Somehow today marks four weeks since the surgery, and I honestly often forget that I had major surgery just a short time ago. It feels like it was ages ago, and the time has seriously gone so fast, especially after those first couple days post op.
The most exciting thing I have to report from the past week (which you’d already know if you follow me on facebook) is that, for the first time in my ENTIRE life, I laid out by the pool yesterday in a BIKINI. Me! In a bikini in public! Who would’ve thought!?
It was also my first time at a DC public pool, and the day was absolutely gorgeous and perfect. It’s funny because I realized that yesterday was the first time in my 29 years that my stomach has ever gotten a glimpse of the sun. Thank god for strong SPF because somehow I barely got any color – I’m thinking my stomach just didn’t know how to respond. And just in case you’re worried, I cleared it with my surgeon, Dr. Ruff.
Since today marks 4 weeks, here are some other changes:
- I’m now able to switch from 24/7 in the compression garment to 12 hours in it, and 12 hours in a tight Spanx garment. I am honestly going to try to wear the compression garment as much as possible and basically just wear the spanx during the day at work and then switch to compression immediately when I get home because I know the more I wear it, the better.
- I am cleared to use the treadmill starting today. My instructions are to take it slow and listen to my body, and slowly work up from a walk to a jog to a run over the next two weeks depending on how I feel. I think it’s going to be hard for me to go slow because I feel so great, but that may change quickly when I got on the ‘mill. I’ve been really good about following my surgeon’s instructions to a T and don’t plan to stop here. Two weeks from today all activity restrictions are lifted – I have never been so excited to exercise. I’ll let you know how it goes!
- The scabbing is completely gone from my incision, though it’s still pretty nasty. I’ve been using BioCorneum as instructed (thin layer over the entire incision twice a day after washing with antibacterial soap), and I’m just waiting for my silicone scar strip to arrive so I can start using that too. I’m noticing that the scar is starting to lighten, flatten, and fade a bit, but it’s still pretty enormous and gives me a minor panic attack every time I see it. That’s part of why I’ve been able to stay so committed to my compression garment.
- I feel really awesome physically. Yesterday I was able to lay on my stomach for the first time since surgery (at the pool). That’s been the only position I haven’t been able to get in because my stomach is still feeling quite tight, but yesterday it wasn’t uncomfortable at all. I still can’t pull my chest off the ground while I’m on my stomach (I have to lay flat) because that stretches it too much, but that was an exciting change. Sleeping on my stomach again may be in my near future. Fingers crossed.
- I also realized that I definitely underestimated the emotional impact this surgery would have on me. I did so much research, read soooo many people’s stories, knew that the “blue” feeling would inevitably come, but the mental stuff still has been catching me quite off guard. It’s hard to explain exactly, but I’ve just felt vulnerable and overwhelmed a lot even though I know I’m healing wonderfully and am already so happy with the results. It’s been one of the less fun parts of recovery for sure.
And now, for some updated pictures. These are from yesterday, 27 days post op.
And here are some comparison pics of weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4 post op.
The changes are pretty subtle, but the swelling is going down and my waist is getting more defined as the weeks go by. You can see I still have plenty of stretch marks, but those will never go away and are physical reminders of how far I’ve come. And don’t worry, the pics from yesterday were taken BEFORE sun exposure, so I may be slightly less pasty now. Maybe.