Blue jean blues

If you find yourself in the market for a tummy tuck—translation: You’ve gained lots of weight, had great success at losing it, but find shockingly a good chunk of skin dripping from your mid-section—and you actually go through with this major abdominal procedure, like I just did, I have one solid piece of advice for you: Do not try on your jeans eight days after surgery, like I just did.

Why?

Because not only will you find that you are not several sizes smaller—a possible eventual result of the tummy tuck—you’ll discover that your pre-surgical jeans will have somehow shrunk in size during the short amount of time it took for you to go under the knife and then come out of your pain-medicated fog.

Yep. The jeans will be too tight. And if you’re like me, you’ll convince yourself that your hips and butt have grown in epic proportions in the mere week you’ve spent recovering from that belly-perfecting operation.

OK, so my body parts are likely the same size as they’ve been for some time now. I’m just swollen. Not above my incision that runs underneath my new belly button, from hip to hip—this looks amazingly flat and tight and well, perfect. But below the taped-up cut my doctor carved into my stomach is a bulging, newly-pregnant looking clump of skin that is pushing out so far my jeans can’t rise above. It’s solid. It’s jam-packed. It’s driving me crazy.

I’m an impatient patient. I don’t like that I must wait weeks—months even—to see my final result. I’m so impatient I told my doctor on post-op day number six that it seemed the problem he removed had moved down lower. “No,” he told me. In time, it will be flat. Flatter than it’s ever been, he said. And then he issued me this strict warning: Do not shop for new clothes for three months. Two days after he handed me this advice, I’m tugging at my favorite Lucky jeans, trying to inch them up over my swollen mound. Am I crazy? Perhaps. But I can also learn from my mistakes.

My jeans are back in the closet, and my stretchy athletic shorts are back in place—where they’ll stay until my body heals and rebounds from its trauma and I attempt once again to hoist those denim blues up over all my body parts.

In three months.

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