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8 Wk Post Op & 2016 Reflection

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Progression of my transformation of the past 2 years

With the hustle and bustle of the going back to work, holidays and my site being down…I haven’t had a chance to blog in weeks! Eek. Where to start?

I am now 8 weeks post op. I have returned to work and I am now off restrictions. I have some amazing co-workers and going back to work was a breeze. Although, I’m now glad to be a ‘full nurse’ and able to completely do my job. I’m very thankful to have taken the full 4 weeks off of work. In comparison to returning to work after only a week after my brachioplasty and mastopexy. I was fatigued the first week but I didn’t have to go home early. It was a much better outcome for sure!

My problem areas: my buttcrack and pelvis are on the mend. I still have some pain in my buttcrack and my pelvis is now approximated with a few scabs left.  I no longer have wound care so that’s good.

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The middle pic is 8 weeks post op.

I am so very pleased with my results. The only area I’m not so keen on at this point is my back/butt. My crack extends up my back still. I call it my back crack. The crack is able to be seen above my pants. Then there is a slight hump above it. I have spoken to my surgeon and he continues to assure me that these tissues are still swollen and it can take MONTHS for it completely resolve. My butt continues to be numb soooo sometimes my pants (especially my medium scrubs) will sag and I won’t realize then OOPS PLUMBER’S BACK CRACK!

Hump above my butt

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I haven’t had a huge emotional crisis in some time now. I’m very happy about this. It is just so amazing to have the flap/pannus gone! I just feel so much more comfortable. It is wonderful. Every once in awhile, I’ll feel the need to check my pelvis for wetness and then I realize that I don’t have to do that anymore.

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Pre Op (11/2016) VS Post Op 8weeks!
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Pre Op 2014 vs Post op 2017 8wks!

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And of course…my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE part of my body? THE BELLY BUTTON! I have just never been able to see it without pulling up my upper roll. I love to just give myself belly rubs even though I have no feeling from my belly button down.


On my first day off of restriction I was eager to work out. I can’t really completely explain to you this feeling. Like I LOATHE cardio. I truly am a couch potato at heart. But then there’s this other part of me that feels like compelled to work out on some level. Like there are days where I just feel like I need to run even though I am not a runner…not even a little bit. Anywho..I have decided I want to work it out and see if I can get myself some abs. I also decided that I want to try the Couch to 5k thing again. It is colder than a witch’s nipple here so I decided to start on my treadmill. I can’t find my body shaper (my surgeon told me that I would want to wear a waist trainer and shaper for support for quite awhile). My first work out I wore just my sports bra, waist trainer and regular shorts. And it was painful. My abs were okay but what wasn’t okay? My freaking ass. The jerking from the impact was almost too much to bare. I usually can jog a steady pace at 4.0-5.0 with sprints but even 3.0 was difficult. So today, I found my compression shorts and wore those instead. I was able to jog at 4.0 with minimal discomfort. Now…other than the butt..I didn’t completely hate the 30minutes of jog/walk cardio. You know why? No flapping. No sweat within the undercarriage. No jerking of skin. So i hope to keep this up. Tomorrow I plan to do a Jillian work out…either abs or buns.

Waist Trainer and Compression Shorts for my cardio.

I’ve decided to try to get a head start on these scars. I’m terrible about putting on lotions or oils so I’m trying these strips. The research I’ve done and my plastic surgeon say that silicone is the best. Although…you may not see results for 60-90 days. So that is a lot of waiting and a lot of money without really knowing what your results will be. I can say that putting these strips on was much easier than putting the silicone gel on; although, they do have to stay on for 12+ hours.

Silicone Scar Away strips

This Christmas holiday was enjoyable. All the family came and we got to spend a lot of time together. Lisa attended the Ashworth holiday which was nice. My niece has grown like a weed and I’m sad to say that she is significantly taller than me and her boobs are bigger. Sigh. I think the highlights were listening to my niece discuss conspiracy theory with my brother, learning to yo-yo and seeing my dad use the Google Home that we gave to my brother. The down side of the holidays…gastroenteritis. The gift that kept giving. Within a couple days, 9 of 10 had it. And then I was the 10th, becoming symptomatic over New Year’s. Ick. But I had a wonderful nurse in Lisa and we got to spend the weekend together so that was nice :)

The Ashworth Christmas!
After a breakfast discussing dad, we went to the candy store down town for our sugar rush!
My niece might be growing up but this aunt whooped her booty in checkers!
And this is how I spent my New Year’s/…

A recap of 2016:

Overall, it was a great year for me. I was able to complete my body transformation goals having 2 skin removal surgeries. Lisa and I went to the Bahamas for my 30th birthday and kissed a dolphin. I got to visit my bestest buddy Kati and we rode bikes throughout DC. Which then inspired me to buy my own bike then Lisa and I rode 8 miles around the lake. We took a dancing class, went sailing and took a culinary class. We celebrated Lisa’s 40th birthday in style…going to Vegas for 12 hours where I got drunk and sober probably three times and we rode the roller coaster at the New York New York.

I’ve really worked on myself—inside out. It will always be a working progress. I’m trying to be less judgmental and more understanding. Trying to be more tolerant and not so critical to myself. This year I’ve really worked to restore my anchors by nurturing my relationship with my mother-in-law, Shellie, and my family.

I’ve finished all of my RN-BSN courses and I’m only lacking 2 undergraduate classes that I will complete Spring 2017. So I’m only my way to graduation.

Lisa and I are still going strong. We have really grown as a couple. She has been an integral part of my life and my happiness. I really look forward to what this next year holds for us.

I continue to struggle with my loss of friendship with Abby. I have good days and I have bad. I have received all sorts of great advice and an abundance of love and support when I struggle with it. Above all, I just want her to be happy and I want to be happy too. I’m not sure if there will ever come a time where I don’t miss her. And some times are harder than others. It pains me that I love and miss someone so much who doesn’t want to have any active part in my life. My mom told me ‘Jess, you gotta stop’…but how does one just stop? I think some people can turn it off; my off switch is broken apparently.

I continue to struggle with the grief of losing Paul and, moreso, living my life without him. I have had less sleepless nights than I had in 2015 but he continues to visit me in my dreams. I constantly struggle with survivors guilt. And there are so many moments when I experience happiness or achieve a goal where this dark cloud shadows me…and I think…he’s gone; I shouldn’t be happy. This year has been a struggle for me to continue to work towards finding the balance…of grieving him, keeping his memory alive and continuing on with my life. Overall, my thought process is that I live for him because he can’t live for himself. I plan to continue to excel in my life in his honor. And that, in itself, brings me peace and comfort.

I sure hope that you all had wonderful holidays and that you are seizing the day. Love y’all!


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