Is This My Midlife Crises at Age 49? - Plano, TX

I am going to start this post from the beginning...

I am going to start this post from the beginning and bring you all forward to present day.

3 DAYS BEFORE MY PROCEDURE:
I am questioning if I should go through with this procedure. I am a 48 year old very sensible woman who never thought in a million years, I would spend money on something that I view as a luxury! I am sooooooooooo nervous,. My mind is remembering every horror story I have ever heard about plastic surgery.

I also dropped of my 4 prescription for the surgery at the Walgreen's.

2 DAYS BEFORE MY PROCEDURE:
I am working from home today because I have VERITGO! I have never had vertigo so it is freaking me out. I spent today getting the following supply:
1. Large Gauze pads
2. Paper Tape for sensitive skin
3. GoodNites True-Fit Disposable Absorbent Inserts. I could not find the senitery pads my doctor recommended to absorb the oozing fluids
4. I large bottle of Tylenol
5. I large bottle of Tylenol PM
6. A backrest pillow with arms. I don't want to lay flat and I know I want to be on my computer. This pillow helps me sit-up in bed.

The nurse recommended that I purchase a cheap, dark colored maxi tub dress because it would make getting me dressed after the procedure easy. She advised me to get it dark colored so that if stained, it wont show as badly. I have gone to 3 Wal-Marts and I can't find a long or short tub dress

1 DAYS BEFORE MY PROCEDURE:
Today I am simply numb. I have worried so much, I just can't worry anymore. I am still looking for that dayum dark colored, tub maxi dress!

My threshold for pain is low so now I am worried about being under a local anesthesia.

I also took time today to pickup some fruit and a container of the Spring Greens salad mix because I plan to eat very light.

THE DAY OF MY PROCEDURE:
My husband and I arrived 2 hours early. Nerves, did I already say I have worried myself to death. We sat and talked for an hour. He asked me if this was my midlife crises. I told him I did not know if that is what this is but if I am having a midlife crises, my opting for this procedure is a lot cheaper than a corvette! I just know my tummy is horrible and I want it gone. He told me how beautiful I am to him and this is not necessary. We held each other for a minute and we prayed for my safety and that I would get whatever it is I need from this procedure.

Day 1 Post Op

Well toady wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The procedure took almost 5 hours. Let me tell you what all I had done: I had my upper and lower abdomen and my waist done. I am all bandaged up. I have two drain tubs in that I have to empty everytime the little bottles get full. Did I already say my threshold for pain is low? I take my meds every 4-6 hours like clockwork!

I must say, I am a little disappointed that the nurse has not called to check on me to make sure things are going ok.

So the pictures below show the amount of fat taken from my upper abdoman(1100 cc), lower abdoman (1000cc) and from my waist(1100 cc).

My Drains Are Out...

...and I don't miss them! They were painful and hard to sleep with.

Yesterday I had my 1st follow-up appointment to have my drains removed. To date, I have drained 975cc/33ozs of fluid and [what appears to be] fat. I will say it again, "I have a low tolerance for pain", so I took an Oxycodone about 30 mins before my appointment. Otherwise I would have screamed as he removed the drain and the stitches. I was happy about this appointment because I felt like my abs are burning under the bandages and my imagination was going wild about the type of bruises I was going to see once the bandages were off.

I got the prescription for the Oxycodone as part of the 4 prescriptions given for this surgery. I have only needed to take the Oxy 1 or 2 times to manage the pain when 2-3 Tylenols failed me. I am one of those people that if I can fall asleep, I can sleep thru anything including the pain from surgery. Sorry, I am rambling...anyway after the Dr. removed my drains and the stitches, I stood up and looked in the mirror and I did not really see much bruising. I asked the doctor how long would my stomach be numb and he said "Oh, about a year". I was floored. He said it would take the nerves that long to heal themselves. I got back on the table and the nurse bandaged me up again. She covered my incisions and taped me tightly and said I need to apply more tape if this tape starts to lose its support. I told her I purchased a corset. She helped me into my second compression garment and told me the corset was a great idea because compression, compression, compression was the required to help this procedure be even more successful! I left the office and went home to take a nap.

Later that evening, I was feeling invincible so I took a trip to Lowe's. About 20 minutes into the visit, I realized I may have pushed it too much too soon. It took me almost 20 minutes to wattle to my car. My Husband drove me home where I slept thru the night for the first time since my procedure!

DAY 5 Post Op: Corset and Compression

It has been a few days since my last entry. I had a couple of hard nights and just did not feel like writing….sorry. So lets play catch up.

Day 3: I had my first massage. My husband gave me one and as a result, I could not sleep. Every part of my abdomen hurt! In the middle of the night, I had to get up and put my corset on. I spend 24 hours a day in my compression garment and only about 18 hours per day in the corset. I hadn’t slept in the corset at night until my husband gave me the massage. I was in so much pain without the corset. It is the only thing that made me feel good enough to go to sleep.

Day 4: I realized my hands and feet are swollen. I had not realized that until I tried to put my wedding rings back on. I also changed my bandages today. When I removed the bandages, the drainage was not too bad. My incisions were closed. I just felt dirty and stale, so I had to change the bandages. My skin hurts to touch. I ran a sink of hot water and just laid a hot towel on my stomach. It felt soooooooo good. After 4-5 hot towels, I dried everything and began the process of bandaging myself backup. What I discovered, is the 1-2 inch paper tape I purchased is too small. I covered my lower abdomen with the Good Night True Fit pads and put some gauze on the two incisions on my middle abdomen. I tried to recreate the cradle/sling for my lower abdomen like the nurse did and that is when I realized my tape was too small. I used all three rolls of tape, put back on my compress gourmet and them my corset and went to bed.

Day 5: I decided to get out of the house. I was going stir crazy and in my usual fashion, I over did it. I left the house at 9am stayed out until 4pm running errands. By the time I got to CVS, I was exhausted but determined to get some new bandage options. The tape I initially purchased, the tape I was wearing under my compression garment at that very second was too small. They tell you to get tape, but no one tells you what size. I picked up 1 packages of the Breathable Gentle Wrap for compression and support and I picked up 1 package of the Maximum Support Self-Grip Athletic Tape/Bandage. I LOVE THEM BOTH! Tomorrow my goal is to find a hand held massager. Wish me luck.

DAY 6 Post Op: My Day Ended Worse than It Started

I woke up feeling OK. I slept in my corset. I had to because it hurts to sleep without it. I got out of bed, did some light house cleaning, put on a load of laundry and watched a few movies. I decided tonight I was going to change my bandages and have a hot shower. I need to let some warm water run over my skin. Around 3, I had to get out of the house so, I headed out to pick up some groceries and I wanted to look at some of those hand held massagers. Now don’t ask me why, but while I was out I picked up 2 packages of Ace Bandages and a roll of compression wrap. I really like putting on bandages before my compression garment.

Three hours later, I returned home and took a 30 min power nap. I woke up feeling great and ready to take my shower. I setup everything, i.e. the tools to apply new dressings, my wireless speaker, my iPod, my Bio Oil, the tools I needed to remove the existing bandages and my new hand held massager. I cut off the bandages and the wraps put on by the nurse 3 days ago. I noticed the two top incisions were closed and the bandages I removed had no blood or fluid. I then removed the bandages over the two holes where my drain tubes were. Those bandages were full of blood and fluid. It wasn’t alarming but I was surprised to see the dirty dressings. I turned up the music and stepped into a nice hot shower. The water and steam felt sooooooo good. It was exactly what I needed. Once dry, I put some Bio Oil on my tummy and turned on my massager. IT HURT LIKE HELL…OMG!!! I put on my favorite playlist [my top 25] and started dancing in front of the mirror as I massaged my abs! The music was an amazing distraction. I danced and massaged my abs and both sides for almost 40 minutes! I reapplied some gauze, wrapped myself in those ace bandages, put on my compression garment and laced up my corset. I felt good for about 5 minutes before my skin and my abs started to feel like they were on FIRE! OMG, I AM IN SUCH PAIN. I had to take a pain pill.

32 DAYS Post Op: Strange Happenings

Well it has been exactly 32 days ago I had my procedure. I wanted to wait that long before my next post because I wanted to be sure of the information and events that occurred since my procedure.

DAY 14: I discovered a strange, long dark indentation on the left side of my lower abdomen. It was odd and it hurt. I went back to see Dr. Shalev. He immediately commented on how small my stomach was and he did a quick sonogram of the area. He said there was fluid collecting in the area but nothing to worry about. When I asked him about how badly shaped the area was, he said to give it some time and it would change. He also told me to continue to massage my stomach daily. He advised me to massage this area all during the day while sitting at my desk. I feel his response was not sufficient, but I am not a doctor. I agreed to give it some time and to continue to massage that area and my entire stomach. He also gave me a waist binder. So I left his office determined to do create daily routine to massage my abs. I purchased another bottle of the bio oil to aid with all of this rubbing that was about to occur.

DAY 28: I can report that the area is better, but still has an odd flat, dark shape.

I also want to take this time to report another odd thing that is happening to me since the procedure: I am losing weight at an faster than usual rate [for me]! On the day of surgery, I weighed 228. The day after surgery I weighed 233. I know that extra 5 pounds was fluid. About 2 weeks after the procedure, I noticed I began losing about 1/2 pound per day. And some days I lose a bit more! Now granted I am careful about what I eat, because I did not pay all of this money to go stuff my face with the wrong foods. But I have been careful in the past and did not get these results. Today I am weighing 214 and I am 2 dress sizes smaller.

Strange Dent on my lower abdoman

Dr.Shalev at Horizon Aesthetic Vein and Laser Center

The doctor was very attentive before the surgery. He and his nurses answered all of my questions. I can't answer the question about the after care at this time. It is too soon.

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