I have thought for many years to have a breast reduction, I spoke with my doctor about 10 years ago and he referred me to a surgeon for a consultation but I never went; life got in the way. Since then I had many life changes, I got divorced, was a single mom for two years then met an amazing man and we have been together for 7 years, now married for two.
Three years ago, in 2009 I decided to compete in my first sprint distance triathlon, 5k run, 400 meter swim and a 10k bicycle ride. I did it! It felt great until I saw pictures of myself in my tri suit and my boobs were HUGE... the rest of me was fit but you couldn't see any of that beyond my chest that was stuffed into a sports bra and tri-outfit. It honestly was disheartening but I tried not to think about it... it was just reality. That same year my dad became ill and ended up passing away in December 2009. It was a challenging time and I didn't train for any events. In 2012 I decided I needed to get back on track and train again, I did it... I felt good and I bettered my time from three years prior. My reality check came in when I ran a 5k race just prior to the triathlon. It was a highly sponsored race and after it was all over I received an email saying "watch yourself cross the finish line!" I very eagerly clicked on the link and watched this clip of some 'person' crossing the finish line. I had to watch it three times before it really sunk in that it really was "me"!
I felt so strong and confident crossing that finish line, I was very proud until that moment. Don't get me wrong, I was still proud to finish that race with a decent time BUT I NEVER thought I looked that way. I watched the video and I saw a person in a white running shirt with a wall of boobs sliding up and down on their chest. You couldn't really see my waist, my legs or much else... all you could see was a wall of boobs! I actually felt sick to my stomach, sad, embarrassed and a little dejected watching that. Thinking, what would I say or think about this person as they cross the finish line... something like "wow, that girl has big boobs!" or "wow, how can she run comfortably with a chest like that"... honestly I don't know if "I" would say those things but I could easily imagine other people saying those type of comments. Bottom line, I became very self conscience.
I had always been aware in my business attire to dress appropriately, to wear minimizer bras and select tops that didn't emphasize 'the girls' primarily to not draw attention from men. I learned very early on that if I didn't want men to talk to my chest I had to hide them. It wasn't a big deal... it was just what I had to do to be respected in my job. Whether that is real or not; it was what I felt I had to do and it has worked for me. I am respected in my profession for my ability, not for my physical features.
So that feels really good to me on a professional level but when we talk about things on a personal level it really gets challenging! You all know that we have to be mindful of the shirts we wear, we are envious of the girls in catalogs that model clothing; any type because we know when we buy the same top it doesn't look the same because we have big breasts and they are a "B" cup, if that! Then when we talk about bathing suits... I ordered one years ago from Victoria's Secret, it was so cute, it was a halter type with underwire and was made for women with larger cup size... I got it and tried it on... the weight from my breasts caused the knot on the halter straps to dig into the back of my neck! It was awful! And again, disheartening.
Okay, enough ranting on things that you already know, because odds are that you are reading this because you are considering a reduction or have already had one, so let's get on with where we are today...
In July I found this site and started reading reviews, one in particular stood out to me... the woman was about my same build and was taking the plunge and doing something so brave it inspired me to call my doctor again. Ironically, my husband asked me about a reduction around the same time; I was 'complaining' about my swollen breasts right before my period was going to start. I had shared with him years earlier about my desire for a reduction and he was supportive. He simply said "I don't know how you do it, they seem to impact so many things in your day to day life. If you want to change them, I support you; what ever makes you happy and allows you to do the things you want to do."
In July I made the call to visit my gynecologist; he had delivered my three children and acted as my primary doc for over 20 years. I am very healthy and if I have ailments I see a acupuncturist/chiropractor or work to heal myself naturally with herbs and supplements. Anyway, I visited with him, went back into my notes and found our original conversation 10+ years ago and gave me a referral to a surgeon. He said to talk with the surgeon and see what are the requirements to have insurance pay for the procedure because it was clearly a medial necessity. I did it! I called an made an appointment with the surgeon for a consultation; I was so excited!
I went in and we spoke, he did a physical exam and he and his assistant overwhelmingly agreed that I was a definite candidate and once insurance approved it the surgery could be scheduled, no problem! The took pics, like we see on this site..."Wow! That was quick!"
Now the next step was insurance. His office told me that I needed to gather documentation showing I have had a chronic medical condition for more than 6 months... "okay, I really have to think about this" The woman at his office said, gather as much as you can right away, it will reduce the possibility of the request being rejected. They said to document, indentions on my shoulders (check), head, neck, back pain (check) any chiropractic, acupuncture or massage related to these symptoms (check) and document instances of chaffing, under my breast, next to my chest - fortunately I did not check this box but I did have enough to move forward confidently. So I called my acupuncturist.
They gathered my records and I didn't realize that I have been seeing him for 10 years! my very first visit showed i had upper back, neck and lower head pain... in hind sight; all tied to the pressure from my bra straps! They gave my all my records and I felt really good.
The next part was difficult. Before doing my first triathlon I established a relationship with a primary physician just to do blood work and establish a base line and make sure everything was good before I started training; and it was fine. But I had only seen her twice in three years so I called up and made an appointment, told her my story and she did an exam and wrote notes to document my physical features and this is where the emotions kicked in...
She said "there is a term for enormous breasts" I quickly pulled out my smart phone and googled it, she pulled out her books and began searching. We found the word and she documented it on the chart. "Hypertrophy of Breast" - Look it up! She documented everything and in closing said "let me know if we need to document more, if insurance companies are willingly doing surgeries so men can have erections, they should approve this because you are wanting to improve your health to continue to stay healthy by exercising and being fit and your breasts are impeding that effectiveness". I left very confident and assured that my insurance would fix my "enormous breasts"!
But when I got into my car I just sat there, I felt sad. I felt abnormal. I wondered why hadn't I addressed this sooner. Why was it so obvious that my breasts were such a factor in my life but I hadn't done something about them sooner AND the victim began to echo in my head a little... why me? I had to kick that person out quickly and turn myself around and say "this is where you are today and how do you want to deal with it? Do you want to deal with it or are you okay with yourself and just stop this process? No one is making you do this, in fact, everyone is supporting you." Which in hind sight is what made it feel scary.
These emotions have lingered in my head, on and off through out this process and I am working my way through it. I did decide to submit the paperwork to my insurance. They told me it would be 4-6 weeks before we knew and after 2 weeks we got an answer... they approved it! YAY! and WOW! This is really happening.
I had to look at my calendar and talk with the surgeon and make sure everything is timed right before scheduling the surgery... November 11th is the date! I have become so excited, a little nervous but each time I read posts on this site I know it will change my life for the better.
It's getting late and I need to sleep, so good bye for now and I will post more soon. I will also post pics next time. I have been thinking about my before and after pics for this site!
Til next time...