42Y/o 5'2Mom of 3 with 38GBreasts (Fastly Approaching the Next Size) ThinkingAbout BR and Something Tummyrelated. Huntsville, AL

Hi RS Family, Sorry for the long post but here...

Hi RS Family,
Sorry for the long post but here goes. I "think" I've finally decided to take the plunge and get a BR and then a TT or some other lower parts procedure thereafter.
Breast History: I've had large breasts (perky I might add) for as long as I can remember since developing, but was still always active with dance, sports, etc. However, after my 3rd baby about 8 years ago, the "girls" just never recovered. What once had been big and perky and considered shapely, had now morphed into long, pendulous, heavy, mammoths on the front of my body. Low back pain, mid back pain, and just plain pain with bra pinching/digging and ye old 4 boob syndrome has been my story since then. My GP did a Thermagram Breast Cancer scan about 2 years ago and once he was done talking with me about my cancer results being negative, he then launched into telling me how my entire back showed severe inflammation where my breast were pulling on the muscles and causing them to show-up redder than fire on the scan. He then told me he thought I might want to consider a breast reduction. I passed it off and continued to suffer over the next two years until about 6 months ago when I just became sick and tired of fighting with my bras (especially sports bras or lack thereof), never fitting clothes, and not being able to do a lot of exercises because of the heft in front. Embarrassingly, my sons tell me that my top part gets in the way when we are playing and jumping, etc. My hubby is good with how I am right now, but he supports me if I decide to do this and just wants me to be happy, pain free, and able to comfortably exercise. I've had 3 consults with 3 different PS' over the past 3 months (and been approved by my insurance for each) here in my town and after finally deciding on the PS I might allow to do the surgery, I get a letter stating that the PS will be relocating to another state this week!! Back at square 1!!!
Tummy History: Before I was 1 year old, I developed an inguinal hernia. The doc recommended to my mom that the hernia be removed as it was protruding quite a bit and would likely only get bigger. As with lots of belly-related surgeries in that day and time, I was cut across from hip bone to hip bone. Fast forward over the course of my life, I can't ever remember having a flat stomach or being able to achieve one. I've always had a lower pooch even while running track, doing crunches, doing aerobics and basically being physically fit and active in every other sense. I think this might be related to the fact that my muscles were cut and weakened during that surgery long ago. Now after 3 kiddies and a partial laparoscopic hysterectomy (still have my ov's), my tummy is out of control. While carrying the last baby (he really did a number on his mommy, but he is so sweet I can't be mad at him!!), my OB/GYN told me that I had developed a hernia under my belly. There was literally a lump sticking out of the area where my pubic hair was!! We never addressed the hernia again. So, I was chatting with my cousin about 6 or 7 months ago (a few months after having her last baby) and she told me that she was having a TT because she still looked as if she was preggers half a year after having her daughter and it was due to a hernia. It got me to thinking...is that what is wrong with my tummy??? I promise, I still look like I'm 8 months preggers and it has been 8 years since my last son made his debut!!! Granted, I now weigh 208 pounds (I've lost 4 pounds in the last 2 weeks as I'm trying everything I can to lose some weight - I need to lose about 40 pounds to feel comfortable) but when I have lost weight, I still have this tummy. So bummed...
I'm including some very embarrassing pics of how I look now....this was very hard for me...I manage to girdle up and batten down pretty well when I'm in my clothing, but nude...I feel disgusting...
So, RS Family, now that you know my story, can some of you share your thoughts regarding what I should do about:
A. As a 5'2 curvy hourglass woman, what size should I go down to from a 38G? Somehow, I plan to lose weight and hopefully get down to a curvy 170 or so (by the way does anyone have any suggestions for weightloss plans/programs for over 40 women??). If don't meet my goal, I still want to look balanced since I do have hips, etc. I promise there was a waist under there somewhere!!

B. Given my belly and the history/pics I've posted, what kind of lower part procedure do you think would work best for me? TT, Lipo, etc.? Would insurance cover this?

C. To my ethnic sisters out there (especially those of AA and Hispanic decent), if I happen to keloid, what can be done?

Any advice and feedback is welcomed. Thanks so much and please have any awesomely blessed day!!

Went to Another Consult and I think....

So, I went to another BR consult today in the next town over....AND....I think I'm finally going to go for it!!! I met with Dr. James Grotting and his staff at Grotting & Cohn Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, AL and it was a fantastic appointment. Dr. Grotting is very knowledgeable, calm, and reassuring and doesn't mind questions at all. I felt very at ease chatting with he and his nurse and believe that I will get great results. He says that he will likely remove about 500 g per breast which will take me down to a "full D" cup. I may ask to go to a "full C" or a "small D" but we'll see how it goes. I trust his opinion from what he stated about my body shape/type without me having to say anything. I've tentatively scheduled the surgery for Friday, December 5, 2014 and hope I won't chicken out before then. Insurance has already approved the BR so now it's hurry up and wait.

In terms of the tummy, he suggested a TT with flanks done also. Unfortunately, it looks like that will have to come out of pocket so it might be a while before I am able to get that done. I've been trying to lose some weight and have been successful at going from 212, to 208, now down to 205. Doesn't seem like much, but my goal is to be under 200 pounds, maybe around 180-190 before the BR surgery. I'll update again soon. TTFN!

Doc's Office Called Today to Confirm.....

I'm nervous as HECK!!!! The PS called today to confirm that we are still a go for the BR for December 5, 2014. Their office is in a town about 1.5 hours from me and I'm just a teensy bit concerned (okay, ALOT concerned) that my surgery is outpatient and I won't get to stay in the hospital overnight. I also won't see my PS again until the day before surgery when I get marked. Among other things, I'm obsessing over the details like my post surgical garment, ointment/bandages, supplements, will my tummy stick out bigger than my ta-ta's after surgery, and on and on. Praying for a calm spirit and for protection. Anywho, I'm now T-Minus 1 month and a week. I'll update again later. TTFN!! (I love these unintended puns....T-Minus.....Ta-Ta for Now, lol)

Welp, 1 Month Until My BR Surgery....

And I'm still NERVOUS!! I've been in the mirror at least a 100 times looking at my breasts wondering if I'm making the right decision. I'm altogether certain that my back pain and shoulder soreness are going to disappear and I know less weight up front is going to finally allow me to work out more, but I've had this body for so long and my ta-tas have pretty much done a good job of hiding my tummy for some time....I've lost some more weight (now down to 196) and am continuing to work hard right up to surgery (I'd like to be down to about 185-190 by the time I hit the doors for my mark-up appointment) so I'm really wondering if the fact that my tummy is still huge right now will overshadow the benefits of the BR. I called my PS today and asked if they would consider allowing me to have some lipo to my tummy while I'm in surgery, just to take it down some, and they said no :-(. So, here I sit obsessing about it. I'm excited, yet nervous...If any of you ladies out there were battling the tummy bulge ( I don't mean those with just a little pooch, I mean a real-live kanga-pouch like what's shown on my profile pic) prior to getting your BR, please comment and give me your thoughts and how you approached your PS about this. Thanks and have a fantastic week!

3 weeks and counting....

Okay, RS Family, I'm down to my final three weeks...AND I'M STILL a ball of nerves!!! When I say I'm a ball of nerves, I guess I mean that my mind is just racing with all sorts of thoughts. I talked to my PS office this past week and they stated they are running a little behind with getting out the pre-op packets for December surgeries....arrggghhhhhhh......don't they know I need time to read that stuff at least 150 or so times before surgery, lol??? And the longer I wait to get their packet, the more stuff I research on the internet and the more questions I have rattling around in my noggin. So, here I sit once more and again obsessing about what size I'll be, if I'll look awkward with smaller breasts, how long it will be before I can exercise and work on this tummy, will my husband still find me attractive after I have surgery, how do I avoid an infection, do I have the right supplies, will I have drains, will my nipples be okay, when can I drive, and on and on....I'll tell you though, I do think I'm going to be much happier and feel better about myself. I can't wait to be able to do planks and push-ups and not feel like I'm going to go through the floor because my chest is pulling me down to the ground. I can't wait to not have the shoulder, neck, and back pain or to run and jump and play around with my sons without them saying that my top is getting in the way. As I've been told, I'm not too bad on the eyes, but I can't even look at myself in the mirror when I'm getting ready as all I see are my breasts and my stomach. They take over....they take over the mirror, pics, and just about everything. I put my make-up on while standing to the side of the mirror and peering in closely only at my face so I don't have to see my body. As you can imagine, I've had some pretty wild days with my mascara and eyeliner and have had to use the mirror in the car to clean it up so I didn't scare everyone at work, lol!! So, I've taken some more pics and am posting them here. These pics make me uncomfortable but I feel this is the only way for me to chronicle my journey and really and truly appreciate deliverance from where I've come from. Well, I've not received many comments to my posts, but I'd love to hear any thoughts from you ladies who are heading in around the same time I am as well as the veteran's who've already been through this process. Additionally, if anyone has any comments about Dr. Grotting, please let me know. Thanks and I'll update again soon!!

BR Happens on Friday!!!!

Wowwwwwiiieee!!! Time has really flown by! I'm still nervous as my BR is scheduled for this coming Friday, December 5, 2014. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this whole thing. I've become at ease with going down to about a good D cup. I've spent most evenings skulking about the Real Self website looking at pics of women's BRs that I think would work well for my body type, and it looks like a D is just what the doc ordered. Well, my PS office finally sent me my Pre-op packet on this past Tuesday with all of the do's, don't's, maybe's, and also my supplements (those maybe's are scaring the stew out of me!!!!). So I've started taking the Clinical Support pack which consists of a morning formula, an evening formula, and a Bromelain/Quercetin (sp) combo. I also was sent some Arnica Montana. I take three of the morning formula and three of the evening formula each day. I'm not supposed to start the Bromelain/Quercetin (sp) combo until December 2, 2014 which is 3 days before my surgery. And the Arnica Montana (sub-lingual) is for after surgery. So far, I don't notice much with the morning/evening dosages except I itch a little at night. Hopefully the healing benefits will outweigh the itching once the surgery is done :-). I've discontinued all of my other supplements/vitamins/meds and am only taking the essentials which is my BP med, Metformin, and a Probiotic. I've also purchased the following: 4 front closure bras, arnica cream, aquafor, scar therapy strips, maxi pads rather than guaze for protection and for any leakage, vitamin e oil, and 3M tape (the blue kind for sensitive skin). I still need to purchase: polysporin, dial antibacterial soap or some hibiclens, benadryl, and Extra Strength Tylenol. I also have a hair dryer which I will use on the cool setting to help keep things dry. I'm still waiting to hear whether my pre-op appointment is going to be the day before surgery or the day of. If I'm Dr. Grotting's first case, then my pre-op will be at the hospital the morning of the surgery which is when I'll also get marked. If I'm his second case, then I'll go into his office on the day before surgery (Thursday) and get marked up then. I'm going to ask for something to keep me calm, etc. The last time I had surgery, I was so worked up that I blew like 3 veins before they could get the IV in me. So mainly, I'm just concerned about infection and whether or not my surgeon will get it right. I've been praying about this surgery and praying for protection, God's healing virtues, and for His divine will to be done. I'm a bit of a fraidy cat as I have 3 children and a husband that I've recently reconnected with and I don't feel like it's time for me to leave this earth yet. So, I continue to pray that nothing happens to me as I undergo this surgery. Last night I had this combo thing going where I'd pray then dream, then pray then dream. I just don't want anything to go wrong. Anywho, I pray for protection, peace, healing, and wellness for all of my RS Sisters out there who are embarking on this journey and those who have already walked this road and left us great breadcrumbs to follow. Stay well, keep me in your prayers, and I'll update when I have my pre-op!!

Forgot to Add...

I forgot to add that I also took my RXs prescribed by Dr. Grotting to be filled today. I think it was Keflex, Percocet, Flexaril, Ambien, and one other antibiotic who's name escapes me at this moment. I also failed to mention that I also purchased some Milk of Magnesium, Colace, and some Ballerina Tea to ensure I don't get constipated from all the meds. I think that's all for now!!

Okkkkkkayyyy, this is really happening.....

Ladies, I'm in an uproar!!! I'm nervous one minute and then all confident, etc. the next!!! I feel like I need meds to keep calm before the surgery even happens!! I'm 2 days out from surgery. I'm nesting like crazy, I keep looking at my body in the mirror wondering what I'll look like and if this is the right thing to do. I guess I must have been so worked up tonight until my hubby came over to my side of the bed and gave me a hug and told me that even though it seems like there's a lot going on and that I'm nervous, everything's going to be fine. Thank God for him!!!

So, I've managed to buy every product I think I could possibly need. Got my RXs back today. They ordered Zofran for me in case I have any nausea (so hoping I won't!). I've grocery shopped and my fridge is stocked full of stuff for the kiddies and for my hubby. I'm planning to make a few different dishes and store them so I won't have to be worried about my family. I haven't heard what time my pre-op is yet which means that I also don't know what time my surgery is on Friday (this is driving me up the wall, lol). So, I'm doing my best to make sure I'm ready. I had to take a Benadryl last night to get some sleep and I might have to do the same tonight so I'm not up looking at the ceiling pondering the unknowns of BR surgery. Please continue to keep me in your prayers. Thanks and to all a good night!!

Made it to Birmingham...

We finally made it to Birmingham. We had a little snafu and weren't able to get on the road at the time we initially anticipated. Well, Dr. Grotting had a lecturing engagement and would have been late had he marked me this evening. So, the new plan is for us to arrive at the hospital around 12.00 noon tomorrow for marking and pre-op and then my case will start shortly thereafter. I felt so bad about this but Vicki, Dr. Grotting's Admin & Scheduler, was so sweet about it. She told us not to worry and that we would just handle everything tomorrow as Dr. Grotting nor his Fellow were the least bit upset. Vicki then called from her cell phone while we were en route and further updated me on possibilities for tomorrow and reassured me that everything would work out just fine. Talk about calming the nerves!! So, tonight my hubby and I plan to have a good dinner and spend some time looking at recovery pics, etc so he'll know what to expect. Having a slight allergic reaction to something I ate today (itching, mouth burning, etc) so I'll end up taking one Benadryl which will hopefully resolve this before I am intubated tomorrow as well as help me rest without obsessing. Thanks so much for the well wishes and prayers. Until tomorrow!

Hospital Called...

The hospital called this morning and asked that I come in at 8.30 a.m. rather than 12.00 noon as they may be able to squeeze me in earlier than initially anticipated. So, I'm up and dressed and waiting on the hubby to get dressed. I have used so much Dial and Hibiclens, I think I was squeaking when I got out of the shower, lol!! I'm super-duper clean!!! Will post a few more pre-op pics while at hospital. I'm still a "little" nervous but I think I'm going to be just fine. TTFN!!

IV in, clothes changed, waiting to go back..

Well, here I am. Everything is moving along. I won't be able to post pics of my markings as they are going to do them right before I'm wheeled into the OR. Looking forward to life with smaller ta-tas and a chance to become healthier. I'll post again as soon as I feel up to it after surgery. Keep me in your prayers and see you on the other side of the surgery!

Made it to the Other Side!!!

All thanks to the good Lord on high, I made it!!!! Just so you know, I started this update at least 3 times but fell asleep in the middle of it each time! I'm now 2 days post-op. And I feel pretty good. I arrived at the hospital at 8.30 a.m. as instructed and was called back to do pre-op stuff about 11.00 a.m. Once hubby and I got back there, I was told to undress and give a urine sample for them to do a pregnancy test and a blood glucose test. So funny that they did the pregnancy test because both me and my husband are fixed! All of us, including the nurses had a good laugh off that one. So the nurses knew I was nervous and they said they would call the anesthesiologist to give me something to take the edge off (Valium). I must say that it did help. The nurse got the saline IV going (the nurse was a great sticker, she got it on the first try, she was also from the town where we live so maybe that's why she was so great!). Next, the anesthesiologist came in and asked me a million questions, which I loved. I wanted to make sure we had covered everything so if anything went wrong, he'd know what to do. Next, Dr. Grotting's Fellow, Dr. Derby came in and talked me through a lot of my questions. When we approached some questions that only Dr. Grotting could answer, he called him to join us in my room. Dr. Grotting came in and begin answering my questions and started marking. Now, this is where I kinda got a little frustrated/feelings hurt and maybe I shouldn't have. In the middle of me asking my questions and him marking me, he stated "I have to get back to the OR, this is why I like patients to come in the day before to get their questions answered." So my Q&A ended rather abruptly with him. I know it was our fault that we were late the day before, but YEEEESH, give a girl a break. I still think he owed it to me to at least answer all of my questions. He did tell me that because of my shape (curvy coke bottle) that he would not make me small and that I would still be fairly large. I told him that was fine as long as I wasn't any larger than a D. Anywho, aside from that, I still think he's pretty great.

So, I was then wheeled back to the OR holding area and I waited there for about 45 minutes. Next, a nurse came in and asked me my name and then patient transport was there to take me to the OR. For some reason, when I have to go for surgery, singing makes me feel better (gospel worship songs ) so to everyone's dismay, I sang all the way until they put me out. So surgery lasted for about about 3-3.5 hours and the next thing I remember is waking up in my private hospital recovery room. Dr. Grotting told my husband that everything went well. He said that at one point my blood pressure spiked but they quickly got it under control. I woke up in a surgical bra with Tegaderm underneath all over my breasts. I can't remember if I saw Dr. Grotting or Dr. Derby again before I went home but I will say I was at peace. I have two drains on either side. My left breast was a little larger than my right breast so the left drain has not been as productive as the right.

So, I came home on Friday night. The ride wasn't too bad as my hubby let me lounge in the backseat of our truck and I had a pillow to squeeze if there was too much bumping around. Since coming home on Friday night, I've been pretty much zonked due to all the medication. I've eaten a little here and there and am drinking at least 2 cups a day of tea with lemon and honey in it. I have been in pain prob at a level 7 or 8 on yesterday and about 6 today. Otherwise I feel pretty good. I've been taking laps inside around our home about 3 to 4 times a day when I'm not sleeping. The worst of it is when I have to get up from a lying down position. That HURTS like HECK!!!!! But once I'm up, it's all good. I've only had one zinger. Now, I did have a little reaction to the Tegaderm at the tops of both my breasts where a few water blisters have formed. The post-op instructions indicate that if you have blisters, remove that part of the Tegaderm, apply some antibiotic cream, and cover it with gauze which is what we've done. So far, so good except it itches something fierce!!!

Hubby has been great with keeping the drains tidy, dumping them, and recording the output. So blessed to have him because I don't think I could have done it by myself. My sons were glad to see me but a little taken aback because they could only kiss me not hug me (awwww sweet little boys!) Anywho, that's what's been going on up until now. I will post a few pre -op and post-op pics so you can see my progress. Thanks so all of you for your prayers, encouragement, and support!

Anyone else had issues with Tegaderm?

Hey ladies! Anyone else had issues with Tegaderm? Wondering if I can take a Benadryl to stop the itching. Any advice?

Pre & Initial Post Op Pics, More Post-Op Info

Here are a few before and after pics. Forgot to mention in my previous post, that I'm still taking Bromelain/Quercitin (sp) three times a day between meals, the Clinical Support Morning and Evening Formulas in the morning and evening with meals, Keflex (antibiotic..they also gave me IV antibiotics during surgery) , and I'm taking my Arnica Montana 3 times a day as well. I took my multivitamin and my hair vitamins today also along with a stool softener/laxative so I won't get backed up in the bowels. Feeling okay, just can't wait to get the drains out and to get this rash resolved which was caused by the Tegaderm. Ready to take a shower also, but no shower until after my first Post-Op appointment will be on Tuesday. TTFN!!

Keep Remembering Little Things that Might Help...

One of the things I'm glad I did was to ask for a nausea patch before going under. Not only did they give me a nausea patch, they also gave me a shot of Phenegren (sp) in my IV to make sure I didn't get sick. I got a little nauseous when I was getting ready to go home and then again yesterday but the dissovable Zofran they gave me worked like a charm. They also allowed me to sip Ginger Ale while I was in recovery and I took it with me in the car and sipped it on and off during the trip. I never actually threw up, I just felt a little woozy like I was going to and I immediately popped a Zofran. Additionally, I took a pillow and a step stool for the trip home. The step stool allowed me to haul this 190+ pound frame up into his truck with little effort. Lastly, I had hubby to stop by the store and purchase a pack of Honey and Lemon Hall's cough drops. They really helped with the sore throat which was a result of the breathing tube being down my throat. Okay, I think that's all for now until Tuesday. If anyone has Tegaderm advice, please feel free to chime in! Praying for MerryChristmas and SuzaneC who go in for their transformation this week!!!

Water Blisters Spreading...

Hi RS Family,
Just an update. Things are progressing along pretty well. Pain level today has been about a 4 or 5. Still is a beast to go from lying down to sitting/standing up, but all in all, it's not too bad.

The water blisters under the Tegaderm have spread so instead of 1, I now have 3. I called my PS office today and she told me to just try and bear it until tomorrow when Dr. Grotting can have a look. She also said it was safe to to take the Benadryl to stop the reaction. I've posted another pic and I'm hoping it hasn't spread to other areas I can't see. I'm excited about possibly getting these drains out and also seeing what's under the Tegaderm and surgical garment. My left breast is a little hard and tender to the touch at the top, so we'll see what Dr. Grotting has to say about that also. Someone said that after surgery your breasts kinda feel like they did when they would fill up with milk before breast feeding. That is precisely how my left breast feels!! So wild because its been 8 years since I've had that feeling. Well that's all for now. Will update again after my post-op appointment tomorrow. Love, peace, and happy healing to all!!

First Post-Op Visit

Hi Ladies!!

Went to my first Post-Op visit today and it was great! The nurse took a look at the water blisters and said it was definitely a reaction to the Tegaderm as the area that broke out had the greatest amount of tension on it. Kind of like contact dermatitis which I do get if I wear a hat or any other restrictive garment on other parts of my body. She instructed me to use a little Eucerin, Vaseline, or Aquafor on the area (but making sure not to saturate it to the point where it's glistening, etc) and cover it with guaze (sp) and it should resolve in a couple of days. She also told me I could use Polysporin but that it might irritate the blisters even more. I told her I'd prefer to just use Vaseline or Aquafor and some Benadryl cream/pills for good measure. She then cut away the areas of the Tegaderm that looked like it was causing the reaction. What a relief!! My pain level today has been somewhere around a 3 or so and I'm having some burning sensations in the areas where my nipples are.

Dr. Grotting came in along with his Fellow, Dr. Derby, and had a look at me without the surgical bra on. They were very pleased with the progress of my healing with the exception of the Tegaderm blisters. He asked his nurse to then remove my drains...YAAAAYYY!!! I was so excited!! I had already prepared myself for the drain removal by taking a Percocet en route to my appointment. It really didn't hurt, more like stinging and an inside the skin ticklish sensation. I'm still swollen and draining from my left breast, but when I got up to look in the mirror, I couldn't believe that the reflection in the mirror was actually me!! Even with the swelling and with my big ol' belly, my ta-tas look good in my opinion and my husband thought so too! Right now, they almost look like I have implants, lol! I'm pretty sure they won't be this high and perky when it's all said and done, so I'm enjoying it all now. The nurse explained what to do regarding cleaning the surgical bra and I showed her the two bras I planned to wear while the surgical bra was being washed. The first bra she looked at, she immediately discarded saying that it didn't provide enough support (guess Goodwill will get 3 brand spanking new sports bras in 38) however, the second bra I showed her that zipped up in the front (it's shown in one of my Pre-Op pics), she said was great. She said the purpose of the bra at this stage of recovery is to keep the breasts up and in, not down and out. I love it!!

Lastly, she asked had I been taking something to be sure I didn't get constipated. I told her I'd only taken something once and that I still have not gone since Friday. She told me from here on out that if I take any prescription pain meds, I need to pop some Colace right along with it. Suffice it to say, I'll be taking a swig of M-O-M in just a few minutes.

I have my second Post-Op appointment next Tuesday, at which point, I'll get my stitches removed. Rest assured that I will likely pop another Percocet to handle that also, lol. I'm not really sure what size I am/will be, but I'm okay with my results as they are still smaller and higher than they were before. I'm cleared to take a shower, wash my hair, slowly raise my hands above my head, and if I'm not on any pain meds, to drive (she told me to take a test spin around the neighborhood first just to make sure I'm up to it). For the shower, she told me to use the dial antibacterial soap and to make sure I dry everything off completely after I shower. So excited to get rid of the funk, lol!!!

In the essence of full disclosure, I also apologized to Dr. Grotting for whatever I did/said during Pre-Op that might have offended or upset him. I was such a ball of nerves, that I think I projected my nervousness to him in the form of being a bit inconsiderate with the timing of my questions. Dr. Grotting cheerfully accepted my apology and stated that he had a lot going on that day as well and that we were both just stressed. He still had great bedside manner today and I'm glad we were able to end the day on a very positive note. Attaching pics from my appointment today. Merry, I hope you had a swell day, Girlie. Looking forward to catching up when you feel up to it. SuzanC, you are in my prayers, darling! Thanks so everyone who prayed for me and sent positive vibes/thoughts my way. Looking forward to your praise report as well. TTFN!!

Pic of Post-Op Bra Approved by Nurse

This is the bra the nurse said was okay to wear while my other bra is being laundered as it has good support. It's pretty comfy, but I did just put a maxi bad between it and the bottom incision on my left breast as it's kinda tight there due to the swelling. I'll post pics tomorow of the bra she didn't approve of.

Feeling pretty good today!

Hi RS Family,
Feeling pretty good today as I FINALLY showered, WAHOOOOOOO!!! So happy to be clean. I was somewhat worried about how the shower was going to go but it wasn't that bad. I got in and turned my back to the shower and let the water run over my shoulders (got this from some of the other folks here on RS). I used a bar of the Dial Gold Antibacterial soap and lathered up my whole body. It was HEAVEN!!! LOL! I was able to pretty much reach everywhere except my back so I have no idea what's going on back there. I was able to wash over the Tegaderm and the drain sites. Once I was done, I applied some Arnica Gel to my liposuction areas. I made sure to dry off well and I put some some benadryl cream then some aquafor on the blisters. Feeling a little swollen and tight right now, but not bad. I also finally "went" to the restroom today, which was another blessing. Worn out from the shower but feeling pretty alright none the less. As far as my ta-ta's today, the right one is doing pretty well and I love the shape. The left one has gone square and is more swollen than it's sister. My PS told me to make sure I look at my breasts at sisters rather than twins meaning they might not look identical. I'm good with that. Will post an after shower pic a little later today. TTFN!!

After Shower Pic

Here's a pic after my first shower yesterday. Wore me out but it was AWESOME!! As I stated, Lefty Lucy has lots of swelling and has gone a bit square, but I still love her anyhow. Righty Ruthy has less swelling and I love the shape she's in. Tegaderm is still causing a reaction resulting in water blisters but I'm trying to hold out until my second Post Op appointment next week. TTFN and please keep me in your prayers!

Best Thing EVER!!!

So, one of the things that has been driving me crazy since surgery is itching on my back since I can't oil my body up like I was doing before surgery. One of the best things my dear hubby let me use was his long handled back scratcher. OMG!! If it was not for this thing I would literally pull my hair out as I can't stand to be itchy. I keep it by me at all times and it has been great! Just thought I'd share. Doing pretty good today, just feeling really "engorged." My husband and I agree that the swelling is likely due to me using my arms too much yesterday, so aside from my shower I plan to take it easy today. I made it through all of yesterday only taking extra strength tylenol but had to take a painkiller about 6 am this morning as the incision under my left breast started burning kind of badly. Hoping everyone is doing well today!! TTFN!!!

Feeling Not so Hot Today....

Okay, RS Family....
Just need to vent among friends. So, between this reaction to the Tegaderm and the fact that Lefty Lucy is still swollen, I'm having a bit of a "moment" about my BR. I'm grateful that God brought me through the surgery with no complications, now I've got to believe in Him for divine healing during recovery. The Tegaderm reaction is just plain ugly. Maybe I just can't get past the ugliness of it to see the beauty of my new breasts. The Tegaderm reaction has caused first, water blisters, and now, reddish, blackish sores on the tops of my breasts. I'm treating them now with Coconut Oil and Vitamin E Oil. If this keeps up, I think I will take a trip to the ER to let them take off the Tegaderm and tell me what to do since my next Post-Op appointment isn't until late next week. Suffice it to say, I don't know if I'm even happy with the size now. My hubby looked at my breast yesterday and said, "well, they look the same size as before right now.." I don't think he said it to be insensitive, I just think he was being honest about his thoughts...sort of "what was this all for?" The PS told me that he couldn't make me "small" which I was fine with, but what I didn't expect was to come away from 3.5 hours of surgery as a "DD" which is what it looks like I am right now. I am SO hoping they go down to a comfortable "D" which is what I said I would be pleased with if I couldn't get to a "C" and also what the PS said he could get me to. I don't know how to feel about this at the moment. When I initially came out of surgery in my surgical bra, I was over the moon about the size. I was absolutely thrilled!! Now with the blisters, sores, and swelling, I just don't know. Just wanted to share my feelings at a week Post-Op. Any feedback is welcome....

Pics to go w/1 Week Post-Op Post....

In a Better Place Today...

Hi RS Family,
Hope you've had a great weekend! Well, I'm feeling a bit better today than I did two days ago when I last posted. I was feelin' kinda blue that day and was really not feeling my BR. Thanks so much to Sapoland, LifeisGd, and MerryChristmas2Me for being encouraging voices while I was a little low. That's what this forum is for, right, to inform, encourage, and support one another and for that, I'm so grateful I found RS! Today, my spirits are better. The Tegaderm reaction/rash has not progressed anymore and the itching is really minimal compared to how it has been. The scabbing is still not that pretty, but it appears to be crusting over and trying to heal with the exception of two blisters that are still watery-looking. Lefty Lucy is still swollen and the biggest and Righty Ruthy is swollen also, but to a lesser extent. Most of my swelling seems to be localized under my arms with some hardness. My pain level is pretty good during the day but kicks up at night making it hard to get comfortable and rest so I've been reserving any pain meds to night/bed time, if I take any at all. Most of the pain/discomfort is in my horizontal incision under my breast and I'm having some zingers in my nipples. I'm regaining sensation all over my breasts however, the nipples have not really "awakened" just yet. I woke up today with a sense of resolve in my spirit that I was not going to be defeated with this BR and that this WILL be a successful and manageable event in my life. With that, I fixed lunch for my sons (nothing gourmet or high effort, just some corn dogs, fruit, and bagged chopped salad...maybe it also helped that I slept in the bed with my husband last night for the first time in several nights since I'd been sleeping on the couch for comfort sake), began helping my oldest with a project, and even went outside for a few minutes. All of this was certainly a mood lifter! I've still been taking the Arnica Montana several times a day, I've just run out of the Keflex (Antibiotic) and the Bromelain (I plan to get some more this week), still taking my morning/evening Clinical Support, my MSM, Vitamin C, Hair Vitamins, and MultiVitamin. Thanks for your support and I'll update again with pics after my second Post-Op appointment which is when the Tegaderm and the stitches are removed. TTFN, happy healing, and please have an awesome week!!!

Couldn't Wait Until Tomorrow...

Okay, Girlfriends.....I'm back to myself and I don't choose to go back to Bluesville anymore during this journey (pray for me). Hope all has been well. Just a couple of updates that I couldn't hold until tomorrow:

1. The Tegaderm on my right breast is is no longer covering my horizontal incision and...it's not so bad. I got a chance to look at it and aside from a kinda medicinal smell (like a wet bandaid) the incision is doing okay. Once the Tegaderm was no longer there, I cleaned the incision with hydrogen peroxide on a Q-Tip, put a little Polysporin on a thin gauze and put it in that area to protect it until I see the doc tomorrow. So far, so good and praying it stays that way...any advice is welcome....

2. I drove to the store yesterday and....Driving Ms. Daisy put me to shame, lol!!! What should have been a 5 minute journey took me 10 mins and most of that was me trying to get out of our driveway without using my arms too much. It was nice to get out and go to the store by myself ( told my husband to call the authorities if I wasn't back in 20 minutes, lol). I've been taking only extra strength tylenol (unless I feel REALLY bad) and I just had to get my wits about me in order to drive. I only picked up light things (tangerines, gauze, a quart of juice, etc) at the store and I loaded everything one by one and did not carry anything in the house. I am a bit sore today and I had to take a nap (also had a lunch date which was nice!!) so I'm taking it easy. Most of my swelling is under my arms where my lipo took place. Would love to put ice on it, but doc said no, so I'll be a good girl.

3. And in Self-Esteem Boosting News...I tried on a button up blouse that depressingly did not fit me still when I was getting ready to go to my first Post-Op appointment. I was so outdone and thought the surgery was a failure because that blouse didn't fit on that particular day (simple minded, I know). I'm happy to report, that I tried on that same blouse today and guess what??? It fit SOOOOO nicely!!! I mean, I actually looked NORMAL!!!!!! Ya'll, I cannot tell you how that made me feel today!!! I just started thanking and praising God and thinking about all of you who said this would happen for me!! Thank you for encouraging me and keeping me sane with, as LifeisGd said, the bumps, twists, and turns this journey (and life) can take us through. Ya'll are AWESOME!!!!! And if that wasn't enough, my lunch date stated that I looked AMAZING and that everything was proportionate to my body. NOWWWWW, gotta work on this tummy as soon as I'm cleared.

More tomorrow, Ya'll!! Happy Healing and thanks for the good vibes!!!

PostOp Appointment 2...

Hi Ladies,
Hope you all have had a great day! So my second Post-Op appointment went very well today. Once again, I had worked myself up (not to frenzy state though, thank goodness) regarding this appointment because I was getting everything removed. I popped two extra strength tylenol prior to arriving for my appointment, and I have to say, it did the job. Oh, and the seatbelt in the car. I managed it by putting on one of my wool coats (not to heavy) and I tied one of my medium to thick scarves around my neck and let it hang down in front. between the coat and the scarf there was a nice cushy barrier between the girls and the seatbelt. I was very comfortable except for the bumps on the highway (stretching my eyes at my hubby)!!

Got to start my appointment by chatting with one of my favorite people at the PS office, which is Vicki. She is a jewel and is very reassuring and knowledgeable. Next, I was called back and got to spend time with my intense surgical nurse, Jennifer. What I thought was briskness on her part, my husband and I both agreed, is just her commitment to nothing but the best post-op care. She is not chatty (I am and I have to remember that the beauty in our world is the things that make us all different) but answers all questions and gives great advice. She did a FANTASTIC job of removing the Tegaderm and the stitches from my nipples and my incisions. It was mildly uncomfortable, felt a little like tugging, but was over in a matter of minutes. I am pleased to report that I have pain sensation in my nipples, YAY!! So, surprisingly, she was more pleased with the progression of Lefty Lucy who's vertical and horizontal incisions are completely closed up!! I was like WHAT???? Lefty is my problem child....well, not so. Righty Ruthy is the slacker and is only a few steps behind as she has two little areas that are a little weepy still. No infection, praise God!! Jennifer cleaned me up really nicely and instructed me to vigorously clean Righty Ruthy's incisions when in the shower and to make sure she is kept as dry as possible. During the day I am to keep a piece of guaze underneath to absorb any moisture so as to promote good healing and I am to change the gauze several times a day. No ointments or oils or anything for any of the incisions on either breast right now. The word of the day is DRY!!! I've gotten my trusty dusty hair dryer out to keep things dry by airing my girls out on the cool setting after my showers. I'm to keep a piece of gauze in my bra covering both vertical incisions and the nipples everyday until my next appointment....easy-peasy!!

Dr. Grotting and Dr. Derby came in and gave their approval and talked to me about still taking it easy, no sleeping on my tummy yet, and that I am progressing nicely. So, I'm now cleared to go and be fitted for a preliminary bra. The bra must now keep them high and kinda ensure that they aren't smushed together. My internal sutures are dissovable and everything should be on its way to happy healing. All in all, they took a total of over 650 gms which is almost 4 pounds total. Who knew that I was carrying around the equivalent of a 3-4 pound exercise hand weight...JUST WILD! Jennifer says the goal during surgery was to get me from a G down to a C or a D when all the healing, dropping, fluffing and such is said and done. I'm happy with that!!

So, right now, my girls look a little odd to me. They are tight and high and kinda projectile-like and I feel like I have implants, does that make sense to anyone??? They are still swollen and Dr. Grotting says they will soften, drop, and the nipple will move up as time progresses. That sounds GREAT to me!! All in all, at this stage in my recovery, on a scale of 1-10, my satisfaction level is at a 9. The only reason it's not a 10 is because of the reaction to the Tegaderm which Jennifer put ointment on and covered with a few band-aids. Apparently 5% of the population that gets the Tegaderm has a reaction....and of course I just HAD to be in that 5%, lol!!

So, I have several pics to share in my favorite house dress, lol. Happy healing to all and TTFN!!

First Attempt at Bra Shopping....

Hey Ya'll!!
Okay, so during my travels yesterday, I decided to stop by Wal-mart to see if I could maybe find a segue bra while I'm still fluffing, dropping, etc. that didn't cost to much. At this point, because I'm still swollen and both sides are different shapes and sizes, I didn't think it was wise to spend $50 - $100 on a bra while I'm still changing. So, I came away from Wally-World with 4, and out of the 4, only one seemed to be something I could tolerate that would give me some level of good support. What I really wanted was a plunging molded bra, but I didn't find exactly what I was looking for. I ended up finding this Hanes firm cup bra and it feels pretty good. I'm going to try and wear it for a day or two and then maybe I'll go and get another style after that as I continue to change. At $12.00 and change, I don't mind purchasing several at different intervals of time. I'll continue to wear either the surgical bra or my Playtex zip-up sports bra to bed at night just to make sure I have that extra strong support while sleeping. If you have any advice, please share. Thanks!

First Bra Trial....Epic Fail, LOL!!

Hi Ladies,
Well my first full day in that new bra was an epic fail, lol!! Man, by the time I took that bra off yesterday evening, there were indentions all over my girls!! They DID NOT like being in that bra at this stage in the recovery process. So, back to my trusty-dusty Playtex Zipster Sports Bra. As soon as I put the sports bra on last night, I promise I thought I heard the girls breathe a sigh of relief, lol! Anywho, thanks to LfisGd for suggesting the barely there bra. I'm going to see if I can find one of those and try it. I think since I was so big before surgery and wore bras with support like steel, I feel more secure with that type of support even now, even thought I don't necessarily need it at this stage in the game. So funny how some of my old habits are going to hard to break. If I don't have to wear a minimizer or one of the Wacoal (sp) big strong support boulder holders, I don't know if I'll know how to act since this is all I've worn for the majority of my life!
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Grotting is located in Birmingham, AL however, I live in Huntsville, AL. I felt very comfortable with him during my consultation appointment and his staff was very kind and attentive. Several of them have been with him since the late 90's which I think says a lot. Will keep you posted

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