I just had my consultation. I am a size 14 woman,...
I do have worries. My other big dog gets protective when i'm sick. So i worry that with Mama sick, she'll be less than nice if someone comes near me. I suspect she'll be in my son's room a lot. I have lifestock. I have put out extra watering containers and food containers to make it easier on the people coming to help me. But i still worry. I can't so much as look at them while I'm healing because of the risk of infection. I hate not being able to shower for 3 days after...and beyond that, how am i going to live without sex for more than a couple days?
To do: Hmmm I still need to get some cheap white towels and washcloths that I can bleach like crazy after each time I use them. I still need to get some long white tshirts and white cotton undies to wear the first couple days. I still plan on putting the Oxine in my humidifier to place in the room I'm going to be spending most of my time in. I use Oxine all the time with sick critters and it is very effective in neutralizing pathogenic germies. My main concern is always infection. I also started upping my kefir this past weekend and have about a half gallon in the fridge, just waiting for me to drink to keep my digestive tract funtioning. Ohhh, and I did grab some of my favorite Aloe water from the Japanese store. Nothing says 'smooth, moving' quite like a few ounces of aloe every day.
I'm not nervous about the procedure. I trust Dr. C. He reminds me of so many of my close friends who do similar things in his bedside manner. It's a quiet assurance but not pathetically fakey and kiss assey. Surgeons have to believe and know they are the best because they hold so much of our futures in our hands. Dr. C commands a high price because he is one of the best at what he does. I don't say this, his work says this.
I'll try to update with a before picture so if there are other women with my body build, they will have some idea.
I'm still groggy from the medication but am keeping up with meds.
The numbness is my fingertips are mostly gone.
My favorite part of recovery right now is those air bags for my lower legs. They feel wonderful on my legs.
Yesterday wasn't so bad. I loved how I was already out before they wheeled me down. My sister told me that as they are wheeling down, I gave them a thumbs up and told them, "this is some good shit'. I want quite our yet because I do remember he surgical room but only being in there for a few seconds before twilight.
I was at ease. Get a MD for the anaesthesia. That tremendously helped with my anxiety.
I'm giving 5 stars. The process was very profession.
One last thing, he fixed my mons pubis area too. I'm so happy about that. No more camel toes. ?
Pain is bearable. Just shifting hurts. And standing to use the loo. This is also good pain. It means my nerves, my muscles, my incision is healing.
Today, I'm moving much more. Pain is bearable with tylenol. I have bad gas still. ..so I keep breathing deep. I am urinating normally. Today, I actually had 2 bowel movements. Yay!
My headaches are gone, finally. Walking is ok but it's very exhausting. In able to get up, get water, fed my inside animals, get snacks, etc. I'm still sore. ..with twinges and ows...but I'm moving.
Ohhh, and I can wipe my own butt. Very happy about that. Baby wipes are wonderful.
I haven't removed any surgical tape or bandages. I'll leave that for my follow up. I'm just letting my body decide what it wants to do.
I am using the xanax more than I'd like. It does seem to help my body relax at night.
My appetite is returning. I'm still bruised and swollen. I'm try to take pictures tomorrow.
8 DPO Rash
So some steroids have been prescribed. Leave it to me to be one of the lucky ones to develop this complication. Sigh
But on the bright side, even with the redness, I'm happy with recovery.
But this rash sucks. I'm very bloated right now as you can see from my pictures. Don't be alarmed at the rash. Look instead to how nice the contouring appears to be shaping up.
I start my steroid pack tomorrow morning and this too, shall pass.
Today was the first day on the steroid pack. I also picked up medicated gold balm for the itch. It looks angrier today but right now, swelling seems to be decreasing.
I only allowed myself to be on my feet for 7 hours, worth breaks in between chores. I didn't rush. I used measured movements.
I was sit ting here watching tv and I realized that im not in any pain at this moment. I'm itchy but not pain. I've been gently massaging/brushing my lymphatic channels today. I don't feel any stretch in my incision line right now. It's a very strange feeling and a first since surgery.
The mons pubis area has been very swollen. Right now, there is a little swell but minor.
I'm taking it easy tomorrow. I have family coming to catch me up on housework. I was cautioned today about over doing it. So I won't.
I was told the steroid pack would help quickly on the swelling/rash. If that's what is helping, that rash was a god send in disguise. The swelling had been the worst of this.
I made turmeric pills earlier and took them along with the aloe vera juice I've been using to keep my stools soft. I had a round of 1000mg of tylenol and another dose of antihistamine. I also took a xanax. Maybe they are working synergistically tonight. I just don't know. I just know that other than the crappy itch, I am not in any noticeable pain.
The bad thing is I'm not tired yet. I should be exhausted. I'm not.
Maybe the xanax will kick in. Or the allergy medicine. Crazy, huh?
I love the shape that my body is taking. It's as gorgeous as what I've seen come out of the DR with an incredible US doctor. Many women choose the DR and Mexico because they want the result that I believe I'm getting. It's really shaping to be a beautiful hourglass.
Dr. C is very good. Look at his work and I'll post more as the swelling goes down. But even now, the before and after is incredible.
For me, 9 DPO was my first somewhat normal day. I will take tomorrow very easy. I don't want to set myself back.
The rash still sucks and looks horrendous. But hopeful tomorrow will be better on that. Until then, is the little things.
The rash started out angry this morning. But after showering, insuring I was completely dry before binding and putting goldbond itch relief on.... now it has settled down significantly. It is still very noticeable but for Day 2 of the steroid pack, it looks much better.
I was in more pain today but I really think I overdid it yesterday and today. This afternoon, I had a delivery of a ton or so of animal feed. I stood outside for about an hour just talking about country stuff. By the time I came in, I was hunched over. So I took a Vicodin and 1000mg of acetaminophen.
Saturdays are extended family days and so my extended family came over and caught up the laundry, the dishes, helped offload feed, etc. I just had to do the normal sorts of things for my son that Moms do.
As of right now, the narcotics have kicked in with the acetaminophen. My belly is full of carbs and the only pain I feel is in my lower back and the itches that are ever present. Maybe the itching is just so great that I cant feel the pain because of them? IDK
I still feel good. My mind is clear. I still love the shape that my body is becoming. My belly button looks weird still but there is so much swell that the true shape won't happen until later. I'm patient. My belly button actually looks very weird to me but I thought today that even if it stays weird looking, in the big scheme of things.... I will be happy once I'm healed and the swelling goes down. I love the shape that is becoming me.
I don't want to say that the healing has been easier than I was expecting because I don't want to jinx myself. But even with the crappy rash, my incision looks incredible. There is no weeping. No sign of infection. It's a beautiful incision line. I can't tell how it'll be or if there will be unevenness at the end but again, that isn't the point. The healing is happening. I'm up and moving. I was expecting to be more incapacitated than I am. But I've been getting myself up out of the recliner at 3 DPO. I've been doing housework, albeit much slower, since 4 DPO. Last week, just last week.... Dr. C did an incredible job reshaping my body and in just over a week, I feel very normal. My mind says I'm at 80%, which is a lie obviously. But I feel strong. That doesn't mean I'm going to overdue it. I won't. But I had a lifestyle before where I was on my feet for most of my waking hours. Maybe that has helped.
Again, I don't want to jinx myself. I'm still staying away from my lifestock. I still have others coming a feeding/watering them. But if I feel this great at 10 DPO, I can only imagine how I'll feel a month out.
I told Dr. C last week when we were talking about removing the little piece of silicone over my incision that the thought of that was scary. I told him that if he removes it, I'm afraid my insides will fall out. He laughed and said that there were three layers of protection to keep that incision site sealed. I then told him that we are dealing with Perception vs. Reality. My perception is that little piece of tape is keeping everything all sealed together. The reality is the time and attention he took to close me correctly. So at my 2 week checkup, when he removes it... I'd still like something there.
Maybe I feel so good because my perception is that I am good. I look down at that incision, and even though it looks scary, I know it's sealed tightly. I look at my shape and my perception is that he is an incredible surgeon. Once the perception is in place... it's easier to see the reality. I trust my eyes, my vision, to see the reality that my incision is healing. It's having that trust and faith in the qualifications of in this case, Dr. C, that allows me to continue to trust that I'm healing. One feeds another. Mind over matter. Power of positive thought.
I do know when I went into surgery that morning, that I knew I was in good hands.
My belly button looks weird, my belly looks rashy but the shape is hourglass. My incision is solid with no weeps. It looks scary right now. But its a damn good and solid incision line that's healing beautifully.
I can't wait until it settles down. Mama has booty and hips and now a nice curvy waist that will get smaller.
11 DPO -morning thoughts
I'm still drinking aloe water and it keeps things moving. I personally love the stuff but have always kept drinking it to just a few days a week. I buy mine from the Japanese store. I've been drinking it for years because when i was stationed over in Japan, I was told it was soothing internally. It was my go-to drink during this time because I didn't want to take stool softeners OTC.
Quick note about my belly button. Yup. It looks weird. Lots of swell. Part of why also is there glue inside that is pinching the sides. Noooo, its not permanent and my PS noticed it last week. As belly buttons heal with time, they tend to get much smaller. There is also no one way to do a belly botton. They are created and each PS has a little different technique. I fully expected going into this to have areas that would need to settle down. That's why I'm so flipping happy I look so great, so early. But should my belly button still look a little weird in 6 months, I totally won't care.... much. It's my body and no body is perfect, even in nature. For me, the important part of this whole journey is the transformative effect on my life. Men/husbands/bfs are so very forgiving when it comes to our own imperfections. We are the ones hard on ourselves. So I'm going to love this body regardless and if the worst case scenario happens, I trust my PS to know what to do to make it right.
Plastic Surgeons, really surgeons in general, have to have a bit of a God Complex. I'm not saying they have to be prima donnas or throw things in the OR, etc. But they have to be shit hot. They have to trust their own abilities and when they go into that OR, they have to believe in their ability to get the job done. The stupidest worst thing I ever see on here is women who try to nickel and dime their plastic surgeons. That's the stupidest thing I can ever imagine. When you are under, your life, your body contour, your shape, your everything is in that man or woman's hands. You better have someone who is just that awesome, that sure of their skill level doing it.
I feel very good. I went out yesterday and did errands in town. I was very swollen by the time I came back but I found massaging seems to help.
I really love how my shape is turning out. It's incredible and I love, love, love it. I can't wait to see how I'll look in another 4 weeks.
I have my 2 week FU tomorrow. I'm excited to officially have permission to do more things. Sex isn't even an option to think about yet. My bf has been so sweet but we both agreed that it's better to wait.
I'm still easily winded and find unless I get some VitB in me in the morning, I languish all day. I still can't stand completely straight but it's getting better. I am still occasionally nauseous. I still have rippling/pleats/puckers but they are getting better. I guess i don't really think of any of these things as side effects. They are just part of the journey that I'm on. The rash was a huge, bug suckaroo. But the steroid pack has taken care of that. I still itch and still have some swell that I believe is associated with the rash...but it's going away.
The belly button was packed so that stuff came out. It looks less weird now.
I can now switch to spanx. Yay!
I'm still swollen but I was up most of the day today on and off my feet. Im a good tired tonight. I'm still sleeping in a recliner. ..I hope soon I can go back to my bed. I miss my bed.
My mate loves my new shape but he still is very careful. He's afraid I'll break.
I'm looking forward to a nice long shower tomorrow.
17 DPO with PMS
I usually crap and swell with normal cycle. Last night and today were the first days I've needed percocet in many days.
It's the swell that has me. I woke up and tried to have a normal day. After doing my normal daily morning stuff, the swell just became uncomfortable. That's when I took the first dose of acetominophen. I took some ibuprofen next and now 9 hrs into my day, took a tab of percocet.
PMS always sucks. But recovery plus cramps plus pms swell....that sucks. Ugh
My greatest complaint now is not being able to sleep back in my bed and the swelling. If I stand too long without sitting and putting my feet up, I swell and then I have to put myself in the recliner for a bit before getting up again.
I'm back to just taking acetominophen and ibuprofen instead of the other things. I don't like when my head gets cloudy and I also get very nauseous on the narcotic meds. I'm taking silymarin to help my liver continue to filter as it needs to.
It's almost 3 weeks for me. It seems like forever ago that I had surgery. Most days are better than the day before and I see improvement. My incision is still healing so it looks rough still but I see the improvements. I'm giving my body time to do what it needs to do.
Last thought: My appetite is on and off. Mostly I snack. I supplement my intake with a scoop of Alive! (protein/greens shake) mixed with almond milk. I still drink the aloe juice, but it does affect the bowels. I often wonder if maybe I'm healing well because the aloe is being taken internally. I also add myoinositol to my tea in the morning and have a cup of miso soup at least once a day even though it's high in sodium. I am finding that I'm eating more simple foods now because my stomach doesn't want anything too heavy.
The numbness is starting to go away. I'm starting to get the twinges and the pulling. Swell is less on my flanks and upper abdominal today. The biggest swell is on the incision to my mons pubis. Thankfully, everything below the mons is normal and i'm becoming impatient for adult time. I miss my lover. He still wants me healed completely first.
I've attached 2 pictures, sitting down in my recliner. I apologize for the dog hair.
I found the sharp pain was normal. Whew.
I will need an antibiotic again though.
I've seen so many pictures from the years I've been trolling this site. I am still quite happy with my progress. My pictures still look intense.
These little bumps are really just bumps. But they are normal bumps. The important part for me has been having faith in my ps and keeping him in the loop on questions I have.
I went into this knowing the many complications that could happen and reading many stories from women who went through them. That's why I update my experience. Had I not seen so many other women who had the courage to post picures of their incisions early in the process, I would have been freaked by how mine looked. Same with the pain, pulls, swell, etc. I'm still early in my journey and just hope I can help other women on theirs.
I'm still incredibly excited at my progress. I see the improvements every day. .from pain levels, to tolerance, to getting up in the morning not feeling bloated. I can't believe it's only been 3 weeks. I really feel good about where I'm at.
The other is how it feels when nerves and muscles start waking up. It isn't a painful thing perse. It more of a mindful thing. My nerves and skin sensation is coming back online. Yesterday, every step I felt on my flanks. Again, not pain...just mindfulness. I can't say that I'm really in pain right now. I'm just more aware. When things were numb, it was easy to overdo activities. Now my muscles and nerves tell me to slow down. So I'm back to walking a little slower, not bending down, not doing as much as I did last week. I still put myself at 30 to 35% but it's more mindful motions. My muscles are also trying hard to get back to what they are use to. I find that my core muscles are trying so hard to pull everything in for good posture, which may not be the best thing at this point in time. But it's not something I even think about, they just are use to doing it. Like I said, I'm not in pain but just more overall uncomfortable now than before. Think of schizophrenia of the body... all the little nerves/muscles are now coming back online, signalling they are sore and things have changed, trying to reconnect.... and letting you know with twinges and pulls and tiredness with every movement.
This surgery has been very eye opening for me. In some ways, it's like an anti-birth. Having a child changes a woman and so does this process. After pregnancy, I was in awe of what my body could do. I could bring another life into the world. The weight gain was so insignificant because there was this new life placed into my arms. During this process, I also had a part of me removed and reshaped but rather than a separate little life, I was given back my old life again. But I'm also forced to slow down after and really start thinking about my life. Pregnancy forced my mind to devote my energy to my childs future. This procedure forced me to contemplate my own and the choices I made that brought me to this point and where I want to be in 6 months.
I am still only half way to my 6 week mark. I still have so much healing to do. The swell does get better each day. My sensation is coming back in most of the numb areas, just not midline yet of the incision. The nerve twinge i felt in my leg two days ago is gone. It was just that one time. I do have a small area, maybe the size of half a pencil eraser that is letting go of the clear,orangey fluid. All totally normal as that does not indicate infection. I wish I could take a picture but because I had stretch marks far up my stomach, they couldnt go away in surgery. Now they are ugly red stripes and I don't want to scare women. But my kiddo was a very large baby and I gained a lot of weight from a very slim frame, which caused my whole belly to become one big picture of tiger stripes. Dr. C couldn't remove them all, which is why you see the ugliness in the pictures of the incision that I posted. That isn't because of his skill but because I had significant stetch marks and even the best surgeons can only create beauty from the form which they are given. Just know that I see the beauty in where i'm at now, even with the scary looking tiger stripes. That's enough for me.
I'm still so very pleased with my progress.
4 weeks PO
My advice so far:
keep your surgeon in the loop. If you see redness or more tightness than you think you should get, take a picture and send it to him.
get off the pain pills as soon as possible. i believe that I did way more than I should have early on because I took ibuprofen/acetominophen in the morning. Now, I am only using them at night, if I need. I find that I can listen to my body much better now.
Take your vitamins and on days, if your appetite isn't there, get protein shakes. Your body needs protein and vitamins for wound healing.
For me, around week 3 was the worst. Some of that was period bloat combined with normal bloat. Then add to that the nerves starting to come back online...and i was just uncomfortable. It wasn't pain perse but just being uncomfortable.
The easiest thing for me to wear has been shorts at first, a camisole under the binder and a zippered fleece over that to keep me warm. Now I'm in yoga pants with the tighter elastic to help with support.
Update: My belly button is starting to look good. It's almost completely healed but still slightly red. My incision line looks good except for some areas of red. He couldn't get rid of all the stretch marks and they look very, very ugly. At the end of this journey, I'll post all the pictures from beginning to end and show the scary ones too. Right now, I won't because I don't want to discourage anyone from the procedure. After i look incredible, my pictures will give women hope when they see how my body has been transformed. But not now. I'll take pictures of me in clothes, just not without to share yet.
The nerve in my left thigh has been a stinker. If I irritate it, it zings and I have to rest for a few hours to calm it down. I'm going to try covering that whole area with thicker gauze pads. The idea is the constant movement over the incision is just irritating it. It isn't constant. After it calms down, it's fine.
I'm not on pain meds now very often. I still use them sometimes when the nerve is zinging too much. The nerve zing is normal. I suspect I just have a lower pain tolerance than most for that type of pain. So for me, even once is too much and I become a baby. But there isn't any pain anyplace else.
I stand straight now, unless the nerve is zinging. I can shave my legs, reach above my head, do most of the things I normally do. I'm still not cleared for sex but with the zing, totally understandable.
My recovery has been good. I've had a rash, a zing, lots of swelling, and a little ooze from a small area in the incision (serous) that fills only a bandaid twice a day now. I keep that area covered and healthy but am on antibiotics as a preventative. I think that had I not been on pain meds at week 2, I might have kept a slower pace and not brought some of these things on myself. But pain meds masked my bodies ability to tell me to slow the crap down. So I felt great and was on my feet much longer than I think I should have. That's why I don't take them now unless I have to.
I look very good right now, at least in clothes. I heard that if you like your body at one month, you'll love your body at 3 months. I love my body now, even with the healing going on.... so can only imagine how I'll love it in another 2 months.
5 weeks DPO: Down 17 pounds
Don't be an idiot like me. Rest. Put your feet up. If the house gets messy, let it. I had nursing care for the first few days but it was hard for me with my dogs to let my house get messy.
I am also down 17 pounds. I can't wait to see where I am after another month.
7 Weeks DPO
The nerve that was zinging me has quieted down. Dr. C told me to massage the area to calm it down. I did. I do occasionally feel it but then I just massage from the incision, with gentle pressure up and down, and it calms down.
I still have that tiny spot that is releasing serous fluid but so little now that it almost doesn't even deserve a mention.
The incision looks good and I can start putting scar cream on all areas but the small weapy spot. The puffiness in the mons has decreased significantly.
My belly button area still looks a little strange but that's for 2 reasons. The first is that it is not perfectly aligned. But sadly, just as I suspected, it was always like that a little when I stand up. I do wonder if it's how I stand that makes it look that way. When I'm laying down, it looks to be where it should. My bf just rolls his eyes when I mention it. =) The other is i still have swelling around it. That still takes time. I remember back at week 2 when I kept commenting on how weird it looks. Now, it really doesn't. The inside of the belly button looks good with lots of the right folds to make it look normal.
I still might hold off a little more on newer pictures. I'd love to put the ugly ones up with the not so ugly ones just to show people that things do settle down.
As far as restrictions, I still can't do squats at the gym but can do cardio, arms and legs. Just no core exercises until 3 mos.
Last comment: Sex is still as amazing at it was before. I've read some stories of women losing sensation in the girly parts. I've always had incredible sex and I can happily report that it is still just as incredible. No numbness. My love did wait until 7 weeks and was very careful, even though I felt he didn't need to be quite as careful as he was. But none of the normal acrobatics. Nothing hurt in the incision area, there was no pulling, there was no twinges of nerves. My legs worked like they should. As far as numbness, I was trying to explain to Dr. C today what it was like but failed miserably. Not explain about the sex but the numbness I still have some of. The best I could explain is that I can feel the outer part of my skin. I feel light touch, in some ways more now then before. But harder touches that reach deeper into the body, I can't. I still have swell in some of my deeper areas that I need to start massaging on my own.
If I were to tell someone getting this procedure done, I would tell them to expect a 6 week healing period. I was mobile and doing things long before that point in time but it really wasn't until the 6 week mark that I didn't constantly worry about the incision. I'm now week 7 and I'm still healing.
The incision looks so very good. I still have dimpling on one of my sides but totally not worried about it because I'm early in the process and dimpling is just part of the process. I do remember 6 weeks ago looking at my incision and only having faith in Dr. Cs assurance that the scar would flatten and the dimpling would lessen. It has. I can't wait to see myself at the 3 month mark.
4 months po
At 4 months out, I look amazing. Ill do another update after of new pictures.
So here are the scary pictures so people know that it takes time to heal.
5 months post thoughts
The only one major issue I still have is swelling. Totally, totally sucks. Even in the newest pictures, I can tell the areas that are swollen like below my belly button. But that can take up to a year to completely go away so patience is key.
I look back at my earlier pictures and even then, swell seemed to be the biggest issue. The pictures back then were scary looking but I knew that it was just swell and nothing could be done but give it time. So time I gave it.
I've always been active but I find now, the strength in my abdominal region is much better. I was never able to do reverse situps very effectively. But now i can do perfect reverse situps. Same with my squats. I'm almost back up to my PR and i still feel strong. I told my coach that the exercises I use to hate, I now love. It's as though in just fixing the diastasis, everything fell into place.
I've seen significant improvement just since I've been cleared to go back to exercising without restriction at month 3. I can't say my before surgery and after surgeryworkout has differed too much but the effectiveness of the workout has. I can't blame weight loss that initially occurred after surgery or even diet, as both have stabilized. But something is different in how my body responds to working out. Maybe i'm able to hold myself in proper form now? Maybe i was overcompensating for my diastasis and causing imbalance in other areas. I just don't know. I just know that there's a change in the way my muscles respond to weight training in that area of my body.
I still have the healing ridge but that also takes time to go away.
Perhaps some of the swelling is caused because I do love miso soup. I have miso soup most days.... =)
I'll take more pictures at month 6. I may have to have a slight scar revision where the seroma was but am hoping that once the swelling goes away, it'll normalize. In the big scheme of things, totally not concerned. My goal in getting surgery was to get that diastasis repaired. So that is done. Everything else now is just gravy. At my age, a scar is just one more story to remind myself of the journey I took to forge the person I am.
Last thing again. Dr. C is a very good PS. Please look at his befores and afters. I'm not there yet but soon I will. I am not abnormal in my results from him. I'm the average. He works with each body and doesn't promise anything. But my pictures at 5 months is testament to his sculpting and diastasis repair ability.
I had my surgery on March 2nd and I knew going into the surgery room that I was in good hands. He gives the PSs in the DR a run for their money on the curvy shape. He does a drainless CLASS tummy tuck that combines lipo of the flanks and he cares about the mons area. His work speaks for his incredible work. Go to his page and see how beautiful he sculps.