Hey ladies. My story starts out the way most of...
Hey ladies. My story starts out the way most of ours do. Busy mom of 2 tiny humans, good clean diet and plenty of exercise- but nothing is helping with this tummy! At 5'1 and 145 lbs, I carry a lot of my weight in my stomach (& legs and butt...yay me). Before I had my children, I was actually about 60 pounds heavier. 200 lbs was absolutely HUGE for my frame, and my stomach never really recovered. Both my kids were average sized babies...7 ish pounds...and I gained a ton of weight with both pregnancies. I've been hard on my body and it's resisting change, so I'm going to help it along ;) I stumbled on this website and it's been a game changer for me. Like many of the women on here, I am struggling with spending such a huge amount of money on myself and feeling selfish for undergoing a major, tough, and elective surgery just to improve my looks. It feels very vain. However, we practically live outside in the summer. We have a pool and spend almost every weekend at the cottage, and I am tired of missing out and sitting on the side lines while my wonderful kids and man play in the water because I am too self conscious to wear a bathing suit. It's silly and I don't want to do it anymore. Time for a change.
I have my first consult tomorrow with a fabulous doctor in Newmarket, Ontario Canada. This man has wonderful reviews and before/after pictures and I am very excited to meet him. Happy to start documenting my journey. Care to join me? ;)
I WILL add pictures. I will. Soon. Ish. Haha. xx
Small (hopefully) vertical scar
Hey ladies! SO, consult went really on Saturday. The doctor was fabulous. Very nice with a great bedside manner. He spent almost an hour with me answering questions and gave me a tour of their facility. They do surgery on site and have a beautiful, state of the art clinic. I was very pleased and plan to book with him. HOWEVER, I was surprised to learn that I don't have enough loose skin above my bellybutton (this is a SHOCK. Looks like PLENTY to my unprofessional, untrained, critical eye lol) and will likely need a (hopefully small) vertical incision as well as the traditional horizontal, hip-to-hip cut. Apparently, I don't have enough skin laxity and the old belly button site can not be pulled down far enough to be removed and would have to be stitched closed. The doctor has no way of knowing how long- or where exactly- this incision will end up until I am in surgery. This makes me extremely nervous as it was not something I was expecting. I have looked at thousands of pictures and have not seen much of this at all. I have since googled the heck out of it and have found a lot of support for this and found it is apparently fairly common if the patient does not have enough skin. It's dangerous to pull the skin too tight and can result in tissue death. OBVIOUSLY not worth the risk. The alternative is to make the whole scar higher, but the makes little sense to me. Any of my fellow TT out there have any experience with this??
Hope you're all doing well!
I did it... I booked my appointment and made my deposit. I'm not having surgery until November, so I have pleeeeenty of time to panic ;)
I'm going to post my pics now. Be nice lol.
27 days to go !!
Whoa! !! I have been dreaming of this for years, have had it booked for months and now I'm finally down to 4 weeks! Can't wait! I moved my surgery up to Oct 11...the day after Canadian Thanksgiving. I'm starting to gather supplies now. This site gas been an AMAZING resource for what I may need. So far, I've picked up Miralax, stool softener and ex lax (I've heard horror stories and I really don't want an issue with this. Haha), Tylenol, arnica cream and tablets, vitamin C and B12. I have protein powder and will be putting together some freezer ready smoothie bags. I know I'm missing things. I still need to buy pillows (and recommendations on how many i'll need??) and tank tops for under my binder . Am I forgetting anything glaringly obvious?!? I will be sleeping in bed, so no recliner and I'm not planning on getting a toilet seat riser or walker. Hopefully I don't reget this later. Anyway, any tips would be very welcomed :) Good luck to the ladies with surgery coming up and happy healing to those who are lucky enough to have it behind them :)
5 frickin days...whaaaaat!!!
How the heck did THAT happen?! I can't believe that I can now count the days to my surgery on ONE HAND. Crazy. haha. Strangely (and surprisingly) enough, I am not nervous. I am anxious and excited. I'm sure that will all change in a few days, but as of right now, I am just very excited that this is finally happening. Its my turn. Wooo! I am, however, having an extremely hard time focusing on anything not related to surgery. I am obsessively reading and learning and thinking about all things tummy tuck ---as evidenced by my lack of working while at work--right now. Lol. It is really hard to focus on the mundane tasks of everyday life when I am on the VERGE of life changing surgery. It's like trying to work the week before you go on a tropical vacation...except about a hundred times harder.
Anyway, YES, surgery is Tuesday!! Its Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, so thankfully I will be off work on Monday and can just spend the day snuggling my sweetie and our littles :) I have to arrive at the surgery centre at 7:30 am, surgery at 8 and they figure I will be out of recovery by 3 pm. Had my pre-op with my family doctor yesterday. I feel she was a little judgey when I told her what I was having done. I'm not bothered by that, but it does make me glad that I have kept this procedure to myself. My sweetie knows and my mom knows- but everyone else thinks I am having uterine fibroids removed. Convenient cover story- the recovery is very similar. I have thought about telling some of my best friends and some family, but I really feel that they wouldn't understand and while I don't necessarily need their approval, I don't want to have to justify my decision to anyone. This is something I have wanted and saved for for YEARS and I am doing it for me only. I think we deserve to put ourselves first, don't ya think?! HECK YES WE DO!!
Ok so, this week I picked up the rest of the supplies I think I'll need. I've done all the things in the house I've been putting off (namely switching over summer to winter wardrobes for everybody. And now, of course since I've done that, it's going up to 28 degrees here today...my life...my timing....LOL). I picked up some groceries for after surgery. I know how important protein is for healing and I am a vegetarian, so its really tricky. I doubt I will feel like eating tofu and beans during recovery. I am hoping protein powder, greek yogurt, cottage cheese and citrus fruit will get me by.
I'm very happy with my list of purchased supplies. I've done A LOT of research into what I may need and bought a lot of it *just in case*. My doctor has advised me to stop taking advil and aspirin and to not drink any green tea. On the morning of surgery, I am to get up at 4 am and drink 6 oz of apple juice, to boost blood sugar and help prevent nausea. On the way to the clinic, I am to take 1000 mg of Tylenol. Comfy clothing recommended. Track pants and a zip or button up top and easy to get on shoes. Bring a pillow in the car to hold against my tummy and a foot stool to keep my legs up.
I think that's it for my update today, ladies! Thanks for reading. I am going to take a series of pre-op pictures. The more to reference back to later, the better.
Here's hoping for a speedy 5 days! I'm ready for this!
Good luck to YOU as well. Yes you. Wherever you are in your journey, whether its the beginning stages of research, the countdown to surgery, or already recovering...It's such a journey!!
Just going to attach a pic of the things I've picked up! A few things I have but aren't in the picture... including heating pad, ice packs, Gravol, tums, Tylenol, dial soap, Polysporin and alcohol wipes. Plus a million pillows and my comfy clothes. 4 sleeps :)
3 days and pictures !
3 days left to go! Not nervous at all. Stull just really excited. It's all still surreal. Happy Saturday!
Hours to go!
The nerves have kicked in big time and they brought their friends: Nausea, insomnia and doubt. Oh and my personal favourite...the "well gee, here's hoping I don't DIE" obsession. Surgery is tmrw at 8 am. I feel I am as ready as I'm going to be and can only hope that this is the right decision with the best outcome imaginable. I truly admire anyone on this journey. This is tough stuff and thus bight of surgery business. ...no joke!! I'll be thankful if I sleep at all tonight . Either way, I'm happily resting on my tummy and enjoying rolling over at my leisure and springing out of bed to pee independantly for the last time in a while.
Tomorrow is a big day! If you're the praying type, I'd appreciate a quick mention, if you don't mind ;)
Goodnight sisters! I'll try to toss a fibal flabby update at ya in the morning ! HUGS.
11 Oct 2016
Day of treatment
On my way to the clinic! I have this really strange nervous yet calm feeling. I'm terrified that something will go wrong, but I'm so excited that the ball is rolling and this is happening in less than an hour!
Wish me luck! As they say, SEE YOU ON THE FLAT SIDE!!!
WELL HEY THERE, FLAT SIDE ;)
Good morning ! I made it, I'm here!! Yesterday went pretty well. Got there at 730 and the nurse got started with me right away. Took my vitals and gave me instructions. I had to get the compression stockings on. That was truly the biggest feat I've accomplished in a long time lol. They are crazy tight and go from toes to the top of my thighs. My wonderful doctor came and marked me up and then it was go time. Walked down to the OR (this kind of reminded me of the walk to the electric chair in green mile LOL. So nerve wracking!!) The nurses and anesthetist were all incredibly nice and really put me at ease. Had a little trouble putting in an IV which was unpleasant. Doctor came in and held my hand while I went under. I woke up sore, but it wasn't unbearable. I was out of surgery at 11:30 and was supposed to leave at 3:30, but I could not pee for the life of me. I tried 3 times, sitting there for 20 minutes, willing it to happen. Nothing. Barely even the urge. It was very frustrating. By 6pm, they decided they would catheterize me. That was hands down the most awful part of my day. They had to lay me practically flat on my back, hours after surgery. The nurses doing the procedure were so sweet and funny and they made an uncomfortable situation bearable . I would HIGHLY recommend this clinic if you are in the Toronto area. Everyone there stayed late, well passed closing time, to male sure I was taken care of properly before I went home. I was given strict instructions to return to Newmarket emerg if I had not peed on my own by 2am. Thankfully, that wasn't necessary as I was able to go a couple hours after getting home and taking a nap. I had a home care nurse come and change my dressings. She helped me changed and walked my sweetie through all instruction for future dressing changes. She was wonderful (the theme of yesterday re staff!!) She will come back this morning and Friday to help me shower. Getting in and out of bed is definitely the worst. Sweetie has been an incredible help and really tries to make it as pain free as possible. Walking hurts and talking hurts. I find getting on and off the toilet is a breeze. At this point, I can't imagine ever feeling better. The pain is very consuming. However, I will say that it's not too bad when I'm just lying in bed. I get up every couple of hours to pee and that is uncomfortable. I should have taken a pic yesterday of my tummy with binder off, but I was really nauseous and couldn't be bothered. I will try today. What I could see looked great! Oh, and I found that taking 2 Gravol with my 2 percocets has completely eliminated any nausea. Knocks me right out, but that's infinitely better than feeling sick. So, some stats. ..the doctor removed over 2.2 pounds of skin and fat, and additional fat with the lipo (didn't get an exact amount). The best part .. I didn't need a vertical scar after all!!! I've been stressing about that since April! He was able to pull the skin down far enough and avoid it. I'm THRILLED!! I have no drains, he did internal quilting stitches. Starting to swell up around my thighs, butt, and crotch. Have some pretty awesome bruises down my thighs as well. I'll get some pics up later today! Thanks for reading and for all your lovely comments and support! This truly is the best community and I am so thankful to have you all here for my journey. HUGS!!!
A couple pics with the dressing off!
Please excuse the swilled lady bits ;)
* swollen but happy so far
2 days post op
Hey ladies! It's been 2 days since surgery and I've gotta say, it's nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. It's painful to move around, so bathroom breaks are tricky, but in general it's pretty tolerable. I feel the swelling is starting to kick in. My hips are huge and there's a knot the size of a grapefruit in each. They are bruised and look horrible. My thighs are a bit swollen and I'm more aware of my tummy today than I was yesterday. It's true what they say about coughing. ..OMG!! Try not to cough. I haven't sneezed yet but I naimagine that would be even worse, so try not to so that either ;) My nurse is coming back in the morning and I will get to shower, so I'll try to put up a couple of pics . I'm taking 1 pain pill every 4 hours on the dot, along with 1 extra strength tylenol and 1 Gravol. I've been takin stool softeners since surgery day and wow. Now I'm dealing with the complete opposite problem than I was expecting. No constipation AT ALL. Instead, I'm afraid to level the bathroom. I don't know which is worse. Probably constipation. But this brings cramps and a sense of urgency that's hard to accomodate after major abdominal surgery. Another thing I thought I'd mention that's a bit personal but good to prepare yourself for is that it's tricky to wipe. Gross, I know. But it's hard to get the right position for that. My amazing sweetie was going to do it for me, but I powered through and got it done. You know it's love when someone offers to clean your butt for you . LOL. It's hard to hang on to your dignity with this surgery . Anyway, I've been really good and following my doctors orders. Getting up to use that washroom and then straight back to bed. It's kind of nice actually. I may be bored of it by the end of 2 weeks, but I know it's the best way to heal right now. My appetite is decreased and I get full faster. Drinking a lot of water and juice. Eating eggs and graham crackers mostly. Going to try some soup and noodles tonight. I still can't believe I've had this done. It's so exciting!!! I would like to have another look at my results. .I'm a bit worried my scar is too high in the pic I posted, but that was taken lying down in a "V" position, so hard to tell. I think going into surgery with really realistic (even low ) expectations is helpful. As I said, I'm finding it an easier recovery than I anticipated and I think that's why. I was prepared for utter hell and it's been manageable. I mean, it's not fun and yes, it hurts. But I am optimistic !!! Good luck to all my sister's who have just gone in or are on their way ! HUGS!!
Before & After pic!
Just wanted to add this side by side pic. The left is pre-op and then right is 1 day post-op!
4 days post op
Morning ladies! Day 4 and not much to report. Down to 1 pain pill every 5 hours with a tylenol and Gravol. Still very sleepy and a bit disconnected, but I'm sure I can thank the meds for that. Pain is very tolerable. I'm quite comfortable lying down in bed propped up with pillows and I'm glad I didn't invest in a recliner. I did try sitting on the couch with the kids last night but couldn't get comfy, so that only lasted a couple munites before I was back in my nest. Appetite is a bit better, but I'm trying to eat small portions and healthy snacks only since I've been completely inactive all week. Drinking tons of water and OJ, which means lots of trips to the bathroom, but even those are getting easier. My sweetie has been absolutely amazing. He's taken such good care of me and has been so attentive. The day of my surgery, they had told him to be there for 3 pm and I didn't end up leaving until after 6. He sat there with a smile on his face and never complained. The next morning when the nurse called to check on me, she actually commented on how impressed they all were by him and his patience and attitude. He reply is the best and I'm very lucky. I really think the thing you need the most for recovery from this surgery is a person who you love and who can take care of you. Whether that's your husband, best friend, or parent. The support makes all the difference. Anyway, I'm rambling lol. Back on track. OK, so yesterday I had my final home nursing visit and she helped me shower. Fastest shower I've ever had in my life. I probably would have slipped it completely, but I've had my period since PO day 1 and really wanted to feel clean. I don't have a shower chair, so I stood and quickly washed my hair and freshened up. Sweetie changed the bedsheets and washed my Jammies. I felt so much better afterwards. Clean binder, clean dressings...ahhhhhh perfect. Definitely felt weird with the binder off. I've heard a lot of people say they hate it but I LOVE mine. It's so comfortable and supportive. I felt out of breath and weak without it. I got a really good look at my tummy for the first time and WOW. It's the strangest experience. I absolutely LOVE it and I think he did a beautiful job, but I feel like I'm looking at a sgranger. I have some swelling and still can't stand straight, my skin is pulled very tight and it almost doesn't look like human skin lol. Hard to explain but I'm sure you know (or will soon) what I mean. My nurse was very impressed with my results and said she would get one in a heartbeat if she could (and with the same doctor)! I have had 2 brest reductions in the past (one when I was 19 and the other after my son was born) and chose to see a different surgeon than the one who did my breasts. I'm very happy with my decision and the nurse (who knows them both) said I definitely made the right decision . I have a lot of bruising around my hips from the lipo and around my incision. I bruised a lot with my breast reductions as well. Also have a little fluid filled blister below my incision on the left. The nurse feels this is all normal and not to worry. I see my doctor on monday for my follow up. So far, I am feeling fantastic, sleeping well and have no regrets. And the best part. ..it's only going to get better from here :) HUGS! !
Today is 6 days since my tummy tuck. I am no longer taking narcotic pain killers and take tylenol as needed. I also take Gravol to help me sleep at night because I just can't get comfortable. Can't wait to be able sleep on my sides or tummy again. Everything is great. Followed up with my wonderful PS and his nurses today. Everything looks good... still swollen and bruised but they are happy with the result. I'm thrilled! I definitely feel the swelling everyone talks about. It's unpleasant for sure. It's similar to having your lip frozen at the dentist .... when it feels like it's much bigger than it is. Same feeling. I feel like I'm going to bust out of my binder. Still having some pain in my lipo areas and along the muscle repair. Can't feel my incision at all as it remains completely numb. Experiencing some itching that feels very deep in my hip area, but when I scratch it, I can't feel it. It's odd.I'm still pretty hunched over but I'm pushing it a little at a time. Stop when I feel a lot of stretching . I took some updated pictures today and I'm so happy with how everything looks, despite all the swelling! Can't imagine how good it will look in 3 months when the swelling and bruising us better . I plan to take the rest of this week and next week off work. I have a desk job but can't imagine going back at this point. I really don't want to rush it. Besides, I will never have an opportunity like this again, so I'm taking full advantage :) Tough recovery for sure. I was really well prepared for what to expect and I think that helped a lot. I haven't had any real down days or regrets. The pain is manageable and the results are incredible. I have a long road of recovery ahead of me, but I am do glad I did this for myself.
11 days and feeling great!
I am so glad I did this! I feel fantastic. Biggest complaint at this point is the swelling. When it's at its worst, I feel claustrophobic in my own body. I always feel much more swollen than I look however, and I knew going in that I would deal with this for months. I've been extremely lucky and my surgery has been a total breeze. I have been battling minor daily headaches that improve when I drink more water. I drink a lot of water normally but have had to increase my intake even more. I'm starting to get the odd shooting pain/electric shock type feeling in my abdomen which is indicative of nerve regeneration, so I embrace it. The last few nights I've been able to sleep on my sides which is amazing! I'm so much more comfortable! I've been taking it REALLY easy and doing the bare minimum. I listen to my body and rest when I start to feel swollen, which happens really quickly. I'm moving around a lot better and am standing about 95% straight. I am amazed at how quickly I am feeling better. A week ago, I was on narcotic pain killers every 4 hours and completely reliant on my sweetie for EVERYTHING. Now, I am not even taking tylenol and can do everything on my own. The body is an amazing thing! I have to say, so far this has been 100% worth it :)
13 days & HUGE
Tomorrow will be 2 weeks post op! Feeling really good. Getting around much easier, standing straight and getting back in my routine. I'll go back to work next monday (so I'll have been off 3 weeks.) I probaby could have gone back sooner, but didn't want to rush it. The swelling is INSANE. I look practically the same as I did pre-op. It'd super discouraging BUT I know it's very normal and will subside eventually. My appetite has decreased in a huge way since surgery and hasn't gone back to normal yet. I'm eating much less than I used to. So, I know the difference in my figure has nothing to do with true weight gain and is just part of the healing process. I will be glad to see it go!! Overall, feeling great :) I'll post some pics and let the swelling speak for itself. Lol