I did it! I finally did it!
On May 24th, I went in for my bilateral breast reduction surgery to reduce my 40DDD breasts to somewhere along the lines of a C/D cup.
For those who have been following my journey and need a quick refresher, or are new and want to read from the beginning, below are the links to each blog post.
- 3 Days Until Breast Reduction Surgery!!
- Pre-Op Before Surgery in 2 Weeks!
- I’m Getting a Breast Reduction?!?!?!???!???
Surgery Day Recap
The evening/night before:
I needed to still complete small errands up to the day of surgery because I felt so unprepared. Later in the evening when I was freed to fulfill these errands, I rushed to Walmart to find myself some cheap but comfy pillows, a pair of sweats, and other oddities on my shopping list that I wouldn’t be able to get to for the next few weeks… like kitty litter. I did not succeed in finding a pair of sweats… so I still don’t own a pair. I was looking for a pair as it was recommended by the nurse to have loose clothing (ie a hoodie, a larger shirt and a pair of sweats)
I also needed to follow a lot of cleanliness steps. This involved changing my bedding, then showering with a special antibacterial soap with a clean towel then changing into a clean change of clothes. Then, in the morning, shower again with the anti-bacterial soap and then changing into yet another pair of clean clothes. I opted to wear a pair of capri leggings, a larger concert tee, a 2xl hoodie, and my crocs. I packed in my bag 3 of the post op bras in the varying sizes I bought them in, two pairs of tank tops, and my sister’s sweatpants.
The day of:
Surgery time was at 5:30 in the morning; I was so jittery I didn’t get to bed until almost 1. I started my second shower at 4, and really took my time knowing that would be the last shower I would thoroughly enjoy for the next couple of weeks. My boyfriend and I hustled out the door at 4:50 and were the second set of people there awaiting to be let into the building which did not officially open the magical doors for us until 5:30 sharp. This made me super frustrated because I tend to get overly punctual on time and like to get places early if possible. By the time the doors opened, there were at least ten of us going up into the elevator… kind of like the first batch of people who were all hungry and cranky. It didn’t help that the donut guy had stopped by with several dozen to drop off at the welcome desk.
Checking in went very quickly and I really expected to sit there for a long time in the waiting room, but in ten minutes I was already called to the back to take a precautionary urine test to check for pregnancy and then asked to wipe my breasts with special warmed sanitation wipes and then to change into my gown. I sat on the bed and was given an IV. This was my first time ever getting an IV and I hope there will be little occasions in my life where I have to do it again. I joked with my boyfriend that the way movies portray ripping off an IV is totally unrealistic being that they tape it on so well.
If I was scared, I didn’t show any signs of it. I personally feel like this whole portion of the morning happened all so quickly that I didn’t give myself any time to process how I was feeling. I was mostly very giggly and think I may have used laughter to revert how nervous I was feeling. My boyfriend says I was a champ before going in. Haha…..
We were told to give our goodbyes… to which he totally was so unawake he forgot to and abruptly left the room, but I sent the nurse after him because he had left his opened energy drink behind. He had just gotten off work a few hours prior to stopping by to pick me up and couldn’t wait to get home and take a quick nap and shower.
When I was wheeled into the surgery room, by then I was already so exhausted. I was lying down looking up at the lights when I was told I was being given antibiotics through my IV and then I knocked out cold. I don’t remember being told I was given anesthesia or an oxygen mask.., or being told to count backwards. I think I would have freaked out a lot more if it was portrayed like how I had imagined and am quite glad I was so overly exhausted.
When I woke up again…. well… the many times I kept coming back in and out of sleep… probably from the drugs and wearing off of anesthesia… I would have guessed it was about 10 or 11 AM at this point. The first instance I woke up, the nurse asked me if I was going to wear the clothes I had again…. I think I recall only being able to tell her I wanted to wear the tank top that I had packed instead of trying to wiggle into the shirt I had. I remember opening my eyes for a brief second as my pants were being put on because I think I was standing up and then laid back down, but I could have also been hallucinating this too. I vaguely remember being placed into a wheelchair while Eagle (my boyfriend) drove his car up and I carefully got into the car. I think I held my new pair of boobs the entire time. I recall yelling at him for taking the small roads he very much loves to take (he’s not very good at navigating highway systems) and forgot that all the bumps in the road would affect me. So, he turned back around to take the quickest and smoothest route home. I fell asleep… again. When I opened my eyes again, we were in my driveway and I saw in the distance my sister had opened the front door. I can’t remember ever walking up the driveway, but my sister says I groaned in pain all the way up with my eyes mostly closed while cupping my breasts and the ice pack I was given.
They both helped me into bed and I’m 99% sure I slept again until Eagle was able to return from the store with ice packs and my pain meds.
I spent most of this first day sleeping, and when I woke up I was so so hungry. I can’t remember what I ate, I just know I ate a lot and this caused me to bloat so bad. Eventually… the night ended and I fell back asleep again.
Weekend/Week After Surgery:
The weekend after surgery, Saturday and Sunday, I was very nauseous still and very bloated. I didn’t have a bowel movement either of these days. I managed to take a shower with the assistance of my 15 year old sister. My arms were very sore, so she mostly did everything as I stood in the shower almost wanting to cry after initially seeing my breasts. When I saw them, they still looked very very scary because the surgery had just been the day before and looked very fresh. By Sunday, I had gotten used to seeing them. After my second shower on Sunday, I was feeling well enough to go out for a walk at the park across from where I live. It’s an easy 15 to 20 minute walk. I had little pain on this day and was very eager to get out.
When Monday morning rolled around, I had a throbbing headache and felt very weak and fatigued. My 6 year old sister stumbled into my room also complaining of a headache and not feeling well. She fell asleep at the foot of my bed after I gave her some medication and 30 minutes later she threw up on my bed. Luckily, my grandmother had made a surprise visit and helped take care of my sister and I while also taking my other siblings to the store to buy groceries. Thankfully, my sister felt better throughout the day, and I did too.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are all blended together for me. I was feeling stronger, especially in my arms. I was able to dress only the top portion of myself and wash only the top portion of my body in the shower. My sister still helps me with this. I was basically off my pain medication at this point, but I took an emergency one on Wednesday because I was going to be travelling around the cities.
Friday (1st Post Op Appt)
On this morning, I felt pretty good. Just a little bit of pain from needing to sit for awhile. I went to my post op appt where the nurse really just looked at my front breast area and said I was healing fine. I was a bit annoyed that she didn’t look in depth and up close to ensure they were truly okay. I told her I had very little itchniness and was feeling great.
I really jinxed myself because this same evening, I went home and the itchiness began. I did a little bit of scratching here and there and applied ice where I could. I took a pain medication and went to sleep for the night.
On Saturday, the itching was still there and it felt like it was not going away. I looked up a lot of methods to soothing itchiness and settled to take an antihistamine. I went back to sleep. When I woke again, my breasts had felt like they were on fire at this point evem after icing them. I took another benadryl and went back to sleep with new ice on my chest. When I woke up my breasts had swelled and turned red, only the redness had also spread to my shoulders and chest with red bumps. It was so very hard to not scratch… I ended up accidentally scratching part of my areola and it began to bleed a little. I had my sister help me apply aloe gel to cool the burning sensation while blowing cool air and this helped me a lot. I wasn’t convinced yet that I needed to see a doctor because I thought this was casual itching after surgery. I reread my care plan again where it was instructed that if my redness had spread and the swelling had not gone down to immediately call the clinic. The pain was so unbearable I really just wanted to cry. I decided since it was so late, I’d sleep it off and check again in the morning.
By Sunday morning, I could visibly see the red bumps had spread to the other shoulder and I was still itchy just not as much as yesterday. My breasts were very red and swollen around the incision areas… so they had not gone down overnight. I asked my sister to apply aloe gel again, and when she came back ten minutes later, I had gotten up to check myself in the mirror to see just how bad it had gotten and that was when I also found that the red bumps had also spread to my neck. My sister said this was not there when she initially saw me.
I decided then that since it had visibly spread I really needed to call the clinic. I relayed my symptoms to the nurse on call while she relayed this back to the plastic surgeon on call who suggested jf it got worse or did not go down then to go to the nearest ER or if I could call immediately on Monday morning to squeeze myself in for an appt to be seen. The both of them leaned toward going to the ER immediately to rule out any possible infection. To my sister and I, it did not appear to be infected… but again it is hard to tell with the netted surgical tape on top of the incisions. I decided that if it had not gone down by noon, I’d make the trip to the ER.
My blog post has gotten longer than I expected, so I will share my trip to the ER in another post after I’ve seen a surgeon about my symptoms later today that have still seemingly not gone down.
I’m quite upset because it seemed I was recovering well and was basically ready/eager to return to work which would have been today.
So far, aside from swelling and red itchiness, I have mostly full range of arm movement. I am sleeping flat on ky back. Before, I spent three days after surgery sleeping sitting up in bed. I can shower mostly by myself but am unable to wash below the waist and still need help with this. I can put on my top clothing pieces with no trouble, but still need help with everything near the bottom.
Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far! Will update soon.