6 weeks PO tomorrow and really unsure

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Little bit about myself... I am 25 years old and...

Little bit about myself... I am 25 years old and just finishing my master's degree in athletic training. I plan on pursuing my doctorate in physical therapy in the next year or so, but right now plans are kind of on hold, so I figure why not take care of myself while I wait! I have struggled with my weight for as long as I remember-- I was always taller than most of the kids in my class in elementary school but then I stopped growing, so the weight caught up with me. In high school I played softball and was quite active but still struggled with weight, until I became a workout fanatic. I unfortunately developed somewhat of an eating disorder and lost a ton of weight, very quickly... which has now left me with a lovely "pouch".

Throughout the years I put most of that weight back on, until I had my gallbladder removed in 2007. After surgery I could hardly eat anything without being sick so again I lost weight. Again, I gained most of the weight back. I recently have completed the HCG diet and lost about 35 pounds. I'm 5'6 and ~145 pounds... I feel like this is a realistic weight for me, and with my extra skin removed I'd feel much more confident with my body. My mom is on board with this idea, but my dad not so much.

Yesterday I went ahead and scheduled 2...

Yesterday I went ahead and scheduled 2 appointments with plastic surgeons for consultations. One of the surgeons I saw about 3 years ago when I was contemplating having some work done, so I pretty much know what to expect from him. The other surgeon is female and supposed to be very good. Both of my appointments are scheduled for May the 10, about 3 hours apart from each other. I'm not sure if it is good or bad to schedule them so close together, but it just worked out that way. My mom will be accompanying me to my appointments. I have already started to compile a list of questions and concerns to discuss with the doctor. For those of you who have done this before: what are some questions that you would recommend asking at the first consultation?

Just called another plastic surgeon for a consult,...

Just called another plastic surgeon for a consult, making it a total of 3 doctors that I will be seeing. My mom had her annual visit with our general practitioner today (who is also my doctor) and she recommended the doctor I will be seeing on Monday. She said he is one of the best in town, and I definitely trust her opinion, so we will see. When I called the office staff didn't seem too outgoing or friendly, but I also understand they were having computer issues today, so perhaps the scheduler was just stressed. I got in a lot quicker than I thought, with my appointment being this coming Monday at 10:30 am. I'll keep you all posted :)

Had my first consult today. The doctor that I saw...

Had my first consult today. The doctor that I saw was very professional and even answered most of my questions before I was even able to ask them. My mom accompanied me to the appointment and we both felt very confident and comfortable with this doctor, however, I still have 2 more consults to go to. The rundown from the doctor was this: definitely loose skin to remove, plus probably some fat to suck out from my lower abdomen under my belly button; muscles seem to be intact so probably a candidate for a "mini tuck". He said there wasn't too much tissue around my love handles/flanks so he wouldn't need to touch those. He said he would make the scar as short as possible but mentioned it would still be quite large. This doctor has an in-house surgical suite with a board certified anesthesiologist that stays with you through the entire procedure, something which is important to me. The procedure would be outpatient... I know one of the other doctors I'm seeing allows you to stay overnight in their facility, which would be nice for my mom so she doesn't have to deal with me right away. All in the price is about $5500, which I think is fair. I'll update you all on Thursday after my other 2 consults. Hope everyone is healing nicely!

So, I had 2 consultations today. I'm more confused...

So, I had 2 consultations today. I'm more confused than ever now. I will try to give you the best rundown I can and hope that somebody out there may be able to offer advice. Sorry in advance for rambling.

First appointment: I'm scheduled for 10 am, the doctor isn't even there. She shows up about 10:10 and then calls me back. She has no nurse or assistant with her. First she starts taking a thorough medical history and I think, okay great, this lady knows her stuff. As soon as she asked me how I had lost 30 pounds in the last year (which by the way I did through the HCG diet after I've been compulsively dieting and exercising my whole life and GAINING weight) she starts berating me about how that is not good for you. I expressed to her that we are also looking in to me having food sensitivities, as well, that have caused some major weight fluctuations. She told me that my acupuncturist who recommended me looking in to this issue obviously had no medical training so she didn't know what she was talking about and that food sensitivities wouldn't cause weight fluctuations (which they definitely do/can, I've read up on this issue)... I was about ready to walk out of her office, but I didn't. At this point the doctor hasn't asked me what I do for a living, what my lifestyle is like, etc, but goes on a big shpiel about how diet and activity are important (I eat a "paleo" type diet, and stay away from sugar and work on my feet all day) So after showing up 10 minutes late and criticizing me for almost 15 minutes she decides to actually do an "exam" which consisted of her making sure I didn't have a hernia (which I don't) and having me bend over to see how much fat/skin I had. Lasted probably about 2 minutes. We then discussed what she wanted to do with me... a full tummy tuck with laser-assisted AND traditional lipo. I asked her about her revision policy and she danced around the question and pretty much told me that if I was unhappy that I would have to pay to have it redone. She also said she was not a "high volume" surgeon when I asked about how many cases she's done... and the reason for her saying this is that she likes to give personalized attention? She didn't offer to show any before/after pictures. The whopping cost of this procedure was going to be $10,200... which is about double what the other surgeon I had seen quoted me. I promptly left and crossed her off the list.

I also had a consultation with a surgeon I saw about 3 years ago. He is so friendly and has great bed side manner. He even remembered a bit about me even though I have only visited him once before. After re-examining me, and showing me pictures of his work, he determined I did probably need a full, rather than a mini, tummy tuck. I asked him about this and he said "with a mini you get mini results, and you want results like the photos you saw, right?". I like his logic with that. He also said he'd like to lipo the flanks and abdomen, but about 3 months after the tuck is done. I asked him why and he explained to me that with as much skin/fat he'd be removing that the blood flow to the area would be reduced and doing the lipo at the same time would be compromising. He feels he has the best results when doing them separately. I understand his thoughts but at the same time I really would only like to be put under anesthesia once, if possible. The price I was quoted was $6300, and this includes an overnight stay at his surgical facility, which I think my parents would be appreciative of. However, I don't believe that this cost includes the lipo that he wants to do at a later date... and since most of the cost are for surgical facility fees and anesthesia, I would have to think that the number would end up, in the long run, being closer to $10,000... just not sure I can justify spending that much money. Although I guess I technically don't have to go back for lipo if I don't want.

Here is the dilemma-- the other doctor which I saw, who I also liked, recommended that I only have a bit of lipo along with the tummy tuck. He also thought he could probably get away with a smaller incision. I'm confused because he is also a very reputable surgeon in the area and his opinion on what I needed is COMPLETELY the opposite of the other 2 surgeons I've seen. My gut tells me to go with the doctor who I saw today but at the same time I know my recovery would be much easier with a mini tuck... I'm not a surgeon or a doctor so I have no idea how my results would be with a mini. I've had one person tell me they'd be great and the other says no. Both cost approximately the same, so that isn't really a factor. Decisions, decision...

Saw my PCP last week and discussed having the...

Saw my PCP last week and discussed having the surgery with her. She was totally for it, which is comforting. I was telling her that I was unsure which doctor to go to and she gave me her personal opinion, which I fully trust. Since then I have scheduled a second consult with the first surgeon that I saw. I will be asking him why he thinks he can get away with a "mini tuck" when the other 2 surgeons I visited suggested full tucks and "substantial" lipo. I really liked this doctor the first time I saw him; he had great bed-side manner and his credentials are very good. He even sent me a letter in the mail thanking me for coming to see him and congratulating me on my weight loss and letting me know he'd be happy to answer any more questions, etc. I thought that was very nice.

If everything goes well with this visit I will probably go ahead and schedule my appointment for surgery that day. His scheduler, last visit, told me it's usually 2-3 weeks out for a surgery date and I'm seeing him June 5, so perhaps I'll have the surgery at beginning of July.

I'm so nervous and excited all at the same time. I think the emotional part of this is the hardest to handle. Some days I think it absolutely absurd that I am willing to spend so much money to fix something that people really don't even see... but my parents are on board with it and every doctor I've spoken to seem to really think I'll benefit from the surgery (but then again, they're getting paid so of course they say that, right?)

Hope everyone out there is doing well!

Heading out to have a second consult with the...

Heading out to have a second consult with the first surgeon I saw here in about half an hour. I'm hoping to be able to schedule my procedure today if everything goes well. It is scary to think that this might actually happen!

So I just got back from having a second consult...

So I just got back from having a second consult with the first surgeon I saw. I discussed with him that 2 other surgeons had given me different opinions than he had. He immediately said well lets go ahead and re-examine you to make sure I told you the right thing. We did another exam and he acknowledged that the other surgeon was very good and he valued his opinion, but didn't agree. I thought that was very professional of him.

Here is the plan: I'm borderline for having enough skin to be able to do a full TT. He believes I can get a great result with a mini, possibly with a bigger scar than is typical for a mini. I am totally okay with having a scar. I've had 4 previous surgeries and all of my scars are now barely noticeable. He said that if when he gets into the OR he feels like he needs to do a full he will do a full. Being that I am only 25 and have yet to have kids I feel like it is almost silly to go ahead with a full as whatever is done will probably be "undone" if/when I have kids. So, tentatively the plan is a mini TT with some lipo of the lower abdominals. He didn't feel that I needed lipo of the flanks or upper abs (yay). My pre-op is scheduled for July 2 and my operation is July 10. I would have liked for it to be a bit sooner but he is on vacation for the first week of July... at least he'll be well rested!

I would love for any "vets" out there to give me any advice they can!

Well ladies, I go see my PS in exactly 2 weeks for...

Well ladies, I go see my PS in exactly 2 weeks for my preop and my surgery is a week after that! Typically he likes to see patients for preop 2 weeks prior to surgery but he is actually going to be out of town. I think I like that I won't have as much time between appointments to sit and stew over things, really.

Right now I don't think I even have any questions to ask of him. He has done such a great job being thorough at both of my consultations that I feel really prepared. At this point the thing I'm most concerned about if where I'm going to sleep. My parents have one of those great adjustable bed from relax the back, and I will be staying with them, but I don't think either of them would be willing to give up their spot in bed. They also have a really nice "zero gravity" recliner from the relax the back that my dad slept in following a surgery he had, however I find it a little bit hard to get out of the chair so that is probably a no-go as well. I saw an advertisement in SkyMall for an entire set of pillows that kind of turn your bed into a recliner... I'm thinking about going to try one of those out to see if I like it.

Happy healing to everyone!

Well, I'm sucking it up and adding my before...

Well, I'm sucking it up and adding my before photos. Its hard to look at them, but I know that they may possibly help some ladies (or gents) in the future so I am happy to provide them. Of course when I look at them I find a million things wrong and say things like "well after I do my stomach I should really do my legs or my butt"... I see how this surgery stuff can be addictive! I guess I'm probably too young to really start wanting to have all of these procedures. Hopefully I can work on some of the areas I don't like so much after I get my stomach done.

Just got my call reminding me about my pre-op...

Just got my call reminding me about my pre-op appointment on Monday. This really makes everything seem so real.

I told one of my close girlfriends about the surgery and I am so happy that I did. She totally understands why I am having it and has even offered to accompany me to my pre-op appointment for moral support. Its nice to know that she doesn't judge me for having the surgery.

Also, just planned a vacation to Cancun for Aug 31-Sept 5. I'll be approximately 8 weeks PO at this point. I am hoping that my swelling has gone down enough by this point to confidently rock a 2 piece swimsuit... something I haven't done, well, EVER. From all you ladies out there with experience do you think I'll be healed enough by then?

Hope everyone has a fun weekend, and happy healing!

I had my preop appointment today. Had labs taken,...

I had my preop appointment today. Had labs taken, got prescriptions, and paid in full. The meds my PS prescribed include keflex (antibiotics, to be taken as long as drains are in), valium (for spasms, he only gave me 9 of these, I think), and demerol (for pain). He also gave me a script for Zofran (nausea med) but only for 1 pill for the morning of surgery, I may have to ask for more when I am discharged. He also has prescribed a patch for behind my ear to help with nausea.

I love that my doctor spent enough time with me to re-examine me to ensure that our game-plan was still good to go. While he was at it I discussed with him that I was concerned that after surgery my waist and stomach would be beautiful and slim but that my legs wouldn't match this new body of mine. We decided on doing a bit of lipo on my inner thighs. He told me it would not be a drastic change, only a slight change. I think that I'm okay with that. He was very adamant about not wanting to leave me with extra loose skin on my thighs, which I appreciate. We discussed doing lipo on the outer thighs but both he and his RN thought that I really didn't need it. I just have muscular legs from playing softball for 13 or so years...

I asked about drains and the bad news is that he is one of the doctors that doesn't allow for me to shower while drains are still in. I'll have to take a good long shower the day before surgery :) He said that the drains may remain in place for up to 2 weeks, so I am not looking forward to that. He told me the less I do the less drainage I'll have, but that he doesn't want me to just sit around... so that is kind of a conundrum, huh? I suppose walking a few laps around the house, to-from the bathroom, etc. will have to do.

I also saw the compression garment they have ordered for me. I guess until I added the lipo on I was just going to have the typical velcro type that wraps around you. Now, since the leggies are involved, I have to have a full on girdle/body suit thing. It goes almost all the way down to my knees. I'm not sure if there is an opening in the crotch area or not, but gosh I hope so. I can't imagine having to get in and out of that thing every time I have to go potty. I'm also a little concerned that its going to be difficult to maneuver the CG and the drains... this thing looks like a full on Spanx body suit. I did ask the nurse about it and she assured me it'd be okay, that the tubing on the drains would be long enough to come out of the top of the CG. The PS told me he would like me to wear the CG full time for 3 weeks and then during the day for 3 additional weeks.

Anyway, now this is very real, since I have paid. Quite honestly I am terrified. I went and chatted with one of my close girlfriends after my appointment and she told me "well if you weren't nervous I'd be quite worried that something is wrong with you." I guess this is true. I've had 4 surgeries in the past but none of them have made me nervous like this. I think it was scary to see on the sheet that they have booked 6 hours of OR/anesthesia time for me... that is a LONG time to be out. And I hate anesthesia!

The countdown is still on. I'm incredibly nervous...

The countdown is still on. I'm incredibly nervous but becoming more at peace with everything. I have had a few conversations with my girlfriends as well as friends of my mother and everyone has been so supportive thus far. I'm not really sure why I'm hesitant to talk about this procedure with people... plastic surgery is probably way more common (and socially acceptable) than I realize.

So I have a question for all the ladies out there who have already had their surgeries. How long were you under anesthesia? I think that is my biggest worry right now as in the past anesthesia has really done a number on me. I am just curious because my PS quoted me 6 hours worth of time but I suppose he'd rather book more than enough time in the OR just in case it takes longer than he expects. If any of you all would be willing to share I'd be grateful for the answers.

Also what did everyone find most comfortable to wear? I'm figuring I'll be living in yoga pants for a while since they are soft and stretchy. I'm bummed that my compression garment goes down almost to my knees because that means no shorts for me... and its so dang hot here (in the 100's all week long!). I bet I'll be wearing a lot of sun dresses after I feel like getting out of the house.

This weekend I have family coming in to town to help celebrate my grandmother's 97th birthday. I am happy that I will have something to keep my mind off of the upcoming surgery. I'm definitely a worrier and the diversion will be nice. Thankfully none of these people know about my surgery so they won't ask me a million questions, either.

Happy healing to all those who are recovering.

I can't believe I go in on Tuesday for my surgery....

I can't believe I go in on Tuesday for my surgery. Was anybody else kind of living in denial before they went in? I feel like the surgery has been on my mind 24/7 since Friday, realizing this was probably going to be my last "normal" weekend of the summer. Unfortunately its been cloudy/rainy here the past few days so I haven't been able to go to the pool, an activity which will probably be lost for the rest of the summer (I'm assuming my incision is going to take a while to heal).

I imagine today I'll probably try to get things organized. So far I've picked up my meds but thats about it. I will probably go pick up a wedge pillow and a tower fan. I may also go try on swimsuits so that I can take some bottoms with me when my PS marks me.

I'm still not entirely sure where I'm going to sleep when I come home. My mom and I have discussed it many times and I think the plan is for me to spend the evenings sleeping in the sunroom (where it is nice and cool!) in my dad's "zero gravity" chair from Relax the Back. He bought this chair specifically for when he had a neck surgery and it is rather comfortable... its a motorized recliner, but it doesn't have a lift. I've slept in this chair after my previous 3 surgeries but I'm not sure how great it'll be for this one, its made for someone taller than I am so it is kind of difficult to get up out of it. I think if I put a wedge/support pillow behind me it'll be okay. If that doesn't work out we have 2 other recliners in the house or I could build a pillow fortress on the couch. During the day, for a change of scenery, I'll probably hang out in my parents room because they have a relax the back adjustable bed (essentially a hospital bed but with an awesome mattress). I hate being cooped up inside so hopefully I don't go stir crazy! Last time I had surgery I walked laps around the house because I just couldn't handle sitting around all day, but I think I drove everyone crazy doing it!

I'll get a call tomorrow to confirm my surgery time but as of right now I am his first case on Tuesday so I'll be in his office at 6:40 and then taken to his operating suite soon after. AHHHHHHHHHH!

Sorry to bore everyone (well is anyone even...

Sorry to bore everyone (well is anyone even reading this?!) with another update today. Feeling anxious about the upcoming surgery so thought I would just check in here as it always seems to make me feel better.

I've been wanting a new swimsuit for a while and my mom and I decided to go to Dillard's today to see what they had. We figured stuff would be on sale since it was after the holiday, and indeed everything was 40% off. I was hesitant about trying stuff on since my body will (hopefully) be a lot different come Tuesday. However since I have a trip planned to Mexico for the end of August I figured I may as well shop now. It was weird to try things on and say well imagine it like this and pull all my skin down and spread my thighs further apart haha. I ended up buying 2 cute suits (its hard to find ones that fit the boobies!) and also 2 dresses and a beach cover up. I'm posting more before pics in one of the suits I bought so that I can use it for comparison as I recover. I have not worn a 2 piece swimsuit in forever!

Just took my last bath for a while and shaved my legs and pits. One of my relaxation tools is baths, and when I feel crummy I just want a nice warm bathtub to soak in. Oh well I suppose that won't be possible for a few weeks. My PS says no shaving 24 hours before surgery, I guess probably due to risk of infection.

Also, I just realized I'm not sure on some of my instructions for taking my drugs. Did you all start your antibiotics day of surgery? I imagine they'll be giving me IV antibiotics during surgery? The label from the pharmacy just says "take 2 tablets by mouth daily" and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to start them tomorrow or after surgery. I suppose I will call the PS office in the AM to double check.

I don't think I've ever been this nervous before...

I don't think I've ever been this nervous before in my life. In all of my past surgeries I've been somewhat anxious but never felt like this! I have to be at the surgery center tomorrow at 6:40 am... I'm not sure I"ll even sleep tonight though. Maybe I need a Xanax. Too bad my PS didn't prescribe any!

Today I went to the gym for the last time and did a good 75 minutes of cardio. I thought for sure it would help ease my nerves, and I suppose it did for the time being. I was also on a liquid diet today and only was able to drink 2 protein shakes and a bite of cottage cheese, I just have no appetite. I feel like I have a ton a bricks sitting in my stomach!

Other than working out I've spent today trying to get things in order. Changed all my linens, washed the rug that goes in my bedroom, doing laundry, etc. I also prepared jell-o (everyones favorite, right?!) for tomorrow so I can have a little to eat with my meds after I come home.

Biggest concerns right now about the surgery (these may be totally irrational so feel free to laugh at/with me): (1) how long I'll be under... still hoping that it doesn't not last the scheduled SIX HOURS!, (2) being able to use the bathroom while wearing compression garment (more like a body suit, (3) not showering for however long I have drains, (4) DRAINS, (5) finding a quiet/comfortable place to relax after surgery... I'm staying with my parents and unfortunately their house is under construction. Tomorrow is a painting day so I hope the fumes don't get to me.

Anywho going to try and relax now and try not to worry. Before bed tonight I have to put on my anti-nausea patch as well as take a zantac. In the morning its another zantac and a zofran and then off to the flatlands. I would appreciate any and all prayers/ positive thoughts/ good karma that are sent my way! Will try to check in tomorrow but who knows how loopy I'll be?

Morning all! It is currently 6:06 central time and...

Morning all! It is currently 6:06 central time and I am getting ready to head to the surgery center in about 15-20 minutes. I hardly slept a wink last night... off and on maybe 4.5 hours. Good think I'll get a good long nap today. I am extremely nervous but excited to see the bulge go. Hopefully I'll be able to check in later but I'm sure I'll bit just a bit groggy (or a lot!).

Here's hoping that everything goes smoothly.

Sorry to be MIA since surgery day, but I am alive....

Sorry to be MIA since surgery day, but I am alive. I've had a rough go-round but I will try to update you all.

Day of surgery (Tuesday)-- arrived a 6:45 to surgery center. Promptly met with anesthesia and was marked by Dr. Paulsen. Had a lovely chat with the friendly nurses and then was off to sleep. I think surgery started around 8:00 and I was in recovery around 1:00. I was told he was able to do the mini, didn't have to touch my BB, and lipo-ed my inner thighs and abdomen. Stayed in recovery until 2:00ish and got lots of meds for nausea (like 3 doses in an hour). Went home with my parents and parked myself in the recliner, where I've been since (my back hates me!). Around 4:00 am I noticed I had lots of pain my left calf and it was obviously swollen. Start freaking out about DVT and call PS who says we should go to ER. Go to ER where I am met by PS. Sit in ER for a while where they tell me I'm going to have to get cut out of my CG... PS says no way and he helps the nurse take it off of me. PS decides to rip of all my dressings while I'm there to check things out. A-okay except that I'm in tons of pain. Sit around and wait for doppler ultrasound (tech doesn't arrive until 7 am). Go back to my holding room (transporter very nice about taking it easy over bumps on long ride) and wait for ER doc to tell me no clot was seen. ER peeps can't figure out how to get me back in CG so they redress wounds and I leave wearing 2 hospital gowns and go to PS' office where they help me put it back on. Tell me they don't need to see me until Monday but to clean wound on Thursday at home.

Wednesday/Thursday- nothing much to report. Everything kind of blurs together. Tried to clean incision on Thursday but really wanted the doc to do it so decide to go into PS on Friday.

Friday- Finally starting to feel a little bit like a real person again. Go to PS's office for wound care. Apparently the tape they had used in the ER to hold gauze onto my incision caused my skin to blister. Also CG was waaayyyy to tight around abdomen so has rubbed my skin raw. Nurse decides this isn't good and goes to talk to PS who is in surgery. I wait for like an hour laying on exam table. Haven't had pain meds, ow. PS comes in and pokes on me and notices skin is gone... uh oh not good. So after all this he decided it would be better to let my skin heal on its own with no compression. I am to see him on Monday but for the weekend I am CG free... kind of nice but also frightening.

So there it is. I still have both drains in. I'm a little worried because since I emptied them (well my dad emptied them, what a trooper!) at 8 pm last night I haven't had hardly any drainage at all. I know that it is normal to stop draining eventually but I didn't think it'd be normal to go from 25 cc/12 hours to nothing? There aren't any kinks or anything so I'm wondering if its just from not having any compression garment? I haven't looked at my tummy yet but my mom says it looks great even with the bruising. I feel so strange because of the numbness.

Today marks one week since surgery. Overall I am...

Today marks one week since surgery. Overall I am doing pretty well, especially considering all that has happened!

Yesterday I went to the PS for a "check up". Had to wait a really long time, which was frustrating and not customary for his office. I left pretty annoyed because neither of my drains were removed. Both of them have only been draining about 20 cc/24 hours. His protocol is to remove drains when they have been draining 25 cc/24 hours (or less) for 3 consecutive days, and one of mine clearly met this criteria. However he also doesn't like to remove drains before 1 week post-op. He kept looking at my log and saying "hmmmm" and then he told me to come back Wednesday (tomorrow) to have the right one removed and next Monday for the other one. I don't understand why he is leaving the left one in for so long when it is hardly draining. Hopefully he will change his mind. He did remove the stitches from the spots where the lipo cannula was inserted, but that was it.

I am still not in a compression garment and will not be until my drains are removed. I wish he would let me wear one now because I have to wear it 24 hours/day for 3 weeks and I'd like to get a start on that. He will not be putting me back in the one I had on after surgery because it caused so much damage (I will try and post a pic). He told me I could burn it :) Instead I will just be wearing Spanx or something similar... I'm quite happy about that!

I'm completely off pain pills and only take the occasional valium to help me relax at night. Last night I slept in my bed for the first time (with a bunch of pillows, of course). I can't lie completely flat but its much better than the recliner! I am probably walking about 85-90% straight. I think I'd be further along if it weren't for the darn back pain, which may be worse than any of the other pain I've felt thus far.

I haven't seen my incision yet. My PS laughed when I told him that yesterday. I told him I really didn't want to look yet. I caught a glimpse of the bruising and such on my abdomen yesterday and it wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be, but still pretty gross. My mom and friends who have seen it assure me it looks great. I honestly can't tell a difference yet but hopefully will soon. I can say my legs don't look any different and I'm not sure I'd elect to the lipo if I had the option again, but it never caused me any pain either so at least I didn't suffer for nothing.

Hope everyone is healing well!

Saw my PS today to get out my right drain. I can't...

Saw my PS today to get out my right drain. I can't say that it really hurt, but it definitely burned very badly when the very end of it came out. It lasted for only a second though so I really can't complain. Right now I am scheduled to have my left drain removed on Monday but my PS told me to call on Friday and update him on my output. If I stay

So I think I'm in swell hell. Or I gained like 15...

So I think I'm in swell hell. Or I gained like 15 pounds overnight. My love handles look HUGE (and I didn't really have any before the surgery so I'm hoping its swelling?) I have been watching what I eat, sticking to only lean protein, fruits, and veggies. Before surgery I already avoided sugar and "white" carbs anyway. I know my mom accidentally slipped me a small bit of vanilla yogurt with my meds one day, which has sugar, but I was too tired to complain so I ate it.

Considering I've been up and around so much (running errands, visiting with friends/family, etc). I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I need to learn to relax but gosh I just get so bored! I am tired of watching TV but I feel like my attention span isn't good enough to read-- still kind of foggy from anesthesia and pain pills. My one drain that is still in has hardly put anything out today (

Despite hardly draining ANYTHING (< 20 cc/24...

Despite hardly draining ANYTHING (< 20 cc/24 hours) my PS still would not take my drain out today. He wants to wait until Monday. Now I know I just have to get through the weekend with it, which in the grand scheme of things is not very long, but for some reason it has really upset me. My other drain was draining this amount when he took it out so I'm not exactly sure why he won't pull the other one. I was so looking forward to being drain-free for this weekend. I have family visiting from over seas so of course we will be having lots of got togethers with people I don't see often. I don't want to have to answer questions about why I have tubing coming out from under my shirt or that sort of thing. It is very hard for me to hide my drain because I don't even have CG to clip it to. I was so looking forward to going to our family dinner this evening and when I got word I'd still have this drain in my attitude did a complete 180.

I know that if this is the worst thing that happens to me then I should be counting my blessings. Many ladies keep their drains far longer than the 2 weeks I will have had mine when it is removed. I have no idea why but this has just been a really hard day for me. I feel so cooped up and useless. My mom and dad have pretty much stopped helping me with anything (i.e. I've had to cook dinner for myself, and them, the past 3 nights) even though by the end of the day I am all hunched over and exhausted. I feel as though perhaps my mom even resents me, or is jealous of me, because I had this done. She is one of the reasons I've had body issues in the past and I'm sure she would absolutely love to be able to have plastic surgery.

Also, I feel like I'm getting FAT just being around the house all day unable to workout or do anything. My appetite has been outrageous lately and I'm trying to give my body the nutrients it needs to heal, but I've given myself a few treats too. Nothing huge, just a few spoonfuls of pecan butter and a handful or two of chocolate chips with my yogurt. I haven't stepped on a scale because I know I'm swollen as all get out, but I"m terrified of putting on weight while I heal!

Hoping someone has some positive and encouraging words for me?

Saw the PS today to have the second drain removed....

Saw the PS today to have the second drain removed. Yay! I thought I'd feel a million times better immediately, but unfortunately I don't. I'm now in the CG which is quite tight, I just think it will take me some time to get used to it. PS wants me to wear it as close to 24 hours a day as I can for a month straight. Fun fun, right? I wish I had been wearing it the whole time with the drains because then I'd be halfway finished with the darn thing. Oh well. He told me to make sure and take it easy because even though I feel good. I need to let my body rest for the swelling to go down (speaking of swelling, holy crap! i hope i'm super swollen or else i'm just super fat now). I did ask if I could go back to the gym and vetoed that as quick as he could. He told me to wait a few more weeks. I'm assuming at my next appointment (2 weeks from today) he may allow me to go back to light workouts. I go this Friday for my follow-up doppler ultrasound to verify that I don't have a DVT.

Since I'm so sedentary lately I'm worried about my calorie intake. I'm afraid to eat because I am not doing anything. I tracked my calories today and before dinner they were about 850 and for dinner I had a few ounces of steak and a schmear of goat cheese spread. This put me around 1200. When I track my calories I tend to overestimate my portions just in case so you can give or take a hundred or so calories from this number. Do you ladies think this is enough? I know I need to fuel my body for recovery but I'm not exercising or anything so I don't have much of an appetite anyway... pretty much forcing myself to eat because I know I need to. The last thing I want to do is get fat after having a surgery to enhance my appearance.

Things aren't getting any easier today. Got a...

Things aren't getting any easier today. Got a phone call that my grandmother (who just turned 97) took a turn for the worse this morning. I have spent all day at her house with my mom, aunt, great aunt, and my grandmother's caregivers just kind of waiting for things to happen. This means I've been up on my feet all day fetching things my grandmother wanted to eat or drink, helping my great aunt get her walker in the car, running errands (first day driving!) etc. I was there from about 10:00 this morning until 10:30 this evening. I am exhausted, both mentally and emotionally. This is no good for getting my swelling down! It's always hard to watch a love one struggle, no matter how old they are.

I know this pretty much has nothing to do with my TT but I feel like this forum is a great place to vent about anything and everything. On a TT note- HOLY SWELL HELL. I'm so ready for it to start to go down. I honestly still have a pooch, I'm assuming from the swelling. So frustrating though because I have yet to see my tummy flat.

I know everyone has said that recovering from this...

I know everyone has said that recovering from this surgery takes patience, and I knew that going into this, but GEEZ! I am so freakin' swollen that I feel like I look pregnant. Unfortunately my grandmother passed away this past Thursday so I probably haven't been getting as much rest as I need to be. In the days leading up to her death I was running all around the house gathering whatever she asked for or wanted and driving around town running errands. Yesterday was the funeral so was on my feet pretty much all day (in heels no less). We still have family in town so unfortunately I haven't had time to just lay in bed or put my feet up. I am so worried that I am ruining my healing process and that I'm doomed to look pregnant forever.

I went and tried on some clothes today and on top I'm wearing a size small but on bottom I'm still like a 10... but not an attractive 10, like a you-might-be-pregnant-but-i'm-not-sure 10. ugh. i'm starting to worry if i should have requested that my PS had done a full TT regardless of how much skin i had. i feel so fat and gross. shouldn't my swelling be considerably less now? ugh. but on a positive note i did manage to wear my jean shorts today, but i had to roll up the legs on CG, which was super uncomfortable.

Long time no write tummy tuckers! Sorry I've been...

Long time no write tummy tuckers! Sorry I've been MIA. Not too much to report. Still super swollen :(

Had my one month PO check up with the PS today. I'm happy to report that he cleared me for "light exercise", meaning walking on the treadmill and light arm weights. He specifically told me not to get too sweaty, which will be hard for me since I like to work out pretty hard. He says everything looks good but that in due time he may want to go in and do a little bit more lipo of the lower abs. He was concerned during the operation with keeping the blood flow in tact so he didn't go too aggressively with the lipo. He said it is still early to tell if the area is too "full" because of all the swelling. He seemed very pleased though, which is good. I'm not too happy with my thighs, I wish he would have done more lipo. Perhaps we can revisit that if he needs to go in and lipo more on my tummy.

Big event of the weekend: went out to a wine bar with my girlfriend on Saturday and when I got out of the car she heard some guy saying "wow look at the beautiful girl in the black dress"... now I didn't hear this for myself but I'm assuming she didn't just make it up. Made me feel good despite still feeling HUGE. I'm 4 weeks PO and feel like maybe my swelling should have gone down a bit more by now... but I suppose not being able to wear my CG for 2 weeks didn't help. I'm just hoping I look decent by the time I go to Mexico at the end of the month.

I'm posting pics for everyone to see. I think my scar looks pretty fab! My BB seems to be rather long and narrow, not sure what that's about. Totally forgot to ask today. Doesn't really bother me that much, though. I'm hoping that my hips are just really swollen still... or i've managed to pack on the pounds. I haven't gotten on the scale because I know I"m still swollen. I've been pretty good with my eating, so I'm hoping I haven't gained much (or any!)

I'm starting to get beyond frustrated with the...

I'm starting to get beyond frustrated with the swelling! I have been wearing my CG 24/7 for the past 3 weeks now and I honestly don't see a difference in swelling. Does anyone out there have any tips for getting it to subside more quickly? It scares me that my PS mentioned going back in for more lipo the last time I saw him. What if this isn't really swelling? I'm fairly certain it is though because I can't grab it like you can a roll of fat. I am going to Cancun in ~3 weeks and want to be able to wear my 2 piece without looking like a pregnant woman!

I've been back to the gym 4 times this past week... just walking 3 miles and doing arm weights. A week from Tuesday I can start increasing my workouts as tolerated, YAY!

Hello all you tummy-tuckers! Tomorrow marks 6...

Hello all you tummy-tuckers! Tomorrow marks 6 weeks post op. So far I have been unable to really see any true results. I am so freaking swollen it is ridiculous. My upper abs are hard as a rock. My lower abs are slightly less hard but swollen nonetheless. As of today I am allowed to take my compression garment off when I'm sitting around at home, which is quite a relief. However, I'm wondering if I should wear it 24/7 because of my swelling? I am also allowed to increase my workouts, as tolerated, starting tomorrow. I may have disobeyed the doctor a bit last week and starting increasing my workouts already, oops. My mom seems to think I am over-doing it at the gym, which could be contributing to my ridiculous swelling. Its hard to limit myself because when I'm at the gym I feel great! Today I did 45 minutes of cardio (low resistance on the elliptical but kept my heart rate around 150-155) and 45 minutes or so of weights/strength moves. Do you ladies think that is too much for this point? I didn't feel any pain or soreness (and I didn't have any muscle repair done, so no worries there). I think I need to chill out and maybe go "water walking" or something with less impact until my swelling resolves. I know it can take a while but I'm ready to see some results! Hope everyone else is doing well.
Dr. Stephen Paulsen

So far my experience with Dr. Paulsen has been great. Everyone from the front desk staff to the nurses to the doctor himself have been so friendly and willing to assist me with any questions or concerns that I have had. Dr. Paulsen never acts like he is too busy to answer questions and will spend as much time with you as is needed.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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