32 Year Old Mom in Need of a Make-over. Calgary, AB

Wow, I can't believe I am finally posting here....

Wow, I can't believe I am finally posting here. This feels surreal. After 4 years of thinking about it, I'm finally doing it. My body has changed so much since pregnancy that no matter how much I diet or exercise I just can't bring it back. So I'm getting an abdominoplasty and a breast augmentation. The implants we've decided on are 325 cc silicone cohesive gel, going in submuscularly. The entire procedure is supposed to take 3.5 hours.

Pre-op Photos

Here are my pre-op photos. I don't look so bad if I wear compression underwear and a padded bra, but once that comes off you can see why I need this surgery.

Consultation

I went for a consultation with Dr. Humphreys on April 29, 2015. I had another consult scheduled with Dr. Earl Campbell, but after talking to Dr. Humphreys I decided to just go with him and not attend the other consult. I liked that Dr. Humphreys was able to do both tummy and breasts at the same time (Dr. Campbell would not do that). I think if I did my tummy first I would be in so much pain after I'll never get my breasts done. This way at least I'll only have to suffer through one recovery.
I liked everything about the consultation, tied on the sizers, got my questions answered. The only thing I forgot is to ask for an album of pre and post photos. It was also strange that I can not pay by credit card over the phone unless I filled out an authorization form. I did not want to fill out the form and just paid with debit few days later.

Paid my fees

It's official, the fees are paid and there's no backing out now. I'm still not sure about the implant sizes though, 325 seems so big. I made sizers out of rice and kids balloons, so I've been trying them on with different shirts. There will be no hiding these puppies. It also seems that a lot of people regret not going bigger, so I'm worried that if I get something smaller than 325 I'll regret it.

30 days to go

I am starting to really freak out, anxiety is the worst in the evening, right before bed. Sometimes I wake up and think I already had a surgery and I'm afraid to move because I think it will hurt. I am excited too, can't wait to be able to through away my spanks and the push-up bras. I don't think I'm going to tell my family about the surgery, they just would not understand.

ramping up my workouts

I am going to try to be as healthy as I can in the next month to make a healing process a little bit easier. I usually walk for at least an hour every day. I'm adding a daily body weight work out to my routine. I'm also writing down everything I eat to force myself to eat a bit healthier. Did not help that my husband made delicious brownies today, sigh. Yesterday the scale tipped at 135 lbs, the heaviest I had ever been in my life. Not good. I'm only 5 ft 3, and 125 is an ideal weight for me.

10 days to go

Wow, I can't believe it's coming up so soon. Funny thing is, I am not scared as much anymore. I used to freak out and have a panic attack almost every night. The nurse called me and answered a lot of my questions. I am off any herbal stuff until the surgery, but can still take allergy medications (thank goodness, I don't think I could make it through this blooming season otherwise). Got my recliner set-up and ready to go. Got child care arranged for few weeks. What kind of stool softener would you recommend and when should I start taking it? Also, can anyone tell me how their breast implants or tummy tuck affected their life. Was it weird? Are you happy you did it? Do you still think about it every day? Did it change the way other people treat you? How did your husband react? Right now I think about my huge tummy every day, whenever I try to get dressed and always pick something out that hides it. I am reminded of it whenever I catch a glimpse of myself in a window. I just don't want to think about it anymore and be able to wear sexy outfits without feeling bad.

Nipple troubles

So one of my nipples keeps getting a scab over it, then the scab falls off and nipple is oozing clear liquid. It's not painful, but it's been a week and it's not healing. I hope it's nothing major, but my surgery is coming up so fast it gets me worried. I guess I better go see a doctor tomorrow about it.

Today's the day

Did not get much sleep last night. I was not allowed to eat or drink anything after the midnight and had to wash myself with antibacterial soap last night and this morning. I feel not very nervous, just very tired, but I must be apprehensive enough to make me not sleep all night. We had to get up at 6 am to be there for 7:15. Thank goodness I am the first one. Wish me luck.

On the flat side

I did it! Everyone was really nice to me, I was a bit nervous, but not too bad. No panic attacks. The worst part was the IV, then my anaesthesiologist gave me some drugs that made me feel drunk and then I went to sleep. I woke up shaking and was in a bit of pain. The nurse gave me some drugs and put a warm blanket on me, so I went back to sleep. When I woke up the nurse tried getting my to the chair, but I was so dizzy sitting up I could not even stand up. I have naturally low blood pressure and after the surgery it really dropped. So they let me sleep some more and we tried again in an hour. I was able to do it and my husband came in. I did get a catheter and a nurse took it out when I was awake. They put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me to the car. Drive back was not so bad, my husband was being really careful. I have one drain and it's pretty nasty. The pain is quite manageable with oxicotin, I slept a lot in my chair today. The worst part is getting out of the chair, it hurts like SOB. When I don't move I don't feel much though. I like feeling some of the pain, it lets me know if I am pushing too hard. Boobs don't hurt at all, all of the pain is in my stomach. My husband is being wonderful, taking care of me all day. I hope I can do a little more by myself tomorrow, starting to feel dizzy and tired again now so I'm going to have another nap.

One day later

So far so good. I've been sleeping a lot. Pain is ok, probably about 3/10 at best and 5/10 at worst. It's really hard to get in and out my recliner because I'm not supposed to use my arm muscles or my core muscles. I can only use my legs, and that's not much. Nurse called, apparently I can have a shower now, even though I have a drain in. I'm not up for it though. Maybe tomorrow.

Shower

Wow, that was not a pleasant experience. Had to take my binder off and it felt really painful and uncomfortable. Good thing my hubby was there to help me. Note to self: second day is too early for a shower.

Third day's the worst

Last night was rough. I kept waking up every 15 minutes, plus I was in a lot of pain and got a high fever. My brain is not working very well, got a nasty headache. I was too scared to take a sleeping pill because I'm having troubles breathing deeply. I kept waking up and breathing in violently, like I was out of breath. Finally I gave up on my fears and took one anyway - thank goodness because I was able to sleep until 11 am this morning. I hope things will start to turn for the better soon, because this is quite awuful

4th day pictures

Finally found the strength to take some pictures. I'm not a fan of what my boobs look like now, hopefully they will fill in better when they drop. I should have went bigger - isn't that what everyone says. One breast is still sitting lower like it used to. I'm also disappointed how I needed a vertical scar to hide my original bellybutton. I was concerned about that at an appointment but my surgeon told me not to worry about it. I hope he will be able to fix it later.

Where's the poop?

Well, this is officially 5th day since surgery. Considering I have not gone the day before, it's been at least 6 days with no poop. Where's the poop? I am taking laxatives (started 3 days prior) and drinking my fiber, taking in lots of fluids and still, there's nothing happening. I don't even have the urge, but I do feel supper bloated and uncomfortable.
Took a shower last nigh - again it destroyed me, and I was doing so good. I think I overdid it yesterday - attempting to cook dinner and clean-up. Oxy was making me super loopy, giving me some crazy dreams and making me hear things like music and conversations. So I decided to just stick with extra strength tylenol for today. The pain is not awesome, but tolerable. My hubby (less his heart) bought be a different binder so I was able to wash my first one. I'm so tired I just want to sleep, but I have to go for a drive to see my doctor. Sigh.

Here it is!

Finally went today. It was not a smooth and gentle ride, but it happened and for that I'm grateful!

Bored

All right, so now I am at the stage where I'm too bored to sit in the chair all day but too useless to do anything and enjoy it. It's a mental game now, trying to keep myself occupied. I'm also having troubles breathing, probably because heaviness on my chest due to implants or the tightness of the binder. Either way, troubles breathing bring on my anxiety and anxiety makes breathing more difficult. It's a vicious circle. My back is killing me, my body does not look good, I'm still hunched over and I'm starting to regret this. Mwaaaa. Here's my whine for the night. Hopefully tomorrow things will get better.

Pictures - Day 5

1 week past

So, it's been one week since having a surgery. It's been rough, even though the pain was controlled most of the time. Yesterday I ran out of oxy and has been managing with tylenol, that was probably the worst day for pain so far. This morning had another BM and it hurt so much! Gotta keep up on my fibre and laxatives. Breathing is still difficult, I am short of breath most of the time and wake up in the middle of the night with a gasp. Right now, looking back I don't know if I would do it all over again. Ask me again in a few month when I feel better. Thank goodness I can now move around the house and do dishes/laundry/cooking so I don't feel totally useless. I have no desire to go outside yet.

9 day post

You know what I miss? Running. Going for a long run in the evening, climbing up on the hill that overlooks the city and feeling on top of the world. Feeling so alive, happy to be able to just run with nothing holding you back...
The pain is pretty good now, I have not been taking any pain killers. Tylenol does not work anyway, and I don't know what else I'm allowed to take. Besides I want a little pain to be there as a reminder for me not to over do things. If my back gets too sore I take a hot pack and lie on it in my bed. It's so relaxing I usually fall asleep and when I wake up I feel better.
No, the pain has not been the worst. What is worst is facing my inner demon of anxiety and depression when I'm sitting at home alone with so much free time on my hands. I've been so moody and angry I don't even recognize myself. I've cried twice this week, and it hurt so bad! I was fighting with my husband and there was a solid ball of hurt that just formed inside my stomach and squeezed all my insides together and I just started screaming in pain. So he freaked out and helped me to breath and calm down. I did, but then I continued to fight with him. What a heck is wrong with me! Could it be the withdrawals from oxy?
On the bright side I'm able to go for a walks daily now for couple of blocks. I do cooking and laundry and dishes, and it feels good to actually move around. I can be active and move around for 15 minutes or so and then I need to sit down and rest. My stomach is looking so flat, it's strange not to have the hill in front of me. My breasts are dropping nicely. Really, I have nothing to complain about, I just want to be able to run again :)

Swell Hell

I am also in a proverbial swell hell. Even my binder refuses to close on me all the way. I guess it's better knowing that it's swelling than thinking the surgery failed.
Also, sneezing hurts like SOB. Don't sneeze. I can cough and laugh a little now though. And I slept through the whole night without waking up! Little victories, that's what counts right now.

Pictures - Day 10

Day 11

I am so grateful for my support system - it would be unbearable to do this alone. My husband has been amazing, I can't thank him enough. I'm so done with being sore, sick and tired. I did not sleep well last night because I ran out of sleeping pills that doctor prescribed me. So far today has been a rough day and it's hard to deal with taking a step back. Yesterday I walked to the park (very slowly) and watched people swimming in the river, running down the path, doing push-ups in the grass and I was so jealous of them being able to do all these fun things. You truly don't realize how blessed you are with something until it gets taken away. I made myself a promise to get into a best shape I can as soon as I recover so I can enjoy being outside and running again.
For anyone considering the surgery, please realize that recovery takes a freaking long time. 11 days does not seem like much when you feel good, but when you are weak, exhausted and achy all the time, every day just drags on and on forever. Right now I'm at the point where it seems like there's no light at the end of the tunnel. Please consider this surgery only when you exhausted all the other options and gave yourself a few years to really think about it.
Yesterday I thought about a patient I had a while back. He did not want to use the word "pain" and preferred to use the word "ache" instead. He would get mad at me every time I said "pain." At a time I thought he was being quite silly. Now I can see the power these words can have - if I tell myself that I am in pain all the time, it feels quite unbearable. If I say to myself that I feel a bit achy - well that seems ok somehow.
Another thing that bothers me is the soreness in my right calf. I am paranoid about getting a DVT, but there's no heat, redness or swelling - so I don't see a need to go to the emergency quite yet. I'll keep my eyes on it though.

Day 12

I spent all day yesterday not doing much and last night I had more energy than usual. I woke up this morning and feel surprisingly ok. Could this be beginning of healing? I sure hope so, but it's too early to tell. I slept in bed on my side last night (wow!) for half the night and then had to migrate to a lazy-boy char for the rest of the night because I was too sore.
My incision and belly button are healing nicely. I have a little vertical cut in my scar where my old belly button used to be and it sticks out of the underwear (bummer). If it does not get less noticeable with time I will get a tattoo to cover the scar up. My belly looks a lot flatter, except for it swells a lot in the evening. My breasts are still hard and funny shaped - I have an implant on top, my breast tissue on the bottom and nothing in the middle - there's a bit of a hill-valley-hill situation going as a run my hand from top to bottom. I hope that will go away as the implants drop. When do they drop anyways? I could never find out from real self reviews. Scars on the breasts are healing nicely too.

Tattoo Ideas

2 weeks post

I've been feeling pretty good over the last few days. Was able to go shopping and walk over to the park. I bought a new bra from Walmart - nice, supportive and soft one so that I don't wear the same bra they gave me at the surgeon's office. I'm a 38C now - an increase from 36A! My breast are still funny shaped - I hope that will change with time. My stomach has expanded - I can hardly close my binder now. It could be due to swelling or things are just dropping and stretching. Another weird thing is the quick muscle contractions I have when I stand up in the morning - it feels like fluttering butterflies in my stomach, only way more intense. Does anyone else have that?
My calf pain is gone (thank goodness!) - it was really freaking me out lately. And I can now sleep in my bed the whole night (waking up frequently to change positions). Things are looking up. Happy healing everyone.

Pictures - 2 weeks in

Cold - oh no!

So I woke up this morning with a sore throat and a running nose. Have been sneezing and coughing non-stop and it hurts to do those things. My poor body, just when things were starting to look up it had to go and get a cold. Now I'm wrapped up in a blanket on my lazy boy chair suffering with a cup of tea in my hand. Can't wait to feel better.

Time to spice it up

You know you've been in a rut when even your littlest one says: "Mommy, how come you have been wearing same clothes every day?" I have not! I change between my sweatpants every 3 days or so, lol.

3 weeks post surgery

I finally saw my surgeon. He said my scar was looking good and everything is healing the way it should. He also told me I can start exercising, even running if I want to. I don't think I'm quite ready to go for a run yet though. I've picked up some silicon tape for my scars, put some on today. My daughter was really interested in what I was doing and tried to help me. I was also quite active today and walked a lot. By about 6 I was so swollen and tired I wasn't able to do much more for the rest of the evening. I forgot to ask my surgeon when I can have a bath again. I miss baths, but worried that it will make my swelling worse. I'm also no longer using my binder and just wearing some firm control shapers from WalMart. They don't work quite as well as the binder for keeping the swelling down, but I can at least wear pretty shirts now. I'm mostly walking upright, except for late in the evenings when the swelling gets to me. Implants are slowly dropping and scars are looking nicely. I will post some pictures later on this week.

Shopping trip

I went shopping today and everything I try on looks great! Things that I have avoided like a plague (button-up cardigans, tight shirts, shirts with low cleavage) look amazing. I am so excited to be done healing and go back to the gym. I've been pretty active lately, doing lots of walking but no real exercise yet. I still swell quite a bit, but it's a little better every day.

6 weeks in

I'm almost 6 weeks in and it's been going well. I can be a lot more active, but I don't have the same energy level as I did before the surgery. I still get swelling quite a bit in the evenings. I've been trying to slowly wean myself off the spanx, so I sleep without them and take them off if I am around the house and not doing much. I'm going back to work soon and a little apprehensive about it. Also, I've developed a non-healing wound about two weeks ago at the T-intersection of my scar. I have been putting iodine and polysporin on it. I've tried to cover it up with band-aids, but it seems to make it worse. Also, I am not using silicone strips because that makes it worse as well. It's not really getting any better but it does not seem to be infected and not getting any worse, so I'm not too worried about it. My breasts are slowly dropping and starting to look more natural, I am very happy about them. Clothing shopping is a lot of fun. My belly, on the other hand, does not look very flat when the swelling sets it, but I suppose it's flatter than it was before.

2.5 month update

Just a quick update - everything is going well. My boobs have dropped significantly (no more hill-valley-hill situation). My small wound finally healed up just a week ago. My stomach looks amazing and I love how I look in my clothing now. I do have a small "dog ear" on the edge of my scar, but that is slowly decreasing as well. I can lie on my stomach now, but it does not really feel that great. All in all, I'm very happy with the results.

4 month post-op

Well, it's been 4 months now and things are going great. I can do everything I could before the surgery. I love my new look. The scar is lowly fading. There is a little dog ear at the right edge of the scar, I hope it will go away with time and silicone treatment. My breasts have dropped a lot, perhaps even too much. I can feel the implants at the bottom of my breast and I can see it too. Other than that - I love my new look.

10 month later

I love my new look. Everything has healed up nicely. It is possible to see that I have implants when I lift my arms up. The scar has a bit of a dog ear on one side, but that's getting smaller slowly. I'm back to same energy level and same function as before and I love my new body.
Calgary Plastic Surgeon

I liked how calm and approachable he is. I feel like he did a good job during my surgery and the scar is looking good so far. I was able to phone his cell any time if I had any questions after the surgery but his reply was a bit delayed because he was out of province. One thing I did not like was that my follow-up appointment was scheduled 3 weeks after my surgery - a bit later than I would like.

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