Monday, April 30, 2012

Food - my old enemy!

I would like to say that in this journey of 2 years that I have developed a healthy relationship with food.  But it's not true and it's never going to be true.  I eat very healthy now.  BUT, I could EASILY stuff several pieces of pizza, a pint of ice cream, and a bunch of french fries down my throat right now!

When I'm in a routine, things are easier.  But since the surgery I haven't been in a routine.  Add to that I'm not burning 500+ calories per day through exercise, and it makes things even more tough.  I've been doing really well eating good things, but I worry about portion control.

I am absolutely terrified of gaining weight back.  As of today, I am down 3.5 pounds from the day of surgery.  That's not too bad.  I am still swelling and there are lots of things going on in my body that makes it not want to lose any weight.  

I know that realistically, even if I gain a couple pounds, I have the tools and techniques to take it off again.  But I tend to be an all or nothing thinker.  I believe that if I put on 2 pounds, that will lead to 50, and that thought is just so scary.

So I'll continue with the fruits and veggies and try to keep everything else in check.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I am the type of person that researches the hell out of things.  It can be annoying at times, but in cases like this it is good.  Because I have read things in advance from other people who have had this procedure done so that things don't freak me out when they happen - I know that they are normal.

When they do this surgery obviously a lot of nerves are cut.  Some nerves go completely dead and will stay dead.  But most nerves learn to regenerate.  About 3 days after the surgery, Marc was putting lotion on me, and the weirdest thing happened - he was rubbing lotion in the area just under my belly button and I could see him doing it, but I felt NOTHING!  Not a thing.  It was just so weird.  

My nerves are starting the process of regenerating and let me tell you what it feels like - I can be sitting, walking, whatever, and off of a sudden I'll feel a ZAP shoot across an area of my abdomen.  It usually makes me wince, even though it doesn't exactly hurt, it's like someone just gave me a mild shock.  The human body is just amazing.  I already have some feeling in that area that was previously dead.

In other news, we hiked 4 miles a Wehle State Park yesterday.  As ordered I went really slow - the dogs were annoyed while on leash (Why you walking so slow, Mom?) but fortunately they could be off leash most of the time and got a great run in.

I continue to heal well - actually the sorest part of me right now is on both sides near the hips.  That's where most of the liposuction was done and you can see yellowish purple fading bruises.  The compression garment presses right on there making it sore.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The importance of support.

Yesterday, my co-worker Jessie stopped by after work.  She had bought me a really cool bracelet with an inspirational saying on it.  She and 2 other co-workers had also chipped in for a gift card for me, plus she had a card from another group of co-workers.  How awesome is that?   Not to mention the plant my grandmother sent me, plus both my mother and sister-in-law bringing dinner for us during my recuperation!

I feel so incredibly lucky in the support I have gotten.  Not from just this surgery but over the last 2 years of losing weight and the trials and tribulations of learning to become a runner and learning to adjust to healthy eating patterns.  Everyone in my life has been so supportive, from family, to co-workers, to complete strangers I "met" on the internet, the amount of support has been almost overwhelming at times.  I can't imagine how sick and tired people must get of me talking about weight loss and calories and exercise!

When I was contemplating this surgery, I expected at least someone to say something rude to me about it, since it is, after all, cosmetic surgery.  I truly believe that it is my fault that I ended up so fat, so I don't expect accolades for losing the weight.  Wouldn't it have been better if I never got so fat in the first place?  Then I wouldn't have even needed surgery!  But most people don't see it that way- at least they don't voice it to me. 

Of course my biggest support is my husband, Marc.  I will never be able to repay the support he has given me over the last 2 years.  He loved me when I was at my heaviest, he loves me now, and he loved me at every stage in between.  AND he has had to put up with a lot in general during this journey, and then add on all he has had to do for me while I am mending.  

Since I have been on a lot of weight loss support sites, plus talking to people in my life that are trying to make life changes, I have an idea of what it is like when friends and family don't support big changes.  It makes the change 10 times harder.  

I am a big believer in KARMA, so I hope that all the good that is bouncing back to me during this time means that I've got good karma that I've put into the universe and I promise the universe that I will continue to be the very best person I can possibly be.

And to everyone who has supported me, THANK YOU!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Drain removal

I've had a couple people ask me about the drain removal and whether it hurt.  The first drain removed was the one that was bothering me so much and that slid out like a hot knife through butter - no issues at all.  The second one from my pubic area also came right out.  The third one she pulled and it got stuck on a stitch, and that hurt.  Then she cut the stitch and pulled and YOWZA - that one hurt coming out.  But it is a brief hurt with instant relief that foreign bodies are no longer in your flesh!

You are left with some pretty gross looking holes.  Wanna see - yeah, I KNOW you do!

 Disgusting, huh?  Those 3 holes were covered in gauze with instructions to remove the gauze today and just cover with antibiotic ointment.  They are already closed up a lot this morning.


Well I'm off to take my first glorious hot shower in a week!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

1 week post-op visit....

Had my first visit since the surgery and I'm delighted to report good news.  Dr. DeRoberts described my 1 week progress as "amazing".  He is extremely happy both at my rate of healing and how his work turned out.  He was shocked that he was able to remove 3 of the 4 drains because things are going so well.  2 that were removed were the ones on the side that were irritated and painful.  The one in front that is left is merely an annoyance.  I was extremely swollen, and found out that I have been wearing my compression garment WAYYYY too loose.  Now that I know how tight it is supposed to be, that should help the swelling.

I confessed my "sin" of walking on the treadmill twice.  He was not upset, just said that people like me really "worry" him because we tend to over-do it because we are feeling so good.  I have complete clearance to walk outside and on the treadmill as much as I want as long as I am WALKING and going SLOW.  Which I was and will.
I am going to sleep well tonight because I can now sleep on my side instead of my back!  Yay me!
I go back next Tuesday provided I'm not draining too much and will have the last drain removed.  The it's time to shop for a bathing suit!!!
I was going to post before and after pics tomorrow, but since there is still a drain in, and because my belly is still swollen I am going to be vain and wait until next week.  I will also be doing measurements to see how many inches I lost in my hips and waist.
Oh, and the doc confirmed that he stuffed some fat from my back and sides into my butt area while I was cut open.  This keeps me from having the really flat ass look that a lot of people that get the full circumferential get.  My new belly button is a little bit infected and gross looking so I don't have a true picture of that yet.  They re-covered my incision sites with a different kind of tape, but they said and I could see that the incision looks really great - it's healing well.
I am a very happy "skinny bitch" today!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Come on body, cooperate!

I'm getting a little nervous about one of my drains.  It is still outputting quite a bit of fluid and if he tells me he can't remove the drain tomorrow, I may freak the hell out.  It is painful and annoying.  Wanna see? 

Yes, that is correct - it looks like it hurts because it DOES!  So it had about 25 cc of fluid in it today - hopefully if it stays fairly low over the next 24 hours he'll take it out.  2 of the other drains had barely trace amounts and one other was pretty small, so I'm pretty confident he'll take those out.

I'm anxious to see what size clothes I'm in.  Can't try anything on but sweats over these drains.

Not much on the agenda today - at least the sun is out a little but it's still effing cold!   Maybe we'll hit the mall just to get out of the house again.  I've had as much sitting on my ass as I can possibly take!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The land of the living!

Late entry today because I had some visitors this morning, then I washed my hair in the sink, ate lunch and actually ventured out to Walmart and Price Chopper to get some groceries.  I got some strange looks walking a little hunched over and very slow, but there are always people are lot freakier then that in Walmart!!

So yesterday I did hit the treadmill and walked 1.5 whole miles in 45 minutes LOL.  Wanted to make sure I kept to slow and easy.  After I got off there was this weird tingling sensation in my abs.  It wasn't painful just a strange buzzing feeling.  It didn't last long and as far as I can tell there has been no adverse effects, so I might try it again today.  I'm a little worn out though from my trip into Watertown, so we'll see how I feel in 30 minutes or so.

Since the surgery, the incision site - all the way around - has only bothered me right on my tailbone where I sit all the time.  Since I've got drains coming out all over, there's no where else for me to sit.  Now the sides and front are starting to itch really bad.  That has to be a sign of healing, though, so I'm not going to complain.

 I'm anxious for Thursday - not only do I want these drains out, but then the surgeon can take a look and make sure the incisions are healing well and I also want to hear what else he has to say about the surgery itself.

Did I tell you that they took a picture of the fat and skin they removed?  Get ready for a really gross pic, guys, because it's coming!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Let's talk compression garments...

One of the banes of my current existence.  Not sure that I've talked about this.  You can see it in the picture I took day 1 - it's that white thing I'm wearing.  It's like a combination of a girdle or some really tight Spanx.  The purpose of wearing one after surgery is twofold - one is to help push swelling away from the skin and the second is to help the skin adhere to your new shape.  So it's necessary, but imagine wearing a girdle all day and all night long.  Pretty sucky. 

So this morning when I got up early as usual to take my medication and clean out the drains, I took the cg off so that Marc could wash it out.  It needs to be hand washed/air dried and there were several bloody spots from where the incisions leaked.  Then I went back to bed for a couple of glorious hours without wearing the garment.  It allowed me to feel my new flat stomach, too, which was pretty surreal.

I think I may try to walk a little on the treadmill today.  Nobody panic - I'm not talking about power walking for miles - I'm talking about a very slow casual walk for a short distance since I can't get outside.  This sitting around all day is not for me!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Continuing to feel better...

Last night, after being swollen all day, I really felt like crap and was sore all over.  So I took a pain pill.  Don't know why I'm so reluctant to take pain killers - it's like a sign of weakness to me or something.  Anyway, that allowed me to get a good night's sleep.  I haven't been up all that long, but the swelling seems much better today.  It may get worse as the day goes on, but for now it's good.

I can't wait to get these damn drains out.  They are not fun.  Everytime they catch they pull on where they go into the body and that is not the best feeling in the world for sure!

I went ahead and weighed myself today - I am 3.2 pounds lighter then the day I went into surgery.  Not bad considering that most people say they gain weight for a while as the body swells and heals itself.

I'm also moving around better - I'm able to get up and down without Marc needing to lift me up and down all the time.  There is still some pain like when I get up from lying down, but it's just painful and brief, not excruciating like it was in the beginning.

If only the weather wasn't so damn crappy!  I hate being stuck inside all day, but I'm not really in any sort of shape to hit the mall quite yet!

Oh, I've had a couple people ask about before pics of the belly.  I plan to post those but not until I get the drains out this week and hopefully have some nice after pics to post next to them.  I am anxious to see what my new belly button looks like!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Swell hell!

Day 3 and I'm living in swell hell.  That's what some of the people on the plastic surgery site I'm on call it.  My body is totally swollen so I feel like a sausage stuffed in a casing.  It's not painful exactly, just very uncomfortable.  I'm drinking a lot of water which is supposed to help, but it's just part of the natural healing process.  

Not sure if I mentioned it, but I've been wearing a pain pump.  Small tubes go from inside my abdomen, up, out of the skin, and then are taped to just under my breasts.  They, in turn, go to a pain pump that constantly disperses pain meds.  The doctor pulled and sewed my abdominal muscles together which is apparently one of the most painful parts of the procedure which is why they use the pump.  So since the surgery I've been wearing a bag around my neck with with the medication in it.  It is a pain in the ass.  We were told that when the pain meds run out to just pull the tubes out of my body and I could take off that bag.  The medication ran out sometime during the night.  Marc was not fond of the thought of pulling these several inch tubes out.  So I untaped them and started pulling.  Didn't hurt at all, but was a weird sensation and then they popped out.  Marc was totally grossed out which I found funny.  Which made me laugh and hurt like a motherfucker!!  So no being funny if you come to visit, okay??

I took a sponge bath yesterday, and they are much sexier in the movies then in real life.  But being clean is a good thing!!  Next time I'm going to shave my pits - this is the exciting life I am leading right now! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 2 recovery.

I'm feeling really good today all things considered.  Last night I was in a lot of pain.  Guess what it was?  Gas.  Can you believe it?  Because I can't push a fart out I was in pain.  So I sat on the toilet for a while farted like crazy and that eased all the abdominal pressure and I slept like a baby!  Aren't you all happy to know that?

Looks like Marc will be making a trip to the drug store today!

When you wear these drains, the goal is for the drainage to go from all bloody to a straw color - the liquid is getting noticeably pinker so I think that's a good sign.  My temperature has been around 97, so no infection. 

Going to try a sponge bath today and to sit outside for a while.  I'm still really tired and any small thing wears me out, but I would think that would be normal.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

pics -day 1 (warning - very graphic)

The recovery begins...

Surgery went well yesterday.  Dr. DeRoberts and his staff were so caring and awesome.  The doc even came over to hold my hand when the anestheiologist was putting in the IV because he could tell I was freaking out a little.  I was out instantly.  Before I knew it I was waking up.  

I have a pain pump as well as medications.  So I'm not in pain, just very stiff and uncomfortable.  Even though I 'm cut all the way around it didn't bother me at all to sleep on my back.  It does hurt badly to get up from a lying down position.  You don't realize how much you use your abs until something like this.  

I have 4 drains inserted in me and they keep catching.  Poor Marc has had to empty the bloody things twice so far.

We had to replace the gauze this morning so I took off the compression garmet that I have to wear.  The incision actually looks better then I thought it would, and from what I can see my belly is completely flat!    Once the drains come out I'll be able to look myself over better.  He removed 6 pounds 10 oz. of skin and lipoed a few pounds of fat off.

I've been sleeping a lot.  

The dogs seem to know that I am hurt.  They have been amazingly calm and gentle and for the most part have been keeping their distance.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tomorrow is the day!

I am eerily calm today.  Have to get everything prepped last minute.  Did my last workout (P90X Core Synergistics).  I have a feeling I'm not going to sleep much tonight but who cares?  I'll be getting PLENTY of sleep in the next few days, LOL!  

As I was working out and doing the push-up sequences I was thinking that the next time I do push-ups, I won't see a mass of skin hanging down.  

Thanks to everyone who is keeping me in their thoughts!  Good news will follow shortly I hope!

Monday, April 16, 2012

On the home stretch...

You would think I'd be excited, but I'm somewhat melancholy today.  I'm all up in my head worrying that the results won't be worth it.  Won't be worth the time off from exercising, the pain, the money. 

I did my last run at lunch today.  Weather was beautiful and I ran a fast pace.  I keep thinking that when I'm finally cleared to run again, it will be like completely starting over.  I'm also so worried of gaining weight back while I'm recuperating and what if that just makes me lose what I've worked so hard for and I gain a bunch back?

Hopefully this is a short lived pity party and by tomorrow I'm excited so that I go in with a good attitude.

I did have one interesting thing happen today - a prominent member of Watertown government - who I frequently see walking to lunch while I'm running, but have never spoken a word to - flagged me down on my run.  She said that she has been seeing me running since last year and she just needed to tell me how awesome I look and how amazing my weight loss has been.  It was really nice of her!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Embracing a lifestyle change.

Marc and I got up a little early today, packed up the dogs and backpacks and headed to Oswego.  We hiked 7 miles in, had lunch, and hiked the 7 back.  It was a great hike, near perfect weather conditions, the dogs were loving life.  As we walked back - with the upcoming surgery on my mind, of course - I had a lot of time to reflect on the changes in my life the last 2 years and how different my life is in so many ways - not just weighing a lot less.

Since I've lost so much weight, I always have people asking how I did it.  9 times out of 10, as soon as I start talking about eating right and exercising, this look of utter disappointment comes over their faces.  Most people don't want to hear about that - they want THE ANSWER.  You know, they want me to tell them this magic pill or some weird diet that will enable them to drop the weight.

Sorry, but it doesn't work like that.  I have worked hard and many many hard choices in order to drop 208 pounds in about 2 years.  It wasn't fast and it wasn't easy.  It comes down to it being a total and complete lifestyle chance, NOT some fad diet.  I think these diets like South Beach, Atkins, etc. are fine if you are someone who is just trying to drop 10 pounds in 3 weeks in order to fit into that dress to wear to your high school reunion.  But if you are someone who has 50, 100, 200 pounds to lose, it ain't gonna happen with a fad diet.

I haven't had soda - not one drop - since May of 2010.  I gave up Mountain Dew - which I LOVED - not because some weird diet told me that soda was off limits, but because it is TERRIBLE for you.  I work out so much because I have committed to a lifestyle change, not because I am always motivated to work out.  

I don't blame people for wanting a quick fix - I would have liked an easier road as well.  But it just isn't reality.  Weight loss and good health won't come knocking on your door.  It takes hard work and dedication.  Anyone can do it.  But they have to DO IT.

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Oh, I am so glad this work week is over!  As you might imagine I've been extremely distracted at work and not much use to anyone.  Then, after having my vehicle in the shop twice in the past month, it decided to go apeshit on me and randomly locked up the anti-lock brakes when I was braking.  The last thing I needed to deal with is car issues!  Fortunately, I was able to get that fixed today and it turned out to be a sensor, not the whole thing crapping the bed.

I'm starting to get nervous about the surgery.  I've been looking at other people's pictures and the incision looks pretty freaking nasty for the first few days.  I had my first dream about the surgery last night.  I keep reminding myself that the results are going to be worth it!

I ran five miles during my lunch hour today and tried to envision what it will be like in a few months, running along without 10+ pounds of loose skin bouncing all over the place.  

The weekend should go fast - I've still got some things to do, and Marc and I are planning on taking a LONG hike with the dogs tomorrow since there won't be any of that for several weeks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One week away!

So next week at this time the surgery should be done and I should be headed home!

Today I started Bromelain - it's an herb made from pineapple enzyme and is supposed to help decrease swelling.  Highly recommended on some of the sites I've been reading.  My doc said it can't hurt anything so I'm going to take it.

I also am going to start taking Miralax today.  What fun!  But apparently severe constipation is common after surgery and I definitely don't want to be trying to push one out, you know.  Yes, I am going to be sharing stuff that is WAY TMI.  Read at your own risk!

I got my scripts filled and had my blood drawn today for the pre-operation labwork.  It's going to be a challenge not dipping into the Valium before the surgery!!  ;))

This is definitely getting more real.  I still am not that nervous about the surgery itself.  Worried about the aftermath, though.  In addition to the pain, they pull the skin so tight that I will be walking hunched over for a while.  That will be weird.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Couple more days down!

Spent Easter with family and got to fill everyone in on the surgery.  Everyone is so freaking supportive!  I am so, so lucky with the people I have in my life!  The day flew by - especially spending time with my neice Heidi's wonderful boys Eli and Levi.  My s-i-l, Rose will be watching the dogs the night before and day of my surgery.  Works out great in case something happens and we have to spend the night.  Also the boys will hopefully be worn out and calm when they get home!

Back to work today - hoping for a busy week so time will go by fast!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Counting down the days!

Yesterday I crashed.  I have been so hyped up and thinking about not just the surgery, but everything I need to do or get done before - since I'm going to be laid up - that I haven't been sleeping.  So I had a bit of an emotional fit.  It is in my nature to worry obsessively.  Actually it's in my genetics - thanks Mom!

Fortunately I slept well last night and got up and got right to work today!  We got the chicken coop completely cleaned out for the spring and Marc rototilled the garden.  So with that done I can start crossing things off my list which will allow me to worry only about the surgery.

In other news, I'm down another pound!  Each pound down makes me even more excited thinking about how I'll be my goal weight after the extra skin comes off!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pre-op appointment today

I went for my pre-op appointment today.  It was with the nurse that will be over-seeing my case.  Dr. DeRoberts did stop in to shake my hand.  I liked the nurse immediately.  She is new to Dr. DeRoberts' practice, and to plastic surgery, but has many years of surgical experience.  Both Marc and I felt that she was genuinely excited and happy for me.  Both she and Dr. DeRoberts assured me that what is hanging in front is all skin and it will be completely and totally gone.

However, she explained that this is a MUCH more invasive procedure then a standard abdominoplasty.  I will have 4 drains instead of the usual 1-2 and will be extremely uncomfortable as the cut goes all the way around my body.  She also explained that the initial recovery time will be longer and they want me out of work AT LEAST 3.5 weeks.

She answered all my questions - even the annoying ones.

We also stopped today at Walmart to pick up preparation items - thermometer, sponge (lucky Marc gets to sponge bathe me for a week!!), dial soap for before the procedure.  Then it was off to the Vitamin Shoppe to get herbs that are highly recommended on websites and forums I have read for reducing the swelling and bruising.

Wow - it is going to be a long 1.5 weeks!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pre-Op information came today...

Holy crap I am totally overwhelmed.  The pre-op materials came today and there are 24 pages of instructions for both pre-op and post-op care!  Glad they sent it early, though so I can come with a list of questions. 

2 weeks away!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I am a RUNNER!

Never thought I would ever use those words, but this journey has made me a runner.  I ran my first outside mile last May (I had been running on the treadmill).  I love running and I hate it at the same time.  I almost NEVER want to go out and run, but I feel so AWESOME afterwards.

When I first started, I would run a mile in about 15 minutes.  Gradually I ran more and as I ran more, my time improved.  I remember thinking 3 miles was SO FAR.  

Today I ran 8 miles in the cold drizzly rain.  My times have improved DRAMATICALLY - I have gone from this winter running a 10:30-11 minute mile to running the 8 in 75 minutes this morning - that's less then 9:30 MM.  I'm not trying to force faster times either, it's just happening.  This is why I am so worried about not being able to exercise for 6 weeks!  I'm really making some dramatic gains, and I don't want to take a step backwards.

Here's the best part - in addition to all the good things about getting fit - for my heart, lungs and muscles - I wear a heart rate monitor on my run and I burned 883 calories running today!!  That's gives me a ton of leeway to eat more calories and still lose weight.

By the way, I'm had a huge WOOSH today and have lost 2 more pounds.  I actually saw 135 on the scale but I can't count it because it was right after my run and I'm always down a lot after running.