I Must Be Hallucinating

I am 52 years old and have always hated my boobs....

I am 52 years old and have always hated my boobs. In high school I always wore layers, the underneath layer really tight to flatten them, and then a shirt or sweater on top. My posture was terrible. In my early twenties, the back pain started, and I got red ridges on my shoulders. When I had my kids in my late twenties, oh my god, my boobs hung to my waist- breastfeeding was the worst. I remember singing the song "do your ears hang low do they wobble to and fro" to my kids when they were little and always substituted "boobs" instead of "ears" in my head and cried. Over the years the back pain, the shoulder pain, the headaches, the embarrassment, the poor self image, the layering of clothes- I just assumed it was something I would always have to live with. I tried physical therapy, chiropractors, pain meds, anti-depressant meds...and I was petrified to even suggest breast reduction to my husband- who is the "crunchy granola why are you wearing makeup?" type. We also are on a very tight budget- especially now with my kids in college- and all the info I read suggested insurance companies would never cover this "cosmetic" procedure.

So then, at my last physical my doctor was examining my breasts which she always does at my yearly appointments and she said "you know, your chronic pain could very well be from these large breasts have you ever considered breast reduction surgery?" WHOA. She said at our local hospital there is a shared medical appointment kind of thing where I could get information about it. Well, I left there kind of in shock.

So that night at dinner my husband asks how my physical went. I gathered all my courage and told him what the doctor said about how all my pain might be from my huge boobs. And HE said "well why don't you get a tit job?" (his words not mine). WHAT??? I couldn't believe my ears I thought I was hallucinating.

SO I went for the shared appointment which consisted of an individual exam by the PS in addition to all the information they gave us in a group and she said the breast reduction surgery would most definitely relieve the pain and be a positive thing for me and she would recommend it and she said a lot of times, especially with the amount she suggested be removed from each breast, the insurance company might possibly cover it. SO - they penciled in a date for surgery and they submitted to my insurance company, I also asked my doctor to write a letter explaining the history of my pain.

Then, a couple of weeks later the hospital called and asked if I had dates for the physical therapy and chiropractor visits - that insurance companies usually wanted them to be within the last couple of years...mine were 10+ years ago and I gave up because they didn't help. So I said, no, they were many years ago and she said they would submit what they had and see what happened.

On Friday- two days ago- two days before Christmas- the insurance company called and said I'd been APPROVED for my procedure.

I nearly fainted.

So that's where I'm at. I haven't told my husband about it yet. I really really want to do this. The tentative date for surgery is April 10.

Hi. Well I am set to go in April with my...

Hi. Well I am set to go in April with my husband's blessing. I will be moving my mom over the next month- so the timing works out well.

Is it unrealistic to think I can go back to work 13 days after the surgery? My job is pretty sedate- but it is full time.

I've been thinking about how I am going to sleep...

I've been thinking about how I am going to sleep on my back. How long is it before I can sleep on my stomach or my side? I read somewhere that sleeping in a recliner chair helped during recovery?

Also- does anyone have a link to a good recovery bra that I can get? They said at the hospital that they will give me one but I should have a second one.

I'm already getting nervous and a little scared but excited at the same time.

So I have been doing research on the "lollipop"...

So I have been doing research on the "lollipop" scar surgery that my PS says I will be having. Apparently the recovery time and scarring shouldn't be quite as painful as the "anchor" technique?

I finally got my mother moved and now have 2 weeks to empty out her old apartment- her new apartment is a fraction of the size so there's a ton of stuff that wouldn't fit in there. It's an emotional few weeks going through all the stuff with her. BUT there is an end in sight and that means the next big event is my surgery!! Seriously, I can't wait. I wish it was tomorrow.

So we are a little over 3 weeks out now- the days...

So we are a little over 3 weeks out now- the days seem to be crawling by. Next Monday I have my appointment with my primary care physician to fill out pre-op forms. I found one zippered sweatshirt and just bought another online (we live in the boonies and while there is Kohl's 15 minutes away, that's about it). I have button front pj's. I have to sift through all the posts here to make a list of what else I will need.

There is no doubt in my mind that I want to do this. But I have to admit, I'm getting a little scared and nervous.

SO, with a little more than 2 weeks to go, I am...

SO, with a little more than 2 weeks to go, I am wondering whether I should make a pre-op appointment with my PS. I have an appointment with my primary care physician (required) on Thursday. The initial appointment with my PS was a group appointment where they gave us all the info as a group and I spent maybe 5 minutes alone with the PS where she measured me and gave recommendations for the amount to be removed and the procedure to be used but that was about it. I called last week about it and was told that I would have time before the surgery to talk and have any questions answered but I'm worried that I might be nervous or scared and might not get my thoughts across or forget something or something.

Anyone have any advise? What was the pre-op appointment like for you? Ahhhhh

Just got back from CVS. I bought gauze...

Just got back from CVS. I bought
gauze pads
paper tape
miralax
aquaphor
mederma scar gel

I already have
2 zip up sweatshirts
my recliner
2 post-op bras
stocked freezer
cranberry juice in small containers

Is there anything else I will need?

We are traveling all weekend- Friday morning till Sunday night. Surgery is next Tuesday April 10th. Counting down!

I decided I want B cup boobs. I mean, I'm only going to get to do this once.

6 more days. We are leaving tomorrow to visit...

6 more days. We are leaving tomorrow to visit family for the holiday weekend so that will hopefully make time fly by faster!

I am trying to upload a photo- I couldn't decide if I felt comfortable doing that being the private person i am and the uncertainty of the internet- but i decided to. I've appreciated everyone elses so much. Nobody knows about this surgery except my husband and all of you. I don't know, I just don't want the questions, and judgements, and feel more comfortable just keeping it private.

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (tomorrow is the...

AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (tomorrow is the day). SOSCARED.

Just got my drains out :) Well yesterday was...

Just got my drains out :)

Well yesterday was quite the day. I got to the hospital at 6AM and was home by about 1PM. The operation took 3 hours- they had told us 2 hours so my husband was kind of freeking out when it went longer. It's amazing how fast that anastesia (sp) works. They started wheeling me into the OR and I said bye to my husband and the next thing I was back.

I have had very little pain- it's pretty amazing. I took the pain meds yesterday afternoon and a couple of times at night but really, it hasn't been bad at all. The worst was last night when I had a bad headache and was nausaus but didn't throw up. I took 2 pepto bismals and that, I think helped.

I kind of saw my new boobs today when the nurse took the drains out- wasn't really able to see underneath them where the incisions are. I had the "short scar" dealie, so I have stitches around my my nipples and one vertical but nothing underneath my breasts. My husband said the stitches looked pretty gnarly, but the nurse said everything looks like it should.

I will post a picture soon. Can't take a shower till tomorrow so it will probably be after that. I think I have B cup boobs- just like I wanted :)

Thanks for all the good wishes and support. bbs

2 days post-op I will be taking a shower...

2 days post-op

I will be taking a shower tonight :0

I really haven't had any pain to speak of today- just tired and trying not to overdo it. The drain sites are still oozing- they said that might be the case for a few more days.

Question: how soon after surgery should I start massaging? I haven't felt like I should touch where the incisions are...

Day 3- feeling ok! I have a little soreness in my...

day 3- feeling ok! I have a little soreness in my right breast, not sure what that's about. there's no oozing or bleeding or anything. around my nipples it's starting to turn yellow. i guess that's a good thing? does that mean healing?

they gave me a great compression bra thingy to wear home and told me to wear it all the time. they said I'll get a different one at my next appointment. it's got velcro in the front. i put gauze over my nipples underneath, but nothing else. i thought maybe neosporin or something on the incisions but i guess not.

i think the worst part if it is having to sleep on my back. i'm propping pillows on either side of me like someone suggested and that helps. the poor cat, who loves to lie on my chest and purr into my ear, is all confused when i push him away :(

overall, i am truly amazed how little pain i've had and how easy this has been (knock on wood). my plan is to go back to work week after next and i can't imagine why i wouldn't be ready. next appointment is next wednesday.

i posted pic that i took today.

Day 4 today i took my 2nd shower. wow- it feels...

day 4
today i took my 2nd shower. wow- it feels so good to be fresh and clean. my husband got in the shower with me and washed my hair :)

i continue to have trouble sleeping. i absolutely never sleep on my back- it's so uncomfortable for me. so i'm getting a few hours a night at best.

my husband told me today that the reason that the surgery took so long is that it took longer to get my 2 breasts even in size. they took out 540 grams from one side and 530 grams from the other. i guess she did one side and then had to come back and take more and more out of the other side to make it even. i'm glad she was so meticulous because they truly look identical in size. she told my husband that we wouldn't know for sure until about 6 months out- but i think i'd notice if there were major issues, don't you think?

i'll post more pics in a couple of days. things look pretty much the same although everything is turning a bit more yellow.

Day 5- i woke up with a bad cold. ugh. all i can...

day 5- i woke up with a bad cold. ugh. all i can think about is that my body will need to spend its energy on the cold instead of healing. i don't know how i got it- i've been taking it easy since the surgery last tuesday :(

i'm wondering if i should see my doctor to get an antibiotic or something...
definite setback.

Day 6 Still have a cold- I thought about seeing...

day 6
Still have a cold- I thought about seeing my doctor but since I don't have a fever I figure it's probs just a viral thing that needs to run it's course. It sucks, tho, because I really want all my energy to go toward healing.

Feeling a little bit sore underneath my breasts today, not sure why.

This is the bra they put on me after surgery:
http://www.emssurg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=1&ParentCat=1
It is the most comfortable thing ever. It is soft and breathable cotton. Pretty costly, tho. I'm glad they included it for me.
Anyway, I posted the link because it really is great- nothing to poke my skin, no rough edges, molds to my new shape. I bought a 2nd bra to wear while washing this one and when I wore it yesterday it was nowhere near as comfortable as this one. It was heaven putting the velcro one back on.

Anyway, I'm planning to post another pic later on. My next appointment is on Wednesday and I don't have another one scheduled after that :0

I had my post-op appointment today. They said...

I had my post-op appointment today. They said everything looks great, gave me a new bra, showed me how to tape underneath my breasts, and gave me directions for the weeks to come. Unless I something happens, I don't go back for 6 months.

They recommend no exercising for 6 weeks (including jogging) but especially any kind of activity where the arms move up and down continuously. For 6 weeks I shouldn't lift anything heavier than a gallon milk jug. They said once the incisions are totally closed I can use a moisturizer and massage to manage the scars. They warned me against anything with Vitamin E.

Planning to go back to work next Monday- on day 13.

Day 9 Wow the new bra is a beast. They aren't...

Day 9
Wow the new bra is a beast. They aren't kidding when they say no bounce.

I have a question. Yesterday at my appointment they showed me how to tape underneath my breasts so that the ridges that form flatten out. I do have a small ridge, under one breast. Have any of you had that and does taping make it disappear? I'm worried it will always be there....

Thanks for your wisdom as always :)

Day 11 I seem to be in a similar place as some...

day 11

I seem to be in a similar place as some others and reading that I'm not alone helps. My boobs are sore and yellow. The bra they gave me to wear (for the next 6 months btw) is like a corset pulled to its tightest. I put on the velcro one that they gave me right after surgery to sleep in and it feels like heaven but then I have to put the beast back on in the morning. I'm pretty sure they wanted me to wear the other one 24/7 but I can't. The cold I came down with last week that I thought was gone is now in my chest and I've got a bad cough- gonna go up to CVS this morning to get some cough medicine. And, I'm going back to work on Monday, which really worries me. I get tired at the slightest actvity and while my job is relatively sedentary, I worry that I will have trouble staying all day and doing my job.

Enough complaining, I just can't wait to be healthy and enjoy my new body. Will post pics today at some point.

thanks to all of you for your friendship and support :)

Day 12 My husband and I went out to dinner last...

Day 12

My husband and I went out to dinner last night with friends. All the complaining I've done- I TAKE IT BACK. I put on one of my favorite shirts that I've always had to cover with another layer to cover the huge boulders- and it fit me perfectly, and I could stand tall and man, I just can't describe the feeling- it's like being in a new wonderful body. Even with the beasty bra.

Going back to work tomorrow and I'm a little bit nervous. It's not that there is any kind of tremendous pain or anything, I just get tired so easily, and I also have this lousy cold that doesn't seem to want to leave. I work from 7-3:30, so my plan is to get to bed by 10 tonight at the latest, and come home straight after work and lie down till supper.

Like many others have said, I wish I had done this 20 years ago. It's liberating. I can't imagine how it will feel when I'm all healed and wearing a regular bra- maybe I can even get one of those awesome tankini things I've always admired :)

Day 13 Went back to work today- it was tough...

day 13

Went back to work today- it was tough but I got through it. I'm exhausted and a little sore. The worst part was opening the heavy doors- I didn't realize how many doors I go through on a daily basis and they are monsters. I figured out pretty fast that I've got to turn the handle and then push the door open with my back instead of my arms...

Day 14- 2 weeks! Slept on my side for bit last...

day 14- 2 weeks!

Slept on my side for bit last night! Hallelujah.
Every day seems to be a little bit better- I don't feel as frail and things just feel more permanent. I'm not scared that a wrong move would split things open or make things bleed or something. When I get home from work I lie down for a bit and that feels like heaven. Fatigue is an issue. I am doing my best not to carry things that are too heavy, or bend down but I can't help it sometimes :(

The most soreness is still under my boobs. I don't have the anchor incision, but underneath is still is sore and bumpy for some reason. The stitches in the vertical incisions haven't absorbed yet so they still look pretty gnarly. The yellow color comes and goes.

Overall, tho, I feel good and functional with little or no pain.

I thought right after surgery I would be a B cup, but I think it's going to turn out to be more of C cup but that's just a guess. The post surgery bras I've gotten are based on numbers, not cup size (i.e. 36). I really want to go bra shopping but I know it's too soon.

Day 17 well i finished a week back at work. ...

day 17

well i finished a week back at work. wow- i'm exhausted but doing okay and glad it's friday. i have soreness still underneath my breasts and on the sides toward my armpit. there are places where the scabs have fallen off the vertical scar and there is pink underneath- but majority of incision is still dark. i'll post a pic tomorrow- just got home from work and i'm just too tired right now.

i broke down and ordered one of the gap bras that someone recommended- i got a 36C- it fits perfectly. i'm wondering if i will end up being smaller tho- i mean, i'm less than 3 weeks out so i would imagine there's still some swelling. i tucked the gap bra in the back of my drawer- it is beautiful :)

the beasty bra has become my best friend. as restricting as it is, it protects me from any kind of bounce or movement. when i'm working and not concentrating on my boobs, this is good so i don't have to worry.

overall, doing okay! hope everyone is too!

Ok so i'm wearing my new pink bali revolution bra...

ok so i'm wearing my new pink bali revolution bra (SIZE MEDIUM!!!) today (sorry beasty bra- i need a break on a sunday). pure heaven :)

3 weeks! i can't believe that it's been 3 weeks...

3 weeks!

i can't believe that it's been 3 weeks. it seems like yesterday but then again it seems like forever ago.

life is pretty much back to normal. i'm back at work and doing everything i did before except major lifting, vacuuming, and exercising. i most definitely get more tired more quickly tho.

my boobs are changing shape- there are bumps and bulges in places there were no bumps and bulges but they said that would happen. sometimes i get wierd sensations like things are moving in there- but it doesn't last long and it doesn't hurt at all. the incision/scars around my nips are pretty much gone. the vertical incision is still scabbed over- she used glue and i can see that the glue is starting to peel off which is good. i imagine the scabs will fall off soon and then i'll start massaging. overall, tho, they look great and are the perfect size.

the funny thing is no one has said anything to me about it. people have asked me if i've lost weight, but that's about it. i put SO much energy into concealing the buggers by strapping them in and covering them up with layers and layers, i don't think a lot of people really knew how huge i was. i always dreaded spring and summer because layering gets HOT- but this year i can't wait. even tho my PS said i should wear the compression bra for 6 months, i know i will wean off of it at some point and put on a cute and purdy one under a t-shirt.

i'm loving reading everyone else's stories- it's so wierd now that i've gone through it am on the other side. who would'v thunk it.

Day 23 (or 3 weeks and 2 days) question for...

day 23 (or 3 weeks and 2 days)

question for those who've been through it: is it normal for my new boobs to feel hard in some places and soft in some places? they feel kind of lumpy. i know i've read all over the place that the final shape takes sometimes a year to happen- but just wondering if i should be expecting these bumps and ridges. can't really see them- but i can feel them.

i have an appointment with my PS in a week.

4 weeks! it's REALLLLY hard to take it easy at...

4 weeks!

it's REALLLLY hard to take it easy at this point. i'm not really resting at all during the day but i do take care not to lift heavy things or overdo it with my arms. i definitely am lifting my arms over my head- but not repetitively or often. i'm doing the best i can.

i will post a picture later today if i can. because my PS used glue, there are still spots on the incision where the scabs haven't fallen off. i don't want to mess with them so i'm just massaging them gently with aquafor and bio oil - this has softened some of them and they have fallen off- the scars don't look too bad!

mainly i'm just kind of lumpy in spots. underneath my boobs kind of over toward my armpit there are bumps and bulges- i'm massaging gently.

i love my new boobs.

tt y'all l and i hope everyone's happy, healthy, psyched, healing, and all the rest :)

4 1/2 weeks I had my appointment with my PS...

4 1/2 weeks

I had my appointment with my PS today and she said things look "spectacular"!! I was worried I've been doing too much- but everything is fine. She said I've got to wear "the beast" for another 2 weeks and then I can wear anything that doesn't have an underwire. What I thought was scab was glue that had some blood stuck to it- she peeled it off and so now things look pretty clean- definitely a scar there- but I'm massaging and oiling twice a day.

I feel like I haven't experienced my new boobs yet- I'm wearing my old clothes and trying to stay pretty low key about the whole thing until after the 6 week mark HOWEVER

I think I'll pay a visit to Kohl's tomorrow. I've got a 30% off coupon and the bras are on sale :)
I will post a pic asap.

5 1/2 weeks out so today was a bit of a...

5 1/2 weeks out

so today was a bit of a milestone. for anyone who lives in new england you know that the weather has sucked lately. raw and rainy and gray pretty much every day for the last week. it was getting downright depressing. today i woke up to bright sunshine, wonderful cool dry air, and a nice breeze. definitely short sleeve weather. even tho i'm supposed to wait till week 6 (5 days away) to retire the beast, i said to hell with it and wore my bali bra and a flowery spring shirt that i always busted out of and had to cover with a sweater. well, all day i just felt like a new person. the shirt fits. i was comfortably cool. no layers. just the shirt, the bali bra, and me :) i wasn't constantly pushing my cleavage under my armpits to flatten the boobs out. i was just so comfortable and it felt great.

so question: i still have stitches sticking out a tiny bit in 3-4 places. what should i do with them? they hurt a bit when i massage the oil onto the incisions, are starting to make the skin red around it, and they are clearly not absorbing or going away. i don't want to mess with stuff for fear i'll screw something up. has anyone had the same?

2 days short of 6 weeks it seems like something...

2 days short of 6 weeks

it seems like something i'm using to massage with is causing a rash...i think i will just not use anything for a few days and see what happens. i was mostly using the bio oil, but was also putting on mederma once a day. The body lotion I always use - a Nivea brand- I massaged in a couple of days ago but I doubt it was that because I use that all the time. Is it possible there could be a delayed reaction to the bio oil?

the stitches that were sticking out- one is gone and the others are getting less, not sure how that happens.

85 degree day, sleeveless shirt with no boobage under the armpits FTW :)

Week 7 A couple of minor bumps in the road- the...

Week 7

A couple of minor bumps in the road- the rash I wrote about didn't go away, even with cortisone cream so I called my PS and she prescribed a different cream that I used for about 4 days and the rash went away. I keep wondering what caused the rash and I'm afraid to use the Bio Oil, so I'm massaging with Nivea Creme- something I've used all my life, and that's been going fine but I'm not sure it's the best thing for scar treatment. I've been reading about silicone based gel- has anyone used that?

Overall I'm doing great. I love clothes now. Will post pics when I can.
Hope everyone is doing fine :)

Slept on my stomach last night! wow i've missed...

slept on my stomach last night! wow i've missed that.
now that i don't have to wear the beast anymore my favorite bra is the bali sure fit revolution bra (picture below). it is so comfortable i now have one in white, black, and pink and i still have to pinch myself that i fit into that tiny little thang.

i am reading everyone's updates who have recently had their surgery and i remember so well what it felt like the first few days post-op. so everyone hang in there the results are SO worth it. just try to take it easy and don't rush to overdo things, even if you feel like you can.

will post new pics this weekend.
all my very best to everyone.

Just added some pics- when i lift my arms to take...

just added some pics- when i lift my arms to take the pics they look a little boxy- i'm sure that will even out in the end. overall, i am absolutely pleased.

OK so i went to get a black bra today to go under...

OK so i went to get a black bra today to go under the black sleeveless dress that i have to wear to a party and pretty much across the board i'm a 36C. wow- and the choices were incredible. my favorite everyday bra is still the bali sure fit revolution- it is so comfortable.

a friend gave me the remainder of her bottle of scarprin- a scar treatment gel thingy. i've been using it and it's really great. i alternate using that, my nivea cream when i massage my whole breast, and i still massage the scars with neosporin. my scars are really doing well after 2 months since surgery.

now that the warm weather is here it really is impossible to explain- except to those who have been through it- the joy of wearing summer shirts and dresses without the sweat, weight, bulging and embarrassment i've spent my life feeling. it's really an amazing feeling.
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