Good day to all Selfies! I have been stalking this...
Good day to all Selfies! I have been stalking this site for about a month & I feel it's my turn, & responsibility, to share my journey with the hope that it will help others. In 9 days I will have a tummy tuck with muscle repair & lipo on my sides & flanks. I'm 42 years old, 5'5", 113lbs, eat well & exercise moderately. I have one child who is 22... I have tried for years (unsuccessfully) to blame him for the state of my current body, however his whole 9lbs didn't make me gain 60lbs during pregnancy. Young, thoughtless of what happens to a body....needless to say I have more stretch marks - everywhere - than all the ladies combined on this site...! For most of my adult years I averaged a weight of 150-160ish wearing size 10-12. 18 months ago I changed my way of eating & lost 45lbs ending at a size 2/4...which has left me completely deflated & saggy (sad). I have been in maintenance mode for about 8 months, but nothing will get rid of this crazy skin/flab/rolls/beefcakes. I've always had a pooch gut (like all the girls in our family...), now I have that plus too much ruination! Lol. I try to power walk (jogging some of it) 2.5 miles each day, some days I get rained out... I have hated my pooch even as a teen...a tummy tuck is a life-long dream. It's not in an effort to lose weight or to take care of something that I could fix without surgery. I would just once in my lifetime (while I still care...) like to NOT have this gut lurking under my shirt, waiting to expose itself cruelly to the public at the slightest raise of my arms...
My husband is my greatest champion, so supportive and & encouraging & will be taking care of me. Poor man...
I had 3 consults before selecting Dr. Bruce Landon. I liked speaking to his office team the best of all the appointments I made, & the individual I spoke to was extremely generous with her knowledge of what to look/ask for when I told her I was also consulting with others. I actually paid a little less than the $8,900 due to my size (less expected OR time & anesthesia) plus I got a 3% discount for paying in cash. Yay! Dr. Landon came across as very realistic with outcome & expectation, he did not feed me whatever I wanted to hear. I feel he will try to give me exactly what I want, but will make the best decisions to give me the most desirable outcome possible. He also seems to have a very gently touch, & though normally I could care less about that....I think I will appreciate it greatly post surgery.
As strange as it may sound, my belly button is what I worry about above all things. I have seen some very bad jobs out there, & quite frankly I don't want an anus for a belly button.. Very scared about that. I like to think I have reasonable outcome expectations, but then I catch myself dayworring about whether the scar will show above my bikini or not. Whaaaat? Wearing a bikini was never the goal...so I must remind myself occasionally that my expectation is to have a flatter - monster free - tummy...I cannot attain a supermodel figure. I'm not sure how the stretch marks will come into play, my skin is very damaged so I don't know how it all comes back together...guess I'll find out!
I had my pre op visit on Monday, 3 weeks prior to surgery. We basically did an ekg, had a Stretch Mark Barbie photo session in the most unflattering paper saggy panties on the planet (bletch) & went over post care instructions. She told me to start Arnica, gave me my "special" soap for night before & morning of, I got all of my scripts filled ($150-ouch!)....aaannnndddddd off we go!
P.s. the red/yellow blotchy on my tummy is the remnants of well thought out tattoo at the age of 18. Hopefully he can get at least part of that thing cut off.... ! A bonus!!
Countdown...nine nine nine nine!!
Wow, I'll attempt to be a little less winded than my first entry.... Nine days to go!! wooo! I'm in "I'm scared so I won't even think about it" mode. Lol! I've already experienced buyers remorse, selfishness, excitement, determination & glee. My entire family has been extremely supportive & are happy for me to be happy.
This last week & next week I have been doing all I can to eat well, maintain exercise & gather the items I think I will need. I'm trying not to go completely overboard with buying things I may not need (n.o.t. easy). I already had to buy a couple of dresses (ick) & nightgowns just in case. Thankfully with the weight loss I have about 6 sizes of clothing stored in the house, so I should be able to find something to wear to return to work.
The nurse told me to wear something comfortable that buttons up the front to surgery. I'll admit.....I'm at a complete loss. The only items I own, or have seen, are blouses or collared oxford-style button up shirts, not comfy. And nobody can expect me to ride around town in a muumuu......ever. Lol.
Believe it or not these pants fit perfectly everywhere....except the gut, which in turn makes my beefcakes also hang over the back.
I'm not entirely sure if there are a hundred butterflies in my tummy or if I'm on a roller coaster & just don't know it...
Still attempting to eat well, exercise & not freak out...Lol. I pick up the recliner this Saturday (thank you Gramma!). I just couldn't bring myself to rent or buy one....and I didn't want to get home only to discover I can't handle laying in my bed.....so my wonderful grandmother offered one if hers to borrow. Guess I better drop-cloth that baby so there are no accidents.... We've already decided that a few puppy pads on the car seats won't hurt either. Dignity? Something I USED to have.....Lol!
Working on my grocery list for recovery foods. I also plan to make up some green smoothies for this weekend & for recovery. I figure a little extra kale can't hurt.... Lol! The smoothies are better fresh, but they freeze pretty well too.
Who has the most nerves
Trying to decide who has the biggest case of the nerves at the moment....me or the husband. Probably the husband. He's sincerely afraid of me going under anesthesia. I'm more afraid of the fact that my sister is allergic to Demerol, however I have never had it, so I don't know if I will have an issue or not. Not sure how that works... I mentioned it to the nurse during the pre-op visit, she said they use it during the procedure. I'll mention it again.....discovering an allergy that will make me vomit my guts out for 3 days while recovering from a tummy tuck is not on my to-do list. Hopefully there will be an alternative...
I received my call day with my surgery time of 7:30a for Monday. It's funny she called today because I started out the day feeling rather unsettled. I think half of it is worrying about finishing up work for time off & the other half are random crazy results thoughts. Will my belly button be okay? Please don't let my girly hairs be too close to my new bb (unfortunately I've read several ladies on RS here pointing that out as a problem). Will my flanks be saggy once he sucks the fat out? What will happen to my hoo-hoo? Like I said....crazy random. I'm also feeling a bit guilty because my husband's birthday is on day 4....all I can do for him on his bday is use the bathroom without his help & empty my own drains (I hope, anyway!). Lol. Poor man. He's so good to me!
Oh, & Aunt Flow is pretending she may visit. 2 days of cramps for nothing. I knew I was going to be on my cycle for surgery, but I'd rather have swollen, painful day 1 over with before Monday. Honestly I've never wished so hard for my period to start early in my entire life. Lol. Hopefully it will make up it's mind & hit me tomorrow. I already spoke to the nurse about it, as in - WHAT DO I DOOOO? She told me it happens all the time & not to worry... So, I'm not going to worry....(but we all know I will deep down inside!!!)... Dr. L cutting me from hip to hip, sucking out fat, sewing muscles, blood, stitches, naked....I'm okay with. Having my menstrual cycle in his presence...absolutely horrifying...& while he marks me up... Oh, the thought!! Welp, there goes my last tiny shred of dignity.... Oh well!
One more day of work, then I'm officially on "vacation". Woooo!
May the "vacation" begin!
Today was the last day of work for 2 weeks (wooo!)! 4 of my coworkers pals know what I'm about to do & I'm sure others found it odd that my pals were hugging me goodbye & wishing me luck to go on vacation. Lol! I certainly don't feel like I'm on vacation....probably because my excited nervousness is ramping up & "relax" has fallen out of my vocabulary.
So I got my wish & Aunt Flow did, as I put it so eloquently yesterday, make up her mind & "hit me" today.....uh, with a baseball bat!!! Holy migraine.... I won't be finished before Monday, but I'm just so thankful the worst of it will be behind me! One less thing to worry about!
My husband completely rearranged the bedroom today so we can fit the recliner. I can't stay out in the living room because I am confident one of my dogs will perform a flying leap of death onto me...most likely when I'm asleep. I'll hide myself in the bedroom for recovery, thanks!. Lol!
I'm SO excited!! It's soooo close now!!
12 more hours....
The last weekend my spare tire gets to follow me around - completely uninvited & unwanted!
How am I supposed to stress eat when I'm supposed to be eating light??!! Lol! Luckily the knot in my stomach kept my eating under control! Today was mostly snacking on small things....I had an egg whites & spinach omelet, banana, natural almonds, 4oz chicken, tuna fish, coffee (my bad) & a green smoothie (kiwi, avocado, banana, spinach, kale).
Even though it technically begins in 12 hours, I feel I'll be all done in 12 hours... lol. I'm losing the time in surgery time while I "nap" anyway! Lol!
I spent all day worrying if I have everything ready &, quite honestly, the only thing I need to make sure I do is wash with my special soap, shave according to instruction, take my MRSA preventative meds & show up in time. That's it....I don't even have to "get ready". We'll probably show up ridiculously early...but you never know when there's going to be unexpected traffic. But my little bag is packed & I think I'm prepared. I have crackers, water, cough drops, puppy pads (LOL) & a few barf bags for the ride home...
Hopefully I'll get some sleep tonight, typically nothing keeps me from getting my rest so I should be good! Lol!
I probably won't post in the morning, so I'll give a shout when I'm coherent! Lol!
Thank you ladies so very much for the encouraging words & support! It makes all the difference & I truly appreciate it! :-)
p.s. - I blame the phone for all typos & words that don't belong....!!
Especially any crazy inappropriate words (my auto-correct is extremely vulgar)!
30 Jun 2014
Day of treatment
Well, I made it to the other side. I feel pretty good, my tummy muscles are extremely sore. I only have one drain, & the binder didn't seem too tight. my husband has made me get up every hour and take a couple laps around the bedroom. Love him!! Just trying not to choke on my water is I drink it halfway reclined. My medication seems to be pretty strong so I will pass out in just a minute. Arrived at the doctors office at 7:30 a.m., they took me in the back to change into my gown, Dr Landon marked me up, I walked into the surgery suite, and then I woke up almost fully dressed. Car ride home was okay, I did not feel nauseous. I'm eating light today, not feeling any nausea. I've gone to the bathroom a couple times, didn't need help but the husband was pretty close by just in case. I had a little piece of chicken, almonds, and a yogurt. I'll try to write more later, I keep falling asleep from the medication. Hope everyone had a great day!
The day after...
Good morning! Now I see why so many people drop off for the first few days. It's so hard to stay awake with the pain medication. I think I'm doing well, stomach muscles do feel like I got kicked by a thousand donkeys. I just tried to get out of the chair by myself, that was a stupid idea! Last night my husband made me get up every hour to walk around a little. I haven't seen anything out of the garment but I got back to the doctor tomorrow so hopefully I will get a peek. Rrreeeeaaally not looking forward to the car ride...
I've been eating snacky foods to take my meds. Yogurt, almonds, half a peanut butter sandwich, banana, smoothie. Haven't had any nausea at all. I just started my antibiotics also this morning. And I have 2 more days of mrsa treatment to go (that is fairly disgusting, rather like putting paste in your nostrils). But to avoid mrsa, I'll do it happily!!
My one drain isn't putting out very much, way less than the 25cc Mark. Bright red. Though Dr. Landon does the quilting technique to attach the skin back down. Hopefully this will eliminate seromas also.
Well, pain meds are kicking back in. They suggested in stay on top of them. They also suggested that I slouch & not hunch. Honestly, I'm moving any way that I can... Lol!
I've been sleeping in the chair, haven't even attempted the bed. I know it would be more comfy, I just can't face getting back out of it!
Still hanging in there
Nothing exciting to report, my day has been filled with napping, getting up every 1.5 - 2 hours to walk around a little, eating a little bite then snoozing a little more. I'm able to stay awake for longer stretches now. I guess the anesthesia has finally left me! I actually feel very good, I think I was prepared for much worse. My husband has been the BEST!
Good morning day 2!
Good morning to all Selfies! Last night was the longest stretch of time I spent laying down (well, sprawled on the recliner). Almost made it 3 1/2 hours, a little bit too long. I woke up this morning feeling pretty stiff but was able to walk that off fairly quickly. I'm not used to a recliner at all, so it's no wonder I'm waking up feeling stiff in the back (& of course in the stomach muscles). It's easier to get up every 2 hours & walk around. My drain doesn't seem to be getting much action, about 12-15cc every 4 hours. I've milked the line quite a few times to make sure it isn't clogged, but it continues on with this consistent amount.
My follow-up Dr appointment is in a couple hours, absolutely dreading the car ride. Oh well, there's nothing that can be done about it, hopefully it won't be too bad!
My legs are feeling a little tight this morning, lack of use & some slight swelling I think. Nothing major, I just noticed a slight change.
Nothing else to report yet! Still taking my pain meds & antibiotics every 4 hours. I have started feeling uncomfortable at hour 3 so I taken 2 Tylenol in between a few times.
Hope everyone is doing well! Have a great day!
Finally got to see!!
The drive to the doctor was not as bad as I was expecting, even with all of the construction.
So, here is my first glimpse. I'm extremely pleased. I think it looks fabulous even with the crazy swollen areas. I still have my drain & have been given the okay to shower. Considering my husband washed my hair 3 hours ago, I'll wait until tomorrow.
oops, a few more
Pressed "update" too fast... :-)
Day 3, good morning!
I agree with other comments I've read, the pain meds give me crazy dreams. I can't remember what they are but I'm usually bawling in my dreams. Weird... I made it for about a 5 hour stretch this time, usually I wake up because I need to pee. This morning my husband had to help me out of the recliner, but I was able to get myself together without help. I prepared a little breakfast, a coffee, milked my drains, etc. I tried to send my husband back to bed for more rest, but he ended up hovering over me in the kitchen. I think he fears me tripping over a dog, they are rather like little booby traps that like to get tangled up underfoot... I've been awake for a couple of hours, I feel like I want to take a nap but I know that's just the meds so I'm fighting it.
I'm basically wearing a comfort bra, I placed a cotton cami underneath the cg (I bought a handful of them at Forever21, perfect & cheap), tie waist pj bottoms and a thin sleeping shirt. No panties, I just can't face them yet, lol!
The area where my tube exits (my upper leg!) is a little red, the nurse said yesterday that it looks perfectly fine and the best thing will be soap in the shower. I cleaned it with a little peroxide this morning, figured it wouldn't hurt... She said to clean out my belly button with peroxide to get the scabbies out once a day. I'm slightly fearful of removing the cg, it feels like it is holding me together. Lol! she said I could take it off to rest my skin for an hour or so as long as I was laying down, completely at rest.
I tried to sleep in my bed last night, I made it 5 minutes before returning to the recliner. I really wish I could get out of it by myself, I just simply can't manage it! If you're able to get a lift recliner, do it! :)
I should finish my antibiotics today. Not sure about the pain Meds. I noticed this morning I was a few hours over & was pretty okay...but I'm starting to get some very minor spasms in the stomach muscles. The nurse said to save the valium for the muscle spasms that will be coming....she said there would be no question that I'm having spasms when the time comes (more owies?) lol!!!
I started taking Colace yesterday morning. No action in that department, a little gas, but not feeling pain from it at this point.
So far I've only put on 2lbs of fluids. I'm expecting the swelling to start soon and truly expect to return to work in a size larger to allow for swelling. We'll see!
Have a great day and happy healing to all!
Day 4 has arrived
Good morning to all! Happy Birthday to my wonderful & amazing husband! I will put forth the greatest effort not to ruin his day (would it be too much to ask for a shower?). Teee! Maybe I'll ask after gifts... Poor man!
Day 4 arrived with a few happy little victories.
First, I slept from about 11p to 6a, the longest stretch yet. I had taken a pain pill right before I went to sleep, though that wasn't unusual. Still sleeping in the recliner (my nemesis), but I have at last mastered getting out if it. Not sure about getting back in yet...
I also haven't taken a pain pill yet, I'm not hurting any worse than a Tylenol may help with, so I'll attempt to go that route today. I started back with my multi vitamins, B12 complex & am still taking Arnica..
I also successfully had the elusive #2poo this morning. I thought I could handle the medication constipation with diet, paying close attention to fiber intake, but I realized I wasn't eating enough food in general to handle it that way so I also started taking Colace 2 days after surgery. One in the morning & one in the evening. I think I will keep up with monitoring natural consumption & continue to take 1 pill a day moving forward - considering the word "strain" has left my vocabulary...
Now that I am napping much less, I am getting bored. I can lounge with the best of them, but I'm pretty restricted to my bedroom & want to venture out. Plus this is vacation, man...it's a rather depressing thought to know I'm going to return to work deleted if all pto & exhausted! Though, fffaaarrr less depressing than a stomach monster! Wooohoo! Lol!
P.s.,.cleaning out my bb is the strangest thing...it is absolutely surface numb, but I feel it being disturbed deep down to my core. Very weird.
Day 4 post op - shower day!
Yahoooo!. I managed to shower this afternoon. So happy! I got quite a bit of help from my husband. It wasn't painful, just tiring. I probably could have managed without the shower chair, but only because I hurried & my husband was there to hand me everything. Perhaps had I lingered & relaxed for a minute, the chair would have come in very handy.
Here are some more pictures, I'm still slouched over quite a bit. I definitely found my tender spots, located on my side. They're a bit yellow with bruising. I don't tend to bruise easily, so I'm not sure if it's that or if not much lipo was needed. And holy Ken Doll! My pubic area has been extremely swollen since I got home Monday, currently the drain side of my mons is more swollen than the other. I certainly don't care about the remaining stretch marks, I knew there would be plenty left over, but he did get rid of everything from above my bb. Yay! Too bad that fabulous tattoo remains.... damn! Lol
Day 5 post op
It has happened.......... I have officially mastered the recliner. ! I didn't have to call for help to get up last night - ooorrrr to get back into it. Wooooooo! Next step....the bed...(yikes).
Not much to report this morning. Feeling much like I did yesterday. I think I'm officially off the pain pills, didn't take any yesterday. Guess I'll save them for emergencies. Probably for when I get stuck in the bed.....
The CG keeps riding up, I'm supposed to wear it low. Hmmm, a new nemesis???
A few things I have needed....
A decent hand soap, washing hands lots
Loose waisted pjs/yoga pants with a tie string (no elastic band).
Fitted cami for under the binder (tight enough that no material bunches up).
Bandage tape for holding the drain in place
Extra pillows & throw blankets (I have these at each seating location!)
Plastic/paper cup to empty my drain
I've seen much debate on granny panties or not....I can't even wear panties....
Something around your neck to attach your drains to when showering (lanyard, I used a new shoe string, a long strip of gauze).
I cannot stress enough about food & water. We want to heal quickly, & well. We're fighting a shock to to the system & swelling. Plus we need to do the unspoken business.... We're investing a lot of money & time into a surgery, it's worth a little extra research to investigate what foods will benefit us the most - for both before & after. Especially for those first few days when we have less of an appetite but the body needs help. Okay, off my soapbox. I'm actually not an organic, all natural, gluten free crazed foodie....considering I'm about to make myself a coffee (my bad)! I have just observed firsthand the vast difference between eating processed foods vs more natural foods. Processed foods definitely don't make me feel as good.
Well, I'm off to start my day. A trip to the kitchen, & then a rest. And that will pretty much be the theme of the day! Lol!
A great day to all Selfies!
Day 6 good morning to you!
I've made an executive decision to eliminate all victory dances (or the theory of them, anyway).... Said victory bragging leads to whammies/bad juju. I was happy to ditch the pain meds, yet needed one last night before bed (chair!). I feel an uncomfy ache in my drain/groinish area (my drain exits at the top of my right leg). It feels like it's pressing on something inside at the bend, or maybe my cg is too tight at the hip...? I was also so proud of conquering the recliner, yet this morning I about broke myself trying to get out - earning my first shout out (didn't even form real words...). And my last brag undone...I did the #2poo Friday, twice....it's now Sunday with no further action. Last night I felt that strange cramping again, which I now know is a "Hello, you gotta go!", so I took a Peri Colace pill before bed. Of course I put a pain pill directly on top of it, so who knows what will happen. Friday morning I had a plan to continue 1 Colace pill a day, but after a second evening event I was afraid I might take it too far so I didn't continue taking the pills....a mistake I think. C'mon Green Mountain Caramel Vanilla Creme Light Roast, work some magic!!!
My drain is putting out approx 40cc every 24 hours, though there are no dr visits planned until Friday. My dream of an early removal is just that....a dream! I can't say it hurts, it's just......there. Unwanted, inconvenient. Luckily it's in a place that isn't very bothered by my cg.....& also in a place where I can keep it taped down to my leg (my husband has a tendency to hold my drain like I'm a Cujo, foaming at the mouth & needing a choke collar death grip with all of his 6'2" might to keep me from attacking innocent children...). The tape has saved me more than thrice! Poor man, love him!
I read this in someone else's comments & feel it's worth mentioning as I'm experiencing the same thing. I am definitely super swollen in my mons, but I also got quite a bit if a lift (the mons was a bit saggy before, sad)...BONUS. The uplift has basically changed the trajectory of my urine path...if I don't lean forward a bit I'll pee on the seat. Too hilarious!
All of the above being said, I feel pretty great today. I think this is where I see some ladies become frustrated..... I feel pretty normal (excluding the recliner torture sessions) so I feel I should easily be able to hop in the car & go to the store or something. Then I realize I get winded pouring myself a cup of coffee... Lol!
I'll try to post some pics later!
Have a happy day! :)
Day 6 pics
A few pictures from today. Looks much the same as the last pics. My skin is a bit pink from the cg.
One week - made it!!
Where did 7 days go? Still feeling much as I have for the past couple of days. Sleeping in the recliner (that I can't get out of). Draining about 40cc every 24 hours. Still have the one drain, my next Dr visit is in 4 days. Laughing & coughing are excruciating & should be avoided at all costs. Have had 1 pain pill in the last 72 hours, no Tylenol either. Cleaning my bb with peroxide once a day. Taking arnica 3x/day plus multivitamins & one Peri Colace per day. Paying attention to nutrition. Showers are permitted but a huge event (getting out, dried, dressed - have everything prepared ahead of time!), used my shower chair quite a bit yesterday. Sleeping all night - getting up once to pee. Able to prepare a meal (& rest immediately). Need assistance getting in & out of a laying/resting position. Removal of the cg for an hour is allowed if I'm in a completely rested position, though being without it makes me feel like I'm going to fall apart. Swelling is at a minimum (waiting for it....!) with the exception of my hilariously swollen mons. Walking slouched, not hunched as advised by all of the nurses. I'm not sure if I have achieved proper slouch (suck in the butt & slouch at the shoulders)....my back is slightly stiff, but not in excruciating pain.
All in all the experience isn't nearly as painful as I had expected. I have definitely needed my husband's help a lot - & still do. I am extremely grateful & fortunate for his support & help & that he is able to be with me while I recover.
For those of you currently considering/researching, I would just say this is a major surgery, my experience hasn't been horrible by any means, but each person is different. Preparation goes beyond just picking the right surgeon. Be prepared with help, food, supplies & try to remain focused on why you decided to have the procedure in the first place & your original goals (I just wanted to get rid of the flab gut monster - soon this turned into worrying about my stretch marks, legs, boobs & wearing a bikini that I haven't done since I was a teen! Stop! Lol).
A great day to all Selfies! :)
Day 8 - same ol'
I noticed yesterday that my abs have a tight/numb feeling as a whole. It feels like I have one large panel of dried mud mask down my front, coating my muscles from top to bottom. The feeling literally goes up to my breastbone, strange.
My drain has put out 20cc in the last 24 hours. Not bad!
I would like to make honorable mention (in a completely NON bragging way) that I was able to arise from the recliner unassisted this morning. I am not completely thrilled or feel like I want to do a victory dance in any way. Nope.
A happy day to all!
Day 9 - hellllloo!
Good day to everyone!
I woke up this morning feeling very dizzy. It lasted a couple of hours. Not sure what/why that happened. Showering wasn't as big of a deal this morning, actually had a little energy to spare (probably because I sat on the shower chair almost the whole time, aaahhh!)! I'm super swollen on my hips, craziness! They are extremely tender plus the swelling makes the cg dig in & swell just a little more! I'm standing a little straighter today, yaay. I've been pretty itchy yesterday & today, my husband said my lower back looked a little rashy.
I took a 1.5 hour nap in my bed for the first time yesterday...One pillow under the head, two under the knees. I'm still undecided. I think I felt okay physically, it stretched the abs a bit. It was disturbing to be in such a vulnerable position that I had absolutely no ability to help myself out of. Obviously I have leverage issues.
All in all, not bad, not bad! A great day to all!
Day 10 - good riddance drain!!!
Yahooooo, drain free! The drain removal did not hurt at all. I was expecting some torture visit....nope. He also removed some stitches from my bb.
Actually it WAS pretty horrible, I thought my appointment was tomorrow, nope....today. The office called me 45 mins after my appt to see if I needed to reschedule....AAAAHHHHH! Thankfully they waited for my husband to race car drive me through rush hour traffic in the rain (sharp turns - ow). I felt SO bad, my appt was at 5:15p & I didn't show up until 6:30p. That has never happened to me before & it makes me feel absolutely sick knowing I messed up their evenings! And to imagine how close I just came to another weekend with that drain!
I have instruction to wear whatever type of spanx-type with a bottom that I find most comfortable. Don't need to wear the binder. So he asked of I wanted to take off the binder to give myself a break, naturally I said "yes" & left without wearing any type of support...I did NOT like the car ride home - at all. I put my binder back on as soon as I got home before I fell apart. Lol! I had already purchased some Maidenform panties with the support panel up to my ribs.... Yeah, I just tried to wrestle into a pair...I gave up after 4 minutes without getting them over my hips & also realizing I'm not going to be able to pee without a very serious fight. I wear a size 2/4 & struggled with a size medium. I put the binder back on. Sigh.
I go back some time next week to have more bb stitches removed. He also gave instruction for either having professional lymphatic massage, or doing it myself. I realize now that everything will drain through the hip area (sigh). No wonder I can't get into a size medium! The tape over my sutures is still firmly in place & there is nothing for me to do. He said it's okay to stand with a stretch to the abs & warned that the spasms will probably start up soon. He said they can be pretty intense at times & to keep the valium handy.
My bikini bottoms cover the scar & I'll admit that I'm totally stoked about this! Even if I have no intention of running around in said bikini!
I'm still sleeping in the recliner, but am able to get out of it now. Haven't attempted the bed since the other day, I suppose I should give it another napping try...
I haven't been taking the Colace, everything's fine in that department.
My buttocks & lower back are starting to really ache due to the lack of activity & an over abundance of mashing. Returning to work next week is going to be a beast! It is true that it gets a little better every day & hopefully I'm close enough to standing straight that can fake it when I go back! Lol!
A great evening to all!
Day 11 - first outing
It is amazing how much better I feel without a drain in. I feel less - fragile - now & can move around quite a bit better.
I had my first outing today, to lunch & then a walk around the mall. Not bad!! I moved slow...but made the whole round. After walking a bit I was straightened almost all the way. However if I sit down for a minute, when I stand back up it takes a bit to get my abs stretched out again. I bought a pair of spanx...just as much of a fight as the maidenform. Lol!
A happy day to all Selfies!
Day 13, holy Spanx
Okay, first things first... HOW in world is everyone managing to get their Spanx on & off? My. God. I finally had my husband help stuff me into a pair of Maidenform Flexees yesterday. Once on, aside from the fact that they're granny panties & aged my butt no less than 40 years, they are very comfy & supportive on my tummy. However, I had to drive all the way back home from my outing to pee so my husband could help me unstuff & restuff (a very hilarious cartoon event from hell, btw). So I broke down, went to the Spanx store thinking this is what others have done for years & it may be more comfy... I purchased some w/the opening in the crotch & all I have to say is - REALLY????? Ummmm No!! My mons is twice its normal size, I can hardly pee "free" let alone through a 1"x1" hole (that you need to physically hold open with both hands while peeing). No!! Clearly it's just me because everyone else seems to be managing. So I spent yesterday scouring TJMaxx & Ross & found two hook-crotch Maidenform getups. The Spanx are going back from whence they came...I didn't even bother trying to try them on.
So with all of this excitement - two of my steri-strips got completely ripped off.. Hopefully nothing comes of that.
Okay, rant over....
I'm still sleeping in the recliner & nothing much to update. Yesterday I spent about 6 hours out & about. At 5.5 hours I hit a wall & just wanted to go home. Walking around helps build my strength but I noticed that it gives me headaches & causes a bit of swelling. I tend to get migraines in general, but being unable to walk properly puts a strain on my lower back & hips. After waking around for several hours, I'm noticeably swollen above my incision & yesterday I noticed my lower girly bits were really achy (almost like day 1 of a period). Doc told me to wear supportive panties or I'll end up with "a toad" below my incision. Teee heeee, tooooo funny coming from him because he's very well spoken & proper. And naturally, as my husband was present, calling it "the toad" has stuck! Hahaha
Have a wonderful healing day! Any support/Spanx tips & suggestions would be most appreciated!!!
Day 14, ummmmm...
Two weeks, wow! Physically I feel much the same & am getting better every day. For the past 3 days I have made it a point to go shopping around town, walk around the malls, etc for as long as I can to work my strength back up. I seem to be okay until the 4 hour mark, then start getting sore & swollen. Not quite standing up straight just yet - almost! I need to work up strength to return to work. I need to return to work to replenish my fun money with all of this shopping therapy!!! Lol
Tmi, but it appears I have developed a yeast infection. If I had to do it again I would have skipped the feminine wipes. I think those combined with antibiotics & the unbreathable compression garment messed me up. Huge thanks to my gyn who called me in a script today! I simply cannot face an exam right now!
On a happier note I have had great success with the snap/hook crotch garments! Yay! The only downfall is I'm so swollen in the hips that the briefs really cut into me (makes for a very pretty picture under the clothes)!
The dress pants I wore before surgery were size 2. Now I can only get size 6 pants around my waist. The waist is loose, enough to not hurt but the rest is huge & saggy. It's a hot mess! I had to break down today & buy a few more cheap dresses to return to work. Considering I NEVER wear dresses, this is going to draw more attention when I return (nnnnoooo!!!). And let's admit it, the "cheap" dresses aren't the most attractive ones on the rack! To think of all that fun money spent on ugly dresses I don't want to use for just one month. Sigh, the things we do for beauty... Wait, let me look down....aaaaahhhhhhh, no gut monster. Totally worth it in every way!! Lol lol!
Hope everyone is having a happy healing day!
Day 14 pics
A few pics...my tummy is red from the cg.
Day 15 - stitches out
Last Dr visit today for another month. YAY! Got the remainder of my belly button stitches & the steri-strips removed. The nurse said everything looks good, & even commented on how awesome the belly button looks. Considering the belly button portfolios of the surgeons I consulted with is what influenced my final choice on who to go with, I'm more than thrilled! We talked more about the lymphatic massages & why I need to continue doing them or get it done professionally. The massages aren't just to help drain the fluids but to avoid lumpy fat deposits. Oi!. She suggested that I have a couple done professionally to see what they do & then continue on at home if I chose to do them myself... Guess I better investigate! No fat deposits needed, thanks! She also suggested I start silicone sheet scar therapy immediately. I swung by Target on the way home for a box to use while I investigate what to use. I've read Dr. Blaine's ScarCare strips are good, but I really have no idea. I think genetics has more of an effect than topical treatment...but I'm absolutely not leaving it to chance!! Doc said the scar looks exactly as it should. It's designed to be bumpy/lumpy and smooth out as it heals. It looks a little scary with scabs & a bit of purple marker, but I have no doubt it will be nice & thin when all is said & done. I just wonder if my stretch marks are going to remain bright white like they are right now. They are no surprise at all, they just look weird right now. Guess I've never seen them pulled tight....
I think I've had success in finding a cg that works well for me. At Target, no less - only been there once a week for my entire adult life & didn't know these were sold there... Maidenform Self Expressions. It doesn't squeeze the life out of my legs/butt which reduces the granny butt a bit. The nurse said it was perfect. It has two strips of flexible boning in the front. I think I'll save the other granny butt squeezers to sleep in & wear these for work.
I over ate at dinner tonight. Never. Again.
Have a happy healing evening!
Day 17 - Back to work!
I returned to work today & must say I didn't think it was bad at all! I have a desk job, of course making it easier. I had trouble sitting for awhile & then standing up again. Very tight. I seem to have about 45 minutes for sitting before I need to get up & move around. Walking around feels so much better then sitting. Other than that & the horrific fact that I had to wear a dress....I thought it was a great day! I do have pants that fit, but just cannot handle the pressure around my waist & the weight on my hips. Hopefully I can handle wearing pants soon, considering I now own a whole 5 dresses... I'll be questioned as to why I keep wearing dresses every day (& the same ones no less!)...I dare say there will be a pregnancy rumor soon. Lol! Though, I'd buy - & wear - a hundred more dresses if I could ditch these compression torture garments. My poor ribs, hips & girly bits. Owww! Suffocating up in here!
Hope everyone is having a fabulous healing day!
Day 21. Work & feeling better
Today is the first day I felt pretty close to normal. Everything seemed easier today, I was almost completely upright & finally wore a pair of pants (yay!). Yes, my core being is anti-dress....lol! After sitting for a little, it takes me a minute to get stretched back out, but it's much better than it was.
Still sleeping in the recliner. Laying in the bed puts me flat on my back & it really hurts after a couple of hours. I can't comfortably lay on my sides, they're just too tender. Hopefully soon though!
Like everyone before me, I despise my cg. My ribs are going to be permanently altered before the end.... The pants I wore today are 2 sizes larger than what I wore the day before surgery. Sad....but expected. Granted they're loose & saggy, but the only thing I could comfortably secure around my waist.
I'm not to the point that I see more swelling at the end of the day. It all seems the same to me. Being up 2 pants sizes and only 1 pound is pretty telling in the swelling department. Lol!
Using my silicone strips every day. I still have a few little scabbies on the incision, but overall it's looking good. My bb is still a tiny bit scabby as well. My tummy is incredibly dry - like sunburn peeling dry! I moisturize twice a day, but it's still crazy dry.
I'd say at this point the hardest thing is carrying my computer bags & I'm unable to twist at the waist. I can chuckle a little without crying, if I brace myself with a pillow against a counter I can cough. Not bad, not bad! Lol!
Happy healing to all!!
Week three - twinges & work!
Just a note to say yesterday (day22) I started experiencing some lightning bolt twinges. They feel like they are near my incision. I had one twinge wake me up in the middle of the night, then had a few throughout the day yesterday. Nothing today!!! They are only a second, a strange feeling.
This morning I was able to turn slightly onto my side in the recliner & rest for a few minutes... Wooooo hoooo!!!!! That was quite exciting! Too difficult right now to lay on my side in bed because it bends me at the waist, not comfy. Hopefully soon though!!
Regarding work, I meant to mention this previously for anyone wondering how much time to take off.... I have a desk job -computer work, meetings, etc... It would have been possible to return to work at day 14, however it really would have been a struggle & fairly uncomfortable. I returned at day 17 & thought the day went well in general. I was still slightly slouched & struggled to stand up without a serious slouch after sitting for an extended period of time. I was not able to successfully hide it from everyone, they could tell something was wrong with me even though I put forth the best effort to fake it...lol! I was not completely exhausted at the end of the day either. If you can get 3 weeks, I would go for it. It is amazing the difference between week 2 & 3. Again, definitely possible at 14 days, better at 17, best at 21!! :)
P.s. I despise compression garments and never want to wear anything in the general Spanx category again as long as I live.
Day 25 - Jeans!!!
Yahoo, got to wear a pair of jeans today. So what If they we're 2 sizes bigger than what I wore 3.5 weeks ago!!! I felt almost normal!! Okay, more like I felt like I looked normal... Lol!
Day 26 pics
Here are some morning pictures. I still haven't noticed much of a swelling change between morning & night -- it's all the same crazy swollen to me...! When comparing to prior pics it's strange to see some things are an improvement & some - not so much. Lol! My PS warned me.... Some days I will think he's brilliant & some I'll wonder "what the hell??!". Lol! I think my incision looks uneven due to swelling, I know it'll even out over time. The incision still has a few scabbies here & there, I just leave them alone & figure they'll leave me when they're ready! I'm struggling with whether or not I'm supposed to let the incision breathe. It's pretty much coveted with the silicone strips all the time.
Overall, I think Dr. Landon is brilliant!
A happy healing day to all! :)
Where did the time go? I can't believe it has been a month already!
I have finally noticed a swelling difference between the morning and evening. I look fairly normal in the morning, by evening I'm a hot mess!
I'm still sleeping in the recliner, tonight I will attempt the bed and see how it goes.
in general I feel pretty good, I went to the park twice this week & made about a half mile walk each time. It's ok, I just can't move very fast. I can stand up straight if I have been sitting for awhile it takes a few minutes to get stretched enough to stand straight. I love the phrase someone else used..."internal suspenders"... Too true!
Carrying my computer bag is still very uncomfortable. I had to downsize my purse also, any weight makes my abs seize up.
Still wearing my cg almost all the time. I get about a 30 break in the morning & some evenings I go a couple hours without it. Wearing it keeps the muscles from bothering me, the support helps..... It's a love/hate relationship....
Continuing to use the silicone strips. The last of the incision scabs are dried up, waiting for a few more to fall off. My bb scabs seen to be gone.
My mons is still swollen...Please tell me this will go away! Lol!
Still not even close to getting my jeans buttoned. Lol! Sigh, the dreaded dresses continue!....
I hope everyone is healing well!
Month 1 - Sleeping Arrangements & Sneezes
Two whole nights in the bed...Woo! Okay, I've been a huge sissy about it....pillows everywhere. I start out the night my side with a pillow between the knees & under my upper torso. Keeps my hips from twisting me too much at the waist.
I kinda don't want to put this out there in the world for reasons of whammies/bad juju....but I have avoided sneezing for 32 days now. I'm not expecting a world record medal or anything....an honorable mention in Guinness would be nice though...! For anyone wondering the secret...absolutely run (gimp/hobble/limp) for a tissue if you even detect a sneeze coming and blow as hard as you can (I know, pathetically weak) & quickly tap, tap, tap, tap while blowing until it passes. It's a crazy combo of itching & expelling at the same time. Never try to suck in a sneeze...it just spawns more! Personally, I feel this little tidbit should have been part if pre-op instructions... Hopefully by the time I get whammied, I'll be healed enough to handle it without crying or wetting myself...
Happy healing to all!
P.s. I hate my compression garments...Every last one of them!
Day 40-ish frustrations
Good day to all Selfies! It's about day 40ish... (so what if can't count ...!!)
It's hard to decide what to report. I'm not back to normal, but every day improves a little in its own way. I still have tightness when I've been sitting for awhile but it stretches back out quickly. The last things I really have trouble with are walking too fast or carrying anything weighty. I WANT MY MICHAEL BACK! These downsized handbags are getting on my nerves. Lol!
I'm struggling with the joys of swelling. I don't feel the phrase "swell hell" is quite enough. It's missing something.... more....like "spawn of", "from the deepest pits of" or a few other select words considered inappropriate for this public forum. I'm fairly normal in the morning & wake up in someone else's body by noon. Don't even get me started on Mr. Unwanted Ken Doll taking up even more room in there. When put on my (one pair of...) pants in the morning, I am positive they are going to just fall down around my ankles. However, by 11a they are completely tight around my waist. And I will say they are literally around my waist, riding up high....like a granny. The silkiness of the cg lets the pants climb from my swollen hips up to smaller ground (waist) as the day goes on. It's quite an intense wedgie by noon. I'm still wearing dresses - & the unthinkable has happened...I kinda like them sometimes. Don't tell anyone I said that. Nobody at work noticed I was gimping all over the building, but everyone noticed the dresses. They're still asking why I'm wearing them. I don't recall this, but apparently in the past I made some type of public announcement declaring I would never wear one....??? I almost want to start the pregnancy rumor myself just distract them. Teeee!
I attached some morning/evening pics. I guess it doesn't look like much of a difference in the photos, but I promise you it's an entire pants size between the two. I do feel discouraged with the inability to fit ANY of my pants, some I can't even get over my hips... It's difficult to feel so much better, yet be absolutely unable to get back to normal! I have no regrets at all.....I'm just impatient to be healed.
Speaking of which, I choked on water today & realized immediately that full-on coughing still needs to be avoided at all costs. I haven't sneezed yet, but after said coughing fit have made the executive decision to continue my world record non-sneeze record for as long as possible!
I was wearing my silicone strips 24/7, switching between 2 sets every 24 hours. Then got scared because I wasn't sure if suffocating the incision is recommended. So I've been wearing the strips 12 hours, removing & then applying Bio Oil for 12 hours, then putting the strips back on. If anyone knows how to properly do it, I'd appreciate the advice!!!
My final thought of the day is that I absolutely LOVE my belly button. It was the single thing I cared about & Dr. Landon nailed it! There are a couple of stretch marks in & out of it...but that was unavoidable. And hey...if I'm unable to eventually get my pants buttoned, this belly button may be seeing quite a bit of the world. Lol!
I'm so happy! Yay!
Happy healing to all!
11 Aug 2014
2 months post
I'm not a doctor and don't play one at work....so this isn't an official diagnosis....BUT... Yesterday I applied Bio Oil and about 6 hours later applied silicone strips without showering first. I have never applied silicone strips without being fresh out of the shower. I woke up this morning & removed the strips to a blotchy, red, ITCHY incision. Bio Oil under silicone strips seems to be a huge no-no according to my body. I'm okay with applying Bio Oil after removing the strips, but not strips over oil. Needless to say I put nothing on it today & threw away that set of strips. Clearly I am scar care challenged!!! Lol!
Week 6 - miss you wardrobe!
16 Aug 2014
2 months post
Good evening! I just finished week 6 & though I don't have much to report, thought I'd update a few things.
Sleeping in the bed is much better, I'm not waking up every time I move any more. I also realized the other day that I plopped down in a chair & didn't notice. Now that's progress!
I haven't been exercising, but feel it's time to get back to the park. If I walk too fast I get the seized muscle feeling in my abs... I'm supposed to have my follow up next week but will be out of town, so maybe the following week. I'll see what Dr. L authorizes me to do in the exercise department. I'm sure a brisk walk won't hurt anything!
Carrying anything weighty still bothers me. It doesn't hurt, it just makes my abs "seize up" from top to bottom. When I say "weighty" I mean even a 10lb bag. I feel like a huge wuss. Lol!
My scar looks great, still a little rope-like in the center as Dr. L said it should be for now.
Mr. Unwanted Ken Doll is still in full effect. I really want him to move out....
I try not to compare my recovery to others, but am feeling pretty depressed at my inability to wear ANY of my pre-surgery pants. I can get some of the looser jeans on & buttoned but the pressure of a tight waistband is...unpleasant feeling. I can't even get the majority of them buttoned. As far as dress pants, 2 sizes up don't squeeze me, but are a saggy mess everywhere else. I'm going to attempt one size up next week & see how it goes. It's still a depressing thought.
All in all I think everything is going great. I desperately miss my wardrobe, but I have been extremely lucky with a very smooth procedure & recovery.
I'll try to take some pics in the morning.
Happy healing to all! :)
Week 6 pics
17 Aug 2014
2 months post
Here are some morning pics. This morning at the very end of my incision a little white pus came out when I squeezed it. That was where a stitch was sticking out after surgery until Dr. L snipped it at my 2 week visit.
Please excuse the hairs. Shaving & tight compression garment = rash. I'm too old to make myself even more uncomfortable...so I'll just have to remain as unsexy as humanly possible for awhile longer. Lol! I've decided that next summer I'm making up for all of this frump by running around in a bikini everywhere I go! Lol!
Don't know why the pics are uploading sideways....
Nothing much to report, really. I'm in my 8th week, nothing much has changed. I'm still wearing my Spanx-style garment for the most part. I missed my 6 week appt, so I finally called today to talk to the nurse about wearing garment. She said I don't have to, but can if I want. She said it will help with the swelling. I guess it's a matter of swelling & what can live with. I think it's time to start weaning myself off the garment! Lol!
I awake with a flat tummy, give me hour & I swell up a pant size.
Mr. Ken Doll is still hanging out - taking up space in my pants. It's pretty swollen still. Sigh...
I made it down to one size up from my original pant size. Lol! And they are the larger pants from that size range. This makes me sad. Lol. I started at a 2/4, I'm now a 4/6, depends on the cut.
I finally made it into a size small Maidenform garment. Still 115lbs.
My latest discovery.... I carefully flopped myself onto a pool raft on my back, the first time in a body of water since surgery. Soon it was too hot so - as usual - I just rolled off the raft to take the plunge. I immediately discovered that I physically cannot swim. Ow! Maybe I'm just huge wuss, but it put such a strain on my abs I about drowned! Even just trying to use my arms only. Guess next time I need to arm floaties! Lol! I see ladies talking about running 3 miles...not me. I've made it back to the park for a full speed walk around the track, but have only been doing 1 mile a day. I did jog a little - very little...just don't feel ready. Or maybe I just don't know how to handle the extreme seizing up of my abs when I do it... Or perhaps I'm just a lazy ass.
Still using silicone strips for most of the day. I think the scar looks good, though I don't see it often as it's almost always under a silicone strip.
Hope everyone is healing well! I still think it's totally worth it!