About a metre long, they are connected to pint-sized plastic suction bottles.My lower legs are swathed in padded blow-up stockings that rhythmically squeeze and release my calf muscles to prevent blood clots forming.My osteopath says my recurring back pain won't go while I have so little abdominal support.
It feels tight, distended and uncomfortable and I'm worried it might be filling up with infection or fluid or blood. They say I should be sitting with my feet up to help the swelling subside, and going for short walks to keep the fluid moving. Standing for any length of time is very uncomfortable. Without the support everything shifts slightly and areas of my tummy feel tender and bruised.I assume the straight line between my breasts down to my pubic bone is so he can match both ends up when he's taken a large melon slice of skin out of the middle.There's a curved line above my old, distended navel that will form the top cut to be pulled down after the muscle repair.To my delight, he assures me he can make a dramatic improvement and I walk away from his Harley Street consulting rooms full of hope that my life is about to change. I keep reading stories of women who die under anaesthetic, or slip into a coma. Why on earth am I putting myself at peril just so I look nice? Worried about the recovery, about not being able to walk properly or do very much (I've been warned not to lift anything heavier than a half-full kettle for two weeks). I suspect he's secretly hoping I'll spend more time in my underwear.I see other women with their rolls and paunches and think: "That's normal, who am I to expect a flat tummy? Arrive at the West London Clinic and check into my luxurious private room.