This week I’m off schedule a little. My doctor thinks that taking a long weekend for a mini vacation is acceptable these days. I disagree – unless it’s on an “off week” in my fill schedule. It probably worked out better for me in the long-run because the last few days I’ve been really sore. Last week I started physical therapy, went to a work conference in Orlando, worked long-ass days, taught classes, and went to lots of happy hours and dinners. Needless to say, I overdid it a bit.
Let’s start with the Physical Therapy deal from last week. For those of you who are going through this and don’t think you need it – you need it, trust me. My physical therapists specialize in helping breast care patients. And let me tell you, I learned a lot during my evaluation last Monday. In fact, I’m disappointed that I didn’t ask for this sooner. I found out that I needed to be pressing down and making circular motions all around the circumference of my expanders to get the muscles to loosen up to improve my range of motion (now that my incisions are completely healed). I had no idea that I could even do this OR that my expanders could move slightly. (Creepy feeling by-the-way) I also learned that a lot of my nerve issues are because my expanders are so far under my armpit that they are pressing on nerves that I haven’t had to deal with until the last few weeks. AND I have rotator cuff issues which perpetuate the nerve issues I’m having in my arms. Very enlightening.
I’m now doing exercises every morning and every night. Right now all that I’m allowed to do are shoulder squeezes and butterfly wings (to stretch out my shoulders). I was seeing almost immediate improvement until last Thursday when I overdid it at the conference and had to stop the exercises for a few days. Funny how you start feeling better and immediately think you’re Wonder Woman. Apparently my body wanted me to hear the message loud and clear because by the time I got to my hotel room Thursday night, I was in tears. Fortunately I had a very early flight back home and a Friday afternoon PT appointment already scheduled.
This weekend I realized that part of the pain I am having under my arms could be intensified by the bras I’ve been wearing. I’ve been wearing these very simple, spaghetti-strapped sports bras that actually have straps that don’t curve in toward your neck. It’s hard to find ones that look like tank tops, actually. I just happened to find some cotton ones at Target and have loved them because they don’t interfere with anything that I want to wear. The problem I noticed this weekend is that the ones I’ve been wearing are growing too small for me. They aren’t necessarily too tight, they just aren’t wide enough to cover my whole expander-boob. The elastic rides up to my incision under my arm and I find myself having nerve pain and this weird burning sensation around the scar. So I bought new bras this weekend and that has helped a bunch.
Anyhoo, today the pain has been manageable and after my fill, I’m now 600cc. Yep. I said it. 6-freaking-hundred! My doc says I have 2-3 more fills before I’ll be ready for surgery. I can’t even imagine. He walked into the room today and said, “Hey, they are starting to look like breasts. Just 2 or 3 more fills and I think we’ll be ready to take these out.” Uh maybe he sees so many weird boobs that he’s forgotten what natural/normal ones look like?! And why couldn’t he have said something like, “You’re healing really well. I promise they are going to look great when we get the implants in. You won’t be bride of Frankenstein for too much longer.” Although I guess that would make him Frankenstein and I’m sure that’s not exactly the image you want to leave with your plastic surgery patients.
I don’t know what these things are going to look like in the end, but right now they are so far under my arms and up to my throat that I feel like the Hulk or one of those freakishly large female wrestlers (sans perfect arms, toned abs and testosterone issues). When I watched my boobs expand today, I thought about Dolly Parton. (You can imagine why.) Not only do I love her but I laid on the exam table today wondering how she’s managed all these years being that large. I know that I was large before this, but it was different in some respects because they sagged and I could control how much they were pushed up by the bras that I wore. Today, they just sit at my neck so they feel so much bigger than they probably are. Geez, I’ve always adored Dolly and wanted to be like her …but not in this way. Which reminds me of two of my favorite quotes from her:
I was the first woman to burn my bra,
it took the fire department four days to put it out.
Plastic surgeons are always making mountains out of mole hills. – Dolly Parton
After today’s fill I had the weirdest thing happen. I walked in wearing a pink button-up shirt that I actually ironed this morning (BTW – I don’t iron…if you can’t toss it in the dryer, I don’t want to buy it). I was actually feeling pretty this morning and liked my outfit. I had my fill, buttoned my shirt back up and knew immediately I was going to have to change before I went into work. I walked in with plenty of room for the “meat balloons” (thank you to my BFF for the new term for my expander-boobs). The shirt fit really well and didn’t pull or gape around the chest at all when I walked in the room. I walked out with a shirt that gaped open and a button that wouldn’t stay buttoned. Sigh…no more cute pink shirt for me.