Let the Journey Begin!! 38 YO Married Mom of Two and 5'9 @ 185lbs. Bowie, MD

I have been researching the option to get either a...

I have been researching the option to get either a mommy make-over or Liposuction for a long time now.I tried the i-Lipo procedure about 2 years ago and wasn't pleased at all...spent over $600 for 4 treatments and only lost 3 inches off the waist/abs.

Nevertheless, I made the decision to improve "ME" this year by finally losing my muffin top. At first I didn't know where to start...but let me just say this website is VERY helpful and encouraging when looking at before/after pictures, getting information on different procedures, and talking to ppl offline about their experiences..naturally I joined the community!

I viewed a few local doctors and even called a few to see what they would recommend. After about two weeks of calls and scheduling phone consultations, I decided to go with Dr. James Benjamin (Bowie, MD).

I had my consultation on July 22nd and he was very nice (Janice too), calming and, professional. I will admit I was alarmed that the address was to his home office but quickly put to east to know that the surgery would take place in a real hospital. So Dr. B took some pictures and gave me his honest opinion on what areas would give me the best results.

I always had a lil pudge..even though I am tall..but after hitting that 35 age mark..I started to see a REAL change in that area and to me...fitness just wasn't doing the job quick enough! So Dr. B explained I needed to get my abdomen and back done to achieve my goals.... He went over the pricing and even offered a great discount because I was paying with cash ((bonus points)).

I had nearly 30 questions for Dr. Benjamin and was very pleased that he took his time to answer everyone and even provide input on other things I didn't even consider..I was comfortable to know he has been a surgeon for longer than I was born (35 + years). He completed over 3,500 (successful) Smartlipo procedures, and that he only operated on 2 clients per day. He explained I could hold my date for $500 and then had up to 3 months to get the surgery done to think on it more or do more research.

When asked his next availability, I was shocked to see it was within a month's time of my consultation...so I am going to be logging all my preparation blogs, before pictures, etc all here until my day - August 13, 2015!!

HERE GOES SOMETHING!! :)

Checking off my surgery ((needs)) list...15 days to go!

I figure these next two weeks will go by fast so I am getting together my list of items I will need to have a successful 1-wk of recovery. I am only taking 8 days off of work to heal a bit then slowly get back into the swing of things (given my job field I am lucky to get even this many days off)...nevertheless..no time like the present to start the process..

I've been on the blogs and have been gathering my lil trinkets...

OKAY THE COUNTDOWN IS ON!

So I am getting ready...finished my last day at work until Aug 24..not sure if I really need to take that much time off..but hey it's a great way to enjoy my new body! I have just a few more items to pick up and do on my To Do List (i.e. vitamins, ice packs, stool softner, etc). My to do list is long with more house stuff (ie cleaning, laundry, cooking meals in advance, and scheduling babysitting for the kids).

Since I am using this procedure to JUMP start my Fitness program..I already started walking (3 mi) and eating healthier..no more chips, cookies, and fast food for me. Believe it or not..these last two weeks has really helped me changed my eating habits...not if I can just let go of the alcohol (damn vodka)...

I talked to Dr. Benjamin about my diet when I am done and he advised I stay away from sweets and salty which can cause inflammation = swelling = pain. Note taken..I will be juicing and making my protein meal replacement shakes for at least all of next week.

So I am really motivated to do this right..I will even post my before measurements to include along with a picture of one of my fav outfits that I can't wear now and perhaps will be able to afterwards!
Here goes something!!

Surgery day jitters...

So I am ready for the day and charged for what's about to happen when I get a call from Dr. B letting me know that there's drainage/water issues at the hospital (sign?!). There was a slight chance that it would not happen...and I was calm at first...

Then..I got the call back to alert that my times have been bumped back..((whew)) I was really starting to wonder if I was perhaps moving too fast... :)

It was a NO GO today :(

So I should have took the early signs that it today wasn't the day..but I pressed on and arrived at the Hospital Ctr in Bowie at 12pm sharp (as requested). I did the basic paperwork and asked to sit for the next available call...
Around 12:30..by thoughts to bail out was too heavy and I approached the receptionist to perhaps reschedule..but that's when Dr. B came out and greeted at the desk..what could I say...guess it was going down afterall...
12:55pm: I get to the prep room, had my vitals taked, changed into a robe and some very comfy socks..first I put on the white compression socks andd then a pair of yellow socks with the foot imprents to reduce slipping.
1:15: Nurse comes by to start my IV solution..I am on saline and getting pretty excited.
1:45: Nurse comes by and gives me more warm blankets...my cell phone is now own to 10%
2:20: Still no sign of Dr. B but I do hear him down the hall a bit..so I get happy with hopes he will be coming my way...
2:45: Now I am all in my head and got the nerves running through my veins like the solution..so I start talking to the nurses about my anxiety (they both were great)...
3:15pm: I am ready to go! I asked the nurse to take out the IV and I took it as a sign that today just wasn't for me...

3:30pm: Dr. B's assistant runs out (as I was walking through the exit doors) and explained his current client's procedure took longer than expected and that he would have to reschedule me (totally blown #sad) I nodded and asked her to have Dr. Benjamin call me...

Perhaps this is the sign that I am not to do this procedure..I am torn and just don't know what to do now..I was so excited and happy before...I still will post my before pics and measurements...I guess I will have the after pics one day...

Still hopeful so...here goes something!!

Today was my day!

So I was disappointed that my appointment didn't workout yesterday but as they say....."all things happen for a reason". After talking with Dr. B late last night with options for rescheduling. He got the ladies to work me in first thing this AM... I was so excited that I just agreed totally not even considering my driver options. See I did uber both there and back abd had my sister take ovf yesterday had I got it done. So needless to szy xhe wasn't too hsppy to drop me off at the Surgery Center 6:30am (luckily she was available to take me home).
So I had to call Dr. B with the sad news thst I didn't have a ride....but just then he offered to take me as a consolation for yesterday. Now you talk about front door service!?!?!? :)
He was right at my door this AM on time and ready!
I was greeted by the same 3 nurses and they all made me feel like I made the right choice by coming back..I felt so happy and special!
7:30 Sign waiver papers and get changed
7:42 IV done and Dr B starts the drawing....I told him he's an artist working on his greatest master piece!
7:53 Moved into the operating room (which wad very cold) so the operating nurse could wipe me fown with the "cold" solution.....I think this was the stuff to make sure I was sterile.
8:0I Dr. Feel Good (anesthesiologist) comes by with the caution spill and loads up the IV... 1 minute I am inhaling fresh oxygen and the next minute (more like 2 hours later) I am waking up in the recovery room...
10:15 I am given ice water post op instructions and advised to relax so the anesthesia wears off and for my sister to arrive..
11:45 Of course my sister arrives (late) and we're head homebound so the healing can begin...

This has been a great experience and totally worth the wait of 1 day :)
Aftermath: No real pain just yet otherthan my freakin' throat...II suspect it's from the breathing tube. ..tthis is the main thing giving me problems. Everything feel tight and definitely some swelling. I came home with extra everything as far as chucks and pads..I was and still oozing. I got up to pee with ease thanks to the PEZ funnel..yeah so Ive been in bed pretty much watching netflix and eating pineapples. I hear its great for the healing process...
I did take pics and will try to upload em soon...Here goes something...

Day 2 Post surgery

Well..this morning it felt like I did 1,000 sit ups and crunches...and my entire body was stiff as a board...

I talked to Dr. B this morning and he was giving me some tips on what to do now...I was so excited when he said I could shower and remove my bandages. I've been so anxious to see the difference, I mean I could already tell with the garment on but it was padded with foam and stuff so I knew I would be smaller with all that stuff removed.

So I was very pleased to see the results (although I had some pretty bad bruising) and I was extra boosted that the entry sites are small and won't be noticeable when I am wearing my bikini (December Caribbean Cruise..here I come!)

The pain was tolerable so on a scale from 1-10; I'd say it was about a 5 so I am not certain I will even need the Oxy for the pain... I did my last bit of school shopping with the family and totally needed to sit and rest after like the 1st hour...I know Dr. B told me that I could start walking almost immediately...I took him for his word.but I swear there was so much swelling that it was crazy...

Next up...before after pics = Here goes something!

Day 4 Post Op

Wow..this recovery thing is REAL.. This whole concept of being out and about with the family on our vacation is a negative for the body... :(
Just the ride to our destination (3-hr ride) was a challenge getting in/out the car and even sitting straight.
SO now I am just gonna rest up for as much as I can b/c I return to work next week,.....

Nearly 3 weeks. ..

So I will be approaching the 3 week marker this Friday and I must say I am pleased with the process. .with some exceptions I guess on few things...Holla back at me if you've experienced and of these issues too
1. The swelling. .I feel like I can't eat anything b/c I will bloat up..I definitely been watching the sodium but it seems that's not a matter
2. Garment is starting to ripple...so I know that I will be getting smaller as the weeks past but now the garment is starting to ripple and it's very noticeable through my clothes. I considered getting a new one...
3. Sensitive spots...so the I am good with my ritual of massaging with my body and all when I discovered one very sensitive area near my L hip...I mean just a gentle touch and it feels like someone pricked me with a needle from the inside..I can understand why it's so painful with no visible bruise or scar on that spot...
4. Lumps/bumps.... so now that my surgery has been done. ..I've noticed several areas on my abs that are lumpy and no longer smooth. ..I certainly hope that this will go away along with the swelling...

So I am open to hear if anyone else has either experience what I have or know if this is abnormal...I am set to do another follow up with Dr. B this weekend. ..

More pics and updates to come...Here goes something!

It's been over a month...

Man..I tell you time surely flies by huh?!? So I am still practicing patience through the healing process so far I have switched to stage 2 garment and I am on monthly visits with Dr. Benjamin. When I last visited him about 2 weeks ago...I was expressing how lately I've developed the strong urge to scratch all over my back and abs...seriously drives me in sane (poor rat tooth comb). I was so glad he told me to about the topical benedryl. Totally works miracles I tell ya..
Although I am seeing great changes in my clothes and also getting compliments for the noticable changes..I am slowly seeing them... and I know it's because I am still partly swollen and the scar tissue is still healing...

So see the latest pics...here goes something! :)

time passes and the trouble areas start to show up...

Sooooo I know it's been a couple months since my last post..and to be honest I am about 80% happy with my results. So not quite enough to consider another procedure but certainly not where I'd expected...
So that nusance Left side pain has now developed into a mole hill that is not slimming down whatsoever..that's my main concern and the fact that I am still looking like I did back in August which leads me to believe I am not going down any more than this (not happy about that either).
So I texted and emailed Dr. B and got no response..so finally I called and got to speak to him--of course he request me to come in to see him. So I did and he suggest I go back under the knife to such out that last bit...I asked the price and he qioted me another $1,000 which covers his fee and the surgery center cost.
I refuse to pay more at this time b/c I feel I can just work it off and be better... just not what I was expecting since I am nearly 30 days out from my cruise...what should I do?!?!

I will post pics soon..just not happy at this time to really show anyone... :(
Bowie Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Benjamin is awesome and I truly believe that he is a true professional in his..The customer service is great and he's very patient.....

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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