Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.

4.07.2008

More than you ever wanted to know

Sometimes, I really feel like my goofy old blog is worth reading. Most days, I feel like it is a waste of time and no one even reads the damn thing except my friends and family. Then, every now and then, someone stumbles upon this thing and actually finds something useful from it.

The best example of that is blogging about my panniculectomy in May 2005. I truly consider it one of the best things to happen to me as an adult. My self-confidence has skyrocketed since having that surgery. If you're not familiar with the procedure, it is like a tummy tuck without having to cut through the muscles of the stomach. Essentially, my skin stretched with each pregnancy and never went back (I have no elasticity in my skin at all). So, I had this big kangaroo pouch (the technical term is pannus). I had problems because of it and finally found a doctor who was able to get insurance to cover it because the skin was causing an infection around my c-section incision.

Well, blogging about it was therapeutic. It also has turned out to be helpful to others having the procedure, too.

Honestly, I get about one or two emails per month from people having the procedure and asking me questions about my experience. Just now, I got a very sweet email from a lady who had emailed asking me questions. Here is her email:

Thanks for your replies to all my questions. I'm starting my second week back to work, and my fourth post-surgery. I took your constipation warning to heart and between prunes and all bran - I didn't have any problems - thank you thank you!
I'm very pleased with the results, I get the last of my staples out on Friday, but already I'm so much flatter - it's like a miracle. And the self esteem boost is even better, knowing that I look good again in clothes. I had three moments that were tied for happiest - 1) waking up from surgery and feeling the area flat, 2) getting those awful drains out and 3) finding that my pants size went down 3 sizes!!!
Now I'm mismatched one size on the top and one size on the bottom - but that's ok with me.
Anyway kiddo, thanks for sharing with me (and everyone) I enjoyed reading your blog and your kids are adorable!


How nice is that? I wish someone had warned me about the constipation issue. That was pretty bad.

Here are two emails I had sent to her:
Good luck. I was only off work for about a week to 10 days and I was alright. Just be prepared that you won't be doing any lifting for a week or two after that. You'll be tired, but you can do it. You may have drains, but it isn't that big of a deal. I found that wearing some spandex bicycle shorts under my clothes allowed me to keep the drains close to my body - that helps for comfort anyway. You will be swollen for up to six weeks and you'll not see the improvement for a while. Be ready for back pain. You'll want to sleep in a recliner for about a week or so because you'll need to be sort of folded up like a taco. :) I actually had back pain more than stomach pain because of having to walk all bent over. I just used vicodin for about a week or so and then went to tylenol. For showering, I took a long ribbon and hung it around my neck and tied up each drain (on each side) and that allowed me to shower without having to hold them. You DO NOT want them to hang or it will hurt. I actually caught one of my on something and ripped a stitch holding them in and that hurt like a big dog! It will be three years this May since I had my surgery and I LOVE it. I'm so much more confident without my "apron" hanging down. I recently ran across my pre-op pictures and I was grossed out. My body looks so much better now. It will just take a while for the improvement to show. I had to replace a lot of nice clothes because they had been stretched out for my stomach and then didn't look right later ... but that was ok with me.

let me know if you have any more questions ....
Also, if you want to check my archives for May and June. I have a lot of individual posts in there. Beware of post-op bowel movements. Gross, I know, but no one told me that the surgery could, essentially, stop me up. I was afraid to take anything and went six days without a BM ... I finally took a laxative and ate a box of bran flakes ... things got moving again after that. :) But, it is important to know. No one warned me.

http://www.armyofmom.com/2005_05_01_armyofmom_archive.html
There are things in the posts about recovery that I had forgotten. Just scroll down until you find the right ones.

Start at the bottom of June and work your way up ... I have photos on both months of what things looked like ... stitches, the drains (which I called grenades). :)
http://www.armyofmom.com/2005_06_01_armyofmom_archive.html

So, see ... I'm like a PSA and I don't mean the prostate cancer screening test although I've been told about this one little trick you can do with an index finger on your guy to make him .... well, if you really want to know, email me and I'll tell you. *wink* See, I couldn't disappoint the legions (ha) of readers who come here for grossness from the suburban minivan driving soccer mom.

1 Comments:

  • At 3:38 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Jan B said…

    I am so glad that you posted this because I wanted to write the other day after I found your story about the panniculectomy, but I thought, man, she'll think I am nuts for leaving a comment years after a particular post. I once got yelled at about that by another blogger.

    You have done a wonderful job of laying it on the line and telling a good story at the same time. I felt like I was there.

    I have done a bunch of web reading and decided that although I want to have one, I am going to wait a year. I am not fully done losing weight (have about another 8 lbs to my goal of 122 pounds lost) and I am not into maintenance. Plus, I really want to satisfaction of knowing that I lost it all on my own and not with the help of a surgeon. I know, it's vain of me to want that, but I can't help it. Plus I am sort of chicken.

    Bock, bock! (chicken noises - not sure how you spell that)

     

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