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8 months p.o., seeing the wonderful "big picture" and loving it!

After years of of taking care of others, both...

After years of of taking care of others, both professionally and personally and having people continually tell me that I should "do something" for myself, I did! 6 weeks ago I had a BL/TT. I thought about and had saved money from the household/grocery budget for 3 years before having my surgery. I wasn't really afraid of anything much more than how dirty I knew my house would get during my recuperation. Oh, that's not true, I also worried about how my friends and family would take my decision to do this...so I didn't tell most of them. I mean, I have always preached to "be happy with who you are" etc, and plastic surgery screams, "I am not happy with who I am." Actually I was just not happy with how I looked.

Going into the PS office was a real trip as most of the people who work there look like Barbie dolls...perfect in every way. I can see how people get hooked on cosmetic surgery. I was very conscious that my lifetime of living and working outside showed on my face and that as I have aged "sturdy" had become "chubby" somehow and I didn't like it. Before the 6 hour surgery my husband just couldn't believe how rock solid my BP was. I really wasn't afraid of going under and I trusted my Dr. implicitly. I knew it was going to be painful afterward but was totally ok with it. I like to think that I am a tough old broad.

Now, 6 weeks post op, I confess I am getting really tired of the twinges, pain, limitations, and fatigue. I have worked hard at getting back on my feet. I am not superwoman, just a housewife and mother of many children. I may not have had to go "back to work" 2 weeks after my surgery but surely did have to get up and clean the house, do the dishes, let the dogs in and out, pick up kids from the bus, fix supper, run laundry etc. etc. so even though a stay at home mom I wasn't exactly eating bon bons while watching Lifetime! hmmm I detect a bit of emotion at that statement! :0)

I am now walking 30 minutes, at the slow pace of 2.5, on the inclined treadmill every day. The house is almost spotless, as usual. The meals I am cooking for my large family are above average for me. I am counting every calorie that goes into my mouth and have lost 13.6 pounds. I started lifted small weights for my arms last week.

I studiously avoid complaining of pain to anyone, (seriously, my pretty little breasts are bugging me to death!) but somedays I really feel the "pull" and yesterday I yelled at one of my dogs. In other words, I am really trying hard to keep it together right now. My Dr. is a doll, always polite and respectful, and his nurse is a sweetheart, so please don't get me wrong on this. They are running a business...a very lucrative business, and it is all business, I understand that. I have actually gotten most of my information, reassurance and encouragement from this website. Probably a personal problem on my part but I feel silly for asking questions at the Dr.s office. The answer is always either, "never heard of that issue before","most people are up and back to work in a few weeks," or "everyone feels that way." It seems less humiliating to just research it myself.

As I put the before and after pics on this site/link/blog thingy I confess that I am a little disappointed at how I look. In my head I thought I looked slim and trim, but pictures don't lie. I am not sure that the foto's came out very clear so will adjust it later if I can figure out how to. I am not sorry that I had the surgery, but at this point I don't think that I can truthfully say that I am "glad" that I did. I am confident that these feelings of uncertainty will pass and surely, surely, surely do appreciate all that I have read on this website...which is why I am posting my thoughts here as well. Bless you all for sharing, you have been a huge help to me!

Not quite 8 weeks post op and I have to say that...

Not quite 8 weeks post op and I have to say that the TT is really doing well. The swelling post exercise is really helped if I remember to wear the binder. I am slowly but steadily losing weight which is encouraging....during the week, that is. When my husband is home over the weekend he wants to go out and eat and I have to really use restraint! Just about all restaraunt food is loaded with sodium and I swell up like a balloon before we even get home!! I continue to have continual irritation with ,y pretty little breasts. The underarm suture is puffy and sore and every type of bra irritates it. The underside of my breasts remains red and sensitive and my nipples are on high alert at all times!!! I told all this to my PS last month but he didn't really seem too interested or alarmed...I am guessing if his breasts hurt like this he would be a little more compassionate. Ha! I go back to see him next week so plan to whine about it to him then. I have tried going bra-less, which is my ultimate goal anyway, but the tearing pain under my arms coupled with the super sensitive nipples makes this a no go. Sure could use some advise and encouragement from someone...any one!

10 weeks post op now and still dropping weight,...

10 weeks post op now and still dropping weight, though much slower now. Having a huge issue with painful abdominal swelling after walking on the treadmill (@ 3.0 & 6 incline for 30 min/day) I wear the cg when doing anything like vacuuming or exercise but really puff up which is uncomfortable and discouraging. I do like my reflection in the mirror most of the time which is a first in easily 20 years so that is a fun thing. I have mercilessly weaned out and cleaned my closet...it looks like a little mini boutique which is so fun!! Iam now using the expensive silicone strips on ,y breasts in hopes of some relief. I think that since the tt area is numb I just don't notice the healing process there. Really, though, the tt scar is very thin, pale and flat already! Not so the bl scar which is red, ropy and burny type pain. I wish I hadn't waited until I was 57 years old to do this for myself. None of my family really understands why I did this and I only told a very few select friends so I am sincerely glad for this site and all the honest transparency of my fellow posters. What a sweet bunch of gals you all are!

4 months post op today.................36-27-37......

4 months post op today.................36-27-37....126 pounds...................I kid you not!!! I can't believe it!!! Seriously just wish that my right breast didn't still hurt so much and that I could find a bra that didn't bug the life out of me, I have probably bought about 25 bras since surgery and after a few hours/minutes hate them all. BUT, if I close my eyes and think really hard, I have to admit, it is getting somewhat better.

Almost 8 months po now...hard to believe! I was...

Almost 8 months po now...hard to believe! I was visiting with a friend about it today and the walk down memory lane was kind of fun. It has been a life lesson on the importance of stepping back and seeing the big picture and not getting caught up in the tiny trials of day to day. I am so pleased with how it has all unfolded and really, really wish I had done this years ago. The weight continues to come down, slowly and surely. I am at 120 now and a solid size 4. More importantly, when I look at my body now I see a strong and fit woman..."older" to be sure...but strong and healthy. At almost 58 I can now run a mile with the bonus of no more body parts jouncing up and down as I go down the road. I tried to post a pic but am hopelessy inept at it but may try agin later. Hope all of you are as happy with your results as I am!!
Name not provided

my goal was to ditch the 6 hooker bra for good and so far I have to wear one 23 hours a day which is uncomfortable and tedious. 4 months po and my right breast still hurts but I have to admit that I look like a "whole new gal" At 8 months, despite continued issues with my right breast, I know that I would do it all again! I sure wish I could change some of the scores I gave my p.s. now.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 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
3 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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thank you! i'm under 2 weeks postop.how long was it before your swelling stopped...it would be great to know what to expect ;-)
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I highly advise drinking green tea for the swelling! It worked like a charm for me. I do use splenda in mine and some teas, like Jasmine, are like a desert! I think the swelling gets more moderate around 6 months post op and the good news is that you will come to be more in tune with what food effect you negatively and you will learn to avoid them. My 3 year anniversary will be in a few weeks and I continue to know that this is the best thing that I have ever done for myself. I have kept the weight off and have not resumed my 46 year habit of smoking. I walk 2 miles almost every day. (I was running but broke 6 ribs...long story.). I can't even believe it how empowered I am now! It isn't so much the size 4 jeans as much as it is that I have taken control of my life and I really enjoy looking fit and healthy and so will you. Two weeks will turn into two years and will wonder why you waited so long to take this very positive step towards a stronger you!
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thank you!!
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Woops, not 3 year anniversary! I had it in '11 It just seems like it has been longer because I have the body that I always did...just leaner, stronger and way more attractive. Funny how elusive time is sometimes.
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Thank you for this post it was really encouraging. I've been just caught up in the day to day and depressed about not being able to fit my pre op jeans. I'm gonna wait for the whole picture to come together and I'm gonna do my part by eating health. Thanks again
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Oh, I am so glad that my experiences were of help to someone else! I am coming up on my 2 year anniversary and without a doubt this remains the best thing I have ever done for myself and "when mama is happy, everyone is happy!"
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you look great
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The big picture is my mantra. This review of yours is very relevant due to the experiences you wrote about over 8 months of time. Thank you for not dropping out "before the miracle happens."
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Thanks. Those pictures are pretty old now just haven't put any new ones up. I just cleared out the old bra drawer and threw away the 38 D's to make room for the pretty little 32 C's. :0) The scars remain pretty itchy and I do still have underarm pain from time to time. It seems from comparing to others that my incision goes up further under my arm than most...not sure why he did it like that but it hampers certain styles of bra's for sure! I have always been pretty intolerant of bra's, though, which I guess was part of my pendulous breast problem. I have lost 28 lbs more or less since the Dec surgery...the first 4 were the "easy way" (the surgery) and the last have been through diet and exercise. From size 10-12 to size 4. My Dr. was John Keller, a real cutie patootie, here in Lawrence. He has a great supportive staff and was reasonable enough price wise.
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Dr Keller is my PS too, I am 24 days post op! I am very pleased with my BR and the job he did.
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So, has he said you"look like a whole new gal" yet? :-). I was actually thinking of going back in to have him check my breast scars as they have remained very thick and red. The tt scars are "silvering" out really nicely which is why I suspect something is mot right with the breasts. I really fon't have the heart (or the money) to get them fixed though so will just deal with it, I guess. Take your time with your recuperation! Isn't this site a fountain of support and info!? Keep in touch, I am interested in how you do!!
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I am quite pleased with his work. My incisions are so neat and tidy. I saw Dr Keller on Christmas Eve and when I returned for my 2 week follow up I was seen my Dr Theilman. Dr Keller fell and injured his back and had surgery. I am hoping when I return Feb 5th that Dr Keller will be back in the office. I aided my healing process with herbal supplements too and believe if has helped me progress tremendously. I am 24 day post op and compared to other pics I have seen on the Internet I am pleased. I have posted my journey here too and it should be available after approval.
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So sorry to hear about Dr. Keller! Did he fall on the ice? Good for you for posting- I will look for it. You have inspired me... I should probably try to post some updated pics. I am a big believer in green tea for aiding in healing and overall well being.
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I took Horsetail, Bromelain daily 2 weeks prior to surgery and added Arnica Montana immediately after surgery when I arrived at my hospital room. Since my surgery was late in the afternoon, I spent the night at Lawrence Memorial. I also made up my own scar remedy, Rosehip Oil, German Chamomile, Frankencense, Mrryh and Helichrysum. I apply this a couple of times a day to my incisions along with the Bacitracin with zinc. I still have surgical tape over my achor incisions under my breasts and about half of the incisions under my areola's are still taped. Once this tape falls off I can start applying my oils to these incisions too. Was Vonda your surgical nurse? I laughed at your comment about the Barbie Dolls, I noticed that too, but honestly, everyone in that office is so nice, they all address me by my first name and I never have to wait. That impressed me. I am not sure if he fell on ice, I think he fell at his farm, herniated a disc in his lower back and had surgery.
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That was interesting! My background is in nursing...a lifetime ago...so I have heard of LS. You are lucky that insurance paid for the br. I stand by what I said about courage. I have a friend in similar situation and even though insurance will pay, she is just too afraid to go through the process to get her's reduced. We live south of town a ways in a hundred or so year old farmhouse hidden back on 80 very secluded acres. I am a therapeutic foster parent who takes severely damaged children...medical and emotional, so I rarely go into Lawrence unless it is for groceries. My driveway is a mile long so you see I really have no need to get "socially acceptable" clothing wise. In other words, the UPS man rarely see's me with a bra on! :-). If you read my profile you know that I planned my reduction for years...scraping money into a little savings pot till I had enough. I have never been comfortable in a bra and after breastfeeding 2 biological babies then relactating and breastfeeding 2 adopted children, coupled with years of not wearing a bra except when I went into town I was in a bad way. I hated how I looked but was resigned to it. I began to feel how I looked, old and frumpy. I am an outdoor type of girl and those long saggy breasts were causing me all kinds of sweat rashes. No bra fit without digging and chaffing..so I just didn't wear one....still don't really. I wanted Dr. Keller to give me A or B's but he didn't think I would like that. I think he was wrong but oh well. The tt was a last minute decision and boy am I glad I did it! Piece of cake! The surgery gave me incentive to take my life back. Like many women I got lost in being earth mother to all these kids, super granny and wonderfully wise and prudent wife. I got "healthy," lost 30 pounds, and now look like I feel; strong, confident, capable, and ready for a new phase of my life!
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How are you doing? I think of you from time to time. Hope you are all healed up and continue to be as happy with your results as I am.
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what size is your breast and were did you get it done at your doctor u look great
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I agree completely...I took care of everyone else too, so many times we moms do that.  My regret is that I didn't do this sooner.  I still need to tone up and lose a few pounds as I am so short...but I am all for doing something for ourselves...you look amazing!
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Interesting aspect. I am not ashamed of having this done, only that I am willing to spend so much on something purely for myself like this. I am fighting my brain over this. On the one hand, have earned it, I think - I work, I do not go overboard with spending, have been thrifty with family finances. Yet... it's a temporal thing - the body will rot, will it really matter in the end that I spent all this money (that could have gone to help somebody in dire need) on fixing what I myself messed up earlier in life?

But dammit, I do still donate, and I probably have another 40 years left, I don't want to spend it with this crappy belly attached if I can get rid of it, not after working so hard losing the weight!

Dang... I will probably still do it, I am that selfish and stubborn about it and have already invested in stuff to prepare, but this is the weirdest feeling. I have discussed this with complete strangers, but kept it secret from my closest friends because I don't want them to see what a selfish person I am being!
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looking...I fought this same emotional battle. There is a never ending supply of children out there that I could " help" with that amount of cash. I have friends in Guatemala who run an orphanage and could have used the money I spent on how I look to help many many children...however....being on "the other side" I can say without reservation that I am more able and inclined to reach out NOW than I have ever been. As the mother of 5 girls I want them to know that feeling good about themselves better equips them to minster to others. It's not so much that we "deserve" it so much as "why not??" How is so different than spending money on makeup, yoga, gym memberships, vacations??? I hear what you are saying, I have felt the same way, but it is not selfishness that makes us worry...just the opposite. Do something for yourself, within reason, before you are 57 like me!! No shame, no doubts, just do it! :-)
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Thank you for this conversation, feels like I am saving money on therapy, where do I send the check? ;) This is exactly where I am... it is not so much ever feeling like I *deserve* this... I don't think I feel like anybody *deserves* stuff, they either get it or they don't, good or bad, based on choices they or other people make (I do believe in a higher being, just not one that micromanages our lives). It does feel like, though, with having been so thrifty - buying used clothes all these years, used cars, paying the mortgage early, no debt now to speak of, teaching the kids the value of not needing new everything, using things until they wear out, and pretty much making our pennies scream for mercy, it feels like I earned this. But like you said, where could this $10K be better spent. And if I think about it, if I gave it to the people I want to, they'd spend it and need more in a couple of years (because they aren't me), and I'd still have the friggin' belly looking back at me in the mirror and be depressed. So, thank you. I needed your words. :) {{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}
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I am amazed by you. You fight cancer and you've done so much for all of your kids. I can't even wrap my head around how many lives you've touched. I'm so glad that you've done something for yourself. You are an inspiration to me.

I have a question, I read that you didn't tell most of your friends about your surgery. Have any of them noticed anything? I haven't run into many of mine yet. I don't think they'll notice, but warm weather is right around the corner and with it comes fewer layers of clothing. I'm wondering what to say if they ask...

Keep on keeping on. You look beautiful. I love reading your words. Sending pain-free boob-thoughts and comfy-bra-thoughts your way tonight. HUG.
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Betty, It is so odd that no one hassaid anything! One friend was looking at me very closely and I just know that she wanted to ask, but didn't. I do dress very modestly...old lady...but that is changing! I wore jeans to the beauty shop today...size 6... and my stylist was duly impressed. She did ask about the weight loss and how it made me look so much "younger" funny. I think that since I am a smaller built person AND carefully timed my surgery for when sweats were the daily uniform I was able to "hide" it. I am not ashamed, however I simply do not want to have to "justify" my decision to radically change myself via surgery.
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p.s. If anyone were to ask, I would just say, "yeah, best thing I ever did!" and give it a twirl!
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Thanks for the insight. I'm curious to see if there's any notice or reaction. I kept my "girls" pretty modest--maybe a 1/2 cup size bigger. And I am a modest dresser as well. I'm hoping that the only person that notices is ME. I don't think I'm ashamed. I wouldn't have done it if I was. I just don't want to be judged or have to explain myself. I know that's the natural reaction to what I did because I myself used to be guilty of judging others. As I had more kids and aged I've changed my view and have grown. Thank the Lord! Bottom line this is MY business. I need to be prepared for what I'm going to say if someone asks.
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