1 More Day--- Rebuilding Myself from the Inside out :) - Scottsdale, AZ

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1 more day until my tuck!! Last year was when I...

1 more day until my tuck!! Last year was when I had my first introduction to 'diastasis'... When I realized what that meant I just instantly knew I needed to have it fixed! I have multiple issues with my spine and have been suffering with back pain since the end of my 1st pregnancy nearly 12 years ago. All that time I never knew about diastasis. From all I've read over the last year I see that doctors don't want to say that the TT will help with any back pain--and my back doctor doesn't want to talk about my abs. It's when I read all the personal stories from women who've already had it done- stories just like mine- I just know there's no way that this won't at least help ease some of the pain I experience. I have realistic expectations. I know it won't heal me... I KNOW it WILL benefit me to have my muscles on my side for the remainder of my life going forward. How exciting is that!? :D
I wear a back brace often to support my low back when I'm hurting. I like it on- I feel supported, held in and up and strong. It's when it comes off that I feel this sensation of spilling forward, like an avalanche. I always just thought that was my fault for being chubby. That what I was feeling was only my extra fat and skin, never realizing it was more than that. It's not normal. Wow. When I realized that, I iust knew I had to be brave and have this done. I need my body to do its job!! I had to help myself.
With the guidance of my husbands aunt, she directed me to Dr. Lawrence Shaw-- I had consulted with another highly regarded surgeon before meeting him. When I met Dr. Shaw and his staff, I just knew he would be the one to help me. He is amazing. I made it very clear my reasons for being in his office was for repair. Don't get me wrong, the idea of not having the belly is almost unbelievable and I'm really looking forward to that. That's the bonus!!
So. Tuesday, March 3, my amazing, supportive and sweet husband will accompany me to the surgical center where I will be fighting the anxiety monster and put my life into Dr. Shaws hands. I am terrified. Excited. Anxious. Thankful. Hopeful. I feel crazy blessed to be able to have this procedure done and I truly believe it will improve my quality of life.

I am a cake designer, love to refinish furniture, momma of 2 amazing girls.
Hiking is my favorite outdoor activity and I cannot wait to see about getting back into hot yoga. Damn I miss that.
I am short and curvy. 5' 3" and currently 165 pounds. Hoping that after this surgery I will feel strong...maybe I will remember my old self- before pregnancies when I took my body for granted.
I'm excited. If I can gather the courage by tomorrow I will post before pics. I think it's an important part of the process but it's so hard being that vulnerable. For a camera. Exposing what you try to disguise daily. Exposing the one place on my body that makes me cringe when my husband sees it. When his hand rests on that area of jello goo. Blech. At the same time I know it might help someone else just as others pics and stories have surely helped me through this process. And I believe it will help me too- I just need to dig deep and do it. For me.

Tomorrow- it's only a day away! Pre-op pics

Well. This is painful to post. Like I want to hide under a rock. Doing it for myself so I can see my progress and for anyone who may benefit from my experience. Here goes nothing.
5'3"-- 165 pounds preop

Anxiety !!!!

I've been pretty calm all day- even through this evening- it's 10:40 pm here and I will be getting up and showered at 4 for a 5:30 am check in time. Cuddling with the hubs on the couch and I can feel my insides cramping and jumping around--- anxiety.
I feel like I've been sleepwalking through this day not really believing that my surgery is hours away. I guess my brain knows better lol. I have this internal dialogue that's saying everything is normal, nothing new happening, status quo... Can't fool myself anymore I guess! Just packed my bag. Hello, reality.

The Morning After -

Apparently posting while doped up is difficult- I had a long amazing update and POOF it's gone- have to start over :(
Anywho- so yesterday I was way more calm than I thought I would ever be. I teared up and cried when hubby said goodbye. Before I was even wheeled out the door I was already in dreamland of some sort. Next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery....

Sobbing. It can now be determined that for me I do not do well with coming out of anesthesia whether it be conscious sedation or general anesthia. Recovery is estimated at 1 1/2 - 2 hours. I was still crying like a baby 2 1/2 hours later. I only recall the tail end of it trying to will myself into stopping and to open my eyes which were sealed shut by concrete brings. I also was not talking when they asked me to.

I vaguely remember being transported to my room and not much after that. My husband and his Aunt spent the majority of the day and eve with me.
They did get me up and walking thought I'd like to forget about that. I literally had just woken up and they wanted me on my feet. I was shandy and dizzy and terrified! Getting out of bed was the worst part. Then figuring out how to stand/ bend/ hobble. I ended up in tears although they said I did awesome lol.

Last night After saying goodbye to family, and my hubby who brought the girls to see me, I have spent the night by myself here. It's been fine- sleeping in 3 hour intervals. I last awoke at 3 am to the beeping sounDs here in the room. I woke up and thought WOW I feel pretty awesome! Literally 2 mins later of breathing more deeply and reaching for my phone to see the time WHAMMO the discomfort/ pain smacked my in the face. My angel nurses quickly delivered thier secret remedies and let me shake it off. They should be here soon to get me up and walking again. I can feel the Valium which cute the cramping across my back and most of the discomfort I feel is at the sternum and at the drain site. Especially the right drain, she's a sassy little bitch. We are not on speaking terms.

As for getting up, it's the getting up and out of bed that's the hardest and most frightening part for me.

I am looking forward to seeing my Dr. At some point this morning and asking him about the surgery and what was happening inside my tummy. His OR nurse was in and out yesterday and I asked her about the diastasis repair- she seemed surprised I asked about. Our aunt said she looked as if she'd expected me to ask about 'am I skinny now?' But she held up a finger estimate which seemed to be 4" wide, assuming near the belly button area. My old belly button area ;) hee hee! I can't seem to get a good feel through this fortress of garment wraps and that's ok with me! I am not looking forward to the first time it's unwrapped as I ass Kate that with a negative feeling of falling out. Who knows- this may be the first time in 12 years where I can have a new sensation. Tight and held in :) sounds wonderful!

Pain so far I'd rate at 3-5 on a 10 scale. Wonderfully controlled by the Valium and a pain med that I never recall the name of. Most discomfort as I said continues to be at the sternum and my drain area. Perhaps it's the incision as well but feels like drain.
This RS site had been such a great resource for me as a planned for this day and a new resource for recovery now! I even made a TT buddy who's surgery was today- she's across the long so I'm not sure of the time diff but I think she must be in recovery now-- sending you love and warm hugs my friend, R! Xoxo
Will catch up later on TT ladies- pray for me that I don't panic when pain comes in bursts. I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks- physical pain is something that easily sets it off.

Up for a 3rd walk

So I requested to get out of bed to alleviate some back discomfort. Holy shit. Sorry I asked. It hurt as much as the first time but I did walk further than last time. 3rd times not the charm in this scenario. Laying down again and feels back at a 3. She's getting ready to clean my drain sites and under the binder.

First peek at my new button :)

It's so cute! Oozing but cute!
Still mosty discomfort is at the drain site while laying down. Standing up is a different ballgame.

1day postop- is that really my torso!?!?

So after a realllly rough morning I had an increasingly great day! Walking became easier evey time. Pain management is figured out at this point and I am now off IV painmeds. Now on oral Percocet and I think Valium the Percocet seems to be working better than the original IV I had.
The best part of my day was seeing my PS when he came to check on me. He said everything went great, he unwrapped me and said I looked great! I got to see my new tummy and almost couldn't believe it was attached to my body haha!
I asked about the diastasis. From what I recall in my doped up state is that the separation was substantial from sternum to pubic bone 8-10 cm. I think that converts to 3.25 inches to 4 inches widest at the belly button.
I will still say the drains give me the most disconfort. This is the one place where I've ever been where the concensus is that redheads need more anesthesia and respond differently to meds. I swear it's true. So here's my newly repaired belly I'm sure to get a better peek tomorrow.
BTW I just cannot brag on Dr. Shaw enough. So many people here in this surgical center have said he is top notch, extremely particular and one of the absolute best at tucks. He had perfected his craft and he had proudly left his mark in my world :) 1 day in- forever thankful

Home sweet home - after full TT/ no lipo

I seriously don't know how anyone could have this done and then go home shortly after.
There's just no way I would've done as well if I was not under the care and direction of my awesome nursing staff at Piper. The transition from recover center to now being at home has only been easy because of my attentive husband. Otherwise I am feeling like I took a step back. I am sore, extra dopey, and somewhat uneasy.
Still super gassy and waiting for you know what to happen. ;)

3rd day postop-

Well. This morning I woke up happy and sore, ready for meds. My husband has been the absolute best. Drains are being kept clean though there isn't a minute that goes by that I don't feel their presence. They bug the crap out of me. Speaking of crap- I wish that would happen. Eh hem. Anyways.
Here's a pic of my tummy during this mornings cleaning. I like what I see and I wonder when I will believe it's attached to my body. That's my body. Say whaaaa? I adore my belly button. Dr. Shaw made it look just like my pre-baby button. He's a genius. I'm not a girl who has ever liked her body but I am getting there. Not because of this smaller waist size but because I now appreciate it!
As today wears on I am feeling more discomfort, getting up often to pee and I am sure I am starting to bloat from needing a BM. Ugh.
GET THIS so I'm sitting here in the med recliner half naked hoohaw hanging out because she doesn't like the drains- and my 10 year old daughter comes flying through the front door bawling- and missing her front teeth!!!! What the heck!? Fell off a bike and ate pavement. I had just taken my meds so I'm doped up- trying to make emergency calls while hubby calms her down and assess the situation. My sister is headed over to babysit me (lol) and feed my other baby.... I also wanted my hair scrubbed tonight but now I just feel selfish. My kid is missing teeth and I'm cranky about my greasy hair.
This is turning out to be on hell of an expensive week! Lol.

If you don't have something nice to say, then don't say nothing at all

I am totally fighting sleep as I write this. Why? -because I am stubborn. I felt like a swollen beast today, my mind totally preoccupied with the goal of needing to poop. I've done all I can think to do. I. Am still eating light. Prunes. Water. Colase. Still bloated... My stomach sounds like a thunder storm lol, gotta go! My binder feels wierd. The drains are on my very last nerve. My kiddo knocked out her 2 front teeth. Called my sister over to wash my hair for me but she ended up doing so much more (thanks sister!) im falling asleep while typing. What else to say. These meds are crazy awesome and this surgery is no joke. Guess that's all. Stressful day today. I kinda miss the recovery center and their awesome nursing staff.

5th day Postop-

Well. Well. Well. This morning I woke up after having slept through pain med time- all was well until I moved. The remainder of today has been a few moments of feeling ok but 99% feeling bloated and irritable and just praying to poop before I pop! I'm having a feeling of pressure around my incisions and drain sites and I'm sure it's bloat. Super gassy but nothing is working so far. Today was one of those days I read I would have. I was a bit defeated. Feeling low. Feeling unkempt and unlike myself. Relying on everyone around me especially my best friend, my Mr. He's been so great. I had a mini meltdown brought on by pain and fear. Sometimes it's hard to stay a step ahead at all times.
Aside from complaining let me talk about positives for those looking for positivity! I'm all about being real- and this full TT with muscle repair surgery is no joke- it's real as real can get! I'm so happy to have had it done- happy that my surgeon put me back together- and I am SO hoping that once I heal that I can be a voice for those who instinctively know that their diastasis is a major contributor to their back pain. I did this surgery for the MR aspect- the bonus along the way has been realizing that I will be free from the overhanging belly! I am happy to share my story if asked. Once I heal and can more effectively gauge my personal level of improvement from diastasis repair I can then share more openly why this is so important! People need more info.
Random: some people have messaged me asking some ?s and so here's my opinion on a few things.
I am still waiting to have a BM. I don't even care if it hurts at this point I just wanna do it. Get outta mah bellay!
I never take my binder off and don't understand why any doc would tell you to do so. It comes unwrapped while laying down in order for my drain sites and beautifully crafted BB to be cleaned. That's it. And then wrapped up again :)
I don't think it's a smart idea to shower or get your drain sites wet. At all. Even if you dry them. Just not a good idea.
I am also irritated and concerned by those who are promoting standing up straight soon as possible after surgery during recovery. use your legs to stand up, straighten your legs but keep a slight bend at the waist. I sometimes even hold my sternum- it's sensitive for me.
Take deep inhales often as possible. Get those lungs full of air and moving.
During my 2 night stay in recovery I can't tell you how awesome it was and how reaffirming it was to hear random nurses and aides tell me how well respected my PS is, and how lucky I was to have hired him. I was repeatedly told he is meticulous and that my results were so great even in that day and healing awesomely. I truly believe he is the best and his results speak for themselves. I don't know why anyone would elect to have this done and then choose to go home within the same day by choice! Stay at least overnight if you have the opportunity. It's well worth the money. Mine was a 2 night stay and I wouldn't have had it any other way. I'm truly grateful for the care and genuine concern shown to me by the staff at Piper Surgery Center. Zero complaints.
If I remember anything else to lecture about I'll do it. Don't worry. My meds have given me a super big mouth lol :D
Here's my daily belly picture. I am waiting for the day to see it while standing. It's still not real to me as I've only seen myself through the eye of a camera.

Sunday - not so fun day - 5 days postop (or 6?)

Oh. My. Sweet. Lord
I knew I was gonna be backed up. I knew it had been days. I knew my tummy was gurgling and things were prob a mess inside there. Sunday afternoon turned from not so great- to the worst day ever. The bloating and cramping had already prompted a call to my Dr. Poor guy trying to enjoy his day and I call about my wishes to eliminate. He advised to do whatever it'd take to go- continie stool softeners- prunes and other awesome foods like that- prune juice- maybe try suppositories bye even said just do an enema neutron you'll go and you'll feel fantastic after. Good luck.
So the afternoon wears on from bad to worse- turned ugly to Wo kee in a matter of minutes. I and to call fried s to bring me all the items Id ever need to have this home birth.
Spare the details but IT WAS SO BAD that my incision and drains didn't even hurt anymore from all the strain- it was just me and my lil booty that was crying out for help.
When it happened at last I really thought Id hurt my muscle repair and or any incisions. Hubby cleaned me up and said all looks well. At this time, 5 hours later, my abdomen feels like a really bad sunburn. Like really bad sunburn all under my binder. Ouch.
And wouldn't you know soon as I finally released that Massive BM, my stomach starts growling and saying its hi hey what's for dinner--- NO! You are never eating again! Shut up!
Lesson here- although I felt infollowed advice and certain prep recommendations- here are the things I'd have done differently maybe it wouldda helped. Who knows
I'd have taken stool softener days and days before surgery. Forget fear of loose poo the day of. I should've feared the poo 5 days later
I'd have drank more and more water. Like floating away. Drink.
I'd have started focusing on the BM before I even had a thought of hmmmm, hope I'm not constipated.
Maybe it's possible to not take the narcotic.
After today I refuse. Hell. No. Never again. I would rather have pain and take Tylenol than deal with that shit again. Pun intended.
I'd have prepur based the tuff I thought- oh let's wait and see- the supposotories. The enema. The boxes of prunes. The wipes. Anything. Get it now. Don't wait. It's not fun calling everyone you know trying to find a brave soul to go poop shopping for you.
I'd have thank yous lined up and ready for those who have so freely given their tme and care to me. And for my dearest man- who's seen me now in all the worst of ways- I will find ways to thank you for all perfect care you've shown.
The struggle is real my TT friends. Just be real about it and be prepared. Ugh.
No pics today. I got nothin tomorrow I have my first postop doc appt so will have pics then I hope :)

6 days post- Pain Advice please?

I am feeling like I should be further along than I am. Yesterday was shitty. For real- like had my first BM from hell and was the worst day of my entire existence type of shitty day.
Today of course I'm feeling lighter lol, but the pain--- I wish I was feeling more comfortable with how im feeling. I think the drama of yesterday really beat me up. I did expect to hurt today in my abdomen and I do. I woke this morning feeling like I was on fire.
After that BM nightmare I swore off all narcs. I decided to take only Tylenol. What a joke. By midday I was over it- tooucch pain- and decided to go back to the narc but only half dose plus the Tylenol. Ugh.
I never really feel comfortable. Is that just how it is? Obviously it's a major surgery- there's gonna be some pain- not roses- but what can I do for l myself to feel less pain? Maybe I'm just more sensitive- fine- but that doesn't mean I get to suffer does it?

I had my post op doc appt today they removed my original surgical tape and replaced with new - said all looked really great, clean and healthy- same for the drains.
Hubby has done a tremendous job taking care of me.
I think when I see them again on Wednesday I will ask for another pain mgmt plan. I'm not happy with the current med- and I swear my goal is to never ever be constipated like that again. I assume that means to stay away from the pain meds but I need help still.

I'm whiney and pathetic. Not myself. I just wanna feel better so I can be more active in this raking process.

Big cry baby

I've been quiet. My big mouth has been real quiet.
All I have are complaints and worries and questions I stead of feeling confident and content- and it scares me.
I hate being so reliant on everyone but what I'm seeing is how loved I am and how lucky we are slot have such great family and friend surrounding us- but still--- I'm having trouble being still.
Sunday was my awful poo day.
Monday I felt laccomllished but tortured from prior poo day. I also had my 1sy postop appt trip outta the house and I was wiped out.
I've been weaning off the narcs since then and it's been rough. I still hurt. Tylenol is stupid. Narc is now rationed to nighttime per my own decision.
I slept last night but my dreams were full of odd thoughts and nightmarish themes. Disturbing.
Tuesday-today- blessed by a friend coming over to help tidy the house-feed me-scrubbed my dirty hair- bathed me- humble me- purchasedcomfy bras for me- and more- after all that today I just am beat up. So tired. Exhausted from the inside out physically emotionally and my spirit feels a bit broken.

I sneezed today. Add that to the list. I saw the light. No joke.

My bodyguard so incredibly weak. It's enough for me to walk to the restroom and pee- walk back to my stupid chair and sit back down again and then attempt to get comfortable and be content. I miss my bed and laying next to my warm stud muffin.

I have what's left of my face ---yesterday I noticed- today it's manifested- I thought was just dry but is way worse, it's actuay raw and rashlike. It hurts. I'm just putting raw unrefined shea butter on it. So I'm a raw flaky greaseball face. So pretty.
I miss getting dressed in clothes and underpants for crying out loud and my makeup. It's my security and I miss it so much. Love me a good red lipstick and eye liner ???? and everything else. It's fun. I can't wear freaking pants. These drains--- ugh!!! I'm living in nightgowns and that's it. Naked butt. Hubby likes it.

Tomorrow I have another doc appt.
I want to ask about pain.
I'm curious abt a diff CG and if this is really the right one for my shape. I feel like it's just rolling up my hips and doesn't stay over my lowest side incision. I want to be all in. All held in all over for safety lol.

I'm just annoyed. I'm not usually ever still. Don't like resting or sitting or watching TV or taking naps. I don't like watching my hubs do it all alone and my kids need me present.

I knew this would be tough and will take time - I know im prob overreacting and this is prob normal. But it's not normal for me and it feels awful. I thought I would have up days and down days but didn't think about the possibility of having stagnant days. Multiple days In a row of feeling no progress.
I hope to sleep and tomorrow all this will feel like just a bad day.

Just ranting. Sorry not sorry. Just being real. Real pitiful lol. Here's the belly from this morning. I have new tape. It ripped some of my skin off when they removed the old. Thanks ladies. My hair is itchy.

1 Week postop- doc appt

So I've been feeling crappy. I did sleep well last night and that helped for today. I also decided to take a percoset and it made a world of difference.
At Doc appt today I went with a goal- talk abt pain management - complain abt my CG- and whine about feeling so crappy.

My nurse heard me out and very kindly told me that it was all normal. The crappy feeling is normal. I just had major repair surgery. It's painful. It was only a week ago. I'm not superhuman and I minus to pain. Take a pill.
My CG rides up my sides. She said on Friday when I see the Dr. Tell him- but it's time for a new CG anyways. She was not concerned at all- actually very happy with my incision and healing all around. Said it all looked so clean and healthy- no worries whatsoever.
She removed my tape. Removed random sutures on my TT incision and some from the BB. Replaced the tape. Then we talked drains.

During this entire appt I was near tears or in tears. I have such fear and high anxiety when being poked and prodded. I feel unbelievably vulnerable and unsure. I feel physically sensitive and the sensations of being cleaned, taped , the sutures being touched--it makes me crazy-- then to talk about the drains. Immediate tears.
She was going to remove the one but decided I had enough for one day lol. As much as these drains bother me every second of every day I've had them-- the mere thought of them being tugged at- pulled out- UGH! Makes my stomach churn and I'm not kidding when I say insist they could put me under for it. I feel so much down there- I'm tripping out already.
What can I expect it to be like? I don't believe a single person who says Eh- it's nothing. Lies! I just know it. Then to top it off I ask about what happens next and she says nothing- the holes just heal and close on their own. WHAT!? Leaving me with open holes is a nightmare come true- c'mon!! I hate hate this process. I knew it all before but now going through it is like the worst ever. I'm a cry baby. I'm going to dope up before we get there but it's just gonna make me even more emotional- Waterworks. Can't win. They're coming out.
Here's a pic from this evening. I feel swollen def by day's end and notice the puff around the incision. My BB looks great to me and the incision from what I saw is thin and will heal nicely.
In the pic you'll see redness around my hips- like a bruised line- that's from my CG being crumpled while I lounge. I keep readjusting it. And this is the first side view shot I've taken--- I'm getting a little excited to see the new me at some point.

So after this appt I really did relax today. Watched a movie. Allowed myself to take pain meds again and it made a world of difference in my mental ability to stay relaxed. I have got to control the anxiety I'm feeling about all this. I am healing well. I just have super fear of medical stuff and this is what I signed up for. I am just looking forward to getting I er this first hurdle where I feel most exposed and vulnerable- cut open and draining- need it to end so I can move on.

I hope everyone else is feeling ok:) I love this site-- xoxo N

99 Problems

I had a pretty good rest filled day yesterday- slept well last night and today was spent mostly by myself as the Mr. went into the office. I did have a friend stop by to feed me and make sure I was ok... Felt fine until about 4pm- the pain starts to build and slowly but surely it seems to be my nightly pattern that I am a whiney mess by evening.
Today everything- everything is annoying me or is an issue to some degree when it comes to my body. This is where I can rant and you can't throw pillows at me ;). My legs people. My legs are so gross hairy that at this length they are irritated to be touching the blankets that provide warmth and cover my naked lady bits. I definitely have some sensitive sensory stuff going on. I cannot tolerate these drains anymore. I can feel every move it makes- the little hairs growing in around the sutures- the gauze that catches against them- UGH!! So irritating. I feel like I am starting to feel the pull of the tight skin on my upper thighs, mons and the incision of course. I hate the way my CG feels at the ends of my TT incision. It's tender and my imagination says its going to bust open. Drives me batty. I have had a headache since this afternoon and my eyes are blazing. My scalp aches and the skin on my face is rashy-dry. It hurts to walk or go very far- I feel like I weigh a ton and my back... Actually my entire body at this point is worn out. I have very strong legs and even my thighs at this point I feel they are so weak.
I think at least one drain is coming out tomorrow and the idea is liberating and mostly terrifying to me- the mere thought of them being touched tugged or pulled out truly disturbs me. The hole that's left behind to heal. The seeping that might occur. I still am draining- what happens to that stuff? Just seeps out until the hole closes and then what!? Pray for the best?!
My anxiety is out of control. I cant stand the drains yet I somehow believe that once they come out it will be a turning point in recovery. I will feel less 'surgical' and like damaged fragile goods. I can wear pants for goodness sake and feel more like myself as far as clothing options and being able to move freely. Maybe without drains I will sleep better...? It seems so trivial but it really is what's weighed on my mind most since waking up in recovery and seeing them. I hate them. I ask for prayers please that if they go tomorrow that it won't hurt. That I won't feel the hyper sensitivity I seems to be plagued with when it comes to them. That they heal well and I won't swell or develop seromas.
So far everything has gone pretty well in the healing department. I would absolutely not handle becoming infected or having any complications. I am a terrible patient and really just want to get on with healing. I am blessed with these last 10 days in that all has been normal and healthy. I am just so anxious. My mind is my own worst enemy.
I did weigh myself today which I've read is not advised. Oops. I was curious because I haven't felt too swollen-- before surgery it was 164. Today read 162. When I talked to doc in recovery without his chart he felt comfortable to recall the excision being between 3-4 pounds. So the # on the scale makes sense to me. I had expected to see closer to 170 lol.
I feel a lot of different sensations in my midsection today- fire, pulling, tingling, zaps, fireworks, shooting pain, more sensation and tenderness along the incision- I feel happy that my midline still seems numb especially at the belly button- which so far is my beacon of hope.
I cannot wait to be able to curl up and sleep on my side with all my comfy pillows and cuddle my man. I miss a lot of things ;)
Pray for my appointment tomorrow morn at 915 please. I'm freaking out.

aaaaaaand the Drains Remained

Nurse cleaned me all up and removed remaining stitches from my rockstar BB. Said all looks good but I don't think these drains should come out today. Had to agree- they are still producing enough everyday to where I worry if they are gone- I will end up needing to be aspirated later. She agreed. So we chatted about my need to start weaning off all meds unless totally necessary :( I have my thoughts on that and we have a plan to begin with and I started this afternoon.
Doc came in and we talked about the MR he told me again the split was 9cm and we were both so glad he could fix me up :) he said yay let's take the drains out today- I said hold your horses Mr. And we agreed to leave them until Monday and let them do more work. I hate them. But I'd rather hate them for a few more days than need to be drained by needle later. Hell no.
So that's it. Swelling a bit around the incision but not bad- everything looks great and I just hope to feel better each day as this roller coaster ride has become old old old, and I know you all understand :)

TT= Teeter Totter

Teeter totter- you know- that old school-super fun-hurts your parts playground toy? Having a TT is like riding the teeter totter. It's great. You know it's gonna be fun but during the ride your gonna slam your ass a few times and wonder why the hell you came outside to play.
Yesterday I had a good day. I felt half human even despite the dismal condition of my Amazon legs. I even wore makeup and had half fresh hair- I felt 'good'. I even took a nap which I always resist like a sassy 3 year old. By the nighttime my body was angry and I was so irritable- this happens daily at 9 pm. Anyways. I finally slept from 12-545 and the. Till 8. That's the longest stretch of sleep yet! Surely I would feel like a million bucks today - just gets better and better they say.
Well I feel like crap. My eyes are tired. My body feels weak. I feel dirty and damnit I want to wash my hair myself and not ask someone. I cannot even find the strength to tackle shaving-that was my one goal for today. Lose.
I want to start having good dayS. Multiple good days. Days when I can do things for myself and not be frustrated. Days when I can remove some burden from my hot sexy mans shoulders. Just really missing normal boring life. It will come. But for now I get to play on the TT.

No greats pics- always the same. My BB is now suture free. The square u see around it is from a gauze square and I have a foam pad that rests I've my abdomen- then my CG goes around. So you'll see random impression lines. That whitish line in the middle extending upwards from my incision ?--that was once attached from the top of my old BB, a stretch mark that started from the inside and went up my midline. I knew it would be pulled and ending up where it is and I'm not the least bit concerned. My BB so far is wonderful. I'm thankful for the flat tummy. Stre th marks do not concern me although he did say he feels this one will lessen- it's swollen so it will eventually shrink and blend in more we shall see.
Anyways. Try to enjoy the ride.

Too good to be true??

I already posted earlier today, whining about my playtime on the teeter totter--- I felt awful up till about 4-6 pm when it started to clear up. I took an hour nap and the remainder of the day has been --dare I say---fine! No additional pain or surprises. I had dinner and usually by 9 pm I am a mess- I haven't taken anything except 3 Tylenol at 6pm. it is now almost 1 am and I feel pretty good except I'm not asleep :D I am not taking a percoset tonight- 1st time without but did decide to have a muscle relaxer just to be safe. About 10 mins ago/ I give it half hour till my phone drops to the floor lol.
This is possibly the turning point I have been praying for. I can imagine if these drains were out how much better I would feel- Although I am terrified of the process, Monday afternoon can't come soon enough! Night night!

Smooth and Swollen

So I did end up sleeping from 2:30-4:30 and woke up with fire in my torso- wasn't sure to medicate or let it go and see what happens- I decided to take a percoset. I felt sad but also had no reason to torture myself. Slept like a rock from 4:30-8- and then to 945. I woke up feeling like hey- today is going to be decent! So far I was right.

I have done some chores. Made my own breakfast ( I've been a little bit spoiled especially in the mornings). I thought today would be good to brave removing my binder while standing up and taking a peek. I wondered how 'bad' the swelling looked because I sure can feel it the last few days. Removed the binder and padding and just stared.
I should not be surprised- I am swollen and so I look....weird. A bit alien. I see an odd torso with hard looking lines and a ridge across the incision of swelling. I did not recognize my shape and felt disappointed though I KNOW I am swollen. The visual is not the end yet. Even my ladybits were super puffy and just hard looking. Like a Ken doll torso but worse lol.
I shouldn't be surprise. It's normal...right? And also I don't think m I e been drinking as much as I should... Anyways.
The best part of my day that I am now paying for with Fire in my belly---
I SHAVED MY LEGS people. I really have not been physically able to do so until now and even today pushed it a bit. So glad that I did. I feel so much better! Smoooooooth!

DRAINLESSSSSS is painless they say

Lies. All liesssss. Heehee ;) I am truly just a huge baby and had an anxiety attack while laying on the table waiting for them to just get it over with. I read that it can hurt or sting a little bit but that most people feel nothing. Huh.
I love the nurses there- all awesome and kind-- I just hate everything involved. I even cried at my consult because the mere thought of asking someone to cut me open was that terrifying.
She numbed the sites with some goopy stuff. Replaced my surgical tape and checked my BB, stripped the drains (one last time) and double checked the drainage output #s.
Dr. Shaw came in with a 2nd nurse and between the 3 of them they managed to get me out alive.
Dr. tried to make me laugh and distract me by pinching me and cracking jokes (big brother style) can you feel this? How about this here? Ugh! Meanwhile my besties, on the left and one to the right were removing the anchor sutures and then WHAMMO.
Omgeeeee I cried like an idiot. It hurt-burned-stung and felt so gross. Can't really describe it. Then the 2nd. Took my breath away.
Cried some more. Again Dr. was busting my chops...saying that was the face I made before surgery and after. Cried like a sad baby :(
So embarassing not being able to control and compose myself. I am just so scared of this stuff!!
When I finally did calm down and sit up I could feel the immediate relief down there- less pressure. I could also feel my CG was down a bit lower and I am SO happy about that because I have been feeling like I needed to be held in lower. Feels better. Stronger.
I guess next week I transition into a different CG.
For tonight I am relaxing- still kinda trippin that there are 2 holes down below- so gross! And I cannot believe that they aren't just going to drip and ooze everywhere. I don't understand any of this and kinda don't want to. The more I know the more I worry about.
I and been so worried about today- and now it's over with- and I am realllllly looking forward to moving on.
Showers (I could've but wouldn't with the drains)
Underwear. Ahhhhhh :)
PANTS! Jammie's! Stretchy comfy yoga pants!!
Walking freely. Sitting more comfy. No more stripping.

Here's to being free of the little demons- and praying for no gross swelling issues! Xoxo N
I am also wearing undewear for the first time since before surgery- never been happier in cotton! Hee hee :)

1 step forward- 2 steps back

Yesterday was drain removal day. Hoooooooray! Although somewhat traumatizing I DID indeed feel relief afterwards. Walking, sitting, moving, breathing, peeing- all is easier when you don't have those disgusting tubes exiting your body from your pubic area! Ugh anyways- the ending was ok though I noticed by 7pm I was totally drained to the point where waking was a major chore. I was hopeful for an amazing night sleep.
Wrong. I was up every hour to pee. I was uncomfortable. Less tense from drain pain fear- but still unable to feel comfortable. Around 4:30 I felt the burn in my tummy. Sigh.
I have been weaning off all meds including the muscle relaxer/ Soma. Maybe it's because of that... I don't know.
Today I am exhausted and feeling a little down. No doubt getting bored feeling worthless and somewhat in pain- does a number on your mental state.
I did just brave my first shower. I've been sponge bathing and staying clean and having help washing my hair in the sink till now/ but without the drains I feel safe to get in the full shower on my own. I used a chair and scrubbed my hair like there was no tomorrow.
I don't like the feeling of being without the CG. Couldn't wait to get wrapped back up again. The feeling of anything rubbing against or touching my abdomen is unnerving. Feels so odd and alien. I am regaining skin sensation towards the flanks and definitely around the braline and sternum. I took some pics.
There is definitely swelling- I feel like at least it's consistant in pattern and time of day. I don't like the way I look 'hard' and how it exaggerates the incision line- it reminds me of a boys action figure or naked Ken doll- you know what I mean? Hee hee. My Kens were never naked ;) anyways. Don't judge the dirty mirror. The housemaid has been on vacation.

Bored to the Bone

Hey so it's been a few days- Ive had nothing new to report- same whining and complaining. I've been down in the dumps but not because it's been all bad---it's because of the GOOD and the BAD. I have had several good days and they are glorious--and it seems that without fail- it is followed by a day where my body is just so tired and broken down feeling. It really does effect your mind and emotions. It's enough for me to do the basics for myself but all around me I see what's being left undone. My husband and kids have been great- but after 2.5 weeks everyone and everything is crying out for my attention- and I just don't have much to give even to myself. It makes me sad.
It's all normal they say. I read it all here and I can't help but wonder about the ones who are 'lucky' and report no pain meds needed, walking up straight, drains are their best friend-- are they for real? Or am I just a sad case? Comparison steals joy.
I am still feeling like a patient in many ways. My drain holes are scabby and gross- the one side was always a bitch and she looks like one too. The ugly sister lol. I am still hunched- some days worse than others. The swelling is what I think normal- along the incision but I only see it when unwrapped ;) I will take another look tomorrow because I wanted a photo.
Positives are that I can now shower and wash my hair. On other days I will use the energy to shave in the tub. I am wearing clothes not jammie's but still somewhat walmart attire lol. I feel almost human with my hair and makeup done today :) I can drive the kiddos to school as of yesterday and no one died!! I am sleeping most the night through now. I take tylenol religiously just in case. My belly burns often.
I am bored though. I want to clean, paint furniture, do laundry, organize and all the things you never want to do, Id love to do it right now haha! I miss working out- miss hiking so badly.
I rented a lift chair for 2 weeks and it's been a godsend. I lucked out and the company called and said they didn't have time to come get it- would I mind keeping it another week? YAY!! What a blessing!

Ok so upon adjusting my CG this morning I noticed that my tummy skin is peeling! Probably normal- what's recommended? Is this when people start using oils? I'm curious I don't have an appt till the 27th and might call them Monday just to ask. My new CG came in the mail yesterday and I will start wearing that one next week.
I can feel a difference in my thighs- hard to explain but I'm guessing it's from how he pulled in diff places and tightened me up. Even the far side of my hips- feels smaller... Also the skin on my legs is SO DRY!! Like my entire body is flaking off.
Want to say thank you for the BB compliments I've been getting- will pass along to my surgeon- he is quite proud of his BB work :)
*** when I can stand straighter I intend on talking about posture and why I did this surgery. I notice changes already and am so excited to see more as I move forward. Yay for MR!!

2 1/2 weeks post op pics and super fun Mind Games

Well. This is 2 days now that I feel.... Dare I say it... Good! Decent! I am standing a leeeeeetle bit taller today and can do more for a longer period of time. I had the longest stretch of sleep last night as well. Maybe a contributing factor. Hubby says I've been snoring since surgery- I am not one to snore what's up with that? Maybe because I'm not breathing as deep as I usually would...

The reflection in the mirror. I think I am facing that weird mental thing that happens to people-- I am so unsure of what I see. It's obvious that I don't see the big belly overhang anymore. I also don't like what I see now either. It's confusing in ways.
My mind sees the incision. My mind sees the swelling creating the infamous 'ridge'. My mind translates that into a visual of fat belly overhang. My mind says "what the eff is that- you look the same."

It is a battle but I know better. I posted here the things I DO SEE. It's the front view that scares me- but here--- My mind says wow, look how Dr. Shaw tightened you up so nice that your back is more smooth, braline chubb reduced and even the hips are smaller. My mind says look how when you bend- your guts aren't spilling forward and hanging out. Look how you are held together tight as you should be.
My mind says look how the swayback is changed already- not even standing straight yet and it's already noticable. My mind says these things are true.
The body has undergone a major transformation faster than the mind can keep up with. There was over a decade of negative self talk and shame that was taken away from my physical body. The mind has to let it go like a bad habit. It's almost scary to rejoice - as if it's too good to be true or that it can be taken away from me.
I want to rejoice and be glad in it and truly accept the new me.

Beware of the MONSter! ;)

Just quick- this is the 3rd consecutive day I have felt pretty good!! Posture has improved even from yesterday. Thank you Jesus!!!

My CG is pretty beat up, had a crinkle memory on the side and was digging into the ends of my incision. Not cool at all. I had the genius idea last night to turn it around is the closure comes from the opposite side so the krinkle is on top where it's now not a bother. All fixed:)
I always have it on unless I am showering- we are inseparable but I just used the ladies room without it on- holy crap there is NO BELLY resting on my thighs. Like.... What the hell!?! It just goes straight down and disappears....SO COOL!
But let's talk about the mons. Swollen mons. Alien swollen mons that extends up past my BB. Swollen MONSter. So gross and weird. I think any man would be jealous of my package ;)

I am feeling better. It seemed these days would never come. Over the hump I think!! :D

Separation Anxiety

My bday was March 1 and my TT was scheduled for the 3rd. My awesome mom heard me talking about renting a lift chair/recliner. I felt I would benefit from one but was stuck on the added expense. Guess what she offered for my Bday present!? We went halvsies on the rental! She's the best. We ordered for 2 weeks but I've actually had it for 3 as they didn't have time to pick it up last week! Blessings in disguise, that's the best! Anyways, she's leaving me today and really I think it was a great decision.
If you are in Arizona I highly recommend this company. (I looked around and had a hard time finding anyone who even rents the chairs anymore due to sanitation concerns). They rent only vinyl chairs and that the way it should be!! Fabric would just be nasty- can you imagine...? Anyways here's there info. 2 thumbs up :)
AZ MediQuip
9449 N 90th St. #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

3 week postop update

Found this on on a TT'ers Instagram... Haha!
I feel like I'm in limbo--- I experienced several days of great improvement and now the last 3 just stagnant. Completely obsessed about my posture and dreaming of standing upright. I want to truly see my new shape and I just cannot see it right now.
The swelling down under seems consistent- I have only felt it increase towards day's end and even then I think it looks like a normal amount. Scary- yet normal. She's a MONSter. I am considering a different type of CG to see if it helps with that- and I am waking to get the ok for some sort of massage therapy to help with the lymphatic draining.

The tape is starting to peel off since my last appt- I go in 2 more days and I can't wait for them to replace it! I do NOT wish to see by choice of by accident what's under there- please tape me up ASAP. The drain sites are looking ok- the one is nearly healed up and the other is a thick nasty looking scab. Lovely reminder of those fun times we once shared.

I am feeling a lot of tingles and increase in intensity of sensations as of yesterday... Unpleasant and sometimes catches me off guard. I can feel one area on the incision line where it seems very tight. The rest is still numb. My upper thighs in very front are SO taught.

My weight is chillin at 159- I went in at 165 so I am happy with that- I've been stress eating and thought for sure my weight would sky rocket.
I feel somewhat depressed and at the same time I know it is just going to take a while. Trying to be patient. Trying.

4 weeks PostOp (2 days shy, anyways)

The last few days have been my best yet, and thank God because I have been wondering if I would ever start to feel 'normal' again. I am definitely not back to my usual self but have made massive improvement this week. I am almost standing straight up- my neck seems a bit off and my butt is slightly tucked. I think once my butt relaxes, I will be standing tall :)
I saw my PS on Friday and he said everything looks great, he likes my shape and the contour, no concerns. He was not impressed with my posture, but truly I have tried my best and really just think I have been slower to heal than the average. My split was significant and I know he did a lot of work in there, I would like to think it's because I got an awesome tuck, and I am pulled super tight ;)
I found the courage to actually look at my incision with a mirror- it is pencil thin, no scabs or puckers in sight, it looks so clean!! I was shocked. Also the inside of my BB was fascinating...I have only seen it as you see in my photos here. I am taped up and wearing my CG 24/7.
This morning was the 1st time I actually felt proud of the reflection in the mirror. After I woke up I took a look and thought how great it is to see this new shape emerging. I am constantly wondering about the size of the mons area...I pray its just swelling and not my permanent size, lol. It is raised and I feel so.....big. It is the same size all the way up to my BB so I am thinking it is just swollen...
So anyways I was pleased with what I saw...and half hour later I was sobbing. Why? I have said before that I feel scared being excited about the flat tummy. It feels vulnerable in ways, like it can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Maybe because it happened within a blink---all these years of having the belly and then POOF--new body. I did this surgery for the MR not allowing myself to focus on the aesthetic benefit- and now it stares me in the face :) I am thrilled for the future- for now I am still trying to wrap my head around the visual and trying to just feel better physically.
I am not experiencing any real pain anymore. I do feel the random pins and needles but its seldom. The inside of my belly no longer feels like it is on fire, but the skin on my abdomen is extremely sensitive to the touch and to anything brushing against it. Almost painful. There are places along the incision that are very tender and I am aware of them all day long. The 2 most prominent are right across my hip bone and it just is very tight.
I am still waiting for my cycle to start...I read it can be delayed. I am totally experiencing the symptoms so I anticipate its arrival--- for now I just feed the sugar monster and wait lol.
I am stuck on how to dress myself. For now I have been wearing leggings and comfy shirts, and long maxi dresses. AZ is hot already and this CG underneath my clothes is a sweaty mess. ugh.
*** Best thing is that we can definitely see a major difference in the curvature of my spine. I am SO excited to see how having this TT will effect my level of back pain in the coming months as I heal. I KNOW in my heart that this was the right thing to do :)

4 Weeks PostOp

I am looking for feedback- the way my belly pushes outward from the BB down- is that swelling? Is that from being pulled tight and it hasn't relaxed as of yet? Will it go down? Is this a common shape at 4 weeks?

5 Weeks PostOp

WOW....When people ask me how this has all been for me, my reply is that it is a wicked recovery, especially the first 2 weeks. I hit 5 weeks post yesterday, and surgery feels like so long ago! A nightmare and a dream all wrapped into one foggy memory...
I am finally going back to work tomorrow (physically demanding so I took extra time) and I am so excited about that!
I hate getting dressed...nothing feels right, and being wrapped in the binder still, makes me feel like a tree trunk and I look bigger than I am without it. I just wanna live in yoga pants everywhere ;)
I had my 5 weeks appointment yesterday and took my first real look at the incision, I had peeked before but not enough to really see it. It is more red than when I saw it last time but I am amazed at how flat and nearly invisible the line is... the nurse changed my tape which I will leave on for 1 more week. At 6 weeks I am released to do 2 amazing things. No more binder and no more tape. I will share my thoughts on that in a sec. My BB looks good and I am overall very happy with how it all looks. I am of course dealing with the swelling and I suspect that going back to my job is going to have a huge effect on that. Last night I swelled the most ever had, and my incision was so sore...everything around my sides/ hips was just aching.
Emotionally I am in a much MUCH better place than I was a few weeks ago. I have started to like what I see and that came from accepting the fact that the reflection is going to change all the time. It does me no good to judge myself and put a grade on my healing process. SO many of us go through that crap, and enough is enough. Just do your thing, and let your body do its job :) I do find solace in sharing my fears with all the amazing nurses at my PS office, and they are very reassuring in how they answer my questions and address my concerns. They have all really been helpful for me to calm my mind.
Anyway, I have to post the pics on a separate post--- still can't believe I went through with this. In the early weeks I was so scared of the stranger in the mirror and was very confused emotionally...now it seems reversed in that I hardly recognize the old me, and feel so extremely grateful for this experience to fix the diastasis and start living again

5 Week PostOp Pics

Alrighty. Looks very much like the week prior but I FEEL different for sure :)

6 Week Anniversary gift-- 'spitting a stitch'....

I hit 6 weeks today... I hear a choir of angels singing!! The last 2 days I have really noticed a change in my shape or maybe it's a mental change--- I really feel for the first time in 12+ years that I like what I see. No longer trapped behind the tummy.
I was a brave girl and changed my own tape this week- I even scraped off the old glue left behind from the past 6 weeks. It really isn't that bad; made it much easier for me to stomach since it's all flat and there's no texture along the incision EXCEPT for smack dab in the center as I was cleaning I felt a sharp poke and realized there was something sticking out of my skin!! AGHHHH! I was just feeling so comfortable looking at all of it and then to see that was a shock - so I did what came to mind first..,Tape that sucker back up! Haha! I called the nurse and she had me come in to the office. Turns out it was a piece of suture that didn't get pulled out (prob at the 1 week appt). The knot was cut off but this piece didn't come out- guess my body got rid of it:)
It seriously was like 4 mm long! Haha! If I had just played with it a second longer it probably would have fallen out on its own ;) I was taped back up and sent on my merry way- I won't be going back until the end of June for a checkup. I have chosen to use Mepitac tape for as long as the roll will last and then I will switch to the cream my PS recommended. :) I love my Dr. and his staff!!!!

6 Week Post Op Pic and my magical underwear

Ok so this oic was supposed to post with the other one--- aside from that someone asked what kind of compression I wear if any- yes, yes I do and so should you! Just my opinion but if you're gonna spend alllllll this money I think it's worth the extra time bundled up ;) I know my body feels and looks better because of it- I am wrapped almost 24/7 in either these underwear or in my binder at night.
Arizona Plastic Surgeon

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