Friday, January 29, 2010

Shocker! 6 month update...

...ok so it's been 7, but who's really counting right? First and foremost let me apologize profusely for not posting an update sooner. I won't lie. I have no valid excuses, other than "life took over" which is pretty weak, I know. It's been so long that I actually forgot my Blogger password and had to have it resent to me today. I just realized that it's entirely possible that none of you even noticed (or gave a rat's arse) since unlike the last few times I didn't blog, I never got any emails requesting a new update. Hmmmm, I guess maybe the world doesn't revolve around me after all? No, impossible...I'm positively sure it IS all about me :)

Where. To. Start. I guess a whole freaking lot has happened so I better just pick something general to write about or we will be here for hours and you will think I am a ranting and raving crazy person by the end of it. Do you like how I say this as if you didn't already have that impression? LOL

Summer was great, I rocked the beach in a bikini (or bikinis as the case may be) for the majority of it since we had crazy heat waves and went on a 10 day holiday to the Okanagan in August. And can I just say, it felt fantastic. And I mean fanfuckingtastic! Seriously. I never once felt uncomfortable, not even around the skinny childless bitches whose bodies haven't seen a stretch mark or piece of cottage cheesy cellulite yet. It was, for lack of a better word, awesome. I have truly never felt better about myself.

The healing process itself is coming along nicely. I am still rebuilding my core strength (yes, still!) so that has been the biggest hurdle for me in all of this. Ok, maybe not the biggest hurdle. I just finished reading my entire blog as a reminder of what I went through and let me just say...OMFG I can't believe it! I had *almost* forgotten what the pain was like (you know how the mind tends to block out traumatic experiences? yeah, like that) but the hunchback walking, sleepless nights, tears of pain and regret, gut busting constipation, girdle wearing, and general gore quickly came flooding back once I started reading. Ok, I'm not going to that dark place, back to healing. The core strength issue has been the loooongest part of the process. I was doing P90X Ab RipperX last night and I can barely bang out 15 of the 25 reps of each exercise and I am a wheezing, panting, sweaty, flat on the floor MESS literally yelling "what the hell?!" by the end of it. And for those of you not familiar with it, it's only 15 mins long, albeit super intense. lol. But, I am hoping to be sporting a six pack this summer, or at very least a 2 pack dammit! This could be wishful thinking (or just plain delusional) on my part, but a girl can dream can't she?

As for my incision, the scar is still pretty ugly, although nowhere near as bad as it was last I posted. It is more pinkish than red, but as my surgeon keeps reminding me, this can take up to 2 YEARS to fade so we're hardly there yet. It is fairly flat now, more flush with the skin, which is good. The belly button scar is sort of brownish in color. And...drumroll please...I got it pierced 2 weeks ago! This is something I had wanted to do for years, but who in their right mind would pierce the wrinkled prune of skin that was my previous bb? There was some concern about piercing a surgically created belly button, but my piercer had prior experience with it and in his exact words upon examining me were "pardon my language, but your belly button is fucking perfect for piercing", so there you have it. It hardly hurt at all, possibly because it is still semi-numb since the surgery which was a good thing in this case. It started to scab up a few days ago and I was in a panic and went flying down to his shop to see him and he said it was all a normal part of healing. Thank god, can you imagine messing with a navel that cost $6,000+ to attain? That would be "add valium to your cereal" stressful, to say the least.

Side note: I'm starting to rethink this blogging idea tonight, as I'm not entirely 'with it' after the week I have had and my boys are behaving like hooligans behind me right now. I'm not sure a couch cushion to the head is helping my creative writing skills much. I could stop now and try again but I probably won't have/make the time this weekend to finish so bear with me. So I guess what I'm saying is that if I'm not as witty as usual, I'm putting the blame onto everyone else...

As promised as the reason behind why I got the TT when I did, I have returned back to work. I'm not full time, but 4-6hrs a day 5 days a week is plenty when you have 4 kids and a husband (read: 5 kids) so I'm pretty happy with it. Although as mentioned above, this week was a complete gong show and I actually came home from work and whacked back some Ativan on Wednesday. But that's a whole other blog post for another day. Quite possibly on a different blog site, one where profanity and threats of violence are not against the rules :P

I know many of you are going to want pictures inserted here, so I'm just going to be honest about why I'm not posting any today. Mother Nature reared her ugly red head this morning and I feel like a giant bloated cow, plus my piercing is still a bit scabby. I absolutely super duper pinky swear promise to post one next week though. Even if I don't have time to blog, I'll post a picture to go with this entry. Deal? Actually, come to think of it I do have some bikini pics from late summer I could post for the time being. Many of you who are my 3 dimensional friends will have seen them. Look again. Or, don't. Whatev.

I guess, all in all, I believe that there is a happy ending to my story. Any minor hiccups along the way were just that and I can say with a billion percent certainty that all the pain and torture (both emotional and physical) and pure, utter Hell I went through is finally worth it. I can recall a blog post early on in my recovery where I was (not so patiently) waiting for the day to come. I'm thrilled to has arrived.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

6 week pics

So bikini shopping went a little TOO well...I came home with not one, but FIVE new suits! Woot woot! I am also back at cardio and hoping to start some strength training this coming week and get back into P90X the following week. I would write more but it's 32 degrees outside (90ish to my American friends) and I am laying in the yard studying for a mid-term and soaking up some glorious Vitamin D (hopefully not skin cancer too) while my littlest one splashes around in his pool.

Here are the 6 week pics as promised. The last pic is (obviously) a close up of my belly button, it's looking better but I still don't "love" it, it's kinda funny looking, albeit a million times better than what I had before!

edited to add: the marks on my tummy are just from the girdle, I had just taken it off shortly before.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Love to Hate it and Hate to Love it

So this post is a little late in coming and I could give a million excuses as to why but fact is that it's just been so nice outside that I haven't made the time. My apologies to my loyal followers.

Despite being told at my 4 week appointment that I could stop wearing the girdle, it took me 8 days to work up the courage to take it off. Yes, 8 days...*hanging head in shame*...totally crazy considering how much I HATE this thing! I actually tried mid-week and just couldn't do it. It really is the very definition of love/hate relationship. Being without it is the most odd feeling I've ever felt...naked, exposed, unprotected. But Saturday night was my birthday celebration and I really didn't want to wear it so I grew myself a set of balls and took it off. I was very concerned about how much swelling I would have without it so I wore a loose fitting tank just because I didn't really want to be sitting there with a cocktail in hand looking 5 months pregnant. Much to my surprise I had NO swelling whatsoever, despite eating sodium overloaded pub food for dinner and it being hot and muggy out that day. I think I got a little too comfortable though, because I left it off all day the following day and by the end of the night (while we were at a friend's BBQ) I looked like a sausage busting out of it's casing. Luckily I had planned for this and brought the girdle, so hubby saddled me up and I felt much better by morning. I have to tell you that putting it on is the funniest thing ever, we really should youtube it or something. I wrap it around and he holds the velcro end, waiting for my command. Once I have it perfectly in place (I have it down to a fine science now) I say "ok, GO!" and he uses all his body weight to pull it nice and tight. When I try to do it myself, it just isn't the same, it's crooked or too loose, or the velcro is rubbing on my boobs or something. Damn, we're a good team =)

Anyway, this week has been a nice mix of girdle vs. no girdle. Tomorrow marks 6 weeks, which means the green light to resume working out. Pretty excited about that, I am starting to feel a little mushy in places I really don't want to be! We are going on a 10 day vacation in mid-August so I have to get back in the swing of things right away. I am actually going to go bikini shopping today...I am sure that will be a blog post in and of itself. Wish me luck.


These were taken at 5 weeks. I will post more this weekend because oddly enough, my belly button has definitely changed for the better.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

One Month Check-up Appointment

So yesterday was my 4 week post-op. Can you believe it's been a MONTH?! This was the first time I have seen my surgeon since the morning after, which as we know was absolute HELL getting to the surgery centre and involved a lot of tears and a wheelchair. Yesterday, not only did I hop out of my truck, I even took the stairs! The receptionist says to me "well, you're looking much better than the last time I saw you!" and we both instantly cracked up. There was another woman standing there as we were chatting and she piped up that she wanted to get a TT...I told her to best be prepared to be knocked flat on her ass for 2-3 weeks. She asked me if it was comparable to a c-section and I kind of giggled...not even in the same league. My c-sec was like getting a papercut compared to this!! I told her it compared to being shot in the guts and left to bleed out...LOL! Poor woman. Anyways, I then proceeded to tell her how happy I am with my results and that I know that soon enough, it will all have been worth it. I've mentioned this in a previous posting, but I am still not quite shouting from rooftops about how glad I am I did this. I have my moments, but am still feeling some guilt over the cost (especially considering we are in the process of moving which has cost us a couple thousand) and of course just not 100% comfortable in my own skin yet...but I know it WILL come, eventually. Be patient or you'll become one, as they say.

So back to the appointment. My surgeon removed my girdle and actually said "wow, smokin' mama!" - at first I was speechless (those of you who know me realize this is a real rarity) and then I sort of laughed it off, but I guess I should give myself a little more credit. He told me that even he couldn't believe how great it turned out and how well I am healing. Minimal to no swelling, although the incision is still nasty looking but that takes months and months. I did have one spot that I mentioned to him was quite tender so he peeled off my surgical tape and took a look. Lo and behold there was a little piece of internal stitch poking out. So he removed it with scissors and tweezers (didn't hurt, more of a pinchy feeling) and told me this happens sometimes but it's nothing to worry about. He gave me the go ahead to start very light cardio, working my way back to running over the next 3 weeks or so, and resuming weight training in another 2 weeks. YAY! Wait, wait...there's MORE! I can ditch this F%$#^& girdle any time I am ready! He recommends I still wear it to sleep and if I am just at home, but said it's totally fine to take it off when I am out of the house. I have to wean myself off it slowly like a baby coming off the tit, a couple hours at a time. Just to make sure I don't swell up like a balloon.

He asked me how I felt about my results and I told him the honest truth, that I am mostly happy, but still not "there" yet. He walked over to his computer screen and proceeded to pull up my "before" picture...and as many times as I have seen it on my own computer and even on this very blog, there was something about standing there beside it, pants down, stomach bared, knowing that I was a completely different person physically. It kind of overcame me a bit and I just nodded. He told me that I truly was the perfect candidate and that he knows that in a couple more months, I will be SO thankful I did this for myself.

*raising my Timmy's coffee cup* : here's to that day coming.

Friday, July 3, 2009

3 Week Pictures

I just finished taking a few pics to try and capture the "definition" that I can see now. I think you can see it a little, it is definitely more visible in person. In the 2nd pic, you can also see how the "puckering" along the incision line has started to settle down and flatten out a bit.

Gwen Stefani, eat your heart out.

3 Week Tummyversary

I figured today is a good day to write since I am now officially 3 weeks post-op, which is also halfway to the full recovery point. It's so hard to believe that it's been that long since I was confined to bed, drugged to oblivion and wishing I were dead. I guess time flies when you're having fun!

Yesterday we took a day trip to the lake, my first real day out in the sunshine around people who were unaware that I had anything done. Wearing the girdle is definitely a total pain in the ass and is very limiting on what I can wear as far as clothing is concerned, because it is so stiff and just plain awkward. I wore 2 tank tops to try and hide the lumps and bumps of Velcro, with yoga capris. I also made a very conscious effort to stand straight, as there were a few family members there who don't know about the TT and I would prefer to keep it that way. I wouldn't say I failed miserably, but one person did ask me what was wrong with my back. So clearly I am not as upright as I seem to think I am, which means my husband was right. I guess there's a first for everything! I tell him that when he met me he knew I was Miss Right, he just didn't know my first name was Always. Hehe.

As for the healing itself, the lumps under my incision are slowly but surely breaking up, assuming from the massaging so I will keep it up until they have disappeared. I have noticed the swelling going down more and more every day, in fact I can't even wear my girdle with the velcro where it's supposed to be, it's a good 3" past now, which is a great thing. I took it off last night and stood in the full length mirror...and much to my (pleasant) surprise, I can see some slight definition already. Yes, folks, I actually have defined abs. I am SO excited to see my final result in a couple of months and ditch this freaking girdle. I am also really looking forward to being able to workout, especially running. Every time I drive past someone running, I just itch to be able to tie up my runners, toss my boys in the jogger and have a nice sweaty, lung burning run. Soon, soon.

On another note, we are moving this month. Totally spur of the moment (obviously, what moron would have major surgery and move the following month) but necessary. I have absolutely no clue how I will get through these next few weeks without driving to the nearest bridge and swandiving off, but I guess we'll find out. By sheer luck, my husband has 18 days off starting tomorrow and I will also be swallowing my pride and taking any offers for help. So if you know me and are just offering thinking I'll say don't worry about it like I usually do, better think again.

Ciao for now.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Back By Popular Demand

Well it seems you are all waiting with baited breath for another post (I feel so loved!) so after numerous messages asking me why I haven't updated, here I am. I have been super busy now that the kids are out of school for the summer, which of course brings mixed feelings every year. We have kids in two different schools, so scheduling and timing during the rest of the year is crazy to say the least. So while it's nice not to have to deal with that, the all day-every day UFC-like fighting between the two little ones and the constant "I'm BORED! There's NOTHING to do!" from the older one is enough to drive a sane person nuts. Luckily I went insane years ago, so I just roll with it.

Alright, onto the TT update. Nothing overly exciting to report (bummer, huh?) The pain is gone (unless I sneeze or cough or laugh which literally feels like someone plunging a machete through my guts) and there is really only tightness and mild discomfort now. I notice it mostly at night, and find getting a full or good night's sleep to be nearly impossible to achieve, which certainly makes for a Grouchy Pants Mommy during the day. I have however managed to be able to sleep sort of on my side with lots of pillows this week, so that's a bonus. My back is still KILLING me, I can't even begin to tell you how bad of shape it's in. It aches 24/7 and sometimes feels so sore that I want to just sit and cry. I am STILL walking hunched over and it's really getting old now (no pun intended). I try and try to straighten up but I just can't. I actually thought I was standing straight and tall last night and I showed my husband, all proud of myself. He sort of just looked at me and said "what are you doing?" and I said "LOOK, I'm standing straight"....then he informed me that no, I wasn't. LOL so much for that. Ugh.

Something else I noticed the other night is hard lumps forming under my incision. The entire incision feels like it has a rope running under the skin, and some spots have larger knots than others. I freaked out a little (ok, a lot) but thanks to the internet, learned that this is normal and is the reason they tell you to massage the incision (which I had been doing) so I have kicked up the massage a notch and actually am going to buy a small foam paint roller as suggested by someone on a discussion forum. That's right, a paint roller. You run it along the incision to help break up the lumps. Sounds silly, but also makes sense. I figure it can't hurt.

My steri strips were hanging on for dear life for some reason, and I desperately wanted to see what I had going on under there, so I (very carefully) peeled them I totally look like a science experiment gone wrong. Even though I have seen plenty of pictures online, I hadn't really prepared myself mentally for what it would actually look like. I'm not usually a queasy person, but I literally almost fainted when I saw my incision. I had to sit down on the edge of the bed, put my head down and take a few deep breaths. My hands feel tingly even as I type about it. It was a pretty unreal, freaky feeling. Anyways, once I got over the initial shock of it all, I washed the incision(s) really well with some surgical detergent and recovered it with 3M paper tape as per my surgeon's instructions (I will do this weekly for 3-4 months) and now it's out of sight, out of mind again. Oh! I almost forgot, I got to see my new belly button too, it's pretty funky looking still but I am hoping it will change some once the swelling goes down and the incision is all healed. At any rate, it's definitely FAR better than the wrinkled prune of a BB I had before. The whole BB thing has been so important to me, it's what really prompted me to do this in the first place. As a side note, I am estranged from my mother, so it is kind of a ceremonious "cutting the cord"...literally. *giggle*

Alright people, lunch is calling my name. Sorry this post was so boring and gore-less. Ah, what the heck, I may as well ruin your lunch while I am here: