Full TT - Saint Louis, MO

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I have FINALLY made my decision to get a...

I have FINALLY made my decision to get a well-deserved full TT (MR, lipo of the abs and flanks). I am a single mother of a 14 year old son and @ 38 yrs old I have decided it was now or never. I am 5'5" and 135lbs. Despite maintaining my weight for 14 years, I have never been able to improve the “tummy situation”. Sound familiar? :)

I couldn't be more excited, nervous and terrified about what is to come! My biggest fear about the surgery is the lipo. What a violent event is that?! Above all I am looking forward to eliminating or otherwise diminishing the self-confidence issues (too many to list) that this distorted belly has caused all these years.

Time seems to be dragging and my mind is bombarded...

Time seems to be dragging and my mind is bombarded with thoughts about the surgery. I often find myself standing in front of the mirror starring as I grab the mass of my abdomen. Something I've avoided for years. If I don't look or touch it's not really there, right? LOL I can't help but to think I'm bigger and heavier than ever but the scale says I haven't gained a pound. I can only assume that my mind is already thinking skinny. Anyone else feel this way?
I am concerned that I will not have a comfortable place to sleep. I don't have a recliner nor do I have any firm pillows in the house. Should I buy pillows or rent a hospital bed?? How much does this usually cost?
In this month of thankfulness, I am thankful for RealSelf and all of you! Just reading everyone's profiles, reviews and comments helps me more than you know. Thx a million!!

Today I'm officially one week away from my Pre-op...

Today I'm officially one week away from my Pre-op visit and 2 weeks away from surgery. I seriously don't know how I can possibly wait that long. The anxiety is terrible. I think that today I need to get my deep breathing and visualization CD out. I don't want any side effects from the stress. I have a history of self inducing high BP and tummy troubles when stressed & worried. I keep thinking, deep breath, deep breath, deep breath...

Tomorrow morning is my big day. I was completely...

Tomorrow morning is my big day. I was completely useless in the office today. Difficult to complete any thought. LOL
I picked out my outfit to wear home, I really hope it's a good choice. There is nothing left to prepare for. Kinda wish I'd left something to do tonight and in the morning. How the heck will I fill the space? Arggg
I am still very anxious, I am seriously looking forward to the IV and the beautiful meds that will calm my mind and body. It's not the surgery that has me freaked out, but rather the recovery. God give me the strength to get through the next few days/weeks/months. I have to keep imagining what I might look. Will I think all of this was worth it?? Never mind, it doesn't matter cause I'm already buckled in and waiting for the ride to start! Here we go ladies...

I posted a rather long update yesterday but it...

I posted a rather long update yesterday but it apparently got lost. I probably lost my wireless connection during upload. I officially made it to the flat side! I was comfortable in the first few hours but had a rather difficult evening. I drank water obsessively. It tasted soooo good but combined with all the IV fluids, I was up every hour to go to the bathroom. Although standing wasn't a big issue, the urgency and dependancy on the nurses to unhook me and carry all the electronic gadgets did make it pretty aggravating. I only felt pain at the drains. One specifically hurt every time I moved, the morphine helped to dull the pain. :)
I guess the nurses got the wrong message, I didn't eat for 36 hours after. I wasn't too disturbed the meds had me plenty distracted. I had a pain pump installed but through the course of the evening both cath's managed to get pulled out. I'm sure I did it, but can't imagine when or how?? So needless to say... No pain pump for me. Oh well. My PS stopped by this AM. He pulled back my CG and I got a really good look. I was overcome with emotions. He worked what can only be described as magic. I have curves I've NEVER had before. It surpassed all of my expectations. Words simply cannot describe how I feel. I'm still a wreck thinking about it. I will post pics as soon as I'm able. Thank you Dr Lund and all your staff. You are truly an artist!

3 days PO, I slept very well last night :) I was...

3 days PO, I slept very well last night :)
I was able to shower today. Not as satisfying as I had hoped but I did it on my own. My dad and I ran a few errands, meat market, Walgreens, the bank and Home Depot. I did a lot of walking and was pretty much wiped out by the time I got home. I slept most of the rest of the day. Back pain is my biggest complaint at this point but its easily remedied by laying down and sitting still. I am very aware of the tight muscles and all my lipo areas itch like no ones business! I had been only been taking 1/2 of my pain meds but I've had to take full doses the last few times.
Anyone else have to give themselves Arixtra injection each day? I was super nervous about doing it to myself but it hasn't been bad at all. Absolutely no pain, thank goodness!!
I still haven't had a bowel movement but I haven't exactly consumed much food since the surgery. I guess I won't worry about it until after tomorrow.

I must apologize in advance. I am high as a kite@...

I must apologize in advance. I am high as a kite@ the moment and this post will certainly surpass my comfort level for sharing too much information. Here I go... Last night I decided I was going to make an effort to have a BM.Ive been using the softener religiously too. I had been slightly gassy and figured after 4.5 days it was time. I positioned myself, removed my CG and prepared. I think I was worried the muscle movement would make things unbearable. Therefore I made sure my meds were in full effect. Long story short, (about a 2 hr ordeal) I had lil progress. I applied a bit of pressure still no luck. I could feel like there was a mass just at the rectum. I tried n tried. Nothing. I stood up, paced the floor and still nothing. The pressure extended to the areas of my, lower vulva, vaginal entrance and rectum. I decided to look into a portable mirror. I was horrified at what I saw. All the soft tissue was engourged and looked as if were going to pop. I still had an overwhelming urge to go but ignored the feeling and put on a Pre-surgery spanx garment; shorty that goes all the way up under my beast. When I woke this morning the swelling had disappeared. My prayers were answered! Can anyone tell me what happened & more importantly how to prevent that from EVER happening again?

These drains have got to be the worse part of this...

These drains have got to be the worse part of this entire ordeal. The lipo areas are a walk in the park in comparison. Please tell me this will go away with the removal, please, please, please.... I've gotten less than 5 ml of yellowish fluid each side the last 3 times I've emptied. 1st post op visit is Tuesday. Hoping, praying, pleading they get removed. I honestly believe that I won't need pain management anymore if they are gone. Counting down the minutes...

Had my first post op appt today, exactly 7 days...

Had my first post op appt today, exactly 7 days after surgery. My dreams came true and the drains from hell are G-O-N-E! Instantly, I was able to stand up more strait. There is still some lingering pain but nothing in comparison. I was given the ok to try harder to stand up strait without hunching over. Means the back spasms should be getting better soon too. Good news all around but the whole ordeal wiped me out and I slept for several hours after. I think this means I've turned a corner. Keeping my fingers crossed.

11 days PO and walking strait up but as soon as I...

11 days PO and walking strait up but as soon as I tire I begin to hunch over. Throughout my recovery journey the drains have been the most painful part. After they were removed I have had significant improvement but all my pain is still at the sites. I have no idea what that is about. I have been able to lye on my side slightly for short periods of time but I am woken by sharp shearing burning pain on the drain site (same side that I'm lying on). This pain does not go away quickly and it's rather severe. Any movement of the corresponding leg amplifies the pain. I'm definitely asking the PS on Monday what that is all about.

Last night I measured (tape) my hips and waist again. Still no difference Pre surgery. I plan to try again first thing in the AM. I am wishing I had measured my thighs. I have a feeling they are larger than normal. Still no weight change. I've been fortunate enough to have maintained the same weight before/during/after.
I have tried to reduce the amt of pain killers while I prepare to return to work and I have had zero luck. :(

14 days PO and nothing significant to review today...

14 days PO and nothing significant to review today. I had a very depressing day yesterday. Not because I was disappointed in my results or progress but more emotional about random personal things. I feel as if I'm in my first trimester of pregnancy and I'm a basket case of hormones. ALL OVER THE PLACE! Today was my first full day back in the office. It took me 2 hours to get ready but it felt amazing to fix my hair and apply makeup. I felt pretty and that uplifted my spirits. Just what the Dr ordered. I didn't venture away from my desk much today and I can say that I now know what the true definition of SWELL HELL is. This time it was rather significant. Wow! I actually looked preggers. LOL
I am stil very happy with my results. I have amazing curviture between my ribs and my hips. Which is a first and with my genes it was never in the cards for me. I feel very fortunate! :)~ again, thank you Dr Lund.
I know it's only been 2 weeks but I am beyond ready to resume life preop. I want to work out, I want to run, I want to play, I want to stand on a scale, I want to not tire easy, I want to stop needing pain management, I want to tan, I want to have a drink... I want I want I want. I sound like a selfish teenager don't I? Lord have mercy, glad I don't have a spouse to annoy right now. Heehee (ok, I don't really mean that). I want more than anything else to not have to do his alone.... Good night my RealSelf friends. Thanks for listening.
Tomorrow is another day, right?

Bad day, I almost vomited. Just the heaving...

Bad day, I almost vomited. Just the heaving motions I felt as if every stich in my abdomin ripped. Pain lasted a very long time. I cried a lot.
I'm having another down day. It's beginning to fell like full blown depression. Please tell me this is normal and it will get better. Please

Here I am again up in the middle of the night in...

Here I am again up in the middle of the night in pain, waiting for these weak meds to kick in. Nothing like an internal pain alarm clock that wakes you up twice a night. I tried to push thru with the hydro's but they simply are no better than ibuprofen to me. I can't keep this up, calling the PS today. I'm worried he will think I'm either a baby, or an addict. 17 days PO, how are these other ladies not still on pain killers? :(

I called my PS, very disappointed with their...

I called my PS, very disappointed with their response. Not going to provide a stronger pain med. I was told to alternate with ibuprofen. WHAT? Really? It doesn't even work for headaches. Not for me anyway.
So, as much as it pissed me off. I did it. AND... It actually works better than the narcotics. I know, I know... I was once again proven wrong and for the first time in a while I couldn't be more pleased. :) I'm a happy girl.

A friend was suppose to have a Xmas party last...

A friend was suppose to have a Xmas party last night. I was really looking forward to a social event to lift my spirits. Unfortunately it was cancelled poor thing was passing kidney stones. Bless her heart!
So a few friends ventured out anyway! SO HAPPY I DID IT. I drank, I socialized, I got hit on, I danced... It was GLORIOUS! I needed it in a very big way.. I had prepared myself for a bery difficult day today but, I am no more swollen than normal a nd I feel great. Haven't even taken ibuprofen. YEA!

The start of the process was great, I had no...

The start of the process was great, I had no complaints. 19 Days PO, things changed drastically. I have struggled with pain mgmt from the beginning. I explained to my Dr that this has always been an issue for me. I managed fine with Nucyenta (sp) but asked the Dr after week 1 to provide a weaker med cause I would be returning to work. He provided Hydrocodone/acetaminophen which barely worked but I bit my tongue and tried to fight through. I finally couldn't take it and called last Thursday when I was almost out to see if I could get something a bit stronger. I was denied and told to try adding ibuprofen. I did and it helped but they refuse to provide anymore pain meds. If I am in pain every day, every hour I don't feel it's right to be denied relief.
This morning when I called, they said I shouldn't still be experiencing pain and I need to come in to see a dr (mine is out of the country). There must be something wrong. I said ok great, I'm on my way. Guess what? No Dr is in today. WTF?
I am being made to feel as if I'm abusing narcotics and on top of that I am being made to feel as if I am not being truthful about my pain level.
What in the world can I do now?

I had the worse day... I cannot manage my pain to...

I had the worse day... I cannot manage my pain to save my life. I've been alternating Tylenol and Ibuprofen. After work, I took IbPM, still can't sleep. I just hurt all over. I am so swollen I feel like my skin is gonna split open. I had a bowel movement and felt some relief but didn't completely do the trick. I have to shut my door so my son doesn't hear me cry. He gets upset. I think I'm going to have to go see my Primary Care Dr. I don't understand why my PS is abandoning me. I'm gonna try Benadryl to sleep.

Ok, got an appt with a different PS w/n the same...

Ok, got an appt with a different PS w/n the same office this AM. As suspected, there's nothing wrong & I'm healing well. They are working to help me find a way to get through my days. Ultram. Can't wait to try it and see if it does the trick. Wish me luck.

Wow, 180 degree turn for the better. I may have...

Wow, 180 degree turn for the better. I may have overdone it today but not too bad. At least I was able to get a full day of work in the office and get some Christmas decorations up around the living space to lift our spirits. My son said he will find a way to forgive me for not putting up the big tree this year. Charlie Brown tree is all we are getting this year! I even put a bow on my fresh rosemary plant. LOL
Swollen but applied tighter CG and resting. Good night y'all!

Tomorrow I will be 4 weeks PO. I've certainly...

Tomorrow I will be 4 weeks PO. I've certainly turned a corner for the better. I still have good days and some bad days sprinkled in. I'm learning the delicate balance of resting and moving around. I'm learning how to limit myself to avoid the 'over doing it swell hell'. I wish I could write a formula for everyone to follow but we all know that everyone is different. Still takings tramadol everyday and wonder if I can survive my days without them. I will try first cause honestly I'm scared ask my PS to refill. They really didn't want to give them to me in the first place. I'll know more in 48 hours.

I'm having a wonderful day because I'm seeing the...

I'm having a wonderful day because I'm seeing the biggest change this morning! Big smiles all day!!
I've been tracking my measurements from the beginning. Here they are:
11/19 (pre-op) Waist 34"; Hips 37 1/2"
11/29 Waist 33"; Hips 37 1/2"
12/10 Waist 32"; Hips 37"
12/19 Waist 30"; Hips 35"
I lost a total of 6 1/2"
Simply amazing. Woohoo!!!

Updated 4 week and 2 day PO pics. This was the...

Updated 4 week and 2 day PO pics. This was the first morning I have woken up without major discomfort. Good and better days to come! YEA!!

5 weeks PO and I rarely have those horrible swell...

5 weeks PO and I rarely have those horrible swell days. I imagine its because I've found that magic rest to movement ratio. Dont get me wrong I still swell everyday just mot to the point of misery. I have another PO visit tomorrow with my PS. It's picture day!
I love to stretch and arch my back, it feels sooo good. I really feel like I could start some ab work but I highly doubt he will approve me to do so. I did a tummy roll in the mirror the other day. I am surprised I could do it. Wouldn't have dared before the TT, so gross. My weight is the same as before the TT but like my previous posts says I have lost many inches. Who could be upset by that!??
So glad things finally and markedly improved. The first 4 weeks were the worst!

Updated pics. 6w5days PO

Updated pics. 6w5days PO

7 weeks 2 days. Finally able to get through a full...

7 weeks 2 days. Finally able to get through a full day. Woohoo! Meaning, I can go to work and still cook dinner and clean 1 room before its time to put my feet up. It happened slowly but I finally feel like things are starting to get back to normal. Most of my aggrevation comes from tight muscles. I can physically feel how tight they are with the touch of my fingers. They are incredibly tender but I don't require ibuprofen all day, everyday anymore. There's that preverbial light at the end of the tunnel I've been looking for! Yippie!!
I still get the nice little zings from nerves reattaching. Some are pretty strong and shoot pains over & over in the same area for a few mins at a time. It is a distraction at best, even stopping me mid sentence. Knowing what it is helps, just means I'm healing. Swelling still happens but it's NOTHING like it once was. I thank my lucky stars everyday that gets better. :)~
It is Sneezing season & I do exactly that several times a day. Yay. :/ First few days were extremely painful but I guess I've gotten use to it. Not as bad anymore. My kiddo had me in a really good belly roll laugh the other day. I was laughing hard, crying from pain & grabbing my abs all at once begging him to stop. Crazy kid! Love him so much. I've managed to go all week without a Spanx garment. I agree with others on this site, it's easy to get dependent on them. My biggest struggle was dealing with the irritation that the waist of my pants feel on the numb skin. A soft/silky undergarment does help but not always feasible with my professional dress code. My pants aren't tight at all, so it doesn't make sense to me why it's so uncomfortable. Compared to weeks past, I'm not complaining! This is a small problem that I know in time will pass too. :)
I'm happy to have recovered so well at this point, very much look forward to my extended vacation. Leaving on my 8 week post op anniversary -6 days from now. Wish me luck and pray that I don't over do it and miss any of the excitement. If I haven't said it lately, thank you guys for being you and providing support throughout this adventure. What a roller coaster ride its been?!! I'll check back in as soon as I return! Take care ladies. xxoo
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 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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