Sunday, January 19, 2020

FUPA Removed...sort of... : one year later

I've been hesitant to write this post. See....I tend to vomit up whatever I'm feeling onto the page, and then hit post and walk away. I don't really edit. I don't concern myself with being PC - as this is my experience, told from my point of view - so I figure I might as well be honest about it.

But the concern I have with this method, regarding this topic, is that I'm going to come off as ungrateful. Ungrateful for the opportunity to have this surgery done. Ungrateful for all of you supporting me and keeping me motivated through it. And mostly that I'd seem ungrateful to my family who put their lives on hold to take care of me, and do all my chores, and make sure I was taken care of...for WEEKS. I am so absolutely appreciative for all of that - - and I don't ever want there to be confusion about that.

That being said - pretty much all other aspects of my first skin removal surgery - - my Circumferential Body Lift (aka: FUPA removal) - - have me going through a ton of emotions. Actually - who am I kidding - - it has me experiencing ALL the emotions. I looked them up - apparently humans have 7. So I experience even more than these emotions - - because I feel a whole lot more than 7 things.

I experience happiness and surprise... Some awe... A little pride thrown in for good measure - when I see that I have a flat-ish stomach. It's not perfectly flat. There is still extra skin there (to be expected, within reason) - so thankfully I don't need to feel compelled to strive for a 6 pack, as that shit just is not happening no matter what I do. But for the first time in my life, when I look down, I don't see my stomach/FUPA sticking out. It feels pretty frickin sweet.  So there is good. About 50% of it is good.

But then I realized a couple of months ago that I don't really look at my body...but now it is not for the same reasons I used to avoid looking. Before I was just so big, that if I looked...I mean REALLY LOOKED... I likely wouldn't have left the house. I NEVER would have changed in a locker room. I wouldn't have let anyone near me without being 100% fully covered.

This is different. This is avoidance, due to the other emotions: Anger, Disgust, Sadness, Fear & Contempt. I'm still using not registering my body as a defense mechanism - - but for very different reasons. Every time I look at the area of my body lift - at the scar line, and the areas surrounding it, I typically experience one of these emotions.

Yes - of course there are times where I look and I'm still pretty damn jazzed - - especially when I finally observed how light my scar lines were getting. Who knows how long they've been this light - - because I don't recall even seeing them for a long period before then.

But the overwhelming majority of the time, I'm some varied version of pissed.

I'm still so incredibly mad that my surgeon didn't tell me he was in over his head. That he put me under, without a solid plan of how he was going to execute this surgery - ALL of this surgery, not the parts he could get done within his allotted time. What a fucking coward. To put me through the surgery, and that recovery, without getting everything done is just unacceptable. Or maybe he's just so incompetent he thinks he did get everything done. Maybe he legitimately things a woman wants to have all of the loose skin/fatty tissue left on her lady biz....that we desire to be able to tap one side and have it ripple like a water bed? Maybe he thinks I wanted my crotch to be crooked. SERIOUSLY CROOKED because he just fucking left it untouched during the surgery. I honestly cannot even begin to guess what the hell he did to my ass...but I can assure you it looks worse. WHAT. THE.FUCK. WAS. HE. DOING?!??!?!

But more frequent than my overwhelming contempt for him, and what I perceive to be completely unethical practices, is the anger I have at myself. I chose him. I met with other surgeons - one who has proven to be an absolute gem (used for my 2nd surgery) - - and I chose THIS GUY!??!???! My brain allowed me to pick someone who couldn't be bothered to proof read his after-care instructions - not once, but twice!??!!?!? I picked a guy who had no idea how to deal with my particular needs, and wasn't professional enough to just admit it. I let this guy do the most invasive thing I've ever had done - with apparently no plan/no idea how long it would actually take him. He had me in there MUCH longer than he said he would - and still didn't finish the job. And then post-surgery when I'd try to ask him about it, he'd completely brush me off. What an unprofessional asshole.

I am genuinely more self-conscious of my body now than I was before. Before I was just a really, really, big gal - - but it was what it was. No big surprises. Now - with clothes on - you expect one thing, but then SURPRISE! It's a crooked waterbed crotch and a misshapen rear end! When I sit it looks like I have a pillow stuck in my pants at my crotch/upper thighs because of all the extra skin he left. And every time I see it, I get pissed off....

So the anniversary of this surgery brought up a bunch of shit for me - - I know, I know...after this swearing rant, you guys already knew that. It's made me shut myself off more than usual. Most days I unconsciously avoid looking at the areas that trigger me. Some days I forget, and then I have to have a talk with myself. When I look at my lap I have to have a talk with myself. On those pissed off days I have to end my pep talk with "fuck it - - you could have died"...because honestly I can't believe something significant didn't happen with the amount of walking that moron had me doing after my surgery...

So like I said - - I'm about 50/50. Grateful I got to get most of that albatrose (all of that extra skin) off me....but so disappointed in who I let do it.

Like with all of use & with all things, I'm going to need to buck the fuck up....and I will. But I'm also allowing myself some time to feel what I'm going to feel about it....

Looking at these pictures actually makes me a little proud of how far I've come - - even the one that looks like my asscrack goes up to my middle back, unless I pull my skin apart. What the hell is that about!??! The things I don't notice, because I don't look that closely....

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Schedule

Over the last threeish years, the positive improvements to my life are seriously way too many to track. Although this new life I lead has become the norm - - so commonplace I rarely recognize it as anything that hasn't been my existence from the start. I don't want that to sound like I'm not grateful for the changes I've experienced....I do still have random little moments where I think back to how it used to feel to do whatever it is I'm doing at the time. Or realized it was not so long ago that there is literally not one chance I could have done what I'm currently able to do.

But I am realizing also that all of this positive has also come with what can, at least at times, feels like a negative. My schedule. Or more accurately, my intense need to stick to my schedule. 

I live my life by a series of alarms. A set of parameters that I've adjusted over the last few years, but now cling to like a life-line. 

People that have had the type of surgery that I've had (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy) are told to wait 30 minutes before eating/drinking - - so basically when I finish my meal, I set an alarm for 30 minutes, and that's when I can drink. I do the same when I finish drinking - - a 30 minute alarm is set, and then I can eat. Now, there are times where I don't follow this to a T, but those are typically infrequent - and there is usually a reason beyond: I need to shove food in my mouth this second! And that is exactly why I continue to follow the 30 minute rule all of these years later. I feel as though it helps avoid what could become a lot of mindless snacking. So this portion of my schedule seems pretty required/legitimate, would you agree? 

Here's where things can get a little more tricky. I am consistently in bed between 8:30-9:30pm almost every night. That's not just school nights - - that's EVERY night. But how can this be when you're such a vibrant, young, single woman out on the prowl, you ask?!?! The answer is - I'm really only one of those things...I have moments where I think trying to pull off a vibrant woman on the prowl would be fun...but then I get tired, and I go to bed. But seriously - - I am certain sleep is at least partly responsible for the fact that I've been very successful since my weightloss surgery. I am also certain it is a huge part of why I haven't had the plague (no major cold/flu) for the last couple of years. I'm crazy diligent about my sleep - - so if you want me to attempt to be social with you, we need to do it early =) 

Another reason for the early to bed thing...especially on the weekends in the that I want to get my butt out and go for my walks early in the AM. As much as I trust myself, to an extent, to get out later in the day and get my workout in - - it's never a good idea to push my luck. Plus - it's an absolutely lovely way for me to start my day. I throw on my headphones and go. I'm typically just about the only one out there, so then it cuts down on the irritation I experience when other walkers/runners are so damn rude they don't even acknowledge my existence...but that's a whole other topic.... Anyway - especially after essentially sitting on my ass for the first 5 months of the year, getting back in my routine has been extremely comforting for me. As much as I still don't love working out (the weights/gym stuff), I love the result and see it's necessity. Endorphins are real, and they are my friend. Walking is my therapy. My disposition needs me to work out...for the welfare of others...

I prep and portion/weigh/measure out 95% of what I eat (at least). I eat the same things over, and over, and over. Every "work" night, I get everything prepped and ready for the next day so I can just grab it and go. I spend a reasonable amount of time most weekends prepping food for the week. No excuses. When I try to cut corners on this process, it inevitably comes back and bites me in the ass. It stresses me out, and I don't like it - - so I've absolutely recognized its benefit. I am no longer willing to skip this and "wing" it. 

I think a lot of what drives this is, unfortunately, fear. Since my surgery I've had a couple of scary moments (I blacked out with my niece at the MoA - I stayed upright, but it scared the hell out of both of us, I think. Then there was the morning I fell on my face twice when I was getting ready for work - - no one ever could figure out why that was) so I make sure I eat and drink...often. On a schedule, if you will. 

My fear is also based on the fact that I've failed every other attempt to lose weight. That was 41 years worth of trials and failures. That's a lot of damn time to just forget! And as much as I trust myself more now - - it took about 2 years post-surgery to finally believe that I could do this, and I would stick to it - - I still have moments where I'm just waiting for it to all fall apart. I trust myself to stick with it, but I'm still very conscious of the fact that it could all go to shit. 

So I stick to my schedule. At times I'm extremely militant about it. It is the thing that helps me continue to believe I can stick with this long term. It makes me feel in control, and it has been working, so I continue to use it. I may miss out on some things - but what I've gained, to me, is absolutely worth it. The volume of things I'm able to do now, the level at which I can consistently participate in my life, seems like a very acceptable tradeoff. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Removing All the Skin // Surgery II

After all of the hoopla surrounding FUPA removal back in January, it's safe to say that surgery number 2 has definitely snuck up on me. After finding out Dr Camp was a complete hack, and having to process that information. After searching for a new surgeon, and picking one. After going back to the gym and realizing how quickly things can get SO HARD again. After all of that...I finally looked up and realized my 2nd surgery is in less than 2 weeks!

Surgery 2 consists of: Boob Installation / Wing Chop / Flap Removal

I no longer have my boobs...but I have the bags they came in...
On Thursday my sister drove my mom & I through the most recent April MN blizzard to my pre-op appointment with Dr Landis. 

We discussed my boobs...or lack thereof... and the plan for putting them back where they belong - - or at least a hell of a lot closer than they currently are.

As you can see by the pictures, my boobs are non-existent. They lay flat like pancakes - - although I would rather refer to them as my "crepes"... you know - fancy pancakes!

We're somewhat limited as to how high they can be moved because the base of my breast (the area where the bottom of my boob meets the rest of my body) is not something that can really be adjusted by much. Yes - there is some fancy medical term for this intersection - but I cannot, for the life of me, remember what it's called.

My poor boobs, which I have to lift up and set into any bra I wear, are just so sad. The skin is all stretched out. There is just nothing to them anymore! I swear my pectoral muscles stick out further than my damn boobs!

But anyway….Dr L is going to lift these bad boys up - -

The way I understand it - -the nips will basically be cut around... there will be an incision along the base of each boob, and then up to the nipple area on each breast. After putting the implant in, covering with my own tissue and moving the nips north a bit - - any additional loose skin will be folded together with the scar/seem up from the bottom of my breast to the nipple area. 

How all of that is going to be done without me being in some pretty significant discomfort, I do not know. 

I believe the plan is to also fold these flaps on the side of my body (located under my armpits) into my new boobs as well...extra filler, you know. 

I'll then have a scar coming down from my armpit where the these lovely scrotum looking sacks are currently hanging out.

That may seem like a ridiculous way to describe them - - but it's pretty accurate.... my loose arm skin tends to have a very similar aesthetic when at certain angles. 

I am certain that waking up with boobs is going to be by far the weirdest part of this whole process... it has been like 3 years since my boobs packed their shit and's been even longer since they were anywhere near where they were supposed to be... so this is going to be SO WEIRD!!!

Here's to never again having to dig my boobs out of my armpits!!

I will also be having a brachioplasty performed. That's fancy talk for removing these flapping wings that are currently monopolizing my upper arms! 

Of all of the things I've had/am having done, this is the one I'm the most excited about!

These damn things just keep getting in the way! Although I have been wearing tank tops the last couple of summers - - because, you know...when the sun's out, loose flabby guns out - - it will be nice to not have to be concerned with accidentally slapping someone in the face with my loose arm flub while cheering on my nieces. 

When I'm at the gym, I can constantly see/feel them swinging around, or just hanging out of my shirt, while I try to do whatever insane routine Scott has assigned that day. 

Not to mention to perilous task of trying to shave my armpits with all this loose flesh! Honestly - how I haven't severely cut myself is completely beyond me! 

And lets be honest...I've never been a girl with decent arm muscles. I was athletic back in the day - I was strong - but I've always been a big girl, and weight lifting wasn't something that was really done by the ladies back in the day (or at least my day...back 2343 years ago) this is the first time in my life I might actually have some muscles in there! I'd like to see what is buried in all that skin! 

So this is it...I'm down to less than 2 weeks before I go under the knife...again. I'm feeling confident in my new surgeon and his team. It sounds like I'll have fewer restrictions on me post-surgery, and I don't have to wait a week to shower!! It's a gift for everyone! 

We head to the surgery center on Friday, April 26th at 6am Surgery is set to start at 7. I'm sure we'll get my sister hooked up to keep everyone updated on that day. The only big question remaining is...does this surgery center have those delicious graham crackers for me in recovery? 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

My Brain vs Plastic Surgery : Part II

I'm struggling here, guys. I try to keep the negative to a minimum. I operate in a fairly content/happy place most of the time these days - - but I am having a really hard time forgiving myself for my abysmal decision regarding my first surgeon. I am mad at myself for choosing him - for putting "he seems pretty laid back & I like his cowboy boots" and "I can save a few bucks" over the important shit, like "he's actually worked with people with a lot of skin to remove" and "he knows what the fuck he's doing". I didn't ask nearly enough questions. I didn't ask the right questions. I didn't put in enough work to insure I was going to have the best experience, and results. I chose someone who couldn't even be bothered to proofread their after-care instructions! It is irking my ass to no end that I'm still bothered by this, but telling myself to let it go is proving much easier than actually doing it. I feel like I've kind of closed myself off from people because I'm still cranky/sad/pissed/annoyed by this whole experience.

I'm hopeful the next month will provide the time I need to "get over it". I'd like to try to regain some of the excitement I had prior to my last surgery, before all the pissed offness began..... I'd like to be pumped to see what my body is going to look like when this excess flab is removed, instead of feeling complete indifference. I'm hopeful this disinterest is at least partially caused by the fact that this winter sucked total balls, and now that it's warming up things will improve in the "Natalie's Disposition" department. Fingers crossed, everyone.

My healing from FUPA removal is going fine - I just have one small spot on my lower left back that seems reluctant to close up. I have a few spots along my scar line that aren't as smooth as the others, but they appear to be healing. My lady-biz is a daily reminder of my error in judgement. It's saggy and crooked - seriously. The scar has a hard spot in it. There's a spot where it kind of bunched up and healed. The right side is much lower than the left - (caused by walking 2 hours a day starting the day of surgery?) contributing to the crookedness. My butt looks worse than before the surgery...I genuinely can't figure out what the hell he was doing there... But the positives are: I'm back with my trainer. I have good range of motion. My overall health is fine. I just keep reminding myself things could have been so much worse than a crooked vag.

In an effort to move on - -
I have my 2nd surgery scheduled with Dr. George Landis for Friday, April 26th. He'll be removing my wings (excess skin on my upper arms), removing my flaps (loose skin under my armpits, on my sides, and installing boobs (putting them back in the vicinity of where they go, and adding a smaller implant). He graciously agreed to provide any post-op care for my first surgery, so I was able to sever ties with boot scootin' boogie (aka: my first surgeon).

I really like him. I like his vibe - also chill, but a little more profesh. He has worked with people who have lost a lot of weight, and he gets it! When I told him I don't want to walk out with absurdly huge boobs he just nodded and told me "after people lose a lot of weight, they're just kind of done being big". BINGO! So accurately stated!

I have my pre-op session with him April 11th, where I should learn move about care and limitations after surgery, and get more instructions. I did tell him the good news for him is, if he gives me correct after-care instructions, they will be followed. Needless to say - we'll be going over instructions verbally, and as a group, to make sure we're all on the same page.

So at this point I'm just trying to get out of my own head. Trust this surgeon, who was a very close 2nd after the first round of surgeon interviews - - but when you have to pay for every cent of these procedures, the lower bill won out. I'm now fully understanding that you truly "get what you pay for"...

Sunday, March 10, 2019

NSV: The Closet

I realized the other day that there has been another transformation that has taken place since my gastric bypass surgery. It was a little less obvious than the physical changes. Not something I am as aware of as the emotional changes. But it is a change none-the-less.

For the 5-10 years (at least) prior to April 18, 2016, I had barely used my closet. It was this area of my house that I tried to ignore. Inside it were a number of garments, ranging in sizes and colors and styles...not one thing in there that would fit. I had jeans in sizes 28, 20 & 32 - most of which wouldn't go past my knees. I had sweatshirts is sizes 2XL that hadn't fit in years. I had button up shirts and pull-over shirts with varying degrees of stretch - all in size 26/28. I had attempted to wear some of the looser, more forgiving (see also: really stretchy) shirts until the last year or so - - but they too had just been hanging there. There was a layer of dust on the top of each hanger, and the clothes hanging on them, because they hadn't been disturbed in such a long time. 

My wardrobe those last few years was made up of about 10 pieces. A pair or 2 of sweatpants - I believe I was wearing size 5X right before my surgery. A few maxi-skirts, which I discovered were even more forgiving than sweatpants, in 4X that I could order online from Target. A few t-shirts - men's size 5X - in long & short sleeve varieties. 2 short sleeve/cowl neck sweaters that were big enough, and long enough, to keep all my things covered. That was it. These items, along with some outrageously sized underwear and few pairs of socks, would rotate between my body, my laundry basket and my washing machine. 

If I kept these very limited number of things in the laundry basket - I didn't have to look at all of the things in my closet I could no longer fit into. I didn't have to have that particular daily reminder of my size, and the lack of options that caused. I didn't have to get slapped in the face each morning when I realized I could no longer fit in the largest sizes available at the "big girl" stores. 

And so it went until I started dropping some weight...when I was like a toddler in reverse because I would grow out of clothes so fast going the other direction. I would try on those old, dust-covered options - - often waiting too long to try them on, and missing that tiny window where they actually fit. I received donations from friends and family - which was just so kind and awesome, and also something completely new! You don't exactly have a lot of people that can give you their hand-me-downs when you're damn near wearing the biggest sizes manufactured. 

And just like that, I started building up an actual wardrobe. Nothing too fancy - - I'm still cheap as shit, and refuse to spend any real money on clothes until I'm done being nipped & tucked to figure out what sizes actually fit! 

It dawned on me just the other morning how weird, and amazing and comforting it is to be able to have this many options. To have a closet full of clothes that actually fit! (except for that one pair of Lucky size 14 jeans...they have until June to fit, or they're out!) Everything in this room can be worn. Some may be a little bit. Some may be a little on the tight side. But all of it can be worn if I'm in the mood. For anyone that has ever been really limited on what they're able to wear, you guys will understand why I'm going to go ahead and count this as a major NSV (non-scale victory). 

The changes...the amazing positives...that have come my way since deciding to have this surgery are still coming in almost 3 years later. They're physical...and emotional....and both...and neither....and I'm just so grateful for all of them. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Breakup

As I learned in the movie "Some Kind of Wonderful", trust is the basis of any relationship....

I started my search for a plastic surgeon looking for experience and knowledge of course - - but just as importantly - I was looking for someone I vibed with, and felt I could trust.

I don't think it will come as a shock to any of you that I knew next to nothing about plastic surgery...I was hopeful to find someone that would provide me with accurate expectations & options, while keeping my safety paramount. I was relying on these professionals to advise me on what to do, when to do it and how to do it - to help insure I came out of each surgery with the best results possible. 

I took for granted that they would also let me know if my "exceptional case" was too much for them - - if they didn't feel as though their background or skillset was best suited to my particular needs. ("Exceptional case" was what Dr Camp would refer to me as any time I had a question, or issue, with the work he had done) My expectation was to find someone worthy of the trust required for this process. I was going to, quite literally, put my life in their hands on more than one occasion. My expectation was that I would be given accurate information to keep me safe during my surgeries, as well as while I healed. I was counting on this person. I was trusting this person. 

So when about a month ago, the surgeon I had poured all of my trust into proved that that belief in him had been an error - I was...devastated. I was hurt, sad, confused...but most of all - I was PISSED. Remember that post from a few weeks back with all the swearing? Let me now break down this timeline to help explain to you what brought that all about....

Friday, February 1st - -

As I eluded to in my previous post - I discovered at my 3 week checkup that I had been given completely inaccurate post-care instruction from my surgeon and his team. Not only was I given information after our first consult that advised me to take (6) 15-20 minute walks a day when it should have been A WEEK, but it was in the packet of post-surgery notes we went over prior to leaving the surgery center. No one bothered to proofread their instruction. That level of negligence was absolutely mindboggling to me. They initially sat looking at eachother dumbfounded - insisting that directive hadn't been in their literature. I told them I'm certain it was, as that was pretty specific info for me to have just made up. Low and behold - by the time I got back out to the car, he had found his error. No apology. No nothing. Just a text that he'd found it, and was now editing his information. How? does that even happen?!?!? 

It was at this same appointment that I asked to confirm our next surgery (upper body) was scheduled for March 14th, which he said was set. Later that day I received a text message that we'd been pushed for another surgery that day, and we'd have to move my date. Mind you, this is a month & a half before the surgery date - - someone else NEEDED that date so badly we got pushed? Unlikely. Guessing it was never booked, and there were no options available when he finally went to secure the date. Lying to me is not a wise move.... PLEASE NOTE: for later that we discussed my 2nd surgery face-to-face and there was no mention of an issue with that plan

Sunday, February 3rd - - 

Due to a vacation I already had booked, and my care team being out of town, shifting my surgery date one week in either direction would not work. We'd have to push to the end of April, after my vacation. I sent a text advising this. I was told it was probably for the best to allow more time to heal, to which I agreed.

Monday, February 4th - -

I send a text to check that the newly agreed on date for surgery was booked - April 25th. I was told it was becoming increasingly difficult to schedule on Thursday's (his set day for larger surgeries, not mine) and we've have to push to Friday, April 26th - - he'd then do my follow-up in home Saturday 4/27.

No problem. But here's where shit starts to go really, really wrong in a hurry....and the back-and-forth mile long texts begin...

He sends me a text advising that after reviewing his OR times, the one surgery we had planned will now become 2. He cited a bunch of medical blah, blah, blah - - but regardless: how in the hell did he not know this at our first consultation? Or last Friday while I was there? Or really any time prior to now? 

At this point, I'm shocked - but hadn't taken the time to think of all of the additional costs on my end (another leave from work, more vacation sucked up prior to my short term disability kicking in, more time with decreased pay while on short term disability). I ask which surgery we're doing first - boobs or arms - and which will include the flaps on skin on the side of my body. 

And here's where the rage begins.....

Notes from my first appt, with flaps noted

He acted like we hadn't discussed the removal of the flaps and this would require an another procedure...One he had never mentioned, I didn't know existed, and he had never advised I might need during our repeated meetings and conversations. He also told me I could go "google it online". 

Now I am IRATE. 

When I ask for clarification - to insure he was telling me the flaps on skin weren't going to be addressed - he came back with a whole lot of bullshit that did nothing but solidify that fact that he didn't know my body, couldn't remember what we had discussed, and didn't seem inclined to complete the work we had discussed, and agreed to pricing on, prior to this point. 

I asked that the notes from my first appointment, as I knew his nurse had taken them. See that area circled in red where it talks about the flaps of skin on my sides near my breasts? Yep - that would be the skin we're discussing here. The skin he acted like he didn't know existed. The skin that would require another procedure to get rid of.... Liar, liar, pants on fire.

you see any flaps in the middle of my back?
Oh - fun fact - - the new procedure I needed to correct my "back and flank redundancy" and because "these flaps wrap all the way around to the middle of your back" would be another $7500. SURPRISE!!!! He did backpedal after I sent the picture of my back, and said he could do the flaps with my he didn't have pictures of my back already he could have looked at? Just laziness. He also didn't care for the fact that I told him this whole scenario wreaked of unethical...

After all of this, I was an emotional wreck. I was ready to cry one minute, scream the next, punch something the next. On Tuesday I get his nurse involved - asking is she was aware of the information I'd been provided the day before. She wasn't. I wrote up an email, detailing my feelings about the last few days. I agreed to go to a follow-up to hear the "new plan" for the remaining work I needed to get done. 

I was extremely disappointed in all aspects of how this was handled - from the texting of information this big/involved to how our meeting went that Friday when we met in person. I could no longer trust him to be my surgeon.

This is by far the biggest thing I've ever gone through. This was supposed to be an exciting, rewarding event - - where I finally got to see what was under all that flub. See what I'd been working so hard for over the last 3 years. Dr. Camp literally fucking ruined this for me. 

I wish I didn't give him that much power. I wish I wasn't phased by this - - but we had a fucking plan...and in a 4 day period he blew it up because he was in over his head, and didn't have the balls to tell me that. He didn't care enough to warn me he had never had a project this involved before. He didn't want to admit that this "exceptional case" was more than he was ready for. 

And the stupid thing is - - I'm mad at myself. I'm mad that I picked him. I'm mad that I didn't see that he wasn't the best choice for me. 

So here is what I'll share, to try and save some of you from making the mistakes I did:
  • Do your homework, and ask the questions - - I didn't have a thorough understanding of what was all involved in the procedures I was having done...I figured I'd get accurate/thorough info from the doc/surgeon - but I've now learned that isn't always the case
  • Have someone with you to take notes during your consultations - probably not the worst idea to record them/take pictures
  • Ask for detailed information about where scars will be, how things should look after. Trust me - you'll appreciate having a heads up if you come out of there and your lady biz is all saggy/swollen/ don't want to be surprised when it looks like an anteater.
  • go through post care instructions prior to surgery. In person. With a group around. Make sure you aren't walking 2 hours a day when you're supposed to walk 2 hours a week.... 
  • Does your surgeon have experience with people in similar situations to you? Sure - - everyone has to have someone be their first, but it doesn't need to be you....and being the first is incredibly overrated when they're out of their depth.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Exhaustion of Inactivity

It was a little over three years ago that I was the super content to sit on my ass, not doing a thing. Dormancy was my norm. Stillness my comfort. A trip to my kitchen was about the furthest I would walk with any frequency - and that was about 30 feet. Sitting and I were def BFFs.

Then Scott came on the scene...and with that came increased movement. Slow movement. Huffing & puffing movement. Whine-saturated movement. But still...movement. Over the last 3ish years - that had become my norm. I took a 4 week break at the time of my gastric bypass surgery - but still had frequent, short walks incorporated in that recovery.

Going into my first plastics surgery - I tried to get as much movement in as possible. I kept up with my workouts. Incorporated some additional yoga stuff, just to enjoy being able to move pain-free. Stayed on the elliptical. Remained the brightest spot in Scott's Monday & Wednesday afternoons with our sessions. I wanted to go into my surgery strong - knowing I did everything I could to get myself prepared for the best recovery....

I read, and reread, my post-care directives from my surgeon. Memorizing them, so I made sure I didn't cause any additional issues or delays in getting back to my now normal/active life. Little did I know that my surgeon and his team had failed to proofread these instructions - and I was told to walk 20 minutes, 6 times a day. This should have been 6-20 minute walks a WEEK. So the day after they cut around my entire body, and pieced me back together, they had me walking for 2 hours. I was putting on 4-6 miles a day for the first 3 weeks after my surgery. When I should have been enjoying my drug-haze downtime, I was out hoofing it around the hallways of my building.

So needless to say - I was less than jazzed at my 3 week follow-up appointment when they realized their error - and bumped me back down to 1-20 minute walk a day. I'd been walking around repeatedly when I really wanted to sit in my chair and enjoy a relaxing recovery - - but at 3 weeks out, I was feeling pretty good. I was ready to up my activity, and had it knocked back down to basically non-movement.

One of the pamphlets I was given about the circumfrential body lift (aka: FUPA removal) procedure said that people would likely be able to return to activities such as tennis, golf, swimming & sex after 4 weeks. I don't know who the hell would have thought sex sounded fun at 4 weeks - - but bless whoever they are. I can assure you, I still have no interest (not that I have a ton of options thrown my way) at 6.5 weeks out. But if people are able to play tennis at 4 weeks - why I am I still being held to one 20 minute walk a day? Trying to turn back the hands of time/potential damage caused by having me walking 2 hours a day when that is absolutely NOT what I should have been doing? I can't help but wonder...

Now I have realized the exhaustion that is caused by inactivity. I feel like I don't sleep as well as when I'm active. My body is...bored. I swear my brain is not firing on all cylinders! There are likely more side effects to share, but my brain isn't capable of remembering them.... =)

I knew recovery was going to be a change of pace. I just didn't fully realize how dependent I am on movement to keep me content and comfortable. Who would have thought movement could replace pizza?