20 Year Journey, A LOT of Big Steps, One Last Leap (Fingers Crossed) - Raleigh, NC

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Ok, so let’s be honest, I’ve really been...

Ok, so let’s be honest, I’ve really been thinking about this since I was in third grade. I can remember setting in the bathroom and squeezing my fat roll and thinking, “I could just cut if off and it would go away.” Thank goodness my mom was a nurse and I knew I could bleed to death; if not for the fear of dying, I think I really would have. I’ve struggled with my weight since I can remember, I KNOW in second grade my parents put me on a diet. Over the years I've lost 100lbs or more twice, but this time I had lap-band, completely changed my life style and maintained for 2 years (yippy!). I went from a hefty 325lbs to a healthier 185.bs.

Only problem with this new body….It comes with handfuls of extra skin and lots of lumps and bumps. I have an extended abdominoplasty & medial thigh lift scheduled for Sep. I’m 28, 185lbs & 5’9…. I don’t mind a vertical scar… as long as it is worth the trade off. (I don’t have lipo on the list, but thinking about it) My Husband and I have been together for years now; he loved me fat and he loves me “thin.” I want to do this for me and he wants it for me as well. We are both very excited and scared; a TT and thigh lift at the same time…need I say more? I have ANOTHER appt. with my PS Aug. 8th, because I’ve been going crazy trying to decide what is best to do; the extended TT or the fluer de lis.
As crazy and vein as is sounds I really, really, really want to look good in a bikini. (Did I say really?) I have actually had dreams of wearing a white bikini on the beach, yup a bit obsessed, I know. Anyway, part of that might be because we never had weeding; next year we are having one on the beach, and I am going to ROCK that white BIKINI, vertical scar or not. This is the last leg of my crazy, up and down journey to a normal body (fingers crossed), so hold-on and buckle your seatbelts, there is bound more turbulence. Any and all comments, suggestions, thoughts, advise ect. are welcome!

Weeelllll, after a couple of weeks of torturing...

Weeelllll, after a couple of weeks of torturing myself about what to do,( fleur-de-lis or extended TT) I went to see my PS. I saw some more pics of before and after, he marked me a bit to show some of our options and we talked about tradeoffs and that sort of thing. Ultimately it comes down to what I want. I really, really, really wish I could see the “if-we-go-this-way” look and the “if-we-go-that-way” look and I think it would be a much easier decision. My PS is in the process of getting the software that would show that, but it is still some time away and I’m not willing to wait. My gut several months was to go with the fleur-de-lis and I think I’m going to stay with that. I’m trying to go about my day telling myself that either way I will have a flat smooth tummy and I should focus on that. That seems to be helping. I’m trying to think about it as whatever I wake up with I will be happy with, the way you have to deal with something that you don’t chose. (kind of) I know that doesn’t make much sense, but I don’t’ want to spend all of that money and not get what I paid for( result wise, I mean). Soooooooooo, I’ll have an amazingly HOT bod! And a battle scar to rock with it! (At least that is the way I feel today)

Hey everyone! Its been a while since I wrote...

Hey everyone! Its been a while since I wrote anything, I was kind of driving myself nuts again reading/looking at posts/am-I-doing-the-right-thing, second guessing myself ect. Thursday, the 30th was my pre-op! (I’m vibrating over here) I have ran around since then collecting everything I’ll need after surgery and making it easier for my honey to take care of me. I have a basket with all of my meds and instructions in it, and other things I think I might need/ want. ! They gave me a list to get, including milk of magnesia, fleets enema, stool softeners, gauzes and these are all in the basket too. I still need to bring down some surgery-friendly- clothes from down stairs to the coat closet (I’m taking it over until I can walk up the stairs again) I bought some sheets today at goodwill (twin size for the recliner and flats to go under my booty, so he can help me stand-up (by pulling on the ends)) and have bleached/washed them and have them ready to go in a basket. I also got a walker and toilet seat raiser to make necessary things easier for awhile and some throw away washcloths that do not have soap or require rinsing. (I am not to take a shower until my drains come out 7-14 days; this is asking A LOT of me) I’ve put in for at least two weeks off, I’ll take more if I need it and am well aware that I may. OOOOOOOOOOOh, yeah I decided to go with everything that I had originally planned, for whatever reason I had a clear head then and I really thing I should stick with my gut. And it doesn’t hurt that my man is beside me telling me I’m awesome no matter what! (That was after he got used to the idea that I WAS going to do it no matter what he said ; ) ) But truly, he has been great and I am so, so, sooooo blessed! We have just been looking at each other saying 10 days, 9 days, tomorrow is 8 days! Sometimes I feel like I am going to bust! Looking down right now I can see all thing stuff that is going to go “poof” and be gone…..with A LOT of pain to deal with afterwards…. I’ll sign off and say Whoop, whoop queue the drums, “ I’m so excited and I think I like it, I just can't help it!” See ya'll on the FLAT side!

Ok, so update time! Mon. (9/10) was my surgery...

Ok, so update time! Mon. (9/10) was my surgery and I was in there a bit longer than we had planned, but everything went really well. I got home w/o any problems despite the traffic that I semi-remember whizzing by in my high-as-a-kite state. My only real complaint is that the pain has never actually been gone since I woke up; that is a big “booooooooooo!” I told the nurse what I thought about that the first day I called my drain totals in and she said they would have to knock me out to get full relief, just bear with it and make sure to move and rest ect. Up until yesterday I was taking the max dose in the minimal time frame. Yesterday I started backing off the have the dose in the same window and today has been the same dose at 6hrs and if all goes well still tonight I’m switching over to the Hydo something-or-another’s in the morning : ). I’ll make a list latter of things you should be required to buy if you have a TT and a Thigh lift at the same time, but for right now know it should be a walker, freshette, and a doughnut pillow for the toilet. I peed all over my garment the first time I went potty after the folli and was in so much pain, tears were just running down my face as my honey and friend took my garment off to wash it and again as they put it back on me. It was Horrid. Buy the freshette!!!!

I wrote the above two days ago but have just been...

I wrote the above two days ago but have just been so tired and busy recovering I never made it around to posting to it, so in the interest of time I’ll just add to it. : ) Today is six days PO, and I have to say I’m pretty impressed with how fast the human body can bounce back when treated properly! It is amazing! When I made it home that first day I was like a limp doll or maybe a baby would be better description of it. I ate my protein pudding (I made it the night before to make it easier on my folks), that I was handed to me in a tiny little cup because I couldn’t hold a bowl, took the meds put into my mouth, drank water and slept the first two days. Every four hrs, after the pain meds had kicked in, I did a sad, creepy-granny-walk around the house with my walker. And when it was time to go potty I had to have help sitting, wiping and standing. It’s a ball buster folks, let me tell ya’. Anyway over the last few days there have been leaps and bounds of improvement. So far I’ve killed to 48 packs of bottled water (I can’t lift our Brita pitcher), 6 boxes of pudding mixed with a whole can of unjury protein, two boxes of jello, two boxes of cheese-it crackers and two pots of coffee! (that helps with the #2 potty : ) ) We have also used a lot of other things too; two packs of baby wipes, 6 rolls of TP, 3 bottles of dial soap, two boxes of sterile pads(wound dressing/ padding in the garment)and one bottle of lotion for drain stripping. Let me say more about the creepy-granny-walk, I think I said so above, but just in case I’ll repeat; I had sub-mental lipo done as well, yuppers I had the gizzard sucked out too! That also means I have to swear a “chin strap” for lack of a better description and it goes around my neck, up the sides of my face and from the back of my neck up the back of my head to the front. This means my long hair can only been worn in high pig-tails. So, when I walk I’ve been bent almost completely over, holding on to a walker, swaying from side to side, drugged up and pig-tails hanging down, hitting my face to the beat of my unsteady gait. (yeah, supper creepy granny)
So all of that updated the last week, today has been really great so far. Yesterday I went to the step-down pain meds which are to be taken every six hours and I made it ten, only took it then because I really wanted to make sure I rested well last night. I took another one this morning, and am due another one in a few mins, but I’m going to pass. I really want to be off of the stuff to really start healing well and to give my kidneys and liver a break. I have been walking without the walker today, sat at the kitchen table for coffee ( on a nice fat pillow), and done all of the potty business by myself. I still can’t really stand up straight, and my back has some choice words for me on occasion, but it has really been some great progress from the last few days.

Whoop-Whoop! PO day 9, Hello! I called in my...

Whoop-Whoop! PO day 9, Hello! I called in my drain totals this morning and Dr. Carlino had me to come in. We took three of the four drains out and they are thinking Thursday the last one will come out too! He said I could take a shower tomorrow with the last one in; that is awesome! I’m going to try our stairs here in a little while; we don’t have a shower downstairs so I’ll have to go up them soon. He also said I could change over to Spanxs and he took the foam out of the “chin strap” (I can take that off to for showers and such). I’m also down from 191lbs the day after surgery to 180lbs; the day before surgery I was either 184 or 186(can’t remember and am not getting up to look : ) ) He took 8lbs of skin so I should be in the 170’s after all the swelling is down. He said this was a really great, flat result for the anchor TT and I’m super excited. It looks great! He also said it wouldn’t be curved when the swelling went down and the final result will be about 30% smaller! I was also instructed to try to stand up as straight as possible, which I’ve been doing but will push it a bit more now that I have the “OK.” I am tickled pink!

Po day 10, First shower today! Felt great, but I...

Po day 10, First shower today! Felt great, but I was exhausted when we were finished. A clean body and fresh hair resulted in a solid three and a half hour nap. The “last drain standing” still had about 60 ml this morning and looks like about 30ml right now, so I’m not sure what I’ll be told in the morning… I also switched to spanks today and while they are waaaaaayyyyyyy more comfy, I am washing the original garment to put back on. It just feels way better on the tummy. (My legs might not forgive me though) Not sure what else to say tonight, except it hurts like Hades to sneeze, I’ve done it twice today; ick! Happy healing ya’ll!

Ok, today is day 17, Wed the 26th. PO day 12,...

Ok, today is day 17, Wed the 26th. PO day 12, last Friday my last drain was removed and they put foam in to help prevent build-up of fluid; by Sunday I had a waterbed tummy, ie: push on one side and I had waves of fluid all the way to the other side and back and it was hurting/burning. Monday morning Called the Dr. and he told me to come in. He pulled the fluid off and doubled the foam. I sprang a leak on the way home, soaked through both layers of foam and the dressings they applied, ick! I went back today, no fluid, foam is gone, and I can start taping!
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Carlino was the 3rd PS I had a consult with. One of his colleagues spoke at a weight loss support group that I addend and I set an apt with him originally; I met Dr. Carlino at an open house even latter. I instantly liked him and set a consultation with him. He was frank, but with great bedside manner; that is hard to find in general. He was very honest about expectations and wanted me understand what I was getting. Also, I can go back at any time I need to discuss any aspect of what we are planning without charge.

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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