For the recovery of the skin removal, I never knew what to expect. I just did not. Every single time I spoke to someone who had went through it, they always said “its just so painful I cannot even explain it or put it into words”. Let me just say how much that response frustrated me. Like how can you not put it into words. I am genuinely wanting to know how my recovery will be, and you cannot even compare it to anything? Nope nobody could. I even had a woman tell me, she had 6 C-Sections and a hysterectomy, her gallbladder removed, and the recovery for the 1st week or 2 was more painful then all of those combined. GREAAAAAT. Hellllo FEAR. Actually the fact that nobody could tell me how it felt made me even worse. I did not know what to feel. Because of the complications of neck surgery and my airways shutting down after that surgery, I just did not know what to expect. I made sure I met with both the neurosurgeon and orthosurgeon who did my neck surgery 4 months prior to Make sure that this was something that was okay for me to do. I did not want to hinder my recovery and the healing of the neck fusions that were healing. Both doctors knew my surgeon, spoke highly of him and gave it a green light. That definitely put me at ease. It was all falling into place. Although it was having a hard recovery, I had confirmation that these surgeries would not at all hurt me in any way.
I did my research for post op. I got my gingerale, purchased bunch of crackers and stuff to have after surgery because I get very sick after anesthesia. I was told to purchase loose panties, nothing that would cling, and to purchase joggers, lounge pants, etc. I was told by others that I would be extremely swollen, so to buy a size up. I thought it was crazy, but boy were they right. I also then got all of the different antibacterial body washes, and anything and everything possible to prepare me. I stocked up on all my vitamins, and anything I knew that I was going to need because I wouldn’t be driving for a while.
I wanted to emotionally prepare myself but the thing is….I did not know how. I was never going to be ready. I lived my life a certain way for so many years. Being ashamed of my skin, hiding my skin, not being able to wear certain things because of my skin. A huge part of my life revolved around it. I just thought to myself a whole lot. How were my clothes going to fit? Would I be the same size? The surgeon said I would probably be the same size, but that clothes would just fit different. That brought relief, because I could not even imagine being able to afford all new clothes. Not just normal clothes, but new gym clothes, new bras, new panties, new jeans, not even thinking about new clothes for dressing up going back to work. I worried about all small things. But that is me. I am a worrier. Anyone who knows me very well can truly say I worry about things that other people probably do not even think about.
I worked so hard. Literally so hard. Every single workout, every single healthy meal, every single sacrifice was leading me to this very day. The hard work was about to pay off.
This was about to change my life.
If I can say I felt one emotion the most, it would be just this energy of feeling so grateful and thankful. Thankful for the opportunity to really have this taking place. Thankful for those making it happen. Thankful for the help in every aspect. Thankful to God for so many reasons. Not just for the opportunity and having such amazing people in my life, but for the strength that I had gained. I do not just mean the physical strength at the gym, and the mental strength sticking to my goals. I mean this inner strength that got me through my weight loss up until this point. I still remember when I was ready to go for weight loss surgery and decided not to. Signing up at the gym and never looking back. Thankful for that very day. Thankful for the mindset I have. Knowing I could make it through anything. Knowing that I never made an excuse to not workout or eat healthy. I cannot even explain it. My mental strength became a trait that so many people grew to admire. Nobody knew the things I have battled throughout my journey. In every single aspect. Physically, financially, personally, emotionally...etc.! Battles after battles and I just prayed for the strength to always get through whatever I was going through. That is why I just felt this overwhelming feeling of just being grateful. All of my decisions right and wrong lined up like stars. I was thankful to those who genuinely supported me. Many people from day 1 watching me grind and grind. Seeing the work I put in and knowing what I had gone through and faced to get me to this chapter in my life. Many people will watch the journey on social media and obviously be happy that I had just come so far and I was finally getting this done. But then there are those people who just know me personally and were in tears of joy knowing my skin would be gone.
I would take walks multiple times a day to stay active before my surgery, and I would just THINK. I would see flashbacks of all the last few years. From the start, being over 400 pounds. My 1st day in the gym. My walking in Unity park in Trumbull to lose weight, my size changing in clothes. Going from a size 28, to a size 24, then 22, then 20. I was so happy when I got into a size 18. Then a size 16, then 14, then 12, and then 10. But Once I became a size 8, it was like WHOA. HOLY GUACAMOLE. I did this. The feelings of joy in the dressing room when my clothing size got smaller INSTEAD of all those years I spent crying in the dressing room because of size getting bigger. These are things that were just crossing my mind. These are the flashbacks playing in my mind. That’s all they would ever be. Memories.
Then the day arrived. March 28th, 2018. Hands down the biggest day of my life. A day that every other life event could not compare to. Not because it was more important, but because it was completely different. Nothing could prepare me for this. Not an article, not a blog, not a previous patients advice, not the doctors advice, nothing. This was going to be the most physical and emotional rollercoaster I was ever going to get on. (To be continued)