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...
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!!