46 Years Old, 5'5" 160lbs, 34 (H, I or J). Des Moines, IA
I am about to embark on this journey of smaller...
Weight loss and Breast reduction question....
Saw Doc #1
Got approval from Insurance
Now I'm wondering about the best way to heal - diets, supplements, and then scar treatment too. Give me a shout out if you have information.
DECIDING TO WAIT....
I do have another question for all you ladies out there. I have trips scheduled. Has anyone travelled (plane) 4 weeks after surgery and did ok? Or even 3? Please let me know if you did and how you felt.
New Photo - Pre Op
Doctor Number 2
Got surgery date!
I intend to lose a bit more weight before the surgery. Say about 7 lbs. (1 per week or so). I will take my Pilates classes religiously as well as usual cardio. I need to get a cleaning service so I don't fret over my home. I have a tendency to just start on a marathon cleaning adventure which is not advisable (AT ALL) after surgery. So also - will have food easily accessible too. My husband and I got a food service delivery (GreenChef) - where they send you all of the ingredients and a recipe and you make it at home. Green Chef is organic too. I think my husband can handle this right? LOL - we'll see. His assistant is so sweet - she scheduled him off the whole week after my surgery. Luckily, unlike almost all of you, I don't have a job to return to. I am a painter though and will need to put that on hold - I think the raising of the right arm up and down and over to the paint and up and down and over to the canvas is gonna be a no no in general.
We also have this great reclining comfy chair we'll need to bring into the bedroom. I will move my end table by it so all my books etc are nearby.
I've had 3 knee surgeries so I know the drill about general anesthesia. I plan to eat like a pro up to the surgery date (organic, well balanced, high protein meals). The day before I will eat a blander diet (white breads, potato without skin, lean meats, no veggies) - in other words easily digested foods. When I'm back home after the surgery - back to the solid balanced meals I was having previously.
I learned from my previous surgeries that the pain meds make you constipated. SO I will have my metamucil or something along those lines immediately after surgery to prevent that nightmare from occurring. It's bad enough you're dealing with pain from surgery, you certainly shouldn't have to deal with a pain in your ass right ladies?!?! I was also told to stop taking my daily Krill Oil supplement a week prior since it's a natural blood thinner. Also, I will need to lay off my ibuprofen. I take the damn stuff like it's a vitamin. My back hurts people - thanks boobs!
Thats it for now. THE COUNTDOWN IS ON!!!
GOT PROVIDER INSURED
I've had a rough couple of weeks. Had reassuring and severe nose bleeds. It gets very dry here in Iowa and I'm new to the area so my nose (which has always had a tendency to bleed) - went ape shit recently. Went to the ENT and they stuck a hot poker in my nose to stop the bleeding. Then my left elbow inexplicably started aching badly a few nights ago - it went away after a couple of days and I think it was due to a Pilates session and doing a couple of hours of yard work hacking at bushes and trees. Just feel like my body is giving up sometimes. Ah life getting older. So this all made it difficult to stay the course on lowering my ibuprofen usage and diet plan. But I'm back in the game now.
Hope all is well with everyone out there.
Working out with large breasts.....
Hospital paper work....
No Anti-inflammatory 10 days prior (ibuprofen, Naprosyn, Motrin) - this will be tough. I've been trying not to take as much lately but I have back pain - a lot (thanks boobs). I will need to make sure I take it easy so not to cause the pain but I want to work out so I'm as in shape as I can be prior to surgery. UGH. Hell it helps me sleep sometimes cause of pain I'm having.
Stop taking Vitamin E, Fish Oils or garlic supplements 2 weeks prior.
Do not take products containing Ehedra / pseudeophedrine like Sudafed for at least 48 hours prior.
No diet pills or weight loss supplements 4 weeks prior
Do not drink alcohol for one week prior to surgery.... now this is funny since I signed up for a wine tasting with my girlfriends. I guess I'll have to spit it out. Oh well.
Also was requested to have physical with primary physician and have blood tests (hemoglobin / hematocrit)
Just can't believe this is happening - I keep running that song through my head:
"IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN"
Moving around - hmmmmmmm....
What little "exercises" can I do that would help me from not "freezing" into place. In other words should I get a ball I can squeeze or some kind of leg lift or something? I just don't wanna cramp up from being so immobile afterwards.
Also - something clicked with me today as I was reading the hospital information about not moving around.... they mentioned Intimate relations after surgery and to only do it by doctors consent. I get it - it is a lot of movement - so is working out but what I didn't think of and they pointed out is ANYTHING that gets your heart rate up is NOT GOOD. It will make more bruising and make healing slower. I never thought of that. I was only thinking of moving around - not my blood flow being the issue. interested eh?
Meals: I'm a beaner. I love beans. I soak them overnight, then bring them to a boil in the morning, rinse, put back on stovetop with some water (all of that is to get rid of the enzymes that give you gas). I add some chicken, turmeric root (wear gloves), onion, garlic, other dried spices, bay leaf, a whole bunch of kale or collards that have been shredded in the food processor. SOOO yummy! I am making Cannelloni, Red and Pinto Beans with varying meats and veggies. As "Steel Magnolias" quotes - ...they freeze beautifully". My husband will be "cooking" for me so this will make things easy.
Clothes: Went to TJ Maxx yesterday and bought a couple of short robes. I'm going to be home mostly so don't need to worry too much about button down shirts that people are going to see me in. I just need to be comfortable at home. If and when I go out I will put on my zippered work out jackets. When I got home I went online and got a couple of button down night shirts from SOMA (Sales area). They are SUPER comfortable. Their lounge pants are great too because they have pockets and again are SUPER comfy. I have yet to get my front closure bras. I've read about Genie and some at Walmart. I'll get those next week. I've heard to get a couple of sizes bigger than you think you will be - especially the rib cage size. SO - I'll get 38DD.
Comfort at home: Will be in a recliner at first. will have two night tables on either side to hold my stuff so I won't have to reach too far.
Last night I spoke with my husband about the realities of my recovery - how at first I won't be able to do dishes, cook, reach for cups and dishes or hold pots. Hell it seams opening the refrigerator will be a challenge at first. How he will need to help me wash my hair and body in the shower. Luckily we have a large walk in shower with an additional hand held spigot. I think I will continue these talks as I get closer to the date just so he's not caught off guard. I'm not going to pretend he should "get it". We discussed laundry too. I even mentioned placing my pain and antibiotic post op pills in easy to open containers.
Amazon: Got that pick-up-things stick. Maybe I'll get the bras there too.
Working out: I've been hitting the Pilates, walking, elliptical and/or TRX daily. Wanna be in the best shape I can be. I know I will atrophy - especially in the upper area (back, shoulders, arm, abs) at first. Nature of surgery.
Unfortunately I did not lose the weight I was hoping too. Had some visitors for 5 days and that always screws that up. It's like a holiday. But I'm still trying. I'm still at 160 - maybe I can get it to 157 by surgery day (3 weeks). After surgery I will need to first just get nutrients into my body but then will have to watch the calorie intake as my activity level will be so low and so will my metabolism.
I plan to have activities (other than TV) to do. I am a painter so I will try to do some sketching at least, catch up on stupid paperwork that I've been putting off (gotta make that list now). Catch up with old friends too. I will try to keep myself mentally active and scheduled so to not get depressed by my inactivity and just needing to generally chill out so I can heal.
I have a trip planned at the beginning of June so I'm planning to be ready to enjoy that trip.
New thing I'm gonna do - take pictures of myself now in clothes before I go out daily. After I'm able to dress again post op - take pictures in the same clothes again.
OK - I'm done rambling now. This really does help me to stay organized mentally and physically. Thanks for "listening"
Pre- OP Appointment with P.S. (T minus 11 days)
Got some other answers:
- No Underwire Bras for 6 months (at least)
- I will have NO stitches - just sutures under the skin that will dissolve. GOOD! So I don't need to be tugged or picked on post op. I see him 10 days after the surgery just to see how I'm coming along.
- I won't have a surgery time until the day before (scheduling within the hospital).
- He thinks he can get me to a Large C cup or small D. Yippie!!!
- I asked him if there were supplements (or anything) to help healing. He said while there are vitamins that claim to help with the healing, there is no magic pill that will make it better than without. But he did say there are plenty of things you can do to make healing NOT go well. Common sense dictates this one.
Ladies - have you looked at bras in the store that are D or even DD cups? They seem like training bras to me. I simply can't imagine how I will actually fit in those! But I'm really excited. OH and strapless? Can it be?
Honestly though, I've been nervous and have been having bouts of depression and anxiety as I get closer. I talked to my husband about it (and the doctor). Having had major surgery when I was 32 (15 years ago) and that being so damn painful I have been worried. They assure me that this surgery as opposed to ACL knee surgery is MUCH less painful. But the thing leaves me trepidatious is the down time afterwards; the loss of muscle mass, possible gaining of weight due to metabolism going in the tank. I think I've also just been such a slave to my boobs it's almost unthinkable to not have them. I feel like I have Stockholm Syndrome or something LOL!!!!
Let 'em HANG!!!
1 WEEK TO GO!!!
Need a recliner - quick!
HAS ANYONE RENTED AN REMOTE OR ELECTRONIC RECLINER? IF SO - WHERE?
My surgery is Tuesday - yes THIS Tuesday so I wanna move quick on this one.
Thanks for any help / advice you may have....
COMPLICATIONS AFTER SURGERY...
So here I am chilling out. They originally were sending me home without drains but due to the complication I will have them in for 7 days to monitor my bleeding. My hemoglobin levels were normal so I'm not having bleeding issues per say but they want to monitor it - fine with me!
The staff was AMAZING. I had a dedicated nurse through the night who made me as comfortable as she could. My doctor and all three anesthesiologist were very attentive.
My throat didn't hurt one bit after both incubations which was awesome. I am able to shower immediately if I want although I'll give it a couple of days. Not going to push anything.
It's truly amazing how your body reacts when something is off. I thought I was just recovering from surgery but the staff knew better.
SO that was my experience with this type of surgery.
I know I've said it a few times but I can't say enough about having taken Pilates for 6 months. I am easily able to get in and out of bed because my entire core is strong so I'm able to "lift" myself with my abs and back without using any of my pectorals or slouching or twisting. I'm also doing perfectly well sleeping in my bed too. Just pillows to put me up. My arms are even ok just by my sides.
PICS A COUPLE OF WEEKS PRIOR TO SURGERY
Total Breast Tissue Removed:
Day 2 - post op
I do feel quite a bit lighter today too. I actually am finding my back arching back cause I'm so used to holding those puppies up! My drainage is going well and am so thankful that not too much blood is coming out of my problem child (right breast). Everything is going well.
Love the people who took care of me - they even called to check on me last night and said they would today too. I'm planning a shower later today so we'll see how that goes.
Spoke too soon!
My appetite has been fine although I certainly don't feel hungry but I eat what's in front of me.
Another thing that kind of sucks is I thought my left drainage tube was hurting me at the site (where stitches are) - but when I pointed out where it hurt it is a full 4 inches from the site which tells me it's hurting inside. It must be sticking somehow inside. I just suddenly get a burning sensation on that side if I move around just so.
So anyway - I'm hanging in there and doing what I can and just healing.
Also - IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!! I GET NEW BOOBIES FOR MY 47TH BDAY PEOPLE!
POST OP day 3 - pics
Pain Meds - UGH!!
Looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully feeling a bit stronger.
POST OP - Day 5?
Yesterday I had my husband call 911 cause I was in so much pain. Pain from what? NOT BEING ABLE TO TAKE A SH*T!!!! I was eating my bananas and taking my citrucel and even went a couple of times since my surgery on Tuesday but BAM I was in hell!!! First I sent my husband out to the pharmacist and he came back with a suppository. After I did that it went from bad to worse. My whole body hurt and was convulsing. I was able to get back into bed and my husband called my surgeon. He told him to get some Magnesium Citrate and an enema and said if I'm not able to pass anything in a few hours to go to the ER. Sweet Jesus - really!? We sent a neighbor for that as I didn't want my husband to leave my side. Super wonderful neighbor. Then I told him to call 911 cause I thought I was going to pass out. I was sweating and nauseated and in pain. I had low blood pressure the whole night in the hospital so I wasn't sure if I was crashing again or not. They came and took my vitals and everything was normal. It comforted me just knowing my body was ok - just in no bowel turmoil. The EMT's had me deepen my breathing and try to relax. I drank the Magnesium Citrate and within minutes I gave birth to a brick.
SO sorry about the TMI but I'm hoping no one has to go through what I did. Afterwards my abdomen was tender and I had no real appetite. I did eat (mostly bread) and was able to finally get to sleep that evening.
This morning I woke up to the opposite - Diarrhea. But it passed and I'm hoping we're done with all that drama. I ate a little something and went back to bed (about 5:30am). At about 9 I took my morning vitamins only to puke them up a few minutes later. I NEVER puke - my body is just over it all. I guess my stomach was empty so didn't like the vitamins. I ate some yogurt and a waffle and am about to rest some more. I've been drinking coconut water and water with electrolytes since last night too. Gotta get my strength back up. Feel weak.
On the upside - my incisions look good and draining has stopped. I'm seeing my surgeon tomorrow to remove my drains. Today I must concentrate on getting nutrients into my body and getting my strength back. Yesterday's ordeal was trying on me. I'm so worn out.
NO MORE TUBES
Last night I had pain and was trying not to do too much with the pain meds. I got some ice to help but in the end just needed more meds. Doctor told me to take the pain meds if I need them - that's it's ok. He also said to just take Myrelex for my bowels once a day and will be fine. My episode of horrible bowels is over (mostly due to the two times I had to have general anesthecia) .
So I feel better now knowing i'm doing well. He said everything looks good and is healing nicely.
I feel very relieved. Now to fill my days.....
A little before and after..... 1 WEEK POST OP
I think icing throughout the day will be necessary with some discomfort. I find I MUST wear the bra because when I take it off the boobs spread a little and it pulls on the incisions near the sternum - ouch.
I'm also in the process of seeing about a message therapist. I just need my back messaged. Of course we have to do this in a chair somehow. The muscles in my back are getting so tight. I have been using this Back Joy message thingy (seen in picture) and it's amazing but sometimes you need someone to give you that human touch healing gives. But really - if you can get your hands on this back joy thing found at Bed Bath and Beyond for $30 - it's awesome!!!!
In just a few hours....
I noticed something too. My sides are swollen. They took out the drains yesterday and all I can figure is it's where there is some fluid now (the drains would have drained that out of course). So I have this side boob now and I'm just feeling crappy. Hopefully I'll feel better later? Back to bed. Send me some good healing vibes ladies - not feeling good today. :(
POST OP DAY 8 (CRAZY WEIGHT LOSS)
YESTERDAY: Was awful. Just could not find any energy in the reserves and had no appetite. Then at about 8pm - boom - I'm up and CRAVING a hot dog, or a quarter pounder with cheese - basically junk food! I chatted with my nurse sister who thinks my body has been losing muscle and fat fast and needs quick fast calories. She suggested plenty of fluids including freshly squeezed juices and some animal protein (which I'm flippin craving - STEAK). She said I probably lost enough iron to crave the red meat. SO tonight it's filet mignon and broccoli. What funny still is the LAST thing I want, I mean the thought of it just turns my stomach, is sweets. I also don't want carbs (the pasta, whole wheat kind). I want MEAT. This morning I had three eggs over easy - yum!! My body ate it like a junky on a binge. I just find it curious when your body craves: it's telling you you're depleted. Im glad I spoke with my sister because at first I wanted fast food (salts) and after talking further what I really wanted was a good lean steak and some broccoli - so not so unhealthy as a fast food binge. The salt craving is needing more fluids - so I'm drinking lots of water and coconut water. Gonna add some freshly squeezed OJ to the mix too. I was so weak this morning and when I had the eggs - boom I'm feeling like a human again. But don't worry - gonna SIT ON MY ASS!!! Just really looking forward to that Steak - now what to eat for lunch (Hmmmm). I know this craving will pass once I give my body what it needs.
Other good news - way down on the pain meds (FINALLY!). Got sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. Oxycodone is a bitch!! My pain is tolerable and it's nice to see clearly.
On to the weight loss part of my story; So this is how much weight I've lost (not intentionally):
4/19 - Surgery Day - 159lbs
4/23 - 164.8lbs (pre being able to Sh*t)
4/24 - 161.8lbs. (after finally giving birth to a Sh*t)
4/25 - 158.8 lbs.
4/26 - 156.8 lbs.
4/27 - 155.2 lbs.
I realize a lot of this is loosing muscle - unfortunately but what-are-you-gonna-do! And loosing some BOOB! Those bitches weighed a lot after all! LOL And while I'm happy to lose another 25lbs - I gotta be careful. I have been monitoring my caloric input so I don't balloon up BUT not being able to exercise (no metabolism) and I'm sure this loss with stop soon. It's loss of muscle I'm sure and as we all know - muscle weighs more than fat.
I've also been monitoring my swelling by measuring the circumference of my boobs to see if they're changing. It's hard to tell when you look at them all of the time but I thought a measurement would help me keep track. There has been no change since 2 days ago when they swelled up so that's good (not getting any bigger).
I hope this day for me continues to be ok. I do know I will have my moments of crap though - inevitable.
Happy healing ladies! WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS AND GET TO THE OTHER SIDE - BITCHEN' FABULOUS US!!!
DAY 9 - POST OP
The downside to feeling good:
You wanna do more
you get moody and a little depressed bumming around the house
Your body wants to sleep on the side. Yep - all of a sudden last night I was desperate to sleep on my side. I angled a couple of pillows and was able to perch towards the side but damn- was kind of nice just sleeping on my back without issue.
I don't need as much sleep - but then - what do I do with my time?
UPSide - I'm getting better and feel like a human being for a change!!
BRAS: Sweet Jesus how many different brands and types do I have to go through! I just bought new ones (Glamorise) on Amazon in a 40 (I'm a 34). I can't stand any tightness around my rib cage (and incisions). I was wearing the Fruit of the Loom, then they got swollen a little so I was wearing my old Enell sports bras, now the Glamorise brand, and I just ordered a different one. I even considered using an ace bandage wrapping technique.
Occasionally I get this sore kind of burning sensation on the area of my boobs between my nipples and neck. Weird area I know since it's furthest part of breast away from incisions. I gently massage with my hands (that are typically cold) and it helps. I am also still icing the sides as this is soothing as well.
Well - nothing else to add that I can think of right now. Just same day as yesterday - SITTING ON MY ASS!!!
NO Lipo? Hmmm
I think part of it too is only me and my husband will be looking at these puppies when they're all healed and my husband doesn't give a rats ass if they were chopped off completely so I'm not worried about how they look. I just want to be able to wear normal clothes and look cute in them and be able to work out with less pain and weight and be able to do more. Other than that - I just don't give a sh*t. I guess the only thing i'm concerned about is if they end up bigger than I planned. I'm only 1 week out but currently am a 34DDD. This shit better get smaller than that. He said he could get me to a large C small D and I better get there - I'm so DONE with these boobs. I'm grateful I'm healthy and don't have breast cancer or anything like that but am really done with these tits people! LOL
OUT AND ABOUT...
Feels good to be getting around better now. I have 2 more weeks before I see the doctor again and not sure what I'm going to do with myself but I think it's just a matter of really listening to my body. ANY pull or pain in the boob area will be seen as a BAD thing. So I will do my best not to irritate. I guess the next big step is driving. I'll do that sometime this week - straight to the spa people!!! LOL
DAY 12 - OY!!!
EXERCISE - you heard me - I'm gonna do something now before I lose ALL of my muscle. I lost another 2lbs and I know it ain't me eating all good. Oh no - that's muscle flyin' off my body. I'm talking something VERY mild - going up on my tip toes a few reps to get my calves going. Tiny little squats to work on my quads a little. SOMETHING. I'm not sure what to do with this back pain. ugh. I could use a massage but can't lay on the table.
I sure wish I could get together with all of you say - next Monday and go shopping - wouldn't that be fun? I will be needing clothes - yippie!!!
Another note: I HATE that the elastic on my bras is going right on my incisions - freaks me out! I put mini pads on the area now for some padding. I don't feel it but it doesn't sit well with me that there is binding on that location.
OK - off to lunch with a friend. I think I'll try driving on Wednesday.
DAY 17 - Post Op - SWELLING BE GONE!!!
Bra Shopping - AGAIN - 3 Weeks post op
POST OP - Week 5 and one day....
DUH - was supposed to share this pic!
ONE YEAR SINCE SURGERY
I went from a 34J to a 36DD(E) or 36DDD(F or UK E?) depending on the brand. The 34 to a 36 is because I was always a 36 but needed to be tighter to hold up those heavy bitches. Otherwise the back of my strap would be up my back. It's nice not having to have such a tight strap around my rib cage.
I'm thoroughly please being a smaller size. My back doesn't hurt anymore and it's so much easier to get into clothes. I do wear some of the clothes that I wore before but they look so much better. Also, the girls are up! I am able to wear a strapless bra as well! YES I WROTE STRAPLESS!!!
I did hope to be smaller. I am definitely proportional but my family has a tendency to grow back. In fact my older sister just had another reduction yesterday (same day as me!). My other sister needs one - she just inherited my old J sized bras.
What was weird about my journey is my breast ended up exactly the same size as the day I came out of surgery. They never got smaller (due to swelling). Oh well.
I occasionally have discomfort at the incision sites and the nerve endings haven't all healed but I do wear some underwire bras without discomfort. Depends on the brand of course. I have Natori 36DDD and Chantelle 36DDD underwire and Bali Women's Comfort Revolution non underwire 36DD. I also still wear the Hanes ComfortFlex Fit® Get Cozy Women`s Wirefree Bra to bed. It just feels better to have my girls cozy and I'm trying to make sure gravity doesn't kick me in the ass again!
Dr. Yen is part of the Iowa Clinic. AMAZING doctor and staff. All were attentive and addressed my questions and needs. I truly felt the love baby. Dr. Yen also recognized a complication and wasted no time correcting it and I feel much better now!