After working hard to improve my strength, lose...
After working hard to improve my strength, lose inches and clean up my eating habits post kids, I feel like I am finally ready to take the plunge. I have always been active, sports, gym, spin class, but always felt like, despite being strong and capable, that I was trapped in a fat suit! 2 years ago I started crossfitting as a way to improve my strength/mobility/physical appearance after my 5th sports related knee surgery. If I wanted to continue in my sport, I needed to get to work. Crossfit has been a LIFE SAVER. I have lost 30 inches and 25lbs, and am stronger than I have ever been. My views on the perfect body has really changed and I am much more focused on strength and ability than just being "thin". That being said, I have a horrifically saggy stomach and breasts thanks to losing a total of 60lbs (not counting two pregnancies of two huge babies) over the past 10 years. At my largest I was a size 16, 235# pre-pregnancy. I have terrible elasticity and have stretch marks from head to toe. I feel like my accomplishments in the gym are diminished by this belly that will not go away. So it's time! Hopefully I'll be heading in for a breast lift with fat grafting and a full tummy tuck at the beginning of 2016. I've scheduled 4 consults, but after seeing two surgeons, I feel like I have found what I was looking for. Great demeanor, beautiful results. I will likely cancel my other two consults.
Real Self has been amazing. I have learned so much from other people's testimonials.
Will keep everyone posted and will upload the dreaded before pics... when I work up enough nerve and get an actual date scheduled. :)
Ok, ya'll. It's official. I'm booked for February 4th, 9am. Once I get through the holidays I'll post some before pictures. Scared, excited, so many feels!!!
Before pics.... This was hard, but here it is.
Ya'll, I can't even. This was so hard. But I did it for other people like me. Pictures have helped so much in this process. So here they are, in all their glory.
Do all PS make you get a mammogram if you are having breast work done? Dr Kerr sent me for a "baseline" and of course they called me back for additional imaging (original tech told me this happens regularly - about 40% of patients and I shouldn't be alarmed). I have no history of breast cancer in my family and have never identified any lumps or bumps in self exams, so I'm not really worried (although I'd be lying if a call back didn't cause me to slightly raise an eyebrow). I'm more annoyed than anything that I have to go back and do more images. Just another thing to add to the list of things to do. Plus another mammogram, yuck. Grr.
Well, I had my first dream about having plastic surgery last night. I really don't dream much, but figured it might creep in.
In my dream I had to fly to Seattle to have the work done and when I was in the Seattle airport getting a coffee, a woman and her boyfriend asked if I was there for plastic surgery - they said they could tell by my "tummy rolls"!!!!!! Then the woman continued to tell me that she had lost 100lbs and didn't need one, and if I had "done it right" or "kept working on it", I wouldn't need it either. I tried not to flip my lid and told her everyone was different. I woke up pretty much after that.
I have had a similar conversation with family, but only with this undertone and MUCH nicer. I wasn't offended and took it as an opportunity to educate about skin that's lost it's elasticity, lol.
But still, weird how the mind works.
Crap I've already bought... cha-ching!
I'm obsessed with searching for things I "need" post surgery. It's getting ridic!!
Things I have bought already or are heading my way via amazon, lol -
Vitamin C (whole food type, not citric acid)
Some fancy pants multi vitamin
Menuka honey to eat
Menuka honey paste for late stage incision healing
Crap to make "golden paste" aka Tumeric paste (it's supposed to have great healing properties and reduce swelling/pain, you eat it/swallow it)
Collagen - great lakes gelatin green can (I always use this but ran out and needed more, but whatever)
Bras coming out the wazoo, and I'm STILL not even sure I have found the right size/one
tight, thin strapped tanks for under CG
Walker (borrowing from MIL)
Recliner (also borrowing from MIL)
Considering buying some Chlorophyll tablets because I heard it has great healing properties, and who isn't all for that, but idunno.
Next up! Food prep list to make the weekend before the big day so I have healthy (but easy on the stomach) shit to eat. Chicken soup, anyone?
I am usually a last minute kind of gal. Plans? who needs plans, let's just see what happens! That being said, I feel like some weird mother hen preparing to bring her chicks home. MUST DO ALL THE THINGS.
Oh, and I bought a robe/towel hook for the bathroom because we've only been living without it for a year, but I REALLY need one now, you know, because tummy tuck (?!?!).
Add more lipo?!
Soooo, I've been checking myself out in the mirror lately, analyzing myself in preparation for the upcoming TT and BL and I'm wondering if I should ask for a little bit of lipo on the outside of my thighs (the much adored "saddlebag" area). There's not a lot there, but will it be more pronounced after it's all said and done? Don't want that! Plus... what about the "bra fat"?! This is such a slippery slope....! Wonder what the additional $$ would be? I mean, just a few extra swipes with the magic lipo wand, surely couldn't be that much... What do ya'll think? Worth it?
T-3 days until Mommy makeover show time!
Today I went back to the PS to ask a couple more questions and make sure that my expectations and reality are one in the same.
Important question #1 - You will make SURE that I do NOT end up with a "fluffy" mons, RIGHT?! Even though it looks fine now, I don't want everything else to be nipped and tucked and suddenly... poof, the lady bits would now be classified as "fluffy". I made him promise not to leave me on the table like that, lol. He promised.
Question #2 - What about these baby saddlebags that are sprouting? Can we hit those while we're at it? Answer - Yes.
And it's now part of the plan
Question #3 - Anywhere else that is cost effective to do and would be a nice addition? Answer - the most cost effective items are things that do not require being flipped over during surgery (bra fat), but the sides and hips he can do and also the bra fat that sits just below the armpit on the sides. Okey, let's add that on the list, too.
Question #4 - Do you have a "hollywood" entrance? ie, a backdoor to use so that I don't have to scare the pants off potential patients as I walk in the front door for my 1st post op appt 24 hours later, looking like frankensteins bride? Answer - No.
Damn. Big sunglasses it is, then.
4 Feb 2016
Day of treatment
Heading to the surgery center... I think I'm ready!
Wish me luck! See you on the flat side!!
This ain't no joke.
4 Feb 2016
Day of treatment
Holy shit, this is no joke. This muscle repair is brutal. Apparently I had a 3 inch gap. If anyone ever tells me that I took "the easy way" to get my body back I will punch them in the neck.
That being said, I made it! I literally feel like I've been hit by a mack truck, but I made it! Night ladies!
Made it to the flat side, ouchies everywhere!
I did it, and I'm alive, lol. The first two days were bananas. I was not prepared for the pain. And I'm super swollen. Today has been better, moving is a little easier and I really have to make sure I keep on top of the pain meds.
He added 200 cc of fat to each breast, and he said he worked on them a long time to get them perfect. I have peaked at the tt scar but not enough to get a picture, but it is so low! Happy about that. I'll try and take a picture of the girls and post them. Thanks for the support ladies!
First post op pic.
Here's a pic of the girls, and my last prop pic, that Dr Kerr took for me.
Full body post op pics
my apologies for not checking in more often, these meds make me super dopey and I'm just going with it. I have been walking around the house and I do a lot of heal/toe pumps/heal slides to keep blood flowing. Plus my hubs as been really awesome about massaging my legs and the lipo areas that Doc said we needed to start massaging. Man! Those areas are SO tender. I a thumbs up to shower, but haven't worked up the nerve yet. Maybe tonight. Here are some full body pics, I am SO swollen :( I know it's all normal and I'm not sweating it, but still, yikes!
Also, I would SO love to have a BM, my stomach is starting to get cranky and I've been taking MOM and colace and some smooth move tea yesterday, moved to coffee today. I missed coffee, tasted so good, lol. What did ya'll eat post op? I have ZERO appetite and I know thats not helping the BM situation.
Turned a corner?!
Just a quick update - I tossed the narcotics yesterday morning. My hubs thought I was crazy but I just can't deal with them. Relying on 800mg of advil and am feeling GOOD! I'm naturally starting to stand up straighter and I puttered around the house trying to get some walking in today. Soooo bored. And the icing on the cake... a small BM this evening, woohoo! I've been scared to have a shower even though I've been given the a-ok. I'll probably do it tonight, since I can't stand my hair much longer. Still pretty swollen, but drains have decreased a lot and at the rate they are going it looks like I'll be able to get one out on Wednesday. Feels good to make some progress! Hope everyone else is doing great!
One drain out, one to go!
Got my left drain out today (6 days post op, yippeeeee)), hoping righty will cooperate and I can have it removed Friday. We'll see. I also have the thumbs up to get rid of the lipo foam under my cg after tomorrow. This is also awesome news.
Tomorrow will be one week post op. I'll post new pics tomorrow. I still have a ton of swelling but I'm trying to be patient. Though patience is far from my strong suit! Also standing pretty much like a normal human being. My next goal is to sleep in my own bed. I want out of this recliner! Desperately! Happy Hump Day!
1 week post op pics and update
Today officially marks my 1 week surgery anniversary! It really has gone by so fast.
I was determined to sleep in my own bed last night... and I did. It was terrible. I think it's because we have a tempurpedic. I got in bed, I sunk in and was stuck the entire night, unable to move. No bueno. Back to the recliner tonight. I think part of my struggle is that I'm a side sleeper, so yeah.
I'm up and moving really well! No back pain! Not hunched over, taking a couple advil a day, no pain. This is good!
One of my drains was taken out yesterday, yay!
This morning after being pulled out of the pit that was my bed, I felt like my belly was softer... squishier... I'm worried that I have a seroma in the works. I don't remember my belly feeling soft like that above my incision. I'm trying not to panic and I've read up on it, but it's still kinda freaking me out. I'm going to call the docs office in the am.
Swelling. I still have lots of it. :(
The areas I had lipo'ed were SO tender today, it seems almost more tender than yesterday. What's up with that?
I'm trying really hard to be patient, I know this is a long journey but.. it's hard. I felt sulky and sad tonight thinking about the prospects of a seroma. Pity party for one, please.
Anyway... let's end on a high note. My BOOBS!!! They are beat up and black and blue, but they are high, full and perky and no implant! I have absolutely NOTHING against implants, I just knew they weren't for me and I was satisfied with my expected results from just a lift, but man! My doctor really went above and beyond with the lift, and the fat grafting for upper pole fullness was just the icing on the cake. I'm thrilled! :)
9 days p op...
Trying to see the end result and encourage my impatient ass to be more patient and trust in the process! So today I tried on a pair of undies that were down right embarrassing pre op. I'm pretty happy! Also this is the first time I've worn underwear in 9 days, lol!
2nd drain and BB stitches are out!
Happy day! My last (2nd) drain was removed and my belly button stitches came out today. The drain removal has never hurt for me, but this one was LONG. I felt it moving on the far opposite hip of where it was exiting. Creepy. I swear that thing was a foot long across my belly. I still have a lot of glue holding everything together, including my belly button, PS says it will start to come off in the next week or so. Once the glue is off I can start scar therapy. Yahoo! Will post a bb pick later!
So while I was at target today, I decided to browse the bra section and found this! On sale, stretchy yet supportive and still gave some shape. I bought two. Highly recommend. :)
2 weeks post op update
Not much to say... Everything is healing nicely and I'm super happy with my results so far. I'm up running around for the most part, though I do make a point to put my feet up and take a break during the day. For me, I'm not "over-doing it".
I originally started this journey looking for a TT and only added a breast lift/fat transfer as sort of an "after thought". I figured since I was in there anyway and they were pretty saggy, mind as well, right? Well, the girls have really been a pleasant surprise! I'm so happy with how they are looking and I can't believe I considered just living with the old ones. I would actually go braless with these beauties, lol!
As for the TT, it's a little hard to see, since I still have glue covering all the incisions and there is old blood trapped under there, so I have no real idea what it looks like. I have one tiny spot where the glue has come off and I THINK it's going to look pretty good.
I still have a lot of swelling, particularly under my arms on the sides of my breasts (lipo) and hard, numb spots on my hips and along the incision of my TT. I'm working on massaging them out. I'm under the impression that eventually that will all dissipate.
For reference, since pictures can be difficult to judge - my bust is currently 42", natural waist is 34", waist at belly button is 38" and hips are 41". Sitting at a nice, dense 178lbs, haha.
All the measurements are smaller than my pre op measurements (marginally at this point, but I'm only two weeks post op soo...), except my bust! it's 1.5" bigger, I'm going to assume swelling, but if it stays like this, I won't be sorry. :)
These darn pants that I feel like I will NEVER get out of are Champion brand work out compression pants (or whatever) from Target, size med. I can comfortably fit my CG/binder under them. If it wasn't for the binder, I think I would try and size down for a little better fit, but I think I may be between sizes.
That's it for now... Have a great day everyone!
Week 3 post op update!
Good morning, Real Selfers!
Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since my rx and overall, I'm doing great!
I'm still dealing with swelling and I have one TINY area at the very center of my TT incision that was a little slower to heal than the rest of it (very common). I've been putting Silvadene on it daily and it's almost completely gone.
Glue started sloughing off the past couple of days and it was driving me crazy, so I helped it a long some. Wow! Breast scars look like they will turn out great. Super happy with that. My TT scar is exactly what I expected, considering the amount of very large and wide stretch marks I had. Hopefully after scar therapy treatment it will minimize as well.
My bellybutton is perfectly centered, but not perfectly round, and that's ok! I had scarring and a big stretch mark go INSIDE my belly button, and I think that is what is causing the irregular shape. Zero f**ks are given, lol!
Most of my bruising is gone, though I still have a little under the bust along my incision line.
I have EIGHT spitting stitches!! I can feel the little tiny ends of the monofilament poking through and even see it in some cases.
I walked out into the living room last night wearing what you see in the pictures and asked the hubs if I went to the pool in something like this, would it attract attention? I'm not interested in wowing anyone, but I'm not looking for negative attention either! He said I don't look like a 16 year old girl in a bikini, that I look like a mom with a great body, totally acceptable. I'll take it!
At some point I want to take a picture of my back to see if it looks any different from preop, but I need extra arms to help with that.
All in all, things are so good! My little panic about a seroma a week or so ago was unfounded (yay).
I'm trying SO hard not to eat crap food, but not doing a very good job at it. I'm used to burning 600 cals (ish) 5 days a week, and I'm terrified that all this sitting around is going to let the weight creep up. We won't even talk about my muscle mass disappearing before my very eyes. Oh well, new goal to work on when I finally get the green light.
I have my first real "look nice and go out" event this weekend. I've been struggling to find something to wear that hides my binder, but still shows off my shape. I think I'm going to go with a very comfortable pair of stretch jeans and a nice black top. I usually wear it untucked because... well you know, gut. But now that that's gone, I'm going to go shopping for a BELT! I haven't worn a belt since I was 16! I plan to try and tuck in just the front of the shirt with a cute belt to see how it looks. We'll see.
Carpe Diem, people!
More 3 week pics
Somehow I missed some pictures in the last post!
4 weeks post op!!
4 week anniversary today and my TT is well on it's way! I'm still swollen some at the end of the day, but oddly enough mostly on my upper abs, near my diaphragm and just a little bit near my incision. Scar therapy is going well and it feels very flat. I'm currently using massage 2x day with vitamin C serum and then covering for 12-16 hours with silicone tape and then left natural overnight. No more muscle pain, just a slight burn that lasts a few seconds when I sneeze. I feel like I can finally "cat stretch" in the morning and it feels pretty good!
Lipo areas are still tender (damn you, lipo!) making it uncomfortable to lay on my side. It's getting better though.
Ok, lets talk boobs. They are looking pretty good! I'm overall very happy with them and swelling has gone down a lot and they seem to be setting into their permanent position. That being said, I've noticed one is a little fuller than the other (my left). The irony is, this was my SMALL breast pre-surgery. There could be different reasons for this - 1. some of the fat transfer in righty didn't survive and so theres a little less volume than lefty 2. lefty is still more swollen than righty thanks to the wound I have at my T incision.
Speaking of... let's talk about that. This wound is unnerving! It got bigger before it started to get better and on Mar 1 it was freaking me out. I was using silvadene on it as per my doc and I wasn't seeing any change. I had done a ton of research pre-surgery and had prepared for something like this by buying Menuka honey from New Zealand to use for wound care. So I took it upon myself to try it instead of the prescribed ointment. It's been 3 days and it's TOTALLY working! I could not praise this stuff enough. For surface wounds/open but not extremely deep incision wounds, this stuff is the bomb digity.
Don't get me wrong, I think it still looks nasty, but I can actually see the edges growing in and it now has that white collagen base that skin needs to grow on. So, while not the best thing to be happening to my poor boob, I feel much better about it all after seeing the healing progress that has happened the last 2 days. I also have MORE spitting stitches, one of which is on the edge of my right areola, causing it to darken some, I see the Doc tomorrow and will ask him to remove all those little buggers.
One day I'll get a picture of the back of my body. But in the mean time here are my updated pics of my scar and all the rest.
Have a great day, everyone!
Scar therapy items and Menuka Honey
Oops, forgot to upload pics of items I'm using for scar therapy.
Silicone tape and Vitamin C serum
Two types of menuka honey - one was advertised as "medical grade" and was in a small tube. There is NO difference between this tube and the small jar I bought to sweeten my tea with (and to heal from the inside out), except that it's more expensive per ounce and it was granulated/gravelly feeling. I use the jar of honey and i scoop it out with a qtip and apply it to the wound, cover it with some gauze and go on with my day. It actually stays on the wound better than the tube type.
Spitting stitches (!!!) and wound update
Just a quick note to show what I've been dealing with for the past couple of weeks. These dang spitting stitches just won't quit! My PS has taken out 12 (ish??) and I've taken out a few on my own, including these ones this morning. I have 4 spots that look a little inflamed and I've been treating them with ointment and covering them. When I clean them I apply a little pressure to see if they are infected (if fluid comes out, what color is it etc) and when I did that this morning these suckers popped out! The other pic is of the wound under my left breast at the T junction. It's getting better! It's smaller and not nearly as deep. Wish it would hurry up and be healed already!
I'll be 5 weeks post op on Thursday.
You know you have spitting stitches when....
Good morning, Real Selfers!
So you know you have spitting stitches when your pictures look like THIS! Little bits of gauze all over your body with a little blob of silvadene covering a tiny hole that is just big enough to mess with your healing! I'll add more pictures sans gauze when I triage after my shower. I managed to get a few more offending pieces out last night and dare I say, I think we might be moving past this stage!
5 weeks post op TODAY! Not much change for me, I don't think. Other than shrinking a bit more -
waist is now 32.5"
across belly button is 37.5
and hips are 41.5.
bust is still sitting at 41"
All my pics are taken in the AM, since I feel like this is the most accurate picture of what final results will be. I do swell by the afternoon a bit - I can only tell because I use my measurements as a barometer and by bed time my belly button and waist have an extra inch sometimes two. It's always gone by the AM though.
Wound - getting better and smaller! I tried to take a picture, but it's hard to get the camera to focus, hold my boob up, click the camera button and angle it so I can see what the heck I'm doing through the mirror. I'm still faithfully using the manuka honey on it and it's doing well. The anxiety I had over this thing is finally subsiding and I feel confident that it's all gonna be ok. Phew.
Tummy tuck scar is laying pretty flat! Actually all my scars are pretty flat. I do have some hyperpigmentation, but I knew that would happen before my surgery as evidenced from the past. They will fade... eventually.
I had to stop scar treatment until all the spitting stitches are gone and the tiny open spots close. I could put silicon strips to the areas that I know for sure don't have spitting stitches, but honestly, it already takes me 45 minutes in the morning and at night to deal with all the bits I'm already dealing with, I'm not interested in adding more time to that regimen.
I'm walking, eating, drinking, like a normal person. My binder is slowly starting to fall apart, so I'm hoping that my memory is correct in that I get to ditch it at week 6. When I'm home I'll take it off for periods of time (an hour here, an hour there) to try and get used to not wearing it when the time finally comes. I feel pretty ok without it as far as support goes. The weird part for me is how clothing feels touching my stomach, particularly waistbands of pants etc. I think that's something I'm just going to have to get used to though. The numbness is not going to go away for awhile and I have a friend who is 5 years post op and she still has a spot that is numb under her belly button. At the very least, this strange feeling will be the new normal at least for the next several months, anyway.
Spitting stitches and healing wounds(pics)
Fun times! The smaller spitting stitch is finally out and healing, the bigger more angry looking one still has a knot under there and it just doesn't want to come out. I'll need a little more patience with that one. My wound is looking much better and slowly filling in. Can't wait for all the healing to be done so I can finally, truly enjoy these awesome boobs, lol.
Wound progress and other updates!
Hi everyone! Getting close to my 6 week anniversary on Thursday, but I saw my PS on Monday to check over my plethora of spitting stitches (no news over here, still have a handful, still causing irritation, still no big deal, but still annoying) and he said I can finally ditch my binder this week, woohoo! He also said I could ride my bike (leisurely around the 'hood) with my kids and start very light exercise... air squats here I come!! He said to be protective of my TT incision because of the stitch situation - it causes somewhat of a weak spot and I don't want any tears etc. I desperately need to work out! I eat out of boredom and sitting around doing nothing is not serving my waistline well!!
Anyway, check out this wound!! It's looking awesome. Its super shallow and it's less than half the size it started out as and I'm pretty convinced that it will basically be closed up by next week. Overall, a good week! Happy!
6 week update
No new changes, I'm posting pictures, but they really look just like last weeks! I'm almost a week behind, because after I took the pics, I got lazy and didn't upload them on time. Anyway, these pics are from 3/16. I'm living most of the day binder free, but still put it on at night. My sides are still sore from lipo and it feels good to have the compression. I'm a couple inches bigger all the way around at the end of the day, thanks to swelling, but it's not uncomfortable, per se, just annoying. My muscle repair feels almost completely normal now and I am dying to get back to normal workout activities. I feel like I could easily run and I would LOVE to get back to playing soccer.
Still spitting stitches, and every day or so I manage to pull a couple more small bits out.
My wound is healing really well and almost totally gone. Happy about that. I'll be glad when I don't have bits of gauze everywhere!
I have a few places spitting stitches on my TT incision, two of which are slow to heal and if I press around them, drain a little bit of pus looking fluid. I'm not sure if they are slightly infected from the stitch or if that's partially dissolved stitch material - probably a mixture of both. I keep an eye on them, clean them, push and squeeze on them to make sure there is nothing in there put some silvadene on them and forget them. I actually think some of these spots are pubic hairs (I know, gross) trapped in the incision, because my incision is so low. I will definitely be heading in to my laser lady once my PS gives me the thumbs up for laser hair removal. I wonder if laser would lighten/soften my scar as a side bonus to the hair removal. We'll see.
Anyway, that's it! Oh, I finally tightened up my diet and am eating like my regular self (paleo), food logging for some accountability and have started walking an hour every day, plus doing some quick rounds of squats, and some other leg exercises, plus some upper body/arm workouts with some 10lb weights I had laying around. They're pretty light, but better than nothing and I don't want to push it. I have my eye on heading back to (modified) crossfit a couple weeks after Easter - 8-10 week mark.
Hope everyone is healing nicely and just trucking along. Still loving my results and look forward to using them as a spring board to see what I can do with my physique in the coming months!
Oh yeah, and I clearly need to get rid of these granny panties, now that everything is flat in front, I don't need these high waisted things to hold everything in and up. Shopping soon! :D
Back to crossfit!!
Finally went back to class this AM! 8.5 weeks post op. SO tired of sitting around. It went GREAT!! Time to get this body back into shape.
I did modify a little bit - lighter weights (15# instead of 25's for dumb bells during the warm up and lightened a lot for barbell cleans - 55# instead of 100ish and did push ups from my knees instead of my toes because I could feel it in my abs less).
The workout was:
400m run + some warm up dumbbell work
2x12 every 45 seconds 55# bar bell power cleans
5 rounds 4 time (complete in 12 minutes) of the following:
10 push ups
10 push press @ 35#
10 weighted back squats @ 35#
Finish with a 400m run
I finished all the rounds but didn't get to the last run. Don't care, I survived didn't have to modify the weight and it felt GOOD!
So very glad to be getting back to the gym. It's been too long!