Post-Op Week 53 Progress Report

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This week saw me back at home, back in my usual routine, and back down on the scale.  I’m inching slowly toward goal, and I’m okay with the slow progress.

Something I have been thinking a lot about is the extra skin I’m carrying and how it might keep me from reaching my goal weight.  There is a great deal of it, which you can’t see because my clothes cover it up for the most part.  But there is so much, and because it hasn’t presented me with medical problems, removal at this point would be for vanity’s sake only.  Insurance won’t cover skin removal surgery unless the skin is causing problems, and even then, the surgery would still be expensive and recovery from the surgeries I would need would be long and painful.  The surgeries I would likely need to look “normal,” or to at least see what my body could have looked like all along had I not been carrying over double what I should have been are:

  • brachioplasty (removal of excess arm skin)
  • tummy tuck (removal of excess abdominal skin)
  • lower body lift (pulling everything up)
  • breast lift and augmentation (yep, I would need a boob job, because they are super sad looking now)
  • I’d probably need my thighs done too as there is a truckload of loose skin there.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?  Sounds like absolute hell to me.   It’s an awful lot of cutting, pasting, and draining is what it is.  No thank you.

Thankfully I do not need a panniculectomy as my pannus isn’t all that big and doesn’t hang down–it never did to start with.

I have known people who have had the surgeries I would need to look “normal,” and their recoveries were long and difficult.  I’ll be honest, I’m a wuss when it comes to pain, and I absolutely hate being incapacitated for any length of time.  The surgeries I would need to contour my body so that its actual shape can be seen would be both extremely painful and would render me unable to be active for a long period of time.  While I know that it might be a small price to pay, it isn’t one I am willing to pay simply so I can see what I probably should look like.

I am trying to learn to be okay with the extra skin, but it is hard because I know that it may be the thing that keeps me from getting down under 200 pounds.  And that is not okay.  I am having more days lately where I think to myself if I never get to 170, I don’t care as long as I get under 200.  There are days when even 190 sounds good.  But I don’t want to be obese per the BMI chart, and getting down to 170 puts me at simply overweight.  And I know that the BMI charts are basically bullshit, but when everything health-related hinges on those damned charts, getting down to a somewhat acceptable range is important to me.

I forgot to share another NSV I experienced while I was on vacation–actually, two of them.  One was that as we were leaving the Georgia Aquarium, we walked through the turnstiles and didn’t have to squeeze through them sideways.  In fact, neither my husband or I had to squeeze through them at all.  I am now narrow enough to fit through them without having to turn sideways.

The other NSV is that I am now wearing a 14-16 in dresses and pants.  I’m wearing a 12-16 in tops, depending on who makes them and how they are cut.  If you had asked me last year at this time did I think that I’d ever be able to shop out of the misses section of a store, I would have told you that you were insane and that yeah, right I’ll be able to do that.  But now…I can.  And it is awesome.  I am going to ditch my Lane Bryant account this week and cancel the credit card I have with them because I have shrunk out of even their smallest size.  There is no point in me keeping the account open, and besides, that frees up credit to shop somewhere else.  Closing the account is symbolic as well because it means that I am no longer confined to shopping at one or two places–I can shop nearly anywhere and have multiple choices for things to wear.  I don’t have to drape myself in shapeless black and neutral clothes, or things with garish prints that are cut poorly and not flattering.  It’s very liberating.

This week’s challenges are travel again…I’m headed to Houston for an AP Bio workshop.  The plan is to get up at the asscrack of dawn each morning, hit the hotel gym (it’s a legit one), workout for an hour before breakfast and then go about my day.  I know I will be doing a fair bit of walking since it’s on a college campus but I need other activity to mix things up a bit.  There is also a pool and outdoor running track, so I think I will pack my suit and aqua fit shoes so I can run about in the pool.  I know that at least one of the days I’m there, the plan is to go down to Galveston for an evening for dinner with colleagues, and I think I’ll take a walk on the beach too since we didn’t get to hang out on the beach while we were on vacation.

Next week, I see both my primary care doc and my surgeon for one-year follow up appointments.  I’m anxious about what my bloodwork will show me about how my iron is, how my cholesterol is, how my triglycerides are, and most importantly, how my a1c is.  Even though I haven’t taken diabetes meds in nearly a year, and was declared free of diabetes in October, I look at it as being in remission.  It can come back, so I still behave like I’m diabetic, eschewing most sugars, and being vigilant about my feet, water and vitamins.  I don’t monitor my glucose any more, but I probably should.  As for my surgeon’s visit, I’m hoping to be closer to my doc’s goal when I get back, because I see him on the 24th for my one-year follow up appointment.  I want so badly to be at his target weight for me by then.  Just 3.2 pounds away…let’s see if this is possible at this point in the game.

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