Goodbye, DD. Hello, small C. (Or, breast reduction surgery in a nutshell, written while loopy)
Posted on June 19th, 2013
Take this with many grains of narcotics — hell, I have. I will probably fall asleep three or four times while I’m typing this. [ETA: Yes. Yes, I did. I took me well over an hour to write this post and correct my many spelling/grammar/word choice errors. I’m sure I missed a lot. I’m sorry, but NARCOTICS and scopolamine.]
So, breast reduction. Ever since I overheard a conversation between my parents about my rapid development, I’ve been a wee bit sensitive about the size of mine. (I was 10-11. Note to parents: when your kids hear their names, they just might be listening from the servants’ staircase.) I was fairly oblivious to it as a teenager, but in my 20s, once the inevitable back/neck/TMJ/tension headaches (which can easily morph into a migraine) started and I started meeting people who’d have reductions, I really, really wanted a reduction. But, money. And now, insurance. (That said, I’m terrified about getting the EOB in the mail and seeing what the copay really turns out to be.)
My report time was 0530; surgery was at 0730, and I woke up in the recovery room at 1015. We left sometime after 1200, but I’ll be darned if I remember when. (I can remember someone saying I’d had three versed, but still, I can remember hanging out with M and friend RGP, who not only deserves a medal for taking Pea, but also for showing up at zero dark thirty to help cheer me up during the waiting period.)
There is something amazing about looking down and realizing that even with bandages and swelling, you’re packing a lot less mass than you were when you walked in the building. Even with all those bandages, I can actually put my arms straight down by my sides. Someday I will be able to run without two sports bras!
However, even bandaged tightly, I’ve lost some graham cracker crumbs in the cleavage. Apparently that doesn’t go away. We’ll see if I pass the popcorn/M&M test in a month or two.
As much as I was nervous/anxious about the procedure, I’m very happy it’s over with. In the interest of TMI, apparently it can take months for lumps and such to even out, but I’ve yet to hear a single person say they regretted this surgery, and as we know, I suffer from random-stranger-judgment-syndrome. (“RSJS” Actually, that should be a thing. Someone call the APA and the OED.) If someone regretted it, I’m sure they would have told me. As to how random strangers might have learned this was on the horizon, see below.
If you’re in the Portland area and you want one, go to Dr. Waldorf. A cosmetic surgeon’s office is kind of interesting, anyway — part spa, part doctor’s office, part art gallery. When a half dozen nurses volunteer that they like her work and that if they ever have something done, they’d go to her, that’s a pretty ringing endorsement. Also, there’s a lot to be said when your staff is made up of RNs and PAs.
If you have to have day surgery for any reason and you can, go to Providence St. Vincent. (M once had knee surgery here a long time ago, and while everything is much fancier now, it was a similarly good experience.) Once you get past all the statues of nuns, it was a great experience. The RNs are awesome. I think I interacted with five, total, and they were fabulous. We reported at 0530 and everyone was so damned cheerful. And competent. And helpful. The only marginally grumpy person I encountered was in recovery, and that person may have been me.
As for meds? I’m not sure what they used during, but after? Dilaudid. I’m not sure how much I had, but woo-boy, that stuff is awesome. I’m “down” to taking oxycodone and while it didn’t take the pain down to around 1-2 like the dilaudid, hopefully it will do the trick (along with ibuprofen and icepacks).
The best part was that Pea spent the night with friends–her first sleepover!– and had a grand time. This is because we have incredible friends who, even though they had distant family arriving for a visit yesterday, took care of her until I was discharged this afternoon. Thank you, RGP, MW, SW, and EW, not least of which for feeding the bottomless appetite and teaching her how to sink a basketball! (Her first ever in the picture below. For scale, MW is very tall.) Given the way this girl is growing, I anticipate many RSJS commentaries on whether or not I’m screwing her up permanently by allowing/not allowing her to play basketball.
But she’s the same kid. When we rendezvoused at the bagel place near the hospital where I was eating lunch, Pea, true to form, ran in and asked loudly, “So did they cut your breasts off already?” Then she cried about having to go home with M and me. But she did let me kiss her, so there’s that. She is fascinated by the Jackson-Pratt drains (which come out tomorrow). “That’s your blood?! That is so cool!” I have had to show her the drains about 10 times now.
(Yes, she is wearing her Wonder Woman shirt/cape. Yesterday afternoon I took her on a little hike and it was so cute to hear the “I love your cape” comments!)