I have been 210 lbs for that last 10 years. I...
I have been 210 lbs for that last 10 years. I have always had a hanging belly that I hated, no matter how much I exercised and worked out it never shrank. I started doing Zumba over the last three years and just hated looking at my stomach. Three years ago I stared seriously looking into having a tummy tuck done. I went to several local Plastic Surgeons that specialized in Abdominaplasty procedures. One in Raleigh, NC who had a high tech beaUtiful breathtaking facility told me to come back when I lost 50 lbs. I left his office feeling crushed and awful about myself, especially since I lost 30 lbs to get to this point. So then I tried again at the advice of a friend and sought out another local surgeon who was good, but did take my method of payment and pretty much said and since I was a high risk I would need to make arrangements to stay in a hospital for a couple of days, which made the expenditure even higher than I could afford. So now, I am faced with living with this and cried all night because something I've always wanted was slowly dissipating from my future actually to me my very life. I think a year past and I mentioned to my general medicine provider that I have been trying for three years now but no PS would do it. My GM doctor was told me that at 53, in excellent health, and insured with a supplemental medical insurance, I was a great candidate and recommended a PS rig there in my home town. Needless to say made a trip to see Dr. Lynne Garrison who told me the best news. Having been told se would do the procedure she wanted me to see a hematologist to do some genetic blood testing to see if I were a risk for clotting. In the meantime, I did my research and home work and found this awesome site. I got so much information and learned so much more than I could ever imagine. I knew then that it was just not the right time and that each door that closed in my face was a gift from God! This site made me realize not only did I not have enough information back then, I didn't even have the support! I do have to say when I first went to GPS I felt a little out of place. I wasn't a skinny girl who needed some minor work, so I was pleasantly surprise to find that I wasn't treated any differently and in fact everyone was so supportive and understanding. I was coming in for a tummy tuck that I have been wanting for years, and everyone there that I talk to was encouraging and listening. I can imagine how hard it can be listening to someone day in and day out telling you how afraid they are. Dr. Lynne Garrison provided me with exceptional care and had the best bedside manner I have encountered in a doctor. They procedure was about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Since I told my PS that I had a hard time with pain meds and anesthesia, she recommended I get a seasick patch so that they can put it on right before surgery, and provide me with phenergan so after surgery I can get a dose before they would administer my pain med before going home. Immediately they got me up to walk and made me take deep breaths. Ms. Debbie did exactly what she said, she nursed me back to life. She got me in the car and told my care takers exactly what to do. Thank God for this site that told me about the supplies, the recliner, the foods, and what to expect afterwards. I am so happy!! The flatside is looking pretty good and today wS the first day 12 days post op that I could see me in my jeans wearing a shirt tuck in. So ready to get back to Zumba!!
Drains, drains and more drains...
Day 12 post op and feeling great. Went to see my PS two days ago and had one of my drains taken out. I asked if things were on track and do she said that I was doing remarkably well and healing nicely. Told me to come back on Monday to remove the second drain. Well over twenty four hours the second drain decided to pop out. I seriously think because I had finished doing the lovenox shots to which the hematologist recommended because of my risk for clotting and started the Arnica it dried out the fluid..just my thought. Well another trip to the PS and back on chair rest and limited activity to avoid the swells until I could be checked out by the PS. Was so bummed about it because I was so looking forward to my outing to the grocery store..what in home confinement will do to make me excited about going to a place I used to dread.
Day 15 post out, spoke to nurse who cleared me since another day with no swelling. Making sure to not eat salty foods and taking the arnica. Got cleared to go grocery shopping and feeling great. Saw my belly for first time with no bandages or drains and so far looking good. Promised to take it easy because if not then another office visit to be needle drained if swelling occurs..yikes. Taking one day at a time and looking forward to doing some holiday cooking,
The whoa is me day..
No drain no bandages and just wasn't seeing the flat me. My scar is totally black, my incision above my vagina is so thick and protruding and the two holes where the drains were are sore and don't look like their healing. Wearing binder but seems like a waste of time and eating food breakfast but after that I forcing myself to eat. Need my nails done, my hair done, and just want to feel pretty. I know it's coming, but it's weighing me down. I'm grateful though, I know it could've been worse. Just one of those whoa is me days.
Fluid still in but drains out
Day 17 post op and went to see PS, drain popped out last Thursday and was trying to avoid the inevitable but to no avail. Had to have the dreadful long needle draw out 20 cc of fluid, talk about painful!! Feel flatter though and wearing a tighter cg...these boards didn't lie, this is a long process and being in my fifties makes it seem even longer. You who are going through this just know family/friends will get tired of waiting on you they will get tired of hearing about it and it will seem the worse will never end, but I hold to the truth that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Just pushing forward until I see that LIGHT!
Moving to my final Post Appointment
5 week post Op and still being drained manually. It was a lot less on Friday so I think that should be the last time, but everything is showing either lopsided or protruding. Not feeling flat or good about results.
Pic at 6 weeks
Now to work on these love handles. Wasn't the look I was expecting, but a lot better than I was. Still healing.
7 weeks Friday and still needing to be drained
So I went back to the PS today and balled my eyes out because it's been 7 weeks come Friday and I still have this over hang right above my vajayjay that looks puffy and swollen. It's also starting to look like it's sagging. I didn't have lipo because of having to do the Lovenox shots, my PS decided against it to which I agreed. Yep, you bet I regret that decision, but it was about staying alive to see the results. I have to remember I really had no idea what to expect except being flat. I knew I had some more weight to lose, but I guess mentally the image I had of myself was obviously a lot different than what I am seeing now. I am happy I am so far from what I was that it's crazy to even begin to be disappointed at what I see today. So, yes I feel terribly ungrateful for not being emerged in happiness that 5 1/2 pounds were removed and my pants are falling off. When I think about that it makes me feel so selfish, but that's what we do to ourselves when we set ourselves up to expect more and not focus on being grateful. My PS did a wonderful job today making me realize that I am still healing and much of my body parts haven't seen each other in over thirty years, so the blood that is being sent to that area doesn't know what to do with it but sit and collect until the next draining. I am down to 20 cc a day so my PS says it's is healing just slowly. Finally can wear just the panty compression shown in my pic and start doing the circular massaging on the area. Overall, I am happy about the way my bb turned out so there are many things that I make myself focus on that is good. Funny I didn't have a image in my head about how I thought that would look afterwards. I am still numb around my bb, which made me stop all that balling today after talking to my PS. I know she thought I was crazy and I blame myself for not drinking enough, not eating enough protein, etc. Then reality set in and I am truly grateful that at 53 come January 30th, I survived major surgery and I am back to work, exercising at a slow pace and have a husband who now can't keep his hands off of me. So ladies, or gent even if it gets bad for you just remember how far you have come and it's about finally getting something that you've wanted being blessed enough to afford it and being strong enough to endure it! I know every day it will get better and by this time next year this will all be a blur!
9 Weeks Post Op
Well finally got great news from my PS friday. Only had 30 cc of fluid drain, which was mostly blood. I know that sounds horrible but it really is good. For one with 30 cc being collect in that pooch means that in 7 days it's on about 4 cc a day. This great because my body can absorb that amount and the cavity there can fill. Goodbye seroma and aspiration drainings! Only have to go back in one month for my next follow up. I really want my stomach to be flatter so I am going to push hard to get these 10-20 pounds off. I am back to doing my Zumba classes but not at the intensity I once did. I am gong to build my stamina back up and start doing my arm weights.
I do want to encourage all of you to take one day at a time and not want your body to look like anyone else. I found doing that up here makes you start to compare yourself and you forget the real reason you did it in the first place. My goal has always been to get rid of that hanging over size stomach. My P.S, took off 51/2 pounds so now I just got to keep up what that helped me to accomplish and stick to the goal I set out for myself with this surgery. I am so glad I found this site and the members that pour into me all the awesomeness I needed to get through this. Its been a long road, but I would not take back any bit off it. Once the swelling goes down I will post pics.
10 Week Post Op
19 Feb 2014
2 months post
Did my last weekly visit to the PS office. I noticed that right across my incision line on my left side it felt like there was a huge not that made my skin on that side feel so tender to the touch and had this terrible pain. PS said it was anything she was alarmed about and for me to keep massaging the area. Unfortunately, that was so hard to do especially since just touching it or rubbing on that side it made the rest of my skin cringe to the touch. Finally got to see PS and she said it was due to a pocket of viseral (sp) fat. She said that there is not blood going to it so it eventually hardens and then starts dissolving. She said the massaging will help it to shrink and begin to dissolve. It's been a week and thank God it's starting to feel better and my tummy is going down to the flatter side. She also said I could go ahead and start doing more upper sit ups, which will also help with moving that fat. What a relief! She also told me that she had a mini tummy tuck about three years ago and shared with me her scar area. It was so minimal, I barely could see the incision line and she said she too had that and did the massaging technique to help with viseral fat. She did say that if after a couple of months this doesn't go away, I could have lipo done to help get rid of it. She said from what she could tell, I would not need it. I just love this chick. She has such a way of calming me and making me feel so good about all of this. I now am officially on the once a month visit list headed to the once every three months. Waiting patiently for my 16 weeks to see what it will be. Hoping to be down the 10 pounds and trying on mother of the bride dresses will be a pleasant and wonderful surprise. Going to post picks when this goes away, so hoping to do it soon.
12 Week Post Op and feeling great!
As promised, posted my 12 week pic. Saw my PS who said I looked amazing was so pleased with my results. I felt pretty good since every pair of pants including the pairs I just brought are too big. I love the way I look in my clothes. Yes, I have to admit when I see myself naked I see flaws and think it could be better but after I saw my before and after pic, I felt pretty silly and then grateful. This has been the most intense experience so far in my life, and I thought at 9 when I broke my arm it was the worse experience of my life! Now I understand the phrase "keep living". It has been an ordeal but one that has been worth every minute. I went from wanting this so bad and imagining how life would be without to actually living in that moment. Crazy as it sounds I still feel some days something is missing and feel awkward in my own skin. No, I don't miss it enough to go back to it but enough to appreciate what I have finally been given. I am so grateful for this site and for all of you who read my blog and encouraged me, I could not have done this. I've learn a lot about this surgery and mostly a lot about myself. First my threshold for pain was a lot higher than I thought, second I really I am stronger than I thought when I really want something bad enough, and third my thoughts and feeling are justified because other's feel like I do and did. I am even more motivated today to do the work to shape my body but know there is nothing wrong with getting a little help from my PS! I still have swelling especially at night but my PS says continue to wear my binder when I workout and at night for at least the next month or so. So for those of you who feel most comfortable wearing yours even at 3 months it's ok. My visceral fat is finally dissipating and softening up. Although my stomach may not be wash board perfect it soooo much better than it was and I don't expect it to be so flat it looks like it's touching my back but as you can see from my pics it so much better than it was. Can't wait to see what I will be in another 4 weeks so I post more pics then but in the meantime all the draining, all the swelling, and all the pain has been worth every dime. My PS is just awesome and without her support and knowledge on what I was going through and what I would experience this day would not be! She is just the best. So day I did an hour of Zumba and I felt good showing off my tight zumba pants and clingy top! I think to be 53 in a class of youngsters, I did pretty good and my stamina was back! My PS shared my before pics with me and took my after today. I couldn't be happier
It's been awhile and I'm still loving it!
30 Jun 2014
6 months post
So it been a few months and I just wanted to check in. For those of you who know my struggles, I can say it's was soooooo worth it. Unfortunately since I didn't get back to going hard with my Zumba routine right away, I was up in my weight. Having got through the soreness and swell hell, I am finally on the losing streak. Soon as I lose a couple more pounds about 5, I will post some pics. Just to let you all know I still have soreness and can feel a little pulling on some days when I've truly pushed my stomach muscles. But don't care I'm still on the flat side and getting flatter every month. It's been a journey but one I did, over came, conquered, and faced those fears head on. Still do wish I had those flanks under the breast area done, only because on my own to get rid of it is a struggle but it is what it is..still loving my reflection and the compliments.
it's not perfect but it's greatness to me!!
19 Jul 2014
7 months post
As my promised here are my pics. I am so pleased with what I see in the mirror. It's a process that truly requires putting in work. I can remember this journey and recall so many days I wished I could just be rid of the uneven hanging belly. The years of trying diet after diet after diet, every new exercise and still that hanging stomach. The many disappointments and the wishes to wear certain clothes. I may not be that size two, but gone are the size twenties and hello size fourteen. I am going to try and reach size twelve by the time I get to dance at my daughter's wedding. She told me today, "mom! Your going to be smaller than me"! Finally instead of the 1X -2X and shopping only In large ladies stores, I brought a pair of pants out of New York &Company..whoohoo! I can say thanks to you and this site that had it not been for one cold depressing day that I was doing a search on tummy tucks that this might not ever been my reality!!
9 months check in and Still a work in progress
Hey ladies and gents just doing a check in to give my TT sisters encouraged. 1 month until the wedding and I am in a size 14 dress!!! I will tell you everyday it still is work and everyday I can see my body flaws, but most days I say WHO CARES!! I look great to me! From a size twenty to a fourteen took me putting in the work, but this jump start in getting a TT helped to make it happen. Be encouraged ladies keep at it. Sing through the pain, laugh through the tears, and in the end you'll see the awesome person you wanted to be..hugs and smooches to you all.
!7 months later I will have a revised Indented JP drain SCAR
Its been ayear since my last post, so I wanted to give an update. Been noticing for sometime that my left side right above my vajayjay looked alittle puffier and sagging than my right side, Finally went back to my PS who sees where my JP drain on the left side is indented. She was so awesome and recommended a Revision of my Indented JP drain SCAR. Got 30 days from today so I am hoping to drop a few pounds and possibly get a little lipo. I am stil very happy with my results and ready for my pooching vajayjay to look even better. Hope everyone is still doing well.
JP drain repair for scar revisions and lifting
Been meaning to post and after pictures of my revision results. I love, love, love my PS and she is good to me. Went for a routine check up and told PS I felt there was some "pulling" on my left side. She looked at it and told me she could do a revision on my scar and lift me up a little. This little adjustment looks great! Now to have my lipo!! Yep, she going to do some lipo the week of thanksgiving. I am excited and just a little nervous about, but I also cannot wait! Again, dd I say I love my PS!!
Round #3. Liposuction on my back fat, stomach, a my Fupa paired
Decided to get that lipo I always regretted I didn't get. No matter how much exercise dieting I do, my love handles and stomach won't go away. So on March 22nd I am back on Dr. Garrison's table. I really love this chick. She makes me feel comfortable and let's me know exactly what she is going to do. I will be put to sleep so she can work on my stomach area and take her time. She explain that is a very delicate area and she want to get as much fat and still contour the back fat area. I am bit nervous, but overall ready for my final piece of getting me back to me!! After my other two procedures my lower area they call the Fupa is finally going to be gone!! Going to be a slow process for healing again, looking forward to my Christmas vacation sailing out on the Caribbean Sea.
Totally pissed and disappointed
Well to my horror and disbelief, my PS call 4 hours before my surgery to say that her regular Anesthesiologist would not be there to do my procedure due to the passing of his mother. As I listen to her tell me that though they had a substitute to come him, he reviewed my chart and felt uncomfortable with doing my procedure due to my current BMI. What! He's saying I am too fat! I am no bigger than when I had my first Tummy Tuck. All of those old feelings ran over me when 3 years ago when I was searching for a PS, and now this rookie anesthesiologist is not comfortable so my life dream gets cancelled. I am just glad I didn't know who it was, glad I didn't show up without calling my PS back. My heart just sank, I stood there feeling totally numb. As I listen to her say "so I am sorry we are going to have to cancel you today", I am thinking his is not happening. What about all the supplies I just brought. I have gone back and forth from being scared to death to now being so excited I didn't sleep all night. You have to kidding, surely your not saying your not doing this procedure. Lipo was going to be the final road to this long process, my FUPA is goin to finally be fixed and by Christmas I am going to be fine as HELL! I rearranged my entire life for this at work, care taker, timing, just everything and now nothing! She says maybe we can do it next month, but I can't. It's pretty much now or this won't be happening. Finally after much going back and forth, she did agree with fixing the FUPA only under local anesthetic. So, all I could do was cry, yes I cried. I was so disappointed I was just beside myself. Even though she told me to eat something, I was so upset and sick about it I could not swallow!! So I went in and had the FUPA done. I was woke for the entire thing! At times it was really painful, but most times I just laid there sad, mad, disappointed and let down. So at that moment I was done, I knew this would be it for me. For me, coming back here would not be happening again. I made up my mind that when I return for my follow up visit that it would pretty much be it for me. I don't ever want to feel that again. Even though she returned all of my money and didn't charge me a dime for the fixing of the FUPA area, I can't help but feel angry. Yes, I should say I am glad not to have that person touch me if they were not comfortable, but 4 hours before something like this is totally unacceptable