Ready for Change - Dallas, TX

I'm 43yo, 5'2", and currently 149lbs. I never...

I'm 43yo, 5'2", and currently 149lbs. I never thought I would have a MM, but here I am! I've been reading RealSelf for several months, and it's been both informative and enlightening. I had my first consult a year ago, but wasn't ready to move forward. After reading many, many reviews I booked a consult with Dr. Vishnu Rumalla in Dallas. Before seeing him, I read his website thoroughly, watching most of the videos posted. I wanted to feel prepared, and also brought with me a list of questions and my husband. As soon as I met Dr. Rumalla, I knew was the right physician for the job. He was very through, honest, and personable. I'm relatively fit (I work out 4-5 days a week with Camp Gladiator, an outdoor bootcamp) but just can't seem to get my tummy to budge. After nursing 2 kids, the Girls are in a sad state, too. He recommended a breast lift with augmentation, and tummy tuck with flank lipo. I had to laugh a bit when he mentioned the appearance of my breasts. He said "Most of us think of them like sisters. In reality, they are usually more like cousins. Yours are like neighbors." A little shocking to hear, but sometimes the truth hurts! I've chosen to go with silicone under-the-muscle implants, in sizes 400 and 425. After leaving his office, and talking it over with my husband, I decided to book for the end of October. Now I'm just waiting, reading more reviews, and starting to gather the items I'll need for recovery. So far I've purchased 2 pairs of pajamas with button-front tops, and I found a set of 2 seamless tank tops at Marshall's ($9.99 for both!). I'm not going to buy too many things before the pre-op, but I'm so excited that I can't help but keep my eyes open for things I think I'll need.

Real photos

Ugh, it hurts to post these, but this is why we're here, right? These are post-workout photos. It looks like I sit on the couch & eat junk food, but in reality, I work out 5+ hours a week, and my eating is 75% clean. I don't expect miracles, but after 4 years of consistent workouts and a good diet, I was hoping for an actual visible difference in my abs. I did lose 30 lbs, and have kept off 20. I don't expect miracles, but am hoping for improvement!

Wish Pic

This is the wish pic I shared with Dr. Rumalla. Although I don't know her physical stats, I think this is realistic, and achievable. He seems to agree.

DIY ice packs

The know it's way too early to worry about minor details like ice packs for post-op swelling, but I strained my calf today, so I thought that because I need to ice it later I would share an easy way to make a re-useable ice pack. Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 3 parts water & freeze. That's it! I like to use a small ziploc freezer bag inside a larger freezer bag just to be sure there are no leaks. Freeze for a few hours and you've got a perfect slushy mixture for icing down injuries or swollen areas.

Just Over a Month Away

Bought a recliner today. Mostly because this MM is a good excuse for my husband to finally have one, but also because I know that there is no way I will be able to sleep in our queen bed after the surgery (my husband tosses & turns all night). Between those 2 things it seemed silly to rent a recliner when I knew we would be buying one sooner or later. It's a manual recliner, but I still think it will be steady enough to provide some relief while I'm recovering. We will put it in the living room for now, then move it into our bedroom just before my surgery. It's really hard not to buy "stuff" before my MM. I found a bunch of beautiful bras on sale, but I have no idea what size I will end up, so that's pointless. I'm trying not to buy any clothes right now because I know I will be swollen for a while, too.

I had my mammogram last week, and have been nervously awaiting my results. I called a few days ago, and it hasn't been read yet because they are waiting for my previous mammo from my last doctor (another state). Called them, and the doc & his staff are out of town until Monday. So frustrating! I'm glad I had it done as soon as I did, but I didn't really need another thing to stress over. Otherwise, everything is going OK. My workouts have been strong, my food has been pretty good. Counting down the days!

4 Weeks and Counting

As of yesterday, I am exactly 4 weeks away. I am excited, a little nervous, but feel confident that this is a good choice for me. I have family visiting for the next 2 weeks, so hopefully that will make the time go by more quickly. It's hard not to want to talk about it all the time, but we we are keeping this private from family & especially the kids. We WILL tell our kids, but not until just before the surgery. They can be worriers and I don't want them obsessing about it for too long. Leave that to me. ;). My plan is to tell them that I am having a hernia repair, and that I will need a few weeks to recover from that. I don't like not being fully honest with them, but my son is only 8 and does not need to know all the facts. He and I are very close, and I know he will be very worried about me. My daughter is 13.... I think she may notice I have larger breasts, but I don't think she will say anything. I worry about giving her full disclosure because I don't want her to think negatively about her body or having children. I thought about using the tactic that "for some women diet and exercise can only do so much after having children". But that doesn't feel right at this time. I'm sure that later on I will give her all the details but for now this is all she needs to know.

I finally received my Mammogram results yesterday & everything looks good. Dr. Rumalla's office has been really good about keeping in contact with me regarding the test results, and returning phone calls as needed. There's not much for me to do until the Pre-op visit on October 13. Just the usual of continuing to exercise, eat well, and visualize a successful surgery and healing process.

Worries, Fears, and a Milestone

With 3 weeks to go, and not much to do, it's hard not to think of the possible downsides or complications to major surgery. I worry most about less than optimal results, and yet that is mostly out of my hands! My surgeon is primarily responsible for that part, and that's why it's so critical to do the research before a procedure like this. I certainly don't expect to come out with the "perfect" body, but I desperately want to wear a bikini next summer! I really want my boobs to be EVEN, full, and lifted without looking too large. I hope to have a flat stomach, too, but having never had one, it's hard to imagine that will be the case. I hope hope hope it is!

Reading reviews here on RS has also helped me to feel better about working so hard in the gym (and the kitchen), and not being able to achieve better results. Genetics are unchangeable, and every woman's body is going to respond differently to pregnancy. I wish I could say that I had my kids & was still able to achieve a flat stomach, or that my boobs were just as perky as before kids, but that is not the case. Such is life! And there's nothing wrong with working hard but still needing a little surgical help to get to where you want to be. I feel grateful that my husband supports me in this, and that this is not going to place a strain on our finances. It feels selfish so spend so much money on myself, but really, it's less than a used car, and it will last a lot longer! My fears come into play when I worry about having a difficult recovery & placing a strain on my family. I feel horribly guilty that I will be out of commission for weeks. I do so much for my family, and with the holidays coming up I feel awful that I will be out of the loop for who-knows-how-long.

The milestone is that today is my 14th wedding anniversary. We decided on no gifts this year, but we are going out to dinner tonight. The plan for next year is Costa Rica in a tiny bikini! Again, I am grateful that my husband is supportive of this procedure, and extra grateful that I was able to schedule it when he has 5 days off in a row to help get me through the days immediately after. I just wish he would quit saying that he's going to ask Dr. Rumalla about adding another 100cc's to the implants!

Pre-Op Completed Today

Headed to the doctor's office bright and early this morning. Pre-op went smoothly, and other than leaving with more nerves, all is well. First thing, I signed all the consents, then disrobed & they took pictures. Dr. Rumalla came in, we spoke about the TT, then did a final try-on of sizers. Looks like it will be 325 L and 400 R, Mentor moderate profile silicone, under the muscle. I felt fairly well-informed going in, but now have a few things to mull over. On day of surgery, I will go in at 11am for a 12pm surgery. Will be in recovery that evening, and he will return that night to check me and walk me. Discharge is at 7:30 am the next day! Decided that I will be driven home that day, then return Saturday to be checked, and again on Tuesday. Received all my prescriptions (5). The only item that I wasn't expecting is that at discharge I need to wear a gown of some sort - no pants. The nurse said I will have a "fanny pack" with the drains in it, and they don't want pants of any sort to be pressing on them. I don't know why that surprised me, but it did, and I'm trying to decide on the best garment for this.... caftan I will wear once? Double hospital gown? Zip front short nightgown? I know this is very minor, but I also know that I will be feeling like I was run over by a truck & having to put on an ugly gown is not going to help my mood at that time. Trivial, but focusing on the trivial helps me to not freak out about the major surgery I'll be recovering from in less than 2 weeks. Oh, and I can't shower until the drains are out - YUCK!

I also paid the balance due, with the exception of the anesthesiologist fees. I will call next week & pay them separately. I split it between a credit card (paid off each month) and debit card, and did not know the charge exceeded my daily limit - it locked up my card for the rest of the day, so that was a not-so-fun surprise. Hopefully this will be resolved tomorrow.

Honesty: My husband came with me, and we fought for most of the day, beginning with the car ride to the doctor's office. Many issues surfaced, with the main one being that I am being selfish, and that "this surgery won't benefit anyone but me" (his words, not mine). I agree, it's totally selfish. There is no way around that. But I hope that this will also bring new confidence to me, and to our relationship. Sure, the final outcome is still TBD, but I honestly believe I am going to feel more comfortable, more confident, sexier, and stronger after I am done & healed.

Finally, on the way home we stopped and filled the prescriptions at Costco. I've never used their pharmacy before, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty fast, and not as costly as I thought it would be considering we have terrible rx benefits. Total was $57 for 5 rx, including Vicodin, a nausea patch, Zofran for nausea, Valium for muscle spasms, and an antibiotic. Now I just need to decide what else I "need" for the first week or so after surgery. I did pick up a compression garment from TJ Maxx last week - it's very snug, and was only $16! Haven't found any good zip-front bra options yet.

1 Week to Go!

I've made a To-Do list to complete before next Wednesday, placed an Amazon order, and have just a few more items to pick up. I feel like this week is going very slowly, but nothing I can do about that, right?

1. The Amazon items I purchased are: protein powder (I was out of it anyway, and assume I'll be on a light diet for the first 7-10 days after surgery), a sleep mask, a back scratcher, and a back massager. I read lots of "sore back" comments here on RS, so I hope that the back massager will help. I'll have a recliner in the bedroom, so hopefully I'll be able to nap comfortably.

2. Still need to buy basic underwear, body wipes (not sure how long until I can take a real shower), arnica pills, and possibly a shower stool. I'm going to look at the local thrift stores for the shower stool, but I'm not too worried if I don't find one. The basic underwear (boyshorts) will come in handy because Shark Week should start just a few days after surgery. Not sure if I should be buying compression garments or zip-front sports bras. I have an idea of what size I'll be after surgery, but nothing is final, right? I also bought 2 containers of coconut water with pineapple, and I'll pick up a few Bolthouse protein shakes just to have something easy to consume. I may make some chicken soup this weekend, too.

3. My To-Do list is mostly cleaning items. I'm chipping away at it, but my husband switches to nights on Friday, so I'm going to have to be strategic about what I can accomplish while he's sleeping during the day.

4. My pre-op instructions said that I shouldn't do any "strenuous exercise" for 10 days prior, so I decided that I'll do my last workout Friday, then do light yoga until Wednesday. Not exactly 10 days, but I feel like it's a reasonable compromise. I won't be totally sedentary, but I also won't have sore muscles or swollen tissue going into surgery.

5. No shaving for 2 weeks prior? Are we animals? I should have asked for specifics on this, but I'm going to play dumb & assume this means no shaving of the lady parts. It's bad enough that I am still unclear on when I can shower post-surgery.

4. I'm planning on spending time with each of my kids this weekend, and I'm so excited to do this but it feels bittersweet, too. They don't know about the surgery and I feel bad about hiding things from them, but I also think this is a little more "adult" than what a 12 and 8 year old need to know right now. It does feel awkward that we are making plans for Halloween & parties, etc., and I haven't let on that I won't be able to participate. They even have a church Halloween party the night of my surgery, and they don't know that my husband will be taking them, not both of us.

5. I don't know if I should tell my trainer about this or not. I'll be out for around 2 months, and I know I'll have exercise restrictions when I return. I just feel.... shy..... about talking about it in advance. My workouts have been really strong in the past months, and I'm sad at the prospect that I won't be able to be very physical for the next few months, but I am hoping that I'll be able to re-build quickly.

6. My husband has been very supportive. He had a little freak-out on the day of my Pre-Op, but since then he admitted he was just unhappy about the $$, and he is excited for me to do this. I know it's not REALLY the money - it's a lot, but it's just money - I think it was just the moment. I'm excited for the final outcome & to wear a teeny bikini during our trip next year! And I am pretty sure he's going to like that, too ;)
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

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