My story is a long one and filled with...
My story is a long one and filled with complications and heartache. I got implants when I was 26 after the birth of my second child. I was flatter than flat, I know that is hard for most women to understand or grasp, but it is true. Completely flat, no tissue and nipples that were a flap of skin. Prior to pregnancy and breastfeeding I was a small AA but not completely flat. Anyway, I was also getting a divorce from an emotionally abusive husband and lost weight which may have contributed to the complete loss of breast tissue. So I knew someone who had gotten implants and decided to do it, too.
Turned out to be one of the biggest regrets/mistakes of my life. Not terribly long after getting the implants I thought one was ruptured but it took years for me to find a doctor that would listen to me and take my concern seriously. She ordered an MRI and sure enough, one was ruptured. I had silicone leaking into my body for years and I was horrified. I scheduled the removal which was quite involved because the surrounding tissue had to be removed, etc. I experienced terrible pain after the removal, pain much worse than I experienced after both c-section deliveries.
After the removal, I was flat again, disfigured, scarred, and depressed. I spent probably a year like that and finally decided to go back for re-implanting, this time with saline because the silicone implants were banned due to health concerns about their safety.
Even though the new saline implants were under the muscle, they were not good for me because I had so little tissue and you could see and feel the rippled implants. I was never happy with them and finally decided to have those out. My PS urged me not to remove because he said i would be unhappy with the result and encouraged me to join a trial of women who were able to get silicone again since they had already had silicone in the past -- the testing for safety of new silicone implants was being done. So I did that, went smaller with the implants in hopes that they would look and feel more natural.
Well, no tissue covering any kind of implant still feels like something not natural. Anyway, that last surgery was 12 years ago and while I like having some shape in my shirts, I am not happy and am once again going under the knife. I cannot believe the trauma I've put my body through not to mention the emotional stress and all because society tells us we are not complete unless we have big boobs. I once tried to make an analogy to a man and asked him how he would feel with a tiny little penis that was for all purposes non existent (of course, he had a large dick and I'm sure there was no way he could empathize)... because our sexuality, femininity, and self image is all tied up in what outwardly makes us women. Breasts.
I can get pretty caught up in all of that self image stuff. And I am an attractive person with so much to be thankful for, yet I became obsessed with wanting to have breasts, cleavage, the whole image of being a woman.
So in a couple of weeks I will become flat chested again. I am pretty sure I will be very self conscious. Not sure I will let my husband see me naked ever again. Not sure I will ever put on a swim suit again. Or anything form fitting or revealing. :( but I also will be me, really and truly me. No unnatural looking lumps on my chest that also don't feel natural when I hug someone or squash flat and look deformed when I flex my chest muscles...
Nervous today thinking about my pre-op tomorrow. I had a mammogram yesterday and now I'm not sure why because the person doing the mammogram said when the implants are out, I will have to have a new "baseline" mammogram. Anyway. That won't be for another year and I will have healed (physically) by then. Hopefully I will also be emotionally healed! I am wondering if I should be doing anything to prep for this surgery. Of course I know not to take aspirin type products. Did anyone here do anything else in preparation? I've started looking for front closure sports bras because I understand that is what th PS recommends. Any suggestions or thoughts are appreciated. ??
Today is the day
18 Jul 2016
Day of treatment
Headed to my appointment in a few minutes and I must admit I am feeling pretty nervous and anxious. Here is hoping for a good result and happier days ahead all me!
It is over.
18 Jul 2016
Day of treatment
Procedure was relatively uneventful. A little pain with the shots for the local anesthetic but certainly tolerable. and the procedure went fairly quickly, no complications. However, when the nurse set me up to wrap the ace bandage I caught a glimpse and was horrified, I'm trying not to obsess about it and take things one day at a time, but if this is my future I'm sure I won't stay disfigured and will do something about it, she said there will be some change but the fact that there is so little breast tissue, I should be realistic in my expectations. When I unwrap the bandage I will take a photo and will post it along with the pre-removal photos. She told me on wednesdaynto have my husband help nremove the bandage and I said no way. I don't care how much he loves seeing me like this would be a huge turn off and I don't want him carrying that image in his head. I did take one Percocet after surgery at the nurses encouragement to stay ahead of any pain, but I haven't even felt a twinge. I've got bags of peas propped on my chest, hopefully enough so cold is getting through to help with swelling. Oh, and so far there is no fluid in the drain bags, vey little in the lines but not enough to make it to the bags, hope that continues and with little draining i should get the drains out sooner than later.
Not much sleep due to sleeping sitting up but had a relatively good night. The pain is not bad but I am taking the pain meds and keeping score bags of frozen peas strapped to my chest. Happy to report hardly any drainage, so hopefully will get the drains out tomorrow! Of course, my big fear right now is the initial reveal which will be tomorrow when I can take a shower...
Almost 48 hours
This afternoon will be 48 hours. I'm supposed to call and report in re drains this morning but the line is busy... Also supposed to take off the bandage and take a shower and put on the sports bra. Would like to talk to the dr office first to find out if I can also get the drains out today. Had an ok second night. Took a pain pill before going to bed (sitting up) and have not had another, will probably lay off the pain pills. No real pain at this point but will probably take one again tonight for sleeping. I am having a bit of itching. Hope it is not a reaction to the tapes. I'll update again later today and maybe post some photos... Planning on being grateful today for all I have and not focus on what I don't have!! Xxxooo
Finally talked to someone at docs office, phone lines were down... Anyway, have my post op tomorrow and drains will be removed. Hubby just left to play golf so I took the opportunity to take off the bandage and see myself and take a shower, it isn't as bad as I expected, not great, but I didn't break down crying, so that is good. I've kept bags of frozen peas on my chest almost continuously (except didn't get up in the night last night to get fresh cold ones) but I feel like there is quite a bit of swelling. Honestly, wish the swelling would stay. I remember that from several years ago when I had explant and thought there was a tiny bit of a boobie there, but alas, the swelling went down :( anyway... I'm also having the allergy to whatever the tape is they put on me at incisions and to hold the drains in. I said I remembered having a problem with it but couldn't say exactly what the allergy wash. I have terrible itching and actual whelps. Hopefully she can take it off tomorrow and out something else on there. And after yesterday's terry meltdown, today I am reminding myself of all the things I do have. Anytime I think about not having boobs, I remind myself of all my happy things in life!
Post op appointment good news/bad news
Had my post op appointment today. Things are fine except for the severe allergic reaction I had to the tape. Feels so good to get the tape off and hopefully the rash will clear up pretty quickly. If it is not better by tomorrow afternoon, I will need to take prednisone which I really don't want to do. Also got the drains out which is a big relief -- there was hardly any drainage this time. I'm still swollen, hope not too much because if this is all swelling I will be flatter than flat when it goes down! The bad news is that one of the implants was ruptured. She said she cleaned it out really well and thinks she got all of the silicone out, but one can never be sure about these things. That is the second time for me to have a rupture. And these last silicone implants were the ones developed after all the big controversy and banning of silicone implants, these were supposed to be safer, stronger outer shell, less likely to rupture. What can I say? Obviously, there is no absolutely safe implant. I'm glad they are out, remaining thankful for all the things I have (beautiful boobs not being one of those LOL), and hoping to find ways to be ok with my body as it is. Good thoughts going out to all of the ladies out there going through this or getting ready to. I am so grateful to everyone who has been supportive during this procedure. Oh, and I am taking photos along the way. Will gather up some strength to post those soon. Xxxooo
Injury Added to insult LOL
so on top of the trauma of the surgery and being flat chested, I have this horrible allergic reaction. The itching is driving me up totally crazy.. Had to start a prednisone dose pack yesterday, taking Benadryl every 4 hours and feeling like I want to climb the wall. It is making me VERY irritable. Anyway, I went out in public last night and all I did was watch women walking by with big boobs and cleavage and when I look down at my chest, completely flat in this sports bra. Nada, zero...shapeless. Even young girls have little bumps on their chests and yes, many men have larger breasts than I do! Ha! So I've decided I need to get out and find some padded bras. Have to keep the sports bra on 24/7 now, but as soon as I can wear a bra with some padding that is what I will try. Knowing that I had another ruptured implant makes me even more determined that I will not get implants again and what I see on the fat transfer procedure makes me feel wary of that especially given the cost. Boo Hoo! Anyway, such is life and again, thankful for all the things I do have and it could always be worse! Happy Saturday!
This is how we should all feel!!
Have you ever watched children and animals and noticed they have no sense of self like we do as adults? I know it is part of the human process to become so self aware but why are we focused on self awareness in our physical outward body when what we really should do is be completely concerned with self awareness of our internal, intellectual, spiritual selves!! Love this little cartoon and think it says a lot! Be proud of who you are!
One week post
This afternoon marks one week since my explant. I am still really suffering with the allergic reaction to the tape but everything else seems ok. Of course. I'm tired of sleeping on my back and tired of the tight sports bra... Haven't taken any additional photos because of the terrible rash all along the scars and up the outsides of my breasts, it looks just awful and still itches quite a bit but is definitely better. This is day 4 of the prednisone. Once I finish the dose pack, if the redness and raised rash isn't significantly better, I will contact the doctors office and see what they think. I have started some online bra shopping and wonder if anyone really flat chested has found a padded bra with no under wires that they really like. I'm all about comfort and would like to have a little bit of shape... Anyway, thoughts going out to all you ladies going through this process and especially to you who are considering making the decision. Stay strong xxx
Follow up appointment
Had my follow up appointment yesterday and according to the doc, all is good. Well, at one point during the visit, she offered a box of tissues because it was a bit emotional, but basically all is good. I can resume exercise, lifting, etc. no underwire bras and try to not sleep on my stomach yet (argh), but otherwise I can do all that I feel like doing. I guess at this point I would say my only major concern is my sexual relationship with my husband. And we are at a point in our lives where that has changed anyway, but it is more than that. He is in pretty good shape and has always been very sexual. We had a period of separation and are back together now and I believe for the long haul. He says so and seems committed. So, I've been trying to be confident and comfortable in my newly deflated but real self. Well, we have had sex twice now, the second time, yesterday, was during the day and he lost his erection, I can't help but believe it is my fault. He could see me, and it ain't pretty dear friends, not at all. And a big part of attraction is visual, right?? Isn't that why we are all in this situation?? Of course, this is not helping things at all. I've not talked to him about it, but will ultimately do so. If we can't talk about things, what is there? Anyway, another road to cross, another break in my self esteem, and I'm fighting it all the way. Alternatively. I got up this morning and suggested a hike down the hill and back and put on a cami/I don't know what to call it/let myself be me for the hike and didn't care. It is one of the tops I used to wear when I had implants with a liner type shelf bra with no padding or support and I just didn't care! I wore it with my head held high and good posture!! So, onward through the fog... Peace and love.