Monday – 12 Days Post Op.

Today I am feeling better than I thought I would be. Yes I am sore still but that soreness is becoming less and less. There is some pressure in the middle of my tummy that I am wondering about? Perhaps a seroma or perhaps something else. Anyway I am going to mention it to the nurse when I see them today.

All of my positive vibes and happy feelings seem to be pouring into healing at the moment and I am tending to find it a little bit of a challenge to write to you all. Not because I have nothing to say, but because I don’t just want to spew forth a whole jumble of unhelpful paragraphs that show the extent to which I have been affected by this surgery. I have however, been very affected.

I find myself jolting awake in the middle of the night with that feeling like I need to fight away the feeling of floating off. I find myself seeing my blood soaked nighty in the bin and the bin overflowing with other blood soaked items. Their presence in the bin and in my room made my experience all the more real. Perhaps I didn’t really pass out in the hospital, perhaps I didn’t really fall to the floor, perhaps my blood wasn’t really everywhere and perhaps my nightgown wasn’t really a blood soaked mess that couldn’t be saved? But unfortunately that is exactly what it was. I try not to let my mind repeat these things on a loop but it is and interrupting that loop is hard. I do it, daily I force myself to think about the wonderful things, but my brain keeps going back there, trying to make sense of it and forcing me to relive it.

I guess it is safe to say that my PTSD has come back again. We met before, a long time ago. I don’t talk about that time in my life but suffice it to say that I walked through it changed profoundly, and forever. I didn’t want to define myself in that way again but at the moment it fits. At the moment I have to avoid stressful situations, at the moment I have to focus on happy things. At the moment I can’t watch the news. At the moment some questions trigger really black thoughts and I know that I am fighting much harder than I should be to keep my mind positive. At the moment I guess I am fragile. I hate admitting that but it is the honest truth of the matter. So I am doing the be kind to myself thing.

I will write more after my appointment with the nurse this afternoon.

Lots of love Tash

Friends

Oh my goodness – my friends have literally been the saviour of my sanity over the past few days. I am feeling a lot better. Coffee and hugs and flowers and just thoughtful beautiful people make my life so much richer!! Oh I love them! I am 9 days post op and I am starting to feel a whole hell of a lot stronger. I can see the light that is at the end of the tunnel and I know that I am no longer going into it! The drains came out yesterday afternoon at my appointment at my surgeons rooms. My wounds look brilliant and I am healing beautifully. These things are huge. They are huge because I have had a hard time healing in the past and I did not want to end up in a bad way due to poor healing. I continue to drink Tasteless Collagen Protein powder and I can say that all of my wounds are closed and even my bruising is going away! That is fairly shocking to me but there it is – aaaaaaaaaaaaaand now for the pictures and a little video that I did earlier because I tend to find that by afternoon I am feeling a little tired. Have a beautiful weekend everyone!

Love Tash xx

Day 7 Post Op

So today is day 7. I have had a long hard kind of today today. I feel overwhelmed and sore. My body aches from being in the same position for long stretches of time and my back hurts from maintaining the hunched over position that is required to not put strain on the muscle repair that was done inside my tummy.

Over the past few days I have been trying to come to terms with what happened to me last week. This time last week I was fighting for my life. I was bleeding internally and I would head back to surgery to repair the bleed. I think rather than trying to go into too much I will just post the link to my youtube video because it all feels a little overwhelming at the moment. Just grateful to be alive. So very grateful.

Tomorrow is the day that I get to go to the surgeons rooms and they will change the dressings. So tomorrow I will post a little bit of a photographic timeline for you all!

Hospital

My hospital admission quickly became something that I NEVER expected it to be. I went in on Wednesday for a bi-lateral Breast Reduction and an Tummy Tuck after my big weight loss. I went into surgery fully aware of the risks because of my former size!! I was first surgery of the day and was safely back on the ward by 11:30 am. It wasn’t long before things went pear shaped and I had one episode of fainting and then 2 hours later another one – while trying to go to the toilet. I woke up surrounded by a team of nurses – my head had been caught in the fall because I was not getting up unaccompanied, but my newly operated on body was crumpled on the floor. From this point things got very scary and the ICU team were called. Things culminated in me going back to theatre at 1am Thursday morning to try and locate the source of my internal bleeding and I am so very thankful that I have been put back to right and was able to leave the ICU for the main ward at 1 on Friday.

I want to thank every person that has donated blood because without your kindness we would have had a very different outcome in my story. I required a lot of blood and every time I said a silent prayer of thanks that I was in a hospital, in a county where this was possible. I have been so well taken care of and I will never be able to speak highly enough of the incredible team of doctors and nurses that cared and continue to care for me at SJOG Geelong. The one nurse who stayed with me the entire episode until I was with the ICU team and safely able to be moved into ICU made the world of difference. I begged her not to leave me and she didn’t. I was so frightened!

I am incredibly grateful for my family, to my Dad who answered the ICU Head doctors call at 12:30am when no one else was answering. To my Aramis for being the one to pick up his phone in the middle of the night and woke his Dad so that the head of ICU could speak with him. For Steve who made it to the hospital just in time to hug me before my second surgery. For all of the prayers that were prayed for me – my Mum, Dad, Siblings and families and my aunts and uncles and cousins – thank you and I love you more than I have words to express.

♥️In it all – I would have been totally Lost without my faith in Jesus ♥️

Now I am just hoping I am allowed to shower today!!!

Flappage Be Gone

Tomorrow is the day! Oh my word – the nerves abound. I feel anxious in ways that I didn’t think were possible. My ole mate, the wibbly wobbly excess tummy skin is about to be removed AND my breasts shall be gravity defying chin pillows! I am quietly hopeful, expectant, excited and ready for the next step.

This moment has been 16 months in the making, but honestly it has been coming for years. I actually wondered if I would ever get to this point. When I was finding it impossible to curb my bad eating habits I wondered if I would even live to see my 40’s – and yet here we are! I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to have had weight loss surgery. I am grateful to my husband, children, extended family, friends, church family, school community and the the Gastric Sleeve and Bypass Support Australia page on facebook for the encouragement, love and kindness that I have been shown on the journey.

I am also grateful for the negative parts of my journey, I am thankful for the struggles because they have taught me lessons that I will never forget and that I am a kinder, less judgemental, more compassionate and humble person for having experienced. It has not been easy, and the price paid has been steep – but the comeback is going to be outstanding.

New Body Loading in 3, 2, 1 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Sleepless in Highton

I am sleepless once again!!! All I want to do is fall blissfully into unconsciousness but right now I am up to my eyeballs in thoughts about how the next few weeks will be panning out 😳 my thoughts are as follows .

1. I hate this bloody binder! The stupid surgical torture device is highly overrated and I won’t ever be convinced otherwise!

2. I wish the dog would sleep a bit more quietly !! It seems as restless tonight as I am. What the hell is it doing to its bed 😳

3. I am suddenly and inexplicably hungry! Why is that 🤔🤔 – is there fruit cheese? Can I realistically sneak out to the kitchen to eat fruit cheese in the middle of the night? Meh that seems like a lot of effort and bed is warm!

4. I am scared of the pain after surgery 😳😳😳

5. I am going to look fabulous and everyone that ever doubted me can go suck on it! Oh yeah… ahhh huhhhhhh (insert weird celebratory dance)

6. Scratch 5 – that’s actually mean and I’m not mean…………

7. Actually Reinstate 5 because I am just a little bit mean 😏🤣

8. Omg the Facebook Page that I help to run is inspiring and amazing and I can’t wait to see the direction things start to go in the months ahead!

9. Return to 1 and continue this loop mindlessly for a few hours 🤣🤣

So while I continue my mindless loop I give you picture of the INCREDIBLE pack I got from BN!!! I have actual bariatric Vitamins!!! I am not going to lie – I’m so fricken excited. The problems that I have had with being deficient in certain things have totally been getting me down and it was a huge concern for me going forward!!! Now I have a tiny spark of hope that things might get better!! Oh AND the drink bottle has cute little phrases written on it so I sorta feel like it’s cheering for me !!! and yes it feels good to have a cheer squad ….. even if it is my drink bottle 🤣… ♥️ Thanks BN 💞♥️💞

And here is one of me – being a lady – in a dress 😳😱

Before Surgery Photos

We all do it don’t we? Accentuate our positives and downplay the negatives? I know how to dress, I can rock the tiny little jeans, cute jackets and pretty shirts! I can paint my face with the best of them and look pretty good! Hey, I’m 42 (why is Taylor Swift’s 22 going round in my head LOL) and I think that its not all bad news …… or is it!

Last night, in preparation for my surgery, we did my pre op pics. The kind where you stand in all of your naked glory and just let the camera do the rest. I have already done these in the doctors office! (the poor man and his poor nurse)Sooooooooooooo can I just say OH MY FRICKEN GOSH, I am actually not feeling 100% okay today. This was confronting. I am 100% body loving. I think that there is nothing more aesthetically glorious than the human form – in all of its variations BUT apparently I feel this way about everyone else, and not myself! I think big, little, short, tall, slight and voluptuous forms are so intoxicatingly beautiful. People are beautiful – but me ….. weeeeellllllllllllll perhaps not so much! Clearly I know that this isn’t true and I am, once again, confronted with just how deep some of the wounds from my past run. I thought that I was fine with everything, but it turns out that Shrek was right! I am an onion – I have layers – and I found some old layers last night that have left me feeling more fragile than I was expecting to be today.

Please don’t get me wrong – I feel privileged to have had WLS and to have had such fantastic success BUT there is a line – or at least in my mind there was a line. I have a skin curtain and my mons is just really really disfigured from all of this weight loss. I have always kind of disassociated myself from that area of my body. Yes I have 5 kids and yes I have had a pretty great sex life for a long time with the same man BUT I do have a blockage in being able to accept the lower half of my body. So today I have started to panic about how I will look after surgery and what I can expect. I don’t want to have unrealistic expectations but I don’t want to wake up and be disappointed either. I am also having some questions about my breasts – particularly the side boob area. Will that be dealt with. What can I expect. So I am going to fire off an email to my surgeon. I am going to articulate all of my concerns to him and I am going to hope that between the two of them (yes I have two surgeons) that they can perform a miracle because I need one! I will post the pics that I took but I can’t do it today. I need some time to process my feelings around them a little more before I do.

All The Tears

Today is one of those teary kind of days. I have woken up feeling anxious. Thankfully these days are few and far between these days but it doesn’t make things any easier when anxious days take place. I know that I am worried about next week! Surgery is a big deal and I just want it to all be okay. So my eyes are leaking and I can’t seem to make it stop – oh well, I guess we all need a cry from time to time? I am usually little miss sunshine! But today I don’t feel like little miss sunshine – I feel like little miss rain cloud 😳

Even saying that I feel like little miss rain cloud conjures up thoughts of Winnie the Pooh…… Perhaps I am probably not really a little black rain cloud because I can’t help but smile. So I have put on my brightest Mustard Yellow top, and not only am I the same colour as Winnie the Pooh, I am also determined to have a good Day today in spite of the anxiety that I am feeling right now. I am determined that I can do today! It may not be brilliant, I may not have my finest moments in life today BUT I won’t just hide away and wallow in a pit of my own making.

Have a great day amazing people! It is FriYAY!!

R U OK?

Good Afternoon awesome folks. It’s R U Okay Day in Australia as I am sure many of us are aware, and I wanted to take a moment out to ask that question, and also to let you know a bit of the mental health journey that I have gone on as a result of the changes that have happened in my life.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I became big because eating was my way of coping. There were things that happened in my life as a child and as a teen that I was not able to understand, process or cope with and the easiest thing to do when I felt sad, afraid, alone and hurt was to eat. And eat I did! It wasn’t so bad when I was young – I used to try to tell myself that I was just like other kids but I was 60 kilos by the time I was 10 years old. Over the years that rolled out in front of me, my weight swung wildly as I tried to come to grips with dieting. By the time I was 19 years old I was 125 kilos, angry and packed full of self hatred.

I feel so very sad for the me of my 20ies and 30ies. I was trying to be a young mum, a good wife and a perfect daughter and sister but I never felt good enough, I never felt good at all. Those feelings of inadequacy and self loathing that started as a little girl followed me around, packed into every excess kilo that clung to my body. I hope that this is relatable to someone because I can still feel that – I wore my excess like armour – I hid my soft heart and my hurts behind my funny big girl persona and it fooled most people. I tried so many different things, so many ways to not be fat anymore.

It wasn’t until I started to come to terms with the sad things in my past, stopped loathing myself and feeling unworthy of love and acceptance, that I made any real progress towards changing my life. I saw the psychologist, I got help, I knew that I needed to change and do things differently because if I didn’t, nothing would change. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result – so when I started to explore gastric bypass as an option I knew that I needed to deal with my unhealthy relationship with food.

It hasn’t been easy, and the surgery did highlight just how dependent I had become on food to calm me and help with anxiety but by that time I didn’t hate me anymore. I am so flipping proud of the big version of myself. She believed that she could change her stars, she believed that the future did not have to be the same as the past had been. She went to the hard places in her heart and addressed the pain filled issues and determined that they wouldn’t be the things that would hold her back. Every time I see a transformation post I feel that same kind of overwhelming sense of pride and awe because I know just how hard it was for that person to get to that place. We know that we aren’t all perfect, we know that we still have some screwed up thinking, and some flappy bits and perhaps we sometimes make bad choices BUT we did something great for ourselves because we knew that we were worth it. We really really are xx I hope you are okay today, and if you aren’t – my inbox is always open. Love Tash xx