I started off getting a consult for a breast lift....
I started off getting a consult for a breast lift. I was a 32G and had been busty since I was 16. I hated the way my breasts looked after so many weight fluctuations. After my first consult, I was sitting with the patient coordinator and I asked, "So can he take the fat from my tummy and put it...in my butt?" She smiled at me. "Well, not IN my butt" I gestured using my hands "but ... you know IN my butt?" She nodded before telling me that he did indeed do fat transfers and I could talk with him about it. So I had a second consult to ask him about putting it "in" my butt but not "IN" there. He took a look, he grabbed at my belly and thoughtfully said, "You don't have enough fat in there to get the results you want. Its mostly skin. For the cost, and the recovery - it wouldn't be worth it for you. You would do really well with a tummy tuck. I think that would give you some features you want, along with your lift, that will be more worth your time and the results you want." I blinked. Tummy tuck. That was some invasive stuff - that's like 6 months recovery right? Lots of time off? Super crazy painful and difficult right? I fired off a bunch of questions, and he answered all of them, using my skin to show me what he would do and how. He told me to think about it but that a fat transfer from my belly wasn't going to be worth the cost and time. That my BL would be relatively pain free, and was one of the easiest to recover from, having the TT at the same time I could use the time off I already had. He explained that he did the drainless TT, one with the internal stitching and that was also a good option for me.
So I came home and said, "Wait. am I really thinking of doing this??" and I was. I mean - I've crunched, I've planked, I've eaten well but I haven't seen a flat stomach since I was 14. I have no kids. I can't blame it on childbearing- it was the weight over the years. 90 lbs to 130 lbs, to 165 lbs back to 92 and up to 150, down to 140 and 130.. I had held steady at 121 lbs for a few years. I worked out 3-5 days a week and I ate clean 85% of the time. I spent time looking in the mirror. I took pictures and I went on the internet to see... what was a tummy tuck and would I really do it?
I did indeed. On 12/30 I had both procedures done. Originally I posted only in the BL section but decided yesterday I should do mini posts here for TT folks, esp since mine is drainless.
"You put your finger in my butt!"
It's been a few days - I'm at day 10 post op for the BL and TT. The BL has left me with itchy boobs but relatively ok to recover from. The tummy tuck.. OMG.... don't ....ever.... SNEEZE. or COUGH. or LAUGH. The first 3 days were the worst. I was in so much discomfort and pain, I never realized how many stomach muscles you use to do ordinary things. I am so grateful my sister, mom and a good friend were there to just help me. They made sure that I ate, that I was as comfortable as possible, that I was hydrated (VERY important) and my poor guy friend.... no one else was there - I was nauseous from the anesthesia and medication. Dry heaving (which was * painful) and no relief in sight. The doc had prescribed anti nausea medication - it was a suppository. My friend dutifully retrieved it from the fridge and helped me put on a glove. He left the room while I painfully rolled onto my side and tried to ....find... the ... spot. After 5 mins of fumbling and pushing around I started to cry. Tears of frustration, pain and humiliation that I COULDN'T FIND MY BUTT to stop this ridiculous feeling of yuck.
"You ok?" he called out uncertainly from the other room.
"Noooooo" I wailed back. "I can't find my butt!!!" I could hear his nervous laughter. "It's not funny!" I was so upset and it was so painful to balance on my side.
He walked back in and tried on a glove "These are too small." I told him to go to my kitchen and get one from above the sink. When he returned, he flipped me over, took the suppository and said, "OK,take a breath." before successfully inserting the blessed medication.
He was settling me back into the bed, enough pillows to keep me at the right angle, my catheter dutifully emptied and on the floor when I muttered, "You put your finger in my butt..." I was warned never to tell anyone or he'd take my pain meds and put them out of reach.
I faded back into some needed sleep, wet tears drying on my face, my butt a bit violated but no longer heaving.
Patience... eludes me.
I thought I'd write a quick update - I'm now 17 days post op and I have to admit I was thinking I was going to be back at the gym, at work, driving, wearing all my clothes, feeling fantastic! I really was and so I got frustrated when I didn't seem to be able to do/look like others on here. I kept comparing myself to them. It was like something was wrong with me.
I had sent some questions and photos to my PS office and he made time for me to come in the next day. He listened patiently while i rattled off all the things that I KNEW were wrong, he examined me and my incisions and my swelling. Then he told me I should try to relax and be good to myself. I was healing just the way I should, he saw nothing of concern and I was going to see a lot of changes over the next few weeks to 3 months. I appreciated that because I really was in a panic.
Today- when I drive to work (40 mins) I am stiff and sore so I don't like to sit in one position for too long. I seem to do better during the day but in the evening I'm tired, I feel more swollen and sore. The very ends of the incisions are tender and I hate the way it feels when the binder is on it. There is a tiny scab that is ALMOST off but not quite and it catches and frickin HURTS so I put a band aid on it to keep it from pulling when I go potty. I don't like wearing clothing. I'm happiest when I'm in the shower and I have nothing on. Fabric on my skin makes me itch, irritates me and frustrates me. I have no idea how I will dress for work next week because I live in my Snoopy, Dr Seuss and Batman pajama bottoms. I only wake up twice during the night instead of 4 times so I'm getting more rest.
But I'm better today than I was 3 days ago, 7 days ago, 10 days ago and more. It will get better, I will heal and I wont be in this place always. That is what I keep saying to myself.
I'm so frustrated!!!!! Does the swelling ever stop or go down or stop??!
I saw my PS last week and he checked everything - said my swelling is fine and expected, no concerns. I have to say though - I HATE IT. I'm always swollen, and the swelling gets worse by late afternoon. By 3 my stomach feels tight and heavy, by 5 I'm so done. I don't want to go anywhere or do anything and i hate wearing clothes. I am so heavy and swollen that I know I need to eat dinner but don't want to.
The PS told me to be patient as my body heals and that over the next few weeks - 3 months I'll see several changes including the reduction of swelling. I'm TRYING to be patient but I hate this. It's uncomfortable, I don't like wearing my clothes right now and I hate wearing spanx 24/7, I hate this feeling. I felt like I had a couple of great days this weekend and doing better but today I feel down.
Not where I wanted to be
Here I am - today is 4 weeks PO and I had a vision that I would be moving around well, wearing my clothes with ease and feeling up to regular life. It's not where I am.
Am I better than 2 weeks ago? Definitely. It's not the first 3 or 4 days after surgery and I can walk, I can move around and I can shower without sitting down. I went back to work so I do my 40 min drive there and 40 min drive back.
But my swelling hasn't decreased, and by 3pm I'm even more swollen. My incisions are tight and ache, my tummy feels tighter and so I end up walking slower and more hunched again. If I sit in a spot more than 20 mins then I ache and it hurts when I move to stand up or walk around. I don't like wearing my pants - I've switched to wearing a size up and as loose as I can for work. I"m wearing compression garments 24/7 the only time I have them off is in the shower. I started double compression as well as Bromelin 3x a day.
I get tired - it takes me 2 hours to do one load of laundry, I struggle to take out the garbage and vacuum - I now have spitting stitches on my hip and under one breast. I know it's normal - and it could be much much worse. I just thought I'd be in a different place by now and I'm frustrated that I'm still bloated, big, uncomfortable and tired. My PS has answered my emails and my calls, and I've seen him 2x since the surgery - had an appt today. He says I'm healing just fine. My incisions are doing fine, belly button is good, my boobs look great (I have to take the steri strips off tomorrow, they haven't come off on their own...) but the swelling all day, all night - it never goes away. PS says it could be months of swelling, months of looking like this. It will just go away at some point. Wearing itchy tight compression garments all the time, back aches, headaches, sleep problems and how I feel by 3pm isn't quite what I hoped for. I am not going to post any more until I can be more positive.
I think I'm just depressed, negative and impatient - so I need to stop rambling all these negative things. Hopefully I will be back with good and positive.
Pleating; swelling and compression garments - hello my familiar friends!
Ok so I spend about 45 minutes last night typing up an update and pictures but it DID NOT POST. So here I am again.
I had to back away. I had to step away from anything that had to do with either my BL or TT. I was very fortunate that someone here reached out to me privately with their story and some photos to let me know that I just needed to hang on. The same thing that the PS has been telling me but wow.. I just was so miserable!! It's crazy because I haven't been in pain, no infections or complications (so far) it was just this DISCOMFORT. My skin all over my trunk is super sensitive - clothing, water anything touching it made me itch, made me fret. Seeing my breasts without the steri tape was scary, looking at how much needed to heal. Plus I've developed spitting stitches on the underside of one and around the nipple of the other. My OCD self wants to pull them, scratch at them - I feel them and I don't like it. I can feel the incisions and stitches under my breasts and around my nipples. Not literally but yes, my OCD self can.
Then there is my stomach. Pleating on the sides which is better - swelling which is better - but STILL happening. I wake up and I can stretch, walk upright there is a little swelling. I can put on my regular work clothes. But by about 1pm, my skin feels tight and stretched. My stomach is much more swollen and my clothing is no longer comfortable. I walk slower, a slight hunch, my hand on my abdomen because just walking produces a movement which feels unbearable. I stand frequently or move because my stomach feels like it might rip. I barely get home because driving by 5pm sucks!! I waddle in and change into my big Snoopy or Dr Seuss pants and a tshirt, by the time it comes to bed time I'm ready for those Tylenol PM and to get stretched out with my body pillow.
Today is only a few days later - not even a week but I sleep almost through the night, I can move onto my side for a while, I wake up and there is less swelling, the pleating on the sides is smoothing out.I'm still uncomfortable, swollen by the end of the day. My stomach feels so tight it aches to try to be completely straight or upright. Every moment grates on me. My breasts are sensitive and I can feel the scabbing and healing incisions on the fabric of my soft bra.
But... it takes time- it takes weeks, months to physically heal. Along with that is the emotions, the mental recovery that you have to do.
9 weeks out - post TT and BL
I don't have an appointment until April, so I'm just... wearing compression garments, taking my supplements, and doing what the post op stuff says to do. I did call the office this week and ask a bunch of questions for "When can I..". So.. I can start doing massages, chiropractic (just make sure I'm communicating with them and mindful of the pressure etc); nothing on my incisions yet - 3 months so I'll ask him next month if I can do any scar therapy. Working out - I'm cleared to go but no core work and be mindful of my body. I was warned working out would increase my swelling - and that was disappointing.
Seriously - I told the nurse I've never NOT had swelling in my stomach. It's gotten better, I can see that the pleating is less than when I first had the TT but I see everyone say "I'll see you on the flat side!" and I'm still waiting for the flat part. Now, before you comment negatively - I can SEE the difference. I meant the "mouth" is gone - I can look at the before and see the improvements. I'm about 90% back to where I need to be, I feel much better than I did and the incisions are healing well. I'm HOPING ... silently hoping that the swelling stops and I actually do have a flat belly from top to bottom. It's never not swollen. When I wake up its there, throughout the day under my CG it's there, and when I go to bed it's there. I really need to start working out again I feel sluggish and every time I eat, I feel like my belly is fat (and I KNOW it isn't but it feels that way). I miss working out and I've gotten out of the habit.
Also - is anyone else feel like they are eating all the time ??? or eating ridiculous things? I keep reaching for animal crackers, skittles, sweet tarts, chips.. wth?? It's emotional right??
It really is better, I know it is. I just keep comparing myself to where everyone else is at this point and I have to stop. Breath. Enjoy those before and afters and see that I have come so far. I am too tired these days, too emotional and I need to look again I know this is more about other stressors in my life. Work, home, life in general - and I'm just putting it on this. I will look at the photos- see the progress, focus on what is good and stay patient. Tomorrow, I will get back on track with a small workout, get back to clean eating and stop wallowing! Onward and upward!!
My belly button itches now...
29 Mar 2016
3 months post
It started about 3 days ago but OMG the itching and I can't scratch it. I mean it isn't IN the belly button but I don't have any feeling on my stomach yet so when I scratch it isn't actually addressing the itch either. I want to get my Nerf gun and shoot styrofoam bullets at something.
I haven't done any more posting because there wasn't much change. Still not much - my incisions are fine, they are healing great from what i can see. I haven't done any scar therapy so its just them doing what they do which is fine. I'm wearing my normal clothes, but still wearing CGs for 10-12 hours a day. I still have swelling at the bottom part of my stomach - never flat. It's gotten better, I can see that, but it's not flat. Even now - and I worry that the skin will be stretched out permanently as a result. :-(
My incision is low enough so underwear or shorts hide it - I'm not feeling self conscious about the incisions its more the swelling. For my breasts, they are still an odd shape and where the incisions are they fold or move differently. I'm trying to take a deep breath and remember my PS said things will change for at least 3 months, swelling can happen for months and that your body takes time to heal. He asked me to be patient and I'm trying to.
I got the ok to work out 3 weeks ago so I started cardio and body weight exercises. Boy is my stamina not quite there but I do try. Today I did arm, chest and back with just 5 lb weights - really??? my left boob kept getting zingers, I had to take an advil. I did a SMALL amount of core and stomach work outs and whew, wow... I'm ready for bed.
It's better, I see that - I can look at the before and after and see it. And my damn belly button ITCHES.
Just not certain, and I wanted to be
14 Aug 2016
8 months post
OK so I went MIA for a bit. I felt like I needed to step away and just allow time to continue. It's been just over 7 months from my surgery where I had a BL with no implants and a drainless TT.
I can look at my photos and see the difference. It's there, and I acknowledge the improvement. It just isn't quite where I thought to be after investing my time, energy, emotions and finances into this. I hoped if I stepped away and gave the body time to heal that at 5 months, 6 months, 7 - I could breath a sigh of relief and say "Oh see how silly you were to be so concerned!" but here I am at 7 months and the scars are healing nicely but I have pleating on the sides,still and I have a pooch in the lower belly still. I have never "woke up on the flat side" - I can see where the pleating has decreased, and the swelling has gone down - but I still have significant swelling and there is still pleating on the sides. I took some photos of me sitting down and you can see that it's smooshy.
I think I must have put on weight, having a time with my jeans and shorts - too snug. I went on a vacation last month and brought some swim shorts with me but I didn't wear most of them because they are lighter in color, and well - kinda got a bit of a camel toe still. I couldn't wear one of the tops because my nipple fell out and one of the bottoms because my scars showed but overall I can see I look better than I did.