Well, I’m about 1 month post op and my recovery has been up and down. My surgery was on November 27, 2018. I had my surgery in Oklahoma and returned home to Kansas on December 2nd. My surgeon, who has been outstanding, asked me to return for a follow-up on December 7, 2018 one week after my initial post op visit. After he examined my back, buttock, and abdominal area he was concerned with the area between my belly button and pubic area because it was red and hard. My doctor was concerned about a potential infection and asked me to return to the office again on December 11, 2018. At that time he would try to open the area up and, if possible, clean the area in his office. However, there was a potential that the area would require a more in-depth cleaning to clear the infection, if this was the case I would need to go back to the surgery center and go under anesthesia.
My mother in law, Mona, and my youngest daughter took the drive with me back to Oklahoma on December 11th. My surgeon attempted to care for my wound in the office, but quickly determined he wouldn’t be able to clear out the infection completely in his office and we were scheduled for surgery that afternoon. An additional vertical incision was required from my belly button to my pubic area in an effort to access the area and clean out the infected fat causing the issues. Surgery went well, but had to stay overnight and go back into the office the next morning to check on the new incision prior to returning home. Everything looked good, so we returned home once again on December 12th.
I was told to come home and take it easy, which I’m horrible at, but did my best all while caring for my toddler and teenager and finishing up my finals for my college classes. It was a very stressful week, but I felt like I followed the doctor’s orders as well as I could in response to the demands of my life. I was really proud of myself, until I drove myself back down to Oklahoma on December 17th for another follow-up appointment. My doctor was not happy with my recovery and told me that I was doing too much, which was totally accurate. He was also displeased that I’d driven myself down and was returning home the same day. I had another drain put in because I had a tremendous amount of fluid building up and was told I needed to come back in 2 days, with another person driving. Thankfully, my mother in law, Mona, has been a great source of support throughout this ordeal and she drove us to Oklahoma while a good friend watched the toddler for the day. We came back down on December 19th, one week after my second surgery and three weeks after my first surgery, and the doctor was much happier with my progress since I’d basically sat around doing nothing for 2 days I even got to have my drain removed. Annnndddd we had ANOTHER follow up scheduled for December 24th, that’s right Christmas Eve, to make sure healing was progressing in the right direction. At this point I was also still on pain meds (Percocet) and was on my third round of antibiotics, but things seemed to be headed in the right direction.
Mona and I drove BACK down to Oklahoma on Christmas Eve and the doctor said that the infection was improving, put me on a different antibiotic since he’d cultured the infection at the time of my surgery, put in a glove drain and left the new vertical incision open with instructions to pack it and allow it to heal from the inside out. The most interesting part of the visit was when I was laying on the table with just a robe partially covering me and my open incision spurted blood/ fluid when my doctor pressed on my abdomen! My poor mother in law has been such a trooper throughout all of this and there’s no way I could have made it without her help. Mona has picked up some groceries for me, dressing supplies, watched the toddler or driven her to preschool, and come over twice a day to dress and pack my open wound, I’m so grateful for her love and support.
Well, that’s about it for what’s been going on since my surgery up to now. It’s been an expensive, exhausting, painful, stressful journey, but I’m so glad I went through with it and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I have the support of my husband, my kids, my mother in law, and couldn’t have chosen a better doctor for this procedure. I have received phenomenal care from him, his staff, and the surgery center. No one could have predicted how my body would respond to having surgery, so there’s nothing I could have done to avoid the issues I’ve experienced but I firmly believe that my recovery would have been even more difficult if I hadn’t been in good shape/ health prior to my surgery. My family has sacrificed to support me going through this part of my journey and at times I question whether or not I should have spent such a large amount of our budget on surgery, but then my husband reminds me that it’s an investment in my future and that I deserved to see the results of my hard work over the last 2 1/2 years. For now, I’m still swollen and healing, but there is definitely a huge difference in my body shape after having NINE POUNDS of skin removed! Now, it’s time to stay focused on healing and being released to hit the gym in a few weeks before my crazy semester starts again at the end of the month. Goodbye 2018 and HELLO 2019, let’s see where this crazy train takes us!