I think I've wanted a BA since I was about 14....
I think I've wanted a BA since I was about 14. That was the first time I realized that my boobs were not going to be entering any competitions, at the very least they weren't going to ever catch up to my mom (C) or my sister's (B). I've always had wide hips and I've recently acquired quite a fabulous ass.
I spent 15 years of my life addicted to yoga, then my chiropractor told me that I have joint hypermobility and that yoga was likely the worst thing I could do as it stretched the ligaments at the expense of my muscle. At that point, I tried to find something else to use for exercise and ultimately discovered and fell in love with pole fitness. My yoga body was long and lean, you know the type. My new pole body? It's.... round and feminine. I have shapely thighs, a wonderful ass, abs galore, strong arms and......no boobs to speak of.
So, I've been on looking around on realself for a couple of weeks and am pretty sure I found the look that I want. However, when I've tried the rice sizers at home, I'm not sure if it's the same look. I'm currently a 'less than A cup' girl and gave up on real bras a long time ago. I knew they weren't healthy or comfortable for me, so I've just been wearing sports bras to help with nipple sensitivity as I go through my days.
I have a hard time visualizing what my naked breasts will look like on me after the procedure. Rice in the bra gives one look, and it can help determine how you want to look with clothes on. But what's more important to me is how I look with clothes off! With the rice, I'm thinking I'll want something in the 400-450cc range. Without.... who knows?
FIrst consult set
Forgot to include this in the initial post: I have my first consultation with Dr. Gregory Buford on 9/22. I have a couple other doctors on my short list, but I really like what Dr. Buford's website says about diet affecting surgery and recovery time and that his patients are usually able to return to work the next day.
If this consult goes well, I hope to schedule the surgery date for late January-early February. I have to accrue enough time off of work before I can do this.... Also, I work in a lab setting that has me lifting 15-25lbs multiple times a day and I'm not sure how quickly I'll be able to return to MY work.
HELL YEAH! I lost 1.5 in off my waist line in 6 days. Stupid Dairy with the stupid bloat. I really tried to make a relationship with Dairy, slowly building with nice, clean products.... but Dairy just REALLY didn't want to be in a relationship with me. I've dropped the inches, but I'm still dealing with the acne! :(
Anywho, my stats:
Conultation and wish boobies!
I had my consultation with Dr. Gregory Buford yesterday. I knew going in that I really wanted this guy to be my surgeon based on tons of different website reviews, the information he makes available about himself on his website, the rapid recovery technique he employs, and his artistic side. The consult did not fail to impress. I felt valued as a person by all the staff and was pleased to learn first hand that Gregory Buford (as he introduced himself) is a humble and funny man.
I wasn't too sure what to expect since I knew that sizers are not really helpful for me. I don't have a desired implant size or cup size end goal. I have a look in mind which is much harder to convey than numbers. That being said, Dr. Buford says that he finds that it is a healthier approach to the procedure and is the one most likely to yield a happy customer! When I showed him my wish-pic he said it should not be a problem and that it would likely put me in a 'C' cup area. Looking at the pic myself, I'm shocked that it could ever be called a C cup cuz I think they look large and FABULOUS!
During the measuring phase (before I showed him the picture), he took a number of different measurements but the only one that stuck in my mind was my BWD: 11.5. I was a little nervous cuz that's on the smaller side of average but he said my wish pic should not be a problem. He also said that I have 'very nice' breasts. :) All my measurements were very similar, if not exact. The only difference is that my right breast sits a little bit lower. That being said, Dr. Buford felt (and said as much) that my surgery should be pretty straight forward and yield results that I will be happy with!!
Because my job involves more physical activity than a typical office job, I was a little nervous about having the ability to take enough time off. Due to his rapid recovery techniques though, Dr. Buford suggested just taking one week off! I have that much saved up and was able to get the ball rolling! I have my pre-op next Thursday (9/29) and the surgery is booked for 2.5 weeks from now on 10/10!!
I joked that I might have franken-boobies for Halloween, but they will likely have moved past that stage by then... SO EXCITED!
Compilation of research pictures
I did a lot of research, trying to find my dream look. Because I was having a hard time using numbers or sizers to describe my desired look, I knew that having pictures of things I liked or didn't like would be key. So I have a lot of information that I gathered from other women's pictures here on realself. I also have the 'ultimate dream boob' picture posted in the previous post. This is really the ONE PAIR of boobs I have found to be pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. I think on the spectrum of natural to fake looking augmentations, I want mine to err on the side of slightly fake. I will likely continue to live in sports bras and leggings, so they won't be too obvious in my day to day. But I will have the option of really playing them up when I want to.
My 'Aha!' moment about sizers
So, I tried on sizers. Cuz that's what you do in the consult, right? I decided that the 425cc was about as much projection as I wanted, but I DEFINITELY wanted more upper pole than would be possible to see with the 'sizer in the bra' technique. Dr. Buford said I would likely be in the upper 400's range for the look I'm going for. Honestly, I don't care as long as I get the look I want! :)
After the sizing was done, I was talking to my man and said, "Damn! We didn't take any pics!" Cuz all the women on here have posted pictures from their sizings. But, I also realized that if I had pictures and numbers I would just OBSESS even more over details that, honestly, the Dr is only going to marginally take into account in the OR.
The Dr knows the look I'm going for, he's going to have a picture of the look in the room with him, he's going to shove a bunch of implants in there until he's happy that what he's seeing matches the picture. No amount of stressing and worrying and looking at pictures and numbers is going to change the look of different implants in my body and how they look compared to my wish boobs.
I am choosing to let this piece go, to not stress about it. Dr. Buford has the eye of an artist (seriously, he has tons of pictures of his own photography around the office) and I trust him to make a decision that I am going to be blown away by.
Pre-op was amazing!!!
First, there was a stupid scare that TOTALLY didn't need to happen with finances. It got resolved but the carecredit people declined the charge the first two times we attempted so we had to call and get that cleared up. GRR
But then! My guy and I went to the back and they left us alone for a bit to look over the risks and disclosures documents and write down any questions we had. That was super nice and let me return to my calm and then SUPER HAPPY AND EXCITED state.
Then the patient coordinator and surgery coordinator came back and went through those documents with us as well as all the pre and post op things I should and should not be doing.
My surgery time is at 2:30pm, I need to arrive at the surgery center at 1. But I'm not supposed to eat for 10 hours prior! I eat A LOT and am pretty constantly hungry. Not eating for that long is one of the scarier parts of this whole thing! Ha! If I'm feeling anxious or nervous or weak, I eat. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be feeling all of those! And they also told me the occasional xanax that I take is a 'no go' the day of, too! I'm supposed to take 1 celebrex the night before and 2 the morning of, so that should help...
I was given quite a list of prescriptions to fill: celebrex, keflex, norco, scopolamine patch, valium, and zofran. I'm a bit nervous of the keflex as I've taken it before as a broad spectrum antibiotic for UTIs and not handled it well. As in.... dead, no energy, sleeping all day. And that was only with 3 days of medication. This is for 6 days!! I'm supposed to go back to work on day 6...
Starting today, I am supposed to be taking multivitamins, vitamin C, and drinking 2 protein shakes a day. Then 3 days before the surgery I start taking some arnica and bromelain/quercetin pills they gave me.
They did give me the bra they want me wear for... the rest of my life? LOL All kidding aside, it's a nice and soft bra with a zip-up front. My color choices were tan, champagne and white. I was like... why isn't black an option?! All of those sound like they could get gross quick. I chose white. I've never chosen tan or champagne anything because it just washes me out, so I opted for something that I would at least be familiar with.
I am allowed to shower the day after surgery. I was told that the bandages might seem a bit excessive, basically covering the bottom of the breasts from cleavage to armpit, but that the incision is only about an inch in size or so. I'm supposed to leave all those bandages on for 2 weeks, until my first post-op appointment! That seems incredibly long for me, like aren't those bandages and tape and whatnot going to start chafing and annoying and peeling long before that time?
I'm supposed to relax and "NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU FEEL, DO NOT CLEAN THE HOUSE, REARRANGE THE ATTIC, ETC!" I think it's hilarious that they included this exact phrase and capitalization in the document. Because I was kind of planning to already clean the house that week... LOL! Oops, they caught me. Ok, fine: rearranging schedule to clean the house BEFORE surgery even tho most women who get the rapid recovery procedure are able to return to work within 2 days....
I can/should ice as much as I want and at 36 hours post, I need to start the massages. :-D I know it's REALLY going to hurt, but I also know that the massages are basically what will help the implants to drop into place. I was told that the breast band is worn mostly to try and keep the muscle under control between massages. That makes perfect sense to me.
I was also given the Natrelle warranty, as it's free from the manufacturer! I was actually pretty surprised by this and even more surprised at the stuff it covers: Implant replacement for rupture and surgery cost assistance up to $3500 for 10 years if the implants rupture. Implant replacement for CC grade III/IV for 10 years for both affected and contralateral implants. WHAT?! They are basically saying they have so much confidence in their product that if they fail or your body rejects them (CC), they will replace them for free and help you with surgery costs. Based on the financial workup given to me by my Dr.'s office, that would leave me with about $100 to pay since the Dr. said that he would also revoke his surgical fee if I need a revision.
THEN! We met with Dr. Buford. He first corrected himself: During the consult, he had said that my wish pic would put me in a C cup. But after having a chance to review it and prep for the pre-op, he thinks I'll be more in a D cup. :D OK! We talked sizing, and as I'm more interested in the look rather than the numbers, it wasn't an exhaustive conversation. He thinks I'll likely end up with 425, but will order 415-520CC. We're going with INSPIRA SRF, which is the full profile. I wasn't sure if I wanted full or extra full going in to this, but he said that he usually uses the XF on tiny women who want big results because they often have smaller BWD measurements and need the projection more than the width.
Then, as I'm a science girl, I asked him if he could walk me through the procedure. I gotta say, this was one of my favorite parts of the whole thing. Watching his face and the excitement and interest he has in his job was amazing. He went into great detail (when I asked) about how all the tissue moves and why and where and he said he thinks the whole thing is beautiful. Since he has an avid photography hobby, I really believe his interest in the beauty of his surgery! He also said that he does cauterize the opening of the incision and it is done with a tool that is basically like a pen. He also said that the sealed blood vessels basically just shoot out little branches during the healing process and blood flow resumes it's normal path. :)
Allergan breast implant cut in half
HOLY COW PEOPLE! You have to see this youtube video of an Allergan breast implant that gets cut into and the manipulated. When the Dr lets go of the implant, it resumes it's normal shape, nothing lost!! This goes a long way towards allaying any remaining fears I had around leakage or *ahem* rough treatment of the girls post op. :D
How to free yourself from fear of judgment
So, the last few days (as my surgery date is now less than a week away) I have found myself worrying, worrying, worrying about how other people are going to judge me for my BA.
Then I found this article and I found it SO HELPFUL! I decided that there are likely others having similar issues and so I wanted to share it.
10 Oct 2016
Day of treatment
Shoot, forgot to include sizes: 450cc in the right and 485cc in the left
PO day 1
At the surgery center yesterday, we got there about 20 minutes before they needed me to show up. Mostly cuz they had said they needed a urine sample and I REALLY needed to pee, HA! But getting there that early helped to calm my nerves. We got there and finished filling out a little paperwork and then headed back to the pre-op room where the nurse started walking through everything and taking blood pressure, temp... whatnot. She started me up on saline IV pretty quick. I was happy about that cuz I normally drink a lot of water and felt dehydrated since I wasn't supposed to drink a lot prior to surgery. I really enjoyed the warming thing they had on the bed for me. Basically, it's a big soft bag with a ton of tiny holes in it. They they pump warm air through it (and you can adjust them temp) and I was super comfortable (not like the few other times I was in a gown in a hospital setting... They also had some leg wrap things that went around my calves and gently massaged them from time to time, LOVED THOSE.
Since we did get there a little early, there were a few waiting times but I was perfectly content because I knew that I was exactly where I needed to be and they would handle the rest. One nice touch was that the nurse pumped a little aromatherapy thing onto a cotton swab and placed it on top of the gown on my chest - SUPER calming. :) Then the dr came in and drew on me, then the anesthesiologist came in and discussed all that with me. Pretty quick after that she put a 'nerve calmer' in my iv just before they rolled me back to help with any last minute freaking out. I switched from one bed to the other and then had to take few deep breaths and was waking up in post-op before I knew it!
The drive home was uneventful, getting home was uneventful and given that I have two big dogs who always get overly excited to see me home, I was nervous. They didn't really bother me and could sense that now was not the time to try to be lap dogs... We tried to watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory and got as far as Veruca turning into a blueberry before I really just need to go to bed. So, we'll finish that tonight!
I slept pretty good last night, off and on to keep on top of the drugs, but good sleep in between. Apparently I'm a phase where I can't tell if I'm in pain or if it's just the discomfort of stretched skin. The space on my sternum, between breasts is KILLING ME.I stuffed an ice pack in there and then closed the bra back over it but I think I might need on of the colder ice packs next time...
I've been using abs to get out of reclined positions, I can feel the abs engaging all the way up to the incisions and then in between the breasts, right on to that killer spot. Also, when I'm upright moving around, or slightly bent forward that same spot just SCREAMS at me. Sides of the pecs, under my arms are very angry at me when I try to do anything.
Ok, just switched the colder ice pack, and the dr's office called to check up on me. They did say it's fine to open up the compression bra and strap through out the day to get a little bit of relief. They also said that that will be a pain killer thing, not a muscle soreness thing. So I guess I'll be on dilaudid for most or the rest of today. I'm hoping to get off it as soon as possible tho!
Yesterday when I got home, I ate a pretty good amount, but this morning woke up with very little appetite. I had some eggs to take narcotics with, but couldn't finish the eggs. In general, feeling pretty weak and tired, not thinking or speaking too clearly, likely as a result of the combination of drugs and decent injury to my body.
OH! I also seem to have sensation in both breasts and nipples! It's mild, but there. WOOT! That was one of my bigger worries in terms of side effects.
More POD1 pics
These were taken in the evening and I think they show progress of getting the implants off of my collar bone!
I have been sleeping very well on my pillow mounds. I have also been waking up to regularly take my muscle relaxer and pain med. However, this bloating is really getting out of control and so today I'm going to try switching to Extra Strength Tylenol.
I am also supposed to start my massages today...My bf did a short and gentle one on me to kinda assuage some fears that I have around passing out from the pain. Most of the massaging felt good. And then I had to put all the compression stuff back on and things (mainly my cleavage) hurt again. And I've definitely got some serious uncomfortable tingling all over the boobs. My ps said this was all normal and I have three options to help with that: moisturize, massage, or ice. I've done the massage, now I think Ill moisturize and then ice.
So yesterday I switched to Extra Strength Tylenol and felt just find all day, as long as I stayed on top of taking the meds on time. However, one thing that's really been throwing a wrench in my perceived recovery is that my period started on POD1! I usually have pretty severe cramps and pain from my period which is seeming to be managed by the pain medication I'm taking for the surgery! But along with period pain, I always get period bloat. Sometimes the acrobatics my uterus does during menstruation can cause it's own cleansing of the bowels and I thought it might really good timing. But no, that did not happen. So I took more and more laxatives (and then possible TMI- a suppository) and finally had TWO BMs this morning.
Just before the exodus of my bowels, I had been quite whiny and bitchy about pain and discomfort. Afterward... I was able to bend over comfortably and interact with my dogs normally with no abdominal or cleavage pain. I feel like I can breath again (or at least as much as the lower band on the compression bra will allow me) and I think I'm feeling tons better in general. I'm not out of the woods yet, I am still VERY tired.
I don't think I've had morning boob yet? I've just been sleeping on piles and piles of pillows and before I get out of bed I do a good massage on the implants, maybe that makes all the difference?
I've pretty much had full or at least partial sensation on all areas of the breasts and nipples. Sometimes there's a small tingly, sometimes things feel a little numb, those never last long. I also have not yet had any pain on or around my incisions.
Fell off the wagon a bit...
I'd been on extra strength Tylenol all day and still resting a decent amount. I mean, I did go to the bathroom and make some simple food for myself. But as the day went on, the lower strap of my compression bra felt like it was trying to break the tip of my sternum off. Bf looked and couldn't see anything red or bruise-y or wrong. But I felt like I couldn't even sit anywhere close to upright due to the pressure I felt at the one spot. I decided I had done really well all day. I relaxed, but also was able to take care of myself a bit and all on Tylenol... a step in the right direction. But I'm still only 3 days post op and need to go easy on myself. So I took a dilaudid. Yes, I am still bloated, and yes it likely from the narcotics, but I have also had a few bowel movements today and so think I need to keep the pain under control before my body launches an all out attack that might prevent me from getting back to work on POD 6.
Before bed I'll see if I need another dilaudid or if I can switch back to tylenol, and I hope to be on tylenol tomorrow.
So, yes, last night I fell off the wagon and had to take more dilaudid. Then I had decided that I didn't want to go back to all dilaudid all the time. So I was going to try to space them out a bit through the night...... BAD IDEA. I woke up in PAIN at 3:30am. That is the first time I can say I've had some serious 'I don't know what to do !!!' pain. I took the tylenol like I had planned and then spent the next hour massaging in the dark, trying to get the pain to stop. That's when my boyfriend found me and was like, '..... you have to take the dilaudid... psycho.' So I did, which meant that I also had to have some food, so I did. And about 5 seconds later I needed that damned Zofran tablet so I wouldn't puke up everything and further hurt myself. Finally things started to calm down and I got more and more comfortable and happy again, and fell back asleep.
Since I've only taken a week off of work, I've really been trying to keep to a normal sleep/wake cycle and have been waking up when my man goes to work. Today however.... I told him he needed to let me sleep cuz clearly my body was angry with me. And I've got new bruising to prove it! I've got that normal reddish one on the bottom of my right breast, but also a line of sorts on my rib cage near the left breast. But no spots on the bandages, so I'm not too concerned. But DAMN if those bandages aren't itchy!! Bf had to stop me from picking at one last night....
Today was another rough day. It started out alright. But since I'm supposed to be returning to work tomorrow I needed to do a 'dry run' of the new boobs out of the house, so we planned some light errands.
The first hurdle was finding something to wear out in public, something not the loose and comfortable pajamas I've been living in for a week. I'm in Colorado, so apparently mid-October means 80 degrees. It took me a WHILE to find a pair of shorts that I could pull up and fasten despite the intense bloat I am still dealing with. I finally found a pair and was able to have the man of the house finish fastening them since that required pec muscles that are not quite back to normal function yet.
Very shortly in to the errand running, I had a break down. The pain on the cleavage side of each breast was unbearable. I've experienced this before due to the post-op compression bra and band that my PS provided me with. The bottom band of the bra is so tight that I physically cannot draw a full breath of air - take the bra off and my ribs can expand to their full potential and I CAN BREATHE. Our next stop was to pick up some sports bras because we already knew that living in one bra for who knows how long was not an option. I just took the damn compression bra off and walked free and happy (after popping a dilaudid because that's the only thing I could think of that would not result in me crawling back under the covers and having to quit my job cuz I couldn't move around, let alone sit upright).
We found 2 'highly supportive' sports bras at target that zip up the front. I had to get larges. YOU GUYS! I CAN BREATHE! I CAN MOVE! My entire upper body is not yelling at me for doing the tiniest things! And to be perfectly honest, I am incredibly angry with my surgeon right now. This last week could have been so much more pleasant if they had taken a little more time when choosing which post-op bra they wanted me in. I could have been off the dilauded on the second day and having normal bowel movements and not dealing with the level of bloat that you can see in my pictures.
Doing the TINIEST things around the house, such as getting up to pee and returning to the couch, left me INCREDIBLY out of breath. I'm hoping this is because of the previously mentioned inability to breathe properly. So I'm really trying not to doubt my ability to return to work tomorrow. I have bras that allow me to breathe and don't give my boobs pain; I'm really hoping that's the only thing that would have gotten in the way. I'm scared and nervous, all the same.
POD 6 and 7
Sorry for the lack of update yesterday. It.was.hell.
Yesterday was my first day back to work. I was told prior to surgery that his rapid recovery system should have me back to work by POD6. As that date approached, I became more and more nervous. I was sometimes having to take the dilaudid to deal with the pain I was feeling on the inside, lower pole of my right breast (the one with the bigger implant). I woke up ok enough and off I went. Now, I work a fairly physical job in a lab environment. I wasn't lifting things over the 15-20 mark, but I was lifting things ALL DAY. I kept stopping and going to the bathroom to massage. I even made a makeshift icepack with some cubes, foil, and paper towels.
By the end of my 10 hour day I was basically panting from shortness of breath and needing people to constantly tell me what the next thing I needed to do was. Finally, I left. I had to drive home. The entire drive home (about 20 minutes on the interstate) I was pressing as HARD AS I COULD on my sternum because the level of pain I was experiencing felt like the tip of it was trying to snap off. I'm trying not to cry just so that I can get home. I make it home and my boyfriend comes out to help me out of the car but all I'm doing is sitting there shoving my hand into my sternum bawling my eyes out. I can take quite a bit of pain, but yesterday was one of the worst days of my life.
My man got me inside, got me some drugs and got food and got me comfortable on the couch. Then he started taking notes about what I was telling him so that he could call the doctor and get some answers.
Turns out, there's a muscle that runs near the bottom of the sternum, often very near the infra-mammary crease that gets partially cut during a breast augmentation. What I was feeling was that muscle seizing and spasming. It travels across the breast (very near the nipple) and connects up near your armpit. The on call Dr suggested that it was not a pain (narcotic) issue and more of a muscle relaxant issue and that we might want to increase our frequency of vallium or get a new prescription from the dr in the morning. This also recommended to me that ice would not help, but heat does help muscles relax - so I stopped ice packs and switched to a heating pad. As soon as I did that, I felt something shift in my boob. It was a little creepy, not gonna lie here. The pain did not really improve while we were watching tv on the couch. But when I woke up, there was much less pain.
I went to see my PS this morning and he agreed with everything that the on call dr said except, not to increase the muscle relaxant and, instead, to gently stretch the muscle regularly. I was really upset to hear this. I will happily do stretches (yoga, anyone?) but would also really like to make sure that my discomfort will be managed by something like an anti-spasmodic because I CAN FEEL THE MUSCLE SPASM and it really hurts.
The doctor also said it was too early to take my dressings off, but that the stitches are dissolvable. He also said that everything is moving along very nicely and that he thinks my breasts are going to be amazing when all is said and done.
Based on the nature of my work (super physical with long shifts) I decided that there was no way I could go back to work this week and got a note from the doctor (because my work will require it).
When we got home, I learned that my boyfriend is MUCH better at doing the massaging than I am because he knows what pain I need to (and can) work through to make sure that I can recover enough to return to work next week.
I'm bored and grumpy. I feel well enough to be up and doing things!! But I'm not supposed to, not really. I can take 'leisurely' walks and... idk what else. I'm bored! I'm not a leisurely walk person! I have two 60 lb fur-babies that stare at me with their sad puppy 'please take us on a walk, Mom' faces and it breaks my heart! And I have a WHOLE NOTHER WEEK of this sitting around, staring longing at 'doing things' and have my dogs stare longingly at me to do things with them.
I feel so selfish right now. I never do selfish things and this has got to be the hardest part so far.
You guys may call them 'boobie blues' but I am calling them 'boobie p*issed the f*ck off.'
I feel that my surgeon did not ACTUALLY listen to me when I was trying to tell him just how physical my job was in order to determine the amount of time I needed to recover. Because of his lack of attention (or care?) I am now forced to take a week of unpaid leave.
I think the boobs might have turned a corner! I was begrudgingly getting ready to stand in the mirror for their morning photo shoot and then looked at the pictures and was like, ".... wait, what?! They kinda look.... boob-like!" Also, I can now gently push my arms together to create cleavage!
Scars and Cleavage, Oh my!
Well, as close to the scars as I've gotten so far. Most of the remaining tape came loose in my shower this afternoon. All except for that last layer that I'm sure is going to really hurt when they pull it off to check the stitches at my post-op tomorrow!
I'm pretty sure it goes without saying that if the tattoo'd boob is the one that has a terrible scar.... I am going to be PISSED. Right now, it feels like a coin toss since that one shows more blood/scabbing under the tape than the other.
FIrst Post-op Appointment (day 11)
Guys, I've been put on even more restrictions following my first post-op appointment today. Things are 'ok' but could be 'better.' I largely blame the surgeon for not spending enough TIME listening to ME SPEAK instead of himself during the pre-ops. I have strong pec muscles, and I'm sure you guys aren't shocked cuz you KNOW ME! But he's a &*(%^# ^%$ and so my strong pecs aren't letting the implants drop as quickly as he'd like and if they stay up there too long, there can be complications.
Also, one of the incisions was slightly oozy. (11 days post op) All of this lead to *shock and awe* an actual discussion (with the Dr's CNA, mind you, Shazia who is freaking amazing and I love her) about what I ACTUALLY do at work.Which is, you guessed it, pretty physical stuff! (I actually had this same talk with the doctor using the SAME WORDS during a pre-op and he said 'oh yeah, you'll be back to work after one week.')
I've been off work two weeks now. I went back for my first day after the first week was over and ended up in the dr's office the next day due to EXCRUCIATING pain. I was crying. Dr.... still a $%^#@(. He wrote me a note saying I was off of work for a second week. I told my boss I had had surgery the previous week and that there were complications and that I had a doctor's note requiring me to take another week off. Boss responds with 'hope you enjoy your week off.' WHAT PART OF SURGERY + COMPLICATIONS = GOOD WEEK OFF?!
So now, I can go back to work with the following restriction: "she may not lift, push, pull or move anything over 4lbs until medical clearance by" said douche bag dr. FOUR POUNDS!!! A good book weighs more than 4 pounds! I know this, cuz I just stopped at the library to pick one up! My work involves lifting and moving 20 lbs all day, pushing and pulling carts about... 200 lbs much of the day. Lots of work inside a sterile hood at the extended range of motion of my arms. Oh, by the way, I'm supposed to basically pretend my elbows are glued to my waist.
All of these restrictions SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED AT PRE-OP. But this surgeon has such confidence in his skill that your actual level of activity does not matter to him and he expects you will be able to return to said 'normal light' activity after a week. HUGE WARNING here ladies: if you are actually a fairly active individual, this is a lie.
I'm so upset. There really isn't much work that I can do at work with these restrictions. I already took the last week off, unpaid. I couldn't afford that and I can't afford another.
Then I got home and my 65lb dog got stung by a bee he was chasing (because I can't get him to stop it), so I gave him benadryl. Cuz I can't afford to take him to the vet, let alone be able to get him into a vehicle to DRIVE him to the vet.
So now, I'm all alone, again, further immobilized and trying to keep my stress down (cuz that makes my muscles spasm) and watch my dog for signs of either anaphylactic shock to the bee sting or death from the benadryl!!
I need love.
13 Days Post Op, and back to work - 2nd try
Today was my second shot at going back to work. Given how painful the first one was last week, I had CONSIDERABLE anxiety this morning. But my boyfriend helped me make sure I ate breakfast, got dressed, and had all the food I'd need to get through the day. He even helped me carry all my belongings out to the car! (I work 10 hour days, am normally pretty active and eat a lot of food, and I can only lift 4 lbs at a time...)
Sundays are my favorite shifts out of my normal schedule- there are only three other people there in my department and things are pretty quiet and 'work at your own pace' even though there is still a fair amount to be done. My normal Sunday coworkers were TOTALLY understanding of the 'had surgery two weeks ago, complications, restrictions' story and had many gripes about their own past experiences. The conversation never got back around to 'so.... what was your surgery for?' or any of those fears that I had. Given how the girls are really starting to grow, by the end of the day I'm fairly certain that they at least had an inkling as to what type of surgery I had.
I was in pain. No joke, all day. I took FREQUENT breaks to massage the boobs in a bathroom stall or to just lean the chair back as far as it would go to take some of the pressure off of the muscles that haven't had to hold me that upright for two whole weeks! During my lunch break, I decided to eat in my car - sat in the passenger seat with it leaned all the way back and my feet on the dash. Super helpful for the pain... hard to eat in! After a particular painful twinge, I ended up kicking the dash.... and about 2 minutes later two of my coworkers came out and expressed their concern about my pain, saying if I needed to go home they wanted me to be able to do so safely and that they could handle the remaining workload! I LOVE THESE GUYS!
That being said, I had been just about to head back in and get back to work, so I did. I worked from 7 to 4 today with a little bit of a longer lunch (40 minutes?). That is actually really great news and surpassed my expectations of myself for the day. However, I know that Sundays are my 'easier' days in terms of people, interruptions, and work load. So I may not be staying as late during the remaining days of my work week. And that I will be taking up with my supervisor tomorrow because I don't think they can expect me to be able to work a 10 hour shift, especially when I tell them that I can't do it. They need to make adjustments (and it is a regular occurrence for any number of reasons in our department) or I will be asking for short term disability leave - which benefits no one.
The drive home was much better and my amazing boyfriend was waiting there with his amazing hands to work his amazing magic on my incredibly tense muscles. I told him that if anything was scheduled to 'interfere' with his rubbing of my muscles when I get home from work for the next three weeks or so, those things would just have to be canceled. :D
14 and 16 days PO
POD 14 was my second day back to work (for the second time) and I felt like it had been a real turning point for me, in terms of pain and energy level in the work setting. Then I felt EVEN BETTER on the 15th day and pushed myself too hard (while still following all the restrictions) and was SHOCKED at the state of my muscles and head when I woke up this morning, POD 16.
It was not morning boob, which I refuse to call it that because that is a sensation that I am familiar with in another setting. You just spent 8 or so hours being perfectly still and doing NOTHING, yes your muscles get a little tight and achy. I am a very active person and have woken up with this same sensation for years.
This morning, my entire chest hurt and I already had what I've learned to recognize as a headache as the result of continued muscle fatigue/pain. I called out sick and am home resting. After a good 12 hour sleep, I finally got up and moved around a bit and made breakfast. During the making of breakfast I realized just how much hurt. EVERY chest muscle. I have no idea when I crossed the line yesterday, but somehow all the restricted movements started feeling too much for the non-chest muscles that they started handing off some responsibility. End result, every chest muscle and upper abs are screaming at me today. Ouch and crap!
So I'm taking today off and instead working part of the morning tomorrow, just before my next follow-up appointment. Not sure if working before the appointment is a good idea or not as I'm sure it will activate the very muscles the PS wants to lie down. But maybe it will be a more accurate representation of where I am in my recovery than if I had not worked prior? Who knows.
Also, I'm pretty sure the pec is really starting to let go of the implant and especially in the side view of POD 16, lefty very much looks like an implant sitting on my chest. Which makes me think the next step is for some of the upper pole to drop down!
Today I had my second (or third? can't remember) post op appointment.
I spent probably a GRAND TOTAL of 5 minutes with staff. Seriously, my impression of the customer service just keeps getting worse. I didn't have time to ask any questions and I wasn't asked if I had any.
The Dr did see me this time, and even he wasn't sure which breast had been having oozing issues the week prior, Which is good news. Apparently everything is dropping nicely. One more week with new steri strips and then I start the scar gel.
This time, the nurse didn't even take the time to make sure the strips were smooth against my skin. Didn't put on gloves before applying them. Does she remember that they are STERI strips? Meant to be short for STERILE? Meaning, wear gloves or sterilize your hands before touching them? I work in a microbiology lab, so yes, this offends me.
The ONE (and most important) question that I had been given breathing space to ask was about the SHOOTING and STABBING pain that I'm feeling in my right breast on the sternum. The short answer I got was 'it's normal, the right breast is dropping faster and that's just the pocket forming.' I would have liked something to help with the pain! A stretch, or 'apply pressure here' would have been wonderful.
My shifts are supposed to be 10 hour days, right now I'm maxing out at 7 hours and that's while following the restrictions of movement that I was told during pre-op would be non-existent! I've exhausted any PTO I have and have been taking a good amount of unpaid leave. My boss has been reasonably understanding and giving me extra hours where he can, but there's really only so much he can do when pretty much everything we do is super physical.
To be clear, I'm not displeased with my progress or my breasts. I can handle pain. Fairly well even. What I am unhappy with is the either blatant lie or simple not listening to the client during pre-op discussions that has lead to so much unpaid time off. If I had been given more honest answers about my recovery time or even a 'your mileage may vary' warning from the surgeon, I would have postponed this until I had more PTO accrued.
No pictures cuz I'm grumpy! (But I have noticed so much more jiggle - in the car, walking, laughing.... anywhere. Right now it's uncomfortable because my skin isn't used to all this extra jostle and resulting sensation, but I know it's only good news.)
POD 18 and 19
Last night boyfriend and I were laying around talking after one his amazing boob/pec massages and he said he kept getting distracted by the view. I wasn't entirely believing him, so he took a pic to show!
3 and 4 weeks PO
Today (4 weeks PO) was the first day in a month where I felt like I wasn't dying at work. I was able to complete my assigned tasks (easier and fewer than normal due to dr's restrictions) and then go on to do a few more things.
Yesterday, I tried on a bunch of my dresses and tops (bra and strap-less) and then ran a ton of errands in a cheap sports bra from target and the strap. I had NO PAIN. I decided to wear that sports bra to work, instead of the usual compression bra provided by my surgeon. After about an hour I was feeling some pretty intense pain along my sternum again. I found that the only thing that sometimes made a difference was if I held my shoulders as far back and down as humanly possible. Of course, this led to other muscles hurting. Finally, I said F*CK it, and took the strap off. That's how I was finally able to work 7 hours (out of a usually 10 hour shift) and to be a lot more physical than I have been for a month.
For at least the last week, I've had some serious problems with that strap staying up on the pecs where I was told to keep it. It either SHOVED itself into my armpit and cut off some nerve/blood vessels that resulted in intense are pain or slit down on top of the implants. My guess is that strap was 'gently' nudging the implants closer together, onto my sternum, where I was feeling all that intense pain.
I also think that the compression bra is squishing things TOO much, not letting the muscle relax and the implant drop. I think the cheap sports bra from target fits more like a 'regular bra' and picks up a lot of the weight of the implants, allowing the pecs to relax a ton more, resulting in more drop. This is partly based on the studies showing that many women who wear bras have weaker pecs because the bra is doing all the work of holding up the breasts. Maybe I can take advantage of this and wear a bra designed to do just that, let the pecs relax and see some D&F!
Still grumpy with my PS, but seeing some light at the end of the tunnel of pain. I have a follow-up appointment on Tuesday, so we'll see what he thinks of my progress...
I had my 1 month PO appointment today and my dr removed pretty much ALL the restrictions! First thing I did when I got home? TOTALLY jumped in the hot tub.
Ok, so first thing he said was I'm done with the strap. Toss it. (In my head, I'm thinking BURN IT!)
Then I don't really have any restrictions on bras, but he doesn't want me in an underwire for at least another month (fine by me, my past experiences with those things were never pleasant). However, he did say that the less supportive bra I wear, the more dropping and fluffing. His CNA (Shazia) suggested basically a band with some fabric on top - I flashed on some of those cheap tank tops with the built in shelf bra. I'm going to give these a shot for a bit, since I have a BUNCH that aren't really for public consumption anymore.... but I CAN wear them for support under my scrubs at work.
I can hit the gym starting next week at about 50%. I have no idea what that means, but my plan is to just start nice and slow at the beginning and see what my body can handle, what it tells me.
He also suggested epsom salt baths. The magnesium in the salt is apparently a muscle relaxer! We had a good talk about how I could just take magnesium supplements if I wanted (he recommends 400mg). He strongly suggests chelated magnesium, something with potassium in it, and buy the bottle that has about 4 different forms of magnesium in it.
I am seriously the happiest person on the planet right now! Who cares who wins the election? I got the green light to resume my normal life from my surgeon!!
I was able to work all of my scheduled days this week and for longer hours than I have been able to in a month! I'm hoping next week that I'll be able to work ALL my hours and slowly start adding in some of the heavier tasks.
Today I went to target and picked up a few of their $13 balconette bras. SO comfortable, I swear it's almost like not wearing a bra except that your nipple doesn't get rubbed raw by days end! They have some really cute ones with lace, but they also have some MICROFIBER ones. Yeah, microfiber on my sad, sad nipples equals instantly bought. I got two of the microfibers and 1 black lace. All three have a little room to grow into them, since I know my journey is just beginning.
An interesting thing happened to me in the changing room at Target. I took size M and a few L bras with me. I used to be a S, so now I'm probably a M or maybe a L right? Nope. None of the mediums fit, most of the larges didn't. I found myself struggling with shame (?) around the size of the clothes I was looking at? It really made no sense to me. Except, that I think at least some part of me bought into the idea that 'women are supposed to be tiny' to be attractive/desirable. Before, I always wore size S, so I was fine. But now that I've bought 2 size XL and one L? Wow, I've got some mental walls and ways of thinking to break down...
Also, will I ever be able to wear a good sports bra again? All of the cheap/comfortable/lounging ones I tried on would fit either the ribcage or the boobs, but not both. Anything that remotely fit my boobs had wads of extra fabric around my ribs. *sigh* I'm a very active person (hello? Pole dance workouts?) and need something that will stay put but also keep the girls under control!
I weighed myself today: 150lbs. I gotta say, I'm really happy that it wasn't more, but I wasn't really surprised either. I haven't been able to do almost anything for a month, but I've also been eating a fraction of what I normally do. So, yeah, there was some muscle loss and a little weight gain. But I'm pretty sure I can bounce back, and fast.
YOU GUYS! I'm gonna say it: I LOOOOVE my new boobs! I'm so glad to finally be at this point, that I feel this way. I think I would have been here sooner but the pain got in the way. Now the pain is gone and I can resume my normal life, but with bigger boobs? SO happy.
6 weeks PO
Everything seems to be moving along, the boobs are getting quite squishy and bouncy and seem to be changing every day - sometimes forward, sometimes backward.
Too much boob!
This was my favorite dress pre-op. I couldn't fill out the cups, but I was pretty sure that it would look amazing post-op! Now.... I definitely have too much boob for it and I'm sure there is still more dropping and fluffing to happen. :(
7 week PO
Finally LOVING the girls almost all the time. I was having a super hard time getting good sleep. I guess I'm more of a side sleeper than I thought. Then, my boyfriend rolled up one of his thick wool socks and stuck it in my cleavage, in my bra. Now I can roll on to my side in the night and the top boob is supported enough that I am able to SLEEP that way!! HALLELUJAH!
The girls are really squishy and seem to be finally dropping completely down in to place. The fluffing has been happening some, but I can tell by the tightness of my skin that there is still quite a bit left. :D
I am slowly, so slowly, getting back into my fitness routines. Because my job is so physical, there are times when I can tell that my pecs and surrounding muscles are grumpy and feeling over worked. But those days are fewer now. Progress is being made, I can see it, and most of the time I don't complain.