Better Late Than Never - South Carolina

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*Treatment results may vary

OK, I admit that I've always wanted a Tummy...

OK, I admit that I've always wanted a Tummy Tuck, but I have decided definitely to do it now if it will help back pain. I am 56 years old, but I had my kids late--at age 38 and 39--so I'm still pretty young. My husband is awesome and behind me 100% on this, especially if correcting the split in my abdominal muscles will help support my back.

I have always had a bit of a tummy. I'm almost 6'0" tall and even when I weighed as little as 140, I still had a bit of a tummy. I'm very long-legged and short waisted, so I am so excited about getting the mid-section under control! The TT itself is $7500, and the remainder is for lipo on my back, hips and thighs.

Exactly one month to go! Posting pre-op photos as...

Exactly one month to go! Posting pre-op photos as soon as I take them.

With only 10 days to go, I decided I could bear...

With only 10 days to go, I decided I could bear looking at myself online! Ouch. I've posted photos of me naked (almost) and it's just awful.

The scars are all new. I've had 3 laparoscopic surgeries in the last 13 months; I look like I've been in a knife fight! It will be interesting to see how different the scars look.

Bear in mind that I am 56 years old, so I hardly plan to wear a bikini. But, looking more proportional in a tankini will be great. All my weight is around my mid-section, especially since I went through menopause.

PO Day 9: Still sleeping in the recliner, but...

PO Day 9:
Still sleeping in the recliner, but have apparently not threatened anyone in the last couple of days. Apparently I am quite the menace on drugs. My husband told me me that I told him to be nicer to me or I would run off with Denzel Washington (I mean, I like Denzel just fine, but perhaps I have deeper feelings that I should explore). My 17 year old daughter told me that I look really great but that she missed having me around...I have morphed into a dangerous, narcotic-induced stranger who she must maintain a safe distance from, and my dog is terrified of me. So there. I left my mark in ways never anticipated. My husband ( aka WonderMencsh) finally disclosed the details of my panic attack in the recovery room, and I am more than a little chagrinned. It seems that the entire staff waved goodbye and locked the door behind me, nodding sympathetically at my husband as he claimed me. No telling what I've done to my dog.

I had extensive liposuction of the trunk along with the TT, so I am really still so sore. My incision looks amazing and my bb is healing very well. My PS is really quite excellent and has made himself available to me so readily.

Still have drains and they might come out in the middle of next week, but I'm still producing a lot of...whatever that stuff is.

Day 10: I am actually feeling like a humanoid...

Day 10:
I am actually feeling like a humanoid again! Because I had so much lipo, I'm really feeling so sore everywhere except the TT area, but at least I had no headache today, so that's a great sign.

The weather here today was absolutely incredibly beautiful and I took the opportunity to sit ont he back deck where our Maine Coon (cat) decided it was time to rekindle any intimacy that has been lost between us. If you know about Maine Coons, you will associate them with enormity. So, you do the math: big cat+Day10 Post Op = big pain. After the screaming subsided I was able to once again breathe and evaluate that no real damage had been least not to me.

As I said, no headache, but I am still retaining so much water. I've never been one to swell and "this little piggy went to market" continues to echoe in my nearly sober brain.

How long does this swelling last? I need some encouragement--I can't wear my shoes!

Day 13: Yesterday my little piggy feet took me to...

Day 13:
Yesterday my little piggy feet took me to the PS for my 2-week evaluation. I had one of the drains removed, and he said that all looks well, but that he wanted me to drain for another week. ewww.... Ah well...this too, shall come to pass.

I'm feeling very well with the exception that I have a sharp pain in my right side when I breath deeply. Anyone else have that? The PS said that it was probably soreness where the muscle attaches to the ribs and eventually it will subside. In the interim, it's quite a nuisance.

As for the way I look, I am so happy! I have been a size 12 and an occasional 14, but always a "L" for most of my adult life Given that sizes have actually changed, I would say that I have grown in girth although the size has remained the same. I am happy to report that so far, all my clothes are falling off me and the PS said that we've not really begun to see the benefit due to all the swelling. Needless to say, I am delighted.

Overall, this has been a really tough road and honestly, I am not sure that I would do it again knowing what I've had to go through. Isn't it wonderful that I don't have to chose!

New pics coming in the next couple of days.

PO Day 15 Last night was hard for some reason. I...

PO Day 15
Last night was hard for some reason. I have pain under my right rib upon deep breathing that only bothers me in the evening. Last night was particularly troublesome, but I just loaded up on Loritab and Valium and the rest is history. I will worry about it if it doesn't subside in a couple of weeks, but at this point, the PS said it's probably jus a nerve ending that's been nicked. Who knows? In the immortal words of Scarlett O'Hara, "I will worry about that tomorrow..."
I still have one drain in, but other than that, I am really doing well. I slow down over the course of the day, but overall, everything is great.

PO day 20 I don't think I even want to talk about...

PO day 20
I don't think I even want to talk about it, but I my drain is still in!! I have had this stupid thing now since Jan 25 and I am about to loose it. I understand why he can't take it out, but it doesn't make it much easier.

As much as I hate to admit it, I believe I must be feeling my age! I am seeing so many TT's from January talking about how they are beginning to run again and I am still so blasted sore for lipo that I am walking like an old lady!

Gee, aren't you glad you've read this? I think I am having a bad day. It's raining, I am still draining, I'm sore, and I'm feeling sorry for myself. The really redeeming thing in my life right now is my incredibly wonderfully loving husband. He has put up with more junk that a person should have to. I am so grateful to have him and I will post when I'm a little less nasty! Rumor has it that the drain will come out on Monday.

21 Days PO OK, I am a little less caustic today....

21 Days PO
OK, I am a little less caustic today. :) My daughter has a terrible sinus infection and it has required me to pay attention to someone but myself.

I posted a couple of pictures I took yesterday to lift my spirits. As you can see, I am just built sorta thick through the middle, but this is a fantastic change! My husband is more than ready for my drain to get out as it's pretty much a mood-kill. However, he's patient, and I'm creative, so I don't think he'll die.

It's hard to tell with this drain still in, but I already am seeing my clothes fit so differently! My tops hang from my shoulders and breasts without my tummy intruding! It's so wonderful. I started to say that I feel more confident, but with this &*(% drain in, I keep feeling like when I hide it I feel like I have a "package" like a guy! GROSSSS!!!!

PO Day 24. OK, I am going in at 3PM to see if he...

PO Day 24.
OK, I am going in at 3PM to see if he can remove this *&%# drain. I understand if he can't, but I am so hoping he will!

I decided to weigh this morning!! (Remember, I am 6'0" tall.) On the day of surgery, I weighed 169 (down from 172). This morning I was at 156!!! Whoaaa! I am so excited. I can't wait to get this silly drain out so I can check out how my clothes fit; I've not really tried on anything on my lower half yet because I have a healthy respect for this drain.

DRAIN-FREE!!! I can't believe it! I can also...

I can't believe it! I can also start weaning off my CG. It doesn't get a whole lot better. I will finally get to see how my clothes fit on the bottom half. Photos to come.

Thanks all, for putting up with me! This has been such a wonderful support group.

PO Day 26 I had to get the PS to remove 70cc's of...

PO Day 26
I had to get the PS to remove 70cc's of fluid from my abdomen. I looked like a water bed.

Other than the skin on my abdomen being hyper-sensitive, I am doing very well. No pain meds and my back has still not given me one bit of difficulty.

I have lost close to 18 pounds since Jan 27 and NONE of my pants will stay on. I look like a gang-banger with my pants down below my butt. All I need is a bandana and spray paint and I would be readily accepted int the local chapter of the Whatevers.

I digress.

I don't want to buy new pants yet though because I don't know what size I will be after swelling, and it hurts my skin to try anything on. So, I shall just go without pants for the next few weeks. At my age that's not much of a treat for those around me, but I have NOTHING to wear. Skirts. YES. I will wear skirts.

It's interesting: my shirts simply fit better, but I have lost a couple of sizes on my bottom half. I think it's because I have a large rib cage and broad shoulders, and the lipo just took out bulk. However, I have "boy" hips and now I'm down from a 12 or 14 to an 8 or 10. My husband said he wanted a refund because he spent all his money on the surgery, and no one told him he'd have to buy me a new wardrobe too. He's absolutely ok with me going without pants for a while. :)

OH! I forgot to tell you guys something: If you...

OH! I forgot to tell you guys something:
If you look at a couple of the posts above I mentioned a sharp pain in my right side. It was the DRAIN!!! I'd begun to suspect that as the days wore on and sure enough, I was right.
I have no idea why that gives me such satisfaction; it just does.
So there.
Seriously, I hope that can be helpful to someone.

March 1--Going into week 6 Well, I am a hottie,...

March 1--Going into week 6
Well, I am a hottie, according to my daughter. My husband has very much the same opinion. As a matter of fact, several times, he's begun to tell me how great I look, then he begins to talk about it a little too much and gets a sort of glazed look in his eyes. My daughter has threatened to throw up AT THE TABLE each time he's done it, but he doesn't seem to be able to help himself.

OK, I am 6'0" and ordered my first pair of size 10 jeans EVER. Guess what! There's plenty of room! As a matter of fact, after the swelling goes down, I'm quite sure I'll need an 8!! I am absolutely blown away.

Was it worth it? Yes, for the relief from back pain alone. I feel like the rest of this is bonus.

I am still having some seroma issues, but they appear to be subsiding slightly. Two weeks ago, my PS said I could ease off my CG, but I am really uncomfortable doing that until I no longer have to have the seromas drained. He drew out almost 100 cc's after a week of accumulation, and it was awful.

I've come up with an idea that seems to work: I have been using one of those back brace things from the drugstore and it is great. The swelling seems to be retreating.

Entering week 6. Has it occurred to anyone that...

Entering week 6.
Has it occurred to anyone that counting days since the surgery is the same way we count age on babies? It goes from days to weeks, then I'll graduate to months, and finally years. I am not sure I'll be around for the decade thing--at least not for many of them.

I digress once again. Heck, I started in digression mode.

Here's what I wanted to say"

I went to the PS this morning and he drained me 70 cc's. Last week it was 170, so I am improving vastly. M-m-m-my Seroma is getting a little smaller. I am keeping myself boung as tightly as I can and it seems to be helping enormously. So what if I can't breathe.

The back is still good, and I am SO happy with the way I look! I need to take photos and post them.

Bad bad bad news. My back pain has returned. I...

Bad bad bad news. My back pain has returned. I am beginning to think that the reason it felt so much better is because I couldn't feel anything at all from between the tops of my hips and under my breasts. Now it's beginning to hurt like it did before.

The good thing is that I have my abs back together and know that I can keep the support as strong as it can possibly be. Additionally, I am on the Paleo diet, and that should help out with the osteoarthritis in the area. I am such an optimist. Perhaps I should consider life coaching. deja vu...

M-m-m-my seroma is doing good this week! I am having surgery on Tuesday to replace the vaginal mesh that has caused bleed 24/7 for 2 years. Oh, that's been a real party. So, when I am finally able to have not-messy sex again, I will have a hot bod to boot. Cool beans.

PO week 7: Went to have PS drain M-m-my Seroma...

PO week 7:
Went to have PS drain M-m-my Seroma and there was only 25 cc'c of fluid. Could it be that I am really at the end of this chapter? yipeeee!
At the PS office, this woman came in and she was walking with a decided, guarded "just-a-tummy-tuck" gait. It turns out she's only a week behind me! I felt like such a stud.

Well, maybe that's not the right word, but you catch my drift. I am just so darned glad to feel better that I went straight to Steinmart and went shopping. The husband and I are going on a coaching seminar next weekend and I had NOTHING to wear. Justify, justify, justify. I am a terrible person. BUT!!! I am a darned good-looking terrible person. :)

About to depart for the hospital for vaginal...

About to depart for the hospital for vaginal surgery. Fun times. I am one of those unfortunate women who had mesh used to reinforce her vaginal wall from prolapse. The mesh is eroding (it was not completely tested prior to release to doctors) and I have been bleeding 24/7 for just she of 2 years. It used to be light, now it's like a period and totally untenable.

If any of you women are praying gals, please lift me up. I am believing that this is the LAST surgery on this. There have been 4 already and I'm sick of it. Today I believe he will remove it altogether and replace it with my own tissue. Yikes. I need prayer!

The surgery was successful!! My OB removed the...

The surgery was successful!! My OB removed the mesh and now I will stop bleeding. So what if I feel like I've been on the freeway kissing trucks? I am SO sore. When the anestheoligist caught my top with the tube he ran down my throat and apparently I just gnawed on my lip and tongue for a couple of hours during surgery. I have Angelina Jolie lips.

So...what does that mean?

It means that the majority of my orifices have been violated. I am so sore! Ah least the doctor was able to actually FIX the problem rather than try to patch it up.

Also, I am still losing weight! I am down to 151 from 174. Not bad! I know that sounds really underweight for someone 6'0", but I have long skinny limbs which carry no weight. I am loving this slim midsection. My poor husband would love to share in my enthusiasm, but now we are facing 6 weeks of my alternative 'creativity.' Ah well...

Starting Week 8 This morning my earth-shattering...

Starting Week 8
This morning my earth-shattering news should have hit the airwaves: I moved the 50 pound marker on my balance scale from 150 to 100. I weigh 148 pounds!

This is what is so amazing: I am not dieting. As I've said before, I have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis since I was 24, and I have never gone the medical route; only dietary. I KNEW God would show me what I needed to do and lo and behold, it's not only working, I am losing weight like crazy. The Paleo Diet. If any of you are interested, get the book, The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf. It's a delightful read.

Anyway, I've been doing all Paleo (very, very easy) since the middle of February and I not only am losing weight, I can wiggle my right toes (something I haven't been able to do for around a decade)!

Seroma? Eeee gads... I went without any compression in the hospital and I think I might have lost ground. Ah well, I'm back in the iron maiden again, attempting damage control.

Oi! I just bought a pair of SIZE 6 jeans!!! I am...

Oi! I just bought a pair of SIZE 6 jeans!!! I am officially tiny. I have never been tiny. I am still very tall, but tiny-tall. I also bought 2 size 8 dresses. They are both really tight through the bodice area, but size 10 swallowed me up. This is bizarre.

I must take new pictures so that you can see me. I am tiny-tall.

My belly button is still really swollen and looks almost like I have an outie. Marbling my navel was of no benefit and I am hoping it doesn't stay this way. Oh, for heavens sake, it won't; I'm not even 2 months post op.

Have any of you found that when you get to feeling better that you stop cutting yourself any slack? I've had TWO major surgeries since the end of January and I get miffed that I am not working out. (Actually, I hate working out, but knowing that it does me good is enough to pull rank on myself.)

I need to relish in my SIZE 6 glory and stop grumbling. It will all pass...

Day something or other... I just returned from...

Day something or other...

I just returned from the PS and needed no aspiration! However, because of the surgery I had last week, I am major-league swollen. However, he said it will just have to work itself out. He also said that I probably need to wear a compression garment, but if I opt to go without that I won't blow up like a whale.


I think it's getting close to the end. All I am waiting for is the swelling and soreness to subside and then I will truly be hell on wheels with my hair on fire. Yesterday I caught two men (not ONE, but TWO!!) giving me the eye. THAT's amazing. Here I am with plenty of gray, yet my body looks like a teenager. I am so amazed. I told my husband that two men looked at the hot bod and he LOVED it. It's so great to be my age, have a terrific husband, a wonderful new body, two great kids, and a dog that has decided that I don't want to kill him. (We don't need to talk about the cat...) God is good.

Swelling is a little better than the other day, so...

Swelling is a little better than the other day, so at least I am headed in the right direction. I just posted a photo of the tab off my SIZE 6 capri jeans. My daughter came downstairs, looked at me, and said, "DAMN are hot."

I am so enjoying my new body! Since I believe that every single, perfect gift is from God, I thank Him for this whole experience. Isn't this the best, ladies? I am so thankful for all the support I've received from all of you. You girls are the cream of the crop.

Went to see the PS and we broke up. Seriously. ...

Went to see the PS and we broke up. Seriously. He said he doesn't need to see me for 3 months! YIPEEEE!!!! I am so excited about that since I have to drive a long way to see him and because I am tired of going. So there.

I've got some jiggly stuff in my upper abdomen that he tried to aspirate and couldn't get anything from, so he said it will just have to resolve on its own. Bottom line is that I am a whopping 10 weeks out of surgery and I am going to heal for another couple of months. He also told me to ease up on buying clothes! I am currently down to a Size 6 and he said he'd be surprised if I ended up there. Yikes. I may blow away. I weighed this morning and am down to 145.

I am driving my family crazy with constant comments of self-adulation. Ha! I have YEARS of feeling not good about my body to make up for and apparently I am trying to do it all in a two-month span. I suppose I could lay off my narrative of how grand I look, but why? It they don't like it they can leave the room. So there X2.

Oooo. You'll love this! The guy who does our yard is actually a retired neighbor-turned-yard-man. He's about our age and I ran into him at the grocery store yesterday. At first, he didn't recognize me. Then, his eyes about popped out of his head! "Have you lost weight? WOW! You look amazing, etc..." That was great, but he kept on. It finally ended with, "My goodness! You take my breath away!" and "your husband better watch out..." Creepy alert. I enjoy looking good, but I am certainly not up to creepy stuff. Any of you having that go on?

OK. I got my egotistical stuff out. OH WAIT! NO I DON'T. I am posting a photo I took of myself in the bathroom of an airport. It was a really big mirror with great lighting so I couldn't resist. I am so awful! See below.


Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana.

I must be feeling philosophical today. So, here I am 2 years later. The weight is back up to 151, so I've gained back around 8 pounds, but none of it is in the TT area. It's all in really awkward places like my upper arms and upper stomach. Ah well, I am not really complaining. I'm very stable and still am so so so happy with the results of the surgery.

Final results:
I still wear a L on the top. Big shoulders, large rib cage and extra flub on the upper arms. However, it's hardly noticeable.
Bottoms are another story: I am consistently a size 6. Happy, happy.

So, if you're considering having this done, go for it! It's the BEST thing I've ever done for myself!

2 year update!

OK I added a photo and realized that the 8 pounds that I gained is definitely tangible. I am inspired. To do what, I am not sure, but I will probably just eat like I did before I gained weight. That seemed to work just fine.

The TT is the best thing I have ever done for myself. I am astonished every day that I am really do look trim. Life is good. God is great and all is well.

The scar at 2 years

By popular request...THE SCAR!! Or, what there is of it. Since I am not really into doing the bikini thing at my age, I told Dr. Suber he could go as high as he needed to. Compared to others I've seen, my incision is really high. However, I am so short-wasted that there's not a long area to chose from.

I couldn't be happier about how my scar healed. I wasn't ever really concerned about it, but it's nice that it's all but disappeared.
Dr. John Suber

Dr. Suber is a pro. I am so blessed to have found him!

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