So, grab a cup of coffee while I tell you about my boobs….LOL..I know it sounds crazy, but it’s worth talking about if anyone has my kind of pain. I’m too old to care if I’m judged harshly about stuff I say any more. I’ve been to many chiropractors, spent a ton of money just with my co-pay on physical therapists, internal medicine Dr.s and of course my OB-GYN. I’ve had x-rays, ultrasounds, and even an MRI. You name a type of Dr. and I’ve been there all except for one special kind of Dr. that no one ever suggested to me…my Plastic Surgeon.
I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t want to talk about these things. But women need to talk about them openly so other women know that they are not alone. I suffered through years and years of back and neck pain. Even when I wasn’t in bed on my back from my stabbing lower shoulder pain that would trigger a 3-day migraine, I just never felt “right”. No one even thought that my breasts were huge, and people are surprised when I tell them. I also have fibrocystic breast disease, which can really cause a lot of pain by its self and adds a lot of weight.
I’m 5’2” (almost) and average weight with normal BMI. My frame is small and I was carrying around size DD breast with all the weight on my trapezius and deltoid muscles. Mine were in a constant state of panic that you could bounce a coin off of at any time. It caused my shoulders to be constantly pulled forward and my sternum actually clicks from being so hunched by the weight. Why didn’t anyone… ANYONE in all my years of crying in Doctors offices ever even suggest a breast reduction?
I had to get a new mammogram before undergoing surgery and I was nervous and told my mammographer why I was there and that I was nervous. She put me at ease and told me how her reduction was the best thing she’s done, her friend says the same. I have since heard countless women tell me how thrilled they are for getting the surgery. Not one person has said anything except that they would do it again. I wish I had asked these nurses and mammographers sooner. Ask your fellow women…but it seems that you have to ask outright to get anyone talking about it.
I have heard how it’s harder on some women. So, yes, I was scared about recovery. I was home 2 hours after surgery and have a great Dr.. The first week wasn’t half as bad and I thought “wow, this is nothing”, then the next week came on and I felt like my breasts were going to explode. The pain was constant and the ibuprofen helped just a tiny bit. They did give me pain medication, but I really don’t take any medication harsher than aspirin or ibuprofen. Anything stronger makes me feel sick. I tried to take half a painkiller the first day after to get through it and it did help the pain, but I was throwing up and couldn’t eat. How we have a painkiller problem in this country is crazy to me. I don’t see how anyone can take those things. I destroyed them the day after surgery.
I was able to take my Girl Scout troop to the zoo 6 days after surgery. Granted, I walked slowly and warned everyone that there would be NO hugging! The second week had more pain in the incisions at first but that healed quickly. The overall swelling was what hurt the worst. The third week is more of an overall sensitivity type of pain and a cold ice pack is my friend.
They say six to eight weeks and I believe them. Bumpy car rides are excoriating, but normal walks around the neighborhood are easy. I don’t plan on hitting the gym for another month so I feel guilty because we are paying for it…but, to be honest…I felt guilty most of the month leading up to the reduction.so I can’t blame this I guess;)
I’m defiantly still in the healing process, but I am already so very happy that I did this. The first thing I noticed is that I’m holding my shoulders where they are supposed to be. The pain in my back and my neck are absolutely gone. Everyone I’ve talked to that has had this says the same thing. My Dr. said that he hears it every time that women feel better that day! If so many women knew this…why aren’t they shouting it out to the rest of us well endowed/cursed women? Is this for everyone? No. But if you have a tight back and neck or your shoulders roll up and you can’t figure out why, I would at least ask your primary Dr. about it. Maybe there is some crazy rule against them suggesting it? I don’t know, but I really really wish I had known years sooner.
I have a long history of Dr. expense for this pain and the pictures showed that I was a candidate to need this. I was very lucky in that my insurance covered everything and it was actually approved immediately. Without insurance, it looks to cost about $6,000. Ouch, but I would have saved up every penny had I known how much better I would feel. Honestly, I don’t remember a time when my back and neck have felt this relaxed. I got so used to my pain being normal I didn’t realize how bad it was sometimes.
Some TMI details. He used the anchor method on me since he needed to remove so much. (3”..No kidding) You might not want to think about it, but they cut around the nipple and take it in. You can even breastfeed after this. I nursed for 6 years, so no more for me. I can’t say anything about scars since this is new to me. The cuts go under my breasts, so even if there is a bit that shows, I totally don’t care. It will take a while to feel totally normal again and for things to “fall into place” shall we say.
I can’t catch up with my gardening since the action of the weed pulling is still too much for me. I have kids and husband to carry stuff around for me. (Though it drives me nuts to not have my laundry basket carried up right away…arg… maybe a few issues right now..) I’m just staying in and sewing. If you have a desk job, you won’t have to worry about much after the 2nd week. It would be hard if you had a physical job though for a while.
I want to stress to my daughters that this wasn’t for appearance and that we are all beautiful the way we are. That being said, I’m 51 and my boobs look like they are 25…so, OK, I’m not complaining about the bonus either. They will understand when they’re 51.