As I said in the title, I'm pretty sure some...
As I said in the title, I'm pretty sure some people have smaller thighs than I do arms. After losing 140 pounds, gaining 40 back, and still hating my body, I've decided to spend this year working on it. I started with a Mommy Makeover in December. It's been six months, so I've now scheduled a brachioplasty along with a revision of my vertical incision with lips. I'll focus on the arms here.
I have so many sleeveless fashions and whenever I see a picture, all I can see is my huge, flabby arms. I can't wait to get this done. I've already ordered a Marena 3/4 sleeve compression shrug and some Embrace Scar Therapy sheets to help with scarring.
We didn't have time or space for photos at my doctor appointment, so I'll be doing those the day of surgery instead. I've got my prescriptions, paid my fee an now it's just a countdown to the day. I'm taking a week and a half off, playing it by ear. I have a desk job. I can work some from home the following week if I'm not feeling great.
Praying for no drains!
I had my surgery Thursday afternoon. I was home that night by eight. Compared to the Mommy Makeover, this is a cake walk.
Arms are tight but okay. My elbows and armpits are oozing a lot so I'm trying not to move them too much. They aren't real sore. My forearms and hands are pretty swollen though. I have sausage fingers.
I also had a revision of my previous TT scar. That earned me a drain, which makes me sad. Better than three like last time.
Anyway, so far so good. I get to take a shower tonight so I'm excited.
Here's a before and after - morning of and day 3.
I've gone down from 2 pain pills every 4 hours to just one. Still taking muscle relaxants and antibiotics because of my drain. I also have one shot of blood thinner left. After today I also get to remove my compression stockings.
All is well go far. I'm moving around okay although I can't reach something high because it pulls at the incision near my armpit. As you can see in the pictures, he went from in my armpit to my elbow. The ends seem to leak the most although that has gone down significantly.
The most annoying part of the moment is the swelling. From the elbow down, my arms are almost grotesquely distended from fluid. I try to elevate my arms but it's hard to keep them over my heart.
Went to the PS today. Everything looks good. I have a tiny opening in my left armpit but that's common and will close on its own, she said. I am allowed to move within my limits, although I still should avoid pushing, pulling, lifting and overextending my arms. Tummy is fine, although like last time I'll have the drain for a while.
I'm going to try to switch to my usual Norco during the day and save the Percocet for nighttime so I can drive. Also switching back to my regular muscle relaxants because Flexeril knocks me out. I've basically been asleep for days.
Aside from my armpits and elbows aching from time to time, the worst has to be my arm swelling. It's gotten to the point where I can't make a fist or bend my wrist very far. I have the meaty hands of an Italian butcher from Queens. If I had hairy knuckles it would complete the picture.
That's all for now. Going to the doctor and getting breakfast required a 2 hr nap follow up.
I've snapped out of my Percocet fueled coma and I'm back to just taking the Norco I normally take. God bless morphine derivatives. Ive been awake more today than any other day since surgery. Might make a test excursion to Publix today to fill a prescription and see how I do driving.
Slept in a ridiculous position trying to keep my arms elevated but I still have meaty arms. My pinky finger's knuckle is actually looking Ike it's bleeding under the skin a little, which is great. Hoping I just bashed it and don't remember. Would ice help? A diuretic? Should I ace wrap my forearms? Go without my upper arm wrap for awhile?
Had my shower and rebandaging ritual (which requires 3 people). Honestly it's more work almost than my mommy makeover because when you take your own arms out of the equation everything is harder. Before I had more to bandage and wrap, but I had arms to help and could do some things myself. This time, we made the mistake of putting my sports bra under my compression sleeves, which hook in the back like a bra, but higher. No way I can remove them alone because I can't move my arms like that. So I was stuck in the sports bra for a day and a half until Mom came to rescue me.
Updated photos. The arms are looking a lot better, less bruising. The bandages have caused most the redness. You can see the small opening in my left armpit. I'm trying not to move too much so it can close up but it's hard. And I can't raise my arms enough to reduce the swelling because they don't move that way.
Tummy is fine. Aside from the swelling, it's pretty flat. It hasn't given me any issues. So little that I keep forgetting to treat my belly button. Including an evolutionary photo for it from the beginning.
19 Days Post Op
Had an eventful weekend. Tried to take it easy because my arms were achy. Going back to work after a week probably wasn't a great idea. A desk job is sedentary but I use my arms to type all day.
Today, when I unwrapped to shower, I noticed a gooey spot. I peeled the surgical tape off and yep - got an opening in my incision. I have a smaller one in the opposite arm too. I guess I've overdone it. How are you supposed to not use your arms? Well, I know from my last surgery where I had the same issue, that all the nurses will tell me to do is keep it clean, keep it dry, and keep it covered. So that's what I did. I'm still taking my antibiotic's, so I'll keep an eye for infection but I probably fine until my follow-up appointment next Tuesday.
I also accidentally removed the drain that they had in for my stomach revision. It had started to come out earlier in the week, and I could see the white part sticking out. Then one day in the shower I put my leg up on the step to shave my legs, got tangled in the tubing, And yanked that sucker out. Thankfully, my totals were low and the fluid was fairly clear, but not the way I intended to have it removed. Sure feels good to have it gone now. I hate those damn things.
Although my incisions don't go that far down, both my arms feel like someone is holding a lighter just as the inside of both my elbows. They burn all day, pills be damned. Probably why I don't notice the incision trouble because it doesn't hurt the way the phantom elbow pain does. Just thought I'd share that.
On the plus side the swelling is gone from my fingers. I can wear my rings again. My arms are still swollen but at least I got my fingers back.
I just spent 10 minutes in the sun talking to someone and I need to take a shower. It never crossed my mind that the peak of summer was a bad time to need skin tight compression garments. It also never crossed my mind that I would have to go weeks without deodorant in addition to limited bathing. Idiot. Baby wipes and perfume are my friend and for everyone else's sake, I hope it's adequate. Should've done thighs in summer and arms in winter.
Showering and bandage changing today. Right incision seems to drying out, so that's good. My primary issue at the moment is the tape from the bandages ripping my skin off. I even bought the gentle, sensitive tape. All the red spots on my arm that aren't directly on the incision line are from the damn tape.
Starting scar treatment on my stomach. Can't wait to start my arms. The sooner the better results wise but the incisions have to be dry and closed first.
Had my follow up appointment with Dr. Allison today. He said the stomach looked great and asked what kind of scar treatment I've been using. My horizontal scar is only 8 months old and you can barely see it. I told him he needed to sell them in the office because they're expensive and he should get a cut. :)
My arms... He said they looked irritated and was glad I'd continued to take my antibiotics even without the drain (he didn't yell at me about taking it out either). He said that the stitches were coming through the incision and that was what was causing the skin to open and be red. So he took those pliar scissor things and some gauze squares and pulled out about 10 of them. Maybe 6 in my right and 4 or 5 from my left. He had to dig around a bit, so some areas that had closed are now open again but he said now they would close in a day or two and be fine. Then I can start scar treatment. The sooner that starts the better the results. My two breasts scarred very differently because I was able to treat one sooner.
It would be nice to have the oozing stop. I am tired of bandaging them and not having a regular bathing schedule. A couple more days and hopefully I'll be back to normal. Since one of the stitches came out of my armpit, still no deodorant either. I forgot to ask when I can wear that again. I know it's not good for you. Maybe I should order some natural aluminum free stuff.
Removing the stitches didn't hurt because my skin is mostly numb. The armpit wasn't fun but I didn't feel much else. Digging around in the openings made them bleed again so now my arms are sore, but it could be worse.
Two more weeks of compression garments. I can switch to spanx if I want to for my stomach. Then I go back to the dr in another month.
So I wanted to mention the compression garments my ps recommended for my arms. They send you home wrapped in ace bandages but they said that Marena arm garments were great and would help the end result. They aren't cheap but they're a lot easier to put on, more comfortable and hopefully will have better results. Here's a few pics. They're like a shrug.
Arms are feeling much better after removing the stitches. Taking less pain meds and almost out of the antibiotics. It's looks worse than it is. If not for the bandaging and sleeves leaving marks it would look a lot better. I have a week and a half left of the compression garments and then it will be a lot more comfortable. Hoping that I'll be healed up enough to get in my aunt's pool at the end of the month. Also hoping to wear the bikinis I ordered this summer and didn't have the nerve to wear yet.
Five weeks out today. My arms have almost entirely closed up. There's still a bigger section on my right arm that is closing up after the stitches got removed. I'm down to just one small bandage over that under my compression sleeves. Hoping to start scar treatment soon.