10/8/12; Columbus Day. He Discovered a New World and So Did I - Scottsdale, AZ

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Before: Lost 100 pounds from diet and exercise....

Before: Lost 100 pounds from diet and exercise. Still needed to lose 40 to be at my goal weight, but hanging skin apron was making exercise more and more difficult and looking at it in the mirror everyday was affecting my motivation to keep working so hard when I still saw a fat girl in the mirror. Against my trainers recommendations, I decided to get a TT now instead of waiting for another 6-12 months. I began looking online and consulting with PS. I got a recommendation for Dr. Daiza from friends who had a mommy makeover from her 6 months ago and had a fantastic experience. She was one of the Dr's I consulted with and thankfully, I liked her the best in person too. Plus, her portfolio of before/after pics was far better for people in my current physical shape. She said I could wait if I wanted to, but even in my current condition, I would have fantastic results.

During: Surgery was on 10/8/12. Full TT, breast reduction/lift, and lipo of the flanks. (I stayed overnight at Greenbaum Surgical Hospital in Scottsdale and they are amazing!) Dr. Daiza removed 11.5 pounds of tissue from me during the nearly 8 hour procedure. I remember standing naked on a stool in the OR getting soaped up by the nurses and nothing again until I was in my private room, heavily sedated on morphine. My nurses were kind and compassionate, and NEVER late on my pain medication throughout the night. I had to get up once to walk during the night. PAINFUL to get in and out of the bed, but the walking wasn't terrible. Dr. Daiza was in at 6am the next morning to check on me. She said everything looked great! More pain medication. This level of pain was MUCH HIGHER than I was anticipating going into it. More walking the hall, catheter out. Can't go home till I can pee on my own. Boyfriend given drain emptying instructions, nearly passes out, homeward bound.

Week 1: Set up recliner in the living room. Prior to the surgery, I had anticipated 7-10 days off work. Thought I would spend a lot of time sitting in the recliner relaxing, reading a few books, catching up on my DVR, then back to work. Boy was I wrong! I spend nearly the first full week completely bound to that recliner, except for my mandatory walking and bathroom. I stayed heavily medicated on Vicodin and Valium and slept nearly the whole week. IT HURT SO MUCH. I have never been sick or injured before, this may have been why the pain level was unexpected, but this was unreal. All from TT/Lipo, almost no pain at all in breast area.

Week 2: Less sleeping, less drugs, still bound to the recliner. More walking. Get in a few car rides, just to get out of the house. First shower was amazing but wiped me out completely. Drains are cumbersome and painful where they are stitched to my skin. Mid-week is my follow-up appt. and drains come out. Still off work. I expected to be back by now. Taking pics of progress and changes. Flat, but fat. Hoping its just swollen. Back is in terrible pain from sleeping in the recliner.

Week 3: Back to work, ready or not. Desk job so I guess I can give it a shot. I'm so tired. I'm sore. If I stay sitting pain is less, when I have to get up its like all mobility is gone and I'm walking hunched over again. Made it to my own bed, lots of pillows. Can't get out of it by myself. Had to do it though, my back couldn't take the recliner another night. After a few nights, back is better. Pain is way less, no more narcs. Random feelings of pinching or like a rubber band snap in the ab muscles. Sneezing and coughing are a MF'er though. Nipples have been hurting lately. Like needles poking. First time I've felt pain in this area. Breast reduction/lift had previously caused no pain. Sitting causes some discomfort on TT incision from CB. Ordered new one today. Still very swollen (God, I hope its swollen and not still just fat) and depression setting in. Questioning decision. Lot of money and pain to just be a little less fat. Well, I was warned, but its at least flat. Muffin top area causing most concern, right above the incision line. Need to get back on track with my diet since exercise is out of the question. Depression causing some emotional eating, salty foods not good for swelling. I'm making my problems worse. Feeling super guilty for being still so helpless. Super-independent, clean freak. Boyfriend is not a nurturer and not a cleaner. I spend a lot of time watching my house get messier and messier and not being able to do anything about it. Very frustrated.


Would really love a bubble bath right now. And so...

Would really love a bubble bath right now. And so sick of this binder. Itchy. And I'm not a back sleeper. Ugh, today was a rough day.

Two thoughts regarding CG keep going through my...

Two thoughts regarding CG keep going through my head today.

#1 you know how when you twist your ankle, as long as you keep your shoe on, your foot doesn't swell, as soon as you take your shoe off, wham-o... Swells up like a balloon.

#2 have you ever wrapped a rubber band around your finger tightly? The parts of your finger above and below the rubber band swell up and change color.

I have a love/hate relationship with my CG.

My incisions are starting to hurt now. And I fear...

My incisions are starting to hurt now. And I fear my BB may have a small infection. No fever, just a green color near the top along the stitches. FU appt is in a few days so I am putting antibiotic ointment on it and covering w a bandaid.

I forgot to mention that I bought a new CG too. ...

I forgot to mention that I bought a new CG too. Marena brand, looks like tall underwear that has a hook and eye at the crotch area and a zipper up the side. Tighter than the one I got from my Dr. That one was a wrap around kind with a single Velcro that ran the whole length but never matched up quite right and was always bunching up and leaving bulges under my clothes and scratching my skin. The new one was so tight I couldn't get to sleep last night and ended up taking it off half way through the night.

I called my Dr's office and sent her office staff a pic of my belly button. I think what I have is what I've seen people calling spitting sutures. I can see and feel several clear plastic threads/knots sticking out of several different areas of my belly button. Also, an area around the incision has a green color (I'll add a pic) and I was hoping it would clear up but it hasn't. I had been washing it really well with Hibicleanse soap daily and wiping a cotton pad with peroxide over it. Yesterday I started putting an anti-biotic ointment on it and covering it with a bandaid. Well today when I finally called my Dr. office I was scolded for putting any ointment on it. She wants all incisions kept dry. Now I have to go home and wash off all the ointment. The Dr was in surgery so she didn't get to see the pic I sent. It was her office staff that told me to keep it clean and dry until my appointment day after tomorrow. The office sent the pic to the Dr. but she is in surgery today and tomorrow. Office said the Dr would call me sooner if she felt there something wrong that could not wait until my appointment and needed to instruct me in some other method of dealing with it but in all likelihood, this gross thing will have to wait until Saturday.

Also, I am having a real hard time keeping my emotions in check. They said to expect that. My emotions were all over the place before the surgery. I am in a very unstable relationship. He stepped up and has been better than I expected he would be during this process, much to my surprise. But take a situation that was barely hanging on before hand and add to it all the pain and hassles and recovery issues of major surgery with a really long healing time and things get a little tough. I am all over the place, weepy, angry, indifferent, passive aggressive, and super needy.

I am behind at work, I have no energy, I find myself making stupid mistakes. I know my boss is supportive, but I hate that my issues are becoming his issues. I need to focus but find that difficult sometimes.

Sleeping. I can't get comfortable. I have to take a sleep aid to get to sleep and then I'll wake up in a few hours after that and have to take it again to get a whole night's worth of sleep. This doesn't help with the focus issue I mentioned above.

And since I seem to be on a roll here, lets cap it off with one more rant/whine... my self esteem is in the toilet. I still look and feel FAT.

Wow, I had to be reminded to update. Just shows...

Wow, I had to be reminded to update. Just shows how busy I've been. I had a follow up appt with the Dr last Saturday. I got my dressings changed, she looked at my belly button. She said its not infected, just fatty tissue from under the skin poking out through an area where the stitches opened up. Keep it clean and dry and it will be fine. I relaxed a bit. Having trouble getting comfortable to sleep, still. Still in a V shape using pillows, on my back. Makes me snore, keeps my boyfriend up and hurts my back. Binder itches more at night. Was able to get a few more muscle relaxers and pain pills for bedtime. They help.

Started on Atkins (high protein, close to zero carbs) diet until I can get back into the gym and back into my exercise routine. Scale and measuring tape finally starting to move.

Started back on my birth control pills. My 1 month absence from taking them was probably another culprit of the mood swings and depression I have been dealing with. Still can't have sex, but at least my hormones will go back to normal.

And since I mentioned sex. I am beyond frustrated. Still no sex, not that my body feels comfortable in any position anyway. So my mind is a mess, my body is a mess, and I am dealing with a lot of stress at home and at work with no outlet for my frustrations. No sex, no booze (I've decided not to drink alcohol due to the empty calories and blood thinning), and no exercise.

Its only temporary though, right. This too shall pass.

It's been a while since my last update. Things...

It's been a while since my last update. Things don't change much from week 4-5-6. Still in my CG. Still have the love/hate relationship with it. I did buy new bras, still wire-free but not the sports bra. I was a DDD now a C/D and kind of upset at how small they are now. My abs cramp a lot. I'm still sleeping on my back propped up w pillows because laying flat hurts. I'm getting really frustrated with the very slow healing and recovery process. I'm getting depressed and eating crap and gaining weight. No sunshine and unicorns for this update :(

I had a follow up appt yesterday with the surgeon....

I had a follow up appt yesterday with the surgeon. Halfway between 6-7 weeks post op. My belly button has healed up completely. Never was infected, just looked gross. I was able to have all the tape removed for good this time. My instructions are to massage vitamin e oil on the scars twice a day. I have this stuff I like called tissue repair cream I am using. While massaging I noticed that the skin may be joined together completely, the tissues underneath are not joined together yet. I feel ridges where my breasts were reconstructed. Very gross. I was released to have sex again, finally! That was a huge hurdle to overcome. I actually slept on my side last night. Not quite back into my normal position on my stomach, but at least I am no longer on my back with all those damn pillows. I am allowed to do cardio again. I can do leg machine exercises, but no squats, lunges, abs, or upper body weight training yet. I need to go slow and work my way back up to my old levels pre-surgery. I can stop wearing the sports bras but still nothing with a wire for 3 months. At the 8 week mark I am released to do anything I feel comfortable doing. She said it may hurt but there is little to nothing I could do to screw up anything she did to me in my surgery. I do have a sharp pain to the right of my belly button I got while straining to lift something heavy while cleaning the house a few days ago. Neither of which was I supposed to be doing yet. I told her about it since it continues to hurt and she said I probably just bruised the muscle? We'll see. She said my scars look good. They are smooth and pink right now. She said that in 2-4 weeks from now they will turn a dark purple and may even raise up. She knows I have a tendency to freak out when the unexpected occurs. She said don't freak out, its totally normal, its the collagen and it will eventually lighten and flatten again. Also at 8 weeks I can stop the daily wear of the binder/CG. I would only have to wear it during exercise at that point. I feel better when its on, even though it is very cumbersome and itchy. I will upload some pics from my phone in a bit.

Hard to believe its been another month. My scars...

Hard to believe its been another month. My scars are healing up nicely. I am back to the gym and my strength training workout, albeit at a reduced level and no ab workouts yet. The holidays brought excessive treats and calorie consumption. I've gained weight, I hope to be back to my food and exercise and weight loss again once we're into the New Year. No new pictures because I don't look all that different other than my stomach directly under my ribs extra fluffy due to the weight I've gained in the last few months.

Yesterday marks my 12th week PO. I swell a lot...

Yesterday marks my 12th week PO. I swell a lot during the day still. I am out of my CG. I am back at the gym without restrictions. Cardio on the stairmaster and weight lifting, although due to 10 weeks away, my weights are noticeably lower. 100 daily crunches and leg lifts started last week and are no problem. Sleeping any which way I want. Seemingly no restrictions. Scars still flat, one side is pink, other side a bit darker red. Too much time off from the gym coupled with the holidays were not good to my weight/waist line. Back on track now and down 3 lbs since the New Year began. Going to get some better stretching in with some new yoga dvd's I got for X-Mas too.

Wow, another month has passed already? I feel back...

Wow, another month has passed already? I feel back to normal. I still have swell hell everyday. My scar is healing ok. Its higher than I would like it to be on the sides. It shows over my jeans sometimes. Hopefully that won'r matter as the scar lightens. One of my biggest pet peeves is that my pants never stay up anymore. My thighs are still fat so my jeans have to fit over them and then are too big around the waist. Even with a belt I'm constantly hiking them up. Perhaps once I love the weight in my thighs this will no longer be an issue. My workouts are back on track with just slightly modified ab work. I have had a lot of stress in my life and my eating is not as healthy as I would like. I have not lost the weight I should have if I had gone back to the lifestyle I was living prior to the surgery. I eat crap occasionally and I skip workouts. I think a lot of that has to do with my boyfriend moving in right before my surgery. It was a lot easier to eat the foods on my meal plan when I was the only one eating. And it was a lot easier to get out of bed at 4am when I was sleeping alone in that bed. Now, not as easy. Excuses. Need to re-focus!

Made the final payment on the surgery this morning...

Made the final payment on the surgery this morning and got the email to update my review a few minutes after. Still happy with the surgery. Love how my scars are healing, very tight line, she did a great job with the closure. Tried on bikini bottoms yesterday and not only did I not cry, I actually bought them! I'll have to wear a tankini top to cover the scars but thats ok. Maybe if I get a spray tan they won't show. I've been back on my fitness and diet and the weight is going back in the right direction - DOWN! Finally! I still swell quite a bit by the end of the day but I was told to expect that for at least a year. I look fantastic every morning and bloated every night. Oh well, its better than it was. Still happy with my decision. Happier still that I am back on the losing track. Need to get back into the weight training. I had to take a break due to a personal issue with my previous trainer but I've been doing a Couch to 5K program. I've always been strong but I have never been a runner so this is an amazing achievement.

Personal referral.

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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