38I and Hoping for Some Relief - Rochester, MN

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I'm a 31 year old mother of 2, 5'11 and 200 lbs. I...

I'm a 31 year old mother of 2, 5'11 and 200 lbs. I have been considering a BR for the last 5 years and have finally mustered the courage to go through with it. I have been dealing with chronic back, neck, shoulder pain and headaches that have recently become unbearable. My job requires me to be on my feet long hours and I often come home and spend the evening stuck on the couch with a heating pad. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 7 years ago but wonder how much of my symptoms are due to my large, heavy breasts. I used to be a very active person but my pain has made it difficult to exercise and I am currently about 25 lbs overweight. My hope is that this procedure will offer me some relief so that I can more fully enjoy my life. And of course I look forward to having normal sized, perky boobs for the first time in my life too :)
exercise and I am about 25 lbs overweight.

Less than three weeks to go before the big day!...

Less than three weeks to go before the big day! This site is so great. Its amazing to read everyones stories and to know that I am not the only one going through this. There are so many emotions attached to this experience and with each phase I go through it's comforting to read your stories and know that I am normal...well sort of :) I know this is silly but one of my biggest concerns with the surgery is the hospital itself. My doctors office is on the 13th floor and the surgery will be on the 15th! I have some issues with vertigo so elevators and heights are kind of a problem. It seems so lame that I am more stressed about the elevator than being put under :) I am not too worried about the pain. I have a high pain tolerance. More worried about nausea. I hope they give me something to prevent it. So my two biggist fears right now... the elevator and throwing up when I wake up.

Ughh! I have the worst cold! So glad I am sick now...

Ughh! I have the worst cold! So glad I am sick now. Hopefully I will be healthy for surgery. I have been reading other people's posts and just cannot wait to get this over with. The last couple of months have been pretty tough. My back has been so painful I dread putting my bra on in the morning and it comes off within 5 minutes of coming home. It feels like I am carrying a heavy backpack that I can never take off.

It's kind of funny but when I met with my PS he said I was an "emergency situation" and couldn't believe I have put up with this so long. It really surprised my husband. Even though he sees me in pain everyday he didn't realize how ridiculous things were getting. He is being so supportive through all this. I have been such an emotional rollercoaster. When I went to the PS I had a total panic moment before my appointment about having a total stranger reconstruct my body and almost backed out. I haven been asking the "no right answer" questions like, "will you like me better before or after?" Poor guy :) He's had to take on so much more at home because of the pain I am going through. Really hope this surgery helps and I am so blessed to have such a supportive husband.

My cold has taken a turn for the worst. I have...

My cold has taken a turn for the worst. I have been really dizzy since Thursday night and haven't been able to work. I have had ongoing balance problems for about 6 years but usually it's manageable. I am hoping that it's just from my cold and will get better. I am supposed to have surgery next Friday and I am worried that I will have to postpone surgery if I don't get better. Not to mention the dizziness itself, I can't function. My regular doctor is referring me to a vestibular specialist at the Mayo clinic but I found out today that I won't be able to get in for 3-6 months! My PS is also at the Mayo so that might help get me in sooner but probably not before surgery. I am so discouraged. I am a veterinarian and it took a lot of planning for me to take time off work for the surgery and now I am having to take time off now too. It feels like I can't catch a break. So frustrating. The main reason I am having the br is to hopefully get some relief from chronic pain which is making it very difficult to do my job and enjoy my life. Most nights I spend the night on the couch with a heating pad and take tylenol everyday just to get by. A lot of times I get terrible headaches from my neck and back pain. Now the dizziness. This is just too much. :(

The last 2 months have been the worst in my life....

The last 2 months have been the worst in my life. My dizziness issues continued to get worse and I had to cancel my surgery. I haven't been able to work for 2 months and have been bed bound for days at a time. The doctors still don't know what's wrong. I have also had severe headaches, nausea and have lost about 20 lbs. So for right now my breast reduction journey is on hold and I am just hoping to find out what's wrong and get better :(

Here we go again!!

It's been a long journey getting to this point!! I have dealt with severe chronic back, neck and shoulder pain, migraines and fibromyalgia for 10+ years. I was scheduled to have a reduction 4 years ago but a few weeks prior to surgery I became very ill. At the time I developed debilitating daily headaches, nausea and severe dizziness. I went to several specialists and had dozens of tests done. I was unable to work for 3 months. Eventually I was diagnosed with severe chronic migraines with vertigo. With diet, stress management and medication my migraines are better controlled. I continue to have severe back/shoulder pain which I know is a major trigger.

This year I decided it was time to try and have the surgery again. My family and coworkers have been extremely supportive as they see me struggle daily. But it has been such a battle just getting to this point!! A month before I was scheduled for my PS consult I fell down the stairs and broke my left ankle and severely sprained my right. Determined that this is the year I will be free of my breasts, I went to my consult in a wheelchair 3 weeks after having orthopedic surgery. I had my first mammogram standing on one leg - that was an adventure.

It's been 9 weeks since I broke my ankle. My insurance is approved, I've already met my max out of pocket and surgery is scheduled for October 3rd. Then just last week I went into the ER with abdominal pain and ended up needing emergency gallbladder surgery!!!

This is ridiculous! Will I ever be free of my boobs!! So far I am recovering well. The surgeon says as long as I'm up for it I can still go ahead with plans for reduction. That will be 3 surgeries in 4 months! I am so fed up I don't care! The PS estimates removing 4-6 lbs per side. I can't wait to be rid of this burden.

Here's to hoping for no more detours!!

1 week until the big day!

Today I went shopping at Target for post-op bras and comfy zip up/button up shirts. One more week to go! I am excited and nervous at the same time. I got a bad haircut this week and had a complete meltdown. What if I don't like the how my reduction turns out. Hair grows back...but boobs, not so much :) Feeling better about things today. Can't wait to get this over with!

Getting excited!!

Ughh!! Only 5 more days until I get this weight off my chest :) Have a bit of a cold. Hope it clears up and doesn't interfere with my surgery. Took some before pictures. This is the only type of bra I have been able to tolerate for the last 2 years. My back and shoulders kill me! Can't wait to have boob that are where they are supposed to be.

Tomorrow is the big day!!

I can't believe this is actually happening! Surgery tomorrow. Too excited/nervous to sleep.

8 lbs lighter!!

Still very surreal! I'm in the hospital overnight and pretty out of it. Doctor will take out drains tomorrow. Painful and very lightheaded when I try to get up. Hopefully tomorrow I feel better and be ready to go home!

Day 2

Happy to be home! They seem so tiny!! Very sore today. Long acting numbing medicine is starting to wear off and lots of bruising. Seeing other people's post op pictures is reassuring that all is normal. Thanks everyone for being brave enough to share

Day 3 is the worst!

The doctors and nurses warned me that day 3 would be rough and they weren't kidding! It's not so much the pain. I am very sore, but feels more like the worst flu ever. Super weak and achy all over, nauseous and dizzy. Watching lots of Netflix and trying to sleep as much as I can. Yuck! Hope tomorrow is a better day!

Feeling better today

Yesterday was awful. I had a low grade fever and just felt generally sick. Today things are definitely turning around. I was able to take a shower and feel so much better.

I have very mixed feelings about my new body. Now that my boobs are gone I can see my stomach and feel self conscious. My chest seems so small and unnaturally perky. I know there is a lot of swelling and that it will take months for things to settle out. And now that I won't be lugging around an extra 8 lbs it will be easier to exercise and get rid of that belly fat. Trying to keep this in perspective. I'm both excited and nervous about the ultimate outcome

Feeling too tiny

When I look at myself in the mirror I feel like my boobs are too tiny for my body. I was hoping to end up a D but feel completely flat. I am guessing this is a normal feeling after being so big for so long. But it is throwing me off. I don't hate them but definitely don't love them either.

Coming to terms with my little boobs

I am feeling better today. I am sure it will be a long process but I am starting to feel excited again about this new me. I have spent time looking at before and after pictures that look similar to me. On other people I think their new breasts look great and that helps me to know that once I adjust to the change I will love my new body too.

I am also struggling with the "obviousness" of the change. I guess I just thought I would look a little thinner but that it wouldn't be so obvious to others about what was different about me. Last night my 2 year old looked at me funny and then touched my chest. Even he knows there is something different. I am feeling self conscious about people noticing and knowing that I had a breast reduction. I am sure it will get easier as I come to terms with this change myself.

Overall, I am happy I made this choice. I know it is going to life changing for me. My husband and family have been so supportive. I am truly blessed.

1 week post op!

1 week post op! Today I have to go into work for a couple of hours. Will be my first time out in public since surgery. I tire easily and my breasts are very itchy but minimally painful. I have been taking just tylenol since 2 days post op (I am very sensitive to narcotics). I am very swollen around the nipples, on my sides and below my incision. Lots of ugly bruising. I had an area on my right nipple that was darker and I was concerned about necrosis but that seems to be lightening up so it must just have been bruising. I am very happy that I did not have to have a FNG. That was a big concern with the extensiveness of my reduction (4 lbs/side!)

I am curious to see what size I end up. I still feel very small but am feeling a lot better about my shape.

Overdid it yesterday

I had to go into work yesterday, it was busy and I ended up helping out for a few hours. I am a small animal veterinarian, so lots of bending and being on my feet. Definitely not there yet and I am paying for it today, spent most of the day in bed recuperating. I am going back to work in full capacity next Thursday. So glad I have this extra time to recover. If I had a desk job I might be ok at this point, but when I am at work I get so busy and focused I don't realize I am overdoing it until I get home. I am lucky to work with some great people who have been super supportive and will remind me to slow down. If I keep improving how I have been I think I will be ready in another week, fingers crossed :)

Bra Shopping

Swelling is improving some and my breasts are feeling softer. I have normal nipple sensation which is great as I wasn't even sure if a pedicle surgery would be an option for me. I went to Kohls today and found a couple of super comfy soft cup bras today (Bali Brand). Right now I fit comfortably in a 40 DD. I had a little fun with my old 40 H bra. Being a veterinarian, when my PS told me I was going to have 4-6 lbs of tissue removed...my first thought was, that's like 2 chihuahuas!!

Two Weeks Post Op!!

Hooray! I made it this far. Still a little sore but nothing I can't handle. Yesterday our family went to a corn maze and then out for dinner and my energy level was pretty good. I still have quite a bit of swelling on my sides and the bruising on my left breast is taking longer to resolve (it was pretty bad). Tomorrow I have my 2 week follow up. I have a small area at my T-junction that isn't quite healed. My original tape is starting to come off and so I have been replacing it with Nexgard waterproof tape to keep tension off of my incisions. See what my PS has to say tomorrow :)

Overall I am feeling pretty good. I am ready to go back to work on Thursday! My biggest frustration -- Not being able to sleep on my side. I wake up with painful, strained lower back muscles and sore shoulders. My heals get sore too. When I try to lay on my side it's still uncomfortable.

3 Week Update

Two week check up went great! My PS and nurses are awesome. Everyone was celebrating with me and complimenting me on my new look. And as added touch they got me flowers which was super sweet. My sister came to visit this weekend and we had a girl's day out shopping. I was wearing a Plus Size 2 but now I am fitting into a L or XL. It's been fun trying on different styles that never would have worked before.

I still have a lot of swelling under my arms and I think the shape of my breasts looks weird. I am hoping that as things drop they will look more rounded at the bottom and not so much on the sides. And tonight I noticed a small opening along my incision line on my left breast. The skin was looking very thin in that area so I am not surprised but it's really freaking me out. I hope it doesn't get any bigger :( My right T-junction is holding it's own for now. I've been back to work for a few days. I'm exhausted by the end of the day but overall doing well.

First week back to work

Thank goodness it's Friday! Finished my first full week back to work and not going to lie, I'm exhausted!! The last couple of days my fibromyalgia has been really flaring up. This time of year is normally rough with the changing weather but I think the additional inflammation from BR and ankle surgery must be making things worse. So I think I am just going to lay low this weekend.

4 weeks Post Op - Not sure about shape

It's been 4 weeks since surgery! My right side incisions are completely healed. I have a couple of small areas on my left breast that are still open. It's weird, my left side definitely had more bruising and swelling but it the incisions on my right side were the first to open up. Then about a week later the left side followed suit. Both in the same spots below nipple and at T-junction. You would think the bad side would have opened first but apparently it's just a stage in my healing and my left breast is about a week behind. Overall I am happy with how things are coming along. This week I've also noticed that my nipples pucker normally in response to cold and touch.

I am a little discouraged about the shape of my breasts. I wished they were rounder on the bottom. Right now they round out on the sides making them look squarish :( I hope this becomes more natural looking as swelling continues to go down and things settle out. I also think they are a little small but I think this is primarily because of my belly. I think if I lose weight it will all balance out. Hopefully I will be able to start exercising again soon.

Before and 4 week Pics

Wow! What a change. No wonder it's taken a little getting used to. It's helpful to see week to week progress.

5 weeks Post Op - Big improvements!

I've noticed a lot of changes this week. My scars have become a little thicker and brighter. But I also feel like they are stronger and no longer at risk for breaking open. Swelling has gone down a lot and my breasts are becoming softer and starting to round out and look more natural - Hooray! It felt like they would be square forever. I can also more comfortably move my arms, incisions aren't as sore and even nipples seem less taut and are more round. I am amazed by how much things have changed in 1 week!

6+ weeks Post Op

I had my 6 week follow up this week. Everything is healing nicely no more weight or activity restrictions. It really did take about 5-6 weeks for my incisions to heal and feel strong enough that I am no longer worried about them breaking down. The incisions still feel tight and sensitive to touch and I still have a fair amount of swelling, especially in areas where lipo was performed.

Breast tissue is softening up but they still look a bit squarish. My PS says not to worry. We will have a better idea of final shape at about 6 months when my new breasts have had time to respond to gravity :)

8 weeks - Hooray!

It's hard to believe it's been 8 weeks since I lost 8 lbs of boob! I can hardly remember what it was like before surgery. Last week I went bra shopping and found some new underwire bras. I even bought a deep plunging push up bra - something I never could have worn before. My husband likes my new purchases :) Bali bras seem to fit me the best. I am a solid 40 D.

With my new boobs I am anxious to get back into shape and find my ankle injury holding me back. My orthopedic surgeon is happy with my progress but I am frustrated. It could take 2 years to be fully healed - Ughhh! So my husband and I are buying a stationary bike with movable arms for Christmas so that I can get a low impact cardio work out.

Overall, I am really happy with my progress and results.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas!

I'm almost 12 weeks post BR! I am still noticing changes from week to week and I am more and more happy with the overall shape and appearance of my breasts. I have been massaging my scars daily when I remember. The scars under my breasts and arms are the thickest and these areas are still a little tender to touch but I have full range of motion of my arms.

One weird thing I've have noticed is that my nipples do not always pucker simultaneously. They have good feeling and respond to touch but its funny. Sometimes I will go to get in the shower and one is puckered and one is not. Has anyone else noticed this? :)

My belly still bugs me but I am continuing to work on my overall health and fitness. It is so much easier to move my upper body with my new and improved boobs. Not going to lie, I am pretty sure my husband misses the old girls but he will never tell me and appreciates the cute clothes I can fit into.

Anyway, hope all is well and that you have a very Merry Christmas!

4 months post op

Even 4 months out from surgery I am still noticing subtle changes in my breasts. The scars are gradually lightening and my breasts are fuller and not so tight against my body. I still have soreness along my bottom incisions. Vertical incisions have been much quicker to heal and fade. I am very happy with my decision for a BR. I can move my arms more freely, pain is much improved (I have fibromyalgia, so not gone but better), and it is so much easier to find clothes. I'm not going to lie, there have been lots of ups and downs adjusting to my new body. Even though I am happy with the outcome, I still felt myself mourning the loss of my old self. It has also been difficult to see other parts of my body that were so overshadowed by my breasts - like my belly. But overall, I am very happy with my decision and would definitely recommend to others considering a BR.
Name not provided

Referral from primary doctor

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