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.
Sunday 10th of July 2022
Can I get the name of your surgeon?
Thursday 14th of July 2022
I will email you
Monday 11th of April 2022
I found this doing research for exactly what you’re describing. Thank you for the encouragement!
Sunday 5th of September 2021
I am about to have an extended Tummy Tuck on September 21! I am excited and terrified at the same time. My husband is taking time off to be home with me for the first 2 weeks. I have had 2 hip replacements and I know it isn’t the same, I am prepared for the pain. Kinda. I was in massive pain before those surgeries and immediately felt relief. Any advice?
Monday 13th of September 2021
Hey! Congrats! Make sure to set alarms to take your meds and NOT miss them. I had experal and if your doctor offers it, take it, worth every single penny. Get a walker, move around regularly and drink lots of water.
Monday 18th of January 2021
Hi! I came across your story on Pinterest. I’m curious if insurance paid for it? I have the same issues. Have major back pain. Have had 3 c sections, and 4 other abdominal surgeries for my Crohn’s disease. So needless to say my core strength is non existent and I’m sure that’s why my back is in constant pain. I hope that it’s helped you to live a better life. Look forward to find out more. Thank you! Melissa
Monday 18th of January 2021
I have Kaiser which pays for nothing, basically ever. The would have likely paid for the actual muscle repair but would have left all of the skin and it would have just made things worse, so I went with the top cosmetic surgeon in the state of Colorado and paid for it. I spent 5 years trying to get medical help via Kaiser to really no avail other than being told "this is surgical, but we wont remove the skin". My back is a million times better and honestly I wouldn't change a thing, I am a new person. I feel so much better, I am not in pain, I am not taking pain meds, I am an active parent, I am happier and healthier than ever and it was exactly what I needed. I put it on carecredit and my surgeon had an 18 month 0 interest program with carecredit so I will have it paid in full this year.
Monday 10th of August 2020
I just read your story because I have been toying back and forth with a tummy tuck for years now and I have been afraid of the pain and afraid that everyone would say I was fake and couldn’t cut it in the gym but I wanted to love me again. After reading your story I realized that you are me! I have been in pain daily with my back since I had my daughter that is now 16. I never associated any of my back pain to my core muscles because when I work out my core hurts so bad I cry. I clean my house and I have to take a pain pill. I work for long hours and the same thing! I am now considering a tummy tuck due to alleviating my back pain not just to be in love with me again! Your blog may have gave me so much more than a flat tummy but a better way of life.... pain free!!
Tuesday 11th of August 2020
Jessica! I am so happy you are sharing your story! I am 3 weeks post op and not ready to jump into full house cleaning mode, but I can tell you that the back pain that I had is NOTHING anymore. I dont feel it, I am not taking pain medication or anything. I feel amazing! DO IT. Your body, no one else's