The summer after 5th grade, I'm outside playing....
The summer after 5th grade, I'm outside playing. Enjoying running around my dad's truck with the other kids. I was wearing one of my favorite halter jumpsuits with blue trim. Suddenly my dad calls me over and tells me I need to put something else on and can no longer wear that outfit. That was when I realized that I had suddenly developed boobs. At the time, my dad was a single father of 3 girls and he was determined to ensure that he found someone to speak to me about the developing woman's body. When he couldn't, he boldly ended up talking to me himself and even asked me questions when it came to maci pads. Lol. You have to understand my dad was a young father. Only 17 when I was born, dogs too had lots of learning to do.
Fast forward many years and high school becomes a source of being on a quest to find the right fit. I actually by this time was living with my aunt and uncle. My aunt worked at a department store at the time and took me to be measured. I measured at a 34DDD. I was barely 16. By the time I went on to college, they were still growing. At 21, I married and 3 years later had my first baby. I was determined to nurse and was very hopefully that when it came time to
Wean, that my breast would shrivel up to nothing. At least that is what everyone told me. Not so in my case. I went to a specialty bra shop and was sized at a 38J. The sales rep asked me to come back in two weeks because I would certainly increase another cup of so once my milk came in fully. She was right. I went back in 2 weeks and found out I was now a 38K. Even with the large breast, I successfully nursed for 17 months. Once I weaned my son, to my surprise, my breast basically remained at a 38K. I was seriously mystified. That is when I began wearing 2 bras that were too little, but could be fashioned around my breast to look halfway descent and act as a minimized. I am sure I looked a hot mess. Seven years later I had my second baby, nursed again for 12 mins and still remained large breasted. No shrivel, no shrink, but lots of sagging. This was the first time I inquired about breast reduction. I was told to lose 80 pounds. Joined weight watchers and lost 82lbs. When I talked it over with my now ex husband he was totally against it. So I gave up the dream and chickened out. Well, in the summer of 2012, 4 years later and 120lbs heavier, I suddenly start getting shooting pains through my rib cage and then days later felt pain down my left arm and my fingers went numb. I assumed I was having a heart attack. I jumped in my car and drove to the nearest urgent care where I was hooked up to an EKG and had other land run only for the attending physician to pretty much say, I had a pinched nerve due to my breast size. I started going to a chiropractor then who convinced me together a breast reduction. So 2nd time. I go to the surgeon, try to lose 35 lbs with no success, and then agree to proceed without the weight loss anyway. While driving to my last appointment to set the surgery date, I ended up being rear ended. I immediately thought it was a sign. So I never went back. Now, here we are on my 42nd birthday in June 2015 and my boss asks me, "What do you plan to accomplish this year." To which I answered I plan to have weight loss surgery or a breast reduction. Upon consulting and doing more research, I decided to get weight loss surgery and had the gastric sleeve done. At the time of surgery I was a 44N and weighed 369.9 lbs. I was sure that this would help my breast size by now. My body was older and not quite in the same shape or elasticity. After losing 120 lbs, I had only shrunk down to a 40L. So I decide to inquire yet again. Mind you I was still not totally convinced. The insurance again approved quickly, but I was still anxious about the FNG and the whole idea of having my breasts cut off. Up to 10 days before surgery. I was still contemplating not having it. Thank God that I had a mammogram scheduled. That ordeal solidified my mind and I decided I would go through with it no matter what. Here I am sitting in my hospital bed waiting to be discharged and am so pleased at my results.
Post Op Day 3.
The surgery went very well and I was so exited to have Dr. Duckett as my syrgeon. She is very msticulous and seemed to think of everything. My results so far look grea. My nipples look like they're pointing outwards but I don't know if that's just because of the covering in the way that the tape is done. I'm just not sure. Today is the first day that I'll have a home health nurse come out and change the dressings. So when she changes the dressings I'll bake sure to upload new photos so you all can see more of the results. The little nipple pasty's that are stitched on will come off on Tuesday when I go to my first doctors appointment. Oh, I have been so thankful for the pain pump that she attached to my body. It helps to keep the edge off in between the time that you're taking regular pain pills. Also having the drains allows for a lot of that pressure not to build up. I still have a lot of swelling but it's not a ridiculous amount.
Home Health Nurse Came
My home Health nurse came today. She was so very helpful. She even talk to my sister through how to change my dressings. She took all of the tape off so I was able to see the scars. And they really look good. I'm still not able to see the nipples because they are covered and will be covered until Tuesday when I go to my surgeons office. I am really excited to see how my nipples will look. I'm also enclosing a few photos that the home health nurse took. She took the tape off so you can see the whole breast. They really do look a lot bigger than I thought they were but if she assured me that it was swelling so I am definitely hoping that I am a DDE and not something much larger.
Hey, everybody. This is an update on my day five postop my breast reduction. Everything is going pretty well but I woke up this morning in some exceptional pain I believe that the pain pump which was taking off the edge between the time that I was taking my pain meds is now empty. So I had no back up and I woke up crying this morning I was in so much pain. The home health nurse was able to come today and change my bandage and take some pictures for me. She was also able to give me some advice on how to take the pain pain meds which would stretch them out a bit because I did tell her that I was afraid of becoming addicted just because of my families past. So she said definitely stay up on the peels and she suggested that I just split them in half and take them every 3 to 4 hours or she suggested possibly even taking that have every four hours and then have a Tylenol waiting to take in between that time to help with pain relief. She did tell me that my incisions were looking great sees it that is some of the best decisions that she's ever looked at. She said that they were nice neat dry and clean. She did tell me that and some of the photographs that they are going to look really read like they're bruised but she said she actually has seen no bruising. I told her I was a little surprised by that bag of no bruising but she did remind me that but the days to come but I may end up seeing some. She wasn't able to comment on my nipples because they are still covered and it won't come off until my visit on tomorrow. The nurse is actually scheduled to come out again on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday. She said she's not sure why no one came out on Sunday because in her record she shows that somebody was scheduled for Monday. I kind of have a theory about that and the lady that come out on Saturday she just kept saying nobodies coming on Sunday I think that she was actually scheduled for Sunday but because it was Easter Sunday she didn't want to to come out. And I certainly can't blame her especially if it wasn't something that she originally had planned on. So that's neither here nor there it's all good it's all OK I'm praying that she did just get to be with her family and honor the resurrection of Jesus Christ because I certainly wish that's what I would've been doing as well. As for having a BM it is been five days and I have yet to have one but my diet isn't back to normal I've been eating fruits and I've been easy car because of yesterday's dinner that my mom cooked everything was so yummy and I'll actually eat a little cake today which I was so dead set against at the very beginning but I've been just eating the fuse blew in Fulton is been very good so I deathly plan on eating some today and it's not like I see it like something that I do every single day. And I'm just not getting in any calories hardly I think the most I've got me in May up in five or 600 over the last few days on any particular day. So nonetheless I trying to work it keeping my pain under control. As for sleever feedback I have not taken any vitamins and so I've written out a chart trying to make sure that I figure out how to work those in so they're not interacting with everything when the pharmacist told me how much everything is going to interact I just decided to just leave it alone until I finish this set of anabiotic's which is been the most troublesome and then I'll go back on my multivitamins. Hope that's the right thing to do I'll talk more to my doctor about on tomorrow. Or I'll give my nutritionist a call and see what kind of schedule she can put me on as far as that's concerned. So that is about it I'm going to post the pictures that the nurse took of me today and if you guys have any questions feel free to ask me I'll talk to you later peace out baby
WTH! What in the world have I done?
So my sister comes over today to visit and wants to see what my breasts look like. Currently I have only seen them in pictures or from my person downward point of view. All of which to me look great. Shape and all. I could stand to have a higher line for cleavage, but I'm still fine. I decide that I want to see a frontal view along with the view my sister is seeing. I open my bra and take my gauze off and my breast look hideous to me. Flattened and misshapen areas. On top of this my other sister who has been here helping me immediately stRts going I about all I ever do is look at them and want others to see them. That I almost passed out in front of the mirror yesterday looking at them. I'm steady saying no that is not true. I have personally never seen them other than looking down or in a picture that someone else has taken and the only others who have seen them has been either a pic or a friend who literally has gone through reduction, augmentation or has a consult scheduled. Yes, I have lots of friends who have had work in this area. Lol. Anyway, I see them and immediately begin crying and trying to get back to the bed to cover myself up. I was so hurt by her comments and felt even worse because of how my breast looked. I can't stop crying. I think it's just the emotions of everything that has taken place. I'm also trying to wean myself off of the hard meds so my pain is a bit more than it normally would be. So I am very emotional. Im so tired right now and I can't stop crying. I'm just so freaking hurt. I just need to hurry up and recover and get back to my life. I need my normalcy back.
Swelling is definitely progressing.
Looks like as the breast swell whichever way I tend to lay, the swelling follows. So I need to make sure I'm laying as evenly as possible. I was leaning more to the right so my swelling was distorting my breast towards the right side. Here are a few pics for comparison. It was hard for me to capture the area that really made me upset trying to take the picture myself. Of course I do see the boxines as well. The swelling just in two days with drains and wearing ice is crazy.
Had my first Post Op Drs visit today. She removed the drains, pain pump and finally allowed the nips to make a stage appearance. Before she uncovered them I asked her to tell me what I should expect to see. I did not want any shockers, but I knew if they weren't as she described I would some how be better prepared for that too. Weird, but that's how my mind works. The only thing she said was to expect for the to be really dark. Well, that , to me, wasn't much different than before. The only major thing I'm surprised by is that the nipple itself is huge compared to the aeroelastic around it. I will show pics later. As for pain, I'm now on tramadol. She is trying to get me some relief without the super drugged up out of my mind feeling that Percocet gives me. I am only on my first dose. It seems fine as long as I don't have to move around or adjust my position. When I move too much, I start to feel the a throbbing around the incisions. So it's a give and take. At least I don't feel like I'm on drugs and can't think. She will also put in another order for the home health nurse to come for a few more days. My sister, unfortunately, just doesn't feel comfortable with the idea of cleaning and changing the gauze. And now that the nipple covering is off, I would just rather have someone a bit more qualified help me with it.
Tired and More Tired
Today I am even more swollen than the previous day's. I finally was able to shower, thanking God. Everyone would tell me I didn't smell, but I could smell myself and that means it's bad. So I can only use my hands and antibacterial soap to wash with. I also have to shower with my back to the water and rinse by allowing the water to flow over my shoulders. Years ago I changed out my shower head to a wand so I was thankful I could at least hold it to rinse all of the soap from my private areas. Then I changed the settings to a light spray and turned it upside down so the water could glow over my breast without any pressure. It worked great and I feel great.
It's weird because in pics, my breast look huge so I'm constantly thinking did I go small enough but in real life I look at how I fit in this sports bra and I think they are just right. I'm so confused. Today j finally broke open the arnica ointment and put some on the tops of my breast. I'm hoping it starts to help with a bit of this swelling. The other crazy thing is that my but is hurting. No I mean really hurting. Like if I'm not careful I could develop a bed sore hurting. I am spending hours on my butt because I can't lie on my sides or stomach and the pain is crazy. It has become swollen and red, I know possible TMI, but I'm sharing the whole experience as it happens. Lol. I'm having to make sure that I shift constantly because otherwise I might have some real trouble develop. In fact it's time for me to start think of shifting it up now so I will chat with y'all later.
I need a good timeline for expected recovery!
Have any of you tried to find a review that shoes or explains the timeline for recovery? I do realize it is different gor every one. I just want a basic one that might help me understand mine. I am still working on pain control that will allow me to sleep through the night without being jarred awake from the sudden pain in my buttocks, around bra band or along swollen parts of actual breast. These babies are hard as rocks in certain areas. Directly in the front where they have dropped a bit and appear squared off at the bottom, they are rather soft. So not even really painful. The only problem is trying to lift those areas to clean. When the nurse or I try, it can be very painful. I have been so grateful for the home health nurse. She is scheduled to come visit one more day. Next Sunday. She has been great and I'm going to miss her. As for my sister, she has been getting up everyday and taking off So most of the day I spend a lone. Sleeping, texting or talking to friends or trying to catch up with Netflix's Nurse Jackie. It's pretty good.
Once I shower today, I will try to get some good pics to post. Since my breast are in transition, I find I start feeling a bit of anxiety about the appearance which in turn makes me light headed and woozy. Yesterday my plans were to shower and change my dressings. However, I started getting so light headed that I didn't trust myself to get in the shower since I was home alone. So I came to my bed and sat down and fixed up my dressings, then got in the bed.
Well I'm going to get up, shower, take something for pain and then lay back down. Ttyl ladies!????
Updated Picture of Nipple Healing
Here are my left and right nipples. They don't look horrible to me but they don't look 100% either. I have antibiotics ointment as well as petroleum gauze on them to keep them moist.
OMG! So Much Blood
It is 330am and I just finished showering and cleaning myself up. Not sure what is going on but late yesterday evening I decided I was hurting bad enough to take a Percocet. I also noticed that my right nipple had slightly leaked through the padding. I fell asleep shortly after taking the pain relief but woke up about an 1.5 hours before it was time to take another and I was still hurting. So I set my timer to wake me in that time. So I dozed off then woke back up and noticed I had now bled through my bra and the spot was bigger. I took off my bra and all of my gauze was covered by blood. My nipple was leaking steadily and didn't seem to want to stop. I showered and rinsed off, rebamdaged everything and now I'm praying that the bbleeding will stop. Wouldn't you know it would happen on an early Saturday morning when the Drs office is closed. Well, the home health nurse comes Sunday morning. If it is anything too bad I'm sure she can direct the right way. I was supposed to start doing nails again in one week, but these nipples are scaring me a bit. Y'all please, keep me lifted in prayer.
Well, I started bleeding again. Called the doctor and she gave me the choice to head to ER and get it checked out or wait until my visit with her on Tuesday. I opted to head to ER since it was the second time in one day that it bled/drained in such away. The ER crew was very nice. From start to finish I was there about an hour maybe. The dr did a culture and sent it to the lab. He said it would be ready by Tuesday's visit. However, he said based on appearance, swelling, redness and heat that it was an infection. I am talking antibiotics, however because I'm allergic to so many classes of antibiotics the one that was sent home with me wasn't quite working. So now I have a new 10 day round of a different type. Everyone is optimistic that it will work. Keep praying ??????????????
Getting My Head Back in the Game
Had a Drs appointment today and I would be lying if I said all went very well. I actually had a mini breakdown. The nurse took me in, did my vitals, then gave me a cape to put on. I told her I would put it on, but would not be able to remove my bra because it was the only thing keep my dressings on and keeping my right breast from leaking all over the place. So she said that was fine and also gave me a towel so when the Drs finally did come in to check, it wouldn't be so messy. Well, actually, let me back up a minute. I told you about the ER visit, but failed to fill you in on the next day. So I went to the ER on Saturday and on Sunday the home health nurse had come. Since I had already been up and showered earlier and changed the dressings, when she texted, I asked if she would look at the dressings without changing them again so soon. Mind you that Saturday night, Subday morning, I had a fitful night where I could definitely tell I was battling a fever. Sweat literally pouring down my neck. So anyway she said that was fine. She arrived and while checking the dressings discovered another area where my right breast was leaking. My heart sank a little at that moment. She cleaned it up, redressed it and gave me instructions. Took my vitals, which were mostly ok except for a low grade temp of 100.3. She could hear my discouragement in my voice and she immediately told me to get out my head. Not to be anxious. She told me everything good that was present that showed signs of this clearing up with no issue. She gave me instructions on changing the dressings and told me to call or text if I needed anything. Now, fast forward back to today. The Dr asked me how I was doing and I said ok. Then when she began her examination, she asked me if I could see a difference in how the right breast was from Saturday to today. That is when I just started spilling my guts. I told her that honestly, I didn't even look at my breast for more than what was required to change the dressings and cover them back up. That at the moment I was just totally disgusted by their transitionn and the whole idea that I have this infection in breast and I just didn't know what was going on inside my body. I told her the drainage was awful and unpredictable (today, I had to change shirts 3 times) and while I would love to leave the house, I felt like I couldn't. I told her I knew it was still so very early, and so I was trying to keep my head wrapped in tight, but I wasn't going to lie, it was hard. I told her I was thankful to hat nothing had burst open, which she replied, that we weren't out of that zone yet. I said I had also given thought to the fact that if the drainage didn't stop that they might even have to open it to allow it to drain. On top of all of this, my sister didn't show up and I had to drive myself to the appointment. Then came the tears. I laughed it off but I was so serious. I told Dr. Duckett when she came in that it was probably the lack of sleep as well that was causing distress. Dr. Duckett made sure to sit down and sincerely ask me if I was sure there wasn't anything else. I told her no I was sure. I finally ended up having another culture of the drainage taken, stitches removed from my nipples and then one stitch each removed from the middle of the anchor scar at the bottom of my breast. I left hurting from the stitches and the dr milking the drainage, but mentally I felt better. Dr. Duckett gave me a scrip for ambian and directions on how to take it so I could get a good nights sleep. So today has been a long day. I did go to Walmart afterwards to grab a few items, but found myself quickly Wien out. When I got home I didn't move for the rest of the day. So tonight, which I had not since Saturday, was in enough pain that I finally decided to take half of a pain killer. This right breast was acting out tonight and still is even as I type this right now. The bottom of the breast has been terribly painful and the nerve shocks have been literally breath-taking and not in a good way. So I'm about to call it a night. I don't have any current pics today. I have to get my nerve back up to take a few. Especially of my nipple transition. Because what looks like a mess of scars is actually the loss of pigment. So I am really wondering how these babies will end up looking in the end.
I still have my infection, but decided to let my breast rest from everything today. No ointments, creams, or bra. Today I took some 2.5 Kaangen Water, spritzed my breasts and nipples and let them air dry. I did that several times today and my nipples are already looking better. My drainage is minimal and I continue to pray that God dries it completely up. I also decided to try on some clothes to see the difference and wow! There were features on the clothing in the breast area, such as pleats that I had never noticed before. Think I'm starting to have that mind shift. This infection had me feeling down, but now Feeling much better.
Looks like my update was removed from yesterday. Not really sure why. I had a two hour procedure yesterday that involved an ultrasound and then the dr trying to aspirated or draw out any pockets of fluid. There were no pockets of fluid detected. This would have been the desired result. Instead it appeared that the tissue was infiltrated with infection instead. This means that there maybe another surgery in my future.
At the ER again. Staph Infection.
I am going to have surgery tomorrow. After being in the hospital for three days with IV antibiotic therapy and it not totally working my surgeon has decided to take me in and clean it up manually. I'm actually at peace with all of it because I was ready to get it resolved. So please keep me in your prayers and your go on this next but this journey.
Surgery this Afternnoon. No Infection! Fatty Necrosis!
Finally! Answers! No infection. It is fatty necrosis. That puts my mind at ease. It makes sense as to why the originally cultures did not show any bacterial growth. This is what is shown in the pictures yesterday. That is not drainage it is fat. This also explains why the "infection " or drainage was not responding to the antibiotics. I am so relieved to have this information. I go into surgery this afternoon to clean everything up and am praying that my recovery is swift and complete in Jesus name. Amen.
It's been exactly one month.
19 May 2016
2 months post
Thought I would come and update where I am right now. So I had revision surgery on my left breast on April 18th and it was pretty successful. There was still some infection in addition to the fat necrosis. The surgery went well. I ended up staying in the hospital a total of 12 days and ended up having my gall bladder removed as well on April 25th. I came home on April 26th and had a car wreck on April 29th. It has been a trying several weeks. So I am still seeing the surgeon and home health nurse (twice) weekly and just had my final stitches removed a couple of days ago. The day after I had a little blister like area along the incision pop and open, but keeping the silver antibiotic strip and a bandage over it has kept it from getting larger. One thing I notice is after i have spent an evening of hugging folks (Mother's Day and recent graduation of son), I have a lot more drainage. I haven't returned to work yet, but plan to go back on June 1. That is almost 10 weeks from my original surgery. It's crazy how many real people, friends, that I know have had this surgery and it has been so uneventful. I had to be the one to try and be the over achiever. Lol. The pigment has gone from my grafts but you can see areas where it is growing back. I am going to upload lots of pictures so you can see the current progress and since second surgery. I love the way everything fits now too. I have purchased dresses and swimsuits that I would have never been able to wear. As for how they look bare, the shape is slowing coming in, but still a little misshaped. However with close on it looks just fine.
Back to Surgery
23 Jun 2016
3 months post
Well, update a month later and I'm back for another surgery. I had to have another debriedment on yesterday to my right side and scar revision on my left. No infection. Just fat necrosis. Caused the skin to boil over and pop continuously. I love the fact that I have smaller breast though. After this last surgery, I'm not quite sure what my cup size will be. I am hoping that my breast are somewhat even but only time will tell.
Feeling Hopefull, but I'm human
I did find out on this past Monday the cultures did grow out an additional infection. It appears that the moist areas and drainage of fat necrosis is a breeding gown for staph. The particular staph I had was epidermis. So it came off of my skin. I tell you I am supposed to change my dressings daily, but I get freaked out about exposing my incisions to the air. The dr said it was nothing that I am doing or it would have affected both breast. She said it's just something that happened. She was very aggressive in the amount she removed and it will probably leave me with one breast larger. The hope is with scar revision on the left side and the bit of fat she removed there that there isn't a big difference. She said she wished she had been more aggressive with the second surgery, but didn't want to leave me lopsided. It is also something I have read on many Drs reviewed that she did what she was supposed to do. They said when you are aggressive you tend to take good tissue out too. Well with this last surgery, dr. Duckett scraped and removed all of the dead tissue. I've been home now for 3 days after a weeks stay in the hospital. I'm feeling good but honestly just want the time to hurry up and go away. I'm spending today just sleeping. I don't want to get out of bed. I don't think I'm depressed, but I know I am very tired. Very very tired.
Update with pics
It's been about two and a half weeks since my last surgery and everything is going pretty well. I still have my drain and scheduled to see surgeon weekly. Was getting out and about, but think it was too early. Since yesterday, I have been feeling quite a bit more pain and have needed some harder pain meds than Tylenol. I also seem to be swelling a bit more. So I'm resting and icing all day today. I was looking at my old bra compared to this new one and wow what a difference. Of course, I'm still in soft bras or sports bras.