Thursday, December 4, 2008

Three months/four months post op

My breasts are now equally healed, and there is almost no indication that the left breast has had a month less recovery time:

Over the last 2 months I've been gradually resuming my full programme of upper-body weights at the gym, without any problems until I started the pectoral exercises a couple of weeks ago. Since then I've had quite a few sharp twinges in my left breast (previously known as Bad Boob), so I presume it's scar tissue being stretched and adhesions broken up. The twinges haven't been as bad for a few days, so I'm presuming it's been beneficial rather than damaging.

I'm just starting to feel pleased with the result of all the surgery and setbacks and recovery, at least when I'm clothed. I wear T-shirts without a second thought, and I've had several favourite blouses taken in so that they don't look ridiculously baggy around the chest. I'm not yet comfortable about the naked appearance of my breasts though. The nipples are still pointing in different directions (not just left/right, but up/down as well), so I guess that's the way they're going to stay. It's less noticeable in a bra, and even less with clothes on, but I feel rather self-conscious about it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Two months/three months

For those arriving at this page for the first time, I should briefly explain that my breasts are at different stages of recovery, with the left one being now 2 months post-op, and the right breast 3 months.

I have been surprised and pleased to see how quickly Bad Boob has recovered since the second operation, and to be honest, they look about the same to me, in terms of healing:

I saw the surgeon again last week, and he doesn't need me to go back for review for another six months! Now that is progress, when for most of August I was having to go in to the city twice a week to see him.
The more I think about that dreadful month with the haematoma, the more I wonder if I should have had the second surgery much sooner. I think it affected me a lot more than I realised, in terms of physical and psychological damage, and I doubt whether my decision-making abilities were up to much. I was just so scared of having more surgery, especially as it involved opening up most of the original wound, and I think I probably let that fear override a more rational approach, which would surely have been to get rid of that huge collection of blood as quickly as possible!
I'm so very glad that it didn't develop into an infection, but being on such high doses of antibiotics for almost a month cannot have been good for my system.

Anyway, I've been looking back over that awful time, and wondering if the end result was worth it. I'm only just starting to think it was, and I think it will be a while yet before I am genuinely glad I went ahead with the reduction. Oh I'm completely sure that I will be glad, but I'm just not there yet. Maybe by the next time I post. :-)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

One month/two months

It's rather awkward, having breasts which are "out of sync" with each other, and I still find it difficult to make allowances for the left breast, who is a month "behind".

However, as you can see, it is doing its best to catch up to the right breast, and the scars are amazingly similar, considering the left one has had twice as much trauma.

Generally, things are going very well. I'm back to all my usual activities, and I no longer wear a bra in bed. However, they still feel mildly uncomfortable if I go bra-less during the day. A dragging feeling, similar to pre-menstrual fullness I guess, as I first mentioned here.
Both breasts are still lacking sensation below the nipple line, although interestingly enough the more traumatised left breast seems to be regaining sensation a little more quickly than the right, especially along the scar line.

In the last week I've had a few more of the rather unpleasant deep-seated shooting pains in the left breast, which may be associated with those areas of fat necrosis which I mentioned in an earlier post.

Even in a bra, my nipples are noticeably out of alignment, but I'm hoping as the left breast catches up in terms of healing and reduced swelling, its nipple will gain a little height. If not, I won't be doing anything about it, so I guess I should just stop worrying.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New bra and unexpected benefit

The surgeon was happy for the 2nd time in a row, when I saw him earlier this week. Bad Boob is now 3 weeks post op, and Good Boob is 7 weeks post op, so the difference is still quite marked, but he feels that BB will settle down a bit more over the next month or so. 
In answer to my question, he didn't think that they would ever be symmetrical, but he did expect them to be about the same size eventually.

So off I went to the specialist bra shop, as I mentioned last time. I was disappointed at the result: 20D

I thought from the look of my breasts that I might have gone down to a C cup, but apparently not. However the D cup was a bit wrinkly, so I think with a different style I might be a C, and if I lose a few more kilos I might make an 18. Something to aim for!

The new bra was also depressingly like the ones I used to wear, with 4 hooks at the back and the look of a supportive rather than an attractive undergarment. Quite a downer, actually, as I had imagined myself free of those matronly constructions.

In better news, some young acquaintances of mine told me today that I looked slimmer and taller (taller???), so I guess the breast reduction also adds to one's stature. LOL

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Giving Credit

It's time for me to acknowledge those who have helped me through this unexpectedly rough 6 weeks:

1. My friends (both online and in real life) - deeply appreciated. Thank you.

2. The surgeon - who does not have a website I can link to, or I would. Surgeons have a reputation for being unsympathetic and with a brusque manner, but he has been endlessly supportive and caring, despite my tears and fears.

3. The internet can be a mixed blessing, but I found a number of sites to be particularly helpful, and some of them deserve a second mention here:

6 weeks/2 weeks

I need to remind myself that BB (on the left) is only 2 weeks post-surgery, whereas GB (on the right) has a month's head start.
But I have to say that BB is doing its best to catch up, and despite double surgery is looking reasonably OK. It is still too early to tell if the 4 weeks of haematoma and the duplicate surgery will prevent it from regaining a normal shape, but I think it's doing its best: 

I have not yet mentioned the special bra which has been my constant support over the last 6 weeks. I went to a specialist bra shop before the operation, as advised by the surgeon, and they measured me for a suitable post-op size. 
The bras are cotton, front-fastening, and a cross between a sports bra and a bandage. Comfortable and supportive, and I have dutifully worn them 24 hours a day.
In fact when I remove the bra I feel distinctly uncomfortable, with the scar/suture line dragging unpleasantly.

I don't know how much of this is physical, and how much is psychological, so I am making myself do without the bra every second night at the moment. Here it is:

After my visit to the surgeon in 2 days' time, I intend to revisit that specialist bra shop and get fitted for a "proper" bra in my new size.  I was previously a 24EE, so I'll be interested to see what I am now.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

5 weeks

With poor BB having had repeat surgery only a week ago, I guess it can be forgiven for looking a little droopy compared to GB, which is one month further down the healing track:

I certainly hope that eventually I end up with breasts pointing in roughly the same direction, rather than this "cross-eyed" effect, but I accept that it is early days for BB, which has had a pretty rough time for the last 5 weeks.

The good news is that when I visited the surgeon a few days ago, he looked happier than I'd seen him since the first operation, and he announced that he didn't need to see me for 2 whole weeks (a vast improvement on the twice-weekly reviews I've been having). BB has been a bit tender since that last operation, with occasional sharp pains deep inside the breast, but I think he attributes this to inflammation caused by the repeated trauma. 

The really good news is that there is no sign of the hematoma re-developing, and although the left breast looks rather mis-shapen, it has remained a similar size to the better-behaved (and undeniably perky) breast on the right.

I've taken the precaution of wearing my special supportive bra 24 hours a day since the last operation. It probably isn't providing any extra support for BB, but the psychological effect is beneficial. I feel supported when wearing it, rather than imagining I can feel the blood collecting again.  

In general, I'm taking a lot longer to bounce back from surgery, but I guess I was already rather run down by the physical effect of that huge haematoma over the previous 4 weeks, not to mention the great anxiety about it. I'm hoping the problems are now behind me and that I will start feeling like my old self, albeit with a lot less bosom in front of me!