PART II of the Journey! Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck & Laser Bra Breast Lift - Columbus, OH

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See part one of my story here. It's my second...

See part one of my story here.

It's my second week back to work. First week was rough, but the second is getting better. I got one of my drains out on my three week post op visit last Thursday and the fourth and final one is coming out tomorrow!! Yay!

Post Op Day 25: Today I head to Columbus after...

Post Op Day 25: Today I head to Columbus after work to get my last drain removed. I have a feeling it's going to be a new world for me after that! I am really looking forward to it! It's been hard having this thing in me for close to a month. Whew!

I have lost some of my writing due to being over the limit here so kept writing for a few days on updates but did not check to see if they were coming through or not and they were not coming through past post up day 18.

So, from post op day 18 through post up day 24 was my first week back to work. I also "over did it" that week by going to an evening concert on Wed. night, knowing I had four hours on the road for Thursday after work for my week three post op Dr. visit. So by Friday I was swacked. I actually had to leave work early that day. I just could not stand the pain and weariness one more half hour, it was that bad.

This is my second week back to work but I made myself stay home more on the weekend and rest. That is very hard to do.
I also found that my compression garment that did not fit the week before, did fit by this past weekend. So I'm glad I did not buy the large and just wore my binder through that week instead of buying another expensive compression garment. The medium is snug but it is supposed to be that so it's good.

Here is what I learned about me and my recovery last week during week three:

1: All outings must be done first thing in the morning when I'm feeling my best. I begin to curl up like a shrimp around 1 pm and continue to curl until bedtime. (that is not as bad this week however, because my new compression garment seems to really help keep that to a minimum). Evening outings are just an absolute NO; it's just too much for me still. So matinees are the best outing. Not only do you get to save money by going early, but you also get to sit and enjoy entertainment instead of walking around a lot. Walking around a lot like a mall or a festival or even a concert, is not a great way to spend my time the first four weeks after surgery.

2: Oh the difference a good compression garment makes! I got the high wasted snap crotch brief that is made by Maidenform. Flexeez I think is their label on these. When I bought it, I did that based on the pants size I wore pre-surgery and so it was a medium. I got it home and could not get it over my swelling nor my two drains that I still had. Last week I was able to have one drain removed and so I gave it another try and I was able to get it on. What I learned about the CG is that unsnap the crotch and pull it up like a skirt. It will be a fight, this thing does not like it's job and so it is sort of like trying to get a horse to accept a saddle for the first time. It's going to fight you, bite you and buck. You will attempt to be a "CG Whisperer" to get this thing on, like in Horse Whisperer, but that is not going to work with this will need to so some gymnastics and cirque du soleil moves in order to get this thing on, but the more you use, it, the more user friendly it becomes. It will make a world of difference in your day when you start using it. The support helps your muscles not get so tired and therefore "homo-erectus" begins to take place and you stand straighter, longer.

3. I over-did it during healing. I treated this like any other surgery, and I've had a few. Gastric Bypass, Complete Hysterectomy (open), Gall Bladder, Ruptured Appendix (open). This is not like any of those .... at all. With those, the more I pushed myself to walk, the more I white knuckled pushing myself to do things, the quicker I got back onto my feet. With this surgery, it had just the opposite effect. It sent me reeling in the wrong direction. I really learned a lesson here. I also have to admit that it's been ten years since any of my last surgeries and quite possibly it is that I'm just older.... but I really don't want to accept that awful thought. LOL So anyways, slow going is the way to get better from this surgery. Period. I also got myself into some bad nights by trying to get off the pain meds too soon. There is no shame in having to be on those things and I am not sure why I felt shame in using them past a certain day. If the bottle goes empty and you are still having hellish pain, it's ok to contact your office and see if they will phone you in another order. They normally will. Let go of the guilt and shame that pain is not your thing. Hey, it wasn't Anastasia Steele's thing either. (Fifty Shades of Grey comment) Pain is not our friend, and Vicodin (or Vikings Den as I like to call it) is a good one to kick our enemy away for us. Let it be the hero. That's what it does, it's a hero to rescue us damsels in distress.... Dang few of those these days, eh? Except for Christian Grey.... (but I did not read the book, or book 2, or book 3 in two weeks......ok I'm a liar liar pants on fire)....

I think I learned some more things too but will talk about those later, after I go over the limit for my part two to my profile. The pictures I have are on part one by the way. If you can find it. I am not sure it linked properly but it should be there somewhere. :)

Happy Healing!!!

Post Op day 26: I am happy today because yesterday...

Post Op day 26: I am happy today because yesterday the fourth and final drain was removed. Why I wore white capri pants to the appointment is still something I'm asking myself. Seems like what little draining that was happening from that drain site, did not care that the drain was not there anymore. Even though the nurse did a great job covering it with bandages, it leaked through before I made the 2 hour trip home. So needless to say another round of laundry to get a blood stain out. Hopefully for the last time.

I asked about maderma, since I did buy some before my surgery and have been waiting to use it. He told me he did not advise using it because he does not think it works. But he did say that he does recommend using something called Bio Oil so I looked that up today on Amazon, but I think I will drop in to a pharmacy and see if I can pick it up today so I can start using it right away.

Was super exhausted last night when I got home. Still that way this morning. I am so tired of being tired so easily. At one point last night I really said out loud "this was not worth doing". I was tired still and I was hurting. There are some good days and it does get better but it gets better so slowly that it just gets to a point when I ask myself why I even did this. I know it's only been 4 weeks this week and I know it is normal to have these thoughts too so I know there are better days ahead and someday I will not tire so easily and someday there will not be any pain in my day. I just wish it were here already. :) Ok, time to go get coffee. I think my first day without any drains is going to be wonderful and I'll be singing the praises of this surgery before 24 hours is up again like before. :)

Happy Healing!

Post Op Day 27: Still experiencing some soreness...

Post Op Day 27: Still experiencing some soreness at night but getting better and still not walking totally upright, but getting better and still exhausted very easily. I did find a Compression garment that I like now though and is lots less pinchie, and I got it right at Walmart for I think around eleven dollars. It's by Cupid. So far it holds me nice and firm but at the same time is comfortable. Will see how this one goes. It does not have the snap crotch like the other one though.

I started using bio oil yesterday. Love the scent of it and also it seems good to be massaging this stuff into my incisions. There is a bit more feeling in that area now and so maybe this will help with circulation and that numbness that is going on in those areas where my incisions are.

Happy Healing everyone!

Post Op Day 28: Wow it has been a month today! I...

Post Op Day 28: Wow it has been a month today! I will need to be posting pictures again I think. It's sure been one heck of a ride these past four weeks. Last night was a particularly rough night for me swelling and pain and exhaustion after work. I hear that two months out you feel pretty good so I'm half way there!! Yay!

Post Op day 29: Each day is an adventure. It may...

Post Op day 29: Each day is an adventure. It may be a good day or it may be a rough one. I have come to some realizations in the past month as I adjust to this process and my body tries to keep up with that adjustment too.

I have come to realize there is a dynamic duo at work and they are both begging to get their way. One of these evil twins would be the incision posse. They are easy to spot, and so they get a lot of attention and they can often get their way because they will get angry red and sore until you loosen the compression garment. Mind you, for me, this is mostly my vertical incision line that begins at the top of my compression garment just between my ribs. The lower horizontal line is most of the time comfortable these days I don't even feel it. The other part of this dynamic duo is the muscles underneath. They are the silent partners who are not so very silent the moment you take off the compression garment or if you have overdone it in a day. They let you know they are very much there and want to get their way regarding that compression garment.

The incision posse says take off the CG. The silent partners say keep it on. So I walk a fine line in balancing my attempt to keep them both happy. Whoever screams the loudest wins at this point. I'm like one of those exhausted new moms of very small babies. Keep peace and whoever squawks the loudest gets their way the soonest.

So my Compression Garment is friend AND foe at this point. Sometimes I'm just so darned ready to run free and naked in the meadow like a loon and not have to have this sports bra and CG on! I still have to wear both until I see my PS in another month. I got this breast lift so I could wear victoria secret bras, not these utilitarian suits of armor I'm wearing currently!

I am so envious of those who were able to get a regular tummy tuck instead of this cross cut one I had to have to repair my life damages. I had so much fun in life going up and down in weight that I got stuck in the penalty box of the "fleur de lis" tummy tuck. This is reserved for the very very bad, like me..... ;) They should call it something less flowery and romantic and pretty, because it's a rough cut and it extends healing time and hurts like heck. By the way, my fluctuations in weight over my life do include when I was pregnant two times so I've been calling this thing a Mommy Makeover, when in fact it's just a repairing of my own bad habits, but what the heck, yep, I will blame it on the kids and the blessing of being able to shoot forth life from my innards twice.... My kids are so old at the time I'm having this that they will be having kids of their own shortly so if anything, I gotta call this a "grand-mommy makeover" cuz my my kids stopped calling me "mommy" two decades ago.

What do you call the tummy tuck breast lift procedure when the person has had two kids, a gastric bypass, plus another three other times in her life when she has gained and lost a large amount of weight? "Mommy Makeover" just does not seem to fit the bill.... Seems more like a renovation than a makeover. This old house has had some major damage! Torso renovation is more like it. Everything from the upstairs to the basement is under construction for pete sakes. :)

Well I sure hope that everyone is having some wonderful healing and I also sure hope y'all find me soon because since I started posting to this new "part two" of my journey, not one person has visited. LOL

Happy Healing!

Post Op day 30: I took my first bath yesterday...

Post Op day 30: I took my first bath yesterday since my surgery! Woo hoo, it felt so good. I've been taking showers daily since early on, but getting to take a soaking jacuzzi bath was nice and I think it was good for those incisions to get some soak time too. I've been using the bio oil too and I swear that I could begin seeing differences in the appearance of my incisions within the first day of using it. I love the scent too, which is nice. I usually wear essential oils in the summer for my scent anyways, like nag champa, pachouli, or sandalwood. This lends nice to that in a blend it seems. I also think that rubbing this oil into my incisions twice a day is helping me also get past this squeamishness of touching my incision areas.

Yesterday I stayed close to home due to some tummy troubles. Not sure what that is all about but in attempting to figure it out, I found that some of the extra stuff I've been taking can cause diarrhea so the fact that I'm on about three things doing that now, I am backing out of using any of them until things settle down in my tummy then I can begin adding them back in one at a time to figure out what is the culprit. Arnica Montana, when taken long term can cause this, so I've gone off of that. Also there is a coffee I've begun drinking for my EBV that has reishi mushroom in it that can also cause it. Then there is the sassy water which can also cause it since its a detox. Soooooo, when hitting my system with three things like that in a short period of time, I cannot blame my tummy for having a revolt.

I had a stubborn fool moment yesterday morning. I decided that I would wear my bathing suit, without the CG and without the bra, and go outdoors for a bit. It was 100 degrees here yesterday so I did not plan to stay out there long. For some reason beyond my comprehension still, I had planted a garden on mother's day, knowing full well I would not be able to tend to it this summer. So I went out to see this awful weed pit that is my garden. It's pretty substantial in size too so when I goof up, I do it with vigor. I wanted to crawl into this green mass of waist high weeds to see if anything grew at all from what I'd planted or if the weeds totally choked it all out. Well I fought my way to where I think I planted the zucchini plants and sure enough, there were some plants attempting to grow. So I began pulling weeds that were waist high; even though my PS said wait a month before I can do that stuff. By the time I got hold of myself and ceased the illegal activity, I'd made enough space around some of the plants to at least get them some sun. Garden abuse I tells ya. Pure unadulterated garden abuse. That's what I've done when I planted a garden this year knowing I could not work in it. This living alone has a lot of advantages, but this would be one of the disadvantages.

So I'm planning to begin my HCG phase again tomorrow so today and yesterday were loading days and I've been to tummy troubled to load much which is disappointing since that is the most fun two days of the HCG protocol. The question I ask myself is "should I be going into the this 500 calorie a day phase when I'm only 4 weeks out of this surgery?" The answer I have given myself, in my rationale, is that I am finding that this past week, I had a day when I over ate and I was miserable. I find that my tummy tuck area actually feels better if I under eat a bit, rather than it it spot on what I normally eat, and I'm a healthy eater now that I'm older it seems. So we will see how it goes. I will be gauging my body this week to see how I feel and if it's too soon, I will abandon the idea until another time.

The good news is that I've lost 4 pounds this week already. The swelling must be starting to slow down. The surgery I had resulted in the doc cutting off 5 pounds of excess stuff from me. So I can't take any credit for the first five pounds lost. Lost that in the amputation. ;)

May your swelling be low and your ta-tas be high! Happy healing everyone!

Post Op Day 31: Lastnight was the first night I...

Post Op Day 31: Lastnight was the first night I have slept through the night without being awakened by the need to take some tylenol. I feel I'm moving around much better each day the past couple days. I walk with less than a hunch as long as I wear my CG. Life is good again! It took some time to say that though. :) I am missing my morning walks before work. I miss doing my barn chores in the morning. I have not been given the clear to do that yet though. Have to wait to two months post op for the barn chores. I may, however, be ok to begin my morning walks.

I am beginning the 500 calorie temporary phase of the HCG protocol today so will be getting back on the straight and narrow. I grilled up some skinless and boneless chicken breasts yesterday and bought a big bunch of salad greens and apples, so I'm set to go. I always feel better after doing one of these phases. Then I eat normally for a couple months, but healthy of course. I started this process in Jan. 2011. That was 80 pounds ago so have had some success with it. It really works with the post gastric bypass way of eating too so it makes even more sense. High protein, low simple carbs (still get to have some complex ones though so it's not carb free).

Well time to get my day in gear here.

Happy Healing!

Post Op Day 32: I hardly took any tylenol...

Post Op Day 32: I hardly took any tylenol yesterday for the first time. The night before last I slept through the night without waking up for any tylenol more than once. I still get pretty tired out and I really had some swelling yesterday afternoon and into the evening. That seems to be what causes hunched afternoons. I looked down at my belly towards the end of my work day and it looked like a little pot. I looked three months pregnant. Not totally swollen, just pouchy. I am getting around very well now though. I think since I am four and a half weeks post op, that it makes sense that I should get around better now. :) I do get tired pretty quickly still. I still have a few scabs where my vertical scar meets my horizontal one just below my belly button. Other than that though, my skin has healed nicely and evenly everywhere and the scabbing has gone away. Again, I have to say I've seen a markedly different appearance in my incisions since I started using the Bio Oil twice a day that my PS suggested, and I've only been using it now for six days. Great stuff and can be bought right at Walmart! Who knew? I will be glad when I can lift so that I can go back to my morning routine around the farm before going into the office. I may try to find a way in which this can happen without me lifting much.

Each day is a new journey and learning to view my body in it's new packaging is a work in process for me. I have fought a weight problem since I was 7 years old. This is a lifetime of self imagery issue that does not go away easily. I am working on it though.

Happy healing everyone!

Six month anniversary! Well last weekend I hit...

Six month anniversary!

Well last weekend I hit the six month mark. It's been months since I've been back here so I've been terrible about updating. The healing process continues, but I almost never think about it anymore. The only time I feel anything is when I have been bad and have over indulged when I've eaten. It does not cause any pain, but it does feel like a "pulling" sensation or feels swollen in my abdominal area. This does not hurt though, just feels funny. I still am not really comfortable lying on my tummy, so I just don't lay on my tummy. Other than that, all is good.

I am a bit disappointed to learn that my thigh area may not get done. My surgeon told me that he would prefer to refer me elsewhere if I'm having a thigh lift. He tells me there is not a great customer satisfaction rate in thigh lifts. I really wanted to get those done next, so I'm in a bit of a quandry over that. He is able to do my arms though, and I may still get that done. Cost is a huge factor of course, and I've still got lots to get paid off with this loan I took out for this year's surgery.

I still say it's been worth it. My scars are fading, and I'll get a picture of that up here soon. Since I have the most invasive of the tummy tucks, my scars are going in both directions. I'm pleased with the way they are healing and fading; even though they will never fade completely.

The holiday season has been a tough one. I've wanted to go to town on some christmas cookies but so far I've refrained. I keep reminding myself of the project I begun on my exterior self and the maintenance and upkeep on that is something that is part of the deal I made to myself. So I try to stave off the carbohydrate feeding frenzy that I would love to go on. My interior self continues to keep vigil over the palace gates as a barrage of cookies, cakes, and carmel corn make their way to the office this season. Come on January, hurry up and get here. It will calm down a bit then and I can relax my guard a bit. I have come too far to get taken out of the game by a snickerdoodle! :)

Almost 3 years later. Update

I've not been back in a very long time. I guess once I got this done, I just sort of moved on with my life. Looking back across the past close to three years now, I have to say that there has never been a half of a minute that I ever regretted doing this. I may still be paying off the loan, and I'm still a bit touchy when lying on my tummy, but I will tell you, that it has been 100 % worth it.

If you are trying to decide if you want to do it, all I can say is you just have to decide that you are worth the investment. We spend much more on a car, and we are not even in that all of the time like we are our bodies.... so it sort of just makes sense to get a bit of bondo on the old bucket, if you ask me.

Good luck on your journey. If you do your homework and get yourself a great plastic surgeon, I have a feeling you will not regret it!

Dr. Heck has been wonderful. He has made me feel totally comfortable through this process and his expertise makes me feel very confident in the work he has done on me.Updated on 20 Jun 2012:I had my procedures done on June 8th, 2012. I am not quite two weeks out of my surgery yet, but I already can tell you that I am extremely pleased in placing my trust in Dr. Heck and the wonderful staff at Columbus Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery. I did a lot of homework before making the decision on who I was going to go forward with my surgeries with. I made several contacts, read a lot of reviews, and checked credentials before making that decision. Dr. Heck and his staff made me feel at ease instantly. He assesses you and your unique issues and gives you a solid game plan that keeps your safety and the results you want in balance. I could not be happier already with the results of my laser bra breast lift and my tummy tuck. I am still in the recovery period but I can tell you that I have total trust in Dr. Heck and his medical and artistic expertise along with his fantastic bedside manner that puts you at ease immediately and continues through post op visits. I cannot wait to see as the scars fade, the results are going to be fabulous!

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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