So it can’t be all sunshine and roses, right?

Yesterday, even though physically I am doing incredibly well for 9 days post op (well now, 10 days), I had the toughest day mentally. I knew that I would experience a rollercoaster of emotions after surgery, but knowing that it was coming didn’t make it any easier to deal with.

I took my first shower without the shower stool and was feeling great. Then, I looked down and noticed that some of the steristrips were coming off part of the incision. I was told this was fine, that some of them would start coming off naturally over the next several days, and then come Monday I’ll have to make them come off if they haven’t already. So after getting out of the shower, I snipped part of the tape that was loose away and got a look at about 2” of my incision over the hip. I started crying immediately.

I mean, logically, I KNOW that I had my body practically cut in half, but seeing that incision is really something else. Until yesterday, the whole thing was covered so I couldn’t actually see the cut mark itself, and while it is beautifully done, it was still very disturbing and strange to see it on my own body. That set me into an emotional whirlwind, and for the rest of the day I was on the verge of tears. I think I cried 9 or 10 different times yesterday, and I am so not a crier.

I think at this point in the journey, my mind is totally there and my body, is just, well, not. I am so frustrated to be so helpless and I just want to be back to my normal life.

My top complaints at the moment are:

    1. The damn compression garment. I have to wear the compression garment 24/7 for 6 weeks. So, 4.5 more weeks. It goes from just above my knees to over my shoulders with a v-neck covering my chest. It doesn’t go well under any other clothes, and the side has eyelet hooks underneath and then is zipped up over them. It’s really hard to get on by myself, and I am just sick of it.
    2. The foam pads under the compression garment. I am wearing medical grade foam sheets – 3 of them – around my midsection under the compression garment. I’ve been wearing them since right after surgery, so parts of them are covered in dried blood and disgusting. They make me feel even more stuffed into the compression garment than I already do, and are really difficult to put in the compression garment without assistance, though it’s getting easier. Luckily I can say goodbye to these on Monday.
    3. Waking up very sore and stiff every single morning and having to take Tylenol before I can get out of bed. Not much more to say here, but I feel like a 90 year old woman first thing every day. I usually wake up the first time and pop a few tylenol and stay laying down for a little longer before getting up, and then it’s not so bad.
    4. Getting exhausted from things like putting on the compression garment. Or taking a shower. The compression garment is pretty hard to put on without assistance, but I did so yesterday after taking a shower and it took me a really long time. I had to pull it up over my hips, put in the three foam sheets, make sure they stayed in place while I pulled it the rest of the way up, and then close the eyelet hooks on the side and zipper it up. It felt like what I’d imagine it’d feel like if I had just run a marathon.
    5. My lower back aching when I’m on my feet for too long. That’s been one of the surprising things about this surgery. My back is what hurts more than anything else! I was expecting my abs/stomach to hurt (which they did for several days), but now, it’s my back that aches like crazy. If I’m up and walking for any amount of time (which ranges from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the time of day) I have to sit down immediately and can’t finish what I was doing.
    6. Feeling scared to be alone because of the “what if’s”. Not really much to say here, but I live alone and being there by myself makes me extremely nervous. I’m staying at my boyfriends this week but it makes me feel like such a burden because I can’t do much and I am just always here. Ugh!

I wanted this to be as honest an account of what going through this procedure is like as possible, so you are welcome. Smile

20 Comments on Whining

  1. Suzanne Shepherd
    August 8, 2013 at 10:48 am (7 years ago)

    Beth, I think you are one tough cookie! Just reading of your struggles right now makes me hurt for you. Think of how great you are going to look and feel when this is over! And I don’t know what you’re talking about regarding your pictures…hell, I would love to look like your before pictures now! Hang in there.

    • Beth
      August 8, 2013 at 11:56 am (7 years ago)

      Thanks Suzanne! You know, it’s alllll relative when it comes to body image. I have a lot “worse” before pics, but I have to be careful about what I post because a lot of people in my real life (and at my job) read/see this blog so it’s a fine line to balance!

  2. Rebecca Ginn
    August 8, 2013 at 11:00 am (7 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing… i’m sure it IS really tough and still scary and super frustrating but keep it in mind that you will not always feel this way and focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. your back probably hurts (partially) because of being hunched over (which is completely normal)… that pain will start ebbing away soon too. Chin up lovely… the worst is behind you and the best is yet to come! 😉

    • Beth
      August 8, 2013 at 11:56 am (7 years ago)

      I knooooow this is temporary. But, it temporarily sucks! 🙂

  3. Liz
    August 8, 2013 at 11:05 am (7 years ago)

    On a lighter note, putting on your compression garment sounds like me getting dressed in the morning before my weight loss!!! Totally exhausted me!! Lol!

    • Rebecca Ginn
      August 8, 2013 at 11:27 am (7 years ago)

      yea i feel like i need to trade in my spanx for a compression garment… how much do those cost? 😛

    • Beth
      August 8, 2013 at 11:57 am (7 years ago)

      hahaha. thanks for that.

  4. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas
    August 8, 2013 at 11:26 am (7 years ago)

    I can’t imagine how you didn’t completely faint when you saw your incision. I had a bone chip/piece of cartilage cut out of my thumb about a year ago and when I saw the incision/stitches (that was in total about 1 inch) I nearly puked and had to put my head between my knees. I think crying & staying standing is incredibly impressive. You’re doing great and I’m so impressed by how you’re doing!

    • Beth
      August 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm (7 years ago)

      Yeahhhhhhh it definitely caught me off guard. Especially because it is like 20″ long. Holy crap. I guess tears are better than fainting, so I’ll give myself +1 for that. 🙂

  5. Colleen
    August 8, 2013 at 11:45 am (7 years ago)

    Beth — I don’t know any other single woman who would traipse through the jungle and come back to get a tummy tuck! Go you! And you already know this too — but it sounds like you’ve got a great guy. He would be already gone if he wasn’t. Take the help when you need it. He cares for you and wants to help. Your knight in shining armor! This will be a blur to you next year (or so I hope!).

    • Beth
      August 8, 2013 at 11:51 am (7 years ago)

      “I don’t know any other single woman who would traipse through the jungle and come back to get a tummy tuck!” haha! this is literally making me laugh out loud. thank you. and yes, he’s not so bad. 😉

  6. Erin
    August 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm (7 years ago)

    Hang in there!!!!!! Just reading about what you go through to get your compression garmet on exhausted me!

    Also wanted to 2nd Colleen, what a great guy you’ve found! That is A LOT of personal stuff to be dealing with alone or with a close family member, let alone someone you’re romatic with. Hooray!

  7. laurenpeters (@laurenpeters)
    August 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm (7 years ago)

    I am so impressed with you sharing your story, the details and photos. It definitely sounds like quite a recovery process. Hang in there, Beth.

  8. Gaby Godoy de Porras
    August 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm (7 years ago)

    Hang in there, I’m sure you will feel better everyday. It’s a good thing you are writing about it, share it with us and congratulations on your journey! I think what you did is very brave!

  9. Elisabeth
    August 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm (7 years ago)

    This is making me remember how I felt right after my (unplanned) c-section last year. You of course had a much more serious surgery, but it sounds like the recovery process is similar. I was an emotional wreck for about 2 weeks–basically from the point that I saw my incision site for the first time. I cried in the shower at the hospital when I saw myself in the mirror. Lol. Just imagine its all BACKWARDS from what you did…you look in the mirror and you’re a saggy, baggy version of your old self. Haha.

    The most difficult part for me was the emotional part, and also the part where you have to feel like someone else’s “problem” (I hear you struggling with this too). This is immensely difficult for those of us who are natural caretakers.

    You will have good days and better days…there is never a bad day at this point, as long as you’re healing and being kind to yourself. Your body is going through a lot, and it’s going to be difficult to be patient with yourself.

    Hoping that today is a better day for you…


  10. Carrie
    August 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm (7 years ago)

    You’re amazing to be sharing this with all of us. I can’t imagine wearing that suit for six weeks. You rock.

  11. Amanda Silverman
    August 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm (7 years ago)

    Hang in there Beth, it will only get better!! I had a breast reduction about 10 years ago and had the same feelings you do now.

    You have been a inspiration to me. I have been on WW since January and have lost 25 pounds and now only 10 more to go.

    Thanks so much!! 🙂

  12. Stephanie
    August 9, 2013 at 12:25 am (7 years ago)

    It is so interesting to read your accounts because I am now 7 months out from a tummy tuck (we’re hip to hip sisters!! Mine is just as long an incision). At about day 9, I had a similar wave of emotions. Anyway, first off – you look GREAT this soon out. Your end result is going to be so much better than you can even imagine once all that swelling is down. And I dont even think you have that much swelling. I laughed when you said you hated your compression garment, because when you’re given the free a clear to take it off, you will then be worried without it – because you will feel so ‘exposed’ without your armor. I did, anyway. You are doing great!! If you ever need a big boo hoo you could email me and we could have a chat on the phone sometime. This post op time, pain and exhaustion is but a fleeting moment in the grand scheme. Time goes by so quickly!! I love your blog, your honesty and reading about your ups and downs that we can all relate to on our fitness journey.

  13. Jessica
    August 9, 2013 at 10:35 pm (7 years ago)

    Hi Beth. I also wanted to comment and let you know I’ve also had a tummy tuck. I used to follow your progress on WW years ago and eventually started reading your blog 🙂 I’m also around the same age as you and can relate to everything you have written so far. You are doing great for 9 days PO. The scar was scary for me at first too but 4 years later and it is so faded. I really started to notice a huge difference in between months 4-8. Cocoa Butter became my best friend… I hope that it continues to get better!


    • Beth
      August 10, 2013 at 9:19 am (7 years ago)

      Hi Jess! Thanks so much for your comment… Were you on the WW 20s board and had a freewebs account? I feel like I might remember reading your story… I’m glad to hear that 4-8 months is when you noticed a huge difference. I’ve done better with the scar even since seeing the first time, but I’m definitely looking forward to it being faded!


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