I know I said that I was probably going to keep quiet about what procedure I had done. But, it’s not in my nature to keep quiet about anything. And, it’s hypocritical to say that we shouldn’t have to feel shame about something like this, and then feel too embarrassed to tell anyone about it, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I feel embarrassed. I’m not embarrassed because I got it done. I’m not embarrassed that I’d wanted it longer than I can remember. I’m not embarrassed about any of that. I’m not embarrassed to tell that slice of the population that would say to my face, “more power to you,” and then behind my back, “I’d never do that,” to fuck off. I’m embarrassed that in 40 years, I couldn’t tell my own self-critical voice to quiet down enough not to need this.
Back to those naysayers, I say, “Let’s sit down and do an audit of your personal expenses, until I can find something that I find frivolous, that I’d never do.” I once knew a woman who spent thousands, and thousands of dollars on strollers. Strollers! I could’ve paid for what I had done twice over in what she, in my mind (at the time), “wasted” on a status symbol that can cart around kids just as well as a Graco. Vanity is vanity.
As per usual, I digress.
You may be asking yourself, where a woman who weighs 115 lbs manages to find enough girth to lipo away. I’m not a big woman. I was even lucky enough to still have abs post-delivery of my son. Hold onto your tomatoes and other rotten fruit for a minute (no throwing), because, like every woman, I have flaws that become demons, that become obsessions that I’ve torn my hair out over, every time I look in the mirror. I truly envy the woman who can see her own flaws, and just let them go; or, who can, if not let them go, not fixate on them.
I have (had? Remains too soon to say) one spot that my surgeon called the “divot of doom” that plagued me so much, that in dark moments, I debated cutting myself so it would heal as an obvious scar, which I’d rather have had than that damn dimple! It was so deep that, I swear, a village of elves could live in there; I’m convinced that now that it’s gone, Keebler manufacturing will suffer because they’ll have to find a new headquarters for their tree.
I eat right, I have exercised to the point of insanity, even (in my pre-surgery days) running into the triple digit miles a week. But, nothing ever touched that jiggly spot. At my thinnest, my thighs would shrink a minuscule amount, but nothing ever touched the fact that they were made of cheese. Nothing. Not any cream, not any special food, not any special detox, nothing. I’m convinced that I have ancestry that links me to the moon, as it’s made of cheese.
The whole movement of “love your curves,” skipped over me, and in fact, made me feel like society had subscribed to some sort of collective insanity. Couldn’t people see that my curves weren’t lovable? And, truly, it wasn’t so much that I hated the size of my legs; it was that I hated the cheese. And, if I’m deeply honest with myself, it was always only one leg that truly bothered me; but, since you can’t really lipo only one leg, unless you want to look like a freak, I had to do both.
Anyone who saw them claimed that they couldn’t see anything, that I was crazy. Of course, I was crazy! I was obsessed! Still, I couldn’t trust their opinions because they all valued my feelings too much (and they were afraid of me!). Damn them, and their concern for my heart!
Even Bryon, always said that he had no idea what I was talking about. Once, I got him to admit that he maybe could, maybe, barely, see something. Still, that was after torturing him to give me a straight answer. It was like one of those scenes from old spy movies where I shined a light over his face until he admitted it. Poor Bryon. It’s like the ultimate version of: “do I look fat in this?” He couldn’t win.
Of course, I realize that years of hyper-focusing on this problem had created a picture in my mind that was entirely inaccurate; but that didn’t stop me from believing my own delusions. The plastic surgeon even showed me my before pics, which are taken in terribly unflattering light (and paper underwear), and tried to show me how the problem is much larger in my mind, than it is in reality. I remained unconvinced.
Over the years, I’d stopped wearing shorts. I’d stopped wearing bathing suits. In general, I hated that bit of me so much that it certainly was interfering with my ability to be happy with myself. And that, my friends, is what plastic surgery is for. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Plastic surgery is, ultimately, for ourselves.
My wonderful doctor was especially good at explaining what could and what could not be accomplished by surgery, especially since I was so small to start with. At my age (or any age), it’s generally a risk that the skin won’t re-tighten over the part where fat is removed, leaving the skin more dimpled than before. Yikes! There is a post-operative procedure that can be performed, under local anesthesia, that can help with that, if that happens, so we’ll see. She wasn’t especially worried about it though, because I have good, tight skin. I got a nice pat on the back for taking such good care of it, especially for being so fair. I guess years of wearing pants instead of shorts pays off in the end; or, it pays off in this very specific situation.
And, did you know it can take months (!!!) for everything to settle into its new position after the procedure. It may even take a full year. So, no matter how many times you peek at the results, especially in early days, it’ll look like crap. In fact, it’ll look worse than what you went in there with. This was something I am very glad she prepared me for, because holy crap does it look much, much, much worse.
The day of the operation was easy. It’s just like any other surgery, except because you are paying them, instead of insurance paying them, it’s a little more like a cross between a trip to the spa and the hospital. Your wish is their command, really. Everyone was super nice, and right there when you needed them. No buzzers for nurses, and no waiting for anything. It was lovely. I had a headache that day, from skipping meals and water, and I even got extra meds just to make me more comfortable. Who can beat that service?
I could’ve lived without the marker. The doctor came in and drew on my legs with marker. She drew large circles over my “worst” parts. It’s where she planned to do the most work, but it feels like you are being initiated into the world’s meanest sorority. My doctor, being the lovely person she is, made light jokes about how cruel this seems, and made it more comfortable; but, nothing changes the fact that you are standing there in a black paper string bikini, with another woman circling your shame. In case you missed that part buried in the previous sentence: BLACK PAPER STRING BIKINI. At least my doctor was wearing chunky UGG boots, and I could see her face-lift scar because her surgical cap pulled her hair away from her forehead. There's a barrier broken down there between women, in that environment.
The next morning, and still now, it’s far more painful than I expected. They kept saying that it would feel a little like I had a very hard work out. That’s, perhaps, an accurate description, if my workout was eighteen hours long; and then, to cool down, I stepped into the ring with the heavyweight champion of the world, but he was only allowed to hit beneath the waist. I make unusual noises, every time I stand up, and every time, I sit down (especially on the brutally hard surface of the toilet). To be honest, if I knew how painful it was going to be, I may have hesitated a bit more. Part of the selling point was that it wasn't going to hurt that bad. But, I may be a wuss. We're starting to think that nerve damage may have messed up my ability to process pain properly.
They give you pain meds, but it barely touches it. Mostly, to combat the pain, I just don’t move. I sit mostly still, and do my best impression of a root vegetable. I’m used to this from years of practice as a pain patient and a brain surgery survivor. My boys swirl around me and wait on me, hand and foot. Because it hurts to move, at all, they even get things for me that are only slightly out of reach. Bryon even installed a bell ringer on my phone, to call them when they are out of the room!
Other than the pain, the worst part of this whole process is the compression garment. I have to wear it, 24-7 for the next six weeks. Imagine Spanx (that are ten times tighter) that go down to your knees, and up to your breasts, and attach over your shoulders with elastic overall straps. On the first day, my legs were so swollen, they looked like over-stuffed sausages spilling out of their casings, out the bottom of the damn things. They are crotch-less, so you don’t have to get out of them to use the bathroom, which is as lovely as it sounds. I call them my weird lederhosen. They do have a tiny bow in the center, so I can feel pretty, of course.
And yes, I already snapped the straps right into my boobs. I think Bryon is totally over the cost of this whole thing, because I made that grievous error in his presence, and in all the time I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him laugh so hard.
Please don’t get me wrong on the bizarre undergarment; the few times I took it off, it felt terrible. Because the procedure uses heat to melt the fat underneath, before it’s sucked out; and the healing process involves your anatomy shifting around until it re-settles, the garment basically holds it all in a comfortable (and correct) place. When you take it off, it feels like, every and anything beneath your skin, is moving around. This feeling is…well…unsettling. So, as uncomfortable as the garment is, it’s more comfortable with it on. And, because of the heat, the quality of the pain is two-fold: you get the pain from ramming the probe under your skin, and the quality of burning and aching. Plus, the incisions, no matter how small, don’t like to be left out of the action. They hurt too. And there are lots of them.
So, what did she do? She removed the dreaded saddle bag sides, and sucked out a fair bit from the inner thigh area. That area is still really swollen, so it remains to be seen how much. She re-arranged what was left, to de-dimple. She also moved around a bit on the back, but didn’t specifically suck anything out of the rear of my legs, or out of my behind. She flatly said that she has women coming in, asking specifically for an ass like mine, especially since it does a little pop, so to change it would be a crime. It’s always nice to be complimented by a plastic surgeon, right? She removed very little, overall. It isn’t like I lost ten pounds. It was more of a sculpting than anything else.
And now, we wait. We wait for the healing to finish, and to see if my skin needs to be pulled tighter over those pesky bands that create cellulite. We wait to see how it all settles. We wait to see the finished product. We wait to see if my body decides to start depositing fat elsewhere, now. We just wait. At the moment, the only waiting I actually care about is waiting not to scream every time I pee because the toilet seat is just so damn hard!
Even more than debating whether or not to tell what I had done, I debated sharing these photos. It’s not that it shows anything intimate; but, it’s intimate adjacent.
I blacked out anything that a typical bathing suit wouldn’t show, but it’s still…well, you get the gist. I thought I’d show you what 48 hours post-lipo looks like. There are plenty more bruises where those came from, but I can’t show them without showing more. My entire pelvis, is bruised, and my entire rear is bruised, for example. And yes, it hurts as much as it looks like it does, maybe worse.
Anyway, that's the big story. I have striven to be pretty honest here, and it felt crummy to not be honest about this. Roll your eyes at me if you will. But, that means I get to roll my eyes at something stupid you do. We've all got our "thing;" even if it's not a physical one. I feel better about mine now. Well...I will feel better about mine, when I can walk, move, and pee without crying.