Fluer De Lis Tummy Tuck with Breast Lift/reduction...*UPDATE*

Let me first begin by giving you a little...

Let me first begin by giving you a little background on me. I've always been overweight and I've been up and down all my adult life. When that happens, it really does a number on your body. Back in 2010, I had Lap Band Weight Loss surgery and lost over 120 lbs, but due to be honest when I was at my lowest weight of 150, it was just unsustainable for me. My bariatric surgeon had told me so and that my body would know what was right for me. Over the last three years I have been working out with a trainer, go to the gym regularly, but after having had and working hard to lose the weight, I know that I have done all I can without help from a surgeon. I'm not looking for "an easy way out" (well, maybe a part of me is) but I know that I have busted my ass to lose over 100 lbs and why continue to chase a brass ring if I'm never going to be able to get there on my own?

This is why God created plastic surgeons! :)

When I was looking for a surgeon, I knew that low cost is not what to look for. I have had plastic surgery before, in 2011, when I had a neck lift/lipo, to remove the "turkey waddle" I had after losing my weight, as I always carried my weight from the hips up. I had read and heard good things about Dr. Diaz, so I decided to go in for a consult ($75, but the fee was waived for me due to a referral).

When Dr. Diaz came in, while I was still dressed, we discussed my past history, and what I was interested in having done. After we had discussed things, He had me change into a hospital gown and with an assistant in the room, he started to look me over. I have to admit it was a bit weird at first being here in an open hospital gown while Dr. Diaz poked around. Admittedly, I know very little about the intracacies of plastic surgery, so in my mind when I went into his office, I was there to see about how much a tummy tuck and breast lift with implants would be. I assumed I would need implants in order to give them the lift and perkiness I desired. I didn't want to increase my boob size, so implants weren't needed. What WAS needed is to have my left breast reduced as it is noticeably larger than my left (and has always been the bane of my existence) and then to have them both lifted.

When he was looking over my abdomen area, he presented me with two different options. If I was interested in a lower body lift that would be a good option, but it wasn't something I was interested in, plus, I wouldn't have been to take the amount of time off needed for my full recovery. I didn't have issues with my butt, hips or legs....it was my belly and my boobs.

When he suggested a Fluer De Lis Tummy Tuck, I have to admit, I had never heard of it before. He explained to me that with my body shape and my upper mid section loose skin and flab, if I just had a traditional lower tummy tuck, I would still be faced with the dreaded muffin top. He recommended the FDL tummy tuck with lipo of "the flanks" (makes me sound like a side of beef! LOL) and he told me how the procedure is done and what the scarring would be, in order to give me the full picture to determine if the scars would be worth my result.

Talk about a no brainer. An extra vertical star or a flat belly? Well let me tell you, at no point will this body EVER be in a 2 piece bathing suit, so what do I care if I have an inverted T scar? My c-section scar is virtually invisible, my 5 one inch Lap Band insisions are hardly noticable, so I just look at this as another battle scar. After explaining that he felt this would be the best surgery for me, I decided to trust in his expertise and go with the "Mommy Makeover", which is a combined surgery of a breast lift and tummy tuck done at the same time, which if done together is a discount of $2500, as opposed to doing them seperately.

For those of you interested in pricing in my area...

Breast Reduction & Lift $9000
Fluer De Lis TT with Liop on Flanks $9500

With the combined surgery discount, it lowered my price to $16K total if paying by cash or check. If financing using CareCredit, the price is higher at $18,400. This includes ther surgical facility fee, Dr. Diaz's fee, anesthesia cost, post and preop visits, pathology and lab expenses.

Am I nervous? Hell yes! After I had my neck lift, I swore to high heaven that I would NEVER, AS GOD AS MY WITNESS have plastic surgery again. How soon we forget when we see how great the results are :) I have been talking with a few of my close girlfriends who have had these surgeries and they have been giving me the whole rundown, tips, pointers, the whole 9 yards. I AM excited, but nervous at the same time.

I do want to ideally lose this last 10 lbs before my surgery on Nov. 19th and I need to FULLY quit smoking. I've got a recliner to sleep in and almost 3 weeks off work. Only 2 more months!!

Here are my "pre-pre" photos I had taken today. When i meet with my surgeon next month, I will up load those. I can't believe I am putting my fat ass body out on the internet like this, though. At least now you can see why I am in desperate need of the Fluer De Lis!

Why am I so nervous?

I am really over thinking this...I think I made a big mistake and posted a question to the doctor's forum asking if they thought a Fluer De Lis Tummy Tuck would be best for me. Unfortunately, you don't get tons of room to write, so I wasn't able to point out the fact that what I DIDN'T want in any way shape or form was a circumferential tummy tuck or lower body lift because 1) the thought of them essentially cutting me in half scared the ever loving heck out of me and 2) the recovery would have been hell on wheels considering I am also having a breast reduction/lift done at the same time and I just couldn't take the amount of time off of work that I would have needed for a full recovery. When I let my surgeon know I didn't want a lower body lift (as that was his first suggestion), he then suggested the Fluer De Lis and after doing my research, I do think that it would be good for me. I was just in one of my nervous nelly moods and thought I'd ask other doctors. The funny thing is, they all say something different. What I do know is that I have COMPLETE faith in Dr. Diaz and he wouldn't do something that he didn't think would give me the best result.

Still, I am nervous as all get out. Not about the surgery, because lord knows I've had surgery for Carpal Tunnel on my wrists, a tonsillectomy as an adult that was more painful than anything I have ever encountered in my life, a c-section, Lap Band surgery, a neck lift and emergency laproscopic surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. The surgery itself will be no biggie. It's the recovery that is going to suck big old donkey dongs....oh and not to mention the hurt in my pocketbook when I make that $16K payment! LOL

But I know it is all worth it in the end...Right?

A few things to mention

Just in case anyone wonders, I am 41, have one child via c-section, am 5 '6 almost 5'7 and am hovering at the 180-182 mark. My goal is to be back at 170 (or less) the day of surgery on Nov. 19th. I have cut our caffeine, refined sugar and processed foods and I am weaning myself off the last of the nicotine.

My Pre-Op appointment is today! 10/28

I don't know if I'm more nervous about my upcoming surgery in 3 weeks or if I am so nervous about the fact that I am about to spend the most money in one fell swoop that I have in my entire life, aside from a mortgage or buying a car!

but damn it, I'm worth it!!!

11 days until my surgery...and I am a nervous wreck.

When i had my pre-op appointment with my surgeon, I was there for almost 2 hours and we covered everything and I am super comfortable with Dr. Diaz, his RN Freddie and all the staff there. Even when he was marking me up, doing the measuring tape, letting me know what was a reasonable result for by breast lift and reduction since I have two very different size and shaped breasts (who knew!?) and I told him that I don't expect to come out looking like Scarlett Johannsen (I am not getting implants at this time), and he things the FDL Tummy tuck will be great for me. I learned all about the disgusting drains, not being able to shower, etc...and my prescriptions are filled and ready to go. Paying the balance due made me physically ill, but I got over it. I NEED and WANT this so much!

Last weekend I actually got started on my Christmas decorating since i'm not going to be in any mood/condition to decorate and I usually do that the week of Thanksgiving, so at least when I am vegged out in my borrowed recliner in the Family Room, I can stare at all the pretty tree lights! I am pretty prepared with things (toilet seat lift, toilet seat rails for easy getting up and down, stool softeners, new button front pajamas...the usual stuff) and although I am excited, I am just still nervous! I have to get my blood work done early next week. I have been putting if off since I have been getting over a wicked head cold and I didn't want anything to skew my results, but now I am doing 100% better so I get to let the vampires do their work Tuesday morning.

I'm sorry I don't have much to write, but work has been keeping me very busy and I am trying not to over-think things as I can hyper fixate and obsess and I just don't want to start thinking about all the possible negatives. After all, the power of positive thinking is what we need to focus on!

This time next week I will be in my first night of recovery!

I am ready, ready, ready for this, but I really wish my doctor could prescribe me some Valium or something to help calm my nerves this weekend! Is any one else on some sort of anti-anxiety medication?

I went and had my blood work today. I wanted to wait until I finally was over this stupid head cold that I had ever since I came back from New Orleans. I am back to 100% tip top condition, but I really need to make sure I eat healthily the rest of this week. The nerves have sort of have wreaked havoc on my appetite and I haven't been eating much, but I am doing better! No junk food for this girl!

Good luck to everyone else who is having their surgeries this week and next. We're going to do great!

Less than 12 hours until surgery!

I am so excited...I got a phone call from Dr. Diaz about an hour ago to check on me and see how I was doing, to see if I had any last minute questions and overall just to help put me at ease. That really meant a lot to me to hear from him. I made sure he wasn't going to be staying up late tonight watching Monday Night football! I have to be at the surgical center at 7:00 am and my surgery is scheduled for 8:00 am. I should be in surgery for 6 hours or so. Breasts first and then the tummy tuck.

I have been a whirling dervish of activity today. First I had to go to my Lap band surgeon and get my band completely unfilled in order to precent any issues with swelling and my band being too tight, then it was on to the Post Office for a mystery shop, which was great since I had to mail some Christmas gifts up to my mom while I had the chance AND I got paid to do it, then I had to make a return at a local store where I would up buying some really cute comfortable tops to be able to wear to work once I go back and am wearing my compression garments, THEN it was back to the house to do 4 loads of laundry, finih cooking some meals for my husband to be able to heat up over the next week or so, THEN finish putting up the Christmas decorations, since I won't be in any shape to do so anytime soon. lastly, I had to finish all the house cleaning...vacuuming, rearranging furniture to make everything more easily accessible, washing dishes, cleaning both the bathrooms in the house, unloading the dishwasher, etc...

A woman's job is never done! Being busy today kept me calm, though. My mind was at ease and I didnt stress at all. Now that I am home re4laxing, I am trying not to stress. I just got out of the shower, used the anti-microbial soap and I am going to be going to bed in about an hour, since I have to be up at five.

The way i look at it is, once they give me the Midazolam to calm my nerves prior to surgery I will be in Happy Town...Hell, I'll be the frickin' Mayor of Happytown and then it is off to the OR where i get the Propofol and I'll sleep for quite a long time.

I don't know if I'll be in any condition to update tomorrow, but I will do my best to keep you updated! Good luck to all of you having surgery tomorrow too!

I made it through surgery....damn am I sore!

I am at home recovering, with these compression sleeves hooked up to a machine around my legs and I have to go and see Dr. Diaz at 10:am tomorrow. He was so nice and came by the house tonight after the surgery and heckled to make sure everything was ok. I will write more, but here Isaac photo of 2 of my 3 drains, dr. Diaz said he took off 4 almost 5 lbs of skin.tissue and 2 liters of fat lipoed. How gross is that? He took photos but due to security rules he can't email them, but he will get them to me because he knows I have friends dying to see them!

I'm tired and need to get back to sleep. Just woke up to take my antibiotics.

Typos

He came to check on me, not heckle me. I hate autocorrect!

Jinkies! this hurts

Peeing is like an Olympic event. The pain meds are giving me a wicked headache, I haven't even looked at myself in the mirror because at this point, I don't care. Just take me from all this pain,,,,

Feeling much better!

I am still seeing double from the loopiness of the pain meds, but I am feeling much better today. I went and saw my doctor today and he says things are going great and one of my drains may be able to come out tomorrow. It's really quite weird when he was changing my dressings and I am looking at myself and seeing a perfectly flat belly, but it was like I was looking at someone else. The same with my boobs. I was like, those can't be mine!

I am healing well, haven't pooped yet and have been SUPER gassy...oh and retaining fluid like crazy that they said I will be peeing away over the next few days, so I can say that as much as this hurts, I think it is going to be flipping awesome. :)

Too many typos :)

Sorry for all the typos...I have been taking my painkillers and it made me see double so my writing is all wonky!

3 days post op update

I went in today to see my surgeon and he is VERY happy with my progress. He is very impressed with how well my incisions look and I have minimal bruising, but sweet Mother McCray, I am swollen up like the Michelin Tire Man. I am 9 pounds heavier than when I went in for surgery and he took off 4 or 5 lbs of skin/tissue and 2 liters of fat. I know it is all bloating. I have what I call "sausage toes", something I haven't had since I was 9 months pregnant. But when I looked at my incisions today, it started to sink in that this was me. The new me.

I'm not posting photos now, one, because I want to wait a bit for me to have the semblance of a shape before I post something, because there are few Fluer De Lis Tummy Tuck stories out there and I don't want to scare anyone off seeing photos that would make anyone freak out. Dr. Diaz has done a kick ass job and I want his work to really show, so I will post photos when the time is right. Just know I am doing great, although still in pain and not being able to sleep anywhere but my recliner. I tried to get into my bed with some pillows stacked and propped me up, but just trying to maneuver was so hard and painful, I thought I saw Jesus. Crikey it was not a fun feeling, so ladies, DON'T push yourself, ok?

Overall, I am thrilled and don't regret this for a moment. I'm in a sports bra today with my bandages and my boobs are doing fine. No issues with pain with the girls, I have feeling in my nipples, so that is all good and dandy, so the pain is really just the Tummy Tuck!

Oh and I can't have a bowel movement for love or money. I've tried a stool softener and prunes. Just trying to pee is tough going (it just trickles out), but a #2 just ain't happening. Any suggestions?

Sweet Baby Ray, this itching is drving my CRAZY!

Oh my sweet lord, the itching is driving me crazy. I was told it was ok to take Benedryl, but my stars and garters, what i wouldn't give to just be able to go to town and start scratching up storm. The codine in my meds is making me super itchy. Sweet Jesus, it is like it comes in waves of itchiness.

Things are looking good, but this retaining fluid shit has GOT to do. I am drinking water, not peeing very much, but when I go to try and pee, I can sit there for 20 minutes and only a wee bit comes out. I know this is another reason I am so itchy, because my skin is pulled tighter than Nicole Kidman's forehead. I kind of sorta had a teeny BM last night, but I need a proper one today, so I will go the suppository route. Oh joyous fun!

I just want this sweeling to go down, so I can see my results...or get an idea of what my results will look lie!

Talk to you later, I need to to nappy land. I am seeing double from the pain meds, Typing is getting harder. Luckily, husband is taking our daughter out grocery shopping so I get some alone, relaxation time to myself.

I am in average pain, but the meds help keep major issues at bay, It is the OMG moments where you get off the toilet seat or try to get in and out of a seated position that you forget about anything and everything else and just wish you had a morphine drip to help the pain that lasts a few minutes at most, but seems like forever!

Be good!

My husband gets comfy in MY area...

Since I had to get up and move around, he decided to make himself comfy in my recovery chair. My daughter is walking around the house with my cane and acting like a little old lady while wearing the new Star Wars Bathrobe that my girlfriends sent me this week. The cane is a GREAT thing to have. Perfect to brace yourself getting in and out of chairs.

Oh and may the good lord help you if you need to cough or someone makes you laugh on accident. It hurts SO bad. A super close friend commented on a photo I posted looking all pitiful on Facebook. Sha said" You look so pitiful. Just remember I love you like white people love mayonnaise." I think I lost a few stitches on that one.

Hubby likes my recovery space :)

Dear husband has been great this week, putting up with my moodiness, so he gets to enjoy my comfy zone for a while!

Doing much better today...and I FINALLY had a "movement"!

Today is the first time since Monday the 18th that I had a bowel movement (I know, T.M.I) and let me tell you, it really helps you feel less bloated, although I am still super swollen and will be for a while to come. The stool softener I used didn't work with a diddly, so I went old school and sure as shit (pardon the pun), prunes did the trick. Seriously. Cheap, healthy prunes!

So today I moved back into the bedroom, wanting to TRY and see if I could sleep ok in there instead being confined to the recliner. Getting into bed wasn't bad and I used this as some time to get peace and quiet, escape the noise of the football game in the family room and I relaxed and slept. The thing was, since my husband was watching the game and he thought I was sleeping, I knew I was stuck there until he came to check up on me. With how our house is designed, with the TV on, you can't hear what is going on in the Master Bedroom with the door shut. Jason was in the family room and our bedroom door was closed to keep out the cats so I was on my own. I decided I could try this on my own, especially since I could feel the prunes beginning to work and i really didn't want to shart all over the bed. So little by little, I manuevered myself into a position where I could use my handy dandy cane to get out of bed. Big Mistake. I moved MABYE a 1/2 an inch the wrong way and I swear I saw Jesus.

After 20 minutes I was sort of in this "oh damn" mode thinking I was going to be stuck in that position for another hour or two and I wanted to use the bathroom. It was then I was inspired by "South Park".. "What would Brian Boitano do?" (What would Brian Boitano do if he was here right now, He'd make a plan. And he'd follow through, That's what Brian Boitano'd do!). I realized I just needed to think clearly and i could get out of bed, so I put all my knowledge of how different muscle groups work, a few laws of physics and some common sense and I was able to get out of bed. Needless to say, I will be sleeping in the family room a bit longer.

I think another drain, if not both will be taken out tomorrow or the last drain will come on Wednesday. I was able to wash my hair, but I want a shower so badly. I used to say I'd sell my left breast for (insert desired item), but now I can't say that!

The pain is getting manageable. I don't want to risk any dependency on the narcotic meds, so I am alternating between pain pills and regular acetaminophen. Dear husband gives me my injections for the blood thinners once a day and that doesn't hurt at all.

My head is still not wrapped around the fact that I'm flat. When I look down, I am wrapped in a binder that has additional padding, I have an ace bandage underneath that to help with the itching and then gauze underneath. All I know is that I like what I have seen! I will post pictures...I promise!

Nothing to report...just hate this swelling!

I'm sorry I haven't written much of anything, but there really isn't much to share. I am on day 8 and my swelling is keeping me miserable. My surgeon sent me to have ultrasounds done on my legs as he was worried about my swelling in my legs but there was not any clotting,miss a just one of those women who retain fluids so much. I am still sleeping in the recliner and my incisions look great on my breasts and belly, but I have to say I have never been this uncomfortable in my life. My muscles are sore, very tight from where he corseted the abs and my back and leg muscles are sore since I am overcompensating with them to get myself in and out of my recliner and on and off the toilet.

I still have one drain left of the initial three and since tomorrow is thanksgiving, the drain won't be coming out until Friday. I am so ready to take a real shower! Luckily I have Ben able to wash my hair a couple of times, so I don't feel completely inhuman, but man, the thought of water washing over me is like heaven!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and that you are progressing weell in your recovery. I can say this, my breasts have been a walk in the park. No issues whatsoever..they look great, considering they were all kinds of wonky to begin with, so I am very happy with the results. I will need to go bra shopping as I am a full B cup down from a D cup, so I can't wait for that!

I'm not going to lie....this sucks.

Uncomfortable isn't even the right word to describe how I feel now... My breasts are healing well, but holy cow, do the incisions itch! I am happy with how they turned out

I still have one drain tube in me and due to me having a Lap Band port that we have to be careful to avoid infections, I am still on antibiotics, and will be through the rest of the weekend. On Monday I will be going in to have the last drain removed.

I have to be honest with anyone who is considering a Fluer De lis tummy tuck. This is not playing around. I didn't think it would be a walk in the park by any means but, damn, this hurts. I was originally on Percocet and dropped down to Lortab, but I think I am going to need to go back to the Percocets. I can't sleep in my own bed or anywhere that isn't my recliner and even then, I am bordering on miserable. The binder is uncomfortable to say the least and if I can make a strong recommendation, make sure you have plenty of soft cotton tank tops to wear under your binder to help alleviate the itching from the texture of the binder on skin.

My tummy tuck incisions are healing well, no necrosis of tissue or anything gross at all. It is the swelling that sucks big time. I can look in the mirror and see the smoothness and shaping, but I am just so bloated, I look huge. I am retaining fluids something wicked, so I know the swelling will all go down in time, but if someone I hadn't seen in awhile saw me walking down the street, they would never guess I had work done. I know that in a few weeks I will be singing another tune, but I jus t want to be real with y'all.

If you have to take time off, a minimum of 3 weeks is what I would recommend. Don't plan on doing this on your own. Make sure toy have people who can assist you at all times. I swear my husband should be put up for sainthood for everything he has done for me the last 10 days. A rocker recliner is a must have and you just have to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

Time to go to bed, but I just wanted to check in...

The final drain is out and I got to shower!!!

I went in today and had the final drain removed and Sweet Georgia Brown, I about passed out. It was like pulling a squirming snake from my intestines. It was crazy...but now I can FINALLY shower. No more sponge baths and sink hair washing for me!

So my husband gets in the shower with me and I am SO glad he was there with me for support. Who knew that taking a shower would be so physically taxing and exhilarating at the same time? It was so weird showering and not having a stomach pooch to wash under and perky boobs to boot! It was such a STRANGE feeling!

I go back to work on Thurdsay and I am still walking like a little old lady, all hunched over with my cane. It's been a LONG two weeks, but each day gets better and better. I'm a little less bloated every day and I REALLY like how my shape is shaping up, and in 6 weeks I know I am just going to LOVE how it looks. Don't get me wrong, I love it now, but by six weeks from now, I will love it!

Returned to work today

I'm sorry I haven't updated in a few, but here is a quick rundown. As of Monday night, I have been able to sleep in my own bed, since my drains have been removed. It is like heaven being able to sleep in my own bed. I went back to work today and I am drained. My muscles are SO SORE. Tight like a flippin' tiger. I sneezed yesterday afternoon and I swear I saw Jesus. It hurt like a mo-fo!

My incisions are healing beautifully and my boobs look great. I am very happy with how they turned out, considering the issues he had to work with. I am still swollen and expect to be for the next 4 to 6 weeks or so (after all, this is MAJOR surgery), but I already know it is worth it!

Just got the clearance to start back at the gym and a little bit 'o nastiness...

Hi everyone...First off, I have to apologize for my absolutely atrocious spelling/typing in my previous blog entries. I know my 4th grade English/Spelling teacher, Mrs. Lloyd, is probably rolling over in her grave...but honestly I never really liked her anyway, so oh well. When I was writing those entries, I was typing on my iPad and I seriously HATE Apple products. Their crazy ass auto-correct, combined with typing on a touch screen keypad AND me being doped up on Percocets and higher than Lindsay Lohan on a weekend bender had my writing all kinds of cray-cray. Seriously. For example, here are a couple of my Facebook status updates:

"Jason is being so nice. He brought me home king crab legs to have for dinner tonight. I'm doing better today. Still gav Piaf but the itching is driving me nuts. Thecoxyovtivscarechelpiny, but they. Akeem eye double. This girl won't be driving anytime soon!"

The above sentence started off fine, but them BAM! something kicked in and it is like I suddenly went mental. For those of you not proficient in complete gibberish, that translates to "Jason (my husband) brought me home some king crab legs to have for dinner tonight. I'm doing better today. Still have pain, but the itching is driving me nuts. The Ocycontin are helping, but are making me see double." My friends had a frickin' field day with that one. I'm glad I could give them a good laugh!

Here's another goodie from Nov. 23rd:

"I had a long conversation with a leprechaun last night, while in a major haze. This morning, I realized I had been talking to the Irish nutcracker sitting on my end table."

So yes, I sincerely apologize for my horrific grammar, typing and basic levels of coherence from when I was blogging post surgery. I really liked to bitch about the bloating, the itching and not being able to pee. Sweet Lord, I really owe my husband BIG TIME after putting him through this.

Anyway, today at my follow up, I asked about being able to exercise. Now I'm not exactly Betty Jo Exercise to begin with, but I have felt like a total bump on a log not doing anything. He let me know I was good to go on the treadmill and I can use weights but nothing more than 5 to 10 lbs and to just use common sense. Trust me, I'm not going to be doing any burpees, planking or kettlebell squats any time soon. I just want to feel like I am doing SOMETHING and I'm glad to know that I can.

Now on to the grossness, which in all truth really isn't that gross, but I am about as squeamish as a 7 year old girl. Where the vertical incision met with the horizontal incision on my tummy tuck, there was a small area of necrosis (or dead tissue) but it wasn't anything super major and the dead tissue (just like a scab) was removed and then the nurse, this great guy named Freddy, starts cleaning it out. A word of advice...when or if this happens to you...don't look. I know it's sort of like a car accident where you have this morbid curiosity and want to slow down and look, but seriously, don't look. It was totally grody. Like, gag me with a spoon gross. Freddy cleaned it all out and after Dr. Diaz had taken a look, they showed me how to pack it with gauze and it will heal on its own hopefully within a week. I just have to change the gauze dressing daily (which will be hubby's job) and I go back to see Dr. Diaz in a week. So let's just hope everything heals up lickity split.

So to recap, things are going great. I am sleeping in my bed like usual, I'm not puffy swollen (retaining fluid) like I used to be, although I still have some swelling in my abdomen, but that is to be expected and I know I will be swollen for a few more weeks to come. I am off of pain med, except for an occasional Tylenol if needed and sometimes there is just soreness. Not pain, but just muscle soreness mainly in my back from where I am overcompensating from not using my ab muscles. I can walk standing straight and not be uncomfortable, although getting in and out of a car can still give me a twinge or two. Still, it's all stuff that I expected.

I'm really glad I did this...but for those of you thinking about surgery, just remember, it's an investment of time and money. Be prepared to feel like shit for a week or two and look at it this way, if it's easier for you than you expect, you'll be pleasantly surprised. It's always better to be prepared for the worst.

Oh and for anyone in Central Florida...Dr. Diaz totally rocks. I would highly recommend him to potential patients and if I ever needed to have another cosmetic procedure, I wouldn't hesitate to have him work on me again. Seriously people, he is THAT good. If I could show you before and after shots of my boobs, I would and that would totally speak volumes. Gone are the "floppy jalopies" and when I look down at my abdomen, there is no spare tire...there is no FUPA (fat upper "pubic" area). To say I'm happy would be an understatement :)

My "hobbit hole" is getting smaller and healing nicely!

Sorry I haven't updated lately, but right after my last update, I was on vacation for 10 days out of state for the Christmas holidays and then I had to return to work on January 2nd. I work for a university and it is the beginning of the Spring semester so it is all kinds of busy at the office and i just haven't had the time to update.

That being said, I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Diaz on Monday and things are progressing nicely. The area of necrosis where I had to pack with gauze is almost totally healed. The healing occurs from the inside out and I was a little nervous at first when I would see light blood on the gauze when I removed it, but both him and his nurse, Freddy, reminded me that blood showed that there was live, healing tissue there and that by just looking at the change in the size and depth of the hole, you can see that indeed, everything is healing on it's own, slowly but surely. I have my next checkup in 2 weeks and he said by then it should be completely healed.

I have been back to working out for an hour a day and sweet jesus it is hard to get back into the workout groove. I've been doing an hour a day of exercise at the gym. I have a trip to Hawaii coming up in June and I want to get back into shape, so I have started my new exercise plan...You see, I am a total geek when it comes to the ABC show LOST that went off the air in 2010. It was my favorite show and since it was filmed in Hawaii, I decided to name my exercise routine "Losing it with LOST". I can do 45 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical which will take me through roughly one episode and then I finish off my workout with 15 minutes of weight training. I'm not looking to move mountains at this point, as I am still healing, but a start is a start, right?

I also am going back to my Lap Band surgeons office on Jan. 20th to get my Lap Band filled back up. That will help me control my food intake and will get me back on a solid road to weight loss again. I am determined to get back to my goal weight of 160 by the end of April.

So that is where I am...I am healing, still wearing my binder and loving my flat stomach!!!

8 weeks post op...

Hi there, everyone!

So here I am, 8 weeks post op and things are going well. I just went and saw my surgeon, the fabulous Dr. Diaz, yesterday and he said that I am progressing nicely. The area where my vertical and horizontal incision met where I had a bit of tissue necrosis is almost completely healed up and that made me happy to hear. Some of the scarring on my vertical incision is "raised" but I am not fretting about that because for me scarring was not my main concern. I knew that going into this procedure and that is just how my body is handling that portion of my healing. My horizontal scar line is minimal and easily hidden by undies and I am really frickin' happy with how it looks. Dr. Diaz told me that he would prefer me not to use Mederma and instead use a silicone based scar cream and to be sure....BE SURE...to massage my scar line. Yes, Sir!!! I'm already a massaging fool with my cocoa butter, but I will add a silicon based scar cream to my regimen as well!

I just have to say it is amazing not to have that "spare tire" anymore. I just wished I hadn't busted my ass doing so much work at the gym trying to get rid of something that was impossible to rid myself of on my own. No amount of mountain climbers, burpees, crunches or kettlebell squats could remove that excess skin and fat on me. I was fighting an unwinnable battle!

Dr. Diz had mentioned to me the possibility of having some lipo suction to the area under my arms to the sides of my breasts to give me a more stream lined look, but I seriously don't know how I am going to talk my husband into that one. I know I want to look my best and that is a problem area, but money is also a consideration. Definitely one of those things I won't be telling my parents or inlaws about because they think that plastic surgery is foolish to begin with. It's something to consider once I am healed from this surgery and if we can swing it financially. We are going to Hawaii in June on a family vacation with my parents and I want to look my best, but at the same time, I am not one to make rash monetary decisions and let my own vanity supersede common financial responsibility, you know? What would Suze Orman say? :)

I hope everyone is doing well and Dr. Diaz says when I come back in three weeks, he will probably want to take photos at that point and then I'll have the before and afters to share. In the mean time, it is back to the gym tonight form more cardio and my "Losing it with LOST" exercise plan...I think after I finish this season, I am going to finally begin watching "Breaking Bad" on Netflix. I'm going to call that my "Braking Bad...Habits" exercise plan!

Toodles!

Just checking in!

Hi there, everyone!!! Sorry it has been so long since I've updated, but I have been crazy busy with work, home life, planning for my Hawaii vacation in a week and just enjoying life in general!

I just wanted to let you know that I am very, very happy with how things have turned out with my Fluer De Lis Tummy Tuck and Breast Lift. I had someone ask for a after photo, so I wanted to give you a before and after side view, so you can see the difference. In my after photo, you can see that I no longer have that spare tire and it is wonderful having it gone. You can see in my after photo that there is a slight bump in my middle abdomen from the side view, and that is where my Lap Band port is (weight loss surgery). I have to tell anyone considering Dr. Diaz that he is wonderful. His entire staff, especially his RN, Freddy, are absolutely fabulous and when I want to have more work done (and trust me, I do) I will definitely go back to him. You just have to have realistic expectations, ladies. He is a physician, not a magician. He can't give us all a figure like Scarlett Johansson when we have a Rosie O'Donnell figure to begin with! He is a perfectionist and has gone above and beyond to insure that I am happy with my outcome!

To you, Dr. Diaz...thank you so much! You totally rock and anyone who is willing to go to to toe with me on 80's music trivia and talk about Godzilla is way cool in my eyes! You and Freddy made me feel not like just another patient, but a truly valued person and I appreciate all your hard work, honesty and suggestions!
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon

My initial consultation went very well and Dr. Diaz put me at ease. My surgery for a Fluer De Lis Tummy Tuck and breast reduction/lift is scheduled for 11/19. Update: My surgery went great and Dr. Diaz came by my house the night of the surgery to check on me, and called me on Thanksgiving to check up on me to see how I was doing! He is an excellent surgeon and did a great job from what I see so far! I am VERY happy!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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