Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 10/11

I'm slacking!!! The weekend flew by! In a nutshell....

1-Had my first outing yesterday...I walked three blocks to the drug store & then was exhausting!!
2-My drains are hurting :( They've obviously started moving out on their own because there's a little black dot on the tube that was not there before & it's sticking about an inch out!
3-I'm draining more....I'm afraid that this will mean that I may not get my drains out tomorrow....I literally cannot take the drains any longer. I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning & call to see what they think. It's my theory that as I became more active, the more the drains started pumping out the fluid. I go back to work tomorrow & can't bare the thought of going in with these plastic testicles filled with my blood hanging off of me.
4-My back is killing me from being so hunched over!
5-My appetite is back in full force...good thing/bad thing...
6-Overall, I've had great energy, but bad sleeps. I've been doing little things around the apartment & able to go through the day without a nap.

I'll report back tomorrow night on my first day back at work & what the doctor had to say as far as my drains & promise pictures.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 9-Highs & Lows

I just got back from my doctors appointment to check-up on the status of my drains. Though they are not draining much, around 10-15ml each a day, he still wants to leave them in as long as possible. I'm going back to work on Monday, so we agreed that first thing Monday morning we could finally remove them. I'm a bit nervous at the thought of having them taken out, but one of the nurses assured me it will be a quick process that won't hurt me too, it will be such a relief to feel human again & not have to get clever in hiding them under baggy clothes.

Overall, he thought I was progressing nicely & that my swelling was improving. My stomach doesn't feel as rock-hard where the swelling is, it's starting to feel softer & tingly/numb. I had asked him again about the swelling & the "crater" that's engulfed. He said that he made a decision when he was completing my surgery that he was confident that the possibility of the crater being there was quite low. He then went on to mention that if it still remains in 6 months that he would do a second surgery that would require a vertical scar from my chest down to my current tummy tuck incision. This is all because of the amount of my excess skin. I've been doing my best to remain positive that this was all just swelling & that it would go away. It broke me to pieces to hear that there was a possibility that it could remain this way & require an incision that I was really wanting to avoid. He did say that he was still confident that it would go away on it's own. I was thinking that at this point I would be itching to get out and buy new clothes & start feeling better, maybe I just need more time to let my disappointment pass.

To finish on a positive note, I'm feeling really good, well, better than in the first week that is! I'm looking forward to the next few weeks passing by & to getting back to normal. I'm starting to get some color back in my skin too! I was looking like death & the nurses at the doctors office always were quite surprised with how pail I was. I think I'll plan something to get positive & maybe go for a little clothes shopping next weekend for my birthday. Even if I'm not at my flattest, a new top or two would feel nice about now.

I'll take some pictures tonight as the swelling is actually going down some. I'm so grateful to every person who has posted & made these days healing at home so much better! I'm shocked that almost 600 viewers have stopped by! I hope that the blog helps provide the insight that I was looking for when I was preparing for my surgery.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 8

Day 7 was a pretty good day. I'm now on strictly IBuprofen, four a day, plus my antibiotics and the occasional pill for nausea. I think a lot of me feeling better has to do with clearing up the constipation haha. Yesterday was the first day that I had hunger, eating full portions & having cravings. My only bad experience yesterday was taking a shower late last night & getting a little to comfortable in the warm water & feeling a little faint when I got out. Straight to bed & I felt much better.

I woke up this morning, Day 8, feeling really good & with good energy. I'm hoping that today will allow me to pick-up better after myself & have more energy. I won't overdo it, but I just want to start easing in to having a normal day with fewer naps. I start work again on Monday, Day 12, and a bit scared. My goal for tomorrow is to do my hair and make-up for my doctors appointment and get out of the house at night to treat my boyfriend to dinner. Luckily there are some places close by to walk to, so we'll start there for baby steps.

I'm focusing more on getting back to normal and healing rather than my results. I just need to get these drains out soon!!! I'm hoping that at my appointment tomorrow he will say we can remove them. The drains are still filling with dark blood & emptying about 10-15ml a day each. He said the more we can get the drains to remove on their own, the less likely they'll have to do any minor surgery. I'm just really hoping & crossing my fingers that tomorrows the day!! I know I'll feel sooooo much better once they are gone.

Thanks for everyone posting their experiences, well wishes and appreciation. Your comments have really kept me going!!!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 6 in Review-Beginning of Day 7

I was determined to make daily entries until day 6 came around...The doctor told me yesterday that a really good day is sometimes followed by a really bad day when it comes to recovery, and that is exactly what happened to me. I felt so great on Monday & thought things were looking up. Well, I had a hard sleep that night & it just led to an emotional/physical breakdown for day Tuesday, Day 6. I just felt like my incision was tearing apart, i felt tight & uncomfortable, and I just felt like my swelling was taking over & that this butt shape will never leave my stomach....I finally gave in and called the doctor to get in for an earlier appointment to see if I was actually alright. My drains & their exit spot are just giving me pain & making me feel uncomfortable. When I saw him, he says that I'm healing perfect and that we have to keep the drains in as long as they are draining so he won't have to go in and do any type of minor surgery. He just basically told me to deal with it. He then took the sutures out of my belly button and gave me an appointment for Friday. Somehow I felt better knowing that I just need to suck it up.

My boyfriend brought me my Vietnamese soup & a bubble tea to share last night. I haven't been eating much lately & finally had the craving for something hearty. The first four bites were so great but then I just couldn't continue. At least I have soup for the next few days :)

Last night was painful again, but I took a sleeping pill to help knock me out & get some proper rest. I only have a couple pain pills left & saving them for a point where I really need them. I'm taking Tylenol & now Ibuprofen. Waking up this morning I finally had the sensation that I might be able to finally have a bowel movement! I'll spare the TMI had been a week & let's just say that it was an awful experience but that I'm sooooo happy it's over with now. My doctor never prescribed or recommended stool softeners & I had to go by my mothers word that this is what I needed. I took one yesterday & I'll be taking one daily from now on. The pain medication is so hard on the body and I never want to go through that experience again!

At this point I'm wishing I could really fast forward a couple weeks. I got some good advice from my boyfriend last night that the pain is bad now but that my end result is going to be beyond incredible. I just keep thinking of shopping and new clothes to keep me going & try not to focus on my stomach cleavage.

I'll try to post again tonight with some photos :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 5-Draining

I had read that Day 5 is the day where you start to feel human again. I can safely say that Day 5 was a day of more energy, mobility, and just feeling overall better. I managed to shower all by myself, I ate a bit more, and I was getting up and down with more ease. I did take 2 hour naps at a time, but when I forced myself up, I felt awake & like I could go for a walk. I'm excited for the days ahead!

Below are images of the draining process. You've been warned that they are not pleasant to look at & I do not recommend that you look at them before eating. I'm still draining dark blood, but it should be getting lighter & become more inside liquidy swelling drainage stuff soon. I'm draining less and less each day. In the beginning I would drain 3-4 times a day with 30-45 ml of drainage in each tube every time I emptied them. I only emptied them bulbs today with about 20 ml of fluid in each. I'm hoping this means that the bulbs & tubes will come out soon & that the swelling will keep going down.

Here is my set-up. I begin by straining out the excess liquid from the tubes in to the bulbs. I think lift the plug on the bulb & empty the contents in to the cup to get an exact measurement.
I've had a bit of clotting in my bulbs, which makes it hard to get everything out of the bulbs. It's been getting better each day. Once I finish emptying the liquid, I squeeze the bulb to help create suction & close the tab again. Repeat with the second drain and empty the liquid to the toilet.
I then record the date, time and amount of liquid I drained from each bulb. I have to specify if it came from the right side of left side & if there was anything irregular. The first few days the left side was draining way more than the right, then the right was more than the left, and now they are about even. So that's Day 5! Tomorrow I have another follow-up appointment with my doctor. I hope he'll give me a better idea of when I can see better results. I'm also in desperate need of a new binder, or a spare, because mine is looking a little gross these days.

I look forward to tomorrow & hope to have some new improvements to post!


Day5-Day 4 continued

I've been sleeping at the drop of a hat lately! I finally moved back to the bed for sleeping, rather than the couch, and I'm finding myself extra, extra comfortable. So, the doctors appointment yesterday was a small success. He did say there was a possibility that I would have the minor surgery to drain out some trapped blood in my stomach and that there was also a chance that everything would be fine. In the end, it ended up being a very short appointment & he said he was very impressed with how I was getting around & how I could get myself up and down from the table & lay up and down as well. He thinks that i'm healing great. I had asked how long he thought it would be before my belly button would become more visible & even with the rest of the stomach, he thought within in the next week. So, in the end he only gave me another prescription of antibiotics to keep taking since I need my drains in longer & that was that! He said that I do have more swelling than the normal post-op tummy tuck person, but that I also had more skin taken off. I can't remember if I had mentioned that I had 3lbs taken off before or not...but I did. I thought it was going to be at least 10, but he said the skin weighs a lot less than you think & that he removed a massive amount.

So I spent most of yesterday sleeping & watching Top Chef in bed. My appetite is so weak, but I'm trying to force myself to eat when I'm not sleeping. I've been eating lots of fibre bars because the pain medication causes bad constipation, pure apple juice, gatorade, yogurt, string cheese, some fruit, rice cakes. pomegranate sorbet for when I need something sweet, and yesterday I tried a low sodium instant dinner. I only got through about two bites of the dinner, so I'll try and finish the rest today. Everything just feels tight inside me, my bladder, my stomach, everything so I feel so full fast. My boyfriend made me a big pitcher of water yesterday with a fresh lemon squeezed inside because I've read it's suppose to help with swelling, so we're trying out that experiment.

I'm starting to feel pain a bit more in the past couple days. My back & neck are very sore from being hunched over, my incision is starting to heal & become very sore, and the sight where my drains come out is starting to bother me a lot as well. It's not unbearable pain, so I'm trying to just stick with 3-4 painkillers a day & a couple tylenol when I need it.

Showering is a great experience. I was always afraid that it was going to be incredibly painful & super exhausting. I had my first shower Sunday night & it felt fantastic!! My boyfriend helped me through most of it, leaving me feeling a bit like Shamu or some other Sear World creature. I think I managed pretty well when it came to washing my hair & my incisions on my own. I had a shoelace hanging from my neck where I pinned my drains to....worked very well!! I'm going to attempt the shower again today on my own. Yesterday the exhaustion was just too much for me to bathe....gross. is my first day alone since my boyfriend is at work. He'll stop by to check up on me during the lunch hour & then I'll have him back for tonight. I'll be contemplating what to document next for tonight's photos....i'm thinking it might be the drain tubes! They're gross, but I think it would be interesting for some!!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 4

I'm exhausted today....I just wanted to post some day 4 still tons o' swelling pictures. I was looking forward to writing a blog tonight, but it will have to wait until morning. Just for those checking in, I didn't have to have a minor surgery today because he thought i was healing great. I'll go in to more detail in the morning!! ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What's holding me together...

So here's an image of me in my compression binder & my old lady stockings that are suppose to help prevent blood clots. My drains come from just above my pubic area & I have gauze around the incision & then I velcro them to my binder to keep them out of my way. Everything is very tight & creates a lot of swelling on my hips. I have no idea how lil' old ladies get those stockings on!

Today I had more energy than the previous days. I got in some good naps & sleep, ate a proper meal, and managed to take a real shower! I feel so much better. I'm still very hunched over, but I'm walking a bit faster & can get myself little snacks, medication, and can empty my drains on my own. I'm still looking quite pail & have raccoon eyes. I'm hoping I get some color back soon.

I can't even emphasize enough what a great help my boyfriend has been. He's taken all the photos for me, helped me getting to the washroom, taking sponge baths/showers, feeding me, setting alarms & making sure I get my medication on time, making sure I'm comfortable, and I even got a manicure + pedicure last night! I'm so greatful for his help. I know it's hard to see me in such a pathetic state, haha, but he's done a great job of going above and beyond.

Tomorrow morning I have to go back to the hospital to see if I need to have some minor surgery for draining out some of the fluid/blood out. I'm hoping that he'll be able to get out some of the captured blood & reduce some of this swelling. He said it won't affect my final results & that he will more than likely open a bit on my incision & only need to go under some local anesthesia.

I'll report tomorrow & post pictures of my 4-day post-op. Thanks everyone who has been posting such supportive comments!!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 2-Beware of pictures below!

So today is my day two at home. Because I was fainting in the hospital & had to stay the night, my doctor wanted to see me today to check up on me. My stomach looks like a butt right now, no other way to put it. It is very swollen and sunken in. It feels really tight. Below are pictures of my journey last night trying to take a sponge bath.

I'm very hunched over & trying to get up and down as much as I can, but I find myself drifting to sleep mostly. So I made my way to the doctors office today in the company of my wonderfully supportive boyfriend & horrible taxi drivers. I wasn't suppose to go in to see the doctor until Tuesday, another 5 days away. I was very thankful that I got to see him today. He examined my swollen stomach & thinks there may be blood captured & causing the bad swelling. So, now I have to make my way to the hospital again on Sunday morning for a minor surgery so he can drain anything that might be in my "butt-gutt"...

My appetitite is non-existant. I've read that this is quite common, but am really shocked how I have to force myself to eat anything. I've been drinking lots of Gatorade, water, and eating crackers & rice cakes. Nothing sounds appetizing & I'm sure it's affecting my energy level, which is only on sleep mode right now.

The doctor said that he removed a lot of skin, 3lbs worth. It looked like the amount of skin would weight at least 10lbs, but he said that it was just skin and no fat really. I have to wear a binder anytime i'm not in the shower. The binder is compressing my stomach & hopefully giving me shape. I'm also in these old lady style stockings that go up past my knee to help prevent any blood clots. And finally, as you saw in my pictures, I have two nasty drains exiting my public area. My boyfriend has been emptying these for me every few hours & we note the amount of blood & other nasty stuff for the doctor each time.

Well, I'll post again tomorrow with any new experiences. I'm hoping my hygiene improves more by then. I'm getting better with the mouth wash, cleaning my face, and trying to make myself smell a bit better and not like a hospital haha. I think the next big tackle is washing my hair once I don't feel so drugged....wish me luck!


Thursday, January 21, 2010


This is just a quick note to say i'm finally home! I ended up having to stay overnight in the hospital because I kept fainting & turning white. It was quite an experience! Overall the pain is very minimal, more uncomfortable than anything because of the muscle repair. Going to the washroom is a bit of a challenge, but i'm getting better each time. I'll post again soon. Dr appointment tomorrow for a check-up.

Thanks for all your support!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I finally got my time for the surgery tomorrow...12:10 & show up at 9:10am. It's going to be a long day. I'm not to eat anything after midnight tonight, so a big dinner is in order. Today has been very surreal. There are small moments when it feels like I fully understand that fact that tomorrow I'm going to have all this skin taken off & gain a new belly & belly button. For the most part it feels like tomorrow is just another day.

I'm soooooo curious to find how much skin he is going to take off! I'm weighing in at about 157 right now & would ideally love to be 145....I have a feeling there is around 10lbs of skin on this tummy, fingers crossed! And the doctor will also preform muscle repair on my abs. Quite often after gaining a lot of weight or pregnancy the muscles separate. I've read some stories where women had as much as 5"-7" in separation!

I have my special surgery soap to wash with tonight & in the morning. We'll have a very relaxed evening tonight & do some last minute cleaning & preparing. In the morning, i'll wake, wash, dress in my yoga pants & zip-up hoodie, call a cab, grab my wallet, compression stockings and leave with my boyfriend. My understanding is that I'll meet the anesthesiologist & the surgeon & they will go over how the day will go & i'll finally get drawn on to see exactly where the scar is going to go & what's being taken off. I was told the surgery will last about 3 hours & i'll have a bit of recover time before I go home.

My only last minute worries have to do with getting back home...getting out of the cab, getting comfortable in bed, what will happen when I have to pee, showering...all that lovely stuff. I know I'm in good, caring hands at home, so that's what's important. I'm so excited to catch up on tv & movies!!

Well, I will post again when I can...probably in a couple days or when I feel not so drugged!!

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Tonight my lovely boyfriend made a photo suite out of our bathroom to help me take some before photos. I knew it would be highly important to me to have clear before photos & track my progress for the days, weeks, and months following the surgery. It probably wasn't a great idea to take these at the end of the day as my body tends to swell lots throughout the day, but still...the photos are very accurate of my folds, squishies, lumps, and rolls. Below is my before body:

Only about 36 hours left of this saggy tummy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

1 Week Prep

So this time next week I'll be doing my last minute prep work, getting all my post-op care stuff organized and counting down the minutes! The doctor's office called last week with a not-so-informative last minute pre-op talk. They didn't give me a lot of suggestions on what to expect or how to prepare. My nurse explained that I will go home with drains & return to the doctor probably five days after surgery to have them removed and inspected. I've been ordered to wear some sort of track suit or comfortable clothing that zips/buttons in the front. The worst order is that I can't have any herbal tea for two weeks :(....tea is my saviour at work and throughout the day. I think I'm going to start thinking of all junk food as being banned from the doctor because it has been an effective way of keeping me away from temptation!

So, for the sake of having everything that I think I will need for after surgery, I'm relying on message boards, blogs, and other plastic surgery websites to give me the lowdown on how to prepare. One of my favorite sites for everything tummy tuck is They have great guides for recovery, preparing, grocery/must have lists, and even information on the post-operation blues & the highs and lows. It's been a huge help!

So, from all my research, here's my list:

Groceries: Yogurt, Protein Shakes, Crackers (low sodium to prevent too much swelling), Gatorade, Pudding/Jello, Fruit juice, lemon (to cut down on swelling), string cheese, and lots of soup.

I keep hearing about "swell hell" and want to avoid any foods that may contribute. I also hear about the joys of constipation post-op....there will be a big ol' box of Fibre One bars to help with that.

My other prep list/buy list consists of the following:
Granny Panties two sizes too big to fit the drains in, heating pad, comfy robe, baby wipes for the days I can't shower and want to feel somewhat clean, hand sanitizer for handling drains, taraseptic wash for showering night before and morning of surgery. I've also been looking for a small breakfast in bed type tray for my laptop so I can lay in bed & not place my laptop on my luck so far.

I've paid for the anesthesia, I'll call on the day before my surgery to get my time to go in, and yeah....I think i'm good to go. I don't feel mentally prepared yet. The date is coming up very fast & not that i'm having second thoughts, but I'm starting to get last minute jitters. I've been reading through message boards every morning and night to hear peoples experiences pre/post-op. It has been very useful but also has made me realize that the next few weeks will not be easy. I'm thankful that I have a busy week ahead of me to keep my mind off the countdown & to keep me active.

I shall post in one more week for my last entry before going under the knife.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2 Weeks pre-op

I'm always on the countdown, but today marks exactly two weeks until i'm cut and pulled. I was suppose to receive a two week final prep phone call from the doctors office today, but no dice. I did receive a phone call from the pharmacist though! She gave me a run down of the drugs that will be waiting for me at the hospital. I will have antibiotics, Oxycotin, some sort of Gravel to help with the nausea, a back up suppository in case I can't keep down the anti nausea medicine, and some sleeping pills....all something to look forward to! In the end, only $70 for all the medication & I'm sure ten times the street value!

The time is coming up fast & I feel stressed. I'm not feeling stressed about the surgery, but rather the preparation and thinking about the results. I feel like I have lots of tasks to get done like last minute shopping for supplies, groceries, and anything that I might need in my weeks at home, getting things done at work, making sure I have everything in order as far as payments go, and frantically reading through tummy tuck forums every night to see what peoples experiences are & how they recover. I've been building a good mental list of things that I will want to stock up on and getting an idea of what recovery will be like.

I've been hitting the gym & riding my bike at home for the past few days. I guess the second part of my stress is having some last minute anxiety and feelings like my body still needs some toning up and needs to shed some pounds before I go in. I'm so sore & realizing that I'm in need of a day or two off. I know I'll have time after the surgery to continue getting to my peak form, but I'm dreading the thought of getting out of surgery and seeing bad results. I know this is all a highly exaggerated feeling & that I will look back & tell myself that I should have felt so stressed about it. The second part of this is possibly regretting the fact that I didn't go the full distance and have a few nip/tucks or "enhancements" to complete my look. The tummy is number one and I'm hoping it will make enough of a difference that I will be distracted from the other "bits".

Pictures will be coming soon! I want to be documenting the process in as much detail as possible. I'll also be sure to post once I get my pre-op orders!