For my 40th birthday, I asked for a Tummy Tuck. ...
For my 40th birthday, I asked for a Tummy Tuck. After 3 c-sections, saggy preggo skin, and stretch marks my abdomen needs an overhaul!
At that time I was in school, so I had to put it off a year. I finished pre-req's for Physician Assistant school, applied and got accepted, and just recently resigned from my job at the hospital so I can have surgery and recover in time to start school in July.
I am 5'11" and at my highest pregnancy weight I was 216. I currently weigh 175 and am shooting for 169 by my surgery date! I've lost a lot of weight over the past year after becoming a runner and changing the foods I eat. I just finished running my first half marathon on 3/1/14 and I'm a little bummed I won't be able to run for 6 weeks after surgery!
The PS I chose is a close friend of one of the docs I worked for. His wife also had her TT done by Dr. Bogdan, so he has seen the finished product first hand. I like that Dr. Bogdan is conservative in his approach. Originally I was also interested in a breast lift, but after taking pictures and measurements he told me a lift won't get me much for the money. Since I am already a 38 DD, he didn't recommend an augmentation either. Basically my breasts aren't sagging, they are just lower lying on my chest than I would like. If I reach my goal weight of 155, I will re-evaluate having an augmentation (for added fullness and lift) since I lose boobs first when I get close to my pre-preggo weight.
Can't wait to be on the flat side! 10 days and counting!!!
Can't believe the flat side is only 8 days away!
Trying to begin my final list of to do's as I have just a little over a week left until surgery! Making freezer meals, deep cleaning, planting some vegetables in my garden and pruning my rose bushes are some of the things I have planned. I'm also running in my last race for awhile this weekend. My hubby is running a half marathon, I opted for the 5k since my 10-year-old wants to run too and I didn't want him to run by himself his first race. So after a fun race weekend it will be TT time!
My new friend...
Got a walker today in preparation for surgery. It is HOT PINK! I love it, maybe a little too much... Only 6 more days to go. This time next week I will be in my hospital room settling down for my over night stay post op!
5 days, 1 race, and a million things left to do before surgery!
Today and yesterday I have been super grouchy. I am stressed and eating things I don't normally let myself have (refined carbs) and feeling blue because I won't be hitting my goal weight of 169 before my TT. We are leaving to go out of town tomorrow for my last race for at least the next 3 months and I'm not even really excited to run in it. I think I'm just ready to get this over and done with. And lately I've really noticed how selfish my kids and hubby can be. Since I resigned from my job 3 weeks ago they just seem to assume that I have nothing better to do than clean up after them. Boy do they have a rude awakening coming! I will not be lifting a finger around here after surgery and will be sleeping lots!!! Anyway... Not a very uplifting update, but it's the reality of my situation!
Nothing like a curve ball 3 days before surgery...
Today I got a call that my mom hurt herself and won't be able to come stay with us during my recovery. I was completely bummed and stressed out for the first 2 hours after I got the news, but then my mind kicked in into high gear and I've been coming up with a new plan all day.
So, I have pieced together help from friends and neighbors to get me through the first 5 days. Hopefully after that I'll be feeling better pain-wise and can manage taking care of myself at least!
So, even though I was thrown a HUGE curve ball today, I'm not going to let it get me down! In 2.5 days I'll be in the recovery room!
It's Only a Day Away...
Up late cleaning, organizing, packing my hospital bag and obsessing over EVERYTHING! I'm so ready to be on the flat side this last day is going to CRAWL BY! On tap for today: hair appointment! Gotta get all the maintenance type stuff out of the way so I can focus on recovering well after surgery! Wonder if I'll be able to sleep much?!?
Today is finally here! I just finished packing for the hospital and mopping floors. Bedtime! Then an early rising so I can be at the surgery center by 5:30 AM! 6.5 hours until surgery!
I did it! Went great! Recovery here I come!
26 Mar 2014
Day of treatment
I got to the surgery center at 5:35 AM! I'll write a more extensive day of surgery summary when I'm feeling a little less loopy!
2 Days Post-op
I already love my results and can't wait to see them get even better with time!
Dr. Bogdan told me he removed 1000 cc's from each flank and 5 pounds of excess skin and fat from my abdomen!
I'm posting a few after pics that were taken tonight and show some evening swelling. I'm in love! ; )
4 days post-op!
Today has simply been a great day! I feel amazing and almost like I didn't just have surgery! I had my first BM last night before going to bed and I slept in my bed the entire night --- Getting up only twice to pee. I took a shower and did full makeup and hair today and even cleaned the house some. Honestly this recovery had been so much easier than my c-sections because there isn't a newborn to nurse around the clock and interrupted sleep from a crying baby!
I really wanted to go for a run today. Obviously I didn't, but even the fact that I wanted to surprised me! One funny thing that happened during my overnight stay in the hospital, was that my heart rate kept dropping below 50 bpm when I was sleeping. So the heart monitor alarms kept going off. The nurses had no clue what to do so I had them call the respiratory therapist that had put the monitor on me in the first place. She came in and was surprised how low my resting heart rate was. Then she asked if I was a runner. Yep! That explains it. So she changed the lower limit of the heart rate alarm so I could finally get some sleep that night!
Happy healing to all my TT sisters! Hope you all are well!
What the heck?!?
Today out of the blue, I began having a runny nose. I wiped a couple of times and noticed BRIGHT YELLOW liquid started running out of my nose. Think nosebleed, but bright yellow! I was racking my brain to figure out if this could possibly be related to my TT at all. I called my PS just to double check if he had any concerns and he said he'd never heard of nasal drainage like this after a TT. It finally stopped and he told me to rest today and that if it stated back up to call him. I'm resting on the couch per his orders and hoping it was just a sinus polyp draining or something allergy season related! So weird!!
Adios amigos! 7 days PO
Today I said adios to my "frenemies" drain one and drain two. Thank you Lord Jesus they are gone. The right one burned like fire when he pulled it out and I thought I was going to pass out! The left one didn't even pinch or anything. They are bi-polar those damn drains!
I am trying to wean myself off the pain meds, only taking half a pill every 3-4 hours. For some reason my pain seems to want to hang on longer than other people's because this isn't pain that Tylenol could even touch. The sorest spots are my flanks where I had lipo. Do not let people tell you that lipo doesn't hurt. It hurts like hell! I don't even have visible bruising, but the skin and tissues there are so tender!
After my visit with the PS, hubby took me to Victoria's Secret to buy some celebratory fancy panties. I didn't last long shopping and was surprised how tired I was after getting my drains removed. Now, I need a nap!
Yesterday was my 2 week post-op appt. I am now Binder FREE, and only wearing a Spanx type garment for light compression (and to protect my incision which is still a little tender.)
Afterwards, I went shopping! 3 days of going through my closet revealed very little available to wear. Some of my clothes are now 3 sizes too big! I'm thankful I've had very little swelling and never really went through "swell hell" as they call it. I bought a maxi dress at Target for $30. I have NEVER been able to wear maxi dresses! At 5'11" I am seriously one tall drink of skinny water in a maxi! It feels comfy and awesome!
My only complaint right now is that my abdomen is so achy. Not muscle achy, touch sensitive and nerve pain achy. The skin has reawakened and it is pissed! Wearing a seatbelt while driving is complete torture. It's not excruciating pain. It's maddening pain. I described it to my plastic surgeon as a million tiny paper cuts that someone keeps touching over and over constantly. Then I thought of an even better description. You know how when you first put your clothes on, your skin feels them, but then quickly acclimates to the sensation and you forget they are there. Well my skin never acclimates. Every second my abdomen is firing that signal to my brain saying, "you're wearing a shirt, it's touching me, it's still touching me, hey, did you know you are still wearing a shirt?" Over and over and over. Never stops. He nodded his head and said that this exact thing is the basis for Chinese water torture. Great... Plastic surgery and torture equated!
So basically I have internal swelling that is causing the nerves to continually fire and the only way to control the pain is to control the inflammation. So I am taking 600 mg of ibuprofen 3 x day praying for some relief. I did take a hydrocodone tonight just because i couldn't take it any longer and that at least helped me care a little less about the pain! Praying for some relief soon!
Oh, and I also bought a bikini, but those pics are going to have to wait until I get my spray tan next week! This Norwegian bred girl is pasty!
Another RS user requested pics if my incision since I had an extended TT done. I had a ton of skin removed, so that's why an extended was done. My scar length does not bother me at all because honestly I'm rarely fully naked to see it and my underwear and bikini cover it completely. And, as it fades, it will become less noticeable! I have not begun scar treatment yet because my last few scabs recently fell off.
Also keep in mind I am really swollen right now (gained 8 pounds of water weight in 2 days!!!) So my butt looks awful in these pics because I'm swollen where I had lipo on my flanks, etc... Not pretty! Oh well. Recovery can be very cruel!
1 month PO
I haven't posted in awhile because frankly week 3 and 4 were hell for me. My last post touched briefly on the pain I experienced while my nerves were regenerating and it was awful to say the least. It lasted two weeks and the best way I can describe it is that the skin on my abdomen felt like it had a sunburn on both the inside and the outside. Little things that we take for granted like riding in a car were like torture to me. The vibration of the road, the seatbelt grazing my incision, my clothes skimming my skin while walking were all more that I could handle at times. I stayed in a lot and prayed for relief. Luckily I had pain killers left so each day when I couldn't take it anymore, I'd take one usually around dinner time to get me through until bedtime. Then at bedtime I had to take a Valium to help me sleep through the pain of my irritated skin each night.
My PS said this isn't uncommon as the skin wakes up, but that my case seemed to be one of the more extreme examples of the paresthesias people can experience after plastic surgery. Some feel ants crawling on their skin, pins and needles or quick bursts of electric shock. I drew the excruciating sunburn card, lucky me!
Week 3 I also experienced 10 pounds of weight gain in 3 days due to swelling! So between the painful skin and tightness of my skin from the sudden swelling I felt like I was going to burst open at times. I rested a lot, purposely laid around and tried to not hate myself for choosing this journey!
Finally as I closed in on week 4 and a few days later my 1 month anniversary, the pain in my abdominal skin began to subside and I lost 8 pounds of the swelling I had accumulated to that point. It's amazing the difference this week!
I'm back to being mommy, wife, friend and just plain old me. I laid out, cleaned my house, planted some flowers, worked in my garden and just got to be me. Finally.
6 Weeks PO --- My first run!!!
I finally have made it to what I consider the "end" of recovery. I went for my first run since surgery this morning and was able to run 3 miles. Not bad, but I ran super slow (for me!) I ran a half marathon just before surgery, so a 3 mile run is usually my warm up. I didn't want to over do it and regret it in the morning, so I took it easy. It felt great to sweat and have the usual "mind games" playing in my head as I talked myself out of stopping to walk numerous times. Running is almost all mental, so it was good to put some of my mental toughness to the test!
During the first quarter mile, I felt some pain in my lipo areas as I was running --- running is very jarring. Each step it got easier and by half a mile in, all I had left was a tingling sensation that went away by mile 2. In fact I think it was good for my body to have to endure some of this because my lipo areas have taken forever to heal and have been the only residual pain in this whole recovery. My body just needed to work through some of this and I know it will help me recover even more fully. Now to get back on track with my nutrition and get off the remaining 15 pounds I want to lose!
Gelzone Wrap --- scar therapy
I've been using the Gelzone sports wrap as scar therapy since week 4 PO. I like it because it stays in place, is thin under clothing and gives compression at the same time! It does get a little sweaty and itchy, but for the money this is the best option for me. My PS recommended it and I'm glad he did! So far I have noticed that my scar is perfectly flat. Waiting for the color to fade, but that will come with time.
9 Weeks Post-op!
27 May 2014
2 months post
Tomorrow I will be 9 weeks post. Life is back in full swing and we are in the middle of selling our house which means lots of cleaning every day. I notice swelling each night which starts about dinner time, but resolves by the next morning. It is still painful sometimes, and gets worse if I eat lots of bread or refunded sugar/processed foods. I have not returned to exercise and have only run once during my recovery. My plantar fasciitis has been excruciating since my first run at 6 weeks PO, so I'm taking it easy for now.
I have a follow-up with my PS this week for follow up pictures! Happy healing everyone!
Learning to EMBRACE the swelling!
The first pictures were taken at 9 weeks post op. The last two were taken at 9 weeks, 3 days after a long day of walking around Six Flags having fun with my kids. Talk about uncomfortable! So, when people on this board ask, "when will the swelling go away," I feel like saying, "never!" But, in reality I'll say... Eventually. Every person is different and thankfully this kind of swelling is only transient. So, EMBRACE the swelling and stop wondering when it goes away. Maybe at a year post-op I won't have anymore swelling. But for now, I'll put my binder on and get some much needed rest!