Relief and happiness!

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I am a 30 year old female, approx. 5'9"...

I am a 30 year old female, approx. 5'9" medium/athletic build who has been frustrated and suffering from back/neck pain for years. I've been active in a number of sports, including running, swimming, martial arts, and more, and my large breast size has always caused strain/pain.

For a long time, I could not figure out what bra to wear... I started with 38D, then 40DD, then 40DDD. I kept trying larger and larger sizes, but had spillage in all of them - and looked like crap. The last in-store bras I tried on were 40DDD and they weren't fitting, in so many ways - the band was way too loose, but the cups were too small and the front would lift away from my body.

Finally, I had myself size on the UK system, and the result was a 36FF/G (one breast is a full cup size larger than the other). I was ecstatic that I could order bras online, and was hopeful that a properly fitting bra would eliminate my daily upper back and neck pain.

Well... it didn't.

I had asked my doctor for a referral to a plastic surgeon to find out if I'd be a good candidate for a reduction, and if it would be covered by the government healthcare system (I'm in Canada), and then waited eight months. I heard nothing. When I went in for my most recently yearly check up, I inquired about the status of the application. She gave me the name of the surgeon they had referred me to, and I called his office. The receptionist was cold and unfriendly, and informed me that the doctor "doesn't accept referrals for that procedure" and that "nobody in this city is accepting doctors' referrals for breast reductions right now."

I was pretty disappointed. It couldn't be true, could it? I started calling plastic surgeons in my city, and kept hearing the same thing - no one was doing it as a referral. You had to pay out of pocket, or no go. Some weren't even doing the procedure any more, instead building businesses on more profitable surgeries.

I almost gave up. But a twinge of pain between my shoulder blades when I bent down to pick something up prompted me to keep calling, and finally, one surgeon gave me the name of a "new" surgeon in my city who was apparently accepting patients! I made an appointment with my doctor, gave her the information, and somehow, less than a week later, I had a consultation booked.

The surgeon was polite and upfront about everything, which I appreciated. He explained the risks of the procedure first, then described the type of incision that he would like to use (the "lollipop" type), saying that he thinks it gives better results on people with healthy, elastic skin. He examined my breasts, and said that he thought I would be "a good candidate" for the surgery. He looked at my underarms and concluded that I do not need any additional lipo to achieve a good result. I indicated that I'd like to end up a B/C cup at the largest - he didn't comment much on that, other than to say that that was "quite small." I hope it's doable.

When we were done talking, he asked if I wanted to think about it and call his office back, or if I had made up my mind - I said that I'd been thinking about it for YEARS! I agreed to the surgery, which he said would be covered by the government health plan.

Then, last week, not a week after my consultation, I got a surgery date of March 4. That's less than three weeks away! Yikes. I wasn't looking forward to explaining all of this to HR at work, but it went as well as possible. I'll have a week off to rest, and will then work from home for a week. After that, back to work. I'm a bit worried about my coworkers - I work in a small office of ~25, and people can be pretty gossipy. But, oh well...

I've been reading a lot online about the procedure, have ordered two post-surgery bras with front clasps and "comfort" fabric, and am really just trying to stay positive at this point! I am looking forward to the day where I can run 5K without a sore neck, can buy bras and bathing suits off the rack (rather than special ordering for hundreds of dollars online), and can go a whole day without feeling that familiar pain in the middle of my upper back!

Reminded why I'm doing this

I'm participating in and teaching at some workshops this weekend (they are sport-related), and so tonight I was trying on some tank tops to figure out what I'll wear... and was reminded again of one of the reasons why I'm doing this. I'm sure I'll be reminded again tomorrow when my upper back aches. Sigh.

Also, fun fact: I realized I can fit my WHOLE FACE into one of the cups of my sports bra.

P.S.: The Panache sports bras are the BEST I've tried for a fuller bust - if I end up still being within Panache's range after the surgery, I will totally buy this same bra again, it is the ONLY reason I am still able to exercise.

Lack of pre-op info/tests/etc.?

I've been reading a lot of reviews on this website, and in comparison to most of the ladies here, I feel like I haven't really gotten much pre-op info, tests, etc... the surgeon's office did give me a sheet with some basic info such as to purchase a sports bra, how long I'll be recovering for, and son on. But, I don't have any pre-op appointment - I just had a consultation - that's it. He didn't order or ask for any pre-op tests, either. No bloodwork, no mammogram, nothing.

Not sure if I should be worried, or if maybe the surgeon just thought there was really nothing to check for (I'm 30 with no medical problems or conditions, apart from the back/neck pain). Maybe they only order tests if there are certain risk factors? I don't know.

Basically the next step for me is to call the hospital the day before the surgery, get my surgery time, and then show up the next day, having not eaten/drank anything, and just get the procedure done... I don't know if that's normal, but it just seems a little bit casual to me compared to everything else I've read on this website about people having pre-op appointments, tests, and so on... argh.

One more week...

One week to go. Spent some time fretting that the surgeon may not make them much smaller and I'll be disappointed. I hope not. I spent a lot of time looking at before/after photos, and noticed that when the lollipop/vertical scar incision is used, sometimes there isn't much of a reduction (from what I can tell). Yeah, the shape is nicer, but half the time, it looks like the breats are maybe one cup size smaller. That's not what I want. Sigh.

Bought two post-surgery bras that claim to fit from a B to a DD (which is great, since I have no idea what I'll end up as). Tried one on for kicks, and I CANNOT even hope to fit in it right now, as is... so I really hope that the surgeon takes more than 1-2 cup sizes off!

Worrying aside, I can't wait until it's over with.

One more day

Surgery is still scheduled for the day after tomorrow! There is a 30% chance it could get cancelled as late as tomorrow night (ugh), but I am very ready to just get this over with.

I took some "before" pics so that I can compare with "after" later. I hope to see a big difference. I'm not comfortable putting fully unclothed photos of myself online, so bra is the best that you'll get for now (sorry).

I think I'll pack my hospital bag tonight since I anticipate having no time tomorrow (I want to squeak in one last workout at the gym, since I won't be able to for a while). Thinking I'll bring:

- pyjamas (I did find front-opening ones)
- socks/slippers (feet are always cold)
- acrylic nose piercing retainer (apparently they use electrocauterization during the surgery, and having any metal piercings in can give you a nasty burn - the nurse on the phone told me acrylic would be OK, though)
- water bottle (I normally drink TONS of water, so going hours without will be torture)
- pillow for the ride home
- what else?!

Really just can't wait until it's over with and I'm resting at home with my new body pillow, a few books, Netflix, and a fruit/almond milk/protein powder smoothie (presuming I'll feel well enough for one, haha)!

One more - surgical bra (before)

One more photo, for a bit of a laugh. This surgical comfort/compression bra claims it will fit from a B to a DD cup. Clearly I am falling outside of this range right now...

(You can also see that my left breast is bigger than the right by the amount of bulge going on)

Really hoping that this bra will work out, post-reduction, because it's made of incredibly comfortable fabric, and seem slightly genius in design... just hoping that my breasts will be DD or smaller, I guess!


Tomorrow's the day. Looking forward to getting the worst part over with.

I need to be there at 10:45 a.m. and I am scheduled to go in to surgery at 12:15 p.m. The surgery is supposed to be about two hours. No idea how long recovery is. Just hoping I don't feel too shabby when I wake up.

Leaving in 1 hour

Leaving in one hour! I was a bit nervous when I woke up, but right now, I'm listening to some music and daydreaming about frolicking around in a sundress - potentially braless. With no pain. Hahaha. This is something I've NEVER been able to do.

Made it! Surgery is over!

It's done! Unfortunately it's 1:30 a.m here and I can't sleep at the moment (too excited/too much immobility during the rest of the day).

I went to the hospital for 10:45 a.m., checked in, changed into one of those ridiculous flannel gowns, and waited around. And waited. And waited. Finally, a nurse came by and admitted me. I had no perception of time as there was no clock, and almost as soon as she was done asking me questions and giving me a short talk about what to expect, a porter came and wheeled me away to the staging area for the surgical rooms.

Some more waiting, and finally the surgeon came to mark me up. He wasn't super warm or friendly, but not unfriendly either and seemed professional and thorough, so I can appreciate that. He spent a while marking me up for the lollipop/vertical scar method, measuring and double-checking. He had some pattern templates, which I found mildly entertaining because they looked almost like patterns for sewing, except made of acrylic.

We chatted briefly about size, and I told him that I would much rather be on the smaller side than larger. He asked me what size I would consider "too small," and I said an A cup (haha). He tried to gauge my perception of bra sizes... I'm a 36FF on the UK system; I have no idea what this is on the U.S. system as I cannot find a bra that actually fits on the U.S. system, so I explained that the last U.S.-sized bra I tried on was a 40DDD and it was too small (the cups lifted completely away from my body). I told him that I run a lot and do a lot of other sports, so the extra weight was not helping and I was more than happy to be rid of MORE rather than less of it.

Once he was done, the anaesthesiologist came to talk to me. She was a pleasant lady and we chatted and laughed a bit. Soon after, I was wheeled into the operating room, where I was introduced to the nurses and the anesthesiologist's assistant (likely a student). Everyone seemed very friendly. The operating room was freezing, though!

They bundled me up in blankets, started the IV, and shortly after, administered a mask to my face of "oxygen" (lol YEAH RIGHT) and asked me to take deep breaths from it. I felt them fumbling with the IV, and soon after, the anaesthesiologist cracked a joke about sending me off to a nice warm place like Maui for a holiday, and I was out.

I was scheduled for 12:15 but by the clock in the surgery staging area, I knew that I wasn't marked up until about 1 p.m., and probably didn't go into surgery until 1:30 p.m.

The next thing I knew, I was waking up. I felt like I woke up pretty instantly, but was groggy and couldn't focus. They had nice, scenic pictures taped up on the wall in front of me - a forest, a desert, an arctic scene, etc., and I remember the nurses commenting that one of the doctors there had taken these photos. A nurse greeted me with a hearty "Good morning!" though it was actually 3:50 p.m. I asked if I had said anything embarrassing as I was waking up (in my previous experience being put out, all the other patients in recovery talked in their sleep, haha), and she assured me that I'd said nothing. Yay!

A few minutes later, I was wheeled into the second recovery area, where I'd spend the next few hours. I was SUPER THIRSTY from the breathing tube, and guzzled water and ginger ale (they had to tell me to slow down). The nurse asked me about my pain, and to be honest, I felt pretty damn good, so I asked her if I was already on something - she said yes, Dilaudid. HAHA! That explained it! I told her I was maybe a 3/4 out of 10 at the most, with NO nausea. She asked if I wanted morphine, and I told her that I didn't like taking drugs, so I'd pass. She then suggested I take two Tylenol #3's. I've always hated T3's in the past - they make me feel sick int he stomach, gross, and out of it. I asked her if I really should take them, and she said yeah, she recommended it, so I did.

Sure enough, half an hour later, I felt the first twinge of nausea, and that gross feeling of not being yourself. My mom was waiting with me, and I think I alternated between fighting to stay awake, and talking her ear off, nonsensically.

Oh yeah - I was (and still am) in something they call a breast binder. Essentially it seems like full chest armour made of bandages, haha. I can barely move my torso. I have NO idea how much smaller I am, or anything - I can't see anything, and I can't really feel what is bandage and what is not. I'm still paranoid that I'm not small enough, but I guess I'll get a first look tomorrow. My mom and boyfriend both think I already look smaller, but I don't know if that's just the breast binder flattening everything out, or what!

All in all, they didn't let me leave recovery until about 7 p.m. - almost three hours! About 6:45 p.m., they let me go for a very short walk, which I was VERY excited about because my butt had fallen asleep on that silly recovery bed. Once I had done that, they deemed me good to go, and sent me off on my way with instructions to make a follow up appointment the following day to get the breast binder off and bandages changed.

They gave me a prescription for Tramacet, which I've never been on, but I am GLAD it doesn't have any codeine in it! I'm to take it every four hours, and though I HATE drugs, I have been, and I feel pretty good so far. There is the odd twinge of pain, but overall, I wouldn't say I've been past a 3 out of 10 yet. Woohoo!

Been feeling fairly energized this evening, and have actually probably been pushing myself too much! I don't know. I slept from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m., but now I'm up and I just feel stir-crazy from laying around all day - my legs kind of hurt, so I keep pacing, which helps a bit. Plus the breast binder has my torso immobilized, which isn't exactly super comfortable for sleeping. I hope I don't accidentally do something dumb and move around too much... my boyfriend is trying to keep me in check!

Anyway, so glad it's over and excited/nervous for the bandage change tomorrow!

First day post-op and dressing change

So I'm still feeling great. Too great, actually, as I am possibly a bit reckless with all I've been doing considering I had the surgery yesterday. I can honestly say that the pain has been about a 1 or 2 today, at most. I spaced out my pain meds to every 6 hours instead of 4, and so far, so good! No nausea. No problems! Couldn't be happier with that aspect of things!

Went into the outpatient clinic today to have a nurse remove the breast binder and change the dressings. I finally got a quick peek. Things are DEFINITELY smaller, though given that I was an FF before, I still have a lot of boob - but yeah, noticeably smaller, and quite perky compared to what they used to be. There is a lot of bruising on the underside, but that's to be expected. The incisions all looked good, and I still have feeling in my nipples.

I've got steri-strips, which I'm to leave on until they fall off, as well as dressings over the incisions. Because I didn't have drains, any bleeding/draining is happening out of the incision. So far it seems really minor. I'm to change the dressings once daily, and the nurse recommended using plain, scent-free, wingless maxi pads. She said they're cheap, they absorb a ton, they'll fit the curvature of a breast great, they don't shift since they stick to the inside of the bra, and they're readily available. Who knew!

The nurse helped me get the surgical bra on (the same one pictured in an earlier post, just a different color), and voila, I have it on now, and my boobs are NOT spilling over the top of it! Things are still looking/feeling pretty bulky due to the padding and the swelling, but I'm optimistic that they'll be even small once the swelling goes down.

Anyhow... I'll see tomorrow. I've been given the OK to have a shower tomorrow, and I can't wait! I've still got Sharpie marker all over me!

One last thing - I really can't emphasize how great/normal I feel today. I even went shopping with my mom after the dressing change. I don't know if this is due to having the right meds, or a really good surgery, or just my body chemistry, but I guess it just goes to show that anything is possible afterwards - you could feel terrible, BUT you could feel GREAT! I think I really lucked out in that aspect.

Second day - shower, and seeing things up close...

The nurse from yesterday told me I could shower today, so naturally, I could hardly wait. Getting the surgical bra and dressings off was easy enough. I finally got to have a good look at things, and even though I was expecting it to be a bit scary, I was a bit shocked by how sad my breasts look right now.

They are a bit bunched up underneath, which the nurse told me was normal and would smooth out over the next several weeks. The surgeon had also warned me that with the vertical scar/lollipop incision, there would be bunching, initially. They are both pretty bruised and swollen, too. The incisions look good, though they are both still bleeding a little bit (the nurse said this was to be expected because I didn't have drains) - not much at all, but a little. They don't hurt really, but they are tender. My nipples are looking pretty good, compared to the rest of the breast - they still have feeling, and still look "normal."

As I noted yesterday, I still have quite a bit of breast left, and if I hadn't taken before/after photos, I might even be a bit disheartened. However, even in the before/after photos of the surgical bra and even though I'm really swollen, I can see the difference in how it fits - there is actually space in the middle of the bra, and no quadboob (breast spilling over the edge of the bra). It "fits," even with two maxi pads stuffed in each cup, whereas before, it clearly did not. So that is keeping me optimistic!

It's still far too early to tell what I will end up as, but the surgical bra is supposed to fit from a B to a DD, and before (as an FF), I was not fitting into it, and now I more or less am.

By the way, it was quite tricky to figure out how to get back into the surgical bra with fresh dressings. I had to have my boyfriend help me, but he was quite scared to touch me - I think we figured out a system for tomorrow, though.

Seeing everything all exposed today has instilled a big sense of caution - I have been feeling so good the past two days that at times I forget I just had surgery. Seeing my breasts looking so sad and frail was a big reminder, and I'm going to be sure to take it easy today!

Red welt?

Three days post-op - I'm still feeling pretty good. I have been taking it easy, sleeping lots, etc. The nurse from two days ago told me to look at the incision each day and replace the dressing with maxi pads, so I have been. Today I noticed what I would describe as a large, raised red welt on the right side of my right breast.

The incision itself looks and feels good (from what I can tell), but then there's this welt thing... it's not particularly any more tender to the touch than the rest of my breasts (they're tender everywhere), but it is noticeably raised and redder. It seems to be mildly warmer than the rest of the breast, but not much.

Naturally, I am paranoid of infection (I had a bad one in my foot years ago as a result of a blister from new hiking boots). I can't tell if this is the beginning of an infection or simply something else going on. I don't have any of the other associated symptoms of infection (chills, fever, nausea, a lot of hotness on the red spot) so I'm wondering if it's just red and raised as a result of the blood vessels doing their thing, but you know, I'm paranoid.

I figure I will probably call the local health information number and get their advice... the nurses at the hospital were fairly adamant that I should come back in to emergency if I think I have any signs of infection, so we'll see. There's big push right now where I live to try get people to STOP going to the ER for everything (so there is a stigma associated with that), and the wait times if you do go are on average EIGHT HOURS before you see someone, so yeah, I'm a bit unsure/grumpy/stressed about this.

I've attached a pic. Things still don't look very pretty, between the bruising and the bunching, but you can sort of see the welt I'm talking about. Grrrr.

Hopefully not an infection

So the "red welt" from my previous post seemed to get bigger over the course of the day. I called our local health info line, and they said I should go have it looked at, even though I'm not experiencing fever, chills, or pain. It is a bit warmer and definitely looking a bit more swollen. Went in, and the doctor who saw me said it was possible it is the beginning of an infection, and prescribed a course of antibiotics that will hopefully take care of it (if it is). I was a good patient, and filled them and took my first dose ASAP. I've previously been through a skin/blood infection that required 11 doses of IV antibiotics before, so I am NOT messing around.

I'm frustrated, because I've been super careful with things like handwashing, using anti-bacterial soap before changing the dressings, etc. Sigh.

I've also get a fair bit of really dark purple bruising on the undersides of my breasts. The doctor commented that this can potentially cause problems (what?!) but that it looked OK for the moment.

So yeah... everything looks swollen, scary, discoloured, etc. At least I'm still feeling really good? I know things will improve (visually), and I can't wait.

Looking a bit better

"Better" meaning "not as red!" So, yay! Though everything is still incredibly bruised, and is now taking on a lovely yellow hue. I'm sure I'll see all sorts of lovely colours over the next few days...


Alright, so here they are. Before, and 5 days post-op. Lots of pretty colours right now.


I admit it. I'm cranky. I'm chalking it up to the fact that I'm having trouble sleeping more than about 2 hours at a time, due to being propped up and not able to roll to my side. Also, the fact that my bra is stuffed with maxi pads that crinkle every time I move gets old pretty quick. I'm used to exercising 3-5 times per week and walking about 1.5 hours every day to and from work, and I'm horribly restless. GRRR.

I think this might call for some emergency chocolate.

Before/after - one week

It's probably too soon to guess, but if I had to, I'd guess I've gone from an FF to a DD (hoping for a D, but I don't know). So, 3 cup sizes down... not too shabby.

Healing is a pretty boring process

Nothing much to report. This "healing" process is pretty boring, and to be honest, all the sitting around and attempting to be a good patient (i.e., not lifting things or being too physical) is the hardest part for me - especially since the weather took a turn for the better here, and since I haven't really felt in pain at all.

I've been working from home this week and all I can say is, damn. I have some friends who freelance from home, and I don't know how they do it. I could not do this long term! I actually can't wait to put on office attire (i.e., not feel like a complete slob!), leave my place, and go to work next week.

Still really bruised on one side, though this morning I can see that FINALLY, some of the darkest/scariest bruises look a little bit smaller. Speaking of, one side seems to be doing a lot better than the other. The "bad" side has a ton of dried blood and fluid underneath the steri-strip, and every morning when I start to move around, I notice that it starts to seep again right after. Not much - it ends up being just a few dots of fluid on the bandage over the course of the day, but I am a pretty impatient person and I just wish it would hurry up and behave. Not sure if it's normal for one incision to still seep a little after 10 days. Did anyone else experience this?

Hmm, what else. I keep flip-flopping... having these moments where I'll catch my reflection in a window or mirror and think, "YES! They're so much smaller!" but I'll have other moments where I feel like the reality is that I still have large breasts - even though I know that there is indeed a big difference. Curious how much was removed (I don't know yet). Hmm!



So one day after I finish my course of antibiotics (prescribed after I noticed a large red welt-like area on one breast), and guess what? The redness is coming back. In the same spot. That's not a good sign. I'm so frustrated because I feel like I've tried to do everything right, and be really careful about handwashing, antibacterial soap, sanitizing all surfaces, etc... I've been using sheets of sterile gauze as dressings. My steri-strips are still intact. I wasn't sick at the time of surgery and I'm not sick now; my immune system isn't compromised in any way. I don't know where I went wrong.

I have a follow-up appointment the day after tomorrow and it's at a hospital, so that's good, at least; however, I know how fast infections can progress (if it is an infection), so I'm just really not happy, and not sure what to do if it does look worse tomorrow. Wait one more day, I guess?

Seriously, why?

Quick update & "pro" tip

The redness from yesterday is about the same or slightly better. So, probably NOT an infection, and I'm probably just paranoid (phew).

Everything is feeling good and I have enough arm movement now that I was able to carefully get a crop-top style sports bra on, and sweet baby Jesus, my life has improved +1,000. It feels SO NICE. If you can get into it carefully without lifting your arms over your head, I can't recommend the crop-top style sports bras sold at Target enough. They are super soft, SUPER stretchy (which is how I was able to get into one without much arm movement), and just plain GLORIOUS. Oh, and cheap.

I already owned three of them; I previously had purchased size XXL just to be able to barely squish everything in there. It was immediately obvious that this was too big now - without all the extra boob to take up space, they were just too damn wide for me. Naturally, I rushed to Target, waffled over sizing for a while, and got an L and an XL to try. Well, turns out the L fits now. YESSS. HAPPY.

Follow up

Had my follow up appointment today. Everything is awesome. The nurse and the surgeon took off the steri-strips; incision looks AWESOME. I can't believe how thin the incision looks - it's like hairline width and perfect to my eyes. I was expecting it to be much thicker. Things are looking pretty symmetrical. Bruising is almost gone. Puckering/bunching has really smoothed out and is almost gone.

They had to put two small steri-strips back on one incision because it's still weeping a teeny bit, but other than that, yay!

The nurse who saw me said she had also had a reduction (years ago), and that it was totally worth it. She said that the surgeon did a really great job with me; coming from a lady who has probably seen tons of patients over the years, I am pretty happy to hear that.

She also said she thinks the redness is my skin reacting to having the steri-strips on for a long time, and not to worry, since they're off that side now!

I asked if I could sleep on my side, because one of the nurses I saw previously had advised me to sleep on my back, and they were both like, "You've been sleeping on your BACK for two weeks?!" Uhhh, yep. Finding out I can sleep on my side again has MADE MY DAY since I've been having the crappiest sleep ever on my back.

The only negative is that I'm afraid I may have accidentally disheartened the surgeon. He asked if I was happy with the size, and for some reason I blanked out and then said, "Are they still swollen?" (for some reason it was all I could think of in the moment). He was like, "Well, we took a LOT off, and you said you didn't want them to go down just a little in size..." I snapped out of it a bit and said "Yes! It's great!" Hopefully not too late. The truth is, I AM really happy; I'm just a space case due to lack of sleep and a whirlwind first day back at work. Pretty sure I probably came off as ungrateful, which is not at ALL how I actually feel :( Crap. I suck. Next time I will definitely make a point of thanking him more directly, but for now, I feel a bit crappy.

I'm to make an appointment in three months' time to make sure everything is still good, and that's it! Sweet.

Healing well

Really happy with how everything is healing. Looks a lot less scary that I expected, and a LOT better than the first few days post-op. What a difference a few days can make.

Oh yeah... I forgot again to ask how much was removed. Whoops.

Quick thoughts on cup size

So I bought this bra because I needed one more for back-to-work last week, and it was front closure (it's a Playtex model). It's a D38. The 38 is a band size too big for me, meaning if I'd bought it in a 36, I would've needed a DD (but I'm still at that "comfort trumps all" phase of things).

It has been years since I could buy a bra in an actual store in my city, so this is terribly exciting (I'm sure you know what I mean). However, I did have a, "Dammit, I still have huge tits" moment (pardon my French) when I realized I'm a D/DD.

But, hey. That's a far cry from FF/G, and I can feel the difference. I haven't had a sore upper back since the surgery. The other thing I'm trying to keep in perspective is the fact that my build is what I tend to refer to as "Amazon," so realistically, a B or C would probably look somewhat disproportionate on my frame.

Something awesome

I'm just past three weeks post-op, and guess what: I wore a blazer to work today and I WAS ABLE TO ACTUALLY WEAR IT WITH THE BUTTON DONE UP! To top it all off, the button did not, at any point, pop off or pop open! Whaaaaaat.

(Maybe this seems like a ridiculous post, but I figured that some of you out there will understand my sheer glee).

Something ELSE awesome

I've been in DIRE need of sports-bra style bikini top to wear underneath my wetsuit (I'm a diving addict); one that doesn't tie at the neck (a big knot = a big painful dent in the back of your neck when you remove the wetsuit) or have straps that slide off your shoulders underneath the wetsuit. Anyone with a large bust knows how utterly laughable the hope of ever finding such a thing is.

Well, I was out and about doing errands yesterday, and randomly found one. At an actual, real store. For $16. And it fit. I'm still in shock.

Aside: when diving, I was always super pro at conserving air. Everyone else always thought it was because I was the most relaxed, or was using some kind of magic yoga-breathing technique or something. The truth is, it was because my wetsuit was so tight across the chest that I really couldn't take full breaths if I wanted to. Ha! I wonder if/how this will change now.

Other notes: one breast is doing amazing - the incision is super thin and awesome. The other, not as good - there are two areas that are having a harder time closing up. One of the questionable areas is scabbed over and so will hopefully just do it's thing now, while the other seems to randomly emit a drop or two of fluid. Grrr!

Oh, and the one that experienced all the redness? It's still there! Well, you can't really see it in the morning when I wake up, but by the evening, you can see the patch of redness return. It's not really growing or changing in size at all; it's not hurting or really doing anything, so I've just been monitoring it and trying to be patient (a tall order!).

Almost six weeks

So I'm almost at six weeks, and things are still going very well in terms of recovery. However, last week I got shingles (unrelated to the BR but probably related to the fact that my immune system has been pretty busy), and it has NOT been fun; needless to say I'll post a picture update later once I'm done dealing with it :(

I attempted to go back to the gym at four weeks post (the info sheet from the surgeon's office said four weeks!), but found that most activities were a little much. Ended up stuck on the stationary bike, which was just fine. At five weeks post, I was on the elliptical and it was mostly OK. This week is six weeks, and I DESPERATELY want to get back to running; I've got a few races planned for this summer. I've armed myself with a very serious, armour-like sports bra, and am going to give it a go tomorrow.

Healing has been good - everything finally closed up a few days after the four week mark. There is essentially NO more pain, discomfort, weird sensations, etc. One breast still has some hard, tender lumps, but I've noticed that they are getting smaller, so I think my body must be doing its thing.

Went bra shopping; somehow I've lost off my ribcage despite being relatively lazy the past six weeks, and I'm generally fitting into 36DD/E or 34E/F depending on the make, which still seems miraculous to me, given what I'm used to! The fact that I can buy a bra in a real store rather than special ordering online is still blowing my mind.

Still absolutely no regrets about the surgery. The hardest part was just being patient with healing; I look back and I still can't believe it happened - and pretty smoothly, at that. I mean, I'm not quite at six weeks and I'm feeling basically 100% - and my upper back feels much better. Modern medicine is soooo awesome.

Almost 3 months post

Haven't updated in a while because there isn't much to say - I've been completely back to normal since about six weeks post; going to the gym, running, yoga, etc. No problems with anything. And NO MORE upper back pain!

The scars are very bright red/purple right now, but I know that in time, they will turn a more silvery/cream color (this is just how I scar). They don't bother me. I have a little bit of skin bunching at the bottom of each incision (I had the vertical scar incision, and I guess this is common), but it doesn't really bother me because the incision ended just under the crease of each breast, meaning you can't actually see the bunching unless you lift the breast.

I'm still fitting into a 36 DD/E, which is 2-3 sizes smaller than I started with. While I still think I would have liked to go smaller, I am extremely happy with the change. Though 2-3 sizes may not seem like much, it makes a world of difference in terms of back pain, sports, and being able to buy bras and clothing. After years of buying size XL tops just to fit my chest, I can now fit into a size medium. Amazing.
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