Hello Hello~ Im 22 years ols, 139 lbs, 5'5, and...
Hello Hello~ Im 22 years ols, 139 lbs, 5'5, and have no kids. My breast started growing when I was 10 and almost immediately sagged. by the time I was 13 I was able to fit my mother 36DD playtex bras. I was starting to get comments from boys and one commented that my breast were saggy:(. At 15 I could no longer fit typical store bras and had to go to a Russsian boutique and fitted at 34G. At 19 I finally stopped growing and rested at a big , saggy 32J. I absolute hate my breast, the appearance, yhe shoulder pain, neck stiffness, bra bruising, etc. I hate them so much I feel my mental state is declining into dangerous territory. I occasionally think abut hurting myself, I think about taking a sharp knife out of my kitchen and cutting my breast off and just going into the emergency room and have them stitch me up. I thought mutilating myself would be better than having them. But I love myself too much and dont want to hurt myself. I tried losing weight though i was really overweight, I went from 155lbs to 129lbs and my breast only dropped one cup to a 32I. At 129lbs your could see the out line of my ribs so I know its not something that can be solved with weight loss. So why havent I gotten a BR? Because my parents (who I live with) firmly disapprove. They are very scared and paranoid of doctors. They tell me that because I have obamacare that Molina Healthcare (my insurance) is going to send me to a bad doctor who doesnt know what he's doing and is going to mess me up. One time I went to my primary physician for my annual physical and he ordered routine labs with a CBC (complete blood count), can you believe my parents were against me getting a blood draw? They said "they are going to inject you with an illness to send to you to the hospital! Once these people see you have insurance they will do anything to get your insurance to pay them" Or "they are going to sell your blood!". They are also afraid that I wont be able to breastfeed if i have children but i dont even want kids nor do I have a man sooooo.....Yeah they are pretty extreme and super tinfoil hatted. But because I was young and didnt wan to upset them I went 4 years with these breast (initial proposed the idea to them when I was 18). But I finally have an insurance willing to cover 90%. I feel like this year is my year. I want a BR this year. the timing is perfect. Im about to enter into the Nursing program either in January or May. The program is intense and expensive and when I get out of school Im going to have to hit the ground running for work to pay off the loan. And there's no guarantee that my future hospital insurance will cover this procedure. right now my bills are small and i have insurance. Im only concerned about having enough money to pay for my 10% if I get approved and I would like to take a month or two off of work to heal. Its going to take quite a bit of money that my parents will definitely not help me with. I was thinking to start a GoFundMe but I dont think anyone would care....
So thats my story! Im scared and all alone so I need some support. Im going to make my first call to set up a consultation today. There are 4 doctors in Miami within my network but because Miami is a nearly 2 hour drive from me I might only be able to consult with one or two of them. the funny things is they all do procedures at the same hospital so it would be awesome to consult all in one day but because they have different offices its not possible. So any tips, advice, and plenty of encouragement are welcome!
So im down to 3 doctors. One of them, Dr. Zaydon didnt work with my specific obamacare insurance. I called the only female surgeon on my list but her staff said they wont be doing consultations until the 3rd week of August. Then down to 2 surgeons. They are in the same office but different days, darn. The office is alot closer than the hospital they do surgery at, its about an hour drive .One of them i cant see until August (what the heck is going on in August?!), so I called to set up an appointment with the other doctor, Dr. Levine, and they wamted to see me this Friday! I was like woah, i need time to process these lol. So i set it up for next week wednesday at 12pm. Im super excited!
One consult down, 1 to go!
Hey ladies! I had my first consultation today and it went really well. I arrived there nervous as heck. A lady led me into the room and made me remove my clothes and wear a blue gown. Soon afterwards Dr. Jason E. levine came in and spoke with me. He explained a few things and went through he risks and proceeded to take pictures for my insurance and to take measurements. He said he can probably take off about 700 grams. I had a long list of questions on paper and I handed it to him. He answered all of it. He's not board certified because he's new to the practice, he said he's board eligible. He's only done 10 reductions! that was a huge no for me, i need someone with more experience. He uses dis solvable sutures which i didnt like because it seemed like alot of the wound break down and complications i see here are from people who had dissolvable stitches. He also didnt seem like he was confident enough to make my breast a nice C cup and he kept mentioning how difficult it is to get them even. I wont be going to this surgeon. But there is another surgeon there that I was planning to visit anyways, he's the one in my last post that I said wasnt available until august. Staff said it was because he was in high demand. He's very decorated, has FACS and MD after his name, over 20 years of experience. I set up an appointment with him for August 4th. But dr. Jason and his staff told me that i have a very high chance of being approved and that my insurance is usually quite cooperative. They said my BMI is good and i have alot of the symptoms the insurance looks for. The lady at the front desk it sending my info to my insurance and said she should hear a response in 1-2 weeks.
Thank you all for you question suggestions! I wrote them all down and whipped it out in the office. Some of the questions you guys told me to ask I wouldnt have even thought of ( type of sutures, board certification I assumed all surgeons were board certified, how even can he make them, etc), but those questions were very good and lead me to make the decision not to go with him. Im nervously waiting to see what my insurance says...
So yesterday I had the second consultation with Dr. Yoav. It went okay. He spoke to me about the risks and how he would do things. He told me what I expected -that my breast were unusually saggy for someone my age with no kids. He said that I had very little volume and alot of skin. He said my problem was more from sagging and not so much from size but that I can still benefit from a reduction. Me and him saw eye-to-eye on aesthetics. I was worried that since I have no volume that if i was to get a reduction, my reduced breast would look deflated and lack perkiness. Where my breast mound is supposed to me (that upper part that makes the cleavage) is lacks so much volume that without a bra you can see my ribcage. its really skin over my ribcage with no fat. He told me that he plans to inject some of my breast fat into the mound area to give volume, also he's going to use this thing call Ultrapro mesh. The ultrapro mesh is going to be like an internal push up bra, its partially absorbed by the body but the rest remains and gives internal lift and support because my breast and skin are too saggy to do it on its own. I was really impressed by the fact that he wasnt just about reducing but actually cared about how I would look afterwards. He said since I have so much skin but not that much volume he would only really need to remove approximately 300 grams- a huge difference from Dr. Jason who said 700 grams. Thats the only part that seemed to worry him. He was saying that since its only 300 grams my insurance may not think its necessary but that I should call and see what their criteria is. He took some pictures and I spoke to a lady at the front desk. She said if my insurance doesnt cover it that it would be about 8,000 out of pocket. The doctor and the lady seemed like they felt the insurance wasnt going to cover the small amount but wanted me to try anyways. I left feeling like I really wanted him to do my surgery but I was alot more uncertain about my insurance coverage than I was with Dr. Jason. I dont know why their estimates were so far apart.
So when I got to my car I immediately called my insurance and asked for their criteria regarding beast reductions and what is the minimum grams needed to remove. The insurance told me that there is no criteria and that the doctor just needs to show that its medically necessary. She said they dont have any set minimum amount of grams to be removed, it all depends. I was relieved to hear that and I hope they consider me medically necessary. I asked about the approval from dr. JAson and she said they just got it on the 2nd, i dont know how that happened because i did the consult July 13th. But she said I'll get a response soon since they want to schedule it for august 11th. I was thinking "woah, august 11th, i dont think so thats way too soon" but i didnt say anything.
So my question is if my insurance approves me for my first consult with Jason, does that mean I can go to any of the two? Or does Yoav have to be approved too?
I got approved!
Ahhhhhh!! I'm so excited. So this morning the surgeon's office called me and informed me that I was approved for surgery and I have until September 9th to get it done or redo the whole authorization process. I'm so stoked! I honestly believed that I would get rejected. I'm so used to everything going wrong for me. I asked the lady if I can do surgery with Dr. Yoav and she said either one is fine since they are both under Molina. But I'm going to call my insurance to make sure that I can go to Dr. Yoav. Now I have a 10% copay that is due after surgery. The office is going to call me later and give me a quote for how much the surgery is so I can be prepared. I'm thinking September 1st would be a nice date but I need to see what is available. It's best because I start college classes on September 19th. Getting it done before school will allow me time to heal enough to drive to school and not be too woozy to study. I can just sit home and relax. After I have all my ducks in a row I'll tell my parents that I'm getting it done.
Date set !
So I informed my parents that I'm going forward with this. They we're still worried and told me what ever happens is on me and we're still trying to convince me not to do it. Whatever. So I called the PS office and got a date set for September 21st! It's much later than I had anticipated and school would have already started but oh well. The post op appointment is September 15th. They want me to get medical clearance from my primary so I set an appointment for September 1st. I'm so excited to get the ball rolling. Can't wait to be on the other side.
So Surgery is a little more than 3=4 weeks away. Im physically prepping myself to be in tip top shape to minimize any possible complications.
Ive lost even more weight, im current 135. I want to lose about 10 more pounds and be at or near 125 at surgery day. Reason being is that I really want to be a C cup, i dont want to lose weight after surgery and become a B. Also once my big boobs are gone my 32 inch gut will say hello to the world. I definitely want to get that down to 28 inches so I dont have a pot belly after surgery.
Im consistently taking a multivitamin, iron, and Folic acid supplements. Im slightly anemic and I asked Dr. Yoav if that will cause any complications for surgery and he said no. But just to be on the safe side Im taking iron supplements to get my number perfect. The folic acid is something my hemotologist prescribed to me because I have a blood condition called Alpha thallasemia that makes it a bit difficult for my body to produce healthy hemoglobin. Im drinking alot of water and doing exercises to keep healthy.
Im avoid any new medications. My dermatologist prescribed Doxycyline last week for my acne but I wont take it. I dont know how it may or may not react during surgery. I'll stop my acne face creams (retin a) about a week or 2 before surgery. I dont care if they say its okay. I want to be the picture of health when the day comes.
T minus 30 days
well 29 now that its midnight. So i gave my insurance a call and they said they do cover home health services but it must be authorized by my doctor. Molina has been surprising me, they are so lenient I love it. More well known insurances are so picky and strict but Molina has been a total breeze im grateful to have them. They pretty much okay everything as long as a doctor signs off on it. I used to have medicaid and Humana and both were strict.
I got a terrible tension headache today that was almost completely relieved when I cut my grocery shopping trip short, ran home and flung off my bra. Sigh. 29 more days, 29 more days. Oh and this lovely heat rash under my boobs. Ah, big breast and Florida heat gotta love it.
I asked my sister in law if she can drive me on surgery day and she said yes so thats good, i have a ride now. But i'll still get the home health aide because she doesnt live with us and has 2 young kids. Everyone except my parents have been pretty supportive about my decision. its like "im getting a reduction", them "Why- *looks down at huge tits* when?" Lol. I cant wait to be on the other side. My doctors appointment for medical clearance is September 1st so I probably wont update until then. But I want to add more pictures for memory sake, pictures with clothes on and different dresses.
T-minus 10 days!
whew~ surgery day is fast approaching and things are getting real. Im currently 136 pounds and thats probably as low as im going to get for surgery. I wanted to be lower but I dont want to try and crazy diet before surgery. Pre-op appointment is on Thursday and im a bit worried. So i went to my primary for my medical clearance appointment. He did and EKG on me, asked me a few questions then sent me for a blood test. I was pretty confident that my numbers would be good. But I forgot one thing, my period ended 2 days before my blood test. My periods are very heavy. Ive been consistently taking Iron and multivitamins for over 2 months. So when my blood test results came back I was shocked to see my iron levels and hemoglobin were low. Thats when I remembered that my period just ended. I dont know how this will effect the surgery, Im sure my levels would have been higher if i had waited a while after my period or even before my period. I h=guess I'll just have to tell my surgeon that my period recently ended when I did that test. Anyways, yeah pre-op is thursday. Im excited to know what prep I should be doing. Im trying to keep a little money on the side to buy things that they suggest like maybe gauze, sports bra, etc. I plan to buy a couple cheap button up shirts for surgery day and after surgery so its easier for me to wear. I plan on buying a few front zip sports bras but i'll wait until the pre-op appointment to know what size to get.
Ive already informed my jobs that Im going to have surgery and wont be able to work. They've already given my shifts to other people. One job I wont be returning to because its crappy anyways and involes lifting 100+ lbs clients daily. the other one was nice. I work with an old lady who is very independent and involves no lifting. It would be the perfect recovery case but its not enough hours. It works for me now because I just need money to cover my bills while recovering. but im trying to take some nursing pre-req classes in January so I need more money.
As far as money goes, im straight for now. I have 2 bill cycles. One around the 25th where I pay my car, health insurance, and dog medicine. The next cycle is around the 10th which is car insurance, phoe bill, and credit card if i have a balance. so since surgery is on the 21st, im trying to pay Septembers 25th and October 10th bill cycles. So I will be worry free until October's 25th bill cycle. I just need to stop buying ice cream and croissants right now and save lol.
hmm, what else.... My sister in law is still on board to be with me on surgery day so thats good. thats all. So here are a few pics of my in a regular shirt. my boobs look massive as usual. Might take a pic in a dress, might. Im just lazy...
T- minus 7 days!!! Pre-op appointment today!
Heyyy ladies~ so im exactly 7 days from Br day and the nerves are kicking in. Last night i had 4 dreams about the surgery. Ive never dreamed about it before. Maybe because today is pre-op day?? ugh, i had a rough night of tossing and turning and worrying. this week will be rough because my anxiety will go up the closer I get to OP day.
So today is pre-op day. My appointment is at 3:45pm. I'll leave my house at 1:45pm since its an 1 1/2 drive. Plus I want to put air in my tires just to be safe. I filled my tank on tuesday at Costco so im good. Im excited to go and see what the plan is. Once again i have a sheet of paper with questions on it, but much shorter than my first list. So I would like your suggestions on what I should ask for pre-op? Quick ladies I have a few hours! thanks for your help.
Change of plans, new surgeon new date!
ughhhh. So pre-op today did not go as smoothly as planned. I left my house, put air in my tires and set out for the office. took and hour and a half as expected. I get there, wait a while then they let me in the office and made me change into a robe. So im sitting there for an unusually long time. In comes the office secretary and she starts talking about surgeon number one- Jason Levine. Im sitting there like.. why are we talking about him? Then she drops a bomb on me, that my insurance does not cover Yoav because what he plans to do is too cosmetic but they will cover Jason. I was soooo annoyed. Im pissed because I asked this same exact lady if my insurance will cover Yoav even though they approved Jason and they have two different plans. She assured me that since they are both in my network that they are both approved. So with that i never bothered to call and check if yoav was approved. Now a week before surgery you tell me I cant go with him?? I understand why the insurance wont cover Yoav- he wants to do a lift instead of a reduction, use an internal push up, and inject fat into my cleavage. Im sure the results would have beautiful but yes it is very cosmetic. I asked if he would just do a reduction and the lady said no, he feels i need a lift. So I decided to go with Jason. Jason is not in all next week so I would have to do it the following week She wanted me to do it on Monday the 26th and I was like what about the pre-op? She says "oh, you can do that at the hospital the day of". That didnt sound right to me. How will I know what to do pre-op? what to bathe with. medication, buying supplies and sports bras? She told me I can ask my primary about that.I said I want to have my meds before the surgery and need instructions on what to do the night before. She again tells me to contact me primary. At this point this ditsy moron is annoying me. I said "no i want a pre-op" so she changed it to 26th pre-op. and 27th surgery. Im annoyed that I told my jobs I wasnt coming in, prepared my heart for the 21st, wasted my time driving down there for nothing. The least she could have done was call me to let me know yoav would not be able to do it. So Im 12 days post op and I have to play the waiting game all over again. Im so nervous I just want to get it over with already! Oh and I told her my period might come next week and she told me i cant take anything because it might increase my bleeding. Im like "I cant use anything?? My period cramps are really bad" she says no i cant use anything and that maybe I should try something natural. Im so done with her because i know its bull****. I cant get through my period with out some type of med. I'll call the office sometime next week when I feel my period coming and see if i can speak directly with Jason and see what he says.
So this morning the hospital calls me. Its a nurse who wants to update my medical chart for surgery day. She was very nice. She asked me alot if questions about my medical history. Then she briefly told me what i shoukd stop taking 7-10 days before surgery. Surprisingly she told me to stop taking my multivitamins but i can continue the folic acid and iron. I wont continue the iron though because it constipates me something fierce. I took the opportunity to ask her about my period. I told her my period my come sometime next week and if there was anything I can take for pain, she immediately told me I can take Tylenol but avoid anything else. I was so relieved! That moron at the office said i couldn't take anything at all. I told the nurse that my periods are long, about 6 days, and if there was a time that i should discontinue the Tylenol. She said no, i can take it even the day before surgery. She then instructed me that the day before surgery i cant eat after midnight but i can drink clear fluids up until 2 hours before surgery. I have to shower and wash my hair with regular soap then wash again with Dial antibacterial soap. In the morning i have to shower again with Dial. No lotion, perfume, deodorant,etc. She said the hospital will call again the day before surgery and give me more instructions.
Tomorrow is the big day!
I can't believe it's finally so close. Tomorrow is the big day and I'm so excited. I had a surprisingly good night sleep last night. Usually when I'm nervous or stressed sleep goes right out the window. I don't expect to sleep tonight. I'll be too nervous. So today is the pre-op at 2:30 so I'll leave my house at 12:45-1:00. I'm debating whether I should do good shopping before or after. I'll more than likely do it after wards. I won't get back home until maybe 5 and I have somewhere to go at 7. I'm plan to go to Walmart and that's 24/7 so I can go anytime. I just have a few things to do before pre-op. I'm super excited and calm. It hasn't really hit me yet. I think I will get the jitters tomorrow on the way there. Or maybe I won't jitter at all.
Yeah so about those pics. They most likely won't happen. I just realized that my reluctance to take before pics is because I won't miss them. My breast aren't something I would care to remember. I might take some pics of the markings though
sigh, surgery postponed...
im so bummed. So my surgery got cancelled. This morning I called the office to make sure every thing is okay and that i could come. Of course that annoying office said "sure~" . I went to the pre-op and went into the office. Immediately I knew something was off because I went into the room and the woman didnt give me a robe to change into. Within 1 minute dr. Jason came in with another lady. He then tells me exactly what I was worried about. That my iron levels from My bloodwork a few weeks ago was too low for surgery. I am so devastated. He said it will be too risky to have surgery because more than likely I would need a blood transfusion because of my low iron. He said to speak to a hematologist and try to get my levels normal, send the labs to him and surgery can be scheduled again. im so disappointed i feel like crying. Again im annoyed with the office for not simply telling me this over the phone even though i called ahead of time so this exact situation wouldnt happen. i had my heart set on tomorrow and made so many preparations. im glad i listened to my instincts and didnt do to much and go shopping earlier and waste my money. Im irritated because I tried everything to get my levels up, Ive been taking iron for three months with no improvement. Back in June I went to a Hematologist and told him I wanted a iron infusion because pills make me constipated and dont really work for me. He still wanted me to try the pills again and come back in 3 months and if in 3 months i see no improvement then he'll give me an infusion. My appointment is October 5th. But i doubt I'll get an infusion that day, doctors around here are always so slow and they want you to come back in 2 weeks to do it. So currently I have no idea when Im going to have surgery. everything is up in the air right now. The good thing about Jason levine is that they schedule very quickly so when i get my levels fixed it wont take long to schedule surgery.
So now I have to find work again and check if I have to get reauthorized because i was authorized in August but It nearly October. Sigh. I was really hoping to be on the other side by this time tomorrow. I feel like crying.
So, after sulking for a day or two I jumped into action again. Since June i already had a hematologist appointment for October 5th so im excited to go. Im going to damn near pass out in the office and insist on an iron infusion lol. Ill stress how important this surgery is and i need my iron up. since last week ive been greatly increasing my iron intake from 1 pill daily to 6 with 2,500 mg of vitamin C for enhanced absorption. IDK how long it takes to increase iron in the body and i dont know if my efforts are futile but its worth a shot. So either my iron levels will miraculously be okay or i will need an infusion. Also I decided to get off the last ten pounds so I wont have to lose much after surgery. I want to be a C cup but if i lose weight ill drop to a B. So i rather be at my goal weight before surgery.
I rescheduled the surgery for november 7th, pre-op November 4th. I did this as a sort of place holder. If all goes well then I'll do it and if not I'll cancel. So i also have to redo my medical clearance visit, thats on the 12th. I called the surgeon office and asked if I had to resend an pre-authorization since the first one is from August... of course the airhead told me no that she'll extend it. But fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. So I said okay but really in my head said screw you. She's burned me too many times. I of course called my insurance and asked and yep, this authorization ends on October 9th!!! They said just tell the surgeon office to resend the request but mark it as Urgent and it should be approved by november. Im going to start going by instinct and stop listening to that woman at the office. I would have been disappointed a 3rd time if I went to pre-op November 4th just to be told "woops your authorization is expired". Grrr.
Also for my anemia Im planning to significantly reduce my period flow this month. For the past 3 months it has gotten much heavier (i have a GYN appointment on the 6th to figure that out) but im taking red raspberry leaf tea, red clover pills, and Yarrow root pills starting from now. I will increase it when my period comes. Ive heard these pills are potent and are capable of reducing 2-3 week long periods to just 1.5 days with light flow. Thats what im shooting for. To reduce the bleeding so my iron levels wont be impacted.
I havent updated in a while. So here's whats been going on with me.
So I went to my Hemotologist appointment Oct 5th and he agreed that I need iron infusion. He prescribed two treatments 1 week apart. the first one was last week on the 19th, it was 20 minutes and everything went well. The 2nd one is this wednesday the 26th. Also on the 26th Im redoing my medical clearance with my primary. I will have to do a blood test at a lab somewhere else so I plan to do it a few days after my infusion so im in the best shape. Im thinking the 31st. Im currently on my period and im taking the red clover, yarrow root, and red raspberry leaf tea and so far so good! My flow is definitely lighter but im trying to bring it down even more. I dont want a heavy flow undoing my hard work and undoing the iron infusions. I also changed the dates for the pre-op and surgery. I did this because the last two times the pre-op was too close to the surgery date and I had to work those days, so i had no choice but to inform my employers that I couldnt work. Of course nothing happened and it hurt my pockets to search around for work again. Right now im working the weekends from friday morning to sunday morning (I live with the client during those days). if i left the dates as is then again the pre-op would have landed on friday and if things fell through again I would have to start all over with work. So i moved the pre-op to November 9th a wednesday. If all goes well then I can work one last time Friday to sunday and also give my job a week and a half definite heads up that i wont be available. Then surgery would be November 14th. If things fall through again then I can still continue working and i dont have to tell my job anything.
Thats all for now. My next update will probably be when I get the results of my medical clearance blood test. I signed up to recieve my labs online so i tend to get them before the pre-op. I hope everything goes well.
So after the iron infusions the test came back saying my hemoglobin is still a little low but my body now has a mass amount of stored iron. My Hematologist said that it will take 3-4 weeks to see results. I I took it upon myself to cancel the surgery for 11/14 and move it to December 12th. pre op will be december 7th. This is my last ditch effort. Im hoping that my iron levels will be okay by then. Ive been chasing this thing since July and im getting exhausted. Ive been holding off on getting full time work so that I wont have any schedule conflicts with recovery but things just keep getting pushed back. SIgh. I really hope things work out.
Waiting waiting waiting....
Ugh my stomach is in knots!! Even though my hematologist told me after my infusion I dont have to take anymore iron I did it anyways. I took liquid Floradix, 2 mgs of folic acid, 2 Carbonyl iron tablets and 2 vitamin c pills. I know the risk of too much iron. Also I briefly took birth control for 3 weeks in November, it made my period back to its normal flow. So after spending November full speed ahead I had my medical clearance appointment with my Primary and did a blood test November 30th. Usually my results are back by now but I dont see anything. I called my primary and left a message wanting an update on my results. I called the surgeons office to see if they received the results but they said they dont see anything. My pre-op is on wednesday but I really want to see my blood test results first to see if my iron is fixed and if its even worth going to the appointment. The office is a 1.5 hour drive and I dont want to waste my time and gas. I really hope nothing stupid happened like my blood vials got lost or something. I was hoping to have the results last friday. Its usually quick. Last time I took a test November 1st and got my results november 4th so this is a bit longer than usual. So i will check and call around again tomorrow if I dont see anything on my online medical records. If not I check again wednesday before my appointment. I'll call the surgeon office and if they still dont have it than i may or may not go. If all goes well at this time next week Ill be on the other side! But im trying hard to contain my excitement and focus on passing the pre-op check point. Ive been let down at this point 2 times all ready. Hopefully 3rd times is the charm. I purposely planned my blood draw a week before the pre-op to give plenty of time for results but now im getting nervous that the results wont come in time. I may go to the pre-op anyways and they can call me afterwards if they see my blood results. Im so nervous. Im checking the blood test website every few hours for results.
Well, I guess I have to give up for now...
Bad news. My anemia is worse than before. And my insurance is changing in January to United Health so idk if i'll get approved again or if i'll even bother. I still cant wrap my head around it. I give up because I literally did everything within my power. Ive been taking iron pills since July, 2 iron infusions, liquid iron, folic acid, and vitamin C to enhance absorption and my levels went down??? My hematologist cant figure it out. So long as I have this seemingly unfix-able anemia no doctor will give me the okay for surgery. Im so sad about it. I cant keep chasing this surgery. i need to get back to full time work, I have to go to school and finally finish my nursing program. When my insurance changes I'll go to a hematologist on United Health. Its important that I fix this anemia before anything else. Its useless to see if UH will cover me if my anemia will always stop me. I feel so defeated. My primary gave me the news that my levels arent good. I havent spoken with my surgeon yet but if he didnt want to accept 9.4 hemoglobin levels than he more than likely wont accept 10.0. I almost feel like I missed an opportunity because in early November my levels were 10.7. I dont know if my surgeon would have accepted it but maybe he would have. But i thought for sure it would continue to rise a bit. I never thought it would drop. So this might be my last update. I still want the surgery and i will definitely get it. So thank you guys so far for your support. I hope one day I can give an positive update...
Plans for this year. I need advice
Sooo, I'm back. I got new insurance this year a new hoops to jump through, yaay how fun. I now have United Healthcare through my mother's hospital insurance and I've already asked them about the surgery. They said they do cover it but it would have to be medically necessary. The good think is that I now have access of a slew of close to home surgeons. All of them are plastic surgery certified and a few are FACS . So I definitely have a better crop of surgeons to choose from. The bad - So now I have a $1,000 deductible then I pay 25% of eligible costs of surgery. That's a lot. With Molina I would have paid maybe $600-700. And I don't know what that 25% would be. Also I have to pay I think 25% of doctor visits. That's going to be a lot because I have to pay for the surgeon consult and doctor clearance visit and blood tests. And I would like 2 or 3 surgeon consults. So I'm thinking to wait until I get my tax return. I'm a college student so this is tough of me. But I definitelt need to get my anemia under control first and foremost. I think wellness checkup and anemia screenings. I want to control my anemia and maybe bypass a hematologists because I can't afford to have those visits. Does anyone have any advice on how to navigate high deductible insurance plans? It would have been okay if once I hit 1,000 dollars they cover everything but it's not. That 25 percent kicks in. And I know how even simple blood tests can be extremely expensive. Simple consults cost 300. I feel lost again.
Plan of action
23 Jan 2017
4 months post
So, after speaking with my insurance multiple times I figured out the jist of things. So I have a $1,000 deductible emaning that everything I do I have to pay for until I hit that 1K and then the insurance will pay 75%. So I decided I'll use my tax refund money to get things done. So step 1- I got the info from United healthcare. I asked for a criteria and they said there is no criteria so long as they have prove its medically necessary. They said proof from either PCP, surgeon, chiropractor, or physical therapy should be adequate. SO I decided to get proof from my PCP and surgeon. I will tell them about my back pain, shoulder pain, headaches, bruises and shoulder grooves. This was enough last time so I hope I can get approval again. Step 2- I made an appointment with a general internist. For some reason I dont have any family or general doctors on my plan but I was told that a general internist can serve as a PCP. So I go there on February 7th. I will go there and speak to her about my issue and hopefully I can get her to send a request or something. I dont know if saying Ive had back pain for years would be considered a pre-existing condition? Can I be denied for that?
Step 3- Ive already called around and made 2 consultation appointments for late February. The one I really really wanted to check out said that the surgeon does a $3,500 contour thing with every surgery and insurance wont cover it. They said he will not perform surgery unless he does this contour surgery too. So thats a no go. Next surgeon i call the front desk said I couldnt do the consultation unless I had proof of medical necessity from another source. I never heard that before but i'll check him out again when I get a letter from my PCP. Surgeon 3 and 4 are not my top choices but they are good nonetheless so I made appointments on February 20th and 23rd. So February is an important month for me. UHC said they give notice of approval within 2-15 days. Im still working on my anemia and I havent had a blood test in a while. But even as I type Im drinking green tea to see if it lightens my period. Ive been taking my iron and folic acid meds. So Next update will be after my pcp appointment.
So feburary update. I went to my new primary and got a referral for the surgery. I told them to send a referral to the surgeon but after 3 weeks they still haven't. That office seems incompetent. Any ways I had to go online to my patient portal to print out my own health records and referral. One of the surgeons (there was 2 i wanted to visit) said the consult fee would be about $300. I cancelled that appointment because he wasnt even the doctor I really wanted to see, I just wanted 2 consults. I wasnt about to spend 300 for a doctor I didnt even care for. So yesterday I went to the surgeon I really wanted. Consult fee was $253. I went in and his assistant asked me a lot of questions. I made sure to mention all of my symptoms. Apparently they are moving offices today so he was a bit busy. He came in and introduced himself, explained to me the procedure and said there is minimal blood loss. I brought up my anemia and he said a hemoglobin level of 10 is fine, though he would prefer it to be higher. He said he would remove approximately 250g from each breast. This is lower than the other 2 estimates I had. He took some measurements and pictures and left. He was in the room for all of 5 minutes. But I guess they had a lot going on. So afterwards I called UHC again just to make sure of what the guidelines are. They again told me there is no minimum amount that needs to be removed or any particular symptoms. I just had to be deemed medically necessary. I should get an answer in 2-15 days. So I'll call March 10th to see if there is any progress. Im pretty confident that I'll get approval. His plan for me wasnt cosmetic at all unlike dr. Yoav. So I think my symptoms along with him wanting to do a basic reduction will get approved. But im trying not to get my hopes up. I guess I will update again when I get a response.
I got approved!! lightning fast too. I called March 6th and the insurance said they dont see a prior authorization request. So I called the office and told them. On march 7th the office said they did send it out but the insurance might take a while to respond. Well today I called (march 9th) and was told that I got approved March 8th! That means they approved me in less than 2 days. Im so excited. I had a gut feeling that they will approve me but i didnt want to get too excited. So the insurance company says they see April 26th as the date. I didnt schedule anything but im fine with that date. Anyways they said they really wouldnt know how much I would pay until the receive the claim. So if I have to pay after surgery then I would like the surgery to be sooner. If I have to pay anything before than I want it later. I called the surgeon office and they said they dont see anything since its so recent. When they receive the notification they will talk to the insurance and let me schedule a date. they too cant really tell me how much it will be. But they gave me a ballpark estimate of $1,150 just for the surgeon. That doesnt include the hospital fees and anesthesiology fees. I have a $1,000 dollar deductible before the insurance kicks in and pays 75%. So Im thinking it wont be too much. So im waiting to hear back from a woman named Sharron at the office. I guess she's the surgery coordinator. Im happy, happy, happy.
Everything is set, last hurdle is pre op.
22 Mar 2017
6 months post
So i got a call from the surgeon office that they recieved my approval letter. Surgery is set for april 26th and pre op april 20th. I asked about bloodwork and she said she didnt see him request any bloodwork. She said he usually requested blood work for patients over 50 or who have a serious condition. I mentioned i was a bit worried about my anemia but if he truly feels i dont need the blood work then its okay. The doctor told me at the consultation that the blood loss is minimal. She will double check with the doctor. The billing department will call me to discuss payment. Im so excited and nervous. April 26 feels so far away yet so close
All systems go!!!
20 Apr 2017
7 months post
So Last week friday I did my labs. I was nervously waiting for my results. Then Tuesday my doctor called me and my heart sank. My hemoglobin levels have dropped to 9.8! I couldnt believe it. Ive been taking 2 iron pills and ive shorten and lighten my period and yet my levels keep dropping. This is the same haunting number I got the first time that got my surgery canceled. But this doctor said it shouldnt be a problem so I wasnt sure. So today i had my pre-op with Dr. Lickstein. Got their and filled out the paper work and consents and went into the office. Changed into a gown and an assistant started asking me general health questions. I asked her is the surgery even going to happen because of my labs and she said she'll have to ask the doctor and she left the room. I was a nervous wreck! I wanted to know now whether it was a go or not. Ive been let down so many times. A few minutes later Dr. Lickstein comes in and starts explaining the procedure and going over a few things. He seemed quite nonchalant and didnt seem like the surgery was canceled. Why would he explain all of this to me if it was canceled. So I was like "soo.... everything is good?". Him "yeah"..... Me " and my labs are good? last time everything got canceled because of this". He took another look at my labs and said it was fine since I wont lose much blood during this procedure. He said I'll lose maybe 1 tablespoon of blood and im young and healthy in every way so this shouldnt be a problem. I was SOOOO happy! They said see you Wednesday and left the room and i broke into a happy dance and said a thankful prayer. So every thing is okay. Surgery is set for wednesday April 26th. North county surgi center called me and told me that the facility fees will be $225 and that I should et there at 9:15am, surgery at 10:30am. They also explained alot of other things. So this is really happening and finally happening. Im so ready to be on the other side. Oh yeah they gave me my prescriptions and a list of things I should buy. They gave me the painkiller script on paper and CVS gave it to me but the other prescriptions they said they didnt see. That CVS is always a pain in the a$$ so I have to figure that out tomorrow.
Tomorrow is the big day!
25 Apr 2017
7 months post
So the nerves are finally starting to set in. Ive been pretty chill until last night.this morning i woke up earlier than usual because i was thinking about the surgery. Safe to say i wont get any sleep tonight. Yesterday I thoroughly cleaned and sanitized my room. I feel like i will heal better in a clean and sanitary environment. Im going to pick up my prescriptions from cvs in a few minutes and get some last minute items. I might have to pay for my hospital fees by credit card which i didnt want to do but my job hasnt paid me on time yet. Today im going to move the recliner into my room, remove my acrylic nails and polish, wash my hair, and wash my body with the dial soap. Not looking forward to it because im black and i hate being dry and ashy but they said absolutely NO lotion. Sigh. I wanted my last meal to be sushi but im not really craving it. Ill eat around 9 and stop there. Fill up on some water so im not miserable tomorrow. I feel very excited but not fearful. Thats the blessing of a good qualified surgeon. Jason levine (surgeon that i was going to go with last year) did not make me feel safe. I felt terrified like i was going to bleed out on the table and that i wouldnt get satisfactory results. But with dr.lickstein i feel safer. So i guess this is my last update until i get to the other side tomorrow. Crazy that this time tomorrow ill be done and probably home. See you guys tomorrow!
On the otherside!
26 Apr 2017
7 months post
This wont be a long update. Im home now in the recliner. My mom made me some ramen soup then ill take my vicodin. Im in alot of pain. Not nauseous and a little tired.
Ok Im more alert now! review of today
26 Apr 2017
7 months post
I will be super thorough about what happened so other people who read my story know what to expect. So last night i took a shower with the dial antibacterial soap and shampooed my hair. i thoroughly cleaned under my armpits and around my breast. dried off and put nothing on. Stopped eating at 11:20pm and that last snack was crackers and water. I also drank alot of water yesterday so i wont feel too dehydrated today. I though i would stay up all night but i got drowsy around 12:30. I slept from 12:30 to 4:30am then my eyes were wide open. I tossed and turned for another hour than decided to get up. I took another shower with the dial soap, dried off and put nothing on as I was instructed. Changed my cats litter, gave my dog and cat food and plenty of water. Then i swept and cleaned my floor one more time and arranged things around my room. then impatiently twiddled my thumbs. Around 8:10am I went to my sister in law's house because she was going to drive me to and from. She was getting her kids ready so we ran a bit late. I ended up getting to the surgicenter at 9:22 instead of 9: 15am. SO i signed in and waited in the living room. The front desk called me and made me sign a few papers and made me pay the hospital fees which were $225. Then i sat down again and was called to the back by a nurse about 15 minutes later. In the back I signed more paper work and i was brought to a hospital bed with a curtain and told to completely undress and remove all jewlry. Then they connected an ekg to my back and put an IV into my right hand. They also gave me anti-nausea, penicillin to prevent infection, and one other thing I forgot. The surgery was scheduled for 10:30 am but everything was running a bit late. Around 10:15 a funny anesthesiologist came in and started asking me questions and telling me the the plan. He said when i knock out they'll put a tube down my throat and I'll wake up with a sore throat which was very true. Then a nurse came in and put some sort of massager device on my legs to prevent leg clots (they also had me put on white compression socks.). Then waiting and waiting and waiting.Finally around 10:40 Dr. Lickstein comes in and marks me up and leaves. At near 11 o clock they finally started to wheel me from the prep area into the surgery room. they put my stretcher bed right up against the operating table and had me scoot over. Arms out to either side. The anesthesia assistant put two shot things into my IV that hurt and burned. Then the fuuny anesthesiologist (his name was Wayne) took the Propofol and said he's going to start injecting it into the IV. I asked how long it would take and he said a few seconds (he was already pushing it in while saying this. Then the assistant put a mask firmly over my face and thats the last thing i remember. It took literally seconds from the man pumping the Propofol and me knocking out. Next (felt like 1 second) I vaguely heard someone calling my name over and over again and asking me to open my eyes. It was annoying as hell and i just wanted to keep sleeping. It was the nurse checking to see if i was alert. She kept calling me and slowly i came out of it . I remember asking her what time it was and she said 2:05pm. then i was out again and woke up again to her obnoxious calling. When I was more alert i felt two things- pain around my nipples (yaay i have feeling in my nipples right away!) and the strong urge to pee. They gave me the bedpan to pee in which took a while because it was a awkward position and I kept fading in and out of sleep. When i became more alert they helped my sit in a big recliner chair. There they disconnected my IV and I told them I was in pain. The nurse said she will give me a percocet and some juice. I went back to sleep and woke up to her handing me some percocet and cranberry juice. I took them and drank the jice/ popped the pil and went back to sleep. She came back again with more juice which i appreciated because i was soooo thirsty and my throat was really sore. She also gave me salty crackers and some sweet cookies. then she called my sister in law to teach her how to drain my drain collections. After which they let me go home. The ride was a little painful and my SIL drove slow and turned slowly. Thepercocet only took the edge off but i was still in pain (before i left the nurse said I could take 1 vicodin when I got home). Standing up and sitting down is pretty painful and you do need help. My mom made me some soup and corn and i took 1 vicodin and went to sleep. Im on my Recliner from the living room with a blanket on it so the leather wont be too uncomfortable. i have 2 pillows behind my back and two under my arms. its pretty comfy. My pain levels now are tolerable and Im someone who cant deal with pain at all. The vicodin seems to work better than the percocet. So tomorrow is my post op at 1pm. We'll see how it goes.
1 week post op update
So today makes one week post op. So thursday's appointment went well and i was told the drains will come out monday may 1st. He told me I can get a zipfront sports bra with no underwire. SO I headed over to target and saw some zipfront bras and grabbed on that I thought would fit. I went to the fitting room and was surprised that it fit me right away. This is the first time since I was 11 that I was able to walk into a store and grab a bra and it would fit. I was so happy! Thursday i was also taking the max amount of vicodin (2 every 4 hours) but it made me sooo drowsy. So friday I decided I would cut down and take 1 every 5 hours instead. Friday night going into monday morning was terrible. Really saturday was rough. Friday night I developed a migraine around 9pm out of no where. Everything I smeeled felt like fire in my nose and i had a pulsating headache. So in the middle of the night on friday I suddenly got a fever. I didnt take my temp but Ive had fevers before and it felt exactly like it. I also had chills, sweating, and a pounding headache and nausea. This all hit me at once but i was so drowsy from Vicodin that I went back to sleep. For some reason the vicodin did not help with the headache. So saturday morning I called the surgeons office and a woman picked up and I told her about the migraine, for some reason asking about everything else slipped my mind. She paged the doctor and he called me back in less than 5 minutes. He tlold me to take 4 advils for the migraine. So i sent my dad out and got the advils and took them along with 1 anti nausea pill sure enough within an hour (I dozed of again so it might have been sooner) the migraine and nausea went away. The fever went away probably because both the vicodin and advil are fever reducers. I also hadnt had a bowel movement since tuesday. Then when I thought about it that was probably why I felt so sick. Drugs leave your system through urine and feces. Imagine since tuesday I havent gone and since then Ive had a saline IV, penicillin, anti-nausea, Propofol anesthesia, vicodin, and Cephalexin antibiotics pumped into me and they are all just sitting in my guts!! It must have been a very toxic environment that all came to a head on friday night. So ladies it is very imprtant to have bowel movements after surgery! So i took a rectal suppository (ducolax, not taking that again my regular glycerin ones are far less painful) and that thing burned going in and burned coming out. Its a stimulant suppository so it gave me terrible cramping and burned. It got out ALOT of fecal matter though and i felt much lighter and less sick after wards. Saturday night i took a senekot pill because that ducloax burned too much. Sunday morning I pooped out alot more and it smelled like death. Ive been taking one senekot pill a night to make sure im going. I havent been sick again. So saturday I realized that the advils work just as well as the vicodin with out the drowsiness so i switched over to advil. Now im not taking any pain pills. Also saturday my drains really started to bother me. That point were it enters the skin gets really irritated and sore and I was so ready for them to come out. Also saturday (you starting to see why saturay sucked so hard?) I attempted to take a shower but when i removed the gauze my right boob started to leak blood from the bottom stitches. SO i wont try again until the skin closes up a bit more. Monday (yesterday) was drain day and my sister in law took me to the office. I took a lower body shower and wet my arms so i felt a bit fresher. I also used my Clarasonic Mia 2 and a brush head that i dont use and scrubbed my underarm with soap because Dove deodorant is so difficult to get off. the only place that wasnt cleaned were my breast. So at the office They saw my drain record sheet and agreed that it is time to take them out. I was very afraid because i heard that it hurts like hell but it really didnt. Cutting the stitch that attached the drain to the skin hurt more than the drain coming out. She made me breath deeply 3 times and on the 3rd exhale she pulled it out. It didnt hurt, it just felt odd. Like a little snake coming out. The drain is much bigger than I thought it was, its about 4-5 inches deep within the breast so that was kind of freaky. And then she put a bandage on it and told me to keep it dry for 48 hours then im good to go. Oh and bloating! My goodness the bloat! So i heard some people say that after the reduction the stomach is more prominent but its not only because the learge breast arent there to hide it but its also because the surgery cause a massive bloaat and fluid retention. So on the morning of the surgery i measured myself at 135 lbs and around my belly button was 31 inches. After surgery i went up to 140lbs and around my belly button is 34 inches! And apparently this bloat will take weeks to go away! Also my feel are slightly swollen. I looked online and found that the swelling and bloat are from gravity pushing the swelling and fluids from my breast downwards. So it will take 4 or more weeks for my body swelling to return to normal. So dont expect a huge weight loss right away. Today is day 7 and i feel okay. The site where the drain were removed is sore and bothering me but other than that im okay. Also trying not to lift to much. I feel great so i staring doing some house work and now my breast hurt so definitely take it easy no matter how up to the task you feel.
day 9, light update
Feeling better and better day by day. BUT! im really need to take it easy. Because im feeling so good i do stupid things like put pots away and tried to walk my dog. No, no no. Monday night i tried to put pots and pans away and woke up sore as heck tuesday. So much so i had to take some advil. Then today my dad was supposed to walk my 60lbs labrador but he didnt and she kept whining to go pee. I didnt know what to do. If i let her out the back she'll chase and hurt the chickens and she's a leash puller. So i put the leash on her and tried to take her just to our front lawn to pee. She pulled just a bit (not as bad as she usually does and thankfully no squirrel were around). But even with her light pulls and we were only out there for 3 minutes my right breast is sore especially the lower incision near my armpit. Also I clean my cat litter every morning but the bending over isnt fun. As far as moving around squatting or just getting on my knees is way more comfy than bending over. Something about bending over just feels like my boobs are about to fall off. I finally took a shower yesterday, yaay! it went well. But my drain site became very sore. I dont know when those drains will stop persecuting me, they're not even there anymore! Drains are the gift that keep on giving. thats all for today. I will try driving soon, but i kinda like bumming around the house and sending people out to get things for me. Sorry not sorry haha.
2 weeks post OP update
Hello hello all! today makes 14 days post op. So from last week things were okay until friday night. I really hope i dont run into trouble every friday night. So it all started Thursday really. Thursday I wanted to do some laundry and I saw we had a new detergent. Publix brand with fabric softner in it, i went ahead and washed a load of laudry and all 3 of my sports bras in it. After I was done i wore the sports bra and shirt. Suddenly i felt some like itching on my breast. But it was very mild. Friday the itching became a bit more bothersome and a got a rash on my stomach, breast, and arms but my breast were the only place that was itching. Well friday night the itching kicked up a notch and was intense. I applied some hydrocortisone cream but that only gave me a small amount of relief. I was scratching in my sleep and scratching at the incisions which worried me because i felt so itchy i thought i might break the skin. Saturday morning the itching intensified. I looked at my breast and they were red hot. So i called the surgeon and asked him what should i do. He said to apply some hydrocortisone cream and asked me if I was using anything new. The detergent slipped my mind ( I didnt realize it could have been the detergent until later). He said to try some benadryl and if that didnt work than to call him back. Tried it, felt drowsy, fell asleep and woke up still with the itchies. i started trying to deduce why I had such a flare up. I suspected it may be the detergent. So i took off my sports bra and i instantly got a reduction in itching. I took all my sports bras and a few shirts and re-washed them in my regular detergent. I rinsed my breast with cool water and it felt so good! My breast were so red hot and tender. I got a significant reduction in itching but it was still there. So i called the surgeon back and he sent a script for Prednisone. When i got it I took all day 1 at once (pharmacist told me too). Within an few minutes the itching stopped. By day 2 the bumps went away. Im currently on day 4 and im doing well. The other issue im having is that the stitching around my cleavage get really tender. I have to occasionally unzip the front of my bra. My bloat has gone down a touch im now 32 inches. My feet swelling has decreased and is almost back to normal. I tried on a button up shirt that I bought in highschool. I always wore it with the first button unbuttoned and a camisole underneath because it couldnt button. But i tried it on and it buttoned right up with no stretching around the chest. I still have surgical glue on the incisions! I dont know when thats going to fall off. I tried peeling it and that hurt so I will leave it alone. My nest post op appointment is thursday the 11th.I have no idea why my pictures are being flipped by realself. oh well. The T incision near my left nipple is ever so slightly split. Nothing alarming though. But i am so in love with them. They are so perky and pretty. Im looking forward to how well I heal.
5 weeks post op
30 May 2017
8 months post
Sorry for the lack of updates but nothing much has changed. Im progressing as usual. Things have softened up but they are still hard. I did 2 days of work and Im not experiencing any pain So im hoping to get back to full work very soon as my money has run low. Ive gained almost 7 pounds though so the sitting home and lazing about is no good. My belly has gotten bigger and im worried that the extra weight will impact how my breast heal and how they settle so I plan to go on a diet for june. My appointment on May 11th went well. Things are healing well and they cut the stitches that were poking out. That hurt really bad. The nurse had to use tweezers to lightly tug on the stitch so she can cut as close as possible but it felt like the stitch was going to rip out my boob! I hurt more than the drains. She realized that i was in pain so she just cut without pulling. after that everything has been smooth sailing. My next appointment is at the 6 week mark on June 8th. Time has flown by. My nipples are super itchy so Ive been applying anti-itch cream. Today i went to Target to return the first two bras i got. They are already a bit to loose and i can feel my breast floating around inside them. This means my swelling has gone down a bit. I decided to to an impromptu bra measuring and I am currently a 36D. I hope I swell down to a C but im pretty happy right now. I decided to let go of zipfront bras because they are too difficult to find. Most sports bras seem to be pull overs. So went to walmart and bought 2 simple bras for 5 bucks and one more black sports bra. At my next post op i will ask what i can do to reduce the scars. Ive heard about massages and silicone sheets. Ill see what he recommends. Other than that theres nothing else going on. See you guys at my next update!