I have been back and forth about sharing this. However, I think it is important to share realistic stories and be honest. I’m having a tummy tuck and it’s not just for vanity.
I Am Having a Tummy Tuck
I would be lying if I said I wanted to share this with the world. I don’t really feel like defending myself or my personal choices for MY body, but at the same time, I am all about transparency and documenting our lives and sharing this could help another person in my same position. I am having a tummy tuck this week.
Yes, this week, as in just a few days, I will be basically cut in half and sewn back together and then be in miserable pain for what many think is vanity. Is it vanity? Yeah, sure a bit of it absolutely is. I definitely want to look at my body and love it again. I want my clothing to feel comfortable. I want to wear that bikini that I wear anyway without feeling a little too pudgy. But…
It’s Not Just Vanity
10 years ago when I had my son, I had eclampsia and nearly died, this is not a hyperbole, my family was told to say their goodbyes. My doctor at that time was just a family doctor who I had gone to since I was a kid. I grew up without insurance and I didn’t know that you should really go to an OB to have a baby. My family doctor was ill-prepared to deal with the growing complications and instead just sort of ignored them.
Long story short, during my pregnancy, I gained A LOT of water weight in a very short time. You can look at my ankle above and see how terrible my water weight was and keep in mind that this was at about 31 weeks…I went 40.4 with him and those ankles only got bigger…along with the rest of me. I actually remember the day that I stood up from using the restroom and felt my skin literally tear and watched those stretch marks form on my belly.
My son’s birth was traumatic and at the same time it was the start of some major body issues for me. Having our daughter only amplified those issues. It wasn’t the stretch marks, it was the huge abdominal muscle separation that happened with the water gain causing my muscles to be pushed ever further apart with baby number 2. That muscle separation has lead to horrible back issues I have battled for years.
Pretty much immediately after our daughter was born, the debilitating back pain started, initially it was off and on for about 3 years. Then one summer, my back just gave out. I couldn’t sit, stand, walk, or sleep without my back having this constant pain. I spent 6 weeks going to the doctor, then the physical therapist, massage therapist, acupuncturist and chiropractor in 3-4 hour weekly appointments. When I wasn’t getting treatment, I was downing Advil, heat therapy, tens machines and prescribed pain meds (although I tend to avoid these).
My back is in pain daily, sometimes it causes my piriformis to seize and pinch my sciatic nerve which takes MONTHS to release with the help of medical professionals. I have endured years of physical therapy and last year my doctor mentioned that we might be coming to a point where surgery is an avenue to consider. My physical therapist told me that there is little more they can do for me to help when I have no core muscles able to engage in order to support my back.
I can’t sit on the floor to play with my kids, I cannot vacuum my house without having to take a pain pill, I cannot sit up straight, I cannot walk long periods, I cannot walk around my classroom, I cannot pick up my children, I cannot flip over in bed without pain or without having to use my bed frame and nightstand to help. I often push my body beyond what I am able to handle and I pay for it, for weeks. My kids and family pay for it with me being laid up and in pain. It’s not fair and it is no way to live.
So Surgery It Is
Honestly, I was super elated to hear the doc and PT say that surgery was a hopeful way to fix my issues, help strengthen my back and hopefully bring me back to a place where I can do much more than I currently can. However, we have Kaiser and even with the doctor stating that surgery would be a good option, they will not approve it as it is considered elective.
So I decided to go in for a consult, just to see. I wanted to see if the doctor agreed with my doctors opinion. I wanted to hear what he thought about the chances of my back issues being alleviated were. I told him, I didn’t even care if the skin wasn’t removed or if I didn’t look any different, I just wanted to FEEL better. We scheduled surgery that day. The thought of being able to do everything that I struggle with currently puts a smile on my face. Not having to take a pain reliever or muscle relaxer constantly elates me and most importantly, being able to play with my kids, paint my daughters nails, video game with my son and so much more brings me to tears because I have just missed so much and I want to make it all up.