35 Y/o 5'2" 130-ish Lbs, TT with MR & lipo of the flanks

I am 34 years old. I have 2 kids, 15 & 12. i...

I am 34 years old. I have 2 kids, 15 & 12. i weight 130 lbs. I had a microscopic hysterectomy 4 years ago (so no more chance of pregnancy) I have wanted a tummy tuck since after the birth of my second child. As you can see by my before photos i have loose wrinkly skin on my tummy. I didn't gain a lot of weight with either pregnancy, but apparently my skin isn't as resilient as others. Even though i only gained 25 lbs with p1 & 15 lbs with p2 my stretch marks crawled above my belly button, to both sides and even went down into my pubic hair area. Yea, there's NO way to clean that up into a nice little landing strip anymore... so it all just gets buzzed off and that's that. Nothing cute about it... sorry if that's TMI, but you'll see it in the pics so I'll just throw that out there. I also can't wait to say goodbye to that ugly belly button piercing...
I've been researching TT's for years now. different techniques, scars, pain, belly buttons, all the Dr.'s in my area. There are a lot of good ones, but i tried to narrow it down to one that has a natural looking belly button scar, that is double board certified and closest to my home because of the post-op pain i keep reading about. (travel to/from visits) Later, when i get my boobs lifted I wont mind driving further because those sound easy breazy.
I went with Dr. Gill in The Woodlands, because i love the upside down "U" technique he uses for the belly button. It has a very natural look compared to the "0" belly button scar others seem to do. He also lifts the pubic area so it isn't pudgy looking compared to your nice new flat tummy. :D
Here's a breakdown & total cost of my TT for anyone interested:
$6,000. - Abdominoplasty with Liposuction of the flanks
$1,100. - Operating Room fee
$775. - Anesthesia
$550. - Recovery Room, 1 night stay
$8,425.00 Total cost for TT
I'll have to pay for my prescriptions, but insurance should help with those. I will get these 2 weeks before surgery so i can start taking them s soon as i get home, when needed and i don't have to wait through the pharmacy line while in pain like I've had to do with other surgeries....
go for my pre op appointment on Dec 30 (2 weeks b4 surgery) and I'll have to register with the Surgery Center (and sign my life away) And everything has to be paid in full 10 days before surgery. My surgery is scheduled for January 12, 2015. My husband works from home so I will have plenty of help and my kids are old enough to help around the house as well til I'm back up & running :D I am planning on making some homemade chicken noodle soup and freezing it into small bowls so he can just throw my meals in the microwave and they can eat whatever they want. I will definately try to have the house spotless the day before because they are not the best at cleaning up after themselves but i guess the'll have to now lol
I'd like to just apologize ahead of time for you having to see my naked before pics... D:

Do I need to rent a Lift Recliner or will my Tempur-Pedic bed be ok??

I'm thinking of renting a lift recliner. I'm not sure if I'll need it. We bought one of those Tempur-Pedic beds a year ago. It lifts your head and/or feet and vibrates. But it feels a little too high off the floor for after TT use. I'm not sure if I can get in & out of it if my tummy muscles are going to be full of pain. :( has anyone used their bed or had any problems while sitting up, being able to turn and put your feet on the floor without help? As you can see by the pictures the bed sits high. My feet are about a foot from the floor. The mattress is memory foam, so if I sit there like that for about a minute I will sink down lower some. Also, the feet and head of the bed lift more than I have it in the picture so I can sit up more and/or prop my legs up more. Please let me know what all of your thoughts or experiences are with bed vs lift recliner.

One month away from a flat tummy :D

I haven't been to the gym as much as I'd like lately. Im still trying hard to eat healthy. I got a few new things to make sure my body is full of the nutrients it needs in hopes that that will help my body heal quicker. I got a meal replacement protein shake, woman's multi-vitamin, chewable vitamin C, probiotics & greens powder. I mix the greens powder (yuck) with my fresh banana/blueberry smoothie everyday. I've been eating well enough that I haven't used the meal replacement shake yet, but it's there when I need a fast meal on the go and for after surgery to make sure my body gets enough protein.
I've been too busy (homeschool my 13y/o son & small business owner) to stress over my TT, so I guess that's a good thing. I find time before bedtime to read through RealSelf blogs and I'm grateful for all of you ladies. you've given me so much info so I hope I completely understand what I'm dealing with as far as pain, achy back and mood swings...
I took a few I picturs at the gym today. The front view clothes doesn't depress me, it's the side view that I hate to look at. -__- my butt has always been huge. Even as a skinny teenager. I'd like to somehow loose that chunk of fat under my butt, probably just need to loose the weight. If anyone knows any excersizes that targets that area, please leave a comment & explain :)
I've been making lists as I think of things I need to stock up on or do to be prepared. I Need to buy my low cut panties my PS said to wear day of surgery. I didn't realize all my panties go up to just below my belly button, this way I can tuck the loose skin in and my tummy looks a little flatter in jeans. I can't wait till I never have to do that again...
I wish I was doing my breast lift now, but I just don't have the funds for both so that will be done in a couple years. Hopefully less but we'll see :)

More before pictures, 27 days to go.

Here are more before pictures. I don't usually wear bikini or low cut panties, because I don't like the way my belly hangs over. And if i try to tuck it, the panties just roll under when i bend over anyway which is even more annoying... The orange bottoms are swim suit bottoms I bought to match my tankini and ended up not wearing for the same reason. I want the scar to hide under both the pink panties and the Orange bottoms.

I hope the pictures don't turn out sideways. They are sideways as I upload them and I can't turn them :/

Please don't mind the mess, (I tried to crop out) I used our spare/ storage room for my "photo shoot". It has better lighting and a full size mirror. (And my daughters dwarf bunny living in it)

Female urinal

After reading through so many reviews about needing a little help urinating after a TT I searched Amazon for female urinals. The toilet riser is just not for me as it seemed to be only a temporary problem and I decided to save money by purchasing a "Pstyle" instead. Another reason is we don't have a master bath in our home. We have 1 small bathroom the 4 of us share. So storage while I'm not using it would be a problem. Has anyone else decided to use some time of female urinal over a toilet riser?

On another note, I found this shirt I need for post-op! What do you ladies think? Hahaha (see picture)

Female urinal pictures

Pictures didn't post in last update, So I'll try again ...

Updating the title of my review since I had a birthday

I'm updating the title of my review. When I initially wrote my review it was 3 days before my 35th birthday. And as petty as it sounds, I was NOT ready to say I was 35 yet. Lol... Well my birthday came & went & whether I like it or not time isn't going to stop so I can stay 34. On the bright side, God has graced me with another beautiful day on this earth and I really shouldn't be ungrateful for that. Oh well, enough babbling. I guess I'll click edit and change my age. I hope all you ladies are having a relaxing and pain-free (as possible) recovery :)

More before pictures

Here's a couple more before pictures. In these you can see the stretch marks on my sides.

Dr. Gill, Eparel/ Neuropin, 1960 Surgery Center/ Care Credit information

I spoke with Melissa (my patient care coordinater) and she said Dr. Gill can use Exparel as an option but the hospitals charge the patients an extra $350. If you decide not to use/pay for Exparel then he uses Neuropin, which is free and works well too. I'm going with the Neuropin.

If you're using Dr Gill $500 is due to book your surgery date. It's your deposit and is non refundabe. It does go towards your procedure amount . This was explained to me and understood during my first consultation. IF you are PAYING WITH CARE CREDIT please know this: (I dont remember hearing this) if you pay the hospital/Surgery Center with your care credit they will also charge you 15% because you are using the care credit card. (????) why? I don't know, but that is about $350 more for me and I'm not paying that. So I will be paying the $2425 (1 night stay, surgery room fee, & anesthesiologist) to the hospital / surgery center from one of my credit cards with a really low interest rate. You can pay cash or check as well to avoid that extra 15% fee. Which is ridiculous in my opinion... Anyway I just wanted anyone using the hospital off 1960 to be aware Of this if you decide to use Care Credit. So my total balance on my zero percent interest (care credit) will be $5500. I'll pay that off in a year to avoid paying any interest. :) and I'll probably pay off my credit card in 3 months because I really don't like paying interest charges... Lol

Pre-op with Dr. Gill & Houston Northwest Medical Center

This will be a long detailed review over my pre-op with Dr. Paul Gill and Houston Northwest Medical Center (FM 1960)

Pre-op with Dr. Gill:
So I arrived early for my pre-op and got to see the future me bent over walking slowly to the back to have her post-op check up. Poor thing. She was doing great and her hubby was all worried as he followed behind her with his arms stretched out ready to grab her at the first sign of weakness.

I checked in and paid the remaining balance ($5500) with my Care Credit Card. I chose 0% interest if paid in 12 months. I was taken to my room. Dr. Gill came right in. (I love that I never have to wait to see him) He went over everything he's going to do (abdominoplasty with muscle repair and liposuction of the flanks). He said he would do lipo on the front of my Abdomen if needed, but he said it doesn't look like I'll need it. He handed me a red folder with everything in writing that he was explaining. He asked if I had any questions and I did. I made sure he would lift my mons pubis, I wanted my scar to be well hidden in my belly button and the incisions be low and clean. He agreed and said he would make sure everything is beautiful and well hidden. He said to wear the panties or swim suit to the hospital day of surgery so he could go off of it and make sure the incision is well hidden. He makes me feel so at ease. :)

I told Melissa (patient care coordinater) I'm writing a blog on RS and asked if Dr Gill could take a pic of me right after sx before he wraps me up. She said no :( he don't allow anyone to bring in cameras or cell phones into his surgery room.

My drains will come out in my mons pubis area. I will wake up bandaged and in my binder. I should wake up with no pain because of the Neuropin. I will have desolvable sutures and he applies an adhesive glue/tape that is water proof over my incision.

I can shower the next day if I like. He explained how to hang the drains to a necklace or name badge of some sort.

I will need help to potty and shower for the first few days. He even explained they would probably need to help me wipe so for me to buy sensitive wet wipes for that area. (Ugh)

I am to stop taking certain medications, vitamins & supplements (it's a pretty long list) now as my surgery is 12 days away. I am only to take Tylenol for pain. I don't smoke. So no problems there. No alcohol. I only have a glass of wine once a week or so, so no problems there either.

I will have checkups at 1 week, 2 weeks & 3 weeks, then at 1 month 3 months & 6 months. (If I remember right)

I am to sleep in a recliner with pillows under my knees. I explained I had a Tempur-Pedic lift bed. He said that wouldn't work so well in the first few days. It's more about backing up to the chair and sitting down. With my bed, I will have to sit, then swivel my body to lay and he made a face to let me know that probably wasn't gonna happen without a lot of pain. (Lol) So I guess I'll have to spend a little more money than I wanted and but a recliner. :/

When I walk, I am to hold a throw pillow over my tummy and walk hunched. He does not want me to try to straighten up for the first week or 2. He said it will happen slowly and he doesn't want me to pull any tension on the incision. It will heal better that way.

In my red folder I was given a surgery supply list:

**Kerlix roll of Gauze. This will go over my TT incision. He does not want anything, the CG included, to rub on my incision. He said I will be wrapped in it when I wake up, they'll change it again the next morning before they discharge me from the hospital. He will change it at every post-op but I would need it for at home as well. He said the hospital will probably sent me home with some but more is better.

**4x4 gauze pads. For my drain sites. He said they will leak.

**Neosporin with pain relief. He wants me to start applying this to the drain sights the day I get home. He doesn't want me to wait until they start to bother me. He said he's proactive not reactive.

He doesn't want me to buy any scar treatments or anything until post op appointments. He will look at the way my body is healing and then he will tell me which scar treatment to get at that time. He sells them at his office.

He gave me a list of my prescriptions. I'll need to drop it off at the pharmacy to be filled before surgery date. He said not to bring these to the surgery. They will give me liquid medication through my IV.
To be started when I leave the hospital:
**Keflex 500mg (antibiotic)
**Ultram 50mg (pain)
**Phenergan 25mg (nausea)
I asked about a muscle relaxer and he said most people don't need them, but if I start to have pain from muscle spasms call them and they will call in a prescription.

I have a year to have any revisions free of charge. If I have to be put under anesthesia then that will be out of my pocket along with any hospital charges.

The whole pre-op with Dr. Gill lasted about 35 minutes.

Registration with hospital/ surgery Center (Houston Northwest Medical Center FM1960/ I-45):
I arrived bout 30 minutes early and signed in. First off I love that they have free valet parking. And they would not accept a tip. They gave me a pager device and I sat down (and started writing my RS review).
I was paged on time and we went over all paperwork to make sure everything was correct. I paid for the hospital charges ($2425) and also paid $40 for my blood/ lab work. This whole process lasted about 20 minutes.
Then I walked around the hall to check in for blood work.

And waited. (updated my RS review) And waited. And waited....
One hour later...
I was called back.
They took my weight & blood pressure. Asked more questions. I signed more forms. She took my blood. Then explained & gave me a paper with all pre surgery do's & don'ts. She gave me a bottle of Hibiclens. I am to wash my body the night before and morning of surgery. No lotion. This whole process lasted about 20 minutes.

Sorry this review was so long, but I'm trying to explain all the details for ladies who will be using Dr. Gill and the hospital on 1960 (Houston) in the future so they know what to expect. :)

Pre-op pics & my epiphany

How on earth did I forget to mention the before pictures and the blue paper panties... I'll post a couple pics :) Something I realized today while standing in front of Melissa in my sexy blue paper panties:
It was really hard to NOT hold my abdominal muscles tight while someone was looking at me. I can let go at home while watching tv but I never realized I always hold my tummy tight to make it look thinner when I'm in front of others. Totally unaware that I'm always doing it. She asked me to relax & let it all hang out for the before pictures and I couldn't without actually taking a couple deep breaths and letting it out and forcing myself to not tighten my muscles :/ she explained that I'll have to re-train myself to not hold my tummy tight after my TT. There will be no need to. Does anyone else notice they do this?

Coconut flour muffins recipe & review :)

Coconut muffins are high in fiber & protein. They are gluten free. (not that I'm a gluten free kind of person, but you may be) It's also low in carbs. These are great for breakfast (maybe with an egg?) Or just a snack so you can take your pain medicine.

Heat oven to 400'F.
3 eggs
2 tbsp of coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup of coconut or almond milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp of coconut flour
1/4 tsp of baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp coconut flakes (optional)
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Wisk eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk. Add coconut flour, baking powder, salt. Wisk all together. Add optional ingredients for more flavor if desired.
Fill the muffin tin with paper muffin liners. Fill each muffin tin half full.
This recipe should make 6 muffins. I doubled it and filled a whole muffin tin. (See picture)
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Or until golden brown on top. (Mine took 16 minutes)

I added the optional ingredients and although the muffins are good to me, they are somewhat bland, but I guess that's what I'm going for. I want the meals more healthy than full of flavor for post op. I might put less coconut flakes next time, because I'm not that fond of chewing the tiny leftover coconut pieces after I've swallowed the muffin bite.
I ended up making 4 batches (24 muffins) of this. I'll freeze them since I have a week before my surgery.

I found a nourishing nut & seed "bread" loaf recipe that is completely healthy and has no flour in it. It sounds amazing for your body but I'd have to go hunting for all the ingredients (some at a health food store) and I don't know if I care to do all that. Lol but if anyone is interested, here is the link:

I'll share my chicken noodle soup recipe as soon as I make it. I won't be adding the salt so be prepared for a not so excited review of that. :/

Hope everyone who is post op is healing well and those of you (like me) that are trying to prepare for surgery are staying calm. (which I'm not)

Faux scar with a marker

So I tried to make a faux scar with a marker using my panties. The scar turned out a little crooked (good thing I'm not a PS) :/ I pulled up on my lower tummy to lift my mons pubis and drew the line with my panties kinda pulled down. I made sure the line was touching the top of my pubic hair line. Then I pulled my panties up and re lifted my lower tummy/ mons area nice and tight to make sure the "scar" will be hidden in the panty line. Has anyone done this before? I just wanted to get an idea of where the scar will be or how low it will be before my surgery on January 12. My PS told me to wear the panties or swim suit bottoms day of sx so he can draw the line off of them and make sure the scar is hidden well.

Compression Garment

Ugh. Just lost my whole post. Very irritating when you spend time explaining details and then going back to proof read it for spelling errors then hit post and it's just gone... So while your writing your review, take a second to just copy the text...

I went to Walmart today in search of a compression garment. Something like the spanks, because I know I'm not going to want to shop for them after TT. I've never bought anything like this so I just grabbed one that looked comfortable. This one has a weird opening in the croch and I can't imagine a scenario where I don't pee all over myself in it... So, we'll see... It also doesn't feel very tighor as tight as I inagined it would or should. I bought the medium 39"- 41" hip size. I didn't know my hip size so when I got home I measured my hips - 38". The lady at Walmart was pretty rude (I think) I was holding up a small and a medium and asked my daughter which one did she think i should get. So the lady who works there said, "no honey. You ain't fittin' in that small one. You thick. You'll be lucky to get it over your thighs. You need the medium."

WHY did my review get cut in half RealSelf?!

WTH RealSelf?!? My review just got cut in half! Good thing I copied my text before submitting...
Here is the whole review:
Ugh. Just lost my whole post. Very irritating when you spend time explaining details and then going back to proof read it for spelling errors then hit post and it's just gone... So while your writing your review, take a second to just copy the text...

I went to Walmart today in search of a compression garment. Something like the spanks, because I know I'm not going to want to shop for them after TT. I've never bought anything like this so I just grabbed one that looked comfortable. This one has a weird opening in the croch and I can't imagine a scenario where I don't pee all over myself in it... So, we'll see... It also doesn't feel very tighor as tight as I inagined it would or should. I bought the medium 39"- 41" hip size. I didn't know my hip size so when I got home I measured my hips - 38".

The lady at Walmart was pretty rude (I think) I was holding up a small and a medium and asked my daughter which one did she think i should get. So the lady who works there said, "no honey. You ain't fittin' in that small one. You thick. You'll be lucky to get it over your thighs. You need the medium."
:O < - - - that was my face.
And the only reason I got the medium is because it said panty size 6 and that's what I always buy. I guess it's just supposed to hold everything tight but it definitely doesn't feel like it's going to hold or support a loose, after TT belly. It was only $16 so if I need to grab a small a couple weeks after TT I will. What do yall think?

Chicken Noodle Soup, Recliner, & Animals

I split this review up into 3 parts. So if you want to skip a topic feel free :D

I made homemade chicken noodle soup. I'll attach the website link below.
This recipe is very detailed and comes with step by step pictures.

It was really good! I did however use a different type of noodle (pic posted). I used the whole bag instead of half like directions say, because you know, I'm mom and I know it all... Big mistake. Don't do this. It swelled twice the size and soaked up most of the broth. They are also really long noodles (so break them in pieces of you decide to use these) I had to re-boil all the chicken bones & veggies to make more broth. The whole family loved this recipe. I'm going to make another pot tomorrow and omit the salt. (And use the correct ounces of noodles it calls for) This will be my post TT meals. All my hubby and kids have to do is throw a bowl in the microwave for me. Then they can choose to eat out or cook their own meal. I also bought Apple sauce, salt free crackers, jello, protein shakes & yogurt. I'll eat eggs (& oatmeal??-thoughts on this choice??) for breakfast (we have lay hens). I pay monthly ($24 for three 5gallon jugs) for Sparklets water service, so I don't have to stalk up on bottled water. The kids will make me daily gallon water pitchers and add half a lemon to it.
Here is the recipe:


I found a cheap recliner on Craigslist. It is RED! So apparently she's been trying to sell it for a while and no one seems to want a red recliner. Lol, I don't either, but it was very comfy. It was $60. I threw a clean twin size fitted sheet over it & got my recovery station set up. I'll be cleaning today. And making chore lists for my kiddos so there is no fighting over who does what each day. (13 & 15)

I know this isn't TT related but this is something I take care of everyday since I'm basically a stay at home mom. (Work from home mom too since we own a machine shop) so the kids will have to pick up the slack on this area BIG TIME!
We have 12 animals: 2 ferrets, 2 cats, 1 dwarf bunny, 3 dogs & 4 lay hens.
Just for the record I did not buy the ferrets and would NEVER recommend buying them. (My grandpa passed away 2 years ago and willed them to me because he knew I would love them & take good care of them) They are very sweet, easy to care for and cute to watch BUT even though they have their glands removed they STINK. They have this musty (urine?) smell... I clean their cage weekly so you'd never know it. They only get baths 4 times a year and if you look it up online, that's two too many baths. They sleep ALOT. They only get out of bed for an hour or 2 each morning to play, eat & drink. They run all over my kitchen and dining room, stealing things and putting them into their cage, then they go back to their cages and sleep. They only get up again to drink and pee for the rest of the day/night. They are senior citizens and one is starting to go blind :(
My cats & dogs are easy. They sit at the door and bark or meow, (yes my cats meow at the door) to go outside to potty. They run around (we live on an acre) and play, then come back in.
The bunny is paper trained and lives in my daughters room. We don't lock him in a cage. Easy animal. Just give him loves and food, water & carrots & he's happy!
Chicken just need food/water & get the eggs each day. Easy animal as well.

I think I'm ready :/

So today's the last day I'll have a wrinkly tummy. I've been so busy today. I had a lot of paperwork to get done for work. (Still haven't done end of the year taxes)
All laundry done & put away. Clean sheets and blankets on every bed.
I've been diffusing essential oils all day for calming. Panic attacks 1&2 warded off.
No salt chicken noodle soup made.
Chore lists made.
Bills paid & in the mailbox.
Homemade muffins made for kids easy grab & go breakfast. They taste great so I attached the recipe at the end if anyone wants to try them.
I love you note typed on my phone for my kids & hubby to find if I don't make it.
Band aids on each finger because I almost had a nail biting relapse. I've been clean (from nail biting) for 8 months.
Regretting all the spicy food I ate last night...
I've been eating light & drinking water all day. For dinner I'll have the bland no salt soup.
Still need to pack my overnight bag, put travel pillow & blanket in car for ride home and shave EVERYTHING, wash hair, soak in tub for a long time, then wash with hibiclens.
Wish me luck and please say a prayer that everything goes smooth and I live through it. :)
Deep Breath....

Banana muffin recipe:


Arrived and waiting for my TT

Well it's 8am and I'm here. Not as nervous as yesterday. Very thirsty and a little hungry. My body wants food as soon as I wake up. lol wish me luck and send prayers that everything goes smooth and I love through this :) I'm sending prayers for my other RS sisters having there's as well

I made it to the flat side!

i just wanted to pop my head in the RS door and let everyone know I made it to the flat side. I feel wonderful! Not a single ounce of pain since I woke up. The only discomfort has been where the drains come out in my mons area. And that is not bad at all. I've been drinking lots of water and chicken broth. I'll be staying the night. I am ready to get up and walk around to get the blood flowing. But nurse says not until later this evening. BTW everyone here is so nice and helpful. I'll update with more details and a picture later, I just wanted to let yall know I'm alive :D

Day of treatment

I tried to be as detailed as possible for others who are using Dr. Gill.

Day of treatment:
I arrived at 8am, (sx @ 10am) signed in and waited for about 20 minutes. They took me back, I weighed 132 lbs. I put the open sx gown on and they started my IV. I got a tiny shot (burned like a bee sting) to numb where the IV went in. They put compression leg massagers from my knees down. Hubby & kids came in for a little while to visit. The Anesthesiologist came in & asked me a few questions & left. I didn't see her again until I was wheeled back to OR.

Dr Gill marked my tummy, I went to the bathroom (BM) Then I was given a "cocktail" as they wheeled me to the OR.
30 seconds later I was out.

I woke up with an oxygen mask on & was completely pain free. I had no nausea. Throat was very parched. Started with ice chips. They went & found my hubby & kids and we all went to my hospital room together.

I was given all meds through IV and told to push the button for more pain meds. (Morphine) I was given a liquid diet for the rest of the day/night. Chicken broth, jello, & Apple juice.

At some point during the evening I spread my legs while sleeping and when I woke up my mons had started swelling. It feels tight and bruised to the touch. I slightly closed my legs and it has formed that shape so I'll tried closing them more and rub it to see if the fluid can work back up towards my drains. Only helped a little.

At around 9pm I felt a little nausea. I called the nurse and she gave me something for that. It seemed to come back a few times in the next 4 hours while I slept.

At around midnight I woke for the first time with some stiffness in my abs (mons still feels sore from drains & tightness) so I pushed the pain med button and the light nausea feeling came back. I couldn't have another dose for another hour so she gave me crackers. Those seemed to help.
Im able to press the pain button every 10 minutes and I did, because the tightness doesn't seem to completely go away. It isn't a pain so to speak so I haven't asked for a stronger dose, but I will if needed.

I've been drinking so much water, because my throat & mouth constantly feels parched.

I've had an oxygen thing that sits just barely in my nose and if I remove it for a minute or more (while eating/ drinking) it beeps so I guess it's censored.

My 2 nurses have been great. I had one for day shift & one for night shift.

I've had a slight itch that comes & goes on the back side of my body (that I lay on) and then more so on my breast & nipples. And around the edges of my binder.

I haven't gotten out of bed all day. Nurses said they'll remove the catheter around 5 or 6 am and we'll start getting up to walk/ pee. Then Dr. Gill should be here to check on me at 7am, change my dressings & release me.

Well, it's 2am now and I'm gonna try to sleep before I get released.
Thank you all so much for the prayers and encouraging words.
Happy healing!

Feel nausea & weak.

Post op day 1:

I woke up several times during the night. No pain, just a little tightness. My nurse removed my catheter around 6am.

The only thing that seems to bother me from time to time is my swollen mons. It feels kinda hard. I gently message the top and the outer lips. It hurts a tiny bit more like when you press on a bruise. But then it feels better.

Dr Gill came by around 7. He lifted the bottom of my binder & checked my incision. He said everything looks great. He said the binder needs to stay on until tomorrow. I really wanted to take pics to see & to share with my RS sisters.

He also said to stop taking the morphine pump and to start on my pain pills. I'll need to pee before they release me.

He said he removed 3 lbs of skin & fat. I haven't seen my tummy yet.

After sleeping a couple more hours I woke up cold & nauseous. I was very sensitive to light & sound. I paged the nurse and she said she'd be right in with meds. I had to page her 2 more times before I got the anti nausea. I ate some egg & toast. Then I took the pain pill. After about 20 minutes the sore throat (from oxygen tube) and the achy tightness of my TT started to ease. I still haven't been in pain.

Got up to go pee at 11am. It was a little weird trying to relax & pee without using muscles. Wiped myself & washed hands. Walked very hunched over and with tiny baby steps. Sat down on bed and rotated legs to lay back. This was a little uncomfortable, but painful. I mean there was a little pain in my abs until I let go of my tummy muscles (hard habit to break) felt tired. The nurse put Benadryl in my IV to help with the itching on my back & butt. She said to relax for about 30 minutes and she'll come back and we can walk just a little bit.

Walked a bit at the hospital then left. The ride home was fine. I had my travel pillow and a blanket.

The nausea set it after i got home. Ugh. I tried to eat jello & Apple sauce and both tasted too sweet. I tried some chicken broth and slept for about an hour. I woke up nauseous and tried to burp while my stomach was heaving. A lot of air came up but i ended up throwing up my water.. That hurt.

I got up to pee/ walk around at 7. I emptied my drains. Left is putting out triple the amount the right is.

I feel weak and tired but it's hard to sleep when i feel nausea constantly.

The pain meds take the edge off but doesn't seem to take all the pain away.

I guess the anti nausea is working but I still feel nausea here & there. Anytime I try to eat.

I'm gonna try to relax & sleep. I get more meds at 8:30pm. (In an hour) I hope everyone's feeling better than me. Please send prayers for me to get rid of this nausea and headache. And to just feel better.

I just want to feel normal again.

Post op day 2

Well last night went better than yesterday. When I was ready for another dose of meds I took Tylenol instead of the Tramadol for pain. I feel so much better now. The nausea & headache is gone. I have an alarm clock on my iPhone I set every 6 hours to remind me to take the Tylenol, Phenergan & antibiotic. I think I still need the anti nausea because the antibiotic says it can cause nausea. The Phenergan makes me sleepy though.

I seem to get up about every hour to pee since I'm drinking so much water. I've also been drinking the ensure protein shakes because I couldn't keep food down yesterday with all the nausea. I notice after walking to the bathroom & back I have breathed heavy enough to get the fleme (spelling??) out of my chest.

I woke up this morning with a stuffy nose so I started taking my gummy multivitamin and my chewable vitamin c pills. I double checked my release paper work and the hospital papers say to start these anyway. The vitamin c chewables are like tart candies (yuck) and my stomach has been rumbling a lot since I ate them. Praying I don't throw them up :/

When i get up out of my recliner there is a burning sting on the left side of my incision on my hip. I haven't opened my binder yet but I will try to in a little while when hubby can help.

Around 8:30am hubby made me scrambled eggs and I grabbed 2 of the coconut muffins out of the freezer to defrost for snacks later.

I take my pain meds, antibiotic & anti nausea every 6 hours. So I try to take a probiotic 3 hours after my antibiotic so I don't get a yeast infection.

My mons area is very swollen still. I continue to gently message it and it softens up. It hurts like I'm pressing on a bruise while I'm doing it.

Dr. Gills office staff called to check on me this morning. I told her I stopped taking the pain meds. She told me not to take Advil. Only take Tylenol. And I told her about the sharp burning feeling on my left hip/ incision when I go from standing to sitting. She said it's probably the drain being pinched inside my body, it's by my hip bone so it may be pressing on a nerve and that's why it feels like it's on fire.

I ate some soup & yogurt for lunch. Emptied my drains. Left is producing 3 times the amount of the right drain.

I noticed some blood drainage around my drain tubes so we decided to open my binder and change my dressings. That was an adventure... First I laid on the bed with my head& back propped up. We undid the binder Velcro and started to pull the roll of padded gauze from my incision. Ouch. It was stuck and I had to call the nurse. She said to hold the tape down and gently work the gauze away from it. Or I could take a shower and let the water help rinse it off & get unstuck. I was so weak by that time from unwrapping and getting onto the bed that I couldn't even think about showering... So we soaked the sides with a warm wet rag. Then it came off easier. Hubby took a couple pics. Then we put Neosporin and a ball of gauze back in my bb. Put Neosporin around my drain sights. And gauzed & padded everything back up. Then closed the binder. Phew. I felt nauseous & weak from the whole adventure. Im still in the bed, too weak to try to get now. When I get up to pee I'll get back situated in my recliner.

I have this hunger feeling in my belly. I'm not sure if I'm actually hungry if it's just the feeling from being squeezed into this compression garment/ binder.

I'm able to pull my legs into an "Indian position" and I know it don't seem like much but if feels good to stretch my leg muscles in different ways. I'm already so tired of laying with my legs straight.

Breathing deep seems to be difficult. Sometimes I feel like I want to take a deep breath but when I try it feels weird because my tummy is compressed so tight. It feels like I'm gonna pop a stitch or something :/

I feel like my recovery isn't bad but I sure can't wait to feel normal again.

For anyone interested, this is how I get in & out of my recliner easier:
First hubby sits me up with the side lever thing. As I'm going from a lay back position into a sit up position I grab under my knees so I stay bent in an L shape. Otherwise my legs get stretched out in front of me and I can feel it pulling on my tummy muscles. Standing is the easy part. I've done squats for years so my legs have no trouble lifting my body up or down and taking all the weight. I don't need my abs at all. I do a squat to lower myself down to the toilet. I do the same thing to get back into my recliner. I back up until my legs are against the foot rest. I sit and hold under my legs like I'm curling in a ball. Hubby slowly pulls the lever to make the legs lift and I let my body roll back slowly. Hope this helps for anyone about to have surgery.

I'd just like to note that when I write my reviews I don't get online, on the RS website. I type it all up in he Notes App on my iPhone. Then copy and paste it to the review spot at the end of the day. So after I've done something, I write it down so i don't forget. And just continue each time I do or feel something else.

I hope everyone who had their surgeries around the same day as me are feeling ok. It takes a lot of your energy to do the smallest tasks. I'm gonna rest now and I'll update tomorrow or if something big happens.

Thank you all for your encouragement, kind words & prayers.

Shower, BM & the smell in the kitchen...

Post op day 3:
Last night started out rough. My whole back, shoulders, neck & sides were very achy. I had been taking Tylenol every 6 hours for pain and it was wearing off every 4 hours so I went ahead and took 2 more after 4 hours instead of waiting the whole 6 hours. Once the medicine kicked in (an hour?) & I hooked up the heating pad for my back, I felt much better. Slept most of the night. I woke to my alarm telling me to take more medicine at 6am.

Bendy straws: please spend $2 and get a bag of bendy straws. I've been drinking the ensure protein drinks and coconut waters and bendy straws have been a big life saver.

My homemade chicken noodle soup has been my main go to meal. Along with Apple sauce cups & yogurt cups. And crackers, the saltines and honey graham crackers.

The house is a complete disaster. The trash is spilling out over the top of the trash can. There is a weird smell coming from the microwave that I can only describe as burnt plastic mixed with burnt popcorn?? Ugh... I just walk past it all and sit back in my recliner... And pretend I didn't see it.

It's getting easier to get in & out of my recliner.

I've been very gassy last night & today so I'm hoping for a bowel movement.
20 minutes later:
Had my first BM today at 11am and it was easy. I took 1 dose of the mirilax with my protein shake last night so that may have helped. Make sure you buy flushable wipes. I'm about to get into a little wiping detail so if you don't wanna know, skip to the next paragraph. First I tried wiping from the back side like usual and I realized then I couldn't reach the area that needed to be wiped... So I tried going through the front... That was hard, there are drain tubes hanging and the balls of blood themselves in the way, so I lifted them with one hand and reached through with the other. Well if I had bought FLUSHABLE wipes it could have been dropped right there after wiping and just grab a new one. But no, I bought the kind that are not to be flushed.. So I had to skillfully pull it back through without touching anything and throw it into the trash... And do that once more with another wipe for good measure. Had another easy BM at noon. Feeling much less bloated now :)

The nurse from Dr. Gills office called again this morning and after talking to her she said I need to shower today. Take my Tylenol first. She said I need to let the water rinse over my incision. I'm still very nervous about this but I guess I'll do it.

I think I forgot to mention but I washed my hair all by myself yesterday evening. I got on my knees & leaned over the side of the tub, used my detachable shower head. Brushed and blow dried it too.

So it's now 3:30pm and I'm exhausted. I showered & shaved my legs sitting down in the shower. I didn't have a chair so I improvised. I had this plastic container that is round. Like one you could use as a hamper or to hold dog food. It came with a black lid from Walmart. And was the height of a chair. I put it in the tub upside down. I put a hand towel over it for comfort. I have a detachable shower head/hose (lowes $40 connects easily) so that made things easier. The hardest part of the whole thing was getting the gauze, pads & binder back on. Hubby wouldn't stop until he had it tight, just the way Dr. Gill showed him -__-
I just wanted to wrap it up and take a nap. I went ahead and blow dried my hair again because if I didn't I would have regretted it later. I'm all bundled up in my recliner again, with my heating pad on my lower back. Feels so good. Pillows all around me. I'm gonna have some apple sauce and take my probiotic and then I think I'll take a nap. I'll update later if anything eventful happens.

Oh by the way, if you have a choice to use a play station 3 or Xbox 360, choose the play station to access Netflix. I've used PS3 for over a year now without a problem. We had the Xbox and since the kids never use it we put it in our room so I could watch Netflix through it. It is so spotty. The sounds goes out constantly during the movie. It never wants to sign in... I googled to see what the problem is and apparently its an Xbox problem. I found all sorts of blogs of complaining customers and how nothing can be fixed through tech support. So just go with play station 3 and you won't have any problems....

At my breaking point. 11:20pm

So this evening (thursday) I got a tingle in my throat. I'd heard all about the pain with coughing so i immediately grabbed my water and started drinking to rinse the itch in my throat away. I grabbed my halls throat lozenges and unwrapped as quickly as I could while swallowing water. Started sucking feverishly on the lozenge. Neither helped! And wow, the pain in your stomach is not to be underestimated. Phew. It took almost an hour to cough up whatever it was that was tingling. I had to stand up, breathing in & out heavily and walk around hunched over to get my blood pumping and lungs cleared out. I tried as gently as I could to breath air out fast without actually coughing. And that seemed to work without much pain although it took probably 20 minutes. Good luck to the rest of you ladies when you get into this situation. It is not fun.

I think tonight is my breaking point. It's 11:20pm & I'm trying to hold it together and not cry but I'm so frustrated. I'm getting restless legs, I've tried drinking water and I've taken more Tylenol. everything under my binder itches. I can't get comfortable. I've tried sitting in the couch and bed and I just can't get comfortable anywhere, not even my recliner. I have to keep my legs bent at the hips like I'm sitting at all times or it feels like my skin is gonna pull apart. Like pull apart where my thighs meet my tummy. It's either swollen or just pulled really tight with my TT. I'm using my heating pad and it's just not helping. I can't wait to be past this point. :( please if anyone has any suggestions, I beg you share them. I need to sleep tonight and I pray for a better day tomorrow. I can't wait to be able to walk normal again.

TT & non TT Rambling from my ADD brain

Post op day 5:

I ramble on sometimes so thankfully for you I break up each topic into a paragraph. Please feel free to skip over things that aren't necessarily TT related:

I'm feeling a little better every day. I noticed I can get myself in & out of the recliner without any help. I can grab my own snacks, heat up my own soup and refill my water.

I was cleaning out my "Notes" app on my iPhone and read my post op day 1 review before I deleted it. Funny thing is I don't remember writing half of that. And I see so many half sentences like I was trying to explain something and I'd fall asleep and when I woke up I'd pick up where I left off... Lol, I'll blame it on the morphine.

Sleeping at night is slightly better. I have restless legs every night and it drives me insane! It hits just about the time when I've gotten comfortable and relaxed and just about to close my eyes. So I have to get back up, which is a struggle in itself. And walk around and stretch my legs, drink water... Anything i can do to make it go away. I can't wait to sleep in my bed again...

I took my second shower today. And I did the whole thing by myself, from undressing to padding & wrapping myself back up in my binder. I was completely exhausted afterwards and i still had to make my soup for dinner. My hubby & kids had left the house for about 2 hours to run errands and I knew I wouldn't have help. I don't know why I push myself, or what I'm trying to prove... Something to think about while I lay here I guess. Since I'm finally comfy in my recliner and forgot to get the remote. I know I'm stubborn and usually if someone says I can't do something I'll prove them wrong, but hubby & kids have been so helpful. Maybe I just want to see if I could do it and if no one is around to help then I'm forced to do it ?? I don't know, but I did it :D and I was proud of myself.

The binder seemed easy-ish to get on. The hard part was standing, almost like a flamingo, bent over, knees bent, holding all the padding and gauze in place while I tried to wrap the binder around me, making sure nothing moved while I tightened it. I recommend using tape (which I didn't have) if your ever in this situation.

I had the binder off for a little over an hour and my tummy started getting red & puffy/ swollen. I took a few pics, they aren't pretty but I'm hoping once everything heals up and the swelling goes away that I'll have a cute tummy/ belly button. :)

I put in a bra for the first time in 5 days and it's feels so nice to have the girls up and out of my arm pits -__- a BL is defiantly in my future.

I have had regular bowel movements everyday since my first BM. I haven't taken anything to help with BM's I think it's all the applesauce & soup I'm eating. By the way, I'm so tired of this no salt soup. I'm actually glad I'll be out of it tomorrow. But then I'll have to figure out what to eat :/

For the first time this week I ate cookies and regretted it as soon as I did. I've really been trying to only put things into my body that will help with the healing. Really trying to listen when it's achy and give it the nutrients it needs. Well I hobbled past the kitchen after my shower, starving to death and gave in... I know it's not gonna kill me or ruin anything I just hate that i have these weak tendencies instead of just grabbing a yogurt. I usually don't buy the kind of junk food I like so I know I won't eat it, but hubby went shopping and he knows the blue bag of chips ahoy are my favorite. Bless his heart.

So apparently the amount of time that my husband can tolerate the filth in the house is 5 days. It has been driving me crazy since day 2. But I asked a lot for them to pick up all my slack and I feel selfish for not helping since my TT so i haven't complained (much) about the house looking (and smelling) like a fraternity house.... Hubby got the kids up this morning and made them clean. Of course it's no where near clean to me, but the dishes are done and the floor is swept (for the most part) so i won't complain. I sweep the floor twice a day on a daily basis. And I never realized I go around and pick up all the trash they leave on tables or the counter until this week. This is something I will make sure I don't do in the future as they need to learn part of life is cleaning up after yourself.

Today I noticed a burning fire type feeling in the upper middle an area. Not sure what it is but I know my bodies been cut open and realigned and things are going to have to reconnect so to speak.

Why do I find Chatum Tanning so irresistible? I watched The Vow & Dear John today and there's just something perfect about him. His looks and body aside, he seems to have the same personality in most of his movies. This flirty, corky/funny but awkward yet confident thing about him. Anyway...

Anyone else feel guilty that they sit in a recliner all day? I feel like I'm missing out on my kids. I know this won't last long but since I've been like this all week they have been playing video games and I just feel like I'm ignoring them. Even when I go talk to them I'm just tired and weak and finally make it back to my recliner. I can't wait to be normal again. Such a beautiful day today and I wasted it sitting in his damn recliner :( I'm not trying to have a pity party I am just used to going places and doing things outdoors and laughing with my hubby & kids and I just miss it.

I have a lot of bruising on my sides from the lipo, but forgot to take a pic.

I haven't had a lot of output from my drains so I'm really hoping all goes well and I can get them out Monday morning. Baby steps...
:) happy healing :)

Thigh skin so so tight

Before I start my rambling I have a question:
I feel like my skin is so tight. It's the skin that connects my thighs to my mons area. The creased area when you sit and your legs crease and touch your mons/ vagina area. Anyway, sometimes it feels so tight that I don't think I could stand straight up without ripping that skin. It almost looks like I have a stretch mark forming in that creased area on my right side. Does this get better? Does anyone else remember this feeling first week after TT? I'm defiantly gonna ask my PS tomorrow during my first week post op apt but I wanted you ladies opinions too since y'all have been through his and know the feeling.

I took a shower again today and tried to get pictures. I'm sorry they are not very good, I was so tired.

Onto my rambling:

I am still not standing straight. I feel like I can get pretty straight at nights in my recliner. Dr told me not to try to stand up straight until after he sees me 7 days post op apt. That's tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. I don't know if I'll get the go ahead then either. Through the fog of the morphine I remember him saying something about walking hunched over for 2 weeks so there is no pulling or tightness on my incision for the best looking scar.

I have no pain at all. I only take the Tylenol for the back aches. I honestly can say I don't remember having any pain at all. A couple burning fire sensations, achey legs & back but no pain. No pain at all in my tummy, just a little tightness, but nothing severe.

For anyone having a TT please for the love of all that is good & holy, get a comfortable recliner. My butt has been sore & numb for the last 2 days. I have to get up walk around and then readjust the pillow I sit on constantly so it's fluffy & soft.

As much as I was sick of the no salt (bland) soup, I wish I had made enough to last 2 weeks. Because whether I like it or not it's what my body needs. And I've been eating whatever hubby cooks because I'm too weak to cook my own food.

Everyday truly gets better just like everyone else says. Night 3 was by far the worst for me. And I'm so glad to be past that point.

It never fails, as soon as I get myself comfy in my recliner (pillow under my knees, heating pad straight and turned on, blanket covered up, head pillow just right, remote in reach and movie picked) the bowels start moving... So I have to get back up to poo, then get all back situated again. Which is a full time job when you are stubborn & trying to do things by yourself.

I'm so tired of swallowing pills (every 6 hours). I don't usually take medication and I can't wait to be done with these antibiotics, anti-nausea, probiotics & Tylenol.

Things I miss:
Cuddling with hubby in bed.
Being active & outdoors with my kids.
Cleaning the house.
Having a clean house.
Standing up straight.
Even though I understand that u must rest & relax to heal I really hate that while I'm up I can't do a 20 minute clean up over this house, just to get everything back in order. My back aches too bad to carry the dirty laundry or sweep the floor, wipe off all the counters. These are things that drive me crazy and I can't do much about it unless I wanna trade it for a horrible back ache. I don't complain outwardly because I know they are trying. So I will continue to try to be patient.

Things I do (but am completely exhausted afterwards):
I cook myself oatmeal, scrambled eggs & make my hot tea every morning.
Undress, Shower, dry off, blow dry hair, bandage back up, get dressed all by myself.
Walk outside and spend some time in the sun each day.
Change my sheets & blankets on my recliner.
Wash & dry laundry.

I hope everyone is healing and relaxing and loving their new bodies :)

First post op apt

I had my first post op apt with Dr. Gill this morning. I arrived an hour early and called the front office from the car and asked if there was any way they could see me before my apt time. She looked at the schedule and said yes, I could come in right then, there was a little time open. So I slowly walked hunched over into the building. It was a little awkward as people were in the halls & elevator ...
They called me back within 5 minutes. I took my pants off & put on the paper blue open front cover. Dr. Gill came in within 5 minutes. He laid me back in the seat and proped my feet up so that my knees were bent. (I love how gentle, caring and kind he always is). He took my binder off & said everything looks great.
He asked if I was taking my medications still and I explained that I take the antibiotics every 6 hours. He told me to start taking them every 12 hours. I told him I haven't taken the pain pills since day 2 because they make me feel sick and dizzy. I told him my only pain was in my back and I take Tylenol for that. He gave me a prescription for a muscle relaxer.
He said I should start being able to walk a little more up right this week and the back pain should start to get better the more straight I walk. But I could take the new meds while I'm still walking hunched so I wont be so achy.

I asked about the redness of my lower tummy after I take the binder off. He said it was normal at this point in healing and that it was partly from the area having stretch marked skin. The other part was because my binder has been too loose, and it can hold fluid like that.

He looked at my drainage log and said I'm still having too much output to remove the drains. He said if he removed the one that is not producing much and the other fell out then I wouldn't have any way to drain, so he left them both in. As much as I wanted to get them out I completely understand why they have to stay in. He said the nurse would call me on thursday (2 days from now) for the drainage output and if it's where it needs to be I can come in that day and he'll remove them. Otherwise he'll see me again next Monday for my 2 weeks post op appointment.

He put clean bandages on my tummy and wrapped me up TIGHT in my binder like I'm supposed to be. He said I needed to make sure I have hubby help becasue the binder needs to be tight so I don't hold any fluid. I told him I'd been putting it on by myself. He showed me how to do it with help to make sure it's tight: I hold the binder on my tummy hubby takes the other side and pulls / stretches it tight and around my back then back around my tummy. He put it on so nice and straight :) it's super tight, but it feels good. Like it's more supportive.

Hubby just ran into the store to grab a few things we need then We are going back home. I wish I could walk normal so we could go in somewhere and eat lunch together. Maybe next week :/

Oh and don't try drinking Orange Juice with the binder this tight if you have a history of acid reflux. My throat & chest is on fire right now. Hubby is grabbing me some tums.

Happy healing everyone :) I'm so glad week 1 is behind me and I can't wait to start getting around normally again :)

Great days :)

Yesterday was a good day. After the apt I was able to rest and then felt fine enough to drive I get my daughter from high school. I left with plenty of cushion time so I was not in a hurry. It took a minute to get comfortable in the the car (SUV). I adjusted my seat and mirrors and turned on my heated seat and used it as a heating pad for my back. Te trip was easy. No pain while driving.when my husband came out of the shop and noticed my car was gone he called me and fussed at me for driving too soon. So I told him i felt fine and was about to leave the school with our daughter. I waited at the school for about 10 minutes until all the traffic had died down. And of course you can't drive over 30 through town during the school zone so I was able to take it slow with no problems. I offered to grab her tomorrow since she has an orthodontic appointment after school so he can work but he said no. He'd rather me not drive until my tummy is more healed. I do appreciate him caring and his concern. I did feel fine driving.

Last night I slept in our bed for the first time since surgery. It felt so nice. It was he first night without the restless leg thing. I have this 2 step stepping later that folds up for easy storage. I used it beside our bed. I got everything ready. My heating pad and pillows all set up. Remotes in reach and climbed up my little step latter and climbed into bed. Hubby came in about 20 minutes later from cleaning up after dinner and laughed and shook his head. He said he had begun to like me sleeping in the recliner because he could stretch his whole body from corner to corner and slept so good! Lol he said wait, you better get back in your recliner! Lol, but it was nice to be back in bed and even though we couldn't really cuddle, laying beside him was nice :) he said he had to try to remember not to put his arm over me at night because it's a habit.

Today has been a great day too. I got up around 9am. Made pancakes and washed an entire sink load of dishes. Then helped my son with his school work. (I homeschool him, started a little more than a month ago) after that, we ate lunch. And now I'm taking it easy for the rest of the day. I'm all set up in the oversized recliner in the living room. And watching Netflix.

My out put has been showing going down on the right drain. The left drain barley has anything come out. Dr should be calling tomorrow to see what the cc's are and I'll find out if they can come out. I don't want to rush it because i know what can happen if they are removed too soon.

I'm finally at a point where I am *starting* to feel a little more normal.

I hope everyone is healing well and resting.

A few things :)

It rained all day today so I watched a lot of movies. Got up and moved around and ate and then back in my bed for some more lazy time.

I showered this evening and I still get exhausted by the whole hour long event.

One thing I did different (finally) was I put a cotton tank top under my binder. When I got out of the shower. I dried off. Aired out for about 10 minutes. Then put my padding on my incision. Put my little yellow medicine packing ball thing in my belly button. Put on my bra. Then put on the thin cotton tank top. Then hubby helped me put my binder on nice and tight just like the Dr showed me. The binder isn't so itchy & uncomfortable now. :)

I did notice today that I'm standing a tad bit more upright. I had seen all the post TT pics where ladies would be slightly hunched over and they would also have a knee bent. I always thought that was an odd way to stand. Why not straighten your knees and just bend over. Well now I understand exactly why. The back aches so bad from hunching over as you walk through the house. So today I noticed as I was pouring my drink or making my sandwich that I was trying to stand up a little straighter but as soon as I straighten my back, one of my knees would slightly bend. The back ache would go away and I'm left standing like a crazy one-knee-bent-half-hunched-over lady. Lol so anyone that hasn't had a tummy tuck yet, and you're going through seeing ladies with slightly hunched backs and bent knees, now you know. It takes the pain out of the back almost instantly.

Another thing my kids and hubby laugh about is the squats I do ALL DAY LONG. Lol I'll be pouring my water on my glass and then turn and open the fridge, grab a lemon, turn and walk (hunched over) across the kitchen to the knife block and then I'll squat. Take a few breaths , grab a knife and continue on back to the counter where my water and lemon wait. Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze half in my water. Walk and grab a baggy from the drawer across the kitchen, put the rest of the lemon it it. Squat and take a few breaths. Then back up to cross the kitchen and put the lemon back in the fridge and the squeezed lemon in the trash. And another squat. Phew! By this time my back is screaming for my heating pad! And I slowly walk hunched until I find my bed. this is what I do every time I walk through the house to do something. They all just laugh and call me the old lady. :)

The corners of my incision are itching so bad today. I know this means healing so I'm trying hard not to scratch. The tape is starting to peel and it's just so itchy. :/

I was able to sweep the floor today. I took my time and made sure I didn't use any ab muscles. Oh how I love a clean floor! :D

My Dr called today and asked how my drain output was. I told him my left was draining 10cc's per day and my right was still draining 45-50 cc's the last two days. Well today the right has went down to 35cc so he said if it keeps going down at that rate I'll be able to get them removed on Monday at my 2 week apt. Yay!

Did I mention that I use my "easy reach" fold up step stool to get into my bed? Well I have a high bed and I put the step stool beside it, climb up and then I can climb into my bed on my knees, sit down, straighten my legs and slowly lay back while holding my hands under my knees, it's more or a rocking motion but it doesn't take any ab muscles and it gets the job done :D so I hope his helps anyone trying to find a way to lay back without help. Getting up is a whole different task lol...

Well I hope everyone had a great day. I'm off to find out which of my RS friends has their MM (I know of one but can't remember her name) today and see how she feels :)

Yanked my drain tube, OUCH!!

Every morning I empty my drains. The nurses at the hospital showed me how to "milk" the drain tubes starting close to the hole where they come out from my mons pubis. I'm am to pinch that area with clean fingers. Take an alcohol pad and pinch the tube with my other hand and pull the fluid all the way to the end so it goes into the bulb. So one hand is holding the tube close to your body so it won't be pulled on, and the other hand strips the tube by pinching it tight and pulling... Well, apparently I forgot that I have Neosporin on the drain hole and when I pulled The tube pretty fast (because I've been doing his for 10 days now and have gotten pretty good at it) I yanked the tube and the stitches cause it was oily and I didn't have a good grip... Ouch. That's all I can say. I took a breath and opened my eyes and looked down hoping I didn't rip the stitches from my skin. I didn't see any blood so I finished what I was doing and coated the hole with more Neosporin. I've added a pic so you can see what I'm talking about. Please be careful when you strip your tubes. :/

I haven't sneezed yet. As I was typing this I felt a sneeze coming on. All I could think to do was drop my phone and press my hands to my nose as fast and hard as I could. It went away. Thank you Lord! So far I haven't sneezed since my TT.

I have coughed very lightly. I do more of a hard push of air out than a cough with my belly cause that crap hurts. Trust me, you figure out how to do this after you cough the first time. You look straight up, take a deep breath and push small hard breaths out and you can feel the flem come to the throat where you can do the "clear you throat sound" and get it the rest of the way up. Where there's a will there's a way.

Can I just take a minutes to vent about margarine? Well ever since a few years ago when I learned how it's made and that it's basically 1 molecule away from being plastic. I refused to buy or eat it. I don't buy it so my kids and hubby won't eat it. I buy real butter and not the kind with Canola oil (bad too) in it. Well, he went to the store and brought home Country Crock Margarine! Gross. I tried to explain how it's made and it's not good for you. Your body has no use for that grossness and he laughed and ate it.... Sorry I know i may sound like I'm a crazy person but once you watch a YouTube video you will never want to eat (or let your kids eat) Margarine again either.

13 days PO, Random things :)

Showers are still so exhausting for me that I have found a way to break them up into small parts. I think more than anything I feel weak when I take the binder off. So sitting there with my tummy all weak and feeling exposed, trying to wash my hair, shave my legs & underarms, and wash my whole body is just too much all at once. Because you're not done there. You still have to dry off, brush hair, blow dry hair, then get all badged up and get the binder back on nice, tight and straight. Then get your loose clothes on.
So yesterday I took just my pants off, sat on a folded towel on the edge of the tub and shaved my legs in the tub using the detachable shower head. Dried them off right there, had the lotion sitting on the edge of the tub as well and applied lotion. Put my PJ pants back on and was done. This morning I bent over the side of the tub, this was no problem/ no pains... And I washed my hair with the detachable shower head. Wrapped it in a towel for a few minutes while I sat on the toilet giving my back a rest. (The hole time I am still wrapped in my binder) so once it was time to shower my body it was much faster. I got undressed & in the shower. Stood up for literally 5 minutes and washed & rinsed my body. Got out and dried off. This seems to make it a lot easier to shower. Shaving my legs is just too much when I have to bend over and twist my legs all without my binder on. So I hope this helps anyone else who feels like an hour without the binder is just too much at this stage in healing. I bought the detachable shower head a week before surgery. I got it from Lowes. The brand is "Waterpik" it literally installed in minutes. You just unscrew the old shower head and screw on the new one. That simple and well worth the money. Prices are anywhere from $17 and up depending on brand. Ours has 6 settings but really we only use the one normal "shower" mode. The others are a joke.

When I wake up, and sit up I feel this fluid moving in my lower right side of tummy. It's below and to the side of my bb. That's the only time I feel it. And I have felt this for the past 3 mornings. Weird.

I was able to cook dinner for the first time today. It probably took about 30 minutes. I rested my arms on the counter a lot to take the strain off my back. I was tired when I was done and hubby was grateful since he's been so busy with work his week. And he's been cooking every evening too. The kids have been doing most of the cleaning and I help as I can.

It was nice & sunny today so I spent a couple hours sitting on the porch. It felt nice to get out of the house.

I've drove the car (SUV) a couple times. As long as there aren't any bumps in the road everything's fine. It just takes a while to carefully get in and get the seat adjusted. To where it doesn't feel like my incision is being pulled.

I'm still walking hunched and I'm seriously over it. -__-
I can't wait to walk normally again.

It's really starting to itch where my drains come out and I'm really hoping since my output has gone down so much that I'll be able to get the drains out tomorrow. I keep bumping or pulling the wire accidentally these last 2 days and the mons area is swollen & itchy.

I still haven't had any pain in my tummy from the tummy tuck. The only pain is the back aches.

Restless leg seems to have slowly gone away. If I do have it I rub my Marjoram essential oil on it and within minutes it feels better. Marjoram also makes you sleepy so that is a plus. For anyone interested I use DoTerra Essential Oils. They are a bit pricey, but I love using them over store bought medicine. I think there is another brand just as good called Young Living, but I've never tried it.

I hope everyone is healing well. :)

Drains out!! :D

I had to go into the Post office today. I tried to wait until after the lunch rush and it wasn't that bad. My back aches from having I stand (hunched) in line. It was a little embarrassing having to walk like that, but I didn't look anyone in the eyes, so I don't know if they stared or not. The postal worker was nice. I'm sure she's sees all kinds of things.

The 45 minute drive to my PS's office was miserable. We had to take some back roads to prevent us from being stuck in school traffic. The roads were so full of curves and I get car sick easily anyway, but this was much worse. Ugh. I wish I had taken the Phenergan.

Finally got to my 2 week post op appointment and I was taken back within 5 minutes. The nurse gave me a front open gown to put on and checked my drainage chart. Dr. Gill came in a couple minutes late and said my drains would be coming out! I was excited but nervous and he said not to worry it's wouldn't hurt. He cut the stitches and said count to 3 and him and the nurse big pulled. I didn't feel a single thing. I honk he actually pulled after he said "1". The nurse taped some pads to my mons area. He said I could use maxi pads for the next few days as they will absorb the drainage until it heals up. I go back in 2 weeks and he'll take my tape off the incision if it hasn't already come off. He said it should start peeling off slowly and I need to put Maderma scar treatment on those parts and inside my belly button. He said I should start being able to slowly walk a little more straighter the next week or 2 but not to force it. The more tension input on the incision the wider the scar.

We stopped at a restaurant because hubby & the kids were starving and I was out numbered. So I hobbled in with my yoga pants and old t-shirt... So yea... a little embarrassing but the place was kinda empty since it's too early for dinner so that was good :)

Between eating too much and the Dr strapping me so tight in this binder I feel like I'm gonna puke :/ but he said it needs to stay this tight so the fluid doesn't build up.

Also it doesn't hurt to laugh as much anymore.

Pics are from before Dr. Apt.
I hope everyone is healing well and having an easy recovery :)

TIGHTNESS (Reply For Dee1970)

Reply for dee1970:
I'll explain all my tightness:

I have tightness feelings when I take a deep breath or yawn. It's like the muscles were tightened so much that I can't fully expand my lungs. I mean I do expand them every time I yawn, but if feels very tight in my upper ribs when I yawn. Almost like if you were to lay on your stomach on a hard table and try to take a deep breath.

Another place I feel tightness is where my incision is. If I try to stand up all the way if feels like the incision will rip open.

The tightness I had week one has slowly went away. That tightness was like I was wearing a swim suit bottoms or some panties that were way too small and they were digging in the crease of my legs, where my legs meet my vagina. The skin was pulled up very tight from my upper thighs & vagina and it was attached to my skin the pulled down from above my belly button. I was very worried it would make stretch marks in the creases of my leg/ vagina the first week. The Dr said it would go away and after a week it did. So I'm waiting patiently for my incision to let me stand up straight. He said it will slowly soften and I'll be able to stand up straight soon.

As far as my binder: he marked a line on it the day I had surgery and he told me to always keep it that tight when I put it back on. Well it has stretched out a little over the first 2 weeks and when I went into my dr apt he strapped me in it so much tighter. He went past the line because he said it needs to be tight. Well I feel like it's so tight it's making me nauseous. I have felt nauseous since yesterday and it comes and goes today too. Every time i eat now it feels like I'm gonna throw up. So I only eat small portions. I keep trying to loosen it but hubby fusses at me and says the Dr knows what he's talking about.

Some pictures

I took my binder off today (to help with the nausea) and tried to take a few pictures. This is as straight as I can stand :/ I can see that I'm holding fluid since the drains are gone. And my poor mons is so swollen it's kinda red and itches. :/

Pain, swelling & weird stretching

Yesterday I started having weird pains in my tummy. Not bad pains just constant little dull or distant pains. ?? It's hard to describe the feelings. I've been so numb feeling and I don't like the numbness going away. I don't wanna feel the pains but I guess this is part of it. The pain is on my right side where I used to feel the fluid moving or sloshing around when I would go from laying down to sitting up. Now it feels like a bruise that is being touched. Even though I'm not actually touching it. That's the only way I can describe it. Is if you have a bruise and someone pushes on it. It just feels like that constantly. I'll email my Dr and make sure it's ok. When I took off my binder last night I noticed my lower tummy is all squishy. Like there is fluid in it. I put arnica gel on it and my mons area. I don't know if it's helping yet. :/

My poor mons is still so swollen. It feels bruised to the touch. The outer and inner lips of my vagina are swollen too :/ and it kinda hurts when I wipe after peeing. I try to lightly message the area to soften it and then it itches later so I hope that means the fluid is going elsewhere. ??

I think I'm going to have a lazy, movie watching day today. I've been going non stop the last 2 days. Not overdoing it with walking or anything. Just up a lot and riding with hubby to do work errands and deliveries. So I'm in a car for hours and bumpy roads don't feel too good to the tummy. Also a lot of laughing and that tends to make the muscles sore after a while.

Stretching seems to be the weirdest thing after my tummy tuck. I have to stop my body from stretching right before I'm fully awake in the mornings. It's like I automatically try to stretch when I'm waking up. Then I feel the tug and pulls of my upper thighs & tummy muscles and have to stop it because it hurts. So I pull my knees up into what could be a described as a sitting position and I can finish stretching my tummy, arms and chest/ back that way, but my legs do this weird involuntary jerking/shaking thing where they too are trying to stretch but I'm forcing them not to straighten out. I honestly don't know how to describe it but kinda like that involentary feeling of an orgasm. I'm sorry if this comparison bothers anyone but it's the only way I can describe it. It's not the orgasm feeling. Just the fact that I can't stop it. Like my legs muscles are fighting me and they are going to stretch whether I like it or not. I could also describe it like the pushing feeling you get when you're in labor and giving birth to your child. That feeling where your body is forcing you to push and you can't stop it. And it feels good to push (stretch) but at the same time it hurts other muscles that are connected. Hence why I have to force my knees up so my legs aren't forcing the tummy and thigh muscles straight (standing position) I can't straighten all the way yet and if I do it hurts like I'm gonna rip my incision or muscles. I sure hope someone else can relate to this weird stretching, leg jerking/shaking feeling. :/ it's kinda hard to put your feeling out there and find out that no one can relate. :/

Incision tape off

The last few days the tape glued to my incision has been itching more than usual. I hadn't pulled it off because the Dr said to cut off the pieces that come off on their own and he would take the rest off this Thursday at my apt. Well, this morning when I went to the bathroom it was itching so bad so I moved my CG so I could see it and noticed little red blisters starting to form right at the edge of the tape. (The itchy area) So I decided the tape was coming off. I gently pulled off the tape from the side of my incision all the way to the middle to see what was going on. I had to pull slow, because the tape was pulling off the thin scabs. Once I got to the area of the tape that covered pubic hair it was pulling those out one by one very slowly... Ouch... I went ahead and finished pulling it off all the way since the scar looked healed enough. I guess my skin was tired of being covered by glue. I have a light rash and blood was coming out of a few tiny areas where the scabs were pulled off too soon. I applied Neosporin with Pain Releif and emailed Melissa (my patient care coordinator) she called and said that everything was ok and to just keep the Neosporin on it until the rash goes away. After that I need to start with a scar treatment. I have Maderma cream and she said that was fine, but she recommended using the silicone tape. She sent me a link with a coupon code for NewGelPlus. I will look into that but I was wondering what brands (& prices) of scar therapy strips are you ladies using?

Here are some pics of my belly today. I'm a little swollen, but it's not red anymore below my belly button like it had been. And what I thought was a new stretch mark forming (vertical line below my belly button) looks like it may have just been a scratch from during surgery, because there is a light thin scab on it. The scar looks a little crooked compared to my hair line. It may just be swollen, or not, I don't know, but I'm ok with that. I knew I'd be trading my jelly roll and stretch marks above my bb for a scar and it's low enough to hide in panties so I won't complain or find any negative things wrong with it. I've seen too many reviews where this kind of thing (and the creases on the corners of my incision) works itself out over time with healing :)

Silicone tape I ordered from Amazon

Here is a pic of the silicone tape I ordered from Amazon.

Dr appointment

I had another check up today with Dr Gill. He said everything is healing nicely. I'm to wear my binder still until 6 weeks or so. He said to keep using the Mederma scar cream on my incision and belly button. He said for me to slowly try to stand up straighter each day. He said besides exercising, I could get back to normal activity, just listen to my body. And he raised his eyebrows up and held them up when he said "normal activity" so I'm guessing that was the okay for me to have sex, lol. :) I'm still very nervous about this as I'm usually on top. And I don't want to do it this way yet as I use my abs that way... I've read the blog here on RS about sex after tummy tuck and they explain a few positions that are easy on the muscles, So I guess we'll try those... I won't go into detail as I don't know how uncomfortable it will make others. :) hubby has been so nice and patient about it. He knew it would be at least 3 weeks. :)

For anyone using silicone strips. I read that the incision has to be clean. No lotions or creams. If you use a cream with the tape it will cause a rash. So use one or the other, but not both at the same time. I should get my tape tomorrow. :)

I added a pic to show everyone how straight (or bent) I'm standing at 3 and a half weeks post. :/

Tried to straighten up.

Well I've been slowly trying to stand straighter the last few days and I felt a sting the other day and then again yesterday. I've been using the Palmers cocoa butter lotion for stretch marks with the pregnant lady on front. I was hoping this would keep the skin moisturized for easy stretching but the stings I felt are 2 spots where my skin opened on my incision. They are very tiny. As much as I want to stand up straight like the rest of you, it just isn't worth ruining my scar. My skin just isn't ready to let me stand straight yet. If you look at the picture, my skin is red and the blood veins are all red under my incision almost like my skin is stretched to thin. :( I'm also going to email my Dr this picture. He told me to start trying to stand up but I just can't do it. If you can't see the pic good let me know and I'll try to take a closer pic. I'll be 4 weeks post TT tomorrow.

Grocery shopping, tired & cranky this evening.

I heard back from Dr Gills office this morning regarding my last post. He said to put Neosporin on the two tiny spots that stretched open, to keep applying the Mederma to the scar and to keep trying to stand up straight, but don't force it, just try to stand as much as I can. If any thing else happens or things get worse I'm supposed to call the office. He said the reason my skin is so red under my incision on the left side is because I had a lot of stretch marks and the skin in that area is thin. He also said because the skin is so thin that is has a hard time getting blood supply unlike the other areas, that's why my veins are so red. So hopefully as everything starts to heal the blood flow will get better ?? He said to apply a thick creamy lotion to that area to keep it hydrated.

I'm going to buy the bioCorneum scar cream from his office. I've heard a lot of good things about it and several RS sisters recommend it. I looked on Amazon and it's $99 for 20 grams! Then I called Dr. Gills office and she said they sell it for $50 (20 grams as well).

I went grocery shopping for the first time since I had my TT. That was no fun since I'm still walking hunched over. My back aches so bad. I had to stop a couple times to sit, but the ache never went away. The kids helped me (homeschool), but it was the constant walking that was the worse part. After I got home I rested with my heating pad for a few hours and later cooked dinner. I feel bad for my family, because I've been so bitchy this evening. They always joke and play with me and I just wasn't in the mood today. This is not like me, so I kept telling them I'm sorry I'm so cranky and to just not mess with me, because I'm not in the mood and I don't want to be grumpy towards them when it's not their fault I'm cranky. So they called me a grumpy old lady and left me alone. :/

I put on a pair of jeans for the first time since my TT today. I wasn't able to button them since all my jeans are tight. So I just pulled them on and I put my binder over them. And wore a loose t shirt so you wouldn't see the binder. I'll post a pic of how straight I could stand today, but it's a little dark so I'm not sure how well you can tell.

I used the silicone tape over night last night just to see if it would help keep tension off the incision so as I stretched at night the skin above it would stretch and not the incision itself. Everything looked fine this morning when I slowly peeled the tape off (that is some strong tape!) but for some reason it looked like it may have torn a tiny tiny piece of skin off the side of my incision. Not enough to bleed or anything, but the skin was shiny, so I just put Neosporin on it and I'll wait a while to use the tape.

I've been sleeping on my side half the night for the past 3 nights. It is a slow process to roll over and then scoot back into my spot and my hip still hurts when I lay on it, but it feels so good to sleep on my side. I wake up sometime in the middle of the night and my hip hurts from the lipo so I have to roll on my back again :(

I hope everyone is healing well. I look forward to all your updates and progress pictures :) and I'm thankful to have all of you to talk to through this whole process. I don't know what I would have done pre & post TT without this website. :) everyone is so helpful and friendly.

Standing straighter

I have new stretch marks since my TT. I noticed them last night. (See pictures). They are under my incision, in the crease of my leg. I'm hoping a swim suit will cover them. And I hope they don't get any worse. I've been keeping bio oil and cocoa butter lotion on the area constantly hoping they don't get bigger or wider... I felt like my Dr went a little too tight with my skin and that's why I'm not able to stand yet. 4.5 weeks post TT) I don't mean to undermine his credibility. I know he knows what he's doing. I told him I wanted the scar low and the belly button piercing above my bb gone. And in order to do accomplish both of those requests, he had to remove a lot of skin. So I think he did it this tight to give me the results I wanted but it also made me super tight. I even searched "too much skin removed during TT" and most of the Dr's say this really isn't possible. Because you are laying flat during surgery, and your skin can stretch to carry a baby, & it WILL stretch to this new tummy. As long as the incision isn't busting open everything will be fine and to just be patient. So I will...

I tried what one RS sister recommended: As I'm standing, try to squeeze the butt in and bend the knees a little so the back can straighten out. Then slowly straighten the knees and it helps to stand a little more straight that way and some how it doesn't pull in my tummy muscles as much. So I did that and was pretty impressed with how straight I could get. Still bent a little and my shoulders still curved forward some, but it is an improvement, so I will continue to practice. :) One thing I noticed though is that as soon as I start walking I tend to hunch back over again, because there is a sharp tightness like a string being pulled from the top of my muscles to right above my belly button. (Stitches or scar tissue??) with every step.

I won't go into any graphic details, but I wanted to share a little about 4 weeks post TT sex to explain how certain positions had pain with abdominal muscles & sides. If you don't wanna know please skip ahead to the next paragraph now ;) I was very nervous to try as I didn't wanna be stuck in some position and be in pain and have to figure out how to get out of it without causing more pain... Our usual way is me on top, so I tried that first. There was no way to do that while sitting straight up because of movement needed from abdominal muscle use. So I leaned forward and put my hands on each side of his shoulders on the bed. This was still impossible for the same reasons. (Not able to move my ab muscles) So then we tried the "spooning" position. Where we both lay on our sides facing the same direction. This was too painful on my hips and sides from my lipo on my flanks. So then we tried doggy style and that worked just fine. I put a pillow under my tummy for support. You just have to make a conscious effort to not use any abdominal muscles and let him do all the work. I apologize if I went into too much details for anyone who kept reading. I tried to keep it as clean as possible and I'm only explaining so you know what hurts from my experience.

I went to Sally's yesterday, because my daughter was out of makeup and I needed to grab a few things too. So we were there shopping around and as we walked up to the check out counter the lady was smiling at me and said, "You're walking like you just had... a... um... C-section..." So I said nope. No more babies for me. This is from a tummy tuck. And around the corner came another employee with a smile... Apparently they knew and most people deny it. Lol, so they started asking questions and I explained a few things... Lol, one said, "well I don't know why you'd need a tummy tuck. You're not fat at all." So I had to explain that I didn't do it to get rid of fat. It was to get rid of stubborn loose skin that I'd tried to get rid of for the last 12 years. And how I had gotten that gene from my mother and her tummy looks identical to mine after 2 pregnancies...

This has been a good learning time for my kids. They have been in public schools since kindergarten, and I just recently started homeschooling in December. I usually take care of all the adult stuff on my own and they do basic chores around the house & yard. I've had to make them do several small grocery trips in the store alone. They've had to learn to budget when I send them with a list and $30 cash when they're used to grabbing extra things when I'm there. They've had to mail a few packages for me at the Post Office, alone. They've had to sign for delivery packages for our business and make sure everything is correct. They've had to pick up all my slack with cooking and cleaning and all our animals. They were super nervous the first time of each of these events but they got better with it every time after that. So I've learned that this is what they needed to teach them to do adult errands so once they are an adult they will be confident in what they are doing. My 15 yr old daughter is not as nervous as my 13 yr old son, but I've watched both of them grow so much in the last month and I'm very proud of them!

I hope everyone is healing well. I've got a long list of emails with everyone's updates waiting for me so I'm going to check them out now :) happy healing.

Feelings/ Sensations/ Pains

New feeling/sensations/pains:

I'm 5 weeks post op today.
I've been getting some new feelings lately so I thought I'd share.

I randomly get these baby moving feelings in my lower abdomen like when you were pregnant and the baby would kick or slide his foot across your belly. I didn't think to post about it until SurroMommy mentioned it and I realized it wasn't just me being gassy, that it must be muscle spasms like her Dr said. I seem to get these more often when I'm walking.

I also get these weird sensations like when someone softly brushed your neck or shoulder skin and you get the chills or goose bumps and then the sensation crawls down your back. Sorry it's hard to describe. I get this feeling on my back & sides. And it's like 4 different sections are getting chills all at once. I actually like the feeling, lol. I noticed I usually get it at the end of the day when I finally lay down on my heating pad and my back starts to relax. But I've gotten them other times as well. Side note: I only got lipo of the sides (flanks) not the back.

Another feeling is the stretching pain I wake up from. I think I've mentioned this in another review a couple weeks back. Apparently my body stretches right before I'm awake. And as I start to stretch my stomach muscles twist & pull & pinch & hurt, but by this time I'm full blown stretching and it wakes me up from the pain so I have to quickly pull my knees up (my heels basically touching my butt at this point) and that stops all the sharp pains but the pain from doing all that stretching lingers for a few minutes, Ouch.

In the mornings after the whole waking up from painful stretching thing. I noticed that my abdominal muscles quiver or shake like they are trying to stretch. Its hard to describe this feeling. But basically it's like My body still needs or wants to stretch so it shakes or quivers like its begging me to just allow it to stretch fully. It does this for several minutes until I raise my arms above my head, knees still bent, and allow only my abs so slightly stretch. I have to be careful not to turn or twist and let the sides stretch because when I twist during a stretch the abs hurt. :/

And of course I still get the back aches because I'm still walking slightly hunched over, but it's enough to put strain on my back muscles.

Standing straighter ?? 5wks post TT

I keep feeling like I'm standing straighter, but then I see the pic of me and I'm still hunched looking... :/ I'm so ready to stand completely straight so I can start walking again. If I try to stand any straighter (shoulders back) I get a sharp pulling in my abs telling me to stop. I'm 5 weeks & 2 days post TT.

6 weeks post TT

Standing pretty straight now. I'd say I'm 95% straight. As soon as this Texas cold front goes away I'm going to start walking again. I haven't weighted myself this week but it's safe to say Im not loosing any weight since I haven't been watching what I eat. So I need to be more mindful of that and hopefully next week I can start to tone up the rest of my body to match my new tummy. I've been swollen looking around my tummy lately and I'd love to say it goes away every morning but it doesn't. It is slightly smaller and it doesn't have the tight feeling in the morning but it's still swelling. I'm sure this will go away in a few months :)

The two spots that opened up are now closed and scarring. Still using the Mederma scar cream until I go to my Dr apt next week and buy the BioCorneum scar cream.

Im feeling more normal now. So happy about that. Standing straight makes all the difference. No more back aches, no more heating pad! :D and I can clean the house without having to take a break now. :)

Comparison pic & close up of BB

Here's a comparison pic.
Mons lifted
Waist thinner
New bb
Flat tummy
Less stretch marks
No more loose skin

1 month of uncomfortableness

I'd say it was worth it! I'll never have a perfect body and I'm ok with that. I'm just glad I'll be able to lose a few pounds, tone up and feel comfortable in my clothes and skin. :D

And here is a close up of my bb. For some reason it didn't load in my last update. It's kinda funny how it looks off center as I swell. One day it's to the left, the next say it's to the right... I think it will look great once it's completely healed and the scar fades. :D

Incision & hair line...

Oh & one thing I forgot to mention: my incision is still numb so I took that opportunity to pluck all the hairs close to it & about an inch or so below (didn't feel a thing) Lol, I did it after I took the pics so my hair line looks shorter now and I like that it doesnt meet my scar. This was something weird: all the hairs that were touching my incision came out all crooked and without the root end (follicle?) of the hair. ?? Maybe because it was cut during surgery? I don't know... But I'm hoping they won't grow back. I guess we'll see. Has anyone had any problems with weird hair growth close to the incision line? Or ingrown hair tendencies ?

RS update, no more emails ?? :(

I'm sorry if you're commenting on my review and I'm not replying. RS did an update and ever since then I no longer get emails letting me know there is a new comment. And I forget to check the website everyday without the reminders. :/ so it may be a couple days before I see the comment and reply. :(


See picture, if I check yes to this box so I can get REVIEW UPDATES I also am forced to get all of this: doctor updates, review updates, video comments, discussion comments, etc.)
Ugh... I don't want all of that... I only want the review updates. I don't want to get an update when every other person also makes a comment :(

7 weeks post TT

I will be 7 weeks post TT on Monday, March 2nd & I'm basically back to my normal routine now. (Except for exercising) Of course since I'm not resting all day anymore I'm swelling a lot.

I've worn my binder religiously all day for 7 weeks now except when I shower. And the last 2 nights for some reason it has been very uncomfortable, so I take it off in bed. I bought a waist clincher (or whatever it's called) from Walmart, I'll post a pic. I only wear this when I leave the house because the wires that hold it straight (so it doesn't roll or curl) tend to dig into my ribs and under my boobs when I sit down. I like that it is very slim under my clothes so you'd never know I was wearing a "binder", but as soon as i get home I yank that sucker off! And put on my bulky Velcro one the Dr gave me.

Apparently my nerves are starting to reconnect on my right flank. It feels like someone has taken a metal clothes hanger and straightened it like you would to roast marshmallows, put it over a campfire and heated it up until it's red hot and then placed it under my skin. All I can do is start rubbing that area to ease the burning, which only seems to last about 5 seconds when it hits. However the pain, I am glad to finally have those nerves reconnecting. I sure wish my lymph node system would reconnect already because I feel like I stay swollen all day. It feels a little better after i wake up for a few hours but mostly is always swollen and tight. I feel like I'm 6 months pregnant with tight belly skin and then i look in the morrow and it's still completely flat with just the tiniest little belly bulge near my incision.

I haven't started walking or working out yet. I am standing straight but my tummy skin and muscles feel very very tight when I'm walking, that and we have had a nasty wet cold front this week... So hopefully in another week (as soon as it warms back up) I can get outside and walk some of this jiggle off... I'm not even going to lie. I've eaten so much junk lately... I made cookies for the kids, ate those. Made banana muffins since we had 5 really ripe bananas, ate 2 of those each day for the past 3 days. I hate when i do this because i start craving sugar and I have to detox myself to force stop the cravings... As soon as they are gone i don't crave them anymore. Ugh. I'm so bad about keeping up with eating healthy. I start and stop. And start again and stop again... If I actually sit down and take the time to prepare meal for easy grabbing when I'm hungry, I'll stick to it better. But then like this week, I'm so busy and hungry I just make a lunch meat sandwich with cheese and mayo and white bread... And then make like spaghetti for dinner... Anyway... On to a less depressing subject, lol...

I have my 7 week post of appt Tuesday and I'll take my after pics at the office. I'll also get the BioCorneum scar cream from my Dr then.

I've been messaging my scar twice a day with bio oil and it seems to be doing something because my incision is starting to itch sometimes and I'm not sure what's itching. Ingrown hairs? Stitches working themselves out? Skin/ tissue healing? Anyone know?

I'm not too happy with the new RS update. I'm sorry if I don't comment as much on your reviews. Hopefully they'll get things straightened out so we can get the updates we want to see. And not all the extra bundled stuff that comes with it.

Scar scream from Dr Gill

Just wanted to update with the scar cream I bought from Dr Gill today at my 7 week post op appointment. I asked about the bioCorneum but he said it's more for raised scars since it has silicone in it and my scar is not raised. So he recommended SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel with Centelline ($104) to lighten the color of my scar. They showed me how to message my scar an inch or two at a time by taking the first finger on each hand, placing them both on the scar line side by side and push in and rub down the scar line and inch or two. Your fingers start together then pull apart while both fingers stay on the scar line. I'm to do this several times and them move on to the next section of the scar. Basically blanching it as they called it. Pressing so that it turns white. Ill do this twice a day. I'll upload pictures of my scar now and then again in a couple months to see if it lightens the scar any. Also uploading a picture of the scar gel. It's very thick. And after I'm done messaging it the skin is a little tacky feeling, like glue is on it. I checked it about 10 minutes after and the sticky feeling is gone :)

I am able to start working out again and he said to just take it easy and listen to my body.

I can stop wearing the binder or any kind of CG unless I just want to wear it.

I told him about my constant swelling and he said it's ok. It will be this way for several months. And to just let it swell and it will go down. He showed me how to rub my belly down and towards the sides to get the fluid to redirect to my lymph nodes. He says they are a little confused now becasue the scar is blocking their normal path, so this will help.

Before/ After Pictures from Dr. Gill

Here are the before/ After Pictures from Dr. Gill's office. Crazy how fast you forget how your old tummy used to look. I love my new tummy!! of course I'm still swelling bad. I'll post pics of the swelling from this evening. I know it doesn't look horribly swollen but it feels so tight in the evenings :(

8 weeks post op

Here are some pics at 8 weeks post op. I took them a soon as I woke up so there's just a little swelling. I still swell everyday and it's tight by the evenings. I've missed one day of the SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel, but other than that I've put it on twice a day for the last 7 days.

9 weeks post op

Nothing different really going on as far as healing to update about. I'm still basically swollen all the time. These pics were taken around noon and although it doesn't look really big or swollen, its so tight that it feels VERY tight and swollen.

I notice in the pics it looks like I may have a chub spot or dog eat, but that's ny hip bones sticking out in each side. When I touch that area it's all bone and a layer of skin/ meat.
The color difference in the pic is that I was standing in front of a window to see the scar well and the others in standing under regular lighting in the bedroom.

Swelling, MR, scar tissue, spitting stitches, numbness,

My swelling is so bad right now, it's not even laughable...-__-
I had a margarita Friday evening with dinner and during the night I woke up from the tightness of the swelling because it was so bad... My stomach felt very tight to the touch and it was round like when your pregnant. Had to put my binder back on for the first time in weeks and that felt a lot better :( so I've had to add that to the long list of things I can't eat for a while. :(

I tried to do a few burpees (up downs) and ouch! I wasn't ready for the fast sharp pull of the muscle repair when you do the froggy jump thing with your feet going from a crouch into the push up part of the burpee. And the jumping with your arms up to the ceiling is not happening yet. (Maybe yoga will help?) I was able to do 5 maybe 6 of them slowly before my tummy was screaming at me to stop :( so disappointed in that as I'm really ready to start toning up before I turn into jello...

I was laying on my side last night and turned (twisting my waist) to grab something from the night stand and felt a weird sorta slightly painful pull from my ribs diagonally towards my incision on my side. I rubbed around with my fingers an it felt like a wire cord under my skin. The only thing I can think it would be is scar tissue from the lipo of my flanks. I don't think my drain tubes went that way, up my sides?? Maybe they did, I don't know, but man is there a strong wire-like pull! I put some bio oil on my side and massaged it in a circular motion hoping to loosen the tissue there. It's only on my left side. Anyone else feel something like this? Any suggestions ??

I've been rubbing my incision twice a day with the scar gel and it's been working tiny bits of stitches to the surface. They don't pimple up or anything. I just feel a slight bump and I rub that spot and then the next day i can feel the tiniest scratchy hair like thing and I gently scratch with my nail and it comes right out.

My tummy is still numb but my incision is not anymore. Wonder how long that will last? It's still odd when I bend over and see that something it pushing on my tummy but I can't feel it.

I sure can't wait until the constant raining stops (TX) so I can start walking again. I really need to start getting my endurance back and this nasty cold (February) & wet (March) weather is not cooperating with me... Lol, so arm weights and inside workouts will have to do for now :/

Hope everyone is doing good. I'm trying to keep up with you all an it's hard when I'm not getting updates. And when I do get one, I see that I missed the last 2 or 3 that person did... Very spotty update... :(

Sneezing still hurts

I forgot to mention that sneezing still hurts. I don't stop them anymore (by holding my nose) but I do have to beat forward and hug my tummy tight to prepare for the sneeze. The pain is gone just as fast as it came but it does still hurt at 9 weeks post TT

10 weeks post op

10 weeks post op
I'm finally starting to get back into a routine of walking. I also found this great video on YouTube for a 30 day yoga challenge and it was so nice to slowly ease into stretching. I made the mistake of trying to do burpees a couple days ago. I was just being impatient and ready to start burning some calories since we've been locked in this house for several days with this non stop rain... I think I did 6, 8? I don't remember, but wow that hurt and I as I walked around with a sore tummy the next day I remembered I need to slow down and listen to my body. I'm not in a marathon so why jump right back into what I used to do. And I think I'll need to do day one several times before I move onto the day 2 video because my abdominal muscles (& skin) are SO SO tight. Also, if you use essential oils, I used Serenity & Balance by DoTerra and it was such a nice relaxing experience. Anyway, here is the link if you wanna try it:
If the link doesn't work for whatever reason, the woman who does the video is called "Yoga With Adriene". And the video is called "Day 1 - Ease Into it - 30 days of yoga"

I haven't gained any weight since surgery so that's a plus. The only weight I lost is the 3 to 4 lbs he removed from me as I was at 134 the morning of surgery. I thought for sure since I wasn't standing straight for almost 6 weeks and not being able to do any cardio that I was going to gain weight and turn into jello lol, so I am happy about that. I'm staying at 130. And the number on the scale isn't very important to me as long as I feel healthy and toned, so I'm excited to start the yoga challenge to start strengthening and toning all these muscles that haven't really stretched or done much lately. :) speaking of yoga moves, I'm about to get into a little sex talk so if you don't want to know, just skip to the next paragraph, lol
So, I keep trying to get on top during sex and it hasn't been working out because I use too many abdominal muscles in this position, but I did notice the last time we had sex, as usual, I tried to get on top again and it was like 3 different stages where at first it was slightly painful to use my abdominal muscles, then it got better, and then finally it got sore again. I'll leave out the details... Anyway, my muscles were very tight and sore afterwards... So during the yoga while we were in a certain dog pose (name?) where you're on hands & knees and you arch your back then push it to the ground, (you'll see in the video) I made a point to pause the video and really stretch my abs and hopefully after a few days that will help. :)

I tried a new protein powder, it was highly rated on Amazon and everyone talked about how great the taste was. Gross. I probably should have known that it doesn't matter how high it's rated, or how much others love it, (I guess most like chocolate) if i didn't like the fake chocolate flavor of the last protein shake I tried, then this one is gonna be just as gross to me... I even added a banana, then some blueberries... Nothing helped. So I tried the vanilla protein powder I've had... Ugh... So gritty. So gross. Maybe I'm just not cut out to drink (powdered) protein shakes as a meal replacement?... Any suggestions?

I've been massaging my scars daily with bio oil, palmers stretch mark lotion, even jojoba oil. Just whatever is close to me at the time, lol. And I try to alternate because I'm not sure which one will help the most. I just wanna make sure I'm working all the scar tissue loose, especially in the lipo areas.
I'm still using the scar gel I bought from Dr Gill every morning and night.

The pics are from this morning before I start swelling too bad, but as you can see j wake up swollen :( I should probably post a pic of the evening swelling too...

There's really not much else to update about since I did an update in the middle of the week.

I hope everyone is healing well and enjoying their new tummy (and boobs- yes I'm jealous... No I don't wanna talk about it, lol, JK) as much as I am :)

No roll over my jeans :D

It's so nice to put on my jeans and not have a big jelly roll handing over :D

11 weeks post op

11 weeks post

I'm not sure if my incision scar is getting any lighter,but massaging it has helped in that it feels less hard. The sides of my scar are definitely flat, but in the middle I can still feel a bundle of scar tissue. I've been massaging my sides where I had lipo (with bio oil) and I can still feel the hard wire-like line that I think is scar tissue. :/ I can feel the one on my left. The right side feels more normal.

I've still been swelling all day every day... Not fun but I knew this was part of the package and I'm okay with it and will continue to be patient.

I'm still very numb 2 inches in diameter all the way around my belly button. Anyone know how long before I get the feeling back in that area?

I added a comparison pic so you can see the way I look completely relaxed and then how I look if I hold my tummy muscles tight (like I had to before my TT) I haven't had to hold them tight anymore, but I notice I look just a little better when doing so. But it's really not that noticeable from the front. :)

Still having to check RS daily to get my updates. So I hope all you ladies are doing well. I miss my old friend SurroMommy. She doesn't update very often as she's all healed and living life again :D so when you see this know I miss your updates :P same for my recovery buddies there are 3 of them who had their TT's same day/week as me :) miss you ladies too!

Well I need to finish painting the porch since we've had such beautiful weather in Texas lately. I have to take advantage of the month and a half of "spring" we get, to do outside work, because we have extra long (and super hot) summers here.

Happy healing everyone!

3 months post

I'm 3 months post op (yay!!) and I have no regrets. I hope by doing this review I have helped explain every aspect of the surgery for anyone trying to make their decision. If anyone has any questions please ask, I don't mind answering. :) make sure you research the Dr well. Look at scars and how the patient recovered. Now on to my review:

My scar has been itching in certain areas lately. When I itch it there doesn't seem to be any relief. He scar still feels thick and bumpy in the center when i massage it. And I think the itching may be from a stitch or maybe a hair trying to surface. I have a red bump and I also have a spot in my scar that's a little raised. It itches but it's not red (yet).

I just wanted to add that sex feels better after tummy tuck. Well, at least with the position of me being on top. My mons area got a lift so everything is pulled up and tight. (You can see by the pics what I mean) well, when you're on top of hubby, the legs are spread, therefore opening everything else up. Where as before there was a lot of looseness and sagging to that area. I think everyone can understand what I mean without going into too much detail. If you need more info I don't mind explaining, but I didn't want to go into detail if it's inappropriate for RS. But this is a positive effect from my tummy tuck :)

My swelling seems to be getting better lately. I still swell in the evenings but nothing like last month. I sure hope I'm on the home stretch and that is finally starting to go away.

I am very satisfied with my scars over all. I love how my belly button scar was light right after it healed. That happened without scar treatment. My incision is a little crooked but that's fine with me. The two spots that looked like they opened up earlier, then scabbed over are the two spots on the left side that are big and purpleish pink. They are now stretch marks. They feel thin when I rub lotion on them. The areas of the scar that run over my hip bones are still a little tender when I rub them. I have a pleated spot on my right side that I'm going to ask my PS about. I think I could leave it alone because my panties or swim suit cover it, but I've noticed lately that it itches in the heat. Like when I'm exercising or doing yard work. It creases a little more when I'm sitting so I think that needs to flatten or even out to stop the skin from folding then itching. I'm still using the scar cream but honestly I don't see much of a difference in the lightness yet.

My tummy is still very tight, more the muscles than the skin. It's still a little sore when I sit up from laying down, but sneezes and coughs don't hurt anymore :)

I made some homemade body lotion that is all natural & supposed to be good for the skin. All the ingredients can be found on Amazon or online. I bought the Shea butter from Amazon but found the other stuff in a health store for half the price, all organic and cold compressed. It's very rich and creamy. Follow the directions exactly and it will set quick during the wiping process. I actually didn't wanna deal with cleaning a mixer so I whipped it by hand with a spoon. This is the first time I ever made lotion and it was real easy.
8 ounces unrefined Shea butter
3 ounces jojoba oil or sweet almond oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
30 drops lemon grass essential oil (I used 15 drops)
30 drops lavender essential oil (I used 15 drops)
Slowly melt Shea butter. Put it in a glass measuring cup and put that in a pot of boiling water (double boiler)
Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Mix till blended.
Let it cool for 10 minutes on the counter then put it in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
Remove from fridge. Using an electric mixer (or a spoon) and whip it for 5 minutes. It will thicken up pretty quick at the last minutes. Pour it into a container with a lid, one you can get your hand in for easy use. (I used glass because of the essential oils)

I will start to update every month now instead of every week. Unless something interesting happens :D

before/after pictures for comparison

Here are a few before/after pictures for comparison.

4 months post op, Victoria doesn't keep my Secrets

Well I didn't really want to update since I've gained 5 lbs (135 lbs now) , but I guess that's part of life. So here's the pics from today (after dinner) I'll probably update pics when I drop the weight. It's so hard to have any motivation when we've been getting so much rain and nasty weather (Houston Texas in May = hot, rainy weather) and I do have a gym membership but I hate getting out in the rain... Full of excuses, I know :( I've been going through some blah moods lately, kinda like mild depression... I sure hope it goes away soon. I need energy and motivation. I've thought about doing a detox to get rid of all the crap in my body since I stopped eating right. Cereal, donuts and fajitas are no Bueno for my thighs... :P

I'm still numb around my belly button.

I went to Victoria's Secret and found 1, yes you read that right, ONE swim suit top style that fits my heavy boobs. 34DD so yay, my first bikini since 1998!! Lol... Except for the fact that Victoria doesn't really keep secrets. Look closely to the 3 straps on the swim suit bottoms in my picture. The orange color is my panties under the swim suit. These are the only swim suit bottoms they had to match the plum color of the bikini top :( and you can see my scar :/

I also bought a pair of skinny jeans :D (see picture)

I've been forgetting to use the scar gel so much lately. When I went for my check up my PS told me to continue using it and to really massage my scar, and when the nurse pressed on it I didn't like how hard she pushed and rubbed but they said I need to do that to thin out the scar in the middle section above my mons area. So I've been doing that everyday and it still kinda hurts when I press and stretch the scar but I'm getting used to it.

Nothing else to update on that I can think of. I hope all you ladies are healing well! :)

Belly button stages and roses from Dr Gill :D

I made a collage of the stages my belly button went through for anyone wondering when it will look normal. It changed from week to week and started to look normal at 8 weeks post.

I was so surprised yesterday when I got a delivery at my home. Roses from Dr. Gill and his staff. Thank you if you Dr Gill, they're beautiful (if you read my reviews) :)

Houston we have a problem.

So, I've been researching breast lifts on Realself. I was looking through "C. Bob Basu MD" reviews and I'm gonna go ahead and call Bull $H!T on a lot of the reviews. Is it just a coincident that half of his reviews are by people called "Houston8207, Houston8544, Spring5721, Waco9008...." Umm. I think not... Those are all city's around the Houston area. And none of them post more that the initial review. No pictures. No replies to comments... Never any updates. But all of them say how he's the best in Houston. How can I trust reviews when so many are clearly made up for ratings? Has anyone else ran across any other doctors pages where is blatantly obvious they aren't real reviews? So frustrating! I wish there was a way we could filter the reviews by "view only the reviews that have photos included" so I don't waste my time with these bogus reviews.

5 months post

Wow time has flown by. Things are starting to feel more normal again. My tummy still feels tight, I guess it'll just take time to get used to the tight abdominal muscles since they were stretched out for 15 years. I still haven't lost the pounds I gained last month, hopefully soon... My emotions seem to be a lot better. Last month I tired to do a chocolate protein meal replacement shake to shed the wight a little quicker. I didn't realize that seemed to be the culprit of the depression until day 3, when I stopped drinking them and by that evening I feel so much better and I haven't been that low (emotionally) since. Yikes... So I shoved that powder to the back of the pantry never to be seen again. I might try the PureTrin shakes if my budget can handle it. They seem pretty expensive. Here are a few pictures. I think the cause of the crinkled skin look near my incision is that my hip bones stick out and I don't seem to have meat on them. (I sure seem to have meat and fat everywhere else though). I'm not quite sure what to do with these gold things on my VS swim suit bottoms. I can never seem to get them straight and when j bend over they dig in.
Swelling is pretty much gone unless I eat out at a restaurant. (Apparently there's a lot of salt)
I've been trying to keep up with everyone's progress but I'm following so many it seems overwhelming when I get on here to check the updates on my cell phone. Maybe I should try my laptop.

5 months post op (accidentally hit the post button too soon)

5 months post op (accidentally hit the post button too soon)

A few pictures for my RS sister BellyTired.

Hey BellyTired, here are the pictures of the panties I wear that are so very comfortable. They are called vanishing edge panties (microfiber) and Soma sells them in all different cuts (and colors). I think I bought the hipster ones, but they have bikini and other cuts too. I like that the seem is on the side and it doesn't touch my scar. (I'm sure any underwear store sells their own see less undies like these) I bought the ones with the lace and they are super cute but after a few hours they seem to make my scar itch. I hope this goes away with time but until then I wear these panties. They aren't sexy or anything but they are very thin, comfortable and I never have panty lines. I also added a pic of the protein shake I talked about in month 4&5 review updates. I don't like the chocolate flavor at all. But more than that I felt horribly depressed like never before while I was drinking this. I'll try another brand later but I've been doing pretty good watching what I eat lately and I've been running 2 miles every other day so that has helped to drop 2 lbs so far. :D

6 months post 7 lbs up :(

Boy has the time went by so fast. I'm so glad I had this surgery. No regrets. I am having a hard time STAYING motivated to drop the weight. I'll do really good for a few days then not so good for a couple days so I'm not losing any weight... I almost waited to put off the update for a couple more weeks so I could drop a few lbs, which makes a difference when you're only 5'2" tall. 7 lbs is a lot on my small frame. But to be honest in my journey I must show the bad parts too. Which seems to be my weight gain. My tummy is still fkat but I notice a little more meat under my belly button. (I've added a compare picture so you can see what I mean) I knows it's not a huge difference but if I don't watch what I'm doing I could easily gain 7 more lbs and so on... I notice my creases in my incision are more noticeable with the weight gain. And my hips get this weird chuck in one spot :/ since I had lipo of the flanks there isn't much fat in that area. in the pictures you'll notice things aren't very smooth like the they were in month 2-3. Mainly around the hip/ incision area.

The only other thing to update about is the cramp/ sharp pain I get from time to time on my lower right side. It started when I would go from laying down to a sit up position and it's only on one side. It's kinda where my ovary would be. I had a hysterectomy 5 years ago and the dr left one ovary in for hormones but I don't remember which one so it could be that, it could be scar tissue, it could be just part of healing, and could be something that has nothing to do with my TT. It's not a horrible pain so I haven't spoke to any Dr about it yet.

The pictures were taking right after I ate lunch so you'll also see how my tummy bulges out a little more above my belly button. The scratch marks are from my itching my tummy before j took pictures and I'm too lazy to try to retake the pics later lol... So just ignore them scratch marks and the clothing lines.

My scars are slowly starting to fade. There are white spots in my scar and some areas are still dark. So I'm confident in time it will all be white scars. They do seem a little wider than I was hoping for but I think it's because he pulled me very tight. (As you will see in one of my earlier posts- I wanted my scar as low as possible, I wanted him to remove the BB piercing that was above my old BB. So to achieve that he had to remove a lot of skin. It was possible to have what I wanted but it had to be pretty tight to achieve this)

7 months post

I'll actually be 7 months post tomorrow, but a realself friend that's going to use Dr Gill asked me to add some pictures with clothes on so I threw on a couple different jeans and had my daughter take a few pics of me so you can see what my results look like when I'm covered with clothes. And as I dress up I'll have someone take some pics and I'll add them too later. I do have a pencil skirt I wear with a tight shirt and I've gotten SO MANY compliments when I wear that outfit so next time I wear it I'll add a pic :) I also took some pics of me laying down so you can see how my tummy looks at that angle. I'll admit that I actually feel sexy laying in bed now. Before I hated that when I laid on my side my belly skin drooped like a puddle on the bed... Now it's nice and tight :)

I haven't lost any weight yet... actually I lost a few lbs then gained it back the following week... So I'm still at 137 lbs (sigh) I'm hoping to start working out more when school starts back up and I get back to waking up early and being on a normal schedule.

I had my last follow up appointment with Dr. Gill today. He said everything looks great. My scar is fading nicely. He said my shape looks nice, even and smooth. I can use some silicone gel or strips on my belly button since my scar is a tad bumpy there. Not noticeable to others, but I can see it when I look close up. I told him I'm still having bumps pop up right under my incision (about 1 per month) and he said its normal & that they (stitches) will slowly work their way out. He said he wouldn't need to see me anymore unless I felt like there was an issue and of course call him and he'd see me ASAP. He said my swelling could last until 12 months post TT but I told him I'm not really having anymore swelling. I told him I gained 7 lbs around month 4-5 post TT and he said well you better lose that weight! Lol I know he worked hard to make my tummy beautiful and I won't ruin it by gaining anymore. :)

On a side note, how about this damn Texas heat! One hundred and eleven degrees today!

I hope you ladies are healing well. And if anyone is on the fence about whether to have a TT or not, I say go for it! I love that when I get dressed I don't have to worry about tight shirts showing my jelly roll anymore. Or my jeans rolling over from my chubby belly. The first month felt like it dragged on in S-L-O-W motion, but it is so worth it! And I think after month 5 (no more swelling issues) time just started flying by! And I wasn't thinking about by new belly every second of the day. Today my hubby asked when my TT would be paid off and I said at 12 months post (January) and he said well if you're still wanting your breast lift We can afford it once that's paid off. :D I think for now I'll put it off, because we have a new house to build in the near future, and I really need to wait till the oil field picks back up, but that is for sure in my future.

8 months post TT

Wow, I honestly can't believe how fast time flies when you're over the swelling and just totally happy with your new flat tummy. It's so nice to just throw on any outfit now and not have to worry if the shirt is too snug and shows my jelly roll, or if the pants are too low and my roll hangs over. I'm 100% glad I spent the money and went through with this surgery.

My scar is slowly fading to a white scar. I went to see Dr Gill for my last appointment and he took pictures. I have noticed my scar on my belly button is a tad more raised & noticeable than it was so Dr Gill told me to start using silicone tape on my belly button scar to flatten it. The incision scar is totally flat.

It took me gaining even more weight before I finally had enough and started eating healthy. I weighed myself at 140 (I'm only 5'2") 3 weeks ago and I said enough is enough.!! I had gained 10 pounds since surgery and I wasn't eating right, I was feeling the effects of depression and fatigue. I read a lot of articles online and did a lot of research and knew that sugar causes inflammation in the brain (and joints) and scientist have connected that inflammation in the brain to depression. So I did another sugar detox (3 day) which wasn't hard at all. It consisted of a plant based protein smoothie (from Walmart) for breakfast and only clean meats and veggies for lunch and dinner. Then from there I just tried to eat healthy everyday, it really helped that my husband wanted to lose a few lbs too and was doing it all with me. I've dropped 6 pounds and I'm back down to 134. I was lazy a few days ago and ate a sandwich with white bread for lunch instead of my usual salad, then we made homemade funnel cakes for dessert that night and I enjoyed one. But the next day I felt sluggish again and it's crazy how much I can feel the sugar and bread. Like brain fog and fatigue. So I've spent the last couple days eating healthy again and I feel so much better. I hope to stick with this this time as I'm always on and off of the eating right thing... It's a constant struggle of wanting the junk and then feeling guilty after I eat it and wishing I hadn't... Hopefully it'll get better and I won't want the junk anymore.

The only time I ever swell now is when I go out to eat at my favorite Mexican food restaurant (sigh...) and I eat the beef fajitas. So I've stopped going often and I only eat there once or twice a month. No other restaurant seems to do this to me. I almost took pics the day before I ate to post them here so I wouldn't be swollen at all in the pics but I just never had time. So the pics above I'm still a tad swollen. I'll try to wait a few days and then take another pic so you all can see what I look like not swollen at 8 months post. It's not too much of a difference, I think I can feel it more than others can see it. It just feels tight.

I hope everyone is having an easy recovery and loving their results! And if anyone is considering having a TT, I just wanna say make sure you do ALOT of research and find a PS you trust 100% even if their price is not the cheapest. I'm so glad I chose to go with Dr Gill :)

Lipo of my flanks comparison photos

Here are the before/after pictures so you can see the difference. (For my RS friend who sent me the PM) Dr Gill does lipo of the flanks with all his tummy tucks. There is no extra charge for the lipo. While he was marking me right before surgery, he actually said he would lipo my upper abdomen once he pulled my skin down and if here was extra fat there, he'd lipo it for free so the results would look better, and be flat. When I woke from surgery he said once he did the Muscle repair and pulled my skin down tight, he saw then that I wouldn't need any lipo to my upper abdomen. He does the lipo to the flanks to make your waist smooth and there is no "dog ears" the lipo is actually on the side/back also know as your love handle. You can see the difference from the front. I also added a couple pictures from right after surgery so you can see the bruising where he lipo'd.

Bruising from lipo of the flanks at 1 week post and mysterious pictures appear with iOS9 updatest

Here is a really good pic of the bruising from lipo of the flanks at 1 week post for my RS friend who wanted to see where the lipo of he flanks are. I updated my iPhone to ios9 last night and several "selfie" facing pictures that I'd taken a while back just magically appeared and this is one of them. I even remember bending over to take a "before" picture and the picture just disappeared out of my photos. It freaked me out for a little while that I was taking naked pic of myself and Apple was just taking them from my phone without warning.... Well that picture is back too. With the iOS9 update there is a new picture folder called "selfies"... weird.... But all the pictures that I remember taking and then I'd go to my albums to see if the picture looked ok would magically not be there, and now they are. (Insert freaked out, wide eyed emoticon here)

9 months post op

Damn you Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream! Well I'm back up to 137 again after doing so well and dropping the few pounds that I'd gained. I'm only 5'2" so it doesn't take much weight for me to look chubby. So I'll just keep working at getting back down to 130 again -__- I have the tiniest little pudge of belly fat above my scar, but it goes away with the weight loss and I'm ok with it. I love my new tummy and i never have to think about if it's gonna roll over my jeans anymore :)
My scar is fading white finally. Yay!
Nothing else has changed.
Enjoy this beautiful fall weather friends :D

10 months post

Hey ladies :D

I'm 10 months post now. Love my tummy. The only thing I'm waiting on is to have feeling back. I am still numb around my belly button and incision. It's so weird. I take my finger or a pencil and gently rub it from my side of my waist and I can feel exactly where it stops having sensation. I'm gonna use a pen and put dots at every spot and then connect the dots & draw a line around my belly button so you can see where I still have no feelings or sensations. I do get weird tingly sensations below my scar when I rub the sides of this line. Yes, when I rub my sides of my belly it tingles at the top of my thighs... Lol, I sure hope I get full feelings back after a year. I've read it could take a year or more and some people don't get their feelings back at all. It's still worth it though. The only thing I worry about is summer time; grilling food with a bikini is gonna be a big NoNo! Lol, because if I lean over I won't feel it if the hot grill touches my tummy :P
Anywho- that's about it for now.
Happy healing friends :)

11 months post

Nothing really to update about. I'm still up in my weight. I just can't find motivation to work out everyday. (been emotionally fighting some hormonal, anxiety, fatigue stuff the last 6 months- I know I should go to the Dr, probably have my blood checked, but after watching my mom go through medication change after change, year after depressing year, no- like literally, I've watched her deal with this fight for the last 28 years, so I'm trying everything I can to stay away from prescription pills for the anciety/ depression and been using homeopathic / apothecary things to receive the symptoms) I eat well sometimes then I make muffins or a cake or something for the family and that doesn't help with weight loss... I even made healthy banana muffins with whole wheat flour, wheat germ and local honey, but it doesn't help when you eat 6 in one day and then are too "meh" to go running, lol... Whatever, I'll keep trying lol... I'm still at 137; 7 pounds up. I took some pics this morning and compared them to before pics so I'll post those here. Sorry about the color differences , when I stand in front of the window the pics come out whiter, then I use my flash so y'all can see the scar better and the color goes all pinkish.
I had another birthday in November so now I'm 36. I guess I'll just leave the title to my review the same, although it should read: "36 year old, 137 lbs, 11 months post tummy tuck" :) I haven't seen many updates from my old RS friends from when I first joined Reaslself. Sure miss you guys updates and hope you're all doing great.
I can't believe it's been almost a year since my surgery. I'm so glad to be back to normal and not "recovering" but for anyone reading this going through your recovery now, please know it's all going to be worth it soon. :) the aches and pains are only temporary :)
Happy healing :D

(Side note: the black and white pics uploaded very fast and the colored pics load very slow. I may just start using only black and white pics in the future. )

These pictures show where the stretching of the incision line first started.

I just wanted to show a few more comparison pictures; a close up of my scar on the left side. Please have real expectations and know that while you'll be so happy to trade tour jelly roll in for a flat tummy, somethings won't turn out perfect. I honestly don't care that my scar is a little slanted or that it made a few new stretch marks. :) I'd just like to point out that the one picture is on day 27 and you can see the tiny scabs starting to form in my incision. This is the day after I tried to make myself stand up straighter, because I hated that it was taking so long for me to stand straight (5 weeks) and I regret forcing it, so please be patient if you have been pulled super tight and you can't stand completely straight at 4, 5 or 6 weeks post TT. Because if you force it the scar will stretch as its not done healing yet. The other picture is now, at 11 months post. And while the scar has faded to a white line, it is a little wider on the left side and there are a couple wide stretch marks now.

Security breach.

Is this ligit? Did anyone else get this email asking you to reset your password because RealSelf was hacked? Dear God, I'm glad I never posted my face here since my vagina is posted here....

1 year post TT

Well here we are, exactly 1 year post. I took some pics with and without the flash, in front of a window where the daylight was bright, in the regular house light, etc... to show the scars. They are fading nicely.

I'm still numb around my belly button and incision. I'm still getting some itchy spots right under my scar and when I scratch over them an ingrown hair with what looks like a black head? Comes out, sorry if that's gross, but it happens and I just want everyone to know that this is something that we *might* always have to deal with after a TT. I never had ingrown hairs in rhat area before my surgery. And it's only right at the center where you can see my old stretch mark runs through my pubic hair, it's there and about an inch or so on each side. I actually plucked out the hairs right under my scar right before I took a few of the close up pics (hence the red spots) so hopefully this will stop the problem? I don't know, we'll see...

When I reach my arms as high as I can above my head (yoga) the skin around my lower abs, and especially over hip bones (which stick out) feels very tight still. I think I may have (unintentionally) stretched it enough to create a new stretch mark, if you look at the close up of my scar pic, it's a small light brown line (scab?) on my incision scar.

I'm still up in my weight (140 lbs now, I'm 5'2", 36 years old)
I'm working on losing the weight (story of my life, lol) I made a big pot of cabbage/ veggie soup yesterday and have only been eating eggs & coffee for breakfast, then the soup for lunch and dinner and I'm walking a few miles every other day so hopefully I can drop a few pounds soon. You can't tell the weight gain very much from my tummy pics, it's more in my thighs and boobs :( I do like that I'm not gaining any fat in the flank areas Dr Gill lipo'ed (yay for lipo, lol) if I had the extra money and felt like dealing with the lipo recovery pain again (nope) I'd totally have my thighs and legs lipo'ed.

I'd just like everyone doing research and trying to decide if plastic surgery is right for you, make sure you have realistic expectations. You may go through some serious emotional ups and downs. Don't think this is gonna fix all your problems and you'll never gain weight again. You may end up with a not so perfect scar. Your tummy may not be completely flat, you may still have this slightly rounded look (unless you have very little body fat).

I have no regrets. Haha, as I'm writing this it made me think about the guy in that movie 'We're the Millers' and he has the chest tattoo that says "No Ragrets" and the dad's like, "not even a single letter?" Lol... Anyway, back to my review: I think the trade off is worth it. I love that the skin on my tummy is tight again like before pregnancy. I'd love to get my boobs lifted so they are perky again, but that's in the future still as I'm not ready to go through recovery again yet. And I haven't found *the perfect* breast lift Dr yet. (I want upper pole firmness without an implant)
Well I think that's about it, if I think of anything else I'll definitely update and let you all know :)

I hope you are all doing well.

RS app, website suggestions. And I finally lost a few pounds

**The new RS app and some suggestions for the website. ** RS APP: This new RealSelf App pop up (see pictures) is irritating the living hell out of me! I downloaded it hoping it would stop popping up at the top of my browser on my cell phone, but NO.... It now pops up asking if I'd like to OPEN the app and use it instead of using the browser. No. I don't want to use the app. If I wanted to use the app, I would have clicked the app (that I was obnoxiously harassed to download) instead of clicking my browser... Thank you, but no... On a positive note: I do like that with the new RS app, it allows you to set certain surgery topics to be shown in your newsfeed. I'm looking into breast lifts and reductions without implants, so any and all of those reviews pop up in my newsfeed (while using the new RS app) and then if I like the results I can easily click on the persons doctor and see the rest of the doctors work through other RS reviews. :) SUGGESTIONS FOR RS WEBSITE: One thing I wish RS would update the website with, is being able to do detailed searches for a certain procedure. Like I'm looking for "breast lift WITHOUT implants. Yet, if I click "breast lift" in rhe RS search bar, then I have to click on each and every review to see the pictures (if they even uploaded pictures) then I notice that 75% of the reviews had an implant with their lift, and they don't even mention that in the title of their review, so it's not relevant for what I'm searching for in before / after pictures. This can easily be solved by having check boxes (like the app has) to click on when you first start your review. So for my TT review I would click and check the boxes beside the following options: Abdominoplasty, Tummy tuck, lipo of flanks, (a height, weight and age range option) 5'2", 135 lbs 35 years old, Houston, Texas, etc.... That way if someone is searching for results of people who have the same body frame it narrows down the extremely long list of tummy tuck reviews. With me searching for a breast lift, I would click only the following options: breast lift, breast reduction, DD cup, 34DD, 5'2" 135lbs, NO IMPLANTS!, Houston, Texas, Pictures in review only, etc... You see where I'm going with this. AND we need an options to ONLY show reviews with PICTURES. Speaking of before & after pictures, Can we update the RS website to have a spot to check where it ONLY shows reviews that have uploaded pictures?! I'm mean for real, don't waste my time searching through thousands of reviews and when I click on the Doctor I'm looking into, then I scroll down & click, let's say the 15th or 20th review and it DOESN'T have before & after PICTURES, so in my opinion 'an irrelevant review' then I have to hit the back arrow on my browser and the webpage reloads and I have to start all over again from the top of the page, scrolling down through all the reviews I've already looked at, clicking "continue" and then scrolling even more.... So Irritating! Especially when you are seriously trying to make a decision on finding *the perfect* doctor for the procedure you're researching. I can't even imagine how many hours I've wasted scrolling and clicking the back arrow after I notice the reviews chose NOT to upload pictures or even bother to ever update their review or make a single comment to any of the RS friends who tried to encourage them. I'd just like to bypass these reviews. Please and thank you..... And that's fine, if they chose not to upload pictures, I'd just like to remove those reviews from my search list since they aren't actually helpful to people like me who want to see the doctors work from the patients point of view and not the perfect outcomes the doctors post on their website. Ok, I'm sorry y'all had to read through all that. Rant over. WEIGHT LOSS: I've been eating healthy for the last 3 weeks and I've dropped a few pounds (I'm 5'2" 135 lbs). No refined sugar, milk, coffee, and I'm limiting my carbs to 1 cup per day. So mainly healthy fats, protein, veggies and fresh fruit. I haven't started working out yet, but I plan on starting soon. Nothing crazy, just to tone up for summer. I feel so much better. Less groggy and tired. Way more energy, and clear minded. I've even noticed my anxiety has gotten a lot better. I cheated one meal a week, usually for dinner on Friday nights. And I noticed after eating cookies or sweet butter on my rolls from Texas Roadhouse (so delicious), I felt like crap again the next day. So that helps stifle the cravings knowing it's not worth feeling like crap afterwards. Lol, I hope you are all doing well. I sure miss all my old RS friends. It's been a year now since our surgeries, so I understand not needing this website anymore. But I do miss your updates and pics. :(

1 year 3 months post

Well I followed my doctors orders and waited a full year for my scars to heal before allowing them to see the sunlight!

I laid out in my bikini and have been slowly tanning my super pale tummy for 20 minutes a day. FYI the kids trampoline is the perfect spot to get away from the dogs :) I threw a flat sheet on there and even had a pillow and a fruit smoothie and had me some quiet mommy/ vitamin D time with the sun. :D it was nice.

I'm uploading a few comparison picks. The swim suit bottoms are the same brand but different colors. I think I was a few pounds lighter in the before pics even though my belly was bigger; my legs were thinner.

I'm adding a pic of me laying down while tanning. As you can tell if you've followed my review I have a large butt... And it's not super firm, so it squishes when I lay on it. So you can see in the pic when my but/ hips squish it creases because that skin is soft back there and the skin in front is pulled tight. This only happens when I jay on my back, it doesn't crease at all when I jay on my stomach. I'm only showing this so that anyone with the same body type as me knows this could happen and to have realistic expectations. I think if I were to lose some weight and tone up, it would not do this, but who am I kidding... Lol I'm not that disinclined and I'll probably always have some spare fat on me lol :P

Still numb around my belly button.

I hope you are all doing well.

belly button scar

Snapped a pic while tanning and a close up of my belly button scar.

1 year 5 months

I'm almost a year and a half post surgery.
My scars have finally faded to a solid white color. I've noticed that my belly button scars seem to be a little more puffy lately, wider maybe? so now a little more noticeable. Well, to me anyway... I've started using my silicone tape again to see if I can flatten those little raised stitching scars. It may be cause I've gained a little weight? Or because I've been laying out tanning? I don't know... Either way, it's not bad enough that I think anyone would see from a distance, but I do feel like I need to fess up when I take my shirt off and lay down to get my underarms waxed since she's so close... :/ I'll see if the silicone helps any and update later.

I'm still very numb in the area between my belly button and my incision, and about 2 inches above and to the sides of my belly button. At this point I'm pretty sure it's safe to say it's staying that way. As long as I don't cook bacon in my bra, I think all will be fine, haha :D

I can't think of anything else left to update about, basically just showing my scars for anyone considering a tummy tuck.

Happy healing everyone :D

Update for hotmommy78

This update is for hotmommy78. Here's how to update your account from 'not sure' to 'worth it'.
See pictures:

1 year 7 months post

I'm finally down a few pounds and have been staying steady at 133 lbs. When you're short, those 7 pounds make a difference. I feel much better in my clothes.

I'm still numb around my incision and belly button, but I noticed the other day after I ate some salty popcorn at the movies, I felt some tingling in my belly for the first time. Like it was sorta swelling from the salt? It was like those needle pricks you get after your leg falls asleep and then rhe blood starts flowing through it again, and just before it gets to the unbearable, "if-anyone-in-this-house-touches-my-leg-you're-dead" feeling, haha. I just rubbed my belly and hoped that maybe that was a good sign that I'd be slowly getting some sensations back. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Here's a couple pictures. One showing my scars, the other just because I love how my jeans fit after my tummy tuck :D
No more chub hanging over, yay!

I also noticed I saw my first emoji in another RS Doctor review, it was a red heart, so if you can see my emojis after this sentence, let me know. ??????????????????????????
Houston Plastic Surgeon

I scheduled a free consultation with Dr. Gill (and another Dr in the area) Dr. Gill made me feel very comfortable. He explained everything well and answered all my questions. I went with Dr. Gill because i love the upside down "U" (flap) technique he uses for the belly button. it has a very natural look compared to the "0" belly button scar others seem to do. He also lifts the pubic area so it isn't pudgy looking compared to your nice new flat tummy. His scars are very low and clean looking in the before & after photos I've seen. UPDATE: I'm 11 days post my tummy tuck and I am 100% happy with everything. My scars, my incision, my belly button... Dr. Gill makes me feel so at ease and comfortable. He is very comforting, kind and gentle, always informative before he does anything. I highly recommend Dr. Gill :)

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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