I dieted and exercised over 190 lbs. off and now...
I dieted and exercised over 190 lbs. off and now I'm left with skin and dangling fat. I had a brachioplasty on 4/7/15. For my final act, I will have a fleur de lis tummy tuck and medial thigh lift on 6/23/15. I am pretty anxious about the thigh lift; it looks pretty painful. It is impossible, however, for me to continue living with this body.
All is calm, all is bright
I'm home in my recliner. The surgery took about 6 hours. The doctor told my mom that there was very little fat, just skin, skin, skin! He removed over 10 pounds of it!
I have a catheter in right now and thank god I do! I can drink all the water that I want and I haven't had to stand up to pee once! So awesome!
I am not in any pain right now. My belly feels like I did a really intense ab workout last night. Just sore. I am taking two pain killers every four hours right now and I guess they are working!
Every few hours, I have been walking around the house for a new minutes. It feels good to get my blood flowing the the doctor recommends movement as soon as possible. I have not showered yet but I plan to tomorrow.
I have not seen my incisions yet because I'm in the garment and there is no need to remove it right now because of the catheter. I'll take a look tomorrow.
I forgot to tell you...the surgery took longer than anyone anticipated because of my height! I am 5'10" and have a very long torso and semi-long legs! The vertical tummy tuck incision was really long and took a long while to stitch up. Same with the thigh incisions!
The other thing that I forgot to tell you is that I have no drains. Yay!
Just got an pic from my PS
Dr. Stoeckel was kind enough to snap a pic of me on the table just before they taped me up. Here it is! He's so fabulous; why haven't you called him yet!?
Here are two pics that my mom took after Dr. Stoeckel marked me up yesterday. I'm feeling infinitely better today! I am able to get myself out of the recliner and walk for a few minutes without the walker. After a few minutes, my lower back starts to hurt from hunching over. I've been drinking water almost non-stop and eating protein, protein, protein!
I took a shower today! The potty booster seat that I bought fit into my bathtub, so I sat on that and washed myself. I feel like a new woman! I have not pooped since Monday, but I'm used to being constipated since I have MS. Oh! I also just got my period. Joy! Still walking hunched over and that still absolutely kills my lower back, so I don't do it much. I stopped taking my prescription pain meds today and am now just taking some Advil every few hours.
Okay, so it's gotten to the point that my lower back absolutely kills me when I try to walk. I'm thinking that this is due to my hunched walking in concert with my period, which often leaves me with a sore back. I pooped today for the first time since last Monday. Thank ya, Jesus! I'm getting really sick of this recliner and of back pain and of not walking much and of television and of the internet. Oh, and my toes look like little vienna sausages. Ugh. I'm cranky. I wish I could speed up this process. However, I signed up for this, I went in with full knowledge of what recovery would be like; I have to get through this and I will. Onward and upward.
Today was pretty good. After a ridiculous crying/whining jag in the morning, my fiance got me out of the recliner and into the shower. Being freshly washed, wearing a fresh CG and being back in the recliner with fresh sheets and pillowcases really changed my mood. I even went outside on the porch for a few minutes today! My back still kills, I'm still taking two Advil every few hours and I'm still hunched over and walking with my feet miles apart so that my thigh incisions don't rub together. I have noticed that it does not hurt as much to cough/laugh/breathe as it did earlier in the week, so I guess my stomach muscles are not so angry with me. Onward and upward. One week post-op tomorrow. Will keep you posted.
1st post-op appointment today! (Monday 6/29)
At my appointment today, Dr. Stoeckel removed all of my tape and my protruding stitches. Nothing hurt and he said that he was pleased with how all of my incisions look. I have been most concerned with the area where my vertical and horizontal TT incisions meet and with the incisions on my thighs, but Dr. S. seems confident that all is well. After cutting my protruding "fishing line," he re-taped me and explained that I will need to wear tape over my incisions for six weeks. I asked when I can stand up straight and he said I can do it when I'm ready. He said that feeling tightness is okay, but feeling pain is not. So, I stood up straight! Yay! I'm still walking funny because my thighs are so swollen with tender incisions. After the appointment, mom took me to lunch. It was really lovely to be out of the house for a few hours.
Tuesday (Day 7)
Feeling pretty good today. I thought I should post some new pics!
I was feeling a bit down today, so I tried on the bikini that I bought when I was ordering all of my recovery supplies online. I'm thrilled!
2 weeks post-op
Well, my mom flew home yesterday and I felt lonely all day without her. I am not fully mobile yet and am spending lots of time in the recliner. When my fiance came home, I felt better just having someone here.
Today is supposed to be my final day in the CG. After my shower, I'll change my tape and see how I feel without it. I continued to wear the CG for at least a month after my arm lift, but my current CG is much more uncomfortable than that one. It's essentially a pair of high-waisted, crotchless capri pants. I'm over my poor hiney and cooter being squeezed!
I slept in my bed for the first time since surgery last night. I had lots of pillows behind my head and was not laying flat, but in the morning after the alarm went off I tried rolling over onto my side. It felt nice to be off my butt for a few minutes. Onward and upward!
3 weeks post-op
Today is my 3 week anniversary. I'm feeling better each day and doing a lot of relaxing in the recliner. When we peeled the tape off to change it today, I noticed a wet spot on my right thigh where I leaked a bit of fluid, but we put Neosporin on it and taped it again. No biggie. My belly button is still looking swollen and icky and milky, but it doesn't stink and it's not hot or painful, so I'm just letting it do its thing. The skin on my thighs is REALLY dry and flaky. It looks like my pants have dandruff!
So, I haven't mentioned this before today, but my belly button looks really effed up. It's been swollen since the surgery, but there's also this weird milky film over it that's grossing me out. I have to keep paper tape over my incisions for at least two more weeks, so I don't wash my belly button or the incisions in the shower. When I change the tape, this greenish-white goo is always stuck to the piece that was over my belly button. It doesn't stink or hurt, so I don't think it's infected, but I'm really tired of seeing it so nasty.
Also, I have a tiny hole right on the vertical incision just below my belly button. It looks like somebody stabbed me with a pencil. It's not wet or leaking, but it's still a freaky little hole.
On a positive note, I'm sleeping on my side again. Yay! I've been getting around a whole lot easier and I'm looking forward to the day when I can finally be rid of this infernal tape!
So, I haven't mentioned this before...
but I'm feeling a bit down. I've read lots of RS reviews and I knew that folks tend to feel a bit down around week 3 and that this is perfectly normal. When I read that, I thought to myself that it wouldn't happen to me because I've been forewarned. I also thought that there's no way I'll feel down once all of my loose skin is gone. I was wrong. I'm not going to whine about particulars, but I'm just ready to feel 100% again. I also feel angry with myself and have been berating myself for feeling a little sad. "You wanted this ELECTIVE surgery! You look just like you wanted to, so cheer the hell up!" These are the types of things that my rational brain have been telling my heart. Usually I am a very upbeat person and I am by no means depressed now, I'm just not myself.
1-month post-op appointment was this morning...
...and I'm feeling much better. Some fluid collected in my right thigh, so it was drained quickly and virtually painlessly. The fluid that came out was watery and yellow, not thick or loaded with pus. That's a great thing! My new belly button will most likely be an "outie," but I was never super-concerned about its appearance. I was afraid that it was infected. It's not. That's awesome. I had surgery for a belly button hernia when I was a child and I guess I'm just used to it looking a little odd and that's why I'm not completely freaked out by how it'll look. Of course, if it ends up looking circus-side-show-worthy, this attitude may change.
Best of all: I can stop taping my incisions! Thanks be to God! My skin is just tired of having adhesive on it and I'm so excited to just take a shower or walk without having to worry about the tape shifting or peeling off or sticking to my pubes etc, etc, etc!
Great appointment overall and I'm feeling much perkier today! Wooooo!
Hi, folks! My scars looked like this last night. The doctor would like for me to keep gauze on one spot on my incision and a band-aid over my belly button. Yesterday was the first day that I was allowed to remove my tape, so I took some time to massage vitamin e cream into all of my incisions.
The spot where Dr. S. removed some fluid last week blew up a few days later. It got really swollen, red and sore. So, I contacted him on Saturday evening and he called me in a prescription for antibiotics. I have been taking the meds and applying a warm compress to the area each evening and it is looking much better.
If you are considering plastic surgery, please know that you will not be "in the clear" a few days after surgery. My thighs did not concern me until I went to that one-month post-op appointment, and they didn't even reeeeally concern me then because finding and then removing the fluid build-up was so quick and easy. This red, sore swelling did not occur until 4.5 weeks post-op. I'm not sure at what point I will be completely "out of the woods," but I hope it's soon!
Hi, folks! Well, as you can see, my belly button is looking much better. My right thigh is looking better as well. My trainer told me that if I lie on the floor with my butt touching a wall, then extend my legs vertically up against the wall, lymphatic fluid should move around. I did that for about 15 minutes today and the swollen bit on my thigh is pretty flat right now. Yay for that! I am not feeling down anymore, so I guess I'm getting back to my old self. I'm still taking the antibiotics that Dr. Stoeckel prescribed to me last week and I will be taking them for another week. I'm not feeling any side effects from the antibiotics, which is cool. Nothing too exciting is happening, I guess. I still have over 2 weeks of summer break left before I return to work, so I'm hoping I can remove all gauze before then and be ready to go!
I feel great! I love putting clothes on! I love taking them off! I love checking myself out on every available shiny surface that I see! I don't know what else to write!
15 Aug 2015
2 months post
Things are going well. I have a scabby area on my vertical tummy incision that feels like it's taking forever to heal. I keep asking the scabs to just fall off already, but they refuse to budge. My thighs are happy. That fluid collection under the right incision is still there and I wish it would just be gone already, but it doesn't hurt...I'm just annoyed that it's there.
I am returning to work on Monday and feeling a bit nervous about how my body will react to being up and about all day long. Luckily, I have a whole week of workdays before I actually have to teach.
I worked out for the first time yesterday! I did some arm/shoulder/back exercises with my hand weights! It felt good to get moving a bit :)
15 Aug 2015
2 months post
Oh my gosh I forgot to talk about panties! You can see, in my "before" pictures, the kind of panties that I used to wear. I would get the lycra/spandex full coverage variety that would fit over my bottom belly and hopefully offer a little support/compression.
Since my surgery, I've purchased 10 new pairs of bikini or hipster panties! It's indescribably awesome to see pretty, lacy panties lying straight across my flat tummy! Panties alone are a justification for this surgery if you're looking for one.