Tummy tuck with MR, and a little lipo... worth it!! - Melbourne, AU

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It started when someone asked when I was due. At...

It started when someone asked when I was due. At first I laughed it off but then it happened again and again and again. I would go home and cry for 2 days and think of what I should have said if I'd had my wits about me at the time and not been so shocked that someone could be so rude. I am 45 years old and the thought of being pregnant at my age horrifies me - I've been told I look 10 years younger so maybe that's why I get asked all the time. My 'children' are 20 and nearly 17. I've always been a fairly constant weight, around 67kgs (147lbs) and I'm 163cm. I'm a bit of a health nut but fate has not been kind to me. I've had chronic lower back pain for 20 years, 3 years ago I was diagnosed with coeliac disease, then told I had the bone density of a 90yo. Then diagnosed with TMJ pain, ice pick headaches, IBS and arthritis in my sacroiliiac joint (psoriatic arthritis). When I went on a GF diet I thought great, now my belly will disappear. It didn't. Then I cut out all packaged food from my diet. Still had the belly. Then I joined a clinical pilates gym. Still had the belly and the back pain was worse. Last year I got so sick of myself being sick (still working FT and hardly ever taking sick leave) and the constant rude people asking if I'm pregnant I ended up on anti-depressants. We go to Thailand every year and I think I joked to my husband maybe I should get a TT one year. He suggested I look into it. I actually mentioned this to my GP and I thought he would freak out. He surprised me when he said that he believes most plastic surgeon's charge a ridiculous amount of money. But he suggested referring me to a local PS just to discuss the procedure and weigh up my options. So along I went in February 2013 and I would say at the time I was about 50/50 as to whether I might go ahead or not. Well I walked out of there feeling fantastic and felt really strongly I should go ahead. In the space of a fairly short consultation I was told I was a really good candidate for this surgery. I think his words were "you're not overweight, you're healthy". I was told I had about a 2inch gap in my abdo muscles (why had no-one ever suggested this before?!) And the PS said that the surgery would very likely help with my back pain and IBS symptoms (as the abdo muscles would be better able to do what they need to do). So the funny thing was I went in there just thinking about the physical appearance and left with this overwhelming sense of wow! it doesn't matter how much I exercise or diet I won't ever get rid of this pouch. It was like a massive weight off my shoulders. I really liked the PS from the start. Very laid back, friendly and confident. I didn't even bother shopping around. Well that's my story so far. When I first found this site and read a few review I freaked - it was a bit confronting and I thought I won't be able to go through with this if I keep reading, but then after a few days thinking about I figured it's best to be as informed as possible to aid in my recovery. So I came back and been addicted ever since. I will post some before pics in the next few days and discuss my preparations for surgery.

My TT journey so far

So I decided in January 2013 that a TT with MR was right for me but there was only one problem. My PS only operates out of the private hospital and not the public hospital in my city. He said "Those bureaucrats in the public system make it too hard for me" - I replied, "I work for those bureaucrats" lol. My problem was that my basic health insurance only covered me in a public hospital so I would need to upgrade my cover and wait out the 12 month waiting period before going ahead. Even though I first considered having the TT done in Thailand, once I met my PS there was no doubt in my mind - he put me totally at ease. And for an extra $1000 - $2000 I could have it done in my hometown. Besides the thought of wearing a CG in the Thailand humidity - arrgggh! So I upgraded my health cover and mid last year I came up with a plan that seemed perfect.
In January 2014 I became eligible for long service leave with my employer but I had no job security beyond June 2014 so it was a case of now or never. So I spoke with my boss about taking a month off as long service leave in February. My time to get myself and my house in order, ready for surgery. Have my surgery on March 26 - this is exactly 12 months and 1 day after upgrading my cover. This then left me with 6 weeks to recover before heading overseas on a holiday we had already booked. My manager approved of the plan, and even suggested I might need 6 weeks and that was fine as I have plenty of sick leave. It is better for me to break up the absence from work rather than one long stint as there are things I do that no-one else can do. And now it looks like our funding will be continued so I will still have a job after June. But to be honest I haven't really focused on this uncertainty, my focus has been on my upcoming TT and whatever happens beyond that is fine by me. I am excited more than nervous!
So I have just had one month off work in which I cleaned out my house which had become somewhat depressingly cluttered. We did a renovation 5 years ago and all the kids toys just got stuffed into a spare room and there it stayed, but now my kids aren't kids anymore! I have been through nearly every cupboard and drawer in the house during the past 4 weeks and it feels great! The thing is I am one of those people who just can't sit still if there is something to be done so I figure I needed to do this so I could really just relax and recover post surgery. It was also my time to get myself in as good shape as possible, lose a bit of weight and gain some strength. Unfortunately I have had major issues with plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis (my arthritis tends to attack these areas) and walking has been really painful. But I have been eating really well and having fresh juice every day - I am having 3 BM's a day right now so I will keep this up after surgery, for sure!
I have told a few of my work colleagues that I am having an abdominal wall reconstruction, but omitting the TT part. I want them to know it's about restoring function moreso than vanity - which it is. I work in an all-female health care environment where everyone is very supportive and empathetic - though they are a little jealous that I am having so much time off I feel it is well-deserved.
I have put up with so much for so long - not just the unwelcome comments from colleagues who should know better (not those I work directly with but staff from other departments) I have spent countless $ over the years on chiro, physio, remedial massage, naturopaths etc just trying to improve my health and overcome the chronic back pain, muscle tightness, headaches and gut issues. What I have spent would easily have paid for my TT! It is only fairly recently I came across a wonderful remedial massage therapist who believes that all my health issues stem from the back muscles overcompensating for the laxity in my core. This tightens the soas (?) muscle, just inside the bony point near the hip, this in turn tightens the IT band, the glutes, the quads and hammies, the calves and in turn affecting the achilles. This also means that when I walk I am using the wrong muscle groups, so my muscles fatigue really quickly and this leads to more issues. I am starting to realise he is right. I never had all these issues before I had kids! My back was just never the same since my two pregnancies.
The support I am getting on here is wonderful and hopefully my story can inspire and inform others. Thank you all so much and I will get around to posting my pics soon!

This is me...

I had my pre-op...

A couple of weeks back I had my pre-op. I actually went in for a 2nd consult with my PS as the last one was more than a year ago, then his nurse said we might as well do the pre-op today to save me coming back, which was nice of her. He kept me waiting for ages and I was so nervous, lol - finally it's real, it's really happening. He took my photos and reassured me that this was really going to benefit me.
Here is the run-down of what will happen: I will stay in hospital for one night. I will have drains but these will be removed before I am discharged (phew!) A massage therapist will come in and do a lymphatic drainage massage on me, I can't remember if this is on the day of my surgery or the following day but there is no cost for this as it's included in the surgeon's fee. When I wake up from my op the CG will be on and I will be very comfortable (according to the nurse) as my PS puts a lot of local anaesthetic in there to keep me comfortable for a couple of days. She says it's important to tell the medical staff if I feel nauseous so they can give me something for the nausea - obviously throwing up is something to be avoided! When I am discharged I will go straight to the surgeon's rooms where they will put me under some special light to assist with healing. I haven't heard of anyone else having this done. Then home to rest and zonk myself out on as many painkillers as I can handle!
The best part of this consult was when the nurse measured me up for my CG, and as soon as I lifted my top she said, "You're going to have a really good result, I can tell" - that made my day. My CG arrived 36 hours later (from interstate, mind you!) It is beige, ugggh, I really wish I had asked if it came in black when she said she had ordered beige. When I looked at the pack I thought, it's not too bad it's just like a wrap around the waist. Then I took it out and it is this awful thing like a corset and straps that go over my shoulders but the straps seem to come down right where my boobs are not on the outside of my boobs like a bra. It has a pee hole but if I have to do a BM it is going to have to come off and it doesn't seem like something that you can remove in a hurry! I actually tried it on, or rather tried to try it on and i struggled to even get it up over my hips. Thank goodness I will be unconscious when they put it on me! Good luck with that. And it was a size LARGE....what?!
It's funny how we have different approaches to our surgery and expectations....I never went in with any expectations around what I want to achieve, it was just like, well here I am, this is what you have to work with, see what you can do! No wish pics, no nothing. The only thing that is a little disappointing is that I will have to remove my belly ring which I love. My PS said I can have my new BB pierced down the track again if I wanted to.
It's hard to believe in just 3 weeks I will be waking up and it will be all over!

Having a bad day

Today I woke up with a thumping headache and when I got out of bed it got so bad I thought I was going to throw up. Went straight back to bed and called in sick. That's ok as I have plenty of sick leave I just feel a bit guilty as there are tasks I need to get done before I have my surgery. My body is in so much pain, the stiffness in my lower back and neck is just awful and I keep thinking how am I going to cope in 3 weeks when I will be waking up post op day 1. I am supposed to stop taking my arthritis meds as they can increase the chance of bleeding but I take one anyway as it's so bad. Ok it's only one I tell myself. I sleep the whole morning away and wake up feeling 80% better with that groggy post-migraine hangover feeling. I make myself some fresh juice, I'm loving the fresh juice. Pineapple, orange and a bit of ginger to help with the nausea.
Suddenly I remember the dream that I had this morning...they say when you dream about a house you dream about your own body. Well in my dream there was this old character-style home that I had bought with my ex-husband and I had 'forgotten' about it. No-one had lived in it for years and the weeds were a metre high. It was really run-down and neglected but it was on a nice street and had great views from the second storey. My current husband and I went through room by room and made a mental note of what needed to be done in each room. It was clear this place had loads of potential but it needed quite a bit of money spent on it (!!!) We decided to get an expert in and get him to check that the building was structurally sound before we decided whether to go ahead with the cosmetic stuff like new paint, window furnishings etc. Then when it came time to go and look upstairs I couldn't do it. I said I've never been up there, I felt really scared. My family were there and my sister went and looked upstairs and she came back down and said it's got so much potential.
Well I hope I haven't bored you all with my dream but when all this came back to me I got quite emotional as it is exactly how I feel about my body. I have this huge hang-up about my wobbly belly and this has totally changed the way I feel about myself. I used to be really confident and wear sexy clothes, heels etc. For the last couple of years I have been wearing pants with elastic wait, long tops and kaftans, can't remember the last time I wore heels. I'm on anti-depressants, my sex drive is zero, I just hate the way my body feels when having sex and seeing/feeling my tummy wobbling. My husband tells me I'm the sexiest girl in the world but even that doesn't make me feel better. My husband is incredibly supportive and keeps telling me that once I have this surgery and feeling better about myself I will get my mojo back. I really hope I do.
Still feeling emotional as I write this I am going to pull myself together and make a trip into town to the chemist and stock up on all the supplies I will need post-op. Love and healing to you all.

2 weeks today!

I can't believe 2 weeks today I will be having my TT. Am I sh**ting myself? Absolutely. It's all I think about every waking moment. I have been cleaning out the house like a woman possessed. Over the weekend we did the garage and the garden shed. My plan is to have the house looking positively minimalist over the next 2 weeks.
I have been thinking about lipo. So many reviews on here for TT with lipo. I never considered it when I had my consult with PS. I never brought it up. He never suggested it. Does that mean I don't need it? Would he have suggested it if he felt this would get a better result? I have been mulling over this as I weighed myself a couple of weeks back and I was 72kg (about 158lbs). I don't weigh myself often I tend to just go by 'jiggle factor'...apart from the belly jiggle which is always there but hip/butt jiggle and lately I'd been 'feeling' lighter and feeling less jiggle so I felt good....until I jumped on the scales and saw 72kg which is the highest non-pregnant weight I've ever been. Panic stations! I am now on 70kg and hope to be down to 68 when I have my surgery but I have this nagging voice in my head - should I ask about lipo?
I've been waking up every day with so much pain and stiffness because I can't take my arthritis meds I must surely be nuts to want to put myself through more pain.
I have a confession to make. I haven't worn a bra for about 3 months now! I just woke up one day and thought stuff it, I'm tired of being uncomfortable, besides my posture seems so much better when i don't wear one so surely that's got to be better for the girls. So when I read stories of how tight and restrictive the CG is going to be, how it's even hard to breathe....I just know I'm going to hate it. My PS said I should wear it before my surgery to get used to it. The nurse said this is a new idea that he has - well I can tell you right now there is no way I'm going to wear that thing any longer than I absolutely have to, lol.
My pre-op preparation checklist:
Supplements - taking B12 (as I have been feeling tired), Vit C, zinc, green coffee bean extract (supposed to boost metabolism so thought it might help me lose weight) olive leaf extract (for immune support - am also giving the death stare to anyone who dares cough near me!)
Have also gone back on the pill and I will take this continuously for the next 3 months or so to skip periods.
Diet - everything healthy, lots of raw food, juicing everything I can get my hands on, very little of my food comes out of a packet. Plenty of water.
I have had a few appointment with a physio who specializes in women's health at my pilates gym. She has shown me how to do certain exercises that engage my pelvic floor muscles so that my stomach muscles don't bulge up when I do pilates.
2 days before surgery I have booked a remedial massage just to work on any areas that are tight, not functioning properly to get this sorted prior to surgery. I know that being hunched over is going to screw my back/neck in no time.
1 day before surgery I have booked a colonic to have a nice cleanout. Hopefully this will avoid constipation as I always tend to poop lightly for a couple of days after colonic. (sorry TMI)
In exactly 60 days I will be on a plane to Singapore. It boggles my mind to think that between then and now I will have the surgery and be recovered enough to go on a holiday. It is a nice thought that I will be looking fabulous in a bikini!

And one more thing...

Nearly every review here there is pre-op 'blood work' to be done, EKGs or ECGs or whatever and I have had nothing! Not even a blood test. My PS doesn't even know what my blood type is - what if I need a transfusion or something? Very different healthcare systems in US and AUS - maybe the PS get kickbacks for ordering all these tests?!

It's all going to work out OK

Today is Saturday and a rare thing happens...I am home alone, just me and the fur babies. Kids are staying elsewhere tonight, husband has gone to see his boys and won't be home until tomorrow, so it is just me and my gorgeous, faithful doggies who I love more than life itself. Those of you who have teenage boys will understand this - I can walk to my letterbox and when I come back inside my dogs are ECSTATIC to see me. They always make me smile. As for teenage boys...!
I go to my pilates gym and do a big, strong session. I'm feeling really good. Then the physio at my gym had a vacancy so I saw him about my hip pain. He's a lovely old bloke and he wishes me all the best for my surgery. He knows I have struggled with back issues for a long time and he acknowledges I've tried everything I possibly can to maintain fitness and strength despite these issues. And TT with muscle repair is really my last hope.
When I get home I tidy my outdoor area and sweep, and I realise that I am happier at this point now than I have been for months. After going on antidepressants mid-2013, and being quite depressed (but in denial about the need for chemical help) for a long time before that, I just feel really HAPPY!
It's a gorgeous warm and still autumn day, after a very hot and windy summer. I sit outside on my deck as a thunder storm rolls in and I listen to the rain on the tin roof with my little rescue dog, my constant companion, sitting in my lap, and I just feel extremely grateful and lucky. That I can afford this surgery. That my husband and I both have full time jobs. That I have weeks of sick leave I can use for my recovery. That my husband thinks I am the most beautiful girl in the world, and fully supports my decision to go through with this surgery as he feels it will be great for my confidence and help me get my sexy back. That I have these two lovely dogs to keep me company while I recover. That I have this beautiful garden that my husband and I created together, with its palm trees and bamboo and buddhas.
This whole lead-up to surgery, with the clearing out of the clutter at home (at work also as I have to shift offices) feels like such a therapeutic process. Out with the old, in with the new. Letting go of the past. Hopefully also letting go of the big chip I have on my shoulder from so many people asking me if I am pregnant and feeling quite angry and resentful about this. One thing I haven't done is clear out my clothes - and let me tell you I have a lot! I went through them all recently, my thin clothes, my not-so-thin clothes, the clothes from my corporate phase, the clothes from my hippy phase. A lot of clothes bought to try and cover up a problem. A lot of clothes I've bought and never worn, like the box of sexy figure hugging dresses that I dare not wear because of my sticking-out belly. I decided not to get rid of any of them until I have a chance to see how they look after my TT.
You ladies who decide to book in for your surgery in a weeks time because your PS happened to have an opening, or those of you who go back to work after 2 weeks because you have to, and those of you who come home from surgery to little kids to be cared for....I take my hat off to you - you are incredible!
I have no fear about the surgery. I'm not the type of person to have a hundred questions for my PS. I do my research. I inform myself. I prepare as best I can and then leave it up a higher power. I know from past experience I heal well after surgery. I know I can cope with pain - both my kids were natural, drug-free births. I'm taking the best possible care of myself right now. Bring it on, I say. I can do this!
I still haven't had any bills from my PS. Only 10 days to go. This is the first time in my life I have WANTED to get a bill. It just makes it more final and more real. I hope they haven't forgotten I have booked in.
I guess I am rambling but I don't think anyone reads my blog, lol.
Til next time...

TT Rollercoaster

7 days to go! After feeling so positive and excited on the weekend I returned to work yesterday and fell into an absolute panic, heart palpitations, shortness of breath. Aaargh I just want this to be over. I am an absolute danger to myself or anyone else on the road at the moment, I am so preoccupied when driving, lol. I'll probably have a bunch of speeding fines in the post next week!
I guess this rollercoaster of emotions is completely normal. My kids were just exasperating when I got home yesterday, I ended up having a full-on meltdown. I don't think they realise just yet that I won't be able to do ANYTHING for at least a couple of weeks.
I rang my surgeon's office yesterday about my bill and silly me, the fee estimate that they sent WAS the bill. Good thing is I can pay for my procedure on my credit card (once I clear it!) so that will postpone actually paying it for a few weeks.
I'm undecided whether to buy bromelain tablets...I already have fresh pineapple juice nearly everyday anyway. Would love to know if anyone has found these helpful.

1 week to go...

So this time next week I will be in hospital, I will be on the flat side and hoping like heck the drugs are doing their thing! I'm told I will be given endone to manage my pain. This is provided by the hospital so I don't have to worry about filling scripts. My husband had endone when he had some major surgery a few years back. He was delirious. Not sure if that's a good thing!
Bugger...for the last few days I've been spotting. I have been taking the pill continuously for about 6 weeks now and i usually have no problem skipping periods. But I think I have to listen to my body so I didn't take it today, hopefully I can get it over and done with by next Wednesday. This probably explains my sobfest in front of the kids the other day.
My PS only operates on a Wednesday, by happy coincidence my hubby has a rostered day off this day and he has advised work he will be on carer's leave for the rest of the week. Come the following Monday I am going to play it by ear and he will stay home if I need him. My biggest concern is how to get my CG off if I need to do no. 2! Then how to get it back on. Aaaah first world problems!
Tomorrow I pay for my procedure, once I have cleared the credit card.
I am not sleeping well at all at the moment. I get off to sleep ok but I wake in the early hours and am wide awake so get on my tablet, usually get on RS. Before I know it I've been on for 2-3 hours, then I fall back to sleep, wake up late and have to rush to get ready for work. Add to this my other half is a Type 1 diabetic so often wakes in the night when he has a hypo. I am kind of looking forward to post surgery so I can sleep - a lot!
I have told my hubby and the kids to expect that I will be an absolute cranky bitch for a few days, I said you better pray those drugs knock me out! There are no prizes for not taking the painkillers!

I'm ready!

Procedure was paid for today and am expecting the bill from the anesthetist any day. No backing out now! Tomorrow is my last full day at work. I put in my sick leave form today and it is only 20 sick days as there are quite a few public holidays coming up. Expected return to work is April 28 but we'll see how we go.
My nerves have settled finally. It helps that my baby (who turns 17 tomorrow) has gone away with his dad for a few days. I miss him but he stresses me out so much, he is high functioning ASD and can just be SO difficult and frustrating.
My hair is freshly colored, pedi done and toe-nails painted. I'll pack an overnight bag on the weekend.
I'm going to order this slimming tea called Bodytea, which comes from China but is marketed by a young guy in the next suburb to me who is apparently earning $45,000 a week selling this stuff. I mean he's in high school FGS! It's supposed to be good for bloating.
I'm going to write a room by room list of jobs that the kids can do while I recover. As much as I feel like I have everything under control right now I know that by the weekend I'll be running around like a mad thing trying to do all the things that no-one else does like clean the poop out of the hen house and brush the spider webs off the house.
Happy healing to you all!

Please make the next few days go quickly!

Today just dragged at work...5pm could not come fast enough. I really now want this procedure to be over and done with. The anticipation is really wearing me down and I kind of regret telling everyone, and I mean everyone that I work with as I just seem to be having the same conversation over and over.
My anaesthetist bill arrived today. Just over $1400 (not bad considering the guy will have my life in his hands for a couple of hours) and I have to pay upfront but will get some back through Medicare and my private health insurance.
I have so many things I want to do on the weekend it's sure to go fast. I am a bit of a control freak but I know I am going to have to let some things go while I recover and just hope hubby and kids do a bit, I'll have to turn a blind eye to some things otherwise I'll just get cranky and stressed. On Sunday we have to visit my husband's parents and take them grocery shopping as they don't drive. This will take most of the day but my mother-in-law has been baking and freezing meals for us which is really nice so the boys won't starve. I think I'm going to have to make a list of meals and snack suggestions for myself as I want to eat clean and really healthy while I recover and let's just say hubby doesn't share my passion for fresh food. Going to enjoy homemade veggie pizza for dinner, always good on a Friday night and probably the last pizza I will have for a few weeks!

TT 24/7

It's my last weekend to get stuff done before my surgery so of course there is too much to do, too little time! Yesterday I said to hubby we MUST go buy a new toilet as we are having some renos done in our ensuite while I am in recovery mode so we have to get it this weekend. Mission accomplished. I've not been sleeping well at all, very disrupted. A few hours of sleep, a few hours awake then a bit more sleep. Oh well I guess this is what it will be like in a couple of days anyway. Yesterday I felt like crap with an awful headache, I was hoping like hell it was just from lack of sleep and not coming down with something. Then we met a friend for dinner and she had a cold....noooo! Went to bed early but had a rude awakening at midnight with a knock on the door from a police officer - every parent's nightmare. My son had rolled his car on a gravel road and did a runner from the scene. Soooo did not need this sort of stress two days before my op. Today I can't decide whether to hug my boy because he's alive or throttle him for being an idiot. Kids! Dogs are much less trouble.
So I have acquired this lovely recliner from the in-laws who were going to give it away to the op shop. Actually it is the ugliest thing you have ever seen, but hey it was free. It has a massage and heat function which is awesome but it is manual recline so I have been practising how to recline in it and get up again without using my abs. I think I have it all sussed out. It's pretty comfy but I will put a doona under it when I sleep I think for some extra padding. When the massage function cuts out you get this really nice tingly, weightless feeling....it's pretty cool. Most importantly there is room for my little dog to snuggle in beside me. I am planning to set up a number of comfort zones around the house in an effort to reduce back pain (which I already have in spades). I figure if I set up the couch in the spare room with lots of cushions, my bed with lots of pillows (and electric blanket - bliss!) and the recliner then that gives me various positions to sit in so hopefully it won't be too taxing on my lower back. We'll wait and see if it works I guess.
So today my wonderful hubby said he would go by himself to take the in-laws shopping as I woke up feeling like crap after the police visit, then having horrid nightmares. I have done the big grocery shop of all the staples, it kind of felt like the day before Xmas when you just madly throw things in your trolley for fear of running out of something!
I also have put together a box of recovery items....I will upload a photo shortly. Hoping to have a nanna nap this afternoon and catch up on some zzzzzs.

Recovery items

Through all the wonderful information gained on this site I have put together a box of recovery items.
Senna tablets for that all-important first BM!
Crystallised ginger and lemongrass/ginger tea - for nausea
Metamucil - fibre supplement
B12, zinc and sugarless C
Celery seed tablets - it says they are are a mild diuretic and helps with fluid retention. And I haven't been able to find bromelain, but hey it's pineapple season here in Australia!
Nasal inhaler - I buy these in Thailand and they are great when you have a blocked nose, it clears your sinuses and I have also used them during flights when I feel a bit queasy.
Rub on Relief - anti-inflammatory pain relief cream.
'White Monkey Holdling a Peach' - a type of tiger balm I get in Thailand also, it's fantastic for aching, stiff muscles.
Camu super food powder - reduces inflammation, promotes skin healing and healthy skin, antioxidant and promotes strong immune system. I'd never heard of it but when I read the pack I thought I just have to get some!

Stay calm and breathe!

Only 2 more sleeps to go. Tomorrow afternoon I ring the hospital to find out what time my surgery will be. I really hope I am on first or second. I wouldn't want to be on towards the end of the day when the PS is getting a bit weary, lol.

I've had a massage this afternoon so feeling pretty chilled right now. I must say I feel very healthy with all this clean eating - I feel really light and lean even if the scales don't show a big difference. I say bugger the scales. I really think us women place too much emphasis on being a certain weight or getting down to a particular number. It all comes down to how you carry it. I'm currently at 70.5kgs (about 154 lbs) and sure I wish I was a bit lighter going into surgery but TBH I look in the mirror and I see slim, toned arms, perky breasts, a pert rounded butt, strong toned thighs and the only thing I see that I don't like is the saggy, sticking out middle bit. Well that's about to change!

I have been thinking about this CG I have to wear and how horrid it looks - I know it is going to feel awful. I still haven't even tried it on. So I figured I had better have a back-up for those times when I just know I am going to want to take it off in the evening and let it all hang out so to speak. Yesterday I went to Kmart and found these seamless, high cut, shaping briefs. I had to buy a size 16 which is ridiculous as I'm fairly petite but when i tried them on at home they fit perfectly and feel amazing - really firm but comfy around the belly and they go all the way up to the waist.

Tonight I am going out for dinner (Thai) for my son's birthday and then tomorrow it is all light and healthy eating. I am hoping that my damn period finishes soon. I nearly always have light and short periods but this one is the heaviest in living memory, lol. Of course my hubby wants some happy time before the op, doesn't he! At this rate he'll be lucky!

Less than 24 hours to go!

I'e rung Admissions at the hospital thinking please don't let me be last on the surgical list. I don't have to be there until 2.30 - yep I'm tipping I'm last. Nothing to eat/drink after 8.30am, I am going to be cranky as hell I just know it. Hope the PS can still bring his A game after operating all day. I absolutely must pack my Biotene dry mouth spray...if I can't drink at least my mouth will feel nice and it has a pleasant minty taste.

This morning work was completely mental. Needed to have things finished off and waiting for people to get back to me and they never called back - so frustrating. I hate leaving things unfinished, I'm a bit of a perfectionist. Well now I'm finished and they can all just deal with it. I've been a bit manic all morning, talking 100 miles an hour. My boss says as soon as I get to hospital they will give me something to calm me down. I sure hope so!

Been to colonic irrigation and thank goodness I got all that out of me before the surgery - it's unreal how stuff is there you aren't even aware of! Sorry for the TMI. I also been given a little bag of white powder (!) by the woman at the clinic - it's called 'colon cleanse' and she said it's great to get things moving in the morning so I will get some of that into me tomorrow.

I'm really glad that I don't have much hair 'down there' to get in the way of healing. I had IPL years ago and I'm almost completely hair free, just a few random hairs that I can pluck, so that's a blessing, no itchy regrowth.

Now I just have to pack an overnight bag, remove the belly ring (boo!) and have a few calming sav blancs with dinner. 24 hours from now the PS will be putting me back together!

I took a few more pre pics yesterday. Bye bye belly. Happy healing to you all.


BTW the red blotches in the pics are from cupping when I had my massage yesterday, not some weird skin disease!

Today is the day!

just woke up at 4.50am after one of the best sleeps in weeks. Surgery is around 10 hours away!

Not long now...

I am all packed and ready to go, leaving in about 90 mins and right now it's lunchtime so I'm soooo hungry. Yesterday my Bodytea arrived. It is supposed to help with bloating so thought I'd give it a go. Had some with breakfast and it's actually quite nice.

My 20yo son went off to work this morning without even popping his head in to wish me luck or anything. 20yo boys think the world revolves around them - so darn selfish! That hurt. Haven't even had a call from my mum. But I've had messages from friends, my sisters and colleagues which is lovely and of course all the wonderful support I get on here. I love it this secret women's business!

Hubby took some more before pics for me - these photos remind me why I want to get this done as I don't look too bad in clothes (baggy shirts, loose tops!) but naked is a different story.

Not too sure if I'll be able to post from hospital - do private hospitals have free wifi? lol But I'll be home in around 24 hours. See you on the flatside!

made it to the flat side!

Quick update aa I'm on my mobile. After a very long day surgery started around 5pm. PS even had a nose to do after me! Woke up in recovery thinking what a great sleep. Was shaking uncontrollaby. Not cold just a reaction to anesthetic. Had a frog in my throat so had to keep huffing then little coughs to clear it. Pain was 1/10. Can actually breathe in the Cg which I was worried about. Back to ward at 9pm to wonderful husband, private room with a big tv on the wall no less. Have had lots of water. Had some crackers. No nausea at all. Feeling a bit buzzy actually but soon I will hit my pain pump - first time - so I can sleep.

Bonus...when my PS marked me up he said I will look great and he said he would do a bit of lipo on side if my hips. We had never discussed this before. No worries I said! He told hubby he got around 3/4 kg sorry am not up to converting to lbs. Was such a nervous wreck today but so far it's a breeze. Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes
The big guy up there must have been listening!

up and about

I thought I had a catheter in but no! After a couple hours sleep I woke up and called the nurse in to help me go and wee. Now that was an adventure! Not nearly as difficult as I thought but take my advice and don't leave it until you are busting to go. It takes a good while to sort out all those drains and tubes! So I just shimmied over to side of bed, then nurse said to tuck my chin to chest and she gently swung me round to sitting on edge of bed. Am a little hunched over but not as bad as I thought. So glad I do pilates and have strong legs! Toilet had side rails too which was helpful. Did a big wee trying really hard not to pee on the cg but might have a little. I figure when I get home I will give that a rinse as we have hand held shower head. Getting back in bed was a little more painful than getting up. Nurse used a towel under my knees to swing me round from sitting to laying back. Had another press of the pump and have zero pain now. Wide awake at 2.30 am though!

Feel like I would bw fine to go home tomorrow but with my insurance once I pay the excess ($250) I am covered 100 percent for hospital fees so it wont cost me to stay another night. The nurses here are all so nice. She said I am doing really really well. Have to say it's a lot easier than expected. I guess that's where RS is so helpful. If you expect the worst scenario you can only be pleasantly surprised! Happy healing all my TT sisters!


All was well until the nurses gave me endone (oxycodone) just before lunch. After i was discharged i went round to my PS rooms for UV light therapy to help with bruising. Started to feel tired and unwell on the ride home and headed straight for the bathroom. Lost my lunch - lucky it was soup and a pear. Of course i peed everwhere all over my cg and man, it hurt! Got cleaned up and settled in my recliner. Hubby got me some crackers and made fresh pineapple and mint juice. Had more panadol, too scared to take the endone now. Then a few hours later, sick again. Couldn't stop. Very very painful. I have a strange feeling in my throat like the tube they anaesthetist put down my throat has damaged the inside of my mouth. It feels like there is something hanging there and i can't clear it. Sorry this is a gross update.

In better news my little recovery buddy has not left my side and seems to understand I'm not well and can't sit on my belly.

I really hope there's no more sickness. So painful although there doesn't seem to be any bleeding around the incision so hopefully no damage.

Day 2

If day 2 is one of the worst then I can get through this. I had panadol about 5 hours ago and will have some more soon even though I'm not in a lot of pain. I just transferred from my recliner to the couch in my spare room where hubby has set me up with lots of nice smelly candles and pilows. I just wanted to be somewhere quiet this morning as I have a cleaner come on Fridays to do the basics and didn't want to be sitting in the lounge room in my recliner looking like death warmed up!

This morning I had my Bodytea herbal tea. Straight away I was having a very welcome release of gas from both ends that made me feel so much better. Then juice and all my healing vitamins, then GF toast with cheese. Hubby made it so nice! Thankfully no return of the nausea today. I was able to get myself up from the recliner (upright position) by myself. Am grateful for having fairly strong arms and thighs (lots of squats!) Walking like a granny, really hunched over and that's the only time I have pain when I walk I feel like someone used my tummy as a punching bag!

I had a bit of a headache and stiff neck this morning but I used my Rub on Relief on my neck and now it feels much better. I will get hubs to take some pics once my cleaner goes home. At some point today I may have to take this CG off as there is no way I can poop with it on. Otherwise i have to keep it on for a week even in the shower. I had my one drain removed by the nurse at the hospital just before they sent me home. I didn't feel the drain coming out but she did have to cut some stitches or staples to get it out and that really stung. She also changed the dressing on my BB and I got hubby to take a look. He said it looked like a bullet hole but assured me it would heal just fine!

I really recommend putting together a box of items you will need post-op. I have one with vitamins, pain meds, lip balm, mp3 player, laxatives etc just makes it easier for your support person to have everything in one place.

Will have first pics up later today!

Not much to see yet!

Things I've learned

Well technically I'm 2.5 days post op (it's 4am) but as Aussie time is a day ahead the RS date is a bit out of wack! One thing that bugs me is when you read someone's review and they post heaps then after their surgery they hardly post at all. It makes me wonder are they too sick / in pain to update? Well I'm determined not to do that as these first few days PO are so crucial and helps to know what you are getting yourself into.

Things I've learned...

The tubes down my throat really made a mess of my mouth. And here i was all worried about my tummy. i have ulcers all through my mouth and some hanging tissue at the back of my throat that i feel every time i bend forward and it makes me want to gag. Lucky i have throat lozenges and difflam gel they help a lot. My PS nuse rang to check on me yesterday and i said my mouth was bothering me. 10 mins later the anaesthetist rang to check on me so she had obviously told him. He apologised but said it can happen!

When you sleep you will breathe shallow if you have a full cg on like me. So when you wake up prepare for a few 'huffs' to clear your chest and do this BEFORE you get up.

Walking - rather than hunching over and hurting my neck and shoulders i prefer to bend my knees and keep my upper half as straight as possible. You will need good leg strength to do this. Do squats every day in lead up to surgery.

Peeing - my toilet is SO low it's like a little kiddies one lol. I find the best way to pee is lower yourself with hands on knees and spread knees as wide as you can as you go down. Then shimmy back on the seat as far as you can. I find it easier to watch the stream to have better control over it as it really has a mind of it's own. Hubby helps me back up to stand and pull my pants up. I guess that is true love!

I took the cg off last night to try and do a BM. No luck there but had a little peek and my god i think I'm gonna have abs lol. Have quite a big bruise on one hip and the incision is all covered with dressing which is ok I don't really want to see a tummy full of staples.

Hope my 4am / typing with one hand post is not too rambling! Happy healing all.

Happy BM!

This morning after breakfast I had my first BM. It was a breeze! I have been taking senna tablets since day 1 PO. Also had some stuff called 'colon cleanse' this morning with my grapefruit juice. Then soft boiled eggs and avocado. I've been drinking lots of water with lemon. I felt so much better afterwards. Sometimes it feels like WW3 going on in my tummy. The good thing is that yesterday when I took my CG off to try and do a BM, when I put it back on it was actually positioned so that I could poop with it on. I imagine it would be hard to poop without that support. After lunch I needed to go again and this time had the runs but hey I'd rather have that than constipation.

Feeling quite good today. Pain is minimal and only taking panadol, not even 4 hourly. I'm walking 95% upright but I do have to work at it. Had a shower this morning, just used the handheld shower to do my underarms and girl bits. I have to leave the CG on even when in the shower. I washed my face and brushed my teeth while hubby sat on the toilet and dried my CG with the hairdryer. It takes forever to dry. We got it to about 80% dry then gave up as I was tired from standing (for 15 mins!) I even sat out in the sun for a while and it still feels damp.

I can now do more things without assistance. I can get up from my recliner, sit on the toilet, get up off the toilet and I use a grabber (it was a kids toy we thankfully still have) to pull up my pants. Other than that I am not doing anything, just giving orders, lol. Happy healing TT sisters.

Coming up on day 4...

and each day seems to get a little easier. Last night I thought I would try sleeping on the couch in the spare room, literally metres away from hubby, rather than on the reclner in lounge room. (OK there were supposed to be thunder storms during the night and I didn't want to be stuck out in the lounge all by myself.) Huge mistake. I had about 5 pillows behind me and 2 under my legs, that's got to be comfortable. Er, no. Woke at 2am needing to pee but couldn't get up off the couch myself as it's quite low. Took 15 mins of calling hubby to wake him (did I mention he was like 3 metres away?) Couldn't get back to sleep due to the pain in my back and shoulders. Ever done lat pulldowns at the gym? Well imagine you did a set of 1000, followed by another set of 1000 and that's kind of how I feel. Woke up in so much pain at 7am I got hubby to put the electric blanket on in our bed and just cooked my back and popped a panadeine forte. Got another hour of sleep! I think the anaesthetic has done something to my sleep patterns. I didn't even have a nanna nap yesterday.

After having the runs all day after my first BM I'm pleased to say I am now a pro at getting on and off the toilet - tuck chin to chest, hands on knees, spread knees wide and lower, then wriggle back as far as you can toward the back of the seat. This position is also idea to do a bit of a neck stretch...drop chin to chest, then drop your head back, eyes to ceiling as far as you comfortably can. Feels SO nice!

Just realised I haven't had any pain meds all day, not even panadol and it's now 4.30pm! I just had a visit from a gorgeous friend who celebrated turning 50 and divorcing by getting a BA so she is partly the reason I went ahead with this TT as I was so inspired by her. We sat outside on a gorgeous sunny afternoon and I completely forgot that I'd had surgery less than 4 days ago.

Don't be afraid of weird feelings down there - so far I've had a baby kicking (haven't felt that for a long while), what felt like worms crawling through my belly, a sensation like cold water being poured over my thighs and I've had the occasional very very painful, but thankfully very brief spasm in my back and shoulders.

Tonight it's back to sleeping in the recliner! Happy healing TT sisters!

4 day pics

Took some pics first thing this morning and I do have this bulge below my BB (although not as much as there was before) I am thinking ok there are staples and gauze and I am hunched over so don't get too hung up on it! My hips are definitely slimmer after my PS did the surprise lipo.

I feel really good again today. Walking hunched over for first few steps then I can straighten up to about 90%. Had a great shower this morning, I have to leave cg on for 7 days under dr orders and it is a pain to dry but had to be done. I had a little brain fade this morning when I got up to pee, sat down and thinking something feels strange, then I realise I have my underwear over my cg, as I hadn't been wearing undies for the first few days! Have to laugh!

Took Panadol at bedtime last night and don't even feel the need for more now at 10am.

Slept in the recliner again last night aftera failed attempt at being on the couch with pillows. So glad I have this recliner, even though it is manual lift, most of the time now I can manage to get out of it on my own, if no-one is around to help me. I am getting so creative with doing little things for myself sometimes I feel like MacGyver! The downside of this though is that my husband, who is wonderfully supportive, simply forgets what I can and can't do for myself. Like he will put a drink down next to me but won't move it close enough for me to reach. He really is struggling with taking care of me and the house. He is quite stressed about doing all the little things that I just do without even thinking. I mean on Saturday he did less than HALF the jobs I would do on a typical Saturday and he was so stressed and exhausted and he complained at the end of the day he didn't even get time for a shower. Lol. Granted I am the queen of multi-tasking but girls you have to remember your other half is not a trained care-giver so don't expect them to pre-empt everything and don't nag them to do everything. I am trying really hard to keep my mouth shut, I really am. I think this afternoon we will watch a funny movie just to enjoy each other's company.

I have worked out this little exercise stretching routine for post TT. I think it has helped doing clinical pilates as you learn to work certain muscle groups and isolate your stretches, so I can do little exercises in my recliner or standing at the kitchen counter and this really helps with the tight achy back and shoulders without stretching or straining the core in any way. Maybe I should do a post TT workout DVD!

Have a great day :)

Day 5

Hubby is back to work today and I am on my own. Each day gets a little easier and I can do a little more. But bear in mind day 1 you can't hardly do anything. Today I showered myself without help. I can be up and abut for 10-15 mins before I get woozy, then it's back to the recliner.

Pain from the incision is minimal, the killer is the neck, back and shoulder pain. Last night I started to get short, stabbing pains from my incision (staples pinching?) and that was no fun. The achy back is managed through changing position, changing chair, stretches, seated exercises (that don't pull on the sx site) then panadol when all else fails.

Here's a few more tips/thoughts from me...

Research....you owe it to yourself to research this procedure and be as informed as possible as to what you are getting yourself into. Don't shy away from reading RS reviews because they are confronting or gross.

Breathe...learn to do yoga breathing. Put your hand on your abdomen, breathe in until your hand rises. It's hard at first to breathe with the cg so you will need to consciously deep breathe especially when you wake from a sleep. And always have a pilow/cushion handy as you may find you cough as you clear your airway. When sitting in your recliner, place your hands behind your head to open up your chest (and also give yourself a nice stretch)

Expectations...TT is not a quick way to lose weight. Your PS can improve only on what nature / genetics gave you or what your kids destroyed. I want to weep when I see some people who have these celebrity wish pics but their before pics show they have an obvious weight issue. The best TT results I have seen are those where diet and exercise have been tried but haven't resolved the pooch.
And by diet I mean a life-long adherence to eating REAL food most of the time. Not a quick fix fad diet where you change your eating habits (or even worse, drink diet shakes) for a few weeks in the hope of losing a few kilos. Your PS can only work with the source material you give him. Do yourself a favor and get into the best shape you can be pre-op to get into the best shape you want to be post-op.

Boredom...I'm amazed when women come on here and complain about being bored during their recovery. For the past 10 years I've worked my ass off in a full time job, raised 2 kids - half that time as a single mum, and spent my weekends doing stuff around the house. My idea of heaven is sitting around in my PJs and watching all the DVDs I've always wanted to watch, read the books I've always wanted to read, I could go on and on but honestly I have heaps to do sitting here for the next month! (And then there's online shopping!) My only frustration is wishing i was further along in my recovery so I can stand straighter, do more for myself etc but I see no point in dwelling on this as I can't change it. So I guess I am saying enjoy your downtime, you deserve it. And don't stress about not being able to do things. I told my PS I was going to sit on my ass and be a princess and he said I totally have the right idea!

Happy healing all.


I've had terrible insomnia PO (it's 3am as I type this!) not sure if from the anaesthetic or trying to sleep in the recliner. Well tonight my bed looked so soft and inviting I thought I will just lay down for a minute....and never got up. I'm in heaven. I have a cushion under my knees and propped up with 3 pilows behind me, one I am going to ditch as soon as I do this update. It feels so much better. I even suggested hubby should sleep in the spare room in case he rolled on me and hurt me so I have the bed all to myself! **evil laugh**

7 day update - 1st post-op checkup

I woke up this morning laying almost flat and I felt fine. One pillow under my head and one under my knees, which is how I normally sleep anyway. I was so pleased as I've read some women say they have trouble lying flat after 3 weeks. It was the best sleep I've had since the sx.

Went to my PS rooms to see his nurse and she said the incision is healing beautifully and she said she can tell when people have been taking it easy when she looks at the sx site. She said she would remove all the staples today and the 2nd one she did hurt like hell! She didn't expect that at all as she said patients are usually still numb along the incision line. Well this spot was where I had been getting some hurting/pinching so I guess the nerves had started to work again. After that it was all fine just some tugging but no sensation.

I took a little peak and the incision looked kind of gross. And there is a skin crease about 3cm long above my incision on the left, hopefully that will flatten out now. My whole belly is like a waterbed there is so much fluid I barely look different to pre-op. I've been told to keep an eye on this and look for areas of swelling that gets worse or looks uneven, and especially if I don't feel well to come in. Basically she said I can come in everyday if I want to. She also said my PS doesn't pull the skin up too tight above the pubic region as this can affect our ladybits. She said it is not unusual for patients after 6-10 months to ask for this skin to be tightened up some more, that I just have to tell my PS if I'm not happy with how it heals once all the swelling settles down.

My incision has been retaped and I can now take the cg off to shower. Yay! I will take it off tomorrow to wash it as it's probably a bit stinky after being on 24/7 for a week! I'm not taking pics today I am exhausted after being out this morning and besides it was a bit confronting and disappointing to see.
The nurse rang the lymphatic massage therapist while I was at the rooms and I have an appointment on Friday - hope that helps with the swelling. I had one massage before I left hospital (included in my PS fee) but I will have to pay for this one.

Oh btw after you have that first BM, don't stop the laxatives. I repeat - DON'T stop the laxatives!

Baby steps...

Each day you walk a little taller, feel a little stronger, can get up/down easier, can do a little more. Yesterday I made fresh juice and cut the pineapple then washed up the juicer. Today I put on a load of washing, using my grabber to help, but there is no way i could pick up the basket and hang it out. Later today I will have a go at making some soup.

I felt a bit a bit despondent yesterday after seeing my belly...lying flat on my back is not the best view. I did take the cg off last night just to take another look and check out the swelling. I look great from bb up, very sculpted - a 2 pack maybe! My hips are much slimmer. The fluid is obvious below the bb but when i showed my hubby how i looked he was like 'wow!' And I'm down 2 kgs since the sx, which is down 4kgs from 3 weeks ago. So am pretty happy and just have to remind myself there is a way to go. And keep an eye on this swelling that I don't develop a seroma. The nurse from the PS office just rang to see how I am today and she said I can come in anytime i have concerns. Hopefully i don't need my belly drained!


Had a second night of being back sleeping in my own bed - bliss! Although had to share with hubs and a little dog. The recliner is great for the day but I couldn't sleep more than 2 hours at a stretch in the recliner. I always woke up with a sore neck whether I used a travel pillow or regular pillow.

Last night I only woke up once and it's the first night since sx I didn't have to get up to pee during the night. I even managed to sleep partly on my side and close to flat. Can't tell you how good that feels!

Fluid drained

This morning I took my cg off for the first time since sx and had a shower. So nice! Thankfully no light-headedness. I did ask hubby to stay in the bathroom just in case and he helped dry me off and put the cg back on. Next sunny day that thing has to have a wash!

Last night/yesterday I was feeling a bit flat, I don't mean tummy flat, but just like everything was an effort. I took the advice of my PS nurse and went in this morning so they could look at the fluid above my BB. The nurse was glad I came in, she said better to have it checked out than be home stressing about it. She felt that the fluid would resolve itself. She asked another nurse for her opinion. Then said she would get the PS to have a look. He said he would drain it. Oh great. He had me standing on a stool and got this big ol' needle out (well I only had a quick look, it looked massive lol!) He stuck it in and I couldn't feel a thing. Poor hubby who is a type 1 diabetic and has insulin 4 x day, couldn't bear to look and is staring at the ceiling commenting on the paint job! That made me want to laugh - with a damn needle in my belly! I must say I do feel better now. Just feel brighter and less weighed down.

This afternoon I have a lymphatic drainage massage and until then I am going to take it easy. I did a fair bit yesterday...made soup, put washing on, did the dishes etc maybe I did too much. I also read in one RS review that molasses is good for swelling so I have been taking a spoonful a few times a day. We'll see if it helps.

Sleepwise last night was wonderful, I seem to have found the right combination of pillows for a good night's sleep. 3 behind me and 2 under my knees. In this postion though it is very hard for me to get up on my own, it takes a fair bit of effort to get up on my elbows, then push up on my hands to sit up so that I can swing my legs round to the floor. My PS nurse always says not to twist. I always ask hubby for a hand up, it's easier than struggling to do it myself.

After my shower this morning I am walking more upright, probably about 95%. My back and shoulders are so grateful!

Off pain meds

I forgot to mention at 5 days PO I stopped taking panadol (tylenol) completely. Last night I had one before bed just to help me sleep a bit better. I've had chronic back pain for 20 years, had 2 natural births so maybe I have a high tolerance for pain? Mind you I still am a sook with needles! Anyway, pain-wise this has been much easier than expected. The back and shoulder pain from hunching is actually worse than the sx site. Now the nerves are waking up and every now and then I get a short, sharp sting in my lower abdomen or groin area but it only lasts seconds so is quite tolerable.

And here's the pics!

I took these today after having my belly aspirated. Although not as flat as other people's pics at this stage I am still happy wih the changes so far and accept I have a ways to go.

Day 9

Today was frustrating. It is really hitting home just how long and difficult this recovery is. Hubs and I took a trip to the supermarket - the first time I'd been out in public (other than my PS rooms) since the sx. I walked around very slowly, leaning on the shopping trolley (hardly anything in there so was easy) and had the checkout girl ask if I was ok. And when I said I'd recently had surgery she then asked what I'd had done! Um a bit inappropriate!

And now for the TMI part, I didn't go yesterday. I am usually very regular and have been since day 3 PO. But while walking round the supermarket I told hubs I have to go now. I mean NOW! Lucky the shops are only 5 mins from home. I sat on the toilet for 30 mins for very little result and was so exhausted I got into bed afterwards. I was absolutely wrecked. Mind you I have been religiously taking senna (laxatives), drinking lemon water, eating clean and taking fibre supplement. So unfair! There was so much to be done at home as I am getting the bathroom re-tiled next week so we had to clear out heaps of stuff, and by we I mean me giving instructions and hubs doing the work. My hubs is an absolute angel but he overthinks things, questions repeatedly, gets sidetracked, procrastinates, then thinks on it some more. I was just going crazy. I am the energizer bunny, the queen of multi-tasking, the 'don't think about, just do it' kind of girl, and I desperately wanted to feel normal again and not like a bug that got stuck on it's back. Rant over!

The fluid swelling is much better today and I don't even think it's worse this evening. The lower belly swelling at the sx site is still there but I'm really happy with how things are looking. I can't wait to try on some clothes, many of which I have never worn before.

Things are awakening around the sx site, I keep getting these very sharp stabbing pains in my side that make me cry out in pain and it scares the s*#@ out of hubby and the dogs.

The lovely lady who did my lymphatic massage yesterday gave me a couple of great tips. One is the pillow position for behind the head...2 pilows in a V shape pointing toward the head of the bed, and one on top. Last night was the first night I slept without shoulder pain. The other was getting out of a chair. Slide your bottom forward toward the edge of the chair, hands on arms of chair,feet out flat in front of you. Bend forward until your head is over your knees, then use your arms to push up to standing. I always wait a few seconds before walking off as I tend to get a bit woozy.

I've also noticed my mental acuity since the sx is just terrible. Good for you ladies who go back to work after a week or two but to be honest my short term memory is shot. In my job I'm in a team leader role and I have staff coming to me all day every day wanting advice or help of some sort or authority to put services in place and I honestly couldn't cope with that now. I am really in lala land!

Happy healing to you all and have a wonderful weekend!

Day 11

I know some people will hate that I say this, but I'm not on any pain meds and I'm fine. Not even panadol. I have no pain at rest. I have some discomfort when walking and getting out of a bed/chair but it's fine. Sometimes I get a twinge if I bend or reach - this tells me I shoudn't! Today I've had just a couple of those short, stabbing, stinging twinges in my side at the front of my hips.

When I shower in the morning I am 99% straight afterward but get more hunched as the day goes on. Today I washed my cg and planned to do nothing while it was on the line, as I've grown to depend on the support it provides. But I pulled on these high cut shaping briefs I bought at Kmart and they gave me really good support so I was able to walk around my garden for about 30 mins and enjoy the sun. I am going to buy some more of those knickers for sure, and will wear them once I can ditch the cg at 6 weeks.

We did the supermarket shopping this afternoon and had plenty of stares from people as I did my slow, shuffly walk. Also ran into someone I know who said, "you look terrible, what happened?" Yeah just what you want to hear.

Milestone! Last night hubby was in a deep sleep coma so I managed to push myself back toward the head of the bead using feet and elbows, then push myself up to sitting with my hands and got up to pee ALL BY MYSELF! But I can't bend and still need some help putting my pants on sometimes and there is no way I can shave my legs so they are gross!

Yesterday I was blocked up, today I had the runs. You know that saying 'never trust a fart' well I don't. I have never in my life been so pre-occupied with my bowel movements.

Happy healing, til next time!

Forgot the pics

Day 12

Woke up feeling like I have turned a corner. Got up during the night to pee and managed to do it without help and not waking the hubby. Woke up this morning and stood up straight - yeah! Showered and got the cg back on myself. Made fresh pineapple juice and did the dishes. Today I decided my goal would be to walk around the block so i did that right after breakfast. I really had to concentrate on walking upright. I can either walk slow and straight or medium pace and hunched so I just walked real slow and took my time. Took about 20 mins, lol would usually take 10. It wasn't easy but not overly difficult either. No sense pushing myself. Baby steps! Today I want to concentrate on walking upright no matter how slow I am.

There are two exercises I have been doing that are helping with getting back to walking properly. The first one is standing with my back flat to a wall, legs out in front of me and i slowly inch my legs back into the wall as far as is comfortable. Don't strain anything! I do this whenever I am waiting for the kettle to boil, talking on the phone, etc. The other one is standing against a wall with a foam roll against my back and you bend your knees and squat down as far as you can then back up so that you get a nice back massage. I found a $6 foam roll at the supermarket yesterday, prior to that I was using a big roll of Chux wipes that is sealed in plastic (very creative I thought!) those sports rollers cost big bucks!

My car is at the mechanic at the moment but I hope to have it back maybe tomorrow as I think I am ready to drive so that will be my next goal. Happy healing til next time!

Day 13

Feeling a little stronger each day! Slept like a baby until 4.30 probably my longest stretch of sleep since sx. Got myself up and out of bed with relative ease, those days of feeling like a fat puppy that rolled over and got stuck on its back are gone! Each night I am able to roll around to my side a little more, not there completely but about halfway.

Went for another walk around the block after breakfast and shaved at least 5 mins off yesterday's time as it started to rain halfway round!

I've seen pics from another RS member who had the same swelling in the same place (around incision) as I have and she makes a good point that if you can suck it it, it's fat. If you can't it's swelling. So my lower belly barely changes when I suck it in so that is reassuring and her latest pics (6 weeks) look great.

I am back to PS office tomorrow for 14 day checkup. All being well I will drive there. Woo hoo! When did you ladies get the go ahead to start rubbing stuff into your incision? I have started to itch and it is so hard not to scratch!

14 day follow up

2 nights ago I felt my swelling was the worst yet. Woke yesterday morning and thought I looked the least puffy since sx. Off I went to my 14 day PO appointment. BB stitches were removed and I love how cute my new/old bb is looking. The nurse felt my belly and thought there was fluid there. As my PS was in surgery, she said she would ask another dr from the clinic to take a look and drain my belly if need be. I had to wait for what seemed ages as he was doing procedures on other patients. Mostly I was nervous as heck that a strange man was about to come and stick a needle in my belly (which is starting to regain feeling) and no hubby there to hold my hand. But the nurse was lovely and assured me I could hold her hand! Lol I am such a sook, throughout the last 14 days I would say the pain has been never more than a 5/10 and here I was getting worked up about a needle. Well the dr used an ultrasound to identify where the fluid was and he gave me a local anaesthetic. He stuck my belly a few times but no fluid was forthcoming! The nurse suggested I have another lymphatic massage today to help with the fluid, other than that I am healing nicely.

There has been no great change in my shape, weight or measurements since the sx but when I look in the mirror the changes are very obvious. Today I was looking in the mirror with a critical eye and thinking, 'oh this hip has a slightly different curve to the other' and I still have swelling above my incision and then I just had to pull myself up and remind myself that I am only 15 days po and my body will continue to change for months. And for me this sx was never about weight loss or achieving a perfectly flat belly it was about restoring function and strength to my core and addressing 20 years of chronic back pain. And on that basis alone, I am over the moon with happiness that I have finally had this done.

16 days

Actually I lied. I got on the scales today (I rarely do, I don't care much about 'numbers') and I am 63.5kgs which is around 139lbs! I had to get hubby to come and look because I didn't believe what I was seeing. I was 68kgs on day of surgery and as I have been sitting around so much since then I didn't think it would be possible to lose weight, however i have been mindful to reduce my portion sizes and eat well. So I really am rapt about that especially as we will be in Thailand in 30 days and I will be living in little dresses and bikinis. Woo hoo! Now hubby is feeling all self conscious and wanting to lose weight before our holiday.

I know many women have had days post op when they just cry and get depressed, but I can honestly say I've not had a day like that. I know my figure is not perfect, but it was never about perfection. I know my shape is going to change in 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months. What I see now is not the final result. I think sometimes we lose track of that. Keep your chin up ladies, this recovery is a long, long process.

Worth it...

So I have just changed my review to worth it, even though it is early days, it IS worth it. The pain has been quite bearable, the final results aren't yet in but I can still say it's worth it because when I look at those first few pics I put up, where my belly would stick straight out from under my boobs, well that is gone now that I've had the muscle repair. Heck it looks like I've had a boob job even! And I don't think I'll get asked if I'm preggo again, even with the swelling. (And if I do I will be ready with a curt response!)

Day 17 - blues day

I must have jinxed myself by writing yesterday that I haven't been depressed, because last night and today I am miserable. I am sick of not being able to stand totally straight, sick of asking for help (I never ask for help) sick of not being able to move freely, to bend, reach, twist, stretch and just feel normal. I don't regret the surgery one bit but it occurs to me that I did all this research on the best healing foods and supplements etc to help myself recover physically but didn't give a second thought to the impact on me emotionally. Well there's a lesson learned! Last night I was tired and snappy and annoyed with my husband. I asked my son to hang his clothes out and he didn't. I've probably done too much these past few days since I started driving again. I've had a plumber in and had my bathroom tiles ripped up and retiled, and every time I think i have cleaned up all the dust I find more! I wanted to get these jobs done while I am home as it's so hard to schedule tradies when you work full time.

So today I just want to curl in the foetal position and cry. Except I can't really get in the foetal position just yet! Can't really cry either, I want to but I am a control freak and control freaks don't let their emotions get the better of them. I took my cg off to wash it this morning and being the impatient type that I am I wanted to drive down to the shops and get a few things. So I wore my shaping knickers which give a bit of support but I really didn't feel right. Walking very slow like a granny, even stepping up onto the path I got a nasty twinge. At least I didn't have every 2nd person asking if I was ok, I hate being helpless. By the time I got home I had swelling above my waist high knickers and my lower belly was all pushed out. I squished myself back into my cg feeling like an overstuffed sausage and retired to my bed to read the weekend papers. Best I stay here for a good while I think, it's a good thing I am home alone because I'm not good company. Except the dogs, who love me regardless. Thank heavens for dogs!

Day 18 - exhausted

Well I learnt my lesson yesterday when I took my cg off for a couple of hours. I won't do that again. The swelling has gone down this morning, although I still have the spongy, firm post-op swelling which is a little more pronounced on one side. Today I feel utterly exhausted despite doing very little. I am mindful that this is how I felt before I had fluid drained last time....just a feeling that everything is a supreme effort. We just got back from the supermarket and despite hubs doing all the work and me just walking along with the trolley, at times I just wanted to lay down in the middle of the aisle and weep, that's how tired I feel. A quiet afternoon is on the cards.

Last night I managed to lie fully on my side for the first time since sx. It took a while to fall asleep in that position as I kept expecting to get painful twinges and I did get a couple but it felt so nice to be on my side. However when I woke up I noticed that there was a pleat or crease on my left side which I had seen before but I had thought it was flattening out, so perhaps I need to start sleeping on my right.

At 18 days I can...put washing on but not hang out the heavy stuff, fold washing, wipe down benchtops and wash dishes, pick things up off the floor (carefully) but not good at reaching, straighten the doona on my bed but couldn't make a bed with sheets and blankets, drive and get in/out of the car (carefully) walk upright when I really concentrate but by the end of the day I'm usually too tired to care. And walking is slow! It's a long, long road.

First sneeze - ouch!

Earlier today I did my first post-op sneeze. So glad I didn't have my sx during springtime as I have terrible allergies. I am renowned for doing BIG sneezes, the sort that just about blows the ceiling off the room. So I'm pretty lucky to get this far without a sneeze, still it was not a pleasant experience at all.

I also forgot to mention I now have micropore tape on my incision. It sticks really well and is skin colored. It is designed to flatten the incision. My PS nurse gave me a roll so that I can reapply it myself but it's been on since last Wednesday and doesn't look like it's going anywhere.

Day 19 - pics

Last night I was wiped out...for no reason, I guess that happens when you are in recovery mode. I pulled a muscle in my neck, again no reason i was sitting on the couch, lol! I went out for dinner and could only manage my slow, hunchback walk. Getting back into the car and for some reason I kind of fell into the car seat instead of lowering myself - ouch! When I got home I found there was fresh blood leaking from my incision, thankfully only a little. I had strange aches and pains in my hips, my girlybits....I was in bed by 8.30pm!

Thankfully today I am feeling re-energised and no more neck spasms. The first thing I did today was walk around the block while the sun was out. So nice.....then you think to yourself, if I tripped and fell over it would hurt like hell and I wonder how long it would take until someone noticed me lying on the ground, lol. Then you think, hey I'm walking so straight and it feels great...then you get a nasty twinge in your side that tells you to slow down!

I know some ladies have by now gone through their wardrobe and had a big try-on / throw out session. I am resisting the urge to do so, I honestly don't think it would be good for my mental health at this point I will give it another week. I am not the type to spend ages in front of a mirror scrutinising my results so far I believe it's best to let nature take it's course. I have this noticeable crease on my left side but also on this side I still have a lot of that spongy swelling, a lot moreso than on my right so I figure the crease will flatten out when the swelling goes down. That said though I don't think this spongy swelling has gone down one bit since day 1. Grrrr!

Day 20 - milestones!

Yesterday I was able to bend over in the showe comfortably to shave my legs. Today I have been walking upright, totally upright! Even in the afternoon when I normally start to slouch. My shoulders are so thankful. Also today I've noticed I can use my abs to lift my upper body forward if I'm sitting in a chair, without having to use my arms to push myself forward. Getting out of bed is getting much easier, kind of a 3 step process not a 20 step process with much huffing and puffing!

Yesterday the shoulders were so sore...to remedy this i got out my big roll of chux wipes (or you could use a foam roll) and sat on the couch with the roll in the small of my back. Then after a bit I put the roll vertically along my spine...instant shoulder pain relief! I've also started doing some stationery exercises....single leg calf raise and single leg squats - I've noticed my ass is so much flatter with all the sitting I've been doing. I also have a 2kg weighted exercise ball that I use sitting in a chair to do arm presses, bicep curls, and other arm exercises that don't strain my core. I just felt I had to do something. I've also increased my walks around the block, one in the morning, one in the afternoon - weather permitting. Today I even did some weeding...knelt down on a foam pad and gently pulled some weeds with no pain or tugging on the incision. Sometimes you just have to test yourself and see what you can do!

I am swollen towards the end of the day, and I honestly can't connect the swelling to anything I do or don't do, or anything I eat or drink. I guess it's just one of those things you need to ride out and let nature take it's course. Happy healing tt ladies!

And the worst thing about swelling...

luckily I've only had this on two occasions but when pubic region swells it pulls on the incision and is quite nasty with a sharp, stinging pain. The last two nights I've had this and woken up to dried blood on my cg. It seems to be a small area just above my incision (old bb site?) that has opened slightly. Ughhhh!

3 week update - so I'm not flat...

So what. All over RS us ladies are talking about being on the flatside and hating the swelling and just wanting to be FLAT, and berating ourselves if we are not FLAT or blaming our PS if we are not FLAT.

Well this morning I looked down at my swollen belly and saw that above my bb on the RIGHT a little fluid swelling (which 'hid' from the needle) then on my lower belly on the LEFT side I have firm/spongy swelling, so my belly looks a bit like a rollercoaster ride. I tried to take some pics, I'll post later. But really, I never went into this surgery thinking woohoo I'm going to be flat. I did however think it would be great to have a strong core and not feel tired and achy in my lower back at the end of the day and after exercising. I did think it would be nice to have my tummy pulled in a bit so that I didn't look 5 months pregnant anymore. I did think it would be great to be able to buy clothes without having to consider if they would cover my pooch or not.

So I look at my curvy little belly now and think...things can only get better. I honestly like the way may hips have narrowed - I mean I'm a petite little thing really and the only thing that wasn't so petite was the belly. I would love to be one of those hot latino women with the olive skin and thick dark hair, wide hips, full breasts and shapely thighs but I'm never going to be that and no PS is ever going to make me look like that either. When I look back to photos of myself when I was 19 or 20 and eating a largely raw food diet, I look a lot like that now....so I guess that is my real shape. So I'm not going to beat myself up or complain about swell hell because it's not hell, it's just a bit annoying and uncomfortable. And I hope if you are worried or disappointed that you are not as flat as you want to be that you will take a step back and think of how much better you are than pre-surgery.

The not-so-flat pics (but I'm ok with that!)

Comparison pics

Ok...feeling a bit clever and did some pre/post comparison pics.

Day 23

Today is a perfect still autumn day with not a cloud in the sky...it would be a crime not to get out and enjoy it. So I did a walk that normally takes around 20 mins, it took maybe 35. For the first time since sx I was able to walk with a fluid motion and get the arms swinging concentrating on relaxing the shoulders and maintaining perfect posture. So i looked like someone taking a slow walk in the sun rather than someone walking like they had a bad back, (or got cut in half 3 weeks ago). It felt SO good!

One thing I do notice when I start walking literally within 2 or 3 mins I can feel my belly 'fill up' and swell, it becomes noticeable tighter and I have a full feeling that lasts the whole walk. Now that I am home and relaxing it feels better. It's the weirdest thing. It will be interesting to see how the swelling goes later today, I normally gauge my swelling by whether I need to unzip the sides of my cg a few cms, or sometimes even undo the top hook. Last night I didn't need to despite having quite an active day - go figure! There is no rhyme or reason to this swelling.

I couldn't help trying on some lacy knickers this morning to check my progress. I can't wait to get back into pilates and start working on my shape!

Day 24

I take back what I said in my 3 week update. Last night I swelled so bad, now I totally get what is meant by 'swell hell'. I was itchy all over, my belly was tight, it hurt to move. I was utterly miserable and just wanted to cry. I guess my walk yesterday may have been too much. By morning the swelling had all gone down, thank goodness. So today I am having a quiet one. I washed my cg this morning and put on my shaping knickers - they feel so nice and firm. It was lovely to admire my shape in those and not have to see cg lines all over my torso for a change. My scar is healing really nicely but I think it's too early to start using the bio-oil.

I've been really careful today not to bend or twist or do anything to aggravate the swelling. We did try a walk earlier but I didn't feel right without my cg so we turned back after a few minutes. Gently does it! It's now nearly 5pm and I don't feel uncomfortable so hopefully there will be no repeat of last night's awful swelling.

Happy Easter and happy healing to all you TT ladies.

Weird bb bruising

Woke up today to fresh bruising on my bb. All other sx bruising has gone. I didn't do anything strenuous yesterday so this is a mystery.

Day 26 - still swelling

Each morning I wake up feeling comfortable, straight and good, as the day goes on I get swollen, tired and a little hunched over. I can walk upright but I need to constantly work at it. It's like the sx changed my centre of gravity and now I need to retrain my body to stay upright.

In bed I have managed to ditch the pillow under the knees, but I still sleep with 3 or 4 pillows under my top half. I can sleep comfortably on my side, even if I do have to gently ease myself onto my side rather than just roll. I'm able to use my abs a bit more to get out of bed, that gets easier every day.

My tummy is starting to itch and the skin is really dry and flaky. I have been putting bio-oil on my belly to help with this. I am still using micropore tape on my incision so haven't started scare therapy yet.

I can know get down on my knees without discomfort, and have done so to pull out a few small weeds in the garden. Bending however is a different story, I feel so tight in my belly it's just not comfortable to do so. I'm looking forward to doing a bit more exercise, for now I am just doing seated arm presses and bicep curls with a weighted ball. Then standing one-legged knee bends and calf raises. Walking - I am walking around the block, it's only a slow 10-15 min walk. I find that if I walk too much or too fast I get an uncomfortable pain like a stitch in my right side. I also get these random sharp pains on the outside (bony part) of my hips, but then if I try to rub the area I can't find the tender spot.

Today I tried on my bikinis and dresses I will take to Thailand in just 20 days. I must admit, even though I'm not flat, I look much better in bikinis now, less lumpy and bumpy and my boobs look so much bigger! I'm beginning to think the swelling above my incision may not be swelling but fat that I should have gotten rid of before my sx! I will ask my PS when I go back for a checkup in 2 weeks. No pics today as no real change!

Day 27 - thorn in my side!

Last night and this morning I have this awful pain in my right side lower abdomen. Imagine the worst stitch you've ever had from running, and then some. There is no pain when sitting or lying down, but once I stand or try to walk I have to press my hand firmly into that spot just to be able to take a step. I am walking more hunched over than PO day 1, just when I had started walking upright again. Sooooo frustrating and I am cranky as hell as I can't really do anything. I honestly would not have thought that bending over yesterday to pull out a few weeds would have caused this...it was like 10 mins. So I'm puzzled and waiting on my PS office to call me back.

Today I have a 30 min massage scheduled at my pilates gym (I get one a month for free as part of my membership) so I am really looking forward to having my shoulders and upper back worked on as they have really taken a beating since this sx. Last night I tried to lay down on my stomach on the bed just to be sure I would be able to lay on the massage table. It was fine and I had a pillow under my incision so it wasn't uncomfortable. It did however hurt getting back up so perhaps it would be easier to roll onto my side, then onto my back to sit up. Now I'm starting to wonder whether I pulled something last night that is causing this pain now. Dammit...and I am supposed to be back at work this time next week and here I am walking around like an invalid.

Feeling better

Popped into my pilates gym before my massage to see what I could do, if anything. Well good news is I was able to get on the Galileo machine at minimum vibration and it felt sooo nice (that's the machine the astronauts use to build up muscle strength and bone density - it is a fantastic leg/butt workout) I could also kneel on the pilates machine and do some arm/shoulder exercises without any discomfort, and got on the rebounder (mini-tramp) that has a bar on it and just 'bounced' on the spot except it wasn't really a bounce if you get my drift. What I could not do was lay down on my back on the pilates machine. I knew that if I did I wouldn't be able to get myself up again and would have to ask for help, and with the only others using the gym all being over 60 years of age, that was not going to happen!

My massage went really well. I managed to get myself up on the table on my knees then lower myself down, with no grace whatsoever, but no discomfort thankfully. i took a big fluffy pillow to cushion my belly. My back and shoulders were loving the attention after all they've been through the last month.

Then it was on to my PS rooms and I had thought I would only see the nurse but they had my PS come in and check me out - they are good like that, they always say it's better to come in and get things checked out than stay home and worry, so they never make you feel silly for coming in for an unscheduled visit. My PS thinks I popped an internal suture pulling weeds out yesterday. He said they don't set until around the 2 month mark. So no more gardening for a while. He then had a go at draining my belly again as he noted I look quite swollen. He got about 15ml from the area just above my bb, and it looked better right away. The area below my bb is really swollen but the PS never seems to get anything out of it. Taking it easy for the rest of the day as my sister has invited me over for a girl's dinner, so I'm leaving hubby and boys to fend for themselves!

One month PO - woo hoo!

Exactly one month ago I was about to be knocked out for my sx after the longest day of my life! Today I just wanted to feel normal so I drove into town for a walk around the shops. I am still walking slow, with a shortened stride but I no longer walk like an invalid, and no-one asked me if I was OK while I was walking around, so surely that's a good sign!

Today I thought my swelling first thing in the morning was the least I've ever soon. Hopefully I have turned a corner! Oddly enough the area in my lower belly where the PS stuck me with a needle yesterday - and got nothing - is now leaking very slightly. Oh no, I have sprung a leak!! I've just changed my micropore tape and my incision looks fantastic, so flat and almost healed. I think soon I should be able to start treating it - when did you ladies start scar treatment? I have been using bio-oil above and below the incision as my skin is totally dry and flaky. It is really calming the itching down a lot.

It was good couple of hours out at the shops today....a few times I got a bit woozy, I still get woozy if I turn my head quickly. I figure if I am going to be back at work next week then I better get used to being out and about. I spoke to my boss yesterday and she is even happy for me to work shorter days if I want and just get a medical certificate from my PS to support that. I am really lucky to have such a supportive employer.

Damn wish this site had an edit function.....

*seen* not soon!

One month pics

Although I still have a little bulge, I'm really pleased with how my incision looks.

More pics

One month and 2 days!

Yesterday I went to the shops and found a cute pair of jeans. I thought I would give them a try as they looked like they might fit. I haven't worn jeans for a few years. I wear leggings and big tops/jumpers in winter and cotton pants in summer, but no jeans as they tend to fall down due to my big belly and i have to wear a belt which I don't find comfortable, and even then they don't look great. Well things have changed because I tried on these skinny/straight leg jeans and they fitted so snug and looked great. So I bought my first pair of post-op jeans!

Today I went back to my pilates gym for my first proper workout. I managed to do all the 'easy' exercises but didn't attempt those that involved and 'bridging' or 'planking'. I kept expecting to feel pain but it was fine. Just a little tight. I didn't go full extension with the exercises just yet. My poor flat and under-used ass felt so good having a workout! A lot of the exercises I did work my butt and thighs. I also spent a bit of time on the Galileo machine (vibration platform) which is like going for a run, without actually going for a run.

I did feel a little swollen in my upper abs post workout, but nothing too bad. We spent the afternoon at the movies and saw 'The Other Woman' for some light entertainment. I laughed so hard I had tears running down my face and my belly didn't hurt at all!

Back into exercise!

I've been easing back into exercise since hitting the 1 month mark. The thing is that there are pros and cons...the pros of course being a sense of wellbeing, increased strength and stamina and better muscle tone, the cons being constipation, lethargy, lack of muscle tone and SWELLING! But yesterday, spurred on by my pasta dinner the previous night and the thought of being by a pool in a bikini in just 2 weeks, I thought to hell with it, and set off on a 30 mins gentle walk. The first half of the walk i swear there was a huge rubber band around my middle that just kept getting pulled tighter and tighter. Very uncomfortable. Then about the halfway point everything loosened up and I started to feel like a normal person again. Woo hoo! I did swell up a bit toward evening - my cg was drying on the line and I couldn't wait to squeeze myself back into the damn thing.

Today I had an appointment with my physio who is a specialist in women's health - a very smart young thing she is and we had been working on pelvic floor exercises pre-op so that I could learn to correctly engage my abdominal muscles. I mentioned my frustration with the lower belly swelling that is not fluid but seems to be from the trauma of the surgery. She had me lay on my back and do a proper pelvic floor life and then she said - and this MADE MY DAY! - "oh you should see your stomach now it is so flat. I wish I could take a photo to show you."

So I now have some breathing and pelvic floor exercises to do, and a few postural exercises using thera-band to start in a couple of weeks. The key, she said is not to tense or brace my abs while I am exercising and not to do anything to cause any pain or discomfort. I feel like I'm making real progress now!

Next challenge is back to work tomorrow. Boo! But don't feel sorry for me as I'm only back for 9 days then I'm off to Thailand for a month :)

correction....^^pelvic floor LIFT^^ damn wish this site had an edit function!


Back to work

I lasted 5 hours. Even though my job is a desk job, I did just get my period this morning and I have a thumping migraine it feels like my neck is out of whack. Lucky my massage therapist had an appointment this afternoon so I'm headed there now. My manager suggested calling my PS about getting a certificate for reduced hours then I can go home early if I'm struggling.

5 week pics

Just wanted to post these pics taken this morning. Update later.

5 1/2 weeks and feeling good

Well this weekend I've been on a brisk 30 min walk and I felt full of energy and almost back to normal. Had sex and it was all good. I felt so much better not being self conscious about my jiggly belly, mind you, I'm now very aware of my jiggly boobs. I also survived the week back at work (ok it was only a 4 day week!)

Yesterday we did a Costco run so we got up early for the one hour drive there, just threw on some clothes as we wanted to get in an out in about 30mins as any longer than that and it drives us nuts. So I threw on some long running pants, runners and an old zip up fleece hoodie, pulled a beanie over my unbrushed hair. Caught a quick look in the mirror as we left and I thought, hey I look really fit and kind of cool, lol. I mean pre-sx if I had dressed like that I would have felt like a total frump and hope like hell I didn't run into anyone I knew. Instead I felt great. And we were in and out of there in 30mins.

I know I'm not flat, you can see that from my pics. I actually never thought about being flat pre-sx. I don't blame my PS, he did the best he could with what he had to work with, now it's up to me to improve things with exercise and diet. I am not interested in going back for lipo to touch things up. I look pretty darn good in clothes and I'm getting used to the new me without clothes. I figure it's pretty unnatural for a woman to have a flat belly anyway, especially one that has had kids, so I will just have to learn to live with the curves if my belly stays as is, but there is always time for it to improve.

Tomorrow I go back to my PS for a checkup. I have a feeling he might try and stick my belly again, there is a little pocket of fluid just above the bb that is quite persistent. In just 7 days we are flying out to Thailand and I don't plan on taking the cg, I know that I will swell in the heat and with all the walking but I will just have to suck it up. I actually still feel really - what's the word? - insecure without the cg so being without it on holiday will be good I think, I will have something to take my mind off the fact that I don't have it on. I didn't sleep in it last night as it was still drying...one thing I certainly haven't missed is going to the loo in the middle of the night and sitting on a cold toilet seat, arrghh that was a shock to the system. When I woke up this morning I had slightly more swelling than usual but really not too bad at all.

I can now roll on my side to get out of bed which is great, I was having to push myself up to sitting using my elbows, then hands. I found that rolling on my side to get out of bed hurt as it twisted my tummy and my PS said don't twist. But it's all good now. Also if I am sitting in a straight back chair I can use my abs to get out of the chair but if it's a lounge chair then I still have to use my arms to get up.

The best thing is the return of energy as I was really getting worried how I would cope on my holiday with no energy.

A couple more things...

If I go by how my cg feels in the evening as a benchmark, then the swelling is getting better. For at least the past week I've not had that tight feeling under my bust where I feel I need to unzip the top few inches of my cg.

As far as exercise goes, I have found a few moves that give me a good workout/stretch without causing discomfort to my tummy.

These are
- squats
- clams, where you lie on side, knees bent and open/close the top knee like a clam
- leg extensions, where you are on your hands and knees and you extend one leg out until it is horizontal to the spine...repeat about 10x, don't rest your leg on floor in between reps. As I get stronger I will add in extending the opposite arm at the same time.

PS visit

I was supposed to go back to my PS at the end of May but I'll be away then...so today he checked out my belly and decided to have a go at draining that trouble spot above my bb. He feels there is no fluid in the lower belly where i still have swelling (go figure, I guess I will just have to be patient). He only got about 5mls out of me. He is not too worried about it, he said it's normal and the body will absorb it in time. I am fine to ditch the cg, however I will wear it until the end of the working week. I am fine to go swimming on my holiday! I am pretty sure I will lose some weight on my holiday, all that sweating and we will walk a lot too, and loads of fresh tropical fruit!

Big week over!

I feel I really turned a corner this week. A big corner! That tight, uncomfortable feeling in my belly has reduced a lot. I'm a lot more mobile and flexible. Swelling has not been too bad at all. This coincided with starting to take Swanson's Turmeric & Bromelain. Not sure if any connection there. I've also been really vigilant with drinking heaps of water. I can now do things like lift a laundry basket of washing. Bending over is becoming easier. Turning over in bed much easier. I haven't done much exercise this week as the weather has been crap. On Wednesday night (6 weeks PO) I went for a brisk walk after work. I felt so good I broke into a little jog a few times and it felt fine. No discomfort at all. I felt so much more co-ordinated than pre-sx. My hubby has always laughed at my ungraceful running style but I felt so much stronger through my core. Maybe I'll become a runner, lol.

Last night I did a short pilates session. Some exercises came really easily, others I couldn't even attempt. Never mind we are off on holidays on Monday so lots of walking. I also ditched the cg after Wednesday. I just found it so uncomfortable sitting at my desk all day at work...slowly strangling me! Thursday the swelling was minimal, today I am really puffy above my bb. It doesn't seem to be fluid, it doesn't 'wave' when I touch it. It is slightly sensitive to touch though.

I've decided to take my cg away with me....just in case.

My big week ended with a job interview, and then a phone call to offer me the job before I had even driven back to my office! They initially said they would decide early next week but after interviewing me they said they had no doubts I was the one they wanted. So I haven't been able to wipe the smile off my face all day!

7 weeks tomorrow

Just over 24 hours ago we arrived in Singapore. I decided not to bring my cg after all. I did end up buying a shapewear tank from Kmart and wore this on the plane along with my waist high shapewear knickers so had double compression in my belly area and felt really comfortable. Well comfortable despite being in cattle class! I didn't swell up on the plane or in the heat when I arrived. My swelling is (still) weird. My lower belly bulges out slightly on the left and above my bb is an area on the right about the size of an egg that bulges out slightly. I've read other TT ladies saying they get this all over swelling of belly, hips and thighs but I've had none of that. I think I'd rather have my misshapen belly over the nightly swell hell any day.

Being out and about in a very busy city has brought back a lot of insecurities for me. If I'm carrying a shopping bag I automatcially carry it in front of my belly to hide it. Today I bought some sandals at a market and when the lady handed me my purchase I thought she looked at my belly and said 'good luck'. I don't know for sure I'm just a bit paranoid! Being around all these tiny little Singaporean women is making me feel like a big white Western frump, lol

This morning we went for a big walk through a park with lots of steps and hills. It was tough in the humidity but my body responded really well. My remedial massage guy talks about correct movement of muscle groups when walking and says the leg ift must come from the muscle at the top of the front of the leg, much like a puppet string being pulled and not using the big muscles like the glutes and hammies to do the work when walking. Post TT I get what he is on about now. Try it next time you walk, especially up a hill and concentrate on lifting form the top of your leg where it bends. You actually lift your feet naturally higher when you do this and walking becomes easier. Pre TT I would always scuff my feet when walking.

I have had no pain whatsover from my TT for days. Today I found I could sit cross-legged (I love to sit cross-legged) Bending over is now much easier. Today I swam in the hotel pool (breaststroke) and had no discomfort at all. Despite the extreme heat I am not more swollen than usual, so that is a blessing as we are in Asia nearly a month. Have to post some bikini pics soon!

The journey so far....7 weeks and 2 days

I will post some new pics tomorrow (even though there is not much change) but wanted to recap where things are at and how far I've come:
- in the past week or so I've lost that tight band feeling around my middle. Most days I completely forget I ever had a TT.
- I am getting around in a bikini in Thailand at present and feeling confident for the first time in years.
- I am weaning myself off my anti-depressants...yay!
- I have been working out on the stepper, walking on treadmill and swimming not to mention lots of walking and there is no discomfort at all and better still no swelling.
- I am eating whatever I want, still eating healthy but occasionally indulging in my favorite Lay's Stax chips which I love and can no longer get back home in Oz.
- Had sex in various positions, no discomfort. Even had a Thai masssage today and was fine, I'm just a little stiff when rolling from my front to my back.
- I'm doing my pelvic floor exercises with theraband and will start to do more intense pilates floor work (haven't done crunches and don't intend to)
- my thighs have suffered from 6 weeks of little exercise and need some serious work...gotta up the squats!
- side on my belly is not flat but I'm not real fussed I figure I need to take a long term view. My PS has done his bit now it's time for me to improve on it. I still have the 'egg'... an egg-sized pocket of fluid above my bb that has defied the PS's attempt to drain it. It's no worse at the end of the day. My bb 'pulls in' and my lower belly has some swelling around the incision. But I no longer have a belly that sticks out as far as my boobs do and that's the best feeling in the world!!!!!!

7 weeks and 2 days...recap cont'd

- I have developed a cough/cold here in Thailand (no I don't expect any sympathy!) but even when I cough or sneeze there is no discomfort
- I wear waist high shape wear panties during the day but even now when I put a bikini on I don't feel like I miss the compression one bit.
- I can bend, twist, roll on my side with no discomfort
- I still use micropore tape on my incision, it's nice and flat and smooth.

This experience has been so much easier than I expected. The pain (which was never a big issue for me) is a thing of the past and so is the frustration of not being able to do stuff. Happy healing tt ladies....there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Latest pics

I'm just loving feeling confident in a bikini again. I've been eating so much on my holiday but trying to stay active too. I did a yoga class yesterday and went really well. No pain and there was only one or two moves I couldn't do.

8 1/2 weeks

Over here in Chiang Mai, Thailand and other priorities are occupying my mind rather than my tummy which is a nice change.....military coups, curfews, giant insects and dodgy footpaths. I think all the good food is starting to show on my belly. Also it's crazy hot here and we have been walking heaps which means I do swell a bit by the end of the day but it's not the sort of swelling that makes you feel blah, in fact I reckon I am the only one that notices it. But I would like to get leaner to capitilise on my results. Yesterday we went to an elephant sanctuary and when I looked back at the photos I couldn't believe it my boobs looked massive. My boobs always get bigger when I put on weight so if I get leaner I hope they will shrink a bit.

The feeling is starting to return to my belly. The part that is most numb is in the centre right above my bb. From there the feeling gets better moving out toward my hips. I am thoroughly sick of wearing these big shape-wear granny knickers...they are a very thick fabric and in this heat they are soaked with sweat in minutes. When I have to go to the loo I literally have to peel them off then trying to get them back on is quite a struggle! I stopped wearing the micropore tape today, I figured I would leave it off for a few days and see what happens. My scar is flat and no sign of dog ears so I'm well pleased with that.

The only time I remember I have had a tt is when lying on my back I just don't have the flexibility in my torso that I used to. There is one exercise my physio gave me at 5 weeks and I started at 6 weeks. Lying on my back, with theraband under the soles of my feet and holding and end with each hand, bring knees to chest, then straighten and dip heels to floor (don't rest them on floor) just touch floor and repeat. I couldn't do this at 5 weeks (I had to do one leg at a time) but know I'm up to 30 reps or more per day.

Happy healing everyone from wonderful Thailand (Just don't mention the coup!)

Getting there!

Clarification...in my previous post I meant to say the most numb part of my tummy is directly above the incision not the bb. Took these pics first thing this morning and was looking very flat as even the 'bubble' above my bb was gone. Have been in stinking hot Bangkok weather so a bit swollen tonight.


Last night I did some crunches just to see if I could, not exactly situps (which I don't think are a really good exercise anyway) but I managed to raise my fingertips past my knees 10x quite comfortably and when I woke up today there was no pain. So I figured time to start pushing myself! I am in week 3 of my holiday and have eaten so much great Thai food. Now we are in Koh Samui and our resort is quite remote so there is not much to do other than eat, swim, sunbake, sleep but thankfully they have a fitness centre. This morning I did 40 mins of intense cardio (cardio is always intense right?) 20 mins on treadmill, 20 on the elliptical strider with a some kettle ball swings/squat thingies in between. Then I got on the swiss ball with the ball under my tummy and feet against the wall and raised my upper body up 20x, no discomfort or pulling sensation. Then I did crunches on the swiss ball, 10 of those. All good. I'm glad I waited this long to start ab work, I really feel for those of you doing it at 4 weeks and swelling bad.

Also today after my gym workout I got in our private infinity pool (!!!) and jogged laps, forward and backward and did breaststroke - the only stroke I can do. I just want to keep moving and see if I can make some difference to my shape as we are here for a week. Today I also got some color on my new but very white belly so I can post some new pics tomorrow. I do find that when I lie on my tum it is a little ucomfortable as I still have that bubble of swelling above my bb, so it's hard to get a tan on my back....a real first world problem hey? My upper abs are a little swollen and a little sore tonight but I don't think it's really noticeable to anyone but me.

Bikini time!

Here I am hamming it up for the camera on Koh Samui. A year ago I never would have let myself be photographed in a bikini let alone strike a pose!

I'm doing great!

This may well be one of my last updates on RS. It has been so incredibly helpful to have the support of some wonderful ladies on here. During some very dark and difficult days this site got me through! So here's a recap on where things are at with me....

My scar...at nearly 4 months is just a neat, thin red line. All the same I do find it a bit confronting still to look at. I just have to remind myself this is a badge of honour for being brave enough to go through with this major surgery. I've been using Bio-oil each morning when I get out of the shower. The little bit of puckering of the skin that I kind of obsessed over in the first few weeks is very slightly visible now and I would imagine will be completely smoothed over in 6 months.

Exercise routine...I've been given the go-ahead to ramp it up so I've got a new clinical pilates program that is a killer. In fact by summer I think I will have the thighs of an Olympic speed skater. My flexibility is back to almost 100% normal, I just can't extend my spine as far back as I used to, which is understandable. As it's winter here I don't get to walk every day as the weather has been appalling. This sucks as walking is the only cardio I do. Kudos to any of you who happily flog yourself at pump class and spin or whatever but I won't do that to myself. I've seen it happen too often with friends who get into this mentality of 'well I did pump this morning so I can eat that muffin / bag of chips etc'. I don't want to sound all preachy but when I read about some ladies on here having a TT then hitting the gym like a maniac to lose more weight, I just shake my head. You don't want to run yourself into the ground, especially if you've got little kids to take care of and a job to do. I'm glad I got my weight to a comfortable point pre-surgery, and my diet has been good before and is still good now. (It helps being coeliac, I just don't eat much packet food). Since coming back home from a month in Thailand where I lived on eggs, rice, fruit, vegetables and seafood, I have had a bit of a bender on pasta and pizza but that will stop soon or I will un-do all that great work my PS did.

My tummy....is cute and small. But it's not flat. Am I bothered? No. Look I'm small and petite and since my sx my boobs seems to have gotten bigger so I just love my shape. I'm 46 next month and I can rock a bikini now. Woohoo! So yes there is a little bulge there and maybe this will resolve in time, maybe it won't. I'm not going to get worked up over it. My number one reason for having the surgery was for people to stop asking if I'm pregnant. Number 2 was to repair my muscles and have a strong core to hopefully have less back pain. The sx has been a success on both counts. I've just come in from 20 mins bending over and pulling weeds out. Normally I'd have terrible lower back pain by now and reaching for NSAIDs. I'm fine.

I do think if your number one reason for this surgery is 'to be flat' then you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Don't want to preach again...but it's natural for us women to have a little curve there. If you want to have ab definition you won't see it if you have a doona wrapped around your waist...you know what I mean? If you're naturally curvy and on the bigger side, celebrate that but be realistic about your results.

My swelling....some days I swell some days I don't. It's not an all-over swelling just a spot above my bb. There is absolutely no connection with exercise, food - nothing. Some days I wear a shape wear tank, it's so tight I practically pop a shoulder out putting it on. It feels nice and snug once on but it doesn't stop the swelling. Even though it makes me feel a bit miserable by evening I don't think anyone else can tell. I will post some pics and see if you all agree.

I still wear my waist-high shape wear Bridget Jones-style big panties. They make me look like Wonder Woman! Honestly I've never had defined hips and a wait in my life but I do when I wear these. My lacy knickers are all shoved to the back of the drawer much to hubby's disappointment...maybe come summer I will get back into them.

A few weeks ago I had this really annoying fluttery sensation in my right side, it would happen every few seconds and last for hours. It seriously felt like my PS had left a midget in there who was kicking the heck out of my insides. I understand this is part of the deep muscle healing that takes place. Hopefully that is all over.

I often ask myself why did it take 15 years to do this and the answer is pretty simple....I always thought this was 'plastic surgery', it was all about looks and just done for cosmetic reasons. Until I met my PS I had never heard of diastasis recti. This is hands down the best thing I've ever done for myself.

I feel completely normal, just that my core feels stronger. I think back to those dark days when I felt like I had a massive rubber band round my middle 24/7 and I was so damn tired all the time, couldn't bend, couldn't twist, sleep disrupted...it takes a while but it does get better and you will feel normal again, trust me!

Latest pics

These are my most recent pics. Two were taken first thing in the morning, the other two on a day when I swelled pretty bad. See if you can spot the difference!
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon

I always felt like I was in very good hands. He put me at ease from the first consult. I had a sense that he knows exactly what needs to be done and he is hopeful the surgery will help with my IBS and back problems. The suggestion to do lipo just minutes before my surgery was a nice surprise! I trusted him that if he thought this would give a better result then it was worth doing. His nurses and assistants are very professional and caring. Although my appointments with him were not very long that was fine as I didn't have loads of questions.

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 After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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