Making the Move: Fit, Forty and Looking...
Making the Move: Fit, Forty and Looking Forward
Greetings Friends. I've been on this board for as long as I can remember and now the time has come for me to share my story. I am typically a very private person, but I feel I want to pay it forward, as I have learned so much from reading here and hope my experience will help someone else.
I'm 42, 5'3" and 145 lbs. My life includes working full-time, mothering 2 younger kids and I've been married 10 years. While I've always been athletic, I've struggled with my saddlebag area since I was 14. It is a hereditary feature and even when I was down to 127, I still had large bulges on my thighs that still wreak havoc in trying to find pants or skirts that fit. It's not an area that can be covered up and even spanx don't pull them in very well. After I had my 2nd child via c-section in 2006, I was left with a large flap of skin/tissue/fat that hangs over any kind of underwear. More than 1 surgeon even commented how high the scar was - and may have resulted in my weird lower ab area. (both c-sections done by same Dr). My 34C's morphed into 34B/C longs, areolas’ grew and my asymmetry was more pronounced. I have always had stretch marks, but the pregnancies increased those too - especially on my hips, butt and backs of thighs.
Though I have been through phases of working out on/off - it has always been a part of my lifestyle. At this time, I exercise 4-5 a week and it kills me to see gains in muscle definition in my legs and it all disappears into a blob at the saddlebag area - same with my stomach - I have good definition in the upper part - then they disappear into a blobbly roll. I know my diet could be better, but I eat rather healthily - lots of veg/fruit/seafood, no meats, sodas, - I do have a sweet tooth, but my problem areas are not going to be affected by my diet at this point.
I can accept a lot of the changes, but made the decision for a mommy makeover: BL/BA, Full TT and lipo of outer thighs - scheduled for November 6th. I am excited, nervous and anxious. I am trying not to set my expectations too high,(I AM 42 and have a lot of cellulite) but am very hopeful for a great new shape. My husband and a very good friend will be helping me though my recovery and I am hesitant to share this information with many people in my life as I don't need to be judged and they won't understand. (big family too).
I look forward to "chatting" - will be posting photos soon and keep up with this journal to share my consult experiences and post my questions (I swear I think of another every day).
My random questions and thoughts for the day:
How long until the implants feel like part of my body?
Should I tan (self tanner) prior to surgery?
I need to start planning meals and freezing food for myself and family to take some pressure off of my husband.
2 Days and a Wakeup
I really can't believe 11/6 is only a few days away. I'm officially off of work and trying to get those last few things in place. I also told my Mom I was having surgery, but chickened out and only told her about the TT. She will probably be by to visit so I'll tell her then. :) I am wondering a lot about what I am going to able to wear post-surgery during the recovery period? After a few week? Will my jeans/pants fit, be tight from the swelling, or loose from the TT and Lipo w/garment on? I figure I'll just be wearing the surgical/sports bra for a while and most of my tops will fit fine since I'm not going much bigger, just better.
I still need to grocery shop, do laundry, put meds in a pill box, and set up my nightstand/recliner area with essentials. While I am happy with my decision I am having this feeling like I'm "not ready"? Is anyone else out there feeling that way? I told a friend of mine who had BA and she said she was exactly the same.
I Made It Through - Experience So Far
Thanks for the well-wishes and so far, so good.
I arrived at the center at 8:15am and believe I was home in my recliner about 2:30pm. I don't remember much of the ride home, but do remember leaning on the wall, going up the stairs as my husband helped me to my bedroom where I had to pee. The 1st pain I felt was burning at my inner thighs and I had to adjust the thigh high compression stockings which I can thankfully lose tomorrow. I have a binder around my midsection, 2 drains and a surgical bra on. The drains are awful and both have bled a little on the surrounding gauze. As
long as I stay up on the Percocet, I am ok, but getting in/out of the recliner is difficult without assistance. I've been peeing an awful lot, drinking water, eating soup and triscuits and trying to do a walkabout in my room every couple of hours. It's hard to tell how everything looks, but I might readjust the binder tomorrow and I can see my stomach. I have to wait until Tuesday for my next appointment. It seems so far away! Staying bent over is key and I'm really trying to just rest.
Telling Myself I'll Feel Better Tomorrow
It's been a rough day. I'm taking the Percocet every 4-5 hours and afraid to stretch it out yet. Today, I got to lose the thigh highs and clean my bandages. The nurse told me I could put on spanx but that compression on the bottom, where I had lipo wasn't required. I had never heard of that and was confused. She said as long as the bra and stomach binder are in place the spanx was my choice until my appointment on Tuesday. These drains are horrible and since I have to hold my stomach to sit, stand, walk and move, I can't avoid hitting them. One has a lot of dried blood on it, even after cleaning it once.
My husband and I spent over an HOUR trying to get me cleaned up and the garments back on and in place. The bra and the stomach binder were fine, and then trying to put the spanx on and cut holes out for they drains was AWFUL. I even broke down and cried a bit because I had no idea how I could get them up, even with help. I did manage to take some photos to share.
The recliner is awesome and I am comfortable while in it. I'm eating light but will probably take a laxative in the next day or two to get that pain out of the way.
Surprise, No Laxative Needed
I felt much better today, though the drain and spanx combination is maddening. My husband took the kids out for a few hours today and it's like my body knew I'd have privacy and I began to feel a potty trip coming on. I wasn't feeling especially bloated yet and was totally prepared to go another few days without, but I went, it was painful, but so glad to get that hurdle out of the way.
I posted on the boards but didn't see it. Can someone please tell me if they have ever heard of NOT needing a compression garment after Lipo (in combo w/other procedures)? My dr and follow up call said no, but I don't understand why not. Maybe they will give me one at my next appt on Tues, but if an lose these Spanx I will feel so much better. I have no draining from the Lipo sites and typical bruising on the inner and outer thigh. I am calling the dr tomorrow to ask...again...
Long Puffy Day
My husband is getting worn down from the house/kids and me. Thankfully, someone took the kids today and my husband helped me clean up and washed my garment, robe, blankets, etc. while the laundry was going, I laid on the bed, with nothing other than an ace wrap around the top and a light blanket and watched football. It was heaven = no pain if still. I believe I have hit the swell hell and am very puffy/squishy all over. I've been watching the salt and my drainage hasn't been to much, but my tummy and outer thigh areas are crazy swollen. I chose to put the spanx back on with the clean binder and bra. What an ordeal! When these drains come out it won't be nearly as bad and look forwarded to getting a new compression garment and bra. I kept the ace bandage on for a while because it felt better, but it just started throbbing so, back to just the surgical bra. Seriously, I haven't even made it downstairs in my house yet - must really do this tomorrow and get moving around more. I'm up every 2 hours taking a walk/bathroom, but I'm ready for a little more...I think. I had a lot of right breast pain today, probably from wrestling the spanx and pushing myself around on the bed. I'm not taking this off again until my appt. Tuesday. I had dh take some photos before my "bath". I can see a bit of a change in my shape even though I can't stand up. My boobs feel really, really heavy and big and I hope I don't end up anything bigger than a D.
I put on some loose, capri sweatpants and a zip up sweatshirt today and went downstairs to spend the day in my living room. I did walk around (bent over) much more and straightened up a bit if I could, with things that were at hip level or so. My dh brought me some sushi/sashimi which was awesome and I was very careful with the soy sauce and drank extra water. My drains are down to
One Drain Down
Dr. appointment was yesterday and I got 1 drain out. Ouch! He removed the yellow tape/gauze over all of my incision areas and it wasn't comfortable, but didn't hurt, just felt weird and numb in some spots. I can call tomorrow and if my other drain is down, I can get it taken out. I am feeling like my boobs are huge though I know they have to drop and there is still a lot of swelling. My belly button looks pretty good, but does it sem like its in the right place? My TT is a little higher than optimal, it I didn't have enough skin so I understand and knew that going in. It would be nice to stand up straight so I could get a real idea of how my figure is coming along. The lipo'd areas are smaller and jiggly and when the drain comes out I'll be wearing a garment full time for a while. My breasts get achy and sore later in the day and I found myself totally exhausted around 5pm, even though I really didn't do anything lol.
I am so afraid that I went too big. I was a b/c before and got 325cc and 360cc. If I end up bigger than a d I seriously think I'm going to freak out. I might be starting the emotional phase too, but I'm worried that I won't be able to workout the way I used to play on my sports team. I was able to take a shower today after getting the other drain out last night and I got to take a good, long look at the results so far. My TT scar seems really high and crooked. There is some uneven swelling in my belly which could be messing up the line, but should it be a straight line at least? What do you think? I'd appreciate any opinions, good or not. I'm sure I'm still really swollen too, but not sure if I see much difference with the Lipo on my thighs yet.
During the day, I am wearing spanx that cover from my knees to under my bra line and at night, losing the spanx and putting on the binder. I keep the medical pads over the incisions and switch between my surgical bra and tanks tops with a built in shelf bra. Yesterday, I was able to walk around shopping for a while and today, I did some housework. I tire easily, but my kids were away for a day and it really helped me relax a little more and take my time doing things.
The day of surgery I was 145 lbs. 2 days post-op I was 156. Today I am 146. Crazy. On a whim, I tried on some a pair of work pants and they fit so weird! They were much tighter around the waist and baggy at the butt and hip area. It felt good, but a shock at how different my shape must be. None of this upset me or anything, I was curious and know I have a long way to go. Yoga pants and zip up sweatshirts are my uniform at home and I go back to the office in a week, just in time to have off again for Thanksgiving.....
Two Weeks Post Op
I can drive! I also got stitches out in a few areas: lipo incisions and aereolas. The TT and crease stitches will come out next week. The Dr said I can start scarguard on the stitch-free areas and non shock, easy exercise after this weekend (like elliptical). I think I'm standing up about 95% straight and didn't prop myself up like mad to sleep. I'm a little nervous about starting to go back out where people will see me, as not many know the extent of my surgery. I'm not really prepared for questions, or how to say in a nice way -none of your business. Though I'm feeling good and pretty confident, you know there will be "judgers" out there and have to figure out how not to feel weird.
Back To (peeing on myself) Work Day
I found a great, comfy, supportive, daytime bra, but of course it has been discontinued and now I’m online searching for more. Warner’s Suddenly Simple, wire free (not the back smoothing). I found 2 on clearance (at Sears of all places and I never shop there). The other bra I like for sleeping is the Fruit of Loom front hook cotton sports bra from Wal Mart and it is dirt cheap. It is soft and doesn’t ride up underneath the girls and doesn’t irritate the incisions. I went to Victoria’s Secret and it was a joke. I really didn’t think anything was going to fit anyway, but let me tell you - it was like putting a square peg in a round hole. I have measured myself, several times and coming up with a 34D (was a 34 B on one side, C on the other pre-op). My shape will change, I’m sure but I am happy with the size because I thought they looked much bigger initially.
Don’t underestimate the power of the open crotch feature of spanx. I had on another brand without the opening over the weekend and it took me 20 minutes to use the ladies room at the grocery store. My husband was not amused. On the other hand, I went back to work today, wore spanx and STILL peed all over them. I went through a ½ roll of tp trying to dry myself off so I wouldn’t have wet pants in the office. Fabulous.
I am at the “burning” phase of the BA healing process. I never knew about this - No one told me!!! It’s like the secret of pooping on the delivery room table when having a baby – though I was lucky enough to avoid that. It feels as if certain areas of my boobs (mainly one side, on the outside near my armpit) have a vicious sunburn – constantly. The areas sting like heck even when nothing is touching them. I had to go back to the Percocet 1-2 times over the weekend to take the edge off. Anyone else have this?
Also –is anyone else experiencing what I’ll call - involuntary body stretches with a side of the chills? In the mornings, it’s normal for a body to stretch out which gets blood into the muscles. Think of a cat or dog stretching – same thing – they kind of stretch, vibrate and trot along their way. Well, this is happening to me often, usually when I go from laying/sitting to standing. My body tenses up and I stretch, but have to hold my belly and not stretch my boob area and then I kind of get the chills. It feels good to stretch, but it is totally involuntary lie my body is all – increase the blood flow! I think it’s part of the normal healing process, but had to post about it.
Doc gave me go ahead to begin very, VERY light exercise as of Saturday, so I walked in a 2+ mile parade. Um, yeah….had to hop on the float for the return trip. I forgot how fast a “normal” walking pace is. Typically, I AM a fast walker from my time in the Army - even being only 5’3”, but I have been doing the shuffling for 2+ weeks and got used to it.
After several years of being like clockwork, my surgery has also bumped up my time of month a full 1 week early. I didn’t know this either. I started exactly one week early to the day. The bad news, is that it was like PMS, bloating, emotions, cravings and the event all at one time. The good news is, is that if it picks up on schedule, I won’t have it for Thanksgiving or Christmas
Need Feedback About Silicone Scar Sheet Use
I have the csection silicone scar sheets from CVS. I put them on my TT scar last night (2 plus a little piece) and they feel good. Does anyone know if I need to take these off at all? It really doesn't say on the the instructions and I've seen different things on the interwebs :) Should I take them off and wash them once a day and put them right back on? Why would I need to take them off at all - to let skin breathe? Who else is using these?
I am 4 weeks post op and feeling pretty good. I'll post pics soon. I had to start massaging to get the implants into a better place (one needs to drop more) and it gives me the heebie jeebies. I'm exercising lightly and able to sleep on my sides, though do have to shift throughout the night. I am SO much more comfortable about wearing fitted pants now that my huge saddlebags are gone. I'm not a string bean either, but it makes me so happy that my hips are in proportion to everything else and my curves look "normal". The only thing I regret is waiting so long to have that area lipo'd. The stretch marks and some cellulite is still there and I am totally fine with that. The new shape has made a world of difference in how I feel about putting pants on lol!