29, 1 Kid, Box Body on Lock! Upper, Lower Abs, Flanks DETAILED blog

So, here goes. I'm 29 and I have that box body on...

So, here goes. I'm 29 and I have that box body on lock. I've always had weird love handles. They are, I guess tall flanks? Muffin top? Regardless, they give me a boxy, short-torso look. I have always had this shape even at my thinnest. I was 125lbs before I had my son and am 145lbs now. I'd like to be 130lbs. I am not far from my goal, but I know these weird pockets of fat will not go away. The abdominal fat is stubborn since I've had my son but this muffin top has been there my whole life. I never wear anything fitted because it just looks weird. I am sick of being stuck like this, I want to wear fitted shirts and dresses! My arms are a bit flabby but I can fix that, I can't seem to fix this darn muffin top!

So, it all started when I got my latest road race shirt. Another fitted womens tee that I can't wear. They fit great on the top but my muffin top just makes it look...weird. I'll add some pics in a fitted top. Its like the majority of of my fat is stored on my flanks and abdomen. My 30th birthday is approaching and I decided I need a change. I heard about a medspa near me that had a coupon if I mentioned my local radio station. I did some research, found out about coolsculpting, and went to a consultation. I found out I'd need 10 applicators for around 5k. For a 20% reduction...and will most likely need another treatment. My husband flat out said no, so I went home pretty bummed. It just wasn't worth it. Instead he found me an icepack kit that essentially does the same thing, for $400. We were about to buy it when I remembered seeing a video on smartlipo. I decided to come on realself and read reviews and get a ballpark for price. Turns out its about the same as coolsculpting and way better results! I showed my husband and we even found a doctor about 3hrs from us that had amazing prices. My husband agreed that I could get a consult so I made an appointment. In the meantime, I read more and more reviews and came upon some reviews for a doctor that is 30 min away from me. He's a board certified plastic surgeon and from what I've read, being board certified is pretty important. Especially if I need a revision. So I paid $50 for a consult and was scheduled one the next day. Upon meeting the plastic surgeon I had every single concern addressed. The consultation was about 30 minutes of just talking, he was very knowledgeable and really gave me peace of mind. The next part was the exam and I was so embarrassed! My husband never sees me in my underwear, and now this doctor, my husband, the doctors assistant, and my preschooler son were all in the room with me in just my bra and underwear. The doctor took some pictures, pinched my fat and then allowed me to put the robe back on. He then sat down with me to ask my expectations. To be honest, I just want to wear a fitted shirt. I don't care about a flat stomach or hourglass figure. I just want to look less boxy and more..foxy? The doctor told me that he feels confident that he could make a...dramatic...difference in narrowing my waist! He also said that sculpting my flanks would have an added benefit of making my butt look better (my butt is flat so I'll take what I can get!) After reading so many reviews I thought he was going to tell me that my expectations are reasonable, but to surpass them gave me so much confidence!

So finally, he thanked me for taking the time to meet him and then we met with the financial part of the consultation. The price is significantly higher than the other doctor that is 3hrs away. They didn't pressure me at all and instead told me to take the time, do some research (she even told me about a website to reference the boards to see that this doctor has a great record) and that the price is good for 90 days. After that I'll need another consultation. So we left and went to lunch. At lunch I did look up the two doctors. The doctor 3 hrs away is not board certified and actually had a lawsuit over misleading advertisement. This doctor I met has a ton of awards and no lawsuits and is a board certified plastic surgeon. Also, thanks to realself he has good reviews, while the other doctor has a few bad ones that deal specifically with revisions (she doesn't do them under any circumstances).

SOOOOOOO hubby said he felt more confident with the doctor we met so that same day we booked my surgery. I had preop last week and on the 28th I'll be getting my upper abs, lower abs, and flanks done!

I am soooo excited!!!!
I posted some before pics.

What happens at pre-op

Wondering what happens at pre-op? Well for me I was given a bunch of papers to sign, you know, the basic "can't sue if you're results are not what you expected, this is surgery and complications are possible, all photos can be used for educational purposes (with the option to opt out, which I did. Why did I opt out? My surgeons clinic uses social media and I really am not comfortable with my body all over the place. At least on here I know and am okay with what I post) etc" Along with that, I got instructions for post op care (2 weeks of compression garment for 24 hrs, how to take care of the garment, sleep on towels the first night, etc) After I read over and signed everything they gave me 2 bags of things like pads for the incision drainage, some meal replacement shakes to take with my pain pill, and a folder with a copy of the post op instructions along with a prescription for my medication. They went over everything to expect and after reading all the reviews on here, I was pretty lax about it.

They asked me if I had any questions, and then she said "some people handle pain less than others. It's not gonna be worse than childbirth, I promise" I had to laugh, I only have 1 child but giving birth to him was not that difficult. I remember going into labor at like 10AM and by 10:27AM he was born. They didn't even have time to let the epidural fully take effect before I was pushing. It was painful, but 27 minutes of pain vs 3 hours of potential pain/discomfort. I am worried. I can be a baby when it comes to pain. I got lasiks a few years ago and it was awful! I cried so much on the way home but I think it was a bit psychological because I couldn't just open my eyes and see I'm ok, but I digress. The reviews on here are so mixed across the board. Some people mention crying and screaming on the table, others say they felt a pinch every now and then but nothing to bad. That pinch worries me! Is it like a knife stab? A pin prick? Whhhaaattt?!? Lol 3 days to go and my nerves are definitely getting to me. My doctor said if I'm ticklish, and I am, it will mostly tickle but shouldn't feel painful.

Anyway, that was all that happened at pre-op. They could have done it over the phone.

I believe in miracles? Surgery tomorrow!

I'm nervous! I took some obligatory underwear pics. I aso have a few clothing pics so that I can compare. Most people say it's the way clothes fit that feel the best. So I took a few in some outfits I would never ever EVER wear outside of the house.

My road race tee and low rise shorts. Awful combination.

The red dress was a gift from my husband for a cruise. I NEVER wore it because it really accentuates my wide box shape.

Ugh I hate my arms. I'm not getting them done, kinda wishing I would have. Ah well!

3.5 hrs to go!

I might update once more before, but I wanted to share a tip for those with bunchy nerves. I'm hella nervous and hella bloated and gassy. I'm pmsing (period should come in a few days ugh) but I've been constipated from stressing out. My stomach felt a bit tender which had me worried, so an hour ago I drank some warm peppermint tea with a fresh lemon wedge/juice. It works! I feel much better! Still nervous but wheeeew!!

I prepped the car for the ride home (shower curtain and black towels (only $2.47 for 1 towel at walmart)) and prepped my guest room bed (my bed is a memory foam bed and I don't want to risk draining on it) with another shower curtain, puppy pads, towels and dark sheets. I have some arnica tea packets and my pain pills ready to go.

Gonna take a shower, not sure if I can put any product in my hair to tame the frizz and I'm not straightening it because no matter what heat guard I use, my hair always smells when I straighten it.

I've had about 3hrs of sleep....

Surgery story time? My experience!

Surgery is done! I'm so excited, hubby said even with the bulky garment and all the fluid he can tell a difference already. I need to buy a faja and some foam. The doctor told me that the CG they gave me is good but fajas are more comfortable and have less tendency to cause creases. Posture is very important.

Lets talk about surgery! So I got to the clinic and had to give a urine sample, afterwards I went to an exam room and changed into a disposable bra, underwear and then a hospital gown turned backwards like a robe. I had to wait a while before the nurse came back and had me fill out some forms (pretty much the same ones from pre-op) a little while later the doctor came in and marked my body. He asked me if I was nervous, and I said very much. He assured me that most people go in expecting way worse than what its really like. I had hoped that would be the case for me too. Once he left, the nurse gave me vallium and hydrocodone and then they had me wait until the meds kicked in.

I started to feel a little less anxious and kind of sleepy. The nurse came back, let me use the restroom and then led me to the surgical suite. The doctor rubbed my stomach and back with iodine and then had me lay on my stomach on the table. I was a little out of it and didn't realize my boobs were hanging out. The doctor let me know and I immediately covered them lol. He said once I'm on the table he will cover them. I have smallish boobs so its whatever lol. Anyway we started with my back/flanks. I was instructed to lay on my stomach and the doctor said I'd feel a few pricks. This is where he made some incisions. I didn't feel anything. Then he started to inject the fluid. Any loopiness I was feeling was done because getting fluid was pretty painful. It feels like a hose pumping into my body. Lots of tugging and and tightness. I could feel the liquid spurting into my body. In some areas it straight up made me yelp. It hurts, but most reviews do warn about that. The doctor did say that this would be "unpleasant" but it hurts!! I shoved my face into the pillow and clenched my teeth, the doctor asked if I was okay and I was okay enough to not need a break, but let me just reiterate that it hurts. Next he did the laser. The laser is kind of warm but in some places it felt like a painful electric shock. Like I would just start to relax and then a shock. Overall, the laser was not bad at all. It was a good break from the awful fluid. He did two rounds of the laser, one to break down fat and another to tighten my skin. Finally came the suction. The suction hurts like hell! Its very aggressive feeling a long stick being shoved all around. The worst spots were up by my ribs. I assume since he was up by my ribs that my bra roll got done. Some places was not so bad aside from the tugging. I heart the flanks were the worst but upper abs was super painful as well as any time he hit my belly button. I tried very hard to tough it out. I spent 5k on this and want as much fat as he can take out. It got exhausting though. I went from maybe an 8/10 pain level to a 10 toward the end. He repeated this process on the other side of my flanks and then each side of my abs/waist. By the time he was on the last section I was shaking and trying to hold back tears. I tensed up every time he was moving the cannula and I am a pansy with pain so for me, I would put rate smartlipo an 8.5 out of 10 overall. It never felt like a breeze, it was more than uncomfortable for me. By the time it was over I felt a burning sensation all over. The doctor was very tentative to my pain though he talked to me a bit to keep my mind off of it and they played music. He was very compassionate. Everybody's pain level is different so my 8.5 could be your 3. The doctor would pinch my skin and examine both sides, then he would suck out a little more or move on. He told me he removed a lot and showed me the canisters. He sucked out a little over 3 liters and only 1 liter was fluid. He said it was about 4 almost 5 pounds of fat. WOW! It looked pretty gross too. During this whole procedure I kept telling myself "see all that fat? No more fast food girl! You're not putting yourself through all this pain to let it come back!"

On the drive home I told my hubby to not let me indulge even once this month. I gotta kick the sugar cravings and the pain of this surgery is a damn good kick in the butt.  Back to the surgery! So finally the doctor was done and had me stand up so he could clean off all the fluid. The nurse said "wow, I can see a difference already!" The doctor told me to look at my body and there was no pooch and my waist dipped in! I was floored! I was fresh off the table covered in fluid and my stomach looked flat and my waist looked little! There were a few puffy areas and the doctor said its fluid and they put some pads on the incisions and the wrapped me in the compression garment. The surgery took about 3hrs. It didn't feel like 3hrs but it didn't just fly by, it was painful.

They then let me go to the exam room where my clothes were and I changed into my clothes. Bending over to put my pants on caused me to leak everywhere. I cleaned up and got dressed feeling pretty okay. The nurse let me know she called my husband and he should be here pretty soon. The waiting room has cream colored chairs and I was nervous to sit on them. I stood for 5-10 minutes but started to feel queasy.  They had some benches outside so I decided to wait outside. It was very hot and I started to have dry heaves. I went back inside and went to the bathroom. I started vomiting, it felt awful to bend over the toilet to vomit. I still felt nauseas but I really needed to sit down so I went back to the waiting room and sat on the edge of the chair making sure I don't let my torso touch anything. My eyes were watery and I told the nurse I felt super sick. She gave me an anti nausea pill which really helped. A little while later my husband arrived and the drive home was good. He wanted all the details lol we have an SUV so the drive was pretty comfortable.

Note: I started this blog around 4pm when I got home but have been in and out of sleep. Its now 9pm.

So that was my surgery experience. I hope it helps. I want to note that I am super shaky and my pain meds are starting to wear off. I agree with the general consensus that the pain is like I did a million sit ups. Its not horrible but there is a burning sensation on my lower abs. I feel very nauseas if I stand too long. Using my core to sit up or even pee is not pleasant but I would rate my pain maybe a 5 out of 10.

My number 1 complaint is the drainage. Its so messy! My husband has been helping me change the pads. I've been using maxi pads cut in half and medical tape to stick them to my body. It works really well, its just changing the pads that is super messy.

Even with my garment and swelling I see a difference and so far I feel super encouraged and excited. I'll post pics when I get to take my shower  (24 hrs after leaking stops)

The morning after

I'm probably not going to blog every day but  lets talk about the first night . I woke up every hour to pee, but that helped in keeping up on my pain med schedule. I take 1 Norco every 4 hours. I'll extend that time frame to every 6 hours at some point but not today. I'm very itchy all over and throughout the night I could feel like little vibrations in my abdomen. I assume thats my nerves trying to repair themselves. I needed to change out my pads once. I sleep on my sides or stomach and so the two front incisions needed a change around 4am. I didn't want to wake my husband so I tried to do them myself. For some reason if I stand too long I get nauseated, so I changed one pad and then laid on the bathroom floor. I ended up falling asleep for half an hour so I felt okay when changing the other pad. My pain level has been about a 4 out of 10, albeit I'm on drugs and don't want to find out what its like without them. It hurts a little to pee and of course the transition from sitting to standing is unpleasant. Its nowhere near excruciating pain. Just a bit sore and very itchy, more sore than an intense workout but less than getting hit by a truck.

When it comes to changing the pads, having another person is very helpful and necessary for the back incisions. It hurts to try and reach behind myself. I recommend changing pads  while lying down so you don't ooze onto the floor and down your legs. Especially because you can't take a bath. The fluid is odorless but my fluid is a darkish red color. Its messy, and looks kind of gross! My two front incisions are steadily draining. I massaged around them for a little while and around 7am I noticed the swelling near my lady bits has gone down. My right side is draining slow so I've been massaging it. My compression garment is starting to crease a bit on my back. I tried to straighten it but it just rolls. Hopefully my foam will fix it. I did order a faja but its gonna take a few days to get here. Finding the right faja was a chore! I didn't know what kind to get. I didn't want the kind with butt pads so I found a "vest" style. I ordered a large because everyone says it runs small. Thus far, I don't mind the feeling of wearing a compression garment for 24 hours. It feels nice. Hopefully the faja will feel just as good.

I needed a pad change around 8, I opted to wake hubby to help me with my pads. The back ones did not drain that much so I asked hubby to massage my back in circular motions. After, I felt okay enough to take a sponge bath. Its not really that great but I feel a little cleaner. I was able to stand a good 10 minutes without getting nauseas. My son needs to go to the doctor, hubby wil be taking him but my son wants his mama, so I'm going.   Poor baby probably has strep. I feel pretty tired. Hopefully I don't drain while at the pediatrician office. Oi. Every time I close my eyes I begin to drift off to sleep. I do want to be moving around  so I will walk around the house after another nap. Hopefully walking will help me drain some more. I noticed that when I move around I drain more. I've gone through several pairs of underwear. Poor hubby has to do laundry. He's got to be a super hubby and a super dad this weekend. He also had a triathlon Sunday, hopefully by then I won't be draining and can go see him. Overall, the first night was not bad. I was told the first night/day after surgery will be the worst I'm going to feel. Other reviews say day 3 sucks the most. I guess we shall see.

24hrs post op

Before and 24hrs post op. I had to take off my compression garment to change my dressing. My left back incision has stopped draining but there is still fluid. So I'm pretty swollen but I can already see a substantial difference!

Hours 48-72 post op

48 hrs post op
Fell asleep around 3AM. Was peeing hourly again but it tapered off and I slept until 11AM. Unfortunately my pain meds wore off and I can feel the pain sans meds. Its not unbearable its just uncomfortable. I drank a meal replacement shake (the ones from my doctor are gross! The vanilla was potable but the strawberry is awful) and took 1 Norco. It definitely feels different from when I am on pain meds. My abdomen is way too tender to want to change out the pads. Hubby is not gonna be home for the next 4hrs. If I can nap for maybe 30 minutes or so, the pill should kick in and I'll be fine enough to change these pads. The back left pad is no longer draining, the other 3 still seem to he going but not as much,

55 hrs post op

Feeling ITCHY!! And ticklish? I'm feeling pretty good but walking makes me want to rip off my compression garment and scratch. My skin feels so irritated and very ticklish. Gonna buy some benadryl cream and see if that helps.  Still feel a little tired but I'm gonna go walking tonight. I think 2 days in bed is more than enough. I'm finding that healing is going smoothly. I massage my stomach when changing the pads and put Arnica gel on the bruises above my lady bits. Today I noticed my hip swelling is slowly, but surely going down. They don't look as big. I was a little worried about the drastic difference from waist to hip. I can still feel fluid in there though . Draining is pretty nonexistent on my left back incision and the other are still draining but way less than the first day. Massaging really helps them drain thus swelling isn't bad. My pain level on meds is a 2 out of 10. Without pain meds its a 5 out of 10.

Hmm I'm not sure if Arnica tea actually works like the pills but I've been drinking it the past two days and feel better after I drink it. Today I haven't drank any until about 6pm. I was feeling a bit swollen and itchy all day. I drank my tea and  peed twice. I feel pretty good again. Could be psychological but I'll keep drinking a cup a day.

Its only the 2nd day post op and I'm already down 2lbs from surgery. I didn't get smartlipo  to lose weight, but I'll take it! I've been very strict about not drinking anything but Arnica tea and water. I have been only consuming meal replacement shakes for breakfast. When I first wake up is when I feel the most sore but so far no cravings for junk yet. For lunch its been soup and for dinner I eat a usual option like chicken and veggies or something my husband cooks.

Still keep drifting to sleep at random times in the day. Maybe its the pain pills?

60hrs

Itchy itchy itchy!!
I want to rip off my skin! We went walking and the more I would swell, the more itchy I became. So uncomfortable!

72 hours

Woke up okay, a little tender but took 1 pain pill and then massaged my stomach. A lot of people on realself seem to  get Lymphatic massages but I can't afford it and the pain level has never been more than a 5. I'll ask my doctor about it at my 1 week follow up and see if he can "prescribe it" so my HSA would cover it. I am finally nearing the end of draining, however, when I massage my hips it kind of burns and I can feel fluid in my hips and around my abdomen. I'll keep the pads for today on the front incisions but switched to band aids on the two back incisions. Walking around makes me swell up and the more I swell, the itchier I get. I stilll plan to go walking again this evening, but not looking forward to the itching.  Benedryl cream doesn't really help.

I've been healing pretty fast. My belly button had some bruises that are fading. Right now I'm pretty swollen, but still really happy with my results. Like if this were my final results I'd shake my doctors hand and still call him a miracle worker. I'm very excited to see how much more my body is going to change!

My eating habits are moderately the same. I've been keeping an eye on sodium and only drinking water and tea. I don't eat dairy, due to IBS and while I used to have just a little, I know it will bloat me and its not worth it so I have been very strict avoiding it.

Haven't had a bm since surgery, so I'm gonna start taking Miralax. I read that day 3 is awful but in my experience day of and the day following surgery were much worse. I feel pretty good. I'm really happy with the changes, my hips are a bit swollen and I'm hoping they reduce a little lol but overall I can't wait to try on all my clothes again!

Tomorrow night will mark 24 drainage free hours meaning I can finally take a real shower! I'm jealous of those who stopped draining in a day. It took me 3 days! So for 3 days I have been only taking sponge baths and really can't wait to take a real shower! I'll be posting more pics then!

Recovery is going well! I'm able to move around pretty well and by tomorrow I shouldn't have any problems getting some housework done.

Pre shower pics

Well..technically pre-sponge bath.

So swelling is really setting in now. Before it wasn't so bad, I guess because I was draining but now I look a lot puffier than at first. I removed my garment and realized I forgot band aids. I decided to just go downstairs without it and it felt so weird. Like my torso was going to collapse with every step. I immediately put my compression garment back on.

I tried the foam today but I'm so swollen that the extra compression left a big square indention on my stomach. Eh no thanks. I have a few different compression garments on the way so hopefully I won't have to use this foam.   I also got an ab board but hard lumps haven't set in yet, right now I'm just very squishy.

Went walking again this evening and it was nice, didn't get super itchy until the end but even then it wasn't too bad. I noticed some hives on my leg after the walk so whatever is making me itchy is def. Due to histamines.

Anyway before I took my sponge bath I took some more pics. I can't believe how much has already changed. I'm super swollen and my epidural scar is causing an indention on my back.

One week post op

Has it already been a week?!
Well technically we are one day shy. Tomorrow will be 1 week but I got my period this morning so I'm not even going to bother taking pictures tomorrow. I took some pics today and not much change from the day after aside from bloating. My back seems to be a bit rolly now. I put a foam pad on my left side and it did put an indentation so definitely swelling is the culprit. I only bought 1 foam pad. Should have bought more. I'll sleep with it on my back tonight. I've been using it on my stomach and have no lumps and it helps with the bruising on my mons pubis. Thats the only bruising ai developed and I did not take any arnica pills before. I drink arnica tea but I don't think it makes a difference. Hopefully the swelling will diminish soon. In the mornings I feel okay but by the evening I feel super swollen and puffy. It really is a roller coaster of "wow my body is changing!" To "oh man what have I done!" I have been eating healthy and overall today my pain is just menstrual cramping and strep throat. Not miserable but could be better. I got my faja but it was too big! They are sending a replacement. I really wish my doctor gave me a body suit or something because the compression garment they gave me is just an abdominal binder and it has been chafing my legs. It also gives my sides indentions. I put desitin on the chafing and its feeling a bit better. The foam def helps with indentions from the binder but I only have 1 and am not going to buy more. I've spent too much money on all this stuff! My 1 week appointment is not until next week and I have a million questions!  My incisions are healing pretty well and the bruising is fading. Only 1 more week of 24/7 compression garment and my good garment still isn't even here. Ugh.

Anyway here are some pics, I'm a bit swollen and you can really tell from the back and side but changes are a comin'. 

I went walking yesterday and came home super swollen. Not fun but I'm still going walking again tonight.

I bought a spanx cami to wear under my binder it doesn't seem to help with the chafing and indentions but I don't have to wear a bra. Lol

Faja

I got this Fajate #427 yesterday and it is so comfortable! I got a medium and it has 3 rows of hooks. The middle row is perfect so that I can put my foam under and still be comfortable. Since yesterday my swelling has stayed pretty minimal even after walking so I love this compression garment. I chose the vest because I only got my abdomen/flanks done and don't need compression on my legs. It also makes going to the bathroom easy. Its very comfortable and I can even use my abdominal binder on top if I want more compression.

Today I am going to the doctor for this strep throat. I feel like its really hindering my progress. I wouldn't be nearly as tired and achy if it weren't for being sick and having my period. I'm looking forward to being able to workout again.

The little things

My favorite brand of clothing is Lululemon, its expensive AF but the quality is really good and they always have cute prints and functional designs. I normally only buy the crops or shorts because all their tops are fitted and I never felt comfortable in them. Last week during their weekly online shop upload, they listed a new shirt that I thought was such a nice color. I really wanted it but I know that their shirts just don't work with my body. Anyway, I went to the Lululemon store to get a pair of pants repaired when I saw the shirt. I am still wearing my compression garment, but I thought...what the hell, why not? So I got the shirt in 1 size up from my normal size. Just to try. The shirt is baggy but I really do not like fitted shirts..its the kind of shirt that even though its big still clings to the body and omg...it looked great!!  I normally buy mens shirts so they don't cling to my muffin top but this womens tee, albeit baggy, fit my new waist and still had room for me to feel...CONFIDENT!  Like what?! I was tempted to push the odds and try my size...but  I really loved the way it fit and was not ready to come down from this pivotal moment. I showed my husband the shirt, and with a huge cheese smile, I told him I feel pretty. For the first time in my life, this semi-fitted Lululemon shirt made me feel pretty.

Just thought I'd share a moment that made all this pain and recovery worth it.

Speaking of recovery, the swelling has been pretty bad but when I'm not super puffy, I'm super lumpy! So many hard lumps have begun forming on my lower abdomen. It feels weird. I know this is normal and have been massaging them but it doesn't seem to make a difference. As for pain, its still about a 2 out of 10. I feel sore still, and bending down still is not very easy. I'm moving around a lot and do not need much pain meds. My skin is also feeling very tight on my flanks, almost uncomfortably tight. I finally got the strep throat clearing uo which has helped but I seem to be bruising more. I think maybe I still have a lot of fluid in there. My first follow up is Wednesday so I'll update some more after that.

Merp...

Well, I had my doctor follow up today (tomorrow marks 2 weeks) it went ok. I got a couple of tips on how to manage the lumps. I wasn't prepared for being so rushed at my visit. I admit that I was 10 minutes late, so maybe thats why the doctor didn't have time for me but I am a bit disappointed. I had so many questions and concerns but the doctor seemed like he couldn't wait to get the hell out of the room. He is a very bland person, like if he told me a joke I wouldn't know it. I guess he's monotone thus I can't get a read on him. I don't want to be a bother, but I did just give him a lot of money and I shouldn't have to feel like I'm being a burden. Anyway, I chalked it up to me being late and maybe they were busy with that empty waiting room and all...but I digress, I did ask about Arnica and it seems like it is beneficial and I could benefit from taking the pills but the doctor didn't say it was necessary. Apparently, the dark spots on my hips are due to the laser coming close to my skin and the discoloration could be helped by the arnica but overall it would go away over time. The itching is due to the nerves regenerating. My skin is slow to retract but its looking about where it shoupd he at. I started getting an indention today in the middle of my stomach so the doctor recommending using the foam in that area. Overall I'm healing well but still need to continue wearing compression. Tomorrow I'll post my 2 week pics but I'm in a really pissy mood because of the way the doctor didn't want to answer my questions. Like seriously yo! I have soooo many questions. Next time I'll write them down. I am partially to blame for being late an unprepared but I dunno, some of the reviews I read in here seem like their follow ups were much more informative. I do like my doctor, he is very nice but not friendly. Everyone on their staff is not super friendly and welcoming at all. My results are looking good though so I guess its worth it but I am not ready to recommend/review my doctor on here yet. This is why I haven't name dropped, I want to be able to write a detailed review on this clinic once I get a good overall impression. So far...meh. but he did do a great job which matters the most but bedside manner is crap.

2 weeks post op

2 weeks post of pics
Some discoloration on my hips, minimal swelling *taken first thing in the morning. I'm down from 144.8 to 139.2 in weight. There are a few lumps on my lower abdomen but I have been massaging them and my doctor suggested using a tool like a pie roller or paint roller to roll them. My massager has a rolling attachment I have been using. My abdomen still feels quite numb but itching is not as bad. I did get back in touch with the clinic and had the rest of my concerns addressed so I feel much better! Anyway the poses aren't 100% the same but you can tell the swelling is going down and the shape is looking curvy. If this is just my 2 week results I'm really looking forward to whatever is next.

I've been having trouble going to the bathroom and have completely stopped using any pain pills so hopefully it will resolve soon. I'm going to start cycling again because running is just feeling like a no go. The bouncing is just uncomfortable, but I really need to exercise, I hate feeling too sedentary from only walking. My activities are not restricted however I've tried lightly jogging and it just made me feel more sore and uncomfortable. I also swole up like a balloon. I just need to find lower impact. If I do cycle I'll have to wear my foam because of the posture needed. I might just do the recumbent bike at the gym. Anyway I for sure have changed and am really liking my results!

4 weeks

I haven't been updating because everything has been the same. A bit more swelling (my stomach never looks as flat as it did on my 2 week update ever since I stopped sleeping in my garment.) Yesterday marked 4 weeks which means I no longer have to wear any compression! I find during the day its hard to not wear it because I get like a pins and needles feeling with like a random sharp pain. When I put compression it feels better. It doesn't really make a huge difference with swelling. Even with compression, my body transforms daily from "ok! Just a little swollen but looking like progreas" to "swollen blob, never gonna look better" throughout the day. Every. Damn. Day.  As the general consensus echos "this is a roller coaster"  Sunday will be my one month mark but I'll be out of town on vacation. I'll probably still look the same. I've been running/walking twice a week, walking daily, and I started cycling again. Running is hard, the shock from bouncing does hurt so I wear my faja. I'll probably keep using my faja for physical activity. Diet is the same as pre op which I feel guilty about but I'm always just so hungry. I decided to try wearing only a maidenform garment instead of my faja for daily wear. It feels nice and held in and less bully. It almost feels like nothing at all. Then straps of my faja always bothered me. Hopefully this new garment won't roll but its a little more compressive than just my spanx cami but less than the faja. A good in between for getting used to no compression. I'll probably keep using it for a week or more. Lumps are still quite prominent on my lower abdomen. Massaging them does not make a difference. I knead them with my fingertips daily but no change. I did have lumps by my ribs but those went away. My upper abdomen is starting to soften but my lower abs and flanks still feel numb and hurt if you push down on them. So 1 month down is still too early for me to say worth it, especially with the crazy daily swelling fluctuations.

Quick comparison

Just wanted to post a comparison pic. I'm 6 weeks post op. Still swelling a lot especially at the end of the day or immediately after a good run. I tried running without compression today and look like a balloon right now. SO swollen!

I don't wear compression anymore and I do swell a lot still. Compression would help but I hate it lol

Anyway this was an outfit I wanted to wear for races and it made me look like a marshmallow on toothpicks. Now my figure is looking much more proportionate! My lovehandles were my biggest problem area and they are gone! I'm definitely feeling way better in clothes. Not quite as confident naked but I def see the changes.
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