Where to start...
Well I'm 30 years old, no kids,...
Where to start...
Well I'm 30 years old, no kids, I have lots almost 70 pounds since March of this year! I've been overweight for majority of my life :( with this weight loss I am left with a bunch of saggy skin under my belly button and some very stubborn fat around my belly button that just will not go!
Because of this, when I look in the mirror..I don't see the changes to my body that I've made. I see just the fat in my belly and the pouch of skin :(
At first I thought I was being vain, so what my tummy isn't flat? Do I really want to put this kind of cash into that? Then I thought, I have quite literally worked my butt off....and there's no reason I shouldn't have the results I want. It's my body, how I see it greatly affects my thoughts. I should feel confident in how far i've come and how hard i've worked to get here!
Coming from someone who has been overweight for so long, I need to do this. I went from a size 20/22 to a size 10/12 with no surgery, just changing my lifestyle and I exercise anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes 6 days a week (except this past week, dealing with surgery stuff) I deserve to have the body I am working for! I am worth it!
I had my consult with Dr. Brian Dorner last Tuesday, we went over everything! Because of the stubborn fat around my belly button he's going to do liposuction. He answered every question (I had like 30) down to asking if I wanted to know what type of suture he'd be using. My surgery is scheduled for September 16th!
I'm at the stage now where I'm researching pre op supply gathering and reading others reviews, partially wondering if I know what I'm getting myself into! I have a very physical job! I'm a registered veterinary technician so I am on my feet all day, bending, kneeling, lifting, crouching, sometimes on the floor, working with big dogs, sometimes aggressive dogs..so i'm prepared for 4 full weeks off work..
I'm just....nervous! Hopeful that for the first time in my life I can be 100% comfortable in my skin.
3 1/2 weeks away!!
It seems so far away.. I'm going back and forth between hopeful for good results and knowing it will be good.
I've got a wonderful caretaker lined up..gathering supplies, looking at reviews...
Guess I should upload pre op pictures!
The folder is here!
I received my folder yesterday from Dr. Dorner's office. It contained lots of pre and post op information, since I'm having two procedures they sent me both but the information is relatively the same. Consent forms, risk information, information about the surgery center and directions.
I'm not going to sign the consent forms just yet, reading through the information I have a few more questions to ask.
It says he only recommends stage 1 garments, has anyone else's PS done this? It says if I feel like I want to switch to stage 2 to talk to him first. Also, has anyone experienced partial or total sensation loss long after surgery?
Ultimate wish/goal pictures!
As of today I have officially lost 70 pounds since March of 2016! My ultimate goal is not to be completely cut and muscular, I don't need/want a 6 pack..but I do need/want to be fit. I know the lipo and tt will not give me the end look I want, I'll keep working on that later. It will get rid of the hanging skin and stubborn belly fat though and that's a start! Once I'm healed and cleared to return to exercise I can continue where I left off..hopefully not having gained to much weight (hello maintenance calories!)
Anywho, these are some of my wish pics...
Day before pre op
So tomorrow I have my pre op appointment with Dr. Dorner at 8:30 am. Last night I watched a video on YouTube of a procedure being done, it didn't seem that bad surgery wise. I expected worse. I see surgery daily though so maybe that's why. Anyway, it did raise a few questions for me to ask tomorrow before I sign all of the consent forms and pay the final amount due.
I'm in the final stages of getting everything prepared. Still nervous, still hopeful, I'm also excited because my wonderful caretaker will be here 2 weeks from tomorrow! I found some Arnica cream at Kroger of all places so I picked that up.
2 more weeks...with this saggy, flappy skin. I can handle it. Just can't wait until it's gone!
Today was my pre op appointment with Dr. Dorner.
The girls at the front desk are very nice! I was taken to a room and told to change into their robe leaving on my bra and panties. The nurse put me in front of a blue screen and took photos with a numbered thing to stand over for positioning.
After that the nurse practitioner came in. She was very nice, took my history, vitals, asked questions about past surgery, allergies, etc. She was a bit surprised my resting heart rate was 54 bpm and asked if that was normal, which it is, now. She said I appear healthy and she sees no need for any lab work besides a routine pregnancy test the morning of surgery. Yay!
Dr. Dorner came in and we went over any new questions I had (several popped up between the consult and the pre op). We discussed long lasting pain injections, suture techniques, clotting sprays, compression garments, drains, and a few other things. He showed me again where the incision is going (it's so so so low!)
After that I got dressed and headed out front to turn in my consent forms. Around this time things got a little confusing..mostly with the payment part. I knew the balance was due today, the nurse practitioner asked me to see the office manager before leaving and then came back to tell me to sit in the private waiting area for her to get me.
I sat in that waiting area for about 15 to 20 minutes. I was told the pre op appointment would be 45 minutes so I accounted for that. The office is 45 minutes from where I work/live. My appointment was at 8:30 and I didn't see the OM until maybe 9:45, I'm not sure what the delay was. This is where things got confusing. She told me the balance and I had to split it between accounts which was fine. I had to ask what time my surgery was (7:30 am) because they didn't tell me. Then she made a follow up appointment the week after, which I had to ask the date and time of and told her I didn't want that time as its during early morning rush hour for work (it took me over an hour to get there today). She just seemed very not with it. I don't know.
Long story short, pre op went well, balance is paid and surgery is scheduled for September 16th at 7:30 am!
Organizing supplies and nesting?
Figured I'd organize my post op supplies today! I'm just trying to stay busy. I'll post a list of what I have if anyone's interested.
- hydrogen peroxide
- baby wipes
- paper tape
- assorted sizes of gauze squares
- rolled gauze
- q tips
- acetiminophen 500 mg
- arnica gel
I got to 158.8 today which is below my goal for surgery, I wanted to be below 160. So yay! To keep myself busy I'm cleaning and organizing everything. I cleaned out my basement and all the old clothes I can't wear, including my closet and dresser. I ordered my food from Papaya Fit yesterday so that's done. I've gathered plenty of pillows and movies to watch during recovery.
Soon I will start deep cleaning since I won't be able to do much after surgery. I also need to give my dog a bath!
Just trying to stay busy...
It's almost here!
I spent today cleaning just about everything! Through out the week I have loose ends to tie up. Since I'm not going to be able to see my chiropractor for a few weeks we've been doubling up on appointments so that's Tuesday and Wednesday. I've ordered food from a local place that I'll need to pick up Wednesday or Thursday, this way no one has to prepare food for me :) My wonderful caretaker is coming in to town Thursday through Monday so we're going to go out to dinner Thursday night. Then Friday is the big day....I'm to the point where I just want it done already. It feels like it's been dominating my life!
Blood clot machine?
So my PS office called yesterday and told me there's a machine I need to come pick up that helps keep blood clots away???
To be honest, I'm getting frustrated with the OM. First, it sounded like she was eating on the phone while talking to me. Second, she didn't explain the machine at all, she just said "it's to help with blood clots. I don't know how you got out of here without us talking about it." Then she tells me there's a rental fee thats refunded when the machine is returned and it's at the front desk to be picked up. How unhelpful is that? Hopefully someone explains/shows me how to use this machine.
I'm not trying to be nit picky, I understand people need to eat (but at least wait for the 5 minutes it takes for you to be vague and unhelpful), I understand things get forgotten (seems like this is a big part that should be remembered), to me it just seems like for an OM this lady is unprofessional and unorganized.
Every encounter with other staff members, excellent.
T -3 DAYS!!!
Rough start to the flat side
Wow. Yesterday was extremely rough and exhausting.
I got to the surgery center at 6:35. Surgery started at 7:40. It was 2.5 hours. When I woke up in recovery I felt no pain. My blood pressure was extremely low. They kept me in recovery until about 1:30. I was dizzy and nauseous so they gave me Zofran in my iv. They stood me up to put the binder on and walked me to a chair to sit. Checking my BP every 10 minutes. It normalized and they let me go. On the ride home I felt completely normal. I got home and slowly made it inside. I was awake for a few hours. Around 3 I took a percocet, slept for maybe 2 hours. I had to get up to urinate, that's a feat in itself! After I was waiting for my boyfriend to empty my drain, I got the chills, my ears started ringing and I felt dizzy so I immediately sat down.
According to my boyfriend, I passed out within 10 to 15 seconds. My mom and dad were there and called the squad. I was awake by the time they showed up. They asked what happened and if I wanted to go to the hospital. I said no, just check my bp. They took it 3 times and it was 50/20, dangerously low so they gave me no option, I had to go to the hospital. They were worried I was bleeding internally. In the squad it took multiple attempts to place an iv. They gave me oxygen and hooked me up to an ekg and started fluids. OH! I vomited twice while the medics where in my house, OMG, talk about pain!
At the hospital they placed a second iv and gave me 2 bags of fluids. They kept me hooked up to everything and gave me zofran. They checked my hemoglobin levels which were normal. The doctor looked at my incision and it was normal. They gave me food since all I had eaten all day was crackers and I vomited those up. My bp would not go above 91/58. They delayed giving me any pain medication because of that but eventually decided since my heart rate was 50 that that might be my normal blood pressure so the doctor gave me morphine. 10 minutes later she had me walk around to see if I got dizzy, I was fine so they released me.
When I got home I was exhausted. She said I could take my gabapentin so I did and went to sleep. They think the percocet caused the drop and told me to take half my recommended dosage. I woke up at 5 am very stiff and painful. I called Dr. Dorner, explained what happened, he was very concerned and asked a bunch of questions. He said he'd call me in an rx of tramadol because he was nervous to give me anything stronger. Since it was so early and the pharmacy didn't open until 9, he told me to take acetiminophen.
It was a scary day and night. Thank God my boyfriend is here, he's been an absolute God send. If he wasn't with me I would have hit the floor when I passed out. He's been amazing, emptying my drain (I only have 1), helping me up and down, he's helped me adjust my binder multiple times (it's to big!), he's rubbed my feet and legs, he's just absolutely amazing. Even brought me flowers and a stuffed animal.
My pain is about a 4, I'm about 6 hours out from the acetiminophen dose, currently waiting to get my tramadol. I'm draining a lot, it was over 100 cc yesterday and about 75 cc this morning. I can't stand up even remotely straight. Very hunched over. My back does not hurt but my neck is very stiff. The "pain" I feel is the tightness in my core, either from the muscle repair, the lipo or the skin being pulled tight. I've seen the results, it looks very good, my incision is super low, everything is FLAT! There is swelling around my hips and mons. I am numb in the area around incision, I can feel my hips and mons. Due for another gabapentin in an hour...I've been drinking and I've eaten a little. My boyfriend made me scrambled eggs at like 6 am.
I'll add a binder picture and update more later.
I'm feeling much better today! I'm in very little pain. I actually haven't taken any pain medicine or muscle relaxers since 8 am. I was able to shower today, complete heaven. I was starting to feel that special kind of yucky you get from sitting around. I'm still very hunched over, my lower back is starting to hurt. The drain is doing very well, I've had little problems with it. The only problem I'm having is the binder, it doesn't fit me right at all. There's no shape to it, no contour. So even though it's "snug", there's a huge gap on the sides and in the back. I'm going to look for a new binder.
Showering was interesting. My boyfriend helped me, the shower itself was great. I got nauseous for some reason. I also get tired quickly. It takes a lot out of me to move around, get up, walk. Like right now I could just fall asleep.
Managed to snap a picture with my binder off, I think dr. Dorner did a great job.
Day 4, pictures!
I was fairly stiff when I woke up this morning. I took a dose of Tramadol to help with that. Since my boyfriend was leaving to go back to PA today, he helped me shower so he could wash my hair. Learning from yesterday I made sure to eat something and I took a Zofran prior.
I sat down on the edge of the tub instead of standing which I'm sure helped quite a bit. I've been using Hibacleanse for my incision and belly button. I'm nervous to "scrub" at my new button so I just pour the Hibacleanse in it and let it sit for a few then let the water run over it. I do lather up the cleaner and get at it around the drain opening. That's the last thing I want to get an infection. After I wipe it down with 70% rubbing alcohol and put a dry gauze around it, cutting a slit in the edge so I can get the whole opening covered then tape it in place. The drain is doing very well, it's at over 100 ml in 24 hours so that's probably going to be around for a while.
I'm surprised there is no bruising where he did the lipo on my abdomen. Not that I'm complaining. I've just seen a lot of pictures of bruising from lipo. My binder has been total garbage. It didn't fit me at all. Even before I went to surgery I had curves and this binder does not support that. It's literally just a tube that's all in one piece. So while it was snug around my hips it was loose around my mid section. So much so that it would ride up and cover my chest. So after my shower my boyfriend and I cut the binder into 3 parts so I could tighten it to each individual part. Now it feels like the binder is actually doing something! Although it is itchy, I put a cami on underneath it today which helped.
My muscles are definitely sore but moving is easier. Sitting up and down, getting up on my own, laying flexed are all easier. I'm not standing straight at all. Walking is very slow. I can't wait for that to go away.
Today was the first day I actually "saw" the results. I may have teared up a little because the results are better than I expected and it's only day 4. I don't know how much he removed, I will ask Thursday at my first post op appointment. It had to be a bit though, the lower stretch marks on my abdomen were up top and in the photos there's a brown dot on the left side of my tummy that was up further by my ribs. I really like my belly button, I need to get the junk out of it so I can see what it looks like. There's also a "dip" below my belly button that I like.
I'm so happy with my body right now. I can't wait to see what it'll look like in several weeks!
Technically day 4?
Apparently we don't count the day of surgery as day 1? I don't know.
Today: SWELL HELL!
Oh my God, the swelling is real today. I feel like a bloated water balloon. The feeling alone is weird, I have random areas of numbness - mostly around my new belly button about a 1/2" around it and below it along my incision. So I can't "feel" my fingers on my skin but I can feel inside the "squishy" feeling. That sounds ridiculous but it's the only way I can explain it.
The drain out put is just as much, 125 ml today. My tape started to peel while cleaning my incision so I cut part off. My pain is about a 2, mostly coming from my lower back. Everything else is just pressure. Movement is getting easier as far as getting up and down, slightly turning and I don't bend if I need something low - I squat. My posture is no better than it has been. That's about all I have to update.
I was asked what I couldn't have gotten through this surgery without earlier, lots and lots of pillows for sure, loose and comfy clothing, probiotics and laxatives, and my boyfriend - he was so helpful and absolutely amazing.
The pain is not what I expected at all. I was preparing for the worst including bruising. I have no bruising at all from the lipo or the table. The lack of pain actually surprises me. The highest I ever got on a scale of 1 to 10 was on surgery day after I passed out and it was about an 8 when my medicine wore off. The next day about a 4 and I was off the Percocet and taking Tramadol instead. Then every day it goes down.
I'm gonna end this here, good night lovelies!
Finally some relief! I hadn't been taking any laxatives as I wasn't taking the Percocet. Silly me thought, "No opioid. No opioid induced constipation." Ladies. Don't be fooled. Tramadol may not be as strong as Percocet but it will keep you from going to the bathroom.
So I busted out the laxatives this morning. I've been taking my usual probiotics since surgery. I can say though that vomiting the day of surgery beats a BM 5 days after the fact.
My binder is looser today and the drainage is slowing down. Still no where near removal but that's fine as it doesn't bother me what so ever (the drain that is). Swelling was minimal today, let me tell you...last night my mons was swelled so much it physically hurt to touch it!
I have my first post op appointment tomorrow at 11 am. I assume he's just going to be inspecting things. I wonder if he will take any of the tape off? I need him to examine my drain hole as it looked a little angry this morning. Maybe he can give me a smaller binder....or I can switch to a cg.
I was debating on wearing jeans tomorrow but I think I'll stick with my loose, comfy pants. No need to push anything to soon. I only took a single dose of Tramadol today, mainly to help the pain in my lower back. No muscle relaxers today. That's about all I have for today!
Good night dolls!
First post op
Today was a good day. I saw Dr. D this morning for my first post op visit. Everything looks great! He didn't remove any tape - I'm to keep cleaning and it will come off on its own, if not it will be removed next week. My drain hole is not infected which was a concern for me because it looked angry. I have to continue wearing the binder for a week or two. My drain stayed in, it'll probably be out sometime next week. It only drained about 50 ml today and has to be 30 ml or less to be removed. My only gripe about the visit is it was only about 5 to 10 minutes! I had to have my mom drive 45 minutes to get there! LOL
After that I took my parents to lunch for all the help they've given me over the last week. It was so nice to get out into the sunshine! Even if people were staring at me..I'm not sure if it's because I look fairly young and I'm hunched over or if it's because my drain was attached to my binder and could be seen over my jeans (yes I wore jeans!).
Then I needed to pick up this week's food order from Papaya Fit delivered to Supzilla. Papaya Fit has the BEST food! They're a locally based restaurant that specializes in clean food. They'll help with weight loss, bulking, cutting, etc. Or you can give them specifications for your macros (protein, carbs, fat, calories) and they'll make meals for you. They don't use anything but clean food! No artificial anything! You can even give them your likes, dislikes, and preferences (like I don't eat red meat, low sugar, no grains) so they do low carb for me and add extra protein. It's no more in cost than shopping myself so I might continue to use them after recovery.
Then I went to Walgreens, I needed a new bottle of Hibiclens. It seems I have to use a fair amount to get it lathered enough to clean my incision and belly button. Walmart only had the small bottle but Walgreens has 4 different sizes of it.
From there I came home. Cleaned up my house a little. I was feeling pretty good! My back started killing me so I sat down. It hurt enough that I needed to take a Tramadol. No muscle relaxers today. While I was at Walgreens I picked up some leggings (never before have I gotten leggings! The kangaroo pooch did not look good in them!) So I put them on with my cami. I felt amazing! That I actually look GOOD in leggings and a cami. ME! Crazy.
The nurse tightened my binder today, I'm not sure what it looks like under there right now but I'm itchy down the sides. I have a cami under my binder and I'm not sure if that's the cause or not. Minimal swelling and minimal draining today! However being out that long kicked my butt! I was really tired a few hours later.
Got my 2nd post op scheduled next Thursday.
Good night lovelies!
Rough day today!
Today started off pretty good and just kind of slid downwards. I got up and drained my drain, gathered supplies to clean my incision and belly button and set out to do so. Tape is starting to lift and I can see the edge of my incision near the drain hole. It looks pretty good, what I can see of it.
I was curious about the incision placement and dug out the lowest cut pair of panties I own. To my delight they cover the incision perfectly! I got even more curious and dug out the matching bra like a make shift bikini. I was pretty delighted at what I saw.
I got dressed, cleaned up some more around the house, grabbed some food and kinda hung out. I was planning on venturing outside but didn't make it after I put in the Friends DVD. From there I became irritated..I'm tired of being "down". I want to get back to my daily routine. My back hurts because I'm not standing as straight as I thought I would be by now. How long does it take for the MR to stop hurting and pulling? How long until I can stand up for more than 15 minutes at a time? I tried to stand up a bit more and it felt like if I tried anymore I'd rip something apart! There's a pulling sensation down the front of my body on both sides.
Also, I'd like to see my chiropractor! My back was screwed up for the longest time going into this and we've worked really hard to straighten it out. Because I've missed getting my weekly adjustments, my neck and back hurt. The way I'm sleeping (sitting up) is screwing with my neck too. I can't wait to lay flat, stretch out, on my tummy or my favorite...my side.
I'm just being whiny. I'm really ready to get back to "me", being down like this is killing me.
Ni ni dolls!
New pictures and a small let down
I hope your weekends are going well! Mine hasn't been to bad. Figured I'd update with some one week pictures and a few incision pictures since my tape is peeling more every day.
I think my drain will come out this week, it was under 30 ml yesterday for the 24 hour period.
I'm also pretty sure I have a dog ear on the left hip. At first I was super sad after seeing it. Like I almost cried. Then I just told myself it's something I knew could happen and in the grand scheme of things it's a minor blip that can be fixed. Also it's easily hidden. What I can see of the right side looks normal where the tape's lifted.
Got my drain removed today! Over the weekend it was draining less and less. Dr. Dorner looked at my incision around my hip and said it's caused by the internal sutures and when they dissolve the bunched up skin should flatten out.
Getting the drain out was weird. It didn't hurt! The nurse took it out and she clipped the sutures holding it in. She said she was going to count to 3 and start pulling and I was like count to 3? Okay. She counted and on 3 started tugging and holy smokes did it feel weird! That drain was IN THERE! I could feel pressure release with each tug and the tube as it moved. She kept pulling and pulling...there must have been several inches of tube in there!
After the tube was out she covered it with gauze and tape. I had no idea where that drain was, I couldn't feel it at all. It's leaking though. It leaked through the gauze on the way home and through the second bandage change a bit ago. I feel like a water balloon.
I also got my scarguard today. It's a brush on mixture that contains silicone, cortisone, and vitamin e. I'm supposed to brush it on twice a day once the skin is closed. Oh, he said my belly button looks like the glue is sticking it together and wants me to put neosporin on it to break up the glue so it flattens. I like it now! Hopefully it won't look weird when it flattens. There's a dip under my belly button that I like...hopefully that doesn't disappear!
Almost 2 weeks PO
Just a short update tonight and a few pictures. I peeled off the glue on my belly button like my PS said I could. I was a little scared because I liked the shape of my belly button and didn't know if it would change. The shape stayed the same, the dip underneath stayed, my belly button itself looks good! On the inside it looks a little funny, like 3 pieces of skin folded in, or 2? I can't tell. I was planning on eventually piercing it...I'm not sure if there's enough skin above it to do so.
I feel swollen today, definitely a "fullness" type of feeling. Standing a little more upright. I read the tighter your skin is pulled the longer it takes to stand up straight. I feel pulled pretty tight. Even Dr. D's nurse commented on how tight I am when she was taking the drain out Monday.
Prior to surgery I was in a size 10. The weekend before surgery I tried on a pair of 8's for shits and giggles and to my surprise they fit. Curious how they'd look now I tried them on. Not the best idea, especially swollen, still managed to get them on though and they look better.
I can't wait to get out of this binder! My next post op is Tuesday, hopefully he says I can switch to spanx.
2 weeks PO
Officially 2 weeks post op today! I think I may have pushed it to much yesterday. I've been trying to move around more in hopes of standing more upright. Not a good idea. Today my muscles are more sore than they have been. I need to get patient with this whole standing straight thing. It's not happening yet for me.
As a result (I think) I'm more swollen than usual. Also I might be retaining fluid from my drain. The good news; It looks like the skin bunching on my hip is starting to flatten out. Will have to wait until Tuesday to find out about the fluid.
Anyone else experiencing this?
So yesterday was a little rough, especially the evening. For whatever reason I've been getting these pains in my tummy and the only way I can describe them are random stabbing type pains that are sharp and then gone. Originating from different places at different times (like it could be somewhere along my incision once and then somewhere in my upper abdomen once..it just moves around). I've read that this could be caused by the nerves trying to reestablish connections. Some of them last night woke me out of sleep!
Another thing I'm experiencing, flaky skin! It's everywhere on my abdomen! From my boobs down it's dry, dry, dry. I feel like a snake. Despite using lotion my abdominal skin is just falling away.
All of my tape is off my incision now! It's nice to see the actual scar. I like it for the most part. I'm really hoping the skin on my left hip continues to flatten as the sutures dissolve like my PS said it would, otherwise there's definitely a revision in my future. It seems to have flattened some already. I'm my own worst critic though - I know this. Tuesday when I see Dr. D I'll ask when I can start the scarguard I purchased last week. I've been so nervous to do so because I want to make sure every bit of my incision is closed and ready for scar treatment.
Actually I need to make a list of questions to ask him.
1. What's up with the sharp stabbing pains?
2. Is my scar ready for scar therapy?
3. How much was lipo'd from my abdomen? (I'm down ten pounds since surgery)
4. How bad was the muscle separation? (in inches if possible)
5. How much longer until I can stand up completely straight and what can I do to move it along? (If you can't tell I'm getting frustrated with this!)
6. When can I go back to work!?
7. When can I take the binder off!!??!!?
I think that's everything.
I can't wait to get back to normal. I was able to go out with my nephews today for a couple of hours and have lunch with them. We also went Halloween costume shopping! It was so nice to finally see people besides my family members and doctors.
That's all I've got for now! Happy healing!
3rd post op
Had my 3rd post op appointment today, everything's looking really good! No fluid retention from the drain removal last week! The scar is closed so I started scar therapy tonight with scarguard. Dr. D cleared me to flex more, lay on my sides, return to work with some restrictions, to STOP WEARING THE BINDER!!!, and light aerobic exercise. My next post op is in 3 weeks which puts me around 6 weeks post op.
I also saw Dr. T, my chiropractor! He is heaven sent! Without his personal care and knowledge...I may have never lost the weight I did that lead me to this surgery and where I am today. He's the best choice I've made for myself in years. He was able to do some adjusting today which I've been dying for! He adjusted my neck and it felt sooooo good! It was so so so tight. He adjusted my hips and lower back with me sitting up and we went through a special way to adjust my upper spine. He gave me some tips on how to help stretch and loosen the core muscles stopping me from standing straight. I'm super excited to put them to use. He's never steered me wrong.
I purchased a spanx compression garment today. What a pain in the a** that thing is, especially getting it up and down. Dr. D said I might not even need it for long. Possibly just the first few days back to work and sometimes after a lot of activity. We'll see.
That's about all I've got today!
Officially 3 weeks PO
As of yesterday I'm 3 weeks PO. Standing about 90% upright, I figure by the end of week 4 I should be 100%! It's much easier to sit up from laying down, standing up, I'm working on trying to bend, I can lay on my sides for short periods of time. My muscles still feel tight, they spasm, nerve pains are running rampant. They've been keeping me up at night so Dr. D refilled my gabapentin.
I'm taking the spanx back, that thing is to much of a hassle to get up and down. I feel like a sausage in it and Dr. D said it's not really necessary. I did use my binder a few times to help with swelling after my 3rd post op when I was told I could stop. I've found that a full body bra (similar to what you would wear with a strapless wedding dress) has enough compression to help with swelling and I have one so I've been using it. Works for me!
The scarguard seems to be working, in just a few days I've noticed my incision is flatter. They said I can use it as long as I want to so I'm planning on finishing the bottle and re evaluating to see if I need another.
Did about 5 hours of walking yesterday. No binder or CG, by the time I got home I felt it. Swollen like a beach ball...and sore! I'm going back to work on Monday so I'm a little apprehensive. I'll probably utilize the full bra for that.
To those of you about to start on or in the first week of your recovery, hang in there! It gets better! I'll update some pictures tomorrow. Ni ni dolls.
Thought I'd add a few pictures
First day of work yesterday
I was apprehensive about going back to work for sure. My PS doesn't want me working with big dogs or unruly ones that are going to jerk me around. Working in a vet office you never know how they're going to be. So I'm working the front desk for a while. I worked from 11 am to 8 pm.
By the time I got home I was a bloated beach ball. Swollen and sore. I had been taking aleve to help with inflammation and tylenol to help with pain. I'm not really sure that helped. Work wasn't bad, I found that I had to keep getting up because sitting to long hurt my muscles.
I have today off so it's nice to recover. I work Wednesday through Saturday though so we'll see how that goes.
Week 4 PO
Officially 4 weeks post op!
I'm about 97% straight standing. I figure by week 6 I'll be standing up all the way (I hope!!!) My skin still feels very tight. My incision is healing well, responding to the scarguard well I think. Swelling is reserved mostly for the night, especially after work. I'm still using my full body bra every day. My muscles are still sore, hurts to cough, sneezes are awful, laughing. It gets better every day though. I'm moving more, it's easier to get up and down, I can bend slowly at the waist. I have not attempted to exercise, frankly I'm scared to. Working hasn't been that bad, I can't really stretch to reach things on shelves. I'm finding if I sit to long my upper abdominal muscles start hurting. So I'm getting up and walking around more. I'm able to lay flatter and lay on my sides! Thank goodness for that..I was getting sick of sleeping on my back, it's sooooo uncomfortable.
I miss working with the animals, being up front at the desk is boring.
Will take new pictures this weekend!
4 wk PO pictures taken this am before swell hell kicked in. I swear today was the most swelling I've had since surgery and I don't even know why!
You can see how well the scar therapy is working, the right side of my scar wraps on to my hip but it is practically vanishing!
4th post op
So I'm now 6 weeks PO and had my 4th PO visit today with my PS. Dr. D says everything looks great! The scar is flat, healing well, and getting lighter. He lifted all of my restrictions and told me to listen to my body. He doesn't think the bump on my left hip will flatten on its own and he said he could fix it in his office by extending the original incision just a bit. I'm cool with that. I'll see him again when I am 12 weeks PO which will be the last week of November.
My update...muscles are still sore in my core. I can lay on my sides though I still get nerve pains. I attempted to lay on my stomach last night, no go. I ended up in some weird fetal position. I can't lay completely flat on my back yet either though I am standing 99% straight. I'm still doing the scarguard and it seems to be working well.
I did work out once, it wasn't bad. I normally do HIIT so getting back into that will be slow going but I have managed to maintain my weight. I was 163 the day of surgery and I am 150 now. I know I've been babying my body so I need to get back to what's normal for me. I have certain exercises I do 1 to 2 times daily for by back guided by my chiropractor that I did today and really had no issue.
I think that's about it! I will add new pictures shortly!
So I'll be 6 weeks PO tomorrow and this week has definitely been a turning point for me! I saw Dr. D Tuesday and was doing good but Wednesday and today have been different.
It's like a switch flipped and I just feel better! I was able to exercise for 30 minutes today, no pain! PRESSURE and tightness but no pain. I can do all of the exercises from my chiropractor for my back! I'm able to lay a little flatter and the swelling hasn't been that bad. No medications at all the last two days! I've even lost a few pounds.
I'm so excited to be on the mend! Dr. Dorner is a great surgeon. I had very few PO complications and the one I did have was not his fault. He was very concerned about the incident and helpful. His incision is super low and it had no problem healing. He got me tight, tight, tight! My only gripe is the visits are short for follow ups but seeing how I've had no problems..it doesn't take long to check things out and say I'm okay. I do live quite far from his office, about 45 minutes, but my chiropractor is in Dublin too so I just make my appointments on the same day.
I'll tell you though, I was not prepared for the emotional and physical parts of the recovery. I did not think it would take 6 weeks to stand 100% straight up and often felt discouraged about it, like I'd never get back to normal. The muscle repair was not terribly painful but the lingering soreness gets annoying. I still feel it when I cough, sneeze, blow my nose, or sit for to long. Oddly enough the incision has been the least painful part of the process. The tail bone pain from sitting was killer! I do have areas of lost sensation, specifically right above my mons above the incision line. It's about 4 to 5 inches wide and 3 inches high, can't feel a damn thing on my skin. Also a small area around my belly button. Emotionally, the first night was scary. I was not prepared for the severe drop in blood pressure. However that's likely an isolated incidence due to having not eaten before taking a heavy narcotic. Especially since I rarely take pain medication. I was also experiencing some blues a few days. Just because I couldn't get close when laying down, couldn't do things for myself, missed the outside world, it makes you vulnerable.
Just know that it gets better! It is temporary and you will get your life back.
Will update later! Ni ni dolls!
11 weeks PO
29 Nov 2016
2 months post
Well hello dolls!
It's been a while since I've updated here! I'm about 11 weeks now and what a long, strange trip it's been! I never thought I'd be here. So, let's get to it!
Swelling... what swelling? It's so minimal these days! If I work out hard or work is crazy I get some swelling but nothing close to what I'd get at 4 to 5 weeks when I'd look pregnant!
Pain... I get sore at the end of the day. It still hurts to sneeze and cough. Still get random nerve pains too.
Numbness... yep, still there. Hasn't changed one bit. It feels so weird! I can feel pressure but there.s zero skin sensation under my belly button a good 3 inches to there he top of my scar that spans out about 5 inches. Dr. D says this may change and eventually come back but I'm not counting on it.
Scar... it looks good I think. It's flat, the scar around my belly button is turning white. My incision scar is still red. I was using the scarguard but haven't been faithful. I looked into embrace but boy is that expensive. I've been using cocoa butter every 12 hours though.
That annoying "bump" on my left hip... it's getting a revision! Scheduled for December 5th in the office with local anesthetic. Dr. D is going to extend the incision and flatten it, free of charge! He admitted he should have gone back further..my right side goes back further than my left. I thought that was very awesome of him.. 1. To admit he made an error and 2. To do the right thing for my body and fix it.
My belly button... I like it just fine. It is kind of oblong though. I was planning on getting my belly button pierced again but I just don't know if it will work now.
Garments... I haven't been in one. After the binder Dr. D said I could wear something like a spanx compression garment the first few days back to work so I got on. That thing was a huge pain in my ass and so hard to get up and down I took it back in 2 days. I haven't had to use any lipo board, no compression, no binder.
Weight/size changes... day of surgery I was 163 pounds. Today I am 144.8 pounds. Going into the surgery I wore a size 10 comfortably, a size 8 fit but had a muffin top... I now wear a size 6 comfortably. I have come to find sizes mean dick. Every manufacturer makes their clothes differently. I have jeans ranging from a 6 to a 12 in my closet that are made by different brands. Ladies! Rely on HOW YOU FEEL in your clothes. DO NOT RELY ON SIZES!
Overall I am happy with the results. It's better than I had ever imagined it would be! It was a crazy journey though. Going in, I wasn't fully prepared. I wish I had gotten a neck pillow and something to sit on as my ass got very sore. I didn't need somethings I purchased like that ridiculous anti swelling gel crap (I forget the name, wasted ten bucks on it) it did NOTHING.
Here's some updated pictures..i'll b back when the revision is done!
So I had my revision surgery yesterday on my left hip. Dr. D fixed the bubble looking dog ear. It took a few tries to numb one area in particular which he said was odd and that it must have been the scar tissue.
He used a local anesthetic in his office and numbed about 6 areas. He tried to cut twice and I could feel it so we waited. It took about half an hour to do the revision. The lidocaine lasted a few hours but by night was gone.
I was told to be careful stretching, not to lay on it, no baths but showers are okay, and to leave the steri strips on until they fall off. I go back to see him in 2 weeks. It's sore but ibuprofen seems to take care of it.
The tape is off!
21 Dec 2016
3 months post
I saw Dr. Dorner yesterday which was about two weeks after my revision. He had told me to keep the steri strips on until I came back so I had no idea what it looked like under there. It turned out pretty well and finally matches my other side!
So as of now I don't need to go back to see him until March of 2017.
5 months post op, biggest surprise yet..
14 Feb 2017
5 months post
It's been a while since I've been around here, hello!
I hope the holidays and new year was/has been good to you all. This year.....is going to be somewhat different for me.
Long gone are our plans of relocating to Pittsburgh and starting our lives together there...
In its place...
Yup, I'm pregnant. 14 weeks to be exact. Let me tell you, I freaked out! Mostly because of the huge surgery I had just gone through. I mean, when I found out at about 5 weeks...it was pure shock. Now, don't get me wrong. I've always wanted at least 1.....but maybe not so soon after major surgery. Before anyone says, "Well you should have been more careful....", I know. However, I was on bc AND I took a morning after pill...
But I digress. My biggest concern was if my body could handle it. He pulled my skin super tight. Was it going to be able to stretch? How much damage would it do to what had just been fixed? What was going to happen?? I spoke to Dr. Dorner and he said I'd be just fine. He said I couldn't gain more than 35 pounds and it will change things (carry differently, show later) but all in all I will be okay and my body should bounce back easily since it's my first.
Then I spoke to my obgyn. She said she's had multiple women who have had a tummy tuck and they have had successful, healthy pregnancies. She agreed based on the tightness of my skin that I will show later than others would and she said she will help me monitor my weight.
I know this all sounds kind of vain. It isn't meant to. I just want to chronicle my experience so that if anyone finds themselves in the same situation, they'll know it's been done before.
Since finding out I have gained 1 to 2 pounds, there is some pain - my muscles are still sore, my skin feels very tight still. All of my tests have been normal. They did have some difficulty at first seeing an ultrasound through the scar tissue but my obgyn had none when she did it. Everything looked good and was/is moving along at the rate expected.
I go back to see Dr. D next month for my 6 month check up and that should be my final appointment with him. I go see my obgyn in 2 weeks for prenatal. Oh, we also found out we're having a girl!
2nd prenatal appointment, 5 months PO
27 Feb 2017
5 months post
Today was my second pre natal appointment.
I've been doing pretty good, 16 weeks today. My morning sickness has subsided, energy is coming back, it's nice to not feel hung over all the time.
My obgyn is really impressed with Dr. Dorner's abdominoplasty. She commented today how good it looked while using the doppler to listen to baby's heart beat. We discussed the tightness of my abdomen and how uncomfortable I am at night. She said there isn't much I can do about it. She said since it is so tight showing will be a long time away and my baby will probably be smaller. She doesn't see a problem with this though, saying we will monitor as we go. I also asked about the skin sensation loss, she had asked if I could feel movement yet, I still have a nice block of numbness above my incision line below my belly button. She said that could hinder feeling movement and I may not notice it until 20 to 24 weeks which is later than I normally would between 18 and 20 weeks.
I've only gained a pound in the last 4 weeks so that's nice. So far everything is going good. I see Dr. Dorner for my 6 month PO appointment March 21st and then see my obgyn for the anatomy scan ultrasound March 22nd.
I'll post some pictures next.
27 Feb 2017
5 months post
The yellow is pre pregnancy, October 2016 and the black is 14 weeks pregnant, February 2017.
6 month PO and anatomy scan
24 Mar 2017
6 months post
Tuesday was my 6 month post op with Dr. D. Hard to believe it's been 6 months already. He says everything looks good, commented that my scar is dark in some places and if it doesn't fade after a year or a year and a half he could lighten it. Personally I don't care about it so I think I'm going to leave it be. No one sees it anyway besides my boyfriend and I and currently my obgyn but he doesn't care (my bf) and neither do I. I reminded him I am pregnant, 19 weeks when I saw him, he had no idea. He says at my current state I should bounce back pretty easily. So that was my last appointment, pretty uneventful as I expected.
Overall he is a great surgeon. He gave me great results and I had really minimal complications. His office is very friendly, easy to schedule with. My only suggestion would be getting to know his patients better. Every time I went in he asked me how far along I was in recovery, seems like that'd be an easy fix, just look at my information before you come in. Otherwise, no complaints and I'd recommend and use him again.
On to newer news.
My anatomy scan was Wednesday. I have only gained 1 pound since my last appointment. I thought for sure my obgyn was going to question me because she wanted me to gain 2 to 4. She didn't seem to mind. I don't have the appetite a lot of pregnant woman seem to have, I don't have crazy cravings, try to eat as reasonably as I can although some days healthy turns my stomach. Also my abdomen is still tight and that limits how much I can eat. I get uncomfortable when I eat to much and with little one in there too, things are tighter.
I am small for someone who is about to be 20 weeks Monday. At least I think so. I have noticed my hips are bigger as well as my thighs. I'm continuing to work out 40 minutes at least 2 to 3 times a week. Which my obgyn says is fine.
The anatomy scan went well, she's growing as she should and is 2 days ahead of her due date. Everything is where it should be and there are no concerns. My next appointment is in April but we won't get to see her again for 2.5 months.
I'll post an updated picture with this update. I really am hoping I can bounce back after birth. I'm not going to lie, it is a little depressing to see the changes after I worked so hard to get there but I knew it would come along with this so the best I can do is hang in there and try to stay on the same track I have been.