Day 18 post-op update - thigh lift, leg lift, and minor LBL revision

Gwen M.
on 11/24/17 11:33 am, edited 11/24/17 2:43 pm
VSG on 03/13/14

My last update was 11/18 and 6 days have gone by. I?m now 18 days post-op from a medial leg lift (thighs and calves) plus a revision to my lower body lift. I never say anything about the revision since it?s been a complete non-issue. Read previous update to see how I got to where I am now. http://www.obesityhelp.com/forums/plasticsurgery/6028142/Day -12-post-op-update-thigh-lift-leg-lift-totally/

11/19/17

Things seem like they might be oozing less, but it's hard to tell. I'm still doing the silver gel + dressing protocol for the places at my groin and my right knee.

Showering and garmenting at night is so much better than doing this in the morning, why did we never think of this for surgery #1?! This way I don't need to deal with other people's morning schedules. So much better.

Today is, yet again, not "day 1" for my drain. Sigh. It's already at around 40cc and it's only 8pm. Some day we'll get to remove it. I've been having some issues with the drain feeling like it's pinching where it's stitched to my body and that's been... uncomfortable. I think it's because it was accidentally tugged once. The fluid coming from it is super pale though, which is positive. And strangely enough I can see some fat globule type things in it, which the internet tells me is normal after plastic surgery.

It has been nice to get out of the house the last two days to see movies. I feel like I have gotten really good at getting myself in and out of the car. I'm also grateful for my arm strength that allows me to move my body more easily. (I can?t imagine doing legs and arms at the same time ? I use my arms for EVERYTHING right now.)

Tomorrow is my Big Day. I'm going to be home alone for the first time since surgery. Lance leaves for work at 8:15am and then Art should be home by 6pm, so I'll only be alone for 10 hours, but this is 8-9 more hours than I've currently been alone for. The nice thing is that Art can get home in about 45 minutes if I need someone. In the past, if I were alone, it would take Lance about 1.5 hours and Art a minimum of 2, if he was even somewhere in driving distance!

I've made a prep list, we have a plan, and I practiced doing the things I need to be able to do on my own today, just to make sure that I still can. It'll be okay. But it's still kind of a really big deal.

Overall? Aside from these complications of wound openings, which are not insignificant with the physical and mental impact, I'm doing really well. I feel lucid and happy and competent. I'm slowly tapering off oxy, which makes me feel good. I think the hardest part of the day is just waking up and that first "getting out of the chair and getting down the hall to the bathroom" thing. Once I conquer that, I'm pretty decent for the rest of the day. Clearly I'd rather not be chair bound, and it's super weird knowing that I've had this major body altering surgery and haven't gotten to see any of the benefit from it, but life is good and I feel like I'm in good spirits.

Oh. I also don't really have an appetite which makes "protein until you vomit" a challenge. I've been doing 2 protein shakes a day and then real (mostly protein) food for dinner. Sometimes a protein bar if I feel I need more protein. I haven't weighed myself since surgery which is a super weird thing, but I see no point in weighing myself until I get this drain out and until I'm back to a normal(ish) schedule that allows for weighing myself in the morning.

11/20/17

I'm home alone today. This is FINE. We prepared, I feel able to do the things I need to do. I slept in 2 hours, which was amazing. I need to remember that my body really needs more sleep than I'm getting right now - even if I feel awake, etc, during the day.

I had a scary moment when I went to the bathroom on my own after waking up for real, though. I got this toilet seat riser for surgery #1 - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VWK0UK/ - I used it without the arms for that surgery and, while it was never 100% secure feeling due to the attachment method, it was fine for my needs and I felt good with it. The extra height was nice.

For this recovery, I've used the arms attached. When I pee I sort of hold myself on the arms (my arms are going to be amazing once this recovery is all finished) and hover over the seat. Then I let go of one arm, reach over to grab a wipe, and proceed from there so I have a wipe in place to catch any potential drips as I stand. (TMI, I know. Whatever. Die mad about it.) ;)

For the last two weeks (OMG YAY, today is 14 days post-op!) this has worked FINE. No problems. Today, however? The first day I'm home alone? I transfer my weight to the one arm and the toilet seat TIPS. Not a lot, but enough to give me a freaking heart attack.

Clearly this recovery is going to take more time than expected and I'm going to need a riser with arms for many more weeks to come, so I need to find one that isn't going to suddenly decide to scare the **** out of me. (Not literally, there was no **** involved.) This means I need a seat that meets the following requirements: must be elevated (duh), must have arms, must actually bolt to the toilet and not just clamp to it.

Do you know how hard it is to find something that meets all of these requirements?! I feel like it's a "pick 2" situation. Argh :P

So far, this one seems to be the one that meets my needs - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004EYT8VA However, this one is also tempting for the extra stability - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000AYG7ZS

Of course they're all hella expensive, but, as I've learned from riser #1 - you get what you pay for and sometimes you've got to pay more to get the thing that will actually work best.

I actually just called customer service (shock) because it claims to fit standard AND elongated and most of these are one or the other so I was dubious. But customer service confirmed that it does fit both. So yay. And gift wrap is available! Woo! [Edit: 11/24 ? got the toilet seat and it DOES NOT WORK. The pegs are too big for the holes so it?s totally useless. So annoyed.]

11/20/17 (later)

Two weeks post op. For some reason I?ve been thinking I?m three weeks out and then getting bummed by my recovery. But only two weeks out is totally different.

In good news - I successfully spent today alone while Art and Lance went to work. In other food news, my drain only put out 30ml today! That means this might finally be ?Day One!? If I get 30 (or less) tomorrow, we can finally remove this thing!! (Although probably not until Wednesday evening, just to be safe.)

11/21/17

Yay! It's time for more TMI! According to my app my period is going to start on Thursday and I'm totally freaking out about this. I don't use any sort of insertable, since I've never liked them. I haven't been wearing underwear since surgery and since there was an unexpected LBL revision + leg lift my hips are many inches wider than they were and I stupidly got rid of my larger sized boyshorts after surgery #2. (Yes, for the record, it's really weird leaving the house knowing that you're not wearing underwear.)

So I have a few boyshorts that fit and I can use pads with them. And I'm already changing the ABD dressings at my crotch every time I go to the bathroom anyway. It just seems like it will be very messy hassle. And I don't want to get blood on the crotch of my garment because ick - plus I've been trying to only wash the garment every other day since washing it is a pain in the butt as I've only got the one that fits right now and really don't want to order a second one since they're like $90 each. I'm currently wearing an XL and I do have an L that technically might fit at this point, but I want to wait to try it on until my drain is out for tugging reasons.

I also went ahead and ordered a pair of THINX because they make boyshort model! (I can't do anything that's like a brief right now because I can't risk anything that might dig into my wound separation that's RIGHT AT the groin crease where the crotch of the undies would go. This makes boyshorts ideal.) But, due to swelling, I really don't want to order three pairs of THINX in my current size because OMG they're $39 a pair and I know that this size is temporary so 3x$39 (or even 2x$39 and aggressive washing schedule) seems ridiculous. Plus, I dunno, I still haven't quite wrapped my head around THINX and gotten past the ick-factor. (But I use pads, so, really, how is this different?)

Totally dreading my period starting.

[For the record, this is the garment I'm currently wearing. I love it. Well made and the foam padding at the zipper/hook line is awesome. Plus they're fully separating down to the ankle which is perfect. The "open crotch for convenience" is a lie - I don't see how anyone could attempt to potty through the hole. If you had a penis I'd imagine the open crotch would be awesome since you'd be smooshed all the time otherwise. This is basically an ankle length version of the compression girdle I wore after surgery #1. My girdle after surgery #1 only went "below the knee." https://mfimedical.com/products/medco-high-waist-ankle-lengt h-compression-girdle]

11/21/17 (later)

In case you couldn?t tell, recovery is challenging for me this time around. It?s way better in terms of lucidity and pain than surgery #1, but I?m not in a good mental place.

Problems, as I see them:

1) I?m stuck in this chair a lot. Don?t get me wrong, it?s an awesome comfy chair, but I feel like a useless sloth and I?ve spent the last 4 years of my life working very hard to NOT be a useless sloth. Being back in that position is hard for me. I can?t cook, I can?t clean, I can?t even bathe and dress myself. The guys are doing an okay job at these things, but I?d rather be doing them myself and my way.

2) I can?t actually see improvement from this surgery (yet). There?s still so much swelling and I haven?t actually stood naked in front of my mirror to look at myself and I haven?t done pictures since whenever it was that I posted pictures last which was like 3 days post-op. So what I do see is these gross looking wound openings and Frankenstein?s monster legs and I don?t regret doing this AT ALL, because I know I will heal, but right now I?m just seeing disfigurement and complications.

3) I?m worried that I?m making the wrong choice by not going to see my surgeon about these openings. You know when you try so hard to not be perceived as ?hysterical? that you overcompensate? I worry about that. But I check for signs of infection every chance I get and there aren?t any. So I try to tell myself I?m making the right choice.

4) Sigh. I had to cancel Thanksgiving. So I?m super sad about that. There are 31 days until winter vacation and while rationally I know that?s a long time for healing I?m still worried.

5) My dad always said recovery was a full time job, and he was right. But everything I do just takes soooo much longer than it should. I mean, shee**** took me three hours to find a toilet seat yesterday.

But then, with all of this living in my head, Lance comes along and EVERY SINGLE DAY tells me all the improvements he sees. My movement is better, I can get in and out of the shower more gracefully, I?m able to get in and out of the car with way more ease than I could originally, my swelling is better, the glue on my sides is coming off, I?m able to get myself situated in my chair by myself, I can unzip my garments a bit lower on my own, etc, etc. All little changes but things I can?t see and he does and he tells me and I?m so freaking grateful for that. Even if I?m not at a place where I can accept the feedback and internalize these improvements, he KEEPS telling me. I?m glad he does. I hope he keeps doing it even in the face of my dismissal. I hope that, someday soon, I?ll be able to see what he sees.

Today is day 2 of drain output less than 30cc, so if things are still looking good tomorrow after my shower, we?ll pull it. I know that being drain-free will also be a big mental health boost.

11/22/17

You know the thing I hate most about being on opiates? It?s not the high (I don?t get that), it?s not the constipation (non-issue for me), it?s not the fear of addiction (again, non-issue for me) - it?s the fear of stopping and being wrong. It?s so much harder to chase pain than it is to stay ahead of pain.

My oxy are 5mg pills and I started with 2 of them 4 times a day. Now I do 1/2 3 times a day. Once my drain is out I don?t know if my next step should be 1/4 3 times a day or 1/2 2 times a day. They both seem to have their pros and cons.

And I remembered what I was going to post last time! I haven?t weighed myself since the day before surgery (11/5) and sheesh is that weird. I?m not worried about my weight; it?s just so strange not to have data.

11/23/17

Well I?m finally feeling paranoid enough about my openings that I emailed my surgeon to see if he could fit me in next week instead of waiting until my scheduled follow-up on 12/5. No changes to the bad side, I?m just feeling worried and in dire need of a sanity check.

11/24/17 (now)

And that?s my experience up until now. As mentioned earlier the perfect toilet seat adapter arrived today and was definitely not perfect, so it?s getting returned which sucks. I had high hopes. Lance and I had hoped to go to the movies today and see two movies at a theater slightly farther away but I was exhausted this morning and feeling intimidated, so I cancelled. I hate cancelling on things. Tomorrow we?ll see Coco locally which will be okay since it?s only one movie and closer which means no fears of needing to navigate the bathroom.

Still oozing at the groin and the place at my knee looks gross still. Nonstick doesn?t seem to truly be nonstick so I?ve been pulling the non-groin stuff off in the shower with water to help the detachment process. This prevents pulling and aggravation of the wounds.

Today I ache all over. My ankles ache, my calves ache, my shoulders ache, and my butt hurts. It?s a drag.

But.. life goes on.

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Plastics with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL&brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL&mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 40 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

Check out my TrendWeight

joanne0658
on 11/25/17 12:57 pm
with

You are an amazingly strong person. Thank you for being so open to share your leg lift journey. Even though I surly need one, there's no way I could handle an eighth of what you're dealing with. I know you'll come through GREAT and at this time next year you'll be able to look back at this with a few funny stories to tell.

Sending good thoughts and prayers your way for a timely healing . . . .

Jo

Age: 59 | Height: 5'3.5 | Surgery Date: 07/24/15 | Starting Weight: 292 | Surgery Weight: 267 | Goal Weight:150 | Current Weight: 149 | WL so far: 143 lbs

Gwen M.
on 11/28/17 4:59 pm
VSG on 03/13/14

Well, these are just "minor" complications and many people don't have any. I guess it's all a matter of what you're willing to risk. One of the reasons I hate complaining about this is because I know I signed up for it, ya know?

But.. I also want to be honest for those who look for information in the future :(

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Plastics with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL&brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL&mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 40 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

Check out my TrendWeight

joanne0658
on 11/28/17 10:38 pm
with

your honesty is my fave part of your posts. know that it didn't discourage me at any time. i know me and my tolerance levels . . . plus the fact that a simple bilateral partial knee replacement showed me that my lower extremities do not happily accept any work below the waist . . . my legs our a droopy mess to the world but i'm okay with it. i'm so excited for you and seeing (reading) your experience makes me smile!

Age: 59 | Height: 5'3.5 | Surgery Date: 07/24/15 | Starting Weight: 292 | Surgery Weight: 267 | Goal Weight:150 | Current Weight: 149 | WL so far: 143 lbs

Gwen M.
on 11/29/17 7:51 am
VSG on 03/13/14

"Simple" bilateral knee replacement?! That takes some fortitude! There's a reason most people do one knee at a time, yo :D

My dad had one knee replaced and sheesh, recovery from that was a challenge. He said, often, that recovery was a full time job and it was! (I was helping out during the weekdays during that recovery, so I got to see it first hand.)

It is very important to know your limits, though.

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Plastics with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL&brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL&mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 40 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

Check out my TrendWeight

Cecily C.
on 11/29/17 10:07 am - CA
VSG on 02/22/17

I appreciate your honesty! I'd rather be prepared for the difficulty than have unrealistic ideas about what surgery and recovery will entail.

Ht: 6' HWEver: 338 StartW: 282.8 SurgeryW: 268.9 GW: 170 CW: 163.2

Pre-Op:-17 M1:-17.8 M2:-10.6 M3:-10.4 M4:-8.4 M5:-12 M6:-8.2 M7:-8.2 M8:-11.4 M9:-7.4 M10:-6.6

Goal reached 11/9/17! (37 weeks, 1 day)

Gwen M.
on 11/29/17 11:40 am
VSG on 03/13/14

That's pretty much why I've been posting, Cecily. For this surgery, I did go into it KNOWING that it was the most likely to have complications, but I guess I wasn't prepared for the specifics of what they would be like? I mean.. I'd heard of wound separations and all, but not in great detail? And not all the ramifications that they'd end up having with just feeling useless due to inability to do stuff and having to rely so much on other people and everything else.

And then there was my first surgery, the LBL + arms, where I think I just had blinders on. I went into that thinking "woo woo, another surgery! This'll be a cake walk!" And it landed me on my ass :P Even without complications!

So while I'm sure there are people who have leg lifts and have zero issues, and there are people who have leg lifts and have TONS of issues, there's also me... with my "minor" complications that are annoying as hell :P

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Plastics with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL&brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL&mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 40 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

Check out my TrendWeight

MissNexxie
on 11/26/17 1:46 pm
VSG on 04/30/14

Hi Gwen,

I hope by today things are getting better for you. I appreciate and admire you sharing with us all the good, bad and ugly. Recovery is definitely not easy and I'm glad you are honoring what you body tells you. It's a good thing you don't have schoolwork to tend to as well. You are doing great and every day your body is getting stronger and healing more and more. Sending continued healing, positive vibes your way.

Surgery: April 30, 2014: HW: 288 SW: 250 CW: 149, Achieved Goal (155 lbs): April 8, 2015

Gwen M.
on 11/28/17 5:00 pm
VSG on 03/13/14

I've been able to sleep in a bed for part of three nights now! That's pretty awesome. I see my surgeon on Thursday and can't wait. I feel like the groin spots are getting better but the spot by my right knee still looks super gross :P

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Plastics with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL&brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL&mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 40 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

Check out my TrendWeight

FuturePinUp
on 11/27/17 3:14 pm

Thank you for sharing your story and I'm sorry to hear how difficult this recovery is going for you.

On the bright side, perhaps you won't end up getting your period? Anesthesia and all that trauma can definitely mess up cycles (in my experience).

Wishing you better days!! :)

VSG: 06/24/15 // Age: 34 // Height: 5'10" // Lost so far: 190 lbs

HW: 348 (before 2 week pre-op diet) // SW: 326 // CW: 158

TT/Lipo & BL/BA: 07/21/17 with Dr. Reish (NYC)

Unconventional Sleever & Low-Carb Lifer

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