Day 1 – After the procedure I feel a bit sore in the belly area and swollen. However, I’m able to go home and resume my normal schedule of conference calls. I even suggest to my husband that we go out to the store that evening. However, as the evening wears on (and perhaps some of belly numbness wears off) I definitely start to feel less well. I’m moving more slowly, feel a bit fatigued and end up sitting in the car for the last shopping stop. I sleep pretty well that night. I’m having some discomfort, but am able to rest.
Day 2 - I wake up and my belly is very swollen and very sore, especially my belly button. I don’t see any bruising, but feel intermittent stabbing pains in my belly. Just to the left of my belly button is almost too sore to touch. I get on the scale and find to my horror that I have gained 3 lbs in a day, despite having flooded myself with water and having barely eaten. My body was too consumed with managing the significant discomfort to be concerned with eating. This 3 lbs is clearly all in my swollen belly. I look like I am 3 months pregnant. Through most of the day, I feel a bit light-headed, fatigued and continue to have discomfort in the belly area. At this point, I’m so thankful that I work from home. Otherwise, this clearly would have been a vacation or sick day. I call my doctor’s office to make sure what I’m feeling is normal (in particular the swelling) and am reassured that it will subside in the next day or two.
Day 3 - I slept well last night and do feel like my belly is a bit less swollen and tender when I wake up. I feel like I’m a bit more productive today than yesterday, but make no mistake about it, I’m still not feeling terrific. Now, I’m starting to be concerned about the cross-country flight that I will be taking in couple of days. I don’t think I’ve mentioned before but I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. If I have prolonged pain, my mind admittedly leaps to assuming its something much more serious. So, given the ongoing stabbing pains n my belly, I’ve very naturally assumed that there is blood pooling in my belly and on the 6 hour flight I will develop a deep vein thrombosis and die. I decide I will call my general physician tomorrow morning since the cosmetic surgeon’s office is closed. Despite my perceived impending death sitting in the back of my mind, I sleep well.
Day 4 - I wake up feeling less swollen and a bit more energetic. Perhaps, I was too optimistic because I planned a full day of mommy and me activities and errands with my 6 year-old daughter including afternoon Tea and capped off with a minor league baseball game with some of her friends. The day is going well, except for the fact that ever since the procedure I’ve been unable to button my pants due to the abdominal swelling. I’ve been using a rubber band to keep my pants from falling down. Chic, right? I’m feeling pretty well, but as the day wears on I definitely start to feel more fatigued, experience increased discomfort and feel a bit light-headed. I decide that I don’t think I can do the baseball game and let my daughter go to the game with a friend and her child. I go home and lay in bed with a heating pad on my belly it feels so good and I wish that I had been doing this for the past few days.
Days 5 – 7 - By now, I’m feeling better and the swelling has started to subside, but is still there. This is normal and can last for up to 8 weeks. I think I’ve cracked the code on how to feel better. I’ve been applying ice packs to my belly. I also had one of the doctors prescribe a medication to help with pain and inflammation. Everybody’s body will react differently to the treatment, but I’m a special case in that I am allergic to Ibuprofen (Advil, etc.) and Aleve, the over-the-counter meds that many people take to reduce the inflammation and swelling that can result from the treatment. I’m finally on the mend and starting to see my belly shrink and head towards being beach ready.