You may have noticed that I haven't blogged in an entire week! It's for good reason, and I'm going to share it with all of you. I recently had a close family member get plastic surgery, and I was basically her nurse 24/7. Between that, work and events, I didn't get much sleep let alone have time to blog, unfortunately. It was worth it though, because 10 days out, she's doing well and already looks great!

have a combined 30 years experience and expertise in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. I had a small procedure done in 2007 by Dr. Fox, and my family member chose Dr. Schingo for her surgery.

 The patient went in on Monday, June 20, and was scheduled to have a full tummy tuck, liposuction and an upper and lower eyelid lift. It sounds like a lot, but it's better and cheaper to do everything all at once rather than to do them all separately. I brought her into the hospital and stayed until she went into surgery. The pre-operation process took a few hours, but I love medical stuff so I wasn't bored in the least.

She had to stay in the hospital overnight, understandably, but as soon as she was done (the surgery

took five hours), Dr. Schingo called me and told me everything went well and that I would be called the next day when she was ready to leave. It puts the family member at ease when the doctor himself calls and tells you the patient is alright, and I greatly appreciated hearing that from him.

I won't go on and on, but when I arrived the next morning, the patient's eyes were bruised, puffy and almost completely shut. There were two drains on either side of her stomach incision, as well as a fanny pack around her waist with this amazing pain buster ball which numbs the incision for up to three days. I was there for a few hours, as the nurses taught me what and how to do everything I needed to know in order to take care of her. I was a little apprehensive, but I knew I could do it, and could always call if there were any problems.

The next week was rough, more so for her obviously. It was full of charts, times, schedules, medicines and no sleep. I made charts for everything- her medication times, her drainage amounts, and when she was supposed to take her regular medications. I was officially on duty, emptying the drains frequently, putting in eye drops, making cold compresses for her eyes, helping her go to the bathroom, getting drinks and what little food she could eat, etc. I didn't mind doing this, as she's done it for me, but the hardest part was the lack of sleep and messed up sleep schedule for me. In addition to caring for the patient, I would be woken up around six am every morning by my dog demanding to be taken out and fed. I would get back to sleep, but it's hard when you're not use to getting up that early. This is what I did for the next week, in addition to working both of my jobs.

It's been ten days and this is where we stand: the patient is doing well, is getting back to normal activity, and only has one drain remaining. Within a few doctor's visits, she's had one drain removed, as well as all of her eye and liposuction stitches. She still has the binder around her waist, and she will need to keep the area tightly bound for a few weeks for best results. She looks amazing already. We took pictures of her face everyday to see the improvement in the eyes, and compared to the before pictures of her stomach, she's already so skinny, and that's before the bruises and swelling go away completely. Dr. Schingo reported that he took around two liters of fat out, in addition to about three to four pounds of skin and fat off of her stomach, from her belly button to her pubic area. She's overdone it a few times, but I'm here to remind her to take it easy and still get plenty of rest so she will be ready to go back to work in a couple of weeks. It's been a long, hard journey but it was definitely worth it.

I cannot thank the nurses and staff enough. Throughout the whole process, every single person was patient, caring, doting, helpful, sweet, funny and just all around amazing, and I am greatful for all of their help and support.