Well, after much lurking – I prefer to think of...
Well, after much lurking – I prefer to think of it as “research” – it’s finally my turn to pay it forward and share my journey! I’m so grateful to all the ladies who have been open about their experiences…but I’m new to the whole blogging thing….so please be patient if I’m less than faithful about posting updates. My goal is pretty much to show what results can be achieved for someone with my particular body issues. I’ve been on here a while and have seen hardly any examples of other ladies in my situation – I’ll post pics to show just how “unique” my body is, haha!
Here are my stats: I’m 43 and have never been pregnant, so I don’t even have that as an excuse for the mess I’m in! I let things get way out of control in my 30’s and at my heaviest weighed 250 lbs at 5’5”. Since having a gastric bypass in April last year, I’ve gotten down to around 135. As happy as I am about getting healthier, this has left me with a body that pretty much looks like a melted candle! I’ll need a lot of work to get my confidence back – face/neck lift, breast lift, arm lift – but I’ve gotta start somewhere, so a tummy tuck and bbl will be the first step. I’m braving going out of the country not just to save money, but because I really think DR surgeons have a better aesthetic when it comes to women’s body shape. I’ve chosen Dra. Medina due to her excellent reviews and the results I’ve seen….she’s one skilled lady!
I’m in the early stages – I’ve gotten my quote, but haven’t booked or put down a deposit. I have my passport, and I’m hoping for early August, but have to wait and see how my finances come together. Of course I’m already so excited!!!!
Ok, so here’s me in all my glory…..try not to gag!
Question for you ladies:
Ok, so the quote I got included lipo to the back, flanks, and waist. I asked about lipo to the abdomen and she responded that they don’t do that with a TT. Well, most of my extra fat is in my belly, so I’m wondering how that works. Don’t get me wrong, I totally trust her – she gets ladies with plenty of belly completely flat….I just can’t figure out how, haha! I see how the fat in the lower abs will be cut away, but what about the upper? Do any of you know about this?
That said, I was really concerned about not having enough fat to take out for good results on the BBL. I’ll probably fork out extra to get my arms and thighs done if she thinks it would be worth it, and I plan on putting on 5-10 lbs just to be safe, but when I asked about it, she said I was fine. I’m not wanting really huge or unnatural looking results, just a better shape & nice curves….I’m hoping that’s realistic.
Thanks for those of you who have posted words of encouragement! It’s the best thing about this site…..I’m only discussing this in a vague way with friends/family, so the extra support is SO important!
Just checking in with you ladies.....not much happening, just working on getting the money together. I'm really impatient, and SO ready to get rid of this gut & get some booty! But I have faith that God's timing is better than my own, so I'm relying on that. Much love to all of you that are going thru it now - you're in my prayers!
Okay, I SWORE I would not be wish-washy about what surgeon to go with - I was SO sure about Medina. Her responsiveness, her concerns for safety, the fact that she only operates a couple of times a day, the reputation of the clinic and RH she's with, and of course her impressive results. But now I'm feeling uneasy since finding out she won't be doing lipo to my abdomen. I'm sure she can get my belly flat (I've seen that on other girls), but because that's where most of my fat is, I'm worried about not having enough elsewhere for good BBL outcome. Even if I gain weight, that's where most of it will be. So I need some help. There are so many DR surgeons who do great work, I don't know where to start, and don't want to be contacting a dozen of them! To be candid, I'd like someone with no deaths in their history, that only does a few procedures a day, safe, easy to get in touch with, and that would do the belly lipo. I've ruled out the biggies like Duran & Yily because they're just swamped - are there any others with as good a track record as Medina, so I can at least have a couple more options? Many thanks & much love!
The old me
Thought I'd post some pics of me before I lost weight, so y'all can see why I have the issues I do. Apologies for the ones with bad lighting; they are me at 240 lbs...the one that is clearer is about 232. I'm sure when I said 250 was my heaviest, some of you thought that's not really huge. True, some women can wear that weight really well, but as you can see, I was NOT one of them! Lately, I've been working on cutting out the negative self-talk that's not at all helpful. I need to focus on being grateful for how far I've come instead of hating on what I have....I'm just improving on what is already "fearfully and wonderfully made."
As for the surgeon situation - I had to go back into stalker mode to find an alternative, lol! Thanks MirandaG for suggesting Dr. Goico. I'm impressed by his credentials, and several of his good reviews on here are from girls who are pretty small. His fb page shows him doing non-profit work on babies with cleft palate, which I think says a lot about him as a person. That's one of the main reasons I'd chosen Dra. Medina - her warmth and compassion. It's important to me to not be treated like a number. So I've reached out to his office, and am waiting to hear back with a quote and to find out if he does the abdominal lipo. If not, I also like the work of Dra. Almonte, but her office seems busy and I haven't heard back from them. So I'm playing the waiting game....I'll keep y'all posted. Praying for all of you who are in the process....stay strong!
Finally got my evaluation from Dr. Goico!
Yaaaaay! I was about to give up, but his response is so detailed and personal, I can see why it takes a lot longer than the generic "Sure I can make you beautiful and here's what it'll cost you" that most docs come back with. Big surprise though, he doesn't think the BBL is a good idea, that it would just "weigh down on already flaccid skin" and he'd recommend a surgical lift (which can be above the butt or in the bottom crease depending on his in-person assessment), and butt implants. Plus, he would separate the procedures because you need full blood supply for the butt and have to stay completely off of it, which is impossible with a TT. Kinda makes sense....I wasn't sure if fat grafting was done into the muscle or on top of it, but if it's on top I can see why that wouldn't work well for me. I'll have to do some research on the implants....not sure I like the idea of something foreign in me, and they're more complex and don't always go well. But he says the right surgeon can get good, natural-looking results. I've asked for Karel to send some of his before & after examples when she sends the quotes. Also, with the procedures being separate, I can get an arm lift done with the butt....something I had planned for later. I've asked how long I'll have to wait in between procedures....and adding another trip down there - flight, RH, etc. is gonna get pricey, so I'll have to see how I can manage that aspect. So now I just wait on those details.....I'll keep y'all posted.
Well, I've researched the butt implants suggested by Dr. Goico, and have to say I'm not impressed. Even if he can get natural looking results, they have a high rate of complication - as much as 25%! The fix for this is to remove the implants, wait 6 months for healing, then re-implant them....not an option! As for his idea that a BBL would weigh down my butt because of the saggy skin...from further research, I've learned that the fat can be grafted within the muscle (intramuscular) and/or over it (subcutaneous). If it were mostly done mostly within the muscle, I don't see how it would weigh down my butt any more than the implants (that also go within the muscle) would. I do see the benefit of separating the procedures. If I did the BBL first, he'd be able to be more aggressive with the lipo of my abdomen (both upper and lower) where I have the most fat, so I'd be getting as much fat as possible in my butt, then a week or so later could get the TT. Yes, it's more expensive that way, and the extra week in the RH, but to get the best results, it's worth it. I've emailed him to get his thoughts on this, and of course it'll probably be another month to hear back - aaargh! I also emailed Dra. Medina with questions about separating the procedures (she had said she doesn't lipo the abdomen with a TT), and also about whether she injects the fat into the muscle, etc. All she sent back was another quote that didn't even look like it was for them to be separate. Not a good sign that she's actually reading the email...I've sent another asking as politely as I can for her to read over and answer my questions, but this is my last attempt with her. Honestly, between the miscommunication with her, and the eternity waiting for Dr. Goico, I'm getting majorly frustrated! Where before I knew what kind of costs to expect, I now have no idea other than that it'll be more. And that will take me longer to come up with....on that front, things are going well - I should have the money together in 2-3 months. Later than I'd hoped, but at least I'll avoid the sweltering heat in a faja! :)
I’m way closer to getting some firm plans made! But to update on what I’ve been doing since my last post: Dr. Goico understood me not wanting implants, but explained that he doesn’t inject fat into the muscle, only on top because there’s too much risk of fat embolism. But many doctors do both, and say that safety is mostly down to technique. As much as I trust Dr. Goico, I think he’s being overly conservative in this aspect. And I don’t want to have all the fat injected over the muscle, because of the “weighing down” issue he’d mentioned. So I’ve ruled him out.
I’ve been unsure about the best approach to surgery - whether to do BBL/TT at the same time, or maybe a week apart, or completely separate. I decided it would be best to do the BBL alone so they can be aggressive with lipo on my belly and I’ll be able to stay off my butt completely during recovery. The TT will be sometime next year. I then started looking at other doctors, mostly the ones in Miami. Some are reasonable (around $4000), but they are all with Vanity or Spectrum. They have a bad rep, and I now know why. I’m sure no doctor even looked at my pics, as the quote from Spectrum was for a tummy tuck, when I ONLY asked about a BBL! Nice, huh?! So no on them! I also made inquiries with other Miami docs that are pricier (around $8000), and the couple that even bothered to respond told me I was not a good candidate for BBL due to excessive sagging and not enough fat. So apparently, it’s not as easy as just picking a doctor I really like and trust. I know for most of you, all this is irrelevant, but my main purpose in posting is for the benefit of any other girls with similar bodies to mine - to let them know what they’re likely to experience…and this is part of it.
So I decided maybe my communication issues with Dra. Medina were partly due to my uncertainty about how to go about the BBL and TT timing and asking so many questions about that. And apparently Whatsapp is a better way to reach her than email (thanks for the tip, Hottlanta!) I finally got with the times and upgraded to a smartphone, and messaged her that way. Sure enough, her response was immediate! I sent her the pics again, and she has no problem with giving me a BBL. Also, she does inject both into the muscle and on top. She still wants to do the TT, because my stomach will look way worse after lipo, but I already knew this and can tolerate it for a while….baggy shirts are my friend! ;) I feel good about going with her - she was my first choice anyway - and to be honest, almost anything she does would be an improvement on what I have now, lol!
Financially, things should come together by mid/late October…so after weeks and weeks of not getting anywhere, suddenly it’s all kicking into high gear! I need to hear back from Lauren about availability at that time - hopefully it’s not too last minute. I’ll let y’all know when I have a date…I’ll be needing a surgery buddy. I’m SO excited, starting to order things and all that fun stuff!!! I’m already putting on weight, currently at 140 and aiming for 150 in time for surgery. I know I’ll have to keep it on, but that’s still a healthy weight for me, and I’m way more concerned with having a cute shape than the number on the scale anyway!
Sorry, I seem incapable of writing a brief update, haha! Ta for now dolls!
This is happening!!!
Wow, things are coming together even faster than I expected! I found out I should be getting the last of my money together by 10/7, and Dra. Medina has availability on 10/13, so I’m taking it! All I can say is GOD IS GOOD!!!! I’m going to try to arrange wire transfer of the deposit thru my bank tomorrow (Monday, 9/28) - it’s a good sign that that’s my birthday, right? As excited as I am, there’s that Debbie Downer part of my brain telling me something will go wrong - I won’t get the money in time, or the flight times I need won’t be available or something. I know I’m cutting it close; this is just 2 weeks away!!! The good thing about that is I won’t have months of emotional ups and downs getting ready for it…the bad thing about it is I have 2 weeks of scrambling to get everything sorted, lol! I’m already too late to get the recommended vaccines, so I hope that’s not a really big deal. And I may not be able to get in with my doctor for the prescriptions and have to pay more for them there (just the antibiotics, I do have some pain meds). I’m already getting supplies, so I should be ok with that; just need to book the flight, RH and hotel. (I’m thinking I’ll only need 24/7 care for the first 4 days, then I can transfer to a hotel)
A couple of questions for you veterans: When do I start taking the Arnica and Bromelain? Is it right after surgery or does it help if it’s in your system prior? Also, if I need a second stage faja before I get back home to order one, the fajas from Dra. Medina’s office are $140 - is there a good place to get them there for less? Once I get the RH booked, I’d like to find a surgery buddy/roomie….I guess I go to the BBL forum for that, right?
It kinda feels like I’m being impulsive and last minute about this, but really I’ve researched on here for like 2 years, so I have a good idea of what I need to do and bring with me….just doing it a bit quicker, haha! XOXO dolls!
Ok, I’ve got my flight, RH, and hotel booked! Even got my tourist card online, and I’ve purchased all my supplies….I’ve been busy, haha! I’m glad it’s coming together so well….I’d be stressed out if it was all left to the very last minute. For the RH, I checked with Serenity, but they were booked up and referred me to Kindness. They’re somehow affiliated - their rates and amenities are the same, and they use the same massage therapists (with great prices!). I haven’t heard much of them, but the few reviews I did find were positive, so that’s where I’ll be. I’m going alone, so if any of y’all will be there at the same time, message me. I’m soooooo excited!!!! I just hope I can relax a bit in the next 2 weeks….right now I’m so amped up I can barely sleep!
Questions for post-op Medina dolls
There are a few things I'm having a hard time getting clear answers on:
Does CECILIP provide gloves, gauze, and tape? Her list has them as “extra things you may need,” so I don’t know if that’s because they don’t have them, or in case the RH doesn’t. My RH has advised me that they have all that.
What is the nurse-to-patient ratio at the clinic? Did you feel like you got the attention you needed, or should I hire a private nurse overnight?
Do I really need a boppy? I can’t figure out why this is any better than a regular pillow. Wouldn’t any pillow you sit on put some kind of pressure on your butt? Or is it positioned under the thighs? Couldn’t you position any pillow under your thighs? Just wondering if it’s worth $30 if something else would do the job - gotta save where I can!
Thanks for helping me out! XOXO
So about this boppy.....
I decided to go ahead and get the boppy, and it's way bigger than I realized! I'm packing everything in a carry-on and no way can I fit that in...all I can really take is my suitcase and my purse. I have arranged for wheelchair assistance with the airline, and got it both ways because of course there's no way to only get it on the return trip. I'm not above using the wheelchair on the trip out and saying I need the pillow for medical reasons..."to take pressure off my lower back" ;)
Anyone know if this will work???
I've avoided posting wish pics, because I know better than to think I can show her something and expect her to make me look like that. These are just to give an idea of the shape and proportion I like...it'll be up to her how close she can get me to that. I try to be realistic.
I'm also taking down my nudes...I'll put up a few with fitted clothes for a "before" comparison. I'm okay with sharing the others in a pm, but decided I'd rather not have them public, ya know?
Right now, I'm just tying up the loose ends getting ready to leave 10/11...I'm beyond excited!!!!
I fly out tomorrow, so here's my current stats:
At 5'5", 138 lbs. (yeah no sucess on weight gain!)
Waist (at narrowest): 31"
I'll try to load pics, but i'm practicing on phone & don't know what i'm doing, lol
Wish me luck, and send up prayers!
Flights, airports, & pick up went off without a hitch. Cici & Conrad are sweeties, & my room is comfy. Only 2 other girls here right now. So far so good ...xoxo
My evaluation with dra medina this morning went well. As i expected, she advised me to get a TT. When i explained my reasons for separate procedures - i want aggressive lipo on my abdomen - she showed me where the only place she can't go is a narrow strip on the upper part. She assured me she'd be aggressive & go everywhere she could (arms & thighs) and that not much fat would be gained from that small ab area.
So i'm going with both...i do need the TT anyway, so i haven't been talked into something i don't need. It's a fine line between sticking to what u want and stubbornly going against your doc's advice. I think i'm doing the right thing and can only pray from here out. And all the thoughts & prayers from u dolls means a lot!
Also, don't be too worried if i take a day or 2 to post after surgery...pain meds make me STOO-PID!!! i'll do my best to say i'm ok but can't promise it'll be detailed or even coherent, haha! :)
On the flat side!
I'm all done & feel fine...anesthesia hasn't worn off yet. Will update details later :)
Ok, so bad news first: she was only able to get 300ccs on each side, and predicts i'll lose half of that! I'm not gonna lie, i've fought back tears several times. I'm consoling myself with the fact that at least i opted for the TT, otherwise all this would have been for nothing really. And that's the good news: i haven't seen much of the Tt, but it all seems ok. Most of my pain & swelling is in my lower back, so i'm hoping i at least have some nice curves for a waistline....which i need, since of course i got no hips.
Pain has been tolerable, and the incision area is numb...as i said, the lower back is the worst, and that's mostly when standing. Trying to get up & move around & get lots of water....so far, so good. Keep the prayers & good vibes coming! :)
Day 3 thoughts
Today i've felt pretty much the same as yesterday - uncomfortable but pain is easily controlled with meds. I had my second, and hopefully last, hyperbaric oxygen treatment. (My oxygen had gotten low during my procedure.)
My mood is much better. I've been looking at some small girls' reviews of butt implants, and they usually get 300cc - 400cc implants. So apparently, that small amount can be significant on a small frame. Of course, they didn't start out completely flat & saggy, and not all 300cc will take, but i'm thinking i'll see SOME kind of difference.
I knew coming in that it's best to reserve judgement until 3 months out. My RH "mom" told me she sees so many girls leave here mad - convinced they'll need round 2. Then she hears from them later and they're gteat. So i'm just takin' it as it comes....much love dolls!!!
Day 4 pics
Not much new to report...walking around ok, getting nice gentle massages. Feeling some uncomfortable rumblings of a "digestive" nature, so working on that.
Well i did have a rough couple of days, but i seem to be past it....i've transferred from the rh to a hotel (doable, but i wouldn't really recommend it if ur alone) I had my follow up with Dra. Medina today, and everything is good. Now to what i learned the hard way:
I'd been uncomfortably stopped up and took a strong laxative. Big mistake! In addition to the hassle of frequent bathroom visits (for 2 days!), i've had ridiculous swelling & even headaches from being dehydrated. Yes, i'm guzzling so much water my eyeballs are floating...but laxatives work by drawing water from ur body to ur bowel, so a stool softener would've been way better.
The other thing is to verify what rh staff tell u with ur doc. I've been in the first row of hooks on my faja all this time because a nurse said my doc had to order any change. This morning when my massage lady was redressing me, she went to the third row. When i said what i was told, she basically said "no wonder ur belly's so swollen!" Then when i see dra medina, she says i'm ready for a stage 2! Obviously, i need to wait at least a couple of days for this one to loosen up or i'm wasting money cuz i'll need a third faja before long. I feel like my progress has been delayed....maybe not by much, but still.
Long post, and maybe common sense to most of y'all, but if it helps somebody...
Had a good day
So yesterday i had a bit of freak out moment because of a drain clot that the massage lady couldn(t work out. It wasn't completely blocked, just really slow. Dra. Medina was very responsive (& this wasn't the first time she's had to calm me down!)...she had the clinic's massage lady Anni come to my hotel - at 8:30pm! Anni was able to clear it out, partly by torturing my abdomen...but worth it since it got the drain moving way better. Medina urged me to have Anni do the rest of my massages, so she did it today.
The reason i think today's been so good is because - in a desparate attempt to feel human again - i washed my hair AND shaved my legs below the knee! Didn't shower, just struggled with a hand-held shower head. I have my next follow up with doc in the morning, so i'll find out if this proves to be stupid on my part :)
I'm looking forward to getting my stage 2 faja, but i think it can wait til i'm home. I leave Saturday (24th). I just have no idea how to figure out what size to get....i can measure myself, bit i'll still need the foams, right? Any advice about the whole "shaping" process is greatly appreciated!
I'm a happy girl today!
Had my last follow up with Dra. Medina this morning and everything's still good. Drain removal will depend on my output between today and tomorrow. I have a bit of pep in my step, so i'm going to shop for a faja here after all...and do a bit of sightseeing. I can't covince my family i'm here on vacation without any pics of the beach, haha!
I'm so impressed with my results, and it's barely more than a week! The huge thick scar is as low as my belly button and flat now...well, all the scars are lower, and almost all stretchmarks are gone. The reddish marks are just cuz my skin is sensitive to tape. And it will continue to get better over the coming weeks!
Much love to you RS family!!!
I got my faja yesterday...i was optimistic & got a medium since the stage 1 was a large. Getting that thing on was a serious work out! No lie, i broke a sweat....must've looked like an episode of "I love Lucy"!!! And there was no room for any padding - hell, there wasn't room for my lungs! So even tho this morning i could breathe better, it was cutting me in two, especially when sitting.
This evening i got my last massage & stuffed back into the torture device, this time with a bit of padding in the waist. What's crazy is that when i measured myself with faja on & no pads, my waist was exactly what it was before! So i've got some major swelling gping on. I'm hoping because this thing is so tight, it'll last a while & be worth these few days of misery...please tell me this'll ease up in a few days!
Anyway i fly out super early in the morning (10/24) & it's a full day of travel, so pray i don't swell even worse!
Thanks so much for all the encouragement dolls - y'all rock!
I had my long day of flying home yesterday, and have to say it was the worst part of any of this experience thus far! For one thing, it was a full day - over 3 hour flight, over 3+ hour layover, another 3 hour flight, another 3+ hour layover, a short 30 minute flight, and a 30 minute cab ride home. I was at SD airport at 5am and was home around 11pm. I was drinking water all day, but apparently needed even more than what I have been....most of the day was varying levels of discomfort like the faja cutting into my sides badly and the crotch opening killing my inner thighs...progressively swelling more and more....but during the second layover, I ate a bowl of soup that seems to have been the last straw. My stomach began cramping horribly, and felt like the tightness of the faja was messing with my digestion. So after writhing around trying to massage and position myself some kind of way to get relief, I finally went to the bathroom and undid the upper part of the faja. Relief wasn't immediate, but it did ease up gradually. After maybe 45 min, I thought I could fasten a couple of the upper hooks just to loosely hold it together, but the cramping immediately came back....so I think maybe I can just leave it like that....um, no. By a half hour before the last flight, it was clear that fluid was seriously building up in my back and soooo painful....I was holding my stomach, and trying to massage my back in absolute agony for that flight...and then for the ride home. The whole time I'm just praying I'm not doing long term damage - Jesus, take this!!!!! Once home, I was able to change into my stage 1 faja, take 2 painkillers and 2 sleeping pills and knock myself out - much more than I ever needed in DR.
I don't want to scare anyone with all this, just passing it along so you can learn from my mistakes. If I had it to do again, I'd have just worn the stage 1 from the start (or at least been prepared to change into it), drunk even more water, and nibbled all day instead of having any meals. The wheelchair service was the one smart thing I did yesterday. The main thing for me is that I need to quit listening to other people - RH staff, other patients, etc. - and listen to my body, as many on here have suggested before. I just believe people who are so experienced when they tell me where I'm SUPPOSED to be. Well F that!
Now for the good news: I woke up feeling as good as I have been prior to yesterday. I got lots done, went to the store for more supplies, sponge bath, cleaned my incisions and changed dressing, and washed fajas. I'm now comfortable in the good ol' stage 1. It looks like I should be able to get my drain removed tomorrow or Tuesday, and depending on how I feel, may try the stage 2 after that. I've just decided that my main focus right now needs to be the health aspect - keeping swelling down, avoiding seromas, infection, etc. - and leave the hard-core shaping til I feel like I'm out of the woods with that.
On that note, if anyone can recommend a good massage therapist in the Chattanooga area...it's proving difficult to find anyone with experience in this kind of thing.
Sorry for all the moaning....I really am grateful for today going so well....all part of this crazy roller coaster, right?! Later, chicas! XOXO
Drain is out!!!
I’ve heard so many girls talk about having a hard time finding a doc to treat them because of going overseas for surgery, so I decided to just go to the ER. Fat lot of good that did me! Waited 2 hrs. only to be told they have to refer me to a surgeon…yea, right! I just told myself “Ok, Lil Miss Independent, let’s see whatcha got!” I watched a tutorial on utube, got all my stuff together, and did it myself this morning. It wasn’t as long as I was expecting…no way did it go all the way around. And I didn’t experience what some have described as it feeling stuck and having to tug on it….just eased right out. I did have problems with the belly button stitches - they’re just hidden so far inside they’re hard to see and get to from an angle. So I went to the nearest walk-in clinic and got no grief at all about removing them. I’m glad I didn’t keep trying myself, because one stitch was tricky even for him. Plus he said I have a minor infection and prescribed another round of antibiotics. I had assumed that the little bit of pinkness (on a few places of the incision) was normal, so I’m super glad it was caught early….that’s God looking out for me!
Anyway, I had no idea how freeing it would feel to be rid of that drain! I’m feeling less like some kind of invalid and more like myself. Also, I’ve found a massage therapist that does lymphatic very nearby…but when I messaged Dra. Medina about getting the drain out and mentioned massages, she said to wait 10 days. I’ve never heard that before, but what she says goes, so I can wait. I feel good enough that I think I’ll try to get into my stage 2 faja…I’ll wait til tomorrow morning tho....swelling seems to be less when I first get up.
I keep thinking I should post a pic of the incision, but I don’t have anyone to take it, and once I get all gloved up and all my stuff sterilized, I hate to handle my phone, haha! I’ll at least get a pic when I’m in the faja…I think things are shaping up pretty well considering how swollen I still am.
I keep forgetting to mention that she did need to do muscle repair. She said the separation was 15 cm (6 inches!!!)....I had no idea! I've never been pregnant, but she said weight loss patients always need it. I'm so glad she just automatically took care of it, as we'd never discussed it.
Stage 2 Faja
So I managed to squeeze myself into it this morning and I'm not having trouble breathing...so far, so good! Hopefully tomorrow I can fit some padding in, so it doesn't cut into my waist so much when I sit. Still super swollen...yesterday when I went out for a couple of hours, I wore socks that came halfway up my calves. When I got home and changed, there was an indention there that lasted all day! So it's not just the lipo areas - I am blown up all over!!!
Ups and downs....
Things seem to be going well with the incision healing. I’m not sure what I’m looking for as far as the infection…is it the pinkish skin, or the off-white coloring of the openings in the belly button and drain hole? They look pretty similar to every scabby knee I ever had as a kid, lol….so if there is an infection, I would think it’s minimal and hopefully this round of antibiotics will knock it out. The swelling is about the same, maybe getting a little better in my legs, but my waist is still measuring the same as pre-surgery….and I’m starting to get some itching, which I know is a good sign. The bad news: thanks to a lack of appetite right after surgery, and the tightness of this faja keeping me from being able to eat proper meals (it gets painful with much more than a snack), I’m now weighing in at 130!!! That’s several pounds lost, and my poor butt doesn’t stand a chance if this keeps up! I don’t want to regress to the stage 1 faja, so I think my best bet is to stay in row 1 of this one and let it continue to loosen up so I can comfortably eat better. Also, I think it’s safe to lay on my stomach (with pillows under me), at least sometimes, so I’m not putting pressure on my booty. I’m trying not to let my impatience get the best of me….just about 3 weeks out and it feels like twice that! That’s all for now…and as always, thanks a bunch for all the encouragement dolls!
Update on the infection
Well, I'm still feeling good and getting around ok. I messaged Dra. Medina and sent her a couple of pics of my bb and drain hole....she says they're not infected. I know she can only tell so much from pics, especially when they're poor quality, but it's a bit reassuring. I only have one day left of the antibiotics, and for the past few days, I've been letting the incisions air out for several hours a day. It's not ideal to be out of the faja so long, but I feel like it's a good trade off to help the incision heal. Both the belly button and the drain hole look a lot better when they dry out. I've tried to get better pics, but it's still hard to really see what's going on....the little areas that haven't closed up look yellowish. The bright white spots on the drain hole pic are light reflections. The incisions around them are pink, but there's no lumps or bumps, and no discharge of any kind. So to me, they look fine. I continue to take it seriously, and care for it as I have been: cleaning with peroxide and using ointment when covered. If anything seems to change for the worse, I'll go back to the doc that prescribed the antibiotics.
As for the overall results - I'm very happy with the shape of my waistline, tho I wish the swelling would go down some. I still measure 30" at the narrowest part....and that bb looks really deep. The booty - well, as of now it's way unimpressive. But when the swelling in my lower back goes down, that should add a nice contour....and of course I'm praying the fluff fairies are generous, lol
Oh, and I've gained back a couple of pounds....yaaaaay! I can eat more normally in the times I'm out of the faja :) Ta for now, dolls!
Incision looking much better
Updated pics of my belly button and drain hole, taken yesterday at exactly 4 weeks post-op. I think they look a lot better than just a week ago, and any infection appears to be cleared up. You can see from the bits of the incision on either side of the drain hole that's it's healing really well in general. I plan on starting scar treatment once the openings have completely closed up, which will hopefully be soon. Other than that, I'm feeling good. No changes on the swelling....I plan on trying a massage soon, but I have a feeling it would only provide temporary improvement. I'm just going to have to be patient and wait a couple of months...ugh! That's another thing I'll be able to focus on once the incision closes up completely - tightening the faja....oh, joy.....
I continue to pray for good health and smooth recovery for all you gorgeous girls! And for those of you watching your weight, may you stay strong over the holidays, haha! XOXO
Actual expenses of the trip, and Kindness RH
I thought I should give the financial details of my trip for those of you still in the planning stages: Although the actual surgery was $4350, the additional expenses of flight, RH/hotel accommodation, transportation, meds, massages, meals (including those at the airports), loads of supplies, oxygen treatments, second faja, and tips brought the total up to $7600. All things to consider when working out your budget…and be sure to allow for unexpected expenses that may pop up, like if you need a transfusion or something. I still consider it worth going to DR, as there’s no way I could’ve gotten both the TT & BBL in the states for that…in my town, I’d have paid $7000-$8000 for just a TT. Many docs won’t do both…the only exception would possibly be in Miami, where I’d still have to pay for an RH, etc. so no savings there. Had I spent almost that much for the BBL alone (that procedure would’ve been $3700 but all the other expenses would’ve been about the same), I’d have been quite disappointed and not considered it at all worth it. Financially speaking, the only thing I’d do differently would be to stay at the RH the entire time. I only saved $200 by transferring to the hotel, and in retrospect, the added convenience of the RH would’ve been worth paying that much more. Maybe I’d feel differently if I’d had a companion, but alone it was a bit of a hassle.
Speaking of the RH, I haven’t talked too much about it, but I did have a good experience at Kindness. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect any of the RH’s there to be very luxurious or from what I’ve read, to have an exceptional menu. But my room (and the whole house) was attractive, spacious and clean. Meals were not bad, just simple stuff, which is how I eat at home anyway. All of the staff were attentive and kind…although whenever ANYONE tells you their entire staff is bilingual, it’s BS, haha! But the owner Cici, her husband and driver Conrad, and the main nurse Ana were fluent. Also, when Conrad took me and a couple of other girls to get our fajas, he was nice enough to take us for a bit of souvenir shopping and to an ice cream shop as well, so it was a pretty fun day out. Anyway, I figure the $100 per night I paid for a single room is what I’d pay for a nice hotel room in most large cities, so it’s a good deal for what you get.
Things continue to go well with recovering...I'll give a detailed update with pics at the 6 week mark. If any of y’all want more specifics on the expenses or the RH, just ask….Much love, divas!!! ?
Prop pillow for bedrest
Just an FYI - This is the kind of pillow the RH provided, as they don't have hospital beds. It's firm and with pillows under my knees and sitting on the boppy, I was in the position I needed to be in. I was comfy and had no issues getting up and down. Btw, if you want one for home recovery, they're only $25 on Amazon.
6 week progress report
FINALLY, I feel like the worst of recovery is behind me! My incision is pretty much closed (only a couple of very small scab-looking spots), so I’ve started with scar treatment. I’m using Bio-Oil and Rose Hip Seed Oil (called Rosa Mosqueta in DR)….I try to apply twice a day, alternating between them. I already know to expect thick, hypertrophic scarring - I’m just doing what I can to minimize it. I’m getting a bit of sensation back….the incision and area around it is a strange combination of numb and tender, with occasional itchiness. I can pretty much move around normally and sleep in any position…sometimes I get a twinge when I’m shifting, but no real pain. All the bruising is gone; I’m just dealing with massive swelling. That’s actually gotten worse. My weight is up to around 140, and NO WAY can I have actually gained that much. It’s not just that my abdomen is still thick - I can see plumpness in my legs, arms, even my face…and I can’t even talk about my poor who-ha! The upside of that is that my butt looks the best it has so far! Still not impressive, but at least normal looking. I’d be pleased enough if it stayed like this, but I can’t kid myself….it’s just swelling. All I can hope for is that I don’t lose too much volume. Now that I’m not as paranoid about the incision healing, I can be more disciplined in wearing the faja. I’ve now progressed to the second hook…yaaaay! I do still have to take some long breaks though…if I accidentally eat too much, it really hurts. I’ll probably make do with a spanx-like tank top for Thanksgiving so I’m not miserable. Speaking of….this year I feel like I have an additional blessing (among many) to be grateful for - the opportunity for self-improvement, a safe procedure, healthy recovery….just all of it! I hope all of you are equally blessed and have a wonderful holiday! XOXO
2 months out pics
16 Dec 2015
2 months post
I’m feeling good these days. I’m in the third hook of the faja and using an ab board, and have plans to get it altered soon. I’d rather do that than get a size small cuz I really don’t want smaller thighs and hips; I’ll just get the upper part taken in. There are a couple of places where the incision feels thick, but I’m ok with that. The swelling is a little better but still a long ways to go, and some lumpy areas which is normal. I still weigh 140, but my waist now measures 28” instead of 30” (that’s right out of the faja before it swells up badly) and hips are 36”….not bad! I don’t know if it’s reasonable, but I hope I can lose another couple of inches off my waist without losing too much of my butt. We’ll see. Everyone says the final results are at 3 months, so I’ll just hang in there til then. Once I know what I’m dealing with, I can start working out and making the most of it. I don’t want to do that now, even though I could handle it physically, because I want to see (and want all you dolls to see) what the surgery alone can do, and how much exercise can improve on that.
That's it for now.....MERRY CHRISTMAS DIVAS!!!!!
3 months post op!
12 Jan 2016
3 months post
Hiya dolls! Well it’s 3 months now, so I wish I could say these are the final results. They may be the general shape, but there’s still a ways to go as far as swelling…and there are still some issues of lumpiness and the way the skin drapes to create folds. I hope those will work themselves out. But for the most part I’m very happy with my progress. I decided to get a corset to go over the faja instead of getting it taken in, so for the past week or two, I’ve been doing that instead of using the ab board. I’ll probably decrease using the faja and stick with the corset alone since my torso is where I really notice the swelling….and lessen my time in it to about 12 hours a day. If I measure myself after being out of the faja for a few hours, relaxing and moving around - what I guess are my “natural” measurements - I have a 29” waist and 36.5” or 37” hips….and I still weigh 140. I’m too impatient to wait on the swelling to go down completely before starting to work out….so the squat & abs challenge begins!!! I feel like the surgery gave me a really good base to work with, and with a bit more volume and firmness on the booty, and some toning on the belly, I’ll be lookin’ pretty cute, haha! Really though, whenever I start nit-picking the little lumps and dimples, I just look back at my “before” pics and shut myself up! I put together a collage so you can see what I mean. I am SO grateful for the way these procedures have turned me around….it really was worth all the pain and expense and everything. Onwards and upwards, right lovies?!
That said, I’m starting to plan the next phase of my overhaul, lol! I’ll be getting a face/neck lift, a breast lift (possibly with implants) and an arm lift. I’m travelling to Malaysia for that work in early March and will start a new review when I get it scheduled, if anyone cares to follow that process. Of course I’ll continue to post here, since I’m sure things will keep changing gradually. Much love to my online support system....hope 2016 is treatin' y'all right! XOXO
Not much has changed.....
18 Feb 2016
4 months post
Hello ladies! Just wanted to post an update since it's a little past my 4 month mark. Tbh, things are pretty much the same, so I haven't bothered with pics. Plus, I've been preoccupied with planning my trip to Malaysia for more work. That's scheduled for March 8-9, so I'm sure I'll be going thru a rough recovery for a while afterwards...I'm getting a lot done, and have created a new review if you're interested. I know I won't be able to work out for weeks, which isn't ideal, but I hope I'm far enough out that all that time laying on my back won't have a negative effect. Praying all goes well! XOXO
6 month update with pics
11 Apr 2016
6 months post
Ok, so I've been missing in action for a while, due to recovering from all the upper body work I got done last month. I must admit, the effect of all that on my TT/BBL has not been too good. I wasn't able to eat well for at least a week, and dropped back down to 135....booooooo!!! That, plus laying on my back, not being able to do any kind of exercise, means any kind of lil booty I might have had went into hiding! At this point, I can't say it's as bad as it was before (cuz that was practically deformed!), but it's awfully flat and saggy - like a lot of other girls look "before." Right now, my waist is 30" and hips are a bit under 37"...disappointing! I'm slowly regaining, and should be able to ease back into a workout routine in a couple of weeks. I've only just started back with a fairly light compression garment on my waist....I can't do any serious waist training, because I've got to be gentle with my new boobs and not poke and shove 'em around with that corset, LOL! I've put this poor ol' bod thru a lot in just 6 months, and I'm just gonna have to take it easy for a while. I'll see how things are at the end of the year and decide if it's something I can live with, or if I'll want - and I can't believe I'm saying this - if I'll want a Round 2. I can't even think about that right now tho!
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and if I had to do it again, I'd make SURE I had enough fat on me to make the BBL worth doing. I take ultimate responsibility for how things have turned out....I chose to ignore the couple of docs who advised me I wasn't a good candidate for it and went with the one who told me what I wanted to hear. That said - and forgive me if this sounds mean, I'm just being real here - I think that for a doctor who does hundreds of BBLs a year to look at my pics at 135 lbs and tell me I didn't need to gain any weight...and then change her tune when I get there and say I don't have much fat and only give me 300cc in each cheek...hmmmm, I just don't know. I can't say she did a bad job, or that another doc would have been able to do any better...I obviously just didn't have much to work with. But shoudln't someone who's probably done thousands of these be able to tell that from pics? And they know we spend a lot of time and money just to get there and aren't gonna turn around and go home at that point.....sorry, it's just not sitting well with me. I wouldn't want to discourage anyone who has their heart set on travelling for their procedure, but if you're at all unsure about what can be done for you, at least go to a couple of reputable docs near you for an in-person consultation. It would be well worth it!
Ok, enough of Debbie Downer, LOL! I'm choosing to stay positive and take care of myself the best I can....and pray all you gorgeous dolls are doing the same....BIG HUGS!!!!!