The Apron is Gone. Well Worth It - Newark, NJ

There is so much to write. But I will make several...

There is so much to write. But I will make several post to tell you about my journey. This was a long process for me but I will take you from beginning to end.

I was 230lbs and through diet and exercise I was able to lose 80lbs. My apron however was a reminder of my old life. I've done so much research and lurking. lol. But I'm happy to say this was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

A few before pictures with clothes on

Before/After

Sadly I was so ashamed of my body, that this was my only before photo. The 2nd photo is 6 days post-op. Very swollen and in plenty of pain.

The healing process takes time

Ladies the healing process definitely takes time. Please don't expect to be up and running the next day because it won't happen. I will post my supplies list and any other thoughts that pop into my mind.

Supply List

The supplies below I purchased at the Dollar Tree minus one thing. Don't over spend because it's not worth it you can get the same quality items for less. I can honestly say that I used EVERY SINGLE item I purchased.

Supplies:

  • Gloves
  • Alcohol
  • Peroxide
  • Gauze pads (various sizes)
  • Adhesive surgical tape
  • Bandaids
  • Chuxs (wee wee pads) two come per pack. Don't buy these from Amazon. It's way to expensive.
  • Bacitracin ointment
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Baby wipes
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Basin x2 for "bathing"
  • Extra Strength Acetaminophen 500mg (Tylenol)
  • Extra Strength Acetaminophen PM 500mg (Tylenol PM)
  • Loratadine (Allergy Medication)
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Cough drops
  • Laxative
  • Milk of Magnesia
  • Stool softener
  • "Smooth Move" tea for constipation
  • Thermacare (dollar tree brand) for back pain
  • Hibiclens (Store brand purchased from Walgreens)

Things you can purchase only if you don't have any:

  • Maxi pads (because let's face it you will have your period at some point) you will be in toooo much pain for tampons so don't worry about using these. Some ladies bleed very heavy, for them I would say you definitely need the chuxs pads(wee wee pads) or get adult diapers.
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush (throw out your old one and start fresh)
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion
  • Magazines/Books
  • Loose fitting clothing that can be easily opened removed
  • Panties that are your current size and some that are a size or two smaller. These don't have to be Victoria Secret ladies. Regular cheap basic cotton underwear will do.
  • Bar soap (non scented)
  • Socks
  • Sports bras
  • Vagisil (Dollar Tree brand) depending on your body the antibiotics will wipe out your normal flora and you will get a yeast infection. Combat this with vagisil and prescribed Floconazole. If you can't get a prescription because you are going overseas, an over the counter meds will do such as Monistat (or the Dollar Tree brand...it's the same ingredients)
  • Wash clothes (freshly laundered)
  • Towels (freshly laundered)
  • Clean linens
  • Air freshener Plug-ins
  • Tissues
  • Paper Towels
  • Portable charger (this was a life saver ????)

If I've left anything out I will post it another time. Feel free to ask me questions.

Faja (compression garment) info

I ordered my Faja from Amazon. It was the cheapest I've seen for $48. Everywhere else I've checked is well into $100's & $150's

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00QAV7ITO/ref=yo_ii_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also have a waist cincher which I used in conjunction with my medical binder the doctor provided me with. This cincher in particular I really like because it gives plenty of support.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01C0DOA7S/ref=yo_ii_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Random Thoughts

I just wanted to share a few thoughts that were on my mind. I want everyone who is reading this to stop for a moment and make sure they really really want to go through with their surgery. Personally I could only speak for myself when I say there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to get this done. No one can tell you how you feel. When people say "it's not that bad" or "I can barely see it"...it's a negative response from them. Do this for YOU and no one else. Because while they are giving you their version of reassurance you will still feel the same way. Now I'm not here to brag about being "snatched" because I'm no where near that. Lol but I can now breathe a sigh a relief because my stomach is no longer hanging and touching my thighs. Make sure you have help. No matter how strong you think you might be, this surgery will reduce you to nothing. You will need help doing the most simple things. I will be forever grateful for the help I received. Prepare yourself for the pain. It will be there no doubt. If you are here in the USA your doctor will prescribe you a strong pain med, and antibiotics. These two things are key. My surgeon injected a pain med to my surgical sight prior to sewing me up. This helped a lot. I was prescribed Percocet and Agmentin. Percocet is a terrible medication in my opinion lol. It makes you feel loopy and it constipates you badly. Try you very best to ease yourself to the Extra Strength Tylenol. You will thank me in the long run. Take your antibiotics all the way until the end. Make sure you stay on top of you meds. Set an alarm every four hours. Even if it's the middle of the night. Wake up and take them. Also take a multivitamin. This was a daily practice for me and it was also stated in my discharge papers. Make sure you have a lot of pillows. The bed wasn't comfortable for me. So I slept on the couch with plenty of pillows. Some ladies rented recliners or surgical bed. If you can afford this I say go for it. If your surgeon puts in drains remember they are there for your own good. They are a pain and a nuisance, but they will pull a lot of the excess fluid out of your body so you won't have seroma (fluid buildup). You will want them removed right away but be patience. They will come out when it's time. Usually when they are producing less than 30cc per JP drainage tube. I've read some ladies have taken them out by themselves because they were placed overseas and no USA doctor want to remove them because they don't want to be responsible if something goes wrong. For this I have no comment or knowledge, because my surgery was performed in the states. When they do come out they feel strange like a snake it wiggling about in you body lol. The drainage sight will still produce fluid, but some gauze or a bandaid will do the trick. Keep the sight clean no peroxide or alcohol just regular soap and water, pat dry and put some bacitracin ointment on it. This applies to the belly button as well. The healing process is slow for me. We are all different. No coco butter or any scar gels for a least 6 weeks. Give the area time to heal. Remember you have just had major surgery. You body is in shock and needs time to get back to normal. Clean your home from top to bottom before the surgery. Make sure all the laundry is done and prepare some light low sodium meals that can be easily reheated. Drink plenty of water, and eat fresh fruit and vegetables. CONSTIPATION!!! This seems worse than the surgery if you ask me. Take the stool softeners and laxatives. Drink "Smooth Move" you will be fine. An Incentive Spirometer will be given to you by your doctor. Make sure that you use this to prevent pneumonia. Coughing hurts, and this will make you cough but you have to cough up any mucus that is in your lungs. You can also order one from Amazon. Try to be up and walking to and from the bathroom as soon as possible. You need to move around!! Your doctor should give you TEDS compression stockings to prevent DVTs. This prevention is vital. Sheets and blankets. You will be hot and cold from time to time. Keep these near by.

Time off from work, swelling and weight

Hey ladies

Just wanted to talk to you real quick about a few things.

Time off from work:
Make sure you take adequate time off from work. If you have a job where you are on your feet and very active, I would suggest a minimum of 3-4 weeks off. If you have an office job 2-3weeks off is ok. You don't want to rush back to work to soon. So plan accordingly.

Swelling:
Oooohhhh the swelling. This is something I'm still trying to come to terms with. The swelling is the worst at night. My abdomen gets extremely tight and uncomfortable. I've been cooking with turmeric and drinking plenty of water to help with this. Try your best to minimize your sodium intake. I know it will get better over time.

Weight:
It will be hard but try to avoid getting on the scale for a while. You will be somewhat disappointed lol. The amount of weight from the skin or fat removed will be replaced by the swelling. But don't be sad. Just keep positive.

Pamper yourself:
As soon as you are up for it, go out and get a manicure and pedicure. Go get your hair done, maybe a message. Reflect on how good life is even if you think it could be better, remember it could always be worse.

All Swollen :-(

Healing

Quick update. So like I've posted before healing takes time. Eating well and moving will help with this. I'm a vegetarian, so my healing process is a little slower than most. My incision is all healed, I'm just coaching my belly button along. Lol. I've been told by my doctor and others that typically this is the last to heal. To help with this I have been taking my multivitamin as always (One a Day brand), and I'm drinking protein shakes for breakfast. The protein shake helps to keep me full until my midday snack. I counted calories before surgery and this along with diet and exercise helped my lose 80lbs. Listen to me ladies, after surgery is NOT the time to count calories. Eat and don't worry yourself sick. You need the energy. Now this doesn't mean you go and eat McDonalds or junk food. Eat healthy foods (low in sodium) that provides wholesome nutrients . I can't stress this enough...low sodium will help you in the long run. It will minimize swelling. Back to the protein shakes. I use 1 cup of Almond milk, ice, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds. It's delicious. Also side note if you live near an Aldi supermarket, I advise you shop there for your groceries. It's very affordable.

Quick pic

First workout post surgery

Today was my first day back to the gym. I did mostly cardio, and threw in a few reps on the leg press, and upper body machines. I Spent an hour in the gym. Everything went well UNTIL I tried to do crunches. I was able to do 2 crunches and then my eyes began to tear. I can't explain the pain to you. It was terrible!! I saw the doctor Friday and he told me I wouldn't be cleared to go to the gym for another two weeks, And he was right. Any abdominal exercises is a NO NO for now.

2nd surgery

I went to my 6 week follow up. My doctor said everything looks great. My scar is nice and smooth and the swelling is progressing downward. Remember I said my belly bottom was struggling to heal, well I'm proud to announce that it's all healed. I started taking Zinc and Nucleotide supplements. I think that, in combination with my protein shakes really sped up the process. Even my doctor wanted to know the about the products I was using.

I will be undergoing a 2nd surgery that will consist of liposuction of the flanks, stomach and the lower back area near my butt. Because of the 80lb weight-loss we decided not to do it during the recent TT. The doctor really wants my butt to look "bigger" lol. The liposuction in that area will give that effect. This surgery will be in December. For now I'm going to continue to eat right and workout without straining.

Supplements that helped promote healing (zinc), tissue production (nucleotide complex) and reduce swelling (Bio-curcumin).

Update

No ass BUT I don't care :-) lol
Dr. Edward Hahns

Loved Dr. Hahns

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