1.5 years later-Glen Ellyn Illinois

I started this process of getting a breast...

I started this process of getting a breast reduction surgery approved by my insurance, BCBS. I met with four plastic surgeons in the last 2 weeks of October, and eliminated two right away. I had the other two PS submit claims and go from there. I have a preferred PS of course. I am waiting to see if my insurance approves me. I am thinking about the end of February to the beginning of March for surgery. I work in construction as an inspector and that time frame is one of slowest times of year for work. I plan to take a minimum of three weeks off. I will work light duty for 3 weeks before resuming my normal work activities. I have 13 days of paid vacation that I could use. I plan to inquire about short term disability instead of using my vacation days if possible. I plan to have a good friend stay with me for the first 2 weeks after surgery. I did receive a pre-certified letter from a hospital for outpatient services related to breast reduction surgery. I hope that this is a good sign. Maybe I am close to getting approved, I truly hope so.

I got good news, my breast reduction surgery was...

I got good news, my breast reduction surgery was approved!! My office is starting the FMLA paperwork. I am eligible for short term disability of 250 per week. I have 12 vacation days to use. My boss wants me to take off Jan and Feb. Since we do not have light duty work, I will be off for either 6 weeks or when my doctor releases me for work. I find it odd that he wants me off in Jan. or Feb. Usually middle of Feb. to end of March is our slow time. But I would not mind being off during the cold temps of Jan. and Feb. He suggested taking Jan. 1 to middle of Feb. off of work. I wonder if there is a project coming in Feb/March that I needed.

The thing that puzzles me is the difference between two plastic surgeons' offices. The plastic surgeon that is used to working with my union got the approval today. The other plastic surgeon office has heard nothing. I asked when they plan to ask and the nurse told me to followup with insurance. :blink: I thought that was the doctor's office job...

The reality of having surgery and the 6 weeks off...

The reality of having surgery and the 6 weeks off is setting in slowly but surely. Now I'm postponing things, figuring out what I can pay ahead, what I will get for short term disability, etc...I have to train my replacement to take over the jobsites that will be going after I take medical leave. It is really going to happen. I feel nervous until I feel a muscle in pain, then I'm ready.

I went to my regular doctor's office this...

I went to my regular doctor's office this afternoon for sinus infection. He weighed me and I have lost almost 30 pounds since July. I am finally below 200 lbs for the first time in 5 years! Changing my eating habits since being diagnosed as lactose and gluten intolerant has made a difference.

My boss forgot to tell my replacement that I would...

My boss forgot to tell my replacement that I would be off. Boy, he freaked out. He always complains about wanting more hours, not working during the winter and needs more job experience. Now he is complaining about it being too much. He even told me I can't take off because it is not fair to him. Bwhahaha! Silly one, I'm not his wife to boss around.

I wish my office would be a little faster in getting the FMLA paperwork. I want to wrap things up and be ready. I have altered my personal schedule so much. I'm disappointed that I canceled my Bahamas cruise before the cruise. But I cannot take the chance on getting Norovirus or any other illness. I still have to change my flight. Not ready for that battle yet. I have decided to hold off on dating until March. I do not want to take a chance and have to explain my surgery and recovery to a new partner.

I accidentally wrote this as a comment not an update. How do I delete my comment?

I thought I would add some pictures of my breasts....

I thought I would add some pictures of my breasts. This is hard for me to post. I hate looking at them and myself without clothes. The girls are droopy, ugly, and abomination to me.

I feel like I'm talking to myself. Oh well, story...

I feel like I'm talking to myself. Oh well, story of my life. At least my best friend will be taking care of me for the first week or two. My family offered but I live too far from them. I am not driving to them to recover and I don't have room for them in my small apartment.

Another day is slipping by fast. I got the...

Another day is slipping by fast. I got the tentative schedules for 3 of my jobsites. They are all pushing to close by my surgery date. It will keep me busy and occupied. I hope my big project will be done by then. I'm worried that it could run behind and it has been my favorite project this year. Today was gorgeous and reached 72 degrees! I was wearing t-shirt and no long johns, happy day. I am disappointed that my mother does not want to drive up and visit me anytime during my recovery. My dad wants to visit. I'm not surprised but it does sting a little. If she had this surgery, I would have to visit or else... The joys of having a bipolar parent. :/

My office gave me the paperwork I need to start...

My office gave me the paperwork I need to start the fmla and request medical leave. I also decided to use my recovery time to study for an endorsement of a current certification/license. The exam will be in late March. The recovery gives me ample time to prepare. My fmla claim has been filed.

I was looking at weather online and Facebook (huge...

I was looking at weather online and Facebook (huge fan of WGN's Tom Skilling) and saw he dreaded S word. I know it is expected for winter in Chicago area. That's right, snow is predicted for Sunday to Tuesday. We could get anywhere from 2-8 inches. I know huge range. Just depends on the path of the storm track. But we need the moisture, we are in a huge drought. Lake Michigan is at record low. :/

I just realized that I never put my personal stats...

I just realized that I never put my personal stats...DOH! I am 35, 5'1", 198, 42G. I have no kids and no plans either. I have 3 nephews whom I spoil.

Looks like there won't be a huge snow storm. I...

Looks like there won't be a huge snow storm. I got an updated wok schedule for one project. My boss is being really nice to me and it scares me. Got few more christmas gifts bought. I got two wanted gifts for two nephews on sale. Work is busy and I keep counting down the days until surgery.

I see snow just north of my area. I have begun...

I see snow just north of my area. I have begun secretly wishing for the quiet and beauty of snowfall. Right now I'm debating between making chili or beef stew. I'm making lists of things to buy and prepare before surgery. I hope my office keeps me busy so that I can save more and keep busy. My oldest nephew turns 16 on Tuesday. I can still picture him as a happy baby, then a crawling baby who got into my parents' plants around the house.

Time is moving fast. Little more than a month...

Time is moving fast. Little more than a month left to surgery. I am getting aggravated with those supposedly "free" intial consultations. They are not free. They charged my insurance company and now I have to pay for the consultations. Pure BS in my mind.

I was planning to write that the last few days at...

I was planning to write that the last few days at work have been horrendous. I'm looking forward to the BR and the time off. Then I came home and read about the shootings. I do not nor will have children. But I'm saddened and heartbroken still. So much blood and innocent lives lost.

I have one more month left until surgery. I have...

I have one more month left until surgery. I have 19 working days left. The holidays take out four days. I will be counting down the days. Yay! It is a boring Sunday. Christmas shopping is done, but I need to wrap presents. One more week until Christmas, time flies. Chicago still does not have measurable snow and not looking good in the near future. I want snow!

Four weeks until surgery and only 12 working days...

Four weeks until surgery and only 12 working days left. I'm off tomorrow due to the first winter storm arriving tonight through early Friday. I am not having a good day because my poor cat is not well. She is dehydrated, found a heart murmur and awaiting results to see what is really wrong. She is 17.5 years old and my faithful companion. I cannot imagine going through post-surgery recovery without her by my side. I want her well so bad. :'(

Getting ready for my trip down to visit my parents...

Getting ready for my trip down to visit my parents and extended family for Christmas. I need to wrap presents yet. I told my pet sitter about my cat's health problems. She will keep an eye on her. Butterball can stay at home, stress free except for getting medicine. :P

Hard to believe that in 2 weeks I will be...

Hard to believe that in 2 weeks I will be recovering from surgery. I have 9 working days left and 5 of those days are already booked. I'm trying to work as much as possible to save more money. Today was so cold and tomorrow will be the same.My beloved cat Butterball is feeling better. She is still skinny but is slowly filling out. I do not see her bones anymore. She is eating, drinking and even playing at times. I am nervous and excited about the surgery.

Time is flying by and clock is ticking down. I am...

Time is flying by and clock is ticking down. I am wrapping up projects and updating my replacement on the only job that I cannot finish. He is new to steel inspection and he drives me batty. I am stuck training him for the next 2 days. I'm sure I was annoying too when I was a newbie to steel inspection. But he thinks he knows everything already and he likes to correct me while I'm training him. ><

I had my pre-op appointment today. I swear my PS is so dry, not too much personality. His work is good, he just needs to brush up on his bedside manner. Oh well, you come for the work of the PS, not the personality. I am tired and ready for a break.

I answered health history with hospital, scheduled...

I answered health history with hospital, scheduled first post-op appointment, bought groceries, cleaning around house and did blood work. House cleaners come on Monday and my friends arrive on Tuesday to help me for a week. Two working days left and then surgery. I am so nervous, jumpy, and facing my own mortality with filling out instructions for living will. Plus I have a sinus headache for 2 days. I normally take Aleve to get rid of it. Since I cannot have aspirin, I tried Tylenol. My headache laughed at the Tylenol. I have it as I write.

Oh yes, my beloved cat Butterball is doing much better, She is still skinny but eating like normal finally. She gave me a huge scare and I do not have it in me to have surgery and possibly put her down yet. She is definitely better because she fights me about taking her pills.

Let's begin the countdown to major change in my...

Let's begin the countdown to major change in my life, I hope. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing this surgery for the right reasons. Reading over the Five Wishes/living will papers, is really making me think. I will have no control over the results of the surgery. Plus I have no clue what plane of existence I will be. Top it off with another lovely conversation with my mother. She does not approve of the surgery as usual. She will not come up and visit. But if she was having surgery I would have to be there. Plus she seems to think i will drive down 5 hours to visit my family on my birthday. I don't think so. I have tickets to Blue Man group. If I had spare money, I would either fly to Vegas or take 3 day cruise to Bahamas. Since I am the sole provider of income in my house, that is not going to happen. I hope other women who have others to support them, will realize how lucky they are. At least they have another means of income, support, and companionship. I will my best friend up for one week but after that I am alone with my cat. Being single sucks so much at times. Not that I expect anyone to really care. I need a drink.

It is so coid today. It does not help to have a...

It is so coid today. It does not help to have a slight breeze off Lake Michigan. Luckiky the lake clouds have not as far south as my jobsite. I love working by Lake Michigan, most days at least. It is so calming to look at the water and not see land. I have view of city skyline, hyde park and nw Indiana. It keeps my mind occupied.

Tomorrow is the big day. I need to be at the...

Tomorrow is the big day. I need to be at the hospital at 8:15 for paperwork and surgery is 9:30 am. My PS says he will take out 1000 on each breast. I am scared, nervous, anxious, happy and I'm rambling. My best friend is here. I'm terrified

Good morning! I have to leave for the hospital in...

Good morning! I have to leave for the hospital in 15 minutes. I am still nervous, excited, scared, you name it and I feel it. Slept fairly well last night. Had some weird dreams about work, family and hospitals. My surgery is at 9:30 am CST. Say goodbye to the large girls and prepare to welcome their smaller versions.

Since I am feeling more alert, I thought I would...

Since I am feeling more alert, I thought I would write about my surgey experience. My best friend came up on Tuesday to take care of me for a week. We have been friends for 30 years. We are like sister, always there for each other. She has been great in taking care of me.

We arrived at the hospital around 8:15. I went back to a recovery room to get ready. I changed clothes, answered a ton of questions and waited for my PS . He was delayed due to working in an er. They put the IV in my hand and boy that hurts. After the needle was pulled, they put the pastic tube in. Now the plastic tube was annoying and uncomfortable. But it is tolerable, especially after putting meds. Now I am allegric to codeine and augmentin. They used another drug called cylin, I think. Boy that was effective. I remember being wheeled into surgery room, looking around, I said it looks like it does on TV and I was out.

I remember waking up in the surgery recovery area after 2 pm. My surgery took almost 4 hours. I kept dozing in and out. I was supposed to be in that area for an hour and then go back to the center recovery room. Since I am not used to taking a lot meds, it took almost 2 hours for me to be pretty alert. My friend and a nurse were waiting for me. They put me in a recliner and I was out again. I was becoming alert after 20 minutes in the room. They had me sip water and intially ginger ale. But I hate ginger ale and gave me Sprite. I did eat some crackers and jello to fight the nausea feeling. Eventually I was alert enough to get dressed, get meds and go home. We stopped at Wendys, I got the chicken grill sandwich, huge Sprite and chocolate Frosty. I nibbled on the food throught the evening. I slept well in my cushy recliner. My cat Butterball was very attentive stayed by my side.

I forgot to add that they took out almost 4 lbs...

I forgot to add that they took out almost 4 lbs out of right breast and 3 lbs out of left breast. I weighed 208 lbs before surgery. I have my first post op appointment in 30 mins.

I have seen my PS twice since surgery. I will see...

I have seen my PS twice since surgery. I will see him again on Monday to get stitches out. So far I am healing well. Stitches do not bother me too much. But talk about the swelling. Holy crap! Lefty is definitely more swollen. I am still taking half a vicodin every 4 hours. Vicodin makes me very sleepy.

Today I feel less swollen overall. Nipples are...

Today I feel less swollen overall. Nipples are very sensitive and hurt a little bit against the bra. Took a shower last night. I have one spot on righty that aleways leaks. I was dry last night and woke up with bra wet on righty. Little bit of blood and some fluid that strains my white brain yellowish. I still feel like I'm bound in by the bras. I am itching like crazy. I'm still sleeping in the recliner. My friend is still here, watching me like a hawk. ;)

I realized that I have not posted any updates...

I realized that I have not posted any updates lately, I have most of my stitches removed. Swelling is going down. few tight spots and no real concerns. Right now, I am worried about my left nipple. It has a little feeling but pretty dark. My PS says it is healing as expected and should be okay. My right nipple is hyper-sensitive.from the beginning. I am still sleeping in the recliner. I try to sleep in my bed on my back. But I am a side sleeper and can never fall asleep on my back. My main complaint is the itchiness. Holy moly, it can drive me crazy. I know it is a good sign. I have really restrained myself from scratching. My best friend left on Tuesday. I have been doing pretty good by myself. I will say that I am happy that I do not have to work outside right now.

Hooray! I finally got over an inch of snow this...

Hooray! I finally got over an inch of snow this winter. The snow is so pretty. I'm still worried about the left nipple. If it dies, then what? Will I finally look the freak of nature I know I am? That would definitely kill any chances with a man. I will confirm my role as my family's next generation spinster and cat lady. Maybe I should not have done the BR. I enjoy the feeling no pain but I do not want to lose a nipple. I hope my PS is right that it will be okay, If it dies, who could I sue?

I noticed a small white line along the T incision...

I noticed a small white line along the T incision seam on the left breast. I am worried that I could be infected. Lefty has always been a problem with swollen, very dark nipple, etc. I will see my PS on Monday to have the remainder of my stitches removed. I'm very worried. I hope someone will finally read and respond to this update.

I noticed a small white line along the T incision...

I noticed a small white line along the T incision seam on the left breast. I am worried that I could be infected. Lefty has always been a problem with swollen, very dark nipple, etc. I will see my PS on Monday to have the remainder of my stitches removed. I'm very worried. I hope someone will finally read and respond to this update.

I noticed a small white line along the T incision...

I noticed a small white line along the T incision seam on the left breast. I am worried that I could be infected. Lefty has always been a problem with swollen, very dark nipple, etc. I will see my PS on Monday to have the remainder of my stitches removed. I'm very worried. I hope someone will finally read and respond to this update.

Okay, my internet glitched and updated 3 times and...

Okay, my internet glitched and updated 3 times and I lost almost all my pics.

Okay, my internet glitched and updated 3 times and...

Okay, my internet glitched and updated 3 times and I lost almost all my pics.

I saw my PS yesterday. I am healing well, have a...

I saw my PS yesterday. I am healing well, have a few small areas that are not completely healed. The area I was concerned about was skin. Nipple on lefty is getting better. He said I should see a huge difference in a week or so. He wants me to apply Eucerin Aquaphor healing ointment on areas closed and still apply Polysporin to areas still healing (aka left nipple). I will see him again next week Thursday. I will be in seminar and practical for basic welding class next week. I will be assisting the instructor. My doctor said I could return to work around Feb. 10th. I feel somewhat excited that I am healing well enough to return to work. The other part says no, I want another few weeks off. This is the longest I had off in seven years. My body has been recuperating from years of hard physical work. I am finally enjoying the chance to relax and unwind.

Hard to believe that it has been 3 weeks since my...

Hard to believe that it has been 3 weeks since my surgery. I have become more active, lifting things, cleaning out closets and attended welding seminar. I noticed with the increased activity that my breasts become core and painful. I asked my PS and he said it was normal. My muscles are becoming used to motions. The only area that still has issues is the left nipple. It is slowly healing and should be okay. I talked to a few co-workers and work is still slow. Of course, snow and rain are slowly down projects. I am in no hurry to return to work. Now my PS wants to use only Aquaphor, once a day, on my fading incisions.

It has been one month since surgery. The changes...

It has been one month since surgery. The changes in the past month have been great. My clothes are too big or loose due to loss of the big breasts. I was loosely measured and currently 40 B/C. I feel so tiny, still adjusting. I started working again. I am on light duty for another week. I went back to work because of a new bridge. I am basically standing around, observing other trades work and inspecting work already completed by fabrication shop. The reactions from co-workers and people who knew have been priceless. Shock, surprise, happy to see me, commented how much weight I lost and how happy I look now. I was happy to be back at work. I missed being around people. My left nipple continues to be my only problem area. It is slowly healing but so annoying. I have no regrets about this surgery. One of the best decisions I have made in my adult life.

Yes, I am alive. I did not mean to let so much...

Yes, I am alive. I did not mean to let so much time go between reviews. I returned to work on Feb. 14th. I had two full weeks and currently struggle to get 2 days of hours for last 3 weeks. Work has been slow due to snow, cold weather and delays in projects starting. I am getting very tired of staying home. I have been dealing with two losses that hurt deeply. I lost a college friend to cancer and also lost my cat to cancer. I am not coping well with both losses. I feel my beloved Butterball's loss in company, activity, and depth of unconditional love. I miss my college friend because we chatted daily and she was helpful in encouraging me. I still have best friend of thirty years for support and encouragement. Sadly she and my family live 300 miles south. I feel truly alone for the first time in years.

Now I will discuss my progress since surgery. I am very pleased with the results of my surgery. My breasts are taking on a nice shape, scars are slowly fading and my left nipple is fully healed. I have been released to full duty at work. I have no restrictions on exercising. I have started the couch to 5K program. I am so out of shape. When work finally picks up, I plan to choose a gym to get in shape. I feel so free. I need to get toned, strengthen my core and reduce my now obvious stomach bulge.

I can't believe I forgot to update

I meant to come back and update every month. Oops. Stomach bulge is still out and not going anywhere so far. I still have no back, shoulder, neck and chest pain. I had to buy new shirts because my old shirts are way too loose. I can fit into large and xlarge shirts. The breasts healed well, no real scars anymore and they are a nice teardrop shape. I think taking the risk of such major surgery has emboldened me. I am starting my own business soon.

Adding updated photos

I am going to add some updated photos. Despite my plans to use Palmer's cocoa butter formula with vitamin E to reduce the appearance of my scars, I never did it. I totally forgot about it. I bought it and it slipped my mind. I still massage my breasts. This sounds silly but I like the feel of my new girls. I never had cute perky breasts in my entire life. I wore the dickens out of my surgical bras. They were so comfortable. I finally had to throw them out. I wore them to threads. I have no regrets at all. I wish I had done it sooner. The surgery was the biggest physical risk I have taken. This new lease on life has empowered me. Now I am facing the biggest risk of my career, owning my own construction testing firm. We shall see what happens.

pics

So far so good

Not much to report on my breasts. They have nice shape and firmness. I have gotten in the habit of going braless except at work and special occasions. I love the feeling of freedom. No wires poking me, no need for constant adjusting, no pain, etc... It is hard to believe that I started the process one year ago. I am slowing picking up work and contracts for my new business. Starting to date a cute laborer and just enjoying life.

Time flies

I cannot believe it was a year ago that I was preparing for the surgery. The scars has almost disappeared with time. My left nipple has scar tissue from the issues with healing. It has not bothered my romantic involvements since the surgery. It has gotten very cold since last week Friday. I am off this week because of the bitter cold. The jobsite cannot pour concrete below 20 degrees F. My new business has picked up two more projects for the spring. It looks like I will have to hire people next spring to help out with projects. I cannot manage them by myself. I just have to survive until Feb. Sadly, I am not with the employer that helped with my preparation for surgery. The slow economy finally caught up with them.

One year later

I cannot believe it has been a year since surgery. My life has undergone so many changes. I don't even recognize my life anymore. My previous employer is almost gone. I am temporarily laid off due to the cold. My current employer/transition employer keeps hoping to bring me back. They are a very nice company and I feel guilty that I will not be with them for a long time. But I have to take the risk of owning and running my own company. It scares me to death. I have never played the role of boss or manager. I do have a great business and financial partners. They will help me grow my business. There is already talk of going nationwide in a year or two. My partners, work only, have great connections and those clients are pressing the issue. Who knew that taking the risk of benefiting my physical self would lead here?! I am normally afraid of change and failure. But life is too short and uncertain to coast through.

Life moves on

Nothing is really new or changed since surgery. I'm waiting for winter to end and work start again. If anyone is still following or reads it later, good luck. This surgery remains a great change for me. Maybe I will come back time to time.

clothed picture

I forgot that I took this picture over 1 year ago. Not much has really changed size wise.

1.5 years since reduction

It is hard to believe that it has been 1.5 years since my reduction. So much has changed since then. I am adding a recent, more dressy picture. The picture is at a cousin's wedding in June. My grandma S. is next to me.
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

I was referred to Dr. Marschall by other inspectors and operators.

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 After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 5 others found this helpful