2 pointsIts been 3 years, y’all. I’m a 5’2” female and was 235 lbs & 45 yrs old at the start of the 2 wk liquid diet. Didn’t lose any weight prior. I was on high cholesterol and blood pressure meds, diagnosed with fatty liver, pre-diabetic, peed every 20-30 mins, and snored like a freight train (so said Mr.) Day of sleeve surgery: 223.2 lbs No recovery issues, but I became dumper on sugar (still am). I got off my meds, eliminated liver and diabetic diagnoses within a month. I can hold my pee like a superhero (including not having to go once during a 9 hr flight pre-covid!), and I sleep so silently that Mr. admitted to checking on me during the night in the beginning to check if I was even alive. I ate VERY little during weight loss phase compared to most, but it worked for ME…I didn’t suffer any medical/nutritional issues nor any angst throughout. I tracked everything I ate/drank, weighed myself every morning and took my measurements every Wednesday (I STILL track and weigh daily - its just habit now -, but no longer take my measurements regularly) Reached goal of 127 lbs 7 months after surgery. I had zero stalls. I had a tummy tuck, arm lift and breast lift at 14 months post op. Lowest weight: 109 lbs (this was a month or so after plastics, but quickly gained back to 115-ish) I’ve basically been 115-ish +/- 5 lbs since a couple months into maintenance. Weight this morning: 116.0 lbs even. Happy place is below 120 and/or that my clothes still fit, LOL. These days I exercise semi-regularly, running minimum 5km 2-3 times a week supplemented with the occasional 20-30 min strength training sessions at home (I continue to hate strength training exercises but consider it a necessary evil), and various other for-fun cardio activities. Part of me wanted to get back to higher exercise levels so I can get the “fitter” look I had back then, but I long ago reconciled myself with the fact that I don’t want it THAT badly. Maybe someday I may change my mind, but I’m cool with it for now. I average 1800-2000 cals a day. I drink alcohol and carbonated water on the regular, use straws, chew gum, drink coffee, and eat popcorn, fried foods and carbs. I love desserts. At 3 years out, my restriction is still in effect and could probably eat about 1-1.5 cups of food in volume at one sitting before I need to tap out: some things I can eat more of (salads) than others (dense protein & fluffy bread). I will barf if I eat too much or too fast. I have energy for days, and am more than satisfied with how I look and feel. Life is good. Had my 3 year follow up last week and I continue to be the picture of health, and my surgeon asked again if I wanted to be on a poster. Ummmm, no thanks. Regrets? ABSOLUTELY ZERO. Well, except maybe that I didn’t get a v-shaped tummy tuck incision vs the straight line one that I got. Just means that I can’t wear higher cut bikini bottoms without my scar showing (see the last pic in the collage below). But I mean, I’m just nit-picking at this point. This forum has been a constant in my life for the past 3 years, and I’ve made some great connections and some actual REAL friends. Its really nice to engage with others who know what the eff you are talking about, even if its just about food porn and clothes sometimes, lol. Hugs and Congrats to those who made it to the other side with me, and Hugs and Good Luck to those on their way.
2 pointsTotally forgot about these blog entries. Its been over a year since I did a little write up about my (body) plastics, so I feel compelled to do one now, since I am seriously contemplating moving forward with facial plastics (but this is a topic for another blog entry later). Sooooo....here we go: Tummy Tuck: Overall, I am very happy with the results. My abdominal muscles are pretty visible at rest (more so when I'm low-carbing). No muffin top when I'm wearing tight low-waisted stuff...well, at least from the front. The area around my waistband from the back is not nearly as tight looking. I suppose if I had a full lower body lift, this would have been addressed. I kinda wish I did have a lower body lift, but then I look at my scars and think, nah, i'm cool. My TT scar is still pretty dark. At least it's flat now, thanks to 2 rounds of steroid shots, but nowhere near as UN-noticeable as others on my same timeline. I've said it before, I knew I would scar badly based on my history, but still. The scar though is easily hidden even in my smallest bikini, so I'm good. But if I wear a high cut one, you can see the ends of the scar on my hips...so, I just don't wear high cut ones. The only people who see the scar in its full glory is me, Mr. and my doc. Now i'm going to nit pick here, but I'm allowed to since its my blog, LOL. What I am a little bummed about (just a little) is that I my abdomen is actually not a flat as it was pre-plastics. I have a visible roundess on my lower abdomen. I attribute this to the fact that all the other places have been thinned out and it just looks more pronounced to me now. Doc said this is normal because there are organs there, but still. If I am wearing a fitted dress, you can see when I've eaten. Its sorta fascinating sometimes, cuz I can actually see it get smaller as my body digests. Today my waist measurement is 26". Which is weird because *I* think it looks smaller, but I was actually 25.5" pre-TT. Breast Lift: This is still by far the surprising winner of my procedures. The difference (to me) is amazing. And the fact that I can go bra-less for days on end and still be perky makes me happy. The scarring is at the same level as my TT, and if I wear a string bikini top you can see the scar ends at my sides, if I lift my arms up. I LOVE that I have no "side boob" oozing. There is no excess skin spilling out anymore near my armpits when I wear a fitted tank/bra/tube top. There are times I wish I had a little bit more boob (and got some implants), but then I remember how much they annoyed me before, and it passes. Today my bust measurement is 33". It was 32.5" pre-BL. Arm Lift: I also love the overall results of my arm lift. I always hated my arms, even pre-WLS, and getting these done was my #1 wish. While not as drastic an improvement as my breast lift (in terms of both looks AND quality of life), I am really happy with the shape and size. My biceps are more noticeable at rest with all the skin gone, but I do have to say my triceps need to flexed to be seen....but this is likely because my triceps just need some more work (I HATE tricep work...dips and extensions SUCK.) The scars here are the worst of them all, and while the 2 rounds of steroid shots have greatly improved them, there is still along way to go before they go unnoticed. I was always self conscious about the size of my arms when I was bigger (and actually even when i was "normal" sized", and then self conscious about thier flappiness when I got smaller after WLS. Now I so totally fine with wearing sleeveless stuff even with the scars. You can't see them unless I raise my arms, but I am a "Whoo"- girl, so people will see them regularly, LOL. Today my arm circumference is just a smidge over 10". It was 10.5" pre-AL. Would I do it all again? HECKS YA. What would I do differently?: Listen to my doc about NOT doing to much too soon. My stupidity probably added 2-3 months to my total recovery time. NOT smoked. Did more self-massages as I was instructed to break up the scar tissue. I know I did less than what I should have because it really hurt me to do it. Had I done it as prescribed, I probably wouldn't have had to have 2 sections of my scar on my right arm cut due to reduced mobility. Now these two sections where he made incisions are darker than the rest of my scar. Asked for a V-shaped TT incision vs a straight one (so it would be hidden if I wore high cut bikinis) Did my rounds of steroid shots earlier. I was scheduled to have it done 3-4 months post op, but then Covid happened, and I ended up getting them done 13 & 15 months post op. Asked for some lipo on my lower back while I was on the table. Really though, I am super happy with getting the plastics, thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is interested, and the minor annoyances of the process and 1 year results are completely overshadowed by how awesome I think my bod looks now. I am not interested in doing any more body plastics work now (or ever, we'll see). I can live with the rest of my perceived imperfections (i'm looking at you ass, and inner thighs, and lower back). Next UP: doing something about my face!
1 pointHi Everyone It has been 3 years since I last posted. During that time I had 3 more Plastic Surgeries despite the fact that I never got to my goal weight. The Dr felt that with all the excess skin from having lost 280 pounds it was best to get it off and see if maybe I would be able to walk again. So in May of 2018, I had an extended Brachioplasty. Within 1 hour of waking up, I was sent home and within less than an hour of being home, I was rushed back to the hospital as I had blood pouring out of my left upper arm. The Surgeon's assistant was called when I got to the hospital at about 9 pm. He came right away and said I had a baseball size hematoma and c would have to go back into surgery. No room was available until 4 a.m. so I remained in the ER until an Operating Room was available. I remained in the hospital for 3 days and almost have to have a blood transfusion. I was released but was told I immediately had to go to the PS office. As I was being loaded into the van my arm started bleeding again. The Dr greeting me at the door and I was immediately taken into a room. I remember him saying I looked like death warmed over. He called insurance and they approved for a nurse to come every other day to clean and rewrap my left arm. It took me 10 weeks to recover from that surgery. I must say I am glad I had the surgery but even though he took off 7 inches of skin from each arm he could have taken off more. I have Micheline Tire Baby Syndrome and the excess skin removal did not take all the rings away. I still have one roll on each arm and some excess skin as my arms are 14 inches instead of 21. To this day I still cannot wear sleeveless shirts and added sleeves to my bathing suits. Insurance will probably never approve another surgery on my arms. After this surgery and complications, I had two more. In early Dec of 2018, I had my panniculectomy and a second hernia was repaired. I had no complications with this surgery and was thrilled to get 10 pounds of skin off my tummy and not have the huge overhang any more. Wearing the binder was not fun as it kept riding either up or down my butt. By the end of January, I was able to buy my first compression garment and was back to work 2 weeks later. Despite the 10 pounds being gone I still was not able to walk without a cane or a walker. All this excess skin being removed is not helping my 6 herniated discs, yet there is one more surgery and this I am told this one may be the one that allows me to walk. In late May of 2019, I had a belt lipectomy. The first week was very painful but by week 3 I was doing great. Two days I had terrible pain on the V spot on my back all the way around to my left groin incision. I was in terrible pain, my skin was hot and I had become so swollen I could not sleep on my left side and I had developed a blister. The Dr had been called the weekend I had terrible pain and felt so sick but I was not able to see him until Wednesday. He Popped the blister and over 5 Emesis Basin of fluid came out. He sent it for testing and 2 days later I was told I had to go to an Infectious Disease Doctor. The Doctor had no appointments on Friday and by Sunday 2 more blisters developed and I was so scared I went to the ER. It was determined I had MRSA and was in the hospital in an isolated room for 5 days. I had to have a MIdline put in as my veins were collapsing. OMGod that procedure hurt like you cannot believe, I was told I had rolling veins and it took them over 40 minutes to get that midline in. To make matters worse I still had a lot of excess skin in the area they wanted to put the midline. I could not move my arm for at least 2 hours after that procedure. For the next 8 weeks, I had 2 hours of IV Vancomycin 2 times a day. Finally Mid August I was well enough to return to work. This surgery did not help my ability to walk any better. I started going to a pain management clinic and he tried all kinds of procedures I can not even remember what they all were. By January 2020 the pain management Doctor thought that radiofrequency ablation might work. So in late February, he stuck me 4 times on each side of my back with the heat probe that cuts the nerve. I knew within weeks I had not worked and then Covid19 hit us all and I was in South East Florida a very bad hot spot. Even today as I wrote this we are still under phrase one. With my body the way it is I am afraid to go anywhere. My last day of work in the office was March 12th. I have been out of the house 3 times since that day. Thank God I can do remote Zoom lessons with my blind clients otherwise I would be homeless. So where do I go from here? I do not think the pain management Doctor who I went to for over 6 months is someone I would want to return to. In Jan I will be 65 years old and even though I have been on a Medicare advantage plan since 2008 I could change insurance companies and get all new Doctors. The only problem is I have no idea what kind of a Doctor to go to or whether or not these Florida Doctors would do anything for me. I am still obese despite having lost 250 pounds and have another 80 pounds to lose. I am over 4 years post-op for my sleeve surgery and barely manage to lose 5 to 8 pounds a month if I am 100% on plan. I was hoping to be walking by my 65th birthday but it does not look like it will happen. I wish I could say losing all this weight was the cure to my being able to walk but it was not. I am so totally disappointed that it did not happen. But I suppose when you have 6 herniated discs losing weight is not going to help them. Yes, I am thinner but am still in a great deal of pain and cannot do anything without a walker or a scooter. Some Golden Years I will be having. Am so tired of being like this. Jan 2021 will be 27 years since I was so badly injured at the Quiet Waters Park Kiss Country Chili and Band Competition. I wish I had never gone it was the ruination of my life.