, my waist can still swell up one inch. No biggie.
Update: At 2 year post-op (Aug 2016), I had a BL Revision and a belt lipectomy.
My PS and I hemmed and hawed over a Breast lift revision since 3 months post op. It wasn't as significant surgery (approx 1 hr) where he'd raise the breasts more. They still seemed to sag too much and require and really good support bra. Also, I wasn't happy with the amount of roll I had under my arm. While I thought it was stubborn fat, my PS assured me it was extra skin. So the revision magically perfected my breasts and even got rid of the roll without any extra incisions.
The belt lipectomy was a last minute add on (as was my original Tummy Tuck). The TT healed beautifully and I looked awesome for about 270 degrees. It was staring straight at my flanks/love handles that was unsettling. While I had had some minor lipo there with the TT, looked lumpy from behind. The belt lipectomy simply fixed a few dog ears on the ends of my TT incisions and extended those incisions about 6-8". Again, the PS said he was getting rid of more skin than fat.
Update: 2 yrs and 3 mo
Revision healing went quickly. I felt perfect four days after surgery. Of course not having drains or any muscle cut into was a HUGE factor. I, however, obeyed my doc and ceased all exercised except walking for 4 weeks. It was originally told I'd have to wait 6 weeks before returning to the gym, but good behavior good me back in record time at only 4 weeks without any limitations .
I continue to eat clean, train, take fitness classes. I'm at an all time low weight of 134 lbs and my body. Fat has dropped too!