10 weeks out and tummy is bigger than ever :(

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I've bee waiting to do this for almost 15 years....

I've bee waiting to do this for almost 15 years. After 2 C-Sections and a hysterectomy, my stomach area is just awful and even after losing weight, that only seemed to make it look worse. So, I'm doing this. I'm a divorced mom and have raised the kids basically on my own - so this is the first indulgent thing I've done for myself in a long time. My biggest fear is not the pain, but not waking up from surgery or getting some horrible infection. I'm a little of a worry wart, so this is not surprising me. I know I will be fine, but I will be super diligent after the surgery. Also having back liposuction and breast lift at the same time. Wow!! I guess get it all done at once! Thanks for letting me share my story with you.

Just got all of the paperwok to fill out for the...

Just got all of the paperwok to fill out for the pre-op with all of the warnings and things to get and releases and all of that. Good grief! Scary! Three different packets for each of the procedures. I know that it is a precaution, but wow. It's enough to make me change my mind!! I won't, but I see a few sleepless nights over the next 3 weeks.

Getting close to the August 1 day. I signed all of...

Getting close to the August 1 day. I signed all of my paperwork and decided to just do it. It's something I've wanted for years. I am concerned about bleeding. I have been on blood pressure medice for almost 15 years and it has been under control for years. Yet, when I read about some of the warnings, it did scare me a little. So I just bought a blood pressure monitor so that I can check it every day. My PC also gave the suggestion to donate some of my own blood pre-op in case I do end up needing a transfusion. I have had 4 surgeries in my life (2 C-Sections, hysterectomy, and thyroid removal) and I've never ever been so nervous. But I will keep positive because all of you that have gone through it have looked beautiful and sound so happy. I read this blog every day now and it is just what I need!!

Ok. I''ve decided that I am not afraid of a scar....

Ok. I''ve decided that I am not afraid of a scar. It's amazing how different you look in a mirror vs a picture of yourself. I took three pictures of my stomach (front and both sides) just so that I could have them for reference. (Not ready to post them just yet). What I saw in that picture was absolutely dreadful - worse than any scar. I'm surprised my phone camera didn't explode!! Anyway, it just confirmed that if this is what I see, it is what others see too. So 100% ready to go for it!

Well, I just paid in full today and had my pre-op...

Well, I just paid in full today and had my pre-op photos. Those little panties - LOL! My gut was no match for them!! My PS was great and answered all of my questions. One thing changed, though. Instead of a breast lift, we are going to go with a minor breast reduction. He said that after all of the tummy was gone, they would just be out of proportion. I love the word he used: He wants the body to be aerodynamic, especially if I'm going to continue on my weight loss and exercise journey. When I told him that I was nervous and scared, he was very reassuring saying that if I weren't nervous, he would be. Estimated that I would drain for approximately 3 weeks due to the size of the tuck, but it would only be one drain.

I still can't believe I'm doing this, but after looking at some of the before pictures, I'm more determined than ever that this will be the best! To all of my other August 1st scheduled sisters, hope you are all doing well!! :)

Only 10 days to go and the nerves are getting the...

Only 10 days to go and the nerves are getting the best of me. I'm not sleeping very well and I'm hoping all my pre-op tests are ok. What's so funny is that while I'm still losing weight, my gut looks bigger than ever. Maybe it's because everything else is getting smaller (including my butt) which makes my gut look ginormous.

I'm also doing the pre-op nesting: stocking up food for the kids, trying to find the right bra and cg for post op and decluttering like mad. The PS was right. My emotions are all over the place. These will be a long 10 days.

Wow, only 4 days left. I still feel like I have so...

Wow, only 4 days left. I still feel like I have so much cleaning to do. As a single mom, I have friends that are going to rotate spending the night with me, so I feel like I need to have the house in perfect order for them, which I know is ridiculous, because we are all moms and we don't have Alice from the Brady Bunch keeping the house in order.

I have been working out extra hard these last few days. I want to get to the best weight possible before surgery. I am down to 177 (from my highest weight of 202) and I'm 5'3". So I've walked/jogged every day for 5 miles. Yesterday, I must have had a burst of energy because I went to the gym yesterday and did the treadmill for an extra hour and 3.5 miles. It's like an obsession.

The lack of sleep, though, is hard. The longest stretch of sleep I had was 2 hours (from 5am-7am) this morning. I was up most of the night. I put on my white noise app hoping that would help (a waterfall), but that only made me want to go to the bathroom. LOL. So hopefully, I will get so exhausted today doing chores and taking the kids out for a food festival, that I won't have a choice but to crash tonight.

Ok. First pre-op meltdown. I was shopping and...

Ok. First pre-op meltdown. I was shopping and getting stuff for the surgery and I just started bawling right there in Walmart. It was so weird. Maybe I just got overwhelmed. It's becoming so real. I'm so used to being independent and the thought of having people wait on me is really hard. I can't imagine being on the couch for a week and having drains for 3 weeks (my PS estimated it due to the extended TT. Plus I started to have an itchy throat. Hoping it is allergies and not a cold. If I have to postpone, I will lose it!

Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but I thought you all would understand.

Ok, I'm pushing myself to keep positive about...

Ok, I'm pushing myself to keep positive about going forward with the MM, so I took my own before pictures and I'm posting them so that I can say that this surgery will make me feel so much better about myself. I'm only doing the tummy part for now, will update the "girls" later. Thanks to all of you who have been brave in posting your photos too. You all are inspirational!

Two days to go and the anticipation is killing me....

Two days to go and the anticipation is killing me. I don't think I'm scared anymore - just anxious to get it over with. I've done all the shopping I can do. I feel like I just stocked up with stuff like I did on 12/31/1999 when the year 2000 was supposed to crash every system on earth.

A friend gave me a new piece of advice. Since I don't have a hubby, take out a little bit of cash out of the bank in case you need people to run errands for you. Most friends will help you by paying for things if you need it, but never presume. You don't always know what the financial situations are with your friends. It also helps if they decide to take your kids out to dinner or something. I thought that was a good idea.

24 hours from now, I will be at the surgical...

24 hours from now, I will be at the surgical center removing The Blob! I'm getting a more sense of calm, but I'm still nervous. But we can make it. Good luck to the MM's that are going to the flat side today and tomorrow (and truly, anyone else that is up and coming!)

Well, about to take final shower and head over for...

Well, about to take final shower and head over for my MM this morning. Pre-op at 6:15 am and surgery at 7:30. It's finally here. I'm so excited, but very oddly calm. To all of my 8/1 sisters, I am praying for all of us and know that we will out come out great! See you on the flat side. Love you all!!

I am at home! Pain not too bad with pain pump. Two...

I am at home! Pain not too bad with pain pump. Two of the most wonderful friends are taking care of me. Thank you hu-ha sisterhood! TMI alert! I am peeing like crazy. I am diabetic and my blood sugar got high. There are sugars in the IV they gave me, so i have to flush it out. Boobs are high and hard. No implants, just a reduction. Are they supposed to be hard? Maybe I'm so used to them being saggy, that I forgot how they are supposed to be! Signing off for now - getting sleepy. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support!

Feeling really good this morning and actually...

Feeling really good this morning and actually slept well despite getting up to take meds. It's weird, but I am standing up pretty straight. I'm making myself hunch over because I don't think you are supposed to stand up straight.

I am pretty bruised up on my sides from the lipo, and the tummy is definitely flatter. My belly button seems to be in a weird place, but it is probably just my perception. My 1st post op isn't until Tuesday, which seems like a long time compared to a lot of people on this site (2-3 days seems to be the norm).

The "girls" still seem really high and hard. I will check out the BR portion of this site to get their perspective. My sons have been so wonderful to me. I am really proud of them. This can't be too easy for two teenage boys to go through, but they are so kind. My oldest, who was the most worried, is making sure I stay rested and doesn't like when I walk even when I tell him I have to.

Well, I'll check in later! Congrats to the 8/1 MM and good luck and prayers to the 8/2 MM's.

Hi everyone. Well it is day 2 post op. Things seem...

Hi everyone. Well it is day 2 post op. Things seem to be going fine. Pain is tolerable and I'm moving around pretty well. I usually walk 5 miles per day - so I'm just trying to do small walks around the house in about 15 minute increments. I spoke with my PS last night and he said he really did a lot of work on me. A liter of fat from my back and removed 5 pounds of skin. Plus my muscles were separated by about 4 inches - one of the largest separations he had ever seen and he repaired that, plus the small breast reduction. All I could say was WOW! 5 hours of surgery.

Eating small stuff is fine. My blood sugar got back to normal. This morning was the first time I had any nausea, but I took one of the meds for that and felt better pretty quickly. I've only uploaded a couple of pictures that I took of myself (can't ask the kids to do that for me - that would be years of psychotherapy for them). My tummy is flat, but I am most swollen at my upper belly where he did the repair.

Well, that's all for now. Hope everyone out there is doing well and has a great weekend!

Well, it's been four days and I am feeling really...

Well, it's been four days and I am feeling really good. My friend, the nurse, took out my pain pump yesterday ( yes with PS permission). That is a weird feeling, but not painful at all. I am weaning myself from the prescribed pain killers and trending towards the Motrin. PS said I could take off the CG while I'm lying down because he wants my skin to have more circulation because of my diabetes. I only need to wear it when I'm up and walking around. Good on one hand, but I also want to keep swelling down too. My upper belly is still really swollen - I think because of the big muscle repair. Did anyone else have a big repair? Mine was a 4 inch separation.

Also (TMI alert), I have not pooped yet. I've done the stool softener, MOM, and nothing. I'm not a regular pooper under normal conditions, so this one is a little worrisome. My post op is Tuesday, so if it doesn't happen by then, that will be a big question for the doc.

Everyone take care. I will post more pics after Tuesday to hopefully show more progress. Love all of you!!!

Well, I finally had my first post-op today. All of...

Well, I finally had my first post-op today. All of the bandages came off and I took a look at myself for the first time in the mirror and could not believe what I saw. The Michelin Man rolls are almost gone away (they will reduce further as time passes) and my lower stomach is so flat, I can't believe it. I am still very swollen in my upper belly because of the extensive muscle repair work that was done, but at least the rolls are gone. Got to see where my new belly button would be. Before the kids, I had an "outie" and now I will have a flat tummy with an "innie". Whoo-Hoo.

I was very nervous about the breast reduction. He took off a little more than I expected - he said that I may fit into a C/D depending on the bra (down from DDD). But he said that with the smaller waist and the anticipated future weight loss, they will fall into a very nice shape and size for my body size. They are pretty hard and there is no feeling yet in the left nipple, but the right one feels great!!

PS told me that I really need to take it easy more. I was standing up straight on day 2 and really walking around. So in the daytime when I went to the bathroom, I would try to walk for 30 minutes, 3 times a day. He told me that was waaaay too much and that I need more rest than exercise. He said the more that I exercise now, the more fluid I would produce, which will end up me keeping the drain longer. He wants to take it out in 1-1/2 weeks, but won't until I'm down to 20-30 cc's per 24 hour period. That won't happen if I keep pushing myself. Since the drain is the biggest pain in the butt I've had so far, I'm going to follow his instructions. I can't wait to get this thing out!! I will do more leg stretches on the couch for circulation instead of walking.

Finally will get to take a shower tonight. Six days with just the "gas station" bath is no fun. So I'm waiting for that time just for myself! Also, I got to start Mederma therapy today for scar treatment. He told me not to use the vitamin E oil since that can cause inflammation and not to use the silicone strips for another 4 weeks.

Overall, I'm really happy and what is also amazing is that my two teenage boys have been so awesome. They are making me breakfast and lunch, doing their chores, and my oldest volunteered to do laundry, which he has done a very nice job. They are making me rest and are so pleasant when they ask me what I need. As a single mom, this makes me proud, and I hope they will continue this type of helpfulness as they grow into manhood and get girlfriends/wives of their own.

I've added just a couple of pictures from today. It's very hard to take pictures of yourself. The difference is amazing and I am so thrilled. Everyone have a great night - happy healing to those recently on the flat side and good luck to those up and coming!!!

Wow, what a day. Everything was going well until...

Wow, what a day. Everything was going well until this morning when something when down the wrong pipe and I started choking. In between coughing and screaming, both of my boys got so scared. One was patting me on the back and the other was giving me water to stop the cough. After what seemed like an eternity, things got dislodged, but I was in soooo much pain. Then I started swelling and just knew I busted something internally. I called my PS and they said I probably just strained one of my newly repaired stomach muscles. They told me to ice it, take a pain pill, and if I kept swelling, to go into the office. Fortunately, it got better and I didn't have to go.

The worse parts were that I scared my boys. Today is my youngest's birthday. What a way to start his day. My oldest, who is usually pretty strong, broke down and cried because I was crying in pain. I had to really tell him that they were my lifesavers and that I could not have been prouder of them. So I spent the rest of the day over exaggerating that I was so much better.

I'm hoping that this was the one BAD thing of this whole process and that everything else will continue to go smoothly. Thanks for letting me vent. Truly a scary day.

Whoo Hoo. Two weeks since MM and I'm feeling good....

Whoo Hoo. Two weeks since MM and I'm feeling good. The pain is minimal and there were no repercussions from the choking fiasco from last week. Thank goodness. Doctor says things look fine and I'm healing well, but he may want to do a little more lipo in a few months to "even things out". That is fine because I had so much fat. But the number of back fat rolls went from 3 to probably 1/2 and my lower tummy is absolutely flat. Beautiful. I also got my belly button stitches out today. Want to try the marble trick, but I forgot to ask my PS about it.

The only complications is that I am still draining a lot (about 70-80 cc's per day), so I have to keep the drain for about another week. PS predicted early that it would be 3 weeks and he was right. The drain is literally and figuratively a pain in the a$$. So I have to still sleep on the couch so that I don't sleep on my side and roll over. I also have to really limit my activity to produce less drainage. I have a newfound respect for women who are on bedrest for months. I'm already stir crazy and I miss my bed. :(

Also, there seems to be some inflammation on the left breast from the BL. I was nervous because I thought the skin was dying. PS said that while some skin may be dry, he showed me there is healthy skin underneath and that it is part of the healing process. He didn't seem concerned. I told him that I read about nipple necrosis online and he said that net can cause undo panic and to come see him anytime I had a concern rather than running to the internet. :)

I will post a couple of more pics soon. Hoping all of my August MM sisters are doing well.

Ok, so I'm one of the tiny percentage of people...

Ok, so I'm one of the tiny percentage of people that have to have a drain in for 40 weeks. Still draining 60 cc/day. I saw my PS today and he said it will absolutely come out next week unless I get to 30 or so before that time. Hoping for that to happen. Everything else seems to be improving. Even the "girl" that was giving me trouble is starting to recover. The pigmentation is a little off, but that is correcting itself too.

The doctor did take me off of bedrest and told me I could begin "gentle" walking for up to 30 minutes a day. No running, jogging, power walking, etc until the drain is out. But at least I can start walking again. Overall, this experience has been eye opening and I'm so glad I did it. I wish I did it 10 years ago, but other things took priority - my beautiful children. I hope that all of you that have been through it and those planning to go through it the best on your journeys and that you have 100% success in what you are hoping to achieve in your makeovers! Love you all.

Well, it's been 5 weeks and I am feeling so good....

Well, it's been 5 weeks and I am feeling so good. Today is my 50th birthday and I am so happy with the way I look. I did a little shopping this past weekend and for the first time since I was in my 20's, I fit into a size 10 pants!! Although I didn't plan on buying any clothes, you better believe I bought those pants - a pair of red jeans! I wore them today to celebrate. Before my surgery, I was a size 16 (and sometimes a 14W). I also fit into a medium top - down from a XL or L. I was in the dressing room jumping up and down with the salesperson who had to bring me 3 pair of pants because they were all too big. I almost cried.

I cannot wait to buy new bras. I've always loved beautiful print and colorful bras (thank you Lane Bryant). But my PS said not to buy any expensive bras for about 3 months until the girls have settled from the BR. I went into Victoria's Secret, but was so intimidated by the 20 year olds, I left. Actually, I like the Lane Bryant bras better. Also, Soma seems to be nice too.

My next post op is Tuesday and it will be just about 6 weeks. I am still very swollen and wear my binder almost all of the time (except a couple of times when I've worn my Spanx or to take a shower - never more than 2 hours at a time). Have any of you ever experienced watching your stomach move when you take off the binder? I've seen mine move and it reminds me of when your baby moves in your belly. So weird, but it goes flat for a few minutes, especially in one area - almost looks like I'm sucking it in, then the swelling begins after about 15 minutes. It's so weird.

The left "girl" is healing much better now and the color has started to come back. There is one little area that is still a little bothersome, but the neon Victoria Secret Pink is slowing fading and getting back to normal color, just like my PS said. Thank you so much to Mederma as well.

I will post pics after my next check up because I can use their mirror to take pics since no one else can really take them for me. Love you guys!! Take care!

Yay! Almost 6 weeks to the day, I got the ok to...

Yay! Almost 6 weeks to the day, I got the ok to let the CG go and can start increasing walk time and mileage! Whoo hoo! My CG is still my friend, though, especially during the times swell hell rears its ugly head. I will have to have a minor revision on the left "girl", though. Although almost all of the pigment has returned (about 98%), there is an open area that just won't close. It is still healing and has some fatty deposits in it. Once that clears up, my PS will surgically close it. A good ending, especially saying goodbye to the neon pink areas!

I've attached a few new photos. I know that I don't look completely flat (I still swell a lot), I have a little more weight to lose, and I don't have a waistline (never really have), but I know that the difference is tremendous. When you can go from a 16 pants down to a 10 or 12, there is no way I can complain. Plus my PS says that I won't see closer results until the 3 month mark and that it could take up to a year to see final results, but changes will be seen week by week.

Hope all of you on the flat side are doing well and best wishes to those coming up!!

I just need to vent a little today. Last week, my...

I just need to vent a little today. Last week, my PS gave me the ok to walk gently up to a max of 3 miles per day, which I have been doing. He also suggested that once I lose my last 15 pounds or so, my MM will really look great. So I've been eating well and walking everyday. The only thing that I could really do better in is my water intake. I love drinking water, but I get pissed (pun intended) when I have to pee every half hour and go through a roll of toilet paper every other day!! Aaaarrrggghhh! Between the water and the walking, my tummy swells up like a balloon. I'm still wearing my binder most of the time, even when I walk. I think it's become like Linus' security blanket. So this morning, after my walk, I look at my stomach and I just want to scream. II felt like a model for Modern Maternity. I think what set me off was when I was putting the binder back on, and one of the velcro wraps just popped back off like it was saying, "You gotta be kidding me, sister!! You expect me to hold all that?"

So I had my first sobbing attack. There were days that I was a little down (like most of us have all had). I didn't even sob this hard when my boob was neon pink. Maybe I had a delayed depression reaction or something, but boy, could I use a prozac, xanax, or something. Maybe a nice pinot noir will help tonight. I sure hope so because I don't like feeling this way. It makes me feel like a whiny little weakling.

Ok, thank you for letting me get that out. Whew! Ok. Back to some laundry and making dinner for my boys. Talk to you all soon!!

Sigh. Things were going so well until the doctor...

Sigh. Things were going so well until the doctor told me that I could start exercising normally again. Well, I did just that and blew up like a balloon!! So back to modified exercise - Zumba ok, walking moderately ok, pilates out (too hard on the core). So back with the infamous binder and ibuprofen. Hopefully that will help!
Raghu Elluru

Internet, but I have found 3 friends who also went to him for various surgeries and they loved him and the work they did.

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