I am 38 years old and the mother of three perfect children ages 8, 5, and 3 (my oldest is a girl.) My husband and I have been married almost 12 years. He is completely supportive of this procedure, because as he puts it, "I am sad every time we have to get dressed up and you feel so bad about yourself." Other than that, he has never said anything. This procedure is completely self-initiated.
Like so many of you that I have seen on here, I am really strong and fit. I run a marathon or a half marathon at least once a year, and I work outside, competitively jump horses, and am constantly moving. I am 5'9" tall and am about 160 right now which is heavy for me. I would look like a crack ho at 140 lbs, so I am actually only about 10 lbs, max 15 lbs, overweight (because I have so much muscle mass.)
I have never really considered a Tummy Tuck because I have always worried that I am sending the wrong message to my daughter. Plus, it just feels so vain. Finally.... there is always the remote possibility that I could DIE. How about everyone saying at my funeral "She died because she wanted to look good in a bikini again" ??? and my babies losing their mommy for that ridiculous reason? And as a final note, I have a very deep and true faith in God, and I have talked about this a LOT with God and again questioning my own vanity etc. I mean, spending $9000 on my belly when millions of kids are dying for lack of clean water???? This is a fierce moral dilemma for me.
So I have never considered it until this year. But this year, I am realizing that I will NEVER EVER get back to who I was. I can starve, I can run 100 miles, I can beat myself literally and figuratively.... but my body has just given up on me. Three kids later, and my belly is saying "Oh HELL no."
And what is hard, is I have not given up. I still think that I am hot :) I pull clothes off the rack, and think "This will look SMOKIN' on me!!!" and am genuinely astounded when I can't squeeze my belly into it. This happens to me over and over -- I feel like I am trapped in someone else's body. And it's a fat ugly body. So every single time I have to go to a wedding or a party or an event, I have clothes strewn across the room because they all look like crap on me. I choose a cute outfit, but it clings around my waist so horrifically that I am ashamed and do not want to go at all :(
So here are a few things that have pushed me over the edge to actually do this thing.
1) I had a consult appointment with a couple of doctors. Yes, I "wasted" the fee at a few, because I wanted to be SURE. I only went to ones recommended by people that I knew that had used them.
2) The one that I have chosen (am I allowed to say his name? I am not sure so I will hold back) made me feel... beautiful.... for the first time in years. It was astounding. There he was, grabbing fistfulls of my belly fat and skin in a way that I would not even let my HUSBAND do, and he was the whole time talking about how beautiful the definition of my collar bone is, and now lovely the muscle of my shoulder, and how we just need to make the front of my abdomen match the trimness of my back. Instead of feeling like a fat deformed freak, I felt like a strong gorgeous woman who just has this little thing that is not her fault and that can be easily helped. He also confirmed that my stomach muscles are totally split apart, and will need to be sewn back together, but again -- it's not a matter of sit ups or crunches, but it's something that I cannot fix on my own. This was such an unbelievable relief for me.
Finally, the more I have thought about it.... think of all the things that we do. I thread my eyebrows. I cut my hair. I get pedicures. Of course I had braces -- I almost consider it child abuse if a kid had bad teeth and their parents do not pay for orthodontics! How is getting a Tummy Tuck vastly different than braces??? For one thing, they cost about the same! Both directly affect your appearance, and thus not only how people view you, but how you view yourself. So my question to God "Lord, am I somehow not accepting the way you made me (post baby) if I get a Tummy Tuck?" -- is that any different than "Lord, you allowed me (or my child) crooked snaggly teeth and I do not want them to go through life like that, and so thank you Jesus for awesome dentists because we are going to fix that!" So you see, the more I have dwelled on this, the more that I draw a comparison in my mind between a post-baby (or three) Tummy Tuck and braces on your teeth.
So here is the plan:
Unfortunately I am committed to do Tough Mudder for the second time in Northern California on Sept 21. I really don't want to do it again, and if you know what it is you know why (a half-marathon with about 22 Special Forces obstacles along the way.) However, I am committed with a whole team so I just can't get out of this thing. SO... that has set me back. I am scheduled for Friday Sept 29th. I am anxious because I really need to be healed up for Halloween, because as a family we always all dress up together, and I want to be ok and healthy for my kids for all of that. That is why I wish that I could do BEFORE Tough Mudder (Sept 19th was open) but obviously that is an impossibility, unless I fake an illness to get out of Tough Mudder -- but I do not want to lie. It's not my style. So, Sept 29th it is.
Which brings me to the final thing. I have read about so many of you who tell everyone what you are doing, but I am not like that with this thing. My husband knows, and my coach. NO ONE ELSE. Not even my kids, not my mom, not my friends. I don't know -- yes, I guess I am still ashamed at some level that I couldn't just fix my fat gut on my own. But also, I want people to see ME as smokin' hot again, not be whispering that I got a Tummy Tuck. So for me.... I don't want anyone to know except husband, coach, and you who are going to read this blog on RealSelf and help me through it :)
Part One: Day 13 Post Op: Stitches out!
I am 38 years old and the mother of three perfect...
I am 38 years old and the mother of three perfect children ages 8, 5, and 3 (my oldest is a girl.) My husband and I have been married almost 12 years. He is completely supportive of this procedure, because as he puts it, "I am sad every time we have to get dressed up and you feel so bad about yourself." Other than that, he has never said anything. This procedure is completely self-initiated.
Date change -- moved the procedure a few days...
CAN SOME GENIUS PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO ROTATE THESE...
I am so frustrated I CANNOT figure it out!
Today is Sept 4, which means my TT is now 3 weeks...
I have also noticed how much harder it is for me to exercise this year. Has anyone else noticed that? It's a terrible cycle. I feel fat and hopeless, so I don't even want to go and run and exercise and do the things that I know for a fact WILL make me look and feel better (with or without a TT.) I really believe that this TT will break that bad cycle for me -- I will feel hopeful, like it can actually work again, and now I will want to make my legs and arms look even better to match the new stomach. That's what I THINK anyway! Three weeks and one day.... even though I am scared of dying, now I also can't wait to get it over with....
Just has the phone consult today, really the last...
1) Following the surgery I will wear those tube socks for a week and a tight binder for three weeks. Once the binder is taken off then I will wear something better (more like spanks) for another few weeks
2) I can't take a shower for three weeks!!!?? She says not until the binder comes off!!!!!
3) I have to use a WALKER to get around my house for three weeks!!!!
4) I can't drive a car for 2-3 weeks!!!!!
5) No lifting anything or doing anything for 4 weeks
6) No responsibilities whatsoever for about 3 weeks
WHAT THE HECK!? Of course I know about the drains, binders, and all that. But how the heck am I reading about people taking showers by day two? How are people even taking the post-op pictures that I have seen just days after surgery if they are all wrapped up like a mummy for three weeks using a walker??
Someone who has done this PLEASE tell me if my doctor is just being hyper-careful to be on the outside end of predictions. I can understand that they don't want to say you can drive at one week when some people are lying in bed for three. I do understand that everyone heals differently and all that. So just tell me how many days post tummy tuck before YOU personally:
1) Took a shower
2) Could read a book out loud to your kids
3) Could walk without a walker
4) Could stand up straight enough that you could see someone who didn't know about the TT and they didn't think there was something wrong with you?????? (This question is very important to me! I want to know how soon until I can "fake it")
5) Stopped taking pain meds
6) Drove a car
7) Could make dinner for your family
Please let me know so I can wrap my head around this. Now my husband is freaking too because now he is realizing what a MAJOR surgery this is now that they are saying I need a walker for three weeks!!!!
Thank you to all who gave me the 2-cents about...
Two weeks two days until my Tummy Tuck. Mailed off...
I bought the cough drops that I see are so highly recommended. I ordered an old lady lift chair for a month (only $135 for a month! Bargain!) I bought schmancy scar cream at Whole Foods along with homeopathy for post surgery, pain, and bruising.
I have been nesting like I am having a baby. Cleaned out the entire pantry. Cleaned out half of the garage today. I know that my husband will be a fantastic Mr. Mom but I am still having nesting anxiety. I am packing the three kids lunches all for two weeks with little labels on them like "Now include a stick of cheese" "Add an almond butter and jelly sandwich and be sure to write ALMOND on the baggie because there is a peanut allergy in the school and we don't want the sandwich confiscated!!!"
Understand that I am a CEO of my own company, AND a full time mom (being CEO means that you get to leave in time to get your kids at 3pm!) The prospect of being totally disabled is freaking me out -- will the world still revolve on it's axis without me??
I am also giving my husband as much time away as possible right now because he is going to be full-on for almost a month. So I am trying to get him all rested up by allowing him to have personal retreats (aka fishing) as many days as we can until TT day. I even arranged a sitter to come that night after my surgery so he can come and visit me in the hospital, now how is THAT for thoughtful??? ;)
Meanwhile -- STILL -- no one knows. Again, I stand by my feeling that I want people to whisper how great I look, not whisper that I got a Tummy Tuck. I am going to have a HORRIFIC stomach flu in a about 2 1/2 weeks. Maybe even Salmonilla. My husband actually got Salmonilla when I was pregnant with our first child almost 9 years ago and I genuinely thought he might die and I would be a single mother. Nothing like pressing ice packs to your dying husbands raw butt while you are 7 months pregnant to lend a little reality to the marriage. Yes, the more I think about it, the more I think that I am getting Salmonilla in about 2 1/2 weeks. And YOU (and my husband, and my coach) are the ONLY ones that know.
Today is Sunday night Sept 16th. The big day is...
Ok ladies, let's just hope that I am right!!! Because I am getting anxious about the surgery now. I could not wait for this thing to happen and now I don't have enough days left to get things done! I am nesting like I am having a baby -- I even organized the freaking tupperware drawer!!!! (Because let's face it, my husband can't watch the kids for three weeks without a neat tupperware drawer... ha ha) I have been under general anesthesia SEVEN TIMES and never had a problem, but I am starting to get anxious anyway. All the times before were not options, because this is "elective" I think I am worrying more about it. There was no point worrying other times when I had no choice, the broken hand had to get screwed back together, etc., so I didn't even think about it. This time I am thinking about it.
But THIS is what I am worrying about the most -- Tough Mudder, which is the Saturday before my surgery (so I will have 4 days to recover before surgery.) I did it last year so I know -- it's freaking hard, you get really beat up, lots of bruises and scrapes, and super sore all over. My husband is really concerned that this is a STUPID thing to do right before I am going to beat up my body through abdominoplasty. His point is "Your body will have enough healing to do, it should not also be healing from Tough Mudder!" (Tough Mudder is a half-marathon run over a trail course at a ski resort with 22 special forces obstacles to complete)
I don't know what to do because I feel trapped since I am in it with teammates (this was planned a year ago.) I just don't know, and I keep going round and round about it. What do you guys think??? Am I going to seriously jeopardize my chances of healing well from the full tummy tuck if I am going into it already sore and bruised? Or does it not really stinkin' matter because it's just a drop in the bucket of the thrashing my body will endure? And since I will be taking pain meds, antibiotics, etc anyway from surgery those will just wipe out any residue from Tough Mudder?
Quick question -- what is MR? Is see people...
September 17th, 2012, 8 1/2 days until surgery. I...
Regarding any kind of extreme sport events right before surgery, the answer is NO. I asked my doctor about Tough Mudder, and he clearly restrained himself as a professional from saying "HELL TO THE NO YOU DING BAT!" I guess since they will put off your surgery of you even have a cold, they definately put you off if you have bruises and scrapes all over! Increased risk of infection...lower healing...and so forth.
So here is my main thought today as I read so many blogs: I really, really do not plan on telling ANYONE. I read about so many of you being abused by idiots who offer their unsolicited criticism of you. It makes me angry, and sad. :( Frankly I just don't have the time or energy to defend myself when it's NO ONE'S BUSINESS. And those same people will turn right around and think you look great in a bikini (just as long as you don't tell them you had a TT and Muscle Repair, in which case they will say you are fake like a Barbie.)
Nope -- it is confirmed for me after reading what some of your have experienced. I do NOT want to tell anyone. The hardest part is my best friend -- I really feel like I have to tell her, but she is a personal trainer (and incredibly fit and thin even after 3 kids and no surgeries) and I know that she feels so strongly like working out is the solution to everything. Sometimes --- as you all know -- it's just not. So I am still working on this one because I can't NOT tell her. :( I will let you all know how that one goes.
One final thing -- it is SO hard to plan because you see people looking and feeling pretty good at 10-14 days, and then you see people on here at 9 weeks Post Op who are still having all kind of problems with swelling etc.... I know you all know this because you have gone through it yourself. But there is just no way to know until you DO IT. And then you see. Maybe 9 days, maybe 9 months until you feel like yourself. Hard to plan your life with that much uncertainty following your TT!
tick tock tick tock..only 8 1/2 days to go....tick tock tick tock
Today is exactly one week from surgery date. In...
It was really encouraging because everyone I saw at the hospital gushed about my doctor. The nurse who checked me in confided that he is THE BEST and that he often does the "close" work on other doctor's surgeries, because his work is so incredibly small, patient, and meticulous. The nurse who drew my blood saw my docs name and said "Ah yes! The man with the golden fingers!" All of that made me feel SO MUCH BETTER for my nervousness. My whole extended Tummy Tuck and Muscle Repair is costing me about $8800. I just don't see how people decide to get a "bargain basement" doctor to save a few thousand bucks. This is your LIFE and your BODY (not to mention your scars!) Better to wait and save up more money and get it done right, then get it done cheaply and poorly.
I am really pretty much ready now. Here is what I have lined up:
1) Made 3 weeks of school lunches for 3 kids in advance (minus perishables)
2) Pre-made and froze 14 meals for me and my husband
3) Ordered a lift chair (rental for one month with delivery & pick up is $180)
4) Bought a toilet riser with handles (at first I was looking for a used one on craigslist and then I realized that is gross. A little slow on the uptake! ;) (on Amazon $35)
5) Bought the NewGel+E Advanced Silicone Gel for Scars that was so highly recommended on here (on Amazon $55)
6) Mostly finished the family Halloween Costumes (since I don't want that to fall by the wayside for my kids!!)
7) Stopped taking any kind of pills about 2 weeks ago, even a multi-vitamin. There are so many things to avoid I am just avoiding it all.
8) Bought arnica that I will start taking 2 days before
9) Have been doing 10,000 things at work because no one (except my husband of course, who I own the business with) knows that I will be gone for at least 3 weeks. So I am doing all kinds of things in advance (payroll, etc)
I feel good about my state of preparedness. I just need to buy granny panties. And even that, really, isn't such a big deal. I already have a few pairs anyway which I will never want to wear again once I have a smokin' hot tummy! I am now TOTALLY looking forward to my 3 week "vacation" of letting everyone else run the world without me. That will be GREAT!
Only 48 hours to go. I just started taking the...
I DID do the Tough Mudder this weekend, but I did not do the obstacles. My surgeon absolutely forbade that. Apparently, a lot of bruises and cuts will make the surgery much more dangerous -- increasing risk of blood clots, lower healing rate, etc. So I hiked the entire course with my teammates and took a lot of pictures.
I confessed to them the night before (that was Friday night) what was going on and why I could not do the course. I was really really nervous to tell anyone (as you know I have kept this 100% secret.) They were, every single one, extremely supportive. As one person pointed out "I can't believe that you have done all these things for years completely unzipped down the front! Your doctor is just going to zip you back up!" I explained to them about how since my 3rd baby 3 years ago, I just have not recovered. My belly is completely spread apart, and I am having knee and lower back pain this past year as I continue my really active lifestyle. I also have a huge risk of a ventral hernia, since I have extreme diastasis and am so active.
Anyway, so unlike the extreme secrecy of before, I am now letting a few close people in on it, but I am still very private about it.
Only 48 hours to go. My surgery is this Weds. I go in at noon, and the surgery starts at 1:30 pm. I am starting to feel very nervous. Kind of sick to my stomach. And as CRAZY as this sounds, I am grabbing on my roll of extra skin and feeling kinda nostalgic. Like "Gee whiz buddy, we've been through a lot, and now I am just cutting you off." It's a weird feeling. Like I will call "WILSON! WILSON!" after they take my stomach away and throw it in the garbage!! What is wrong with me? Did anyone else get a sudden weird attachment to this part of their body they can't wait to get rid of?
So my surgery is TOMORROW. I need to be there at...
I posted the pictures of my final visit with my surgeon today. He drew all over me (see pix.) I am FREAKED OUT by that big pie slice he will be removing! Holy crap I will look like Pac Man!!!!!! I am seriously starting to freak. I just took half a Xanax (doctor okayed) and will take another half in a little bit if I am not less stressed out. I have never taken one before, so I am going a half at a time. LOOK AT HOW MUCH IS BEING REMOVED!!!! Holy freaking moley.
Before I sign off from my final post before I "see you on the flat side" as they say around here, I do have to share my two favorite parts of the surgical site infections info sheet that the hospital gave me to review.
Runner Up Favorite Part:
"Family and friends who visit you should not touch the surgical wound or dressings"
What the heck??? Who would even do that??? Come at you with their finger poking out???
"Speak up if someone tries to shave you with a razor before surgery."
WHAT IN THE WORLD is going on that that hospital!? Apparently they have madmen running amok, shaving innocent victims right and left. I just have this image of a hand coming around the corner .... holding a disposable Bic razor out towards me... Psycho music playing in the background....
If I never sign back on again, it is because the mad shaver man got to me.....
I AM LEAVING FOR THE SURGERY IN 45 MINUTES!!!!...
In my hospital bed. Its midnight. Having trouble...
I have on stockings AND calf compression massager machine (on calves) to prevent blood clots. And they injected me with anti coagulant. Blood pressure and oxygen monitors. Two drains inside the incision drain to the plastic grenade looking thngs that they ermpty. The blue fanny pack continually dispenses local anesthetic to the incision. I have a catheter, and an IV with continual fluid.
One thng is for sure I will lose 50 pounds. I took few large swallows of water and the presure on my ab muscles hurt a lot!!!!! The incision does not hurt but the vertical mid line of my abs is very very painful.
I will try and post pics. Sorry if they are upside down or anything I cant fix that from my iphone
Finally my husband is so wonderful. Was there when I woke up and held my hand feeding me ice chips and arranging my blankets until they made him leave at 9:30 :) I love him so much and am so blessed. And I am SO GLAD to be alive! That first minute of being alive and knowing its over is the best!
Whoops -- sorry . Looks like no pics at all until Im on a real phone
Hi everyone. Well, at least Im home (just got home...
After that we tried again. I will tell you my gross secret in case you need it. I would spit on my fingers and rub my urethra and it would wake up my pee hole enough that I could dribble out a few drops. Over and over I repeated this, and after about 7 hours I was dribbling well enough that they let me come home. :( Its still not great though -- I still cant just sit and have a nice long pee. :(
I am home and in a lot of pain. Very uncomfortable. My binder is so tight it feels like it is bruising my lungs and I cant get a deep breath. I am just trying to get to tomorrow because you all say every day gets better. I hope thats true because today really sucks.
On a positive note, my surgeon said that I have absolutely beautiful "tissue" (who knew?) and that he expects absolutely gorgeous results. He is adamant about me maintaining 90 degrees for a full two weeks so that I do not stretch the incision and I have an invisible scar. Sounds good in theory, but right now I hurt and pee so badly that future seems a long long long time away.... :(
Now its about 38 hours post op. I am a tiny bit...
It is Saturday 6:15 am, and my surgery ended...
The first night home after the car ride and our amateur bumbling, I couldnt get on top of the pain -- was about a 7 or 8 even with 2 percosets! Now, though, Ive stayed ahead of it. Usually I hurt for awhile after scrooching around with my walker.
I know I could be standing up more already, but my surgeon has expressly forbidden me to! He wants me hunched over 90 degree hip angle for 2 full weeks so that there is NO stretching of the incision and I have an invisible scar line. Frankly I dont mind -- it doesnt hurt my back (thanks to leaning on the walker) and after going through all this I want the end results as perfect as possible.
I HAD A BAD DREAM LAST NIGHT!!!!! I dreamed that I was at the doctors office smd he wasnt there so they told me to come back in a few days. I said "cant I please look under my binding?" and they said "NO -- not without Dr Wotowic!" but as I was hunchbacking my way out, my binding caught on something and fell off. And I looked down and I was exactly the same as before, just a bunch of stitches across it!!! You know my bikini picture where I look 6 momths pregnant? Well I looked like THAT only with a big line around the middle and stitches. NIGHTMARE!
I dont know when I can actually see -- sometime next week I guess. I am supposed to call them Monday to update, but they wont schedule the follow up appointment to remove all the schrapnel dangling off me until my drain tubes are only 5-10cc each. At this point I assume that is a long way away!
I think the worst part for me are the edges of my binding (just so uncomfortable!) and my BUTT. My butt is so numb and sore from lying on it all day and all night. Last night I massaged it with a hand massager tool amd then rubbed Traumeel all over it! Seriously, the butt hurts worst of all.
I have zero incision pain, but I assume thats from that Ono pain pump thing that is directing local anesthetic directly into the incision line. My ab muscles hurt, particularly when I accidentally use them. Last night my 3 yr old son elbowed me in the side, and I had a total involuntary response of jerking and clenching all my stomach muscles!!! Holy smokes I thought I would die!!! As LsuKid said about coughing, "It felt like every stitch was popping out!" AGONY. I cant even imagine sneezing. Sneezing after this surgery must be hell on wheels.
So Im just doing this thing one day at a time. I personally have not felt any depression or regret like I have read from most of you, I am so lucky to say. I am just glad it is OVER -- for me the anticipation was the worst part. Right up until being wheeled in I was wanting to change my mind and freak out. Once I opened my eyes again I was all good, and once I got through my initial terrifying pee-stipation, I figure each hour is more healing and closer to being at full capacity. But for now I am enjoying the totally unfamilar feeling of helplessness and dependence :) Its good for me! :)
Well, I had some leaking coming from the front of...
Oh my I am crazy, I just looked at my before pictures here, I DO look way different already! :)
Id say overall Ive had as good a surgery...
But I AM going to bitch about one thing -- the damn binder. What the heck? They csn put a man on the moon, why cant they make that thing more comfortable???
For those who havent done the procedure yet heres how it works: you have this wide band of elastic and velcro that they wrap around you as tight as possible from just under your boobs to your hips. The TIGHT part is annoying because you cant take a really deep breath....but that part I can kinda live with as long as I think about Scarlett OHara a lot.
The WORST part is how your skin gets creased into ridges and bumps under the elastic. Like how if you wear a tight pair of socks all day and you find the elastic has bitten into you and caused indentations? Well my whole torso is one big indentation and it not only HURTS, but it ITCHES!!!!!! I keep pulling it away from my back and hips and scratching like mad. I cant wait for the next phase (apparently some kind of "garment" which sounds mysterious) just get me away from this ELASTIC. Why cant it be made of something soft and silky!?
Oh, and let me also mention that at the front where your crotch is, the two drain tubes also emerge. So its not only totally uncomfortable, but Im personally scared to mess with it too much as long as those sinister tubes are there too.
4 days post op. I know not long until the twin bastards of tubes and binder are gone forever and they will just be a distant memory. But I FREAKING HATE THEM BOTH!!!!!
Any good recommendations of what is comfortable to wear that I can buy on my own if I hate my "garment" just as much???
DAY FIVE OF MY INCARCERATION Im sad and lonely...
Im sad and lonely because Husband and kids are gone. To make matters worse Im running low on Percoset. Husband charged the mini DVD player for me, today is the day I start watching movies to pass the time. The thrill of being incapacitated has worn off. It would be one thing if I could be here alone doing things. But I am here alone not doing things. *sigh*
AND house cleaners are here. Im hiding in my room with a sign on the door saying "NO ENTRAR! Estoy enferma! Gracias!" so they know I am here spying on them and their movements are self-conscious and furtive. *double sigh*. My binder hurts. My drains hurt. My butt hurts from sitting on it. *sigh sigh sigh* No wonder people say they wished they learned how to crochet. I pretty much have never felt the sensation of boredom in my life (as Metallica says, "Boredom sets into the boring mind") but this is a whole different ball of crochet yarn that I dont know how to use. IM FREAKING BORED SO F*** YOU METALLICA!!!!! YOU NEVER HAD TO SIT IN ONE CHAIR FOR A FULL WEEK STRAIGHT YOU SELF RIGHTEOUS BASTARDS!!!!
Maybe hospitals should offer traveling crochet instructors. Is it a sign you are losing your mind when that becomes your most vivid fantasy, and you start cursing out aging rockers???
6 Days Post Op. Today was a hard day for feeling...
I just got the drains removed. Holy crap it is the...
Ok heres my update 4 hours after drains were...
Plus, I can try sleeping in bed tonight instead of the recliner! Our 3 year old is always climbing into bed with us and Ive been too scared to sleep in there because Ive been afraid his crawley little monkey toes will rip out my drains in the middle of the night. If you have ever had a 3 year old boy you know this is a very realistic and valid concern.
In celebration of having my drains removed I tried...
First off, my little 3 year old monkey boy was complely insane last night. 10:30pm and rolling all around talking and babbling until I wanted to hold a pillow over his adorable sweet little face to SHUT HIM UP! I dont know what got into him -- his bedtime is 7pm usually! I was trying to give my husband a break and let him go out for some "alone time" but I finally had to cave in and call him to come home and save me from the 3 year old terrorist. So what happened? Of course you know the answer. 27 seconds before my husband arrived back home my baby fell asleep with his head on my pillow.
But that wasnt even the worst problem. The worst problem was I couldnt REACH anything. In my lovely naugahyde recliner (you do realize how many nauga's they have to kill to make one of those, don't you?) I have a side table right next to me with easy reach for my iPhone charger, medication basket, books, pens, papers, thank you cards, candies , homeopathy, and dvd player. I can adjust my angle with the touch of a button, and I dont even have to stand up to go to the bathroom because the thing levatates all the way up until it puts me right on my feet with no effort involved.
In the bed, I just managed to get settled with a body pillow when I realized I wanted to turn over. You remember turning over when you are 9 1/2 months pregnant right? Grunting and straining and inching and heaving and keeping your knees in line with your torso. After 3 gasping minutes I made it. Next I realized I wanted a drink of water, but that involved REACHING which is turn made me feel like my bowels would come pouring out my belly button in a tidal wave of intestines.
So finally I gave up and lay there thirsty and uncomfortble until I realized.... HELLO.... My friendly naugahyde Space Station is just waiting to receive me back. Why did I think I wanted to sleep in the bed again anyway? Between my 1/2 a melatonan and my rented hospital lift chair, Ive slept through every since night since surgery.
If it aint broke, don't fix it.
Hey I just realized I should tell you all what I...
I HATE my binder way more than most people I think. Its so uncomfortable for me because of the chafing (although a long tank top under helps LOADS), and because it bunches up and gets uneven pressure. And I hate how I cant deal with it myself -- my husband HAS to put it back on me.
So in my mind, if a person is willing to spend a little money, why shouldnt there be a more comfortable binder out there? Im assuming I was given standard-grade military issue abdominal surgical binder. Im also assuming that can be improved upon if you are willing to pay extra for it.
I bought only the extra supportive post-surgical garments (because of course I have to talk my surgeon into letting me sub out my Iron Maiden) but I am still banking on them being a massive improvement over the Elastic Death Corset. I will let you know when they arrive. And hey ladies, maybe we can have a little fashion show!!!! ;)
Oh and a P.S. about the drains.... Ive noticed...
Anyway, the point is that my drains were removed yesterday (DID I MENTION MY DRAINS WERE REMOVED YESTERDAY!!!!??? GLORY HALELUJAH!!) So today I decide to take a REAL shower. But when I peeled off my binder, and peeled off the gauze pads and garbage that I have going on underneath there, I think I peeled off the brand new soft baby scab forming on the right drain hole.
Did it hurt? Not at all. But I was greeted with a gush of warm pink fluid that continued to expectorate to the extent that it ran down my leg even after I patted it off a few times. How GROSS is that!!??? I have a body juice geyser coming out of the top of my cooter mound! Disgusting! I would post a picture but you would all probably lobby to toss me out of here, and I cant let that happen since you are the ONLY ones that I can talk to about all these details!!!
After showering the drizzle had abated so I gobbed on Bacitracian and covered back up. I didnt bother to call the doctor.
Speaking of cooter mounds, WTH with the swollen va jay jay??? Seriously. Its creepy. I am NOT getting the satisfaction I want from my husband as I chase him around pointing and saying "LOOK HOW SWOLLEN AND WEIRD IT IS!!" and he barely looks at me and says "Yeah" then scampers away. I think for him it's like the dreaded "Do I look fat in this dress?" question. He feels like he's on tricky ground and he's not sure which is the wrong answer that will get him clobbered, so he freezes like a deer in the headlights hoping me and my Gigantor Cooter will leave him alone.
Anyone else have spurting drain holes?
In response to Hello_From-Chicago, I am going to...
1) Reclining lift chair (rent from a medical supply place for about $150/mo)
2) A walker (so your back doesn't hurt so much)
3) A lifted potty. It's not the end of the world if you don't get one, but it helps. Be sure to get one with handles.
4) I did NOT get a shower chair, I stuck one of our plastic yard chairs in there, but you WILL need something in the shower
5) A wand attachment to your shower head if you do not already have one
6) A side table RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR LIFT CHAIR, and also and easy on/off reading light
7) A water bottle that you like drinking from that is large (like over 20 oz) because ironically the more you drink water, the less water you will actually retain and swell. And you don't want the people helping you to have to fill it up every 5 minutes. I have one with a snap close lid and a little loop I can hook my finger through which helps a lot when you need to take it somewhere else in the house with you and you are on your walker. The one I got is PERFECT. I got it at Target for about $9.99 it is brand "aladdin" and says BPA Free on it, 24 oz.
8) 3 or 4 of those Clif 20g Protein Bars called "Builders." First off, they are as delicious as a candy bar. Second off, you will have no appetite the first 5-6 days which is GOOD (because we all want to lose weight, right?) but it's BAD because your body physiologically needs protein for tissue repair. So if you have a few of those next to your recliner, you can eat half of one for a meal even when you have no appetite (or if you actually DO want to eat but there is no one around to help you, or it's 2 am, or something.)
9) A package of Original Ginger Chews. They help with nausea. Also, I like them because they ARE sweet like a candy which satisfies that craving if you want a little num-num, but pretty much no one is actually going to eat the whole bag (like you would with a bag of chocolates) because they are too strong and gingerey. So one will tide you over for a long time.
10) Homeopathy -- Hypericum Perfortum -- for nerve pain after surgery. These are really helpful in the beginning when it can be hard to wait for the next pain pill.
11) Homeopathy -- Arnica -- for bruising and pain. Start taking these 3x a day starting 2-3 days before surgery.
12) Homeopathy -- Staphysagria -- for surgical wound healing.
(Personally I took all the arnica, then I took all the hypericum, and now I am taking the Staphysagria. You are not going to HURT anything by taking "too much" Homeopathy, but the principle is that you need to let one element work at a time. Oh and by the way, don't touch the pastilles with your hands [the caps dispense in such a way that you don't need to anyway] and take them separately away from any food, drink, or tooth brushing that will affect your body detecting them under your tongue.)
13) Bilberry extract -- for healthy connective tissue formation. Take 3x a day.
14) Hawthorn extract -- to increase circulation and reduce bloating and edema. Take 1x a day
15) Dandylion Leaf tea -- to reduce bloating and edema. Drink 3 cups a day.
16) Traumeel. This is similar to Arnica gel but with extra items in it. I have found it very helpful to rub on all the sore spots that develop (butt, back) that were NOT operated on (do not put on an open wound.) It is not at all like Ben-Gay -- it is NOT a menthol. You can mind it next to arnica gel in either Whole Foods or in a health food store.
17) A few boxes of large sterile surgical dressing pads. These are to tuck under your binder the first 1-2 weeks to alleviate the chafing and pressure points.
18) A little present for your husband or caretaker. I left a surprise 1/2 gallon of Cookie Dough Ice Cream in the freezer along with some raspberry candies that are my husband's favorite. I never pointed them out, but in the course of caring for me and the kids he found them, and it made him really happy.
19) Thank you cards. This might be the first time in your life you actually have time to write them :) And when people do nice things for you (even just the nurse at your doctor's office giving you extra help maybe) you can write a little thank you note. It makes the day go by way easier to have nice things like that to do.
20) A portable DVD player and a few DVD's
21) A little present for your kids who are going to be scared to death of you. My 6 year old son kept crying and crying and saying "What's wrong with mommy?" It's nice to have a happy reason to call them in to see you. I also had them read me books and that seemed to help a lot, they got to "help take care of mommy" and in that close time together they could see that I had not really changed.
22) Some tampax, because you WILL get your period within a week of the surgery. Even if you are lucky it will be within 3 weeks right? So be ready, because that's just one more thing you don't want to have to make someone go buy for you
23) A long (below hips) very thin tank top to go under your binder, and a pair of really loose comfy PJ pants
24) Granny panties. Get a size larger than usual, and get the cheap ones at CVS or Walgreens. Get non-elastic bikini or low rise style.
25) For after care, I got NewGel+E Advanced Silicone Gel for Scars because it was highly recommended on here by other ladies. I have not used it yet or even discussed it with my PS yet. I don't have my stitches out yet, so I will cross that bridge later.
26) Anti-Itch cream. I always use Cortisone cream and have that on hand, but I also got a non-steroid one made by Gold Bond because I thought I probably wouldnt want to be using too many steroids over a big area for a long time, and I understand that once the stitches are out the itching begins.
27) Hydrogen Peroxide and Rubbing Alcohol. Just because.
28) Bacitracian. I have ALWAYS used Neosporin, but apparently in this situation when they KNOW what the bacteria is that they are worried about with surgical openings (specifically, Staph) then you should just use the one antibiotic ointment specifically for Staph (Bacitracian) and not use a triple antibiotic ointment.
29) Go online to Classic Shapewear and at least start to think about what kind of compression garment you might like
30) Two bottles of Knudsen's ReCharge, or Alacer Miracle Water, for electrolyte replenishment the first week.
31) Kefir and/or a high quality probiotic because you need to help your intestines after all the thrashing from antibiotics and painkillers.
32) Metameucil. Take three teaspoons daily stirred into a small cup of water and drink it down. Why not? It makes things light and fluffy. :)
As an overall eating policy, you should try and emphasize a fresh foods as much as possible, leafy greens (for Vitamin K), cucumbers, parsley, celery, and alfalfa sprouts. Also try and emphasize sea vegetables (sea weed) for new cell growth, iodine, and minerals. Miso soup from a nearby japanese restaurant is a great thing to have. If you like it, even better have miso soup, seaweed salad, and a salmon/avocado roll as a healing dinner. Try and put a scoop of greens and reds powder along with a scoop of protein powder (whey protein is good for post surgery) at the very least as your smoothie breakfast each morning. Feel free to add in black strap molasses, wheat germ, organic fruit, psyllum husk, and brewers yeast if you like.
If you want to know more about this hippy crap, then buy the book Healthy Healing by Linda Recor Page. Good reading during your recovery :)
Finally, I am fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay Area so all this stuff is really easy to find. Try a Whole Foods or any good health food store. Worst case, you can always order online.
My Compression Garments arrived today. I was super...
The FIRST one is like a black wetsuit that I can't even get past my knees. It is a size Medium, so I think I should get able to get it on. Not even CLOSE. What the hell is this thing made of? I decide that it's probably just because I am scared to PULL it on (it does have a zipper front, but the point is I can't even get near the point of when I would zip the damn thing) so I go on to the second one.
The SECOND one is beige, and much softer, so I manage to get it up to my hips. Then I wiggle into it really slowly and carefully, afraid of hurting my stitches (because I am totally breaking the law by doing this you know. I am supposed to be in the girdle for WEEKS and them my PS is going to actually give me a Compression Garment, I just didn't want to wait any longer so I am cheating.) I still left one protective pad over my front where the drain holes and belly button are. After much effort, I manage to zip it up. I am squeezed very very tight. Yes it IS putting on as much compression as the binder, maybe even more, and over a bigger area. So I lie down for awhile because I feel so squeezey.
Finally I get up and look in the mirror. WTF!? I invite you to please look at the pictures above so you can see what I mean.
1) Picture One -- this is what SHE looks like in the Compression Garment (that bi*** never had a TT I can tell you that!)
2) Picture Two -- this is what I look like in the Compression Garment. I LOOK LIKE THE LORAX.
3) Picture Three -- VISUAL AID
I think I am too disgruntled to try on the remaining two. I need a time of mourning first.
I have managed to recover emotionally from the...
So with that in mind, I just re-shopped this morning. Taking the advice of TT_for_twin_mom (who is such a weirdo that she LOVES her CG! What the heck! That is a sado-masochistic fetish if I ever heard of one), I went online and looked at Design Veronique post surgical garments. I do think the Classic Shapewear is a great site because they carry dozens of brands and styles. But they don't carry Veronique so I went directly to their site.
First of all, it is very fun to look at all the different crazy compression garments you COULD be wearing and are not. It's like -- Ha ha! Look at that person! Who would operate on THAT!!!? It's the same kind of small victory that you have when you have to answer those "Health Questionnaires" before donating blood or going to the doctor. You know what I mean, when it's asks a question like "Since 1970, have you ever had unprotected anal sex with a transsexual Ethiopian prostitute while doing intravenous drugs?" And you victoriously proclaim "NO I HAVE NOT!!!!", filled with the smug satisfaction that you are NOT nearly as screwed up as other people out there!
Well, I was having that same kind of smug satisfaction looking at all the body parts that are compressable. Finally I come across item #1052 "Labia Support Girdle" and I was like "Ha ha ha! What the heck!!!?? What is going ON for that person!!? They are a HOT MESS!!! Ha ha ha!" and then I merrily moved along.
And then about 3 minutes later it hit me. Um, HELLO. I am the freakshow posting online for millions of people to see that I am chasing my poor terrified husband around the house waving my Gigantor Cooter in the air. Talk about a plank in my own eye. The Labia Support Girdle is designed for ME!!!!!
So I am now ordering Style #C50 "Abdominal Recovery Kit", which includes one Zippered Abdominal Girdle (sounds good for now when I am all fragile and vulnerable), one Non-Zippered Abdominal Girdle (sounds good for the future when I am ready to be yanking things on again and don't want the zipper ridges) and the LABIA SUPPORT GIRDLE because now that I have recognized my hypocrisy I am ready to fling myself full-bore into a Cooter Reduction Strategy. The whole kit is $219.85, and I look forward to posting successful photos next week. Perhaps this time I will look like Humpty from Puss n' Boots instead.
Woot woot! Hands in the air people! I had to peel...
I need to add TWO very important things to my list...
The past two days I have had the most horrible leg aches at night when I am trying to sleep. I could almost use the word cramping. I could not figure out what is going on other than I just suspect that I am so used to being very physically active all day long that my body is not doing so well with the inactivity. The agony subsides the moment I get up and walk around, but that is not very useful when you are trying to sleep is it!!??
So last night I pulled out the Healthy Healing book that I previously recommended. I looked up what to do for Muscle Cramps and Aches. There were some immediate physical practical things such as rubbing Traumeel on my legs (yay! I already had it) and having someone slap the bottoms of my feet really hard (which my husband somehow was perfectly happy to do....hmmmm...) But she also recommended taking an Emergen-C (by Alacer) for almost immediate relief.
Guess what? Almost immediate relief. Did NOT fix it entirely yet, but I am taking two more today and hoping things will be better tonight. Emergen-C many years back was only available at Health Food stores, but now it's totally mainstream and you can get it at Trader Joes and even Safeway.
My working theory is that aside from lack of activity, I am also depleted from drinking so much dang water to try and keep myself from bloating or swelling (sounds counter intuitive but it's absolutely true.) So I think I needed more electrolytes and minerals. I am also going to go and get another Knudsen ReCharge, because I only drank one back around Day 3 and it tasted like nectar it was so incredibly delicious. That should have tipped me off right there that my body was needing more electrolytes!!!
By the way I see my PS tomorrow and I am supposed to get my tape off and stitches out! I can't WAIT to see the real incision, and I will be sure to give you all a photo shoot!! Yippee!!