Highs and Lows of the Week
A lot has been happening in my second week after tummy tuck surgery. At the beginning of the week I had a follow up with my doctor and had the drains removed (YAY!). Immediately following my appointment I showered. To be free of tubes was liberating! I got so excited and had a huge boost of energy so I drove (for the first time since) over to my Crossfit gym and paid them a visit. Just being in that space puts me in a great mood. I stopped going several days before surgery as my chiropractor advised. He didn’t think I should go into surgery with sore muscles…whatever I guess that’s sound advice, ugh. So it had been even longer since I had stopped my daily ritual that makes me so happy. Have to admit though, CF gyms usually aren’t air-conditioned and I am thinking it was a good move to be in recovery in July. I followed my visit with a quick trip to the drug store, and by the time I got home I felt like I had worked out. I was exhausted from that little extra movement.
By the second day of week two I was able to get out of the house a little more. I scheduled a haircut, mani/pedi, and shopped for a couple skirts that would make it easier to throw on in the morning when taking the kids to camp. I am wearing nothing but loose, long dresses and skirts due to the garment that I am required to wear for the next several weeks. It starts at my knee and goes all the way up my torso, with shoulders straps to hold it up. It is basically the tightest pair of shapewear I have ever worn….which is ironic because one reason you get a tummy tuck is to never have to wear shapewear again! It’s hot, it’s tight, and walking may be slightly easier, but breathing just got a little harder. Occasionally I feel like I need a break from it, but after having it off for 10 minutes, I am ready to put it back on. It does provide immense support to my abs and back muscles. I am also still a bit hunched over and I feel as though the garment is helping stretch my core.
A big feat I had this week was a family wedding. I knew it would be a struggle but my little cousin, who I adore, was getting married and I didn’t want to miss it just because I couldn’t dance or drink. Which I did both those things…oops! I had purchased two dresses for the occasion just in case the swelling was so bad and I wanted to conceal it. Well – I got to wear the tight one! It was a formal affair so I had a long dress in a mermaid silhouette – something I would have NEVER attempted in the past. I know I am going through this transformation for health more than anything else, but it was pretty rewarding to feel good because I knew I looked good! Still swollen, still had to take it easy, but still a vast improvement.
And then I had to pay for that a bit. For two days following the wedding the swelling and pain had increased slightly and I was spent. A couple glasses of wine, more cardio from dancing than I am allowed at this stage, salty foods I didn’t prepare myself…why would the swelling come back? Can’t imagine.
Back to the Daily Grind
All of this just in time to return to work. It has been a tough week as I have resumed normal life. Getting the kids up, dressed and out the door every morning has been quite the task. I had taken my usual energetic self for granted. I even have difficulty working a full 8 hours. I am fortunate enough to have a remote office so my workdays are always at home. This allows me to escape from the desk when I get too uncomfortable, lay down for a few minutes if the swelling starts up or my muscles are tired from sitting up so long. I notice that I sit up straight and tall when on a typing frenzy and I have to remind myself to put a pillow behind me or just lean back for a few minutes. I definitely would have benefited from more time off if I needed to go into an office every day.
Luckily a dear friend of mine was more than generous bringing me cooked meals – Paleo friendly of course – tons of fruit from Whole Foods, flowers (!), and gifts for the kids which was a tremendous help. It saved me time on my feet and gave the kids something to be entertained by. My girls are 4 and 6 but they eat like savages so most of that was gone in the first 48 hours, sending me on a trip to the grocery store anyway. I survived. I asked for some extra bags in order to keep them light and made it through.
Most of my stitches have been removed with the exception of a few. The scars are healing nicely and most of the bruises are gone. I have a lot of sensitivity around the incisions but otherwise the rest of the surrounding area is still numb. I can feel all of the areas where the lipo was done because they are now little hard spots. The incision around the belly button has lost most of its scabbing and is starting to look like an actual belly button. And if I look really closely, I see the signs of a curve in my abdomen instead of just a solid block for a torso.
Sleeping is still a challenge as I am not able to lay flat just yet. The pulling sensation on my skin and muscles is still there when I try so I still have pillows under my knees and several pillows under my head and back for support. I have one of those pillows with arms made to keep you sitting up in bed and I cover it with some softer, flatter pillow. I am a stomach sleeper normally and this keeps me from trying to roll over in my sleep. Wish I had thought of that when I was pregnant with each of my kids. I often woke up after getting nudged by my ex telling me I was on my stomach again…eek! Eh, they’re fine.
As I start to feel better I start to get more anxious to race through this recovery and get back to normal. But then I am reminded of how swollen my abdomen is, how easily I lose steam, and how slow I am walking. It can be frustrating and I am already over it, but I can at least appreciate the big picture and feel it is still worth it.