Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Next stage of my transformation...breast reduction.

Last week I had a consultation with a plastic and reconstructive surgeon for another issue but decided to kill two birds with one stone and seek an opinion on getting a breast reduction and lift.

After the first part of the consult, it was time to talk reduction.  I stripped down ready to be poked, prodded, measured and photographed from various angles.  Considering I've lost 60kg, my boobs have not changed whatsoever, well, more saggy but I still fill the same cup size I was pre sleeve.  Depends on where I shop, I can be a DD/DDD/E or F cup.  I'm currently wearing 12F.

The surgeon explained the procedure to me, as well as the risks and complications.  Being on Roaccutane can inhibit wound healing, but he couldn't find any research to back this up.  If I were to get implants, then there would be issues, but he can't see there being any complications with a reduction.  He suggested I speak to my dermatologist for her opinion.  It was suggested I stop taking Roaccutane and wait six months or at least drop back to two tablets weekly.  To be honest, if I stop taking, my skin will flare up again and it's not pretty.

I asked when I could get in if I wished to proceed and was offered end of May or end of July...but first I'll wait for that quote...

...which came on Monday.  I was expecting close to $10,000 but I was quite surprised.  $5700 for surgeon, $1400 for anaesthetic, as well as $500 hospital excess.

So......with this information and discussing things with my sister and mother (can't exactly discuss this with the father...yet anyway lol), I've book myself in for 28th July!

I'd need a minimum three weeks off work, provided there are no complications.  It's only a day procedure and no drains, but I can stay overnight...why not, I'm paying enough!  Discussed sizes and even he said don't want to go too small, but I'd be happy to be a perky D.  Last time I had perky boobs was when I was born lol.

I'm scared about how the end result will look.  Maybe because they've been "saggy" for so many years, to me that is normal.  I'm excited yet at the same time, I'm freaking out.

Still on my "shopping list" are arms and thighs, but like then surgeon who did my tummy tuck said, would I want to sacrifice flabby skin for a thick scar?  I can lift weights and work out 24/7 but nothing will shrink the skin.  Maybe when I win Tattslotto I'll consider the arms and thighs, but for the time being, for the first time in my life, I want normal looking perky boobs.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Misconceptions about the Gastric Sleeve

Link to Sunrise interview:

I was a little peeved about an actual article that appeared in NewIdea and I'm yet to view this interview that was on Sunrise this morning, but from what I've been told, it did not differ much from the NewIdea article.

The article, in my opinion, painted the sleeve in a negative way. It was written as though the only thing Jessica can have is pureed food. Wrong. Post surgery, there is a 6 week transition period: 2 weeks fluids, 2 weeks puree, 2 weeks soft food before progressing to a normal diet.

I have NEVER had any issues post sleeve. No vomiting, nothing. I see a dentist 6 monthly and have never had any issues with them. In their words, they're "perfect". Bloods are always perfect, although B12 is on the low side at times, which is why I take supplements.

Excess skin. Well that just comes with drastic weight loss. Some are lucky and their skin bounces back. It helps that youth is on their side too. I was one of the unlucky ones and I knew that is what would happen.

I didn't wake up one morning and decide that I'll have the sleeve. I thought about it for quite some time and RESEARCHED, either talking to friends who have had the procedure or frequented many forums. I saw my surgeon 3-4 times pre op to discuss things and make sure I was making the right decision. I also saw a dietitian pre op to discuss diet history as well as what was expected of me post op. I continued to see both the surgeon and dietitian (if necessary) up until 2 years post sleeve.

I just wish for once that the media would put a positive spin on sleeve surgery.

I've still got my old friends and have made many new ones.

I'm happier than I was before. I'm not saying I wasn't happy, just a lot happier now, if that makes sense!

My only regret is that I did not have surgery earlier because now at the age of 38, I'm starting to enjoy my life.

Friday, 17 July 2015

One year on...

Today marks one year since I took the next step in changing my life...getting rid of the extra skin that I had been left with since losing close to 60kg.

The surgery post can be found here (and please take note of the 'viewer discretion' warning as post contains surgery photos):

Below are photos from day of surgery vs today.

My front scar is still 'fresh' following scar revision in March and I expect that to settle over time, just like the original scar has (albeit with a slight amount of puckering).

Whilst I am ecstatic with the overall result, as it has made a massive difference in everyday life, there is still a lot of work to be done.  There's still arms, thighs and boobs.  I just need to win Tattslotto...or I might consider a Go Fund Me campaign lol.

It was only a few weeks ago (yes, believe it or not!) that I still have quite a bit of flabby skin.  Oh well, such is life.  We can't all be perfect!

So that's the latest on me.  Hawai'i is getting closer.  Just over 5 weeks to go.  Cannot wait to escape this cold winter that we're currently going through.  Need to get cracking and go bikini shopping...anyone care to join me so I can get a second opinion.

Anywho, that's all for now.  If you have any questions about the surgery (or the sleeve), please don't hesitate to contact me and I'd be happy to answer them.

Friday, 26 June 2015

3 years ago today.

Start weight 128kg, was wearing size 24-26.  Current weight 74kg, wearing size 8-10-12.  Goal is 68kg and I'll get there when I get there.  I have a friend to thank for the surgery.  I said this about her: "If I haven't said it before, I'll say it now, but thank you.  You may not know it, but you gave me that push to do something once and for all.  I would've never considered surgery had I not seen how successful you were and I figured that if you could do it, so could I".  Best decision I have ever made in my life.  It wasn't easy, but I made it through and I couldn't have done it without the loving support of my family and friends.  Without the surgery, I'd probably still be 128kg, if not more.  Even though I'm not 100% happy with where I'm at (who really is?) I'm finally loving my 'new' life! #lovemysleeve #noregrets

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Scar revision update

Today I went for my 3 week check up and the big reveal, as the tape was changed today.

Very pleased with the result.  The puckering is due to the stitches, which will settle in time.  Looks high but it's not and the belly button was pulled down just a little during the procedure...and another thing was also pulled up slightly, if you catch my drift...

I'll continue taping at home for a further 2 months and next review is in 3 months.

Surgeon himself said he wasn't happy with the initial post op result, but he did explain the reasoning for this.  Had he initially taken away more skin at the initial tummy tuck, it would've put too much strain on the back and could result in splitting, as this was an issue in the past (not sure if his patients or just TT's in general).

Also got the go ahead to resume physical activity, so I can return to Pilates, strength training and personal training, but just to ease back into things and not to overdo it.

Until next time...


Thursday, 19 March 2015

8 months post TT, meeting Michelle Bridges and scar revision.

Firstly...Happy New Year everyone!  Didn't realise it was so long between posts!

It'll be Christmas before we know it!

So what has been going on these past few months?  To tell you the truth, not much really!  8 months has passed since I had the tummy tuck and I couldn't be more happy with the results.  My only concern was that I had a little residual skin which I brought up with my surgeon at the last review and he agreed to perform a "scar revision", which I had just over a week ago...more about that later though.

I had the opportunity to meet Michelle Bridges during her recent Westfield book signing tour to promote her new book.  I received an e-mail from Westfield Geelong advertising a competition to be a VIP and do a workout with Michelle, as well as a meet and greet to get her booked signed.  It was one of those damn "25 words or less" comps.  I said that I had lost 60kg over 2 years and wanted to improve my fitness and that working out with Michelle would be a dream come true.  Needless to say, I won and was one of the lucky VIP's.  When I arrived, I picked up my goodie bag (some MB products, magazines, bars and an old MB book) and had to buy a copy of her new book to get it signed.  When the host (?) told us that we'd be doing a 10 minute workout with Michelle (mind you, right out front of Big W!), I thought...WTF are we going to do in 10 minutes.  Boy...was I wrong.  It was a full on 10 minutes, leave you breathless and dripping sweat.  It was a HIIT workout (High Intensity Interval Training).  I can't remember exactly what we did, but it was 5 minutes of HIIT and then another 5 minutes of a descending ladder work out (start of with 10 jumps, 10 side kicks (dunno proper name!) and 10 push ups, then 9 of each, then 8 and so on....all to be done within 5 minutes.  Just made it but I was buggered but I felt really good afterwards.  She said with this 10 minute work out, you have no excuses not to work out, which is true, I just need to be motivated, which sometimes I lack.

Afterwards we got the opportunity to get a photo with Michelle and have the book signed.  Told her about my weight loss and she was fantastic.  She's so super fit in real life and so toned...I want her body!

With the amazing and super fit Michelle Bridges.

Exiting the stage, I thought my legs were going to give way as they were like jelly ha ha.  Didn't take me long to recover.

Now, to the scar revision.  As stated above, I am really pleased with the initial result, but had concerns about my "little pot".  I brought this up with the surgeon at the last review and he said that if he had taken more skin away at the initial TT, I would've been way too tight.  I decided to get the revision done now so I'd heal in time for Hawaii in August.

I was admitted on 11th March as a day case and had to present at 2.30pm to the day surgery centre of St John of God.  That also meant fasting from 8am that morning...nothing to eat or drink.  Eating I can do without but not being able to have water was a struggle.  I did have maybe 2 shot glasses of water to wash down a Panadol due to a lingering headache.

It was around 4.00pm by the time the anaesthetist came around to have a chat and check me over then the surgeon came to do his markings.  He apologised for the delay and said that I wasn't too far off.  It was 4.30pm by the time I was wheeled into theatre.

That little bit of leftover skin.
The section of skin the surgeon marked to remove.
The anaesthetist came to give the pre-med, what he called 3 glasses of wine LOL.  I told him won't take long to kick in as I don't drink....well, that took almost immediate effect as I don't even remember being wheeled into theatre.

Whole procedure took about an hour.  I woke up in recovery about 7.00pm.  I was given a shot of Morphine and for some unknown reason, I had developed an allergic reaction, which resulted in hives, which is bizzare as I had Morphine during previous ops without issue, as well as during the revision and post.  I was quickly given an antihistamine and that settled things.  I also had some pain, which felt more like a stinging sensation, so they gave me OxyCodone as Morphine is now a no no.

They decided to admit me overnight for monitoring, plus my blood pressure was up and down, so they wanted to keep an eye on that.  As they didn't want to transfer me from the day surgery centre to the hospital across the road via wheelchair due to the pain, I had to wait for ambulance transfer.  That finally happened at 8.30pm.  The paramedics were just lovely and said that they were just on their way to Cold Rock when they got the call.  I said that we can all go together for a drive once I was loaded in.  It wasn't even a 300mt trip from one side to the other.  I felt a bit guilty that I needed transfer via ambulance, but what can you do?  Surely with the redevelopment of SJOG they could have constructed a tunnel linking the two sites?!?!

Anywho, I settled in for the night and topped up with pain meds and anti-nausea meds.  Pain kept wavering between 0-1 and 5-6 but it wasn't unbearable.  Don't think I slept a wink during the night as I couldn't get comfortable, but I must've had periods of deep sleep as the nurse said that I didn't even stir when she came to check up on me throughout the night.

Surgeon came around 9.00am to check me over and discharge me.

Morning post procedure.
Morning post procedure.

Day 3 post procedure.
Day 3 post procedure.

By Monday I was able to comfortably sleep on my tummy.

And one week post op...I'm wearing jeans!

I had my one week post check up on Tuesday and he was very happy with how things are progressing.  Back for another review in 2 weeks time.  Tape is to stay in place until then.

A few weeks ago I received a Facebook invite for my 20 year high school reunion...20 years!!!  I'm still undecided if I'm going (it's in June).  I found an old high school photo and there's a big difference (apart from looking older!).  I'm sure my school uniform was a size 24.

High School vs December 2014.

Still have a bit of time to decide if I'm going or not.

So I think that's it until next time.

Nessa xo.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Almost 5 months post TT

It's been a while since I've last posted something, so thought it was time to let y'all know what is going on.

Can't believe it's almost 5 months since having my tummy tuck.  It's the second best decision I have made (first being the sleeve).  I am ecstatic with the results.  It's made such a difference in the way clothes fit and how I look.  Of course I still have my issues (don't we all?!) with the way the rest of me looks (bat wing arms, flabby thighs, saggy boobs), which can only be fixed with money unfortunately...which I do not have :`(.

I went and saw my surgeon for a check up mid November and new photos were taken (thank God I "tidied up" this time LOL).  He was very pleased with how things have healed and how I was looking.  I told him I still have concerns about my little "pot belly" which he said he was happy to fix, so this is booked for March next year, with no charge to me as I'm having what he classified as a scar revision within the 12 months of the original op.  It's only a day procedure and only 2 weeks off work/driving.  I'm taking 6 weeks all up as I have excessive annual leave, so may as well use it then.  Plus I booked March as I want to be well healed just in case I do end up going to Hawaii with my sister in August/September...although it'll all come down to money (doesn't everything these days?!).

Above are the most recent pics I have, so you can see from the side view, my little belly.  Yes although it's 100 times better than what I had before, I'm still self conscious about it.  It's OK when I wear tightish clothes, as it flattens it, but the times I don't, you can see it.

Or am I just being way too picky and critical of myself, worrying about such a little thing?

I'll see if it gets smaller on it's own in the lead up to the revision and take things from there.

And in other news...I wore a bikini for the first time ever!  Felt so good.  I was only with family as I don't think I could wear one out in public (where anyone knows me anyway, I'm safe overseas LOL).  I bought both tops online.  They're Seafolly and I couldn't justify spending $110 each!  I got both for $50.  Score!

This just past weekend gone, I went to my work Christmas party.  I was a bit apprehensive about going as the majority of department was management, but I got roped into going and I must say, I had a great night!  The open bar helped.  Saturday night was the first night in a long time (I reckon 15 years...that's sad!) that I had so much to drink.  I felt fine though as I could still walk and talk (well, apart from the drunken texts to a co-worker LOL).  Party wrapped up at 1am and the others went off to a bar, but I was too pooped, so went back to the hotel...then had to put up with the nightclub music downstairs until the early hours.  I ended up waking at 6.30am desperate for a good cup of coffee.

It's been a very long time since I've been out somewhere without being the company of my family and my close friends.  I'm glad I did go out though and somewhat networked, as I still feel uncomfortable and awkward in social situations.

Basically, it's same shit...different day.

Another year older...still single.

So until next time...whenever that will be.

Au revoir xo