Tales of a Tummy Tuck - Pennsylvania

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I am a 36 year old mother of two. I am...

I am a 36 year old mother of two. I am 5'4" and 138 pound. My children are 5 and 3 years old and both delivered by C-section. I had originally wanted a breast lift but once I started researching procedures and talked with my plastic surgeon, we all agreed a tummy tuck would be a good idea as well.

I gained and lost large amounts of weight with both my pregnancies so there is some lose skin and sagging and my muscles are splayed because of being cut through, etc. I am looking forward to my procedure and am receiving great help and support from this forum. I am hoping through sharing my experience I can offer some of that help and support to others as well.

I am now 10 days post op and finally getting...

I am now 10 days post op and finally getting around to my review but I will break it down day by day:

First of all let me start by saying I was nervous in the days before my surgery but I tried to keep myself busy so I didn't think about it too much.
I just had normal jitters, apprehensive about the surgery itself, the recovery, etc. At no point was I legitimately worried about dying and what not. I tend to be an optimist ;0)
I finished up my kid's Valentine's, I threw a Superbowl Party so I was forced to clean our finished basement (fulfilling my nesting needs) and got everything else in order that I could think of.
Two days before the surgery I had my girlfriends over to say "farewell" to the old me. I was getting a breast lift and implants in addition to the tummy tuck so I made a "booby" cake and hung funny "booby" decorations. I even went on iTunes and downloaded "booby" songs. You'll never believe how many funny songs there are about breasts! LOL
All of this kept me busy and kept my spirits up and my attitude positive.

Day of Surgery: Luckily I was the first surgery of his day so the hubby and I got to the hospital at 6am. The nurses took my vitals, had me sign some consent forms and the rest of the time we pretty much sat there. Around 7am they came to get me with the wheelchair. They were taking me back to pre-op. For some reason I thought there would be a few more steps that the hubby could be around for so I was a little disappointed that I had to say goodbye to him until after the surgery.
My husband was more nervous than I was about the actual surgery so I had gone out and bought about 4 different funny and sappy cards. I wrote special messages in them and told him to open 1 card about every hour or so. I also ordered them by number so he knew which to open first, second, etc.
So I get to pre-op and meet with the anesthesiologist, I get my IV and my plastic surgeon comes to mark me up for surgery. After that they gave me some medicine in my IV and I don't even remember being wheeled into surgery.
Like everyone else says, it feels like you were out for 5 minutes while the actual surgery took approximately 6 hours. I woke up from anesthesia with no problems, was monitored in the post-op area for a little over an hour and was wheeled to the room where I would be spending the night.
My husband met me there with my overnight bag. The nurses set me up with my happy button (a morphine pump that I could press every 15 minutes) and the night and most of the next day were a blur of itchiness and happiness.
I was excited the surgery was over. I was feeling no pain because of the morphine. I had a cathedar in so I didn't have to worry about trying to get up to go to the bathroom yet.
The nurse did ask me to sit up for a bit that night and asked if I wanted to try and walk but I didn't get back to my room until mid-afternoon and by this point it was night time and I just didn't feel up to it. I told her I'd rather wait till the morning.
Hubby left to go home and sleep at home with the kids and I had a peaceful night's sleep, pain free.
The next day I was due to go home around 3pm. They came in to remove my morphine and gave me Percocet and to sponge bathe me. Getting up from that bed was tough. For those who have had a c-section it is similar to that feeling. A bad burning sensation from using your abdominal muscles. After the sponge bath I took 2 laps around the hospital floor. One was assisted by the nurse the second I did on my own.
The nurses had told me that I needed to pee in order to be released from the hospital. When they came to take my cathedar out first thing in the morning I asked them to come back in a little bit to do it since I hadn't been out of bed yet. I was afraid I would be needing to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes. They said ok. What they didn't tell me was that it can take up to 8 hours to pee on your own after a cathedar is removed!
So, they came back around noon to take the cathedar out and my hubby got there at about 2pm to take me home.
The nurses said I had to pee before I could leave so I tried. Nothing. I drank water. Nothing. I drank more water. Nothing. They brought me coffee. Nothing. By now it was 4pm and I was getting aggrivated. I have stage fright the way it is and with all these people waiting for me to pee and with the discomfort of my stomach and chest, etc. I could tell this was going no where fast.
I continued drinking water and trying to pee until finally I told my husband, to hell with it! I am going to lie and say I went. If I don't go after we're home a couple of hours you can bring me back but this is crazy!!!

To be continued.....

....continued from last review. 1 DPO So,...

....continued from last review.
So, after several hours of trying to pee on my own the hubby and I lie and say I went. The nurses released me and we went home. I had 2 drains in. I was very uncomfortable at this point because of all the water I drank in hopes this would speed up the urination process. Not real pain, just bloated, pressure and general discomfort. I was taking my percocet every 3 hours as prescribed.
My husband and I were starting to get concerned about me not being able to pee. We were really stressed. Finally I was able to pee around 8pm. I was so relieved!
Why these nurses didn't inform me that it takes on average 8 hours for someone to go to the bathroom on their own is beyond me. It would have saved me a lot of stress and discomfort from all that water I drank. Subsequently, I had a bit of a rough night because I had to go to the bathroom a million times because of all that water!!!! Very annoying that this all could have been avoided with a little bit of information.
My appetite was not there at all those first few days but I tried to eat something a little carb-ey when I was taking my pain meds. My husband set his alarm for every 3 hours to give me my percocet. Around 3am I had had a few doses of pain meds on an empty stomach and I thought for sure I was going to throw up. I started with the mouth watering and gagging and luckily got my hands on my phenegran suppositories before it was too late. I was able to give it to myself and the nausea completely went away within minutes! It was a lifesaver!

The next day I continued with my pain meds and generally laid around and slept most of the day and that night. Walking hunched over when I was up and had much discomfort trying to get comfortable in bed. I would wake after a few hours and feel like there was a cement wall on my chest and abdomin. The pain meds helped me stay drowsy enough to sleep through this. Had an appointment at the plastic surgeon's where they changed my dressings and took a look at all incisions. Everything looked good. They told I could shower but I was scared to unwrap everything and try to wrap it back up so my husband washed my hair in the kitchen sink and I gave myself sponge baths. I still had 2 drains at this point.

Had an appointment at the plastic surgeon's where they changed my dressings and took a look at all incisions. Everything looked good. They told me I could shower but I was scared to unwrap everything and try to wrap it back up so my husband washed my hair in the kitchen sink and I gave myself sponge baths. I was told the drains would come out at 10 DPO. Still taking my pain meds but spacing the time out from 1 every 4 hours to 1 every 5 hours. Sleeping was still very uncomfortable but the pain meds helped me through it.

I didn't need my pain meds as religiously during the day but I was still taking them here and there. Today was Valentine's Day so my hubby made a nice dinner for us and my mother and step-dad. I was wiped out after dinner so I took some pain medicine and headed to bed. Still uncomfortable to sleep but bearable.
I am also constipated. I did have a BM since coming home but today I seem to be at a standstill in the BM department. I take some MOM and wait for something to happen. Just a lot of rumbling. I think the fact that I haven't eaten much is working against me.
The pain meds started giving me nightmares at this point.
Things were starting to get to my husband as far as taking care of the house and the kids and he gave it an offical "not worth it" rating to me. LOL This made me start to feel depressed. Support is a huge help at this point and I was feeling bad that I did this since it seemed my husband was at his breaking point. I should mention that my 3 year old was giving us a really hard time with bad behavior and horrible sleeping. I think he couldn't express his fear at me being laid up and this was how he was expressing it. It was a huge source of stress for us.

This is the day I really turned the corner and started to feel much better and more like myself. The MOM finally worked and I had regular BM's throughout the day. I didn't need my pain meds and was able to get around more.
Husband was still having a tough time but it was a better day overall than the last couple so I was feeling a bit better.
Today was also the day I decided to get out of my own wallowing self-pity head and distract myself with some TV. I picked a reality show or 2 and submersed myself with mindless humor. It helped, thank you Jerseylicious.... hahaha.

I didn't nap during the day. When I went to bed that night I had a really hard time trying to sleep. I laid there for hours until I fell asleep and then had a fitfull night's sleep. Serious insomnia. I finally took a little Nyquil to help me nod off.

Had another appointment at the plastic surgeons. I only saw his nurse because he is on vacation but she changed my dressings, checked my drains and wrapped me back up. Again told me I could shower but again I was still too scared so we continued with the sponge baths and husband washing my hair. My husband said everything looked so much better that day and our nurse was wonderful. She assured us the recovery was moving along swimmingly and my husband and I left the office with a huge sense of relief. Sometimes you just need some reassurance that you did the right thing. Also, my son's behavior and sleep began to improve at this point. I didn't ask the hubby yet if he felt it was still not worth it ;0)
A great day was followed by a terrible night's sleep. I tried Tylenol PM but it didn't help much. It would take me 2 hours to fall asleep and then I'd wake after just an hour or 2 and have to try and fall asleep all over again....

Feeling great! The only thing holding me back is the insomnia. I am exhausted and frustrated. Going to give it one more try before asking my Dr. for something to help the sleep issues. Drains are still in but not bothersome too much. Still sponge bathing and hubby is washing my hair in the sink. I am such a scaredy cat!
That night I take a percocet in hopes that it will make me drowsy. It doesn't, however, I am much less annoyed with the insomnia. LOL It takes me a while to fall asleep but once I do I fall asleep for a few hours. I wake once and have a hard time getting back to sleep but once again, I am not so annoyed because of the percocet.....

to be continued

....continued from last review 8 DPO Feeling...

....continued from last review

Feeling better today because I did get some sleep. Still hunched over but standing straighter in the am and early afternoon and slowly curling downward as the day goes on which I read is quite normal. Took a short trip to KMart with the hubby for a few essentials. BM's remain good and the whole house is happier in general.
An amazing thing happens that night. I take a percocet for the discomfort at night and I feel drowsy around 10:30 pm. I fall asleep easily!!! Wake at around 3:30 and fall back asleep after not too long. Sleep until 7:30. I feel so well rested and like I am totally over the insomnia. I feel noticable more comfortable at night also. The very heavy sensation on the chest and abdominal is subsiding. I start to remove my bra and dressings to get a good look at the new girls. I am happy with them. A few friends stop by to sneak a peek at the peaks as well. LOL It brightens my day to see some friends. Spirits are MUCH better today. Another night of great sleep assisted by 1 or 2 percocets throughout the night for discomfort.

I feel so much better and so well rested that the hubby and I call the babysitter and head out for a quick lunch and movie. Parking is bad at the theater and I have my hubby drop me off in the front instead of walking the whole parking lot. I don't want to make us late for the movie! hahaha
I walk back to the car after the movie and the fresh air and sunlight are nice. Feeling great. At lunch over a draft beer for me and a raspberry sangria for him I get the nerve to ask him if he still feels it wasn't worth it. He admits that he let the circumstances get the best of him earlier in the week and he now feels it has been worth it. HOOOORRRAAAYYY!!! For the record, at no point in my recovery did I feel it wasn't worth it.
I feel good enough to help with some ironing aroAnother great night's sleep.

10 DPO
That brings us to today. My husband is done with his vacation and he has gone back to work. The best part about this past week besides the obvious..... my husband finally GETS why I am exhausted at the end of the day even though some days I never leave the house. I am a stay-at-home mom and until this little unintentional experiment of him playing Mr. Mom I don't think he fully realized what it actually was I did all day. This realization alone might make the surgery all worth it!!! haha I'm not delusional though, another few months and he will forget all about how hard it was to run the household. Maybe then I should book myself for some more plastic surgery!! hahahaha (just kidding)
I have an appointment this afternoon with my plastic surgeon. It is the first time I will see him since the surgery since he's been on vacation. He had called me 2 nights after my surgery to check in on me and I had been seen by his nurses and his partner (the other plastic surgeon in his office). He also provided me with his cell phone number and told me not to hesitate to call (which I was very impressed with). I was close to calling about my insomnia issues but I am glad I stuck it out and the issue resolved on it's own.
So today will be the first time I get to ask him how he felt the surgery went, the extent of my muscle repair, etc. I am excited for that.
Also, believe it or not, today is the first time I will actually see my tummy!!!!! Isn't that crazy?? I have been so scared to take off my compression garment and all the wrappings they have going on that I have just left it all in place and cleaned around it. I hope they don't think I am a dirty girl!!! LOL Anyway, I am excited to get a peek!
Drains are being removed too! Woooo hoooo!!!!
I will write an update later and take some after pictures to post!

10 DPO: Got my drains out today (unpleasant to...

10 DPO:
Got my drains out today (unpleasant to say the least!!!!! ouch) and saw my plastic surgeon. He said everything looks great. I feel awesome. He said I can buy a Stage 2 compression garment now which would be those shapers you see in Macys, J.C. Penny's, Target, etc. Having a bit of a hard time finding the perfect one but I bought the best I thought I found and it's Ok. Probably just have to get used to it like the rest of the stuff you get used to. I'm hoping in a few days I won't even know it's there because right now it is uncomfortable and I have to wear it for the next 6 weeks!!!
I felt back to my old self today. Took my kids to school, did a little shopping for the compression garment and browsed T.J. Maxx. I need a new, lighter purse for the time being!! Mine is way too heavy to be toting around. I am looking for one at least with a shoulder strap too.
I made dinner, gave the kids baths and tucked them in. Oh, and I was EXHAUSTED!!!! haha, but in a good way.
I would say at 10DPO I am 75% back to my normal self. The other 25% is because of the tiredness and the fact that I am still not all the way standing up straight all day. Like most will tell you, you start out straight in the morning and start to shrink as the day goes on.

Wanted to add a pic of the new boobs ;0) Will...

Wanted to add a pic of the new boobs ;0)
Will add a pic of the tummy in a few days. I ate some salty stuff today so today's not the day for pics ;0)
I am 17 DPO and feeling awesome!!! Healing great and just trying to take it easy because I do get tired. I try to sneak a quick nap in when I can and if I can't I just try to get to bed earlier that night.
I bought an electric citrus juicer yesterday at Walmart (it was only about $20) and I've been juicing oranges and grapefruits. The Vitamin C does wonders for healing!

I snapped a few pics of the tummy tuck portion of...

I snapped a few pics of the tummy tuck portion of the surgery the other morning when I was feeling not so swollen. Keep in mind that I still have surgical tape on that traps the dried blood, etc. so my incision looks big and red. In the parts where the tape has peeled off it's a teeny-tiny incision line.
Name not provided

I felt this was a very good decision overall. I thought long and hard about it and was willing to undergo the trade off of a few days of pain and discomfort for a lifetime of changes.

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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