So...another reason I haven't been writing much is that I have had something on my mind that I haven't been able to talk about until now. I had an appointment with a plastic surgeon this afternoon to discuss putting some of myself back together after the damage from my prolonged bout of obesity. Here is the backstory:
While I don't judge plastic surgery at all, I never thought it would be for me. I left the door open and never said "never", but I just kind of assumed I wouldn't ever ACTUALLY do it. But lately, I have had a lot of frustrations with my body.
- Physically - my skin actually gets irritated and rashy from where there is skin on skin where there shouldn't be.
- Mentally - working my butt off at the gym and knowing that there are things that will not be fixed no matter how hard I work out...it gets old to not get to see the fruits of my labor.
Well, almost anymore, anyway. Whenever there is a picture of my arms or when I look at myself naked in the mirror, I feel ashamed. Should I feel that way? Probably not. Can I wish away the feeling? Probably not.
I decided that it was time to see a surgeon just to discuss my options. I have had small breasts all my life, and I never really thought I wanted implants. But one of the pros of having a small chest is perkier boobs, right? Yeah, not here. My itty bitty bumps still manage to hang to my belly. I compare them to ping pong balls in a stocking. Not hot. In addition to considering a breast lift, I was interested in discussing an arm lift. I didn't know what could be done, but I figured it didn't hurt to ask.
Y'all know me. I have done my research and I felt confident I had most of the information I needed to ask the right questions. My priorities (in this order) were:
- What can be done?
- How much does it cost?
- What is the recovery?
First, I met with the nurse who was nice as could be. She said that usually weight loss patients start with the tummy but since I have not 100% ruled out having kids, we agreed that should wait. I also feel that I can hide my leg issues for the most part so if I were to do anything with them, it would be down the road. I wanted to focus on upper body.
I explained my skin issues and how I wanted to get rid of the irritation and rashing. I explained how I wanted perky but not big breasts. And I expressed my desire to fix my arms. She explained that while all kinds of breast surgeries are very popular, arm surgery is not. She said that people often decide against it when weighing the cost/benefit. Anyway, we went through several questions and she was just delightful!
Then the doctor came in and I ADORE him. He talked, talked, talked and asked questions and I really felt he wanted to do what is right for ME. While I was still fully clothed, he went over everything I thought I might want and what he thought he could do. As we discussed my Lap Band, he said, you know, everyone always tells you what you are doing wrong, but I want to tell you what you are doing right...making the decision to have surgery and lose the weight had to be hard, but you have added quality years to your life and you should be commended. He did not have to say that and I thought it was very nice!
Then he had me stand up and he took his first look at my unclothed arms. I think he might have actually squealed. Ha! His face just lit up and he said that this is another thing I had done right. By working out extensively, I have built up the muscle mass in my arms so it is completely separate from the loose/hanging tissue. He said that I'm a perfect candidate for this surgery and he already knows that he wants me for a website example. Ha! That made my day!!
Then onto the chestal area... (Yes, I'm 12. I actually giggled when I held the implant samples.) Anyway, he said that the excessive weight loss had created this excess space on top of my breasts so a lift alone wouldn't be effective. Nor could it be fixed by implants alone. He put me in a bra contraption that simulated each look. Not great. He said that in order to "fix" the damage, he would need to do both. I knew from my research that it was a possibility. He told me he was going to have me try on two sizes.
I tried on the first ones and gasped. My chest was HUGE!! He giggled a little and said that they were the small ones...full B/small C. He said that even thought I wear a B cup bra, I'm actually barely an A in one and not even an A in the other. Wowza. I knew I was small, but DANG! He had me put in the full C cup and I laughed out loud. I felt like a porn star. Not can do, brotha. Small C is is. I was asked whether I wanted saline or silicone. He recommended saline because it would work better with my shape (or lack thereof) and help fill out the broken down tissue. Who knew?
Anyway, he had me try on a tank top with the implants and you guys...I almost had tears in my eyes. And that was still with my ugly arms. I told him that I had convinced myself that this was all for shallow vanity...and quite honestly I had come to terms with that. But he said that wasn't the case. That he sees people that come in that want something from him that he can't give, but what I want is true restoration. Even thought I was already fine with what I wanted to do, it made me feel even better about it.
He said that I will have anchor shaped scars under each breast from the lollipop lift. And I will have a scar down the underside of each arm. He said that many times he steers people away from the arm lift because of the scars, but you would have to be up close to see them after the fade. Right now, my loose tissue is visible from very far away. It is a good trade!
After all of that, I was supposed to talk to the nurse about cost, but she got delayed, so I talked to the Doctor about recovery. He said that he felt with my age, fitness, & body, that I could have the surgery on Tuesday or Wednesday and be back to work in a limited capacity (I have a desk job) on Monday.
You know my next question was about working out, right? He said that I could get back into leisurely walking after a week, brisk walking and leg exercises after two weeks, and back to full work outs in a month. I will probably plan for 6 weeks...longer for CrossFit.
Then it was time for cost. I had a number in my head and his number for both procedures was slightly higher than my hope, but right at my expectation. But I want this guy to do my surgery. I don't need to price it out because I'm willing to pay extra for a doctor I like this much!
My final question was about timing. I told him that I have scheduled a trip of a lifetime at the end of July and asked if I should wait to schedule this until the after. He looked at me and asked why I would want to do that. Good point! I think it that moment, I knew. I just had to work it all out in my head. I will have to give up a few things for a while to pay for it, but if this isn't worth, I don't know what is!
I mean this is the year I LIVE, right? So why wait? I want to shed this last remnant of Fat Beth Ann and concentrate on Fit Beth Ann. It is time!