I tried posting this entry a week...
29 Nov 2016
Day of treatment
I tried posting this entry a week ago but had some issues doing so - so here's a copy and paste from my latest update on my LBL review / chronicle:
I'm one week away from my full scar revision and contouring liposuction to enhance the results of initial surgery and I'm REALLY looking forward to it.
I was able to take the month of December off, am having Thanksgiving with the family and then my procedure next Tuesday.
I've been taking Arnica for the past week and doing all I can to keep my immune system in tip top shape ... Zycam ... Hydraying like mad. Doing cardio ... I already take Bromelaine regularly, so no change in that regard.
As a reminder, I'm having my entire LBL scar revised. I'm happy. The scar is quite wide on the side (because of a spit suture) and on the back. I believe this is partly because I started working out too soon after my surgery, and because I went at it too hard too quickly.
I'm 50% certain that PS is going to use longer lasting sutures this time despite the fact that if, God forbid, there were any issues they would take longer to dissolve and potentially be problematic.
He's also liposuctioning my flanks, outer thighs, evening out my chest, and also redoing my areola scars.
Evening Before and Day Of! My journey continues.
My evening before felt quite familiar - I used a dilatory cream for sensitive skin (as directed) and made sure I was absolutely hairless from neck to knees. I had to show up at the surgery center at 6:30am and went to bed at 9pm in order to get my beauty rest! I slept relatively well on an empty stomach (I only had protein shakes the 24 hours before and nothing after 6:30pm) and woke up on my own around 4:15am with a pretty major dehydration headache.
My fiancé and I showed up to the clinic a couple minutes early and were very kindly greeted by the nurses there - one of whom was my night nurse last year. I. Adore. Her. She remembered me and all of what we chatted about into the wee hours of the morning! She's my guardian angle.
I followed the same drill as last time - out of my clothes and into a small paper underwear, no-slip footies, a paper gown and then a cloth gown. I was then asked to disinfect my body from neck to knees using gauze soaked in rubbing alcohol. Easy, especially with my fiancé there to monitor that I wasn't missing any spots.
Dr. Darrow - never late, always ready to answer questions, so encouraging, and so knowledgeable - came to make his markings. He works with a steady, efficient, and meticulous hand and I felt my anxiety melting away. I had a couple last minute questions - most importantly was whether he was planning on using a long last suture to help keep the scar from widening -he was and described how the suturing was going to be slightly different this time. Praise.
I had a little chat with the anesthesiologist, kissed my fiancé a "till later" and walked to the OR with the lovely OR nurse from my LBL. I lied down on my back on the table, was given a saline drip, asked a few questions about my fiancé, cracked a Harry Potter joke about how I was ready for my Obliviate charm and lo and behold - like magic - I was waking up very groggily in recovery.
I didn't feel much pain, honestly and was mostly surprised that I didn't have a compression garment on my thighs (they are numb but no bruising - he did do them!) I vaguely remember my fiancé coming in and giving me a kiss, FaceTiming my mother (twice, because I forgot that I called her the first time ????), and then dozing off and on for the next hour or so while my SO was getting discharge info and then grabbing the car. New nurse helped me into a fresh pair of plainclothes I brought - my comfiest big sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt - gave my a nausea patch behind my ear that a good friend recommend I ask for (praise!) and then made my way to the car.
I was honestly really worried about the car ride again, however, just like last time, it was a piece of cake. I was worried about being able to leave the same day - piece of cake compare to the LBL (lower body lift if you're confused at this point). The roads were still clear at this point - yipee - and we made it home without issue and straight to bed. I had prepared my set-up before leaving (same setup as last year) and was only too happy to lie down and update my concerned friends and family.
I've been keeping on top of pain medication - I'm taking 1.5 Oxycodone every 3.5 hours for pain which is what I did last time around and it's going the trick without completely knocking me out every time. I wrote out a pill schedule that I have on my phone and that I'm going to be following religiously for the next week. No need to be in pain in 2016. I took two BM stimulants before (LMB-2) recommended by a good friend I met on here and already feel myself preparing for that (what might not be so) dreaded first BM.
I want to add that I'm a fitness nut and am planning on no longer lifting heavy weights or doing anything that might compromise my scar for, at least, the first three to four months. At least. I bought some slow release Amino Acids from GNC that will help prevent my muscles from being catabolized, in addition to making sure I get 20-25gm of protein per hour (I weigh 210 pounds), in addition to taking Glutamine and a slow-release vitamin with fish oil.
I'm also taking Arnica, Bromelian, and Tumeric for swelling for bruising.
Woke up at 2:15am to take my Percocet, in pain. My mid-back was really starting to hurt and now I feel my hips stinging where my scar was revised ... Pain is beauty. Pain is beauty. I'm trying to keep myself calm and remind myself how happy I'm going to be once the swelling has gone done!
Instead of 1.5 Percocet I took 2 this time around - it's been 45 minutes since I took them and they're making me sleepy but don't doing much for the pain. Perhaps I'm finally feeling the effects of the lidocaine wearing off from the lipo. I really don't know. I do feel that my ribs are sore from the compression binder. My throat is also sore and has gotten progressively sore since I came-to ... I was totally fine when I first woke up but just read that Scop patches can cause Pharyngitis ... So I took mine off. I past the post-anesthesia nausea at this point.
In any case, I'm walking around with much more ease than I did after my LBL. It took me 4 or so days to get to where I currently am after it, so small victory.
Here's to staying positive!
Icing really helped after my LBL and I was told from the nurses that it would be okay this time around, but I've heard conflicting word from RS surgeons about icing and blood constriction. I'm smart enough that I wouldn't place ice directly to and burn skin, but ... whatever ... I'm okay. My BACK however is starting to ache from lying down and it's not even day 2. Something's gotta change.
24 Hour Mark
I'm at about 24 hours from making my way home from the center. I'm sore, but it's all okay up until this point. I've said it before, but the main really does seem familiar after doing my LBL just a year ago.
I just switched to one Percocet from two and have been focused on hydrating and getting up and moving around as much as possible. My PS didn't use compression garments on my saddlebags, so I'm currently wearing thermals / leggings to help with a little support - no major compression - but then again - it was a very small amount of fat removed.
My nipples hurt a little as does my lower back - but at this point I'm staying on top of my pain meds and adjusting my position in bed to keep my back from feeling sore. I actually switched beds in my house - lucky that I'm at my parents' house and have that option - switching from a pillow top mattress so one that is firmer has definitely made a difference in my muscular soreness. To each his / her own!
First shower - Day 2
Just took my first shower - woohoo!!! The back and flanks look awesome and the scar is just as it was last time on day 2. It's now a battle to keep it as thin as possible by not stretching / putting tension on it. I've been drinking a lot of water and getting up to walk every couple hours just seems great, but I worry about getting up and down so often. ???? I keep repeating the mantra Darrow said last time "it would take a truly Herculean feat to bust open your sutures."
Very little bruising in the back ... contouring looks good. Very little spotting of blood. A couple red patches on my hip bones where there no padding - so I might try to get some foam / maxi pads to place there.
Lowering my dose to one Percocet is definitely a tangible reduction - my next dose is in 30 minutes and I may opt for 1.5 pills ... Definitely 2 at bed time.
My fiancé is sick and sniffling and I'm worried about getting sick. We've both been taking Zicam round the clock ...
Well, I did what I said I wouldn't and weighed myself for reference ... Going in I was 210, back home afterwards I was 217 ... Day three in the AM I'm 213, which makes me think I'm doing a good job at keeping my swelling down - however - I do feel that between this morning and now (evening) I've ballooned up a bit. I feel pretty darn swollen (which I read is normal between days 3 and 5).
I had to add a binder across my upper chest because swelling was spilling above my abdominal binder and making my back (specially my lats) hard and puffy.
I've been varying my lying positions which has helped with muscular back pain. I do feel tension on my LBL incision which obviously worries me ... Alas.
I just had my first BM. It was eventful and quite awful but it's over with. I'll have to check and make sure I didn't bust open my back on the toilet seat. UGHHHHH. ????????
I think I've made it across the hurdle - day 3.
Last night was pretty rough ... I still worry about putting too much pressure on my back stitches - but again ... that mantra "it would take a truly Herculean feat to bust open ..." I couldn't find a comfortable position for a lot of the night. One to 1.5 Percocet was barely doing the trick. However I've woken-up feeling like I'm passed the worst of it.
My results already look great. My scar is nice and thin and straight - not segmented than before - and the lipo looks so good. I don't look puffy above and below the scar anymore. This was the point of it all!
I've been taking Bromelain, Turmeric and Arnica round the clock (in addition to my Performix slow release multvitamin), drinking a LOT of water (with my Vega Hydrator in it), in addition to taking two to three LBS-2 (lower bowel stimulator) throughout the day to help stay regular. I've been keeping my protein levels high, eating plenty of healthy fats - avocados, almonds, salmon - and watching a lot of TV / reading.
Day 5! Past the hump!
Today was my first day on my own (my mother went back to work) and my SO is out of town for the next week. I was quite worried about being able to get out of bed on my own to go to the restroom, etc. ... Well!
Not only did I go to the restroom twice last night on my own without any help to get out of bed (keep in mind I had a full LBL scar excision / revision in addition to contouring lipo) BUT I've been able to transition off of Percocet to Tylenol 8hr Arthritis Pain (stronger than extra strength at the suggestion of the pharmacist).
I've been keeping my protein levels up, keeping hydrated, watching tons of TV, reading, walking around the house ... I've purchased a couple things on Amazon these past couple days and thought I'd share.
I ordered Lipo Foam - the same kind of foam they place under your binder after the procedure - and added one piece to my back to help distribute compression a little more. They are $30 for a 3 pack - so I'm personally not planning on switching them out regularly.
I also ordered some Arnica Gel that I applied after my shower last night and a larger size of the compression tank suit I ordered from UnderWorks because the size Mediums I currently have might be a little too tight for right now.
I'm starting to see some redness turn into slight yellowish bruising on my body, so I'm keeping up with the Arnica and think it's working. I'm quite happy with what I see so far, even with the swelling the procedure is proving to really be worth it!
The most important thing for me now is scar management ... the lipo really was secondary to my scar revision despite it drastically improving the results of my LBL. I've been in touch with Embrace and plan on using it as soon as my scar is ready for it. I didn't have a great experience with Embrace last time but don't want to scare anybody away quite yet. There are a couple of things in applying the product that I learned (by trial and error and numerous calls to customer service last year) that I think I can apply to this round that will make the product work in my favor ... We'll see! In the meantime, I'll remind myself that my PS used longer lasting sutures to close the incision, that there's less tension on the area because it's more superficial, and that wearing my binder round the clock also greatly helps reduce tension on the scar.
Otherwise! I'm still taking it very easily but feeling exponentially better! Day 3 was the toughest but it is already is starting to seem like a distant memory.
One week and a day
Follow-up appointment is tomorrow.
I no longer feel like I'm about to rip my body in half from my LBL scar revision. Yay! ????
The discomfort I now feel is clearly the liposuctioned lower back area. I've been getting zaps (one or two a day) and they're quite electric. Sleeping hasn't been great - I took ZzzQuil last night around midnight and made it through to 5am before picking up my Kindle for an hour or so and falling back to sleep.
I've entirely been off Percocet for 24 hours. I had to cave in and take a 1/2 tab before then, but that was it. Great news.
My diet has been quite good still. Lots of protein - generally an ISO 100 Protein Powder shake with 1/2 an avocado, a banana, and Glutamine for breakfast ... A Costco brand protein bar or two throughout the day as snacks ... A scoop of my Performix 8-hour release Amino Acids ... and generally a spinach salad for lunch with 1/2 an apple, lean protein, slivered almonds and balsamic + good EVOO.
I've also brushed the cobwebs off an amazing Paleo friendly (I think) recipe for low carb savory pita substitute ... Almost a cross between a pancake and pita bread. 1:1 Ground Garbanzo beans to water. Add salt, stevia and coriander. Cook in a pan with a healthy fat as you would a pancake. I've been eating mine with a mixture of Za'atar (a Middle Eastern mixture of thyme and sesame seeds) and EVOO. Protein, very little carbs, and plenty of good fats.
I've been weighing myself and now weigh 213lbs. I weighed 211 on the morning of surgery and 216 when I got home that evening. I've been eating to heal but also making sure I don't put on any weight given that I haven't been to the gym in 9 days.
My scars are looking good. My mind is constantly racing about doing all I can to keep my scars from widening. This is take two. I really don't want to do a take three. I'm not planning on workout out for at least two months and have no been considering working with a trainer (I have a couple friends) to come up with a routine that won't involve any stretching of my trunk. I tried to come up with such a routine last year on my own and did so - and it was pretty good - but I need someone to keep me from pushing myself too hard and potentially widening my scar before it's matured. So! Going to keep taking my Amino Acids and feeding my body with protein so that it doesn't begin to catabolize my muscle mass.
I'm attaching some photos taken two days ago. My back and flanks are pretty swollen from the lipo, so ... I don't even really know what there is to see in them ... the scar looks great ... better than round one by far (may not look like it in the photos).
Wishing all of you out there my best who have your procedures coming up / are recovering.
Hear me: it's been a week and a day for me ... I barely remember the pain and discomfort of the first week. It gets better and better and the pain will pass and what remains is exactly what you wanted ... an aesthetically better version of you!
I will update you after my follow up tomorrow.
11 days post
I'm feeling pretty good and need to remind myself to slow down and take things easy.
I've been feeling this way for three days now.
I had my checkup on day 9 - everything looks great and normal - normal swelling and some bruising and no fluid to remove. My PS said I should start using Embrace. I'm going to start on Tuesday (the official two week mark, and also when my fiancé gets into town). I then went to Costco with my mother, walked around for an hour before feeling really pooped, then came home, slept for three hours, and then went to the mall for an hour with my mother to pick up an item she had ordered. Came home, took two ZzzQuil and slept until morning. Very happy. I've been taking my Tylenol Arthritis once every 8 hours and feel pretty good. I'm careful getting in and out of bed because of my LBL revision but would probably feel pretty normal if it were just liposuction.
I stayed at home most of the day on day 10 but did a lot at home and starting to move with ease and normalcy.
Today is day 11 - I have plans to go to the mall with my mother in an hour and feel pretty normal. I'm eating healthily - keeping my protein levels up and not eating simple carbs. I'm focused on keeping tension off of my scar until the Embrace is on, at which point I'll definitely feel a lot more comfortable and less like I'm going to rip myself open at any given point.
The scar looks great - there is some scanning which worries me because the Embrace website and directions specifically say to not apply if there are scabs ... but a number of PSs in the Q&A have said ideal application time is anywhere between 1 week and 4 weeks (most saying 2 weeks). I emailed Embrace and they said glue on the site isn't an issue, and my PS said the glue shouldn't be an issue ... So ... maybe one more email or call to Embrace and then application on Tuesday.
The issue with scabs would be removal ... I wouldn't want to rip off scabs and then have them bleed / seep into an occluded bandage and cause tissue decay. I'd rather get the Embrace on sooner than later ... I tried using it last year but had a horrible first application because of a lack of direction for the back from Embrace. They worked hard with me to figure it out, but that first application messed it all up. I now have a system I'm going to use involving not working out, Spanx and my binder in addition to using 3M Cavillon spray which will protect my skin from irritation. ????????
Two weeks and two days post op
I've been back on my feet and generally feeling pretty normal for the past couple days with the two week mark being a big turning point.
I've been off of Tylenol Arthritis entirely for the past 3 days - still taking Turmeric and Bromelaine and rubbing Arnica gel once or twice a day. My bruising is finally starting to fade and I think my swelling is going down.
I haven't been drinking as much water as I was that first week (I'm at 3/4 of a gallon these days but plan on upping that again) and have slowly upped my sodium intake to normal levels.
I'm still sleeping on my wedge but tried a night without it last night and think that because of my scar revision, it's a safer bet to stick with back sleeping for now ... The wedge keeps me from rolling onto my side which despite being my preferred sleeping position puts tension on my scar. No, no.
Had I only had liposuction, I would have felt completely back to normal at week two.
My scar revision is the main reason I'm still taking things very easy, but I've been going out for hours everyday for the past four days. Walking at the mall, shopping, running errands (carefully for my scar). I started using Embrace scar therapy this past Monday evening, wear my surgical binder on top and then wear a Spanx tank suit on top of that. I feel secure and supported. It's great.
My contouring looks awesome - I'm quite happy with the results despite the swelling. The areas are firm to the touch all the while slightly puffy.