Here Goes Something: Irregular post-op menstrual cycle - Seattle, WA
- updated 1 year ago
I probably should have joined sooner, I have been...
- 30 Sep 2012
- 3 days pre
I probably should have joined sooner, I have been reading through the forum here for some time now and am only a few days out from surgery. I just had my pre-op 2 weeks ago and went over everything with anesthesia nurse a few days ago. The nerves are definitely starting to set in.
I am sure that this is the right choice for me. Like many other women here, I have struggled with my breast size since high school. I have tried losing weight, physical therapy, going to the chiropractor and every kind of bra under the sun. Nothing has helped and I suffer from migraines which have grown in frequency right along with my increasing bra size. I just want to be healthy, repair the structural issues all the weight of my breasts have caused as well as be able to exercise more easily.
Mostly what I am afraid of is complications. I am great at planning and preparing but I don't do so well with the unexpected, especially if it is something health related. The plan for the surgery is 750g (anchor, no drains) and I understand with reductions that large there can be a higher risk of complications. I live alone and have a lot of support for this surgery, I will have people staying with me for the whole first week, and checking in on me after that, but I can't help thinking of what could go wrong and how I would manage if something did. Getting more assistance, missing more work, etc. I am a very independent person and I am having a hard enough time accepting that I will not be totally self sufficient for a while, let alone if that time frame gets prolonged.
On the up side, I have really great insurance, all of my FMLA paperwork is taken care of, and I have people to take good care of me, so I am very lucky. Not to mention that I found this site early on where every seems to be so supportive and has already answered so many of my questions :)
I know there will be hard days ahead but I also know from so many of your stories that this is well worth it.
I did it! It was definitely a stressful night the...
- 5 Oct 2012
- 1 day post
my pain level has mostly been good. I know that I have a harder time recovering from this kind of thing than most people so I didn't expect to feel as great as everyone else but I have been doing really well. Coming out of the anesthesia I think my pain was a 3, once the localized stuff started wearing off I started getting shooting pains but after some percocet and advil I felt pretty well. The ride home was a bit rough but thanks to this forum i knew to bring a pillow to help stabilize my chest when going over bumps and that really helped. When I got home I felt great for a couple of hours but then the nausea set in. i almost threw up but my mom rubbed my feet and it helped enough to keep me going until I could take more ant-nausea meds. i also listened to some meditation podcasts to stay calm. Then I did pretty well again until the even when I started to get really frustrated and down. I was having uncomfortable swelling around my wrists where they strapped my arms to the table (because your arms are out in a T during the surgery). No bruising or anything, fluids were just kind of building up there, so I called my surgeon and he assured me that it was okay (he's awesome). I was still having a lot of nausea and was having a hard time eating even though I was really hungry, the percocet didn't seem to be doing much for the pain, it hurt to pee from having a catheter in during surgery, I couldn't sleep because I couldn't get my neck in a good position. It just all felt overwhelming and disheartening.
Luckily it passed. I managed to get a little more food in me and my mom went out and got me a travel pillows, thanks to which I got 4 and a half hours of sleep. It may not sound like a lot but it made a world of difference.
This isn't exactly what I expected and since it has been less than 24 hours I am not ready to give a verdict on how I feel about the surgery but I can say that I am really happy to have the surgery part over with and be on the road to recovery. They ended up taking 3 pounds out of each breast, i haven't seen them yet and i don't know what size I am under all this but I already feel all that weight off my chest and it's good.
Oi, what a traumatic day. I wasn't feeling super...
- 6 Oct 2012
- 2 days post
On the up side I am doing slightly better on the pain so I am cutting down on my meds for the sake of my tummy. The stomach medicine they gave me and the milk of magnesia are doing very little. Hope tomorrow goes better. At least I got to see what's going on under all that padding and surgical bra, didn't look half as bad as I expected, before I almost passed out that is.
Doing so much better! Still not where I would...
- 8 Oct 2012
- 4 days post
The afternoon after my last post I went home after...
- 10 Oct 2012
- 6 days post
The first night on my own went really well! And I...
- 13 Oct 2012
- 9 days post
At this point, I hadn't been sleeping very well, not more than 2 hours consecutively but I was getting enough half hour naps in to still feel pretty solid. Last night, my second night on my own, I was sure it was going to be a good night of sleep, I had some chamomile tea, settled in with my book, and just as I dozed off the smoke detector when off. Well really it is a 2 in 1 CO2 monitor and smoke detector, so instead of annoying beeping it yells "alert alert, there is a fire, please exit the building" none of the regular smoke detectors (including the one right next to it) were going off so I new the odds of a fire were slim but the sound of that thing is a million times worse than a regular smoke detector and set me off into a panic. I checked the whole apartment and there was no smoke, nothing plugged in or on that shouldn't be. I called the building handy man and let him know and he said it was probably defective and he will bring me a new one today. I had my mom come and take the batteries out and she ended up staying over since I was really stressed out at that point. Strangely I ended up sleeping really well after that actually, almost 9 hours, so all is well that ends well.
Something I have been coming to at this point in my recovery is who to tell and who not to tell. I have been looking at having this surgery for so long that I am sure a lot of people know I was interested in having a BR, however, when I decided to do it I kept the circle pretty small: my immediate family, my boyfriend, and 2 friends. I have told each of them that, while this is not a secret, it is private and I would appreciate that they respect that. Not everyone seems to get why but I don't like being the center of attention, I don't like people talking about me, commenting on my body, or constantly asking me how I am doing. I see so many women on here who are ready to shout it from the rooftops and that's awesome but it does make me wonder if I am a bit odd for regarding this as a private experience. Is anyone else so inclined? And if so, how did you handle that with the people you did tell?
I went to the store today for half an hour! I...
- 14 Oct 2012
- 10 days post
Post op check up is a week from Tuesday. I wish it would just get here already, I am ready to be done with this initial phase of recovery.
Today was my 2 week mark as well as my first day...
- 18 Oct 2012
- 14 days post
I really worked to plan ahead. I bought some foam cup inserts for my bra for a little added padding in case someone should run into me (I've been having nightmares about that), I bought bigger jeans at the thrift store because all the fluid from my chest has caused my stomach to be a bit bloated, and packed plenty of snacks. Still, it was really really hard. I had only been out of the house for only 2 half hour periods before this and I was surprised at just how much it hurt to walk on concrete because of the bounce factor. I am sure it was only the tiniest bounce but it felt like how my old boobs used to feel running on a treadmill. Also the bathroom door at work is very heavy, I could barely get it open and I knew I shouldn't be pulling that much weight. It's just one of those weird things I never thought about before. I finally found that the bathroom across the courtyard had a lighter door but it's just another annoying thing that takes me longer. Everyone could tell that I was not 100% but I just told them I was under the weather. I was constantly getting migraines before the surgery so everyone is used to me .not feeling that well. I went home after 6 hours and took a 2 hour nap. In a lot more pain again tonight and worried tomorrow will be worse. At least I will have the weekend to recover I guess.
I will try to stay 8 hours tomorrow and then go back to my regular 10 hour days next week but I am feeling really down. I guess I just thought that if I could get through the first 2 weeks I would a little more back to normal than this. It's frustrating and it makes me wonder if this was worth it.
The second day of work was almost as rough but I...
- 21 Oct 2012
- 17 days post
It was a big week but since I was having such a...
- 28 Oct 2012
- 24 days post
I went to my post op on Tuesday and it was definitely a scary day for me and by the time I got to the office I felt awful. In pain, felt like I was in a sauna and just nervously going over my list of questions hoping I wouldn't forget to ask anything. My temp was 99, a little elevated but nothing really to worry about, my blood pressure on the other hand was really high. They were a little concerned but said that when you're in pain that can definitely happen. I talked to them about the level of pain I am still feeling and whether that was very abnormal and they assured me that though it isn't the norm, that there are some outliers who feel this level of discomfort this late in the game and that while I am healing slowly my incisions look really good and healthy. I also let them know that I was having issues being comfortable in any other bra than my surgical bra (Jobst surgical vest), even for the time it takes to wash it, so they gave me a ClearPoint Compression bra to try which doesn't seem to lend enough support for wearing out and about but definitely if comfortable to wear while washing my other one. I felt a lot better after the appointment. They said they don't need to see me again until the 6 month point, which I thought seemed odd, but they said to call them if anything comes up so I feel as though I am covered.
I am still on the pain meds for now, but only at night and my PS gave me a prescription with a higher acetaminophen content which he said is perfectly fine to combine with 600mg of Ibuprofen every 8 hours as long as I follow the max daily dosage recommendations. So once I am off the prescription pain meds (hopefully sooner than later) he said I can still combine acetaminophen and ibuprofen when needed which was reassuring because I am pretty sure that's the combination that is really helping anyway.
Probably my biggest win for my third week, other than getting through my first full week of work, was how much improvement I have seen in my range of motion with my first set of physical therapy exercises. That has really helped.
I hit some setbacks over this weekend, I tried showering on my own and couldn't get the surgical bra back on by myself ): I was supposed to start my second set of physical therapy exercises but found them to be too hard for now and ended up feeling nauseous and dizzy so those may have to wait a little longer, and after all of the movement for the exercises there was a bit of drainage on the Pambra which was a bit of a bummer because I haven't had any drainage since my first week. But like I said, I am feeling a lot more positive about it all which I think I owe to my being over the halfway point to that 6 week mark. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!
On my way to the month mark!
Things are going so much better, for a while there...
- 30 Oct 2012
- 26 days post
It also turns out that the bit of drainage I was seeing was because I was "spitting a stitch" which I guess is what they call it when your body pushes a dissolvable stitch to the surface. It was causing more pain and irritation so I called my PS and the nurse said that's not that unusual and that I could use a warm compress if I want (I didn't) but that it would probably work itself out and if it didn't they would take a look at it and pull it out. By that evening it felt a lot better and when I checked at shower time there was no drainage and what had started out as an annoying little 2 centimeter long piece of fishing line had turned into a piece the length of my finger. So I guess my body worked it out to the point where it was no longer irritating me. Both ends are out now but the middle is trapped under a thin layer of skin. Since it no longer hurts I am just going to let it do it's own things for now.
I also got the go ahead to put A&D ointment on my remaining scabs, the nurse said this will keep them moisturized so they heal instead of falling off. It was a little nerve racking touching my incisions but I did it!
I am almost done with my third week and am just really happy to be seeing some progress. Now if I can just get that second set of physical therapy exercises going.
Week 4 to 5 and it was definitely full of ups and...
- 10 Nov 2012
- 1 month post
I have been rather anxious at this stage as well because I know a lot of people run into complications like wound opening between week 3 and 5 so I have been terrified that something is going to happen to prolong the whole healing process, which would just make me lose my marbles. I need to make it through 5 more days and then my odds of complications drop.
I have bought a couple of bras but haven't felt comfortable trying anything on yet. Especially since my second period since the surgery will start in a couple of days and they say only the first one is extra painful on the new boobs but OUCH! That is not at all true for me, things are noticeably more painful w/ the PMS again. I am hoping that once it's over the swelling goes down considerably because it currently looks like I am still a DD. And while I understand that as a former DDDDD (H cup) that is still a considerable difference, it is hard to think that I went through this to still be in the doubles.
Onward, I can do this. See you guys at week 6.
I made it to 6 weeks without any wound opening! ...
- 17 Nov 2012
- 1 month post
The only setbacks I am really dealing with is the possibility that I am forming an abscess on one of my incisions and an irregular period. The possible abscess started out looking like a stitch trying to come out but now it looks like a bump the width of a pencil eraser. I am just going to keep an eye on it and will call my PS if it gets any bigger or red around the edges. And I had my second period since the surgery, and though my first one was shortly after the surgery and normal (with the exception of the extra terrible boob pain) this one only lasted 2 days (it usually lasts 5 like clockwork), anyone else having strange menstrual cycle post-op?