Hi everybody! I'm new here, my tt journey is...
Hi everybody! I'm new here, my tt journey is shorter than most, I just started looking into the procedure last Nov. I'm very small-framed, and very short, and was all belly when pregnant with each of my kids. I had an issue after my first, but then the problem became very pronounced after my second. I get asked CONSTANTLY when I'm due. No joke, I get asked, on average, at least once a week. It just really was starting to affect my self esteem, and I couldn't understand why my belly just wasn't going down. So I asked my family dr, and she referred me to a PS. I saw two separate surgeons, and really liked both. They both said I had a really bad separation, one even said it was one of the worst he had ever seen. I've got a 6" gap between my muscles. So I booked my surgery for July 22nd, which actually just happens to be my 9th wedding anniversary, haha. What a great gift I'm getting this year! I will try to post pictures later, I havent taken any yet. So I just wanted to say hi!
Ok...some pictures. Ugh.
Figured I might as well post some pictures of the awful truth...good lord these are bad. Why do we always think we are skinnier until confronted with photographic proof?
Got my paperwork in the mail! And a question about sun exposure...
I got all my pre op paperwork in the mail! Dang, there is a ton of stuff you can't do before surgery. Only thing that is going to suck is the germ-inhibiting soap - I have really dry skin, and that type of soap dries out even more. The fact that I can't use any lotion the day of my surgery plus showering with that soap is going to suck.
Does anybody know about sun exposure before surgery? I know you have to limit sun exposure afterwards, but I was considering tanning a little beforehand just so I won't look like a ghost for the rest of the summer. Is that ok?
I've lost 6 lbs since last Monday! Dr said it would give me a better result if I could lose 10-15 lbs before the surgery. Been cutting down on carbs and sugars and fast walking on the treadmill every night. I think I'm losing it in my thighs first, because they feel a little firmer now. Hardest part is staying motivated when I have setbacks.
I moved in a hole on my belt!! Yippee!
I seem to be stuck at 7 lbs lost right now, but my clothes are still continuing to fit better, so I'm encouraged by that. When I started a couple weeks ago, I really had to tug on my belt to get it into the second hole. This morning I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could easily get it into the third hole. Plus, I just pulled my jeans out of the dryer this morning, and could button them without sucking in!
Moved another hole in my belt!!!! And check out these jeans!
I've been a little afraid to get on the scale lately because I fell off the wagon when I was sick last week. Buuutttt....I'm still seeing improvement with my clothing. I moved another notch in my belt (I'm at the 4th hole now, when I started I really had to pull to get it to the second one) and I just bought these jeans in April. Now, just keep it real, they were a tad loose because they have a lot of stretch, but now I can't even keep them up at all!!!!! Yay!
One Month from Today!!!!!
I am officially one month away from my surgery! I'm so excited. On another note, has anybody has issues with family members/friends kind of discouraging you from preparing for your surgery and recovery? My mom is kind of downplaying my surgery, and almost seems kind of irritated by my planning. I bought a really cheap walker/toilet riser/shower chair ($30 for all 3) and am considering renting a power recliner or hospital bed and she thinks I'm nuts. But she also thinks that my scar will be no bigger than her gallbladder scar, which is 5-6 inches, even though I've told her several times it will be hip to hip. She keeps saying that I'm overthinking it and that none of that stuff will be necessary, and even detrimental to my recovery. For those who have been there, what do you think? Is she right, or was that stuff helpful? I don't want to irritate her because she's coming to help me for two weeks after surgery, but I also don't want to not get something because I'm letting her talk me out of it.
Officially freaking out!
My surgery is in just over two weeks, and boy, the anxiety has come on strong all at once! I woke up almost in a panic from a nightmare, and now my brain is going crazy thinking about it.
OMG...it's preop day. I can't believe it. I don't really know what to expect, except that they will be taking my before pictures. I've lost about 10 lbs, so I hit the goal my Dr. set for me, I'm happy about that. I was such a dork last night, trying to figure out what undergarments I will wear for these pictures. I'm not having any breast work done, so my bra will be in the pictures. I was asking my husband "is this too sexy? does this one look too granny?" He was laughing at me. I know it's kind of silly since my face won't be shown, but I don't want some picture of me wearing ugly ass bra/panties to live on in a book or on a website until the end of time. Of course, there will be this gross hanging belly, but that's beside the point, lol.
Just having some photoshop fun...
So I was messing around with Photoshop, trying to imagine what my after might look like. I wonder if I'm close????? We will see...
OMG one week from today!!!
I will be in surgery one week from today! I can't believe it, it got here so fast!
Well, surgery is Thursday and my mind is racing so much I can't sleep. This is crazy. I just keep running over a million different things and am imagining all sorts of crazy stuff. Going for a bit of pampering tomorrow, haircut and pedicure and facial. Dr office said they don't bother with asking people to remove polish anymore, so I should be good on that. Tomorrow is my last day of work, so I'll just have time to relax and have some fun with my mom the day before surgery. I'm taking her to get a massage on Wednesday as a thank you for coming up here (she lives 6 hours away) to take care of me while my husband is at work.
Today is the day!
23 Jul 2015
Day of treatment
Surgery day! I can't believe its here. I don't think I slept at all last night. But I'm not tired, im super wound up. Not really nervous though. I'm just ready. Let's do this! See you on the flat side! Whoo hoo!
Made it to the flat side!
Well I made it! Dr said surgery went super well and that my ligaments were in great shape, so he was able to get me even flatter than he thought he would. I felt pretty good yesterday, but definitely feel like I got run over by a truck about 7 times, lol. Nothing that isn't tolerable. I've only gotten a tiny peek at my belly, but dang, I'm excited. No gross belly when I sit or lay down. I can't wait to really see it.
Just a few pictures...
I'm so pleased with the results so far! Honestly, the lipo sites are what hurt the most. Check out those bruises!
Still doing ok...
My pain level is fine, nothing too severe, but I've been keeping up with my pain meds regularly. When did you all start cutting back? A little afraid to, haha. Right now I'm at one pill every 6 hours, with Motrin in between doses.
Honest what hurts more than anything is my lipo spots. I bruised up really bad, and my low back is super tender and almost black from the bruises. But it's tolerable when I'm laying down, it just hurts when I'm in the process of changing position.
Officially off the heavy duty pain meds!
It's been 24 hours since I last took oxy for the pain, and it really hasn't been so bad. I've been alternating between ibuprofen and extra strength Tylenol, and I'm managing pretty well. The pain is definitely lessening as the days go on. I had that first bowel movement, and oh god....that was horrible enough to make me swear off the narcotics right then and there. It was AWFUL. But I made it through, and the second one was way way better. Sorry for the tmi, lol.
Went for a walk outside
Got myself cleaned up and went for a walk around the block. It felt really good to wash my hair and shave my armpits. Here's a new pic - I'm still very lumpy from the swelling and binder, but it just looks so much better to me!
I went in and got the bandages removed yesterday. Drain has to stay another week. Dr said he removed 2000 cc of fat from me! That's the max he can do in conjunction with a tummy tuck. My scar is a little higher than I wished for, but honestly it's no big deal. I knew going into this that a scar was part of it, and frankly, I don't know if I'd ever wear a two piece again anyway. I love my new belly button! Cute little oval. I'm really happy with the results and would do it again in a heartbeat.
So when I first saw my scar, I had a small moment of disappointment, because it wasn't as low as I would have liked. And then I really had to chastise myself, because I did not go into this expecting to come out looking like a model and wearing a bikini. I have several one piece suits that I love and will be happy wearing. My husband loved me before the surgery, and he will love me now.
I'm really trying to always remember why I did this: I didn't want to look pregnant anymore. And I've definiyely reached that goal. I'm so thrilled with how I look in my clothes, and my sweet dr called the day after surgery and said "I promise no one will ever ask you when you are due again". I just don't want to get so caught up in looking at other people's photos and scars that I forget why "I" had this done.
I'm so pleased with my results and so thankful that I had the means and a supportive network of people so I could do this for myself.
I can't believe how good I feel. My back still hurts at the end of the day, but it's not terrible. What is amazing is how little my incision and the muscle repair hurts. I coughed lightly yesterday unexpectedly, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn't hurt at all. So far I've been yardsaling and thrift shopping last Thursday, shopping on Friday, antiquing on Sunday....and all without much problem at all. I've been having so much fun with my mom up here (she lives 6 hours away). I thought I'd be laid up on the couch the whole time, but nope! Can't wait to get this drain out though.
Im amazed at how much my brushing has resolved. Check out the difference from the day after my surgery to today. I think the swelling has gone down a bit too. But I'm expecting it to go back up once I get the drains out.
Drain is out!
I am so glad to be rid of that thing! Drain is out, surgical tape is off of my incision and stitches were taken out of my belly button. Now to EASILY get rid of this bandage adhesive. Any tips?
Also, I bought my spanx today and I cried when I put them on - not because I looked good, but because I about died trying to pull them up. I seriously thought I was going to bust something. They felt fine, not too tight once they were on, but I had to have my husband help me get them off again. Definitely have to return them. I bought a large, because that should have fit my measurements, but holy crap. Any suggestions on what to get (style/brand) so I won't be scared to pull it up over my incision? I definitely don't want to go through that again.
Just out having some fun. I'm loving my new shape! I ended up buying the green one. I figured I could wear it more places.
New scar pics
Just an update on how the the scars are looking. Dr said i could start scar therapy. I put a silicon strip on my belly button, but it got a little gooey looking, so I think it might have been too soon. I'll try again once the scabs are completely gone. He also said I could move to second stage garments. I think the incision is looking great. Fingernail Polish remover worked great at getting off the bandage residue (at my dr's suggestion) what do you guys think?
Back to work...
So I started back at work yesterday. This is tough. I'm just tired and uncomfortable during the day. Nothing too bad, but it's just sort of annoying. Plus, by the afternoon, my spanx are driving me insane. I can't wait to get home and take it off! Maybe I could find something seamless, as those are what are bothering me.
So about the swelling...
I haven't really noticed much swelling visually, but none of my pants fit that I wore before the surgery. Like I can't even button them, haha. So I figure that must be swelling. I haven't done a lot of comparing from the morning to the evening, so I don't know if there's a difference there. I am sick of wearing dresses though. We are allowed to wear jeans at the corporation I work for, and I don't usually wear skirts, so I feel really conspicuous. Other than that, I'm feeling really good. Still get tired quickly, and my back aches if I'm up too much. But the incision and belly button feel good. I wish the scabs on my bb would go away, the skin is flaky and I'd really like to start scar therapy. But the silicon strip made the scabs get yucky, so I'm waiting until they are gone to try that again. I still can't feel anything from about two inches above my belly button to the top of my hips. Very weird feeling.
I feel like crying...
Somy husband had to go to a meeting for church, and I'm here with my boys by myself. It's been a terrible evening. My 5 year old is in the midst of a full blown meltdown and is screaming in his room. And I can't lift my 1.5 year old into his crib, so we are out in the living room and I'm trying unsuccessfully to get him to lay down. Plus, I'm in a lot of pain right now. I'm totally miserable.
This has been life-changing
I can't even begin to put into words how happy I am. I am so so glad I had this surgery. I bought a swimsuit before my surgery hoping that it might possibly fit some day. And it does! Size medium! MEDIUM, people! I no longer have to buy XL just to fit over my gut, and then have the top all loose and ugly. I haven't had a single person ask me if I'm pregnant since I've had surgery. That's 3 weeks! I haven't gone that long without a comment in YEARS. It was literally happening like every few days. If you have diastasis recti, GET A TUMMY TUCK. You will not regret it.
Last of my stitches are out.
I forgot to mention that the dr took out some stitches that were poking through my incision. And I've been cleared to pick up my 1.5 year old! Thank goodness, that was starting to be a real pain in the butt.
Back in my pre-surgery jeans!
I don't know if it was swelling or what, but until now I couldn't button pants that I was wearing before my surgery. These are a size 10 and is like to change that in the future, but for now, I'm good. I should note that my belly hung over the top of my pants before, so I'm not at all surprised that I haven't gone down in size. I'm thrilled with how they look, they could stand to be just a bit looser for comfort.
OMG a what???
A bikini! I got inspired by skullyxfile, and was browsing the clearance swimsuits and I bought this! So I don't know if I'll ever be brave enough to wear it, but there's something extremely satisfying about knowing that I COULD wear it. :)
Nerves must be regenerating...
I'm getting little tingly sensations. And, omg, the itching! mostly on the right side, at the end of my incision. But it's so weird, the itching feels like it's on the inside. I scratch the skin (just lightly) and I can't feel a thing because it's still numb, but I feel the tingle/itch almost...deeper? under the skin. So, nerve endings it must be. Also, I know this doesn't happen to everybody, but holy peeling! My incision looks nice and thin, but the skin is sort of scabby in the middle, and peeling the entire length of it. I'm trying to calm my OCD desire to pick at it, haha. My drain (I only had one) was placed at the end of my incision on the left side, and now I've got this weird dent in my side where it was. I'm not terribly bothered by it right now, and will just keep watching it. Maybe the lumpiness will flatten out over time. I'll see if I can post a pic later.
Sorry for the terrible quality, it was low light with my cell phone. So these show the current state of the scar. Right now belly button has almost a starburst pattern from the stitches, and the incision is peeling a bit. You can also see my weird and hopefully temporary dent in the side from the drain. Funny thing I've noticed, I had a large freckle that used to be above my bb, and now it's way down below it, haha. So I know for sure that he removed at least a width of two inches of skin. You can see the rippling below my bb, both from stretch marks (previously around my bb) and from the skin tuck. I'm sure this will all look better with time.
So I've got some kind of stupid rash
Everything has been going great so far, I can even sleep on my stomach now, yay! I had some peeling and mild itching along the incision, nothing too terrible. But the other day I went to a bridal shower, and we were sitting outside on the restaurant's patio. I had on scar away silicon strips, spanx, and a dress. It was friggin hot, like 87 degrees. I was feeling very sweaty and uncomfortably warm, and almost felt on the verge of passing out, so I left. The next day, I noticed that I was super itchy along my incision, and now I have a small bumpy rash in the creases of my groin, and then along the incision right above those creases. No rash anywhere else along the incision except those two spots. I'd guess it was heat rash, except it doesn't look like heat rash, and is definitely itchy, not prickly. I also wondered if it was a reaction to the silicon strips, but wouldn't it be down the whole length? And I've been wearing them about two weeks now without any rash, so I'm just not sure. But it sucks, and I really wish it would go away!
No more spanx and updated pics
Post op today, I've been released from the evil spanx! Hooray! And he took my first set of afters. I'll get them again at 6 months and again at one year. I'm still a little swollen, but I'm thrilled with the difference.
WARNING: SURGERY PHOTO
Don't look if you're squeamish. The dr gave me a picture of the skin that he cut off of me and the lipo tube, which is 2000 cc's. You can see how big those skin flaps are next to her foot. CRAZY!