TT, MR finally done

Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
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So I have booked my procedure! April 11 is the big...

So I have booked my procedure! April 11 is the big day! Will be going to Cleveland for the surgery. Have had consults with 3 docs and ended up going with the more expensive choice, felt comfortable with him, liked his before and after pictures, felt his staff was on top of things and since I am a medical professional myself wanted to be sure that I felt at ease. I'm scared like everyone else and probably a little more obsessed about the "what ifs" of anesthesia and of the complications that are possible with this (or any other) surgery. Im concerned about returning to a very active job in the medical field and am a little concerned with the pain that I may feel. Will hopefully be worth it all! Going with Dr. Jason Leedy with the Cleveland Clinic. I will keep things updated as time goes on!

Final payment made!!!

Paid my final payment for hospital, PS and all other fees! It's ON! Really going to happen! Counting down the days until then! 27 to go!!!! Have a rollator from Amazon and a raised toilet seat with handles, starting to get the supplies ready for my recovery. Even bought a ton of banana popcicles for recovery :)

Some concerns that I don't see addressed too often.....

So I'm fairly active at work, although I have no heavy lifting, etc, but have long 12 hour days (although only 3-4 days per week). I'm really wondering how soon everyone gets back to work....and how they fare throughout the long days... I do work at a desk part of the time, but am up and down constantly, there is some bending and stooping as well as the occasional reach. If something is up too high, I stand on a chair (ahem, I mean the approved footstool) to reach it since Im a shortie. Am I going to be able to go back to work after a full three weeks off? I know everyone is different with healing, but from what I have read lately, it doesn't appear that anyone is able to go back that soon.... I'm a wreck worried that I may have to take more time off that what I anticipated....

3 weeks pre MR, Hernia, TT today!

Thought I would include some pics of the before mess! Three weeks and counting!

Mixed emotions or lack of emotion?

One week left to go before TT with MR. Had preop last week, all went fine, no labs, ekg's or anything else needed. Doc asked me if I was excited and of course I said yes, however thinking about it, I'm really not.. I'm also not terrified or worried which is completely outside my norm. I usually worry about everything. Maybe just in a little shock that after waiting so many years that it's really happening? This is downright weird for me. I'm questioning why I don't have any strong feelings about it and wondering if I'm mourning a little the fact that I will need to "be good" from now on with my diet and that means I deprive myself of the foods I love. I gain weight very fast (but can also lose it very fast when I eat right), but know that I cannot mess these results up. This is it. I love being in shape and healthy, I love walking, climbing and swimming- so this is all worth it, but I also love food and have to be gluten free and eat cleanly to maintain my weight.
Such a weird feeling to have such a lack of feelings over this HUGE step.... We shall see if things change this week. In the meantime I'm cleaning and nesting to prepare for recovery!

Tomorrows the day!

Think I have everything together! Will spend today working and then this evening exercises get since it will be my last day for awhile. Had a great dinner yesterday and treated myself to some foods I would normally not partake in. It was a great meal!
Still don't have the case of nerves that I have been expecting, but I also don't feel especially excited. Trying to understand what that is all about.
Best wishes to all having surgery this week and I will check in with some pictures before surgery tomorrow....

Surgery day

So sitting in hospital waiting to get checked in, posting a few pics before I go back, wishing the best to all the other super ladies going in today and that have gone before us!

MArked up and ready

Drains and cg

Pic of he drains and the loose fitting CG

One day down PO afternoon and evening

Co left the hospital via wc and headed home. Don't remember the trip home, which is mostl likely r/t the anesthesia. Got in around 900, left around 5 pm, was in surgery for approximately 3.5 hours. Woke to minimal pain and absolutely no nausea. They sent me home with Percocet and Zoltan as well as other anti nause meds. It has been holding steady through the evening.
I have been up 4-5 times to utilize which is awesome. Becoming more painful to get up from bed, but only lasts for a few seconds!
Mooing for my one day post op appt at 11,! I will keep you posted!

Wow spellcheck where were you last night?

sorry about all of the errors in my last post! Trying to get ready for my PO appt today, sore, but meds are helping to keep the severe pain at bay!

One day post op

Here are some sitting pics taken today at the 1 day follow up appointment

PO day 2

Have been up and down all day using the restroom -having a bowel movement certainly is not an issue for me today, I've been in he bathroom 1/3 of today!
Pain is a little worse. I've had to up my dose of medication to keep it under control. I have spread out the timing and it seems to work better that way. Here are some photos of dressing change at home, post op day 2.

PO day 3 little rougher

Have been feeling fairly well, so decided to back off of the Percocet a little. Went all night with just one dose prior to bed and did well. Took one this am and was going to try and go for awhile without, but only made it to 215. I will obviously need to stay on for a little longer. Having some minor muscle spasms but just occasionally. Easier to get in and out of bed today, but still pretty limited with walking. Still bent over a bit, but not bad!

Day 4 PO

All in all getting around easier today, have had some muscle spasms that take me down a notch, but don't tend to last long. Was up more today and even got my hair washed which was heavenly! Scar is looking good, still swelling above incision line, not concerned, I know it's all part of the process at this point since inflammation generally hits on day 3 and 4. Still draining, but more serosangunous with clots and clumps and decreased output, which is normal. Minimal pain overall at this point, just fatigue fast.

PO day 5

Today I ventured outside for the warm weather as well as to make a dr run. Have an abscess in my gums that is giving me 10x more pain than my incisions. All in all did really well with about 1700 steps today. Just made me tired, but I have the luxury of sleeping whenever I want! Here are pics from today's dressing changes, the drains are slowing a bit now, swelling is not bad- but I am also on a very low sodium diet overall. Every day is getting better!

PO Day 6

Feeling pretty great today! Got up this am at 0800, really have just cat napped in the sun here and there, did some light house work, went to Sams Club with family and did light shopping and stayed lighty active most of the day. Spent the least amount of time in bed up to this point. Definitely have turned a corner. Still get fatigued, but lasting for longer amount of time in between the rest periods! Changed bandages early today with standing pictures this time!

Day 6 pics

Day 7 early report slept all night!

Early posting today! Hubby woke me up to do dressing change before he left for work... I slept for 8 hours straight last night! First time in years!!! Feel great with the exception of this stupid tooth ache, although it too is getting better day by day!
Incision continues to look good, drains have definitely slowed overall. Walked 2500 steps yesterday, plan on 2750-3000 today.

Wrap up of post op week 1

So looking back at the past week, in ways it went very slow and then in ways flew by. Day of surgery hubby drove me to hospital where we checked in and waited to be brought back. I was taken back by myself to my pre op room where I changed, received my check in information and IV. Hubby was brought back and the anesthesiologist came in to speak with me. My doctor then came in to mark me up. I was given a scopolamine patch, reglan and Pepcid to help prevent nausea. I actually felt quite tired after this and by the time the team came in to wheel me back I was relaxed and ready to go. They had my husband go to waiting room and rolled me down the hall to OR. Once in OR I moved from bed to OR table and adjusted and mask placed on my face. They also injected medicine into my lines, and next thing I remembered- the nurse asking if I think I can get up and use the restroom. I was like "suuuuurre... No problem" she laughed and said great this is going to be easy! I got up went and used the restroom with help and then got dressed. Had a popcicle and was discharged. Lots of time lost in between those things, I'm sure. Next I remember being in a wheelchair in the lobby and that's all folks. Don't remember going home, getting home or the rest of the night. The first few days went hour by hour - minute by minute no horrible pain, but stayed on meds around the clock. Went for follow up next day and had a check with my PS. Learned how to apply dressing, they gave me all supplies necessary and returned home. The first several days it was liquids/popcicles, jello and small amounts of roasted chicken. I also worked on taking multi on, colace and a little ducolax to keep the gut moving along wit higher walking back and forth to bathroom. No issues with bowels or with gas. It was much more comfortable to rest in my bed than to sit in the living room so I did sleep a great deal this first week. It was awesome! Definitely helped me! Towards the end of the week I started eating a little more solids, I've had some light fruit, chicken , cucumbers, tomatoes and some gluten free crackers. I have also started walking more each day. Prior to surgery I was at 18,000 steps per day, yesterday I did 3300. I do use my rollator when going out or walking long distances. I will slowly get myself working up to my previous levels. I was pretty whipped by the end of the day! This has not been as bad as I expected-however I planned on just shutting down for my recovery, so I probably was over prepared for rest only. I allowed myself to sleep as much as I needed to. I didn't worry about people coming over or going out. It was a wipe down, fresh Jammie's every day and an occasional hair washing courtesy of my daughter. Everyone around me was also prepared for this, they were fine, with the exception of my German shepherd who seems a little disgusted at my lack of desire to play. So today is day 8- started dealing with what I think are spasms, not terribly painful. No need for pain meds, but definitely uncomfortable while they last. Have been off pain meds for 2 days now- looking forward to having my drains removed- hopefully tomorrow, they have definitely slowed down.

And drains are out!

Have a visit with PS today, said everything is looking great, the incision is beautiful, nice and thin, bruising is really going away as my body heals. I didn't think I had any swelling, however he had me stand up and said yes, there was swelling - which made me feel great knowing I have more shrinking to do!! The drains were not that bad, it was over quick and they slid out fairly well without too much catching. The binder is now truly a compression garment. PS said keep it on just to hold the drains in place in the beginning, but not tightly-well today it got tight! Think my boobs grew a whole cup size and I have a little rear end now :)
All in all the recovery is going better than I expected in many ways. I just wish I was able to have a little more energy- it will come in time, going to have those ebb and flows. Hope everyone else out there is doing well, I'm looking forward to seeing what this week brings!

Day 10 post op first night without drains

Wow how nice not to have to worry about those things! Getting comfortable with the compression garment being so tight took a bit, but honestly felt more secure moving around. It certainly does feel like there is no room for ANYTHING else if I would like to keep breathing, so am keeping meals very small, just several times per day. Pics have me in swimsuit that is waaaaaay too big, first pic without drains.
I'm keeping all of those recovering and those facing surgery in my thoughts and prayers, this truly has not been a breeze, but I went in thinking it was going to be very rough and was pretty stoic about it (thinking I'm doing this to myself so I better not complain or whine about it). It has not been that bad. We all have different experiences, we are all different ages, sizes and medical histories so we will not heal the same or deal with the same complications, but I think there tends to be a lot of negative stuff out there on the Internet that can be frightening, discouraging and depressing and not enough "normal or good" stories. I want to send a word of encouragement out to all of you to remember all the reasons you have chosen to take this path ( I'm sure it was not an overnight spur of the moment decision) keep positive and remain grateful every day for the tiny little steps forward that we take. I grumped yesterday about not having enough energy, then I thought about how lucky I am to be off work and to be able to rest whenever I needed to.
Blessings to you all, positive energy and healing vibes, if you need anything or have any questions let me know! If you would like a referral to a fantastic PS in the Cleveland area, give me a shout- I'm happy to tell you about my experiences with my consultations and my fantastic plastic surgeon, Dr. Leedy. He truly is worth travelling for!

Definitely overdid it yesterday! Day 12

Had to do a ton of running around both yesterday and today, boy was I hurting! Experienced swell hell for the first time! Much rest for me this evening and tomorrow as well!

Day 13 continued swell

So took it pretty easy today, only got in 3600 steps, am going up and down stairs without any difficulty and walking near upright most of the time except after sitting for long periods of time. Today was the first day I did not rest on bed for part of the day. Having no issues with bowels, sneezing is like having your innards ripped out and coughing is barely doable, however haven't even needed naproxen. Here's hoping everyday continues to get better!

Another day down!

Somehow I miscounted my days- tomorrow will be two weeks :) feel like I have to eat small meals, can't eat like I used to without being very uncomfortable ( which is a good thing since I have a hollow leg). We had lunch out today and feel i overdid it with the food, so pretty sure I'm going to pay for it.

2 weeks post op

Daily swelling continues. I'm sad to see a pouch when I look down, hopefully it is just swelling and will go away. I have not had any type of pain meds in days and feel achy for at least 1/2 the day, but not bad. I can't seem to make it a whole day without resting, which concerns me as I go back to work soon and have 12 hour days (thankfully not every day). Overall, scar looks good- just started biocorneum silicone scar gel today, so we will see how that works out.

3 Weeks and counting

Doing well, easily tired through the day, just trying to rest where and when I can. Return to work tomorrow and am very concerned about it, but we shall see. Here are some update photos.

Pre op vs 3 weeks post op

4 weeks post op

Feel as if it has been a long road to get here. Went back to work this past week, definitely could have used one more week off! Pretty tired all the time, but pushing through and trying to rest when I can. Have started slowly walking on the treadmill and keeping my step goal low (6000 vs 18k before surgery). Have updated photos, ran out of biocorneum and have started using scar away, mepitac tape and massaging the scars. Still hard to cough, laugh or sneeze- have instant spasms. Hope all is ok with everyone else! Will check in next week!

Week 5

Very long weekend -lots of activity and probably the most walking since before surgery. Feeling very swollen by the end of the day and it tends to be very uncomfortable. I have noticed if I massage my abdomen with my binder on it takes away some of the discomfort. Scar is healing nicely- not thrilled with bb yet, still feeling boxy, but overall progress. Energy is picking up, although I'm not up to full speed by any means. Some days I feel as if I have turned the corner, other days I feel like week 2. I'm excited to see how I do by the end of this week, as I will be hitting my 6 week mark.

6 Weeks Post OP

Monday marked 6 weeks since surgery. Have 90% of energy back, but still running low after a 12 hour work day. in the am, no swelling, but continue to swell and feel very tight in the evening, although my husband says he can't tell I'm swollen. Having tight muscles occasionally through the afternoon and evening, feels like painless contractions that will last anywhere from 1-5 minutes. Happy with AM results, looking forward to not having this swell in the evening. Still wearing CG and actually wear a second one on top when Im exercising or working for long periods of time where I will be hunched over (helps with mid and upper back pain). Scar coming along nicely, using medipac tape as well as a moisturizer beforehand.

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