This is long about Candy’s visit for a plastic’s consult, kinda boring and WAY too much info. You’re warned. LOL!
How can you dread and look forward to a day at the same time? So, today I headed out for a plastics consultation. After losing 220+ pounds, there’s absolutely no way that I can live with all this skin. It’s bad. It breaks down, I need creams and powders all the time. My back is pinched when I roll over in bed. My butt get pinched when I sit down. My drooping arms rub against my armpit area. Clothing doesn’t fit right.
The worst is my stomach though – the vast majority of my weight was in my stomach and it’s like a big deflated balloon. The second worse is my breasts. They’ve lost so much volume that they get sore from being folded up into a bra. It’s seriously uncomfortable. Living in this body sucks. Not as much as it did 2 years ago, but it comes with it’s own set of problems.
So… I finally got up enough nerve to visit with a plastic surgeon. I was so nervous. The idea of standing naked in front of someone while they tell me all the crap that is wrong with me really just wasn’t all that appealing. When you grow up with someone telling you what’s wrong with you and pointing out your flaws and calling you names, it’s really tough to invite that type of thing.
From two friends, I got a referral to Dr. Mahlon Kerr at Synergy Plastic Surgery. Did I mention I was nervous? LOL! Dr. Kerr was so sweet and so personable. We headed to his office where he laid out what procedures were available and what he typically did for bariatric patients (I hate that word “bariatric”, by the way, but that’s the correct term LOL). I’m sure this was kind of a warm up before he told me to strip naked, but it gave me a chance to take a good breath because I honestly thought I was going to throw up.
Most doctors are amazed by the sheer amount of weight that I’ve lost from my weight loss surgery and that I’m a normal weight now when I started out at “super morbidly obese” (another phrase I hate LOL) and Dr. Kerr was not different. I guess most folks that start out as large as me aren’t as successful. I attribute that to the mental health help I’ve had as well as my own stubbornness to never give up.
Anyway… so off we went to the exam room, told me to leave on my undies and put on a robe. I didn’t puke, but was close (dude, I gave BIRTH with a whole room full of people, but this was unnerving). So he sits down, I’m looking over his shoulder in the mirror and he opens the robe and all of a sudden all was right with the world and I wasn’t as nervous. LOL. So, yeah. The first thing he said is “That’s an impressive amount of skin”. *laughing* Um… thanks? The vast majority of my weight was in my stomach so while my thighs fared pretty well and my arms aren’t horrendous, my stomach… yeah.
So… he basically squished and pulled and showed me kind of what he thought he would like to do… so here’s the run down (oh, and the prices I got from his assistant after – I really really need to find a rich dead relative that left me some cash – ouch!)
Trunk Plasty (I was surprised, but he said my back really isn’t that bad and because my upper abdomen was so large and has so much skin, he wants to do that instead of all the way around so that he can remove a good deal of the upper skin. He figures he will remove about 6-9″ ACROSS. I think that’s crazy, but he’s right. If you pull and stretch it… yup. All told, I’m looking at about 10 pounds of skin and fat from my stomach that would probably be taken away with his little scalpel. Cost? $11k (get out your calculators, my friends LOL). Unfortunately, he probably couldn’t totally clear up the girl parts that have issues because of the skin issues I mention below, so that would be a separate surgery (same with my butt if I decided to have it done). Sigh. Although, with any luck, the stomach work would make it liveable. (Told you I was over-sharing, but I know a lot of folks wanted to hear the down and dirty, so…)
So, they would do the stomach first and it would be over 3 (or 4) operations at least 6 weeks apart. Because my skin is so stretched out and thin, he doesn’t want to do too much at a time… so next up…
Boobs and Thigh lift. I think I could actually go without the thigh lift so I might would see if he could do the breasts and arms and be done with it. The breasts would be a reconstruction and implants. There’s simply nothing left there except for skin. Yay! I would have boobs again. Those together are 1 operation. Cost? $13k (If I ditch the thigh lift, I’d probably be looking at $7-9k or so?)
Next up, cutting off of the arm flappers, the bat wings, the weird chicken skin hanging from my upper arms… or, I guess if you want to use the correct word… Brachioplasty. This is a separate surgery, of course and I guess we could combine other stuff. I dunno. Cost? $6k.
So, yeah. Total will be around $30k to fix this mess of a body. Obviously, I cannot afford to do it all at once (heck, I hope to do it at all at this point). The insurance will only cover part of the stomach (probably about $1k – whoopee!). I knew this going in and I figured it would end up, all told $30-$40k, so I was right in there with it. The costs do vary from person to person, so if you’re reading this trying to figure out how much it would cost YOU, it might not be for you. I’m sure there’s different prices for different grades of issues and depending on how much time it takes him, etc etc.
So… this Summer, I’m likely having a double lumbar fusion in my back unless the pain miraculously goes away. At least I know about it.
The plastics guy wants my weight to be stable for 4-6 months (so far, it’s just been one month).
So… it’s looking like NEXT Summer I can start working on the plastic surgery thing. I really want to be sure Tom is home because recovery is… well… sucky… for plastic surgery.
I did ask him about my weight and what he thought. He said that I’m at the top of my BMI (around 150-155 is where I’ve been staying lately) and that he would probably remove 10 pounds himself, so he doesn’t think I should lose too much more, 5 or 10 pounds, tops. So, yeah. I’m done. I’ve started adding back in calories and working on how my life in maintenance is going to be. I still want to SEE 150 on the scale, but I’d rather float down very slowly and work on figuring out what my daily caloric goals are. I’m 38 and I’ve had 2 kids, I’ll never see 120 on the scale (and frankly that would be too skinny for me I think).
So, I got what I needed from this visit, figured out where I am and what he thinks he can do. I was really surprised that he didn’t want to do the full body lift, but very relieved.
So… now… I gotta find that rich relative or take out one hell of a big loan. Or sell a kidney. Or sell Tom’s kidney. Heh.
… and, yes, if I do ever see 150 on the scale, I’ll be posting a big old party post But seriously… I’ve done really well and I’m calling this as “done” at this point.