40 Y/o, 2 Kids and Genetics: Meet Science - East Syracuse, NY

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I am due for a TT with Liposuction of the flanks...

I am due for a TT with Liposuction of the flanks and MR in 2 weeks -- so I thought it was time to throw my hat in the RealSelf ring! I have struggled with Body Dysmorphia Disorder most of my life. So getting plastic surgery is both a thrill and a threat to me. But after 40 years, and as a therapist for 10, I feel like I am doing something for myself which will greatly improve my self image, and yet not lead to one after the other surgeries. I don't want breast implants or a nose job, nor have I done anything else but learn to live with the body I was given. Yet after two pregnancies I was left with a belly that was saggier and more anxiety-provoking than before. I have read about body acceptance and how women's bodies change after pregnancy -- but I have also worked with the wonderful and troubled transgender population, who have long felt "this body is not me." And that is how I've felt. I have breast hypoplasia, which I didn't even learn about until I could not breastfeed my first child. Until then, I had just learned to live with "ugly breasts." I have cellulite on my thighs and upper arms. But I know diet and exercise can take care of those. I lost 35 pounds after my second birth, only to realize that it created an obsessive and eating disordered thoughts. I let it go... and consequently gained it back, because I love food and wine. I am proficient at yoga, work out 4-5 times a week for about 30 minutes, mostly watch what I eat and YET -- the BELLY. I don't want to be skinny or perfect -- these things I have learned to accept -- but my belly was given to me by birth and it has never been flat, and now it is stretched, and saggy beyond the core strength I consistently build. This is it. I turned 40 this year and I thought: I could get this done, should I do it? After much MUCH research (thanks aplenty to RealSelf and YouTube), reading about and watching copious testimonies about the before, recovery and after, that this will give me a better sense of self-confidence that matches who I am on the inside, reflected on the outside. In this day and age, we have the technology to change ourselves if we feel it is necessary. Is this a good thing? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But after all this time, I AM READY. I am ready to be me in ways I had always imagined I could be. Will it be perfect? Hell no! Easy? Not even. Worth it? Well, from the sound of most of the testimonies I've seen: YES. So it is worth it. And I cannot wait. :)

Day after tomorrow...

Whew! Okay, getting nervous. I guess it's to be expected but everything is a little surreal right now. Am I actually doing this? Is this going to happen? I've dreamed of this day and yet in the face of it, I can't believe it's real. Then there are more logistical concerns -- like, SNOW. Will the weather be so bad I won't make it? Will I be a stressed out mess?? Lol. Oh man. What anxiety can do.

Mostly I've just tried not to think about it too much. Stay focused. Stay committed. I look at results and have hope. I also have all-wheel drive and a boyfriend who grew up around here to drive me. ;)

You know what I am looking forward to most, though? TWO WEEKS OFF! Ha! I haven't had that in over 10 years... I hear that some women get restless and I'm sure I'll have moments. But I have a serious backlog of Netflix that awaits and I will have what feels like all the time in the world. And a flat belly. Can't beat that!

So as the unreal moment approaches the reality, I'm staying busy, trying not to overthink and just trust that I am making a powerful and life-changing decision that I'll have forever. And time to let it all sink in afterwards... whew.

Hello from the other side...

Went well and now recovering. Not too sore at this point either... But Percocet... Zzzzzz ??

Post op

Hopefully I'm just very swollen and the contours will improve.

4 weeks later

Man. Time flies! It was a longer and more difficult recovery than I anticipated -- plus as a single working mom, I probably didn't get to take as much downtime as I had hoped. But after having to leave the drain in longer -- around 3 weeks -- the drain site decided not to heal and has been leaking ever since. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I've kept in touch with my surgeon's office and they've been GREAT... going in next week to get the site cauterized and closed off. Of course, in the past couple of days I've noticed a dramatic decrease in the leakage so that's also promising.

The biggest part of this, and hearkening back to my Dx of Body Dysmorphia, has been mentally trying to adjust to my new body. In many ways I love it -- but it is still taking time to wrap my head around the sudden change. Plus either I'm still swollen and puffy or I will not be as flat as I'd hoped. But when I look at myself in the mirror I am still amazed at how tiny and proportional I now look! I love sitting down and looking down and seeing nothing but lap. :)

I haven't gotten around to taking any bare tummy photos but I did take some clothed the other day, just so I could see the difference -- my favorite is the second, which is looking straight down. No muffin gut!!

More courage in the future...

5 weeks (almost) at the end of the day

I tried to take some new photos, let's see if they work! I had some complications with the drain site leaking a LOT. It finally healed but then part of my scar that was damaged due to a silicon tape change (argh, wtf??) broke open a new site for leaking. I was supposed to go to a f/u appt but the weather was too bad so I am still coping. Fortunately the leakage is minimal, but still requires a pad to cover it bc bandages and tape still leak!! My figure is still reconciling the lipo fat and I am taking this at the end of a day without a binder bc it's in the wash. :) Still -- I have to say, though my mind is not totally there, the pics prove results. And I still love looking down and not seeing a muffin!

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