I am grateful to have a diverse community of...
I am grateful to have a diverse community of women with some of the same issues and concerns to come together and share their experiences in a positive manner. It gives me the courage to share my journey. I was going to wait until I received my approval from my insurance company (BCBS Illinois) but I decided to share my journey now. I've always loved myself in clothes but I lacked confidence naked because the way my breast looked. I have never let a man see me fully naked standing up.
Yes! I some of the same pains as others the neck, shoulder, mid/lower back pain, and tanging sensation to my left hand. However, the worst pain of all is my low self-esteem when I am naked and my large hanging breast are staring back at me in the mirror and I quickly put back on my too small bra a 38DD (it provides the support I need). It also leaves me with shoulder grooves and permanent dig marks on my side, I was told I wear a "G" but IDK.
This time last year, 1/28/15, I signed up for this site excited about my breast reduction. My primary care doctor referred me to a plastic surgeon and I thought I was good to go. Both said I was a good candidate because I am 5'1 1/2 and 180lbs( I have a big butt, thighs, hips, and a smaller waist). I was denied by BCBS Illinois due to "lack of Documentation". I thought it wasn't meant to be. It made sense, why would an insurance company spend thousands without detailed documentation then they would go out of business. I gave up and continued with life. After my 27th birthday, 1/18, I decided to revisit a breast reduction. I realized at my smallest weight back in 2013-2014 at 165lbs the one thing I wanted to change was my breast and I will not be 100% happy until I have smaller and better breast. I begin the journey again now at 224lbs with even larger breast than last year. Since then I changed Plastic Surgeons.
My tips for approval even though I patiently wait to hear back from the insurance company. 1.) Research! Research! Research! not only the plastic surgeon but pictures, read reviews, and stories about a breast reduction. 2.) Talk to your primary care doctor and get their referral but go prepared to ask questions and let them know you have done your research. 3.) Reach out/ call your insurance company to find out the criteria for breast reduction and follow the steps. For BCBS Illinois at the minimum you had to try physical therapy for 6wks, I am currently in week 4 of physical therapy. My plastic surgeon assistant asked for a "plan of action" from the physical therapist and she sent it off on or around 2/8/16 or 2/9/16. I am still going to go to physical therapy because it has been helpful and relaxing.
Denial is nothing but a delay and perfect timing
I received a denial letter from BCBS Illinois again, I am not upset nor frustrated like I was last year. This year I refuse to take a NO! I will have this surgery in mid May, I believe it! I am currently gathering all my medical records, prescriptions, and physical therapy notes. I setup an appointment with my primary care doctor due to chronic back pain and the physical therapist felt lumps in my back that he's concerned with, I have been in chronic pain since 1/19. If anyone have an encouraging message or insurance denial then approved story, Please leave them below.
My road to insurance approval
My time line
*** Jan 2015- applied for pre-determination and denied in Feb 2015 thought, "it's not meant to happen"
***Jan 2016- started to have chronic pain in shoulder, back, neck, tingling fingers, and discomfort (confident I'll be approved..nope)
***Feb 20 2016-received denial letter; not discourage. Did extensive research on my insurance company breast reduction policy and followed instructions.
***Feb 3-March 3, 2016- completed 6 weeks of physical therapy and gathered all my medical records from the age of 11 complaining about my breast. (didn't realize I had pain that young)
***March 8- sent over all the documents to the Plastic Surgeon assistant
***March 10 -she called and said she sent them to the BCBS
***March 15 -I called BCBS they received the additional docs and stated my file is not in the appeal status but awaiting docs (I thought I was appealing the denial)
***March 22 - I called BCBS and the lady wasn't sure what was going on and kept me on hold for a while but gave me the best news ever it was approved but an official letter wasn't drafted yet. I called the PS office and she said, " Well I haven't heard anything yet" I told her to call them but if sounded like she was blowing me off.
***March 24 - The PS office called and officially set up my pre-op and surgery date on May 10(after exam week) I am struggling with the expenses my total so far is $3,500. PS fee $1000 and hospital fee $2500. We are currently working on the price.
Today, I had my pre op appointment. It went well, I paid the doctor and it cost me $770 bringing my total to $1450 but I will be refunded $695 through my HSA account. I spent about 10 mins with the doctor he wasn't as thorough as I read other reviews but he was willing to answer all of my questions. The pre-op I had over the phone with the hospital was very thorough, too thorough and she scared me with a" surgery gone wrong" story . However, she didn't mean any harm she was trying to educate me in the importance of a will. The surgeon built my confidence back up as the lady from the hospital scared me so bad that it brought tears to my eyes knowing there's a possibility that I could bring an unbearable pain to my family. Enough of the sad part, I feel great and I truly trust my surgeon as I have from day one. He stated he'll be taking 680 grams about a 1lb 1/2 leaving me a C or D. I prefer a D because I am on a weight loss journey as I am border line type 2 diabetic and I do not want to take a risk in going from a C to A or B, I am curvy and I know an A or B will not fit me. My surgery is 6 days away and I am excited.
My surgery is tomorrow
I am is so nervous about my surgery tomorrow but after seeing the results of many women here recently, I know I'll be okay. This is my first major surgery under general anesthesia and I am trying not to think about the negative things but force on the positive. This time tomorrow I will be a c/d cup with perky boobs. This will truly change my confidents and life forever. #teamnobra #perkyboobs #teamnopain #gamechanger
Day 1 after surgery
It's day one after my surgery and I am wrapped up very tight. Therefore, I was instructed not to unwrap myself and the doctor will do the reveal on Friday. I stopped taking the pain meds because it was making me dizzy and sick. I do believe he liposuction my back because I am experiencing pinching in the back(we didn't discuss lipo). However, I am excited to see what the girls look like. I feel good sitting and relaxing in my recliner and I got up and washed up the areas that I can. Everyone at the hospital was awesome and made it simple. I was in the hospital from 6:30am to 1:45pm. 6:30am-7:45 for vitals and testing, surgery started at 8:20am finished around 12:30pm sat in recovery until 1:45. My follow up appointment is 5/13 at 11:15am, Hopefully I'll have pictures.
I fell deeper in love with myself
I love my results! I always loved myself and accepted things I was unable to change. My favorite thing to say is, " If you can change it, change it...If you can't change it love it.. either way love it until you change it" I live by that. Therefore, I loved my breast before but even more with the change! Now, its time to change the weight as I WAS borderline type 2 diabetic; 14lbs down 50 to go! I had a debate with an "Old School Deacon Employee" whom responded to my comment that, "I love myself and I choose to be single because it gives me full control over my life and allows for me to make changes that needs to be made before I can truly love someone." He made the comment, "God didn't not make you to be alone all of your life". The flowers are from my best friend in Florida that sent those and my response to him today is that I am not alone I have friends and family that showed me enormous love and support throughout this process and that's real love and far from loneliness.
Day 4 update
I feel great! the only pain I have is lifting my hands over my head due to the incisions under my arm (underarms incisions are swollen). Other than that I stop taking pain meds after day 1 and haven't felt any unbearable pain(slight pain). I had my post op on 5/13 Surgeon looked for signs of nipple damage or infections, everything was healing nicely and no infection. bought a sports bra at Walmart "40" fit , "38" were too small. I believe I'll be a 38-40 D after the swelling goes down, I have another appointment on 5/19 (I'll be going once a week to the office). He stated I can SAFELY drive and lightly exercise in 2wks. I am going to follow his instructions even though I feel like I can and I go back to work on 5/31.
Today makes a month since my surgery, I am very pleased. Pictures do not do them justice. My PS said everything is healing nicely and I can wear regular bras in 2wks. I rate my breast an 8 out 10 but hopefully soon it will be 10 out of 10.
***Open Letter to my Nipples***
Please forgive me for taking you for granted, I really do miss you and comeback soon.
Surgeon said sensation will comeback soon still in the early stages of recovery.
7 Weeks post update
I love the girls and I hope they do not drop/settle anymore, overall I love them!! I am numb in a small area on the left side of the breast and I still do not have nipple sensation; bummer. The right nipple is like the little engine that could, it reacts slowly to touch but if I put ice on the nipple nothing happens but minutes later the nipple feels weird but not a normal feeling, left nipple nothin happens. I've been using bio oil, shea butte,r and coconut oil for massaging/scars and I'll use my pm Mederam once I find it(I missed placed it). I have a follow up appointment tomorrow and right now no sports bra is comfortable all day. I measured myself and I'am a 38 D and can fit some DD.
Two months post
I've been cleared to wear regular bras and found support/comfort in soft wire bras. I did order wireless bras too but haven't received my package yet (I've always worn wire bras).I can do a bra haul/try on pic if anyone wants to see. I still take it easy with lifting as my body tends to get sore if I do too much. I enjoy being braless, I still do not have sensitivity in my nipples and I am still numb on the left breast. My next appointment is Aug 3. I massage my breast everyday with coconut oil, bio oil, and vitamin E oil.