The Bat Wing/Back Fat Post Op Update

You have to love a man who tells you that he knows you will heal as he’s snipping nasty bits off flesh off of your body.  That is, indeed, optimism at it’s finest.

And those of you who went through the surgical journey with me last year might recognize that little piece of machinery pictured above.  It’s a wound VAC, and it may once again become part of my wardrobe essentials.

The one big spot on my back is still a big spot.  The other two little spots on the other side really weren’t little spots  -they were hiding a deeper issue.  If you can envision a pair of sunglasses, with the nose piece holding the two lenses together, that’s kind of what the wound looked like.  Today, we opted (okay, maybe the me part of “we” wasn’t as enthusiastic about this choice) to snip the nose piece section, and a small cavern opened up.  A wound VAC may be what we need to speed healing in those two areas on my back.

We are still not sure what caused my incisions to open.  I may not have been the most compliant patient, but I think there’s something else going on.  My age might have an impact; or perhaps not paying close enough attention to protein in my diet.  I’ve sworn off of Twinkies, so maybe I’m not getting enough preservatives in my diet, either?

Whatever it is, it looks like we are in this for the long haul once again.  Fortunately, I have remained infection free – which is awesome news!  I am armed with all of the most important tools to see this through – faith, trust, pixie dust, a wonderful doctor, and amazing friends and family.

Fasten your seatbelts, my friends.  It’s gonna be a bumpy ride!

My Own Post-Op Recovery Guide

I’ve learned a lot about recovering from surgery in the past few years – as I am now a veteran of three c-sections; gallbladder removal; gastric bypass; bowel obstruction; tummy tuck; and brachioplasty.  There are some comfortable surgeons riding around in luxury cars thanks in small part to my health insurance.

I have yet to walk into one of these surgical offices, though, and have them give me a real life guide to what you need to know in recovery.  I’ve compiled a short list myself of the things you need to know.  Consider these specific to my recent surgery, where the use of my arms and back has been restricted, but feel free to apply these lessons to any surgical recovery:

Drying your hair –

You’ve just spent thousands of dollars on plastic surgery so that you’ll look your best.  Good luck with that, honey, because for the next few weeks, the back of your head is gonna look like a nest of rats lives there.  You won’t be able to reach to dry your hair, properly brush your hair, or even scrunch your hair so it looks like you intentionally want your hair to look like a rat’s nest.  Invest in a wig.

Smacking your husband –

You know you’re gonna have to do it – because husbands have just a certain way about them that irritates the crap out of you at a time when you least need your crap to be irritated.  He’ll make fun of the hair you can’t properly fix, or he’ll laugh at you as you are trying to squeeze your swollen, uncomfortable self into something cute and slightly sexy, so you at least feel somewhat human.  The temptation will be there, and I understand.  You want to haul off and smack him, as hard as you can, preferably into an unconsciousness that will last until you are totally healed.

Stop right there, girlfriend.  Hauling off and smacking your husband is going to be more pain than it’s worth – seriously.  You risk opening up your incisions, and that could get ugly.  Don’t do it.  Instead, spike his drink with a bit of your pain meds, and hopefully, that will knock him out long enough for you to get some peace and quiet.

And Speaking Of –

Let me take this opportunity to recommend a conversion to an all liquid, no waste diet.  Attending to the, ummmm, necessary routines of hygiene have just become outrageously difficult, and the aforementioned ass of a husband will either flat out refuse to assist you in your post lavatory needs or make fun of you mercilessly.  As we’ve already determined, smacking him is not an option.  I opted to, ummm, hold it in until I could attend to things myself.  Perhaps investing in a bidet??

It doesn’t matter how good your insurance is –

Visiting nurses will not come to your house and help you to apply your eye makeup.  And – go figure – the emergency room doesn’t consider this OBVIOUS emergency to be an OBVIOUS emergency – even if you tell them it’s the new LashStash mascara from Sephora.  And believe me, if you’re like me, it takes a while to cake all that makeup on your eyes to hide the wrinkles and dark circles, and your arms get tired while they’re bandaged.  Skip Sephora and head for Sunglass Hut.  What you can’t see in the mirror won’t bother you nearly as much.

Cherish Your Children –

I have to thank my girls for being so helpful these past few weeks.  Eilis made dinner last night by herself, and Granuaile is always throwing on her apron to help out with things in the kitchen.  Of course, you know they aren’t doing it out of the kindness of their hearts – they’re hoping there’s a puppy in this as a reward…

 

 

Bat Wings, Back Fat, and Other Body Anomalies that Make You Want Barbecue

The sausage you see hanging in the photo above is not found at the Italian market in South Philly.  It is found hanging from my shoulder.  I have one on each side.  Not that I have something against sausage, but I want them gone.

Last summer, I started what I had hoped would be a series of plastic surgery procedures designed to help me get rid of the remnants of my formerly morbidly obese self.  I had a big, huge hanging belly; droopy, saggy boobs; sausage arms; and enough rolls on my back to hide Osama Bin Laden and the entire al Quaeda team.  My breast lift healed in record time, and I have very few physical indication that I had anything done – the scars are minimal, the boobs are in the right place, and it’s all good.

My tummy tuck recovery is epic.  Seriously, I could write a War and Peace sized novel on what a crappy healer I was – and I blame that on the selective hearing loss I suffer from when it comes to medical instructions.  I’m fine when the pediatrician tells me to fill a kid with fluids and give them Tylenol.  That, I have no problem hearing.  But when a doctor tells me that I have to not lift, not bend, not travel far; well, I don’t exactly catch ALL of the words – I just know he said something about lifting, bending, and traveling.

So, because I took so darn long to heal from my tummy tuck (six months, including four on a wound VAC), I think my surgeon was a bit leery about doing any additional procedures.  He wanted to make sure my wound was completely healed, free of infection, totally closed, blessed by the Pope, consecrated by the Dalai Lama, and prayed over by a Voodoo High Priest.

Done!

Next Thursday, I’m going under the knife again.  One day after my 20th wedding anniversary, I hope to begin the final chapter on the road to the new me that I found myself on almost five years ago.

Wish me luck.  Wish Dr. Veitia luck, because, after all, he has to deal with me.  And let the fun begin!