Day 1

Well, today is day 1 of my last skin removal surgery recovery. I’m sore & swollen and kind of glad there’s no full length mirror here! 

My back is starting to bother me because of how I’ve been positioning myself. Since the incisions extend around my butt crease, I’ve been basically sitting &/or lying almost as curled up as I was with my tummy tuck. Not using the recliner for this one, because it doesn’t keep my legs elevated enough. So here I sit with my legs on a bolster, willing the stupid swelling to go down! 

I think that’s about all for now. 

Post op thighs

Surgery went well. It only took 4 hours instead of the 5 he originally expected. He removed 2.6lbs of skin this time. He also decided to do some lipo (surprise!) & removed ~1600 ml of fat that way. Since he put the compression garment on while I was still in the OR, I have no idea what I look like, but I’ll get my first peek on Friday when I shower. Not sure why, but I don’t have any drains this time, WOO HOO! Hopefully we don’t end up regretting that decision. 

I came home & immediately took a nap and slept through when I was supposed to take my pain meds. Needless to say, I woke up in pain! Thankfully I was able to get it back under control within an hour, and now I’ve set alarms, so that won’t happen again. 

Ok, still kind of loopy, so that’s it for now. 

Thighs

Less than 48 hours to go before my last skin removal surgery. I’m not really nervous about the surgery itself, but I’m not looking forward to the recovery. Since my surgeon has already told me that there’s about a 50% chance of issues with healing, I find myself trying to find a balance of being positive & being realistic. My recoveries from the first two were so much easier than I expected, that I kind of feel like I’m going to pay for it with this one!

But as much as I’m not looking forward to recovery… I’m REALLY looking forward to being recovered! It’s crazy to think that my days of chub rub are almost behind me! And I’ll finally be able to start building a new permanent wardrobe instead of just finding things to wear for now (because that’s what I’ve been doing for the last year & a half). And I’m going to have to get some summer clothes soon, because I’m going on vacation on July 8th, and I’ve got nothing to wear! I’ll be visiting my bestie in CT and he has a pool, so a new swimsuit is a must. I’m thinking a bikini… how crazy is that?? I’ll also be visiting my sister & her family (& my first great niece or nephew… due later this month) in NY for a few days. And I’m super excited to see the first boy I ever loved (when I was 12!). We were best friends until we were 17, but then our lives just went in very different directions. It’s been over 30 years, but we reconnected a couple of weeks ago (thank you Facebook!) & have been talking everyday since. It’s crazy in a good way. In some ways it feels like it’s been forever (because it has), but then it’s like no time has passed at all. Anyway, I’m super excited to see him again, too!

But back to shopping! I need shorts & tshirts & cute summer dresses & shoes (because my feet have shrunk, too) & a swimsuit! Thankfully, I’m getting & promotion and a fairly significant raise at work, so at least I’ll be able to pay for it all! 

And now I’m off to do some last minute stuff to get ready for surgery before going to see mom for Mother’s Day. 

Next update will be after surgery… wish me luck!

Boobs & thighs

Still super happy with my new boobies! They’re healing well overall, just one little spot near the top of my left nipple that we’re going to keep an eye on, but no real concern. Yesterday, my amazing surgeon said that if he didn’t know better (& obviously he knows because he did it!) he would think I had an augmentation/implants and not just a lift. I love that he’s so proud of himself!

And then I asked him to yank & tug (those were my exact words… totally cracked him up!) at my thighs so I could see what to expect. Not only is there a lot of skin on my upper thighs that needs to go, but there’s also some above my knees that I was hoping he could fix. The reality is that the thigh “lift” doesn’t really lift that much, so the above the knee area, while somewhat improved, may not be totally gone. He said that he expected the incision to go all the way from my knee to my groin, which will tighten things up overall. Then the other incision would run under my butt cheek (proving some much needed definition), along my panty line in the groin, and continuing up along the panty line not quite to my TT scar. So even though my legs won’t be perfect (& honestly, who’s legs are??), they will be dramatically improved! 

He was starting to worry that I wasn’t happy with what he told me to expect. Silly man! I told him that I trust him implicitly; that he does great work (duh); and then I said, “don’t fuck it up!” His response? “I’m so glad you’re my patient!”

The universe certainly smiled on me when it comes to my surgeons!

12 more days!

Post op/pre op

Today is 2 weeks post breast lift & 2 weeks pre thigh lift. I had my EKG at my follow up last week (all good) & labs on Thursday (all good). Tomorrow I have another follow up & I’m guessing he’s going to remove/replace the tape on the incisions, so I should get my first view of my new boobs without anything on them, so I’m pretty excited about that. Before I lost weight, I was a 42G/H. Based on my measurements, it looks like I’m now a 32/34 C/D, though I probably won’t know for sure for another month or so. I’m not sure how much he actually removed, so that’s on my list for tomorrow. 

It’s also going to be my official pre op appointment for my thighs, so I’m hoping he’ll be able to give me a realistic idea of what kind of results I can realistically expect. I know he’ll be able to remove the sagging skin in my upper thighs, but I’m hoping he’ll be able to tighten things enough to also fix the excess skin above my knees, and maybe a little help for my saggy butt, too! Whatever he does will be a HUGE improvement, but I just want to make sure I’m going in with realistic expectations. 

I can’t remember if I mentioned it here, but I’ll be going to a soccer game the Saturday after my surgery. My regular seats are great… just 5 rows up from the pitch… but there are A LOT of stairs involved in getting to them, and if I want to be able to actually SEE the game, I’ll be standing for 90 minutes. I’m not willing to miss the game, but there’s NO WAY that all those stairs and standing are a good idea that soon post op! So I called my fantastic ticket rep yesterday and made arrangements to move to seats that are designated as accessible (so no stairs & no standing), and also found out that if I need to, they have wheelchair service that can take me from the entrance to my seat. That should make my mom (& my surgeon) happy, since they’ve both been trying to talk me out of going!

And speaking of soccer, I went and ordered a new jersey the other day. I can now fit quite nicely into a women’s size medium… no more trying to hide in men’s sizes for this girl! It’ll be 2-3 weeks before it’s ready, but I’m super excited to show it off!

I think that’s about it for now! 

Body dysmorphia 

Ok folks… this is going to be long & really personal, but I want to share because I know I’m not the only one going through this & maybe my experience can help. 
Body dysmorphia is no joke. It takes time for the brain to catch up with the body, especially after major weight loss. I thought I had finally figured it out, but having my plastic surgeries so far has made it rear it’s head again. I was talking about it this morning with one of my sleeve sisters (I’m looking at you, Rima), so I decided to bring it up with my therapist. 

For me, I can see myself the way I think others see me when I look at a picture, but something goes haywire when I just look at myself (in a mirror or just in the flesh)… I definitely don’t see the me from the pictures. So my therapist (if you don’t have a great one… go find one!!) asked me what goes on in my head when I look at myself, what are the voices in my head saying & how do I feel. If you’ve never actually spent time really listening to your voices, this may seem crazy, but I had a real conversation with my voice (seriously… I sat in the chair and spoke as my voice, then moved to the couch to speak as me!). I, as my voice, vocalized the thoughts I’ve been having when I look in the mirror… your thighs are still fat; you still need to lose more weight; you’re lazy; you need to exercise more; you snack too much… you get the idea. And then I asked the voice why it was being so critical, so negative & so unsupportive. The answer… I’m trying to help so you don’t get fat again. 

Yeah, sit with that for a minute. 
Why is there part of me that thinks that being mean is helpful? We all know people like that… people who think that pointing out your flaws or everything you do wrong is a good way to get you to do the right thing. They mean well, but gosh, they’re not really helpful! But those messages leave a mark, and if it’s someone important (a parent, close friend), we often internalize the hurt because we KNOW that’s not their intention… because they love us and would never say things like that to intentionally hurt us. And when we internalize, we’re protecting the person who hurt us instead of protecting ourselves. For me, that person is my dad. He’s a boy & he’s kind of clueless when it comes to being emotionally supportive, but I know that he loves me and would be absolutely devastated if he knew that his little offhanded comments had hurt me… and the last thing I ever want to do is hurt my dad!
So we’ve got a dilemma. And this is where my therapist had to step in. I don’t have to tell my dad that he hurt me… at least not to his face. But she could give voice to my dad… the part of my dad that knew that he had hurt me. This is so hard to write because I know it sounds crazy, but it’s my reality and crazy as it is, it has really helped me, so there it is. The part of my dad that knew he had hurt me was so sorry and said that it wasn’t my responsibility to protect him… that it was ok to let him take that from me. And in that moment it was like a weight was lifted & the image in my head was of my dad holding hands with the mean/helpful me and walking away, because mean/helpful me wasn’t needed any more. And I was left feeling like a weight was lifted and all that was left was the part of my dad who I’ve always been able to count on… to protect me & keep me safe. 

So now I get to see what happens when I look in the mirror. That critical voice is gone for now. In its place is a loving and supportive voice. It’s still going to take some time to believe that what I see is really me, but I’m hoping it’ll get easier now that I’ve quieted that voice. 

So, what are your voices saying when you look in the mirror? And what do you need to do to make peace?

4 days after 

Drain sites continue to be sore. My boobs are a bit tender, but not too bad. I’m only taking pain killers at night so I can sleep, but the day is drug free. 

The stuff coming out of the drain on the right side looks like blood, which is different from anything I’ve seen in my other surgeries. Thankfully, it’s only putting out ~10ml in 24 hours, but if it’s still like this on Monday, I’m going to call & try to get in to have it removed before my appointment on Wednesday. I’m sure once the drains are out I’ll feel a million times better!

My weight has really been all over the place since my TT/LBL. I got down to 144.6 at about 3 weeks post up, and was at 156 on Wednesday. I know that the fluids from surgery & the swelling from healing is the culprit, so I’m trying not to stress too much. I’m just ready for all of the surgeries to be done so I can stop with all of the crazy fluctuations!

It’s hard to believe that after a lifetime of struggling with my weight, I’m so close to having the body (& life) I’ve always wanted, but never thought would be possible!

And I’ve decided that as soon as I’m cleared for all activity after my thigh lift, I’m going to join Orange Theory Fitness. There’s one just 3.5 blocks from my condo & from everything I’ve heard about it, it sounds like my kind of workout. Plus I’ll still have my 24 hr fitness membership, so plenty of options. Now I just need to get my body healed so I can start getting buff!