Here's the weird thing about being the owner of a massive pair of tots: they're extremely uncomfortable, but everyone tells you you're lucky. Large protruding breasts on women is #ladygoals in our current society, so whenever I complain about my constant back pain or how I can't find a shirt that fits right, most people make jokes about how miserable it must be to be so hot and how they'd love to have that problem. You wouldn't. I promise.
I don't remember the last time I went a day without having upper back, shoulder, and/or neck pain. At least six years. The pains often leads to headaches, nausea, and extreme grouchiness. At one point, my shoulder pain got so bad I couldn't do my surgical job right, and I was having a lot of hand numbness. I've had PT and imaging and many physician visits, including an MRI, and countless hours of massage, acupuncture, cupping, stretching, and yoga. I've also spent a small fortune on specialized bras, back support devices, heating pads, massage chairs, and exercise rolly thingies. I back up to my family members constantly, asking them to "Just dig your elbow into this real quick." They're gracious, but probably just as tired of the pain related to carrying these sweater muffins as I am.
It's not just the pain and the unwieldiness of having so much fat hanging off my neck and shoulders, it's that their existence sends invitations for attention I absolutely do not want. I wrote about it here, about how I blame my mammary development on many scary encounters with men early and ongoing in my life, but it's not my boobs' fault, really. My body just grew this way and it's men's fault that they make me feel self-conscious and vulnerable as they assume access not given. More specifically, it's patriarchy's fault, because women following the rules of patriarchy are just as critical and unforgiving about lady lump size as men are gross and dangerous.
SO, I've decided to get a breast reduction (or reduction mammoplasty, which translates to "new, better, smaller, nippies!") and it's happening in a few weeks. This surgery is elective and cosmetic, and is performed by a plastic surgeon instead of a general/ breast, surgeon (those who do mastectomies). It's out-patient and the recovery is uncomfortable but manageable, as I understand it. Many surgeons suggest 'armpit sculpting' via liposuction, which I'm definitely doing, because sexy armpits is something I've come to desire (God save us all, why are we like this, I hate this place). Since I've been dealing with the physical and mental drain of big loblollies for so long, and since I'm going under anyway, I figured I'd just try to make the whole region easy, breezy, bra-optional, beautiful.
American health insurance covers breast reductions...sometimes. If there's enough documentation from providers saying that your conditions are likely related to your massive mams, and if you have just the right blinkers to body ratio, they might allow it. Think Jessica Rabbit. There really is a formula they follow, based on height, weight, and other, very personal, measurements. They don't want to help you if you're chubby head-to-toe, they only want you chubby in your cha-cha's. You MUST have trenches from years of bras digging into your shoulder meat, and they really love it if you have weird skin stuff up under and between your niblets, where there's not sunshine, only despair. Even with all that, usually they reject you. In my case, it's been three and a half months of my plastic surgeon's fabulous office manager going 'round and 'round with my insurance, and we still don't have an answer. I'm guessing I'm kind of on the edge of having the proof and the body type they're looking for. We've decided that even if insurance tells me to bugger off, we're going to pay for it out of pocket. It took me a long time to get here, mentally, and financially. For the longest time I figured if I only lost weight and got stronger, the pain would get better, and it was my lack of discipline that was causing all of this. But I'm letting myself off the hook and under the knife. Honestly, they've always been too big, and I'm just not in a place right now where I want to focus on weight loss and strengthening all the time in the honor of it *maybe* helping. I have a BOOK TO FINISH, GOLLDARNIT! So, I'll take the quick, painful, expensive shortcut to my goals. It goes against ALL my instincts to spend this kind of money on myself (without insurance and with the additional goddess armpit treatment, it'll be around $13k), but quality of life matters. I MATTER. We can afford it. So I'm doing it. Also, with less back pain, I'll spend less on the stuff I listed above. It'll pay for itself in 150 years or so. ;)
How big are they, you might be dying to ask. In bras I wear a G flat. In swimsuits I wear a Mom XL. Recently I tried to figure out how much these beasts weigh. After unsuccessfully lying on the bathroom floor and draping them one at a time on my scale, I tried standing up and weighing myself, and then lifting them up, and weighing myself again to note the difference...when that didn't work, I called my husband in to lift them for me, and only after he did it, he told me why it would never work. Then he suggested the kitchen scale we use to measure things like potatoes, and I gave up. I will wait until they're excised from my body with an electric knife and sent in a bucket to the path lab. Pathology measurements will include weight (and a thorough analysis for any cancer cells, just in case something was missed in my mammogram).
Ooh! Maybe we should have a betting pool like offices do for pregnant colleagues- whoever guesses closest to the length, weight, and sex of my norks gets a door prize!
I know that no matter how much they weight- three pounds, six pounds, sixty-four pounds, as I suspect, their weight effects me in too many ways and they've got to go.
I'll write more about the process as it happens, giving me more opportunity to use fabulous breast euphemisms.
Bye, Flesh Bulbs!