I have had two kids, last one 13 years ago. I...
I have had two kids, last one 13 years ago. I feel that I have always put my family first. At age 47, it is my time. I don't expect to look like a model, but I would like to at least look like I have a waist. I was really apprehensive to tell anyone what I was doing. Slowly I am telling one person at a time. I expected to be judged by my decision. But as we all know unless you live is someone's shoes, you never know the pain they have been through. So far I am surprised at the reactions that I have gotten. There are a few people that I do not see very often and I wont be telling them as most of them are a size 4 and flaunt that they look good. They make me feel very ugly and depressed. I don't think that they do it on purpose (or at least I hope they don't???), but that is the truth. They wear two piece bikini's at the pool and beach after having 2 kids! sexy clothes when we get together on weekends. They are nice people, but they make me feel bad. I went thru a lot in my first pregnancy and my body was wrecked and it's never been the same. I miss being a size 6-8, slim and I felt pretty. I haven't felt pretty since age 24 when I got pregnant. I love my kids but I hated what it did to me and have been depressed about my body ever since. I am just praying that my doctor can just make me look like a girl again instead of a blob. I'm trying not to expect too much so I won't be disappointed in the end. This is the turning point for the rest of my life. With the new body, I want to start new with everything! Food, exercise and stop hiding! 15 days to go!
2 weeks to a new me and I deserve it!
My TT and lipo is 2 weeks away from today. I have been reading every ones pre and post op reviews. My first child wrecked my body at age 24 with gestational diabetes ( It causes you to gain weight quickly and you get rather large no matter what you do). As much as I tried to control the stretch marks, they just kept coming and were unending. My skin was so stretched out, there was no elasticity left. They hurt, they bleed and feel like I can put my finger thru them. I also have a large overflap of skin. I went from a size 6 to 12! I hoped I would have a second child, which I blessed with ten years later. People didn't even know I was pregnant the 2nd time. It was fun without the gestational diabetes. Four years ago, kids are almost grown and it's my turn, I started trying to get my body back. I lost 80 lbs! Down 6 pant sizes! I thought that the excess skin would also disappear. It did not! Devastated, I got very upset, stressed and depressed and put 50 lbs back on. I'm scared to jump back in and fight for months to loose it to just get to my goal weight and still see that loose skin in the end. So I set myself on a journey to get all the stretch marks, loose skin and stretched stomach muscles fixed. I've waited years and my time is finally here! My date is set, bill is paid and I'm reading non-stop on this site for every ones suggestions, feedback, reviews, expectations and outcomes. I am very excited to share my journey with every one on this site. Message me for any question as I go thru my TT and lipo procedure. I am using Dr. Carl Price in Springfield, MO. He is one of the top 10 plastic surgeons in Springfield. He came highly recommended by a friend who got a BA.
Less than a week to join the "flats"
Really excited I have less than a week and I won't ever have to see this belly again! Finding everyone's post very helpful and inspiring. I'm all ready. Pre-admission and other things all completed. Purchases all made, including new pillows. Only thing I need is my medications. Now it's just a waiting game. Dreaming of everything good and bad. Prayers for all the TT sister I have. Bless you all with your surgeries and recovery.
Less than 24 hours to go
Well, it's almost here. I am to arrive at the surgical center at 6am, so probably will be a couple of hours before the actual surgery. Excited that I am first on his schedule. Got my pain, nausea and antibiotic. Car is full of gas. My mini bag is packed with clothes, cough drops, and multiple pairs of socks (I get cold feet.). Now, can I sleep. LOL
Start of Surgery day
Went to bed day 9:00pm. Woke up at midnight. Rest of the night was in and out on sleep. Got up at 4:30am took shower as normal. Then scrubbed down with Hibicleans (Chlorahexidine) for 2 minutes. I got the front and hubby got the back. Didn't smell bad and the red liquid soap was very watery but did get slight lather after rubbing for 2 minutes. Drank one 16 oz of water at 5:10am( okayed by my nude). Grabbed my bag, I packed: (2 changes of clothes short and long sleeve shirt, shorts and long PJs); Hair brush and hair ties; 3 pairs of socks; breathsavers and cough drops; and drivers license. Arrived at surgical center at6:00 am. Checked in and then went back. Nurse Faith went over my health and drug allergies. Got my IV started, pee test to check for pregnancy. I changed into the sexy hospital gown non skid socks and warm blankets by 7:00am. Dr Price came at 7:25am in a black polo and jeans. What a cool dr , no fancy suit. Then he created his road map of my body. I watched his face as he quietly worked. It was like an artist starting a painting. And I was his canvas! It was inspiring to see how much care and thought he put into how he was going to recreate me. Anesthesiologist, Dr Snyder came in and reviewed what was being done, my medical history and allergies. She also asked about my teeth. Hadn't thought about that. Surgical nurse, Dianna came in and gave me two drugs in my IV. She said that one would put me to sleep. I remember her telling us that she would wheel me to the double doors and then my husband would have to wait in the waiting room. My husband said that I was talking and out almost immediately. Don't remember a think after that. My husband said I went back at 7:41am. Next update about after the surgery.
End of surgery day
I got out of surgery at 10:50 AM, and went to recovery room. While I was there Dr. Price met with my husband and my mother about what occurred during my surgery and my aftercare. He said that he took a seven pounds of skin and 2 Liters of fluid. Dr said that is a lot more than he normally does. I started waking up at noon, I could hear what was going on but couldn't keep my eyes open. I had to meet four criteria before I could leave the surgery center: eat, drink, pee, and have my pain under control. After completing those four criteria I was able to leave at 1:30 PM. I arrived home at 2:17 PM where I took a hydrocodone I went to bed to sleep. I woke up at 6 PM took a hydrocodone and started texting oh my supporters. They had been texting me the morning to see how I was doing, it was so sweet to know they were thinking about me. I realized my mom and dad brought me some get well balloons and card. Which really surprised me. I got to visit with my mom and dad and my son a while. They had lots of questions about the days events. I got up for the first time to Pee at that home, other than when I was at the surgery center, and it went okay I little wobbly and of course the bent over posture. I was just a little unsteady. Didn't hurt much more than I did after I got home. With the hydrocodone there isn't a lot of pain just feels like I've been bruised badly. My son hurt his foot yesterday also. My poor husband has two people to take care of now. Ate some strawberry Jell-O at 6 PM with a hydrocodone. I am not a big fan of Jell-O but it sure felt good on my throat it is dry and a little sore from having the tube down my throat. Taking some cough drops also. Went back to sleep until 10 PM and took a hydrocodone and Cephalexin (antibiotic) and ate chicken noodle soup. It sure tasted good on my throat. Stayed up a little while with my husband reading and watching a little TV and I went back to sleep. Woke up at midnight to go Pee really, really bad.
Start of 1st day PO
Last night my husband also drained me at 10 PM he got 30 cc off my left and 20 cc off my right and before that when I left the hospital there were some more so it was 35 on my left, 50 on the right the total for yesterday. While husband also changed my arm garments as I was bleeding through him is going to wash them the next day. It was real rough trying to get it off and on without hurting myself. Woke up at 4 AM it was time for my pain pill and what antibiotic and went Pee. Then back to sleep. Got up about 6:30 AM husband drained me this morning and got 10 cc on each side. Got up to Pee, ate two scrambled eggs with cheese and a little bit of milk this morning for breakfast.about ready for another Hydrocodone and cephalexin. Will add more details as I go.
End of 1st day PO
The rest of the day was about the same as in the morning I did get up and walk again for about 10 minutes. It's really hard on your back when you're bent walking. Ate some turkey and cheese slices for lunch and a strawberry Jell-O. I read an article online before my surgery that protein is good for healing. Trying to think of things I have lots of protein in them to eat. Still a little afraid to eat too much solid food. Really dreading number two. My total drain output yesterday was just under 30 C C's. Nurse told my husband when it goes under 30 to call her and he should bring me in to have the drains removed.
Start of 2nd day PO
Woke up at 3:30 AM needed to go Pee and it was almost time for medication. My husband was so hard to see he's been a real trooper. I hated to wake him up so I decided I would try to get up on my own. It was really difficult and hurt a lot but I was able to get up on my own. At 6 AM we emptied my drains only got 5 ccs out of the left side and 7cc on the right side. They told us when I have less than 30 ccs in both legs for a total all day, I would need to come in and get my drains taken out. Between the total yesterday was 27 ccs and the low amount this morning we call the doctors office to see if it was time to have the drains taken out. They said yes to come on up and they will take them out. Got there about 9:30 AM, I laid down and they snipped the sutures in that held the drain. It hurt for just a couple of seconds it felt really tight and she pulled on the suture and cut it. Then she went to pull it out it was inside my abdomen about 18 inches. when she started pulling it it felt like when you pull a weed out of the ground and the roots don't want to let it go. She did the left side first and it hurt and really was tough to get out. The right side was about the same but didn't hurt as much. I just got home and I'm resting for little bit and then will be getting my first shower after surgery.
End of 2nd day PO
The shower was rough! When I took the binder off it felt like all of my insides are falling out of my body it made me very nauseous and queasy. I managed to hobble into the shower where I have two seats build him and set down on one. I started shivering and shaking I don't know if it was nerves for too cold. My husband help soap me down and wash my hair. Then he started drying me off heading to incisions. It is so frustrating to feel this weak and disabled. But we got it done! Then we had to figure out how to get that binder back on. We tried to put it on me standing up, didn't work. Then only thing I could think of was too lay the garment on my bed and lay my body on top of it. Then gravity was helping for my swollen stomach down enough that my husband could hook and zip it up. I was just ready to collapse I think going in and getting the drains out and shower in one day was just a little too much. so I immediately went back to bed and fell asleep. The binder felt so much better on than off. Really surprised me I thought it would just feel wonderful to get this tight thing off but it was the exact opposite I felt very out of control and I started getting nauseous. I'm having some strange feelings in my abdomen kind of like when your foot falls asleep, a tingly tight feeling. I'm guessing it's from the drains being removed this morning. Trying very hard to stay awake today so that I can sleep all night. I've been sleeping about three hours and then after that I wake up for an hour and Then sleep for an hour and back-and-forth until the morning.
3rd day PO
This was mostly an uneventful day. Took my meds and rested, only getting up for bathroom or water. I moved from the bedroom to my living room chair and ottoman. Much easier to get up and down on my own. Late in the evening I swelled up more than I had been before. Stayed awake all day, so hoping for some consistent sleep.
4th day PO
Sleep 7 hours last night, with only one wake up a midnight. So because I slept so long I missed my pain and antibiotic. So took them as soon as I got up at 6am. Getting cleaned up and hair washed shortly. the bruising is better to the touch and my back muscles are not as sore either. Trying read on line to see if I can get some of the swelling down. It's so full today it hurts. Started feeling muscle twitching in my belly. So I am thinking that is the nerves adjusting to the new belly. Feels like worms wiggling around in my belly! LOL Even though this is a lot to go thru, I think it so going to be well worth it. I am already enjoying my flap laying on my legs when I sit. Amazing already.
End of 4th day PO
I'm itching like crazy! One particular part on my shoulder was driving me crazy. Today I had more flexibility in my arms, so I was able to reach back more and found a tag. Uggh! So my mom cut it off. Felt tons better. guess that a good sign that I am healing. My mom came over today and washed my hair in the kitchen sink. She used to be a hairdresser, so I got the nail and finger massaged head scrub. It was AMAZING. Been watching movies and projects today. Made me feel more "human". My husband took of my naseau patch they put behind my ear before surgery. Tomorrow is day 5! I can't believe it is passing so quickly. Looking back I think my hardest day was 1st day post op. Worst part so far was the shower. One of my friends called today to check on me. Felt good to know someone was thinking of me. Wondering how many more days of walking bent over?
5th day PO
Not much to put on day five. I was able to stand up just a little bit straighter; however, later in the day lots of swelling and fullness hit. And I was back to being bent over more so I cut myself off of the pain medications after I took one at noon. Really scared how much this is going to hurt without anything, but also afraid if I don't have a bowel movement it might be worse. Reading online about constipation, so good to have eight 8 ounce glasses of water, I know I'm not good at that. I did try to drink 7-Up but I've never cared for that taste very much so really not enjoying that at all. So I'm going to just try to drink lots of water and stay off the pain medications and see if nature will take it's course. My husband talked me into getting in the car and going to pick up a call in order at one of our favorite Italian restaurants. Almost immediately the bumping and moving and shifting of the car I started getting nauseous. The day before we had taken off the nausea patch that the surgical center put on me. My stomach started twisting, hurting and queasy, it was horrible. Drank a little diet 7-Up when I got home, took about an hour to get it to stop feeling so bad. I'm not big on medications so I think I'm going to try to cut them off. Finished my antibiotic today so now any medications I take should just be optional. Took a few pictures of my upper body yesterday but not on this device so I will upload them as soon as possible pretty much bruised badly all over from the liposuction.
Start of 6th day PO
Hallelujah!!! A bowel movement has occurred! Now it doesn't want to stop. LOL Had to get up to Pee at 3:30 AM, didn't want to wake my husband up as he had taken off so much work last week and I knew he had to get up early this morning. So I managed to roll out of my bed, wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but it still hurt. When he did get up at 6:30 AM I watched him run around the house trying to get our son ready for school, take her dogs outside and finish get himself ready to go to work. Not once did he happen to think that I might need any assistance this morning. He left in a hurry and though I was completely recovered and didn't need help anymore. I little sad. It's funny he either goes completely overboard or nothing at all.
End of 6th day PO
Sort of a quiet day, no husband as he was out working all day and into the night. My mom came over to help me get cleaned up and we just sat and talked. It was good. Had a third BO in the evening. Glad that is all working good now. Only one hurdle left, removing the seri-strip from the incision on Thursday. SCARY??? I saved a few pain pills, just in case I might need them that day. Didn't have much pain yesterday and feeling very tired went to bed at 8:30pm.
7th day PO
Made my goal today to try and walk upright. Have to go into my Drs office for my follow up on Thursday. Would really like to NOT have to have my husband wheel me in a wheelchair. I hope I can make it. I can make it 10 or 12 feet as long as I keep moving. As soon as I stop, my back starts hurting and I start shaking, so I'm worried about standing in the elevator. Just not sure. :( I don't want to push it, but really don't want to be totally helpless. But I will first have to get past the car ride, my last ride Friday made me sick for an hour. So may be unable to even get out of the car, before I even think about trying to walk across a parking lot, to the elevator, up the elevator to the 5th floor, into the waiting room, before I can sit. Doesn't sound too bad when your well, but when you are trying to recover, it feels like a 10 mile marathon. LOL Every day I feel stronger and can't wait for the next few weeks and months to pass so I can see the final new me. I finally took pictures of my tummy, you can't see much as my Dr has me bandaged up quite a bit, but at least a peek. The regular bandaid on my upper belly is a wound caused by the tape for my belly button, still not sure why that one ripped my skin off and the other tapes on my belly didn't. At my next dressing change, I will get some belly button pics. Everything else will stay covered up until Thursday. Hopefully, that will be the day my Dr takes them off. Note: photos wont upload will try again in a new Update.
8th day PO
Not too much to update on this day, lots of rest, trying to walk straight and keep the swelling down. Adding a pic of my belly button. Thought I would share some measurements. I realize there is a lot of swelling still, but thought it would be interesting to see it shrink over the next few weeks. Chest at bra band lost 4.5 inches; Waist at belly button lost 4 inches; Hips at my flap lost 3.75 inches; and Hips under flap 2 inches. Wow, and I still have swelling!
9th day PO
Went to the doctor for a follow up. It went good! My husband dropped me off at the door. So less to walking for me. Made it up to the 5th floor and a short wait. Nurse came in first and got me settled. Then in came my angel, Dr. Price! He shook my hand and ask me how I was. He took off the gauze attached with "rubber cement" (probably not what it is but what it feels like). He did it so fast I wasn't really ready and with just a couple of tinges of pain (felt like hairs being pulled), it was off! He was talking to me the whole time so I thought the worst was over, but oh surprise there was another strip underneath and he grabbed and ripped it of quickly too! (again felt like hairs being pulled). For me it was not as bad as having my drains removed. Whew! made it through what I think is the hardest part. I started bleeding on my right hip. He said it was okay and stuck some gauze on it. He looked at my belly button and said it looked great and the stitches could come out of it. Oh gosh, I thought, more to come! He thinks that everything looks great and we discussed my sores from the medical tape that was over my belly button. (Couple of days prior, I put liquid bandage on it.) He said that was fine. Then he said he would send Nurse Connie in to clean me up and remove the stitches from my belly button, and get me a new garment. Said he needed to see my in a week from Monday. I could not see anything except my belly button, so I had my husband takes some first pictures of my incision before they covered it all up. Nurse Connie came in and removed my stitches from my belly button. It was an odd feeling more than it hurt, I'm still a little numb there. She said from now on keep it dry, put nothing on it. Nurse Connie cleaned up the blood from my right hip and started to remove the "rubber cement". She used some medical adhesive remover. She said that you can use mineral oil and a dry wash cloth. I haven't tried it yet, so will let you know how it goes. Then she put on steri-strips, like the sticky part of a Band-Aid without the gauze part. They were about 5" long and placed them along my incision. And then helped me into my new "granny capri pants" garment. Little harder to get in as you have to pull the elastic band over your incision. Which doesn't sound that bad but I have an incision all the way around to my hips, so very hard to pull it up and it not "snap" onto my incision. They are like thick hose or tights. The crotchless part was much better than the previous corset type I had with a velco flap. However, there is no opening for #2. So that should be fun. Nurse said best way to remove steri-strips is to get in the shower and let them get wet and they should come right off. Pat incision dry and then reapply them. They are more for keeping the incision from being rubbed than any other purpose. Questions we asked: Q. How do I keep the swelling down? A. nothing that you eat or do will stop or slow the swelling. Best thing to do is if you get the tight swelling to lay down and put your feet up. Q. Do I continue to use Neosporin? A. No, you should only use it for 3 days then it loses its affect. We ask about time frames: 10 days is when the body starts settling to the new tummy. 3 months most of the swelling should have stopped but no guarantee. 6 months the incision should be white and thin. It takes 12 months for everything heal 100%l. We asked lots of question, so if I think of any more I will post them on another update.
Let's talk about Swelling
I was asking all the RS friends about swelling suggestions. So I wanted to repost on my update, so no one will miss it. RS CaperGirl said " eat lots of fresh pineapple, it has an enzyme in it to help reduce swelling." HappySuzy advised that the enzyme is called Bromelain and that you can get it in a health store in capsules. She said "Take Bromelain (500mg capsules), 2 capsules (500 mg) two or three times a day until the bottle was gone." So I opted for the more natural option and eating fresh pineapple. I've had a little pineapple as a morning snack and an afternoon snack. So far, I think it is keeping the really bad swelling down. It doesn't get rid of all of it and you don't want to because the swelling is your body trying to repair the trauma.
2 weeks PO
During the last week, not a whole lot of changes. Went back to work and found it hard to sit at my desk. The 90 degree bend between my body and legs is causing me to swell. So I am leaning back in an incline as much as possible. Anytime I sit that way more than 2 hours at a time, I swell like crazy. Been eating pineapple around lunch time, can't say for sure if it is working, but it tastes good, so not a bad trade off to try. New pics added. Bruising under arms is much better when compared to last week.
3 weeks PO
I was able to stand up straight, but then I did too much and the swelling increased and I was bent over again. Lesson learned! New pics added, everything looking better. Scabs fell off the tape wound and a few places on my abdominal incision. Will see the doctor for my next follow up this coming Thursday. Hoping I am about done with steri-strips, they don't really hurt to pull off (except where I still have remaining stretch marks and hairs!) But I have to get help to put them back on as I cannot see over my belly to cover the incision. Still enjoying the queen like treatment from my family. Some days they forget and other days the go overboard. Enjoy the overboard days. LOL
Second Dr follow up appointment 3 weeks 2 days PO
Went to my 2nd follow up appointment yesterday. No more Steri-Strips!!!!! I am so glad, they sort of itch and burn (like a sunburn) under and next to the strips. He told me I was re-acting to the glue. Now, I am to use a lotion with Cocoa Butter and/or Lanolin. Went to Walgreens, found lots of Cocoa Butter, but not much Lanolin. So went with Cocoa Butter for now. Need to research what the benefit of Cocoa Butter versus Lanolin. He said my major swelling is right in the center and it just needs time. I have been released from wearing all my garments, he said if I want I can still wear them for security/comfort, but it will not do me any additional good. The top is GONE! it was hot and really tight below my elbow! The bottoms, I still feel very wiggly in my tummy and when I wear it I feel a little more together. So we will see how it goes. I did go without any garments to sleep last night, felt good not to be layered and hot. For the last week I have been sleeping for about 4 hours then waking up sore in my upper back, so I have one side I can sleep on (and roll out of bed) for a little while. So I would roll to my left side and that lasted about 30 minutes, then had to go back to my back where I ached. So told Dr Price and he said it is swelling going into my back. He told me to take 600 mgs of IB 30 minutes before bed. It worked, slept better and I woke up not feeling so humped over too. I'm almost walking upright. Still have issues standing still for too long. Dr Price said that I should now start stretching my tummy to try to stand upright and that I should do what I can but that pain is my guide to how much. He said I can start doing a little lifting (was restricted to 5 lbs and under). He said everything is going exactly as it should. We did talk about my swelling, he said that it will take me 3 to 6 months. I am posting my last arms pics for a while as all of the outside bruising is just about gone. There is still some very deep bruising that cannot be seen, only felt when touched, so after the 6 month mark, I will take some "after swelling" photos.
My attitude and the future
Well, as my body is changing, so is my attitude. After yesterdays Dr. appoint, I felt an overwhelming happiness that I haven't had for years. I am feeling more attractive and self confident. I hope everyone who goes thru this journey, gets this same feeling during their journey. Thank you to all the family and friends that I have shared my "secret" and your support. To those who I know would judge, convict me, snicker and talk behind my back.....I just don't care anymore! So to those ex-friends....I wish you the best of luck with your life. I am taking my life back and surrounding myself with positivity and love. I feel very blessed! Thank you God for presenting this opportunity and a great doctor into my life!
3 weeks, 2 days PO
Scabs fell out of my belly button yesterday. Scar looks good. Last pics of my incision with Steri-Strips, good riddance! So here are my updated photos of my belly button and tummy. I also realized I never posted pics of the 2nd tummy garment, so they are here too. I think its time to go for a pedicure.
3 weeks, 2 days PO More pics forgot to post.
More pics forgot to post. Close up of my incision with Steri Strips.
4 weeks Post Op
Time is flying by! I cannot believe I am four week post op. Not a lot of changes this week, or at least that I can see. I am walking upright. I get really tired and if I do too much I swell. Now, I know why others before me refer to it as SWELL HELL. It feels like it will never end. My incision is really bothering me, I think it is just irritated. It doesn’t seem infected or anything like that. But it just hurts. I have two place that feel like I am being poked with a needle. Right side is worse than the left. Right hurts every time I roll to my side. The left side only hurts occasionally. I keep thinking that I am going to call the nurse, but then I feel like I am being paranoid. Everything rubs and irritates my incisions. Regular underwear rubs the front (because my incision is so low) and anything shorter than “granny” type hit on my hip incisions. So I went to see if boy shorts would help. I did find some that are seamless and they are great, but all my athletic shorts rub around the waist with or without the underwear. Girls shorts are all cut low on the waist and high legs. There is no winning at anything comfortable, except PJs.
5 weeks PO
Not many changes this week. Measurements and swelling are still the same. Seeing my doctor Monday, will post if I learn anything new. Feeling more and more energy. Been walking in the evenings and that has helped my upper back pain. Hoping to more to more activity soon.