Since I took courage from reading the posts on here, I decided to contribute in the hope that someone else might find my experience useful.
This has been a tormenting decision and I'm still torn about this procedure coming up in a couple of days. Add to the fear and stress the fact that my insurance in CA and the facility I'm dealing with has just gotten on my last nerves. First they don't give you estimates. Note that an estimate and a quote are two different things. Say what you want about frigid liberal states but I had no problems in 15 years on the East Coast and I even had the same insurance. Cross over here, I'm paying more money to have to meet an annual deductible and pay 15% out of pocket. I'm really confused. If it weren't for the fact that whenever I remember the spasms and pain I've suffered over the last 4 years, I would have told the hospital to cancel the appointment when they called today. I have enough to stress about only to find out on a Friday, when surgery is on Monday, that I have to pay up $1700 when I show up and I'm only getting the actual estimate that morning. CA needs to get its ish together.
In any event, the women on my mom's side of the family have huge breasts that usually get bigger after they have children. I always thought of them as tumors to be honest. My aunt who had barely 4'9" has full breasts that lay on her lap when she sits. They were like two 2-month old babies. She went in one day without telling anyone and had them done. The interesting thing, I had just put in my request to the doctor to refer me to a specialist about them. My grandmother's and my mother's are smaller and more like 1-month old babies. I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating but I'm not.
A couple of co-workers were shocked when I told them my bra size. They said they would have never guessed. I always assumed it was obvious that they are huge but I now know that I learned to camouflage them. My mom is a seamstress and she made dresses for my grandma, her sisters and herself. I would give her my clothes to alter and I do them myself sometimes. So, it turns out that I know how to pick out clothes to hide these things. I never thought about it until I ask people how big they thought I was, even at the surgery clinic, and they said maybe a D at most.
Anyway, I have no kids and mine are the size of my mother's when I was a child and she was my age. I don't remember small breasts taking shape when I was a teen. I was a little chubby and all I had was a spread of fat on my chest and I eventually had to wear a bra. I remember peeking at my cousins when we had sleepovers and wondering why they have a shape and things are hanging up. Mine were never like that.
Back in 2009, a friend visiting from Europe, kept telling me about how I'm wearing the wrong bra. I didn't know anything with a letter greater than a D existed. At that point, I was annoyed with the shoulder dents and back/neck stiffness which I attributed to the backpacks full of books I had to carry in elementary school. I wasn't happy to go to a specialty store, especially after seeing the price of a bra, but it helped so much to have the right fit that I'm forever grateful to this friend.
That lasted for 3 years but things started getting bad. I would wake up with stiff neck frequently like when you sleep wrong on a pillow. I wasn't able to turn my head comfortably and needed to rub my shoulder blades frequently. I figured it was my old mattress so I got a better one. I figured it was lack of exercise, so I picked up swimming. People always told me "Oh yeah... cardio and a good workout plan will bring them down" when I would complain about losing weight but my breasts never go down. I spent a year killing myself exercising only to build muscles and ended up with stretch marks on the inner side of my arms. The only thing exercise did was reducing my band size. So, I fluctuate between a 30 and 32.
That same period in 2012, I had a serious episode where I woke up completely rigid. I couldn't turn. I went to work and freaked out when I realized I couldn't turn to clearly see while I was driving. I had to have a friend pick me up. I went to the doctor and they found nothing wrong so I ended up on muscle relaxers. Later that year I had the same thing but with painful spasms that landed me in the ER. I could see that the doctor thought that I was a junkie. After that session, my NP sent me to a physical therapist then a chiropractor. I essentially spent close to 6 months building back muscles with strength exercises, kept swimming which helped and then was going for adjustments 4 times per week/3 times per week/once per week to eventually once per month until 2015.
A surgery was suggested before, but it is such a big step that I kept telling myself that I could exercise more, eat better, get an even better mattress, go for regular massages, keep up with chiropractor etc.... And it will get better. Early last year, after a few months of thinking about it, I had my new NP put me in for the consultation. I was still just looking into it until, after not seeing the chiropractor for 3 months, I had another spasm attack. It usually starts a few days before as a dull ache and works its way to this contraction around my shoulder blades and neck, bringing them closer together and aching deep under the blades. At that point, I was over it and I'm resolved to go under.
This is not ideal for me. I keep trying to rationalize and wondering if I've done everything that I could have done. I've also wondered if I'm just not being vain for wanting to alter my body because maybe deep down I'm unsatisfied with how I look rather than that I find the pain unbearable. At first I didn't mind that there would be scars but now it crosses my mind. I wonder if I'm not sabotaging myself. Because, if this is more about poor body image than the pain, then it will only get worse when I have these scars for the rest of my life. Each time that I do have these inner conversations, I soon think about the days I'm rolled up in bed, crying, calling in sick, the scars I already have, the itching and discomfort. Then my brain switches quickly and easily to agree that I need to do this.
So here we are! Two days until surgery. My family is not nearby but my neighbor and some nice friends here have agreed to look after me.
I was told to plan on 2-3 weeks off of work. I've scheduled for 3 but I'm hoping I can go back in 2. I also really don't want to feel any pain. I know it's unrealistic, but given that I see my life flash in front of me and feel like the angel of death is calling when I have spasm episodes, I really don't look forward to what it will feel like when the anesthesia wears off.
I hope to be able to update this sometime soon and report that I'm pleased with my decision just like many have reported. Thank you to all who have shared their story and photos before me. I wish good luck to those who are going through this right now.