Weirdly enough, I’m so glad to be back to work today, 2 weeks post surgery, right on target. I hate to slug around and need to feel productive, so this is a good thing.
However, work aside, I just need to say, that there are really NO viable or shall I say palatable options to breast reconstruction. (Nice segue, eh?)
Yes, it’s gross to have to talk about this, but I have to, ’cause it’s what I’m going through. I elected to get expanders and eventually implants, ’cause it seemed like the easiest route to take, but these damn expanders are so uncomfortable! It’s like wearing an iron vest. In case you’re wondering about the process, here goes. It’s creepy. They have to put the expander, and ultimately the implants, behind your chest muscle, or apparently it won’t stay in place. And so they gradually expand the skin and muscle by adding saline over several weeks and it is not a fun process.
I’m living for Vicodin every 6 hours and taking Ambien to sleep (without it, I doubt I’d sleep at all). Me, “Miss Drug Free, only put healthy things in my body” and here I feel like a drug addict. My 14 year old daughter tells me “Oh yeah, Vicodin, I think that’s what Eminem was addicted to.” Oh, how lovely, what a nice thing to have in common with an angry, white, homophobic, rap star. (Who, by the way, I happen to love.)
A pet peeve of mine, bear with me. Every time I talk to my plastic surgeon about the expansion, and what I want to look like, I say things like “I’d like to be the way I was before, a small B cup, nothing too big.” Originally he said, “OK, that will probably be about 300-325cc’s” (this is the lingo they use for size of implants). Well, now that we’re really here, and the expanders are in, every time we discuss this, he says things like, “Well, when we get to about 350cc’s”….and then the last time I saw him on Friday, he said, “When we are at about 400cc’s,” at which point I practically fell over, because I don’t want to have huge breasts! And, clearly, he (being a man) thinks I do.
The funny thing is, that when I ask Mike if he’s got a preference (I actually said, “This is your only chance, Buddy, if you want ’em bigger, let me know now”) he said, “Do whatever you want, I’m cool.” Thank goodness. Because to be perfectly honest, in addition to the fact that I don’t really want big boobs, the expansion process is really uncomfortable and the smaller I go, the less expansion I have to deal with.
TIP#8: Do a lot of research online. Call friends and ask about people who’ve gone through something similar. You’ll be better prepared, and you’ll know what you’re in for. BUT, pace yourself, as it can get overwhelming. I would usually only allow myself to spend about an hour reading through other peoples experiences; the details are disturbing at times, and often not even relevant to what I experienced, so be mindful about who you research and how long you research.