Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bum Watch Week 16: Time for a Break


For the last 16 weeks, I have documented  the highs and lows of recovery from my reconstructive skin surgery.  If you are new here, I have lost a lot of weight over the last two and a half years thanks to the tool of gastric sleeve surgery.  I used to weigh 320lbs.  Thanks to that tool and a lot of hard work I have completely changed my health around.

320lbs.  I was literally as round as I was tall.  My hips were 65" and I am 65" tall.

 Sixteen weeks ago I underwent a lower body lift and an inner thigh lift with Dr. Timothy Katzen in Beverly Hills.  At the time of that surgery I was 190lbs and I had 27lbs of skin and fat removed.  Recovery hasn't been all that easy and I had four spots open up and turn into wounds that required daily treatment with antibiotic ointment and being covered in gauze.  Turns out I am just a slow healer!

Day of surgery and 190lbs.

My old stomach and butt skin!

Miserable with 8 drains, catheter, and pain medications that made me incredible sick.

Over the last couple of weeks though, I have gone from feeling like Frankenstein's monster, to feeling nearly human.  Wounds have closed over and I am no longer treating any of them!  That sure makes the morning routine a lot easier!  I have been monitoring my daily swelling and noticed that it wasn't changing too much from morning to evening.  I have been wearing a full compression suit (aka. the batsuit) that covered me from ankle to chest complete with straps over my shoulders.  It is a miserable contraption, but it has done its job well.  The compression it gave allowed my scars to heal flat and it kept my swelling in check.  Yesterday though, I went without it.  Instead, I just wore a core compression wrap and last night I had zero compression on.  It went very well!  The only spot that is swelling is my waist and it only went up an inch during the run of the day.  Success!  It feels odd to not have the full suit on; my body has just become used to wearing it and clothing now feels very rough against my skin.  But the freedom of not having it on is so wonderful.

The bat suit.

I have some goals now that I am working towards.  I would like to be 160lbs for summer.  It is my dream weight because it will mean I have become exactly half my size.  Never did I think that would actually be possible and now it is just 10lbs away for me.  Ten pounds...  that seems like nothing when I have already lost 150lbs.  And I want to be strong again.  I am a full on weakling after four months of not doing much other than sit on my arse.  Thanks to weekly massages, the tail bone pain I have been suffering from is actually improving.  I have an xray scheduled for it next month and a chiropractor appointment as well. 

I am looking ahead to summer and realizing that it is going to be fantastic.  I am going to be healed up enough to truly enjoy it.  And enjoy it without the constraints of extra skin.  The flaps of excess skin were miserable, especially when it was hot.  The cost of this surgery was very high and we paid for it all out of pocket, but I have zero regrets.  This process has been completely worth it even with my wounds.

Months ago a friend asked me how long I was going to post photos of myself up on my blog for the internets to see, and I told her until I was healed.  Well, I feel I am healed.  I will still post updates for sure, but it might be a quite some time before I post some new nearly naked photos of myself.  It is time to move forward.

I have been blessed throughout this entire process with friends, family and internet strangers that have encouraged me, laughed with me, and inspired me.  I have found it very freeing to share my experience fully on my blog.  I have used this writing and picture sharing to work through some very hard mental blocks and insecurities.  Nothing has been easy, but it has all been worth it.  Thank you to everyone who has been there for me in person and online. 

So, this week's photos!  The last for a while.

Today I opted for my new hot pink undies.  Size medium.  I love it.

I don't miss the extra skin one bit.

With undies on, my bum looks pretty great.  Thighs still swollen a I believe and we will see what they look like at the one year mark.  I love my new shape.

I have a waist.  And hips.  And curves.  And hot pink undies.  And a new belly button.

This wound is done with treatment.  There is no depth to it and it is now just scabbing over and drying out.

Left hip wound is done!

My new freedom!  No batsuit and just core compression.  Bliss!


Kendra said...

Truly Amazing! you have worked so hard and I can't wait to see your continued progress as you get strength back. Thanks for sharing your experience so openly :)

Anonymous said...

I've watched your progress with awe...way to go!! Keep up the good work - I am sure you are an inspiration to so many. It's amazing to see how far you have come in 4 months, and I look forward to seeing your continued progress in your quest for good health!
CV in Vancouver, B.C. (1st time poster :)

Art said...

You look great. Be happy. Enjoy.

Morena said...

It's been a while since I cought up with your updates. UNREAL!!! I am so envious of your flat tummy. Did you ever think someone would call your tummy FLAT! Great job and congrats on all the hard work.

Anonymous said...

Morena copied me. Or maybe I'm copying her. You're abs are ah-mazing. Jealous! :) You've come a long way and you deserve to enjoy every last bit of this new life and healthier you.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm a completely random person who happened to stumble on this, and I just want to say congratulations! You look great.

Tyrone Vanwagoner said...

You‘re looking good. I’m glad that everything is happening according to your plan. It’s not really surprising, as you have been in good hands. Also, with all the preparations you made like massages and chiro appointments, everything should go smoothly. How are you now, btw?

Tyrone Vanwagoner @ U.S Health Works

Byron Brewer said...

You are truly an inspiration Kara! It's great that you are now free from the insecurities and depression, which you have mentioned in your post. I’m looking forward for your next posts and photos. Stay strong!

Byron Brewer @ Knight and Sanders

Vimax said...

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Jessica Hemauer said...

Cool blog, congrats on your improvement!