The week leading up to my surgery was the most surreal week of my life. It’s hard to describe exactly how I felt. But mostly, I was in disbelief that the surgery was so close and finally happening. I remember calling Britnee and telling her that I was waiting/expecting a call to tell me the surgery was cancelled. It was hard to accept that something I had wanted for so long was finally going to happen. I thought the rug was going to be pulled under me at any moment. But it was not, and I’m still standing.
I also was getting cold feet in the weirdest way. Not like, “I’m going to miss my boobs.” But in the, “is this really the right move? Am I just being a baby about my issues?” However, I reminded myself this was not a quick decision that I made nor something I randomly wanted. I had been wanting a breast reduction since high school, and wanting something that long is definitely not a hastily made decision.
Monday: I woke up at 7:30 on Monday morning already knowing I didn’t get enough sleep. I spent Sunday night googling everything about anesthesia and how it works, so I was aware being unconscious during surgery wasn’t going to help my case. (By the way, I had surgery before but I was freaking out like I never did.) I was instructed not to eat past midnight but even if I could have eaten, the nerves wouldn’t let me. I got ready and headed to the hospital. After being admitted, I realized this was it. There was no cancellation, this was really happening.
My boyfriend Oscar, my mom, and one of my best friends Rachel, were all in attendance for support. I went back alone at first and a nurse took my vitals and asked me the regular questions. Then my anesthesiologist came to ask me more questions and assure me that he would do his job to make sure I wouldn’t feel a thing. He was definitely a character and really relaxed me. After that, I was instructed to undress and put on my gown and the scrubbie socks and another nurse came to IV me. (Fun fact: I have tiny veins, so they put the IV through the veins on my first.) My family was summoned afterwards to meet me.
At this point, I didn’t feel so nervous anymore. Then, the surgeon came to “mark me up.” She asked if I was okay with everyone one and I was. My mom and my boyfriend had obviously seen my breasts before, but Rachel had not and her time had come. The first thing she said was, “Wow, you really do wear good bras!” I was trying my best not to laugh and not to be tickled by the marker. Her saying that though definitely added another confident thought in my mind, “Okay, she agrees they are huge. I’m not crazy.”
Like I said before, I was having some cold feet issues. But there was no turning back now. Soon after the surgeon left, the operating nurses came to wheel me away and took me into the very cold and chilly operating room. I moved to a table, and my anesthesiologist told me he was about to start injecting me. He said, “I’m sorry this first one is going to burn.” As the liquid is being pushed into my veins, I am getting a breathing mask put on me. The last thing I remember is my hand feeling as if it had been set on fire and thinking, “Motherfucker this is more than a burn!” And that was it…
Next thing I remember, was opening my eyes and feeling like my throat was sandpaper. A person greeted me and asked me how I felt. I said “I’m going to throw up,” and was promptly handed a bag to throw up in. I didn’t know then, but I was in the recovery room. I was in and out of it during this part. I remember I kept falling asleep, only to be awoken and reminded to breathe. “Take deep breaths, come on you can do it.” Some time after, I was wheeled back into the first room I was in. The nurse informed me my “husband” was here and they were going to get him. I remember thinking the wrong person was going to walk into my room because I don’t have a husband. It was the right family though, and the minute I saw them I started crying. I figured this would happen because after my last surgery, I also woke up crying. I was crying and muttering, “no I’m not in pain, I’m just so happy.”
I was sent home right after and the car ride home was the worst of my life. I felt every single bump in West Reading in my chest. I was never happier than the moment the ride was over.
Tuesday: The remainder of Monday and Tuesday I was in an Oxycotin induced haze. I slept on and off and was very emotional. Between my sleeping moments, I was awake being irritated by my throat. (Surprise, surprise, they put a breathing tube down your throat during surgery.) I didn’t feel like eating since I had no appetite. My pain level was minimal due to the medication schedule advised by the nurse. My other best friend Rose came to visit me that afternoon, and I was in and out during her visit.
Wednesday and on: On Wednesday, I decided I no longer needed the Oxy, thanked it for its services, and took Advil only twice as needed for any pain. Now the pain I was feeling is hard to describe. It wasn’t particularly painful, like a cut. It felt as if I was wearing a bra that was 3 sizes too small and the band across the bottom of my boobs was irritating me. My appetite was still away at sea, but my thirst was still realer than ever. Also, my back pain was the worst. I never slept on my back and being forced to during this process has made sleeping my enemy. I even bought a wedge pillow, as recommended by my reduction subreddit, and could not get comfy. Luckily, my hero Britnee brought me a heating pad and saved my life on Thursday.
The rest of the week, I felt better and better as each day went on. Every day a lovely friend came to visit me and that helped tremendously. Everyone was super supportive and loving! Emotionally and mentally, I felt amazing! I did feel the weight being lifted off of my shoulders. Even with the loss of appetite, sore throat, no showering, maxi pad looking bra, lack of mobility, and uncomfortable sleeping, I would redo this surgery in a heartbeat. In just a short week, having this surgery really changed my life. I can see myself standing straighter, and no longer feeling the strain on my neck and back.
It is Tuesday and I’ve had my first post op appointment where my ugly surgical bra and excess padding was removed. I almost cried in the surgeon’s office looking at myself. I only loss 7 pounds last week, and I can’t tell you what was from the surgery and then from my loss of appetite, but looking at how different my torso looks, you would think I lost 15 to 20 instead. I still have ways to go to recover. My breasts are still sitting extra perky and have some swell to it. I won’t be able to wear a regular, wired bra until 3-6 months later but at this point, I do not really need it. If I had to guess a cup size, I would guess a C/D. I can do mostly everything, like driving, but I can’t and won’t be able to lift for a while. I still have to take it easily. I can return back to work on Monday, 1/23, after being out just two weeks.
Here are some of my before and after pictures. I have included the most appropriate ones because I want to be as transparant as possible. Seeing other peoples before and after pictures, really helped me proceed with my decision.
I can truly say this was the BEST decision of my life. My regret, as with many others, was waiting as long as I did to get serious with wanting the surgery. However, I had such an amazing support group during the surgery and recovery, I have no doubt that this happened at exactly the right time. If you have any questions about my experience with getting the surgery, please feel free to reach out to me! I was helped by asking others, and now I hope to do the same.