reduction | week 6

today was my 30 day check up! hooray!! dr. Anthony has been so positive and supportive of my healing process. he got a big hug as he entered the room and a thank you for relieving my neck and back pain and for just being amazing. 

upon examination he was thrilled with my scars – thin, flat and in time he assured me that they would fade away beautifully. I have one spont on the right that for me hasn’t folded under they way the left has and he’s sure that as my swelling continues to decrease and my new perky girls continue to fall this spot will be hidden, but just in case it doesn’t he can take care of it with a small in office procedure. 

I didn’t mention that with my reduction I also had some body sculpting done. that has been where most of my healing  pain has come from. but dr. Anthony also said that where I am in recovery is great. I probably have another 2-3 months of swelling reduction, and weight loss to come. this has all been such a process, and required support of my family and friends (you’ve all been wonderful). 

so far I can sum up my recovery by week:

1: lots of pain, little movement, drugs. 

2: still lots of pain, a little movement but exhaustion from minimal exertion. tried to ween off the drugs – failed and used what I was given as instructed by nurse Taylor. 

3: naps, naps, naps! naps were amazing week three. I was moving around more, feeling much better, and managing pain with Advil. 

4: still napping, but oh my goodness the cooking goddess awoke and I was a beast in the kitchen!

5: finally started to see the new shape of things. stitches fully fell out. sleeping at night began to be more difficult as the sensitivity of my back shaping intensified. oh and the nipples……ON all the time and so sensitive which is good because I didn’t loose any feeling, but they are so embarrassing!! 

6: things are only getting better, but it’s a slow process. your body needs good foods, lots of rest and water to heal. I’m so happy that I’ve taken this much time off from work to recuperate. it’s been a blessing. 

next week I ease back into my 1.5 HR commute each way and the crazy politics of “The Fruit”. two days in the office and then fully back the following week. as my final days home come to an end, I’m making strawberry jam, slow cooking chicken and visiting the wholesale flower market weekly to keep our house in fresh arrangements. I’m photographing when I can, and excited that today’s check up gave me the green light for carrying more that 5lbs and working out. 

getting this reduction was the best decision and I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner – but everything happens when it’s suppose to. 

next check in will be at 3 months (September). thanks for following along!!! 

xoxo – nat

(.) (.)

reduction | week 2

today is officially 14 days since surgery and I’m doing better than I expected I would be. yesterday was my second check in with the doctor, and he was really pleased with my progress. 

he clipped knots in my stitches which will allow my new perky girls to fall naturally into their new shape – right now we are still pretty high, tight  and boxy. the craziest thing is the pain or pressure that has always been in my shoulders and upper back is completely gone. for those of you with small cups sizes or men out there reading this, imagine carrying a backpack with 20lbs in it but in reverse. so a 20lb front pack – strapped to you at all times. sleep with it, exercise with it, lounge around with it, cook, clean, play, get dressed up fancy with your 20lb front pack and then someone takes more than half the weight out of it. “ahhhhhhhh” literally is what my back is saying. 

the Dr took photos yesterday and showed us before and 14 days post op comparison.  I can’t believe I was that large and so extended, droopy, fallen, saggy, pendulous (that’s my favorite). we used the bend of my elbow as a point of reference for the then and now nipple position. let’s just say, I was once a permement resident of the elbow area and there is no chance of me visiting that region again!!  I could also see a huge improvement in my posture which was cool. my body is reacting to the decreased weight – all on its own!!

I fully stopped narcotics for pain a few days ago, and I think I’m having weird narcotic hot flashes or I’ve fully jump started menopause- the heat comes from no where and then fades away. it’s bizarre! 

we done some serious walking (every other day) and some serious napping. both are highly recommended. 

I still can’t lift or carrying things – nothing over a pound for about six weeks (love my Sherpas). and I have continued my acupuncture and homeopathic medicines which I believe both make a huge difference. I will be working on scar reduction for the next few weeks and we see the Dr at 30 days for the next check-up. 

thank you to everyone who has sent well wishes and gifts and flowers – you all know how much I LOVE flowers!!  

a special thank you to my daughter T, and to M for being the best recovery team a girl could have!! I love you both more than words!! 

unless there is breaking news, I’ll be back with the 30 day update. 

xoxo

(.) (.) <- littles!


p.s. – this is the hand drawn explanation from my surgeon of the procedure. you can kind of see the elbow bend landmark I described. 

I’ve also discovered lots of Drs on snapchat who film their reductions so I had a very clear understanding of what what going to happen during surgery. I have an odd sense of needing to know things. (weirdo!)

tata!  

reduction | week 1

so I was told I had to pull the day 1, 2 & 3 posts until I was less narcotically impaired!  the “cleaned” up versions went up a few days ago.  ūüôā sorry if you stumbled through the raw rambling versions before I pulled them. LOL

week one has been roouugh.  I have to think things will get easier – they have to get easier. the hardest thing has been sleeping and getting comfortable for more than an hour at a time.  the pain has been really tolerable. I’ve been on tylenol only since day 4 and it’s really all i’ve needed (except at night to sleep).

the girls are very oddly shaped right now, but I have officially been released from the compression bra. itchy means healing and I know they have some dropping to do – so let the reshaping unfold.  it’s really hard to gauge my new size – really hard. dr said full D, but the realization of that is still weeks away. 

happy for a sunny day in San Francisco!

( . ) ( . )

reduction | day 2&3

more of the same. I’ve just begun to get my legs undernearth me, and trying to stand up straight is a joke. from what can see the girls look smaller and much perkier. getting comfortable is impossible, and my throat ¬†is beginning to get better – still scratchy for the most part. I’m pretty swollen, and it’s¬†hard to tell fully what’s¬†been done, but I am only 3 days post op, so patience and sleep is all that’s on my agenda. Oh yea, I did have acupuncture today which was great and helped me sleep. Taylor gets here today and I think my mom ¬†had something delivered. it will all wait until naps are over.

( . ) ( . )

tired and sore.

xoxoxo

reduction | home day 1

we arrived an hour before surgery was scheduled. greeted by Colette (super nice nurse) who got me changed and my paperwork filled out. she started my IV while the anesthesiologist asked me 2-3 times when the last time I ate was.

after I was dressed and prepped with what to expect from the happy juice, dr Anthony came in to have a chat. We looked at memes from the Cavs and Warriors games. he had me totally laughing at a few basketball jokes, and I was no longer nervous. he drew on my back and all over my chest and stomach. he showed me where my new nipples would be and how much fullness I’d have. the nerves were coming back, and I was givin a Valium to help out. within 10 minutes they were walking me into the operating room. I climbed under a warm blanket, and woke up in the recovery room. literally it happened just like that. ¬†try to get comfortable in this cold operating room and before you feel like you’ve fully laid down – I was waking up.

they called Marcus and he arrived in an uber within 10 mins. Megan – another nurse helped me off the bed and into my sweats. she helped me into a wheel chair and was my chatty ride giver to the curb. she touched my shoulders a lot – that’s all I really remember. I know it was probably to let me know she was there, but it was annoying!

the ride home was quick, and getting into our place to the elevator took forever. I got to the house, and I to my chair that was all set up, with a ton of deep breathing and cursing.

once the pillows & pills and tinctures and bottles of coconut water and notepads were all set up (2:00pm) I was good.

bathroom beaks were excruciating, but it was day 1 and this with everything eles has to get better.


say bye bye bye ( . )  ( . )

xo

reduction

tomorrow I undergo breast reduction surgery. I’m nervous, excited, and anxious. ¬†I think all of these are normal emotions before a major surgery, and probably a little more appropriate for an elective surgery.

the relationship I’ve had with my “girls” has been one of love and hate for as long as I can remember. ¬†as a pre-teen I couldn’t wait for the sign that I was becoming a woman. ¬†I’d stand in the mirror checking for any indication that breasts were beginning to form. ¬†I’d even talk to my older girlfriends who were already fully developed to understand what I should look for and they told me to hold my hands up over my head and if I could still see my chest protruding that was when I’d know I had boobs. ¬†Week after week I’d stand in the bathroom, or in my bedroom with my hands raised up like I was being robbed, looking for the sign of my boobs.

once they started developing it seemed like they were on a race of their own. I blew right through training bras, past A, B and C cups until I landed firmly in the land of D. ¬†My mother worried about my back and forced me to wear full coverage, front closing bras with back braces in them. ¬†They were the most unflattering, uncomfortable bras I’d ever seen. ¬†I wasn’t even allowed to sleep without them, and when I tried I generally was uncomfortable allowing my breasts to be free.

as a senior in high school I was all boobs and extremely self conscious. nothing fit my chest appropriately, and the choice I had for pretty bras was non-existent. ¬†some of the women on my mothers side of the family were also well endowed, so I came by my “girls” naturally.

as I matured, dealing with my breasts was something that was just a part of my life. ¬†I knew what I could and couldn’t wear, I knew that the grooves in my shoulder from their weight in my bras, and the stabbing of the underwire was just part of my life. I even knew that while I was pregnant that they would potentially increase in size and not get smaller.¬†I was determined to breastfeed both of my babies, and I did so successfully. ¬†I grew to an L cup (almost double the size of my newborns head), and worried that I’d suffocate my daughter¬†while feeding her.

as the years have gone by, my breasts have landed comfortably at a G cup, the grooves in my shoulders have discolored my skin, and I’ve developed a skin rash under my breasts due to the skin to skin contact. It has been difficult to exercise, to find swimsuits that are flattering, and to do normal daily activities¬†without neck and back pain. ¬†Never did I attribute my headaches, or always tight shoulder to the size of my breasts, but as I researched breast reduction I learned that my life of discomfort could be 100% attributed to their size.

today I thank them for all they have done. I thank them for nourishing my children, and for rounding out my figure. I thank them for teaching me how to use my brain to get what I wanted and not rely on them as physical assets.  I thank them for being a part of me for all of these years.

tomorrow I¬†undergo surgery to reduce their size, to lift their position, and to relieve my neck and back. I’m nervous, excited, and anxious to¬†see the outcome.

I plan to journal my way through this transition, and hope that my experience helps any women thinking about a reduction.

( . ) ( . )

xo!

2015 | grateful for another year 

just wanted to drop a quick note in your inbox before this year ends. I am so grateful for all the opportunities, ups, downs and connections made this year. I hope your year was one you can look back on and be grateful for every day. 

cheers to 2015, and to the new year!

xo – natalie

     
from the Caribbean Sea to you! (the blog on this adventure coming soon…)