I know I keep saying it, but time has been flying by! I wrote about the actual surgery day and the first few days of recovery already. Last time I talked about tummy tuck recovery I was waiting to have my drains out… That was a long 8 days!!
I went to my appointment on Tuesday with less than 20mL draining over a 24 hour period so Dr Mills took my drains out! I was SO SO SO nervous that it was going to hurt. Honestly, the most painful/annoying thing about the first week of recovery for me was the drains. So I took one last pain pill before going and lets just say I was feeling really relaxed once we got to the appointment. He snipped the stitches told me to take a deep breath and him and the nurse pulled both out at the same time. It felt weird, but it didn’t hurt.
Sidenote: Nothing good ever happens after a doctor/medical professional/anyone tells you to take a deep breath. #justsayin
Since I was already there and because I’ve been recovering so well he went ahead and took out the stitches in my belly button. That wasn’t painful at all either. He told me that I could wear spanx if I wanted to but had to keep some kind of garment on full time until my next appointment. He also said I could walk as much as I want, just no “power walking” or anything more intense. He warned me that I would get tired quickly and that I just needed to listen to my body.
When I got home I TOOK A SHOWER! Seriously the best shower ever. I felt human again. I also got my first peek at my tummy without the binder and drains.
Unreal. I don’t even recognize that as MY stomach. It was a very emotional moment for me to be able to see just a glimpse of the stomach I have dreamt about. I know it is still swollen at just 8 days out but there is even a tad bit of ab definition! SERIOUSLY, IS THAT ME?!
When I first started on my health journey I had this as the after in my head. I would work out and eat right and in ___ Days/Months/Years this is what I would look like, no surgery needed. The truth about weight loss isn’t always pretty. I worked out twice as hard as people I watched get amazing results in half the time. I was meticulous about what I would eat. No, I wasn’t perfect. But I worked hard and left it all out there. There are a few things that come into play here… Genetics are huge. So is the amount of time you have spent being obese. I remember having that big hanging pouch of fat back in middle school. Of course it got bigger as I got bigger. and it deflated as I lost weight. But that skin was done, it wasn’t going back no matter how many wraps/creams/pills/heavy weights/”Just toning” or whatever amazing miracle remedy you have for me. I tried it all. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again… I did NOT have this surgery for weight loss purposes. This is a functional, elective, plastic surgery that I decided to do to make my life better. I worked hard and lost 70lbs on the scale and gained a crazy amount of muscle. I didn’t do this to be skinny. I will always be a thick, curvy girl. and I’m ok with that.
Back to talking about recovery…. I posted on instagram one day last week how not every day was a good day (PS- If you follow me on Instagram, @courtnorm, I update there a lot more often!) and that is true. I felt tired and worn out last Monday but it was because of a combination of the surgery and (TMI ALERT) that time of the month. Seriously, I couldn’t tell what was worse. It was just bad timing for that, for sure. But once that went away and the drains were out I started to feel better and better.
I even tried to put some “real” clothes on and felt good in them! I haven’t been brave enough to try on my jeans because I am still so swollen plus the part of my stomach from my belly button to my incision is still really numb and it feels really weird. Since I’m talking about swelling I noticed that, yes, my stomach is swollen but so are my upper legs… hips and thighs. I know they did lipo around the flanks and there is probably swelling/healing going on from that. I just didn’t expect my legs to feel this swollen. I also tried on some spanx, the high waisted shorts kind. HOLY SMOKES. How do people wear this every day? It was like alligator wrestling trying to get it on. and then it wasn’t even comfortable. The pair I had didn’t have a pee hole or anything so I’m convinced people who wear spanx like that have to be chronically dehydrated because going to the bathroom was a major life event. I wore them for maybe an hour and a half while washing my binder and went to the bathroom twice. All this spanx talk reminds me of the buzzfeed video of men trying on spanx for the first time. You’re welcome.
Day 8, the day I got my drains out, was my last day taking the pain pills (which means I can drive again, yay!) Now I only take tylenol maybe once a day if needed. I’ve been able to stand up straight since around day 5 or 6 so that helped me not be as sore because most of the pain was in my back from hunching over.
Overall, recovery has been uneventful for me. Which is great. and I will tell you that I believe 100% that the reason I have recovered so well is because I was in such good shape going into this. I’m not telling you that this surgery was a cakewalk, because it wasn’t. But I believe that CrossFit made me strong and fit which helped my recovery go so well. I’m used to a certain level of pain/soreness so this isn’t out of the ordinary. My body knows how to recover well.
I’m already missing my workouts, so instead of workout out I just dress like I’m going to work out. A little jedi mind trick.
Overall, I’m feeling really good. I love my results and would do it over in a heartbeat. Dr Mills is truly an artist. My scar is low and thin (you can see part of it in the before and after above). I know I’ve made it through the toughest part and recovery should be all downhill from now. It will only get better!
Thanks so much for all your kind words. You guys are the best. Be sure to follow me on Instagram or Facebook for more regular updates. If you have any specific questions leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them all or do another Q&A post if I get a lot of the same.
Any recovery tips?
Have you ever worn spanx?! ((WHY?!))