I have waited a week to begin this documentation...
I have waited a week to begin this documentation of my TT journey. After reading so many other reviews and gaining something from each I decided that perhaps my voice/experience may be of help to someone also. I hope so.
I am 51, healthy, fit happily married and basically happy. After having children (3) and having a VERY short torso (according to my ps :) the skin on my belly was less than optimal. Pair this with menopause and things were looking even worse. The agony I would put myself & my husband through when trying to dress in anything other than yoga pants was exhausting. It bring tears to my eyes now as I sit here writing this. Spanx can only do so much!
Being a fitness/PE/yoga instructor for that last 28 years and eating a pretty healthy diet 85% of the time one would think that I wouldn't have to worry about such things as a belly hanging over everything or people thinking I am pregnant (think Shar pei dog). Although being active has helped, I am very healthy and I was able to 'camouflage' most times, it was getting harder to do and the results weren't there. We won't even go into the naked business yet.... My profession also added to my belly self consciousness, especially as I become more mature and my contemporaries become younger, "flatter" and more fit. I know that we shouldn't be all wrapped up in our external appearance, but dang it I guess I am! And so with the support of my very understanding and loving husband I made the decision to do this for ME. Wish I could have/ would have done it 15 years ago instead of beating myself up over it!
The first week!
The first week was an eye opener for me! I knew that this wasn't a piece of cake surgery, but I don't think that I really gave it the seriousness that it deserved. Day 1 took care of that attitude! I tend to have a pretty high pain tolerance, tore my acl and fractured both the tibia and femur snowmobiling and continued to ride and even hike that day, yes it hurt like heck but I didn't want to miss out, and recovered from the surgery great. So I was putting that same attitude towards this surgery; while I think that a positive attitude is important, un realistic expectations are not. By day 3 I was feeling much better, except for the swelling. My back side was and is still so swollen my husband thought perhaps I had a BBL. Well if I did they forget to LIFT!!! Ice really helped to calm the swelling and its associated pain. Day 3 I saw my ps and received my binder with the okay to shower, woo hoo! Day 4 I took the first real look at myself....I look like one of the elves from The Rise of the Guardians, you know the ones that have the hat for a body, yep I'm shaped like a triangle! That being said my incision scar is nice a low for a short torso gal and the bb looks pretty good. There's potential here.
Key pointers for week 1:
*Stay on top of your meds; don't play catch up or hero
*REST; preferable in a recliner
*Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate; water, green tea, coconut water, hot water and fresh lemon, protein shakes
*HAVE HELP; at least for the first 5 days, a week is better
*Stay positive: remember WHY you did this; look at motivation pics
These are pictures from my ps's website. This patient was very similar to my pre tt state, except she has a waste and amazing gluts! Anyway, when I saw these I made my mind up immediately to quite trying to talk myself out of this and just do it!
The amazing thing that happened as soon as I booked my s surgery date, and recovered from the nervous butterflies, is that I released the guilt and shame I had been carrying around. Couldn't I just eat better, work out harder, do a different workout, have better posture the list could go on. I no longer felt like it was all my fault and that I needed to hide this like some dirty secret, which is what I'd been doing (or so I thought) every time I put spanx on or sucked in my gut while sitting, standing, talking eating.....I was ashamed of myself.
So these photos have helped me through the long wait of 3 months from the time of booking and receiving my tt and also through this last week when I would look at myself and not see the results.
I looked at these and said "I why wouldn't I do this?" So fingers crossed in recovery land.
10 days PO!
10 days post and the drain is out!!! Honestly it wasn't terrible having the drain in, mush better that the alternative and swelling that has to be syringed out. That being said I am happy to good bye to it! PS said that every thing is looking good and on schedule. He mentioned that the swelling is way better and that I can start applying the scar cream in 1 week. All of my sutures are internal so no need to remove them. I start the ultra sound treatments next week which should help with healing and swelling. I can stand pretty straight once I have been up for a bit. and drove myself for my visit, it's about a 30 minute drive. Was ready to be home when I made it back! Where is my energizer bunny? I better find her quick, I'm schedule to start summer quarter on Tuesday June 24th. At least the first week is a light week, I have 2 zumba classes and 1 yoga class 2 times per week this quarter so I hope I'm ready for some activity by week 4 or my students may be following videos!
rest & recovery
Afforded the luxury to spend the day resting and recovering. I am icing today and really trying to take it easy to help my body heal itself. Seriously, if I had to have my appendix removed I would expect to need serious recovery time and try to be patient with myself. But since I elected to do this to myself this notion of recovering quicker and mind of matter seem to want to take over. I am reprograming and overriding that today!
*eating mindful today; really enjoyed my cottage cheese and pineapple for breakfast
*icing those sore spots not to mention the swelling
*watching the hummingbirds out my widow =)
*walking around for circulation
Om Shanti' (peace)
12 days po
Well the big adventure today was coloring my hair! It was a bit messier that usual, color in places other than my hair, but a success just the same. Now I only walk and stand like an old lady!
I started wear compression on my hips after having the drain removed on Monday (10 day po) and they seen to help with some of the swelling. I took my measurements today and am a couple inches bigger everywhere than before, I can only imagine what the measurements were when the swelling was so massive!
I took a few new pics today, nothing really new except you can see the drain hole healing and my incision sits below this particular pair of Hanky Panky's. =)
The 'glue' is slowly coming off of my incision (all sutures are internal), Monday I should be able to start using scar cream from ps. When I get it I'll post what it is.
Happy Healing All!
Sleeping in a chair
Well I tried to make the switch from the recliner to the bed last night. #fail At first it felt pretty good, I even fell asleep, then after about an hour I awoke in terrible pain and could not find a position that wasn't painful. So back to the chair I went. I think I will have to wait until the "burning" goes away, the lipo areas especially burn. When I over do it or towards the evening it begins to burn like a bad road rash.
On the plus side, I will say even with all the swelling my shape looks better! So I'm excited to see how things progress. I said the same to my husband today and he confirmed that he thought the same thing. I now actually have a shape other than 'block'!
2 wk post photo
I started using Arnica Montana on the bruises and swelling yesterday. I think that it looks better already. Could be wishful thinking! Ignore the unmade bed!
Went to a movie last night with the hubby. It was great to get out and DO something. The theater has recliners so I it was almost like being home, almost. By the end I was ready to be home, but still had a nice time. Some of the food was pretty salty and I didn't even eat the popcorn, ugh.
Spent most of today very active. Hubby & son made sure I didn't lift anything too heavy, but I was busy outside just the same. I painted 3 chairs, 3 little birdhouses, 1 foot stool and 1 side table all part of the out door furniture/decor. They look great, but I'm a little extra swollen! Recliner and ice bag for me. =) Happy first day of SUMMER!
Monday was a great day. I had my first ultrasound treatments at my ps's office. It felt interesting, pretty good really, and made me feel alot better afterwards. Woke up today (Tuesday) with less swelling, how nice, but had to go back to work today so the 'less swelling' did not last! Work wasn't bad, but it was just a new student orientation day. I have full classes for summer quarter which is great but should prove interesting depending on my ability! I see my ps on Monday when I have my ultrasound treatment we'll see what he says about my activity level.
Just sneezed! Not too bad! I have been doing whatever is necessary to hold them at bay...so afraid of what would happen if I let it happen. Okay after shocks hurt a little.
Over all I feel pretty good this week (it's only Tuesday, lol). I'm able to stand almost straight and walk at a pace greater than a shuffle, I don't look too bad in the 'head on shot' but am very wide with a slight rounding to the spine and the famous giant Ken crotch (which is aggravatingly massive after standing today) in the side view. I still hurt, especially where lipo was performed, and have muscles spasms that feel like Alien in my belly.
My husband told me this morning "it's not bad, just different". In reference to my current shape. Hmmm.
Mowed the lawn!
Just a quick update, this evening we needed to mow the lawn (bark being delivered in the am) and my husband got home a little later than planned so I offer to help. He was skeptical and protective, but I thought I could probably do it and would stop if it just wasn't working. We have a pretty large yard with just over an acre of lawn so it can take a little while. I helped by mowing the section that uses the riding lawn mower. It went pretty well, a little jarring, but not too bad. I thought of it as vibration therapy for swelling, not sure it will work that way but it was a nice thought. Tomorrow I get to rest!
Amazing day / hit a wall!
Yesterday, Wednesday 19 days po, was amazing. I showered, always a good thing, made beds, did dishes and wiped down the kitchen =). I then had the pleasure of going to lunch with a friend and neighbor, such a nice time and we walked a few blocks to the restaurant. She then took the opportunity to scold be for doing too much, if you knew me this is par for my mo. She evidently saw me on the lawn mower and carrying the backpack sprayer the day before that. =P After that lunch was nice and then we did a bit of shopping at IKEA, that place is so huge and confusing! I felt wonderful, not quite back to normal, but really good.
Went to work today and did okay, still minimal activity but tried to demo some alignment for students and quickly knew that wasn't going to happen. I was a little tired by the time I was done. Ran a couple of errands and could wait to get HOME. I just hit a wall, my body said enough already, STOP. So when I got home I took some anti-inflammatories, grabbed the ice bag and planted myself in my recliner. I feel much better now and promise to take it easy tomorrow.
Over all my swelling is getting better, my scar is looking good and almost ready for scar treatment, I have a few crusty's left from surgery. Only internal stitches but I think a glue was used on the scar, so waiting for that to wear off before I can apply the treatment. I will be using bioCornium+ which I got from my doctor. It's a little pricey at $100 for a tube, but my ps says it's worth it. So I will keep you posted.
Have a great weekend everyone, wishing you speedy healing and safe journey's for those that are preparing to take the trip to "the flat side". Peace.
Photos from 3 week po
These are from 3 weeks po. Incision is still healing as is the bb. Still quite swollen with a little Buddha Belly and puffy flank/hips. Bruising is much better, ran out of Arnica which really seemed to help for me. Deeper bruising showing up a little. PS as okayed light aerobic activity and weights with a gradual increase. No heavy lifting.
Left side of scar is a bit lower than the right this could be from swelling, but I have a bit of scoliosis with the right hip a bit higher so it could be that. Time will tell.
Week 3 brought a renewed sense of energy with a quick sense of fatigue when I went too far. I was able to move around so much more a actually sleep in my bed on my sides or back pretty well. I still wake up a couple times a night to use the restroom and then take a couple of Tylenol around 4:30a since I usually am in quite a bit of pain at that time. It's like my incision is wrapped all the way around and on FIRE.
My weight is down quite a bit (8lbs) but fluctuates day to day and morning to evening 3 or more lbs. That being said I feel FAT/SOFT. ugh My legs remind me of jello. Did anyone ever experience this after pregnancy; while pregnant you're fit and look great, besides the giant basketball stuck out in front, then you give birth and I swear half of your muscle is delivered also. Well that's how I feel right now.
Still trusting in the process. =)
4 weeks tomorrow!
Happy 4th of July USA'rs! Tomorrow will be 4 weeks po for me and what a difference a week makes. =) Today i finished my second week of teaching and it went great, a little tired and sore today, but still successful. I used a video lesson and practice for my first Zumba classes on Tuesday and then had to improvise and actually teach a few songs for the second class due to technical difficulties. Thankfully those were fixed and we were able to finish with the videos. I taught a pranayama class in yoga which was great. Thank goodness I only have 4 hours on Tuesday and Thursday, each class is 90 minutes. Today, Thursday, we did the video's again ( which I did part of) and then I taught about 4/5 songs in each class, we did another pranayama class for yoga. It went great, I just have to remember not too much hips and core. This gives me hope for the rest of the quarter, I was pretty worried.
This week I am able to stand straight, walk well, reach and actually twist a bit. I am still numb in several areas, including the top on my thighs. Things are 'waking' up though with little twinges and spasms and an occasional sharp or shooting pain on my abdomen. I still have the 2 pinched nerves, 1 in my forearm and 1 in my lower leg. The forearm is getting better but this makes it hyper sensitive even water hurts, my ps is said it's probably from the arm position during surgery; I have a few cervical disc and vertebrae issues so.... The leg is a bit slower but improving (meaning becoming more sensitive), this is most likely from swelling in the lumbar spine and sciatic pathway. I have a torn disc at L4/5 so not surprising there either.
Sleeping is about the same as last week with the exception of being able to lay straight now. I still wake up a few times and find that I am in terrible pain around 4:30am.
The lipo areas still burn and swell and are still bruised. I'm still sporting an unusually large pubic area and feel very rounded in my clothing. The thighs are still feeling flabby and my upper back could use a little 'pull up' love. =) But if you asked me if I'd do this again I would tell you YES!
My ps showed me my before pictures and I thought, well said, OMH. When I get copies I will post, the difference is huge.
My husband is very pleased and only wishes we would have done this 10/15 years ago. I told him I felt the same, but then I might not have found such a great doctor, so who knows. I am SO HAPPY AND GRATEFUL that I was able to do it now. Sending out a huge THANK YOU to the powers that be and made this possible for me. =)
Posting a few updated photos from yesterday.
Wishing everyone the best this weekend, thank you for the continued support as we all travel on this journey of self love and improvement. Namaste'
And again it is proven that I am not Superwoman!
Just of 4 weeks po and feeling pretty good. This seems to give me a false sense of what I can/should do or how much of it. : / Pressured washed 1/2 the pool deck (about 2-3 hrs) on Sunday, stopped when I felt like I was getting to fatigued. Finished the rest of the pool deck on Monday (it was SO dirty) which took about the same amount of time. It's a pretty big concrete deck. Felt pretty good, maybe a little sore and tired but not bad. But today I went too far. Had my PE classes today and was feeling pretty spry to I actually taught the full 75 min Zumba class and it went pretty well. Then taught a 75 min yoga class and took it pretty easy with minimal demonstrations, but still had to get up and down off the mat. Finally had 1 more 75 min Zumba class and probably should have just did a video, but no I taught it and it went okay. Knew I was going to be sore and that I had did a little too much. But here's where my personality problem takes over; got home and still needed to finish pressure washing and small portion of the upper patio. Not bad did it in about 1.5 hours, happy to have it done. But now the pool is still DIRTY and needs vacuuming so I'm like okay let's just get it done and I did, bad idea. I have spent the evening with ice on and a lot of pain and swelling. No one was home to keep an eye on me. lol I need a keeper!
So the moral of this story is; when you are given the okay to almost everything, including working out, DON'T OVERDUE IT! I shall spend tomorrow recovering and hopefully go back to my regular swelling.
Off to bed for a good nights sleep, some meds may be in order tonight. Night.
6 wk po update & pre tt pics
Well 6 weeks have come and gone on this tt recovery journey. I'm a little late on updating, but the pics were taken at 6 wks. Honestly I couldn't be happier with where my results are going. This doesn't mean I don't have doubts or baad days. I even had a nightmare recently where I had tons of back fat. Like I could grab handfuls and rolls of it. Stress much? lol I was a little over zealous in cleaning last Monday and I think I strained a muscle in the upper portion of the rectus abdominus so I have been dealing with increased soreness/pain and muscle spasms. I was so swollen last Tuesday (after said injury) that I was almost in tears thinking that I had ruined everything. I was assured by the nurse that I was going to be fine and that it was pretty hard the ruin things. =0)
My daughter turned 32 on Saturday and my husband and I met her for a movie and lunch, then a little shopping (I got a pair of cute wedges). I felt so awesome and looked great. It was so liberating to look in my closet and be able to put on anything and have it fit and look good. (Tears of JOY) My husband actually made a comment about no bulges or rolls on my back...just smooth lines. YEA!
So pros and cons as of 6 weeks po;
*Swelling is getting better, especially Ken (swells more with extra activity)
*Energy is picking up, but I still get fatigued quicker
*The binder is off! Still use it for exercise and I like to wear Spanx or similar fro sleep and activity
*Bruising is slowly fading
*I can wear a crop top! (if I wanted to)
*I can sleep on my side, back, and stomach but must move slowly
*I have been having trouble sleeping recently....I don't know why :(
*There is still a lot of soreness wherever I had the lipo (hip & flank) also from the muscle repair. The separation was around 4" so that's to be expected.
*My scar/incision is almost fully sealed, there are just a couple of spots still healing, bb also.
*As crazy as it seems I don't even mind my scar!
*When I wake or if I sit for a time I am stiff and have to slowly straighten, otherwise I am walking tall.
I am so grateful for this site, THANK YOU REAL SELF! Having stories & pictures to read & look at, other voices going through the same, and those who are further along on this journey has been such a blessing. =)
Oh my! Just got these on Monday from my ps.
Small set back this week.
Well I've had a small set back this week with a slight bb infection. :( So weird since it was almost totally healed. Woke up Friday with it full of yellow crusty gunk. Of course it's on a Friday and my ps was leaving for a weeks (well deserved) vacation. Cleaned it and continued to use the bacitracin then kept an eye on it. Saturday while i was painting the house it got very warm and red, Sunday it was a little better. Today I stopped by the office and the fabulous staff/nurse took a look and prescribed an antibiotic. So we'll see how it does this week. I have a water park trip planned on August 11th so it better heal fast, lol!
On a lighter not Thursday is my last day of the Summer quarter @ the CC. I made it and really every week have felt better, besides the bb thing which has made that area a bit tender. =)
18 Aug 2014
2 months post
This is a tad bit late, but I'm finally taking a moment to update. =) These are pics from my bb ordeal. It turned out to be a slight bacterial infection that found it's way out through the bb, then I developed an allergic reaction to the bacitracin around the area. All cleared up now and bb is healed. It took about 2 wks from start to finish.
From 6wks - 10wks
18 Aug 2014
2 months post
I am currently 10 wks po and feeling great. Changes from 6wk to 10wks;
* Soreness as greatly decreased. At 6, 7 & 8 wks I still had quite a bit of localized soreness, especially with activity.
* Took my first hot power yoga class on Friday and did quite well. =) Avoided the ab work and minimized over stretching of the rectus. Sore from being inactive, not from surgery. =)
* I'm still swollen and tend to swell when activity involving the core is involved ( like almost all activity ).
* I have days/mornings when I am much 'flatter' than others. And days when I am discouraged and feel like a 'fatty'. Sometimes "Ken" is gone and others he is back for a visit. Swelling is affected by gravity and my body reflects that, lol.
* I will say on a VERY POSITIVE note; I never look at myself in the mirror and want to cry anymore. That is awesome.
* My husband thinks the change is incredible, REALLY!
* There is still some bruising from lipo, slowly fading, and soreness. Especially to the touch.
* The 2 insertion points on the back upper gluts from the lipo are sensitive and will occasionally sting. They are sometimes painful to lay on.
* I still tire quicker than before surgery, but feel my strength returning. Now I just need to get the workouts happening regularly. lol
* I have quite a bit of numbness still. Abdominal area where muscle repair was done, especially lower. Sometime I bump my 'belly' on the counter and it feels odd. Numb on the surface with feeling deeper in. the same for my right shin. I am numb at the juncture of hip to thigh on both sides. This makes it more challenging to lift legs/knees with any strength. I have numbness and increased sensation on outer thighs, hips and low back. None of these are extremely bothersome and should clear up in time. The numbness of the right forearm as cleared up with just occasional twinges.
*Was it worth it? YES, A THOUSAND TIMES OVER!
* Would I change anything? Perhaps. I was fortunate in my my choice of physicians, but knowing what I do after the fact I would be more precise on my expectations,options and outcome. Again, I was fortunate and my ps is awesome. Second, I WOULD HIRE SOMEONE TO CLEAN MY HOUSE FOR AT LEAST A MONTH! A messy, dirty house drives me crazy. Vacuuming is core! If you have carpets it really works the deep underlying muscle and will make you sore. If you can, hire some one else to do it for you! I think it would make everyone involved happier.
On a personal note, i have been BUSY! Traveled with my daughter to visit family and play at Silverwood, an amusement and water park. Felt pretty good the whole time. Noticed I had increased swelling after playing on the slides and in the wave pool. Also, roller-coasters work your core muscles! Both of my sisters knew i had this done and NEITHER said or asked ANYTHING! I was in a swim suit, really? My daughter(32) was a bit surprised and not really angry with them, but disappointed maybe? Oh well.
Still painting the outside of my home so I better get to it! Peace and speedy healing.
Side by side of pre and 8 wks
18 Aug 2014
2 months post
Even if nothing changed from here, why would I not be ecstatic?