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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Post Reconstructive Thigh Lift

Okay folks, I’m doped up on Oxycodone as I sit here with my legs strategically positioned to cause me the least amount of pain possible trying to recover from yesterday’s Thigh Lift.

Okay so I’ve always said that when I got to the end of these plastic surgeries that I would discuss it all honestly and bluntly, so that’s what I’m going to do…

So first let’s talk about pain. But to do that we need to establish my pain threshold. I’m a whinny little twit when it comes to pain, if it hurts in the slightest I’m going to let you know about it, in great detail, repeatedly. That said I also have a pretty high pain tolerance. I’ve done a lot of painful things in my life. Had my appendix taken out, had a hysterectomy, had my tonsils removed, wisdom teeth pulled. I’ve broken fingers, broken ankles, broken feet.

I used to have menstrual cycles pre hysterectomy from endometriosis that would literally drop me to my knees bent over on the floor in pain. I used to have back pain so debilitating it would make me have to sit down and rest in the middle of cooking dinner.

My Gastric Bypass in 2010, was a walk in the park, I was up and walking the hospital floor three hours after surgery and had no problem moving around and within a week or two I was in the gym killing it again.

But Excess Skin removal surgery – by far the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life.

Each Excess skin removal surgery that I have done, had its pros and cons. So far each one has had different complications and issues.

Let’s talk about my most painful though; the Thigh Lift. My Surgeon, Dr. Shannon O’Brien from the Waldorf Center of Plastic Surgery, did a Y incision on me. That means the incision comes up the inside of both my thighs, and then comes up the inside fold of my thigh and my groin in both directions, forming the top of the Y. As far as I can tell, which is guessing because I’m only a day out and I haven’t gotten a really good look at the incision line just yet, but I’m guessing it goes along that inside crease of my groin and my thighs to about the middle of my labia.

I have two drains after this surgery. They are located pretty much right along the bikini line incision from my 360 Body Lift earlier this year. If you imagine the V of your pubic region as you are standing, the drain sites are at about mid-point up on the V.

So the positive parts of this surgery thus far:

1. I was able to do this surgery outpatient, didn’t have to stay at the hospital and made it home the same night as surgery.

2. While this surgery is by far the most painful, it is also the easiest to get comfortable from. That may sound a bit strange, but with the incisions where they are, moving is excruciatingly painful, but if I get into a comfortable position, which is easier with these incisions that it was with the others, then I’m in absolutely no pain.

Now the negative:

1. This is by far the most painful thing I have ever done. The incisions make it ridiculously hard to move. Thank goodness I have my arms to help. The incisions are very tender, they burn, a lot. And anytime I move they just burn more. Getting comfortable is very tricky, but as I mentioned in the positives, I think it is easier to get comfortable after this surgery than it has been after the others. So it’s the most painful and the least painful at the same time. That has both its good and bad points.

I find that the most comfortable position for me, at least at this point, is sitting or laying in a recliner with the feet up. We can adjust my back to the right angle to make sure there is no pressure on my hips or thighs. Then we take these squishy pillows and put them under my knees to get each one in just the right position. I find that I’m much more comfortable when my knee is swaddled by a pillow. But the most important thing I have found in making sure that I am as comfortable as possible is that my ankles need to be level with my knees.

2. The Pain, when you move, is unbearable. It really is, I have no other way to explain it. It’s so bad that I am listing it twice as a Negative aspect. The first time they stood me up after surgery in the hospital and wanted me to try to walk to the bathroom, but when the nurse saw the look on my face just trying to stand, the pain on my face was unmistakable, and we ended up bringing in a bed side commode. Now, I will say that as I have pain meds on board and I don’t try to tucker through without it and let the pain sneak up on me, it gets a little easier. But as of Day 2 getting up out of the chair I am in, walking to the bathroom, sitting down, getting back up, walking back to the chair, which is maybe 12 steps each way, and sitting back down in that chair is enough to make me nearly want to pass out in pain.

3. The Compression Garments make me want to pull my hair out. They are crotchless, but that hole is nowhere near where it needs to be for everything to come out right. So unless you are alright with soaking the pants you can’t take off for three days at the earliest to shower with urine, you might want to go ahead and take the route I did, unhook and unzip the sides, take them down, do your thing, then pull them back up. It makes the bathroom routine way longer and contributes to it being a miserable experience, but the alternative sucks too. I just have to remind myself that this too shall pass and what drives me nuts right now won’t even matter to me two weeks from now.

4. I need help doing EVERYTHING. Getting up out of the chair, walking, sitting down. I’ll let you put two and two together here, but let me just say, make sure whoever is taking care of you afterwards is someone who loves you; they are going to have to get very up close and personal with you. I’ve been very lucky in that I have like the best girlfriend in the world and have had the same person to take care of me through all of my surgeries.

It’s been really hard for me to even get this post written because I doze in and out constantly because of the pain medication I’m taking. I’m usually the person that doesn’t really like to take pain medication, but man this time I’m taking it on the clock when I’m due for it, just to try to keep the pain managed. I’m outside my own box here, but I think it’s a good thing.

The first day home from the hospital was horrendous. Every time I moved I wanted to cry. Today, day two has been a little bit better, it hurts a little less to move today than it did yesterday.

It’s a little easier to get comfortable today than it was yesterday. I just keep reminding myself that in a couple of months, none of this will be hurting like this, and I’ll be able to wear shorts this summer. I hope… I haven’t actually gotten to see my thighs yet, so we’ll see. I’ll let you know.

I need to have Heather proof read this before I post it and make sure I made sense through my pain medicated rambling. 🙂

Finally Loosing the Emotional Weight

I’ve sat on this for years. In fact, I’ve sat on it as long as I can remember.

Now I feel the need to express it, because let’s be frank, there are others out there having the same experience I have, and if they can glean some wisdom through mine and perhaps avoid the emotional heartache that I have endured by finding their Healthy Voice a little sooner than I did, then I have done a great service to another human being.

My Family is horrible. They are unhealthy, they are unkind and they do not understand the definition of love.

I’ve had many people in my Family tell me that I have to “Forgive and Forget.” No you are wrong, I do not have to forgive you, I damn well won’t ever forget, and honestly I never will. Additionally, I don’t have to love you just because you are related to me by blood.

As a child there are a few people who you grow up thinking you can count on. For me, my Family included my Grandparents,  (At least the ones I knew) my Parents, (who had adopted me at a very young age when my Mother’s younger sister got pregnant at 14) my Aunts and Uncles and my cousins. Because of my Father’s age (he was 50 when they adopted me) I never really got to know his side of my Family, a shame really, perhaps that’s where all the good ones were. My Father, after all, was the one person in my life that never hurt me.

You’re probably wondering what has changed. What would make me finally swallow years of silence and actually say what I am saying out loud today. I’ll tell you. I’ve spent the last 4 weeks surrounded by my “Chosen Family,” my friends, and an entire community of Weight Loss Surgery people who understand what Love and Support is and I’m finally okay standing up and saying that I will no longer subject myself to your emotional abuse and mistreatment. I’ve been doing it since I can remember and now, that little girl is finally over it.

I have triumphed over the emotional scars that you left on me. I’ve spent over a decade in therapy learning to not blame myself for the things you did to me. Learning that it wasn’t ok, and I’ve spent the last 3 years of my life shedding the pounds that I put on to hide myself from a world that I truly believed was full of people like you. For the first time in my life I look in the mirror and I see a happy emotionally and physically healthy me.

A child should never experience the things I did.

  • No child should be molested by a Step Grandparent.
  • No Family should let a child around a Man they KNOW has molested other little girls.
  • No child should have a Grandmother that marries a man she knows is a child molester.
  • No child should be yelled at to a point they feel unloved.
  • No child should be hit with closed fists, or have bruises from being punished.
  • No child be told they were unwanted.
  • No child should feel like they were passed around from “Mother” to “Mother” until some female in the Family wanted to raise them.
  • No child should emotionally scarred because they spilled milk on the floor before a ride to the airport
  • No child should be punished for leaving finger prints on a mirror they touched or scratching a counter with a cookie jar.
  • No child should sit on the porch for hours waiting for their “Real Mom/Aunt” who will never show up to take her where she promised they would go.
  • No child should be verbally abused because they put a hair brush in the wrong place.
  • No child should ever be hit with an object.

No Teenager should ever experience the things I did.

  • No teenager should be asked to sell drugs by their Aunts and Uncles.
  • No teenager should ever be left at home for months while their parents are out-of-state working
  • No teenager should be committed to a mental hospital after being brutally date raped at a party.
  • No teenager should be ignored when they are trying to kill themselves over and over and over.
  • No teenager should be criticized for their weight.
  • No teenager should have to help their druggie Uncle when he shows up at their house bloody and pistol whipped.
  • No teenager should experience Aunts and Uncles that steal syringes from diabetic Aunties that need them for insulin to shoot dope.
  • No teenager should be asked to give up money from their part-time job to pay for their little cousins food and diapers due to emotional obligations dumped on them.
  • No teenager should ever have to worry about what they keep in their room because their Family is full of thieves, drug addicts, and liars.
  • No teenager should be told that if they misbehave their Father will die.

No woman should ever have to deal with the thing I have.

  • No woman should end up living in a tent in her parents backyard while she cleans their house.
  • No woman should be afraid of living in the same state as her family.
  • No woman should have to sink her own family financially to try to save the one that never took care of her.
  • No woman should ever have to deal with her family’s psychotic episodes while she is taking care of her dying Father.
  • No woman should have to apologize for her family’s behavior to her friends and loved ones.
  • No woman should have to say “Well, they were horribly abused too.”
  • No woman should feel like she can’t build her own life or career or take care of her Family because the one she had when she was little needs too much from her.
  • No woman should feel obligated to love people who don’t love her in a healthy manner.
  • No woman should have to give up months and months of her life trying to fix the lives of the very Family that made her’s so hard.
  • No woman should be ignored by a Family that claims to love her for 6 months+ while you all decide to play your broken and damaged games.

I haven’t named you. I haven’t said who you are. Some of you are dead. Some of you aren’t. But as of today, you are all dead to me.

The only blood relative left in my world is my Mother, who I’m still not speaking too after her recent suicide attempt. It’s been months since I have spoken to her, and until a time that she has gotten the help she needs and realizes that what she does is emotionally, verbally, and mentally abusive and discontinues that behavior it will stay that way. It’s a hard decision to make, and for my Mom, I leave a door that she can walk back through if she ever gets her own issues sorted out. But I will no longer participate in her unhealthy behavior nor will I allow it to hold me down, hold me back. I won’t allow her to guilt trip me about it, I won’t allow old feelings of obligation to creep in and change my mind. I won’t give her anymore money to the demise of my own Family, and I won’t hold her hand and help her learn to live again. I had to learn to live on my own because of her lack of parenting skills and her own mental and emotional issues, and I’m perfectly ok standing here today and saying sorry, I’m not going to be your Mother, you’re not very good at being mine.

My Grandparents have all passed away, and my useless Aunts and Uncles have all filled my life with their self inflicting vacancy signs, first by their choice, now by mine.

There is a big part of me that mourns relationships I don’t have with them, or relationships I don’t have with my cousins because of them. But it is not something that I will dote over or let myself get sad and depressed about. It’s not like my cousins and I ever REALLY had the chances to be super close, we were sort of doomed from go because of our parents.

Today I hold my own emotional funeral for the Family I didn’t choose and open the doors to the one I did. I have best friends who are like sisters to me, girlfriends whose parents treat me like I was their own. Friends with families whose children call me Auntie and who are grateful for having me as a part of their life because they see what an amazing person I am and what my Family misses out on.

So from here on out a few times a year I will take a moment to think about this and to mourn the death of my blood family. I’ll probably write a book about you someday, it would be a best seller because I won’t have to make a damn thing up, you gave me enough material to last a lifetime. But I will spend the rest of my life celebrating. Celebrating myself, my life, what I have accomplished and the people who have shared it with me, supported me and loved me.

Goodbye. My Obligation died today.


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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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