I am 50 years old, and I have two boys, aged 15 and 10. I've been happily married for 19 years. I am active, fit and healthy. But like many of you, I have found certain areas of my body that are resistant to diet and exercise despite my herculean efforts to force change in certain areas. I lost almost 20 pounds a couple years ago and for the most part, have kept almost all of that off. I went from being completely out of shape and not eating healthy at all to working out 6-7 days a week and eating clean 80% of the time. The primary weight loss came quickly (about 3 months' worth of super hard work) through completing the Beachbody Insanity program twice. A few years later, I am finding that even if I work out 7 days a week, I still carry too much weight in my legs and waist. I am tired of avoiding shorts and dresses that show my legs and am so excited to have Dr. Lowen do some sculpting and reshaping to the bottom half of my body!
Mommy Makeover: TT, Lipo and Fat Transfer, Mtn View, CA
I plan on beginning my cosmetic surgery journey...
I am 50 years old, and I have two boys, aged 15 and 10. I've been happily married for 19 years. I am active, fit and healthy. But like many of you, I have found certain areas of my body that are resistant to diet and exercise despite my herculean efforts to force change in certain areas. I lost almost 20 pounds a couple years ago and for the most part, have kept almost all of that off. I went from being completely out of shape and not eating healthy at all to working out 6-7 days a week and eating clean 80% of the time. The primary weight loss came quickly (about 3 months' worth of super hard work) through completing the Beachbody Insanity program twice. A few years later, I am finding that even if I work out 7 days a week, I still carry too much weight in my legs and waist. I am tired of avoiding shorts and dresses that show my legs and am so excited to have Dr. Lowen do some sculpting and reshaping to the bottom half of my body!
I am also waiting for his return from vacation as I am also inquiring about doing a tummy tuck in August as well. I may need to undergo a separate operation for that because I know he was planning on spending a good chunk of time working on my inner and outer thighs, and knees. I certainly don't want him rushing through ANYTHING so I will opt for whatever approach he suggests. Even though it's not the best time of year weather wise to pursue this surgery due to the extra heat of wearing compression, it is the best time of year for our family that will allow me the most ample time for recovery.
So, I'm in limbo right now now knowing if I am having a TT in August or just the lipo to the legs.
Scheduled additional procedures!
I am having smart lipo (inner, outer thighs and knees) and fat transfer to my face on 8/13. This will be done under local anesthesia.
Then, on 8/18, I am having my drainless tummy tuck with muscle repair and lipo to the waist and flanks.
My husband went with me to the two hour appointment which I think was overkill, but I was glad he had a chance to meet the doctor and offer his opinion on my physican choice. He liked him.
I would have liked to have had a breast augumentation with a smaller implant (265) but due to budget constraints I had to drop that as an option. It was the lowest item on my priority list and I was already over my original budget so it got nixed. I will have to live without beautiful tatas.
My husband is a total doll and immediately offered to ask if he could telecommute for a couple weeks as I recover. I don't think I'll need that much help after the first 10 days, but I'm preparing for the worst.
I have a very flexible occupation (self employed), and am appointment based, so I can plan on taking a full 3 weeks off and then transition back to work slowly and part time--about 3 hours at a time to start off with. It isn't the best time of year for my business for me to take 3 weeks off, but it was the best time for my 'family's' schedule and commitments. Work wise and temperature wise, it would have been much better to be wearing CGs in the colder months such as February and I am also slower at work at that time.
I am excited and nervous, but ready. I have a lot of reading material to review that came from the doctor's office. I was on information overload at yesterday's appointment and of course hearing all the disclaimers about what can go wrong is hard to hear when you've just agreed to pay a boatload of money for ELECTIVE surgery.
COMPRESSION. I hate skin tight things. I bought some Spanx about 2 years ago, put them on for 5 minutes and HATED them. Never to be worn again. And to know I'm going to be stuck wearing a binder and foam pads and then compression for WEEKS if not months...that is very frightening to me. What I'm hoping is that I turn into one of those women who feel more safe and protected and comfortable IN the CGs as opposed to out of them. I sleep with very little on most nights because I love the feeling of nothing or very little clothing in my bed.
SLEEP. I love sleeping. I wish I did it more. The surgeries will impact the quality of my Z's. I sleep on my tummy. I am having a TT, and will need to sleep differently. I think I can manage this by telling myself it is only temporary that I cannot sleep on my belly. It is the worst position to sleep in anyway, it's so bad for your face and aging!
SECRETS! The only people who know are my husband and my best friend who lives out of state. I am planning on hiding this from my in laws who live 5 minutes away whom we typically see several times a week. Am I going to be able to hide the fact I've had surgery or is that completely unrealistic? Would it be believable to say I tweaked my back and that's why I'm hunched over?
I have more that I'll write about later but wanted to get this off my chest.
Getting excited and nervous
6 days until lipo!
I was hoping to lose 5 lbs prior to my lipo and TT as I know I'm going to gain some water weight (or bloat) or whatever we ladies do post surgery, but it just hasn't happened! I have been watching what I eat, and exercising every day, but I'm at this plateau and my weight has been steady for several months. I guess I will have to be ok with that, just not looking forward to wearing clothes that are up to two sizes bigger for a while! I wish it was winter and I could hide under sweaters but I won't have the luxury of that here in California.....
A little jittery and excited.....
Today I rented a lift chair that I can sleep in during the few weeks post surgery. I had been hoping to find a good one on Craig's List but I didn't start shopping early enough. The nice thing is I will have the chair for a month, but I am hoping I only need it for two weeks, then I hope to transition to my regular bed. I know the chair will allow me to be a bit more self sufficient the first few days in terms of getting up. Especially the middle of the night, if that happens.
All my prescriptions are filled for my TT surgery on Tuesday.
I am going to be a mess because I will be unable to take Advil for my lipo pain Friday through Tuesday and my doctor has prescribed a bowel cleanse that I will start on Sunday. I had no idea I was going to have to forgo SOLID FOOD for two days on it! I totally wouldn't have agreed to the cleanse had I known, but I think his rationale of not needing to worry about a bowel movement for a few days post surgery is really smart. It may be even longer if I can't tolerate solid foods for a few days.
I'll be posting some pictures in a bit so I can do some befores...even though I have some above. I want to be able to reveal some good side by sides in the future for people to reference. These blogs are great for those preparing/pondering surgery, but they are even more helpful with images. So I will be sure we're posting those. The good, bad and ugly!
I am still in major "secrecy" mode about the surgery. My husband knows. My best friend back east. And my kids....although the kids don't know the surgery is elective, they think I am having bladder surgery which I totally need and SHOULD be getting instead of cosmetic surgery, LOL. I did ask my PS if he could do the TT and then another doctor does the sling for my bladder but he wouldn't agree to doing that for a few reasons. I respected that decision, although there was another PS I had met with who was totally ok with doing it that way. In the end, I chose the doctor whom I felt would do the best work, be concerned with my comfort and was the most meticulous.
I am so, so, excited to be having my legs done. I have always carried more weight in my thighs and knees. I also have really thick calves, but they are staying that way. New jeans are always tight through the thighs, always. And one thigh is larger than the other! I usually have to put my hand way down in my jeans and STRETCH the thigh area to make them more comfy after washing. SHEESH!
Wish me luck! I will have to see how well I am in between Friday and Monday to post updates. For my friends having TTs this coming week, I wish you luck as well! I'll meet you on the flat side :)
I am home and resting!
I will write more tomorrow, because I want to share surgery details. At the worst, pain during procedure was greatest during the 'infiltration', maybe a 6-7 and if greater he administers more local anesthetic.
Ok I'm on my cell typing so going to wrap up!
Me again on day of surgery, LOL!
I don't think my face is THAT swollen. I put some ice on it when we got home and had a Shakeology shake. My husband just went to get me a turkey burger from Red Robin as I am starving!!! I've only had the shake all day and didn't eat anything after 9:30 last night and I feel lightheaded even though I haven't taken any narcotics or drugs other than an antibiotic and the tylenol.
My kids were supposed to come home tomorrow afternoon from their week in the mountains with the grandparents but they are coming home tonight instead. This is a bummer because my in laws do not know about my surgery so when they drop the kids off I will be hiding out in the closet and we are telling them I went out to dinner with some girlfriends.
Then, we are going to say I am working this weekend when I don't show up tomorrow to my son's hockey game. I never miss the boys' games and I don't normally work on the weekends but I don't think they'll question it. I am trying to get the marker off my face and we are telling the boys I had a dental procedure and that's why my face is puffy. They are boys so they won't notice the ginormous swelling in my hips and legs.
Funny how I am trying to hide this...I feel like I need to because it is elective surgery and my MIL will think I'm vain. That's just how she is. She wears very little make up and isn't into her appearance. I already feel she thinks I'm into mine just because I trimmed down from being overweight. And now I wear different clothing that accents my figure. So I know she would totally judge me if she knew I was having work done. She would NEVER in a million years have anything done. She didn't wear sunscreen and her face is TOTALLY aged. She doesn't care but does make derogotary remarks about her wrinkles from time to time. I think she wears sunscreen now but my FIL had skin cancer (melonomoas?) on his face so it's about time they did.
Ok back to surgery.
The most painful part was the infiltration as I mentioned. It seemed to take forever!! The actual suctioning of fat went so much quicker!! When I looked at the contents in the container, it said 1,000 but I believe he was estimating 250 of that was fluid? I will ask him later what the number was but it's more than I thought so I am elated.
I did get a peek at my legs because I went to the bathroom before we left his office. I was almost mortified to see how wavy the inside of my thighs looked. My right thigh had a huge dent so when I came out I asked him about it. There was an area below that was almost completely white so that meant fluid build up and I totally trust that if for some reason I need a correction he will take care of it. Although I honestly don't want a touch up! He worked a lot right under my derriere which I'm thrilled about to make more definition there and then quite a bit around my knees and tried to give me more definition to my generous calves. It was the most painful on the inner thighs and above the inner knee. I must have some weird nerves there or something, not sure, but those were the areas he applied more anesthetic during the procedure. Other than that, I think he did a great job numbing me but not overusing fluid.
I am not sure I mentioned this previously, but I have a pretty severe case of urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence. So I was embarrassed to say it, but I told him I had to pee as soon as he finished prepping me and he says, "we haven't even started yet, so this isn't a good time". So I had to lay on my belly for maybe 3 hours having to go pee. It was HORRIBLE. I was cursing that I had not taken care of this problem and honestly I should have been having surgery for that today. But the sling is such a controversial procedure and I did a lot of research and there are lots of potential for bad things to happen afterwards. Vaginal mesh, I'm sure you're familiar with those commericals on tv. Well that's what I need to raise up my urethra. So needless to say, this was really the most uncomfortable facet of the procedure for me because it lasted the entire time. I should have asked if he could do a catheter. THANK GOD I will have one on Tuesday for the tummy tuck.
Well I can't think of anything else at the moment that would be helpful.
I was super worried about the comfort of my compression garment and it turns out I am not really that uncomfortable with it on. It goes from right under my bra to my ankles. It is tan (why didn't they order black?) and has blood on it already. I am thinking it is going to get uncomfortable Tuesday when my belly starts to swell. That ought to be really fun but by then I can take a narcotic! I could do that now but I don't need it and they do make me sick to my stomach.
Well hopefully this update was helpful.
I'll keep you all updated.
I can't shower for 72 hours so no pics until then....sorry but this garment isn't coming off until then. If I have a bm, maybe I'll snap a few then if my cell is handy, but I'm having problems uploading pics. Anyone gotten error messages and what did you do to rectify it? I have pics above so I don't get why I'm having a problem now....
Over and out friends!
One more showing knees
Day 2 Update
I can't tell if I have extra swelling as punishment for overdoing it (which I don't think I am) because this garment is so tight I can't tell if I'm extra swollen or not? I did try to put on regular pants and I looked huge so I wore a maxi dress that disguised all of my CG and extra poundage pretty well.
My MIL and FIL were there and she didn't say one word about my face (tho I tried not looking at her directly as much as possible) so I'm thinking I went somewhat undetected. I walk very slowly as of course I'm super sore and getting in and out of the car is very uncomfortable. As long as I take it slow I do ok. Sitting on the toilet seat is so not fun (it's damn hard) so my husband purchased a soft, raised seat. I also want a donut for sitting at the table, but we didn't get out in time today to get one. Like the ring you get after an episiotomy. Wish I could find my old one....! I cannot sit on hard things well since my incisions are in the creases of my bottom. Or some of them, I think I have many!!
I also have stitches! So I have leaked so little. I called the doctor yesterday concerned about this as his post op instructions indicated there would be a considerable loss of fluid. I WANTED THIS! But no, I had one tiny spill on our bedding with all the extra pads and then didn't leak again at all. So hardly ANYTHING has oozed out of me. I wish more was actually! But when I called the office his assistant said because he uses sutures/stitches that the fluid isn't going to ooze out there.
I am making a point to drink a gallon plus of water every day (which is my usual), so I'm assuming my body is flushing it out on its' own. Tomorrow I get my first shower and will get my first look at my legs without the garment on. I did take it down today to above my knees to check things out (and it was such a pain getting it back on!) and so far so good. Things are very swollen but I think I am going to be happy with the results. I will have my husband take a picture and will share it.
Medicine: I am still taking the extra strength tylenol (2) every 6 hours. I don't think I absolutely need it so tomorrow I am going to try to go down to 1 pill. I slept really well last night. But I took a benedryl to help me feel drowsy. I had slept extremely poorly the night of suergery (Thurs) because I took two Tylenol PM and they had the OPPOSITE effect on me and totally wired me. I could not sleep/felt like I had had coffee!! I've never taken those before, I guess that was a good lesson. I also bought Melatonin, which the doctor said I could take. I have not been sleeping during the day but resting with my legs up and more TV/relaxing helps a lot.
I think walking and movement now that I am 48 hours out is encouraged as long as I don't notice a large increase in swelling, which is very hard to tell again with the garment on. I guess it would just feel tighter? The garment i have is a large size so I am so glad they ordered that size for me because I couldn't stand it to be any tighter. I hate SPANX and tight, restrictive clothing so that is more of an annoyance than the soreness from the lipo at this point.
Does anyone have specific questions??
My tummy tuck is Tuesday morning, need to be at surgery center at 6 am! So I'm going to take it easy tomorrow. No errands like today :) Also, my bowel cleanse starts so that may keep me chained to the bedroom....
72 hours post update
72 hours later....
FIRST SHOWER/LOOK AT LEGS: In addition to really being excited about a shower, it was also the big reveal. First time getting a look at the legs without the garment on! I think I am going to be pleased with the results. I hardly have any bruising on my front side because he did almost the whole procedure on my tummy as you can tell by how I look. The shower felt great, I was also using the Hibiclens because my TT is Tuesday. I was worried about that burning my incisions which aren't bandaged, but I didn't feel anything. I am numb on parts of my legs, as though the anesthetic fluid is still numbing me but I know that isn't the case.
SWELLING/FLUID RETENTION: I am swollen and retaining fluid. Weight morning of surgery: 120. Weight last night before bed with garment/pjs on: 127! Weight before shower: 123.4. I feel very swollen and heavy and the garment is extremely tight and confining. I have a couple of maxi dresses that are kind of saving the day with regard to clothing. super easy to lift up and use the facilities.
MUST HAVE SUPPLIES: My padded toilet seat. Sitting on hard things is very challenging, and the toilet seat is horrible so the raised padded seat is great. I know this is going to come in handy after my TT on Tuesday. Other than that, there isn't anything else I feel has helped more. In preparation for my tummy tuck, my husband brought his dorm sized fridge home from work so I can use it upstairs following the tummy tuck. It has some fruit, ice, and suppositories in it right now, but I'm hoping to be making protein shakes up there afterwards. I also rented a lift chair. I am hoping I don't have to sleep in that long as sleeping on my side has been good.
SLEEPING/COMFORT LEVEL: I slept pretty well, I took a benedryl again before bed and two extra strength tylenol last night. I haven't had any tylenol at all today, so I'm feeling just as sore if not more than yesterday but yesterday I was taking the two tylenol every 6 hours. I am going to try not to take anything to make me sleepy tonight. I have been up and around a decent amount, we took the boys to brunch this morning. And I have to go up and down two flights of stairs repeatedly during the day to get to my bed.
Including some before and after pics taken.....
4 days post op lipo
I HATE the compression garment. It's so freaking tight. Funny story. When they first put it on me after the lipo, I said, 'this isn't so bad.' I realized a couple days later I am wearing a LARGE garment--which I think is just way, way too tight. It's a Marena.
My shower is my favorite time of day. The warm water running down my legs feels so, so good. Like a little massage! And being out of the garment while I shower and wash it is great! I want to ask my doctor if I can take it off for an hour in the evening too. Actually I was a little concerned I would be out of it for like 7 hours tomorrow and he didn't seem concerned at all about it so I'm thinking he might be ok with that.
Did the bowel cleanse last night. It was a Suprep Bowel kit, which is used for people having colonoscopies. It tasted horrible. Within an hour, I had a single, soft and productive bm. I was expecting explosive, watery diarhea and thank God that didn't happen. Then about an hour later I ballooned up and bloated up. Then, I was cramping. Pretty uncomfortable, but I knew another bm wasn't going to come since I had already taken one early in the morning that day, so I decided to go to sleep. I had to unzip the garment to my waist so I could breathe. I weighed 128, which is 8 pounds over my normal.
This morning, I didn't have to take more bowel prep, but I had another good bm, so my colon is very clean. I'm allowed to eat lightly, so I'm going to make my chocolate Shakeology for breakfast. And do fruits and veggies.
Pain level--after being so uncomfortable last night, I decided to take two tylenol this morning to help me get through the day. I have an errand I need to run and i am home alone with my 10 year old so I need to function. I'm actually running to Kohl's for a loose pair of pants and a dress of sorts I can wear around the house. Should have gotten those earlier!
My husband went to work today so no new pics, but I am mostly seeing the biggest difference near my saddlebags, as in less of them! I measured my thighs and they are about 2" wider in girth than normal right now and of course that is the swelling. I think I am going to be happy with what he did.
Update on facial fat grafting: THE BEST THING YET. I would do this again in a heartbeat! I was able to get out of the house, in public, 2 days after because of the minimum bruising and swelling. The bags under my eyes are GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I am hoping the fat doesn't die/take and I see them come back, but the difference is HUGE. My face looks totally rejuvenated. I was worried I wouldn't see a difference and I couldn't be MORE PLEASED. I look a touch fuller through the cheeks so I'm getting used to that but I'm sure that will help me look more youthful into my 50's. I would certainly pay for this again, and he used under 10ccs of fat so it doesn't take much.....I really wish I would have transferred fat to my breasts since I opted out of the BA.
Made it to other side
Ouch. Just ouch.
My husband I'd doing great as a caregiver. Sweet and gentle.
Appetite is good I'm eating steel cut oat meal with bananas and almond butter for breakast. Anti nausea meds are working well.
Surgery was long they started around 8:20 and I was done around 3.
Day 1 post tt
I'm on highest level for dose of vicodin. DI'd anyone switch pain relievers??
Two scrambled eggs for lunch, no nausea but those nausea pills are making me tired which is great.
I slept ok last night, just feeling blessed I could get (any) sleep. Sleepy time theater hits I'm drifting off again....
Still off the charts pain wise
I am eating cheerios, bananas and almond milk this morning. Will have eggs for lunch.
Lift chair is helpful, I'm glad I have it but it is too large.
On a positive note, I coughed up a ginormous loogie last night that helped a lot. That also helped with my anxiety level since I feared the pain to cough it out.
Speaking of anxiety I have a ton of it now. Fear that something went wrong and is messed up under my sea of foam and gauze. I haven't even dared to peel anything away except for the shot in my thigh yesterday. I am excited to see what I look like (well kind of) but I am going for my first post op tomorrow afternoon. At least I'm supposed to. Not sure I can make it to the stairs (two flights) and car. It might take an hour.
Hubby still hanging in there beautifully. Getting kids to and from school and making their meals.
I'm walking at a 90 degree angle which is horrible. The back and my arms are sore. What a Debbie Downer I am these days.
I just keep telling myself there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to everyone for your encouragement. And support. It is helping me. Hugs!
I'm still here.
I've got a giant foam pad in front of incision and then gauze and I think no bandage over scar, or at least that I saw when I got my thigh shot this morning. I'm sure sitting all day is not helping my lipo healing on my legs.
I'm really just a big mess and I feel bad for the hubs as he has to witness this all day long. I'm going to owe him a lot of romantic favors if you know what I mean once this is all over.
First look at tummy
New pain medicine a touch better. I slept most of the day again.
Well, here is my grapic pic to share....
3 day post update
No bm yet since Monday.
Sleeping a lot and taking max dose of pain meds every 4 hours. Bummer.
On the bright side things can only improve from the 10 level I was at yesterday so I'm hopeful for a little improvement each day.
Peeled away garment and foam padding for 5 mins today to let my body breathe. There is a pulling, burning sensation below my belly button. It's also numb in other spots.
I am eating well and I have no nausea.
The meds cause me to have really vivid weird dreams.
Anyone have specific questions??
4 days ppst TT and lipo
Pain level: wow still a 7/8 when first getting up from recliner. But once I'm up I move around and unstiffen I feel much better. Still taking 2 pills every 4 hrs.
Walking: I am at a 45 degree angle or less. I can sit for short periods almost fully upright. This has helped ease my lower back soreness.
Incision/scar pain: blends in w other tenderness. I have Exparel, so that must be helping. Skin is numb, tender, tight. But I'm not experiencing much burning or shocks, mostly light tingles as though muscles fell asleep.
No nausea, full appetite. No bm yet, taking a stool softener....will eat some plums and eating foods w fiber. I need to add some Chia seeds to my next shake.
I have my first post op Tuesday. We postponed my appt on Friday due to pain levels. I'm definitely improving exponentially by the day. I can get up out of recliner and get to potty and back on my own.
Definitely more swelling and discomfort in evenings.
Feeling more myself....I had a decent amount of anxiety first few days.
Thanks for listening and chiming in!!!!!
Day 5 Post Opp TT/lipo update
Pain level when moving around now is about a 6 or 7. Still taking painkillers every 4 hours. Sometimes 1, sometimes 2.
Took my first shower today, it felt wonderful. We took an ottoman from our outdoor dining set and put that in shower so I could sit. I needed the hubs to get in and wash me which he enjoyed :)
My period arrived today, NOT supposed to come for weeks, but I read that's common.
No nausea, headaches or other issues caused my meds. Still have mucus coming up so I'm drinking chamomile tea and steaming my head over a bowl to loosen it. Also taking mucinex.
Had a small bm today. Not difficult but I focused on relaxing and not straining. I'm adding Chia seeds to my shake and drinking lots of water.
I try to nap every several hours.
Still using lift chair and I can get on and out myself.
Walking at 25 degree angle. Belly is numb below bellybutton. Tight feeling is ok. Swelling less than expected, jumped on scale this am and only weighed .5 - 1 pound more than day of surgery. Bit my garment which is a large compresses me so tight I feel like an encased sausage.
Husband still being a wonderful, patient caregiver.
Would have gotten a walker if I redid procedure. My back is going through a lot.
Day 6 Post Op TT/Lipo
Well today is 6 days post Tummy Tuck! I am feeling better today than yesterday. Today's major news:
1) Walked downstairs (twice!) I had not been up or down our two flights of steps since surgery on Tuesday. I knew I would be able to walk them today and it was easier than I thought. I wanted to be sure it would be fine tomorrow when we go for my post op. That involves the additional steps of getting in and out of the SUV, so I'm adding that difficulty tomorrow!
2) Switched one cycle of meds from oxycodone to ibuprofen (2) to see how it went. So far so good, I am 2 hours into the cycle and I'll make it to four. I'll probably take the Advil until bed tonight then decide which med. The only reason I think I was leaning toward the oxy was because I want good quality sleep but really, once I'm in the reclined position I'm fine, it's just when I have to MOVE and get OUT of the recliner that I am super stiff and uncomfortable and then I think it's not going to matter that I had either med, just that I haven't moved my legs and circulated blood in other positions. Plus I want the drowsiness factor that comes with the promethazine, the anti nausea med he prescribed. Turns out I like that one.... :) Maybe I can come up with a better alternative. Did you guys use anything in particular that helped you get restful sleep? I feel like I am not as tired when I am supposed to go to bed because I am doing all this relaxing and no exercise and no activities with the kids to make me my usual level of tiredness at night.
I have not commented thus far regarding this but believe it or not we have still been able to keep the surgery a secret from the in laws! They probably wondered where I was on Saturday during my son's hockey games. However, they did not ask my husband where I was which worked out well so they probably thought I was working. I am usually not working during the kids' games. My goal is to try to make it to this coming Saturday's set of games. I plan on saying I threw out my back during the week when they notice I walk slowly.....that's the plan for now anyway.
I am feeling much more independent now. My husband still has a lot on his plate because he is feeding all of us, getting the two boys ready for school in the am and doing all the picking up and shuttling to activities that we normally share and divide up. I am hoping over the next few days I can shower on my own. I needed his help yesterday in the shower....maybe he can go back into the office next week a couple days? It's really just a matter of figuring out food and my meals which should be easy enough. I can't reach into the cupboards or anything but once my kids are home they can help with that--they are 10 and 15.
The 10 year old has been really helpful.
I think I did pretty well planning on how much time I'd need off work. My first appt back at work will be 9/9 but I need to do some prep work on the computer in advance to prepare for it. I should be totally fine. I actually have a pretty full schedule 9/9-9/11 but it should only require 3, then 3 then 5 hours of work progressively which should be totally doable. I plan on driving by Labor Day and my husband will be on a trip to the midwest that week so that will be really challenging.
I will take some updated pics next time I have the garment off and we can snap a few.
I am walking at a great angle, maybe 15 % hunched over? I figure the sooner I stand straight, the quicker the back ache goes away. It already hurts much less from standing and walking straighter. I have not been in thus far for a post op, so I'm just going by how I feel in terms of the angle and levels of activity. My scar and incisions have been left as they were the day I had surgery so I know they need some attention!!
My doctor did not advise at all on post op lotions, pills, etc. So I have not bought any arnica or bromelain--I will ask about those and scar care tomorrow.
Dr. L has been great. I felt they were responsive when I was in a lot of pain. There was one day, one or two days after, where I was in really intense pain and I was hoping he would have checked in with me prior to leaving his office that day so I didn't have to call into the answering service for a different med, but I suspect he just had a really busy day at the office and wasn't able to check in during those hours. He does call in the evening or weekend if he hasn't checked in so he would have eventually followed up. At that point he also mentioned possibly coming out to see me since I was unable to make it into the office. That was really nice to know that he was willing as I certainly felt in no shape to get into his office last Thursday for my first post op.
I'm still sleeping in the recliner but I am curious as to whether I could tolerate my bed for a bit. I might try taking a nap there later on today. I like sleeping in the chair at night because I can get out on my own to go potty and stretch my legs without waking the hubs. If I slept in the bed he would need to get me out of it and I haven't been able to go more than 4 hours at a time in the chair without getting up. I get super, super stiff and sore and also I drink a lot and have that incontinence so I have to pee. Normally, I do not get up in the middle of the night to pee but this CG is pressing down so tightly on my abdomen.
Speaking of the CG, still super super tight and uncomfortable. I would like the next two sizes up. It would still compress enough but at night I really need the extra space. I would also like it in black as opposed to nude.
I think that's it for now....been reading everybody else's updates as well! Happy healing.
Day 7! 1 week post op TT/LIPO Update
The appt was short (30 mins) and we took our time!
He removed my lipo stitches (a touch painful even though they were small there were lots!) and he examined his work :) He was pleased with everything except a bit of pinkness near the scar. He said to keep an eye on it and asked me to take an antibiotic which I'd been off for a few days.
We reviewed meds and I got a few new prescriptions--one for Ambien so I can rest better at night. I was totally dreading sleeping on my back because I've NEVER EVER slept on my back, even on an airplane, but I was happy to find that if one is completely wrecked and exhausted you find a way to sleep in any position.....
I find myself waking every couple of hours and then I realize my legs are SOOO stiff and recently my bottom has become really sore. It's from lack of movement. I haven't had to set any alarms to take my meds because I always wake up on my own....sleeping just a few hours at a time.
I purposely get up and use the john which is about 50 steps back and forth. Then I stretch in the dark before I get back in the chair, and take my pills.
I am trying to drink a gallon of water a day--that was my normal prior to surgery and it's easy for me to do, but that means I pee a lot and with my urinary incontinence, I do not empty the bladder fully so it forces me to get up every couple hours and get more blood flowing in my lower extremities.
I would upload some new pics, but honestly, I'm not loving the new pics I have! Either a) my husband takes shitty pics or b) I look like shit. It's a combination of both. Well, I don't look like X?!@ but the shape and curves I had before are completely out of whack!
My torso looks boxy. My legs are weird--
It doesn't help that we don't have a full length mirror so I cannot see myself from top to bottom unless I can stand up on the edge of my tub like I did for my original before pics. I cannot climb up there nor would I put myself in any danger trying to get a good look at myself now!
I know that in a week or so, I will have a better idea how the LEG LIPO is coming along. My legs bruised a lot more after our 72 hour pics, and were super tender. But they are starting to fade to YELLOW and they are much less painful. Some of the numbness is going away....yay! I think I can tell a big difference in the saddle bag area which thrills me and if my knees look better than I will be super happy.
I got on the scale after my shower and weighed in at .2 lbs less than surgery day, wahoo! I am still swollen, so I think I am thrilled with that. My waist is at least 3 inches larger than normal right now. It's normally 27" and when the tape went past 30" I dropped it and didn't finish measuring. I'm not disappointed with that at all, I would expect it.
I have only had pajammas on since the surgery and wore those today to the appt. Before the appt I wanted to go to Trader Joes for some soups and so it was my first public appearance since surgery. I wanted to use the motorized scooter they had outside so I sat in it but we couldn't make it go! So then an employee came out to help us and sat in it. It worked fine! We figured out that I had to sit back more in the seat as there was some kind of sensor on it. At first she kept saying I was too light weight wise and it wouldn't go. But I was like, that can't be, what about all those old, frail ladies that must use this? They must weigh like 90lbs? I have avoided laughing but this whole supermarket thing had me laughing so hard at the scene I peed myself! Luckily, I had a pad on because my period came early. We were right at the door opening of the store backing up traffic to come in and I couldn't move the thing to the right so people could pass and they were being polite and not squeezing by like I was truly handicapped. But then I was hunched over laughing so then I don't know what they thought we were doing. Then as soon as I figured out how to get the thing working, I jammed in right to the produce aisle. I was supposed to be following the female employee who was trying to show me the soups. I was laughing but I was doubled over in pain because I felt ridiculous in that thing...and then Kent was commenting on all the people who were walking by with walkers and way older than us getting in and out. Oh well, I probably won't laugh that hard again for weeks! I told him he should have recorded it on his cell phone as the boys would have thought it was very funny!
In other news, I will be trying an Ambien tonight for the first time...
I went off the narcotics a day ago but I will most likely take one or two doses tonight to help me sleep better. I'm not sure. I mainly stopped because I was starting to get backed up in the plumbing arena, but I've since had 2-3 normal bms that weren't uncomfortable so I think I'm eating enough prunes, adding chia seeds to things, drinking lots of water and have a stool softener pill once a day so that's helping. Just trying to get lots of fiber.
Diet wise, I am avoiding meat. I have had chicken once, but we're doing fish, yogurt, nutrition shakes, fruits, veggies, and now I have some soups. I love having oatmeal with bananas and almond butter for breakfast. I'm also eating lots of eggs. I love eggs!
My appetite has been back to normal since I got home. I have a big appetite. Not one bit of nausea, so that Promethazine was wonderful, that worked beautifully for me. But I'm off that now because I haven't taken the narcotics. I have like 3 pills of that left that I will save when I do take a dose of narcotics.
I'm getting around more and more and not walking at a big angle, but not straight up yet.
I feel at about 60% of normal in the mid-morning when I've been up a bit and then at night, esp the middle of the night, I'm down to 10-15% of normal in terms of comfort and soreness. For a week after surgery, I'm pleased with that progress.
Today I ordered a second compression garment. The one I'm wearing from the doc office is MARENA FBM Stage 1 in nude. The garment I ordered is for mostly when I return to work in a couple weeks--the back won't show if I wear a maxi dress or a lower top. It's a stage 2, but I called the doc office and they said that would be fine to wear in a week or so. I also ordered one size up, which technically doesn't make sense as they say I would be swelling less and you go one size smaller, but at night this thing is SKIN SKIN TIGHT and I have anxiety about how tight it is and it's hot and I'm sweltering in it, so I ordered one size up just so I have teeny tiny bit more room in it. Plus, if I'm moving around more during the day, there could be more swelling than I'm seeing now that I'm able to relax at will and not working. The garment I ordered today is the Marena LGM2 in black. It goes to mid calf because I had my knees lipo'd, remember? Otherwise, I would go above the knees for sure! And lastly, I have never ever liked tight constricting things so just wearing this for over one week solid now has been a sacrifice in the name of beauty. I will be counting the days down from my "6" required weeks. More than anything, I'd love to turn into one of the gals who start to prefer being in it rather than out of it. Right now, I am making excuses to take a shower to get out of the thing for an hour! I also wanted the second garment so I don't have to rush it through the wash when showering. My husband will go back to work next week so I want to be able to take my time with that. I also got myself a second pair of these pajammas from Kohl's that I love, love, love. The perfect amount of stretch. Never wrinkle. Cool, not hot. Short sleeved. Super cute. I even accessorized today with matching earrings. I put a necklace on too but then decided that was a little much! I am posting the pictures since I had made a trip to Kohl's the day before my surgery JUST go get some jammies I could wear following the procedure. I usually sleep in t shirt and undies (the unrestricted me!) so I didn't have cute jammies to wear that were for summer. I have great winter, flannel pajammas. I'm in CA so it won't get cold here for a while!
OK, well that's a long enough update for today.
I'm embedding the jammies here for anyone who needs a set. It was totally easy to get these over my head and the pants have a super loose waist that goes up easy over the CG. I did not have a BA though, so perhaps that would be a bit more difficult since it's a slipover top? They are VERA WANG brand.
Happy Healing my friends! Over and Out.
Front of Rockin Post Surgery Jammies
8 days post TT/13 days post LIPO
The second time I almost finished on the COMPUTER with my update and took a phone call and needed to get to the internet and somehow closed the window that had RS up. POOF, gone again!! Darn it! So third time with material isn't as fun.....nonetheless, here goes!
1) Slept horribly last night. Not because of incision/tt/lipo pain, but because of achiness and throbbing in lower back and bottom from the recliner and I guess how I'm sitting/laying in it?? Which is hard to believe because I did not sit that much yesterday with all the activity of the post op and trip to the grocery store and stuff. I don't believe I over did it at all earlier in the day, but I was in so much pain around 7:30 I decided to try laying in my bed to see if that helped. I got in all by myself then called my husband to figure out how to get me up and out of it about an hour later. It was easier than we thought, he supported my back as I moved into a sitting position then I swung my legs off the bed. No pain at all. So I started off in bed there last night and then around 3 am woke up in such discomfort I had to go to the 'cliner. When I was lying in bed, I used 2 pillows under my head and 3 pillows under my legs. I think a wedge pillow would be better. Might get one....once I was in the 'cliner I was so uncomfortable I just sat there in the dark for 40 minutes waiting to fall asleep while trying not to focus on my throbbing pain! It was up there in the 9 level, even with a painkiller....wahhhh. I would have rather walked around for 20 minutes but that would have distracted my hubby from getting back to sleep and I am already inconveniencing (botched the spelling!) him enough with everything else. Poor guy :)
2) I felt good this morning, even with the sucky sleep. It reminds me of when we had newborn babies....you get sleep, but it's a couple hours at a time. I'm getting used to it! I felt "lighter" so when I went in for my daily shower I weighed myself. 118! Which is TWO FULL POUNDS lighter than day of surgery! WOO HOO! I told my husband that I think that's a sign I should eat a bit more. I shouldn't be LOSING weight in recovery, well not necessarily, and that if I'm doing so, it means I should probably take in more calories so that they go towards healing. I think our bodies must need so much fuel to rebuild and restore! So I'm going to eat just a bit more to make sure I've got plenty of fuel in the tank. I am still loving the shower as an excuse to take of the CG for an hour every day to let my skin breathe and denumb. The shower water head is focused on my lower back and legs and it feels so good, but being in CA we have a drought so I have to be careful not to be in there too long :) I put on my new pink jammies today. My 10 year old will be so surprised when he sees me wearing something different than the last 8 days, LOL!! He notices stuff like that.
3) Still running in stealth mode, with only a 'need to know' basis for my having surgery. Inlaws still in dark about procedure, I have not seen them for a couple weeks, I am not sure where the heck they think I've been, but this Saturday I hope to make the boys' hockey games and I will probably still be walking funny so we plan on saying I strained my back. My hunch factor is getting better with each passing day, I am not straight up and down yet, probably 10 degrees bent over when I'm feeling the best, and 15 degrees when tight and stuff and sore...
4) Pain level/discomfort: Hmm. It's so varied in a 24 hour period. At it's best, I'm feeling a 3 or 4 on the TWO ADVIL only every 4 hours. At worst, like last night, a 9 WITH a narcotic. Every day I'm looking a bit more like my old self but the body can't keep up so I'm listening and taking frequent breaks. I go down the steps several times a day now, but I'm not up to fixing meals for the family. Kent is still doing all that for us and doing all the driving and helping w homework. Kids have been great...not really helping him around the house, but behaving, cooperating, and that seems to be ok. I think he can go back to work NP next week as I'm feeling better than anticipated so I think he's happy about that since I know he does not feel productive at home.
I think that's it for now. My next doctor's appt is Tuesday of next week. This is a funny question, but I think he said he would remove incision stitches, which I suspect will not be fun? Those do get removed, right?? YOWZA! Removing the lipo stitches was uncomfortable enough that I started digging my fingernails into my legs as he was doing it to not notice the stitch pain, and then he said, 'what did you do to yourself? and we looked and there were jab marks from my nails on my thighs! Wait till I have a 14" line of stitches coming out! Is this going to be painful?!
9 DAYS POST TT
We did go out and buy a bathchair so I can shower independently when the hubs returns to work next week and also a wedge pillow to try to elevate my legs better in the bed. I may try sleeping in the recliner first tonight but I think the problem is I went off the narcotics and anti nausea pill which induced drowsiness.
Appetite very low today, forcing myself to still eat regular, healthy meals, but it's 3 and I'm just finishing my nutrition shake which I normally have around noon....
Swelling in my torso is minimal, but around the incision still very swollen and tight....
I've got the CG off at the moment while it's in the laundry and I just love my hour of freedom! No energy for a shower today, that takes too much manpower, LOL.
Yesterday when my youngest son got home from school and saw me in a new outfit (pink pjs) he said, "Are you healed now?" I loved that. He is 10 and thinks it's just an overnight, all better now! I need to explain that it's a slow process, but he said, you've got new clothing on and you did your face....I told you he would notice!! He is ready for me to be all better. I am too, but one day at a time.....
The best news is I can now get myself out of bed and it's not painful at all. I roll to the side and push up with my arms. I can feel some ab strength returning and am not frightened of laughing and we even watched a comedy central before bed. The comedian was only mildly funny, thank God.
Not walking any straighter today due to my lack of energy and oomph. I NEED SLEEP!! Tonight I'll go back to the hard stuff before bed as the most important thing I need is quality sleep. Say a prayer it happens tonight!!
Hugs to all those healing and reading :)
10 DAYS POST TT: FEEL AS THOUGH I'M REGRESSING!
Last night I returned to the recliner instead of our bed in hopes of better sleep. I also added my oxy narco back into the med rotation after being off them almost 48 hours. I was much more COMFORTABLE in the recliner with my new leg rest pillow, and with the added boost of pain meds, I should have not had too much of an issue, however, I went to bed around midnight and woke up around 4 am again and couldn't go back to sleep. I had even cut back on the water intake before bed in hopes I might be able to go all night without having to pee. I didn't have a dying urge to pee, but I woke up nonetheless and just waited and waited and no sandman came. So I got up around 6:30.
I am back to the pain levels from days 4 - 6. A few days ago I could walk almost fully upright and also without assistance through Whole Foods. Today I can't even make it up one flight of our stairs or across the kitchen without being winded and in pain! I am so disappointed. We took pictures of my belly and emailed them to my Dr. Lowen, who called me later in the day and asked me to come in, thinking my tummy looked pink. So we ended up driving into his office this evening at 6:15 for a shot in my butt of another antibiotic (I'm already taking 2). Just to fend off a staph infection or strep or anything. The doc says he'd rather be safe than sorry and I appreciate it. I was grateful he stuck around and did ask me to come in as I do feel better that everything APPEARS normal. I feel like my healing is being impeded by this lack of sleep and it's making me angry!
The doctor DID prescribe Ambien for me, however, I will not take it if I take the oxycodone and promethazine (anti nausea) as the latter has an antihistimine so it already makes me drowsy. Although maybe the oxy and Ambien could be taken together, I did not ask. I am usually hesitant to "guess" it might be ok so I would rather not take both if I haven't been given permission.
SOOOO disappointed, I had plans to attend the boys' hockey games tomorrow but there is no way I can go now if I wake up in today's condition. I think based on the last two days I will have to stay at home. Part of this factor's in to the MIL/FIL stealth mode thing too, as I was hoping to make my first appearance to them since surgery saying I strained my back, but I feel at this point it would just take more stamina than I have, damnit!
On the bright side, I don't feel pain laying down or sitting for short periods, and I feel my abs getting stronger and it doesn't hurt as much to cough and laugh. So I can feel some things improving. Since I started the Arnica tabs I think my bruising is going away a bit faster and I got on the scale yesterday and lost ANOTHER pound. That's 3 pounds under surgery weight day. And of course I am still swollen in my abdomen and legs from the lipo. It's so odd because I tried for 4 weeks prior to surgery to lose just 5 pounds and not one went, and now 10 days after surgery I've lost 3. So my weight in one week fluctated by 10 lbs which is a lot on my 5'2" frame. If I were to keep losing this rapidly I would mention it to my doctor, but I have no concerns at this point other than I think my metabolism is in overdrive trying to mend things on the inside. I've probably eaten about 1,500 calories a day or so, which is more than adequate considering I'm hardly moving throughout the day!
Still eating SUPER duper healthy foods. An egg scramble for breakfast, nutrition shake for lunch, fruit for snacks (plums, pineapple, nectarine), and squash with tahini sauce for dinner...no junk. Still drinking a gallon of water a day. Just waiting for a GOOD, GOOD, day and an improvement over today.
I knew this would go up and down as far as good and bad days, I just figured that each passing day the first two weeks that I would feel a bit better each day.
Anyone else encounter this? And how about insomnia? If so, what did you do to fix it?
Hugs and here's to hoping tomorrow's update is better. Happy healing!
11 DAY POST TT: THE SANDMAN PAYS A VISIT
I had wanted to attend my youngest and eldest son's roller hockey games but decided to compromise. A shower AND even one game sounded like it might tire me out too much so I prioritized the game over a shower. I knew I would be able to sit in my comfy 'hockey chair' (it has a back on it and I brought extra padding to sit on) for the 45 mins and then we were coming right home. I was able to keep my surgery a secret from the inlaws! They arrived after us so I had time to mozy in my limped state over to the bleachers and get myself set up. The arrived and left right after the game, I never moved from that seat! Then, we left out the back door.....STEALTH MODE SUCCESS! However, I did not make it to my teen's game and hubby told them a friend came into town and I opted to see her.
I got home from the game and went upstairs to rest. Hubs brought me lunch (arugula salad with heirloom tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, & avocado vinegariette and a half of tuna sandwich on wheat). YUM. I gobbled it up and when they went to my son's game, I napped. I haven't napped in DAYS....I had a dream that my sister in law got a boob job and it was a big secret and she had written a book and I discovered she had the boob job while reading her book! She had been hiding it from the family! FUNNY, I'm still having these weird, vivid dreams.
No narcotics during the day, I'm saving those for sleeping time. So I'll take one tonight at 10 or 11 and then another dose when I wake up in the middle of the night. That seems to be working well enough. I'm getting much more comfortable WHILE sleeping though, my legs are denumbing a bit from the lipo, (although still very sore the bruising is starting to fade) and my tummy doesn't bother me that much, it's more my lower back. But once I find the position in the recliner, I don't feel much pain at all. The CG is still the Stage 1, and it's most bothersome point is my calf area! I had the lipo incisions there and the garment always wrinkles up behind my knees and agitates the bruised, numb, swollen tissue. If I could just cut out that once piece of the garment, I would probably be fairly comfortable in thing, but I want beautiful transitions from my thighs to knees so I don't dare wear anything else but this particular CG at the moment.
Did I mention there is also pain under my bottom? From sitting and the pressure....so I have started to ice my backside just 20 mins a couple times a day as well as my lower back. It's helping.
I want to take updated pictures tomorrow or Monday. I will ask the hubs, he is used to the drill and I suck at selfies. Hate em. Gotta dig out the pink undies for the photoshoot....
I want to do some side by sides (before/afters). I may not post right those right away until I can get down to the computer to work on them...that involves a trip down my stairs!
Energy level is much better today and I'm hoping for another good night's rest. Thank you to everyone who posted to my comments yesterday, when I arrived at the rink today I was scrolling through and reading. When I got to DIVAJEN's, 'don't go to the games; I was already in the bleachers ;) but I feel the sacrifice of the shower which would have taken equivalent energy was a good tradeoff and I'll probably do that in the future. I have short hair and if I wet it and put on makeup, no one is the wiser about the shower, except me and hubs ;) and since he hasn't been done more than a peck before we go to bed at night, I'm pretty sure I'm fine without my daily shower.
I put on regular clothes today! First time in like 10 days--well, they were cute little Athleta pants so not even jeans....
I am still hunched, 15% maybe? My wish is to walk straight, my wish is to walk straight....thought I'd be doin that by now!
My butt looks COMPLETELY flat. Is it the CG, the hunched walk, or both??? It's terrible! I do not normally have a scrunched flat butt.
Appetite--very good today, can't wait for dinner!
Meds, supplements, vitamins--still on so many, I can't wait until the antibiotics are done. I asked the hubby to make a table in WORD to help manage what I'm taking and when. It works well.
Question-when did you start putting lotions on your tummy (not around incision) to keep the skin soft and supple? What did you use? I read a lot of people use coconut oil, but is that for the tummy or incision or both? I know I shouldn't touch the incision right now until the doc advises otherwise.
DAY 12 POST TT: One goal at a time
I slept well again last night, not pre-surgery well of course, but much, much better. I can feel how much progress can be made when you get some zzs.
I wanted to comment on a few things I haven't mentioned in the past week or so.
LIPO: WOW, I'm still in a pretty good amount of pain from the lipo done on my inner and outer thighs and knees. It is part of why I am still taking pain meds in the evening and OTC meds during the day. My legs are still bruised and tender, especially when I first go to sit. The worst is the inside and back of my knees. He did so much work from that angle during surgery (under local), and I am the numbest on the inside of my knee. That also corresponds to the degree of pain I felt during the procedure, so I feel that there are more nerves in that area, or at least in MY legs. I told my husband last night it feels like someone is giving me an indian rope burn perpetually behind the knees. Every night when he tucks me in he has to pull the legs of my CG down (it goes to mid calf) and take the wrinkles out from behind the knees. It's a little routine. And then when I am awake or standing I am constantly tugging them away from that area. Last night we tried putting squares of gauze where the seam of the garment is to see if that helped. It did, a little.
After two days of no showering, it's happening today. CANNOT WAIT to feel the warm water on my legs. It feel so good! I am a big bath taker so I am hoping the doc clears me for those on Tuesday. We have a nice big jacuzzi tub that I would love to use as I recover. And baths relax me, so I would take one right before bed to help induce sleep.
So right now the med dosage is 1 oxy before bed, then another in the middle of the night when I wake up, then I switch to Advil. I take two every 4 hours. And then a host of other things, two antibiotics, arnica montana, bromelain, and off and on with the stool softener if all the fiber I'm eating still isn't cutting it. That's a lot of meds for my body to take and I am excited to be almost done with the course of antibiotics. My doctor added some due to wanting to avoid an infection around the scar, which he seemed a little worried about at my post op. He said he likes to be proactive in that way.
Today is going to be a relaxing day spent at home with the family. I am looking forward to it. I want to try to get outside and get some fresh air which I have truly missed.
Wish me luck on the 14 day standing straight goal! IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
DAY 12: UPDATED PICS
Need a CG that doesn't squish butt
DAY 14 POST TT: POST OP & RECOVERY UPDATE
Today I went in for my post op. Doc says everything is healing well as far as the belly goes. He didn't look at my legs, but I didn't have any concerns regarding those so we just focused on my belly. He removed the sutures from my belly button and put some antibiotic ointment in there. Until today, no one has touched or fussed with it...so it was a bit neglected! I can't wait to shower tomorrow to get my first real look at the shape of it! It is definitely off to one side though. The OCD part of me is annoyed by that, but then I tell myself that really, only two people see my belly button and I can tell you for sure that is not my husband's focus when I am not wearing any clothing!! So...if it's off, it's off. Perhaps it was always off center and I never knew? I think the doctor may have zoned in on that today but he did not mention it. Neither did I, for now.
The two week old bandage/tape came off my belly. I thought there were sutures there, but lo and behold, NO just a bandaid was there!! So my incision is a bit wider than I thought it would be, but some of that is a little scabby looking so I suspect that flakes off in time...I have been lucky enough thus far to escape the common symptom of itchiness. Normally I get very itchy!! I would say I have sensitive skin in general, esp around areas like my tummy. He felt around and asked me about numbess and said it's very concentrated and not a wide area, he was pleased I had sensation in areas relatively close to the incision. Me too! I was numb the whole time he removed stitches from the button. He told me I could start massaging and to do it as often as I could tolerate it, progressively getting firmer with my pressure. I had started doing the gentlest of massaging to my legs and tummy a few days ago. He also mentioned I could use a bit of ice, so I'm going to try that on the inside of my legs, I'm sure that would help, I always find icing helps reduce inflammation when I've had it in the past from workout out too hard. He said I can start taking a bath at the 3 week post mark, so next week, CANNOT WAIT!!! I think that will help me sleep better if I take one before bed with a cup of chamomile tea.
GUESS WHAT? The BEST news of the appt came when I asked about my compression garment. He said at this point, it is TOTALLY OPTIONAL as to whether I wear it or not! Oh my, I was expecting to hear I had to wear the thing another 4 weeks! He said the swelling may increase if I don't wear it, but that since I'm going to be swelling regardless for the next 4-6 weeks (and likely more), why put up with something that's causing any discomfort? So....I might try sleeping with it off tonight. Maybe I will get a better night's rest? I will be able to tell the degree of swelling as I took my weight this morning and can do the same tomorrow morning and compare. Still about 2.5-3 pounds under my day-of-surgery weight and I have been eating a bit more so as not to "lose" weight while in this post operative recovery state. Eating a bit more just means a greek yogurt and fruit before bed as a late night snack as I know lots of healing is done while I sleep!
Pain update: Still in a pretty good amount of pain throughout my legs but there is an improvement. It's still significant enough for me to want the pain pill as opposed to ibuprofen at night, mostly due to my desire for quality, uninterruped sleep which still hasn't happened. I woke up last night about 2.5 hours after going to bed, then again 4.5 hours then again 2 hours later. Just like a newborn baby ;) I would say the degree of pain after walking around a bit is down to a 4. And it's the back of my legs and knees. My back pain is gone since I'm almost walking fully upright. I don't feel I met my goal of walking fully upright today--I'm still hunched over a bit and my butt still looks scrunched. My tummy pain would totally be manageable with just advil. I am taking a lot of arnica and bromelain, and eating lots of pineapple, because once the bruising and tenderness subside, I am going to be way more comfortable! I'm still sleeping in the recliner, on my back with a couple pillows under my legs. However, I can also lay completely flat without a pillow in my own bed and practice that a few times a day. I can't fall asleep like that yet, it's too tight and feels like it's pulling so it's too stressful to try to sleep like that, worried....Lastly, I have had very minor little jolts that people mention where the nerves are healing. It isn't too, too painful yet. Today I do think that one of the metal clasps dug into my side and created a super sensitive area right near my incision. I have had to unbuckle the CG and wear it open down the side today to give that area some relief. The doctor couldn't find anything worrisome there, so I suspect it will get better in a day or too, but it burns like a mother and feels so painful to the touch. It is not sore though unless touched, so that should fix itself I'd say.
How I'm feeling about results: I am LOVING my new legs--I really think he made improvements in the saddle bag area and the inside of my thighs. My knees are still so very swollen and tender from where he did most of the work with his cannulas, so I don't expect to know what that area will look like for another few weeks. But I know that I'm going to feel it was well worth the money and pain. I cannot wait to try on a pair of my old jeans but I won't do that until I can stand fully upright so I can get the look of the new me in full, not compression-butt lady!
I will be phasing back into work next Wednesday. Just half days Wed-Friday. That should be good, the husband has a business trip so I'm dreading all the extra work that will entail so it should be interesting. I did try driving today, just a bit to see if I could and I can. So we'll be phasing that back in too.
My appetite has been completely normal, I am finding myself full after smaller quantities which is wonderful. I have had no nausea, so I'm thankful for that.
I haven't commented in a while on the fat transfer to my upper cheek area to reduce the eye bags. I'm on the fence now regarding that. At first, they were completely gone, but that was because I was swollen. Now that it's been almost three weeks the bags are there but they are fainter. And let's face it, I'm sleep deprived at the moment, so as far as that goes, this is a good "test". I can still see a difference, but I was hoping they would be completely gone, like they were right after the injections....
I am still not walking around THAT much--I should be walking more....but I'm listening to my body and that's all I can do for now. Take it 1 day at a time....
I am starting to miss working out...just the feeling i get AFTER the work out, not the workout themselves.... :)
Over and out ladies! I still want those tips on the CGs that won't compress the butt as I think I am still going to wear something.....
DAY 15 POST TT: My insomnia is getting worse
I am still not standing 100% upright which is disappointing and I am quite sore today. Feels like indian rope burns all up and down my legs. I am currently wearing the suspender CG which I have decided is pretty uncomfortable at times.
I did take a shower earlier today and loved that along with putting some cocoa butter on my legs and tummy. I am not treating the scar yet with anything but an antiobiotic cream the doc prescribed. My belly button is looking good--it is cleaned out and scab-less and I can see a cute oval shape happening.
As far as my overall 'shape', I do not love it yet. I look boxy. Is this common? Still swollen around the waist quite a bit but I did an experiment. Last night I took my waist measurement before bed (and had weighed myself in the am yesterday). Then I removed the CG and went without it from about 8 pm through 11 am this morning. I wanted to evaluate the degree of swelling that could happen if I didn't wear the garment. Here are the findings:
Wednesday weight in am (having worn garment overnight on Tuesday): 117.4
Wednedsay AM waist measurement: 29.5 ish
Thursday weight in am (not having worn the garment overnight on Wednesday): 116.6
Thursday AM waist measurement: 28.5
My conclusion is not wearing WHILE SLEEPING did not negatively impact me in regards to swelling. Of course just one night isn't going to be thorough enough to have me believe I should go every night without it, but it is good to know I didn't wake up 3-4 lbs heavier from major swelling.
So all in all, I'm a bit disappointed in my lack of recovery skills. I thought I would be way tougher and bounce back much quicker than I am. I am not sure if I'd attribute this to my age (50), the amount of work I had done in a 1 week span, or that I might have a low pain threshold. Doctor L said not to look at myself as progressing slowly, but progressing at my OWN rate of healing. It's a nice thing to say, but I still had higher hopes for myself.
My husband is still having to do all the driving and cooking--tonight he is going to our son's Open House alone. That makes me sad, because we always go together to the Open Houses. I am going to my younger son's next week because my husband will be traveling and that open house is one I just have to sit in 1 classroom for an hour as opposed to going to 6 different rooms all over the high school campus for my older son's.
My neice is coming in from out of town this weekend and there is a family get together on Sunday. I am praying I am walking upright and looking somewhat NORMAL, as no one in the family knows about my surgery except for my own kids and husband.
I am so glad I took a full 3 weeks off work and am phasing back in part time the first week back. I feel lucky that I can.
I'm a bit of a downer today I guess, but it is what it is. I have to be honest and keep it real, right? Thanks for reading and happy healing!
DAY 16 POST TT: PROGRESS PICS
DAY 17 POST TT: RECOVERY UPDATE
It also helped that I forced myself to sleep on my side, just for small chunks of time, the last two nights. The night before last, I just was able to tolerate one hour of sleep on my right side (left side is more sore). Last night, I did "TWO" sleeping shifts on my side and one shift in the recliner. I fell asleep last night in the recliner within about 15 minutes which was way faster than the past and then I woke up and went to the bed. I woke up to use the bathroom and walked around and stretched then went back to the bed again and was able to sleep until 6 am and then a little bit more after that. Sleeping on my side is uncomfortable and painful, but it feels so familiar that after I settle in for 5 minutes, I am not as sore and I drift off. So, I'm seeing progress!
I can also feel my stomach muscles getting stronger--or at least I'm able to get up and use my muscles without hurting myself. Turning over in bed to the other side is very slow and painful, but I can. I can also lay completely flat in my bed and it's not pulling as much as before. I am walking straight until the evening, but my butt seems to be hunched a little still but I notice a little bit of improvement and by laying flat in the bed, I can get a real sense of my level of improvement. I'm trying to get in the bed and lay flat for 15 minutes at a time several times a day.
Compression Garment update; as previously mentioned, my Dr. told me at my two week post op I did not have to wear my garment AT ALL if I was uncomfortable. I was SO excited when he said that. So I have been wearing it very little the past 48 hours. Yesterday I had it on for about 6 hours and then I was swelling (the usual evening bloat) and I had to take it off. Honestly, I feel like my body swells LESS when I don't wear it. I almost have the proof too. I went from about 6 pm last night through this morning without it. I weighed in at 116 this morning which is lowest weight yet since surgery. My waist is 28.5-29, still up about 2" larger than normal. Pre-surgery my waist was about 27". So I am still swollen above and below the incision. So I did order 3 Leonisa CGs in hopes of finding something more comfortable but if they arrive and I don't feel comfy in them, they are going back and I guess I'll be one of the rare cases of women who only wore the thing for 2 weeks!! I'll gladly trade off a bit of extra swelling for more hourly comfort in a day. And if I swell even less, then that means it's the best solution for me.
I'm still bruised on my legs from the lipo and all areas that had lipo are very tender and sore. I treat that with my arnica cream and arnica tabs. Taking Bromelain tabs as well and multivitamins and nutrition shakes once a day. Each day the bruising and pain lessen so I've been through the worst. I've experienced very little of the quick jolts/nerve sensations others reference. I mean they are there, but nothing that stops me in my tracks. Very minor. And I'm very stiff when I get up from being seated or lying down. But that will get better too.
Overall, seeing little improvements each day and that's all I can ask for. I can totally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's long, but there's still light :)
DAY 19 POST TT: I FEEL LIKE A NEW PERSON
I have started to drive (like 10 minute trips) around town and have worn normal clothes out about 4 times, LOL! If I am housebound, I am STILL in my Vera Wang Kohl's jammies. Two pairs, just rotating. I'm sure my husband is loving the minimal amount of laundry I am producing. I don't even wear undies cause I don't want anything brushing against my scar, so my laundry basket has been near empty for 3 weeks, LOL!
What I am still finding painful:
1) Walking for any long distances or standing for longer than 10 minutes
2) Getting up from a lying or sitting position (mostly pain in the legs from lipo STILL!!!!!)
3) My sides are still sore from flank lipo
4) Incision is looking pretty good, not as flat as before, but it's sensitive, not too painful
I am still applying arnica to my bruised legs (yep, they are STILL bruised 3 weeks post), taking bromelain tabs, and I'm finishing my Cephalexin. My PS prescribed a second round thinking I might have an infection around my incision, but I did not. I ended up ordering the post surgery vitamin kit from VitaMedica and am taking those post surgery multivitamins daily. I am also still doing my nutrition shakes once a day. Eating healthy, lots of fish and chicken and eggs and fruit and vegetables. Weight is about the same, between 116-117 depending on day.
Measurements--waist is STILL a good 2" larger than normal which poses a problem getting into regular jeans--I must be more swollen, like through the hips as well. I can actually get a couple pairs of my old jeans ON but they are snug and uncomfortable so I am wearing cute workout pants. Thankfully I have lots of those and I wear baggy tank tops over them to disguise my thicker middle.
I have still been practicing laying completely flat in my bed which is working well and I can feel it getting LESS TIGHT in that fully reclined position which is convincing me I won't feel that incredible tightness forever. I am walking upright, but the tiniest steps and apparently not my normal walk as my mother in law (who of course is in the dark about the surgeries) asked me if I was limping yesterday. I said I wasn't, just tweaked my back a bit. Hmm.
I had an opportunity to meet a fellow RS'er in person for tea this morning and that was really nice. We shared recovery stories.
I go in for my 3 week post op on Tuesday...I think we are going to be talking about scar treatment, I think my scar is scab free and READY for it, so I hope we can.
Question: do you find wearing the CG FLATTENS your incision at all? Mine has become kind of bubbly and lumpy and I haven't been wearing my CG at all for about 3 days. I did put it on today for about 5 hours as we've got plans for a long family dinner tonight (which I will not be wearing the CG for) and I didn't want to be super swollen before I even got over there!
So, for those curious, I have gone without my garment for a full 3 days. Yes, I have swelling. Do I have more than I would wearing the garment? I would say....maybe, probably a little bit. But I am more comfortable without it on. But again, the only one I have is a Stage 1, suspender one that was required for the first 2 weeks. At this point, I'm waiting for my Leonisa's to arrive and see if one of those feels less restrictive while still offering some degree of compression versus none which is what I've been doing. I'll update you on the findings once I find one I like and want to wear part time. Right now it's either that thing or nothing at all. And it's too uncomfortable to stay in during the evening unfortunately when I feel the most swelling (like everyone else on here!)
OK , that's enough rambling. Thanks for reading and happy healing!
3 WEEKS POST TT: RECOVERY UPDATE
I am sleeping well now. At least 8-9 hours a night. I still wake up multiple times to rotate sides and or make a trip to the restroom, but I'm getting the rest I need.
I am still taking it easy!
I had my 3 week post op today with Dr. Lowen. He was really pleased with how my legs look, he didn't see any irregularities or lumpiness and saw smooth contours and transitions. I see that too. I am still swollen a bit on the inner thighs and inner knees where I have the bruising. We examined my tummy/scar. He was pleased with how that is healing, along with my belly button (it gets nicer looking by the day), and took post op pics. My scar is all closed up and I got the OK to take baths, WAHOO!! May try one tonight...
I also came home with some Biocorneum cream which is the only scar therapy he requested I use. So I will start that this evening.
I was taken off my antibiotics, finally!
I am just now down to taking only ibuprofen and tylenol to manage pain. It took THREE weeks for me to get off the hard pain meds...
Yesterday we walked into town for dinner, about 10 minutes each way. It was the FIRST real walk outside I'd taken except to go to Starbucks on Sunday which is very close to home. I did great. I didn't notice any extra swelling on top of my normal evening swell.
I've gone without the garment pretty much around the clock except for wearing it 6 hours one day. It was so uncomfortable. The doctor didn't say anything about it when I told him I wasn't wearing it anymore (as he said I didn't have to, past my two week post op).
He told me that I don't need to come again until 6 weeks post op (3 weeks from today). That's great. He also told me I could start walking on a treadmill if I wanted, to get my heartrate to about 100 or so. Just to take it easy. I don't feel up to that yet, but it's good to know I can whenever I feel ready.
Weight wise, I weighed in at 115.8 this morning, about 4 lbs less than day of surgery. I am eating my normal amount as if I were working out daily, so I know my body is still in healing mode burning these extra calories. Still focusing on super healthy foods and drinking lots of water.
My husband who has been the primary caregiver and running the household for 3 weeks is taking a business trip tomorrow for 3 days. It will be a little rough taking over again but my MIL will be around to help with things. She usually is, even if I HAVEN'T had surgery, so it's completely normal.
She did ask at our family gathering on Sunday if I was limping and what I hurt...I said I tweaked my back a bit at work.
I will take updated pictures in the coming week sometime.
THANKS for reading and happy healing!
DAY 22 POST TT: POST SURGERY FEAR...
I am 3 weeks post op. I can still expect my shape to keep evolving, right??
In my jeans, (a couple pairs fit but are tight in the waist), my butt is flatter. Yes, I have not worked out for almost 4 weeks but I don't believe I could have lost that much muscle mass (curves) in the backside in that time? I guess if I have I can build it back up, so I am not as concerned about that as the boxy shape I have.
Those of you who are recovered more than 3 weeks, please lend your opinion on this. I almost wanted to cry, thinking maybe I should have ONLY done the lipo to my legs and left my tummy alone since I liked my waist before. I just wasn't happy with all the extra skin and some fat around my flanks...I knew I could never make it better with exercise.
Does the waist keep changing as far as SHAPE?
1 MONTH POST TT RECOVERY UPDATE
THINGS I COULD DO/PROGRESS AT 3 WEEKS POST OP:
-Receive doc ok to walk lightly on treadmill (HR to 100). I have NOT gotten on the treadmill OR walked anything more than a couple miles in a day yet. I don't have the energy.
-Confirmed I do not have to wear ANY compression if I don't want to
-Stand up 95% straight
-Go without narcotics (just alternating Tylenol and Advil for pain)
-Slept in own bed (between 2 and 3 weeks)
THINGS I CAN DO AT 4 WEEKS POST OP:
-Stand up 100% straight (butt looks much better now that posture is correct)
-Lay down 100% flat, no pillows, without pulling/super tight feeling
-Walk 10-15 minutes outside to go to dinner/or out somewhere and back
-Fit into jeans, clothing from pre surgery. Jeans are tight through waist but they fit.
I went back to work last week. I am phasing back in, so working shorter days (not more than 4-6 hours at a time). It is going well.
WEIGHT DAY OF SURGERY: 120
WEIGHT TODAY: 114
Waist measurement prior to surgery: 27
Waist measurement this morning: 26.5
Measurement under bra area prior to surgery: 32
Measurement under bra area post surgery: 28
Thigh measurement pre lipo: 21
Thigh measurement 5 weeks post: 20.5 (I believe there is still a bit of swelling?)
I am very happy so far with results...they are just going to keep getting better.
SWELL FACTOR: Not much at all in AM, but feeling HUGE/TIGHT/PAIN by 5 pm every day. I usually have to get into a reclining position soon after dinner and activity level wanes after that. I only have about 25% of my normal energy on a daily basis!! I get so winded and tired after doing simple tasks like going up and down my stairs or lifting groceries, things like that.
SLEEPING: Still painful. I sleep on my side, turn over, and can tolerate sleeping on my tummy now for about an hour. Last night I was so uncomfortable I slept on my back as a last resort. No pillows under legs. So, that part is coming along slowly, wish I was sleeping more comfortably, but I take two Advil before bed and don't want to take any narcotics anymore, I wanted that out of my system....much as I know it would help me sleep more comfortably. Hmm. Something to think about I guess? Sleep is so very important for healing....
I still have leg pain! And I'm very, very stiff, even after walking around. I can't get into a squatting position yet! Too painful! Boy do I have a lot of work to do to get myself back to normal in terms of shape/fitness...I might want to start some stretching soon! That would probably help a lot with my stiffness in bed at night? Just now feeling up to that.
I am still using Arnica tabs and lotion for my sore legs. I have been treating my TT scar twice a day with Biocorneum. Scar is pretty thin, just one 'wave' in the very front which doesn't bother me too much. Belly button is healing perfectly, I love it already. My hips seem to be a bit different, I think one side is more swollen than the other, but it isn't too bothersome to me. The flanks are still sore, somewhat close to my scar. Either from my lipo there or the way he does his scars (puts more tension at the end of the scar rather than the middle). This was a drainless tummy tuck.
I have my next follow up doctor's appointment at 6 weeks.
Does anyone have any questions I didn't address?
Happy Healing to All and thanks for reading!!
DAY 22 POST TT: TRYING COMPRESSION AGAIN DUE TO SWELLING
I also went to Kohl's and shopped in the shape department. I bought a few things and will try them on at home (didn't have time at the store). I'm not swollen at all under my bra area and through the ribcage, it's ONLY below the belly button and at night there is this CURVE that appears, a bloating curve, below my incision to the public line. Do other feel like their a balloon with the maximum amount of air pumped in and you could explode any minute?
Couple that with the fact I'm still sore and uncomfortable from my lipo 5 weeks ago and I wish I was moving around more. I read that the more you move around, the more you swell, but the faster you return to normal, so I am going to try to ignore the swelling if I can and just toile the days away and chalk it up to good old father time needing to do his thing.
I'm going to try to limit my evening social engagements!
Does anyone think warm compresses or ice applied to that area could help? What about taking a bath, have you found that helps? I did a few nights of that, but then felt really, really stiff first thing in the morning, perhaps it was too warm.
31 DAYS POST TT: EUREKA!
First things first: It has been 5 weeks and 3 days since I've broken a sweat working out. Although my tummy tuck is less than 5 weeks, it's been over 5 since I had lipo to the legs and ceased my workouts.
I FINALLY broke through to myself and made an effort to do SOMETHING last night. Until last night, I hadn't even broken 4,000 steps in a day--I was moving so little, it was more like 2,000-3,500 steps which is SO LITTLE. I finally decided I needed circulation going back in my legs and I needed to get moving. My PS had told me at my 4 week post TT check up I could start walking some on the treadmill, keeping the heart rate around 100. Well, I wasn't feeling ready, so I waited over a full week after that to even try. It turns out, I definitely SHOULD have tried, because it was easier than I thought to get back on the horse. I was afraid because I worried about the swelling that might incur afterwards and also, believe it or not, I still have some lingering soreness and pain in my legs. I don't think this is abnormal, because it is in the areas of my legs where he performed the heaviest amount of lipo. At any rate, if I would have made the decision to wait until I felt COMPLETELY healed from the lipo, I feel like my legs would have been a big pile of jello by then...probably another 2 weeks before they are not numb in spots and not as sore. I really was concerned that 6 weeks of no exercising and not a lot of blood flow to my legs would undo some of the benefits of the lipo and so I knew I needed to try and see what I could do.
Last night, I did 2.0 miles on the treadmill (I had the goal of .5 mile, I know, LOL, I set my sights low!) and I felt pretty good. I kept it easy--2.8-3.0 speed wise and NO incline. I also worked my arms for 20 minutes with the resistance bands, being careful not to put any stress or use my abs. It was SOOO tough but I felt great--that was a 20 minute work out. So altogether, I 'worked' for an hour. I did not break a sweat on the treadmill but I was ok with that. When I finished, the treadmill told me I burned 112 calories, LOL, after 40 minutes! My husband reminded me I wasn't doing it to burn calories but to get my circulation going again....I felt great and within 20 minutes, I was on my back icing. I forgot to mention the IMPORTANT nugget here is that I excercised in the EVENING strictly because I knew that I would be in the position of being able to just ice and go to sleep and be reclined IN CASE the swelling was extremely uncomfortable. I did not exercise wearing any compression and I am thrilled to report that after icing, I felt just like normal!!! So.....while I found this great solution for now, I repeated it this evening. Even though it was late (8:45) and I wasn't that into getting going, I was determined! So this evening I did 2.8 miles, with an incline of 3 and speed of 3.5. Add that to my "more active" day today and it totaled 13,300 steps, my highest yet--in fact it is TRIPLE what I was doing about 3 days ago. I feel GREAT and it's been about 2 hours since I finished. Again, within 20 minutes I was horizontal and icing for 20 minutes. No noticeable swelling above the norm, so for now, even though I prefer to exercise first thing in the morning, I am going to be exercising in the evening when it is easiest for me to ice post work out. I can't count on being able to do that in the morning, and it's great to sleep 8 hours afterward. I actually got sweaty tonight and the heartrate was a bit more. Not over 120....so I definitely haven't over done it.
In other news, I weighed in this morning at 112.4, almost 8 lbs less than surgery day. My waist measurement was 26", 1" LESS than surgery day! This evening after working out, it measured 27", so over the course of the day not too bad. I wore compression undies--Jockey Muffin Tamers that I fold down and double so it's extra snug across the incision area. That seems to be a good solution for me now since I seem to loathe compression. I did wear the compression undies while walking on the treadmill as well because I knew I would go a bit harder than yesterday.
I will make another update early this week as I have other things to report, but I'm just so excited to be able to MOVE and get some blood flowing in my legs again.
Over and out and happy healing to those who are post surgery.....
5+ WEEKS POST TT: RECOVERY UPDATE
FITNESS: I'm exercising more. Not every day, it depends on the other activities I have going on. Seems like I'm kind of on an every other day kind of thing right now. And the exercise is light still as I haven't seen my PS since week 3. I have been on the treadmill several times, I'm up to 5.0 incline and 3.5 speed (walking only) and going about 30 minutes or so, depending on what else I'm planning on doing. My HR is between 115 and 130. I think that is appropriate given his advice 2 weeks ago to reach 100 for my HR. With each week I should be able to increase that number. For my age, 130 and higher is best, but I'm not ready to go there just yet. I am sweating, but not a lot. Today I wore my full compression outfit! It helped lessen the pain in my legs from the lipo, which is still there. Stretching has become important--so after warming up, I spend 10 minutes stretching. I feel like an 80 year old woman whose been in bed for 2 months. I'm stiff and feel like I have arthritis! It is painful to get into some positions but I am pushing myself a little bit each day to strengthen and lengthen my muscles again. I feel like I lost a bunch of muscle tone in my arms. I have also been able to do a resistance band routine that's 20 minutes that works my arms--no weights yet. I'm hoping to get the green light on my weight routines Tuesday when I see the doc. I feel ready now for that since it doesn't involve jumping around. But Butt Kicks are super painful as well as High Knees. I also rode my bike for the first time and it was wonderful. I just ran an errand and rode leisurely, not for exercise. I can't wait to get out with my 10 year old son this weekend, he would love to go with me. He has been incredibly loving as I recover and we snuggle every night and watch Survivor....my little teddy bear.
REGULAR WORK/ROUTINE: I am still phasing back into work--I am self employed, so I make all my own hours and appointments, so one day I'll have a full day scheduled and the next, nothing, a lazy, sit at the computer day. This seems to be working well and on those lazier days, I exercise in the am. I still feel I have only about 30% of my regular stamina throughout the day. That's weak! I am usually so energetic and full of life. After dinner, I just peter out like I am drained of batteries. So, I completely take it easy and lay on my back and watch TV with my son. It's working well for now. I am cooking more in the kitchen, and cleaning around the house. I am running errands (much less than normal), so I'd say almost fully back in that aspect. Driving is fine, normal.
PHYSIQUE: I posted pics above. I am standing completely straight and it doesn't feel as tight anymore. It still feels a bit tight! I am comfortable sleeping on my side. I sometimes go to my tummy but only for an hour and then I worry I am going to wake up swollen from doing so. I sometimes doze on my back for 30 minutes, but I hate my back. I wish I could sleep that way every night! I feel good about how I look although I noticed that once I got back into exercising I immediately noticed an increase in swelling that doesn't go away in the AM. I was SKINNIER when I wasn't exercising, but of course I'm not getting off that wheel, I decided I'm moving forward with the exercise and told my body, "look, I'm going forward with or without you." It doesn't want to cooperate fully, but then I feel SO GOOD after I'm done (as usual) that I'm willing to endure the swelling as punishment.....I am still wearing compression undies (Jockey Muffin Tamers folded down) that seem to put pressure under my belly button and just the right amount. No other compression except for what I mentioned above during exercise. I guess I'm just adverse to compression--the doc said I didn't have to wear ANY after two full weeks of wearing it 24X7 and I more or less quit that right away. I fit into most of my normal jeans and clothes, some are a bit snug around the hips--this is where I am swollen. I don't usually have wide hips. I still don't look like they are wide, but I'm not as thin there as I was. Totally ok FOR NOW. Weight is fluctuating, I'm still a good 6-8 pounds less than surgery day on any given day. I'll take that!! WOO HOO. That was totally a post surgery bonus (needed one of those!) Of course I have eaten very healthy (80/20) and so I feel I've earned it. I have splurged a few times and that felt great!!
SWELL HELL: In a couple of my images you can see evidence of the swelling a few inches below the belly button. Atrocious at times, but it's super easy to disguise under shirts, just not wearing anything tucked in like I normally do. I miss that, but we're going into fall, so I'm ready for cooler weather and my boots and leggings.
I think I've covered just about everything....over all, I'm happy with my lipo results and those will just get better as I re-tone my legs and bottom. The TT will be great too, I'm just waiting for the swelling to go down but I think I'll be thrilled with that too.
I'll update again next week after my doctor's appointment. I do want him to check and see if I have an unusual amount of fluid building up. Perhaps not but I'll ask nonetheless. I'm glad I'm going in the afternoon when I'll be a bit fuller around the middle.
Let me know if any questions and happy healing to all! Thanks for reading.
5 WEEKS + TT: RECOVERY UPDATE
This morning I did my very first strength training workout with weights. I do ChaLean Extreme. So today I did Burn Circuit 1. This is a 90 day program that has three components--before the surgery, I was doing the 'maintenance' mode which mixes up workouts from each of the 3 months and mixes up the workouts to focus on different parts of the body. Every workout tones your upper and lower body. But because I took 6 weeks off, I'm starting at Day 1 of Month 1 and will progress through the whole first month before moving to Phase 2, Month 2 and so on. I decreased the weight used for each set by one set down, so if I normally used 20, I used 15, or 10 and went to 8 and so on. In some, I couldn't quite do 12 reps, but I could do 10. I was pleased with my efforts, and barely finished the workout--it is about 35 minutes. Following my shower, I iced and was on my back about 45 minutes. I'm going to be tired the rest of the day. But I feel good about even trying. I see Dr. Lowen on Wednesday, I'm sure he'll clear me for any exercise I feel up to except core work specifically. I was able to eek out 4 normal pushups during the workout, and 4 at the end, but they were so hard!! Before surgery, I could do 100 at one time, taking intermittent breaks (5 sets of 20s), so I have a long, long way to go to build that back up. It is tough on my core AND arms, but I'll try to do 2 extra next time I try.
Sleeping much, much better! It's comfy on my sides and my flank lipo pain has gone down to the point they are not as tender to the touch. But laying on my side and turning is still an effort, not like pre surgery! I don't sleep on my back at all, and I have been avoiding sleeping on my tummy because now I feel it squishes my face and I wake up more wrinkled. It is actually comfortable on my tummy and if I had a nice way to support my head and face, I would do it because I think it's great compression on my tummy, LOL!
I am still not wearing compression much at all, but I'm trying to wear it after workouts to minimize swelling, and then control top brief panties most days (Jockey Muffintamers). I should wear the compression more, and I just ordered a new batch of items from Leonisa in larger sizes in hopes I can find something really comfortable I can wear all day and possibly sleep in from time to time.
I still feel quite swollen, maybe more so because I stopped wearing compression 24X7 after two weeks. That is my own fault. Maybe I would be less swollen if I had worn relentlessly for 6 weeks.
Since starting to exercise, I have put on a few pounds, back up to 115. Hmm. I attribute this to swelling as I've been measuring my waist and it's two full inches larger than it was before exercising and I'm very swollen from the extra activity. So, I'm ok with that as it's still 5 pounds less than my day of surgery. And I feel much fitter and better and less stiff with the exercise, so I'm going to keep trudging forward even though I was 3 pounds less NOT exercising! I probably did lose some muscle with that weight loss, but attempts to look at my body fat percentage aren't accurate now due to swelling so I'm not really examining that for the time being.
My energy level is still only about 35% of normal because after dinner I completely peter out. If I wasn't exercising, I feel like I would say 65% of my energy was back, but the exercise is draining some of that from me, but I feel really good about the increased circulation and really, I paid SO MUCH for my lipo that it's important to me to build my muscle tone back up so my legs aren't skinny and untoned. I don't want loose skin and cellulite! They look great right now and the more muscle I build back up the better it will be.
I have a really good friend coming into town tonight and I am excited to hear her feedback on the difference she sees physically. So far, only my husband was knowledgeable on the TT and said he sees a big difference but no one else knows about the TT as we kept it a secret!
I have been taking Epsom Salt baths post workouts and using Essential Oils on some of my sore legs. I still have sore legs from the lipo!! But the bruises are all gone. Just a touch of numbness but that's it.
I will write another update after I visit Dr. Lowen later this week.
Happy Healing to all and thanks for reading!
6 WEEKS POST TT: RECOVERY UPDATE
Due to the significant muscle soreness, I decided I'm going to have to take tomorrow off as a rest day in addition to today because these muscles are sayin, "HEY we aren't ready for prime time yet."
I'm backing off a bit. I will say that my body felt firmer and more toned after doing the workout, but in my heart I feel I should hold off just a bit more on strenuous workouts so that the energy my body is producing can continue to go towards healing as opposed to muscle rebuilding/strengthening. I think if I continue to walk daily my legs will not turn into jello. I have to believe that for now....
Swell factor is high....still sporting the extra 3 pounds from getting on the exercise bandwagon. I wore compression all day after my work out yesterday but the swell still occurs.
More after my 6 week post op appointment.
6 WEEKS POST TT: RECOVERY UPDATE
I forgot to mention that right before my "6" week TT anniversary the hubs and I finally celebrated if you know what I mean!! A little limiting position wise, but it was fun so check another "first" off the list of things I've been able to do post surgery!
I haven't exercised since my foray into weight lifting on Sunday. First off, I was sore from top to bottom (pecs, chest, and the entire length of my legs)--I felt like I did the first time I did Insanity and was incredibly out of shape. It was a good sore, don't get me wrong, however, because I was so sore and "tore" those muscles, I decided to hold off strenuous exercise for several more weeks. The doctor told me yesterday at my 6 week post op that I was only 20% healed from the TT so in my head even though I appear much more healed than that on the OUTSIDE, the fact is, my body is still working very feverishly on the INSIDE to heal, including the inside leg tissues, so in the interest of not doing any more damage to my muscles and tissues for the moment, I'm going to limit myself to walking daily, some walking on the treadmill on an incline, and a bit on the resistance bands and thigh toner. The doctor said I could do cardio, but I don't think he really meant cardio in the way that I do it which are programs like Insanity--tough enough even when I'm in the best of shape. I'm also going to try stretching a lot more. The problem w that is I feel I need to do a little something to warm up BEFORE I stretch, so I need to just budget time in the mornings for that and haven't been.
Measurements--hmm, they vary a bit day by day. I picked up a good 3-4 pounds just from starting to exercise again (swelling no doubt). Under bust has remained at 28" which is so nice (it was 31.5-32"" prior to surgery) , waist between 26-27" depending on the morning (27" prior to surgery), and now I'm starting to measure all the way around my incision so I can determine the amount of swelling there too. It has been 32-33" and my incision is quite low, right above my pubic line. My thighs are 20.5" an 20" (I still have a bigger right leg, dammit!) which is probably about the same as before, oddly enough, so I think they are still swollen. Today I put on a pair of gray cords I haven't worn since last winter and they look awesome! I looked good in these before, but without my saddle bags and a pair of boots, I love the way I look. I feel like I am much more proportioned now instead of bottom heavy. If I had my boobs done, it would have been even better proportion wise since I don't have a lot up top, but I had no budget left for it and I would have only opted for a fat transfer and not the implants due to the size I needed to fill the old envelope.....I think the hubs would have enjoyed the bigger tatas, but I'm going to be loving my smaller tatas once I can do hard core cardio again and I don't have a lot of bouncing around to contain with my sports bra! Of course the bras are so good these days they could make an 80 year old set of knockers look good.
I'm trying hard to walk between 7,000 and 10,000 steps a day and with my job it's actually challenging to try to fit that in M-F. Luckily my 10 year old has been going on a few walks with me outside.
My post op went well this week, doctor says everything is healing nicely. I thought for a minute he was really checking out my BB and the centering of it (got out his tape measure to measure it), but he didn't say anything and neither did I, except to mention it APPEARS I am more swollen on the right side. Which could then throw off whether or not the button is truly off center. As I've mentioned before, I'm not going for a revision on just that as it doesn't bother me that much unless it becomes super noticeable at some point that it's off center as I heal more.
This morning when I looked down from my chest my torso looked uneven and swollen but again that could be healing and swelling and so I reserve judgement on all of that for several more months!
I'm not posting pictures this week because I don't see that much of a change last my last posting, but I will be sure to post by week 8 (or month 2) so we have that as a comparison....
I haven't updated on pain and meds....
Not really taking anything at all for pain, just occasional 2 Advil if I feel really tight and uncomfortable. I do still take Arnica tabs and the Vitamedica post surgery vitamins because I only take 2 as opposed to 3 at a time since I drink a nutritional shake each day that is loaded with vitamins. I also still take Bromelain tabs a few times a day, eat lots of pineapple too.
I have also been taking baths in Epsom salts and using Essential Oils to rub into sore muscles. Believe it or not, I still have numbness, and tenderness in my thighs and inner knees. They are not painful UNLESS I'm rubbing something into them and it's not that painful, but I know those tissues are still sensitive and healing. I do not feel any lumps ANYWHERE in my body, legs, torso, etc.!! No lumps or bumpiness or waviness, WOO HOO! I do very little self massage, just when I rub the lotions in.
Lotion wise, here is the routine after showering/bathing:
1) Rub either essential oil or arnica cream into sore part of legs and inner knees (do at bedtime again)
2) Slather Palmer's Firming Lotion Almond Butter into thighs and under neck.
3) Slather Palmer's Lotion for Stretch Marks adjacent to TT scar and chest. I don't have a lot of stretch marks, but my tummy is stretched REALLY tight now so I'm doing it above the incision, but not on it.
4) Put Biocorneum on incision (also do this at bedtime)
5) Put body lotion on remaining parts of body that don't already have something else on them!
I'm lubed up pretty good after that!
I continue to be very diligent about what I'm eating because I did lose the 5 pounds after surgery and I don't want to gain it back. It normally takes a herculean effort for me to lose even just 2-3 pounds so I'm being very good!! I have no idea what number of calories I *should* be taking in, but I do get on the scale every 2-3 days to make sure I'm maintaining. I should drop another pound this week from just swelling since I'm not doing anything strenuous.
OK, I think that's enough for tonight.....as always, let me know if there are any questions!
Hugs and tata!
6 WEEKS POST TT: RECOVERY UPDATE, REFLECTION TIME!
This morning I did 5 pushups. I used to be able to do 5 sets of 20 in the span of 5 minutes. I will get there again, but I have to take baby steps towards progress. One more aspect of reflection, which is this: I was happy with how I looked before. I love clothes and have so many fun things. I loved buying clothes. But now, AFTER the surgery, it is even MORE FUN to get dressed every day. Going through my closet and picking something I love to wear. I actually haven't shopped for any new clothes post surgery except compression and jammies, because I fit my old clothes nicely...they are still tight around my incision, but now I feel even more confident! For those of you who haven't had surgery or are still contemplating that, you may experience a significant change in that aspect of your life. Before I was into fitness and health I was overweight and frumpy. I HATED, HATED, shopping sometimes, even though I've always loved clothes. What would happen is this: I would love something on the hanger, bring it into the dressing room, try it on and be so disappointed when it didn't look good on ME. I didn't like my arms, my tummy, my thighs, my butt. And being in the dressing room would just bring all of that up for me emotionally and I would kick myself for not taking care of myself and losing the weight. Then, I would purchase very little, and focus on buying clothes for my little boys. And so it went. It's a COMPLETELY different story today, the vast majority of what I bring into the dressing room looks really good--these days I'm all about fit and comfort....and something that accentuates my figure. So ladies, THIS is what you can get emotionally along with your surgeries!
Onto a few practicalities I neglected to mention in my last update; thanks to DivaJen for suggesting it BTW....I have been applying ice compresses at least once per night, in bed while my son and I watch a nightly program. We have been watching Survivor--the ice helps a lot! I also forgot to mention I have had no real "itching" like others have mentioned and very little nerve ending pains--I feel fortunate because I hate to itch! Of course, if you've read previous entries you know how much lubing up I do so keeping my skin moist and drinking lots of water is helping my skin from being dry which makes it itch.
Today I got on the treadmill again and just walked about 25 minutes, then a 12 minute stretching video. I am SO, SO TIGHT! But at least that was a foray back into SOME exercise since last Sunday LOL! Some of the yoga inspired stretches are so painful (esp Warrior 1) that I know I should be stretching daily. I'm just going to have to make it a number one priority in the morning, because my occupation requires I can move up and down from squatting to floor to knees to feet often and right now I look like an old lady doing it!
Have a great weekend!
TWO MONTHS POST TT AND LIPO: RECOVERY UPDATE
1) PAIN/DISCOMFORT: I have very little pain anywhere most days. The area on my belly around my incision is still numb and firm. The skin around it is sensitive and can be painful if the scar is bumped or something is rubbing against it. My leg soreness is almost all gone, but I noticed the outside thighs are painful when I jog or run for short stints. It is hard to describe the pain but I think it is residual soreness from significant lipo in the saddle bag area. I am sure this will go away in time. It has been almost 9 weeks since the lipo was completed.
2) SCAR HEALING: Still only putting on Biocorneum once to twice per day. The scar is flattening, but is still dark red. There is a spot in the middle under my BB that is 'crooked' or wavy. Other than that, wearing comfortable undies that don't have a seam across the scar work best. I have been finding the boy short cut works best.
3) BB: Healing nicely. Still a bit red around the edges.
4) SWELLING: Sadly, I don't feel like the swelling has gone down tremendously from month 1. The above pics look almost identical to the last set I took, at least to me. At night, I am still tight and puffy below my BB. Last night I applied ice and I seemed to wake up a bit flatter this morning. I am still measuring 33" around the incision area, and 26-27" around my waist. Thighs about 20.5" in diameter each (give or take 1/4"). Weight is holding steady at 115 the past few weeks. Bruising is 95% gone, just a tiny bit behind my knees and a tiny bit on inner thighs. Lipo scars are very small/faint. I am applying Biocorneum to those.
5) FITNESS: I'm doing something every other day at least. I alternate walking on my treadmill (slight incline, raised HR), riding my cruiser bike on the bike path, strength training with the resistance band thigh toner, and stretching exercises. I have not done a full weight lifting circuit since my update at 6 weeks that left me sore for days. I haven't been that sore since from anything I've done. I still have not done any cardio that puts my HR past 130, disappointingly. I'll get there, baby steps. My arms have lost muscle tone so I'm glad we're heading away from tank top weather, although today was 90 plus in California!
6) SLEEPING: Going great! I am exhausted when I get into bed and fall asleep quickly and stay asleep all night. Alternating between each side and then just a bit on my tummy each night. No back sleeping.
7) COMPRESSION GARMENTS: None consistently worn since the end of week 2. I have control top undies that I wear occasionally, and when I do, I seem to swell the same amount so I see no real benefit to wearing something tight and restrictive. I can wear all of my normal clothes and everything I've put on so far fits. I just don't have the 'slim' waistline that I did due to swelling but I'm looking forward to next summer when I'll have that again.
8) ENERGY/STAMINA: Well, unfortunately, I'd say I still only have 60% of my normal energy and stamina. And less than 60 if I am talking about 'working out'. What I really meant here was that in the normal course of the day I still am not back to my normal energy levels. I have had caffeine only once or twice since surgery.
9) VITAMINS/MEDS: Just finishing the Vitamedica Surgery Recovery kit because I took smaller doses of the vitamins due to my nutrition shakes and balanced diet. I am still taking 2-4 Bromelain capsules per day. No pain relievers. Sometimes I still use arnica cream on my legs. I also take 2-3 Epsom salt baths per week to help alleviate sore muscles and expedite my recoveries from working out, this helps a lot!
Hubs and I have been intimate a few more times, it's totally doable and enjoyable as ever. He is enjoying my improved figure! Can't think of anything else at the moment, but for the most part, I am spending less time during a given day feeling my post surgery tightness and much of the day goes by where I don't even think about having had surgery or feeling sore or uncomfortable at work.
I'll keep posting updates, but maybe just once or twice monthly and I'll post new pics down the road. Of course, if anyone has questions, please ask! GOODLUCK to all those who have yet to embark on their surgical journeys!
TWO MONTHS POST TT: A BEFORE PIC
9 WEEKS POST TT: RECOVERY UPDATE
I have noticed my energy levels returning...it has taken so long! I would say I now have about 75% of my normal daily energy level now. Perhaps it should be more, I don't know. I do know I am more tired at the end of my busy days but I am sleeping really well and I am trying to go to bed at least an hour earlier than my normal bedtime to allow for additional healing/resting time.
I did two full strength training work outs this week (Chalene Extreme) and really gave it my all. One earlier last week that left me pretty sore the following day, but not nearly as sore as the first time I lifted post surgery (scroll up for that post!) and then again today. I know that I will be sore tomorrow, because I could feel how hard my legs and arms were working during the work out. On some of the exercises, I lifted the same amount of weight I left off at prior to surgery, but reduced the number of reps by 2-4. (She wants us to do 12 and then have muscle failure). On others, I reduced the amount of weight by one notch.
I've also done my first post surgery Insanity cardio work out. However, I did the easiest one of the bunch, Core Cardio and Balance. I call that my "Saturday" Insanity because it's a bit easier than the others. IT WAS STILL very challenging for me to finish as I have done ZERO heavy duty cardio--the heaviest has been having my HR about 130 on the treadmill walking with weights on an incline. The Insanity was pushing 150+ in areas, but that was good. I didn't push it, but I gave it lots of effort. I was mildly sore the following day, but after these more difficult workouts, I have been taking Epsom Salt baths and they must really be helping! And I had some post work out recovery drinks to replenish following those workouts.
I am taking at least two days off exercise weekly, and on some days, I might just do my 10,000 steps. Compared to my pre surgery routine, this is much, much lighter than usual. But I feel good and my weight is holding, so I feel that I am going at the right pace. I can do 5 push ups at a time, rest, then do 5 more. They hurt, so I'm not going to do more than that until I see Dr. Lowen and inquire about core work.
My swelling is getting better, although my measurements around my waist, incision and right under my bra line are not changing. There are times when I feel more swollen and tight and uncomfortable, and I am still icing, sometimes twice per day if I can. That seems to help me wake up flatter. Still no compression! I like it that way. I am probably going to swell a bit longer due to the fact I discontinued compression after two full weeks, (or was it 3?) per my doc's permission.
I am still numb around my incision and still a bit numb on my legs where lipo was performed, but there is very little residual soreness. My lipo scars are tiny.
As others have mentioned, my TT scar is dark red, and not fading, but it is getting flatter. I know this is common and the way it is healing is completely normal.
My belly button is nice, and 70% fully healed--another few weeks and I think it won't even be detectable that I ever had a change to the BB.
I do have a few minor concerns. One is the shape of my torso when I look down. I can actually see I look a bit lopsided down the upper abdomen area! I poof out on the left side a bit. It's very odd. I don't think this is going to rectify itself. I can see it when I look down, but I am not sure it is detectable when looking straight on at me - well maybe a bit. I will show the doctor this when I see him. I was not lopsided like this prior to surgery so it is not my normal shape, but it could be that I am healing unevenly?? I will try to capture this next round of pics.
I am wearing all my normal clothes, but I used to wear a lot tucked in. I am not wearing anything tucked in as my belly poofs out about an inch above the incision and above so I appear thicker. My old belts don't fit!! They used to be on the THIRD tightest notch and now I am on the LOOSEST notch--so clearly that area is larger now--I pray that is just swelling. Why would I be LARGER there after surgery than before? YIKES!
All questions to pose to the doc in two weeks when I see him again.
I am not taking any meds and my post surgery vitamins are gone. Just taking Bromelain with Quercertin now once or twice daily. Still eating fresh pineapple regularly! I am well aware that my body is still very much in healing mode and so I feel like I still want to continue to foster healing with the Bromelain and pineapple and nutrition shakes and rest. But balancing that with return to normal life, work and commitments.
It feels so, so good, to be two months plus post op, like I can put that pain, discomfort, etc. behind me once and for all!
9 WEEKS POST TT: SCAR MATURATION PROCESS
11 WEEKS POST TT: RECOVERY UPDATE
OK, onto the TT recovery status!!
The swelling is....drum roll.....STILL THERE. But, big butt, it is improving. This morning I woke up after eating really light after 4 and the stomach was as flat as I'd seen in it a long time. I took the above pics AFTER my Insanity work out which caused some swelling but not a ton. You may observe that in the profile pic. I went to see Dr. Lowen last week and the first thing he noticed and pointed out was the swelling below my scar. He said it would keep going down. That's good, because I still can't get my belts buckled in their normal slots. I'm completely fine with that, aside from that small detail, 90% of my pants fit. Only the smallest ones are too tight in the waist to feel comfortable. I am doing some sort of fitness/working out 5 days a week. Not too intense--I think I've only done 3 or 4 challenging cardio work outs total, I'm easing into the cardio since my fitness level is still below normal. I have been working back up to my normal weights during strength training but in some of the exercises I haven't reached my heaviest weight. That's fine, I'm taking my time. I can do 12 push ups at once. That's weak compared to my pre surgery of 100 (going in sets of 10 but done in the space of 5-10 minutes previously). After 10, it hurts! So...I stop. It hurts across my incision, so I told Dr. L and he said, if it hurts, stop doing it, so I do once it hurts. I try to do a few more each day. I have not done any 'ab' workouts and I used to work my core every other day for 10 minutes. I know I'm not going to be ready for that workout for several weeks more. I've got no pain from the lipo, just a few numb areas on the inside of my knees and outer thighs. No pain from the TT, in fact, most days go by and I often forget about the scar/incision, etc. Only when I go to the restroom do I think about it because I pull down the undies carefully since I don't wear anything over the incision. No bandages, tape, etc. No compression. Just Biocorneum on the scar which seems to be healing as expected. It is pretty flat and the ends are looking good. I really like my BB, nice vertical oval shape. It used to be a long horizontal stretched out line--pushed down by saggy skin! Weight has been steadily creeping up despite my best efforts to keep it in line....DARN IT! On surgery day, I weighed 120. Post op, I went as low as 111. I'm at about 118 now. BLECH. Not loving the number on the scale, however, I like the way I look with clothes on and off, so I'm just trying to continue to eat healthy and ignore it. I think that for some reason my body is packing on some pounds because of the increased energy I'm needing to build my fitness level back up. I don't think it will come off either in time, I think my body likes to weigh between 118- and 120, even though I prefer it right around 113. Oh well, we can't have everything now can we? We ladies can be so critical about things and I kind of hate that about myself. When is it going to be good enough, good grief! So I guess I'd rather weight 118 and be super fit than 112 and be out of shape which I was post op. There we have it.
What else? No meds--no more vitamins left....sleeping wonderfully. I can happily report to doing 75% of my sleeping now on my side, which is a pleasant change up from pre surgery 60% on my belly. It's better for my facial aging to sleep on the side. If only I could sleep on my back! That would be the best but I HATE that position as anyone who has read my lengthy blog would know from my sleepless nights.
Well....one of the boys has summoned me to the kitchen for a late night snack so off I go. I will update more in another few weeks. I would love to do a side by side pre surgery then after with some pics in my MAN UP undies. COMING SOON!
Hope all of your undergoing procedures in November are excited for the changes on the horizon! Nighty night!
3 MONTHS POST TT/LIPO/FAT GRAFTING UNDER EYES RECOVERY UPDATE
Hello Real Selfers! Today officially I am 3 months post op on my tummy tuck!! I had it August 19th, but it has been 12 weeks. My main lingering symptom is swelling, but it isn't FEELING swollen, but without clothes on, there is still a bulge above my incision. I still cannot get my tightest of pants buckled, nor wear my belts in their same notches from last winter. I weigh about the same as last winter--116-118 in the last week or so, and down 2-4 pounds since surgery day. My body fat remains unchanged, although I suspect it is lower, I just have more fluid retention happening influencing that..but just a guess.
The swelling is not bothering me at all, I'm just being patient. My dimensions have stayed the same in terms of thighs, waist and measurement across incision line. EXACTLY, so I am waiting for the dimensions around the incision to get just a bit smaller over time.
I haven't worn any compression since the end of week 2 or 3, when the doc said I could opt to not wear it so my swelling is probably going to linger a bit longer due to that?
I am somewhat pleased with the fat grafting, the bags under my left eye have returned, so some of that fat didn't save...I wish my eyes still looked like 4 days post injection--the bags were completely gone! WAHHHHH. Short lived...not sure it was worth the $$$? Maybe this is something that requires ongoing injections, but I don't know that I want to go under any needles again for a while.
The lipo is coming along nicely--I am loving my new legs less saddlebags! I am on the hunt for a nice mini I can wear with tights and boots or a sweater dress.
It is official, my car was totalled. I will be shopping for a new car--doing research several days, no test drives yet.
Working out 5 days a week. Lighter than the past, but today I decided to do HALF my normal 10 minute ab workout. It was really hard, so I did 5 minutes worth and I bet I'm sore tomorrow. Other than pushups, this was the first set of crunches/ab work I've done since the surgery. I have a long way to go but I want to maintain this beautiful flat stomach indefinitely. With Halloween last week I have been finding it SUPER HARD to lay off my son's stash of candy! I do limit myself to just 1 or 2 of the fun size snacks when I do have something. I just hate my sweet tooth! And it's ALWAYS at night that I get those cravings, or around that time of the month.
I am not posting new pics, because I just posted updated images last week and there is no difference from that set. My next post op is in a couple weeks, I had to reschedule it as I am very busy with work right now.
I have no soreness around my tummy, but I am still numb around the incision area. Still applying Biocorneum only to the scar. My lipo scars are still there, but tiny, they should be healed by bathing suit time next year. And the tummy scar is flattening, becoming less raised. It is still red, but it's less red than 3 weeks ago so I see a trend. The BB is still healing, just some dryness but this too is healing day by day.
I did point out the unevenness from the tummy to Dr. Lowen and he didn't comment too much other than to say I am still healing and we can keep an eye on it. I am free to do whatever working out I want to. Honestly, I am still not as fit as the day before surgery, but I'm working on getting there. Today I was on the treadmill at 6.5 incline, 3.5 MPH with 5 lb weights on each ankle for 40 minutes and sweating like crazy, just WALKING on it. (I don't usually run on it). My HR was 130-140, so a good work out. But BEFORE surgery that would have been a walk in the park. So aerobically, I am short of where I was--but I am not doing quite as much cardio as before. I do more strength training and toning--I'm doing that 3 days a week at least. I'm back to being as flexible as I was thanks to those extra stretching work outs I was doing as I got back into shape.
No residual lipo pain but still tender and sore to the touch in a couple areas around the knees. So I guess I am still healing which is good!
OK, that's all for now! Hope everyone is looking forward to their upcoming surgeries and thanks for reading. Please feel free to chime in with questions, I am happy to answer them!
FOUR MONTHS POST TT/MM: PROGRESS UPDATE
Onto the progress, right? OK. STILL seeing changes happening, yay! Mostly, reductions in the swelling. Last time I posted I think I said I was still swollen. Over the past month I've seen much less swelling and there is absolutely NO discomfort that comes with any activity physically that I'm doing. None. It's like it never happened except I have these big long scar that is healing and some numbness around the middle area of my pubic region, below the incision. It's getting smaller (the patch of numbness). It is a bit tender to the touch if I press in. I have returned to all of the types of working out I did before, the hardest is returning my cardio fitness to where it was. I am not there yet, STILL. Some of that is my fault, I've dropped the days of the week I used to do cardio down from 3 to 2. I'm dong more strength training these days, 3-4 days a week. I prefer that to cardio. I'm just trying to maintain my weight not lose, so I feel that with the strength training I am building my muscle back up and staying toned overall. I have returned to working out my abs, but I can't complete the same routines I could before--so I stop halfway in. I am up to maybe 35 push ups (12 is the most I can do at one time quickly), so I do that many with a one minute couple breaks in between. I'm taking the ab workouts slowly, but I am very conscious about wanting to keep my stomach FLAT.
In the end, no one noticed any difference in how I look on the outside. My husband knew about the surgery and HE can tell a difference, but no doubt what matters most importantly, is that "I" feel like a different person. More confident in my own skin. Totally happy when going clothes shopping. It used to be SUCH A DRAG to go shopping. I would think something was cute on the hanger, then bring it into the dressing room and want to cry once I tried it on. I'm going back 3 years when I say this. I did lose weight a few years back and THAT changed my whole shopping experience, but the TT/MM has now brought it to the next level. I will actually feel comfortable in a swimsuit, which I still didn't entirely before my surgery this summer. As hard as I worked those abs, there was still loose skin and some flab above my belly button that wouldn't even go away with those 21 day cleanses wouldn't even fix! I would lose 8-10 pounds and STILL have stuff around my middle!
Of course, I see the same sentiments echoed here in other reviews, and it's true. We do this for ourselves and our mental well being. And as many have said, it provides motivation to CONTINUE being tenacious about exercise and good eating habits. Taking care of ourselves, not to mention setting a great example for our children on maintaining good healthy habits.
OK, what else can I say--the legs are not sore anymore, still a touch of numbness but pleased with those results as well.
Let me know if anyone has any questions and I'll update again when I have a chance.
FIVE MONTHS POST TT/MM PROGRESS UPDATE
SWELLING: Surprisingly, I still feel like this happens some evenings...I am not sure if it is normal abdominal swelling from the types of foods I eat (sometimes my Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bars will make me feel a bit bloated and swollen) or whether it is true swelling occurring from the surgery. I'm going to ask Dr. Lowen at my next appointment. I usually see him earlier in the day when I have no swelling, so I may have to take a picture of that and bring it in for him so he can offer his opinion. But the swelling is not uncomfortable, it just looks kind of round and puffy above and below the incision. I am still numb near the incision (above and below). I do not see a noticeable difference in the swelling when I exercise, it's more related to post dinner observations when I'm changing into my pajammas. All in all, it isn't bothersome and if it is caused by the surgery, I would expect this to continue to lessen over the coming months.
INCISION/SCAR: Hmm, I'm still quite red on the incision itself, but it is flat and I can see a thin white line underneath which is good. It should eventually only be that thin white line and I. Dr. Lowen had his office do a laser treatment for me on the scar in December, which was somewhat uncomfortable, but just lasted 10 minutes so definitely bearable. It was complimentary which I appreciated and was a nice touch. I am having that done again in February when I go back for a regular post op. I am still using the Biocorneum scar treatment twice a day. I have tried a few other products without noticeable results including dark spot faders and microneeding with a roller that I have from Rodan and Fields. I've tried just rolling one side of my scar to see if there is a difference and so far it looks exactly the same. The purpose of the micro roller is to stimulate collagen and elastin and promote healing, but so far I don't see a difference from one side of the scar to the other. I am going to be posting some images I took a day or two ago and you can see the scar close up. It is super flat and the ends look pretty good.
LIPO UPDATE: I had my inner and outer thighs and knees done prior to the Tummy Tuck. I am still happy with the results. I am feeling more toned than I ever have in my legs and my cellulite is the least I've had ever (no cellulite was treated specifically though). However, I am working very hard work out wise on my legs and fitness in general so that is not surprising.
WORK OUTS/FITNESS: I am back to full ab workouts, so I can work my core as hard as I used to be able to. I am also working at or past my old weights in terms of strength training. I strength train 3-4 days a week (35-45 mins) and do cardio 2 X a week (HIT style). I do the cardio for about 35-40 minutes, I don't like it! My cardio fitness is still not as good as prior to surgery, but that's because I haven't been doing it 3-4 times a week. I feel stronger than ever. Body fat is 23%, I wanted to get to 20 but that would take so much diligence in every aspect of my health and fitness that I'm not willing to do but I would like to shoot for 22-21% if possible. My weight is about 118-it's been up and down quite a bit since surgery, but I'm now trying to lose 3-5 pounds before a trip I have coming up. I bought my husband and I a trip for just the two of us to Playa Del Carmen in Mexico this March, so the only reason I want to lose those pounds is really to give me some play room to gain a few of those back while on vacation. It's an all inclusive adults only resort and I plan on enjoying all the amenities that go along with that! I normally drink very little alcohol, but I want fruity cocktails while on this vacation, appetizers with my meals and plan on relaxing and celebrating. We will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary this June, so this is our gift to each other as well.... I am also excited, I plan to buy my first bikini, he's going to love that. My scar will be hidden as Dr. Lowen did a great job with placement.
FAT GRAFTING UNDER EYES: Still happy with that decision, but I'd love a little more fat under there. I definitely have less bags under my eyes than I did before. I have never had fillers or anything else so I don't have that to compare to in terms of results.
I am going to post my images separately as I don't want my long post getting lost. Please feel free to ask any questions if you have them. I am still reading about other people's journeys which is fun, but not scouring the site for hours as I did prior to making my decision about doctors/surgery/etc.
Thank you for reading!
SEVEN MONTHS POST TUMMY TUCK/LIPO PICTURES (LARGE GALLERY INCLUDING A PLANK!)
I continue to work out 6-7 days a week and I work my abs twice a week with a 10 minute routine I do all on the floor (yeah, nice!).
We do think there may be a slight issue with my abdominal wall relaxing, or not maintaining its' tightness but for now we are just seeing how things go.
I am about 5 pounds less than pre surgery weight right now, which is my happy spot. The hubs and I had a GLORIOUS week in Mexico, and we ate and drank to our hearts' content, but we did work out every morning and took long walks on the beach so I think that kept my calories and weight in check. We normally do not drink alcohol much, but on this trip it was all inclusive and we were drinking at least two drinks at dinner and more at the pool and bars and dessert with every meal. I was super diligent when I got back and ate clean for 3 days straight (minimal calories) and lots of exercise and was able to keep my weight from inching up.
I am feeling great, no pains at all from anything. My scar continues to heal, I've had a couple of laser treatments done at Dr. L's office to help it remain flat. I love my belly button.
One point of note which I think I've mentioned before, is my actual waist may still be a bit larger than before I started...I still cannot tighten my old belt to its' original notch--there is a bit of poofiness below the button which I'm hoping continues to flatten a bit more over the next six months.
As always, please let me know if you have questions, but as I told my RS friend yesterday, even though it was a very difficult recovery for me, I have no regrets. It was so nice meeting you Carey!
Still regretting not doing a fat transfer to my chest though....it looks fine in this PUSH UP bathing suit top, but sans bra is a whole different ball game.....
ONE YEAR POST TT/LIPO PROGRESS UPDATE WITH PICTURES
Would I go through it again knowing what kind of recovery and pain it involved? Yes, I would. I'm glad I had the surgery. It was definitely a harder recovery than I anticipated, but those first rough months were worth it to achieve the improved self confidence I have about my figure today.
Dr. Lowen and I are still working to fine tune one area on my right upper thigh that has some irregularity. This will require a touch up of some kind but nothing significant. Here are some images taken a couple days ago in my usual poses....feel free to ask if you have any questions. I was happy with the work that Dr. Lowen did and his desire to finish the project in terms of my right thigh--he hasn't given up hope we can fine tune it to a better place and I appreciate that!