5-2-04 9 days till Plastic Surgery. OMG! 5 days till I move back to NYC...double OMG! Its Sunday morning, 7ish, I am at my sister's, last night we had a party (Cinco de Michael) for my brother-in-law's 36th bday. Saw tons of people I hadn't seen in awhile. Last time I saw them all was at 4 1/2 mos post-op, so, needless to say they were like WOW! Found out a cousin on my brother-n-laws side (is that right?), had RNY 6 yrs ago and was never quite right afterwards and died this past summer. Makes you think how lucky I was...no complications and all. Also makes me think am I pushing my luck with this PS? No, I hope not, I really need it. The skin makes me tired, I will get rashes one day and it makes exercise hard. Plus the image issues. Well, the countdown begins...
5-6-04 As many of you know, I am having Plastic Surgery on Tuesday. Today is my last day in the office and tomorrow, Friday, I am moving back to NYC. With all the unpacking and appointments (pre-op testing Fri 8am, seeing RNY surgeon Fri @ 4ish), I don't know if I will have the time to email you before Tuesday (who knows if my internet will even be set up)! My Lower Body Lift is scheduled for sometime on Tuesday the 11th @ Lenox Hill in NYC. I am not sure the time yet and won't know till Monday evening. The procedure should last about 3 hrs and I will be staying overnight and released on Wednesday morning. I will email everyone or post to the boards on Wednesday with an update, if I am awake, willing and able. Thanks again for all of you for your support these past 2 yrs...Hope everyone is well and I will talk to you soon!
5-7-04 Moved to NYC today. Saw Dr Leitman today, haven't seen him since October. My weight is up to 192.6, Not worried, I have been stressed with work and scared for Plastics. I eat when I am nervous. I am still an emotional eater. Plus with the move, I have been working 12-14 hrs per day and been cabbing it to and from.
5-10-04 Hello....Just got home from a lovely dinner w/ my 6 friends (all post WLS) and my mom. I think there must have been a 1000 lbs lost between the 6 of us! All looked gorgeous and were wonderful to meet me the night before plastics. Of course I am incredibly neurotic and am convinced I will die on the table tomorrow, but, I have to relax now and get a good nights sleep. Today was crazy, I was on the phone with Lenox Hill Hospital a dozen times about my surgery...it took 8+ calls before they believed me that it was NOT an OUTPATIENT procedure and also that I had paid the money in FULL! I am scheduled for 12nn and have to be there at 10am. The procedure should take 3 hrs. I will be staying the night, anything more than 23 hrs, and they charge me another $1000 for the hospital room! I am all moved back into my NYC apt, I had a pedicure today and also a full body massage to help relax me. My mom is here to help me through the next few days as my husband is in Philly taking his finals. Well, wish me well, say a prayer for me and I will see you all in 2 days. MUUAAAAHHH!!!! Love you all!
5-12-04 Hi...I am home. They released me at 9:30 am this morning, GOD, it was like, ok, you came in at 10am yesterday and you must be out of here in 23 hrs, NO JOKE! I arrived at the hospital yesterday @ 10am, around 11ish, Dr Abramson came in and took me into a room and had me strip down and started drawling on me with a black and green permanent marker (sorry for the typos, its hard to have the laptop on my tummy)....He drew circles on my thighs where the lipo would be done, circles on my back also for the lipo. He drew around my front and back where he would make the incision and remove my huge panni and also the ledge on my ass! As scared as I was, this made me excited as I could see it all coming together. That’s when the vanity kicked in and I was like, wow, I may actually be a hottie after this! The only alarming thing was the big lipo rods he was carrying with him, they were a good 3 feet long, or so they looked. Next, around 11:30ish a William Defoe look-a-like came in to talk to me. He was my anesthesiologist. We chatted for a bit. I made him promise me that he wouldn’t let me die on the table. I forgot to tell him about all the nausea I experienced last time under anesethia. Around 12:30, I walked into the OR, I kissed my mom goodbye and first thing I noticed was how cold it was. There were 2 beds set up as they start me on my front and then flip me over mid way to do the back. I was told by my friend, Michelle, that they were going to paint me with iodine, but, they decided to do that after they put me under. Next thing I knew, they started an IV and he said nighty night. I woke up in Recovery around 5. I am not sure how long I was in there. Dr Abramson saw my mom a little after 5, but, my friend Berta said she called to check on me at 3:30 and they told her I was in recovery already. I will have to ask him this when I see him on Monday. I also forgot to ask him how much skin he took off. This totally skipped my memory, but, that was the first thing out of everyone else’s mouth who called me. I was in recovery till 9ish. My iron was VERY low and since I due to go home tomorrow, they were more cautious. I was also very nauseous; I must have vomited up anesthesia 4-5 times. As much as the nurses sucked last go around, they were AMAZING this time. I couldn’t believe how good they were. On a side note, it amazes me how many nurses are obese. Everyone that took care of me last night was obese. And, boy did they ask me a lot of questions about gastric bypass (since it was on my chart) There was a very LARGE man in recovery with me, pushing 400lbs, and I was amazed at the way he was treated and how vocal some of the nurses were about his size. It’s horrible the way people treat the obese. Like we are a cancer. I smiled at him several times. I felt his pain! Around 10ish, they took me to my room. I was shocked at how they expected me to get out of the stretcher on my own and get into the hospital bed. This was pure pain. I didn’t realize how much pain I was in until now and they I said to my mom “why did I do this to myself”….I must have voiced this another 6 times that night. At midnight, they took out my catheter, I was then on the bedpan every 30 minutes all night. Well, around 9 the next morning, I saw Abramson. He told me to call the office and make an appt for Monday to get my drains out. I have 2 drains on the right, 2 on the left. They are draining blood like crazy. That’s good, or so I am told. They wheeled me out in a wheel chair and I took a cab home 7 blks. Getting in and out of the cab was difficult. I had my first pain medicine this morning and I took some again this afternoon. I am not in pain per se, but, I don’t want to be, so, I am going to medicate myself for the first few days. My stomach is so tight, I am also very numb. I also feel as though I am tearing my skin whenever I move. Getting in and out of bed is a chore. It’s a different pain than RNY. You walk hunched over at a 45 degree angle and you also feel awkward b/c of the drains. I need to walk every 2 hrs. My apt in
Manhattan is 400 sq feet, so, I walk back and forth the length several times. My Mom left around 3 and my husband and Layla got here this afternoon. Layla is scared as she doesn’t remember this apt and doesn’t understand why she can’t cuddle on the bed with me. I fear she will think one of the drains is a chew toy. My husband has already remarked that my ass is smaller. My hips are definitely tighter and more rounded; the saddlebags appear to be gone. It’s hard to get completely comfortable. I have this binder on, kind of like a long corset and I have the 4 drains coming out from underneath. Besides the binder, I am naked. It’s hard to wear a shirt or underwear. The binder is cut high up. So the boobies just kind of sit up on top and the binder covers you up down below, so, you can’t see your pubic area at all. My stomach is flat, I can feel and see it….its so hard to even imagine that. I think I am dreaming. I can already see the changes even with all the swelling. Well, going to take a nap now, thanks to Kathy for calling and checking on me in the hospital as well as all the other calls I got in recovery last night. I am going to check my email now, I see I got 47 emails, so, it may take a while to respond!
5-13-04 Today is tough, I am very sore. My right side is quite swollen; when I walk it feels like I am tearing my skin. I only walk back and forth between the bedroom and kitchen. I live in a 400 sq ft apt in
Manhattan , so, I do this 3X back and forth every 2-3 hrs. My dog, Layla, is scared of me. She is so confused right now. First, we moved back to our apt in NYC that we have been away from for a yr, and she gets back here yesterday with my husband and doesn’t understand why she isn’t allowed to cuddle with me. When I walk the apt, she follows behind me whimpering, it’s sad. I wanna hug her, but, I am afraid she will pull on the drains. Speaking of the drains, I don’t like them at all. I remember reading about other people’s RNY and how they came home with drains, and I was like YUCK, couldn’t even imagine it since I had mine out in the hospital. I have to say, they are nasty, but, as long as I see me draining, it must be good, right? I cannot believe I did this. I am excited but, so, impatient. I want results NOW, you know? Everyone keeps asking me, "how many lbs did they take off", you know, I forgot to ask. My main priority with the LBL was comfort and to help my negative body image. All I would see is this girl with a huge gut. When I would be out shopping and standing behind a counter, the sales people would be like, "honey, that’s way to big for you" then I would take a step back and they would be like "oh". My friend Wendy thinks I will already be out trying on clothes next week, I think that’s a little premature. I will tell you that once this is done and I am without drains and the swelling goes down, I will probably drop $5K on clothes. Might as well take advantage of my 0% credit card until Greenspan raises rates later this summer. I will finally be able to buy the outfits I want from Banana & Ann
Taylor that I love so much and gaze at in the window. I want to wear pencil skirts and a-line skirts that don’t gap at my gut. I cannot wait. I think I will be a girly girl with the cute dresses and cardigans with strappy sandals for the rest of the summer. I can also going to get a real cute bikini for my weekends on the Chesapeake Bay and week at the
Shore . I know that sounds vain, but, anyone who says PS is not a little bit about vanity is lying. What I am looking forward to most is 6-8 wks from now when I can start exercising again. Real EXERCISE. I want to workout on my abs, it will be great to see the tummy respond and potentially become a 6 pack. I also am going to start running on a regular basis, that maybe hard though b/c of my boobs, they are still kind of large (36C/D, from a 46 DD). Greatest thing about the PS, no appetite whatsoever, it’s nice. And Lastly, whatever it costs, if you have to get a 2nd mortgage or something, find a way to do it. Don’t compromise though and go to a dtr that is cheaper than others. You need to have a dtr who has experience with gastric bypass patients. I urge you to look for one that has done at least 50+ gastric bypass patients, now, this may not sound like a lot, but, you have to remember, this surgery has only become mainstream since 2000, and most people have PS, on average 18 mos -2 yrs out, so, if they have done 50+ or so in the past 2-3 yrs, I think that says a lot. We all deserve the best. So, does our bodies. We have worked so hard to get where we are today. Make an investment in yourself, your future and your sanity. Even as I am in pain right now, I know this was the best thing I ever could have done for myself. Gastric Bypass gave me a 2nd chance for life and the PS will let me live like I have always wanted to. I will never forget where I came form, but, I won’t be constantly reminded of it on a daily basis whenever I look down or button my pants.
5-17-04 Just got home from the PS, 1st f/u appointment, got 3 of the 4 drains out. Asked about how much skin he took off. Didn't know, by law, if insurance covers the procedure, they have to send the excess skin to pathology to be tested and weighed or something, but, since I was self pay, I don't know. But, not a bid deal, I have a waste, a flat tummy and no more ledge on my ass! Lat drain should come out Wed or Thurs. Lastly, THE DRAINS HURT LIKE HELL!!!! Don't let anyone tell you differently. 5-18-04 Sleeping sucked last night, its so hard to get comfortable. I walked around outside today for about an hr, not much! I was really wiped out and I swear I smell from the bandages and the binder (ha-ha!)...L2 drain is still draining 60 cc of fluid, as of this morning, it was the only time I emptied it since yesterday am (before the dtr)...I am hoping to that the drainage will stop so I can get this last drain out tomorrow or Thursday. Its hard to wear clothes with the drain and the binder. When I go out, I wear a wrap dress, but, when I am home, sit around naked, pretty picture, huh? Anyway, OH, almost forgot, I weighed in yesterday at 179. Today was 178/177. I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED, not only do I know have a flat tummy, but, I lost damn near 14lbs! And, my BMI is below 30!
5-21-04 The last 3 days have been tough! On Wednesday afternoon, I was so sore and stiff I could not sit up in bed. It was insane. Everytime I moved, I cried. I called the dtr b/c I was in dire need of pain killers. I can't stand the vicoden. First and foremost, the pills are HUGE and I have a problem swallowing pills and, secondly, they make me nauseous. Lastly, they don't seem to do ANYTHING! So, I remembered that I took Tylenol with Codeine (Liquid) after Gastric Bypass so I asked him to call that in. I got a little relief there, mainly in the form of sleeping at night, for the past 2 nights, I have slept through the night, the Ambien is also helping. On Wed night, as I was saying, I was rather achy, so, I took my temp for the heck of it, 101.6-101.8....Called the dtr, thought I might have some internal infection. Tylenol will keep fever down and keep drinking liquids. Told me to come in at 9am on Thursday. Next, I decided that the only way I was gonna be comfortable and recuperate was to get a recliner. Called Rent-a-Center. What a Joke. They rent to own and that’s all fine and good if you are poor with no credit history or bad credit, but, the HOOPS THEY MAKE YOU JUMP THROUGH IF YOU ARE A NORMAL, HOME OWNER WITH GOOD CREDIT, OMG! Well, sent my hubby to Harlem to give them copies of my paycheck, copies of my driver's license, 4 personal references and a pint of blood (just kidding)...The recliner got delivered that night. I remember how I had read on here that after gastric Bypass this recliner thing was great, so, I decided to try it out. WOW, WOW is all I can say. Boy does it make sleeping easier! So, after a good nights sleep, I headed to see Dr Abramson, he was headed out on vaka Thursday and I think he made a special trip in for me. Well, he pulled the LAST drain, thank GOD! However, after he did, I stood up and like a Gallon of Fluid came pouring out of me, very normal he says! Wants it to remain covered with gauze until it stops leaking, which should be in 24 hrs or so. Also, the crack of my ass (sorry to be graphic) is the hardest part to heal apparently, I am very sore, yeasty and developing a minor infection back there. I have to keep it covered with gauze and put bacetracin (sp?) on it. Sore, doesn't even explain the half of it! I am also VERY SWOLLEN, not to the point where they need to drain me with a foot long needle, but, swollen nonetheless. Apparently, when that is needed, you will be able to feel the fluid collecting under your skin and it will ripple, like a wave. Lets hope that doesn't happen! lastly, if it couldn't be any worse, none of my clothes fit, they are all to small from being swollen and I got my period! Do I really need this on top of all of this crap!!! Well, on a brighter note, I did go to Support group last night, I was dieing to get out of the house. I only live 7 blks from Lenox Hill, so I walked and then I also walked home. I have absolutely NO APPETITIE (sp?) whatsoever. Must be the reason for the weightless. I am still at 177 this am!
5-26-04 Having been doing great except really sore. Since I am cut all the way around, the area right above my ass crack is EXTREMELY sore and had opened up a little and was bleeding a bit. For example, if I put a piece of gauze on it, it wouldn't be wet soaked through for about 48 hrs. Well, today, I went out to look for some pants to go back to work in since all my clothes are too small! Well, I have a Quarter Size hole right above the crack or my ass and right below the circumpheral scar/incision/stitches. I got off the subway, and my pants were soaked! I was all the way soaked through. I had to go to the store and buy a new pair or sweats and underwear and I bought a maxi pad out of a machine and wore it on the open hole....10 min later, soaked through again. Well, I came home, called the my dtr's partner (since dtr is on vaka) and found out this is
NORMAL and that I should continue to pack it with gauze! I am draining from a open hole. Since I am obviously swollen, the fluid has to leave my body someway. I guess they thought this would reassure me, it doesn't....has this happened to anyone else? how long did this go on? I can't even imagine going back to work on Tuesday as it will look like I am constantly wetting my pants? Oh, last thing, I went to the drug store and bought Depends. I didn't know what else to do?
5-28-04 Well, I posted about Carnie, I got 100's of replies, the post also got yanked. Here is the post: Ok, I had to post...CARNIE LOOKS HUGE! I know the camera 10 lbs, but, "how many cameras were on her?" (Friends quote)... Ok, if you have weight issues and the media is constantly picking on you about your weight, Why on God's green Earth, would you wear a PINK RUFFLED TOP w/ your big ole boobs hanging out? What are you trying to camaflogue with those ruffles? I know others have seen her in person, however, its more than 10-15 lbs she is playing with! I have had friends lose weight and have PS, but, the first sign of serious weight gain always appears to be roll sin your stomach and back. Why would she have these rolls if she's had $100K of PS! I guess they can't airbrush a live concert like they can her album cover and her spread in Playboy! And, here, so eloquently (sp?) is Melody Russel's reply, which I so loved: I agree with you 100%. Carnie CHOSE to do this surgery in the public eye. She CHOSE to write the books. She CHOSE to have her surgery live on the internet. She CHOSE to make the commercials advertising WLS. She CHOSE to do all of this in the public eye so I think that she also CHOSE to be under scrutiny about the results. This is a wonderful example to all of us that if we're not careful then we can and will put some weight back on. Maybe it was only 20 lbs or so of weight gain, SHE'S the one who has put so much emphasis on her weight and what she has accomplished. She's got books out there that she's trying to sell. I would think that she would be more conscious about her appearance. I think it's wonderful that she's lost so much weight. Her before picture and her picture this morning are sure a remarkable contrast. If she hadn't been so vocal and public about this whole thing I wouldn't have thought anything negative. You took a lot of heat starting this thread but I've enjoyed the responses and appreciate your bravery. You've taken the flaming with grace. BTW I thought she made a poor choice in blouses to wear today too.