Pointing South -Newark, DE

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I remember the first time I went to Nordstrom and...

I remember the first time I went to Nordstrom and got fitted for a bra... I'd been stuffing myself into old bras that used to fit, including the bra I got from being fitted at Victoria's Secret: a 36D. My Nordstrom bra? A 34F. I was astounded at how much better everything felt, but the size has steadily creeped up, along with the accompanying issues. Cue graduating college, getting into a relationship, gaining weight, breaking up, and losing weight, I'm currently at a horrifying 32F.

I didn't think I'd never really get approved for a breast reduction, but I recently started looking into, checking out the stories here, and decided that, since most consultations are free, it couldn't hurt to just try it. So I did. My doctor took my photos, my measurements, and estimated that she could remove about 500cc from one, 600 from the other. So, yeah, definitely uneven. Everyone in the office kept talking about how I'd likely need months and months of medical documentation of back pain, that I'd need to try going to a chiropractor or different pain medications, so by the time I left the office, I was feeling pretty hopeless. I'd just have to settle for saving up the money to pay out of pocket and get it done when I hit 30.

And then I got a call from the office. They told me my authorization was approved.


I got the call in the break room at work and nearly burst into tears. While I had my fingers crossed, I never honestly expected that I would get the approval. And now my surgery is scheduled and I'm counting down the days that I can finally feel normal.

I've never had any surgery before so I'm pretty nervous overall. Hence actually joining the site so that I could more closely interact with everyone and read more stories. I'm very, very excited. 50 days to go!

Decided to post a picture

Nipples pointing south... sigh. I don't ever remember having breasts that didn't look like this.

My Consultation

Figured I ought to update a little about my consultation!

I was the first appointment that morning at 8am. I arrived a little late because of some early morning traffic, but I didn't have to wait very long. I was taken back to the exam room where a nurse took my blood pressure (so far everyone was extremely pleasant). Waited a little longer while I looked at the framed photos and awards on the walls, all of which were for the main doctor at the office (not my doctor) which seemed a bit odd with two other doctors who worked there as well. Either way, Dr. MacRae came in and was just as nice as everyone else had been. We talked a bit about my issues, any pain or rashes I had, my size, pretty standard fare. She explained the surgery to me, then had me undress for pictures and measurements. Once I got my clothes back on, she estimated that about 500cc would need to be removed from breast, and 600cc from the other, which would probably bring me down to a D. Which is fine! I feel that, for the most part, I LOOK like a D, but it's only when I'm not wearing a bra that you can see that all that cup size I've got just comes from the length. She also said that I'd most likely need six months worth of documentation for insurance approval (disappointing!) but was very sympathetic about how annoying for insurance companies to drag their feet when women are legitimately having issues. Overall, I had a very good impression of her and felt pretty at ease.

After the actual consultation, I spoke with one of the scheduling assistants who answered a few more of my questions and told me that they would try and submit my authorization to the insurance but that I should probably schedule an appointment with my GP to get the documentation part started, just in case. She was also super sweet to me. So far really pleased with everyone here!

My consultation was July 23rd, and by August 2nd they called me to tell me that my insurance was approved. Scheduled my surgery the following Monday and now all I have to do is wait. 47 days to go!

Feeling Down...

I'm starting to feel a little down about getting my surgery now. I've been getting some judgmental pushback about having an elective surgery since I don't really have any kind of debilitating back pain. Yes, my back hurts sometimes, but it's most likely just because I have abysmal posture. Yes, my arms and shoulders ache after my cardio kickboxing class because of all the jumping and hopping around, but I can go to a different class that doesn't have me moving around so much. Had my insurance not approved my authorization, I wouldn't have pursued the surgery since I wouldn't have had anything else to present besides the sigh of relief after taking a bra off at the end of the day or the occasional back spasm. But since I've been authorized, I'm going to go ahead with something that I know will make me so much happier. Why is this such an awful thing? I know that I shouldn't care about what other people think about what I'm doing, but it's getting a little tiring to hear people questioning my reasons. I've told quite a few people so far because I was just so ecstastic and wanted to share my joy, but now I think I'll be keeping my mouth shut about it. Lesson learned. :C

30 days to go...

By this time next month, I'll be 3 pounds lighter and several cup sizes smaller. Just counting down the days now!

The hospital called me the other day to register me for the surgery. She was really pleasant--everyone I've spoken to so far has been really great. The anesthesiologist is going to call me the same day of my pre-op appointment, which is the day I go get my blood work done, so the 11th is going to be a really busy day for me!

I also called my insurance to get a better idea of what my cost is going to be. They'll pay the hospital charges at 100%, but the surgeon and anesthesiologist's charges are only covered at 85%. So that might be a little bit rough, but it's certainly better than paying the whole thing out of pocket! I consider it worth the money I'll save on bras in the future.

I'm going to be trying really hard to drop at least 10 pounds before the surgery. I'd like to get down as close as possible to my goal weight so that there won't be a lot of change to my breasts if I lose more weight afterwards. I think most of weight is in my thighs so I doubt my breasts will be affected too much, but we'll try anyway. :P

I've also added new pictures. I look at my breasts now and I'm torn between crying at how horrible they are and laughing with joy because they'll be gone soon. I know WebMD-self-diagnosing is horrible, but I've also begun to wonder if I may have hyperlordosis of my lower back, and if that's something that's been exacerbated by my breasts. My lower back hurts if I try to stand up straight, so I slouch to alleviate that pain, but the heavy breasts just make the slouching worse... it's this weird chicken-egg scenario that's a bit too much for me to deal with on my own! I figure that after the surgery, I'll check out a chiropractor, since from what I've read, hyperlordosis needs actual physical therapy to repair.

Anyway... 30 more days!

2 weeks!

How did it get so close so quickly! I had my pre-op appointment today and had the huge list of questions I had answered. Happy to say that I won't have drains and that I will have dissolvable stitches, so that's a couple of hassles I won't have to deal with. I brought pictures of other people's results that I'd be happy with and things that I definitely didn't want, but my doctor seemed pretty insistent that it would be hard to control that sort of thing, but when marking me, she'd try and work the nipple placement to my preference. I can't ever remember having perky breasts, so I have no idea where my natural nipple placement actually is. I guess we'll see after the fact!

Also, I'll find out in my FMLA is approved by the end of the week, so that I'll know if I only get a week off from work or the full two weeks I originally requested.

I guess at this point I'd better start getting some things together! I already know about getting surgical bras and vitamin E treatments for the scars, and getting food that is easily prepared without reaching, but what else do you guys suggest I pick up? Two weeks is going to fly by, so I want to make sure that I'm well-prepared.

Stocking Up

Getting closer and closer now... less than two weeks away. I went to Walmart and Target and picked up some things today. I tried on a couple of Fruit of the Loom bras at Walmart. The 38 fit me pretty well, almost too comfortably, to the point where I was worried that it would fit too loosely post-op. I got a couple of 36s as well, just in case.

I also got some antibacterial body wash, vitamin E oil for the scars, some gauze pads, and a thermometer, to check for fever in case of an infection (fingers crossed). I also got some button down pajamas from Target. Next step is to start deep-cleaning my apartment and getting some food together. I think I might make a few meals with my crock pot and freeze them. I've only used it once since I got so I guess this is a good opportunity to finally break it in!

My FMLA was approved as well, so at this point all I've got left to do is wait. 10 days to go!

Ready to explode...

So the surgery is tomorrow morning and I feel like a complete mess. I'm so nervous, my stomach is in knots... it's hard to believe how quickly the date of surgery has come. This time tomorrow, the surgery will be done and over with. Can't say I'll miss them, though. I was checking them out in the mirror earlier and noticed how much different they are in size. I always knew that the nipples pointed in slightly different directions (one pointing downward more than the other) but I didn't notice that there's almost an inch difference in length. If I was doubting permanently altering my body (I have tattoos, but they're a little different than surgery :P) realizing that pretty much killed my doubt.

Still, doesn't help my mess of nerves now... my next post will be post-surgery. Fingers crossed that my nipples don't fall off!

All done!

The surgery is finished! I got a little peek at my new breasts and they look amazeballs! So glad that I took my surgeon's advice about the nipple placement because, at least when I was sitting up slightly, they look like they're in just the right place.

So here's how it happened...

I slept pretty easily the night before. Got up at 5:30, took a shower, got ready, and left for the hospital. At this point I was really starting to get nervous, but thankfully I had my parents with me and cuddled against my dad (definite daddy's girl) until they called me back for prep. When I back to give a urine sample, my mom had snuck in... that was really nice because my eyes had decided to leak a little bit when I hugged them. After I was all changed, I walked up to the prep area while they asked all their questions and got my bracelets on. The IV was the next part I was nervous about... and apparently I have small veins so they had trouble finding a good one. Once she found one though, she used some numbing solution and it slid in with no problem. My doctor came in and marked me up... I'd already told her about my reservations about the nipple placement, but she did her marks and was saying how perfect everything was, so I decided to go ahead and trust her. Glad I did! Once she finished the marks and I laid back down, I was so nervous I was shaking, so they put some happy little drug in my IV and I was pretty good from there. Then they wheeled me up the OR and I shifted from the bed to the operating table which they got me ready. I don't recall them asking me to count down or talking to me; the last thing I remember is having the mask over my face and looking up at the ceiling and then I was waking up with all of these people around me. They asked me what my pain level was... I think I remember it being like a 7, so they pumped something into my IV that started working pretty quickly. My surgery was at 8:30 and it was about 11:30 or so when they took me up to my room. It was a semi-private room, but they never put anybody in the bed next to me so it was basically just like having a private room the whole night I was there.

Going to the bathroom that first time was interesting! I was really dizzy still from the anesthesia so the nurse had to help me up. Peeing was bizarre... I had to bear down really hard to get anything out even though I knew my bladder was full. After that movement, I got another pain injection and then pretty much passed out on and off for the next few hours. My IV was hurting after a while, all the way down my arm, so they switched it over to my other arm in my forearm. No numbing, so that one hurt a bit.

Otherwise though, every nurse I ran into was super sweet and friendly. My mom, being the socialite she is, went out to the nurse's stations to chat with them late last night, and I was feeling good enough where I walked out there too and joined in the conversation. Almost everyone could relate something--they'd either had a reduction already themselves, wanted one, or knew someone who wanted or already had one. Everyone was all "you're gonna feel so much better!" and was amazed at how big I was.

Went back to bed after I'd been talking with them for a while, and they then took my vitals every 4 hours so I didn't get much sleep. In the morning, they brought my breakfast and I was told I could go home whenever I was sure I could hold food down, which I hadn't once had an issue with. I was very slightly nauseous right after the surgery, but I never threw up and it never got worse. The RN had to change my bandages, and that's where things kind of got bad. It suddenly got really hard for me to breathe, which my nurses was saying was just anxiety and had me breathe slowly. Got nauseous too, which she also said was just part of the anxiety. I don't know why I was so anxious! I was looking forward to getting a peak but I wasn't frightened or anything, so responding that way was really weird for me. Anyway, once the bandages were all off, I snapped a picture for posterity-- I really wanted to take a picture of my markings before surgery, but I didn't have my phone with me at the time. The nurse and mom both said they looked great and the stitches and everything already look good. Very little bleeding and discharge, too, so I have high hopes for the whole healing process.

Got buckled back into the (new! surgical bra--the nurse ordered a second one for me, so that was cool) but I was still having some trouble with suddenly feeling dizzy and nauseous and whatnot, so I took getting dressed really slowly. It took forever for them to get a wheelchair up to the room--so long that they ended up bringing me lunch. Of course, I had a few bites before the wheelchair finally came. Packed myself up, got into the chair, had my pillow against my chest in the car and got chauffeured home.

Now I'm just kind of laying around and taking it easy. So, so, so sore, but very happy. :]

Feeling pretty good

So it's day 3 after surgery and I feel amazing. I haven't had to take any painkillers since the night I came home from the hospital. Except for an occasional zinger or soreness, I haven't been in any pain or discomfort. The worst part is just that I haven't had a BM since the day before the surgery, but I drank a cup of Smooth Move tea so hopefully that'll change by the morning.

I took my first shower today too, and that happened without incident. The most difficult part was the same lightheadedness and difficulty breathing I had the first time I had my bandages changed. Since I've been taped up again though, all good.

I haven't had a chance to get a really good look at my new breasts but the only thing that bugs me is that the nipple are kind of oblong instead of round, but it's not a huge deal to me. They're so much smaller than I expected, though! I'm not disappointed or regretful, but after having my old breasts for so long it's so odd to look at these new things and realize that they're actually mine now. It's interesting, but I'm sure it'll feel a lot less weird once I get the opportunity to buy some new clothes. So far, so great!

Doing well

Been a while since my last update! Not too much going on, everything is going pretty well.

I had my 1 week post-op on the 2nd, and my doctor pretty much cleared me to do whatever I want. She even said that I could bra-less if I wanted to, which I did while I went to TJ Maxx to pick up some comfort and sports bras. While it was nice to have the option, I'm not sure if it's something I want to do too often in the future! It felt very weird to not be supported... that and my nipples are ridiculously sensitive, almost painfully so. I also found it kind of weird that my doctor said I didn't have to wear any kind of bra if I wanted to, when so many others are told by the doctors to wear even the surgical bra 24/7 for the first month. My post-op also felt like it went by very quickly. She checked things out, asked how I was doing, if I felt any better, and basically let me go. I wasn't prepared for this like I was for my pre-op, I guess because I thought I'd be given more information without having to ask for it. My next appointment isn't for 2 months now so I guess that's just how confident she is in the results... and they do look great so far.

My first day back to work was this past Thursday, and it was the first time I'd really felt sore since the first few days of the surgery. I have a desk job, but I also get up a lot to go to other cubicles to answer questions, so I guess even at my sedentary job it was more exercise than I've gotten in a while.

Overall, the healing is going very nicely. The right breast still seems to be a little swollen and oddly shaped, but I'm hoping that's going to go down eventually. There's a lot spot on the underside of my left breast where a scab has peeled off, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that that won't separate or do anything crazy. The only part that bothers me is my cleavage, which looks really oddly wrinkled--I assume it's from my stretchmarks being bunched up in the area. Disappointing, but I'm so pleased otherwise that it's not that big of a deal.

Looking forward to waiting a few more weeks and being professional sized! It was really refreshing even going to TJ Maxx and buying several bras for half the cost of one of my old ones. Other than the bills for the surgery starting to come in, I'm very, very happy.


I'll post a more in-depth update later... Right now I just want to mention this spot I have that I'm very concerned about. On Saturday, the scab I had in the T-junction of my left breast fell off. It left kind of a deep hole, so I put some neosporin on, and this other little spot I had further up that looked a bit off too, and covered it up with a pad. I've been reapplying the neosporin and pads, and while the hole has already closed up nicely, this new hole has formed where the weird spot was. It keeps bleeding and has opened enough that I can see the white inside of it. I'm really freaked out at this point! I'm going to keep putting the neosporin on it and covering it up... Really hoping that this doesn't turn into something horrible. :-(

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