In exactly one week, I will be in surgery with Dr. Joseph Capella… having a lower body lift, arm lift, and breast lift. The emotions running through me are crazy. The strongest emotion I’m feeling is excitement. I can’t wait to wake up in the morning and NOT spend at least 5-7 minutes pulling my skin around, imagining what I would look like without all of it there. Dr. Capella estimates that he’ll be removing approximately 10 lbs of skin, fat, and tissue. Honestly, I could care less about what the scale says in response to having this stuff removed… I just want to like the way I look and feel.
I’m also feeling a bit of stress. There is a lot to do at work before I’m out for 3-4 weeks and I’m also afraid something will happen and the surgery will be cancelled or delayed. I had similar feelings when I was waiting to be sleeved, so hopefully these fears are just irrational and everything goes smoothly. The stress has been taking a toll on my eating though, and I’m not happy that the scale said 204.6 lbs this morning. Now, 3 days ago it was 199.8 where it had been for a little while, so I know I didn’t gain almost 5 lbs of real weight in that time; however, I need to get a grip – most of that weight I’m sure is real and I was already at the top of the range I was maintaining in (195-200). It worries me that I have been having a hard time staying on track lately. I don’t like it and I know I need to get a hold of myself. I have a lot of concerns about being inactive after plastic surgery – and I’m concerned the medication, fatigue, and being in pain will affect my food choices negatively. The goal is to buckle down this next week and get myself back under 200 lbs before surgery. If a couple of these pounds are just water weight, then hopefully it shouldn’t be an impossible task. But, I have to prepare myself for the fact that it might not happen and just do my best.
To help with this, I made sure I went to bed a bit early last night. Nothing gets me off track more than stress and lack of sleep – and that’s the state I’ve been in the past couple of weeks. This morning, I took the time to pack all of my meals/snacks for the day. I wasn’t planning on going to the gym, but I got my clothes together and will go after work. Finally, I had planned to NOT take vacation this afternoon to stay at work; however, a lot of my stress comes from being behind on many things – work, freelance work, school work, and house work. I’ve got a lot of things caught up at my full-time job… so taking an afternoon off and being productive with it could be very helpful in eliminating the stress. Eliminating the stress will help with getting back on track, I know this about myself.
I can’t believe plastic surgery is almost here. I haven’t wanted something to happen so much since the VSG surgery and I’m just hoping everything goes well…
I’ve had a few people on the message boards, Facebook groups, and my blog ask me recently how I’m paying for plastic surgery and whether or not my insurance is covering anything. I thought it would be a potentially informative or helpful thing to write about in a post!
First, my insurance is not paying for any part of the plastic surgery that I’m having in the next two weeks. While insurance would pay for some surgery if I were experiencing documented and recurring rashes, I have not (thankfully) experienced any of those kinds of problems. I knew when I started this process almost two years ago that I was going want plastic surgery, should I ever get anywhere close to a “normal” weight. I also moved forward with the assumption that I would get no help from insurance, not that I would expect to…. so about two years ago, I decided if I wanted it bad enough, I would make a plan for paying for it!
So, a little over two years ago, I paid off my car. I don’t have to drive much to and from work, so I knew the car could last me a decent amount of time. Within six months before I started the weight loss journey, I had started putting the $300/month I was spending on the car into a savings account – pretending to still make “payments” to save money for the down payment on another. It wasn’t long after I started the weight loss journey that I decided to forgo the new car and use that fund (that was barely started) for plastic surgery.
Time went by… I got a promotion. I calculated the increase in my paycheck each month (I get paid monthly) and I added that to the $300. Then, raises came…. I added that to the $300. Then, another promotion and raise… added that as well. Up until last month, I was up to putting $600/month away into this fund. Over the course of almost 2 years, I managed to save $10,000 exactly – just a little over half of what I would need to pay for the first round of surgery – breast lift, lower body lift, and extended arm lift that cost about $19,500.
So, for the remaining $9,500 and misc. expenses that come with having the surgery, I financed with a loan from the credit union where I work. I chose the credit union because they had the best rates. Thankfully, my credit score is in the 800s, so securing financing at a good rate was not difficult at all. I’m hoping to continue to take that $600 and make payments on the loan for about two years. My husband and I agreed that if I choose to do a “round 2” for plastic surgery (thighs and/or implants) that I would pay for that surgery completely on my own with the money I make doing freelance work. Fair deal, in my opinion!
What would I have done if I didn’t have the extra cash or didn’t have very good credit? Honestly, I would’ve gotten a second job and saved for as long as humanly possible. My “second job” now is the freelance work that I do and I’m lucky that I can do that at home for what I consider to be decent money. If I didn’t have this opportunity, you’d find me at the local retail store, restaurant, wherever working in the evenings and weekends to make the extra cash! I want it bad enough to do whatever it takes!
There are a lot of people that are completely happy without having plastic surgery. I’m jealous of them! They say they wear their excess skin like a “badge of honor” and I just can’t get adopt that thinking – for myself. I wish I could. I don’t know if that means I’m vain, have low self-esteem, or if it’s because of my age or what…. but I want this stuff gone and I don’t ever want to see it again. When I look in the mirror, I see a reminder of a period of time when I didn’t take care of myself, was miserable, and on my way to an early grave!
I’ve felt a lot of guilt over the past 6 months about spending this kind of money to fix a body that I destroyed. However, with some therapy, reflection, and the passing of a little time… I’ve learned to let it go. There’s nothing I can do about it now, except be the healthiest person I can be and keep the weight off for life. I’ve got a second chance and I don’t want to ruin it – and I know exactly how easy that would be to do!
I feel as though writing about yesterday’s pre-op appointment with the plastic surgeon is a great way to officially kick off my updates about the process. My blog has been a little quiet for little awhile, because there hasn’t been much to say – but that’s certainly all about to change! For those of you that don’t know, I’m having Round 1 (of possibly 2) of plastics done with Dr. Joseph Capella in Ramsey, NJ. It’s about a 3 1/2 hour drive for me (without traffic) and I definitely think it will be totally worth it.
I chose Dr. Capella because of several reasons. First, he has a reputation as being one of the best plastic surgeons in the country for patients of massive weight loss. I’ve seen a lot of his work and it really is great. Also, after a lot of research, I really do feel as though his prices are reasonable, he can combine several procedures at once, and he is very efficient in the ER. For Round 1, I will be having an extended arm lift, breast lift, and lower body lift. I will be in the OR for a total of 6 hours and it will cost $19,500 (approximately). I went to a consult with another doctor that would spent 11 hours in surgery doing just the lower body lift and arm lift for $22,500 and has less experience…. so I definitely feel as though I’m making the right choice.
Dr. Capella also has an amazing bedside manner. He’s so friendly, patient, and all smiles when you talk to him. I will admit, I was a bit smitten with him! haha 🙂 So, anyway… yesterday I showed up for my pre-op appointment where the surgery coordinator went over my pre-op instructions, I made my payment (ugh, ouch!), and she gave me my prescriptions.
When it was time to see Dr. Capella, he answered all of the questions that I had and showed me before and after pictures of people that looked very similar to me in terms of how much excess skin/tissue they had. I’m very excited to see how I will look to say the least! The worst part of the appointment was when he showed me my pictures. Does anybody really like to look at naked pictures of themselves? I’m guessing no! lol!
Then came the interesting part! Dr. Capella said that he’s going to be giving a few lectures at a few conferences in the coming months and that he would like to record my surgery to show during these presentations. He said that I’m the perfect candidate to show people attending the conferences that I’m a “tough case” after losing almost 250 lbs, but someone with a really great shape underneath that will have an excellent result with the techniques he’s using. When he said I was the “perfect candidate” for this surgery… I said, “Oh, I bet you say that to everyone” – yes, flirting a little maybe hahahahaha or at least trying to – and he smiled and said “oh no, definitely not! definitely not!”
So, although there will be no face or identifying information in the video… any talks he is doing in the upcoming months will have my hot mess of a naked body in it! Pretty awesome lol! Yesterday, he did a “mock markup” with a sharpie and his assistant recorded it so that he could have that as well. It was actually pretty cool to see just how much he’s going to remove and from where…. it got me SO excited for the process. Though, I will admit that I haven’t completely gotten the lines off of me yet! LOL He was very appreciative that I would let him do this and told me he was VERY excited for my surgery because he thinks he’s going to be able to give me exactly what I want. It was music to my ears.
Probably the night before surgery, I’m going to be posting before photos here on my blog. Personally, I would’ve found it really helpful to see what the body of someone at my “stats” would look like after losing 250 lbs… and I want to be informative! I may password-protect it though, just so that people don’t see almost naked pictures the second they open my site haha… I still have to figure that all out.
Next step: Tomorrow’s medical clearance appointment with my PCP. Assuming all is well, she’s going to sign off on surgery and I will send that and my lab results to Dr. Capella’s office in the morning. Then, I’ll book a few nights in the hotel for my stay afterwards. Can’t wait!