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Hi everyone, and once again, I apologize for using Imp's board to air my personal chit but this the only social board I hang out on, really!!!

So, I finally went and did it.

Tuesday, I had surgery to take me from a Gigantically/Huge cup to a Within the Realm of Normal cup. A breast reduction.

One thing I have learned: I hate general anaesthesia. Makes me utterly ill. And I really like Dilaudid - the pain med.

The recovery has been FAR worse than I thought it would be. I thought I'd be all productive - making photobooks, organizing pictures digitally, putting stuff up on Shutterfly, cleaning out my e-mail, posting like mad on TMF, and doing all my Facebook games.

Reality? I've managed to redo my farm on Farmville and keep my head above water in Mafia Wars. Not that either of those are remotely related to reality or anything.

I'm exhausted, tired, worn out, wrung out.

I also lost about seven pounds. That's a lot off my chest, quite literally.

I went to the doctor today to have the drains removed (which hurt like h#ll, incidentally!), and I realized that

I. Have. No. Idea. What. To. Think. Of. My. Own. Body.

I have always been so... endowed... (think African fertility goddess statue endowed) that anything NORMAL seems insanely small.

My body image is so confused that I can't see straight, my SMALLEST, pre-kid bra seems two sizes too big and none of my favorite shirts fit right.

My husband is telling me that I look great, but I feel... bereft... somehow.

Yes, I am not my boobs and shouldn't define myself as such. But they've always been how my body was defined FOR me. It really was that bad. And now I feel like the thing that made me... me... is somehow gone.

Which is a 14-year-old reaction, not a 37-year-old one.

So now the healing starts, and I think I'm going to buy myself a new shirt or two.

AND, I have to figure out what on earth bra size I wear, the prospect of asking THAT question to get a real fitting, at my age, is relatively daunting, and somewhat humiliating.

So, that's my emotional outpouring for the week... back to catching up on all the boards.

A hearty congratulations to imp on the name change as well!

GSF
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GSF,

While I can't relate *at all* to any desire to be smaller, I can definitely relate to the urge to be the size you mentally picture as what you *should* be. And I applaud you for finally getting that done!

And as far as bra sizings, you're almost guaranteed to have a woman to assist you, and explaining that you've changed sizes (it's none of her business in which direction or why - you might have just finished breast feeding, or gone on a diet, or anything else) will probably not be anything she doesn't hear from every 3rd woman who requests a sizing. Heck, I'm 38 and I'd ask for one if I had any intention to purchase something afterward (read: if I weren't so broke).

I say go for it - find out what size you really should be, and wear something correctly fitted and that gives you pride in your "GSF-approved-size" endowments!

And remember: you don't need anywhere NEAR the support you used to, so while you still may wish underwire (even my baby B's prefer it) there's no reason you shouldn't get something ridiculously lacy, frilly, and NOT designed to hold you all in!

Frydaze1
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AND, I have to figure out what on earth bra size I wear, the prospect of asking THAT question to get a real fitting, at my age, is relatively daunting, and somewhat humiliating.

Please don't be daunted or humiliated. Your back and shoulders probably already thank you, and once you can get a proper fitting, the girls will thank you too!

A friend and I were traveling in Wales last year and I picked up a UK newspaper because of a front page article on cup size. That's when I found out that women in the UK have the larger chests than any other area. The article (which would never run in a US paper, and certainly not front page) was mother/daughter pairs who were more than amply endowed, and who were all wearing the wrong bra size. Showed them in their underwear before and after a proper fitting. They all talked about how much better their backs and shoulders felt after getting the correct bra. It also talked about how most women never get a proper fitting, and thereby wear the incorrect size foundation garment. As you know personally, when you are amply endowed, proper foundation is vital.

You'll get used to your new shape.

BB
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Glad you were finally able to get the surgery. I hope it'll help your back.

And I hope your recovery will stop sucking so you can feel better.
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((((((((((((((GSF)))))))))))))

You'll adjust, and realize you're beautiful with or without them, only now your back won't hurt.

Ishtar
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did you finally find someone who would take insurance for it?
IIRC - that was holding you back for awhile.

and re: the sizing

Gravity happens, body sizes change - I think that getting sized shouldn't be anything that should embarrass you.
OK- if you go to Victoria's Secret and there is a 19 year old who is just a *sales girl* - I wouldn't be comfortable with that.
But try to find a specialty store or a department store where there is one of those little old ladies who has been doing this her whole life (you know what I men, I hope)
That, or just measure yourself/have DH do it and do the math yourself.

peace & the fist half of the alphabet
t



used to work with a tiny woman, who, after having 8 pounds of breast tissue removed weighed 80 pounds.
What a difference!
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OK- if you go to Victoria's Secret and there is a 19 year old who is just a *sales girl* - I wouldn't be comfortable with that.
But try to find a specialty store or a department store where there is one of those little old ladies who has been doing this her whole life (you know what I men, I hope)
That, or just measure yourself/have DH do it and do the math yourself.


Man, I've just had bad luck getting measured for bras.

I lost weight and new I needed a new bra size, so I was in Lane Bryant and saw someone measure for bras. Asked her to measure me. She told me I needed a 40 or could probably get away with a 38. I went and tried on a few. 38 wouldn't even close and 40 was way too tight. I eventually went back to her and asked EXACTLY what she measured. "38.5" "I thought you said you knew what you were doing! That means I need at least a 42!"

Last year, I went to Macy's and she said a 42 D. There were almost none of that size on the racks.

Ishtar
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I had this surgery in the 8th grade. (No, I am not kidding.) I promise you it gets better, and better, and better. I'm still by no means small, but I'm proportionate.

Congratulations on making the choice for a new you!
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Last year, I went to Macy's and she said a 42 D. There were almost none of that size on the racks.

Tee hee.

-shorty, childish
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I had this surgery in the 8th grade.

Oh dear! I'm glad you had parents who were practical, reasonable, sympathetic people. I can't even imagine how much it would suck at that age to be so well endowed.

Frydaze1 <--- thought it sucked bad enough to not have *any* at that age, but is now reconsidering
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I have no actual knowledge on the subject, but regularly drive by a boutiquey looking place called "Confidentially yours" which advertises in the newspaper that they specialize in post-surgical needs.

http://www.cybras.com/Fitting_Services/

I would expect that, while they say they specialize in post-mastectomy fittings, that they'd be able to help any woman. Since they've been there as long as I've been in town, more than 19 years, it is reasonable to expect the employees are experienced, sympathetic and sensible.

I would expect there is such a shop near where you live. I am surprised that no such shop was recommended to you by your surgeon or your surgeon's staff.
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I would expect there is such a shop near where you live. I am surprised that no such shop was recommended to you by your surgeon or your surgeon's staff.

Some hospitals have stores right in the hospital itself. They'd be in the cancer center, and they generally have wigs and other items that might be needed.

Hope you have a reasonably pain-free recovery.

Nancy
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Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with general -- mention that if you ever need surgery for anything again, and they'll adjust the drug cocktail accordingly.


AND, I have to figure out what on earth bra size I wear, the prospect of asking THAT question to get a real fitting, at my age, is relatively daunting, and somewhat humiliating.


Why? Frankly, many women would benefit from a proper bra fitting -- and I know lots of women in their 30s who have had them done. Weight loss, weight gain, muscular changes, reduction, enhancement, mastectomies, reconstruction ... there are a lot of reasons to have them done, and any decent lingerie store or department will do them. I've had one mediocre experience, but the other times I've had it done have been extremely helpful (turns out, trapeze builds musculature that doesn't lend itself well to traditional bra sizing...).

So don't be embarrassed by it.

Nordstrom's generally does a great job, if you have one in your area. They're polite, respectful, and good at their jobs. And not pushy about you buying expensive bras from them either.

Congrats -- I bet your back will be much happier!
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COngrats! I'm sure this will make a big difference for your back issues.

I second the Nordstrom suggestion, even if you don't buy anything.
The first time I ever got measured by a professional, I was so embarrassed. But that passed quickly as I suddenly had the best-fitting bra of my life. It is worth it!

pachouly
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Body image takes time to re-train in the brain! Hang in there.

One thing I haven't heard anyone really mention yet, is it takes quite a while for all the swelling to diminish. You might need to get a few cheapo support bras, and wait a couple of months to start shopping for the nicer lingerie.

Enjoy the new you!

Always ;-)
Hunzi
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Are appointments necessary? How would one go about requesting a fitting?

DizChick
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Are appointments necessary? How would one go about requesting a fitting?

Unless you've got a special need (e.g. mastectomy bras), appointments generally aren't necessary in my experience.

I've always just walked in and said "I'd like some help with sizing" or "I'd like a fitting".
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And remember: you don't need anywhere NEAR the support you used to, so while you still may wish underwire

After my surgery (10ish years ago) my dr told me not to wear underwires. As if I needed them anymore...

In fact, even after all this time I don't actually 'need' to wear a bra for support. You may not either.
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Nordstrom's generally does a great job, if you have one in your area. They're polite, respectful, and good at their jobs. And not pushy about you buying expensive bras from them either.

One hazard: there is a strong tendency at ANY store, and Nordstrom's is no exception, to recommend something they actually sell (and have in stock) even if they have nothing appropriate.

The fitter at Nordstrom's assured DW that she's a perfect D cup. That might have been true thirty-plus years ago, before she had two kids and put on a lot of weight and lost a nice chunk of it again. The fitter at a true specialty bra shop (the sort that will have bras custom-made if necessary) picked a letter rather later in the alphabet.
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picked a letter rather later in the alphabet.

before kids I was a 34 nearly DDD

at one point during nursing I was an H (because that was the biggest I could find)

now I am just a 36 long.

peace & measurements
t
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I second the Nordstrom suggestion, even if you don't buy anything.

Third!
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:)

Nordie's carries Is. At least mine does...
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Dear GSF,

I hope you feel better soon!!! My aunt had this done and she really is happy about it. And so are her back and shoulders. She said she finally got rid of those grooves in her shoulder from the straps digging in.

-Molly
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I have been wanting to have this surgery for two decades. I decided to wait until I was done having kids...and I am done. Now I want to wait until I lose the weight I gained after my last child. I don't want to keep pushing this off, and hope to start the process within the next year.

It would be nice to be able to find bras in my size on the rack at most stores. It would be great to be able to wear a really cute bra instead of the "supportive" ones I do now. My back could really use a break.

Congratulations on your successful surgery. Please let us know how your recovery goes. I am very interested. :0)
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I had the surgery one month ago. Found the first couple of weeks exhausting and a bit scary with all the stitches etc., but now feel GREAT. Went from a G to a C and am wearing camisoles with no bra around the house. It is so terrific. It took a bit of adjustment to get used to the new size -- at first I felt totally flat, and it didn't feel "like me" but already I am used to the new me, and every day I am thrilled to have no more back and neck pain! Hope your recovery has gone well, too.
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One thing I have learned: I hate general anaesthesia. Makes me utterly ill. And I really like Dilaudid - the pain med.

The recovery has been FAR worse than I thought it would be. I thought I'd be all productive - making photobooks, organizing pictures digitally, putting stuff up on Shutterfly, cleaning out my e-mail, posting like mad on TMF, and doing all my Facebook games.

Reality? I've managed to redo my farm on Farmville and keep my head above water in Mafia Wars. Not that either of those are remotely related to reality or anything.

I'm exhausted, tired, worn out, wrung out.



<butting in>

a story my cousin ,the surgeon, told after my 2d big surgery when i didn't feel i was recovering quickly enough:

the anesthesia just turns off the brain. the rest of the body is 'awake' and thinks it's being torn apart by Tigers. worse --it's sending all these we're-being-torn-apart-by-Tigers signals to the brain and the brain's ignoring them.

that's why sometimes the body just dies during surgery --it gives up
and it's part of what you have to recover from ---the being torn apart AND the body not quite trusting the brain.

...i could barely concentrate enough to watch the TV for a couple months

Take Care. Be Patient.

(8+ surgeries later ..patience is still a challenge for me <g>)


-b
.... as mentioned upthread -- if you're ever in surgery again, tell them about your difficulties with GA ..they'll probably adjust
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