Scheduled & Scared - Salt Lake City, UT

After confiding in my bff about this journey that...

After confiding in my bff about this journey that I'm embarking on, she reminded me that I wanted a breast reduction for my high school grad gift from my parents. That was 16 (gasp!) years ago.

In high school I was embarassed to go swimming with my friends. I was the only girl I knew who couldn't wear a normal bikini because the tops and bottoms weren't sold separately back then. The only bikinis I could wear were Speedos that were like a sports bra. Even then, they didn't have much support. I remember wishing that bikini tops would be available in bra sizes. (Too bad I didn't follow that wish, I bet I'd be a rich woman right now!) When I did wear a one piece suit, I would wear a speedo top under my swimming suit, just to try to keep my already sagging boobs where they belonged. I was only a D cup then, but I didn't really have access to a specialty store in the small town I grew up in, so in all reality, even back then, I was probably wearing the wrong size.

I got my first bra when I was in elementary school, probably entering the 4th or 5th grade. I had to actually ask my mom to take me to buy a bra. She did, and when my dad came home from a business trip and he noticed I was wearing a bra, the first thing he did was snap the back strap. From then on out, it was constant teasing. My mother embarassed to come watch me play softball because my boobs were out of control when I'd run the bases. Her saying "JESUS! When are they going to stop growing?" when I'd tell her I needed a new bra.... I could go on and on. Well, they didn't stop growing until after I had my baby 11 years ago. They grew at least a full cup size during the first few months of pregnancy and never went away, so now, my least favorite part of my body, that had already caused so much emotional pain in my life were now causing me physical pain. Neck aches, back aches, and, my nipples were so streched out that it was next to impossible to nurse my brand new baby because they were so flat and inverted. I wish I wasn't already so self conscious about my breasts back then, I would have sought help from a lactation specialist. The nurse at the hospital gave me some tools to make it easier for my baby girl to latch on, but I was clueless and embarassed so I gave up, feeling like a failure.

During a visit with my aforementioned bff in the summer of 2007, she told me that she'd gone to Nordstroms to get properly fitted for a bra and suggested I do the same. She said it was like night and day actually wearing the right size of bra! So, when I returned home, that's one of the first things I did. I was horrified when I realized that my incorrectly fitted bra size of 36DD was actually a 34DDD/E, but looking in the mirror with my new bras on was like looking at somebody else looking back at me. It was empowering to feel confident for once! My boobs were where they belonged!

So here we are in 2011. My size is still 34E and I've maintained a 40+ lb weight loss for at least 4 years. When I started my weight loss journey back in 2005 I realized that my boobs were getting smaller as I lost weight. What a great motivator for me! That really kept me going, but soon, they stopped getting smaller as I approached my ideal weight, so I knew that losing any more weight was really not an option as far as making my boobs go away. PLUS, I'd lost all my weight only by changing eating habits, not with any excercise, beyond a daily walk with the stroller and everyday activity. Today I weigh 121 and it fluctuates between 119-125.

Many years ago, even before I had my baby I talked to my primary care physician about this surgery. He's been treating me for chronic headaches and neck, back and shoulder pain for 15 yrs now. He recommended it even back then and hand wrote on a prescription pad,a list of 5 plastic surgeons that he recommended. I kept that list and I did research on each of them (thank GOD for the internet!) I've had an internal debate with myself wondering if this is really something I need to do. I finally called my top choice of surgeon on October 31. His office scheduled me for a consult on November 14th. At my consult, the office manager was so confident that I'd be approved by my insurance company, who apparently is one of the easier ones to work with, that she scheduled me for my pre-op visit and surgery. I got a phone call from the office on November 16th confirming that I had been approved and a letter from my insurance company this past weekend confirming that. This is all progressing so quickly, I feel so lucky to know that something I've wished for, for such a long time is actually becoming a reality. I've had a very emotional past few weeks as I've thought about how my boobs have been a part of my life and I've sort of allowed them to define who I am.

The first person I confided in when I found out I was approved was my cute Grandmother. She was so excited for me and said that she's behind me all the way. That was really important to hear. I've kept this all pretty much on the down low and have only had one friend tell me that they were disappointed or hesitant to support my decision. I'll tell you that it was very hard to hear and I cried and started second guessing whether or not it was something I was going to go forward with. I am scared to have ugly boobs following the surgery, but I feel like I have ugly boobs now. They can't get any uglier in my mind.

I haven't decided whether or not I will be posting pictures. I'm a very private person as far as my body goes and as it stands now, it has taken me several days to share this story with you girls.

I don't know what my total out of pocket cost will be as of yet, but will share that information as soon as I know.Updated on 21 Dec 2011:I can eat for 20 more minutes. After that... I'm NPO for surgery tomorrow! This is surreal. I'm always so busy that time just flies by. I'm hoping recovery flies by too. I'm not used to reading non-academic material. Being on pain meds I'm sure ill need some easy reads. Any recommendations? I check in tomorrow at 10:45 a.m.

I typed out an update the night before surgery and...

I typed out an update the night before surgery and have been offline since. It's been wonderful, except now I wonder where my update went... anyway, I'm one week post op today. Went to the follow up appointment and steri-strips were removed, more pictures, doctor says everything looks good. I got permission to throw away my lovely straight-jacket surgical bra. Comfortable, yes. Pretty, no. (Ill keep it to sleep in for the time being, but I don't really see what the point is. I don't think it fits properly as its very loose. More like a vest or tank top.) I also got permission to ditch the TED hosiery. Thank you! I cant imagine having to wear them in the summer...
Anyway, my surgery was on 12/22. It lasted 2 hours and everything went well. I spent the night at the hospital and my surgeon came in to see me at 7am on the dot, just as he said he would. He removed my drains, changed my dressings, and said Merry Christmas! That's when you can shower. Christmas morning. :) My sweet grandmother and auntie came and picked me up after breakfast and a quick visit from one of my dear friends. I stayed one night at Gram's in her comfy leather recliner and I was asleep for most of the day Friday the 23rd and Christmas eve. I stayed on top of the pain with ice packs under my breasts and above them and percocet, but it makes me feel so out of it that I tried not to take very much. Christmas eve we celebrated at my dear auntie's house and I decided to sleep in what we call the princess bed. I didn't sleep well that night. I kept waking up trying to figure out how to keep my chest elevated, so after that, it was made clear (not by me) to everybody that the reclined was off limits. I slept much better Christmas night and I think I slept for most of Christmas day... I came home to my house on the 26th. I haven't been sleeping well since, however, a friend of mine showed me a trick to setting up my pillows, and so far I think he's a total genius.
My pain level has been surprisingly manageable. The first morning I woke up at my grandmother's, I was more irritated by my compression stocking and curling iron burn that I had gotten several days prior than by my surgical sight. All in all, so far, I have been pleasantly surprised with my recovery. Ive taken it easy, rested a lot, and listened to my body. One thing I learned today at my post-op was hydration is key. I was feeling dizzy periodically, and my Dr recommended that I increase my fluid intake. I am one of those people that always has a water bottle, so I was surprised when she said I should drink more water. She explained the "third space" to me, and it totally makes sense to me now. I wish I would have known about this going in. (I cant explain it well, so if you're curious, you could probably google it or something) Basically, even if you think you're well hydrated, you should really push increased fluids beyond your normal amounts before and after surgery.
One other thing is..... my left sutures look really good for being a week post op. My right one looks more puckered. I will try to post pics if I can figure it out. I'm posting this update from my kindle so the pics will have to come later. Ill also post pre-pics when I get them from my doc..... anyway, I almost cried when I saw the difference in sutures from my right breast to the left. I hope they heal well, and having a different scar is better than daily neck pain which I am already noticing relief from.
I just reread my update and noticed that sometimes I call my doc a he and sometimes a she. My surgeon was Dr. Bindrup ànd I also met with his PA Stephanie, who also was there the day of my surgery. Just wanted to clear up any confusion.

I found out the reason for the difference in the...

I found out the reason for the difference in the appearance of my sutures... The puckering is from the internal layer of dissolvable stitches. The body metabolizes the stitches and each side won't be completely equal. Hearing this made total sense to me, and really eased my mind.

Also, I found two bras that I really, really like for after surgery, since no underwires are allowed until 3-4 weeks post-op.

Coobie bra - Its super soft, I mean SUPER soft and WAY cuter than a sports bra. I wish I would have bought more and I probably will.
http://shopcoobie.com/shop?c=bras

The other one I bought is:
Bali passion for comfort wire free...
http://www.baliintimates.com/bras/styles/?style=3389&color=KA

I shopped at a local specialty bra store for both and the lady was so helpful. I was excited to walk out with 2 bras for under $70. Before my surgery, I bought 2 bras at Nordstrom for about $70 each! I love them both, thought and I actually plan on ordering the exact same styles in both bras when the healing phase is over.
Dr. Jed Bindrup

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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I am a serious side sleeper with no recliner. I had 4 pillows, one lengthwise on each side and 2 on top of each other for my head. I slept pretty well, it was like a little cacoon. But the recliner idea sounds good, alas I do not have one
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I'm just wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing your friends genious idea for setting up pillows? I'm very interested in knowing this seeing how I have a hard time sleeping on my back, let alone straight up on my back!!
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I've been using about 6 pillows! One lengthwise on each side of my body and then 2 stacked on top of each other with a firmer one lengthwise on top of the stacked ones (in the middle of the the first two lengthwise pillows). For some reason I like something around my face while I sleep so I've been sort of bunching up one of my favorite blankets near my head and then I have another small pillow on top of that. Whatever works, right? :)
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This sounds like it may work for me. I also like something around the sides of my head as I sleep, I'm considering getting one of those circular shaped pillows with the cut out in the middle and use that around my neck and on top of the pillow!! Thanks for your response!
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I'm so glad everything went well for you, Suzy! My scars were a concern of mine too. I had areas that puckered and just looked odd. But as they healed and relaxed they all smoothed out. I hope you have the same thing happen. Glad you are feeling well and so happy with your results. Wishing you continued healing and a wonderful new year!
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Everything went really well! Ive been offline (sort of a personal goal and experiment in human relations). I updated my review. Thanks for your support! I was really on the fence before I found realself. It was encouraging to know that other ladies were as apprehensive as I was going in, and thrilled coming out!
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Good luck, Suzy! Hope everything goes well today!
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Recliners are amazing. I have slept in mine every night since my surgery. Sounds like you have a plan. Distraction is nice
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Hey Suzy, How are you doing? Your date is getting close. Hope you are more excited than apprehensive. Your story sounds so much like mine. I started at a 34H and had surgery on 8/17/2011. I'm still measuring about 34DD, which is larger than the C I had hoped for, but may still go down a bit in the next couple of months. But even if I don't, I'm much happier now!
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Iowa, thanks for checking in with me. My date IS getting close. I just took my last final on Monday and I'm taking an intense 2 week course for school that ends on Friday. Needless to say, I've had little time for myself and for thinking about anything, besides human physiology. (That's the class I just finished) My daughter is staying with her father's family all next week and my last day of work is Sunday. I'll have Mon-Wed to finish my preparations for Christmas and my surgery, then, I get to have my surgery on Thursday. I have two friends taking me to my surgery and will check on my dog throughout the day and then on Friday, my Aunt is picking me up from the hospital and taking me to her house. She has a recliner that I will sleep in for at least that night. Depending on how I feel, I might come home on Saturday, or I might stay longer. :) I know I'm welcome and that's a nice feeling going into this.
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Good luck finishing up with your class! Its probably good to be too busy to obsess with your surgery. It will be here before you know it and then all you have to do is relax and heal...which it sounds like you could use the relaxation!
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Hey Suzy! Congrats on following through with your wish!! I felt all those same things you at feeling. I was sooo worried that they would be ugly but they turned out better than I ever imagined!!
Once the process starts everything seems to to so fast, but dont let that scare you! You have wanted this for so long and given it lots of thought!
I'm glad you got the courage to post! Your story will empower other women to do the same!!
Looking forward to following your story!
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@ SUZYQ34, Congratulations on your approval.... If you don't mind me asking,Who do u have insurance with?
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Lovely, I am insured with selecthealth
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Welcome and I am glad you are here with us.   Thank you for posting your review!!

 

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Wow I can relate to soo much of your story. My surgery is 12/1. Congrats! And prayers for a quick recovery.
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I do take the pain pills but not as frequent as yesterday. I do need to take naps as long as 3 1/2 hours long in the afternoon. I will have my drains in for a whole week so heard to get a good viewpoint of what my chest looks like. My sister says by boobs look cute and the doctor did a little liposuction on the side to sculpt and shape them. I know what you mean I always wanted to run but not with the twins. Jumping jacks were ab event ib itself. I am happy and a little sad at the same time. My breasts have been a big part of my identity for so long but looking forward to buying clothes that fit. You won't regret it I promise.
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Good for you. I had my surgery November 21st. When I was twelve years old my grandma took me to the doctors asking what was wrong with me. I was already a 36C. I had all this stretch marks but his answer was nothing was wrong with me she just developed fast. I only went to a 36DD but am only five feet tall and weight 112 pounds. But I teach exercise classes and the neck and shoulder pain for 20 plus years started to go into my ear and neck area so enough was enough. My friends and fiancé were all great and supportive. Now I was nervous as my whole identity has been the boobs. As one friend said their your calling card and it was a big and scary choice but two days into it I can finally see my feet and they look small (normal) 36C is my guest.
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Thanks! Only 2 days post op? How are you feeling? I can't wait to exercise! My chest has always held me back from doing zumba, dance, you name it. I can't wait to start taking care of my heart and stop thinking about how much my back hurts from my girls.
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