Monday, August 19, 2013

Low Hangers and Low Spirits

One forgets when one is not blogging, how wonderful getting comments on blog posts feels.  Thank you guys for all your comments about yesterday's post regarding my impending plastic surgery consult.

Now for the results.

First, I decided to see Dr. Nathan Patterson.  Dr. Patterson came to speak at our WLS support group several years ago, and I remember liking him then bc a) he wasn't trying to sell us on his services, b) he was honest about expected results, and c) he was cute.

So Heather and I arrived at the appointment. 

First order of business, they take me back to the changing room, complete with a white fluffy robe, and they hand me my disposable blue panties fashioned from, I am pretty sure, paper towels and string.  On to the picture room and Heather was waiting for me.  Angie (the office coordinator?  Nurse?) set up the official camera, had me drop me little old robe, and started taking pictures of my belly and then my boobs.

At this point we got to feel some implants from a drawer and I probed Angie about her own boobies. 

Off to the exam room.  Angie hooked us up with an iPad so we could watch a little video, took my vitals, and made me weigh in.

Then we awaited the arrival of Dr. Patterson.

And hence he came.

While I was immediately struck by his eye-pleasing qualities, my heart reminded me that it would always belong to my favorite elective procedure surgeon and life saver, Dr. Friedman.  But it doesn't hurt to look ya know.

So Dr. Patterson has my pictures in his lap.  Beautiful little close up pictures of my tummy and boobs taken just minutes before.  He starts with the tummy.  And at first, I am confused because I didn't know if they were pictures of MY stomach or someone else's because they didnt look as bad as I picture my stomach.  They were indeed images of my sag though.  So he explains, in great detail, about how he would do a tummy tuck.

Here are the highlights:

-I keep my belly button
-I will have 2 drains.  One for about a week, the other for around 2 weeks.
-He will put disposable staples under my stomach coming down the middle of my stomach to bring my abs back together (they can come apart after babies or being fat)
-He will lipo a little off the side
-My scar will be above my pubic line
-I will be able to return to work after 2 weeks, but he recommends 3.

We talk about my port.  He said he will talk to Dr. Friedman about replacing my port with a low profile port during the tummy tuck.

We talk more in detail.

We move to the boobies.

Now, although I felt relieved with the pictures of my stomach, I was mortified with the pictures of my boobs.  I reckon this is because I have seen my stomach in many photographs (I wear a bikini for goodness sakes), but I have never seen my saggy boobs in a 8 x 10 picture.  They were/are horrible. 

Here are the highlights:

-I would need a lift and implants
-The implant would be put in under my fold in my boob
-I would have a keyhole incision around my nipple and down my boob (from the lift)
-He recommended not going too big, somewhere around 275-300cc's.  This made me happy.
-I would be getting silicon.  Not saline
-The implant would be under my muscle

He demonstrated how durable the implants are (Heather is worried I will pop one during a mud race).  No worries he said.

He answered more of our questions.  He really was amazing.  He sold Heather...and she is a hard sell.

He said in a perfect world where time and money were not an issue, he would recommend 2 surgeries.  One would be the tummy tuck and a lift, and the other would be placing the implants.  But he said that because I am young and healthy, we could do it all at once.

So when we finish up with Dr. Patterson, we go to the room to wait for the different write ups for how much this will cost us.

I had imagined somewhere around $10k-$12k for everything.

Well it turns out that everything will run me $22k.

I just stared at the girl and smiled and tried to NOT cry and not let her see my heartbreak.

She left the room.  I cried.  But just a little.  While she was gone Heather told me we could make it work.  We could borrow from our retirement, I could use her credit cards.  If I wanted it, she would make it happen.

But I am so torn now.

On one hand, that is more than my brand new car.  And it's all for vanities sake.
On the other hand, money is money and like Heather said, we will spend it one way or the other.

On one hand, I feel selfish for making Heather spend her money to fix a body that I ruined.
On the other hand, it would mean so much to me.

This is why I didnt want to go to the consult.  I was afraid this would happen.  For it to seem so close, yet so far away.

I got home and took off my clothes and stood in front of the mirror.  I lifted my saggy little girls up.  I touched my stomach. I pulled it back, lifted it up.  I bent over and watched how everything stretched and sagged. 

And then I sat on the bed and cried.

I should just be able to love myself.  If I could accept myself for what I am, I could save tens of thousands of dollars.  That money could be used for our wedding...if it is ever legal.  It could buy us a boat.  It could pay student loans.

But I don't know if I can.

I don't know if I can ever not loathe these parts of my body.

So I am undecided.  And confused.  And stressed.

And we are juicing for 7 days.  Did I mention that?  And this is day one.  SO I CAN"T EVEN DRINK!  OR EAT COOKIES!

Damn the world.



  1. Awww, it's a tough decision. It's why I never even think about ps because I know I can't afford it.
    Think about it, do a pro/con list and make a decision that's right for you both. Heather's right, you will spend the money on something and you are a good investment.

  2. It is only money. You are worth it.

  3. OMG, I could have written this. Wait, I did.
    UGH UGH UGH! I had my consult back in May and I'm STILL all torn up over what to do. I'm currently at a stand-still and trying to love the Skin I'm In...

    Hugs and more hugs. I still think the day I visited Plastic Surgeon A (because I think someday there might be a B or a C down the road) will go down in my book as one of the worst days ever. I thought I was prepared but now I realize my ego was much to fragile for this. I have since come to realize that a PS is looking for results. Whereas I went in thinking "okay, this and this need fixing" and then his reality of this, this, AND this need fixing...well, that I wasn't ready to hear yet. Anyway, I'm sure after some soul-searching you will do what is right for you. And please do post about it, because YOU are NOT alone!!

  4. Okay, so I struggle with the financial cost of plastic surgery as well-I think about it all the time and I'm probably still 6 months from goal. Since you are comfortable in a bikini, and weren't mortified by the photos of your stomach, have you considered just having the breast lift and implants? That would significantly cut the cost (probably close to half).

    Also...non-WLS related, it made me so sad when you said IF your marriage is ever legal. It will be! Currently 1/3 of the US has legalized same-sex marriage, it's just a matter of time :)

  5. I agree with what Hollee said... could you do just the boobies?

  6. I think you should do it. You have busted ass to get here so take this step! I agree with Vanessa - its only money and you are worth it!!!

  7. I hear you, hun. I'm still paying my surgery (TT, arm lift, and breast reduction/lift) off.

    But I will say that every time I make a payment I remember how much better I feel naked and it makes it worth it again.

  8. Hi Amy, I am so jealous of your impending PS. I know it will all work out for you.
    Did you hear about Dr. Friedman, I feel so bad for him and his family. If not you should call Jennifer at his office she will fill you in on his progress. Take care .

  9. Amy,
    I hear you on the boobs and tummy. My boobs are like yours and always have been floppy (I don't remember perky). I would love a boob job. My stomach is wrecked, too, but for me I care more about the boobs. With the cost, perhaps focus just on the breast work? Like the lady above said, it'd be a lot cheaper and you'd get a lot of satisfaction out of it. And since you already look great in a bikini, the stomach may be something you can live with and be okay with.
    Finally, so glad to see you post again... I've missed your blog. Oh, and my fingers are crossed that soon you'll be able to get legally married..!

  10. I'll be waiting patiently to hear what you decide. I'm too chicken shit to have surgery, but then again...I'm too chicken shit to get to my goal, so what good would it do me anyway?! Keep your chin up and do what's right for you.

  11. Amy, I had exactly what you are recommended done. I went to one of the best surgeons in Texas, and I paid $6,000 less than your quote.
    this is NOT something you want to go to the lowest quote for, but it doesn't hurt to look around. Some Dr's do free consults (mine did and he knew I wasn't planning surgery for another 6 months when I went the first time).
    I'm SUPER PLEASED with my results and it is worth every penny of it!! I had the guilt of what that money could have gone to, but I feel so much better about myself after surgery. I could have NEVER gotten passed the way I looked without it.
    good luck with your choice! you've worked hard, you deserve it!!

  12. I took the plunge, but even though I didn't have the cash at the time, I knew I would have it within 6 months and could deal with the interest that would accumulate during that time. Debt with no plan how to pay it off just wouldn't be an option for me because I would be too obsessive. That said, it was totally worth it for me and I would do it again.

    Could you start putting away payments each month and then when you have 1/2, finance (or put on a credit card) the other 1/2?

    Whatever you decide to do, it is awesome that you have Heather's support!!

  13. I had a tummy tuck in March...didn't need boobs, was still in a DD and could deal with the saggy part. I am still paying for the tummy tuck and have not regretted it for a second. The recovery from a tummy tuck is no walk in the park, but again, I haven't regretted it once.

  14. My hubby and I have been having a very similar discussion and he is saying the same things as Heather. He loves my body just as it is, but what he wants more than anything in the whole world is for me to feel good about me. It is okay to spend the money on yourself. You have earned a beautiful body. Let Heather help you pay for it. It is just money. You can make more to do all the other things you want to have and/or do, including the wedding that you WILL have. I disagree with the ladies saying to just do the boobs. Do it all. Get it over with. Put the shit you've put your body through behind you. It's okay to hate parts of your body and it is okay to let a beautiful surgeon help you fix the things that your hard work can't fix.

  15. Dooooo eeeeet!!! Seriously, you will be SO much happier and that will be worth it. You deserve it Amy!

  16. I have read your blog for years and I have loved your candor and the fact that I can see myself in what you have to say. It has taken me a long time to learn that I am worth the effort to LIVE rather than just get by. So I am forced to ask you this question:

    If YOU haven't earned the right to love yourself, ALL of yourself,then who has?

    As fat people we have judged our own bodies and had our bodies judged by others; years of effort, sweat, and the will power to try have gotten you this far. Money should not stop you from being able to look at YOUR naked body and finally love it the way you have always deserved. You EARNED this chance, you have done what so many cannot do; you tried, and when you slipped you tried again.

    Save some money, as much as you can, and do it. Your body should be YOUR body, not a stranger's.

  17. SHOP AROUND!!!!
    I did a full low body & boob lift (but no implants). I got quotes that ranged from about $16k to nearly $50k. Seriously.
    Don't just fall in love with a pretty face. Shop around.
    Does the doc operate in a hospital or is his office?


  18. just do the boobs. you can wear a bikini already, cant get much better than that. let the little you do have on your stomach be a reminder of how far youve came.

  19. Amy, You know what I find so inspiring about you? You are a fighter, no matter the situation. You may cry, pout or get angry but over time you fight through it! You have come so far in all areas of your life and you will come through on this one. I understand the questions of "should I spend the money on myself?" I have 4 kids and at the time that I had my PS they were younger. Money that could have been saved for college! But thankfully I have a wonderful family who supported my needs and knew that if I didn't do this, I would not be the best me I could be!Heather has been totally amazing through all of this, trust her and trust yourself! YOU ARE WORTH IT!!

  20. As you know, I had my TT done almost three years ago now... crazy! My boobies are getting sadder and sadder, but fiancé is encouraging me to wait till post-babies to get those done. But I totally understand how you are feeling, and have to tell you, having my new stomach has made a huge diff in how I feel, look, etc. Your tummy is way less extreme than mine was, but it's about how you feel. I think it's beautiful that Heather wants to help you.


  21. do what feels right. i did my arms and boobs at the same time. not ready for tummy yet but will. i did not get implants.

    miss you... congrats on the engagement. i agree with the other woman, heather... i live in florida. i was born god i will get married here. 3-4 years. and it will be all ours.

    xoxo, heidi

  22. I read this post awhile ago and have since seen my lap band surgeon and talked to him about skin removal down the road. *If* I have lost more than 100lbs and *If* I have a 6 month documented history of addressing my concerns with my extra skin with a physician (bariatric, primary MD, ladys parts MD, etc) my insurance will cover the cost of the tummy tuck. I discussed this in more detail with his nurse and she said that that was the requirements for the stricter insurances and Medicare but other insurances require even less weight loss or documentation. I don't have any actual medical issues with my extra skin right now which I mentioned and she made it seem like it was more about the fact that your addressing it/discussing concerns with it to the doctor but did say getting a prescription cream for any irritation under the skin would certainly help my case. I asked about getting the girls lifted and she said sadly that is something most insurances still won't cover but I figured if insurance pays for the tummy tuck and associated surgical costs I could spring for the boobs on my own. A lot like the people who's insurance won't pay for the lap band but will pay for the hernia surgey...

  23. I agree with a few others... in getting more opinions. Maybe call around and see if anyone else does free consults. Honestly the 22K does sound pretty high. In January 11', i had my consult for my TT. I didn't have the wonderful support you have from Heather... My husband said: you don't need that and it's a waste of money. I was devastated. But my PS looked at him and said... even if your wife lives at the gym she will never loose this extra skin. The past 2 c-sections, gallbladder, hysterectomy have not been good too her and she has a lot of scar tissue. But under all this is great muscle. I went back and forth to do it or not... and finally i thought... I didn't bust my ass at the gym 5 days a week and watch every damn thing i put in my mouth to live being unhappy with this body. Husband said, if you want this you have to pay for it... so i went to my local back for a personal loan, but my wonderful friend Paula said... i can get you a 0% Slate card from Chase for 15months. I said....Sign me up. Got the card, paid for the TT ($8800) and today i am so happy that i did. I feel great, super confident and super sexy. So every Sunday i clean my office building and do it with a smile... because it's paying for my TT..

  24. totally random...i've recently lost 65 lbs and i hope to loose another 15lbs.
    and my boobs are COMPLETELY deflated.
    i went from a 38 DD (probably more than that)
    to like a 34D (i really don't think i'm still a D).
    and my boobs hold like LITTLE fullness and it's so frustrating...i've busted my butt (as have you) to get to where we are and now we're stuck with things that make us self conscious. UGH....blahhh.
    totally random.