I will be having a neck lift, tummy tuck, and...
I will be having a neck lift, tummy tuck, and breast lift without implants by dr carmina cardenas in Mexico. I was referred to her by a friend on bariatric pal and by real self.
So far she and her staff have been wonderful and very responsive and I am looking forward to meeting them very much! I am both excited and nervous about my surgery.
Excited and nervous for surgery
I'm am very excited about my surgery. I have researched dr cardenas extensively and all I can say is she seems like the nicest, most educated, talented and compassionate surgeon. I learned a bit ago that she also underwent plastic surgery and had weight loss of her own- that really makes me feel awesome because I know she will relate to my journey. I feel she is extremely talented at waists and can't wait to see how I will look. I'm quite thin now after my 120lb weight loss and all that remains is to remove my tummy area. I've never liked my stomach or breasts. My neck has loose skin from weight loss that I feel ages me. I feel after this I will be exactly how I want to be! Even if there are significant scars, I'm okay with that. My only real worry if recovering in time to return to work. I've added some various pictures of me so you can see my before photos.
Here are some of my wish pictures. I hope I can achieve this aesthetic with the small high breasts and very small waist.
What to bring to wear?
What do people usually wear after a tummy tuck?
Getting so close
It's just a few more days now and yes I'm nervous. My biggest concern is that Dr Cardenas won't be able to complete all three of my desired surgeries and I'll have to return for one. She told me she could but that if I had any safety issues during surgery she would have to stop... scary. The neck lift is a pretty minor procedure. The two I want the most are my tummy and neck, but I really do want my breasts as well. And I doubt i could get up the nerve to do this a second time. I was at first considering a bbl but I'm really glad I decided against that. I've been putting a lot of time in at the gym working on my butt shape and it's improving with exercise. One of my other thoughts is how much weight this will take off me. I have a very significant fat roll on my belly, a lot of fat there. I know I can't get liposuction at the same time as a TT and I'm a little worried I'll still have too much fat there for my belly to be flat. I just have to trust that dr cardenas knows her stuff!! Today I am going to hobby some comfy pjs and stuff to wear back onto the plane... get my house in order and try not to fret about anything!!
A bit about me
I lost 120 lbs through having bariatric surgery. It was a rough rough road and I definitely had a hard time but it was worth it!! I got all the way down to 115lbs at 5'6 but then gained back up to 130. I'm holding steady there. I hope to lose five pounds through surgery any be at 125... I'm happy anywhere between 120-130. At 115 pounds I looked to thin I think. Here are some photos of my journey.
Dress for after surgery
I bought a dress today I am so excited to wear after surgery. Finally I'll be able to wear tight dressed and backless styles!!
Hate my neck so much
No one agrees with me I need my neck done. Seriously I can't stand the way it looks. So notice me and ruins every photo of me. I'm so happy with my face but my neck just ruins it.
After surgery clothes goals
So yeah. I'm obsessed with fashion, especially the 1970s era styles. One of the most awful parts of being overweight for me was not being able to shop in boutiques or find stylish clothes in my size. It may have been the absolute worst part, to be honest. Clothes are an actual hobby for me. Since I lost weight I have been able to wear most anything, except really tight dresses and high waisted jeans. In fact I always feel I need to cover my lower belly in jeans so I always wear a long top, I never wear short tops. I also love chokers and plunging necklines and because of my neck and saggy breasts I can't wear these. It's going to be awesome to be able to wear these styles now which I so love!! I've gathered some photos of the clothing I am so excited to wear soon!! I've definitely got some shopping planned!! Goodbye granny panties and hello thongs!!!
So I was a little nervous about making my deposit to a bank as a walk in... but today the doctors team confirmed they received it and I feel relieved. I'm such a worrier. But I didn't want to carry so much cash with me either.. so I opted to do the deposit. Anyway it's all done and they confirmed. I love that I can call them and they answer the phone and are there to answer my questions! They have been so professional.
Trying to relax
I've been so stressed during this whole process. From getting the money together to finding my doctor to finding time to do it, getting the testing done and deciding which procedures... man. What a ride. I can't believe I am about 4 days away now. I'll be so happy to be on the other side of this!! I decided to take the next couple days of work and just focus on getting my house in order to be resting for a month and to take some me time. I want to hit the gym and maybe get a hair cut. I'm going to do some grocery shopping and make sure I'm stocked up with food so I won't have to worry about anything. It's going to be nice to take a month for me.
Wow who would have thought taking a month of work and leaving home for ten days would be so much preparation! Today I am cleaning my house, doing laundry, packing, and shopping for my convalescence. I'm very excited but also stressed and nervous. I've been having trouble sleeping and just thinking way too much about everything. My greatest fear is that dr cardenas won't be able to complete all three of my surgeries at one time and I will have to wait to do one of them. I'm hoping and praying this won't be the case. I want to have this done and behind me. Of course not at the cost of my safety though... but I just hope my body cooperates with me. I know dr cardenas play it safe and that is a good thing and I trust her but I also believe she has the skill to do all at one time. All I can do is try and relax. So that's what I'm doing!! I bought slippers, rove, pjs, eye mask and ear plugs, flip flops, heating pad, books to read, and a few other things. Almost packed.
Let's get this show on the road already!!
I'm so excited. I went through a slight freak out when I read this crazy review about my doctor on here. I read the whole thing and the patient sounded like a complete nutjob. Anyway it still scared me! After all I am trust dr cardenas with my looks and my life. But then I went on to read SO many wonderful reviews and now I feel much much better. It's clear she does amazing surgery and is also a very caring and invested doctor. So. Now I'm just so exited and getting the rest of what I need to get done finished so I can take a month off of work!!! I cannot wait to say goodbye to my belly apron. Ugh. Just that work APRON makes me shudder!!!!! What a horrible way to describe it. Can't wait for it to be GONE FOREVER!!
Wow cannot really be so soon
I'm so excited. I'm dreading the time healing though. I hope it goes quickly and I don't have to keep my drains in very long!! Yuck! I took some last before pictures today so I will have those for my memories of how far I have come!! Also I want to say now I don't expect perfection out of this. I will be very happy to have my belly roll gone, my breasts higher and my neck tighter. If I have a few scars or lumps... so be it!!! I've come so far and I am just grateful to have this done.
As if this morning my weight was 130.1 and my height is 5'6. I wear a size small top, 34b bra, size 2-4 pants, size 2-4 dress.
Well I'm on the final leg of this. I'm all packed and ready to go. I have to work today until late and then I am driving to my moms house and won't get there until midnight. Then up early tomorrow to board the plane to Mexico. I'm very excited and yes, also nervous. It's been a difficult week for sure with the stress of waiting for this to happen. I'm so glad it's almost time now. I'm starting to have a bit more concern about pain management but at the same time, I know the pain will be worth it.
Time is flying by
Boarding a plane tomorrow morning for dan
Waiting for my plane
Well, here I am at the airport waiting for my plane. This came fast!! Oh the amount of stress I have been through to make this happen! But that's past now and I am on my way. I'm super tired from my work yesterday and late drive to get here. I tried to eat breakfast but I can never really manage to eat this early. I'm trying to rehydrate myself since I probably got dehydrated at work yesterday. I'm a little worried that after surgery I will put on weight having to be so inactive for three weeks. I hate being sedentary and it's not going to be easy but of course I can always lose the weight right as soon as I get back on my feet. But I'm going to stay positive and just eat nutritious food and hope I don't gain anything. Anyway. I'm a little nervous about getting picked up at the airport by a stranger and taken into Tijuana. Going over the border is never fun. I just need to relax. Soon I'll be there!!
Almost everyone I tell I'm doing a neck lift to days I don't need it. I don't understand how they can say that. It's so obvious to me I need it and it screams I LOST WEIGHT. It bothers me so much and it's all I see when I see myself. Can't wait to have it fixed.
At the recovery house
I have arrived here at the recovery house in Tijuana. I was picked up the moment my feet touched the ground at the airport by Ronnie, who runs the recovery house and is Dr Cardenas very sweet husband. We had a nice talk going over the border which took about 40 minutes. I was relaxed and felt safe and welcome.
The recovery house is in a quiet residential neighborhood with a secure gated entrance and the door stays locked. All the staff and other patients have been very welcoming. It's nice to hear the other patients tell me their great experiences. Everyone is very happy with their results. One of my roommates is on her second round and she showed me her healed incision - it is practically invisible. I've never seen such a light scar. They are all so friendly and accommodating. The house is comfortable and cozy and seems like a great place to recover. They brought me yummy food to eat and everything is provided. They have wifi access, tv, the rooms are climate controlled and I feel very comfortable!
Dr Cardenas came by a little while ago. She is a beautiful, I just wanted to give her a hug! I am so glad she is my surgeon and I feel completely comfortable that I am in excellent hands with a surgeon i can trust.
I'm so excited about my surgery I can hardly sit still!!! This is so awesome I am just over the
Moon about this. One more night. Almost there!!
Today is the day
27 Mar 2017
Day of treatment
Wow this came up fast. I spent the night at the recovery house with my adorable roommates who were so sweet and helped keep my mind off things!! I slept a little poorly just being in a new place and I woke up with a headache :(. I'm about to get in the shower and prep myself for this. I'm very excited and I'm ready to be on the other side of this with my tummy skin and neck skin gone forever. It's going to be so amazing to see my results and I've made peace with any scarring that I have. I took a lot of before photos to remember exactly why I have those scars. I feel 100 percent confident in my doctor and the team here to take care of me and i am ready to get this show on the road!!!
Night after my surgery
27 Mar 2017
Day of treatment
My surgery today was amazing. I was picked up at the recovery house right in time. I took a long shower and shaved etc. I was taken to the beautiful hospital CER which is a hospital that specializes in plastic surgery and bariatric surgery. It is 100 times nicer than any hospital I've been inside of in the states. My surgery was painless and I was asleep the whole time. I was monitored most carefully though to who day and I will be checked on all through the night. Again, as of right now I'm not in any pain. I have a private room here and am very safe and comfortable. Beautiful Cardenas was able to complete all three of my desired surgeries. Again I want to reiterate that this is a REAL review from a real person. I am 36, have two amazing kids, I'm s single mom, I love by the ocean in California is a little beach bungalow. I've been single 3 years and I hope this changes that!! I love my life and I love myself and this is a gift to me. I also really like cats and tacos.
Middle of the night Day 1
I'm here in the beautiful modern hospital. I can here the nurses chatting outside my room. They have been very sweet. I'm starting to experience a bit more pain in my face. It's interesting because I wasn't expecting a lot of pain there. But it is where my pain is most obvious. Anyway it's about. 4 out of ten. Manageable for sure. I can't sleep in spite of the sleeping pill that gave me. I'm just not used to the surroundings and I feel like I need to get up and go pee but I know i have a catheter. It's mentally weird. Lol. I can't stress enough how wonderful my experience has been here. It has also brought up some emotions I didn't expect... I gained all of my weight because I've had an eating disorder since very young, going between anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and around again. In the end that behavior caused me to gain 100 lbs over my normal weight. It came on very fast during pregnancy when I wasn't allowed to diet or to engage in any purging behaviors for the sake of my baby. After I had my son, his father abused me over my weight. That was 8 years of my life being abused for my weight. It was a time full of despair. When I decided to have bypass surgery that was me taking my life back. But it did trigger me to become anorexic again. I've worked very hard in therapy to overcome those urges and to regain my health and ability to eat correctly. I don't diet anymore and I try not to fixate on a number. It is hard because I am used to it! But I don't really want to look anorexic. I feel now I am at the perfect weight and perfect way of eating to do this and have so much joy out of it. I also feel it will raise my self esteem so much that if I do gain weight in the future it will be something I can embrace. I know I've made the right decision for my life.
Beautiful and fun times!!
Pictures and comments to help you see what a great place this is!!
Day 1 of my healing journey
Dr Cardenas is a true artist. She gave me the Tiny tiny waist I have always wanted. I have pictures to share if her amazing work!! I'm so happy. So so happy.
Back at the recovery house
I'm back at the recovery house. My stay at the hospital was good but the nurses and environment here are even better. The nurses are always here to help me if I need something. They are so cute and friendly, always smiling. My pain is pretty under control. It's definitely manageable. I am so thrilled to begin this healing journey and hopping my surgery wounds heal very well. I am going to be very very careful and I don't want any would opening!!!
It's the second day after surgery. I managed to get some sleep tonight and feel more energized. However the pain is pretty bad. It's tolerable but it is still there and it's hard to get in a comfortable position. The binding around my stomach is very tight. They were really good about staying on top of my pain all night. The nurses are so sweet and take great care of me. I like having the roommates because I feel less lonely and they give me good advice about their own experiences. I feel very at home here. Dr Cardenas comes by every day and checks on us. She is so beautiful and kind. I adore her. I haven't had one single second of regret for choosing to come here. If I had done this in the us it would have cost 10000 dollars more and I would have been sent home the day of surgery with no aftercare. After care is extremely important when doing something like this. Here I have everything I need. In fact I wish I was staying for 7 days!! In the USA I was quoted 13,000 for a neck lift is mastoplexy being extra. Here dr carmina did my neck lift and muscle tightening and muscle banding removal for much less. She didn't charge me extra for those things, which are essential for a neck lift to last. The same goes for tummy tuck. She does the muscle tightening which in the USA is always an additional charge. I would never go to the USA for plastic surgery.
I love my results so far. I pray for easy healing without any complications. The recovery house is amazing and I cannot imagine doing this without them. Today my roommate is leaving and I am sad. I'll be alone!! Oh well. New roommate tomorrow. Dr cardenas comes by every day. I adore her. Here are some more pictures.
Healing away in swell hell
I managed to get a good nights sleep last night. I had them remove my pain pump yesterday because it was bothering me a lot. So now I'm getting Tylenol and tramadol for pain. I'm certainly in pain but every day a little less. My neck is very swollen. I'll show pictures. Dr cardenas says day 10 is when it will begin to decrease. My tummy tuck feels very much like csection pain. It's not terrible. I get to shower today and put on my faja garmet which I hope will help. The recovery house is amazing. Thank goodness I am here and not on my own in the USA. I would do this again and again, 100% right decision. If you see bad reviews on here it is because those people had too many expectations and wanted a body out of their reach, or they are just nuts.
Today my pain is much less. I had them take out my pain pump as it was bugging me and I'm doing fine on the oral pain meds. Today a beautiful lady came by and gave me a wonderful lymphatic massage which really felt wonderful. I have two more to use while I am here as part of my deluxe package. Getting in to my faja today was tight!!! Wow it's tight. But it's worth it. I feel amazing. Slept most of the day. Dr cardenas came and checked on me and says everything looks great. It's up to me now to be careful and rest and not to over do anything so that my body will heal perfectly. I am just really happy and enjoying my time to rest! I feel by Sunday I should be ready to go home. :) I have one drain still in.
This last night was a little rough. When they say your Faja garmet will be tight.... what they should really say is imagine you are a cucumber and your about to be fitted into a spaghetti noodle. It's so tight I'm pretty sure my kidneys are hanging out around the bottom of my ears. Back in the day women had three inch waists. Now I know why. And eating in this thing? Forget it. Why did I even bother having bypass when all I really needed was a faja Columbiana to make sure I could never eat more then two bites ever again. When we open the thing up I swear steam and fart noises explode out of it as my body decompresses like sponge. They got me an extra small. I'm 5'6 and about 128 pounds. I would think that an extra small should be reserved for you know... tiny people. I'm not tiny. I am now though. I'm like one of those extra absorbent towels on tv called squishes or something that they wring out super tight...I can't imagine wearing this thing for two months. Tomorrow I'm going to beg them "Por favor para TW amor for dios compar me una mass grande!!" That means please for the love of god by me a bigger suit of the devil... ahhh. I have no idea how much weight I must be losing here but it can't be good. Anyway I love these ladies but it's hard to get my point across. Yesterday I did a fleet enema cause I was again I hadn't pooped in four days. Nothing really came out and I'm assuming sits because I haven't been able to put anything in. I'm totally going to bride one of the nurses to get me a chocolate bar. I mean dude, I'm skinny as hell... for the love of god, bring me chocolate!! There is one patch on my hip that really likes to flare up in pain. It reminds me a lot of my c-section healing. Other than being compressed into a medieval torture device, everything else is going really well. I'm not ready to go home yet but I imagine in a couple more days I will be. I'm going to board the plane in San Diego with this crazy contraption on my head and maybe a scarf and some dark sunglasses. Hopefully no on will think I'm dangerous secret agent or Audrey hepburn. I'll just keep a low profile and refuse to speak. Who ever sits next to me will be afraid, very afraid. I'll probably talk to myself in gibberish and drool just to give them a real kick out of it. I'm sadistic like that lol.
Hard day today
Today has just been a bit more challenging. I didn't sleep well and my faja was way too tight. They gave me an extra small and yes I am small but damn I am not that small! My kidneys were in my ears! I could barely sleep with it in and woke up in a lot more pain. So today we have just been focusing on getting my pain under control. I am definitely in swell hell around my jaw and just exhausted all around. Doing these three surgeries at once is no walk in the park. Thank goodness I have the support of my doctor and the wonderful ladies here to help me through this. I got another lymphatic massage today and that was very nice and relaxing, I highly recommend it. The pain control methods in Mexico are quite different from the USA. The don't use narcotics and I am relieved by that and feel it will help me to heal faster. I took a few photos today after my show. Basically my swelling and bruising had really increased and I'm pretty worthless today just trying to stay resting and not do much of anything, letting time go by. Also about what to bring: so far I have been half to have some of my own Tylenol, Benadryl to help me sleep, body lotion for shaving my legs, hair ties, my phone of course, a couple of comfy robes, and a pair of pjs. I haven't really needed anything else. I brought my own zofran for nausea. I also wish I had brought Metamucil and prune juice as I am constipated. Laxatives are a good idea too. I also wish I had packed more candy and some chocolate because the food here is very healthy and I can barely eat and need high calorie foods.
Feeling better and better
Last night I slept but it was pretty rough only being able to sleep upright due to my neck lift. I slept enough though. My stomach is upset and I haven't gone poop is five days... of course I have been eating very little but I still feel like I need to go soon here. I did a fleet enema but it didn't do much for me unfortunately. Life at the recovery house is quite and relaxed and my sweet nurses do everything for me. They are always cleaning everything so the house stays spotless. I love the way my results are looking. My biggest fear is wound opening when I get home so I am going to be sure and continue to take it easy and wear my garmet all the time. I can't take any chances!!! My favorite result so far is my neck even though it is very swollen. It has taken years off my appearance. Dr Cardenas is the only plastic surgeon I would ever use. She is magic. On a side note I am having her do juvaderm on my lips today. Just for fun!!
Almost ready to go home.
A few things happened today. First off, I finally pooped. Thank you lawd above. I wasn't eating much but yeah, it's hard to poo after tummy tuck cause those muscles don't work and I was really nervous I was going to poo on my Faja!! Also, I had to get a larger faja. The extra small was killing me. I mean seriously. I know dr cardenas did not remove my ribs so there was no way it would fit. The small size feels 100x better. I had to advocate for myself and insist on the smaller size and I'm glad I did!! Then, in better news, Marcos took me to see dr cardenas at her AMAZING palace of an office and I got lip fillers!!!!! Ohhhhhhh. I love it so much!!!! I feel so pretty. It's something I can enjoy right away and I'm totally jazzed I did it. Everything continues to heal fine and I feel quite well, with minimal pain. Dr cardenas wants me to come back in three weeks to remove my stitches but that's a long trip for me,,, I may just find someone who can do it for me at home. It can't be too hard. I don't think I feel like taking another long trip in three weeks. :) although I would love to see dr cardenas again! Here are some photos of my continued progress and my sexy lips for your viewing pleasure.
Going home today
Can not believe I'm going home already. This has gone by super fast. I am eager to go home but a little sad to leave the recovery house. I know my biggest challenge to recovery is now in front of me. I am going to take it very easy at home and pray for no complications. My biggest fear is wound separation. Please don't let that happen to me!!! I'm also worried I won't be able to stay still. But I am going to try. I hope I can find things to entertain myself with. It's going to be hard to wear the Faja and head wrap for so many more days. But I will do it!! I am looking at this as a fresh start. It's going to be tough waiting to enjoy the full results of my survey but I know time will fly. I was so worried before surgery I wouldn't get to have what I wanted done. Now I've done it and I could not be more relieved. I won't be doing any more surgeries and I can move forward in my life at last.
What a day!!!
Leaving today. First off- I missed my flight home. :( Marcos and I left the recovery house at 1pm with my flight leaving at 7 pm. I'm thinking plenty of time and I'll be waiting at the airport. We got stuck at the border for 5 hours!!!! Missed my flight. So I'm at the Sheraton and have a flight out tomorrow. Shit happens. It wasn't anyone's fault. Just crazy crap happening at the border I guess. Marcos said he had never had it take longer than 2 hours. Anyway Ronnie called me and made my arrangements here at the hotel and was super sweet about it. Like I said, shit happens. I do wish I was home though and I wish I had brought some extra dressings. Changing myself tonight here was tough and I'm more tired and weak still than I realized. Tonight having to care for myself, I am again blown away by the idea of American surgeons not giving aftercare. That is insane to me. 6 days out and I could barely manage. Anyway I have a wheelchair assist the whole way tomorrow at the airport. Soon I'll be home.
It was sad leaving the recovery house because everyone there was so sweet but I am ready to go home. I'm frustrated at not being able to use my new body yet. I have to walk hunched over and I'm still very sore!! I can't wait to heal further and enjoy all this change. I can't really see how it's going to look. Everything it soooooo swollen and puffy and bruised. I look crazy right now.
I have nothing but good things to say about dr cardenas, ronnie, Marcos, the recovery house, and my fellow patients. I met wonderful people and dr cardenas gave me a priceless gift of being comfortable in my body. Assuming everything heals well, this is one of the best investments I ever made.
I still have a lot of swelling to get past and healing. Of course I will update as I move farther along in that process to show you the results.
Going to Tijuana was a little nerve wracking but also fun. The ladies in the recovery house don't really speak much English- a couple of them do. But things get across despite the laugnuage barrier. Tijuana is a much nicer city than I realized. I had only ever been to the tourists parts. The inner part of the city is much like any other. It doesn't feel dangerous or intimidating, at least not to me. I felt safe the whole time. Except the border. It's chaos lol. But you can get fresh churros... and your windows washed so there's that.
Dr cardenases office will blow your mind. I've never seen such a beautiful doctors office. Also hospital CER. it is gorgeous. Clean. Professional. Safe. 100%. Have no doubts.
If you read a review that says otherwise I suspect this is a shady competitor of dr cardenas trying to hurt her business. She is super popular and busy for VERY good reason. This woman is the real deal. She is better than anything I found in the states by a long shot.
Let's talk about money. In the USA I was quoted 13,000 for a neck/lower face lift. 8000 for a breast lift. 7000-10000 for a tummy tuck and more with muscle repair and extended. This was with 0 after care. I would have had to do these procedures separately as well. I could not find a plastic surgeon willing to do them together for me as I suspect t that is their way to make more money out of people.
In Mexico I paid 12,750 for my surgeries and 6 days of care, including my medications and garments, iron infusions, a massage, all my food. I paid an additional $400 for lip injections which are around $800 in the USA. I bought my plane ticket for $200 and got my passport for $150.
So let's compare.
In the use I would have paid 28-30,000 dollars without aftercare or lip fillers or garments or medications.
In Mexico I paid about $13,500 total. For everything I did. And care. And food. And garmets. And Mexican yogurt. And many hugs.
Dr cardenas is safe and highly skilled and kind. Why on earth would you not go to her? I am so glad I did. So so glad. So glad.
Also. In the USA I was told I would have to pay $100 for consults, and wait a month before even a consult, and then wait months for a surgery date.
With dr cardenas I was ready to have surgery. I emailed her my photos and she responded (for free) within a couple days. I said I wanted to do surgery in 6 weeks and I was on the schedule. Boom. I could have done it sooner had I wished. They were able to get me scheduled when it worked for me.
I don't know what else I can say to convince someone who is considering using her. Just do it. You will be so happy you did.
I will post more photos as I heal. :) adios!
Still on my way home!!
I had to stay another night in San Diego and am flying home tonight. It's been fine. My hotel was really nice. I'm exhausted when I try and do things though. Doing anything by myself is really hard. My pain only gets bad when I try and do things and then I have to rest. It's being managed with Tylenol. For instance, it took me two hours to shower and get dressed for my flight. Yeah. My drain in my tummy is barely making anything now. I'm hoping I'll be cleared to remove it tomorrow because it caused me some discomfort. And it's gross!! I'm so paranoid about my incisions opening. I need to relax. It is hard not to worry. Today dr cardenas support team was in touch with me to send pictures and answer some other questions I had. Doc said my healing all looks on track. I can't drive for 2 more weeks and I live alone. That's gonna be interesting. Guess I'll have to uber. Anyway. Here's photos to see the progression. Be prepared. These are pretty intense.
Waiting for my plane
Okay guys. I'm just going to give you some very good advice here. Make sure you call your airline ahead and arrange for a wheelchair assist. Have them park your wheelchair near the bathroom. Pack baggy clothes or a loose moo moo or dress so your drain wont show. There are a lot of people in the airport and they all stare. You won't be able to go through the scanner so you'll have to be pay down at the airport by a woman officer. Make sure you give yourself PLENTY of time to cross the border. It's better to wait at the airport than to risk missing your flight. It took me 6 hours to get from the recovery house to the airport and I missed my flight. The border SUCKS. MAKE SURE you pack your Tylenol in your purse for the way home. And they aren't going to give you anything but Tylenol so a stronger painkiller, if you can get it, may be something you want to bring from the states for the trip home. I'm glad dr cardenas doesn't use narcotics but in this one instance I could really use a Vicodin. My butt hurts so bad from sitting it is rubbed raw like a bed sore after a week in bed and the airport seats are not comfy. Being a purse that is light and easy to carry. Bring some snacks cause you won't be able to stand up and walk over and buy them easily. This is of course if you had a tummy tuck.... breasts or just neck or face.. probably not so bad. I can walk about the length of one small room before having to sit and being out of breath. And I was very fit thin and in shape prior to surgery running daily and weightlifting. Anyway. It's just part of doing this in Mexico. Worth saving 10,000+ dollars and having an amazing surgeon? Yes. Definitely.
Finally going home
I made it to my mothers house yesterday. The airport was really tough. Took me to my limits for sure. I wish I had been driven to San Diego and been picked up again. I overdid it yesterday and had a lot of pain last night. It was the first time I've really experienced pain in this experience. It was not fun. I feel better today. Driving to where I live now. I've been in contact with dr cardenas and her team every day. I got to remove my last drain today. YES!!! oh so happy to have that got. Dr cardenas has me sending her pictures and says I'm healing beautifully. I am being very very careful with my incisions. I can't take any chances. I'm still very swollen and wish for that to go down. Here are pictures.
Turning the corner, slowly
Yesterday was horrible. I started setting the time on my phone to remind me to take my 2 tylenols every six hours. That has helped tremendously. After a fairly tough night I woke up feeling much much better. I managed to shower, I can almost stand upright. I drove myself into town and am having lunch and going to a doctors apt. It's really hard to stand/walk for any real length of time but it's not impossible. My neck is really swollen. Today dr cardenas told me to take arnica tea or tabs. I guess I should have been doing that all along? Why didn't I know that. I think dr cardenas could try to give a little bit more through post op instructions in English to us out of town patients because a lot is lost in translation. So anyway I'm going to go get arnica tabs today. The pressure and swelling in my neck is hard to take. I also was told that maybe I can take ibuprofen? I'm waiting to hear back. That would be amazing. But I don't want to risk any bleeding etc. so we shall see. I just couldn't stay at home any more. I was going nuts. I hate tv and I was so bored. So I'm out. Also I look like I've lost at least ten pounds. I've barely eaten through this. I need to put that weight back on because I look scary skinny right now. Here are my photos from today. Again. Dr cardinas is an artist. She is a true pro. Can't believe how good it looks 9 days out.
Feeling the blues a bit
I don't know why I'm feeling down but I kinda am. Just want this to e over and healed already. Everything is healing fast. I am impatient.
I just want to be better already. And my garmet is so tight and uncomfortable. It's insane how tight it is. I can't eat in it at all. It hurts. I am terrified of my wounds opening though so I don't take it off. My neck is still really swollen. I just want to be well now!!! I'm so impatient. I over did it yesterday and was in serious pain last night. Darn me.
My external incisions seem to be healing incredibly fast. Every day they get smaller and lighter. But I still have a lot of pain on the inside of my body. I can almost stand up now but not quite. My chin continues to swell. So ready to be 100% back to myself. Dr cardenas has been great at getting back to me over my healing and any concerns I may have. I've lost 10lbs since surgery. Be careful you get the right size garmet. An xs was horrible for me. Even at 122lbs and 5'6 I needed a small
I'm tired of dealing with the healing of the tummy tuck and neck swelling. I just feel exhausted and I want to do stuff and I just can't. My compression garmet was hurting me so badly I had to take it off for the day. I ordered a couple new ones and hope they work out better. I think my neck is looking a little less swollen.
The garmet I was given is torture. Okay well the x small is torture. No way. The small was okay but then I cut the legs off and it slides up and is killing my vagina. I cut the legs cause all I wear are dresses and you could see them underneath. It tried to murder my vag. Anyway. I ordered two new ones from the maderma website. Hopefully they get here soon!!
Hell YES Dr Cardinas I LOVE YOU
Oh im so happy. Everything is starting to heal so nicely. And my neck swelling is going down. My neck looks amazing from almost any angle. Dr Cardenas I put my faith in you and you sure delivered. LOVE THAT WOMAN!!!!! Worth every penny.
Compression, chins, and cheesecake
Well. I am bored as all hell. I don't like watching tv. I really should have had a better action plan for self entertainment. I'm stuck trying to have meaningful conversations with my cat and eating cheesecake. And I can't exercise so god knows where that's gonna stick. I ate so bad today. Taco Bell and cheesecake. Do better tomorrow. Seriously. I got my two new fajas (aka Colombian torture devices aka corsets of death) in the mail yesterday. They are actually wearable but yeah. Let's talk about vagina pubic hair regrowth for a minute. Think a tummy tuck hurts? No. Pubes hurt. They HURT. When your vag is being squeezed and every time you move your faja rips out a pube but you can't shave cause your incision line is low.... that's suffering for beauty ladies. That's dedication. On the up side, I got carded yesterday. So there is that. Anyhow. Fajas are sorted out for now and I'm really trying to work up the bravery to shave everything off as close to my incision as possible. Will update on that later. Finally, my chin and neck and ear situation continue to be annoying. Poor dr cardenas and Eli have had to call me daily just to make me relax about the swelling and wether it will effect my results. I'm still feeling a lot of swelling, some pain, stiffness, etc. lots of swelling below my chin that gets hard then soft then hard again. I'm wearing compression but to no avail. Please. Let me chin no longer swell and let my skin be tight!!! I'm so over this waiting.
Feeling more tired than ever
Why am I getting more tired not less? Man. What a brutal and long process. Just want to be better already. Barely have the energy for anything.
Well yesterday was a bit of a mess. I went o have my bb stitches taken out by my nurse practitioner (the same one who made a mess of my ears taking out those stitches) and she said I have an infection in my ears and a slight fever. Well of course that for me worried because I've also been feeling like shit. So she gave me an antibiotic. I also asked her for a sleeping pill so I can stop living on Benadryl to sleep as it's so hard sleeping siting up. She also gave me tramadol as I was maxing out on Tylenol and boy is it helping a lot!!! My liver was taking a beating. Anyway I emailed dr cardenas after the appointment and dr cardenas is clearly annoyed at me for taking medical advice from a nurse. She told me YOU EARS ARE NOT INFECTED THEY ARE FINE ANS HEALING and told me to stop worrying and keep sending her pictures. Well, I'm taking the antibiotic anyway cause why not but I have total faith is dr cardenas. I'm sad she is so far away and couldnt take my stitches out!! I would probably have avoided this. Anyway today my ears feel better and yes they do look like they are healing. I am always worried about my long term neck results. It's so swollen there. My nightmare is that my swelling will go down and my saggy neck will be there. Please god I hope not. I love my neck tight and no waddle!!!
Recovery and another I love Dr Cardenas Novel
Fist of all- the tummy tuck recovery and face recovery is proving harder than I thought. I'm almost three weeks out and still very much sore and in pain weak and unable to do much at all. When I do my pain gets much worse and I swell. So yeah. I know it's different for everyone but considering I was in excellent health and physical fitness before surgery- expect it to take some time. Okay now for Dr Cardenas. I have had some time to reflect on her surgical choices, namely where she elects to put her incisions. Dr Cardenas, when compared with MOST other surgeons I've seen, puts her incisions in the absolute best places. Seriously. I am so FUCKING HAPPY. She placed my tummy incision super low thank god. I would be so sad to have had one higher. She also made a beautiful and straight line and a curve that follows my bodies shape. She had an eye for beauty. Also the breasts. OMG I am so happy with my breasts now. I'm obsessed with them. She did not do the keyhole incision but instead used a J shape that follows the natural curve under my breast. I have realized now that if she had done the keyhole shape the scar may have shown in low cut tops and dresses which I want badly to wear. Instead my cleavage area is incision free. I have seen other surgeons do the J shape and not place the incision low enough under the breast. Dr Cardenas did mine perfect. My breasts are so beautiful I can't even stand it. She is a true talent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pictures 3 weeks.
Also I'm about 10lbs lower than I was pre-surgery. I didn't really need to lose weight at all but even with all the swelling I've lost a lot. Hard to eat with the binder and soreness etc.
Bought a Bikini
Last summer my mom told me I shouldn't wear a bikini because I was too old and my stomach wasn't nice. After being obese I thought I looked okay in one.. anyway she can chew her words now. What do you think? Can I pull it off? Besides that my pain is down but I'm still tired and sore and hobbling around. I have to work on sat so yeah, I'm getting nervous. My behind the ear incisions and neck lift swelling are the most bothersome at this point. All the scans have pretty much come off my other incisions. I'm swollen as heck. Sigh. Waiting!!
Not feeling myself yet
I'm still in swell hell. The swelling on my chin and belly only seems to get worse. I'm so impatient to feel normal. I feel it is taking forever. I can't wear my clothes and I just feel HUGE. I've also been overeating so to plain boredom and frustration. I'm going to end up gaining weight if I can get back to normal activities soon. It's almost been four weeks and I'm forgetting what NORMAL feels like. Having three surgeries at once is rough my friends. Today is my first day back at work also. I'll be on my feet for 8 hours and yeah. I'm so afraid. ???? my chin swelling makes me the saddest of all.
One month out
Everything is healing perfect. I'm starting to feel more normal but now my incisions are "waking up" a bit and I had some pretty bad pain last night when I slept without my compression corset because they were both super dirty. I'm standing straight and walking normal. I'm still pretty tired. Almost all my scabs have fallen off. The only ongoing concern is my neck swelling. I have a lot still and it seems to be taken forever to get better. Dr Cardenas recommended ultrasound and massage. I want to go back to normal, go to the gym etc but I'm afraid it will make me swell more. In all honesty I do need another week of rest at least.
It's a long process
So this past week I made a little improvement but I don't feel like much. I was more tired than ever. I tried to go back to work but I ended up only lasting a day and am going to take another full week off. My incisions are healed on my body but my insides are still extremely sore and painful if I over do it. The swelling on my belly looks okay in the morning but by the end of the day it can be a lot worse. My chin and neck continue to be the most bothersome part of this for me. It's taking my behind the ear incisions ages to close and heal as I had some wound separation. One is okay but the other is still pretty bad. My neck, especially below my chin, is very swollen, bumpy, and weird looking. I am praying it does not stay like this. I thought my neck would heal so fast turns out it will be weeks still, maybe months. Very difficult to accept. I just want a normal nice jawline! I wanted a very tight jawline. I'm starting to wonder if I will get that. I've been trying to rest more and also over eating out of boredom. I hate being inactive like this. I really hope I feel well enough soon to get more physical activity and get out of the house more.
Dr Cardenas Love
Here we go again. I love my surgeon. She is the best ever period the end. Yesterday out of the blue she called me to talk about everything and it was so nice of her to check in- everything has been going really good but the process of waiting for everything to heal has certainly been taxing emotionally and it's just so nice to have her support. I'm very excited because I also got a chance to talk with her about fat grafting to my cheeks which I want to do a few months down the line with a little filler as well and she explained that this is an easy procedure for her to do for me, so we will be doing that in about four months. Yay! Everything external has now healed except a little patch behind my ear from the neck lift. Internally, I still have a lot of soreness and swelling. I'm starting to feel like my old self again, not 100% but it's moving in that direction. My stomach is very swollen and I'm feeling quite fat because of that and the amount of eating I've been doing and how sedentary I've been. Dr cardenas gave me clearance to run but I think I will wait another week before I do that. I want to run and work out so badly!! Internally I am very sore but it's not something I need painkillers for at this point. My worst point of swelling continues to be my neck. From the side it looks like I have a double chin. It's not noticeable to others that I had surgery. I'm feeling better and better about how my chin is healing and the direction it is heading but it is a very slow process. Dr cardenas has me doing massage on the area and now I'm just waiting the swelling out. The tummy tuck and breast incisions are so tiny they are perfect. I love everything she did!
Before and after photos
It's pretty incredible how far I've come.
I'm feeling very good six weeks after. Everything is pretty much healed and I am out of my compression garmet. I'm still quite swollen and have some pain internally and soreness but I've been active too. I'm almost back to normal and loving my results!! Dr cardenas is the best
Fun pictures today
Had some fun shopping today. I can wear anything now!
15 May 2017
2 months post
Things are still going well. From day to day I have more soreness and some days less. I've been pretty active now and it comes at a cost. I went running once and it was good but I'm still sore two days later. I'm feeling sluggish with the inactivity and a lot of eating, mostly out of boredom. My neck is still swollen underneath which is hard but I'm trying to be patient. My body looks good but swells also. My ears have healed and yet my neck is still very very sore especially in the morning. I'm definitely not 100% yet but I'm back to work etc. here are the photos.
Still dealing with swelling
22 May 2017
2 months post
I am still having a lot of swelling and tightness in my stomach when I am more active. At this point I'm done resting so there isn't much I can do about. Behind my ears are almost healed. I have lumps and bumps under my neck and swelling and what I hope is not loose skin. Just trying to be patient with my neck but it's hard.