What a Pain in the Neck! Can't Wait for Relief...- Beverly Hills, CA

Well, I've been a realself.com stalker for about 8...

Well, I've been a realself.com stalker for about 8 months now, ever since I decided to resize the girls. I'm scheduled for surgery August 29, and can't wait!
I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2004, and have suffered from fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis for many years as well. I'm 45, 5'7" 138 lbs. over the last two years, my back and dock pain has increased significantly, as has my breast size.
I was a 34D at the time of my Lupus diagnosis, trying without success to have a child. I suffered a total of 10 miscarriages over 6 years of trying, which meant I was pregnant for a total of more than 24 months between them all. Each loss changed my body a bit and brought with it an emotional and physical downhill freight train. After the last loss in 2009, I was basically bedridden for almost 3 years with terrible pain, fatigue and as you might suspect depression.
Each loss also left me a cup use or so larger, so today I am a 31H. A 31" frame wasn't made to support an H cup! The weight and size limits my physical activity, although I am able to be much more active now. And I now struggle with constant neck and back pain. I'm hopeful the reduction will alleviate my pain, and help me be less self conscious about them! My posture has degraded a great deal over the years, due to both the physical issues with the size and weigh, but also emotional. I hide them as best I can! I have very few summer tis, which is tough living in LA. But, I can't just throw on a tank top or tee without under armor! I can't wait to wear a racer back or sleeveless top with a simple, much less expensive bra!
I know in this forum I'm preach into the choir, an you are all familiar with these issues and struggles, but I thought I'd share my story and journey to the new me!

This time next week - there will be a little less of me!

One more week! I can't believe my countdown is coming to a close. Literally dreaming of the day I can throw on a tank top and go out in the warm LA sunshine (with sunscreen of course) wearing a normal or maybe even no bra, or going to the pool or beach in a normal size bathing suit! I've been a little nervous about healing, since I take immune suppressant drugs for my Lupus. But, I've been reading a lot and I'm not too worried. I'm excellent at listening to my body and following directions where my health is concerned. So, this should be fine. I'm currently a little uncomfortable, since I am in the window of taking no pain medications. That, coupled with an interruption in taking some of my lupus meds, has me in a bit of pain at the moment. But, its tolerable - and well worth it, since the great life changing surgery is just around the corner! Thank you for your thank yous and comments! I will update again after the deed is done!

Just a few more hours...

So, I've just had a nice bath, yummy protein rich dinner and all around lovely evening. Getting ready for a few hours sleep before we head over to the surgery center. Very excited! A little nervous too. I got my 'body art' today in prep at the doc's. thought I'd share that lovely transitional look before the big day!

Lost 2 pounds in 4 hours! :-)

I made it, don't feel too bad, allthough I definitely need pain meds every 4 hours or so.

It's hard to tell, but we think I'm a C, and it looks good to me, even squished into the surgical bra.

My neck feels better already, maybe from it being stationary and relaxed for so long, or maybe the weight. I do feel slightly wobbly, but my equilibrium should balance out soon.

Sorry for the poor photo quality, I'll get my guy to take better ones soon! Thanks for all the encourageing comments!

So relieved, I think they look pretty good!

Only 2 days, and I got to take the bandages off and shower today. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! I am bruised a bit, and they aren't perfect yet, but they look pretty good! I feel great! A little sore, but not bad.

I'm dying to try on a bunch of clothes for normal use chests! I have bathing suits I bought that never fit, tops that were too tight - all sorts of stuff, but I don't want to overdo. I am a bit worn out just from the shower. I do have a what used to be tight tee over the bra pictured and it fits perfectly, not tight at all! And my husband just told me he thin I look! Bonus!

My neck and back feel good too, even though I've had to sleep just on my back. So far I'm thrilled with having this done! Each day of healing is bound to bring on even better news!

Another photo

Here's an au natural photo... Little bruising, but not bad for just two days!

I'm sure glad I did this now - for even MORE reasons!

My pathology results came back, and I have atypical lobulan hyperplasia (bilateral). According to my wonderful doctor and the little bit of research I've done - that means my risk of breast cancer is 4 to 5 times higher than most women my age. So, she recommended I see a good breast oncologist here in LA, once I get further in my healing and I will probably get on a 6-12 month routine of intensive breast routine screening to included mammograms, which of course I already do, and MRI, etc. Since my tissue is so dense, my regular screening might not have caught this! So, I'm thankful - both that I did catch it now, and that a lot of the tissue was removed in my surgery. That arguably reduces my risk, although I don't know how much, and more importantly - found it! Big C scary stuff - but ahead of the game and manageable is ALWAYS better than a late game notification! :-) I'm making my appointment for the oncologist now!

2 weeks post op, update!

Couldn't be happier so far - physically or mentally! The stitches are a little itchy, and feel a little 'tight' at te end f th day, but I don't really have any soreness or pain. The bruising is gong away quickly, and the tape came off right at the two week mark. I was a little nervous to look at the bare incisions, but they look fine! Things are a little bumpy here and there, but Dr. Kim says they will smooth out as they heal and the stitches dissolve. I also feel like the left is a little bigger tan the right, but that too should even out over time, once the swelling and everything heals up!

I'm posting some duplicate pics here for side-by-side comparison. Front and side views, before and after.
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
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Comments (38)

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Hi, just wondering how you were healing after another month. My surgery with Dr. Kim is only a month away and I'm anxious about the results. Just wondering how satisfied you've are with how you're healing. Thanks for sharing your story.
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Hi! I really couldn't be happier. My healing has been so smooth. No neck and back pain since surgery! I still have a little scarring, but that gets better each day. I'm using a silicon vitamin e gel to improve the scars, but they really have and are fading. Also the shape overall is getting better everyday. I wore a new dress without a bra the other night! What a treat! Dr. Kim and the staff at cedars were amazing. You will have a great experience.
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Fantastic result!
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God is good! Everything happens for a reason. So glad this was found! I pray everything is taken care of and you are cleared!! Big hugs sweetie!!!
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Thank you!
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They look fantastic, and so do you. I am so sorry to hear about your bereavements, I have an autoimmune disease too, called polymyositis - I am allergic to my muscles, plus rheumatoid arthritis, so I know what misery and pain that can be, plus your personal sadness. I only hope that your new breasts will take away some of the physical pain and I send you prayers for peace and comfort.
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Thanks so much! You too! Allergic to your muscles?!? Sounds horrible, I hope you at least properly tease those that claim they are allergic to exercise! :-) my joint pain has improved dramatically since this surgery. It's a wonderful decision. I wish I had done it sooner! I hope you find relief too. Are there treatments that help you with poly myosotis? I'm taking monthly IV infusions of benlysta for Lupus and it really helps. I had to wait two weeks because of the surgery, because it kills my immune system and I needed to lower my risk of infection for this first few to heal. I had it today and was so ready! The last week I had been going back into flare mode a bit, but should improve over the weekend. Best of luck to you and your health!
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Thank you. Yes I take about 22 different medications a day, including steroids and a drug called Cylosporin which acts in the same way as the Benlysta by the sound of it. Most other meds are for nerve pain, my RA, morphine patch etc. I can't have a reduction, they said my health is not good enough, but I keep hoping!
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Hang in there! I've been on Benlysta for 6 months NW and am finally seeing improvements. I'm no longer on steroids, but do still take about 15 meds a day for the various and sundry immunosuppressants, etc. I spent almost 3 years in bed, and have come a long way since that, my worst flare. I hope you can get better soon!
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I was in a car accident a year ago. Had someone pull in front of me at the stoplight that was supposed to yield. And my car basically T-bones them and my foot still on the gas so I went in the air flipped my car on the side And have had pain in my arms especially down lower elbows wrists. I've had almost every test done MRIs x-rays nerve conduction studies and nobody can figure out why I have the pain. Can I ask how your nerve pain was diagnosed and it's origin?
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I have neuropathy from Lupus and fibromyalgia, all autoimmune related. It took years of testing process of elimination and other things to figure out what was going on. I also have arthritis and other issues related to and apart from some injuries over the years, so sorry to hear about your accident! That sounds terrible. I've been through sever nerve function tests, and showed some issues that were caused by my neck problems. I'm curious to see if they improve now that I have some relief in my neck due to the surgery. I am still having finger numbness that was thought to originate in my neck, so that hasn't improved.
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The original neurosurgeon said everything is coming from my neck but nothing is showing on an MRI or now the nerve conduction study. Its so frustrating. I dont understand why the doctors seem to give up so easy they do one test one x-ray and say no I don't know. The last neurologist told me well, you just have chronic pain. Seems like a lazy way out
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Ugh.. So frustrating. Where are you located, if you don't mind my asking? I've seen some great specialists that seem to have been helpful fr my structural things, aside from autoimmune things. In Santa Monica, and Marina Dey Rey. D.I.S.C. Spine and Sports centers, and Clinicare in Santa Monica. Both have really helped me, and I never felt like they gave up on me!
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I'm in Bend, OR. What kind of "specialists" have you seen that were helpful? I've seen various Neurologists, neurosurgeons, hand specialist. Each of them do a "test" whether X-ray or MRI and then tell me. " there's nothing I can do for you!" I arrive at a new docs with hope and leave every new docs appt in tears. I don't have a bone sticking out of my arm. You can't see anything and its not showing up on a test to give an "explanation".
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I've seen spine specialists that have been helpful, since the thought was that my structural problems and nerve problems were stemming from my neck and/or lower back. I also get migraines, but that is probably a result of lupus (antibodies attacking blood vessels in my brain) but is exacerbated by the neck pain and stress, etc.
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Is there a difference with a spine specialist and neurosurgeon? Nobody's suggested a "spine specialist".
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Yes, I think neurosurgeons are neurologists, and spine folks are orthopedic surgeons, that specialize in the back/spine. I think, anyway...
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I will have to look into that. Thank you!
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I'm much better than I was, I was in hospital for three years and was on life support for 8 months, I am on steroids permanently as my body can't make natural steroid anymore. I've been in a wheelchair for six years but, like I say, I take the rough with the smooth, no other choice huh? :)
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Aw they look so cute and pretty and perky :) Congrats on doing something so wonderful for yourself and Happy Healing.
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Thank you! I feel much more confident and feel more youthful in this version of my body!
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Glad to hear about your experience. I saw a plastic surgeon this past week and am awaiting insurance approval. I am currently a 38HH. I have a lot of back and neck pain and you have help convince me that I made the right decision to have a breast reduction done.
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I am astonished how much better my neck and back already feel! I felt better as soon as I woke up from the surgery! Good luck with insurance. I'm sure at that size you won't have a problem with approval. I was a 31H.
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I am happy you made it and you look good already. By the way, I like your bra.
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Thanks! I got it at the doc's office, but it looks ok, and its comfortable. Can't wait to buy something pretty though!
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