38 y/o, No Kids, 4 Years Post-RNY

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I have a Lower Body Lift scheduled for December 6,...

I have a Lower Body Lift scheduled for December 6, 2016 and I am mostly excited about it. I went to two consults with PSes and chose to go with the first doctor after weighing my options and doing some research here. After the LBL, I'll go back for a brachioplasty and breast augmentation. My husband is very understanding and supportive while my parents are more concerned than anything else. I've been talking about doing this for years so perhaps it is the sting of reality that "some day" is now well defined and coming up in about 10 weeks.

I had bariatric surgery (RNY) 4 years ago and from my highest weight, have lost 180 lbs. I look forward to having the skin removed so that I can bend more easily, get a bigger lap area, and dress more easily without camouflaging my very pear bottom half.

The procedure is scheduled to last 5.5 hours which scares me a bit. The pain, discomfort and recuperation period also has me concerned but the surgeon will be using Exparel to help with post-op pain. I am also in good health and am fairly active so I think, all in all, I should have a positive outcome if I am a good patient.

I am thinking about renting a lift-chair for home for a month. I have the most beautiful recliner but it is contemporary and lower to the ground. From what I've read, the "lower to the ground" part might suck for a while given the discomfort of the 360 degree incision ad muscle tightening.

The dreaded photos!

I know that in viewing other people's reviews that photos really help me out so I wanted to post mine too. I haven't taken all of them yet but this is what I've got so far.

You know what the hardest thing of taking these pictures was? Not sucking in!!! I have sucked in my entire life, mostly to bring my panni up a little higher. I will be happy to see that gone! In any case, enjoy!

Different Shapes After LBL

This may sound dumb but I met with someone who had an LBL recently and her pre-op shape was kind of strange and so was her post-op shape. I'm not picking on anyone but it's worth mentioning that I think she was rather barrel chested with wide shoulders and then little hips, etc. She was kind of like an extreme apple shape or upside pear. I asked her if she lost any of her shape when she did the LBL and she said that no, everything just got better for her.

So my question is, should I expect to have a slimmer/trimmer figure with about the same proportions? I see some women never get the flat stomach appearance and always appear a little rounded. I guess I'm trying to imagine what I might look like.

Yes, I'll be posing this to my surgeon when I see him in 2 weeks. Until then, I just wonder. If you asked your doc this, I'd love to hear what they said.

Bad Dreams & Recurring Fears

I had a terrible dream last night that I arrived at the hospital the day of surgery, freaked out because I couldn't get a moment to myself pre-op and walked out due to fear, anxiety, lack of control, etc. The last few weeks I've felt more calm about deciding to go for it and now, 3 weeks out and with that terrible dream in mind, am starting back down the anxious road.

I have logically resigned myself to the fact that the first week is going to be tough and there will be discomfort, pain, dependence on others, etc. I am scared that the scars and drains will make me sick to look at and that I'll vomit or pass out. I am scared at being in pain for days on end with no relief. I am scared that I will be helpless to comfort my husband who no doubt will be suffering in his own way since I believe seeing those you love in pain can be quite painful itself. I will be a bump on a log, unable to help make things better (my default setting), and it will be awful.

Couple this with 1) father put in hospital Sunday with a brain bleed and is 6 hours away, 2) looking at new cars last night and haggling (thought it'd be fun but no), 3) thinking if I don't get a new car, some money needs to be spent on current car to make it like new (ok, whatever), 4) thinking about a big home improvement project, and 4) knowing this surgery shit is expensive, I feel like it's all adding a lot of extra stress and anxiety to the mix that is making my mind whirl when I wish I could just get it to a zen-like place.

In other news, pre-admission testing is on Friday. Final meeting with doc is on Monday where I will sign my life away and pay the man. I am someone who always wants a way out of every scenario and being locked into this surgery scares me. Everyone says "don't be scared" but that doesn't allay my fears. Just makes me not want to share my feelings.

In other news, my stress eating and drinking is at an all time high which makes me feel terrible about myself, my body and everything else. Ugh.

**** In re-reading this before I hit submit, I'm going to nix all of the things I can control like buying a car (now is not the right time) and even entertaining a home expansion/remodel (stressful in many ways) and instead focus on the mandatory items only as well as myself. Cars and homes and everything else can be dealt with later. For now, I have got to get my mind right.

Made it!

I had my LBL with TT, MR and lipo yesterday. The surgery took about 4.5 hours and the worst part was waiting since it was delayed by 2 hours. Me just sitting in pre-op and having more time to think at one point got to me but with my husband's listening and patient reassurances, I did it. I came into pre-op accepting and zen like only to be scared and anxious towards the end of the waiting.

Pain is well controlled on a pain pump but my abs are still very sore. I have a small cough so it's an interesting situation. The doc used long-lasting Exparel on the MR so i can only imagine how I'd feel without.

Sleep has been crappy. I'm in my own room Bit can only sleep for an hour at a time. I am sleeping upright which probably does help but it's the most comfortable position I've found.

My Velcro binder covers a mostly numb torso so it's like a strange turtle shell.

Attached are some photos taken last night in some jeans I like and then more revealing pics taken by hubby the day of surgery.

Took a shower today!

I took a shower today and had my husband snap a couple "after" photos. Can't stand up all the way but doing well. Pain is not an issue unless I'm trying to get out of a chair or bed and even then it's not too bad (sore abs and tightness). Am taking my pain meds on schedule and am finding them very effective, thank goodness!!

6 days post op

I'm 6 days post op and feeling great. Last night, I removed some pillows from my bed so I'm less upright and nearly flat. I even slept on my side (mostly comfortably) for a small stretch which was heaven. I'm still numb from my upper most thighs to just above my belly button. I have looked at everything and I'm looking good healing-wise. It took me days to sneak a peek at my belly button but it's there and I didn't pass out --- phew!

My drains are not causing me any troubles and are comfortable the way I have them draped. I am still draining like crazy so I hope for continued comfort as these suckers will be with me for at least a few more days.

Pain is good. Abs are sore but super, super manageable. I am seriously considering going back to work after two weeks instead of three but I'm not going to make that decision until I see my doc again later on this week. I also need to practice sitting upright like I would at work. Returning part-time for that week might be my best bet now that I think of it.

Right before surgery I purchased my first pair of bikini underwear. I spent a whopping $3 on them since I really had no idea if they'd fit, etc. On day 2 po, I put them on and they fit and weren't falling down which made me happy. Jury is out if that's a style that'll work for me but it sure was a good feeling. I then took them off since my drains weren't having it. Womp womp.

My paparazzo is at work so no pics today.

Two Weeks Post-op

Today marks two weeks and I'm so happy that the surgery went well and that I haven't had any complications thus far. I was very excited to have my drains removed yesterday but they postponed it since my output it still too much. I am now scheduled for tomorrow afternoon but I don't see it happening just yet which really bums me out. I have been doing zilch in an effort to minimize output and I'm starting to get a bit bummed. I am good to drive and walk but it seems that when I do, my levels go up and I have a drain output set back, even if I'm not in any pain.

I have a two hour orthodontist appt on Thursday followed by a Christmas luncheon and I would really like to go to both but am wondering where that will leave me. The thought of not being able to attend frustrates the hell out of me. I will mention this to my surgeon's office this morning when they call for my numbers.

In other news, my dermabond is starting to come loose and, last night, I saw a big piece of it hanging off my hip so I trimmed it and took a look at what was underneath. Wellllll, I was quite delighted to see a beautiful, fine line underneath which helped combat my house-bound/bed-bound feelings and woes.

So, wrap up is thus: 1) Drains are not hurting but I want them out so I can get out and about (and wear something cute and get a facial and maybe go to a store to buy a damn gift!!!) without worrying about extra output, and 2) my incision is healing well which is very exciting and all I could honestly ask for --- healthy and non-infected.

Attached is a pic of what I saw last night (the "scabs" are just glued down tape grossness) which made me so happy and sleep a breeze knowing that my body is working so well to heal.

I am going back to meditating on my healing in the hope that it will have a continuing, positive effect.

17 DPO and Doing Swell

I got my drains out on Wednesday and was so elated to be free and unencumbered. I have maxi pads covering my drain sites but so far, no real output.

I am very swollen as can be seen in the front picture posted. Right after surgery, my incision line was straight and now it's bulging out quite a bit. My mons is very swollen as is one side of my torso where you can see one side is very curvy and the other less so. I'm in my binder 24/7 and go back for a checkup on Wednesday where he'll drain fluid if needed.

Doc is very pleased with my progress and said I can help the tape come off when it's ready. It's mostly gone though so I don't have much to do there. My belly button hasn't shed yet but it looks great to me.

I was remarking to my husband last night how terrified I was of this surgery and I still am. If someone asked me if they should do it, i would encourage them to wait until they are really sold on it and not wavering at all. I still cannot believe I did it. It still scares me to think about what I put my body through and how I took a giant leap of faith in a stranger. However, I am beyond happy and thankful for a good outcome. Sheesh.... talk about mixed feelings and emotions still. I'm sure I'll keep coming around to it.
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