I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that this is...
I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that this is really going to happen.I have hidden and despised my abdomen for 26 years I am not expecting a miracle, but hope for great improvement.
This forum has given me the necessary information to make an educated decision about this life-altering journey.
I will post my "before" pics a day before my procedure. I am very timid about revealing this very personal, embarrassing part of myself.
Just 4 more days...
I am a bit conflicted. I feel guilty about feeling nervous. Seems such a silly thing to be worried about something I am choosing to do.
Nobody ever died from having an ugly abdomen - right?
So, guess I'm going to swallow my guilt, and get on with it.
Posting my "before" pics today.
I'm looking forward to the posting the "afters."
Today is the day.
9 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
It's about 8:30 a.m.; and boy am I thirsty! I don't go in intil 10:00. I was hoping to sleep more to avoid this tiny discomfort.
My darling husband is being so incredibly supportive. I'm a very fortunate girl.
We've also got friends who will keep my husband company while he waits (we're An hour and a half from home).
Nervous and excited.
Holy Moly this hurts.
I could bounce a quarter off my tummy, IF I had the gumption because this hurts baby.
3 Days Post-Op
I awoke yesterday morning with serious doubts that I'd be able to make my 24 hour post-op appointment.
So I sucked it up and got on with it.
Today things are soooo much better.
I've learned how to minimize the pain when getting up and sitting down.
I am very excited by the results. Beyond my expectations.
I saw my PS on Day 6 post-op. Everything looked splendid. He asked that I not shower for several more days ( the pains of having drains! More on that later).
Despite the fact that I've fastidiously taken fiber and mild laxatives, days 7&8 were unabridged misery resulting from constipation. I was very afraid that my internal sutures would rupture.
I have since increased my daily intake of fiber and laxatives. Problem solved? So far so good.
I've been using a variety of dry shampoo, dry conditioner, and waterless foaming body wash. They work well enough, but will never surpass the real thing.
Days 7-10 I began to notice that the extreme sides of my incision began to curl over and inward forming the unmistakable "dog ears"; I will speak to my PS when I see him again on Day 12. I realize that it is very early in my recovery, but I'm quite sure this will require surgical revision (@ additional cost to me). Still very pleased this far.
On a crucial side note, I quickly and painfully learned that I could not simply lie backward when getting into bed; nor could I lean forward when attempting to sit up. Both required that I first roll to one side and gradually roll to my back, or sit upright. My Husband has been an angel and has patiently and gently helped me especially in this area.
The use of a wedge pillow (with extra pillows on top) and a rolled up long body pillow (for placement under my knees) has made my bed a haven.
Since Day 9, I've been able to ambulated, dress, climb stairs, get into and out of bed without assistance.
I'm liking my belly button.
Drains are a Pain, AKA Dealing With Drains
Day 11: I am feeling almost normal again. However, I hate my drains!
The left drain must be emptied no less than 3 times daily; while the right drain needs attention once (I'm sure it could have safely been removed 4-5 days ago). I hope both are removed tomorrow.
The bulbs at the end of each drain resemble a lager version of a plastic squeaker that's been removed from the average plush toy. As such, my crazy little dog is convinced that I'm trying to torture him by withholding access to my new "squeakers".
I've found numerous ways to hang my drains, but invariably one or both get snagged, crimped or painfully tugged every day!
Drains, drains go away! Never come again I say !
I made the right choice.
I had a follow up visit with Dr. Campbell & his staff yesterday. I had one drain removed. I will have the stitches roved from my VERY adorable belly button and the remaining drain removed next week (Yay!).
I am so impressed with the dedication and attention to every detail shown by the good folks at The Aesthetic Center of Gainesville.
They've been considerate, patient, and compassionate.
I've never been left waiting in the lobby or examination room.
Dr. Campbell is prompt, professional, and has put me at ease each step of this process.
I highly recommend this team to anyone. I drive 1.5 hours one way to this office, and it's worth every minute.
I still have a long road to travel. I am so happy to be making this journey with the most amazing Husband that God put on this green earth; and the wonderful team of doctors and staff from The Aesthetic Center of Gainesville.
Feeling stronger day by day.
I am going back to work tomorrow.
I am getting the stitches out of my belly button this Wednesday. I anticipate having the remaining drain removed. Then I won't have to make the 3 hour round trip weekly.
I tried on several outfits and I absolutely love the way I look. I feel like I've gotten a new lease on life.
5+ weeks post op
Both drains are long gone.
I returned to work full time last week, which resulted in one hasty trip to see Dr. Campbell to confirm my swelling was normal tissue swelling and not serous related.
I was chagrined to see Dr. Campbell, as just two days before he told me to slow down and take it easy. I thought, "how can I take you seriously Dr. StudMuffin? What a cute smile." Hello. Suffice it to say, I take him very seriously now. Not one word out of his mouth has failed. But for his insane hours, his Wife is a fortunate gal. As far as that goes, my husband has been an angel. He is so supportive. He goes to every appointment with me; has held my hand when I need it, and made himself scarce when I needed to be alone. Since my surgery he has been chief cook and bottle washer. He's as invested in my recovery as I am. I am a fortunate woman.
I digress; on very hectic days I have more swelling. The pain is very manageable with plain Tylenol.
Most of my clothes are much too large now. The clothing that does fit looks fabulous.
I am still sleeping on a large wedge pillow with three bed pillows on top, and one large pillow under my legs. I am resting quite well and am very accustomed to my rather static sleeping position.
Just as I was assured by Dr. Campbell and his staff, and all the lovely women here on Real Self, every day is better and better.
I immersed in happy healing.
My body looks so different that some thought I had bariatric surgery!
My belly button is still irritated, but it's healing wonderfully.
Dr. Campbell was right...again
11 Mar 2014
2 months post
Dr. Campbell told me the "edges" above my hips would smoothe and even out. And, lo and behold, he was right again.
I can walk much further and more quickly than just 2 weeks ago.
I wear foundation garments when I know I'm going to have a long day. It makes me much more comfortable.
I have also purchased silicone strips which are helping to minimize my already minimal incision scar.
The area below my belly button extending in both directions to my hips is still numb on the surface, but much less tender inside.
Loving my transformation. I find myself petting my taught abdomen
Happy Wife, Happy Life
12 May 2014
4 months post
Just when I felt strong enough for real exercise I came down with a dreadful bout of bronchitis. I suffered miserably for 3 wretched, painful weeks despite the powerful cough suppressants I was prescribed by my primary care physician. But that's behind me now and I am endeavoring to buy out some time for hiking.
I am so much more confident.
My abdominal muscles remain weak (lack of exercise) to the point that I continue a meager regimen of laxatives to keep me regular. I anticipate that a schedule of walking and swimming will remedy that.
I would have this surgery again without hesitation. I am deeply grateful, resolutely hopeful, and so very happy.