Tag Archives: body recomposition

Circumferential Lower Body Lift Week 9

The first three weeks of being physically back to work are in the bag. The first week was rough, I was a little shaky and moving slow. Getting up and walking around (despite having an office job) proved pretty demanding and beat me down pretty good by Friday of my first week back. Second week back I felt stronger, actually started going out and walking a bit at lunch but I must have overdid it because between last Friday evening and this past Wednesday I felt like I had body aches from the flu. I think it was simple overexertion. With other life stuff going on I haven’t lifted weights in nearly two weeks as a result. But, today I was back on it and hit 135 for three sets of five off a high box and hit three sets of the same weight on deadlifts.

Pain-wise about 80-90% of the discomfort from the abdominal plication is gone, and it was really this week that I felt like a normal, mobile human being again. The scar is pretty much “dead” and will need to be re-sensitized as healing continues, so apart from the occasional poke from an undissolved suture, that’s not been an issue. My weight is staying in the 234-238 range, having finally stabilized there, and I’m basically staying protein/fat paleo only with a maybe a once a week true cheat here and there. The goal is to get down to 220 and stabilize there, and I may buck the fat intake a little bit to do so.

I’ll have some before/after photos at the 12 week mark, and am working up a recap of the experience including a laundry list of things that worked well, things I wish I’d approached differently, and overall thoughts on this procedure.

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Circumferential Body Lift Recovery: Week 3.5

Woof, lots of stuff has happened in the last week. The anchors from last week held fine and dandy until yesterday, when both on drain #4 gave up the ghost. That was worrisome since it’s been the most productive lately. Today Dr. Pickart re-anchored #4 and put an extra anchor on #3 since one was looking weak. The longer the drains are in, the larger the holes get around them due to them just pushing up against the skin, hence making the drains more likely to pull out of the skin.

Drain #1 was holding fine with the electrical tape patch until the 13th, when a large crack opened up about 6″ up from where it entered my body. This was more like a stress crack/fissure, perhaps from stripping/cleaning the drain tube, and a fairly large one at that. My wonderful wife helped me try four different kinds of tape in various configurations at least twice each in the middle of the night (she’s been a trooper, to say the very least, during this whole thing). Nothing held, the fissure was just too big. I ended up cutting over 24″ of slack out of the drain tube and re-attaching the bulb less than 6″ from my body. Unfortunately, by the next afternoon the whole arrangement just wasn’t holding suction; I think the check valve on the suction bulb was boogered up. The bulb was on such a short leash that I was afraid of it ripping out. So, I went ahead and pulled the drain out myself at home.

Pulling a Jackson-Pratt drain is pretty easy. Sterilize some scissors, snip the sutures and pull them out (fairly painless) leaving them tied to the drain tube. Then, grab the tube firmly and just pull it out. No pain, no sticking points (unfortunately/fortunately no photos or video) but it was nice to have the “problem child” drain gone for good. It’s weird, there was literally no sensation: no pain, no tickle, just no sensation at all.

Drain #4 has picked up most of the slack since #1 and #4 are routed to the back and #2 and #3 are in the front. Drain 3 picked up a tiny bit of the slack and has been hovering around the criteria for removal, which is less than 30 mL/day for 2 consecutive days, for about a week now. Only had 25 mL from drain 3 today so there is a good chance that it’s coming out tomorrow or Friday. Drain #4 really took a nose dive today so I’m really hoping to be rid of all drains by potentially as early as next week, though I’m probably jinxing myself by saying that.

Apart from that, I feel a lot stronger and have more energy on the whole each day. Still sleeping in my recliner since I move around in bed quite a bit at night and am paranoid about pulling out drains.  That has led to slow healing on my rear incisions, but still no infections. I tapered myself off of the Valium about 4 days ago since it wasn’t doing much as a muscle relaxant and I haven’t been anxious or panicky at all. This has been my first experience with Valium and I gotta say: I don’t like it much. It was making me feel very strung out and emotionally unstable (think Robert DeNiro watching the TV commercial in Analyze This type instability). Having that stuff out of my system has been really great. The painkillers have been working fine, they haven’t turned me into a jerk like I was afraid they might, and I haven’t fallen behind on taking them in a few days. Oh, and I was given pictures of the material that was removed. If there’s any interest in seeing what came off me… leave me a comment. They’re fairly graphic so I don’t want to just straight up post them.

Definitely over the hump and on the way back to being somewhat normal. It has been a rough month, but man, the results are really going to be worth it.

Circumferential Body Lift Recovery: Week 2 Post-Op

Week two flew by. No infection issues. Drain volume remained high and the only real issues were that three of the anchor sutures holding the drain tubes into my body had busted loose. At my Friday post-op, Dr. Pickart just numbed drain exit area (just above the genital area) and re-anchored the drains with new sutures.  Drain #2 was removed as it had actually started to work its way out too far to be useful; I was assured that the other three would compensate for the loss of one drain without any issue. To my delight this morning drain #1 stopped producing entirely, so I’m hoping that at least one more drain will follow suit by the next post-op this upcoming Friday. I’d like them all to taper off but this is an unlikely happening. In any event it was a great visit. I haven’t really talked about the surgeon, Dr. Pickart, very much on this blog but he’s a really cool guy. We always end up having very interesting, long-winded conversations about various life topics. He’s a smart guy, an excellent surgeon, and just a great human being in general.

After the post-op and on our way home, we stopped by work to grab a couple of books for a project I’m working on and to say howdy to my boss. Unfortunately, while getting back in the car (still a very awkward maneuver) I tweaked something in my left side. It feels like the stitch in your side that you get from running; just a very sharp, knife-like pain. I talked to the doctor about it today and he said that it could be a blown stitch or a muscle spasm from just having too much activity that one day (and it was a big day out, it’s an hour and a half drive from our place to the surgeon’s office). Luckily it’s starting to subside this evening and it’s not anything to really worry about long-term.

Food wise, I’ve been mostly staying paleo but trying to just keep inflammatory foods in check. There have been days with burgers and pizza but that was more in the first week where my body was just screaming CALORIES AND TASTY ONES NOW PLEASE WE NEED MORE CALORIES MAN WE JUST GOT FUCKED UP REAL BAD. The pain relievers really suppress my appetite so I have had things like a steak cooked in butter with some steamed broccoli or brussels sprouts, some chicken breasts and salad with avocado and tomato, basically just really simple high protein (and occasionally moderate fat). I have been drinking more Coke Zero than I would like to admit because it just cuts through the dry mouth from the pain killers in a very satisfying and relieving way. The past couple days have been just really appetite suppressed so I have relied on a multi-protein blend (Dymatize Elite Fusion 7) just to get something down the hatch. I am basically trying to get somewhere between PSMF and regular keto for recovery just to try to shred out a little body fat if possible (though I did have sushi and easter candy last night after having had very few carbs for the last few days).

That’s all for now. Till next week.