A First Class Surgical Experience - Naperville, IL

I am now 8 months post-op following my breast...

I am now 8 months post-op following my breast reduction and I couldn't be happier with Dr. Sigalove's work. Every day I wake up absolutely pain free, and the miracle of that never gets old for me. I lived with the chronic pain and intense embarrassment of oversized EE-cup breasts for so many years that I forgot what it was like to feel normal. Now I'm active, much more athletic and I can do things that were impossible for me before the surgery, like run on the treadmill. Because of my enormous breasts, I haven't really run since I was a teenager. But these days, I can't wait to exercise, not only because I can work out without pain now, but also because I look absolutely amazing, and the more I work out, the better I look AND feel! The quality of my life has improved so drastically since my surgery that I hardly recognize myself. The only downside is that I'm having to re-learn proper posture after so many years of slouching under the weight of the two bowling balls that were hanging off my chest.

As for how my ladies look...I'm still awestruck every time I see them. They're larger than I had originally hoped for even after all the tissue he removed (three pounds!), but to be honest, they're the perfect size for my frame. Since my surgery, I started swimming daily and I've lost 12 pounds, which makes them look even more awesome. I didn't get to choose my ideal breast shape as my surgery was medical, not aesthetic. Insurance for medically necessary procedures like mine doesn't cover aesthetics. But it didn't matter because Dr. Sigalove is an artist and he chose the perfect tear drop shape to compliment my body type. The more weight I lose, the more gorgeous they seem to get. While I worried at first that they were still too big, as I swim and get more toned, they look better and better. Honestly, I would've been happy if he'd made me nearly flat chested. But Dr. Sigalove made the right call and took just the right amount of tissue to make me perfectly proportional, and in doing so, he took 20 years off my appearance. So no, I didn't get the C-cup chest I was hoping for...instead I had to settle for beautiful and voluptuous. I can live with it. They never looked this gorgeous in my 20's!

I suffered no complications. The pain post-op was minimal, though getting the drains removed TRULY sucked...it was worse than the actual surgery, but thankfully the pain only lasted a few minutes. My recovery was short and uneventful, and I was back to a light workout at the gym three weeks after my procedure, which is also about the same time I started sleeping flat again. Recovery was a breeze!

****** BTW, don't freak out at the cost of my surgery!!! If you're considering surgery and trying to get a price range, ignore the cost of my procedure. Your surgery will likely be a fraction of the cost of mine. I had two medically necessary procedures done back to back. I had a benign (thank goodness) nodule removed from under one of my breasts near the chest wall. My breast reduction was necessary to ease my back and neck pain, but also to make any subsequent nodules much easier to find. The mammogram that ultimately caught my little freeloader took over three hours because my breasts were so gigantic and dense. Anyway, the point is THE COST OF MY SUGERY IS NOT TYPICAL FOR A BREAST REDUCTION. If insurance isn't covering your procedure, call Dr. Sigalove's office for pricing. The average breast reduction does NOT cost $32K.
Warrenville Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Sigalove, in my opinion, is a gifted surgeon and a genius at what he does. His skills as a surgeon are unparalleled and yet he is easy to talk to and totally accessible. He answers questions using language that ordinary people can understand. He never uses technical or medical terminology without explaining it in laymen's terms, and even though it's obvious that he's super busy, he makes his patients feel like he always has time for them. He is courteous, patient, an excellent listener and he's eager to answer questions and allay the patient's fears. But even more than that, he is committed to giving his patients the results they expect from surgery. He takes a tremendous pride in his work (and rightly so. It's awesome!) and nothing thrills him more than knowing that his hard work resulted in making you deliriously happy. But be prepared...he's brutally honest about what can go wrong. His explanation of potential complications can be frightening, but it's necessary. Surgery is always a risk. While my procedure was done to correct a medical problem and relieve pain, most plastic surgeries are aesthetic. You don't need it...you want it. But while his explanation of the potential complications was unsettling, I absolutely loved the fact that he was so secure in himself as a surgeon and the success of his practice that he felt no need to sell me on the surgery. He's perfectly willing to let you walk out the door if you're not ready and completely committed to undergoing the procedure. Dr. Sigalove has set the bar extremely high for me. He's not just a brilliant and talented surgeon...he's an artist. And yet, for all his genius, he somehow manages to be genuinely modest and totally down to Earth. I would've expected someone like him to suffer from a bit of arrogance, but he's a consumate professional and just a really nice guy. From now on, I will expect every surgeon I might ever need to exhibit this mixture of accessibility and professionalism. If I'm going to let someone cut me open, I want a doctor who's the best at what he does, but who can also explain what he's going to do to me in terms I can comprehend. If you are looking for an excellent plastic surgeon in the Chicagoland area, I strongly recommend that you contact Dr. Sigalove and see for yourself. His staff is friendly, helpful and exceedingly competent and they put you right at ease from the moment you walk in the door. The whole procedure for me was first class and the only thing I regret about the whole thing is that I didn't go see him sooner.

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 tmes
Was this review helpful? 1 other found this helpful

Comments (22)

Sort by

Blessings just told me about your review when I told her she was an inspiration. I have spent the last 1/2 hour reading your posts, and all I can say is Wow! You both are amazing and such an inspiration. I don't like - well should I say hate wearing a swim suit, but maybe I won't care as much as I did before my BR. I use to be very thin...had scoliosis surgery and had other medical issues and although I exercise regularly I probably don't push myself in fear of hurting myself. Sounds like swimming would be so much easier on my body. I would be one that won't be able to make it a 1/2 Lap, and won't look pretty but that's okay. We are going to Chicago for spring break for a week, and then to Disneyland. When at Disneyland I am sure we will swim everyday. Gmlaster-you sound like an awesome mother! My Mom works with autistic children that are nonverbal. Very challenging but also very rewarding. You do sound as though you would be a great motivational speaker, or an awesome life coach. I admire you. Thanks to you both. I will pray for both of you. And pray for me as i get the courage to try something new. Hugs to you both!
  • Reply
Well howdy ColoradoLady! So nice to meet you. I'm sorry it's taken so long to reply but I'm knee deep in ending my marriage. Had to sign papers on Monday and deal with other red tape on Tuesday. I let myself sleep all morning today after I put my son on the school bus. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted now that all of this is over. I've still got the court date, but that's just a formality. This is over. He gets to keep his girlfriend and I get full custody of our child and support. I wouldn't say I'm happy about all of this, but I'm totally satisfied. I took some time to read about your BR journey. I wanted to know a little more about you before I replied. How are you healing now? Are the dog ears still a problem? If not, don't feel bad about it. It's the chance you take with surgery. I got keloids around my nipples, which is why I don't post photos. They're not too bad, but I don't want to scare anyone off. Just because I keloided doesn't mean everyone will, and I don't want someone who could really benefit from the surgery not to have it because she saw my pictures and got cold feet. I knew the risks before I did the surgery because I have other keloids. Besides, I'm totally happy with my results, in spite of the keloids. My girls look awesome, and so do I. I have zero back and shoulder pain and I look like a normal person in my clothes now. I couldn't be happier. I'm a year post-op. After two years, I'll look at getting the scars lasered to flatten them out. But for now, it's enough to be pretty, perky and pain free. I really hope you'll try the swimming, especially now that the weather is starting to turn. I can't recommend it strongly enough, especially if you have back or joint issues. Swimming affords you a semi-weightless environment in which to exert yourself in ways that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. As I said to Blessings, you're getting a simultaneous cardio/resistance workout, but you're doing it in a way that doesn't put stress on weak areas of your body. I swim with lots of back patients who use swimming as their only form of exercise since they can't take the stress on the spine or joints, and they're able to build strength in the back muscles without straining. I know how you feel about the swimsuit. When I started swimming last summer, I hadn't been in a pool in 25 years. I felt humiliated having to buy the ugly plus-sized suit I could fit into. I was a model in my teens and early 20's, so I know what you mean about missing your skinny days. But nobody gets out of this life alive. God forces us all to age, but I guess the trade-off is that you give up your youth in exchange for increased wisdom (hopefully). But that's really not much comfort when you're squeezing all that wisdom into a swimsuit. However, let me share something I learned from Halle Berry, who like me, is a Type 2 diabetic. She nearly lost her life some years ago when she slipped into a diabetic coma. After a long, hard recovery, she learned that the best way to control her blood sugar was through daily exercise. Eating healthy is only part of it. Even though she is totally gorgeous, she was not healthy. So she hired a personal trainer who worked her hard every day. But what was different about her workout was that she wasn't doing it to look good or to advance her career. She exercised so she could stay alive...nothing else. She didn't watch the scale. Instead she watched her glucometer. Her blood sugar numbers were all that mattered. We women tend to focus on the scale or our dress size. But your sugar numbers change every day with what you eat. By staying focused on those numbers, she stopped thinking about how heavy or light she was and just focused on how controlled she was. Because of the exercise, the gorgeous body was a natural consequence of her efforts to avoid another coma. I'm saying this because you have to train yourself to get past the suit thing and see what's really important. You're really the only one who cares about how you look in the suit. Nobody else is judging you. Instead of caring about the suit, care about the goal. The way out of the ugly suit is to get into the ugly suit and use it...every day. Your reward will be the new suit you're going to have to buy yourself when that one gets too baggy. I'm now on my third suit. Each one gets less ugly as I get more beautiful. My goal is to fit perfectly into this beautiful Speedo racing suit I've had my eye on. But really, my goal is to keep my blood sugar under control because like Halle, failure to do this will result in my death. My ever more beautiful body is just a natural consequence of my fight to stay alive and healthy. You're no different, even if you're not diabetic. All of us are susceptible to high blood pressure, heart and artery disease as we age. You're younger than I am, but you're no exception. So make up your mind to see that suit as a means to an end, not the end itself. You're doing this for your health, not your vanity. As the weeks become months and you swim every day, you'll see...your body will take on the shape that will make a newer, prettier suit an absolute necessity. And don't worry about how many laps you can do. Do the first half lap. I guarantee it's half a lap more than you did yesterday. Rest and do the other half lap to get back and there's your first lap. Do it again tomorrow and the next day. Before long, I promise you...you'll be curious to see if you can do another, and then another. That's just how it happens. Look at Blessings. In no time at all, she turned into a lap swimmer, and that's just how it happened. Do what you can and stop when your body says to stop. Rest and come back for more tomorrow. Every two weeks, ask more of yourself. One more lap than last week. Just one. If you can manage two, do it. Push to see how you're gaining endurance. But most importantly of all, remember to reward yourself with a nice sauna or hot tub, or something else (that's NOT food) that makes you happy to celebrate your championship. And for every five days you swim, take two days off to avoid burnout. Let me know how it goes. I'm pulling for you and I'm proud of you for undertaking this. Blessings and I will be lifting you up high in prayer. You will do this, and after a very little while, you're going to love it. Know that God will bless your efforts to care for His temple. He doesn't care about your suit. He loves you. So do this for Him, do it for you, and do it for those new knockers of yours because the swimming is going to make your girls look even more amazing! Hugs right back at ya.
  • Reply
Hi there, I'm so glad I just read your review. I am truly motivated to lose more weight now. You say you look better after toning and weight loss. Well I want that too. I have lost 40 lbs. and now after BR I am hoping to lose 25 more. I do aqua Zumba, water aerobics and strength training with free weights. I'm just so happy to be able to get back to exercising now. Having to be inactive after surgery was the longest part of recovery. Maybe you can tell me if by looking at my pics, if I have a change at getting rid of the side boobage!! It really bothers me. I tried on an underwire and fat just spills out on the sides under my arms. Uggg. I would really appreciate your input. You sound so positive.
  • Reply
Hi there Blessings! You have a great name. I took a look at your pix. I think you look terrific, but we women are our own worst critics so you see what most of us aren't even looking at. I'm no expert, but the one thing I do know is that if you're less than 1.5 years post-op, it may be too soon to tell the final shape your breasts will take. They take a long time to settle into place. I'm 11 months post-op now and mine are still cooking, though the scars are finally starting to flatten out a little. It might be premature to make any decisions about what to do about side boobage as it may simply be that your breasts are still settling. I was lucky. My doctor did a little lipo as part of my procedure. But before you go for lipo, my suggestion is to give it some time and give the workouts a chance to do their thing. Since you're into water workouts like I am, you might want to get yourself a couple of good professional swim caps and start doing laps. I started with six laps after surgery, and now I'm up to 50 (time permitting). Keep up the Zumba, but since you're already in the pool, when you're done, give yourself an extra 10 minutes of laps. If you don't like getting water in your eyes, just back float from one end of the pool to the other, letting the kicking do the work. Push yourself to add an extra lap every two weeks to build your stamina. Before long, 10 minutes will become 20, then 40. Take a nice hot tub or sauna afterwards and a hot shower and you'll feel like butter for the rest of the day. And you'll definitely get a good night's sleep. Here's why I'm suggesting the laps for your problem. The cool thing about laps is that you get a Stairmaster-quality cardio workout in a fraction of the time and without all the huffing and puffing or devastation to your knees and joints. Just 15-20 minutes a day of lap swimming will burn the fat off like a blast furnace and you'll start seeing impressive results in no time. Before long, your body will start taking on that long, lean swimmer's look (not the giant, bulky Olympians...more like the teenage lifeguard girls at the municipal pool), which makes your new boobs look even perkier. In fact, I got the idea from the swim instructors at the pool where I take my son for lessons. I felt like such a fat body next to them with my giant bowling ball breasts that when I finally got my reduction, I decided that since I couldn't beat 'em, I'd join 'em. I'm 52 so my days of looking like a teenaged lifeguard are over. But I'm getting a very nice MILF thing going with this swimming and I love it! Anyhoo, the reason the laps work so well and so fast is that you have to kick your legs for 20 minutes straight, and you have to work those arms hard to stay afloat. Unlike the free weights, which can bulk you up a little, the strokes you make while swimming build long, lean muscle, which is great for us girls who want to say a final goodbye to flabby, dangling upper arms. It also destroys the fat on your back, which oddly enough can seriously contribute to sideboob in the form of that nasty underarm flab that travelled there from your back. While you're reading this, try making a backstroke motion with your arms and see if you can feel it. Lift your arm straight up over your head and pause, turn your palm backward, then lower your arm behind you. Do you feel that torque in your shoulder and the pull down your side? Just add water for resistance and you've got a killer recipe for sideboob control. But even more important, the torque that your body makes from side to side as you front or backstroke works those muscles down your sides really hard. You won't feel it but it's definitely happening, down the whole length of your arm and all the way down your side. The kicking takes care of everything else from the waist down. It's the perfect fusion of cardio and strength training. The stroking and kicking provide the fat burning, and the water resistance does what the free weights do, but all over your body at one time instead of one machine or exercise at a time. Of course, I live in Chicago, so going swimming when the temperature is hovering at just above -16 is a real challenge to my commitment, but I'm going to be REALLY glad I stuck to it come summer, so no excuses. It's freezing outside but the pool is heated to 82°. Seriously, give the laps a try. If you don't know how to swim, this becomes the perfect reason to run down to the YMCA and sign up to take a few classes. Your swimming doesn't have to be perfect or pretty. After a few months of daily swimming, it'll get better on its own. And you don't have to master the butterfly stroke. Just get good enough to be able to successfully do a simple freestyle or backstroke, or just float and use a kick board. That's a great workout, kick boarding from one end of the pool to the other. But the strokes are what work the back, sides and arms. That's somewhat more than my two cents, but that's what I think. Surgery is always a risk so do the lipo surgery only as a last resort. Let exercise have a crack at burning off that excess boobage. You're already in the pool, so why not give it a shot? The only thing you have to lose is your sideboob!
  • Reply
Wow! You don't know what an inspiration you are to me!! Can I give you a hug?? Yes, I did what you said and I can fell it along my side. You've really given me a lot of information. I like the idea of a long lean swimmers' look....I've never thought that possible. But without the larger boobs I can picture that happening. Well the fortunate thing is I do know how to swim and I know all the strokes, I don't like butterfly stroke. I probably don't do it right. But, I grew up practically at the YMCA and then moved to Fl. when I was 15. So swimming is something I enjoy. But I've never enjoyed doing laps. However, your baby step plan could work for me. When I go to the pool next time I will try to do laps for just 10 minutes. I like that you say do one more every 2 weeks to build stamina. I can do that!! I want to talk more with you. I have to go now but so much to thank you for. Hugs!!!!!!!
  • Reply
All hugs are gratefully accepted here! I'm so glad I could be of help to you. I'm sending a big bear hug right back at you! I know the idea of lap swimming is nowhere near as fun as the Zumba or aqua aerobics, but if you start doing all three, in about three months you're really going to start seeing some wonderful changes in your body. The laps are going to give you fast results that EVERYBODY will notice, and they'll last. But nothing this good ever comes easy. You gotta want it! Nobody enjoys laps at first. I don't know if you ever ran track in school, but to me laps are to swimmers what climbing the steps or the bleachers is to track runners. It's raw calesthenics. But if you start really small and work your way up, you will get used to it pretty quickly and you might even start to crave it. I deeply resent having to skip the gym because of our miserable and dangerous weather, but I more than make up for it once I get back in the pool. There's a reason why athletes do calesthenics. They're not meant to be fun...they're meant to work, and really, really fast. Runners and swimmers have a short amount of time to build up the strength and stamina they'll need to survive the season and win races. Calesthenics are the key to those quick results. To get through it, a buddy of mine who's a marathon runner told me that she uses a kind of self hypnosis to get herself through the monotony of running. It's really simple: Take your focus off the fatigue and just focus on the rhythmic sound of your footfalls, your breathing or the beating of your heart. Its even easier with swimming. I'm a huge fan of the backstroke. It's really hard work, but I can breathe freely and I don't get water in my eyes. Because my ears are underwater, the sound of my breathing becomes regimented and I can hear myself more clearly under the surface, so I focus on that sound. It's actually really peaceful and comforting to me. Before long, my mind starts to wander and I let it. I think of everything, from a problem I need to solve at work to what I need to get at the grocery store. I don't mean to sound indelicate, but I even think of sex! Wherever my mind wants to go, I let it because it chews up the clock and takes my mind off the fatigue and the monotony of going back and forth. I stop focusing so much on how many laps I've done and just content myself with a peek at the clock from time to time. Depending on the stroke I'm doing, I average about five to ten laps every 15 minutes. Be patient with yourself, especially since you're already going to be fatigued from the aerobics. If you haven't done laps in awhile, you may be a little disappointed by how few you can manage at the beginning, but whatever you do, don't give up! Your body will adjust. Before my surgery, I hadn't been anywhere near a pool in 25 years! I tried to backstroke and nearly drowned myself in 3 ft. of water. I had to re-teach my body the strokes. Swimming is NOT like riding a bike. I found out the hard way that it doesn't just come back to you. You have to refresh your body's muscle memory, and even then, you may not have the stamina you used to have the last time you did laps. My first successful backstroke got me only halfway down the pool before I was so pooped I could barely lift my arms. Same thing with freestyle. I refused to embarrass myself by attempting to butterfly. So the first few weeks I stuck with back floating and front or side crawling until I stopped getting so winded. When I tried backstroking again, I only managed half a lap. But the next day, I managed one, and the next day I did two. A few days later, I managed three. Now, I'm up to fifty. So I kinda laughed at the idea that you thought I was "suggesting" taking baby steps. I don't know how fit you are, but if it's been a few years since you've tried laps, I'm "suggesting" that you may not have a choice but to take baby steps. I tried laps after four years of daily Stairmaster and circuit weight training, and I still couldn't get half a lap down the pool. I was such a strong swimmer as a young woman and I just figured that all it would take was for me to just get back in the pool and do the work. I jumped in that pool confident that all I had to do was just kick & stroke. I forgot the part where I also have to be able to breathe enough to make it all the way down and back. I couldn't believe how hard it was! I don't know which hurt worse, my muscles or my pride. So if you're still a strong swimmer, more power to you. I envy you. But don't be discouraged if you have to start off with just half a lap, like I did. Don't push too hard in the beginning. If your body says take a break, then take a break. If it says stop, definitely stop. Rest up and try again tomorrow. The next time you're in the pool, push yourself a little bit farther, and keep pushing a little more each day until you complete that first lap. Then go for two laps, then four, then six, etc. Depending on how fit you are when you start this, it may take the whole ten minutes just to get to the end of the pool and back! As you start getting into lap swimming, be sure to pace yourself. If you do the work for five days straight, be sure to take two days off to rest so you don't burn out. After awhile, you'll find that you'll be dying to get back to it after a couple of days off. That's the right attitude! Be sure to let me know how it goes. I hope it works for you as well as it has for me. Just remember, the real work is in your head. It's your attitude. Decide who's in control, you or your fatigue. Your body will always complain when you push it out of its comfort zone, but don't let it boss you around. YOU are captain of the ship and you give the orders. It'll do what you tell it to do. So have at it, and be sure to keep in touch!
  • Reply
I will keep in touch! Are you a motivation speaker or something like that??? If not you should be. As I read your post I was thinking that you know my mind. I used to swim a lot, but mostly for fun. I can do maybe 2 laps but then I need to coast with a side stroke. I can breath easier and catch a rest. I had asthma as a kid so I hated running or even lap swimming. But I grew out of it by my early 20's. Then of all things I joined the Navy when I was 25. I was able to do the running and everything else. After boot camp 2 years later I met my Marine and he would run with me. For our wedding I lost an extra 28 lbs. and my BMI was 19%. Soon I was running on the beach in Rota Spain where we were stationed, and I actually liked it!! So I know you are right in saying it's about attitude. And I have to really laugh when you pointed out about "suggesting" baby steps. That is funny. Yes, I'm thinking of trying it out and not focusing on the lap count. Already I know I prefer back stroke because I can breath easier. You gave me hope telling me you had not been in a pool in 25 years....and now where you are...that's motivation for me. Today I am sitting here with the flu (sore throat and fatigue and muscle aches) so it all sounds very overwhelming even thinking of a 5 minute swim. But this will pass. Today all classes were cancelled due to snow anyway. So maybe in a couple of days I can try this. I am actually excited. Do you swim with goggles? I don't know about the cap, I hated those as a kid. Pulls your hair. Are the professional ones any better?
  • Reply
Hi again!! Guess what? Today I went back to water aerobics after being off track for a few weeks. I was getting down and literally had to push myself just to suit up under my cloths, grab my back pack and drive on auto pilot to the pool. I never regret going but I've gained 8 lbs. since my surgery and was feeling self-consious in my suit. But anyway, I made it. The class was great and then I remembered you. So after the class I determined to do just 2 laps. I didn't want to overwhelm myself so I thought of your warning. I did 1 lap freestyle, then 1 lap breast stroke..... THEN 1 sidestroke, Then freestyle again, and Then 2 laps backstroke! 6 laps total in 14 minutes! The pool is for college team competitions, so I know it is the right distance. (one lap = up and back) I loved it and feel proud of myself for trying! Now I'm looking at the schedule and seeing that they have lap swim at different times everyday except Sunday. I'm going to print out your posts to me for incentive!!! Maybe I will carry it in my gym bag. I love you, you really inspired me and maybe you can be my accountability mentor :) I hope you are doing well! You don't know how much your posts have meant to me. HUGS HUGS!
  • Reply
Hey there Blessed One! I am SOOOOOO proud of you! Hugs right back at you for taking the bull by the horns and getting the job done. You must be so proud of yourself. You should be. You might be a bit sore for a few days but I'm hoping you feel great. I'm glad to know you're over your flu and back in the water. I'm so sorry it has taken so long to write back, but life intervened and I've been really busy. Here's a little backstory: I'm a housewife. I stopped working almost ten years ago when we learned that our son is autistic. I had a lucrative career in web design & advertising here in Chicago, but I walked away from it to care for my son. When you have a child with a disability, it puts an incredible strain on your marriage. Chances are that one of you will bail from the marriage, either because of the strain of being the sole financial support of your household, or because you're the caregiver and the stress of the screaming, the tantrums, and in general trying to care for a child who can't speak just becomes too much. So there's about an 80% chance that your marriage won't survive. You know, the doctors really should warn couples about that when they give your child that kind of diagnosis. I left my job to be my son's caregiver. When he was five, he still couldn't speak anything but gibberish, though he could understand me. Well, because I committed myself to caring for him, he's now 11 and not only can he speak (albeit with a slight impediment), he's a math wizard and he's fascinated by electronics and circuitry. Looks like he's going to be an engineer like my late father. So leaving my career was definitely worth it, but it cost me my marriage. Last May, my husband left me and my son to go live with his girlfriend. He took his money with him. He does almost nothing to support his family. That left me in dire straits for awhile, but I'm a software developer by trade, and I'd been working on some things over the last few years hoping to alleviate some of the financial strain on my husband. Ironically, a few months after he left, I received a patent for one of my products. Now I've got partners an I'm pitching to venture capitalists in New York in a few weeks to get funding to start my software company. If all goes well, I'll get the money I need to start hiring. If not, I've got other VC companies lined up to present to after that. One way or another, I'm going to get this thing off the ground because I've got a child to raise. That's one of the reasons that I swim. Primarily I do it because I'm a diabetic and the swimming helps me keep it under tight control. But I love it because it is helping me to recover, not only from surgery but from the stress of a failed marriage and suddenly finding myself a single mother. Like I said, it's all about attitude, and I've decided that my attitude is that I am deeply blessed and all is well. What happened to my marriage doesn't change that. So I'm going work like a dog to build my company, swim every day to restore my health (you know, a bad marriage really makes you fat) and buy myself a big house where I can enjoy raising my beautiful son, who I now have all to myself. I served my husband with divorce papers last week, and with God's help, I'll soon be free to love again someday. But I'm going to let God pick the next husband because clearly my taste in men really sucks! I'm saying all of this because I want you to know how much your kind words about motivating you meant to me. No, I'm not a motivational speaker. I'm just a mom, and now that one of the pillars of my son's life has been removed, I have to be stronger than ever so he never has to worry about losing the other pillar. I can support this family by myself. There has been so much sorrow in my house the last two years. So many tears cried in secret so my son wouldn't see. I've had to be courageous for him because I don't want him to use his father's leaving as an excuse to fail. I want him to understand that life does indeed go on, and you have to seize the goodness and love that you find in this world wherever you can find it and hold onto it with a death grip. Life is too short to be anything but happy. So my son and I painted and redecorated, changed the furniture around, and made our home look like we moved so we could start our new life in a house that looks different, much better than looked when my husband was here. I want my son to take from this experience the understanding that when life kicks you in the balls, you don't just lie there and roll around on the ground. Take the pain. Own it. Then get back up, dust yourself off and get back to work. You'll limp for awhile but as long as you get back up on your feet, you'll find the strength to take the next step. So I want to thank you for your kind words of encouragement to me. Because if you see me that way after never having met me, with only this slender thread between us, it means that this didn't beat me. All the essential parts of what make me who I am are still intact, even after all of this. I bent but I didn't break. If I can still reach out to help a stranger when I could so easily choose to stay wrapped up in myself, then I'm still me. I'm still all the things I'm proudest of and I came through this with my soul in one piece. YOU will never know how much that means to me, dear friend! I gotta go. I'm so glad I met you. This blog has been such a joy to me, so many good women brought together by a surgery of all things! To think, I almost didn't join in. But look at the lovely people I would never have met...that means you, Blessings! Oh, by the way, I meant to respond to you about the swimwear. I don't use goggles myself because I'm a backstroker and I don't get a lot of water in my eyes. As for the cap, you can get the good SPEEDO caps at any sporting goods store year round. What I do to avoid the hair pulling is I use a flexible, breatheable spandex cap. A lot of black guys wear them when they play basketball. It's a simple skull cap that fits snugly over my hair. I put that on, tuck my hair under it and put the swim cap over that. That way my hair is safe from tension from the cap. I don't know where you live but you can generally find them in any beauty supply store around the black hair care products section. They average about $2.00 each so it's no great loss if you lose it, and they last for months. Try one out and see if it works for you. Let me know how it works. Consider it my first act as your "accountabili-buddy". Toodles! Love you too, friend.
  • Reply
Oh my goodness, you are so special to me!! I'm sitting here in tears. You do not know how touched I am by your story and by the way you say I have touched you! God's blessings to you my dear friend. I'm so sorry for all the pain and hurt you have endured. You are a strong woman and mother, and so full of love to give! I know your story because my nephew is autistic. My sister's husband left her when Danny was only 4. So yes, I totally understand the heartache for both you and your son. My sister is unable to work and lives off SSI. She is disabled with a disease that is similar to Lupus. She centers her whole life on Danny. He is 25 years old now and does not have any program available to help. He used to have a center where he spent part of the day with other kids like him. He loved it, but because he is unable to function in a work program he has nothing now. He only sleeps 3-4 hours a night. So my sister must be up too. She lives with chronic pain and so many of her hours are filled with screaming, slamming cabinets, slapping counters and walls, and very OCD behavior. I don't know how she does it. She is a good mom though. She works with him on flash cards, does games and puzzles with him. He loves animals and she has several. An african grey, two dogs, other birds, a turtle, and fish. Danny delights in them all and is loves the interaction. Marla (my sister) has trained her animals to do all sorts of things that are unbelievable. The dogs are so close to Danny and she has them certified as service dogs for him. Well, I want to tell you lots but my timer just went off....for going to the pool!!! Haha, I'm going to good! After the class I'll do laps. I wasn't sore at all last time. Mostly it's working on endurance for me. It means a lot that you are proud of me. Ha, it drives me!! Ok, but can't I just let my hair be in a pony tail LOL????? xxxoooxxxooo
  • Reply
Hi friend! I just wanted to tell you I did 7 laps after class last week. I thought of you and even prayed for you while I did the laps. That God would bless your software endeavors, and bless your home, you and your son. Last weekend my husband came home for a long weekend. His flight was cancelled till Tues. because we were iced in . So long story short.....I ate junk and snacked a lot. And the pool was closed. So now I'm making myself go this morning in 2 minutes. Need to go on autopilot since I'm feeling sluggish, fat, depressed and can think of dozens of things I'd rather do since today is a sunny day. :( Pray for me to get out of this slump. I'm lonely when my husband is gone. Most of the day I am by myself here at the house. My 17 yr old likes to spend time doing his things. I am going now. I will think of you pushing me on. Love and hugs, your friend "Blessings"
  • Reply
Hi! I'm reporting in! :) Guess what?? After my hour class I did TEN (10) laps!!!!! In 16 minutes. After the 7 I just kept on going, telling myself I should just do one more. What do you think of that?? I hope you don't mind but I told one of the ladies in my class how you are my mentor. And how you have really inspired me. I just got home now and I'm going to shower off all that chlorine, I feel good. Kind of like butter LOL. So maybe I can stay out of the slump, the workout was just what I needed. Thank you!! As I was swimming I thought of you, I imagined you and your little son painting, redecorating, and moving furniture so that your house became "new". I think you are a terrific mom. It just makes me want to hug you!
  • Reply
You are so sweet! Thank you so much for keeping me in your prayers. 10 laps?!!! You're killing me! I'm just ridiculously proud of you. Clearly my prayers for YOU are working. You're just kicking the crap out of this swimming thing! The "one more lap" strategy really works, doesn't it? After a nice hot shower, the "butter" afterglow kicks in and feels sooooo nice. I know it sucks when hubby's away on trips, but when you get blue, just think of the smoking' hot bod he's gonna get to come home to this summer as you do more and more of the daily swimming. When you get that lonely feeling, remember...it's not paying any rent so evict it right out of your head and replace it with thoughts of how hot you're gonna look in a few months after all this work you're doing. See yourself with that long, lean swimmers body and NO SIDEBOOB! Picture yourself in all those pretty summer outfits you're gonna wear when you take your hubby out for a romantic dinner after one if those trips of his, so he can show off his hot wife. Stay totally focused on your beautiful, and the blahs will disappear, especially since you're tackling your blahs with workouts. There's nothing better for killing that fat feeling or depression than beating the crap out of it with strenuous exercise. Take your frustration out on the water. You're doing something about the eight pounds you gained instead of consoling yourself with chocolate, like so many women our age do. The best thing you could possibly have done was autopilot yourself down to the pool when you realized you were in a slump. The rigorous exercise makes your brain fire up those endorphins for a sweet little natural high that lasts for hours after, hence the "feeling like butter" thing. How's your hair doing? If you're not going to wear a cap, be sure to keep an eye out for brittleness in your hair as the chlorine combined with that cold winter air can really dry it out over time if you swim regularly. I gotta go so hugs and much love. But before I go, I gotta tell you how great it is that you're sharing our talks and the lap swimming with your classmate. For all you know, the laps might be just what she needed. Besides, if you can get her to do laps with you, you might just push yourself to do even more, though I'm not worried about that with you. The concept of more laps doesn't scare you. But don't tell too many ladies or the pool will fill up and there won't be any lanes left for you!
  • Reply
I'm laughing at the lanes filling up. You're right...this is the first time I actually took a lane. Always before I just made my own lane on the outside of the lane marker. In the free swim area. I felt too silly taking up a "real" lane. I didn't feel that I qualified as a serious swimmer. I actually was worried about people looking at me. All the other lane swimmers have caps and googles. My hair is doing fine, though I know I will have to be careful. We'll see. Do you know that because of me sharing that I have started to do laps I have been officially called "a swimmer" by another RealSelf gal. Ha, that made my day. She told another girl to ask "blessingsafterall" because she is a swimmer and she will know how soon you can swim after the BR. Anyway, I was flattered. When do you go to NY? I hope it goes well. Thank you for replying so quickly to my post this morning. I know you are probably getting really busy preparing for your trip. So do you really think the swimming will get rid of the side boob. Maybe I should explain...my boob goes on and continues to under my arm. I really don't have a round definition of a boob. From the front it looks ok, till you see me sideways. If laps will kill it, then I'm gonna try even harder. Today I really didn't want to do 7 laps. But after 4 laps, it was on! 5,6,7,8,was easy. I did 8 in 12 minutes. The total for 10 was 16 minutes. Some laps I push myself to go a little faster, then some lengths I go a little slower to catch my breath. I wish I could hop in the pool with you. 'Course I would probably be a little intimidated by your 50 laps! that is so good. One thing I did tell myself was that if I did do 10 this time I didn't necessarily have to do 10 every time from now on. See, I'm being a baby. I didn't want to set the mark too high for fear that I would feel overwhelmed. I guess I should try for 10 now as the standard. (for now). I feel so blessed to have you for a friend. Hugs!
  • Reply
I forgot to tell you, one of the ladies in our class is very heavily endowed and I have shared with her how wonderful my PS is and how great it is now to be small. She whispered to me that she has an appt. with her for a consultation. I am going to be so happy if I can help someone else to feel this good. Oh, and one very important thing I forgot to tell you. Thank YOU so much for keeping me in your prayers! You are too sweet. I feel a bond between us.
  • Reply
You are probably very busy with work and parenting right now. I just had to tell you.....today I did 22 Laps in 34 minutes!! I alternated my strokes, doing a lot of backstrokes. I got goggles and that helped a lot too. I'm beginning to feel official as a "swimmer" and I'm feeling very happy. Thank you thank you!!! :) I hope you are doing well. I'm keeping you in my prayers :) LOVE and HUGS!
  • Reply
Hi there Blessed One! I'm so pissed. I just spent the last hour writing but the stupid site didn't post it! Something happened when I tried to login with Facebook. I gotta go now, but I wanted to tell you how proud I am of you and to keep up the great work. Maybe my post will show up later. I'm crazy busy right no but I wanted you to know I tried to write you. I'll check back in soon when I get a minute and fill you in on what's going on here. Baby and I are fine. Hope you and yours are well. I sent a note to Kimmers on the lost post. Next time, I must remember to login first because that was a waste of n hour I set aside just for you. Hugs and kisses for "our" 22 laps. I feel like they're mine too.
  • Reply
Thank you! I'm so sorry about the log in mess up. I know how frustrating that can be. I'm also honored that you were writing to me, I missed you. But I knew you were busy. When I read that you were so pissed My Heart Jumped because I have been hoping that I didn't go over the line with letting my other realself friends know how much you have inspired me. I just posted to one girl telling her if she wanted to see how you are motivating me in swimming she should read your posts that you have written to me. So I hoped you would not mind. I know you have been very open with some of your personal life, and worried a little. I'm glad you are fine. I've been praying for you and glad to hear from you again. I had a difficult time making myself go over 20 minutes in the pool last time. I really had a harder time breathing and my goggles kept fogging up too. It was at night and that made it more difficult seeing. I keep myself in a straight line by looking above and following the lines in the ceiling. Do you know of any good goggles? These are speedo.They were given to me by a friend at water aerobics. They are mirrored so not so good in the evening when it's darker. Also the nose bridge is too tight and bruises. My husband is here for the weekend and we put 65 bags of mulch down yesterday. Lots of garden areas on all sides of the house. Anyway today my lower back hurts. Sunday the pool is closed but Monday I have water aerobics again and I'll do more laps. I hope to have a better swim. Last time I did 20 minutes and not sure how many laps. I'll let you know how many laps "we" did!! :) Love and hugs to you!!
  • Reply
Hi there Blessings! I'm just checking in to see how you're doing. How many laps are you up to! 30? 40? I'll bet you're blowing everybody away at your pool. This is my ninth month of regular swimming and I am finally seeing the changes in my body that I was really hoping for. My waist is getting smaller and smaller and my butt and thighs are looking so gorgeous it's scary. I've always been pretty flat back there, so it's wonderful to finally have a little "junk in the trunk". My belly fat is just melting away. Now that the winter is finally over, it's as if my body is coming out of hibernation and shedding all my stored winter fat. It's still in the 30's outside, but for Chicago, that's a heat wave. I still want to drop at least 30 lbs., but I'm really happy with my progress. I hope to drop at least another 10 lbs. by summer. I signed divorce papers last week. I'm pretty sad about it but it was necessary. Ironically, my father-in-law had a massive stroke a couple of weeks ago. He's been removed from dialysis and he has 90% brain death on the right side of his brain. He won't survive much longer, which is sad for my in-laws and my son. My husband has been absorbed in his dad's illness so he kind of drifted through signing papers. I hated to hit him with that at such a time but my lawyer insisted that if I wanted to get through this with the least amount of resistance from him, this was the perfect time, so I did and she was right. Everything is done. My court date is April 8th, and that will be that. I'll go to New York a week or so after that. So things are moving quickly. Gotta go. I'm on my way to the pool. It closes early tonight. Hugs, more hugs and much love! I'll write more later.
  • Reply
Hello friend! I'm happy to hear from you. It sounds like you have had a lot happen in the past week. I'm sorry you are having to go through a divorce, it sounds like you did the right thing. I'll keep you in my prayers for your court day. You stay strong. It will be good to have the closure and I'm glad you have the swimming to alleviate the stress of everything. And wow! You are really a motivation for me to keep up with the laps. No, I'm not progressing as fast as I should....the past week the pool was not open much (it's spring break at Asbury College...so not as many times with lifeguard posts.) Then Thursday the pool was closed for cleaning. I did go to my 3 classes and really worked it extra hard. I was going to do laps Sat. after Aqua Zumba but they didn't have it open afterward. I looked up how many calories are burned during Aqua Zumba and LIVESTRONG.COM computes it as an average of 700 calories burned in an hour!! I'm so happy about that. One thing about me, if I am challenged to work harder it's on. At the end of class we had a competition. Usually as part of the end workout we do 10 sets of 1minute fast flutter kicks holding the edge of the pool, followed by 10 push ups. ( You pull yourself up out of the pool as if you are getting out. arms locked then slide back into the water and repeat 10 times.) On the last push up our instructor tells us to "hold hold hold" that position out of the water. Well on the last set she told us to hold and then said "lets see who can hold the longest". Of course my bootcamp training kicks in and I know I will be the one to stay the longest even if it kills me. So after a minute it came down to myself and another girl. We held for another minute and finally she slid back into the water. Another mission accomplished LOL!!! Several months ago we had a contest as to who could tread water the longest. After a bit our instructor said we better make it harder since it looked like two of us could be there a while. Haha.... So she said to tread with our hands over our heads. I won. Now I don't want to say but having big boobs could have contributed to that win. LOL I will have to try now with my littler boobs :) Tomorrow is a new week at the pool and I just received my new swim cap and two googles I ordered from Swimoutlet.com. The cap is silicone, the googles are clear lens. And anti-fog. I am excited!!! First I will have 60 minutes of class, then the laps. Tues. is Aqua Zumba again, then 2 water aerobic classes Thursday and then another Aqua Zumba Saturday. In between I will do laps. I've been on a roll with eating healthy and each day it's becoming easier to eat right. The scale has finally budged too. I lost 2 lbs. this week. I am 176 now. I'm still working on the extra that I put on during recovery. I was 172 the morning of my surgery. I've lost 40 in the past year and my goal is 150. That's my first goal at least. When I was in the Navy I40 was a perfect weight for me. With the exercise maybe I will get slimmer like that again. I have nice legs but sure would like to say that my waist is smaller from swimming. I can't wait to have the results you are talking about! You are awesome!!! I posted some pics in my last update. A comparison from the 40 lbs. weight loss. Take care my friend and I will keep you in my prayers. Love and HUGS to you!!!!
  • Reply
Hi again! The same thing happened to me...I wrote to you and THEN it asked me to sign in!! Darn thing, I lost all I wrote to you! Now I have to tell you all over again. :(( First, I hope you are doing well today! I know you will be really busy soon, going to New York and all. I'm praying for all to go well for you. You have worked so hard and I am anxious to hear how you do. today I tried out my new goggles and cap. I felt like a real swimmer. LOL. The lens have a slight blue tint and so the water looked beautiful, crisp and clear. The cap was a little strange the way it felt. I definitely could feel the difference with less drag through the water. So I felt pretty good today. Instead of feeling self-consious with my slick blue head and beady blue eyes, I felt a little incognito. As I kept swimming I had images of looking like a professional swimmer. It's amazing how thin and sleek you can feel in the water. And when I am doing the backstroke I really feel like my stomach is so flat! I wish I were as thin on land. :) So the report: I did an hour of water aerobics, pushing myself to work harder than the others (They know to not get too close to me as I really create a wave.) Then after that hour I jumped to the other side of the pool, donned my cap and googles, and pushed off for 30 minutes of laps. I didn't count the laps today. I did the first 6 and then felt like just relaxing and not worrying how many I was having to do. I just had fun and swam the laps for 30 minutes. All day I have felt high energy. And my muscles felt like butter just like you said they would. I'm really grateful to you!! you opened a whole new experience for me. As I was swimming I was thinking of you , and how I probably would never have started doing laps had I not found you on RealSelf. OH, I had an inspiration during my swim today. At the deep end of the pool I could see a large poster beyond through the window, of a swimmer with her arms stretched out butterfly style. I saw that and thought...hummm, when I paint my laundry room and put cabinets across, I'm going to have a poster like that right above my washer/dryer. It's going to read "I'D RATHER BE SWIMMING!" Love and hugs, The mermaid with the BR
  • Reply

Welcome to the community.  Thank you so much for sharing your very amazing journey with us.  I am very happy to hear how much you love your results.

  • Reply