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Thank you for sharing your surgical journey. I've heard nothing but horror stories about plastic surgeries in Mexico and other countries, so it gives me hope that perhaps I won't have to live like this wrinkled old elephant or person in a too large skin suit for the rest of my life!

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I read the whole thing. That was great sharing, I felt like I was there! Honestly you should think about writing a how to book of your adventures. This was/is a great chapter of success!

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4 weeks, 3 days

Sorry for the delay in posting. The first week after I got home I slept a lot, night and day. Eating and drinking enough is hard when you sleep so much, so I haven't been meeting my goal of 64oz Fluid and 100gm of Protein, but I've been getting at least 48oz fluid and at least 60-80gm of protein. My protein oatmeal with extra protein added and my Pure Protein Bars with 19-21gm of protein is a huge chunk of that.

3 weeks in, after sleeping most of the day my body decided it was done with that, and since I'd just slept all day, it chose to stay awake at night. I've been trying to get my sleep pattern under control, but when I went to bed at 10:30 I awoke at 1:24am refreshed from my nap and last night I went to bed just after midnight and woke up at 4am and wasn't able to get back to sleep. I think this time I'll be able to stay awake all day though, so I'm hoping to sleep through the night tonight. I've still been having a hard time with my diet goals since I am trying to sleep at night.

If I didn't have the luxury of working at home on my own schedule, I might not be having such a hard time sleeping because I'd be forced to a regular schedule. My husband has had his reservations, but has been supportive through all this because I promised I'd take care of myself. When I feel bad for being gone so long and now sleeping on the couch instead of snuggling with him, he tells me that I've just had surgery and I'm healing, sleep when my body tells me to sleep, and if the couch is more comfortable than sleeping reclined in bed, sleep there. At least I'm spending a few hours snuggling with him at night now.

A couple days after retuning home I took my surgical tape off and discovered that I'd pulled a couple stitches. Remember those painful sneezes? I'm pretty sure that's when it happened. I have mighty, full body sneezes that sometimes makes my arm go numb and always said I'll probably die because I sneezed while driving. The wound didn't reopen. There was no bleeding or seeping, there were just larger scabs and one had a tacky feel. The scar in that area in front is going to be uglier than the nice thin scar in the back. This isn't the surgeons fault and nothing would have been different if I'd been there for a follow-up and he took the tape off. I'm waiting for the last scab to fall off before I start using the scar gel and massaging the scar.

I have been concerned about the puffy area just above the scar across the front. I told myself it's probably just inflammation. They tell you not to judge the way you look because you won't see the final results for 6 months to a year, but it's hard. When you look at before and after pictures, the after pictures are long enough after for the inflammation to be gone. I went to a friend's commitment ceremony 2 days ago and another friend there had a lower body lift and BBL here in the states with one of the best surgeons (they have more money than me). She had her surgery 10 days after mine and she has that too, so I feel better.

To summarize how I felt moving around week by week: Week 1 was difficult getting in and out of bed and it was painful. Week 2 I had the roll and push method down pat so it was easier to get up and down from bed and I could move around better, but when I'd first get up I'd walk more hunched over and this was when I had the really painful sneezes. It was easy to not push myself and to remember not to lift things or bend down because I could feel the pain in my stitches. I was very itchy. Week 3 I was able to move easier and could reach for things, but I could still feel it pull at the stitches, but it was more discomfort than painful so I was having to remind myself not to lift things and to not twist. This is when the itching was at its worst. Week 4 I'm getting stir crazy because I am still not supposed to drive and I promised my husband I'd take care of myself, which means following doctor's orders even if I think I'm OK to drive. Because of the mini BBL he did, I'm not supposed to drive for 4 weeks, then for 2 weeks only short distances "if I have to drive". I was moving normal, but I could still feel it pull at the stitches, but not really uncomfortable, just a pulling sensation. I still itched really bad, but it wasn't as constant. Now I don't really feel any pain except now that I'm sleeping without the pillows and my hips are on the bed, I am not sleeping on my right side because the incision is still a little tender when sleeping with weight on it there. Thankfully I can sleep on my left side and it doesn't hurt. Of course, I haven't slept more than 4 hours that way yet.

I was supposed to wear the compression garment 24/7 except when showering for 4 weeks, then for 4 weeks I can sleep without it. I cheated and slept without my compression garment and drove a night early. It was really nice to snuggle with my husband without it even if it was from on top of pillows and just for a little bit because I couldn't sleep. I snuggled lying on 2 thick pillows with my hip/butt between them because of the mini BBL. After talking to my friend who had her lower body lift and BBL here, I'm rebelling a little bit. She was told she could sit on soft furniture without a pillow and sleep in bed without pillows keeping pressure off her butt. I'm still obeying my doctors orders regarding sitting because I can't find an entry on Google supporting that you can sit on soft furniture, but after talking to her I decided to sleep without the pillows under me. I have a thick Temper Pedic Memory Foam pad and REALLY want to snuggle with my hubby and sleep normally. I sleep on my side and he didn't transfer fat to my hips, that's where he took it from. As mentioned above, I can't sleep on my right because it's still tender there when sleeping on it.

Of note regarding my breast lift/implants. I don't talk about them because they haven't hurt at all until recently. I get twinges now at the lower scar. I've had implants implanted, removed, and implanted again, so 3 surgeries and the scar tissue at the bottom of my breast is pretty thick and now that the incision is healed I need to start massaging it to break that scar tissue up. The first time I had implants (2006) it did hurt. I had to lean to the side to get one hand wet, then lean to the other side to get the other wet, then rinse the soap off the same way because leaning forward hurt, and it took almost a year before I didn't look like I had super pecs (they sit high when they are new). I'm assuming it didn't hurt this time and they have already settled because the skin didn't need to stretch. Maybe the signals from the incision from the lower body lift overrode anything my breasts might have wanted to tell me as well.

When I hit 6 weeks and "can drive", I'm going to drive to Missouri. My Mother-In-Law has cancer of the esophagus and they need help taking care of her. I can work from home and they can't, so I volunteered. She needs help bathing and having her diaper changed, her feeding tube needs cleaned and feeding bag filled, and she and her house needs taking care of. She is on hospice, but not close enough to the end to have daily helpers, but she has a nurse stop by twice a week and a helper come twice a week for a couple hours, so I can save heavy lifting for the helper.

I'm going to ask my husband to take some 4.5 week after pics so you can see what it looks like soon after the incisions heal. I'll post again at other intervals so you can see progress as the inflammation goes away and the scar heals. Other than that, I will post if I feel I have something relevant to say regarding my progress. I'll only post about my MIL as it relates to my being able to care for her due to my surgery because this isn't a cancer support forum.

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Just be sure to take care of yourself while you're taking care of your MIL, too. I pray she'll find relief from her pain and that your family will have good moments with her while she's here.

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