Six month update with pics!

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Hello Realself! I am not new to the site, but my...

Hello Realself! I am not new to the site, but my plans have changed so much that I decided to start with a clean slate and start a new review. I have been on 4 consultations for a tummy tuck w/flank lipo and have my final one August 16. Out of the four I have completed, this is the order as far as order of satisfaction and cost:

1) Duke Aesthetic Center- $6,157
2) The Refine Institute- $9,860
3) Piedmont Plastic Surgery - $5,500
4) Summit Hand and Plastic Surgery- $5,000

Honestly, I am praying that my consultation with Wake Forest Residents Clinic goes well so that I can afford my breast lift as well - fingers crossed X

I am 36 year old new runner who has only two 5k's under her belt. I am hoping to complete a 10k in September. I still have about 20 lbs left to lose before I feel good about spending so much for the surgery. I am posting pictures at my heaviest and will post some of my size the day I head in for my consult.

I hope to find someone here who is having surgery that same date as me (once I pick one) so that I don't have to do this alone!

My laptop just threw up a lil' bit :-(

I have been working out extremely hard these last few weeks to ensure my BMI is low enough to be approved for surgery at the residents clinic. I have lost about 3 more lbs and was feeling good. My clothes are looser and my face is slimming. I didn't want to do this update and not load a picture so I thought "why not take the sitting picture everyone takes." What did I do that for?? Three lbs ain't got nothing on this hot mess....UGH.

26 days to my final consult

I have been in full-on work out mode and have lost 10 pounds. I need to lose at least 10 more before my consultation. Gonna work my tail off in the gym and eating 1300 calories per day. I'm thinking of juicing the last 5 days before. Hopefully that will work.

So far I bought a heating pad, a pee-ez female urinal and a walker from the Salvation Army for $7...score!

I still need zip front robes and to find a rental recliner. I hope to set the first available date, shooting for the first of September.

I have added some pictures and even though I have made progress, I still have so much belly fat! It's like the more I work out, the slimmer my arms and legs get..WTH! I need to zap my belly QUICK!

Just waiting and sweating!

So the workouts have been going well and I'm down another 5 lbs. Only 5-8 left to go before the consultation next month. I have been eating clean and dropped my calories to 1200-1250 for the next 17 days. I found that I was losing at 1500 cals but too slowly. Once I get to goal I may increase back to 1500. No other updates :-(

It happened!

I looked down and saw my boobs first and not my stomach! God IS Good :-) 8lbs left to go.....down 24 lbs!!

I've got mail!

My female urinal arrived in the mail today :-) I also got some hibicleans and a heating pad. I'm building an arsenal with no date set! But it makes me feel like I'm getting closer. 11 days until my last consultation, then it's decision time.

Another 3 pounds down :-)

I have 5 days until my final consultation and I plan on "getting it in" in the gym this week. Don't want to get turned away because of my BMI. Loaded a few progress pics since I have nothing else to report. Even with all of the work I swear my tummy looks just as NASTY as day one and 27 pounds ago! Can't wait to get some surgical assistance.

Today's final consultation

Went to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital for a consultation at their residents clinic. This was by far the BEST consultation I have had. The doctor is a 6th year chief resident with 100+ tummy tucks under his belt. He shared everything with me about the surgery and was the first doctor to not treat me like a fat number. He took like 10 pictures and told me they also take mid-surgery pictures he can share with me! He showed me where my scar and drains will be and where my breasts will be after the "pick up." He said I could stay overnight if I wanted but since I'm low risk he was comfortable allowing me to go home. Now I have to wait a week for the final quote and to pick a date. He did tell me they have a few Oct dates open still. I finally found "the one!" The staff was super nice as well and since the office is in the hospital I felt really safe and comfortable.

Oh and this was the monstrosity today before I went in :-(

I can't believe I have a date!

So, the surgery coordinator called me today to give me a quote. The amount is as follows:

Procedures: Tummy tuck w/lipo to flanks only & Bilateral breast reduction with lift
Surgery Fee $4,125
OR fee $850
Anesthesia $600

Grand total $5,, yes please.

So I asked her for October dates and she only had one and it didn't work for me. So November 8th it is. I paid the deposit to schedule ($250) and with paying the $50 consulatation fee, I owe a grand total of $5,275.00.

I am soooo excited I can't even type! LOL. I absolutely love the fact that I have a 6th year resident with over 100 tummy tucks under his belt! I hate to say it, but I was so relieved I was not assigned a 1st or 2nd year resident. My doctor is going into private practice at the end of his residency and he was more professional and thorough that most of the others I consulted with. I am totally confident with him and this was the first consultation where the doctor OFFERED the information on the revision poilcy without being asked!

Now I have to manage to concentrate over the next 77 days, 10 hours, 23 minutes.......

For laughs!

I tried on a size 36C bra.... It was all kinds of wrong IN ALL DIRECTIONS! I was hanging out the bottom, top and all sides. My doctor says he can get me to an overflowing C so this still may not fit (and its ugly) but good for comparison.

Need a realself red couch! When you feel progress,but don't see it...

I have been trying to focus on the gym to keep my mind off the surgery countdown...69 days, 21 hours, 29 minutes.......

I feel stronger, slimmer and healthier. But then I look at my pictures and I still look the same. I try not to get frustrated because I know all of the exercise in the world won't un-sag my boobs or erase my scrotum sack tummy :-) I am not sure what I expect to see....not what i'm getting. I guess I need to get my expectations in check so I'm not disillusioned about what the surgery can do for me. HUMP. Anybody else feel this way??

Bought a few more things and STILL exercising

I hit a sale at the mall this weekend and bought 3 front close bras for $4.97 each. They also had front zip robes for $10 so I bought 2 of those. Oh, and I bought my FIRST pair of bikini bottoms to be marked in. It's crazy to think I could actually wear them one day.

I have 60 days until my surgery and it still seems unreal. Kinda like i'm still in the planning stage instead of the preparation stage. I still need to find a shower seat and reserve my lift recliner. I have a deep pillow top mattress that I can barely sit up in now, so I know that I need a recliner.

I am switching up my routine to see if I can get out of my weight loss rut. I'm trading my morning coffee for green tea and switching out my toast and oatmeal for fruit and spinach smoothies. Adding 2 weight training classes to my weekly circuit as well. Wish me luck!

40 days of fitness and my shopping list

I modified the original 40 Days of a Fitness to meet my personal goals. I am doing at least 40 minutes of exercise for the next 40 days. I am also doing 40 minutes of rest per day. Not sleeping; just rest. No television stimulation, no kids asking questions and no thinking about weight loss (or lack thereof). Just rest.

As far as my list, so far I have:

2 Front close sports bras
Female urinal
2 front close robes
Paper tape
Drain gauze shaped to fit drains
Heating pads
2 ice packs (soft kind)
Extra abdominal binder
Men's wife beater tanks for under binder
Panty liners to cover incision
Pill box
Cough drops

Still need:
Smooth move tea
Benadryl and Tylenol
Post surgical bra to come home in
Protein shakes
Shower chair
Recliner rental
Triple antibiotic ointment

I'm waiting to find out my doctors opinion on scar treatment, stage 2 garments, bromelain and arnica before buying.

What did I miss?

Need accountability!

I have been keeping busy with DIY projects at home so I'm not anxious. I have 32 days until my preop and am trying to stay in shape. My motivation to exercise is only average but I need to kick into high gear. The scale has been stuck for weeks and I really wanted to go into surgery under 170. Anyone wanna partner with me over the next 30 days to help with accountability and daily check ins?

Power Lift problems...need to vent!

Today I decided to call around and secure a lift recliner at Rent-A-Center. I sat in one in May on the sales floor and felt it was pretty comfortable. There are 19 locations in the metro area here and NONE of them carry them any longer...WHAT???

Convo went like this about 6x today:

Me- does your location have the lift recliner for rent?
Them- sorry haven't seen the in stock in months
Me- can you see if another store has one?
Them- no one in our district has any
Me-why are they showing available on your website?
Them- "I don't know"; "I'm not a manager"; "I don't control the website"; "lady I don't know"; ..."dial tone."

Talk about frustrated! Aaron's Rents only had the kind where the back is powered but has no lift. I finally tracked one down at the local medical supply store. Looks comfy and is costing me $160 for the month with free delivery. Good deal. Crisis averted but headache in full swing.

I also got these nifty gauze pads that go around the drains. Seemed like a good buy but may end just a "good idea" and not useful. Anyone use them before?

That's it for now. Heading to download iOS 7 for my phone.

For my partners struggling with the last 10 lbs

A little tough live and laughs :-)

Feel like I'm getting somewhere

Oh, no....not with weight loss. My scale has arms folded and holding its breath refusing to budge! But, I bought a shower chair, antibiotic ointment, vitamin C and some protein shakes. The most exciting purchase was the Marena post surgical bras. Got one in black and beige. I also got a cashiers check for the balance of my surgery because I kept being temped to dip into the cash pot, with promises to put it back next payday! How is everyone else doing?

Trying on my Marena Surgical Bra

It's certainly provides compression! Very comfortable. Peep me trying to pull my fat to the side for the picture lol! An impossible feat without 10 hands.

Hit up a Zumbathon for 2 hours this morning. Nothing else to report....tick tock tick tock....

Don't judge me - better to find out now than later!

***TMI Alert***

So, for the past few weeks I have been having a laxative competition. No really, I have. Even though some of them may say "gentle" or "non-cramping", they tear my stomach UP! So every Friday I have been testing out a popular brand. I figured I would rather find out a product cramps my stomach NOW and not once I'm cut in half!


Milk of Magnesia - cramps started after 5 hours. Hurt enough to wake me up in the middle of the night. When I finally went, was explosive and dehydrating. Enough said.

Colace - did nothing.

Prunelax - caused semi-painful cramps but worked after 8 hours. I imagine these would be tolerable if I wasn't going to already be in pain.

The winner is.....Smooth Moves tea. It worked in less than 6 hours as stated and produced just a ....smooth move. No runs. Nothing urgent. Me likey.

Nothing more to report. I bought some of the incontinence underwear today (highlight of my journey thus far). I keep reading of people having to cut down regular underwear while having the drains and I don't want to do that. The paper diaper kind are huge and pouffy and should accommodate my drains. My doc leaves the drains in a minimum of a week so I figured its a good purchase. I also bought 3 pairs of yoga pants.

Question?? Whats the best thing to wear home from the hospital? PJ's or a zip jacket? Button down shirt?

Pre-Op appointment done

So I just signed my body away. Oh, and my checkbook was totally disrespected! But I'm ready. Just 20 days to go. Found out that I get two after garments with my package to wear for....6 weeks?? Whaaaa...

At least that is one less thing for me to buy. I was told NO arnica or bromelain. He said they will decide if my BB needs something to keep it round at my one week follow up. They have marbles in the office!

I was given a prescription for:

Keflex - antibiotic
Zofran - nausea
Valium - muscle spasms
Hydrocodone - PAIN

I had three tubes of blood drawn and an EKG.

I think it's too late to back out, so I'm just gonna hold on :-) 20 days......

Should I stay overnight?

My doctor suggested I use the overnight observation stay after surgery. It's in the hospital, but separate, so they bill you directly. He told me it was optional but a good idea plus we get the contracted rate. So I called today and the average billing is $800-1300! They said to stay in that range I would have to not take any of their pain meds or fluids or food. So.... It's $1k to just observe me??

I called my doc and he said I will be sent there with my own pain meds and stuff so they can't bill me for it. Shouldn't I just go home then? Or stay at the hospital across the street for $100 for the night so I could get to the hospital in an emergency. Just seems like robbery to me...

Anyone go home after their MM?

Bought a new friend

I sure hope this seat helps the way I envision it helping. My daughter says the house is turning into a nursing home :-)

So I have a weird feeling. Not anxious but BORED. Like nothing else in life can entertain or pacify me until the big day. Anyone else go through that? I wanna be excited not comatose for the next 15 days! I think its hormonal because I expect the red river to flow in t-minus 6 days. Glad it's expected before surgery.

Later ;-)

Lagging and saggin'

Weight loss has been SUPER slow. I'm at 177 and holding. I'm finding myself snacking and eating sweets lately as I get closer to the big day. Guess it's just nerves. Anyway I am working on a last minute list of things to do around the house. I need to sanitize my shower chair and toilet seat riser. I rearranged my bedroom to accommodate the rental recliner that I'm getting on Friday. Gonna make dinner menus for the family this evening and shop tomorrow. Slow but progress...

So the pics I loaded. My pre-boobies in a "shelf" cami. HA! I'm rocking it more like a hammock or some odd boobie bucket. Man, they do everything BUT sit up! I pray I've been very, very clear about what size I want to be after my reduction. I just don't want to feel disappointed. I'm printing some wish pics to bring to surgery just to be clear.

How are all the Nov surgery ladies holding up?

Embarrassing but who better to ask!

Ok, so my hair grows fast....everywhere. For the ladies already on the flat side, how do you maintain "the jungle" while your TT scar is healing? The doc is doing my clean shave the morning of surgery. I know I can't use Nair or anything but a week in...I'm gonna have an 80's bush. HELP! Did you shave carefully or just let the chia do its thing??

Creativity has got the best of me!

Instead of cleaning and making meals for my family this weekend, I have been making stuff! The first craft was when I realized I didn't have a lanyard or the drain holder contraption I see people use. I ran across this product called the Marsupial and its made to hold your drains in the shower - BRILLIANT! But it's $54.95....negative.

So using an old towel, hot glue, elastic and velcro I made my own for less than $5.00.I glued a little "flair" on the pockets or pouches just to spice it up. That's my daughter modeling the product!

Next, I started to think about scar therapy. My mother swears by cocoa butter to fade scars. I like to use shea butter. Many RS sisters have sworn by the use of Bio Oil. And then some of our dominican republic surgery sisters have been advised to use Rose Mosquetta Oil. So what happens when you combine them all together? Heck if I know, but I guess we shall see! Using my double broiler I whipped up a batch.

To all of my ladies going in this weekend, use that nervous energy to do good things :-)

Forgot the pics!

No recliner....I'm up the creek!


Ok. I called to pay for my lift recliner and they have been RECALLED! What??? I have no chair coming now and I'm leaving Thursday. Where the heck am I gonna sleep? Ya'll....I'm truly in a panic. I called rent a center and they don't do the lift chairs in my county. I called Aaron's and they have heat/massage recliners but no lifts.

My bed is an extreme pillow top and I can barely climb into it now because it's so high. No way can I sleep in it being unable to use my abs.

I contacted Walmart for one of those zero gravity chairs and they don't have them in the stores locally. Quickest delivery is next week. Even the Salvation Army didn't have one that worked.

Any suggestions from folks who did not use a recliner???

Located a chair; lost my mind

It took all morning but I finally tracked down a chair that didn't cost five million dollars a week to rent. Delivery is tomorrow morning...I know I'm cutting it close. But a huge THANKS to all of you prayed some sick man better so he could vacate a chair for me!

In other news, I don't know if I'm coming or going! I keep forgetting what task I'm on only to find myself on realself! But can I tell ya'll....I made hamburger helper yesterday for dinner and used the dang very vanilla soy milk by accident! Sweet ground turkey got the veto and PB&J won the seat. I need to sit down somewhere cause I'm losing it! Not that it matters but I just used the restroom at work and apparently I put my undies on backwards and inside out this morning. Really??

My time is coming really SOON!

Nothing much to say except....I am totally freaked out! We are hitting the road to Winston now to check into the hotel. I'm on at 6:45 am! Will try to document everything I can. Can't wait to get home to this fabulous chair!

See ya on the flat side!

The only way I can describe it is surreal!

I'm in the hotel room ready to run to the starting line. Nerves are under control but I am ready to take off! It's 4:15 am and I'm sitting on the toilet ( not actually going) and typing this update so my phone light doesn't wake the family. Realself has become my secret rendezvous!

Gonna shower and head to the hospital in about 2 hours. Not going back to sleep cause the crazy dreams are killing me. I had a dream I mistaken popped a gummy bear in the car headed to the hospital and I tried to throw it up fast but couldn't and they cancelled my surgery! Yea, NOT going back to sleep. Talk soon :-)

I made it!

Super tight and sore. Not true pain. This is not for the faint at heart. Will post more later.

Why can't I sleep?

I have crazy insomnia which is crazy cause I've had Valium and hydrocodone AND morphine. Gonna get up and walk to the bathroom and then try to sleep.

Just a few pics from the hubby's phone. I just had my awesome doctors come to visit. My abs had a 5inch separation which was unexpected. He also did side sutures to bring my waist in a bit. He took off half a pound on each breast. That'd all the deets I got so far. Oh and I ended up staying in the day hospital and I will never regret it! Talk to you blurred!

Forgot pics

Thank you ladies!

Thank you to everybody for keeping check and praying for me. I'm back home now. I ended staying at the day hospital and soo glad I did. Getting up to use the bathroom was crazy hard! I learned to stay on top of my meds. I let 6 hours go instead of 4 and I'm feeling it ! Off yo take a drug and lay down.

Later ladies!

Day two is definitely better than day 1.

Hydrocodone gave me a killer headache so I ust chugged some cofffee and it toned down. My drains are putting out 20cc'a every 4 hours and the fluid has tuned a lighter pink/yellow. I'm a bit awake today so im gonna run down yesterday while its still fresh in my mind.

I got to the surgery center at 6:45 am. I immediately changed into my surgery getup and put on my compression socks.They took about 20 minutes to draw my markings and made sure I approved. It was little hard to judge since I dont own a bathing suit let alone a bikini, but it looked low enough to me.I was laying on the table by 7:15 getting my IV. The anesthesiologist was talking to me about Grey's Anatomy and that is all I remember. I believe operating time was 7:45 -1:15. so 5.5 hours. I made sure they removed my bladder cathedar BEFORE I was awakened becuase I hate them! That meant I had to get up and walk to the bathroom a lot.Truly painful but necessary. Since I stayed in the day hospital versus the hotel the nurses woke me up once an hour for vitals so getting a good rest was out fo the question.

Things that have me confused: 1) why do my teeth chatter when I get up and stop when I sit down? My BP is good and no fever so Im clueless. 2) My breast incisions don't hurt at all for some reason, but the sides where he did the lipo kill! 3) I can't feel the tummy tuck incision at all either. But BAY BAAAAYYYY...this muscle tightening is for the BIRDS! I have triple layer stitching going down the middle and two rows on the sides to attempt to make me less rectangle shaped. It BETTER work cause it hurts like heck!

Not sure about my boobs yet. I have only seen them laying so I cant tell how much smaller or perkier they are. But the tummy is definitely tighter. Im so glad I did both together since the breast really are a non-issue so far.

I hope everybody is heaing and resting :-)

Today was a good day

I have taken 2 pain pills today. One at 5am and one at 5pm. I had a bird bath and changed my clothes. I actually walked outside with my walker for a bit and it felt great! The drains are truly a pain bit tolerable. I'm a little bruised in the breasts from lipo but it doesn't hurt as much as yesterday.

Happy healing ladies!

The good, bad and the ugly

Let me shoot it straight. Starting with the good stuff first. I can walk the steps alone. I even walked outside a bit. I can use the bathroom unassisted. I put on clean clothes by myself. I switched to Tylenol only and seem to be doing fine as far as pain. I'm draining between 40-45cc and day so hopefully the drains are coming out Friday.

The bad- I can't FRIGGIN shower until the drains come out. So, when do I get to wear that drain holder I made...never! I also get neck pains from laying in the recliner too long. I havent seen my incisions yet either or looked at anything while standing up. Hmp.

The ugly- all of the swelling is going to my hips. I look WIDE and have saddlebags I didn't have before. Crazy, right? Oh, and no poop. All that laxative testing and nothing.

How's everyone else feeling?

Doing the potty dance!

So I'm all alone today until 3pm. Watching Scandal on Hulu. I'm feeling the swelling but I'm definitely more flexible. Only talking Tylenol since yesterday and it's working fine. I'm not longer sleeping constantly since quitting the narcos. Oh, and today's big news....I made a stinky in the potty (doing the potty dance!) and I hate to say it but the MOM made all the difference. Gonna see if the tea can maintain it. That's it for now. Hope everybody is feeling good today!

Dear drain gods:

Please come at get your sh**. They aren't doing much work anymore and the stitch accessory feels like needles in my skin. I don't want no refund or postage paid return slip. They will be at the curb waiting for you.

-pissed off in NC

I woke up and...

They are still here. Dang drains. One put out 20 and the other 15 yesterday. I sure wish Friday would come sooner. Whose bright idea was it to stitch them hanging to your skin? I tried that with my sons mittens and he ALWAYS came home with only one pinned his coat and the other MIA. Maybe one of my drains should just.....fall off somewhere on the playground too...hmmmm

Stranger in the mirror

It took me 5 days to have the courage to unwrap everything and at first I thought "who is that?" But after a few hours I realized that was now me. I think I like it; I'm supposed to like it. It's just .....different. The crazy part of all of this is I am a psychotherapist! I have had to deal with clients who have had gender reassignment so I know the mental toll this all takes on a person. But it's not quite so textbook when it's YOUR mirror.

On another note, don't you just love how fashionable breast binders are now?


Not Benadryl, calahist, nail files, forks or sandpaper could relieve this itching on my torso and breasts! WTH?

Drains and a vice grip

Lost one, gained the other. Yep both of my drains are gone! All let me tell you that words cannot describe that feeling. You ever joke around with your kids and put the vacuum cleaner hose on their arm or leg? Ok, hold on to that memory.

My doc asks me to stand so he can do the removal. I say "heck no, I need to lay or I'm gonna pass out!" So I lay and he says "shouldn't be too uncomfortable..." So he proceeds to cut the one stitch. Barely felt like a finger prick but then....(bring back vacuum memory now) he pulled 12" of tubing out and it hesitated and suctioned the WHOLE way. Like it refused to let go. No pain but slimy, nasty and suctiony (totally a word in the realself realm!) So I caught my breath and let him do #2. Same exact nastiness.

Enough of that. I had my bandages changed, BB re-stuffed with some yellow gauze and covered. Faja time. It's a Veronique 853 and has hooks AND zippers AND suspenders. Totally rad. Took the nurse and hubby to get me in it. Then went on the Marena surgical bra with the 2" band. It has hooks, zippers, oh and Velcro. I'm wearing the entire Hobby Lobby sewing section.

There you have it. I go back in 3 weeks and have to wear this entire getup 23 hours a day. And in three weeks I get a new set in a smaller size.

Happy healing ladies!

Chillin' in hades with brimstone and SWELLING

I took my first shower today, and while it was awesome, it was overshadowed by swell hell. I guess my hand basket brought me straight here!

It didn't even occur to me that this was about the time it would all begin. So to take my mind off it, I created a few collages to reminded myself that this swelling ain't got nothing on where I started!

Better Days

I made it to church today and it was exactly what I needed. No pain meds today but my doc did give me permission to use ibuprofen over Tylenol. Other than that, nothing more to share than a pic of me this morning and a flashback montage!


Hey guys, guess who slept in their own bed last night...ME! It's was so nice to be near my warm hubby. Things are progressing as expected as far as healing. I forgot to take Advil yesterday so I made it my first day with no meds.

Question? When the heck will my cemented on steri strips fall off?? My doc says I can't pull them off but even the edges aren't peeling up.

I have to unveil my BB today. Doc says its time to give it air and treat it with bacitracin. Not gonna do it til hubby gets home cause I may pass out.

How's everybody doing?

BB reveal...'s kinda gross. Not the worst I've seen but still kinda strange. Humph....

Why update when there are no changes??

Because.....I'm BORED TO DEATH!! And my boredom has become your burden :-) So entertain me !!

No, really. I go back to work on December 2 so I'm only gonna be bored this week. Have to start Thanksgiving planning next week. I've also been doing some DIY Christmas gifts from my recliner.

I made a full nights sleep in my bed last night for the second day in a row. I just lounge in the recliner to watch tv during the day. Steri strips still holding on for dear life. I appreciate the lack of complications but I'm still bored. Oh, oh....I fit in a 36C bra!! Awesome! No more 38DD's.

Anybody have anything interesting going on??

Real women talk

***TMI Alert***

My period is here with a vengeance. I'm one of those heavy bleeders for the first two days, so I have been in my binder instead of my compression garment for mess control. But I blew up like a pumpkin! So now that the flow is reduced I'm putting back on my friendly CG.

If any other women out there have those brutal periods (didn't happen until my tubal) you may struggle with nighttime flow. I usually load up with pads and a tampon just to save my sheets. Well for my surgery I bought a pack of those oversized depends that are like underwear. I got them so I could wear something that would fit over my drains. Well I slept in one last night since I was in the binder...perfect flow catcher! They are like one big maxi pad! I know, sounds crazy. Just thought if share incase anyone else has those nighttime flow issues.

Oh, one of my steri strips fell off!!! Peep my scar. I think it's gonna be pretty thin :-)


I need to place an order for a waistline

My first period post op is over. I'm glad to say I survived the cramps and heavy flow. But now I am in the ridiculously swollen stage. I'm busting out of my garment people. I'm not constipated and I'm calorie counting so I guess this stage is inevitable.

Finally saw a few of my breast scars. They are literally so flat I can't feel them. I have to still use bacitracin on them another week and then I can use a scar moisturizer. The strips on my tuck scar are coming off a few at a time. Will post pics of that scar when a few more fall off.

How is everyone else feeling?

God is awesome!

Good morning! I woke up in good spirits today. I go back to work in one week from today and figure I better change my attitude. I need to remember just how much God had covered me through this process. He guided my surgeons hands and has kept my healing in His. So, I showered early and took some pictures just to remind myself of the good things that have occurred in this process:

1) it's day 17 and I have yet to sneeze or cough, even with a husband who had bronchitis and a snotty nosed 9 year old who had been on an antibiotic for 10 days.

2) I put on my pre-body jeans and they are too big in the waist. I figure I lost one pant size so far.

3) the itching in my boobs has not driven me insane.

Now of course I can double the length of the list covering things that ain't so great, but today is about positivity. Oh and I forgot the biggest thing I am grateful for about this surgery so far:

My surgeon gave me scars I can be proud of - so far :-)

Happy Thanksgiving

Just wanted to wish all of my realself sisters a blessed holiday. This is what I look like leaving for today's festivities. Hopefully I come back with some resemblance of this body! #1slicenot1pie

Plastic surgery simulator

Hello ladies! The holiday is over and the pounds linger but healing continues :-) I found a picture of the old me that I had morphed using plastic surgery simulator on my iPhone. I had the NERVE to show my surgeon the picture as my wish pic. I figured using my actual body as the base would make the wish more realistic. Has anybody ever compared what they thought they wanted to what they actually got? I am so glad my surgeon did what he though was cute vs what I told him I wanted. Whew!

Life just got REAL

Ok, ya'll..... I am back to work. I have been here for 30 minutes and I'm ready to quit! My work chair is the furthest thing from my recliner and I'm so uncomfortable :-( I just wanna go home. Anybody got any big girl panties I can borrow?

By the grace of God I made it!

Today was hard. All I wanted was to resign and come home to my recliner (which by the way is being picked up this week.) I worked from 8-5:30 and then I went to the gym to walk on the treadmill. My doc cleared me for basic walking only until I go back for my 1 month follow up this Friday. It took me 47 minutes to walk 1.5 miles at the speed if 2.0! But hey, at least I moved. When I got home I rubbed EVERYTHING down with moisturizer and felt so much better. This pic was taken right before I kicked my feet up and jumped on realself. I think I see a Valium in my future tonight ;-)

Work week

My work week has gone a little like this: wake up. Work 9 hours. Walk 45 minutes on the treadmill. Come home. Pass out. Wake up and do it all again.

1 month post op tomorrow and I'll post more then.

Happy healing :-)

One month post op complete

Hey ladies. I had my one month post op appointment today and it went great. Scar are all closed and healing. He said the small spot on the front is a stitch but it will dissolve. It's not sticking out so not doing anything about it.

I received my one size smaller garment but haven't switched to it yet. Think I may need a little help getting in it. He said I can get rid of the heavy vest garment and switch to a regular sports bra.

I did NOT get clearance to ride the elliptical. Treadmill only for two more weeks. No weights, squats or lunges either. Sad but glad he's protecting his handiwork.

That's it. Pretty uneventful. Happy healing ladies. Posting a few new scar pictures of me all greased up lol!

Am I becoming one of "them"??

Let me first say that I spent my life wishing I was one of "them." You know, the girls who ran and didn't feel like they looked like someone who should never run. They wore all of the hottest styles without worrying about stomach rolls, muffin tops, fat backs, even if they had them. The seasons change to summer was exciting because of the wardrobe opportunities. They may not have been skinny but they we're fit and confident. The loved their bodies and allowed confidence to adorn them. I envied that.

Well, I woke up today and felt different. I am not perfect and far from skinny, but I loved what I have become. I'm saying it...I love me. I like me. And today I'm gonna shop with reckless abandon because...

I am becoming one of them.

I think my BB wants to be a heart

That's the only shape I can identify when I look at it. It's different but it's growing on me....

The massages are going well. I am having what can only be described as little pins/pricks near my belly button in the muscle. Is that just healing associated with the muscle tightening?

Scar treatment

I've had a few questions regarding what I am doing for scar treatment. I started almost three weeks ago and I do the massages 2x a day after showering. I rub my entire area from neck to below my scar. I do small circular massages directly to the scar from hip to hip for about 3 minutes. Warning: the circular motion just seemed like a move a professional masseuse would do. It was not told to me by a physician. I sometimes morph into a field expert in such matters but have no formal training. Proceed with caution ;-)

I double broiled equal parts of Shea butter and cocoa butter (natural raw blocks, not commercial) until they were soft enough to whip with a hand mixer. I think it was 2 oz of each. If you completely melt it you have to wait until it thicken to blend (real lesson learned there). Then I added about 1 tablespoon each of bio oil and rose hip oil (rose mosquetta oil). Blend until it's a smooth, spreadable consistency. That's it! I have no idea why I chose the ratio I did, as I am a rogue mixtress of sorts!

I've been considering adding aloe to the next batch, but I figure if it ain't broke don't fix it!

Hope I answered your questions. I also posted my scar from today. That stitch is still holding on!

Got some FUNKY swelling this am!

I usually wake up flat in the morning. Strangely I woke up today flat in the middle but swollen over both sides. Swollen enough to cause a shadow and ridge over my scar! Is that normal to have localized swelling like that??

Received my Realself Rewards box today!

I got my first delivery today. It included Paula's Choice products for skin care and wrinkles. I haven't tried any yet but I'm super excited! Review coming after I've had time to feel the products out.

Thanks realself!

I'm feeling good!

This has been a good week despite the funky swelling. I am up to walking at a 3.5 on the treadmill for 45 minutes! I still have a bit of swelling over my incision but it's tolerable. I probably need to watch my holiday eating closer :-)

Scar treatment going good. Had to whip up a second batch and this time I increased the oil ratio. I guess I'll see if I get consistent results. The sides of my incisions have finally flattened out and aren't as sore as before.

Friday will be 6 weeks and I can ride the elliptical! Man I can't wait to sweat even if it's just a little bit. No weights or jumping/running until 8 weeks.

I'm fitting in all of my pre jeans and pants thank goodness. Shirts, well not so much. My rack is smaller so I need to shop for more flattering and form fitting shirts. And bras! I can't wait for clearance for real bras!

How is everyone else's healing going?

When will a spitting stitch SPIT??

Ok, I admit that I have little patience. And I am aware that it's not hurting, swelling or causing any current problems... Other than driving me crazy! For those who have had one, when will it decide to dissolve or spit?

Back in the gym baby!

So let me first shout out to Fitandflat for making my treadmill work out looking like a lil' beotch next to her light circuit! LOL

But seriously, it was time to get my fluffy arse in gear. I'm six weeks tomorrow and I felt like I could do more. So I started upping my game on Monday. I switched to the elliptical (no arms) for 30 minutes. Then I worked biceps but only one set. I did some inner thigh work on the machine and outer thigh work with bands. I finished up with walking lunges. Whew did that feel good. So of course I thought I'd wake up yesterday feeling sore and swollen. On the contrary. I woke up feeling great!

So yesterday I tried again, but only cardio. I did the elliptical for 30 minutes and treadmill for 20. I expected to wake up sore this morning from Monday...but nothing. AND I seem to have less swelling in the morning and at night.

Even though I'm not cleared for lifting or running or any heavy cardio until 8 weeks, I'm going to keep trying to do my best with what I am cleared to do.

Until later ladies...... Happy healing!

Happy six weeks!

I can't believe it's been a whole six weeks (actually six and a half!) Seems like it was just yesterday that I was going on consultations and buying supplies. Time sure flies....

Anyway, the last six weeks have been pretty good. Some swelling and sore muscles but overall really good. My body is far from perfect. My stretch marks are with me, my boobs are still a little uneven and not implant perky and Im definitely not skinny. But I am perfect in my eyes. I am grateful to not have had a regret moment, especially since my former body should have been illegal. And I am glad to have met all of you ladies :-)

Much Iove RS sisters!

Merry Christmas RS Family

Merry Christmas from Atlantic City, NJ!

Not swelling, FAT

Man..I ate my way through my vacation this week. Philly cheesesteaks, Ninos pizza, saltwater taffy...... I have finally hit a wall of reality. This is NOT swelling lol! But I'm not going to feel down or sad about it. This visit to my hometown happens once every few years and I thoroughly enjoy it.

What I'm also not going to do is wait until January 1st to get back on the wagon. I recognize my choices and today I'm back to eating the way I know helped me get this body. Step 1 was admitting I was headed for a problem (or an Italian sub, same difference). Step 2 - the sweat. Hit the treadmill for 20 minutes and the elliptical for 30.

So ladies, enjoy life. But also be careful not to blame an expanding waistline for swelling when it's really bad food choices :-)

Lesson learned.

Happy New Years Sisters!

Just stopping by to say thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with me. I really can't believe how quickly the weeks have gone by. I went from a 79 day countdown to a 7 week post-op like the blink of an eye.

But I'm entering 2014 in a good frame of mind. I've been working out consistently and eating pretty decent....unless you read my holiday update. If you did, well I'm turning over a new leaf that doesn't include cheesesteaks.

Just adding a few progress photos. I honestly have no complaints that are worth listing. Still doing scar treatments 2x a day and wearing my stage 2 garment all day. I sleep in my binder so bathroom trips at night are easy. My 9 week checkup is on the 10th and I hope to get full clearance for everything but ab work.

Love you ladies! Wishes you peace, prosperity and flatness.

8 weeks and cleared for takeoff!

It's happening ladies....I'm going to TRY to go to Zumba this week! My doctor cleared me for everything but heavy lifting and abdominal crunches. I am soo excited!

Just one question for you guys. Should I try the silicon sheets for my scar? It's super thin already but I hope (like everyone does) that it disappears. Will the sheeting lighten it? If it only flattens it I don't need it, I don't think??? Advice?

I knew the risks and still bought in

When I consulted for the breast reduction/lift I was told that the lollipop procedure was best. It would get me small enough without the anchor scar and I really wanted to avoid that if possible. Scars with T junctions are notorious for slow healing and opening. I was told that there was a possibility the skin under the breast would pucker and could leave a "fat pack." So, I bought a fat pack.

My doc said that he can remove them in the office under local anesthetic. I am considering that option and will consult this friday at my 9 week checkup. But truly they are no bigger than the tip of my little finger so I may just keep them. I mean, I paid for them right??

Just kidding. I will probably do the removal. But here they are, incase anyone else is warned about them and wants to know what they look like. Just as advertised- fat packs.

10 weeks and I'm already faking it!

Hello RS ladies (sisters)!!!

I made it to 10 weeks without any major hiccups and I feel great. So great I ordered some temporary tattoos to try out. What ya think? I'm on the fence about anything permanent. Since these are meant for armbands I have to order longer ones next time. Fake it til you make it, right?

Things have been going well on the exercise front. I did Zumba 2x this week and T25 3x. I feel sore for a few afterwards and then I'm fine. Waking up feeling normal with no more swelling than usual. Oh, oh, I ran! I ran a whole mile lol! But I RAN!

I finally feel whole and not defective. And whole includes my slowly, but definitely dropping breasts and all my battle wounds....err stretch marks. So in tribute to being a real woman I decided to post a new Exposed photo. I used to do them yearly when the movement was new but hadn't done one in a while. This seemed like the perfect time and place for my newest one. Maybe someone else here will join me!

Much love ladies :-)

Started silicon scar treatment yesterday

Just wanted to document the starting place so I have a frame of reference in two months. I would hope to see some of the small "ropey" areas disappear. I'm using Rejuveness silicon strip 3" x 18". It's was the only strip that was FSA eligible so I bought it :-) I have been using my scar treatment in the morning and afternoon and then applying the strip after my nightly shower. The tape make me itch the first night and was a BEAST to remove. I have now been using my 3M tape to hold only the ends down and then I just put my binder on to hold it in place all night.

For those who asked where I bought my temp tattoo bands it is

Now that was quick!

I'm done with the silicon sheeting. After the first night the "medical grade gentle" tape left burns! Now, my skin is not sensitive to anything. I never had a reaction to the sutures, steri strips or tape on any of my incisions and that includes the at-home stuff I used to replace my surgeons bandaging. One night in the tape that came with my Rejuveness Silicon Sheet and my skin is a mess. Thank goodness I only taped the ends and not the entire strip down.

I have no clue if it was flattening my scar and unfortunately I don't care to find out. I'm not gonna try another brand. Just riding out the rest of this journey with my homemade massage butter.

Lesson learned.

11 week update...of sorts

Hey ladies. Nothing much new to report. I'm feeling good and working out 5x a week. I've been running but haven't made more than 2 miles so far. I'm doing Zumba 2x a week and haven't have to do any modifications since my first week back. Honestly, I have nothing new to report.

Oh, I stopped sleeping in my garment. Is that really news though??

Anyone else have something more exciting going on?

3 month photos

Nothing new going on so I'm just positing photos to remain active on the site. Hope everyone is healing well. Later :-)

Dropping in for an update

Basically taking up space to tell you that nothing is new! Been working out good and signed up for a 5k next month. I have been wearing a tight tank under my clothes but no compression garment. The lipo sites on my flanks can be sore if you push on them but I suspect that will go away eventually. I have still been using my homemade concoction on the scar and it hasn't changed much. It darkened and now it starting to get lighter- all signs of healing or so I hear. Stretch marks are mine to keep :-)

Who gets a hernia AFTER a full TT?

I do....I do! How crazy and backwards is this? I go from a flat tummy last week to an alien baby this week. I went to urgent care yesterday when it seemed to be swelling. They sent me to the ER for a tummy scan. A there it was..a ventral hernia! I go to the surgical center on Monday to hear the plan to fix it. I had noticed that side of my stomach was thicker than the other but at my last visit my surgeon said my stomach is on that side and that is why it was thicker. I thought needed more lipo. The spot has gotten larger and larger and now I know why! My intestines are trying to push their way out!

So I finally have something new to report and it sucks! C'est la vie...

Thanks for the good worked!

It turns out that it was not a hernia! I went to a surgeon and he said he had no clue what the ER doctor saw on the ultrasound but it's not a hernia (possibly a conspiracy to collect copays!)

I contacted my plastic surgeon who did my TT and he said its possible that maybe it's a popped stitch but honestly it was only swollen that day. I'm back to normal. Thanks for praying me better worked!

Six months flew by!

Hey my RS sisters! I have been MIA for a few but I'm here to update. Let me say that right after surgery weight magically fell off....but it did not stay off! I went into surgery @ 179. Two weeks after surgery I was 171 without trying. Now, I am 180 - back to pre-surgery weight!

It's crazy because I work out pretty hard 4-5 times a week. My eating is far from perfect but it never was. It's like my metabolism knew I am approaching 40 and threw on the breaks! So I am going to clean up some of my food choices and try to get into the 160's before I start bathing suit shopping.

All of my scars are well healed and getting lighter every day. I have phantom itches that I can't find in my belly at times but that's all. No pains. Oh, the hypersensitivity in my left nipple is still there. The right is fine.

I do hip hop and but I've not tried an actual crunch yet. In my mind I still think my tummy is going to bust open! Since surgery I have done two 5k obstacle runs so I think that qualifies as fully functional.

This will always be the best $5575 I ever spent! I'll see you all in a month (hopefully) when I start bathing suit shopping! XOXO

Having a small revision today

Hello ladies. Remember that fat pack I bought? You know, the little pocket of skin that was left at the end of my lollipop incision when I opted against the anchor scar. I decided to have it removed before the senior residents go off to start their private practices this month. It is under my left breast and kinda sticks out of the bottom of my bra. See?

They are doing it in the office this morning. I sure wish I was being put to sleep but they say it will only take 20 minutes. I'll post the after pics in a few hours.

Revision completed

The revision took all of 20 minutes to complete. They gave me the numbing needles in about 5-6 different spots under me breast (stung like a deep bee sting) and then they proceeded to cut off my fat pack. He did 6-7 deep internal sutures that will dissolve and one continuous top stitch. I'm covered in steri strips for 3 weeks until I go back.

Well, my Bahamas cruise leaves in 3 weeks so no running or Zumba to get ready. Guess I'll be eating 100% perfect until I ship off.

See you soon ladies!

10 days post revision

Hey ladies. Just a short update today. Had my fat pack removed from under my left breast last Friday. Healed well so far. I have an appointment with the new residents on Friday and hopefully they will clear me for exercise. Fingers crossed X
Wake Forest Baptist Hospital - Dr. Kelly

Dr Kelly and Dr Showolter were second to none. Wake Baptist residence clinic was more professional, thorough and caring than any other office I visited. They even called me to let me know my jobs disability dept had not contacted them when they were supposed to and that was certainly not their responsibility. This program has shown me that you don't have to pay top dollar to get top doctors when you go through such a highly regulated and monitored program. I even get follow up care for a year. Thank you Wake Forest Baptist Hospital for making this possible for us women who don't have $10k to spend.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
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5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
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