(CW: I go through My various experiences before, during, and after. Warning if any surgery/medical stuff makes you squeamish. There are a few pics included, not graphic, but still there.)
If you've read some of My previous posts, you might know I had been thinking about having some cosmetic procedures done following My weight loss of almost 100 lbs. About some of My own mental concerns with it and battling with Myself on if it would be a good idea and how it would affect My sense of identity, similar thoughts I had before I got My Lasik procedure done.
Well, I did it. I had gone for consultation sometime in December, but we didn't get a set date for the procedure. I came into the new year still not knowing when it would happen, as they seemed to be very busy and it might be months before I was able to get a spot. I was in this limbo of waiting that was exhausting, not knowing when it would be. Wanting to fix My clothes and skirts only once, and debating if I would just have to resign Myself to doing it twice if the surgery was to happen later in the year.
Thankfully though, we got lucky. We were contacted and told that there was a cancellation and they could do it as early as Feb 5th, less than two weeks from that point. Within a day or two, we confirmed the date, paid the price, and had pre-op, day of surgery, and post-op dates set.
Honestly, I was a little shaken. I expected to be in anticipation for maybe a month or so. Having the date suddenly be much earlier than I expected made it feel like it was happening very fast. I didn't mind though, I wanted to get it over with after all. Anytime I had doubts I reminded Myself that I did want this, that I had worked towards this, and put so much effort into getting to where I wanted to be.
The week of the procedure, it was like I couldn't do anything. I wanted to record some content that I could edit later, didn't do it. I wanted to work on some creative stuff, couldn't do it. Just the last bit of waiting and thinking until the big day.
I should probably mention what it was I was getting done, shouldn't I? I'm not required to of course, but I want those who are curious to know for the sake of transparency and also simply to share this experience. Since I had lost almost 100 lbs (95-ish to be more exact) of course My body had changed. I had quite a bit of loose skin and My breasts were not as full due to such weight loss. So I had an abdominoplasty (with a little lipo I believe), a breast reduction/lift, and a little lipo under the chin, as well as some scar revision for some bumps on My side that bothered Me.
What made Me most anxious wasn't really the surgery itself, or even the recovery. Like My glasses, My breasts had been a big part of My identity for as long as I've had them. I wasn't getting rid of them, but they were inevitably going to be a bit smaller simply due to the nature of the procedure.
My stomach has gone through many different sizes growing up, so I could more easily picture how it would look post-surgery, but I have never seen My breasts the way they might after surgery. I had no way to mentally picture how it would look, so I had no way to prepare. That added a bit to My anxiety. I still wanted them to be on the bigger side because I like the figure that gives Me. I just had to hope for the best. I wasn't worried about scars though, as long as they weren't too textured. Having ADHD, texture differences like that can drive Me nuts.
The day of surgery: Feb 5, 2021
They told us to arrive by 6am, so I had to wake up at 5am. Well I didn't really wake up, I didn't go to sleep. I have days where I go to sleep at 5-6am, so I figured it would be easier for Me to just wait out the time and stay awake. They were technically going to put Me to sleep for the procedure anyway, so I didn't particularly need to rest.
I know some people are curious as to how I did the procedure with COVID still around. In My preop appointment, a few days before the surgery, they had Me take a COVID test and if I tested negative the surgery would continue as planned. Even with that, My mother wasn't allowed to go into the building with Me, or even afterward. I was wheeled out to the car in a wheelchair instead.
Even while I was being prepared for anesthesia, they had Me wear My mask. I remember having something put into the top of both My hands, which did make Me feel very hot and unpleasant so I closed My eyes and focused on My breathing instead. At some point, the doctor came in, had Me stand up to draw on Me, then I was ready. By then I was trying not to think of anything, and I was already exhausted from doing an allnighter, so I don't even remember when they put Me to sleep.
Next thing I knew, I was in the recovery room, all bandaged up. I was still very groggy and sleepy from both anesthesia and painkillers. As I waited for My mom to arrive so they could wheel Me out, the nurses started taking stuff out of Me. They helped Me to the bathroom, redid some bandages, had Me eat some crackers and drink water, and helped Me put on My clothes. They tried explaining some of the aftercare stuff to Me but obviously, I was pretty out of it. They told Me I wasn't allowed to use My arms to get Myself up, and that I couldn't lift My arms above My head. Once they had taken Me to My mom's car, they explained a bunch of the same to her, showed her how to help Me up, all the pills and procedures and whatnot.
My abdomen was completely numbed and would be for 4 days, so I didn't feel much there. I could feel some swelling and pain under My chin, and a bit of pain from My breasts. I was taken home, was able to actually eat food, take My pile of pills and took many naps. I had a few family members call or text Me to see how I was doing, which was also very sweet.
I'm writing this only two days after surgery so not much has changed. The pain overall is manageable and is slightly getting to that point where it itches. My abdomen and under My chin are still quite swollen, but it's going down slowly. It's been very bizarre looking at My chest. At first glance, it's clear they are much different. I was told they took two pounds from each breast and 6 from My abdomen, making 10 overall. Hey, I guess I made My 100lbs goal after all.
It's hard to tell what size My breasts are, as they are still both swollen and also bandaged and bound tight. While changing the bandages I got a little peek. It's very janky. Not in the sense that they were messed up, but obviously still recovering and healing from the body trauma that happens during surgery. I've been carefully and gently pressing on various areas that are swollen, and I've managed to get out of bed on My own.
I've been really pleased with how everyone, both online and irl, has been with all this. Super supportive, reassuring, telling Me I'm going to look beautiful (not that I didn't before, mind you), and that I'm doing really well. So thank you <3
I will probably add on to this post when more time has passed and share how things feel and what has changed. Until then, I'm in good hands, I'm resting a lot and doing really well. I'm excited to bloom more and more.
Update 1: Feb 14, 2021 Valentines!
Alright, so it's a bit over a week from the surgery so it's a decent time to add to this post! My post-op was two days ago, and I was able to get one of My drains removed since it wasn't draining much anyway. The other one is going to take a bit longer. They checked all My incisions and everything looks good. I've been healing well and there's just a few little spots that need to seal completely.
That was the good stuff, but I won't lie I had some trouble over the past week both mentally and physically. Pain is pretty tolerable for Me, especially since I was on some strong pain meds. The discomfort came and went. There were times that My anxiety and frustration would rise up. Since I was only a few days out of surgery and everything was still healing, swollen, and sore, of course, things looked a bit lumpy and bruised as fuck. It's jarring to see yourself like that. It's hard to picture how the end result will be when all you see at the moment is a purple, yellow, bloody mess.
As I've healed a bit more and some of that initial shock has passed, I feel better about it. However, there's always that little bit that is anxious if I did what was right for Me and if it will end up the way I want it to. I imagine this won't quite go away until this is fully over.
Now, a few days ago I did have a bit of a breakdown. As I mentioned, I still have one drain attached to Me. The day before My post-op appointment it decided to start bleeding directly from the incision point, which it is not supposed to do. They didn't do much about it at the appointment besides clean it up and put new bandages over it, but that was quickly rendered useless later that night. It bled on My sheets, My skirt, My underwear, even the compression garment I have to wear. We kept taping and bandaging but its position on My leg and the constant bleeding made our attempts useless.
At the same time, I was having a lot of trouble sleeping. I'm a side sleeper so sleeping on My back as I had been was very uncomfortable, and trying to gently set Myself on My side was also uncomfortable as I was swollen and those incisions were still fresh. This resulted in My waking up multiple times with a headache and losing patience. Between My lack of decent sleep and the constant anxiety from the drain bleeding, I started silently crying as My mom changed the bandage for the 5th time that day.
I have to really appreciate My family here, especially My mom who has been My nurse during this whole thing from the start. She finished bandaging Me and consoled Me as I cried. She had Me take some pain meds and get Me laying down and told Me to rest. Told Me it would be ok. I was able to get some decent sleep.
So now it's Valentine's day. I didn't have anything special planned, but I got to do some self-care which was lovely. Hopefully, I'll be able to get this damn drain out soon and then will come the period of just.... healing. Just waiting for My body to fix itself and adjust to the changes. Let's see how that goes.
Update 2: Mar 3, 2021
It's been almost a month since the surgery. Let's catch you up. Because I sure have had some experiences since the last update...
I did finally get the second drain out. When the nurse took it out and bandaged it, it started coming out a LOT. The bandage popped and fluid just started pooling on the chair. Of course, since I thought it would be normal and quick and easy I didn't fully take off My underwear and My compression garment. So when it suddenly started pooling both got dirty. The nurse and I were both shocked and while she quickly went out to grab more pads and anything absorbent, I did My best to lift My butt off the medical chair.
We managed to get it under control as she rebandaged Me with more absorbant pads, but My underwear got soaked so she gave it to Me in a plastic bag. Since the compression garment was soiled she gave Me a new one too, so that was nice. Needless to say the ride back home with no underwear on and worried about leaking in My mom's nice car was anxiety-inducing, to say the least.
Few days after that the little hole actually closed up pretty quick, with no more leaking from that point. Unfortunately, I wasn't finished with leaking issues yet.
The abdominoplasty incision is right along the crease of the torso, like where it would bend when you sit. Most of it had healed without problem but there was a section in the middle that got a little infected. Not only that but My body was not finished getting fluid out of Me, using that area to now start draining.
I was put on some antibiotics and just tried to keep the area clean. It was red and swollen and it hurt to even just sit. I was advised to keep the incisions on My breasts uncovered for a while so the tissue could dry a little and heal. For about a week I was just trying to keep My body straight and hoping it would hurry up and heal properly.
The infection got much better but unlucky Me, fluid kept draining. Not blood or pus, more like a watery plasma. The doc speculated that it might be a seroma, which is just a build-up of fluid that can occur near a surgical incision. Sounds about right.
The experiences with this thing have been.... interesting. This section might be a little gross, so fair warning. Time is hard to keep track of for Me so I don't know the exact days of all this but it happened in the time span of a little over a week.
Drainage so far had been normal, annoying, but not unusual. At one point I decided to sit at My office and work on stuff for a bit and a few hours later was transitioning to go back onto My bed. While I was standing at My bathroom counter, the fluid just started gushing. Fully saturated the bandage I had on and started pooling onto the floor. Thank god I was already in My bathroom and not standing on carpet or laying on My bed. I had to hop into My bathtub to take off My soaked underwear and compression and remove the bandage, all the while it just kept coming out. Trying to help it along, I would gently put pressure around My abdomen to encourage it all to come out and using My showerhead to wash it away. I tried to do these little draining showers every other day or so, to prevent another incident of sudden gushing and pooling. I would use a massage roller to help put more even pressure on My abdomen and get more liquid out, it felt like I was wringing Myself out. At one point the fluid came out like a fountain, literally making an arch as it came out. Another time some stuff came out. Like little balls of fat or tissue or something I don't know. None of this hurt, it was just super fucking weird. Gross, I know. But at least it was all coming out, and it did seem to be slowing down. Less and less was coming out each time.
I ran some errands with a friend the other day and a minute after we got back home, surprise surprise I felt some odd warmth from the problem area and it started gushing again. Just like the pooling incident, but at least this time I was able to run straight into My bathroom and get into the tub so it wouldn't get everywhere.
Side note, you know your best friend is your best friend when she's chilling with you watching tiktoks while you're half-naked and trying to drain fluid out of your body in the bathtub.
You might be able to tell, but this shit is exhausting. I keep thinking it's almost over and then something comes up again. I want to stop being paranoid about suddenly leaking all over the floor, all over the bed, all over My clothes. I'm tired of having to change My underwear 3 times a day because fluid got on it.
My breasts on the other hand have been doing just fine. They get a bit sore and uncomfortable sometimes, but there isn't any bleeding or draining to worry about. I've been watching them slowly relax a bit more and get more of a natural shape.
I should mention a really happy moment I had during this time. I don't remember when, but at some point, out of curiosity, I got on My scale to see what it said. I knew since I was still very swollen and obviously had a lot of fluid in Me it wouldn't be very accurate but I wanted to see. The scale said 198lbs. That is exactly 100lbs less than I was at My heaviest. I did it. I got to 100lbs total. The magic number. I spent so long thinking I couldn't, and yet I had done it. I did it My way. I didn't go on some diet, I didn't go to the gym, I didn't do it for anyone but Myself. And even if I didn't hit 100 before I had surgery, who fucking cares. I got so far doing things My way and adjusting things in ways I knew I could actually keep up.
After I had this realization I told My parents, My therapist, My friends. Then I started crying. Happy tears, proud tears. I got in the shower and just kept crying. I still felt gross and weird from all the stuff the healing process was putting Me through but it was temporary. I could reach My goals and dreams by doing things My way without other people's judgment, and succeed. I was so proud of Myself, and I still am. I figure; no matter how long it takes, no matter how I end up looking, no matter if My weight fluctuates in the future, no one can take away this accomplishment from Me. No one knows what's right for Me and My body, and I had proved that.
Some people have asked Me how long it takes to heal, and honestly? Months. Months for the scars to repair themselves and relax and fade. Months for the swelling to go down. Months for the skin and fat to adjust to the new position they're in. How many months? No idea, just have to wait really.
I don't mind the more passive side of healing, where scars are just slowly fading and the skin is repairing itself. I think that'll be more tolerable. I just want to be out of this active phase where I have to keep draining and bandaging and being conscious of an open wound that just refuses to stop. I know I have to be patient though. It'll come, and I do think it'll be worth it. I can't wait to be able to try on all My cute clothes again and fix My skirts and properly see Me.