Monday, March 22, 2010

I forgot to tell you...

That along with everything else happening yesterday when I broke down, I forgot to tell you I had a yeast infection too!  Now really?  Could nothing more happen to me?  Lord!

So I went to a doctor here in town today...great doctor, I really liked him....Anyway, this rash is a reaction from one of the three antibiotics I am on...nothing will help other than to stop taking the medicine.  Benadryl won't even help, ugh.  It will take a day or two to go down...I have to go to work tomorrow like this, ugh!  Here is this morning my neck/chest area...

All of this nonsense is driving me crazy!  I am not a sickly person, I don't run to the doctor at the sign of some little thing, but I am at my second week of work and missed another day, now I have to go into work like this!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, someone help me!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I finally broke down...

So, the past week has been emotional or actually just tonight.  So...to try to make an extremely long story shorter...

I started my new job on Tuesday instead of Monday because of the follow-up appointment with the surgeon.  The work week went great, meeting a bunch of people that you may not remember their names next week, but it was great and I am so looking forward to this job.  I have a feeling I will be extremely busy, which is fantastic!  I want the day to fly by so fast that I don't realize what time it is!  I even had dinner with my boss' wife and kids on Thursday (he had to go out of town or he would of been with us) and it was great, I really love his wife.  Of course I spent most of the time talking about me, which I hate about myself, but I was telling about the surgery and stuff.  Not that I had to, she reads this blog, ugh...I feel like such a blow hard sometimes.  Ha ha, I heard that word on CSI last week and it has been in my head, just had to use it. :)

Anyway, so....Friday I noticed some red bumps on my thighs...but I had worn a new pair of pants on Thursday without washing them, so I thought it was just that and I didn't even think twice about it (because I didn't see it anywhere else)...and it didn't itch, so it wasn't bothering me.  That same night I noticed the hard knot on the inside of my knee had changed...the center of the knot was very soft and the skin looked thin, almost like a blood blister or something.  It didn't raise up or anything, but it just looked like it was full of fluid.  So, I made note of it in my brain and moved on.

Saturday morning, after I dragged my butt out of bed and made breakfast for the family...what did Charlotte do but crawl back into bed of course...after she ate, ha ha!  So, I went in there and climbed into bed with her and was just chatting for a few minutes....and then I felt my knee was wet.  I pulled up the leg of my jammies and noticed that the knot had popped!  GROSS!  So I went and cleaned it out, it was blood and yellow puss coming out, I know, it's sick, I almost couldn't do it, but I felt like I got it all out and put the prescription antibiotic cream on it that I have, and bandaged it up.  It is still hard around the center.  So I don't know what is going on, I am going to call my doctor tomorrow.

Now, back to the red bumps on my thighs...I noticed they were getting a little more...and I drove back to the hotel in Charlottesville tonight (Sunday) for work tomorrow...and I get up and go to the bathroom and I notice the bumps on my thigh are more red....and then I see a few on my arms....and then I look in the mirror and I see it on my neck!!  I took a picture and sent it to my mom and then called her and started crying.  I can't take it any more, I am so tired of being sick!  Ugh,  I always cry when I talk to my mom and I'm sad...because you always know your mommy will make it better. :)  She told me to stop taking the antibiotics and take some Benadryl.   I also sent the picture to my sister (who is a nurse and was at work) and she asked the doctor at work (and told her the antibiotics I am on) and the doctor said to take Benadryl and keep taking the antibiotics and call my doctor tomorrow.  So, I listened to the doctor...and of course they were wrong.  I should of stopped taking the antibiotics like my mom said...Mom's are ALWAYS right!  :p

So, I drove up to the grocery store, talked to my son and husband on the way back (cried on the phone with my husband) and took the Benadryl and am about to hop into bed.  I am a worry wart...I don't know if people notice but my thinking is a little twisted...

Just a TINY glimpse of where my brain is running:      So if this rash is an allergic reaction...another allergic reaction is for your throat to swell up (is my throat swelling up, omg, is it??)...and if I take my sleeping pill tonight...will I wake up if my throat swells??  Will I die alone in this hotel??  OMG how horrible, if I die I want to at least be around my family (wth!?!?).  OMG, I am moving to a new place, we are supposed to go to settlement and what if I die??  Would Tim still move?  Would they let him out of the contract on the house?....and so on and so on.......it's twisted, seriously.

Anyway, I am going to bed...hope this isn't my last post (ok ok, I am joking, really, I hope)...I am going to call my doc tomorrow and see where we go from here....wish me luck.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Emergency Room Visit

So, earlier last week, I noticed some tenderness on the inside of my knee, above the drain hole (I love saying drain hole, not sure why).  I had had some tenderness sometimes before the drain was removed, I thought it was just from moving around a lot at night now and bending my knee more.  Anyway, yesterday morning, I noticed some red patches around the area...so off to the ER I went.  I definitely didn't want to have an infection and let it get worse!  I do love the hospital here, they are all so friendly and nice, but 6 hours later....ugh.

Basically I do have a small infection (the doctor said skin infection, so not even inside) and they did an ultrasound on my knee and CBC (complete blood count).  The blood work was perfectly normal but there is a small amount of fluid build up in the track of where my drain was...but not even enough to stick a needle in and take out.  I have to follow-up with the surgeon who was on call there on Monday, just to make sure that it's just normal swelling and more fluid isn't building up, but other than that it's ok.  They gave me an IV antibiotic and two more to take for the next 10 days.  I have never taken two antibiotics at the same time...and I took a nap for 4 hours today!  I haven't felt nauseas yet, or had to visit the bathroom a lot, which antibiotics sometimes do to people, but I have lost my appetite (which isn't a bad thing right now) and had a headache that wouldn't quit.  One of the antibiotics said headache was a side effect...first time I had ever seen that also.  I guess I just don't take antibiotics a lot!

What this means is I don't start my job in Charlottesville tomorrow, which is a bummer, I hate having to do that, but I do need to follow-up with the surgeon before I head down.  The surgeon told me to tell his office when I called that I need to be seen right away, so they don't put me off, which is good.  In a perfect world I will see the surgeon tomorrow and all will be fine, and be on my way to Charlottesville tomorrow evening to start on Tuesday!



I will update later this week. :D

Friday, March 12, 2010

Not as dramatic as I hoped!

Alright, so here's what everyone has been waiting for, but I almost don't want to post, ha ha!  Took pictures yesterday and today, and my 3-week post-op pictures look better than my 6-week, isn't that horrible?  Ok, you can still see a difference, but jeez, I almost feel like I am going backwards!  I know it's a lot of swelling still, and I am doing a lot more (not sitting in bed all day) which makes the swelling worse, but I am disappointed in the difference, ha ha.  Anyway, here it is...


So, you can see a huge difference, especially in the arms and legs, but look at the swelling in the upper thighs both inside and outside, ha ha!  Ok, also I realized I lied, I did wear a garment the night before I took that last pic, it's the night after that I didn't wear it!  Oh well, and you can see the swelling on the inside of the left knee where the drain was taken out, will tell you about that in a minute!  Actually you can see the swelling everywhere!  I know, I know, swelling will happen for MONTHS...but I want it gone NOW!  I am such an instant gratification type of person. :D

Ok, so also in that third picture, I am wearing a pre-surgery bra, it was hard to get the boobies in it!  I have to wear a sports bra for 3 weeks more and then move to regular bra's, so I will go get measured and fitted then.  I did measure for the sports bra and this one is a 40D...and pre-surgery I was 36/38 B/C.  I don't know how I went UP in the bottom number, but I am hoping it's still a little swelling.  Also, that is for this particular sports bra, that is one of those super supportive ones, so it may just be this one, we'll see.

Ok, measurements...here they are:

                                   Pre Surgery:         6 Weeks Post-Op:
Middle of Thigh:                  27"                          23"
Hips:                                   50"                          46"
Waist:                                 40"                          38"
Weight:                             215.5                      211.5

I can tell you that I have been eating like a pig lately, and then sitting around for 6 weeks made it even worse...so I probably would of lost a lot more if I ate healthier!  I am now through with it, I swear. :D  No more peanut butter M&M's while I am laying in bed all day watching TV. :D

All in all it's going good.  I don't have to wear my garment any more, and I don't wear the arm ones (only a separate sports bra) but I do continue to wear the body one during the day since the drain just came out a few days ago, and some swelling is developing inside the knee (please don't let it be a bad seroma where I have to go to the doc, please, I beg!!).   I am also going to wear the body one to help maintain swelling, I may go get one of those Spanx instead, some people suggest those instead of this garment to help with swelling and to be more comfortable (of course after your initial 6 weeks of wearing this one).  So, anyway, a seroma is just fluid, just like swelling, but swelling is in the tissues and a seroma is just the fluid sitting there in a pocket.  The only issue is that a seroma can develop scar tissue around it, which kind of seals it off from the body, so your body can't absorb it...in that case they go in and scrape the scar tissue out and put another drain inmaybe...I have a few seroma's right now, but they are small.  One along my left arm scar, one along my right arm scar (almost gone already) and I think one forming on the inside of my left knee just above the drain hole.  That one is sensitive right now, but I am going to watch it.  I was going to go to my doctor today but decided not to, I don't want to go to him today and move to Charlottesville on Sunday and have to find someone else.  Bottom line is I will watch it, and if it gets any worse (in pain or size) then I will either go to an ambulatory care center, or find a doc in Charlottesville.  Oh, speaking of which, I am going to tell you this story about looking for a plastic surgeon who would see me...I will do that after I tell you about the drain...

Ok, drain....so Corrie came over Monday night after work...she had to get here and get it done so she could go home and watch Lost!!  :D  Anyway, she got here around 6:30pm and I had already dosed myself up on Ibuprofen and Tylenol (about an hour apart) because I was so scared of the pain.  The pain on the inside of the left knee I told you about a few minutes ago has been off and on for a while, so I could never tell if it was the drain itself or swelling.  I thought it was because I moved around a lot more at night now and now lay on my side with my knees bent and together...so the drain was bending inside and maybe hurting me...who knows...anyway...  So, I am freaking out that this is going to hurt since it's been in so long, that I am almost crying already, before anything even happens!!  I take my garment off, Corrie washes her hands, we prepare.....I lay on the bed with a towel under my knee, and literally wrap my head in the body pillow I have...thinking I am going to scream...and she starts to pull.  She puts one hand on the thigh just above the drain hole (that's such a funny thing to say...drain hole)...and holds my knee and pulls with the other hand...I feel it moving inside my leg...that funny feeling again...but guess what!!!  No pain!  WOW, I was amazed....and I could feel her pulling pretty hard!  But the most disgusting thing happened...she had to pull fairly hard to get it out, and when the end of the drain came out, this long stringy piece of something flung out and landed on her hand!!  As well as some blood came out and of course splashed on my sheets (past where the towel was) and even on my sock!  Ok, here is a picture of what a drain looks like...


So, the clear part of the tube was outside my thigh, and the white part was inside and running up inside my thigh.  This drain I could actually see the white part at the drain hole, so it wasn't so much to pull out this time.  Anyway, the white part is kind of hollow so the fluid can run through it, and this long stringy thing (kinda white and red together) looked like it was the shape of the inside of the white part of the drain, and about that long too!  Anyway, it flung on her hand and although I didn't see it initially (head wrapped in pillow) she told me the first time she tried to pick it up off her hand she couldn't get it, it was slimy!!  I did see the thing after she put it on the towel...it was disgusting!  So if that thing was inside that part of the drain, then it wasn't really draining much in my upper thigh anyway, right?  Also Dr. S said maybe the drain was causing the issue...so that's what I am hoping!  Anyway, it was done and over in 5 seconds, and it was disgusting!  Corrie is great and no way I could of done this without her!  She sure is one great best friend. :)  Corrie...I love you MAN!

Alright, on to the finding a doctor story....so, I was thinking the other day before I heard back from Dr. S...that maybe I should find a plastic surgeon to follow up with, instead of just my primary doctor (who is an internist), because they've seen a lot more of this stuff.  So...I start Googling plastic surgeons both where I live now and in Charlottesville, VA, where I am moving next week...and I want to send emails to them, to explain more of my situation, and see if they would see me.  I knew I would run into some surgeons who would NOT want to see me because of going to Mexico, but I figured I would find one or two with at least some curiosity to want to see the work that was done...so I emailed three different doctors..and called the University of Virginia Plastic Surgery department (it's a teaching hospital, why WOULDN'T they want to see me to teach others, right??).  I heard back from two of the doctors and UVA...one said to contact UVA and that he wouldn't see me, one said he would see me but he doesn't participate with my insurance so it would be $300 for first visit, and UVA called me back and the woman basically said go to an urgent care facility or emergency room if I needed (they would then call the PS on duty), that nobody there would see me.  I was shocked...and the last doctor just hasn't bothered to reply yet....he actually is the VP of UVA Plastic Surgery Department.  Do you believe that?  Doctors suck!!  They are all so snobby and stuck up.  If a patient needs help, they need help, who cares about the rest, they still get paid, right?!?!

Ok, here's some more pics...check out this bootie...
The angle of the picture is a little different, but you can see a lot more junk in the trunk...when he took off the skin back there, it left it flat and more saggy than it already was...she he cleaned some of the fat he lipo'd off of me, and put it back in...heh, funny, huh?  You can see the thighs are better, but still very very swollen.  When lipo is done you swell for so long that it's hard to tell a difference sometimes!  You can see the more flatness in the belly, even with the hematoma I still have.  It's going down though.  I still have that skin that hangs over the elbow...gross...but I have skinnier upper arms...not sure if anything could of been done about that...would of probably had to make a scar cross ways on my elbow...that may of taken it a little too far!

Ok, so I bought a new bathing suit at Costco yesterday...same size as I have been wearing...so here's a pic.  It's 7am in the morning, and I don't look too happy, do I?  Ha ha!  And for some reason I look like I am hunching over a bit, maybe it's just the size of the boobs!!  And look, I can wear a bathing suit without some hugely supportive top!!  Also, wanted to add, it may not look like much of a difference, but when I walk the skin on my thighs doesn't wave at you...it almost used to HURT sometimes when it shook...especially when I was going to the gym and jogging on the treadmill, ugh...


I tried to find a before picture in a bathing suit, but this is the best I could find.  This was a year ago April/May, on our Honeymoon...look closely and you can actually see the skin 'pooling' around the bottom of my legs...I always kept the crotch area covered up because it looked horrible!!


Ok, to end this extremely long post, all is well.  My butt still gets sore (it's sore right now)...and I still have some openings in some of my incisions but those are healing, slowly.  My thighs are still very swollen, but they are getting better.  I still have the hematoma in the belly, but it's going down.  I have some small seroma's that are going away, and I think I have one forming in my left leg where my drain came out of, so I am watching that closely.

Would I do it again?  Yes

What I do it again exactly this way?  No - I would of added two surgeries...the anchor cut (that goes up the belly to get rid of more skin) and the upper body lift (to get rid of the skin that hangs over the back of the bra)...and I would of broken it up into two surgeries.

Ta-ta for now...I again appreciate all the support!  I can't believe that people have looked at this page over 800 times since Valentine's Day!  Wow!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Today is THE Day!

Ok, no, it's not 6 weeks yet, that is going to happen in a couple of days, so stay tuned for the new pictures...but today my last drain is coming out, yes, yes it's coming out!!  It is not draining less than 30cc's, it's not even draining less than 100cc's a day, but Dr. S says take it out.  He said the drain may actually be causing the issue...so pull it out.  I spoke with him on the phone to confirm what his email says...sometimes it's a little hard to understand his English in an email...but he said to do it!  So, his theory is, take it out, let the drain hole close up, which will force my body to start absorbing the fluid.  I think that makes sense, but I hate to see how the drain hole is going to be leaking for the next few days!  Anyway, the reason I think it makes sense is because I swell...every day I swell.  I come home from work and take my socks off and I can see where my calves are swollen...this is even before surgery...so I think a bit of swelling for me is normal.  If this doesn't force the body to start reabsorbing the fluid, then he says go to my PCP and if my PCP can't fix it...be prepared to fly back to Mexico!  I am really praying and hoping that this works out.  I start my new job on Monday....keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Corrie is coming by after work...I will post more later or tomorrow to let you know how it went.  I really feel this one may hurt a bit because it's been in so long!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hematoma & Stitch Free

So, I went to my primary care doctor today...to get an overall check-up ,ask him about this 'pooch' on my belly, check my blood pressure, etc.  I did talk to him before I went and asked if he would support me when I got back if needed, and he even did the pre-op blood work, etc.  He said he completely understood what I was doing, said I was very justified, and said he'd help me out when I got back, except if there was a wound or something, then he'd have to send me to a wound center.

Now, I guess this is partially my fault, but I asked him to take out the breast stitches and he didn't seem to keen on that.  He said "wow, that's a lot, guess I have my lunch hour."  I thought it was kind of rude and now I don't feel comfortable around him.  He did check the pooch and said it was a hematoma (pool of blood basically) and that it would be absorbed back into the body.  A bruise is a hematoma also...FYI.  He checked the drain, said there were no infections and even gave me a prescription antibiotic ointment to keep over the drain site to ensure no infection sets in.  Said just to keep the drain in until it got down to the point to take it out.  He said 20-25 and then take off suction for a day before taking it out...Dr. S said 30....I guess we will see what it gets down to.  I did get it to stop leaking though so it's much easier to handle.  I got it to stop leaking by 'stripping' the drain tube.  Basically putting lotion on my fingers and pinching the tube all the way down to make sure there were no blockages.  It has hardly leaked since I did that!  Yay!

He took out the stitches in the breast, which he said that 4 weeks was a bit long to have them in.  He did have a hard time on the left breast a bit, had to dig into the scab to get the stitch, yanno, gross.  It didn't take him more than 10 minutes per breast, I think the first one was only about 5, but who knows.  I guess he just wasn't expecting it.  I even told him that I thought he would have a nurse do it and his response was "They aren't really built for that."  I thought that was the oddest thing to say.  Anyway, I guess I'm kind of glad I am moving and have to find a new doctor...kind of don't want to see him again!

So, I still have one drain, but am completely stitch free!  Yay!  I still have a few areas that 'seep' a bit...but nothing major.  Every time I take my garment off when I shower, scabs fall off...ha ha, it's kind of gross!  And on top of that my skin is so dry from this garment, all you see is white stuff, almost looks like powder, coming off of me.  I still swell, now I mainly feel it in the evenings instead of all day!  I think I am going to be fine going back to work on Monday.  I only have two weeks left there anyway, so I need to go all I can!

Tomorrow we are going to look at our final house selections again down in Charlottesville...mom and dad and Tim and I are going...wish us luck on actually picking a house!

Another 13 days it I will be at the 6 week mark and I will post more pictures!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

3 1/2 Weeks Out

Ahhhh, 3.5 weeks out and can't wait to be 6 weeks out!!  I am doing good, still getting a bit tired, and some of the areas started bleeding a tiny bit on Sunday (the belly button and the back of the lower body lift, right smack center above my rear end).  Gregory, Tim and I drove down to Charlottesville, VA this past weekend to go look at houses for our relocation.  We looked at probably 10-12 on Saturday and then 4 or 5 or so on Sunday...I felt the scabs open up on the back on Sunday morning.  Must of been all the getting in and out of the car.  Corrie said that was an area where there was a big scab when she was removing the stitches, so that's probably all I did is rub a scab off or something.

Anyway, still swelling of course, and not as bad, but the garment is still my frienemy...I love it because it helps me fell like my skin isn't going to bust open from the swelling, but I hate wearing it because it's hot, restrictive and just plain annoying.  Imagine wearing a girdle for 6 weeks...ugh.  The scabs on my arms are almost gone, as well as a lot of other places.  Still have the stitches in the boob and he said give those another week, which will be this Thursday.  Corrie can't come over Thursday night, so going to send him pictures tomorrow and see if we can take them out tomorrow night.  Otherwise I will make an appointment with my doctor and have him take them out.  I think I should make an appointment with him anyway just as a follow-up.

I also still get tired...just worn out like I have been running all day.  I don't take naps often, and when I do it's a short one (30 minutes to an hour max), but I do lay down and sit in the chair at the computer, trying not to do too much.  Especially now that I am trying to get these scabs to close over again and heal.

I sent Dr. S the pictures of my belly 'pooch' yesterday because it's still concerning me.  He told me if it was squishy it was a seroma and I needed to get it aspirated from my doctor, if it wasn't then it's just swelling.  It's not squishy, it's actually hard so I am hoping it's just swelling.  He did do muscle repair right there so maybe it was just an extensive repair. :D


See, that's the belly pooch...it's a little zoomed in but it almost looks like I am pregnant, right?  Anyway, hopefully it's just swelling!!

Ok, so, moving to Charlottesville...I am so excited.  Tim's of course a little apprehensive, which he always is about change, but I am trying to keep him going.  He's a good guy and I have no doubt he will find a job, it will just take a bit.  He keeps saying he's not going to find a job, etc.  He worries so much and is afraid of the unknown.  If he had a job already he'd be ok, no problemo and until he does I will just have to keep reassuring him.  By the way, Tim is way smarter than I am.  Masters degree in IT, certifications, just a super smart guy.  I bought him a sweatshirt one time that says "Dangerously Overeducated," ha ha!  I have better people skills and do better at operations type jobs, but he's one smart guy.  I have no doubt he will find something!  Of course he's not pounding the pavement either...he thinks if he puts in a few applications, that's all that should happen.  He doesn't call to follow-up, he doesn't send emails to large businesses asking if they have availability (even if it's not on their web site), etc.  Anyway, he will find something his way, it will just take more time. :)

Ok, so Charlottesville...I think I am going to love it, and I think Gregory will too!  Tim will be fine as long as he has fast access Internet (he asked that question about every house we looked at).We looked at a lot of houses and decided we liked the ones that were in actually neighborhoods more (and not just a random house built on some property) because of Gregory and the whole community feel.  So we're going back this Saturday and taking my Dad for a final look at our top picks.  We have one we want Dad to look at only because it's so cheap.  It's not one of our favorites but it's over 100K less than the others and we feel we have to give it some consideration.  There are two other neighborhoods we are going to look at, there are two houses in one neighborhood (almost the exact same except one has no basement and it looks like it has been maintained better...but it's so much smaller without the basement) and then there are three houses in one neighborhood (one we didn't look at last week, but driving by it had a small yard....one had a steep short driveway with a large side yard....one had a nice back yard with flat driveway but the house was a bit overdone for me....and by overdone I mean angels painted on the tile when you walk in just a very 'forma' style, etc.).  So, we're going to look at those 6 houses this weekend and hopefully we will have a decision and go for it!  I start down there March 15th but won't bring Gregory down until we're in a house, and Tim will be coming down when he finds a job.  Charlotte will also be coming down and that depends on her transfer at work.  She's already put in the paperwork for it but her manager is out this week...they say it takes about 30 days or so.  Yes...I said Charlotte was coming down...pray for me please. :D

I am also looking forward to my job down there.  I am so excited to be going to a job that's so busy again, I miss that terribly!  I also love what the job is and I have already met my boss and his family and they are fantastic!  Just around my age and just as outgoing as I am.  I am soooo excited!!  I want to go tomorrow, but it's ok.  I will be down there when I am done wearing the garment and should be good to go!  I may still swell a bit but by that time I can start lifting things again, exercising more (heh, like I did much before) and the normal stuff.  I am ready!!  Woooohoooo!!  Wish us luck!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Stitches are Out! Well, most of them. :)

So I sent Dr. S pictures of all my stitches yesterday.  There were a couple I was concerned about.  The ones in the groin area that go along my panty line at each upper thigh...there are still holes between stitches, and you can see through the holes to some white stuff, like tendon or muscle or something.  It's kinda gross.  Anyway, Dr. S said this was normal and that the stitches were still able to be taken out.  Was so odd!  Anyway, the second concern was the boobs, there is still some separation between the areola and the skin, and a little leaking.  It's not clear like the groin ones, it's actually kinda scabby still, etc.  Anyway, he said leave those in another week, but the rest could come out!

So, since we're going to Charlottesville to look at houses this weekend, Corrie had to come over last night and do it.  She got to the house around 7pm and concentrated the whole time and didn't take a break and was done at 11pm!  She took those stitches out like nobody's business.  She had to pick off scabs on some of them, and be in places she's never been so close to me at (groin stitches) but she was enjoying every minute!  Ok, that sounded funny...not that she was enjoying being in the groin area, but the fascination with this kind of stuff kept her going!  She has such a strong stomach that it didn't bother her one bit!  I am lucky to have a best friend like her!!

Ok, and as I said, Gregory and Tim and I are heading to Charlottesville tonight.  Have already contacted a realtor out there and she's sent us some houses, and she's going to make some appointments.  My credit union approved us for a lot more than we want to spend, so we've got that done too.  Maybe we'll be lucky and find something this weekend, wouldn't that be a hoot?!?!  We're also going to have dinner on Saturday with my new boss and his wife while we're there.  We had dinner with them last time we went down and had a great time!  The kids got along great, my parents loved them....and we loved them!  Tim was a little quiet when we first got there, but he opened up (as usual!) and we all had a good time!  I may be a little tired from the day, but I am sure we will have another fantastic time!

I decided to add a couple more pictures for your viewing pleasure....this is pre-op of my left arm all the skin within the black markings (from the top to bottom) is what he removed!
This is 3 week post-op of my left arm, after removal of the skin, but the stitches are still in.  It's swollen, but you can see a big difference!


Oh, I can't wait til the end of the swelling to see the final results.  They say it's a good total 6 months until you have your real final results....so we still have a while to go!  Corrie and Alex (her bf) and Tim and I are planning on going to an all inclusive in October, and Corrie thinks I should wear a 2-piece bathing suit!  I don't think I even wore one as a child, but I am sure I did.  Didn't everyone?  Who knows!  I told her we would have to go shopping and I could try some on. :)

Wish us luck in Charlottesville this weekend, hopefully we will find something we fall in love with right away and not have to search for weekends at a time!  :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Are you ready?!?!

Ok, so you've probably scrolled down and looked at the pictures already, but if you haven't...DON'T!  Ha ha, just kidding.  Seriously though, if you don't want to see me in almost all of my glory, don't look!  I am posting a before picture and a three-week after picture.  Now, remember, I still have one drain, all my stitches and I am swill swollen as all get out!  This is my before picture, it makes me cringe!

And ta-da!  This is after.


Now, remember, I still have tons of swelling, so I am not sure of what finals will look like...but it's a big improvement!  I have this line straight down the center of my belly that looks 'poochy' but I am thinking maybe the only way to get rid of that is with the anchor cut...which I couldn't do because I had lipo on the back.  Speaking of back...


And...


I have some very 'poochy' areas at the upper rear thighs also, so not sure if those are going to go away or if thats the way it is.  Still a huge improvement!  Ok ok, and yes, I put a line over my butt crack....so you can't figure out what it is, right?  Hey, at least it makes me feel better!

How do you like the new belly button BTW?  Couldn't even see the old one, ha ha!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Another Drain Gone

So, Corrie came by after work tonight and cut the stitch holding the drain and and removed the drain from my right arm.  Finally!  It burned, not as bad as the left arm, but it did burn.  She pulled it out just pulling once and not stopping!  I was yelling and Tim heard me upstairs, and he doesn't like that.  He wanted Gregory to turn the TV up so he didn't hear it, but it was over in like 10 seconds.  It burned for quite a while after and I can still feel it, but it's ok!  I took some Tylenol right when she got here.

I have one drain left, but unfortunately it went UP in draining yesterday!  From 140cc's the day before to 180cc's yesterday?!?!  WHAT?!?!  <sigh>  It's the left leg, and it's not so hard to hide in the pant leg if the pant leg is wide...and most of my pant legs are.  I plan on going to work tomorrow, was going to go in later but Government is 2 hour delayed!  Woot!  So then I don't have to take leave. :)  Speaking of pants...we went to lunch today, the whole family for like a delayed Valentine's Day lunch...and I put on my old jeans.  Here I am thinking I am going to have to wear a belt to hold them up...but noooooooooooo...they fit the exact same!  I know I am swollen and everything but I wanted to see at least a little bit of difference!

Corrie and I have plans Friday night to take all the stitches out as long as Dr. S says it's ok.  I am sure at least the arm and boob stitches will come out, probably the lower body lift stitches too.  It is going to take a while with that many stitches and we'll order dinner and watch a movie while we're doing it I guess.  The skin is growing over the stitches a little bit...but we will get them out, hopefully, ha ha.  Corrie's sister was excited that Corrie got to do this today, because her sister is studying to be a physicians assistant.  Corrie should do something like that too because she has such a strong stomach!

I am going to take some pictures on Thursday...that is three weeks out.  I haven't really felt like taking any so far because I am in such a hurry to get my compression garments back on after showering.  I am so swollen and he took so much skin that I feel like I am going to bust my stitches!  It didn't feel that bad this morning so I think that means the swelling is going down!  Yay!

Anyway, next post will probably be with pictures!  How exciting!  Be prepared!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there!  And Happy Anniversary to Greg and Jackie Six (in-laws)!  They were married at 6pm on Valentine's Day!  Woot!  I want you *all* to know how much I appreciate and love all of you for your support!  It has been invaluable through all of this, and you all know how I love attention anyway, ha ha! :)

So, update....Corrie took out the drain two days ago.  It was difficult.  As I explained before, the last 6-8" of the drain gets a little wider, and flat...and look like one of those watering hoses you put in your garden with all the holes in it.  So, imagine this tube hanging out of me for a couple of weeks.  The opening is just big enough for the tube to come out.  Corrie was pulling on it and we actually thought it was stuck, or a scab had formed around the tube or something, it was hard to pull out!  So I was pulling on it and it was coming out only an inch or two, but was coming out.  Finally, after getting a bag of ice and holding it on the girlie parts for a while (which was really unnecessary), I said ok Corrie, just do it!!  Well, she pulled (as I screamed) and what was getting stuck was the wider, flatter part.  Once she got the beginning of that out, I didn't feel another thing!  Taking out that tube which was maybe a foot long (it went straight up my stomach, had to reach my boobs it was so long) took about 30 minutes or so.  I was afraid I was going to have to go to the doctor and have him remove it, ugh!  My right arm drained at 35cc yesterday, so I am hoping it will be at 30 tomorrow and can come out!  She will have to come over after work tomorrow...that will be another one down!  The left leg is still draining over 100cc's, but it has gone down about 5-10 cc's a day...slowly, ugh!  Oh, and when Corrie saw all the stitches around my body, she said "It looks like you were cut in half, like a bad magic trick!"  Leave it to Corrie to make me laugh. :)

Yesterday I got ready mostly by myself.  Charlotte came in just in time to help me hook and zip the compression garment.  It's hard to reach with both hands, it goes from upper thigh to just under boobs on each side.  And it's still very tight, so I have to pull the garment closed while she hooks.  I am hoping the swelling goes down soon!  I wasn't going to shower at all yesterday...well, that was the plan, but I am sure I would have.  Putting this garment on and off and on and off is getting annoying.  It was easier because I don't have to bandage all the stitches now, only the ones that are still leaking.  My upper thighs are leaking, the inner part, I think that's because they don't get much air in there and my left boob, the bottom part of the stitches.  I don't know why that's leaking, but the Doctor said the more activity I do, the more they will tend to leak.  They are all drying up, just those areas slower.  Anyway, the reason I ended up getting ready was because Corrie and I went to the movies, we saw Valentine's Day.  Not what I expected...cute, but not super funny or anything.  I would wait til it's out on HBO or something, ha ha.

I was looking at my thighs this morning in the compression suit, one looks a different shape than the other, but I am hoping it's just swelling.  One has a drain and one doesn't so I would imagine it would be less swollen (that's the smaller one).  We will see.

Nothing exciting planned for me today.  My family has been taking care of me all week so I expect nothing else, although Charlotte did give me a card and a very cute pink coffee mug, it has hearts and things on it too! It's very cute!  I told Gregory we would go out to lunch tomorrow, since we are all going to be home.  It won't be as busy!!

I have emailed a realtor for Charlottesville, so we are going down next weekend to look at houses.  So exciting!

I think that's all for now, one more day after today for me to be home.  I think I will be at work on Tuesday, at least for a few hours until I get too tired.  The swelling is just still bad.  I put on my wedding rings the other night and they slipped right on with no issue, but I haven't been able to take them off since!  It seems like I had a lull in my swelling that day!  I don't seem any worse in the morning, in the evening, etc.  It just seems the same all day long, so the only real issue is the fatigue.  It's normal I know, my body is doing a lot of healing!  I can go in at least for a few hours until I get tired.

Thanks again to everyone for their support and I think I will take pictures at the 3 week mark which will be Thursday.  I don't want to post too soon, as I am still so swollen!  Happy Valentine's Day!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

One More Drain...Ah Ah Ah

Had to stick with the theme up there in the title, right?  :)  Well, that one more drain isn't out yet, but Corrie is coming over to remove it this afternoon.  I will still have two more left, with one of them possibly ready on Sunday or Monday.  The other one is still draining over 100cc's and has to be below 30 to remove.  Might be another dang week before that one comes out.

By the way, Corrie is excited to come take this out, she told me to make sure it was nice and full too, ha ha.  She's so freaky but she makes me laugh like nobody's business!  Charlotte said she would pull it out if she had to (but the look on her face said "PLEASE NO!").  Also, Charlotte has done extremely well in helping me bandage and put cream on the stitches, etc.  She gets a little grossed out when a drain is in the way, but she has pulled through for me, I am extremely proud of her!  She even rubbed lotion on my body this morning, I am so dry I am peeling!  I think it's from the garment.  Anyway, she said "do you want me to rub lotion on your butt?  I don't *want* to, but I will if you need me to!"  I am surrounded by people who make me laugh, which is good but at this point in healing it makes my stomach hurt!!  :)

I am doing well, getting tired still.  Tried to shower and bandage and everything alone this morning but when I was drying off I got exhausted and had to go lay down before I was done.  If I can't do it alone by Monday, I won't be going to work on Tuesday.  I am scheduled to go back on Tuesday, but we will see what happens.  Since government got off most of this week I didn't have to take leave...gives me more time. :)  My swelling in my hands and feet have gone down.  I was able to put my wedding rings on last night before bed...I wouldn't be able to take them off right now if I had to, but they aren't really tight or anything.  I can't believe I was more swollen when I woke up then when I went to bed, how odd.  My forearms and calves are still swollen.  My calves are so swollen the bottom of the compression garment (they are capri length) is bruising me!  They look more swollen then just after surgery!  I ordered some compression socks to wear too, that should help with the swelling down there a lot.

I spoke to someone on the Obesity Help boards and she said her peak swelling was 2-3 weeks out...so I am not alone.  Yesterday was two weeks post-op...so give it a few more days and maybe it will go down more!  I only have to wear the garment for 6 weeks (only, right?!?!) but some people wear them for longer because they swell too much during the day.  They will not wear it at night, but still wear it during the day at work and things.  Some people buy what's called Stage 2 compression garments, which get a little smaller (since you're swelling goes down) and maybe not so tight?  I am thinking about it, but they are expensive and I don't know if I will need them.

Anyway, I am going to go lay down now.  Getting up, showering, checking Facebook and eating breakfast is about all I can do at once, ha ha.  I didn't nap during the day yesterday for the first time but I did sleep pretty well last night.  Tim finally went to work today, but now we have a three day weekend!  It took him a couple of hours to get there because the public transportation still isn't running correctly because of the snow that's piled up everywhere.  At least he got out of here one day this week and then can take the next three days to recup, ha ha!

By the way Mom is MUCH better, thank God!  I was so worried about her I had contingency plans in my head when we flew home.  I was hoping we'd at least get to Dallas, and if things weren't better I was going to get her to the hospital there.  She sounds so much better now, and she says the only thing sore on her today is the roof of her mouth from the surgery still.  I was so extremely worried, I almost didn't know what to do!  Ugh, anyway, thank goodness things are better.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Home Sweet Home and other Ramblings

Ok, so from the title I am sure you can gather I am home now.  Got home last night, still with 3 drains and all the stitches!  Ugh!  Mom was sick the last few days we were there and the entire travel day home, she says it's from some medicine she was on.  She weighed herself and lost 20 lbs while we were there!  That's not just a little sick if you ask me!  I wanted Dad to take her to the hospital but he says that she's much better tonight.  She better be! <shakes finger>  By the way she got her teeth done, they look great.  She ended up having to have oral surgery because...I will try to make this short....she had a root canal in the US, and you know the post they put up in there?  It was too far in there and it had infected her gums.  The dentist had to cut her open, shave off the top of the post as well as remove all the infected tissue, and sew her back up.  She had stitches too.  What a pair we made. :)

Nothing exciting going on except my healing.  Every day I get stronger and stronger and I think every day my swelling goes down, but I don't know for sure because this garment is so tight!  Today Charlotte helped me bandage my stitches and put my compression garments on after my shower...she did very well.  The drains grossed her out, as did that many stitches, but she was a trooper.  By the time she was done she said "I don't like this game anymore."  Ha ha!

Last night when I got home Charlotte, Gregory and Tim had me laughing so hard it was hurting my stomach!  I kept telling them to stop.  They've all been stuck in the house almost the entire time I have been gone with snow!  I am shocked they didn't kill each other, ha ha!

I will say that Gregory said to me when I walked in (and I was in a sweat suit)..."Mom, you look so skinny!!"  Well, isn't that a compliment!  Don't think I have heard that much in my life before, ha ha!  I still have this 'pooch' that runs up the middle of my stomach and I am hoping it's just some swelling as I didn't have that before.  Not like that at least, going straight up the middle!

I am hoping one more drain can come out tomorrow, the stitch that holds it in already came loose and I actually had to push it back up in there in the airport yesterday about an inch.  Right now I have it taped as to not let it fall out.  It drained 45 cc's yesterday and they have to be below 30 to take them out.  Corrie wants to be the one to take them out, but we are expecting 4-12 inches of snow tonight, not sure she can make it in time.  I guess she will have to take the next one out, ha ha!

Hmmm, I think that's all the ramblings for now.  Oh, Charlotte has expressed interest in moving to Charlottesville with us...I want her with me, but lord if I kick her out down there she's got nowhere to go, lol.  I better think this one through thoroughly!

Thanks again for everyone's prayers, well wishes and compliments on the blog!  I hope I don't disappoint!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Two More Drains....Ah Ah Ah

So, I got two more drains out today, the right thigh and the left arm.  The thigh, felt no pain.  I felt it snaking through me coming out, but no pain whatsoever.  I was freaking myself out thinking of the pain!  Then he did the left arm AND HOLY HELL!  It burned like I was in all 7 layers of Hell at once!  I can handle continuous dull aching pain but sharp intense pain is not my cup of tea!  I am glad he did the thigh first because it made me think the arm wasn't going to hurt, ha ha, and made me calm down!  I know, I know, I go through all this and I can't handle the 20 seconds of burning pain?  Yeah, no, I can't!  I have three more drains in, and if they don't stop draining right now, I am going to go home with all three. <cry>  I just want the last mons drain out, I  can deal with the right arm and left thigh, I just want the last one coming out of my crotch out!  It's hard to wear pants with this thing!

So, anyway, Doc was here today to do that and he was very happy with the work.  He was saying things like "very nice shape on the thighs" and "very nice waist" and I have to admit, he's right.  He asked how I liked my stomach and I did say it was still 'poochy' but that was probably still the swelling.  EVERYTHING is great...it will never ever be perfect, I jumped off of that train a long time ago, but it is significantly better than what it was!  And do I mean significant!  I don't want to post too many pictures because the swelling is still so intense, that although it shows a huge difference, it isn't final.  I will take some pictures next week when I am home.  Right now it's kind of hard because I don't want to make Patty wait for me to take pictures before she helps me into my garment.

Everything else is still about the same.  I walked over to the HEB mall today and thought I wasn't going to make it back because I got so tired!  Mom is feeling AWFUL because of a combination of not sleeping, oral surgery yesterday (she has 5 stitches in her mouth) and stomach issues from the antibiotics she is on.  She took a shower this morning but other than that she hasn't gotten out of bed.  I brought her back some breakfast from the lobby today and she hasn't eaten much else.  I really hope she feels better, I feel so bad for her. :(

Well, the Doc comes by tomorrow at 6:00pm to pick me up for evaluation of my stitches.  I hope he can take some out, but doesn't really matter, if they need to stay in for better healing, than so be it!

I will try to post more before I leave, but only 2 nights left.  I actually hope we can get out of here with all that snow back home!!

Ramble more later...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Just Stuff

Ok, more ramblings from me, but first...I got two mons drains out!  Woohoo!  OMG!  First of all, one was very sore at the entry point and when he cut the stitch holding it in I yelled "OWWWW" and he just looked at my mother and blinked.  I thought he took the thing out and all he did was cut the stitch!  That one was just so very sensitive there.  Anyway...ok, if you've never had a drain pulled out like I've never had a drain pulled out, it is the oddest feeling in the world.  The two drains that he pulled out came out of the mons area (the front of the girlie area) and one snaked around the left side of my body and the other snaked around the right side of my body.  And when I say snaked around, I mean snaked around.  I felt them all the way in my BUTT as they were coming out.  It was like my skin was crawling!  The tubes were at least 2 feet long!  So, they are mostly clear tubes but the last 6 inches or so was more flat, more wide, white, and had holes all in it.  Reminds me of those hoses they use to water the lawn that have holes all down it so water comes out of every part?  You know what I am talking about, right?  Anyway, not like you're going to answer...I don't even know who I am talking to!  Ha ha!  Ok, off-track there...anyway....  The first was more painful because of the site being so sore...the second didn't really hurt until the white part was coming out...it's wider than the tube and did hurt...I just can't imagine doing that myself.  Corrie wants me to come home with a drain and I told her she would be the one taking it out, but after that pain I don't know.  He told me this morning that I will almost definitely be taking the left thigh drain home, because it's still draining over 100cc's a day, although it has been coming down.  I just can't imagine doing that myself!  Corrie is into all that gore, so she would probably pull it an inch and laugh while I screamed and keep doing that.  She's mean like that!  :p

Ok, enough of drains...I have decided to post just a couple before shots...I wanted to wait until I had some 'before and after' shots together, but why not show you guys what I was working with!
Ok, this is my right inner thigh.  See those lines that go from my thumb to thumb?  That is the skin he REMOVED.  Can you believe it?  He removed everything inside those lines!!  Unbelievable!  I asked him this morning how much skin he removed and he said about 10 pounds!!!!  And skin doesn't even weigh that much!   Lordy lordy.

This is my left arm, and again, everything inside the lines he removed.  How do you like that leopard print bra I had on?  Ha ha!  I wanted to try to be sexy one last time I guess...umm...no comment. :D

TEN POUNDS of skin, can you believe it?  And 4 liter's of FAT?  AMAZING!  I don't know the weight of the boobs he put in, or the fat in the butt, but I would hope it wasn't that much, ha ha!

Alright, that's enough ramblings for now...going to go eat a snack and put on jammies.  Mom and I went to the Italian place for lunch today with Lisa, another patient who had surgery.  She makes me sick, I tell ya.  She had no lipo done and so even with all the stitches is up and around almost like she hasn't had surgery!  Ugh!  :D

Oh, one last thing.  Lisa Blevins-Dreszer (a different Lisa, family friend) wrote mom an email and told her we should have an 'unveiling party' when I get back and am healed.  How funny is that, I love the concept.  My 40th birthday is this summer, maybe that is what it will be!  We will see!

Ramble more later!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Two Drains...Ah Ah Ah

Ok, so I was trying to be like the Count from Sesame Street, but I am so excited!  Dr. S came by and he is taking TWO drains out tomorrow!  Woohooo!  And they are two from the girlie area...those suckers are getting tender at the spot where the enter!

Ok, that's all, wanted to just say how excited I was!

An Early Morning Ramble

So since I updated this blog last night, no real reason for me to update it today...but I feel like rambling about a few things.

First of all, Montazuma's revenge is almost gone, no more stomach gurgling, which is a good thing!

Second, I don't think I ever told you guys about my boobies!  Ha ha, ok, well, my implants.  They are gummy implants...which makes me want to eat them!  LOL  Ok, so...the doctor had some on his desk when we were there doing the consultation...and they looked funny.  They had one with a hole in it so you could squeeze it, and the gummy would poke out, and then when you let go it went back in.  Reminded me of one of those toy balls that looks normal, but when you squeeze it, it stretches out the holes with maybe fake bugs or fake eyeballs in it! I don't have any fake bugs, but wouldn't that be funny for the mammographist!  Is that a word?  Not sure, but you know what I mean. :) ..."Ummm, ma'am.  We have an issue with your implant..."  HA HA!  Crack me up.

The boobs are still big...I am not sure they are going to be a full C, I am thinking more D...which is bigger than I asked, but I did tell the doctor that I wanted a full C, but then I wanted something to look good on my frame.  Guess I shouldn't of left it to him, considering he fully admitted to being a boob man to mom and I, ha ha.  I told him the other day they looked a little big and told me someone would thank him and owe him one.  We will see if Tim cares one way or another.  He has always loved me just the way I was. :)

Speaking of Tim...I guess this is the third thing...I love him.  He is such a good man.  He is home right now with 4 dogs (ok, 2 of them were his fault) and 2 kids (I'd like to blame him for those too but I can't, ha ha).  He helped Gregory with his science fair project, which failed, but it wasn't their fault at all.  He also has been shoveling snow and stuff too.  He loves me.  He loved my body before these surgeries, but he loves me enough to let me go do what I want, and he supports me the best way he can.  He's a good man.  I think at home they will be getting another foot or two of snow this weekend, so he will be shoveling that for my return on Monday night I am sure!  I do love him so.

Hmm...what else can I ramble on about.  I have about 45 minutes until I am going to go get ready for Patty to get here...empty drains, take off bandages and begin a shower.  I may even be done by the time she gets here!  Then she only has to bandage me up and help me squeeze into my sausage casing, I mean compression garments.  I am thinking I may even get drains out today or tomorrow or something.  I am not sure if Dr. S will remove drains at the hotel, or if you have to go to his office for that.  He said he is coming by to see me today, but I can't for the life of me remember when he said....morning?  afternoon?  Blah, I can't remember, maybe mom will when she's 'fully awake.'

Oh, this will be number 4 then...Mom.  Mom is great, isn't she?  She came all this way to help me out for this long.  She may of not agreed initially with what I was doing, I don't really know.  She never showed me her disapproval if she did!  She has just unconditionally supported me.  I feel bad because she's not sleeping much.  She's trying to take her OTC sleep aid, but it doesn't seem to be doing much for her.  It's hard to get comfortable without being in your own bed...I know.  She's walked to the HEB (grocery store) to get ice cream, she's walked and gotten me lunch, she's helped me in and out of the bed, washed clothes, etc.  It's also hard being in such a closed in room for so long...umm, especially when we both had the runs from something we ate!  She bought a candle at the HEB, ha ha.  It also stinks in here just because we eat in here, have the trash, the refrigerator, etc.  We can open the window which should be nice today because it is supposed to warm up a bit.

Alright, I think that's enough ramblings for this morning.  It's a little after 7 and I am going to go check facebook and things and then go start taking off the bandages and shower.  Patty should be here about 8:25.  Love you all and ramble more later. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Days 5 & 6 Post-Op

So, it's the evening of day 6 post-op, and I think I am more swollen today than I have been at all!  Of all the people I have followed through this process with this same doctor, they say that they 'peak' at day 4, and then it's better and better every day after that...I think I had a double day 'peak' and I am hoping it's over tonight!

I know that I didn't keep my feet up as much as I should have yesterday, but I didn't realize this chair that they have in the hotel has a footrest that raises up, ha ha.  This chair is like made for Corrie (sorry Corrie!).  It's just not what you expect in a lounge chair.  I want my leather Lazy Boy!

Anyway, yesterday, day 5.  I was out of bed at 5am on the computer and trying not to wake mom up, but she sleeps so light that there's no way not to wake her up!  I felt so bad but I get out of bed and walk around like a zombie moaning and everything.  I unplugged one of the laptops to plug the other in and it came out too fast and hit the chair, and I did kind of whisper loudly "owww" because it was my arm where my stitches are that hit the arm of the chair.  I am sure she heard that.  Anyway, she was being picked up at 9 by the dentist and I knew that Patty, the nurse, was going to be here around 8:45 or so I tried to do something nice before she had to get out of bed and got myself dressed (since she's doing so much for me) and walked down to the lobby and got a whole tray full of food!  But holy cow did it wear me out!  I don't see how I did it!  I sat down and scarfed food like I was starving, but only got 1/4 of a waffle down.  I haven't had much of an appetite.

So after mom showered I started taking off my compression garments to get ready for my shower.  You have to do that laying or sitting down because all the blood goes rushing to those parts and you may get dizzy.  I haven't gotten dizzy once but why take the chance!  So anyway, took off the garments and was taking off the bandages and Patty came.  She helped me with the rest.  It's still such an odd feeling taking the bandage tape off of numb areas, so odd.  But of course, I  am numb but when she gets to the sides it tickles and I jump and then I say "ouch"!  Go figure, only me would be numb but still ticklish!  I took my shower and I usually get half way through washing myself and get exhausted.  I get out of the shower and Patty helps me dry off (she's such a wonderful nurse) and then I actually lay down on the bed while she puts on the antibiotic ointment and bandages.  I roll back and forth on the sides so she can do the sides and back.  She also puts on my compression garments while I am laying down...she's good!

So, got dressed and sat in the chair some more and hung out.  Mom was gone to the dentist so I was alone.  I  went and hung out with Mary and then she came here and hung out while we waited for Mom.  I decided if mom wasn't back by 12:30 we would head to lunch and bring her back something, so that's what we did.  We went to this Italian restaurant (yeah, I ate Italian while in Mexico, what of it??) and oh lord it was good.  I could only thing of Dad and how he would enjoy the restaurant.  They brought fresh rosemary bread to the table and had olive oil with herbs and balsamic vinegar on the table, although they didn't speak English.  I would venture a guess saying they didn't speak Italian either, ha ha!  Anyway, we headed back and my luck they were cleaning my room because of course I was exhausted by then.  I hung out with Mary a bit more and then Mom came back.  Mom and I both took a nap after she ate some of the food I brought back and decided we need to not take naps in the afternoon because we never want to get up!  Dr. S came by and checked on me and brought his partner.  I forget his name, but I honestly don't think he spoke English.  He stood in the room very awkwardly (is that how you spell that??) while Dr. S sits on the end of the bed very comfortably and chats with me.  I told him I was a bit tired and he said it's like a double edged sword...you have to walk around to prevent blood clots, but the more you walk around the more swollen you would get.  Nice.  Didn't do much the rest of the day, took my Ambien and thought I would be going to sleep...but I woke up an hour later.  WHAT?  Where is my Ambien?  That has never happened to me!  I got up, went to the bathroom and drank some more water thinking maybe it was stuck in my throat...although I didn't feel anything.  Good thing I went back to sleep and didn't wake up til about 4:30...but thank the Lord I rolled over and went back to sleep again until 7:30...woohoooo!!!

Ok, so now it's day 6.  I still feel bad, very swollen and very tired and decided I was taking it easier today.  My head also has felt weird all day.  I don't know how to explain it other than it's almost as if my brain feels swollen too!  It's like the beginning of a headache...but it never really hits me.  So anyway, I got out of bed while trying to take the garments off...of course to try to get in the shower before Patty gets here.  I actually took off all my own bandages today!  It's still the oddest thing, but I sucked it up and did it!  I even didn't tickle myself, ha ha!  I was out of the shower and laying on the bed naked when she got here.  **Funny thing:  When Patty walked in she kind of rubbed her throat and said "I have.." and then she coughed a bit while she put a cough drop in her mouth.  I said "oh no!" and she responded "oh jes!"  Ha ha, I thought that was the funniest thing.**  You have no humility here.  I was just so exhausted and it felt so good to lay down that I didn't care that I was laying there half spread eagle (I have stitches on the inside of the thighs).  Hey, she puts gauze and tape on the girlie bits so it's not as if she doesn't see it already!  After I got all bandaged up, compression garments on and dressed (mom showered and was ready before I was ready), we grabbed Mary and walked down to breakfast.  Again, didn't eat much, maybe 1/4 of a waffle but I did drink a glass of OJ too, but was still exhausted when I was done.  We were supposed to go see another patient in the clinic who had surgery yesterday, but I just couldn't do it.  I didn't do anything...mom and Mary walked to the little shopping center right here with the HEB.  Apparently there is a second floor with a food court.  Mom got me a salad with TONS of cucumbers!  YAY!  Love cucumbers!  I ate more of that than I did the waffle, mmm mmm good. It had beets too!  YUM!  While they left the cleaning lady was in here doing her work.  I was sitting in the chair with my eyes closed nodding off, and she got a phone call half way through and proceeded to talk on the phone the rest of the time she was cleaning.  Ugh.  She did turn all the lights off when she left because I was dozing, but still didn't stop talking.  Whatever!  Ha ha!

I did not do much the rest of the day.  Gregory was at home again this week for a snow day!  I guess back home is expecting another blizzard like storm this weekend!  Like 1-2 feet they say between Friday and Saturday.  Ugh.  Good thing I come home on Monday so it should be all cleared by then.  Anyway, sidetrack there.  So, Dr. S came by in the evening and I had emailed him and asked him to bring a blood pressure cuff and check my bp.  I haven't taken my medication since before surgery because it's either been a little low or normal.  I wanted to make sure this odd feeling I had wans't due to that.  We talked about how much my drains are draining...they have actually slowed down draining quite a bit today and are starting to turn more clear (instead of read with BLOOD, ha ha).  I just had to do that, sorry, ha ha!  He told me that the feeling I was having might have something to do with not eating much.  My body is burning a lot of calories right now and needs more to burn.  He actually told me to eat some CHOCOLATE!  Can you believe it, see, when I eat it I am going to say "my doctor told me to!"  HA HA, I have an excuse and you don't!  <sticks tongue out at you>  Woot woot!

So....what happened next?  Mom went to HEB and got some ice cream and chocolate!  I still really don't have an appetite and feel like I have to force myself to eat, but man the ice cream was good!  It was mocha chocolate!  It's funny, the front of the container with the brand and the type of ice cream is in English, but the ingredients are in Spanish. Weird peeps!  I ate maybe a fifth of the pint, but it is in the freezer and I am going to eat a little every day.  Poor me! :)  We walked down to the happy hour they have here and I had about 3/4 of a ham sandwich and some chips and mom just had some apple juice.  She's not eating as much as she should be either but she ate some ice cream too. :)

So now I'm just sitting here, updating my blog and playing on Facebook.  How do I feel?  I feel ok, just tired and my butt didn't hurt most of the day but it is starting to hurt now.  I am about to take another pain pill.  Did I have any dreams last night?  I think I did, but obviously not as funny as the goat one. :D

I also wanted to throw in there thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with the blog and sends me such great feedback.  It's amazing that anyone reads my ramblings!  Well, this one is kinda long so I don't know if anyone will make it to the end here to read this...but if you do...THANK YOU!  You guys know how I love to be center of attention and this feels good, ha ha!  I crack myself up...

EDIT:  I forgot to put in here today that apparently I have a bit of Montazuma's revenge.  Is that how you spell that...I can probably spell that better than diarhea?  Is that it?  Ha ha, no clue!  But man...my tummy has been rumbling for two days now and it finally finished! LOL!  Ha, I still crack myself up...

EDIT NUMBER TWO: HA HA!  Mom just came out of the bathroom and she has the same thing.  I guess it's just all in a visit to Mexico!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 4 is Done

So, it's very early Day 5 and I figured I would post an update...what else is there to do at 6am in the morning? Ha ha!

I thought the nurse, Patty, would be to my room around 9 or so, so I got up at about 8:15 and was going to try to be showered already when she got here. I don't get dizzy in the shower or anything like a lot of others do, I just get exhausted after! I figure this way I could lay on the bed with the compression garments off and just air out a while. Having these things on 24-7 is getting a bit tiring, but it needs to be done...I was just looking for a few minutes of air! Ha ha! Anyway, I was in the bathroom, shower was on and I was trying to remove all the bandages before I got in the shower instead of letting them fall to the drain..

--We interrupt this rambling for this commentary: Ok, taking bandages off of areas that are still numb is the most odd feeling in the world! Most all my stitch areas are still numb because of the removal of skin and that means nerve reassignment or repair has to happen or whatever it is called. So I was going slow because it was freaky and so glad she arrived. Now, back to the regularly scheduled ramblings.--

So, that is when Patty arrived, and I was glad to have her help removing the bandages. I got in the shower and it felt so good. At the clinic they didn't even have washcloths so I had a real washcloth and I could really just feel better washing most of what I could. I can almost bend and touch my toes now, but it's still very slow doing so and sore. Anyway, showering always makes me feel better. :)

Out of the shower Patty dried off what I couldn't, and I was getting tired already. Once I was dried off I asked her if I could sit down. She told me to lay on the bed and she could do what she did while I was laying down. What she did was put antibiotic ointment on all of my stitches and new gauze taping it on. I did roll from side to side (slowly) so she could do the stitches around the sides and back, but she let me lay down the whole time. She also put on my compression garments while I was laying down! She got them all the way up the arms and thighs and I was amazed. Apparently nurses here don't get paid too much so she leaves the clinic at 8 am and then visits all Dr. S's patients in the hotel and then goes back to work that night for another 12 hour shift. I don't know if she works at the clinic 7 days a week but she sure does work at the hotel 7 days a week. I don't think I haven't seen some overlap of patients from the Obesity Help boards since I joined in November. I did see that there is a gap late in February...so not sure how that effects her. All the patients I know have left her a tip of at least $50, but I think I may do more since she stays an hour a day with me. Dr. S pretty much said she lives off of the tips she makes here. Anyway, she is great.

--Another interruption while I go empty my drains....yes drains. I will have to tell you about these!--

Ok, so for the rest of the day after Patty left, I ate breakfast (mom had gone down and gotten it from the free breakfast for me while Patty was here because I would of missed it), hung out with Mary, the three of us went to Applebee's for lunch, then napped, then hung out with Mary more, and then met Lisa at about 10:15pm who is a new arrival. She is getting marked up this morning and then straight to surgery. She's alone so Mary and I met her in the lobby and welcomed her and chatted with her, etc. :) She's very nice and just a little nervous, so we hoped we were helping her be calmer, which probably doesn't work. So that was the day...pain? Yes, still in the but/lower back area and abs of course...the rest is still just soreness. I didn't notice much of the swelling going down during the day, but day by day it has to get better, right? Oh, I told Dr. Sauceda last night (when he brought Lisa) that I wanted to count the stitches as we remove them, and he said please don't! Ha ha. He guestimated that I have about 1000 stitches! Yikes!

Ok...now, drains! Dun dun dun! If you're squeamish then maybe you shouldn't read this part, it is kinda gross. So, I have these tubes coming out of my skin in different areas, and they are just held at that point by stitch material wrapped around the tube, and then in my skin and the tube apparently goes way into the body. For example, on my lower arm at the elbow area I have one coming out, and inside it goes up through the arm to where all the stitches are, which is up to my arm pit. So I have one of these drains on both arms, both thighs and three coming out of the mons (yes, the upper girlie part). Those three are for the lower body lift, one goes around left, one goes around right, and one goes up through the middle. So, they are clear tubes that go down to these bulb type things on the end. You squeeze the bulbs and then put the top on it so it provides suction to the tube that goes inside...getting out all the blood at first and then it turns clear and it's removing more water from the swelling. Sometimes there's pieces of something floating in there, maybe tissue, maybe fat, I don't know. It's kind of gross but I have gotten used to it. If you take out your drains too soon you could get a seroma, which is a buildup of fluid under the skin which may be absorbed back into the body eventually, or you may have to go get them aspirated, which I think means they stick a needle in you and suck out the fluid. Either way, I want them kept in as long as they need to be. Some people have to go home with them. I measure them as I empty them and I have one that is measuring at 30cc's in 24 hours and one that is over 200. It seems my left side of my body is draining more. He said I may be able to get one or two out within the next two days. They are odd to have to carry around and hide from people, but if it helps me heal, then so be it.

--Another side note...when we were in Applebee's and we were getting up leaving, it's quite funny because Mary and I take so long to get up, and then walk like we have a load in our diaper (according to mom). So there were these two younger women sitting at a booth across from us and I saw one say something and then point her head towards us, and they both stopped talking and looked at us. I told Mary they were talking about us...not like I care, probably will never see them again...but then I realized one of my drains was hanging out of my jacket. Gross, huh? Have a nice lunch! Ha ha!--

--Another another side note...so, since I have been on the sleeping pills, when I don't take them I dream a lot, which I never used to do, even while napping.  When I was napping yesterday, or trying to, I had the weirdest dream.  I was in something that looked like a Mexican town and this meteor hit the ground right in front of me, but instead of making a dent in the ground it kind of broke up.  Then when I stood there looking at it, I realized it wasn't a meteor, it was a group of killer bee's!  So people around me didn't make a big deal of it, like, they come to get one person and that person is already picked and so they felt safe.  So, the bee's flew off in a big swarm and it was like a cartoon, they covered someone and swiped them off to never never land.  But then they came back, this is when some people got concerned.  So I ran into one building which was like a restaurant just to try to be inside away from them.  They were seating people in this restaurant like there was nothing going on, so I yelled at them that there were bees, and then looked around and realized it was open windows so I wasn't safe.  So I was running down the street and ran into this old shack looking building that had a hole in it and there were a bunch of people trying to close the whole with a board and I just busted through that thing!  So I got in this dark, cramped, crowded place trying to get away from the bees.  I remember in my dream someone vomiting.  I then was sitting on this taller chair, like a director's chair, and there were these two goats trying to jump on me!  One was pink and one was black.  I had one foot on each goat's head trying to keep them down!  I then ran away from the goats because they wouldn't leave me alone.  By this point the bee's had passed us, and we heading up this huge cliff to this amusement park.  The bees enveloped someone in line at the roller coaster and then I woke up.  So...moral of the story....we were talking about baby goat yesterday because that is some kind of delicacy here....I think the moral is don't eat goat!--

--Just one more funny story...after I woke up from the goat dream, mom was still sleeping, or resting or something (no deep breathing so not sure) and I was trying to get up from the bed alone.  I have just the garments on and I start to try to roll to the side, laying on my right elbow and trying to get my feet on the ground.  Well, I was too far back on the bed and I couldn't get my feet to the ground, but since my legs were hanging off and I have the garments on, I started to slip!  I thought I was going to fall off the bed!  Finally I said "mom I need you're help I am falling off the bed!"  Now, that story isn't funny, but when I told Corrie last night she was in hysterics.  She said she was having this own little comedy movie in her head and was laughing so hard she was crying.  She did say though that if that happened on her watch she would of sacrificed herself and let me land on her, ha ha!  I would of broken her I think, but it gave me a good laugh last night which of course made my abs hurt!--

I am going to try to post some pictures here...if I can figure out how to again. :)



First one is from day 2 after surgery, when I finally stood up and went to shower, second picture is from day 1, look how swollen my face was!  Even my eyelids!  Oya, and look at those boobs!  Like woah!

Ok, that's enough for today, will post more soon!  :)  Thanks to everyone who's been keeping up with the blog and sending me such wonderful emails!  I love you guys!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Night time of day 3 after surgery

So I am finally at the hotel, I like it so much better but I am sure these walls may close in on me too if I stay in them too much. I rested for a bit when I got here, talked to the hubby, son, sister, dad, etc. Tried to rest but never got there. Mom did laundry and also did Mary's laundry, which was nice! Every time mom was out of the room or had her head turned Mary would say "you have a great mom" and I do! I know it! When mom came in the room first after surgery I actually teared up. Nothing like your mommy taking care of you!

Oh, I got the numbers from the doctor today! He put 350cc implants in both breasts, took 4 liters of fat out of me with liposuction (mainly in the thighs) and put 650cc's of fat back in EACH but cheek. He said it was actually more because the tissue from the lower body lift he put in there too! The butt is big right now, and hurts like all get out, but I think once the swelling is down it will be just right. I tell you, my butt must of gotten really flat after he removed that skin to put that much in it, wow! The boobs look like a D right now, but they should go down to a full C too...hopefully! Everything is swollen right now, the hands, the feet, and everything in between. Day by day that will get better.

So, mom and Mary and I had dinner at a cafe right behind the hotel, it's really good. The three of us shared one meal and didn't even finish it, and then had flan for dessert. :) Mom goes back to the dentist tomorrow and Mary and I will walk over to HEB to buy her some flip flops or slippers or anything for her poor feet. She only brought tennis shoes and her feet are so swollen and from walking in those shoes, her feet are actually bruised! It's awful!

I took the pain pills and antibiotics, but I don't think the pain pills have kicked in! My butt is hurting like woah! I am going to go do my protein shakes, take my nightly vitamins and then take an Ambien and go night night. The nurse, Patty, will come in the morning to help me shower and change my bandages and just a general check of things. I will write more later!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Days After Surgery

Day 1: So when they took me back to my room and I remember asking for my pillow. What they still had under my head was the pink foam thing my head was on during surgery! They don't have pillows here! Thank GOODNESS Mary told me to bring a pillow from the hotel or I would of never made it! Thanks Mary!! Anyway, at this point I must of dozed off for a couple more hours. Between surgery and after that's the most sleep I have gotten in months! Ha ha! Anyway, so I woke up, I don't remember if the light was on or not...and went for the TV remote, what else was I going to do. But remember when I said the garments went right on after surgery with no issue, heh, that wasn't the case any more. My body swelled up like Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor!! I had my fat hands back, fat face, and just about fat everything, it was amazing I wasn't bursting! Anyway, besides watch TV and chat with mom when she came, I didn't do much this day. Had an IV, had a catheter and was so sore I could barely move. Dr. S came around 10 or so and he looked so tired. The man is a trooper! 15 hour surgery, I cannot believe it! Not just him, his wife, the nurses, all of them! They are fantastic!

Anyway, he told me my assignment for that day was to sit up in bed for 30 minutes (I had been doing this off and on all day though, the bed goes up and down) and then to sit on the side of the bed with my feet hanging off for 30 minutes, then walk around the room. I guess most patients do this around lunch time or so, but he told me to do it around dinner time since it was so late when I got out of surgery. But when Patty came she said the doctor said in the morning, I wasn't arguing with that because I don't think I could of done it.

Day 2: So the next day around maybe 10 or so I finally wanted to sit up and walk around (I finally felt like moving) and the nurse got me up, walked me around, took off the garments and the bandages (all this took like FOREVER) and then I got in the shower. It was a quick shower, just enough to wash the hair and the parts of the body I could reach, with really swollen arms and a really swollen body it wasn't much. It also just got some of the old blood off, etc. There is a chair in the shower which is good, but it's really hard to even wash your hair, nevertheless wash your body. My mom wasn't there yet so I couldn't ask her to help and I felt odd asking the nurse to wash my butt! Ha ha..I guess I shouldn't of felt that way, but whatever. Anyway, so then I was freezing from the shower. She did dry me off well and then started bandaging me up again. She did this while I was sitting on the love seat which was at some times difficult, but nothing compared with trying to get the compression garments back on. She was huffing and puffing and all I could do was go "ow, ow, ow, ow." It was hell trying to fit this swollen body back into those garments, ouch! Mom came in while she was bandaging me up so even she was helping get the garments on. She had one leg and the nurse had the other and they were just trying to get it up! It would of been a funny sight had it not hurt so much. There are two or three really tender areas...one in my left arm, one on my thigh, and one on my back. They are just small spots but touching them there sends a shooting nerve of pain through me. Needless to say we got them about all on and I got back into bed. I was exhausted and so was the nurse! By this time it was past lunch so we finally ordered lunch, took over an hour to get it, we ate. Mom napped on the couch a bit, I think I may have dozed a tiny bit, but not much. Mom left about 8:30 and I took a sleeping pill around 10:30...this is why I am up right now (it's 5am here) because it wore off...but I finally slept a good solid 5 hours or so. That's good! And I feel better today. It's difficult to get up or down because of the muscle repair on the stomach (it is so sore!!) but I did it this morning. Got up, went to the bathroom, and now am sitting on the side of the bed with my feet down updating my blog. :)

Just to reiterate what I had done, long thigh lift (scar from knee to groin), long arm lift (scar from elbow to armpit), lower body lift (scar completely around body at hips to remove skin from all around), fat grafting in the butt (they took some fat out and put it back in my butt so it won't be flat), breast lift, breast augmentation (yes, I got boobs!) and lipo in most of those areas as well as the lower back and side area. It is a LOT to have done in one day! My body was in shock as much as I was. And by the way, I can already see a difference, even with the swelling. I just know I am going to be so happy with all of this! I am still amazed I even did it, wow!

I don't want to shower today, because I don't want to have to get the garments back on and for those who know me, I don't usually NOT want to shower. That was a bitch! :)

Well, going to go now, hopefully will go to the hotel some time today. I am looking forward to having all my stuff and laying in a normal bed. I will say, I am very impressed in Mexico with their doctors (mom was super impressed with the dentist and his whole team), but I am definitely not impressed with their facilities. It's like the US facilities 20 years ago or something. Hard ass bed, no pillows, etc. Anyway, I can make it through that for the fantastic results I know I will have. :)

More later.... :)

Surgery

Dr. S picked me up at a little after 7:30 out front (he will come in the lobby for you, but why waste time of him coming in!) with my little carry-on suitcase with my essentials in it and a pillow. The night before Mary told me to take a pillow from the hotel, and I think this was the single greatest advice I have been given, honestly. You'll see why later.

We get to the clinic, which is in the same building as his right around the corner, but you have to get on the highway, go to the next exit, and get off the highway so you're on the other side. Anyway, same building, different floor. We went to the reception area and I filled out one form with stats on it (name, address, dob, allergies, hubby's name and number, etc.) and signed another paper that was all in Spanish, but Dr. S said it was the form that gave him permission to do the surgery. Of course I was signing that! About 10 minutes later, Dr. S came back and said they were ready for me. He took me to a changing room with lockers, gave me a gown to put on and when I came out, someone led me to a bed in their presurgery/recovery area. I laid down and within just a few minutes a nurse came and tried to talk to me...in Spanish...and then he left and Dr. S's wife came who is the anesthesiologist. All I could think was how beautiful she was. They gave me a little white pill to take with the tiniest bit of water. I asked her what that was and she said it was to calm me down. I didn't think I was that nervous, but I guess it was for maybe once they get started too? I felt like I was on the Matrix, ha ha. Anyway, took the pill, she gave me the IV and then I walked into the operating room. They stood me on this pad and two nurses, one in front and one in back, started scrubbing me down with betadine from neck to ankle, 4 times. At least the betadine was warmed! So after that, I had to sit down on the operating table without touching anything, that was a bit hard. Completely naked other than my booties on my feet and my lovely hair net, and had to get up on the stool and sit down on the bed without touching it. It was not hard, just awkward. They put an oxygen mask on me at this point too. I don't remember much after that. I remember still having the key in my hand, and I remember looking up at the surgery lights. You know, the kind you always look at on TV, the ones with three lamps in them. Anyway, that's the last thing I remember before being 'gone.'

During surgery I did remember waking up once. If you didn't know this from my previous posts or forgot, I will remind you. He doesn't use general anesthesia, he uses twilight sedation, epidural, and not sure what he uses for the arms and boobs...maybe local? Don't know, should ask. Anyway, twilight sedation is much more easier on the body and you don't have to be on a breathing tube or anything like that but there is a chance of you 'waking up.' I remember waking up and I think he was working on my right arm or breast or something, in that area, and I remember saying "It hurts, it hurts" and that was it. I do remember after surgery was done, we were still in the operating room and they had me stand up and put the compression garments on and those suckers slid right on. I thought wow, mine won't be so tight, yay! (heh, big laugh at that one!) They then had me lay on a different bed and wheeled me to the recovery area where I was apparently at for a couple more hours before I finally woke up again. It was 2am when they wheeled me into my room and mom said Dr. S called her right at midnight when he was done. She was getting worried since she hadn't heard from him.

So, this was the day of surgery...wait to see more! :)