MALLOL BELLA - Lipo Full Torso & Upper Thighs, BBL, Mini Arm Lift
So, I'm finally doing it. A few years ago, I lost...
Does Lipo Require Drains? PS is Dr. Mallol
Time To Step Up This Game
1 - DRIVER: how are people finding drivers if they don't go through their PS?
2 - RH: how are you deciding on your RH ? I know ZIP about any of this. Does my PS give me a list, or pick the one I'm going to or something?
3 - anybody NOT do an RH? My husband is coming, and my mom, so we might ask just stay in a hotel or a time share. Has any one here tried that?
4 - would you advise getting my tourist card online? Can I get it now or do I have to wait until closer to my procedure?
Sorry for all the questions! Just excited about getting started and don't know where to go to ask. Thank you in advanced for your help!
47 Y/o Mom of 4, LIPO + BBL
Lipo + BBL. Trying to keep my expectations real. I want my tiny waist back, with a MUCH flatter back, round butt, and slimmer thighs. Oh, and slimmer arms too! Think I'm not doing too well on the expectations thing. Anyway, I'm about six weeks out and have yet to nail down my RH, transportation, and supplies. I have my ticket and my date, that's it. But I'm super excited though!
GOT MY TIX and MY APARTMENT
47 Y/o Mother of Four Ready to ROCK!!
I have to look good AND feel good. I'm not giving up, I'm fighting back! I'm ready to work for it - I've BEEN fighting for it. But, I don't know, I can't just keep being strong about it, I have to get SMART about it too. I'm glad I can do it here, with such an amazing and informative group of people!
STEP FOUR TO "SNATCHDOM": Get your Tourist Card
One of the things I LOVE about RS is that there is so much information here, and the ladies are SUPER helpful and supportive! My one problem is this - I can't seem to find a centralized list of the steps I must take to go from scared to snatched. So I'm starting my own, with the hopes that the more experienced will chime in and help us all through this new and crazy journey!
(NOT in order of priority - just in the order I encountered them)
STEP ONE - Find a place to stay.
STEP TWO - Get your tickets.
STEP THREE - Get your Passport.
STEP FOUR - Get your Tourist Card.
STEP FIVE - ??? Find the next update and see!
From "Skip the Wait and Purchase Tourist Card Online," Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana News, posted March 20, 2014
WHAT IS A TOURIST CARD? The Tourist Card is a tax fee that all recreational visitors must pay prior entering the Dominican Republic.
WHAT ITS IT FOR? The Tourist Card is mandatory to all incomers but it allows these temporary visitors to stay in the country for 30 days without needing a visa. This time can also be extended for an additional cost.
WHO HAS TO PAY THE TAX? Everyone except incomers from the following countries: Argentina, Chile, South Korea, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Peru, Uruguay and Dominicans residing in the country.
WHERE TO PURCHASE?
– Upon arrival at any Dominican airport.
– Some tour operators may include the tourism card on the trip fee.
– Dominican embassies and consulate offices overseas.
– It can be purchased online here -
Click the link at the end of the page -->
Click 'Tourist Card ' at bottom right (if needed, tell Google to translate page) -->
Click 'Buy Tourist Card' at the top of the page -->
Select your language -->
Select the Quantity of cards you wish to buy, Click 'Select and Continue' -->
Click 'Continue with payment' -->
Enter payment and verification information. Mine was ... ok, just playin'. -->
Click 'Agree and Buy' -->
Pop up box "Are you sure to buy X Tourist Cards?" Click 'Ok' if correct.
The next page will show your Order Confirmation #. Click 'Download'
Download, save and print your new cards!!
STEP FIVE TO "SNATCHDOM": Start taking your supplements
And to all the beautiful bellas out there with experience: please chime in and help us all through this new and crazy trip!
(NOT in order of priority - just in the order I encountered them)
STEP ONE - Find a place to stay.
STEP TWO - Get your tickets.
STEP THREE - Get your Passport.
STEP FOUR - Get your Tourist Card.
STEP FIVE - Start taking your iron supplements.
STEP SIX - ??? Find the next update and see!
From RealSelf Ask A Doctor, "Will Low Hemoglobin Level [Effect] Tummy Tuck," answered by Dr. Luis Suarez on March 9, 2013 (a few typos corrected - sorry; that ish drives me nuts)
Having a good hemoglobin is essential for any surgery but yes especially for a large surgery like a Tummy Tuck. It is important to have at least between 11 and 12. During a tummy tuck alone there is not that much loss of fluids so hemoglobin does not go that much more down, but usually it is combined with liposuction and that makes the hemoglobin diminish a certain percentage because of fluid loss. So, if you're at a 11 you can go down to a 9. It does not affect the result of your tummy tuck or the healing of the scar, what it could affect is the risk of getting infection because your red blood cell count is down, but that is why they give you antibiotic that is the only risk your taking. But it does not affect in the result of the surgery at all. But I would recommend, to first keep your hemoglobin up and eat healthy and do not do extreme dieting keep your self healthy and then go ahead and do your surgery.
My doc's goal is 12. This is what he advised (though all docs are different).
IRON pills: Take 65mg (= 325mg Ferrous Sulfate) every 12h.
FOLIC ACID: Take 400 mcg at day
VITAMIN C: Take one 01 mg daily.
High-protein diet as eggs, red meat, etc... Eat healthy!
I know you more experienced bellas have specific brands, or other substances you've found helpful. What are they? If you have a pic of the bottles or packaging, that would be great!!
The Cost of the Stuff BESIDES Your Procedure
~$1450 - Tickets
~$612 - Apartment for two weeks/3 people
~$334 - Compression garments, sleeves, boards; Waist Trainer; GoGirl; Arnica Gel; Arnica Pills
Whew! Amazon LOVES me right now. Starting to sweat up in here!
Mallol Dolls (I prefer "Bellas," though I have to admit "Dolls" has a better ring to it)
COMPRESSION GARMENTS - The Three Garment Stages
There are different garments made for different stages of your recovery.
Immediately after liposuction, it is nearly impossible to put on a compression garment that does not have zippers or hook & eye closures (These are known as first stage compression garments). This includes Spanx and similar garments.
It takes a couple weeks for enough swelling to go down and for the patient to be comfortable enough to wear a zipperless compression garment (These are known as second stage garments). These zipperless garments still have the surgery-specific extras built into them, such as an open crotch design.
Then there are third stage garments, which is the category that Spanx falls into. These compression garments are designed to be used long term on a regular basis and look more like undergarments or sometimes like normal athletic wear. For instance, the garments I recommend look like camisoles and leggings but have 15-20 mmHg compression when sized properly.
Unfortunately, I researched for some time to find proper garments when too many patients complained about Spanx and similar garments. These complaints varied from being too uncomfortable (tight, hot, chaffing), compressing unevenly (leaving depressions and creases), and not being designed to compress all their lipo areas.
As you can see, I no longer recommend garments that are not designed specifically for your surgical areas. By the time you realize they are compromising your results, it may be too late, and you deserve better than that.
List of PAST and CURRENT PATIENTS
Shout out to Pie33, MyKidsRMyHeart, and Ms. Lore!!!!
Super Hyped - Hemo is 12.7!
Compression Gear Tutorial!!!!
Good news is, you don't wear the trainer AND the faja at the same time. Whew! Also, it gives us BBL girls some guidance about how our fajas should fit over our tush. And it has some super cool tricks about how to minimize risk for a lower back seroma, and how to maintain the shape of your belly button!
Bad news is the video is in Spanish. That's OK though! If you don't speak Spanish, you still can easily follow along by just watching (also, listening is great practice for our sojourns into the DR!). I am not certain about RS's rule for pasting links, so if the link is removed, let me know and I'll try and get it to you some other way.
Here it is --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_RVglBoXsE
Last note - many of us will have to wear pads over our surgical sites for drainage. The pads should be the first thing that touches your skin. All your gear goes on top of the pad. That probably goes without saying, but ...
Anyway, happy learning!!!
"First Time Buyer's Guide for Compression Stockings"
Source: Compression Therapy Guide, http://www.absolutemedical.com/buyers-guide.html
Your doctor or therapist just told you to buy compression stockings. Now what?
There are 4 main compression levels which are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The higher the numbers, the higher the compression.
8-15 mmHg* [Mild Compression]. Provides relief and minimizes tired and achy legs. Prevents fatigued legs from long periods of sitting or standing. Helps relieve minor swelling of feet, ankles, and legs. During pregnancy, helps prevent the formation of varicose and spider veins. Helps maintain healthy, energized legs.
15-20 mmHg* [Moderate Compression]. For the prevention and relief of minor to moderate varicose and spider veins. Helps relieve tired, aching legs, and minor swelling of feet, ankles, and legs. During pregnancy, helps prevent varicose veins and spider veins. Helps prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as economy class syndrome. Used in post-sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent the reappearance of varicose veins and spider veins. Ideal compression level used for those traveling long distances.
20-30 mmHg* [Firm Compression]. Helps prevent and relieve moderate to severe varicose veins (also during pregnancy). For post-surgical and post-sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent the reappearance of varicose and spider veins. Helps in treatment of moderate to severe edema or lymphatic edema. Helps with the management of active ulcers and manifestations of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). Helps relieve superficial thrombophlebitis. Helps prevent orthostatic hypotension (sudden fall in blood pressure when standing). Helps prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as economy class syndrome.
30-40 mmHg* [Extra Firm Compression]. Helps prevent and relieve severe varicose veins. Used in the treatment of severe edema and lymphedema. Used in post-surgical and post-sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent the reappearance of varicose and spider veins. Helps reduce symptoms of Orthostatic Hypotension and Postural Hypotension For the management of Venous Ulcers and manifestations of Post-Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS). Prevents deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as economy class syndrome.
"Wish" Pic, with Detailed Instructions! Hahah!
Countdown - Current State of Supplies
I won't recreate my list here 'cause there are good lists everywhere (Leatrica1 has a great one). However, there are three things I haven't really seen but think might be helpful: thermometer (early warning signs of infection), Midol complete (seems to pierce those day-2/3 headaches), and mosquito wipes/repellent ('cause its about to be that time). This stuff might already be at your RH, but since I'm not going to one, I'm taking them with me.
MMMM, is it me or .....
Ummm...Is there such a thing as a Stage THREE Faja?
First - when ordering, I followed the faja guide on Amazon. I am roughly 43-37-43 and fell into the "large" category, so I ordered a large. I knew they ran small but with my plan above, I was sure to use it if not now, then later.
I rushed home, stripped, and squeezed my thunderous thighs into their new home ... almost. As it happens, I couldn't get my faja past those two cheesy balloons. No amount of stretching and tugging was going to do it; anything after the top of the thigh was a 'no.' When I heard a little rip, I quit.
Amazon clearly - CLEARLY - said they ran small, but the comments at the bottom left me a bit confused. Did they or didn't they - there was a war going on between contributors of which I was unwittingly about to become a casualty.
Yeah. They run small. WAY small. So at this rate, even with surgical shrinking (A LOT of surgical shrinking), I won't be able to use it S1. And even with the extra added swelling shrinkage, the odds are not looking real good for any S2 use either. No worries, though - at $139 bucks it makes a DAMN good abject listen. Go big or go home.
Supply List - The Definition of Overkill
o Fish Oil & Naproxin, Bromelain, Omega 3 for post surgery inflammation
o Liquid Iron
o Water pills
o Arnica tabs and gel
o Yeast infection medication
o Laxatives & Gas pills
o Perc or Oxy (if you can get it)
o Mosquito wipes/spray
o Moo Moos / Baggy clothes
o Toilet Donut
o Boopy pillow
o Pillows, blanket, towels
o Heating Pad
o Warm socks
o Tank for under boards
o Puppy pads/Chux
o Go girl
o Maxi pads
o Hand sanitizer
o Antibacterial soap
o Scar tape
o Medical Tape
o Wahl Cold N Hot Deep Massager
o Arm compressors
o Compression Socks
o Ensure/protein bars/yogurt
(Notice I removed any reference to fajas - don't have to tell me twice)
Much Love to FashionColette and 4Evermore! Sexy, Snatched and Stacked Bellas!!!
Excellent Review by Beautiful10 - Spans 3 years, with Pics
In case you are interested, here is her link --> https://www.realself.com/review/miami-fl-brazilian-butt-lift-bbl-dont-know-doctor-choose#
Mallol's Consultation and Surgery Centers
All CONSULTATIONS take place here: Centro Médico Gazcue, Av. Bolívar esquina Leopoldo Navarro. Suite 406 - 4ta. Planta., Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The earliest you can arrive is 8a. It is not by appointment. Your owrk up will be done here. If you are cleared, you will be given your surgery time and surgery center location.
SURGERY CENTERS. Dr. Mallol uses two surgery centers. I have no idea how he (or whomever) determines which surgery center you go to.
One is Centro Médico Gazcue, which is the same place your consultation takes place. This building is older than his other Center, but looks to be in great shape. Copy and paste the name in Google to have a look at the Center's web page and current reviews.
The other is Centro Quirurgico Cenigest. This is the newer of the two buildings. I do not know the address, nor have I been able to find it on Google or Google Maps (any help?).
I included pics of both.
Dr. Mallol informed me that he does, at the MOST, three surgeries in a single day.
HottaHada, Leatrica1, and DatGurlMe Are Up This Week - Mad love ladies!
How Can I POSSIBLY Be Having Second Thoughts?
Supercool Animated Video on How Liposuction Works
Marlene0291's Big Day - Love and Prayers Bella!
18 PRE- & POST-BELLA PICS (Dr. E. Mallol Cotes)
Great Idea BellaCP!
Realistic or Pipedream?
Big Shout Out to Van101, Malika.Reid, and JennJade!
The DREADED AUNT Has Arrived!
LIVER: Kill. Me. Now.
OK, just playing. But it's KILLING me ladies, it's KILLING ME!
Did I HAVE to get my iron through meat? Couldn't I just double up on pills or something? I had to know. If there was ANY way to get out of this, I was taking it, and FAST. True to form, I went back to the data. I wanted to know whether getting iron from supplements was as good as getting iron from food. As it turns out, no.
This is what I learned, so I thought I'd share. I wanted YOU to suffer as much as I am suffering right now. But I wanted you to be INFORMED while you did it. (Nice of me, right?)
~Iron from a protein source is better absorbed that iron from a liquid supplement.
~Iron from a liquid supplement is better absorbed that iron from a tablet supplement.
~Iron from a tablet supplement is better absorbed that iron from a iron powder supplement.
So best source? Iron from a protein source. Break out that liver, ladies! More fun facts
~In most cases, the best time to take iron supplements is about one hour before or two hours after meals, with water on an empty stomach. Taking your iron supplement with food may decrease how much iron is absorbed by the body by up to 50 percent.
~On the flip side, citrus items, such as lemonade or Vitamin C can increase your iron absorption.
~There are a number of foods and minerals that inhibit iron absorption, including coffee, grains & legumes, fiber, egg protein (from both the white and the yolk), minerals (such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, and copper).
You can thank me later. For now, eat up Bellas!!!!
P.S. I had to eat pinched-nosed and mix it with spicy hot Doritos to get it down. After about six or so pieces I gave up and gave the rest to the dogs.
Greetings from Narita Airport, Japan!
WiFi It, and Call Around the World for Free
NatalyPerez, Bey1115, BellaCP, NattieVanessa, TLundquist, & 4Evermore - Alright Ladies, Are We READY???
Made It To The Flat Side!!!!!
My Truth: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – Part I
Because I feel like I made a mistake, and admitting that just to myself has been hard. I read all your ‘after’ reviews and you are all so happy. “Snatched!” “Thick!” “Do I really get to keep this body???!” I feel none of that. I couldn’t bring myself to pretend otherwise, so I said nothing. And I am sorry.
Because we promised to do this together, right? Promised to walk each other through not just our experiences but our feelings about those experiences. We rely on each other for that, to help us make smart decisions. I owe you – my Real Self Sisters – honesty. You guys have been there for me and each other in a way that humbles me. You have my love, you have my respect, and you have my thanks, ladies. Bella Forever.
Because there is so much to share, I am breaking this up in parts. In this first one, I want to answer clear procedural questions – what was Mallol like, how was the pre-interview, what was the surgery like, and so on. That’s what most of us want to know, anyway. In later parts, I talk about post surgery stuff and – for those who are interested – I explain why, at least at this point, I regret making the decisions I did.
I included a photo that I took today because above all, we want to known whether our doc can deliver. As you can obviously see, he can. My waist is tight, my ass is big, my back is virtually flat. About this, I want to be clear: Emmanuel Mallol Cotes was the right choice, beginning to end, and any feelings I have about my outcomes have ZERO to do with this man. There has been much talk about him in these forums – does he know what he’s doing? Does the lack of B&A pics mean he isn’t good? Is it really all about the money for him? The man is extraordinary and the speculation stops today. The only thing I would REPEAT if I could do this all over again is this: Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes would be my surgeon. Period. In fact, when you see him, tell him Bey sends her love.
Let me introduce you to him (and Dr., I apologize in advance for not asking your permission to share this information). Dr. Mallol is an Officer and surgeon in the Dominican military. He serves his country, performing reconstruction for service members injured on duty. He also works at least once a month at a local public hospital for – I believe – the underprivileged. There, he provides an extreme range of reconstruction work for cancer patients who, like me, suffer extreme physically deformities because of their disease. And while he is doing all of this, he takes care of us. He seems to do what he can for those approaching surgery. But once you are there, his focus rests on you completely. If you ever again wonder why whether he’s abandoned you because you can’t get him on the phone, don’t. He is honorable and dedicated, and does all he can to meet an incredible lists of needs.
In my case, before I arrived, he sent me a massage asking for my flight information, recovery location, and driver contact info. As you have heard with many, I spoke with him almost immediately after I landed. Remember, he could not call me – my phone is a Japanese line. So instead of hoping I found him, he tracked down my driver and routed the call through him. He welcomed me, told me to relax after my long flight, and told me when I would meet him the next day. The next day, he greeted us (my sister, me, and mom) personally at the end of a long day of surgery, rounds, and reporting for duty at his military HQ.
We met Dr. M at his de Calderon clinic. A BRIEF NOTE: Dr. M works out of two surgical centers. One is a clinic – de Calderon – newer; the other is a hospital – older. My impression is that his clinic and hospitals schedules are pre-set, and he meets his patients for their consult, surgery, and follow-ups wherever he is scheduled to be on a particular day.
When we arrived at his clinic, we were taken to a 1st floor patient room. My sister and I were taken, in turn, for labs while we waited for him – simple blood draws by a phlebotomist with an office also right there on the first floor. After our labs were complete, Dr. M arrived. He has this notebook where he keeps his “brain.” He had clearly reviewed our files, and made notes. He also seemed to have all the pics we sent him open on his phone. He had our entire WhatsApp conversation open on his phone too. I only know this because I peeked when he was writing in his book. But he reviewed it while we talked, constantly cross referencing our discussions, fears, concerns.
He started our consult by walking us through our medical history – height, weight, previous surgeries, illnesses, and so on. Then, we discussed our outcome wishes. Then, he did a physical examination (stripping in front of a man NOT my husband was interesting). Finally, he gave us his opinion. In my case, he felt strongly he could achieve my goals without a backlift, and suggested a mini-armlift instead (more about that later). He also cautioned me that he would not do aggressive lipo on my thighs despite my wishes because the outcome would not align with my expectations (more on this too). He took all the time with us we needed. He didn’t rush us AT ALL. He directed us to be at the clinic the next day at 7a, I think. No food after midnight, blah blah blah.
During our meeting, the lab staff popped in with our hemo values (mine was 12.4 – traitor). Dr. M advised that I would probably require a transfusion, which as you know is not my thing. My sister, whose hemo was 13. something, was only recommended to have a transfusion. I could refuse, but it would limit my surgical options. I agreed (wimp).
FOR YOUR INFO: Dr. Mallol, in my opinion, gives you more than enough time to work through your goals. But ladies, USE THIS TIME. Be prepared. Have your questions ready. Understand that this is it. Because once he sees you on game day, it’s all business. No – “just one more question, Dr.” He has his game hat on and that’s that.
When we arrived on surgery dsy, we went to the 2nd floor, where the procedures are performed and the patients do post-surgical recovery. We were greeted by his team, both nursing and medical. They spoke very little English but remained patient and communicative throughout. FOR YOUR INFO: Google Translate is your friend. And remember, you are in a foreign country – make sure you download the Spanish module before you leave the US. That way, you don’t need an Internet connection to use it. They gave us tons of paperwork – all in Spanish, and just pointed to where we should sign. Be ready for that; you have ZERO idea what you are agreeing to.
They took us back into the patient rooms, where we got a visit from the cardiologist for an EKG, and the anesthesiologist for more surgical history information. My sister – a smoker – was also assessed by a pulmonologist. They were all doctors, and all women. Once we got the all clear, I was gowned and wheeled back as his first surgery of the day.
This brings me to the end of part I. I apologize for the length, Bellas. As you can imagine, a lot has happened and I am trying to feed the hunger for information that I had before my trip to the Dominican.
Made love, made respect, and thank you for being there. You are an AMZAING group of proud and powerful women, and it has been my honor to meet you along the way.
Ladies - Check in With DatGurlMe - Bad Infection ...
I am sorry, my sweet sisters.
Then, the big day came. Like all big moments, the lead up was so much bigger than the event itself, and this was no exception. But that was OK too; that was normal in the scheme of things. It wasn’t until after the surgery that things started to unravel for me. My blood pressure crashed. I got sick, feverish, and left the DR early with my mother so I could access comprehensive medical care. One of my incisions separated and then became infected. I had to do daily sterilization and wound dressing changes. Two more of my surgical sites became infected and I had to start an aggressive course of antibiotics. I had to see a doctor twice a week for weeks. Now, I have to see a surgeon to monitor my wound closure. And, of course, while all this was going on, there was the pain. The all-consuming scalding sunburn under my skin. My underskin felt like I’d spilled a vat of boiling water on my back, along my sides, over my belly, inside my thighs.
And in truth, the whole thing got to be too much. I was pretty angry a lot of the time. I didn’t want to think about it anymore. I wanted my old life back. I didn’t want to hurt, didn’t want to walk around with this gaping hole in my armpit (I called it my other vagina). I didn’t want a faja and two inches of sterile gauze stuffed into my arm each morning. I didn’t want to talk about it. I just wanted it to fade away, wanted to catch my breath. Worse, after all I’d gone through, I wasn’t that thrilled with how I looked, at least not with clothes on.
So, I went dark and stayed there. Like the last time, I knew that if I spoke, I would have little good to say. I knew I wouldn’t be fair. I knew I wouldn’t be balanced. I would take all the pain and fear I was feeling inside and let it come roiling out, all over you guys. And I just didn’t want to do that.
What’s different now? You guys. What I mean is, a few days ago, I started looking at RS again. And I was stunned at some of what I saw. I realized that no matter what I felt about my experience, I owed the truth to this family of women with whom I’d become friends. I used this site to make an informed decision about what to do to my body, and who to trust my body with. The only way others can do that is if those of us who have gone before are open about what took place. So, for what it’s worth, and for anyone who is still interested, here it goes ….
THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE UGLY - PART II
Remember when I said that I regretted my decision? This moment – this one right here – this is why. I knew better. I knew that if the staging room was unclean, so was everything else. All of my alarms were ringing, screaming for me to just get up and call it off. But I couldn’t. I was willing to let this inexplicable quest for the me in my head continue. So I started bargaining with myself. I reasoned that others have done this right here in this very room, and they were just fine. I reasoned that my mother was here; she would protect me. I reasoned that this was not the US – maybe this was normal. But if it was too dirty to sit, it should have been too dirty to stay. But stay I did.
After a few minutes a very nice man came in, the anesthesiologist. He asked me a lot of the same questioned I’d been asked before, but that was OK. He was very nice, very reassuring, and I let myself e calmed by the distraction. I could hear Dr. Mallol talking away in the room next door – in Spanish, of course. When we were done, the Dr. walked me into the room next door.
You know that spacious supply closet at your job? Spacious for a supply closet, but you wouldn’t want to WORK in it? That’s how big the room was. Two things struck me immediately: it had a surgery table so narrow, there was no room for my arms (who was supposed to be getting on THAT?), and it was full of men. I got on table and, of course, my arms hung. Irrationally, I kept wondering how I was supposed to hold my arms up during surgery. Someone turned me on my side. Men were talking in Spanish and moving around me. My gown was taken. It was totally surreal. I remember this one guy was doing something to my IV, and he draped the cable over my face. My face. Just another nameless fat chic on a table.
Dr. Mallol came in. I’d been trying to pull him aside all morning. I met with him, but he had a list he wanted to go down before he marked me up. Remember how I said get ALL your business done during the meeting the day BEFORE surgery? On the day of, he’s done. He knows what he’s supposed to be doing, and he doesn’t want any last minute discussions. Finally, he asked me what I wanted to tell him. He’d advised that I not get a back lift, but I’d wanted one so badly. I’d agreed the day before, and I was regretting that decision mightily. But after looking at his face, knowing he’d been avoiding an extra discussion, knowing I was on the table, knowing he was ready to go, I gave it up. “Nothing,” I said.
The next thing I know, I was back on the unit, in my bed. I could hear my sister in the room across from me. My husband was there, my mom, going back and forth between the two rooms. There was no pain. I was in a faja. And I was on the other side, the flat side! I went back to sleep.
If I had any doubts before that I was not in the US, the hospital stay made that fact completely clear. Let me say this: with one exception involving my sister which I won’t go into (you’ll have to ask her), I loved the nurses. But their patient care? Hit or miss. Let me give you just one example: one nurse entered my room with a syringe, uncapped. She’d just left my sister’s room. She came over to my bedside, to flush my IV after my blood bag cleared. And her syringe had a small pocket of blood in it. She’d just left my sister’s room where, I learned later, she had just flushed HER line. When I saw the blood, I stopped her, asked her if the syringe had been used. She smiled so nice, said no, grabbed my IV line, and plunged. Before I could stop her. My mom came in, railed at her for that (my sister and I have different blood types). She feigned total innocence, and the deed was done.
OK, this is already way to long, and I haven’t gotten to the wound you see in the pic. But I’ll get there. Next time. About it, I will say this – it is under my arm, where Dr. Mallol did a mini-arm lift. It became infected, and then the sutures separated and the wound broke open. I was on antibiotics for weeks, and had to see both my GP here (sometimes twice a week), and then a surgeon. I had to do daily dressing changes, which I could finally stop doing one week ago - it's been THAT long. The wound is now closed (without another operation). More later.
I love you ladies. And I missed you more than you know.
P.S. Thank you for all the love and prayers
3 MONTH CHECK IN (PICS)
PAIN. What. The. F$%K? So, Dr. Mallol must have seared the fat right off my back, which is exactly what I asked for. Feels as if there is a sheet-sized "scab" under my skin (back and inside thighs). That would make sense. It tugs when I move. Initially, I moved less thinking I just needed to give it time to heal. At about week nine I gave that up. Now, WHENEVER I feel that lovely little rip/tug/burn, I stretch, hold it, stretch some more. I got that from AntiBoxgal20's posts about her physical therapy (mad luv). It's not gone but it's on its way.
(Side note: not one single doctor ever recommended this to help mitigate the pain - props to Real Self for this forum of shared experiences and AntiBoxgal 20 for the solution).
FAJA. Gone. Wore is 24/7 for just over 11 weeks, then broke up with it cold turkey. I'm not even sure where it is. The first few days HURT - what was that about? I just assumed it was swelling, and while there was some, it was almost indiscernible on the curves. It's been a week and the faja removal pain is gone, with no negative impact on my results. So, bye Faja-lecia (ok, that was pretty bad).
HEALTH. I feel like me again FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Interesting, that happened right around when I kicked the faja to the curb. Coincidence? I think not. I also developed something called C-DIFF. It is most commonly seen when a person takes multiple courses of antibiotics, or multiple antibiotics at once - check and check. Had it for two weeks, and I'm pretty sure I died somewhere in there. To say it causes diarrhea is like saying Trump is a bit mouthy. I had to be put on yet ANOTHER course of antibiotics, and if that didn't work, it was back to the hospital for me. The antibiotics worked. C-DIFF can be fatal, though, so if you get the runs for more than three days, see your doc.
PROGRESS. As you can see from my pic, no big change from 6 weeks (faja 24/7) and 12 weeks (no faja). I can see some SLIGHT upper hip shrinkage if I blur my eyes, dim the lights and hold my head at an angle.
I can finally say I am happy with my results. So what changed? My head space. If I am being completely honest with myself, I walked into that surgery fully expecting to come out looking like a picture. Not only did I NOT look like the picture, I was miserable in every imaginable way (and even a few unimaginable ones) afterwards. I was also too focused on what Dr. Mallol missed (dude never touched my actual arms). And I was FLOORED at how unflatteringly protrusive my boobs seemed (turns out the faja was making them stick up and out like highbeams).
Now, I've lived with this body for three months. The body "in my head" is a faded memory. The body of my past is long gone. The body in my "here and now" is the only one I have left. I've stopped seeing it through a lens of comparison, and turns out that I love it. Go figure.
Well, ladies, I have to dip back into my world for a few months, so I can only pop on to RS occasionally. You know me - I like to answer everyone - but if it takes me a minute to hit you back, that's why.
Love you, miss you, and may the angels walk with you.
SUPPLIES - What I Used & What I Didn't
o Fish Oil & Naproxin, Bromelain, Omega 3 for post surgery inflammation - USED NONE OF IT
o Liquid Iron - PRE-SURGERY ONLY
o Water pills - YEP
o Arnica tabs and gel - NOPE
o Benadryl - NOPE
o Yeast infection medication - NOPE
o Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen - YEP
o Laxatives & Gas pills - YEP
o Metamucil - NOPE, BUT I COULD HAVE.
o Midol - NOPE
o Perc or Oxy (if you can get it) - YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
o Mosquito wipes/spray - NOPE
o Moo Moos / Baggy clothes - HELL YES
o Toilet Donut - YES, BUT I DITCHED IT AFTER TWO DAYS
o Boopy pillow - FOR THE FIRST TWO WEEKS, YES
o Pillows, blanket, towels - YES
o Heating Pad - NOPE. DIDN'T EVEN BRING IT
o Warm socks - IN THE HOSPITAL, DEF
o Undies - NOPE - NO NEED WITH THE FAJA
o Tank for under boards - YES, BUT WELL AFTER SURGERY
o Wipes - YES, VERY MUCH SO
o Puppy pads/Chux - 100X YES
o Go girl - TRIED. PPED ON MY HAND THREE TIMES. TOSSED IT.
o Maxi pads - YES, BUT FOR THE OOZING
o Hand sanitizer - YES
o Antibacterial soap - YES YES YES
o Gauze - YEP
o Scar tape - NOT ONCE
o Medical Tape - YES
o Thermometer - YES
o Wahl Cold N Hot Deep Massager - POST SURGERY A FEW TIMES, BUT UNNECESSARY
o Arm compressors - NO
o Compression Socks - A MILLION TIMES YES
o Foam - YES
o Board (back board) - A FEW TIMES, BUT WORTH IT
o Ensure/protein bars/yogurt - YES, YES, YES
Things I wish I had, but didn't bring: more pain pills, but that's about it.