The Date is Scheduled...
The date is scheduled. It's in the books. I have met Dr. Barlow and all of his wonderful team and now I am scheduled. I can't believe it! It's only April now and I am not scheduled until September but I have butterflies in the pit of my stomach just thinking about having so much cutting done to my body. It is definitely something that will improve my appearance and the way I present myself to my clients. I need this and I have worked so hard for this. I never thought I would get such an amazing opportunity.
Over five years ago, at nearly 260 lbs, I was 126 pounds heavier than I am now. I was trying my best to deal with a heart condition that nearly took my life after the birth of my only child. I was diligently taking my medications and going to all my scheduled doctor appointments just as my cardiologist had instructed. My food was all reduced sodium and reduced-fat for that matter. Every morning I would start my day with some caffeine-free coffee (nothing to get my heart rate too high), a handful of pills, and I would take and record my morning heart rate and blood pressure. This was my life at the ripe age of 21.
I continued with this same pattern for a while, maybe a year or two, before I had completely had enough! I had tried to lose weight here and there by playing with several types of fad diets but I would only lose a few pounds and they would all come back... with a vengeance. Finally I had to teach myself what it meant to eat good, healthy, quality foods in the right portions and at the appropriate times. I started eating more often and less amount of food. The weight started coming off. I slowly started exercising as well. More weight was coming off. Two years later I was at a normal healthy weight! Better than the weight lose is the fact that sometime during all of my healthy eating and exercise, I was taken off ALL of my heart medications! I am medication free! I am a person that was hospitalized with dilated cardiomyopathy and was in congestive heart failure and was told that I may not leave the hospital alive... and now I am a living, breathing, healthy, medication-free, normal body-weight human being! I feel amazing!
So, in September, I have a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a body lift, inner thigh lift, brachioplasty, and of course, breast implants and I am nervous, excited, happy, scared, thrilled, but most of all I am relieved! I am relieved that I have come this far and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The obese and dying part of my journey is finally coming to an end and a whole new journey full of life and health awaits...
Four weeks to go...
I have just realized that there are only 4 weeks left until I have my body lift, inner thigh lift, arm lift, and breast implants! This has made me an absolute nervous wreck. Am I ready? Do I have all of my doctor's releases ready? Is my family ready? Is my job ready? Are my clients ready? Wow! I have broken out with hives all over my thighs and abdomen. I need to calm down and take it one step at a time.
I am a personal trainer and bootcamp instructor and I am so nervous about not being able to exercise for 4 to 6 weeks. Am I going to be able to handle that? I don't really have a choice. If and when I do this surgery there will be no exercise and no working, for that matter, for a whole month... maybe longer. I will make it and I will come back better than ever! I feel really bad that I have to take off so much work. I am sure they will be fine. I hope they don't get too used to me being gone...
I keep thinking about rather my family is really prepared to handle things around here for a couple of weeks on their own. I am going to order Dee Dee's Dlite Ful fit foods so that my husband doesn't give me fast food for every meal. I am also a little nervous about my little 6 year old getting to and from school safely. Who's going to be there when he gets off the bus in the afternoons? Will he be able to make it down to the house by himself? My husband will be home for a short while, but he can't take off for too many days. I am sure all of this will work out just fine... just motherly jitters.
Other than all of these pre-surgery jitters and hives, I am doing pretty well! I feel like I have been waiting an eternity for this to happen and the date is finally closing in. In one month, the vibrant and energetic person that I am will be dug out from under this flabby overcoat. Look out world. I am coming!
I just had my "pre-pre op" appointment today with Dr. Barlow. What this means is that my surgery is only a little over two weeks away. I am in absolute shock! I went from having to wait nearly 5 months to have the surgery from the time I meet the team to only having two weeks left. At this point, the anticipation is about to kill me. Most of my worries from a few weeks ago have been resolved and most things seem to be lining up nicely. Now the countdown is on.
I was very happy to find out that I have officially been released from my cardiologist to have the surgery. This happened a couple of months ago. It was really just my own paranoia that made me panic over this. I kept thinking, "What if this is the one thing that makes it impossible for me to have the surgery?" I would have been devastated, but it's fine now. I have been released and the surgery is still on the calendar.
More good news... sort of... my mother in law's job will be ending the Friday prior to my surgery. This is terrible news for her, but great news for me because she will be able to stay with us and help out when my husband has to go back to work. This also alleviates the stress I was feeling over the school situation and the care for my son. So, again, fantastic news for me but no so fantastic for her.
I am pretty sure that everything is handled at work. They are really good at that. I know that they have figured out how to cover all of my boot camp classes that I teach and have worked out all of the scheduling nicely. Again, I am still hoping that they don't get too comfortable with me gone. I love my job! My personal clients, on the other hand, are still not too happy that I will be taking time off but they are completely supportive and understand why I am doing this. I also understand where they are coming from though. Once you start working out and get used to that routine it's hard to know that that's going to end. I've given them some workouts for them to do on their own so I think they will ok... they just won't like it.
I have already been shopping for comfortable nightgown type camis to wear over all of my garments after my surgery. I have A LOT of them now! I want to make sure that I have plenty to wear when I need them. I need to go buy stool softeners (yay!) so that I don't have "issues" with all of the pain meds. I am also supposed to look for panty liners so that I can place them on my incisions and change often. I am thinking I am going to buy some rubber gloves as well for tube drainage purposes... my husband is so excited about this... sarcasm. Christie also told me today that I will be getting a shower seat delivered and a potty seat. That sounds like fun!
My next step is my pre-op appointment in a little over a week. My husband will come with me to this appointment and find out all he needs to know about the drainage tubes and aftercare. He will also meet Dr. Barlow and the rest of the amazing team for the first time. I am both excited and nervous about this little appointment. I hope my hubby makes it through all of the medical talk without passing out!
Night before the big day...
It's the night before surgery. I've got everything that I can think of ready. I picked up my shower chair and my toilet seat riser. (They wouldn't deliver because the order was too small or something.) I have all of my ointment, mini pads, stool softeners, and gloves. My prescriptions have been filled for a couple of days. I even bought a ton of groceries in hopes that my family actually eats food from the house instead of fast food everyday... in hopes. I spent the entire day cleaning my house. It wasn't even that dirty, but it just felt as though I had to scrub every corner to make it okay for me to come home to after surgery. Now I am absolutely exhausted and I am not sure that I will be able to sleep. It is about 11pm and I have to get up at 5am to shower and be at the hospital by 6. This is it. Tomorrow is going to be the beginning of the new me and I am not completely sure I know what I am in for...
First day home...
It's my first day home after having surgery. Day two. Surgery was on Monday and today is Tuesday. Can't say much now... I am hurting, I am tired, and I can't wait until it gets better...
Right after surgery, I woke up in immense pain and they took care of that quickly. I spent the night in the hospital which was dreadful. It seemed as though I was in a lot of pain and couldn't ever get meds. I am sure it was just my imagination... concept of time is a little skewed.
The first dressing change was the worst!! Although my boobs looked nice. Dr. Barlow and Christie stood me up and I thought I was going to pass out. It was very painful in my abs and my back. I got very dizzy and sweaty. Just before I thought I was going to pass-out they laid me down and it was over. Now I was stuffed into my compression garment like a sausage. I was told that I had to urinate before I could leave the hospital. The problem is that it's hard to walk anywhere and then its hard to sit anywhere... now I am supposed to pee?! It took several tries but it finally happened. A little note, the bedside commode is much less comfortable than the actual commode if you have the inner thigh lift. I had better success with the real bathroom. Of course, on the real toilet I could turn the water on and stick my hand in it to go to the bath room! I got to go home later that evening...
It's day three and I am not feeling well. I hurt everywhere. I am tired and I am tired of being tired. My abs hurts when I stand up to straight but my back hurts when I bend over too far. My butt hurts from being on it too much but I can't stand and walk for too long either. I know it will get better, but I wish it would hurry!!! I am supposed to take a shower tonight. I am kind of looking forward to it because I smell really bad and I feel even worse, but I just don't know how all of this is going to work out. My husband will have to do most everything. That's a pretty scary thought. I am getting tired. Nap time.
I had the shower. It took almost two hours. It was long, dreadful, and painful. My poor husband did a great job trying his best to help me though. It's really hard to get all of these garments off, shower, dry off, redress your wounds, and then stretch those miniature baby-sized garments back over my swollen body. I am exhausted and kind of cranky. Good night.
Day four... Hmmm...
It's day four now. Not much to say. I've walked around the house quite a bit today. I am trying to move around more. My back still hurts from hunching over. I haven't had a bowel movement since before surgery so that's starting to make me a little uncomfortable. I have been taking stool softeners everyday just as I was told by Dr. Barlow. Maybe the walking will help.
I am also getting really tired of these drains. They are uncomfortable. There is one that keeps pulling under my left arm no matter what I do with it. The others are just annoying to carry around. It's really not that hard to empty them like I thought it would be, just a little bit of an aggravation to have them hanging from my body.
I am four days in and I know that every day I am moving closer and closer to the new me. I am trying not to be so negative because I am not normally a negative person. I just want to be real about how this surgery feels. It's pretty painful and it's not easy. I have needed help to do most everything and when I do manage to do a task on my own, it's usually very difficult and painful. It will get better. I just have to hang in there.
First drain removal!
It's Friday and I had my surgery 5 days ago. A couple of my drains are not putting out much fluid anymore so I called Dr. Barlow and he had me come in to have them removed. One of them was the one under my left arm that kept bothering me so much... so yay!!! I have gone from 8 drains to 6 drains now. I was dreading the actual removal of the drains but it wasn't bad at all. It is one the of the less painful things that I have gone through.
I still haven't had a bowel movement. I asked Dr. Barlow if I should try anything else and he suggested a gentle laxative if I don't have a movement by the end of the weekend. My stomach hurts really badly and it is becoming a little distended. I do not want to have to deal with this on top of everything else!
I am moving a little better. I still get a little dizzy if I stand or walk for longer than 5 minutes or so, but I am making progress. I still have been making my laps around the house every day. I have found that I am not very hungry at all lately, but maybe that is because I have been so constipated.
I have cut out my valium for my muscle spasms yesterday and today. I haven't had any in a while. I am also cutting from two pain pills to just one every 5 hours or so. I am slowly having less and less pain! Things are looking up!
I couldn't wait the entire weekend to see if I would have a bowel movement. My stomach is killing me. My mother in law went to the store picked me up a gentle laxative and I took one. It's Saturday evening. Six days since I had my surgery and I have still not gone to the bathroom. I had to do something. Hope this works without too much pain!
I have felt ok today other than my stomach hurting so badly. My pain is definitely more tolerable. I haven't taken many pain pills today at all. I am having a really hard time making myself eat. It's like there is no room in my body for food. Hopefully that will change soon.
On another note, I am dying to sleep on my belly. I can't because of my implants and because of my abdomen, but my butt so sore! I can hardly stand it. I stand and walk as much as possible. Still very sore though.
Last night I took another shower. It was a lot easier than the first. We knew what to expect and we had a little more stuff prepared before we started. We set out our mini pads with antibiotic ointment already to go before I even got in the shower. My garments and nightgown was all laid out and ready to go. This time it took at 1 hour and 15 minutes. It was still and long time but better. I was also able to help a lot more. This made me feel like less of a chore and a lot more like my independent self again.
A little less "uncomfortable"...
It's Sunday and I have almost made it a full week since I have had my surgery. I haven't felt too good today because my stomach has been so upset. I finally was able to have a bowel movement this afternoon and that has helped a lot. I couldn't eat or drink much today before I went to the bathroom. I just didn't have an appetite. Finally, things are looking up.
I am still cutting way back on my pain meds. I think I have only taken 2 pills today and it's already late at night. I took one before my shower tonight so I could get through it without too much pain. The shower was so much easier tonight. We have it down now. It took us about 45 minutes from start to finish! The trick is to prepare all of stuff before you get started. Make sure you have all of your dressings for your incisions ready, you will need all of your clothes and garments ready, your blow dryer ready to quickly dry your incisions, have all of you towels and soaps ready, and it's simple! Preparation is definitely the key to any part of this surgery.
After my shower, finally going to the bathroom, and feeling kind of crumby today, I am tired and going to bed! Tomorrow will be a good day. I know it!
First "real" walk...
It's Monday morning and I woke up in a little bit of pain so I had to take a pain pill. After I drank some coffee (appetite's back), I was feeling pretty good. My son was excited that I was able to wake him up for school today. I was feeling so good that I walked him to his bus stop which is about a block and a half away. I had my mother in law follow me in her car in case I got tired and needed to get in. I made it all the way there and stood there and waited for the bus with him. I had to ride in the car back but it felt really good to get out. I am pretty wiped out now. I am not in a lot of pain though. It's a good day so far!
I was so excited about my walk that I almost forgot to mention that I woke up this morning with one of my drains no longer holding pressure. My right underarm was wet with fluid that had been leaking out around the drain that is in my arm. I called Dr. Barlow. He told me it is probably ready to come out and he will see me this afternoon to check it. The fluid is clear and not bloody so there is no need to worry and it's no emergency. Maybe another drainage tube will be out soon! Btw, another perk to Dr. Barlow's office is that you get Dr. Barlow's personal cell number so if anything comes up that you need to talk to him about you can call him directly and talk about it. This makes me feel like I am the most important patient in his office!
More drains out!
Yesterday I went to see Dr. Barlow about the drain under my arm that was leaking. It was great because not only did he remove that drain, he also removed two others!!! I am down to three drains now. He said that he was impressed with how quickly my drains were coming out. He took both of them out from under my arms and he took one out from my pubic area. Now only three left! Maybe I will be drain free soon.
I am really feeling a lot better than I expected. I thought I would be a lot more sore than I am at this point. I am able to walk pretty upright now and I am trying to hold my shoulders back as much as I can. I noticed that I am kind of slouching my shoulders together and that is not a good look. I am sure it is normal from all of the soreness, but when I think about it, I pull everything back!
I have been cutting way back on my pain pills because I have had so many problems with constipation. I think I can deal with a little pain, but I can't deal with not going to the bathroom! I seem to be fine during the day without so many pain pills, but at not I get very restless and uncomfortable. I think I just start getting really sore from my day.
I am ready to see if I can get out a little and see how I feel. Maybe tomorrow I will try to go to JC Penney with my mother in law. I have a coupon. I am feeling a little more of a sense of freedom now that I don't have so many drains.
It's Wednesday of week 2. I woke up this morning with my left lower thigh really sore and swollen. It also has a large bruise on it that wasn't there before. In the back of mind, I knew that this was probably normal, but I called Dr. Barlow anyway. Let me just say, that I am very thankful that he has given me his direct phone number that he can be reached at. It's not like when you have to call other doctors and leave a message with a nurse, then just hope that someone gets back to you before the end of the day. You call and Dr. Barlow answers. It's wonderful! He is very patient and very nice when he speaks to you. It feels as though he is not doing anything at all and he has all the time in the world to talk to you. Thank you, Dr. Barlow, for this! Anyway, he said my leg is perfectly normal. I will swell and have new bruising show up here and there. Maybe it's because of all the drains I had removed on Monday and now I am collecting a lot more fluid. I don't like it. I hope it goes away soon. My leg looks like I gained 10 lbs in it alone.
I didn't get out today like I had hoped. Because of my swollen leg, I just hung around the house and took it easy. I walked around the block today. I could feel my body and leg swelling almost instantly. Let me just say, when I start swelling in my garments, I instantly start to feel like a sausage link. It's not pleasant at all! It's important for me to get out in walk though, so I just suck it up and keep moving.
Today was a pretty good day! Well, for the most part. It's Thursday of week 2. I woke up this morning and walked my son down to the bus stop like I have been doing. The difference this morning, though, is that my neck was itching so badly. My neighbor mentioned that it looked like I had a rash. I thought it was just itchy and I didn't realize that I was developing a rash. Time to call Dr. Barlow... again. It's a good thing that he doesn't mind, I hope. I came home and washed my neck really well and put some cortisone cream on it before calling. I will admit that I was a little hesitant to call because I was afraid that he would say something like I was rejecting my breast implants or something else awful. The thought of having to go under the knife again right now is horrifying! All that fear was for nothing. I actually spoke to Eileen and she told me to come in a see Dr. Barlow today to make sure it wasn't anything serious. She assured me that it was probably just a small reaction to one of the meds and nothing too much to worry about. I went to their office and Dr. Barlow said the same thing. As it turns out, I had not been taking valium much, and I took one last night because my chest was having muscle spasms. Maybe that is the culprit. I don't like the valium much anyway. It makes me feel really depressed and I almost want to cry every time I take it. I will just not take it anymore and see what happens.
After my mother in law and I left the office, we decided to go to JC Penney and see how long I could walk around and shop. I took some pain meds before we went. We stayed for about an hour and at that point I started swelling so much that I couldn't handle standing anymore. I bought a couple of fun new shirts that I wouldn't have dared to buy before my surgery. That lifted my spirits a little. Now if I could just get out of these garments so that they look cute! I also tried on bras just for the heck of it. That was fun. I went from less than A to a full C. I didn't own a bra that fit me before surgery. I really couldn't find them small enough and now I can just pick one up and put it on. Awesome! I didn't buy one because I know my breasts aren't where they are supposed to be yet, but it was still fun playing around.
I came home and I was exhausted! This is really strange to me because before surgery I worked out all the time, had personal training clients most days, and taught boot camp classes every day! It was very hard to really exhaust me! Now I simply took a shower, went to the doctor, and went to the store and I was so tired that I came home and took a 2 hour nap. When I woke up, I still wasn't alert. It will be an early night tonight.
It's Monday, the beginning of week 3. I still have 3 drains in and they are killing me! My actual body doesn't hurt that bad anymore, but it is so painful in the place where my drains exit my body. For those of you that may not know, to put it nicely, this is your very very low abdominal area just below your incision. They hurt more now than ever before. I think they are just getting very sore after all of this time. I went to see Dr. Barlow today and I just knew I was going to get these out despite the fact that they are still draining between 45-75 ml each. They have to be down to 30 ml in 24 hours for an early removal. He didn't remove them! I was sort of devastated at first. It kind of made me want to cry. Dr. Barlow explained that early removal would result in more swelling and I would be even more uncomfortable. It's hard to imagine that. Oh, well. Enough complaining! I will suck it up and get through it!!! No pain, no gain!
I did get a little good news at my appointment today, though. I don't have to keep all of my incisions covered with pads anymore and no more ointment! Yay!!! Now I have moved onto putting scarguard on all of them. I haven't done this yet. I will after my shower. I have to wash all of the ointment off first. I can try driving now too. I am not taking anything for pain during the day so, if I feel up to it, I can get behind the wheel. I have been anxiously awaiting this day and now that it is here, I am a little nervous about it. Weird. I haven't driven today. Dr. Barlow told me that I am supposed to start gently massaging my breast to help them settle into place. I am relieved to hear that they aren't quite where they should be. My right breast looks a little weird and not quite like my left breast. Dr. Barlow assured me that this is normal and they still haven't moved to their permanent position. Let just say, that I have massaged them a little and now I am very sore!!! I am not sure if maybe I did it too much or maybe it's because they are still very sensitive, but OUCH!!!
I am going to switch gears for a minute. Eileen and Christie were very candid with me today at the office. They told me that, around the end of week 3, I may start getting the blues and feeling a little down. I think that has already hit and it's the beginning of week 3 for me. This is a strange feeling for me because I am not one to sit around and feel sorry for myself. As a personal trainer and boot camp instructor I am used to constantly moving and being very busy most of the time. I have basically been sitting around on my rear for two weeks now! I am starting for feel lazy and sluggish and that is not something that I like. I think the fact that I still have these tubes and they are hurting so bad is getting to me too. I am trying to get past this and I know I will. I just have to stay strong!
Can't work yet!!
It's Tuesday of week 3. My mother in law that has been here helping since I had surgery has left for the day to attend to some personal business. I was alone all day. It was fine. I am physically able to handle most things now, but I am getting so bored and when I get too bored I start getting really lazy! I don't know if this is true for everyone, but the less I have to do, the less I want to do. That is why I like staying busy. When I am busy, I have the desire to do more. Is this all part of the "week 3 blues"? Maybe.
My boss sent me a text asking me if I would come and do childcare tonight at work. I have been complaining that I am so bored and ready to go back to work and then I finally get an opportunity... what do I do? I tell her no. I still have 3 drains and I don't think wrangling children is the best thing for me now. The children that come into the studio have no idea what I have gone through and they will not understand why it is important to be careful around me. I think it would be a lot easier to instruct a class right now than it would be to keep kids. I just hope that my boss understands...
I was supposed to take my son to sign up for cub scouts tonight. My husband had to work late so he wasn't home to drive. My mother in law is out of town. I had to handle this one on my own. I backed out. I felt like the World's Worst Mother! I haven't driven yet and I was so nervous about getting behind the wheel for the first time with my child. I called the coordinator and she assured me that it would be fine and he could sign up next week. I hope so. This surgery has already affected my son in so many ways and I don't want this to be another one.
To sum it all up, my day alone was not the best day. Maybe I still need a little help. I am supposed to go to a staff meeting tomorrow at the studio. It will be my first time to drive. I am sure I will be fine and then I will be over this hurdle. Life will be easier after this.
I drove today...
I drove today. For the first time since I had surgery I drove. I thought it would be horrible and hurt in places that I was trying to avoid, but it really wasn't that bad. It's Wednesday of week 3, by the way. I am desperately trying to avoid flexing my pecs so that my breast can settle into place easier and faster and I know driving didn't help much. As it turns out, driving requires a lot of pectoral flexing. I just tried to relax and drive smoothly. It was quite nice, actually. I opened my sun roof and let the breeze flow. I think it made me feel a little better as well. I was headed to a meeting I had at the studio today. This brings up a whole new topic...
I got to work and I immediately received the "wow, you are so tiny" comments. That was kind of nice, I do have to say. I even got the "I didn't realize how small you actually were" comment as well. That last one is sort of the whole reason I went through this process to begin with. I don't consider myself a very vain person. I have never worn that much make-up or spent a tremendous amount of time getting myself ready and staring in the mirror, but when you lose 126 lbs. and are a boot camp instructor it feels as though you need to look your part. In my mind I always knew that I had good muscle tone and I was in excellent shape and that all the 'extra' was just skin that I couldn't do anything about. The problem is that not everyone understood that. I sort of began to get tired of the looks and the questions. I always felt like I had to explain my story to every one of the clients that walked in the studio. It feels amazing to finally get that verification for all the hard work I have put into my body and, most importantly, my health. Anyway, back on topic. I immediately grabbed a chair because I knew that I didn't want to stand for the entire meeting. I start to swell when I stand too long and I was not in the mood for the sausage effect. The meeting lasted nearly two hours and by the end I was very uncomfortable. It is still pretty hard to stay in one position for very long because of my three drains. I don't know if it was hot or if I was nervous but I was sweating through my clothes... all of them. I had underarm sweat rings nearly down to the bottom of my shirt and even the seat of my jeans was sweaty! Nice, real nice! My boss made the comment that at least my core temp is still up meaning my metabolism is still full speed ahead. I am thinking it had more to do with all the layers of clothes and garments that I have to wear.
I made it home and still had a little energy. Maybe my endurance is getting better. I managed to stay awake all day without needing a nap. I am a little more sore than normal. Maybe it was the driving or the extreme sitting. Bedtime will come early.
It's Thursday of week 3. I went shopping earlier today for some new jeans. Until today, I had not bought any new pants yet. All of my jeans that I was wearing prior to surgery do not work so well now. Those old jeans of mine that do fit me still look a little ridiculous in some areas; like my rear. Most of my previous jeans are a size 6 and the jeans I bought today are a size 4. They fit me in my butt too!!! I have gone shopping before today and tried on smaller pants but none of them would button. Today they all fit just fine. This must mean that my swelling is going down a little in my abdomen. Yay! My point of all this is that tonight I had to take my son to a cub scout meeting. I wore my new jeans. It was kind of funny because, although I was among mainly children, I felt so pretty and different for the first time since having surgery. I wore a long sleeve shirt to cover my arm garments and my new jeans. I felt like a million bucks; just what I needed. I think there may be a reason they call it "shop-therapy."
All drains out!!!!...
ALL of my drains were removed today!!! Finally! I had only three left, but they were excruciating. I am not exaggerating either. It's Friday, 19 days post-surgery. Dr. Barlow has reminded me on several occasions that he never leaves the drains in for longer than three weeks. Monday will my official three week point. I went in to my appointment today with a plan though. I wasn't exactly scheming because I made a pact that I would do everything I was told. I just told myself that I would make it very clear to EVERYONE in the office how uncomfortable I was and how pointless it was to leave them in any longer. Fortunately, I didn't have to say much. They could see it all over my face. Although each drain still had well over 30 ml of drainage a piece, they were removed. Dr. Barlow, Christie, and Eileen made it very clear though that I may collect pockets of fluid because of my early drain removal. If this were to happen they would have to go in with a needle a remove the fluid. That doesn't sound too pleasant so we'll hope for the best.
After the drains were removed, I instantly had no more pain. It was amazing! No more carrying my purse in front of my body so that I could hide my drains in it. No more emptying of the tubes. No more pain pills! The tubes were really the only thing that was still causing me any kind of pain and now they are gone! I can't stress enough how good this feels. I will sleep well tonight. Good night.
Normal dinner out... sort of...
It's Saturday evening and I just had my first weekend after my final drains were removed. I was a little sore in the area from which they were removed, but it was nothing compared to the pain that I was experiencing with them in. I went to dinner with my family and it was so nice to not have to hold my purse in my lap and make sure that none of my tubes were showing. I am finding now that I am discovering more areas that I am sore in that I didn't notice before. These are just sore areas and nothing too excruciating, but I really didn't pay too much attention to these before. I think maybe it was because my drainage tubes were just so painful that my attention was on them only. Now I am noticing that my breasts are really sore and my upper inner thigh/buttock area is tender where my garment rubs. Like I said, I can definitely handle these discomforts without the use of pain meds, but I just really didn't notice them before.
I was supposed to pay special attention to any pockets of fluid that I may accumulate. While I have noticed that I am swelling a little more than I had been in my back and in my lower abdomen, I haven't noticed any pockets of fluid. Maybe I will dodge that bullet.
I was told at my appointment on Friday that I could start "doing more" at week four. This is one more week from tomorrow. I specifically ask what "doing more" meant because I have been doing quite a bit already. I walk nearly at least a half a mile, usually more, nearly every day. I am pretty active already, simply because I am not one to just lie around and do nothing. Dr. Barlow explained to me that "doing more" consists of easing back into teaching my boot camp classes! This is so exciting for me. I have told my bosses this so we will see what happens next. I am under the impression that I can also exercise a little more to comfort beginning on week four as well. I can't wait!
It's Sunday and the end of week 3, finally. I will begin with saying that I had an interesting weekend. My family and I went to Dewberry Farms today. This meant that I was walking around in the hot sun for several hours this afternoon. I was nice to get out of the house with the family, but I had my moments when I thought that maybe I should have stayed at home. First of all, I wore long capris to cover up my leg garments and a long sleeve shirt to cover up my arm garments. The temperature got up to about 87 degrees while we were there. I was a more than uncomfortable. The swelling in my back began within the first hour of being there. I tried to sit down whenever I could, but soon the place became very crowded and seating was hard to come by. It was around hour 3 that I realized that I can't play the strong mother/trainer and I HAD to find a place to sit. Not only was my back sausaging out of the top of my garment and my arms were losing circulation, but I was becoming very dizzy. I was determined not to ruin this trip for my child though. I quietly walked away from what my husband and son were doing and found a shady bench to sit on. For the last hour that we spent there, I was pretty much moving from bench to bench as my husband and child finished up their fun. My son didn't really notice that I wasn't feeling well and that was what I was hoping for. I feel like throughout this experience that he hasn't been able to do many of the things that I would normally do with him. Today I made a point to allow him to have all the fun he wanted and not have him worry about whether or not Mom is feeling well. So, this evening my back is hurting pretty badly and is still a little swollen. My arms aren't really that swollen anymore and I am no longer dizzy. I think a good night's rest will remedy this situation.
I hope my back feels better by tomorrow. I am planning on attempting a short workout. My plan is to work on my lower body because I would like to sculpt my glutes. I also am not so sure that my arms and my pecs are quite up to a workout just yet. I am thinking just some basic exercises without using any weights. Or if I do use some weights I will make them light. We will see how I feel...
Sweet week 4...
I woke up this morning, just as I do on every Monday morning to get my son ready for school, and I got a text from my boss. She wanted me to come in to work today to discuss my abilities to work and how soon I could get back going with that. It was at this moment that I realized that I had made it to week 4. Finally! Today was the magic day I have been waiting for what seems like an eternity.
My boss wanted to meet after the end of the morning boot camp to discuss my return to work. I waited until literally 1 or 2 minutes before class was over to show up. Let me just say, for some reason, I was so incredibly nervous to see everyone. Maybe it was because I was showing my new body to many of my clients that I haven't seen since I left for surgery. I felt like I wanted to hide in the corner and not come out until all of the clients left. I was in the spotlight and I certainly do not have a spotlight personality. I can see the irony in the fact that I am in front of tons of people daily instructing them through workouts and somehow I feel uncomfortable in the spotlight. I got the typical "you look so good," "you are so tiny," and "are you still sore?" comments. Don't get me wrong, they were very flattering, but I am pretty sure that I was a dark shade of red the entire time. After the dust settled and everyone left, I finally got a chance to talk to my boss. We decided that I would teach my first class since surgery on Thursday evening. It's going to be a kickboxing boot camp class. I am very excited about returning but a little nervous at the same time. I know that I will be very limited on what I can comfortably demonstrate and I am not so sure that I can keep my energy up the entire hour in front of the class. Usually, when I teach kickboxing, I stand in front of the class and nearly do the entire workout with the class. It seems a lot easier for the clients that are not so familiar with the movements to catch on if they can see you doing them with the class. I have to come up with a plan so that the clients can keep up and I can stay comfortable. Or should I say so I can keep up and we can all be comfortable.
Well, because it is week 4, I got to work out tonight. It was sort of devastating. I don't know what exactly I was expecting out of myself, but I guess I was expecting more than what actually happened. The workout ended about 20 minutes or so after it began with a sobbing cry. I started by alternating between jumping rope and doing some jumping jacks. I stretched and then did some various lower body exercises. I found that some of the exercises that I thought I would be able to do I wasn't able to do. My inner thighs began to hurt, my abs cannot be worked at all yet, my pecs can't be flexed too much either. This really limited my workout. After nearly 5 minutes of sobbing, my family and I went for a fairly long walk thru the neighborhood. Maybe I was being a little too hard on myself, but coming from where I have been it is so hard to have limited range of motion. It will get better. Let's just hope it doesn't take too long...
Sore, sore, sore...
I woke up this morning after my workout last night with an incredibly sore back. It was no longer swollen like it was last night when I went to bed, but it is really sore. To catch you up, it is Tuesday of week 4 and I did my first workout since I had surgery last night. I pretty much took the entire day really slowly and didn't do anything too physically demanding today. I walked to the mailbox and back, which is about 1/2 mile. That was the most physically demanding thing I did all day. I am struggling with the idea that the tiny workout that I did last night can have such a huge effect on my body. Prior to surgery, I am used to such intense workouts that when I say what I did out loud, it seems like nothing. I can get over the scars, I can get over the time off of work, but it's going to be hard to get over the time I've had to take off of exercising. It has become such an important part of my life that I am having a really hard time adjusting.
I haven't talk about my physical changes in a while. First of all, I think my rear may be filling out a little more. Dr. Barlow told me that things will continue to settle for a while and my body will keep changing. When it comes to my butt, this is definitely a good thing. It was so flat right after surgery that I was shocked. Now it seems to be getting a little less flat. My arms are starting to swell less. I really like the way they look so far. They had such bad saggy skin on them and now they look normal. I can't wait to wear sleeveless shirts. Even short sleeve shirts will be a much better experience. I can't say enough good things about my flat tummy. I absolutely love it. I could stare at it all day. I can see my belly button! It's no longer covered by that unsightly flap of skin and I just love it. My inner thighs look so good. They don't have those little drapes of skin hanging on them anymore. I can't wait until they quit swelling and I can go without my garments. When I shower, I find myself staring into the mirror in amazement at the new me. My body didn't look this good when I was a skinny teenager. I love it!
You can but you can't...
Alright, so I am halfway through week four. It's Wednesday or 23 days since I had my surgery. Like I have said many times before, I am very grateful that all of my drains have been removed. I am so much more comfortable now. However, I am sort of going through something else completely different now. I am at that stage between feeling really good and wanting to do it all and still having restrictions and not really being able to do much of anything. I don't know what to call this stage: frustration, depression, anxiety, or nervousness. I could call it many things and all of them would be a little true. I am truly frustrated at the fact that I am going through this. I am normally a very happy person and there aren't many things that make me feel down. I am ready for this stage to pass. Next week I am released to do more and that is exactly what I will do. I have to get out of this rut!
Physically I am becoming more and more comfortable every day. I am still putting Scarguard on all of my scars and wearing my garments all of the time. I massage my scars in the shower just as I was told to do and I also do my daily breasts massages to help them get into their proper positions. Garments, garments, garments... so many garments. My garments are becoming so binding. I don't think they are getting any tighter; it's just that they are becoming very suffocating. I have been constantly wearing them since surgery 23 days ago. The only relief I get from these binding garments is my coveted shower time. I have asked, on a few occasions, when I could stop wearing them all of the time and my question was sort of overlooked. I don't think I was being ignored, I just think they were trying not to scare me by giving me the grim truth. I am tired and I need a shower. Good night.
I made it through my first bootcamp class since surgery. I am exhausted but I feel pretty good about my accomplishment. I came in there with a plan. I knew that I wouldn't be able to stand and demonstrate the entire class so I decided to do a circuit kickboxing class. This seemed to have work out pretty well and the clients really enjoyed themselves. I am very swollen now. My back still seems to be swelling out of the top of my garments when I stand for any lengthy period of time. Combine that with simple exercise demonstrations and it's an instant recipe for garment sausaging.
I found that my range of motion is good enough to demonstrate a few kicks and punches but when it came time to demonstrate ab work I was in trouble. I tried to make the abs exercises simple and recognizable so I wouldn't have to do too much demonstrating but I still had to do a few. I get a sharp pain straight down the center of my stomach when I do any kind of ab work. I suppose this is from the sewing or reconstructing of my abs. Whatever the reason, I am so over it!!!
Well, I am alive. I made it through and, although I'm a little swollen... or a lot swollen... and kind of sore, I feel rejuvenated. I feel like there is a light at the end of this tunnel. I will get back on my feet and do what I love. I will be able to inspire others to take that journey to good health. I will soon be me, finally!