My story is not unlike many others on this site --...
My story is not unlike many others on this site -- I was the first in my class to develop breasts, and have been larger than anyone else ever since. When I was younger, I was in soccer and gymnastics, but getting breasts put a stop to that pretty quickly. Growing up, I had horrible self-esteem. I highly doubt my large chest helped. However, the past couple of years is an important place where I believe my story differs from many. I came a long way to loving who I am (and I'll go ahead and be honest and say that it took some therapy, a lot of hard work, and I am very proud of myself for achieving this). I don't look in the mirror anymore and hate my body. Including my breasts. I can actually appreciate the way I look, big boobies and all. The problem now is the pain and problems my large breasts now cause. I am currently 20 years old, 5'1", 130lbs, with 36F breasts. I exercise a lot, as I am a professional dancer and dance instructor. However, for about half the month (silly menstrual cycle) I am almost completely unable to exercise because of the pain! And I ALWAYS have to wear an underwire bra and a sports bra or two on top, otherwise I end up smacking myself in the face. I have constant back, neck, and shoulder pain, headaches, shoulder grooves, terrible posture, a large numb spot on my right shoulder blade, trouble breathing while exercising...the list goes on and on! I'm sure most of you reading this are incredibly familiar with these issues. And obviously, my breasts get in the way of my everyday activities. Getting a reduction has been on my mind for about 5 years now, but it only started to become a reality within the last couple of months. I secured finances in case insurance wouldn't pay for it, and scheduled consultations. I had 3 consultations over the span of a month, and the first two plastic surgeons just weren't my cup of tea. In the middle of the consultation with the third one I knew he was going to be my doctor, so we went ahead with the proceedings that very day. That was July 1st. I had met with my primary care doctor the week prior and she had offered to write a letter for insurance stating why my surgery was medically necessary, so I called her after I left my plastic surgeon's office and left a message that she should go ahead and send that letter along. And then started a loooong wait. I found out July 23rd that insurance approved my surgery! I am so excited. I'm scheduled for August 13th, with pre-op on July 29th, so now I just wait more.
I've read several reviews and forum posts in which some of you ladies stated that you were feeling lots of different emotions prior to the surgery. Up until now I've been having anxiety about the drive home after surgery (I got in a bad car accident a while ago and I've had pretty bad anxiety in cars ever since), but today was the first time I've felt legitimately terrified about the surgery itself. I've been nothing but excited, but today I was browsing the reviews and I started to feel sick to my stomach and this wave of negative emotion flooded through me. I wonder if this is gonna happen more often in the next two weeks? I really hope not. And I'm worried about the emotional rollercoaster I've read happens after surgery...I've dealt with depression before and don't want to become stuck in that sticky cycle ever again. Anyone have any experience with the same type of emotions? Advice about how best to deal with it?
Oops, in my last update I meant that I've only been having anxiety about the car ride. It hasn't stopped. I just meant that I haven't been feeling anxiety about anything else!
My pre-op and two weeks!
I went in for my pre-op appointment yesterday. My mom came with me for moral support and to ask her own questions. The nurse who brought us back to see the doctor was the same nurse who was there for my consultation, and she is very sweet and friendly, so it made me feel less nervous. She gave us some basic information about the medication they'd be prescribing for me as well as the procedure on the day of surgery. Then, Dr. Maloney came in the room. He asked right away for all of our questions, and answered them all! We went over the informed consent contract, page by page, and were given a sheet of paper talking about what to do the night before/day of surgery, such as no eating or drinking after midnight, showering with antibacterial soap, etc. We also found out that insurance will cover everything except the axillary part of the surgery (under the arm/armpit), since they don't consider that medically necessary. That will be $1900 out of pocket. I am so grateful that my mom has been able to gather those finances and has offered to pay that cost. We had also been prepared because in the original consultation, Dr. Maloney told us that sometimes, insurance won't cover that part of the surgery. Anyway, I left very excited, and today I've been nervous, but my surgery is two weeks from today so I am in the home stretch!!
Just so you guys can see what a joke it is when I try and stuff myself into a size "large" (yeah, right!) bikini top! This bathing suit top was given to me about 4 years ago, I had to buy separate size small bottoms, and I haven't had the confidence, patience, or money to buy one that actually fits. But I can't wear this to the public pool, because I do not care for the stares. I've been covering up in shirts and shorts at the pool for the last 4 years. Can't wait to get a bathing suit that fits and I am proud to wear in public.
There are only 12 days until my surgery! I am crazy excited. My best friend just booked her flight to come help take care of me for a while. I don't see her very often, so it means a lot that she's coming, and I'm equally excited about seeing her as I am about my surgery! I'm also starting to get things ready in my life and around my house -- yesterday I cleaned up my room and made sure everything was in order (something that also doesn't happen often...). I researched a bunch of front closure sports bras for after surgery and plan to go shopping for some of those this weekend. And I'm trying to take advantage of still being able to dance, even though it's not pain free, I figure it's worth it since after surgery I'll have to be pretty sedentary for a while and I know for a fact I'll miss dancing. And I'm pretty emotionally all over the place, really excited one minute and then scared the next. But it'll be here before I know it and I can't wait.
Front close sports bras!?
I'm so discouraged. My mom and I went shopping for front close sports bras. We went to Walmart, Kohl's, Sports Authority, and Target. Walmart had ONE that was even close to my size, and I'm hoping it's gonna work out (it's a 38 band and I'm a 35 right now). Sports Authority had a couple, but they were $70 bras -- and I thought I was getting a breast reduction so that I DIDN'T have to spend that much on bras anymore! None of the other stores had anything at all. I can't just have one, they're not giving me a surgical bra, and what will I do when I have to wash it? So I'm at a loss now. I'm thinking I have to order online. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have no idea what to get.
On the plus side, I got Hibiclens so I am prepared for my morning-of-surgery shower!
A little ouchie today! 8 days out.
Yesterday I had some returns to make at the mall so my mom and I went to Sears to look for front close sports bras just for fun. And we had success. They were originally $22 apiece but they were on sale for $15! Not bad at all, considering the not-so-sturdy Walmart bra was $9. I bought one in size medium and one in size large, and we shall see which one fits after surgery! I may or may not return the Walmart one, but I figure it can't hurt to hang on to it just in case it DOES fit me after. I've been carefully checking and double checking return policies so I'm not stuck with anything I can't use.
This morning at 2:49am (ugh) I woke up with the beginning of my period, or Shark Week, as my best friend and I call it. I had minor cramps but was unable to get back to sleep. About an hour later, man oh man, the cramps intensified. I had to wake up my mom, and she sat with me, got me a heating pad and some tea, led me in some deep breathing exercises, and suggested I take an Ibuprofen for the pain. But I'm only 8 days out, I thought, I can't take any NSAIDS! Unfortunately it got to a point where I was desperate (I can honestly say it was the worst pain I've ever felt in my entire life, and sadly I'm not being dramatic) so I did take one. Just one! Then I sheepishly called my plastic surgeon's office the second they opened, praying they wouldn't tell me we needed to reschedule. I talked to the woman who has been dealing with insurance, and she told me it's fine to take the Ibuprofen today, and if I absolutely need to I can take it over the next couple of days. I won't, though, because I hate taking medication! So that's how MY morning has been going! I'm just glad I don't have to reschedule my surgery. That stupid Ibuprofen would have been my regret of the century!
5 more days!!!
A lady from the surgery center called me yesterday to get my health history and give me some information about the day of surgery. The health history stuff was very easy, as I'm pretty healthy and I'm pretty young so I don't have a long history of health issues. I have to be at the surgery center Tuesday morning at 8:45. My surgery will be at 10:15, and she said I should be ready to go home around 1:15. She told me basic stuff that my plastic surgeon had already told me, such as don't wear perfume, deodorant, makeup, etc. the day of surgery, don't eat or drink anything after midnight the day before...stuff like that.
I'm 5 days out right now. I think it doesn't quite feel real yet. I'm nervous and excited and scared all at the same time, and I know that this time next week I've have small boobies, but I'm not sure I feel the realness of the surgery. In the moments I get scared, I do, because those are the times I realize holy cow, something totally COULD go wrong. But most of the time I'm just floating around on my own little Cloud 9, looking at smaller bras and bathing suits and tops and daydreaming about what it will actually be like to not have these giant "fun"bags hanging from my chest. I can't imagine it at all.
2 more days!
Today is a shopping and cleaning day, all in preparation for my surgery and recovery. I've got lots of healthy food (aside from produce, which we'll pick up Monday night) for meals and snacks, I started cooking meals to freeze/refrigerate for quick access, I have all the front-close sports bras I could want, gauze, cloth tape, Tylenol, Neosporin, clean button and zip up shirts, clean comfy pants, clean sheets and pillows, movies and tv shows galore, books, magazines...I'm all set! I'm in the home stretch right now. VERY very soon I'll be on the other side!
It's NOW or never.
13 Aug 2013
Day of treatment
Ok, here we go. I have to be at the hospital in 7 hours. This is it! It's really happening.
Tonight my best friend and I took the three old, nasty, ugly underwire bras I've been rotating nearly every single day for 3 years for dance classes into the desert...and burned them. Yep, that's right, we had a good old fashioned bra burning! I'm gonna tell you...it was so liberating and exhilarating. I was SO nervous before and then after I felt so calm and at peace. I'd have given those bras away, but they were in such bad shape I would have been embarrassed to give them to anyway. I think burning them was the right choice. I took lots of pictures, and I'll post some in the morning. Woohoo!!!
I'm not nervous anymore, really. Just excited to get it over with.
13 Aug 2013
Day of treatment
Getting ready to leave for the surgery center in about 10 minutes. Next time I talk to you guys I'll be on the other side!
I made it!
13 Aug 2013
Day of treatment
I'm on the other side. I'm at home resting right now. I'm not in much pain at all, which is surprising to me, especially since the only pain medication I've taken was through my IV 3 hours ago! I don't feel that drugged up, rather, I feel very alert. My eyelids keep drooping, though. I guess my surgery wasn't a long enough nap! I'll update some more details later.
My day today!
13 Aug 2013
Day of treatment
This day has gone by so fast. This morning I woke up at 6:30 and finished putting away the laundry I did last night, got ready, wished I could eat breakfast, etc. My mom, best friend, and I left for the surgery center at 8:15, and arrived at 8:45. They called me back a little after 9:00, had me sign even more papers, took some vitals, and I changed into my super sexy gown and blue hat. My best friend told me I looked like a mushroom. They covered me in heated blankets, which was awesome because it was seriously FREEZING in there, and put the things on my legs that would massage them during surgery. A bunch of people came through, the anesthesiologist, one of the nurses who would be in the surgery room, the recovery nurse, and then my mom and best friend got to come in. They stood with me while my PS marked up my breasts. It took a while, and it was kind of uncomfortable, so everyone tried to distract me, which was funny. After he marked them up, I was going to get a picture to post on here, but he closed my gown right up and they immediately came in to take me back. My mom and best friend and I said a quick prayer and then they wheeled me back around 9:45 (half an hour earlier than planned). They had some ACDC playing in the surgery room so that was the last thing I heard! And then I woke up. I was super drowsy and loopy when I woke up, and I don't remember a lot that happened during the next hour or so. I remember drinking small sips of the coconut water we had brought. I remember my best friend laughing at me because some of it didn't make it into my mouth. I remember getting in a wheelchair and being wheeled to the car, and getting in the car. I had brought a fluffy pillow for the ride home, so my mom ended up putting my seatbelt behind me and I just rocked the pillow the whole way home. The drive home was not bad at all. I have read so many reviews about how you feel every single little bump, but I didn't feel any pain at all, even going over the affectionately termed speed mountains in my neighborhood! And ever since I've been home everything's been great. They had given me pain meds twice in my IV at the hospital, but so far, I haven't needed to take any more pain killers. I've eaten a banana, a green smoothie, some broccoli, potatoes, and a mix of tempeh, mushrooms, and onions. I've also been drinking a lot of coconut water and water. I've peed a lot but no poop yet (TMI, sorry!), even though I don't feel constipated. We've been parked in front of the tv all day, making time for walking around so clots don't form in my legs. I've fallen asleep a couple of times, but I know that's just the anesthesia wearing off. And not much pain! Honestly, I'm at like a 3 or 4 right now. I've looked at myself sideways in the mirror a couple times, and I look TINY. My stomach is bloated which isn't cute, but it's a fair trade-off. I keep catching myself holding my shoulders up really high. I think I'm used to holding them up there but every time I catch it I have to make myself relax. I feel really good, though. I don't feel like I just had major surgery. My mom and best friend said it doesn't seem like it aside from the fact that I'm paler than normal. Here's hoping this is one of the BAD days...recovery won't be horrible then!
Day of surgery pictures.
13 Aug 2013
Day of treatment
Last night I took a Percocet so that I could sleep through the night. My best friend brushed my teeth for me since moving my arms like that hurt. Then I slept mostly sitting up, in our armchair, surrounded by pillows. I slept pretty hard. I woke up today in a little more pain and discomfort than yesterday. All day my boobs have felt very tight, and it kind of feels like there's a small animal sitting on my chest. I find myself having to take breaths in the middle of sentences sometimes. Other than that, the day has been uneventful. We sat around watching tv again, walked around a bit so I could get up, and ate food. TMI alert, I am still constipated but I was able to go "number 2" once. Which is good. I've had a pretty good appetite today as well, started out with a green smoothie, had some soup and rice for lunch, and a bunch of vegetables for dinner. And I've been snacking on prunes all day. I also have been drinking water non-stop, to try and flush out my system. I can't wait to go tomorrow and get my drains out because I feel them itching and hanging and just annoying me in general. They haven't been filling up very much; my mom hasn't had to empty them at all today. I guess that's probably good. I've been putting a bag of frozen blueberries over my bandages every so often...feels good but can't quite get to the source of the ache. :(
I'm ready to heal but even though I hate being cooped up at home I have to remind myself that I need to heal so I will just tolerate it! At least I get to get out of the house tomorrow even if it's only to my PS's office.
The drains are gone!!
Holy cow, getting the drains out hurt so bad. I took 2 Tylenol before going because I read a lot of reviews on here that said it hurts and boy, you guys were right. Unfortunately the Tylenol didn't help much. I also got really woozy because I saw blood on the side of the paper gown they had put on me. BUT now that the drains are gone, I feel a lot better. I feel lighter, I'm able to walk up straight, whereas before I was walking kind of hunched over because of the weight of the drains and the pressure on my chest. And OMG I have little boobies!! They're so tiny. And perky. I'm still really bloated, and I'm really excited for that to go away because it's just...not...cute.
Before getting my drains out today all I could focus on was how much the drains were hurting me. They were really digging into my sides and I could feel the drain sites itching. I got to Skype my dad, which definitely took my mind off the pain. He lives in China and we try to talk once a week but I miss him a lot so I got kind of emotional. After that my best friend tried to distract me by playing some board games and then coloring me some pictures. Then my mom came home from work and picked us up to head to the surgeon's office. And I've been in better spirits since then. I'm feeling a LOT less pain and pressure on my chest, the new boobies are still a bit tight but oh well. I'm loving them!
I get to shower tonight and I am SO excited about that! I'm stinky. :(
Itchy, itchy, itchy!
I'm so itchy. I took a Benadryl before bed and I think it helped for a while but I woke up in the middle of the night and the itching was so bad I wanted to cry. It's not as bad this morning, but OUCH! I know it means I'm healing, but that doesn't make it suck any less. The past few days have been relatively uneventful. I feel fantastic, and taking it easy has been really hard for me. I've been doing it, though. I went out yesterday to my best friend's house for her birthday dinner, and my mom and I went to a few stores beforehand to get her a gift. Well, by the third store I was swollen and pretty miserable! I had to lay down in the car while she finished shiopping. The rest of the night wasn't bad, but that's my sure sign that I did too much. I'm glad for it, too, otherwise I would definitely do too much since I feel so good. But I have another week off work, and I definitely plan to stay home and rest for as long as possible before I have to get back into the ole routine.
A couple of things I forgot to add!
I forgot to add that a lot more bruising has shown up in the past couple of days. Most of my boob is yellow/green at this point, which is not pleasing to look at. Then again that's usually the color my bruises turn before they go away. I'm taking Arnica Montana pills pretty regularly, and I'd like to think it's working but hey, maybe it's psychological.
Also, my PS told me he took about 450 grams out of each side. He didn't have the numbers in front of him, so he couldn't tell me exactly, but that is about 2 pounds total! Holy moly, that's a lot of boob.
Another thing is the bottom incisions. They are very irritated much of the time, even when a bra isn't necessarily rubbing against them. For example if they become very irritated, I will stick my shirt beneath the band of the bra, but it doesn't seem to help.
And just a fun little extra, I'm down SEVERAL pounds! I'm obviously not exercising, and I'm eating relatively healthy, but not the best I've ever eaten. But the day before the surgery I weighed in at 131lbs, and today I'm at 123lbs!! Fan-freaking-tastic. My goal now is to lose 5 pounds at the very least, because the last time I weighed any less than 120lbs was about 6 years ago, when I was 14 years old!
Zingers and swelling and my nipple...oh my!
The zingers started a few days ago...or at least my idea of zingers from what I've read in other reviews! I'd say they started at probably 7 days post-surgery. They do hurt, but they're not like debilitating shooting pain. It kind of feels like someone is pinching my nipple really hard and then that pain goes through the rest of my breast. It's just really weird, and uncomfortable when it happens around other people because I instinctively grab the site of the pain!
I've had more swelling lately, because I've been up and moving, going out shopping or on a coffee date here or there. I never feel like I'm overdoing it, but after a couple of hours I just start to swell up...and man, can I feel it! It's like I can feel them growing. And then they're achy as well. It's not pleasant! But whenever I can, I rest and ice. My right breast is more swollen than my left, and also swollen up a little higher, which is weird and creates the image of cleavage when I'm wearing my sports bras...but only on the one side.
Speaking of feeling my boobs swell, I have an irrational fear that they're gonna swell to my pre-surgery size...like they're gonna grow back! To be perfectly honest, that's what makes me slow down, take it easy, and ice my chest. Because I'm afraid that if I don't, the reduction will have been for nothing. Yay for irrational fears.
Something I've forgotten to mention until now: my nipples. I do have sensation in both nipples, which is great. My right nipple is acting completely normal, however, my left nipple seems to be "inverted". I describe it as not wanting to come out and play. It doesn't stick out like normal when I'm just sitting there, and although it does harden when I'm cold (both do), the left one just stays hard and flat. Does anyone have experience with this? Will it correct itself?
My steri-strips are starting to loosen up. Mostly around the sides of my torso and underneath my breasts. I'm starting to see my incisions, and they're not bad at all. I'm pretty pleased, actually. My left t-junction is showing and it doesn't look like I have an open incision there anymore -- looks closed up. And on the cleavage side of my right bottom incision, it looks to be healing very well, too. It's skin colored and although there is a little bit of a dog ear, it's nothing crazy and I'm hoping it will sort itself out. I can't wait to get the steri-strips completely off, though. My next appointment with my PS is next Thursday, the 29th, and I'm thinking if they don't fall off before that, that date is when they'll come off.
Sorry for the long update, I haven't written in a while. :D
First day back to work -- two jobs!
Today I went back to my desk job from 8:00am to 2:00pm, and then went to teach my middle school class from 2:30 to 3:30! So I had a big day. I'm a bit more swollen than I was before today and I had some bad zingers BUT I had a great day and a lot of fun, and I'm glad I'm back to my normal routine. One of my best friends is assisting me in my middle school class since it's a dance class and I haven't been cleared to dance yet, so I hung out with him for a while after the class but now I'm at home and resting and I've got a big bag of corn on each of my boobs to try and reverse the swelling!!
A note of advice/something I've had to do lately: I was off heavy pain killers the first day, aside from taking them the first three nights to ensure sleeping through the night. However, the last probably 5 nights or so I've had to start taking them again, because I was woken up 3 nights in a row with INTENSE itching, so bad that it's taken me an hour or more to get back to sleep. And it's made me cry because I want to itch my boobs right off my freaking chest!!!!!!! Taking a Percocet and a Benadryl before I head to bed is the only way to ensure that I sleep through the night.
So, today is the first time after surgery that I have felt any sort of extreme sadness. I'm pretty confident that it's because of my lack of being able to exercise. Dance and other movement is honestly how I get through some days, and yesterday I went back to work at my studio but wasn't able to stay after and take class like I usually do. It's not a good feeling. So today is not a good day. On the plus side I have my 2 week appointment with my PS tomorrow. I will hopefully get my tape off, and I'm also hoping that he might clear me for light exercise...that would be amazing. But I probably shouldn't get my hopes up.
17 days post op!
Hi everyone! So, today, I am 17 days post-op. I had my 2 week appointment yesterday, and I got the steri-strips off! That alleviated a lot of the pulling I had been feeling when I would reach too far. However, now my nipples and some other spots on my incisions are very sensitive to rubbing against my sports bras. But I'm happy with my boobs! The right one is a lot more swollen than the left, but I also had wound separation on the bottom. It's not an open wound anymore, but it doesn't look pretty. But my incisions are healing very well! I was also cleared to exercise when it doesn't hurt, and my PS said that was completely at my discretion. So now I don't feel so restricted. I'm happy.
One month and one day!!
Holy moly, guys, I'm a month and a day post-op! It's so weird because I feel like the time has flown by, and I feel like I've had these new boobs forever, but I also feel like I just had the surgery. I'm able to do more every day, and sometimes I forget that I CAN do certain things because just a week ago I couldn't!
My recovery is still going really well. Yesterday I was able to take a pretty low-impact dance class and make it through the whole hour. I also started a plank-squat-sit up challenge with some of the ladies at my studio, and I had no pain at all. I'm not able to jump or bounce, because it makes me uncomfortable. I'm not sure, though, if it's pain, or the fact that I'm not strapped down like there's no tomorrow and I haven't been able to do that in like...YEARS. But it's brilliant to be able to dance again.
Since I've had the steri-strips off, my incisions do get irritated pretty easily by the bands of bras. ESPECIALLY my nipples. I did pick up a soft cup, non-underwire bra from Target ($17. That's so cheap!) in a 34D and it makes me feel like a normal person again, although I have to put gauze under my boobs otherwise I can only wear that bra comfortably for a few hours. As for sports bras, I don't feel like they give me uniboob anymore, which is so nice!
My incisions, for the most part, are closed. Aside from my wound separation, which is healing slowly but surely. But my incisions are thin, light pink, and I'm very optimistic about how the scars are going to look. My left nipple is still a bit inverted, but my PS took out some stitches a week or so ago and it helped a little bit.
Gosh, I'm forgetting a lot of what is probably important! I'll just update my review again if I remember something else. :P
So much later!!!
16 Nov 2013
3 months post
It's been 3 months and 3 days since my surgery! Time has honestly FLOWN by, and I've already pretty much forgotten what it was like to have big boobs!
I love my new boobies, I really do. I had no problem with the size before, so I was afraid I'd miss them or something…but so far, I have not. I absolutely love having smaller breasts. I keep calling myself a member of the itty bitty titty committee, even though I still don't have particularly small breasts. I have rounded out to a size 32DD. This is the size that fits me most accurately, although I can kind of pull off a 34C in dire situations. From a 34DDD to a 34C? It's amazing!! I just went yesterday and got myself two gorgeous, brand new Victoria's Secret underwire bras, and I am so stoked to wear them. I also got a Lululemon TaTa Tamer sports bra and have ordered a Moving Comfort Luna sports bra from online…I'm building my bra wardrobe again and it feels so good. I've gotten used to wearing only sports bras, and sometimes it's nice because it's comfortable, but honestly I'm kind of sick of it.
I had some problems with another wound staying open, this time on my left breast, but a couple of days ago I found a rogue stitch, pulled it out, and I just took the gauze off from last night and IT IS CLOSED!!! I am so excited. This means that all of my incisions are closed, and it's the milestone I gave myself for wearing underwire.
My scars are healing amazingly. And I have had no problems accepting them as part of my body. Honestly if they stay this pink color forever, it won't be a big deal to me. I'm sure they won't, because I know they're going to fade, but I really have grown to love the scars. Because they are a sign that I am happier now in my body!
The lack of pain alone is worth it. I still struggle with holding my shoulders up high like I used to, so I have a bit of residual pain from that, but whenever I catch myself, I immediately lower them (just did that). Hopefully eventually, I will just stop scrunching my shoulders.
Oh my gosh. Since it's been so long since I've written, I'm sure there are a million things I could say, but they're all escaping me. I know I'll remember them as soon as I post this update, so I'll update again later.
Oops! Told you I'd forget something.
17 Nov 2013
3 months post
If it speaks at all to the fact that I've forgotten what it was like having bigger breasts…I wrote the wrong pre-surgery bra size in my last update! I was a 34/36F! Not a 34DDD. I'm such a dork.