Pillows

A lot of people recommend having a recliner for the first couple of weeks after surgery. Others swear by special full body wedge pillows. Me, I don’t have, nor do I want a recliner. And I can’t justify spending over $100 for some fancy pillow that I’ll only use for a couple of weeks. So I’ve decided to go old school & just use the multitude of regular pillows that I already have! That seemed to work ok for me after my scary surgery on 2012, so I feel ok about that decision. 

I’ve started thinking about what I need to take to my parents’ house for my first several days post-op and will probably take some of it over this weekend. I still need to go shopping for a few pairs of sweats or yoga pants to wear until the swelling goes down a bit. I’ve got a HUGE pile of clothes that I’ve been meaning to take to Goodwill, so I’ll be digging through that first. 

I went to see my PCP today. She had me start taking Wellbutrin back in December because I was really struggling with my Seasonal Affected Disorder this year, so she wanted to check in and make sure that was going ok. I got her all caught up on the crazy that is my life… and she told me I should write a book because, well, my life just seems to be a pretty entertaining story. 

I didn’t do my pre-op labs today because it’s about time for my 18 month labs (which includes the CBC & CMP the surgeon wants), but since those are fasting labs and my appointment wasn’t until 1:30, I decided to just go first thing tomorrow, which still gets results in plenty of time. 

And I got the tracking confirmation for my compression garments… they’ll be here Saturday. One more thing to cross off the list. 

10 more days!

Compression garments 

I’m going to do my best to post all of the information I get about this process… maybe someone will find it helpful. 

I just ordered my compression garments for post-op. I’ll be wearing these 24/7 for at least 6 weeks. As it was explained to me, the compression is instrumental in preventing fluid buildup. Anecdotally, I’ve heard from others that it also adds a feeling of security and being held together… which sounds like a really good thing considering your body (at least the outer layer) has been cut in half!

Since I’ll be living in these for a while, I opted to purchase the garments recommended by my surgeon, which is this one https://marenagroup.com/fbs-above-the-knee-girdle-with-suspenders/

In determining what size to order, I was instructed to measure as tightly as possible at the waist, hips & upper thigh. I took measurements several times, because with all of the extra squish that’s being removed, it was hard to get the same measurements twice. So I decided to take the largest & smallest of each, and meet in the middle. That left me either as the smallest measurements for a medium or largest for small. Since the whole point is to provide compression I was advised to order a small. 

Initially, Angie (Dr. H’s MA, and my guardian angel through this process) told me to only order 1 to start and order a 2nd one a week or 2 post-op because people often need a smaller size as they recover. Based on where my measurements fell on the size chart, she said I’d be ok ordering 2 small ones now, so that’s what I did. 

Since I’ll be wearing these 24/7 and only having them off to shower, having 2 means that I’ll still have one to wear while the other is being laundered. So yay for not having to get too stinky!

I think that’s all for now. More soon!

I’m back!!

Well, gosh… it’s been a while hasn’t it. Let’s catch up with bullet points!

  • At my 1 year follow up in September, I was at 155 and 20.9% body fat. The good Dr. K said it was time to start looking at skin removal as it was unlikely (given my body fat) that I would lose much more. 
  • Had a consultation with plastic surgeon in October, who agreed with Dr. K. Based on what I said I was most concerned with, we came up with a plan that involves 3 surgeries: fleur de lis tummy tuck with circumferential body lift, inner thigh lift, and breast lift/reduction. 
  • I’ve maintained my weight between 150-155 since early September, so decided I was ready to get the ball rolling. 
  • My first surgery (TT/LBL) is scheduled for February 23rd!!

So that brings us to now! I had my pre-op appointment yesterday, dropping off my prescriptions after work today & getting my labs done on Monday. I’ve started my list of things I need to do before surgery and I’m feeling excited (& surprisingly calm). 

My original plan was to take 3 1/2 weeks off from work, but I just found out that one of my co-workers is taking a 6 week leave of absence starting Monday! So, I’ve had to adjust my time off a bit, which, while not ideal, at least I have a job that is flexible enough to make things work without needing to reschedule surgery. The new plan is to be completely off work for 10 days, then working part time from home (or going into the office if I’m feeling up to it) for the next 2  or 3 weeks. The up side is that since I’ll be working part time, I can extend my total leave without using any more PTO than I originally planned. It’s not ideal, but I think it’ll be ok. 

Anyway, about the surgery itself. It’s scheduled to take about 6 hours, which is the longest my surgeon, Dr. H, will allow. While I know there are surgeons who will do 8-12 hour surgeries, Dr. H feels anything over 6 puts patients at undue risk, and honestly, that’s fine with me! 

I’ll be ordering my compression garments later today, and will start chipping away at my to do list. 

I imagine I’ll be posting more regularly again… because I really want to have a record of this next chapter of transforming my body (& my life). And who knows… maybe I’ll finally post some before, during & after pictures!

Jeans

The last jeans I bought a few months ago were size 16. They fit great for a few weeks, then they were a little baggy, but when I wore them on Thursday I spent the whole day worrying that they were going to fall off! Went to Ross on Friday, and since I’ve got some size 12 shorts that are getting too big, I figured I must be size 10. But when I looked at the size 10 jeans, they all looked way too small. I grabbed a couple of 12s to try… and one of those tiny 10s. Tried on the first pair of 12s, and they were clearly too big. Tried on the other 12s and they were ok, just a little loose… but I’ve learned my lesson about buying clothes that are just a little loose, so those were a no, too. So it was time to try the teeny tiny 10s (slim fit skinny jeans, no less). I expected to struggle to get them over my thick thighs. I figured there’d be no way to get them over my hips. I knew for sure  I’d have to suck it in to get them buttoned and zipped. And if I could actually make it through all of that, there’s no way in hell that I’d be able to sit down. 


Turns out, I don’t know anything! I pulled them on and zipped them up… no problem! SIZE 10!!!

But because we can’t always have a happy ending… when I went to put my phone in my pocket today (because I’m wearing them for the first time), I discovered that the front pockets are just decorative! Who does that to a perfectly good pair of jeans? At least they were only $12… I guess pockets cost extra!

And that top… it’s a medium!

10 more days to my surgiversary & follow up with my surgeon, and I’m at 155.4 today. Only 5.4 to his goal. I’ve got a quick trip out of town later this week to see my bestie, but I’m already planning to bring my running gear & should be able to get 1 or 2 runs in. And there will be lots of walking, too. The last time I did one of these short trips, I had gained 2lbs, and it took a week to get it off. I’m hoping I can at least maintain this time, but 2 flights in 3 days is tough. And really, I’m not going to worry about it… I’m going to focus on enjoying my visit with my bestie! 

Keeping it real 

OI’ve posted before about my fear of maintenance, and was feeling better after seeing the NUT. But last week was rough. I skipped all 3 of my weight lifting work outs (I did do my 3 runs, though), I went out for drinks twice, and made some less than stellar food choices. And I could feel myself trying to self-sabotage… and I was spiraling and hiding and falling back into old patterns of behavior that I thought were behind me. Instead of reaching out for support, I was just letting the fear overwhelm me and giving power to the voices in my head (that I though had been vanquished) that said I can’t do it. I spent the day Saturday doing nothing but sitting on the couch, watching TV, and playing stupid games on my phone. I got less than 1400 steps for the day and had exactly ZERO active minutes. Not good. 

I’m not sure how, but I woke up Sunday and decided enough is enough. I went to the gym and ran 5 miles (5 minute run/1 minute walk intervals), which felt GREAT. I went grocery shopping. I did some cooking. I spent some time with a good friend. I ate well and went to bed at a reasonable hour. 

And sometimes all it takes is one good day to turn things around! Yesterday I lifted weights, because that’s what I do on Mondays. Today I ran (2.25 miles straight, no walking!), because that’s what I do on Tuesdays. And tomorrow… well I can’t worry about that… my focus is on NOW, where it should be. 

This journey has been amazing, but it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes it’s just plain hard! It’s work EVERY SINGLE DAY. Is it worth it? Absolutely! 

Now that I’ve had a few days back in my good place, I’ve been trying to figure out where & why things went wrong. What I came up with was twofold. First, I’ve been working out 6+ days a week for 7 months & I think I needed a break. And second, I think I was trying to bury my fear (of maintenance) with food instead of facing it. It’s OK to be afraid! I’m still trying to wrap my head around this new and improved body that I’ve been working so hard for. And after a lifetime of wanting & trying to lose weight, I honestly don’t know how to let that go. 

My one year surgiversary is September 15th and as of today, I’m 7lbs from my surgeon’s goal. I have my follow up with him that day, and am finally getting back to see my therapist (she’s been on maternity leave) the day after. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by people who love and support me and want me to succeed… I just need to remember that it’s ok to ask for help when I need it. I don’t have to do this alone!

2 miles

I’ve tried running in the past, starting and stopping couch to 5k many times. It was always a chore and I would inevitably hurt myself or just give up for one reason or another. But running has always been something that I wanted to be able to do because no matter where you are, you can always run. So I decided to give C25K another go. I started 2 months ago, and I wasn’t loving it. I think the progression was too fast for me. Then a friend suggested the Galloway method, which is more about distance with run/walk intervals and not so much about increasing the running sections. So I did that for a few weeks, and started to feel better about running. And then I decided that I want to eventually be able to run without walking, so I’ve been doing a hybrid of the two: 2 days a week I do C25K and 1 day I do a long run for distance using Galloway. Today was a C25K day and it called for 20 minutes or 2 miles with no walking. Once before, I made it this far and ran for 20 minutes… and felt like I was going to die! Today, I ran a full 2 miles with no walking for the first time in my life. And when I was done, I felt GREAT! I call that a NSV!

11 months & 5th grade 

There aren’t many times in my life that I remember exactly how much I weighed, but 5th grade is one of them. There were 2 of us fat girls in my class, so of course we were best friends. I remember spending the night at her house once and we both weighed ourselves. I weighed 132lbs. I don’t know why I remember that, but I do. And today, I’m 11 months out from surgery and I’m down 132lbs from my highest weight. 

I’ve officially lost my 5th grade self!

HW – 292 | SW – 268 | CW – 160

That’s a loss of 10.4 for the month and 10lbs to my surgeon’s goal weight. Can’t wait to see what this next month has in store for me!