Ok so, 9 days before I leave and 10 days before...
Ok so, 9 days before I leave and 10 days before actual surgery. I had my CBC done and my iron was slightly low (11.9) I am faithfully taking my iron and vitamins because I am so determined to get my numbers up before surgery. I'm also drinking my water which is really hard but I get 84 oz, at least, per day.
I've packed everything already. My BF was like "why are you packed already", and I told him that I wanted to be ready just in case they called and told me to come sooner. LOL! (He thinks I'm crazy)
I have pretty much on everyone else's list except maybe my Lysol wipes and small travel size spray. I've got my depends, compression socks and yesterday I grabbed a robe that had pockets since I heard you that you will need a place to put your drains. And I got a button up shirt for day of surgery.
My own little personal things:
I am carrying a small thing of Vaseline. Just seems like you can never go wrong with pure ole petroleum jelly.
I am a woman of color so instead of trying to wrap my hair at night, I packed a satin pillow case.
I need to have this surgery done and over with before I can focus on anything else in life right now. I'm totally obsessed with website right now. I'm on it more than FB, Twitter or anything else these days.
VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION that I wanted to share...
VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION that I wanted to share about iron.
Please be careful when taking the iron that you are directed to take prior to surgery. I am regularly anemic and and my doctor has always recommended Vitron C in the past. So I purchased that in prep for surgery. Well on the supplement label it states Elemental Iron 65mg. I was instructed to take 300 mg twice a day (no specification as to what type of iron. Just Iron). So if you don't understand Iron...seeing 65mg would make one think that you should take 5 tablet twice a day which is INCORRECT. The one thing that raise a red flag for me was the supplemental facts on the bottle stated 361% of the daily value. So I started to do some research.
I found two articles to explain iron. One from the Center of Diease Control and the other from the Pharmacy Times website.
check this site and look under "Some facts about Iron Supplements" and right under picture figure 1
Also check this site.
Bottom line is just check the iron that you are taking to be sure you don't confuse Elemental Iron with much smaller mgs with Ferrous Sulfate and try to compensate for the difference.
I wanted to share this because alot of people may not understand iron. (I post pictures of my iron supplements, my vitamins and an article about dosage)
Sharing is Caring! :-) Happy and safe surgery everyone!
I am 8 days away from leaving and the anxiety is killing. I just want to go now. I am going to contact AAA or my bank about Travelers Checks. I wonder if Dr. Robels accepts them.
OMG! Today was such a long day. I had all day...
OMG! Today was such a long day. I had all day training and in my attempt to not be so obvious when I get back from surgery, I decided to where spanks to hold in my belly. BAD MOVE.....I felt so uncomfortable, like a freakin pig in a blanket all day long. To make it worst my spanks had panties in them so I didn't want to add pantyhose on top of the spanks so I wore thigh highs. OMG!!!!!! My thighs were so squeezed at the top of those thigh highs. So uncomfortable all day. I'm sure people thought something was wrong with me the way I was wiggling in my chair because I couldn't get comfortable. And all my bathroom breaks to adjust the thigh highs and try to pull the spanks up above my back fat and my bra down below that. I CAN NOT WAIT TIL the 14th when I can burn the spanks.
I've been working out faithfully since I booked my flight. I've lost 5 pounds and I hope to loose at least another 2-3 before surgery. They say the closer you are to your ideal weight the better the results...so I hope so.
I called the airline today to arrange for special services for my return flight and Laura responded that Dr. Robles does not take Travelers Checks. Apparently not too many people do Travelers Checks anymore so I guess I dated myself with that suggestion. :-) Laura said that is 2.5% on credit card charges that's approx $150. I'd rather use that on other expenses like massages or compression garments, so I will be figuring out another way for payment.
NO MORE SPANKS IN 8 MORE DAYS. 7 more days before I leave to the beautiful Dominican Republic (I love that country).
4 more days before I leave. I'm going crazy. I...
4 more days before I leave. I'm going crazy. I can't wait.
Went to the movies today to see "Snitch" with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.. Nothing like a little eye candy as a distraction from all my anxiety. Anyway I will be so glad when I can sit down and no longer need to tuck my belly into my jeans. Can't wait to be flat.
Hey ladies! Surgery is over and I'm in recovery...
14 Mar 2013
Day of treatment
Hey ladies! Surgery is over and I'm in recovery at the hospital. This rough but hopefully all worth it in the end. Internet is very scarce so I'm not going write a lot today. Thanks for all the wishes.
I'm 6 days post op and I am finally ready to rate...
I'm 6 days post op and I am finally ready to rate the doctor. My experience has been very mixed. Dr. Robles and her assistants have been awesome. Laura has been great following up and Rachel has been an absolute doll. The recovery house was not at all what I expected but it turned out to be ok. I ended up in and apartment which was spacious in size but no view or good scenery so you feel trapped. On the positive side...it was smaller than other houses and less crowded so we got a lot of attention. I bonded with my roommate, the nurse and the staff and I want to bring them home with me. We were completely spoiled and that was nice.
Now the hospital. ...... THE ABSOLUTE WORST. The nurses are not helpful. They are not nice. They ignore the nurse call button. And I believe they strategically place the call button in a place that the patients can't reach. They drop stuff on the floor and leave it there. They do stuff they would never happen in the US.
I was really sick after surgery and I vomited for 24 hours after surgery. My mother was there so she was able to give me a vomit pail from the bathroom and once I used it she would empty it for me. And everytime the nurse would change my IV bag they would move my vomit pail to someplace where i could not reach it. Well one time while my mother was sleep I got sick and vomited on my robe and bedding and I had to call the nurse. Well she wouldn't give me another robe and wouldn't change my bedding and I was made to lay in my vomit. Rachel was there once and she helped by cutting the gauze off that I ruined so that I was not sitting in my vomit. If my mother was not there I don't know what I would have done. You can't get out of the bed. Number one, you are too sore and number two they have to bed arm up and its too hard to get down right out of surgery.
On top of the unprofessionalism at the hospital the equipment they use is ancient. They use actual type writers and the EKG machine ...I don't even know how to describe. I was awake when I went to the operating room and I wish I wasn't. It felt like a dungeon with a bunch of ancient equipment. I woke up twice while on the operating table. THANK GOD I did not feel a thing. There was a big cover in my face so I couldn't see anything either. I just remember telling them that I was awake and that I could feel my arms were tender from lipo. I remember being afraid that I would feel something else and so I made sure that I let them know I was up. I was VERY lucky from what I heard others were not so lucky and they felt either parts or all of the procedure. Waking up during surgery seems to be a common occurrence and I don't know why that would be but it was happened to a lot of Dr. Robles patients. I've had anesthesia many of times before in the US and I have never woke up on the table.
As far as my review of the overall process. I don't think it is worth it. Too risky in another country with ancient old equipment and low quality care. Standards are very different than the US and this is your life.
As far as my review of Dr. Robles. I didn't spend a whloe lot of time with her but she was very sweet. And her work is beautiful. I'm glad that she did my work but I more glad that everything turned out OK and that I didn't not have any major complications. Others were not so lucky.
I love her staff and if they could come to the US I'd have everything done by her.
I never ever want to go to the CECIP Dominican hospital again. The absolute worst experience ever. So the bottom line is that regardless of who your doctor is , if you have to go to the CECIP you will be screwed.
Now I'm 6 days post op and I feel OK. I'm healing well but my armpits seems to be still filled with liquid from lipo. I'm going to see the doctor tomorrow. My tummy tuck looks great and hear my belly button is cute. So I'm happy about that.
I have survived the 10 day stay at the recovery...
I have survived the 10 day stay at the recovery house. I leave tomorrow well today since its after midnight now. I stop at the clinic to see Dr. Robles before my flight. Hopefully I get my drain removed. It looks really good.
I am going to miss the staff (Meladies, Ludes, & Kayla) here at the recovery house so much. I absolutely love them. I want to take them back home with me.
Today me, my mom and another girl at the house took a taxi to Tony Roma's for dinner. It was so nice. We ate outside and enjoyed the beautiful Santo Domingo weather. The food was good and the waiter was some real eye candy or eye dessert. Too bad they didn't have that on the menu. His name was Jenkar but I called him Jenfine.
Ok so back to recovery..... for the most part I feel pretty good. The compression garment is the most uncomfortable thing ever. Its so tight that I makes me walk hunched over and it squeezes your thighs and makes your butt look nasty. There is no way in hell that I am wearing this thing under amy of my clothes. Hell ...I paid a lot of money to look good. This garment is not going to have me looking jacked up. I'm finding a good garment first thing when I get home.
I think this drain is causing me occasional abdominal cramping. I have really swollen breast and armpits. My armpits have these pockets and knots of fluid that have me really concerned. Last time I saw the doctor she told me not to worry but now that I'm leaving today, I'm really worried. I hope this is normal. I'm going to ask one more time when I see her.
I also found out that I was not offered this insurance policy that is good for 60 days after surgery in the US. When I found out about it I asked Laura and she said you can only get it before surgery. I told her that I was not offered it and she only said sorry I forgot to offer it to you and said its too late now. I was pretty pissed about that. And even more pissed since I'm concerned about my armpit fluid and I have no Plastic Surgery insurance to follow-up with the issue.
Laura and Rachel both were so incredibly helpful and attentive and it was really appreciated. Minus Laura not telling about the insurance she called pretty much every day or every other day to make sure things were going OK.
I am so anxious to go home. I can't wait. I took a sleeping pill 2 hours ago and nothing. I wonder if meds here are weaker version.
I have questions:
For anyone do did the waist and armpit lipo. Did you have the fluid pockets under and around your armspits?
How long is it before you are sleeping on your side or stomach after tummy tuck?
Well I had to go home with my drain. :-( But ...
Well I had to go home with my drain. :-( But Dr. Robles is soooo sweet. She clipped the stitches at my drain incision and pulled out about 2-3 inches. She instructed me on how to remove the rest. I'm not draining that much so I'm sure I can remove in another day or two. She also said not to worry about the armpit fluid. That the lymph massages will loosen the pockets of fluid.
So off to the airport we go. Sunday morning the Santo Domingo radio station has old school hip hop so we ride to the airport jammin to Cris Cross- Jump Jump and Onyx- Jump Around and MC Hammer - Can't Touch This. LMAO! "Stop Hammer time". We get to the airport and get my wheelchair and we go through security. I got pulled to the side because of my drain. So they take me back to this room and I'm there with two women who ask me to lift my dress ( in Spanish of course). I don't know what they really said I just knew why I was there. So I lifted my dress and they are talking back and forth in spanish to each other and then I can tell one was asking if I got a tummy tuck. Then she pulled up her shirt and whipped her belly out and asked if she could keep Dr. Robles business card. LMAO!!! They we're feeling all on me. Then asked if I got my butt done. I was like no but I bet they thought I was lying. Walking advertisement for Dr. Robles yesterday.
Anyway first flight delayed for an hour so I have 3 hours of sitting at the airport to do. Joy! Made me miss my connecting flight so I ended up with a two hour layover. Then my next flight was delayed about 4o minutes. I was pissed. I mean loosing it. I cried on the plane.
The highlight of my trip back was because I had wheelchair service I was placed in first class and the Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas was on my flight. She was an adorable petite little thing. Just cute.
Wheel chair service is the best. Do not think that you can walk through airports. Because you will be tired. Plus you get to skip all lines at airports so that alone is worth it.
Overall my experience was great. Out of the 12 days only 2 days sucked . They happened to be very important days but it was still only two. Sometimes things are what you make them and I'm not a drama type person so my experience was great. If not for the hospital I was suggest everyone do it but I still don't think its the safest decision. Should you decide to go you will get an awesome Dr with awesome results and great help while recovering (help that you will need). But don't expect a lot of help if you dont know spanish and you are not dealing with Dr. Robles, Laura or Rachel.
Laura has already texted to check on me and make sure I made it home OK. And Dr. Robles was as sweet as pie. She really is a perfectionist. She told me everything looked perfect and do not mess up her tummy tuck. And she was serious. LOL! I'm like believe me...I want it to look as good as you do.
I tipped all of the house staff $20 each before I left and I tipped the wheel chair attendants at the airports, and I tipped the drivers in DR.
Oh...watch out for the baggage people at the airport. They will snatch your bags up out the car without asking . Walk with you for about 500 feet to the ticket counter and try to charge you $10 US dollars. This guy did that and we had only $3 and he told us no $10 I gesture for him to give it back. He eventually took the $3. But we were dropped off literally in front of Delta ticket counter. He didn't go anywhere.
Ladies expect to be emotional and moody thoughtout this process. I watched two of my roommates go through it as the house while I tried to be strong and not get emotional but I eventually lost it too. LOL! It's very hard. You are sore, uncomfortable, away from loved ones. You become depressed tired and ready to go home. Just warn your family in advance.
I also took the suggestion of another RS member and wore the larger compression garment. Good suggestion. It help with the swelling at that elevation on plane.
Traveling yeaterday must have been hard on my body because I feel sore in new places. The lipo is the killer.
Also Go Girl was the best help. If you can get a garment with the legs and hole in the crotch area it will make your life much easier. Great for public restrooms, planes and at home.
Happy healing! ! I CAN NOT wait to shower. OMG.....Thursday can't come soon enough.
Today was my first day out to work, only for an...
Today was my first day out to work, only for an hour of training. I was tired. Little things like getting dressed make you tired but I have been hanging in there all day. I did not take a nap even though I wanted to.
Took my drain out yesterday. Ladies.........it was 20 inches long. I was like WTH!!! I heard it was long but 20 inches. Seriously!?!?! I measured it. LOL! I couldn't believe it. I did it myself because I just didn't want to deal with my BF passing out so I just did it while he was at work. I have a few stitches that I am going to need him to remove tonight but I think he should be able to handle that. For the most part it was not painful until you get to the end where there are little holes all around the tube which allows for fluids to enter and drain.
I feel alot better since the drain is out and my swelling is going down. There was no way the swelling would go down with 20 inches of tube all up in there. Hoping now I can start to see my results better. My lower abdomen was so swollen I was wondering if the Dr. missed something. I'm really hoping it's just swelling and everything will be as flat as the top of my stomach (above my belly button is really really tight).
I ordered a new compression garment as soon as I got home and it came today but it too small. I ordered a small listening to a review on the website that they were made larger. Well I could not get that thing past my knees. So I returned it today and ordered the medium. I hope they take it back since technically it’s considered underwear which is not returnable. I ordered it from www.Leonisa.com. I won’t be able to give feedback on comfort until I get the new one. Stay tuned.
So today I'm 19 days post op and I am feeling...
So today I'm 19 days post op and I am feeling better. Still not 100% but better. If it were not for the lipo all the pain would be gone. I'm still hunched over and now I have that annoying itch on my belly. It feels so weird because it's still half numb.
I went to get my lymphatic massage yesterday but the woman refused at Massage Envy saying that she did not feel comfortable and that post surgery is not her area of expertise. I was alittle pissed since I wasted my time going there, when they could have done a better job screening over the phone. But I’m glad to know that they therapist there are responsible enough to say “I don’t know what I’m doing”.
I think I ruined my belly button alittle from over lubricating and keeping it so air tight. It went from being dry and scabby back to being wet and that’s not good. I was cleaning it everyday because I was concerned with the winter climate here and that fact that my skin was so dry. I have since stopped and it appears to be getting better. Once it heals it will be cute.
My stomach is still so swollen I can’t close a pair of jeans around my waist. So I’m wearing all sweats and dresses.
I changed my rating above today from “Not Sure” to “Worth it”, because I am so pleased with my results. Dr. Robles does amazing work and I am extremely pleased. I love, love, love it. So glad I did it and so glad I chose Dr. Robles. My incision is so neat, thin, precise and very low. And my belly botton is as cute as a button.
I posted new pictures today.
So today is my 4th Lymphatic Drainage massage and...
So today is my 4th Lymphatic Drainage massage and I feel so much better. I definitely recommend them. Luckily I am a member at Massage Envy and I had not been going each month. So I had about 7 massages that I had accumulated. Anyway I am alot looser on my sides where the lipo had me so tight, my belly is going down and I am standing straighter.
I did a little exercise this weekend. I rode a bike and walked. It was mild exercise but I can definitely feel the difference. The exercise made me feel so much better. I think next week I will start back on the elliptical. This Thursday I will be 4 weeks PO so by next week I should be OK to start the elliptical slowly. The vitamins and medicine made me so hungry over the last 3 weeks that I feel like I need to exercise to work off all the food I have been eating.
My incision is still healing nicely, it’s still very thin and low but it seems to be hardening. I was told by the therapist that you can have the incisions massaged out to soften them so I started massaging them alittle myself. I also started the Scar-Away silicone strips last night. I used the Rose oil and Neosporin and A&D ointment faithfully which I think helped alot but the hyperpigmentation is starting and the scar seems to be getting harder underneath the skin. Hopefully the silicone will work. Later when I change my silicone sheet I will take a picture of my incision to load and show.
So it's been a month and I still hate these...
So it's been a month and I still hate these garments. I've wasted so much money I refuse to buy another one. I have 3 phyiscan approved (2 Murena's and 1 Leonisa) and 2 that I brought from Walmart made by Maidenform called "Sweet Nothings" and guess which ones I wear.............Yes....you guessed it. THE WALMART ONES. They are the most comfortable so I am wearing them. The leg is comfortable it doesn’t squeeze and make your butt look all crazy and it’s soft. The only problem is that they don't seem to be tight enough on my stomach so I use some shape wear by Leggs called "Body Beautiful" and they hold my stomach in tight. Great compromise for comfort. Only problem with the Maiden from "Sweet Nothing" brand is they don't make them in extra small so if you are smaller then a size 4 it probably won't work for you.
The lower part of my stomach is still very swollen and my body is still very tight and sore at the lipo areas and I just hope it goes away soon. I think the worst part about going over seas for surgery is that you don't have any more follow-ups and you don't know if everything is normal. At times like this text and emails just don't cut it. Anyway, I am feeling much much better than before so I am just praying that it continues to get better from here.
Added another photo even though I am not feel real...
Added another photo even though I am not feel real hot today. I'm so bloated still can't fasten any pants after 34 days PO. I kinda feel like I did before surgery.....fat. I sure hope this swelling goes down soon. I only feel better when I look at my self naked. :-)
I told my BF a couple of weeks ago that there is no need in me going shopping because I'll be walking around damn near naked all summer. Gotta show it off.
Happy Healing Ladies!
So I'm 6 weeks post op tomorrow and I am feeling...
So I'm 6 weeks post op tomorrow and I am feeling better. Only 2 more weeks of this damn compression garment. It's too hot for this....."Ain't nobody got time for that".
My side swelling has gone down alot but I am still very tight so I'm still taking pain killers. Only 1 800 Ibuprofen once a day. Usually first thing in the morning because I wake up in pain. I've been going to the gym and doing the elliptical. I really think the sweating is helping my swelling go down. But at the same time it also seems like the area's of the lipo hurt more the next morning after working out. I have not been for a lymphatic massage this week but I have had 7 so far.
I had a incision scare last night when I removed the scar-away strip it peeled a perfect tiny circle on my incision came off. I was scared to death when I saw that small hole and it was bleeding. I thought my incision was reopening or something. So last night and today I didn't not use the silicone strips I just used rose oil and Neosporin to help that spot heal and skin close up. I still cover my incision at all times so if I'm not using the strips I use surgical tape and thin gauze. I will wait alittle while longer before I start the strips up again.
I woke up feeling really flat this morning. Watch out now! Posted a picture.
Ok so there was something funny going on with the...
Ok so there was something funny going on with the system the other day and I had no idea that my update kept going through each time I tried to upload my pictures which it wouldn't let me do. So I apologize for the many updates. I hope notifications didn't go out. Anyway I was finally able to post my pictures.
Ok so I'm 8 weeks Post Op and I can't believe that...
10 May 2013
2 months post
Ok so I'm 8 weeks Post Op and I can't believe that I am no longer required to wear a compression garment.
I am really impressed with Laura's customer service....she has been in touch with me at every milestone. I just finished responding and emailing pictures of my results.
I am still alittle sore right below my armpits on my sides but most everything else has softened up. I am still numb in areas due to nerve damage but that's to be expected. I am not to sure that I am completely happy with my stomach. I thought it would be flatter than this. My stomach is pretty soft especially below the belly button which creates that pooch when you sit down. I may still be swollen since I'm only 8 weeks so I guess I need to be patient. I just can't imagine having to have more lipo to remove fat that was left over on my stomach. Anyway time will tell.
I am still very happy and I still think it was worth it. I'm walking around now in a sports bra and some yoga pants......something that I couldn't do before.
I'm head out of town to LA next week and I plan to visit the California beaches. I will be wearing the silicone strips to protect my incision and even under my swim suits to help prevent any exposure to sun that might cause hyperpigmentation. I'm concerned about the flight and extra swelling due to elevation so I am wearing a compression garment on my travel days.
Walking around without the garment is different. I like to wear some sort of support garment but it's getting too hot for it. It's was 88 degrees today.
added new swim suit photos
Sexy and I'm not sure anymore :-I - 3 months PO (TT, Lipo by Dra Walkiris Robles in Santo Domingo, DR)
14 Jun 2013
3 months post
Well it's been 3 months and I have to be honest and say that I am alittle depressed and discouraged. I'm not exactly happy with my results even though there is a difference in my body. Now that most of the heavy swelling is down because my body is no longer hard but now I don't like the fluffiness on my belly. I think I am going to have to go to have lipo on my stomach. I didn't realize that it was not done during surgery so the reality of if sucks. I was not looking forward to writing about it so I haven't been on RS in a while. My stomach is fat. Not the same fatness as it was before surgery but still fat, and alittle flatter with more of a waistline (which is the part I do really love).
I have also noticed new stretch marks on my lower stomach. I had always focus so much on my incision that I never thought to really juice up my stomach. I have recently started because my skin is not very stretchy which is why Dr. Robles and I decided not to do the breast at the same time. Anyway now I lubricate my belly with all sorts of Cocoa Butter now. I use cream in the morning and night and lotion during the day.
At 2 months I emailed Dr. Robles and they said that I need to continue to wear a garment really tight. So I ordered a waist cincher by Dr. Rey. Well it was really tight but I got the worst painful rash. It hurt so bad that I couldn't wear a garment anymore. The rash was super swollen and the pain was terrible. It is just now going down after 2 1/2 weeks but still tender.
I'm not looking forward to lipo because I feel that it was the most painful part but I'm not happy with my stomach right now. And the fact that you cannot do actual ab work until 6 months sucks because that might help. I tried to do a basic exercise like the plank but it’s painful so I stopped because I don’t want to mess up my muscle tightening.
I was born with a big stomach so I know it's never going to be gone but can I at least get flat or little fat. I've been so confused...not knowing if this is actual fat or still swelling so I started back on the Bromelain pills.
Anyway this process is a very very emotional process as well as physically challenging process while healing. I will try to add pictures tomorrow.
Added 3 month po pictures
16 Jun 2013
3 months post
Pictures of my stomach at 3 months po. I'll give it a few more months to see if this is swelling or if this is actually fat. Hopefully it's just swelling. I've got my fingers crossed. My left side is still swollen and sore from the rash so I can't wear a garment until it has totally healed. I'm getting married in 12 days so I hope to be able to wear a garment under my dress.
16 Months Post Op
Hey ladies it's been a while. I have not been on Real Self much because it's difficult to follow people in their journey. For one they don't post as often after surgery and then two, I find it hard to find people that you may have followed when they were more active.
Here are a few updated pictures. I love my results. I still feel like the front of my stomach should be flatter but I guess that is phase two that I am not quite ready for yet. I'm not ready more for financial reasons, I would love to have a flatter stomach now. I can honestly say that I am not sure that I would choose to leave the country again for surgery so I will have to suck up good ole US prices.
I love my body without clothes more so than with my clothes on. With clothes on some my not notice a difference but without clothes you can surely see the results. I absolutely love being naked. LOL!
I have been working out and trying to maintain good eating habits which is not always easy. I found that if you gain weight after tummy tuck it comes back weird and doesn't always look good. I gained about 5 pounds after surgery and now I am back down to the weight I was right after surgery.