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My weight has fluctuated for years...
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My weight has fluctuated for years but mostly because I was skin and bones in high school and slowly developed my womanly shape as I went through college. The last 4 years has been a constant weight battle. I got really in shape and kept it off for a few years then suddenly out of nowhere the lbs started sticking and wouldn't go away. I'm an avid person who likes to work out every now and then and when I really see results I go all in. Unfortunately even this stopped showing results and everything accumulated in my midsection. Sure my thighs and arms took a little of the blow too but not to the extent my stomach and flanks did. I decided that after several months of Crossfit, a 2 week alcohol detox and only 2-3 rest days that something had to give. Was it my diet? I honestly think I eat better now than I have in recent years. Was it my alcohol consumption? Could be but I cut out downing sugary drinks for the past year. Was it STRESS? I'd have to think it's caused by this and a combination of alcohol and previous non-consistency in the gym.
I used to be able to go and lose weight almost instantly. Then I'd continue to define muscle and...stop. That worked for me until I got into my early 30s I guess. Then it became impossible to lose ANYTHING. 6lbs in 4 months is not progress to me folks. Most people could lose that in a month if they simply cut out soda or something. So without further ado this brought me to my decision to have lipo.
Initially I had done little research on it but did enough "local" research to find the right doctor and figure out if I could have my old body back from my younger years. So in April 2015 I went to see Dr. Steely. He had the best reviews for liposuction in Houston with the most BEFORE AND AFTER. I'm a visual person so his website, photo gallery, certification, tenure and reviews were my deciding factor. I really have to say that although price is a factor, when it comes to body alterations you don't just go to the Groupon deal of the day, you go to the Maserati of body sculpting. This is why they create financing plans and this is why you plan surgery based on your vacation time and the time it takes to get the money you need rather than just forking over a couple thousand to make do with what you have. Some will disagree but hey, it's your body!! I just personally didnt want to end up on Botched.
Dr. Steely's office was professional and the consult was free. This really took the edge off when I was on the fence because I didn't want to be obligated to lose money or come to this doctor if I wasn't sure. After talking everything through with his staff I agreed to the abdomen, bra strap area, anterior and posterior flanks and inner thighs. $7800. Although at the time I was like this is insane money, the only thing that made me decide NOT to do it was the results I wanted. I wanted a more athletic appearance, contours and feminine lines. The before and after I pointed at the doctor told me I couldn't achieve this because the patient wasn't as large as me. But what I kept saying was that THIS body (I showed him an older picture) is STILL inside this fat. I have an hourglass profile, I find it hard to believe that this patients results will ALWAYS BE BETTER THAN MINE when our staring points aren't that far off. So needless to say I don't think he understood me or my body. He understood my expectations, of which, as a doctor it is his job to counsel me accordingly in all honesty. I mean, two different patients can't expect the same outcome- that's OBVI but if you look at the aesthetics of the body, you should be able to know each body's individual capability.
So now, I decided that I was too out of shape and was just plain lazy and didn't try to lose the weight hard enough. I took the next 6 months to ramp up exercises including # of days and intensity. I was determined to get the fat OFF. And I lost a whopping 6lbs by the 4.5 month and I decided it was time to look at Lipo again. I've attached my April vs Oct photos so you can see where the 6lbs dissipates- the midsection! But I'm still 20-25lbs to my ideal weight and at this rate it'd take 2 years!
So now I'm really researching Lipo. There was an episode on Botched where this crazy man had like 100 surgeries but his most prized was his 6 pack. Apparently he had the procedure done in Columbia and Dr. Dubrow & the other one were so impressed with it! Mostly because he had implants but it got me to thinking. If a doctor can CREATE abs why couldn't he work with the ones you already have? And alas, I stumbled upon 4D Vaser High Definition Lipo - WOW! No one was talking about this stuff. And after research I found out WHY.
There are only about 60 docs worldwide that practice high def. they have to be specially and specifically trained to do this procedure and they can ONLY be taught by the man who created it- who by the way is from Colombia I believe! So I won't go into what Vaser high def is because you can google it but to make a long story short, Dr. SUKKAR is the only doctor in Houston that is certified in the procedure. It's like a cop completing the FBI academy on Quantico or something. It IS the Holy Grail of liposuction and with this in mind, it was no question that I was not only having this procedure done- but Dr. SUKKAR was going to do it for me.
And so, Oct 5th 2015- I went under with Dr. SUKKAR to discover my long lost self and uncover the 6 months of intense training that the gym alone could not unveil. I welcome you to travel this journey with me! Thank you for reading my dissertation! Lol :)
The many stomachs of me
This is just to show you where my stomach has been most of the year.
From L to R: Oct 2015, June 2015, & April 2015 (at my 1st Lipo consult). As you can see, 6 months didn't do much for my stomach. But you can clearly see that the 6 lbs I lost between April and June all came from my midsection and a piece of my thighs. Sighs. It was going to be a long road to shake this stomach fat without this procedure!
Pain Meds, Lymph Massages & The Dreaded Monthly
So I was prescribed 3 prescriptions to fill for my procedure. Cephalexin (antibiotic; you take this the night before and the morning of surgery then 4x a day after); Hydrocodone (the noted pain pill in the news; take one every 4-6 hours AS NEEDED); and Zolpidem (sleeping pill; 1x every night as needed).
So here's the scoop on everything.
The hydrocodone ALONE will pretty much put you to sleep within an hour of taking it. I was excited about having an entire week off to "hard recover" but it's flown by so fast because I probably slept the entire first 3 days lol. Literally hibernated. Each dosage I fell asleep for 2hrs. Around the 3.5hr mark the pain would start to come in again and at hour 4 I was taking it again and repeating the whole process again. Except for at night time, you'd almost sleep through the whole night but you have to pee every two hours also because you are required to drink 8oz of water every 2 hours to stay hydrated and flushing your system. So you can see how every 4th hour of take a pill, followed by 8oz of water, I'd fall asleep within an hour and rest for two hours, then wake up pee, drink water and within 2hrs it was time to do it all over again. My DVR was full of all my favorite shows so I've literally had the best weekend and rest in my life!
However to be honest, I never needed the sleeping pills. I'll hold on to them until my drains come out so if I haven't used them by then, I'm just going to flush them down the toilet. Night 1 I slept like a baby- I camped out on our couch because it's the lowest thing to the floor right now- getting in the bed with my husband was NOT an option. Our bed currently sits like 4 feet off the ground vs the couch which is 1.5ft.
Tuesday 10/6: Day 1 post opt, was my 1st scheduled lymphatic massage. They're 30min -1hr long of which the first few were to be an hour to help expedite the drainage and therefore healing process. I took ONE pill exactly 40 mins before the massage-- it was a nightmare!!! My pain tolerance is 0 on a scale of 1-10 so I literally sobbed out loud when my abs were touched. Needless to say the masseuse opted to continue the next day, brought in the doctor and he gave me two options: 1) take TWO pain pills and get an anti-inflammatory/numbing shot or 2) take two pain pills with an ibuprofen. I was told the first had more numbing so of course I went with it, despite my needle phobia. And so I returned for massage # 1 (which was technically #2) on 10/7. NOTE: post opt drainage HURTS LIKE THE HELL. It literally feels like a boil or something because it's in these little pockets and they just fill up and make it difficult for you to stand up straight, lean or turn. Day 1 post opt, I was next to miserable. And it got me to thinking that one 10/325 pain pill was simply NOT enough. Then once we got settled in I wanted to try to pull through the drainage that the drain cords build up like the masseuse showed me...and...FIRE!!!! Like literally it felt like someone lit a match on my left pelvic area and I screamed out like I'd been burned with a hot poker!!! This time I reached for not one, but TWO pain pills as it had been almost 4 hours since the 1 hour digestion prior to my one hour massage and my one hour drive to get home. I literally had to catch my breath while my husband frantically dialed the doctors office to find out if he'd done something wrong! "Is the burning sensation by her rib cage?" "Yes ma'am it is" "Then this is perfectly normal Sir, the fluid MUST come out and sometimes causes the sensation of burning as it passes through."
And since then I've noticed one heck of a difference in pain moderation between taking 1 and 2 pain pills. I needed the latter.
Wed 10/7: Massage two with the two pills was like, Heaven. I mean nothing can 100% knock out the pain of bruised flanks and battered muscles, but for my tolerance level I was very proud of myself! We pushed out 200cc's of fluid and all the built up pain I had the day before was pretty much GONE. My waist felt warm and all cozy like warm, fresh buttered biscuits. Sidebar- no one talks about how surgery constipates you like crazy. The doctor suggested stool softener and the masseuse recommended Milk of Magnesia. My left drain (which is surgically my right) kept giving this burning sensation when pressed again or drained in certain areas. I didn't even feel this leaving which was amazing! I went home, stopped at CVS for the Milk of Mag and commenced to eating more soup and drinking a gallon of water a day as I have been. I'll have to say, I thought the Milk of Mag didn't work. It was still a struggle after everything I'd been through.
Thursday 10/8: no massage today. Al my family members had hard commitments so I took this time to really RELAX. Family came home about 6 and we watched Insidious 3 which scared the hell out of me and almost made me pop a suture stitch lol. Don't watch scary movies when you're taking pain meds or close to being on bed rest hahaha.
Friday 10/9: Massage 3. Still minor pain but took it like a champ-- I'm becoming a PRO! :-D
Saturday 10/10: my BFF took me to my massage today-- no one was there to numb me so I took 4 pills total- 2 one hour before and 2 getting out the car. BOLD I know. Today's massage went well (still minor pain) but in looking at my pics I really didn't see much of a difference from Friday's pic. I just felt all clogged up and kind of moody. So my friend took my shopping. I started to feel kind of grumpy and paint again, so I reached for my meds and realized I was down to only 9 pills. 9 pills!!! I had 60 on Sunday 10/4!!! So I called the nurse and told her I had to make sure I had enough to get through the next 4-5 days until my drains were removed. I know you're probably sitting here reading this thinking I'm already strung out like the people they talk about on 20/20 but I swear it's not that serious-- you'll understand when you get this procedure! Every draining minute is one minute closer to the real feeling of fat being scraped off your muscles. Just saying.
Anyway, I'm trying to remain "Ambulatory" so I agreed to go shopping with my friend at TJX & Marshalls/HomeGoods. I got a lot of stares that had me self- conscious while out and about. Because the scuba suit that's worn with the bullet proof vest (my description) and the clip on drainage eggs is made of spandex, I felt comfortable enough to put on a long shirt and a longer cardigan to give the layered look with leggings. Just remember that there's a hole for you to do your deeds and it expands to the back...I didn't realize how many times I had to pull my cardigan out of my ____ because it bunched in the car and of course I can barely feel my cheeks. So after a couple hours of shopping (great circulation-- no blood clots over here honey!) brought me home and made me tomato bisque with a house salad and detox tea to get things going. Still nothing, all false alarms-- and might I say that with that much pain medicine it numbs EVERYTHING. Like, you can barely feel your butt cheeks let alone the part where gas should release. My stomach rumbled like I'd taken Alka Seltzer with Sprite and everytime I thought "this is it" I felt like I was trying to deliver a 10lb gas baby. Anyway, still nothing all day!! Stomach kept rumbling but no action. So by midnight I woke up and decided it was time to try the Milk of Mag again. By 5am-- the flood gates opened and I think I lost 3lbs during the Great Flood. So buy you some and don't give up on it! ;-)
Sunday 10/11: I started my monthly. Oh for the love of all things purple, it's that time ALREADY!? So now I've got severe cramping on top of the pain I already had- which has subdued for the most part, but with only 6 pills left and no script until Monday (narcotics must be freshly written with new ink, in person given and dropped off to the pharmacy- no call ins) I started to take 1 pain med with two 200mg Advil. That actually felt MUCH better than the two pills I was taking previously because I'm not drowsy anymore! :)
Back to work tomorrow! (10/12) But thank God it's all from home!! Supposed to go to a meeting on Tuesday (10/13) but I think it's probably best I stay home based until NEXT week where I'm obligated to be out almost everyday in the field and want to keep this get up on minus the drains so I can maximize my post opt!
The Compression Garment
ive been great wearing this 23hrs a day as prescribed. I take it off one hour a day to wash and dry it while I'm showering and doing my morning routine.
Remember, strappy outty and spandex inny! Meaning put the silkiest piece (Yoga Jumpsuit) on first (interior) and the strapped compression (bka the Bullet Proof Waist Trainer in my house) on the exterior.
Yes that's a hair clip lol. I hate when the drains dangle and the spout bends-- we need ALL this stuff OUT so I can get these drains removed!
4th Lymphatic Massage (7 days Post Opt)
Fourth massage today! Fluid is starting to dry up and my stomach is starting to form its permanent lines-- so exciting! Had two areas that were extremely painful to push through the fluid, they're areas around the drainage tubes. My right side of my belly button has a small pocket that keeps collecting fluid immediately after we massage the area. It's not a seroma but I have 5.5 more massages left (10 was recommended) before I'm considered in top shape. The average time to wear the drains is 7-10 days which the 10th is Wed (10/14). My fluids must be less than 25cc within a 12 hour period before they are comfortable taking them out. I'd be happy to wear them 11-12 days to prevent having to aspirate a fluid pocket. YIKES! Oh and I got a refill on my pain meds-- goodbye Advil! ;)
1st Day back to work! W/full compression gear
I have dedicated my recovery to being 100% and figured I could get crafty with hiding the bulky compression garment and fluid grenades. I drained the grenades and cupped them under my breast, tucked the cords into the front of the garment and covered with a tank top to hold in place. I added a statement necklace to draw any potential attention away from my midsection and added my signature long cardigan to hide any bumps along the waist and back. Also added my lovely LV crossbody as an additional eye distraction. How'd I do? :-)
I'll be working from home the rest of the week but with me being in sales, opportunities to close don't sleep so I don't either!
Last Monday, 10/5 I had my 4D lipo surgery and was under gas and local anesthesia for the procedure. Last thing I remember was getting on the procedure table which was surprisingly warm before waking up in the same room I first got my IV inserted and saying "So are we heading to surgery now?" Lol.
Needless to say I never got to see my fat tubes that everyone always sees. Maybe I did and just don't remember - so I asked the office to see them. They removed 850cc of pure fat-- pictures doesn't look like much but not sure how large they are but I definitely have the soreness/pain/swelling/bruising to know I had a good bit-o-fat sucked out my frame.
5th Lymph massage was incredibly painful today. I've been draining like crazy since my massage yesterday -- we got the L side draining great now! Anyhow, since everything draining pretty good now, the fluid is dining little crevices to accumulate in. I hadn't really worn my compression tight because initially any pressure on the draining tubes gave a burning sensation. But after having those fluid pockets pushed out this afternoon! My God-- I'm strapped into this puppy like a straight jacket!!!
We massaged out 100cc of fluid on top of the 80cc I drained naturally today. Last night I drained another 50-75cc-- thought I was supposed to be drying out! Day 10 post op is tomorrow.
I wanted to get an idea how much fluid weighs so I used our super high tech scale to calculate that 50cc is approx .5lbs. So we massages out a pound of fluid today!
1.5 Hour Lymph massage today!
Today I actually drove myself to my lymph massage because my husband had to work and my aunt called in sick today. I refused to miss my appointment since yesterday's massage was a date from HELL-- I had a fluid pocket we had to push through and I swear I could've passed out from the pain! So we strapped me into this compression garment like my life depended on it- I wasn't letting a single ounce of air or swelling into my belly last night!! Needless to say, I might as well have had a straight jacket on lol.
I feel amazing today!! I don't know if it was my sense of empowerment to stay committed to my recovery, the fluid drying up, or because I got a few packages today from all my online shopping I've managed to do from the couch the past 10 days. All I know is that I'm chipper as all get out!
So I wanted to share with you a before and after of what one of my lymph sessions looks like. And today, we actually did 1.5 hours because I'm on day 10 and we are anxious to get these drains out!
But I'll be darn if we didn't run into yet another excruciating pocket!! The one from yesterday was like butter today, actually felt good. But the one on my L side now, I might as well have been flayed by House Bolton on Game of Thrones!!!! No lie, that sucker is between a rib and an ab line-- blood clots and tissue strands spewed out of there today and it was so gross and painful that we stopped -- so we can go back at it again tomorrow. I hope it makes a full recovery tomorrow because, from the looks of it, I'll have less than 50cc by my massage tomorrow and if that's the case- these drains will be coming out! Although I bet they'll make me wait until Friday...hmm. Well, I sure hope so because I need a mani/pedi and don't want to carry this colostomy bag around anymore!!
7th Lymph Massage today-- No Pain!!!
Got a word rash breakout on my abs after my massage today. It actually burned when we out alcohol on it. Don't know what caused it but so happy with my silhouette! :)
Massage today was amazingly soothing. Felt great, some sore parts but nothing excruciating like the two fluid pockets I had.
Drains should be coming out tomorrow if my draining slows! Fingers crossed! :)
8th Lymph Massage- STILL HAVE MY DRAINS!!! SIGHS!
Today I went in for my 8th 1hr lymphatic massage eager to have my drains taken out and ready to conquer the world! I hadn't really looked at my drains since 6am when I woke up in slight pain, as I thought coming off my pain meds would make my rash go away-- only to find out it's the detergent that I'm using to wash my garment everyday. Cortisone 10 really works btw!
Anywho, I had 25 cc's in my stubborn L drain and less than 20 in my R one. I swear they were both like 10 but boy was I wrong! Well needless to say I'm stuck with my drains until Monday now. But Monday I REALLY go back to work and have appointments ALL DAY! So I can't have them removed until after my breakfast meeting on Tuesday...tear!!
Needless to say even between 24hrs my abs have improved! I assumed they looked the same but sitting a side by side pic from yesterday and today shows the minor yet major differences. We removed another 40 cc's today souring my session. Next is supposed to be Tuesday but I feared getting stiff and ruining progress so the masseuse has offered to do one Sunday if I need it. I'll take it.
See ya'll Tuesday! Don't forget, drains come out on 10/20 but most important my two week follow up on 10/22!! :-D
9th Lymph Massage 10/16
The lymphatic masseuse, Ruby, texted me yesterday and told me I could come in today @ 11am! She suggested I come in today because I go back to work tomorrow and even though my drains are ready to come out tomorrow, I can't go back until Tuesday since I have appointments most of the week.
I really have to start wiping off all the massage oil-- it appears to darken the skin and make me look like a body builder lol. Random acne keeps attacking my skin around my belly button-- shaving, heat, sweat and detergent are to blame for that. Eww
I haven't really weighed myself yet. I did a few days ago and had only lost a whopping 2lbs since surgery. I definitely have lost inches-- everywhere from my face to my thighs. I attribute all of that to a gallon of water a day for 2 weeks and no alcohol for 3. Wonder if I can keep this up for 3-6 weeks following my return to the gym...I gather I would cut up quite nicely :-)
From my starting weight of 167.8lbs - my goal is to eventually land around 137-145 with Tina Turner legs and nice natural Beyoncé curves.
Drains come out Tuesday!!
Drains Be Gone!! 10th (final) Lymph Massage 10/20
Woke up at 162.8lbs today which is down 5lbs from the day od surgery! Drain removal was a breeze. Massage felt great. Couldn't feel better! 2 week follow up with the doctor is Thursday-- can't wait!!
Week 5 Post Op: Checkup, Massage and...Seroma?
So last week I got really concerned about a small bulge I found above the right groin area and by the pack to the left top of my belly button-- let me tell it, these were alien pockets targeted at destroying my recovery. Freaked out, I took these pics and sent them to the nurse and doctor-- they called me in to check it out because I wasn't really sure how to describe the texture. Just felt like skin.
Well anyway, I finally got in today and went ahead and paid for a half hour massage to see if it would make the areas fizzle out. Turns out it pretty normal, the tissue in these areas are still absorbing some fluid but the body will naturally break them down over time. It's just so early everyone was more or less shocked at how much progress I've made in 5 weeks (feels like it's been 2-3 months honestly). So although I come for my 6 week checkup with the Doctor next week, my "after" photos will be done at 3 months rather than 6 because they're anxious to see how I'll look. Speaking of 3 months they said if the areas of concern are still there at 3 months THEN we may have to check for alternatives.
So all in all, I have abs already and they cant believe it. It's made my naturally large breasts and buttocks protrude out more to the point that when I came in today-- no one knew exactly what I had done lol. No BBL here baby, this rump roast is an naturale haha.
Last, I'm still dwelling without compression-- it feels like leg day two days later in the midsection when this happens. But when it's nice and secured (I sleep with the compression garment still at night because I feel comfortable, warm, and fluffy lol) I feel great. However, in the field Im wearing a waist trainer now. Only done this for about a good week and a half. It has boning in it so sometimes after long periods of wear it tends to rub in the wrong areas and gets annoying. I've ironically gotten All the way to the tightest notch in 2 weeks and wondering if I need a smaller one now? Like did it get loose or am I REALLY getting that small through the waist??
I'm not 100% sure yet because I'm on the lovely Womens trouble right now and have eaten wheat which I have a small allergy to. Last but not least on day 31 I couldn't WAIT to have a damn martini (yes I went exactly 30 days no alcohol-- by the 31st, it was TIME) so I'm sure I'm carrying over a few ounces of water weight by resuming my favorite pastime. Judge me not! So I'm still at 162.8lbs. I started walking for about 10-15 mins on my treadmill on an incline last Sunday-- I don't want to lose anymore muscle mass but I havent exactly received medical clearance from the doctor to go 100% back in at Crossfit.
Next week is week 6. So the start of week 7 I'll feel comfortable doing push ups, burpees and body weight resistance. It's going to be tough but BOY am I looking forward to lose 12-15 more lbs of fat! I was instructed to start small and work my way up-- at/after 6 weeks.
Scars healed lovely! Besides the discoloration which I'm going to try some Ambi fade cream AFTER I try ScarAway patches-- I want them to lay as flat as possible before I start bleaching them out. The weirdest scars are where rhe drainage tubes were! They were like subway tunnels at first and ironically have closed and are started to flatten back to the rest of the skin on my vaginal area. I suppose I won't be waxing for a while either way.
Oh and my belly button isn't in shock anymore!! The skin above it isn't giving my outtie such a lazy eye anymore, the body is an amazing healing engine!
Until next week-- see you folks!
Updates coming soon
16 Jan 2016
3 months post
So it's been about 3 months since the procedure and I feel pretty good! My sides are very slightly tender sometimes but all of the feeling and sensitivity is pretty much gone. I missed my 3 month post op appt bc I started a new job but I'd rather do the 6 month. Things look great! But since I haven't been able to work out and I don't want to see a side by side until I shed some more pounds. All in all, I've kept around 164 (I was at 162.8 after the procedure but keep in mind that's also with NO alcohol consumption) so I'm doing pretty good! I found out about 3 weeks before my operation that I had a hormonal issue which is why I was gaining weight in the midsection. I have my follow up appt with that doctor on Monday (12/18) and will find out what's going on and if I'm improving-- so I can go work out! I'm NOT working out now because I won't lose any fat, this is why I had this procedure done in the first place. Nonetheless I have a vacation coming up in the Caribbean this summer so I'm looking forward to teeny little bikinis the entire trip! I need to jump on P90x!! Ttys!