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By: Colleen Smith

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Wednesday, 2-Jun-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Breasts Center of my Uterus - Part III

I went back to work today for the first time since my surgery. I have only told one person at work about having the surgery. Most people thought I took a long Memorial Day holiday (10 days).

My life right now is all about my breasts. My breasts are the center of my uterus. Maybe it is because I work with 90% males, or maybe it because it is bad etiquette to say "hey are your breasts smaller", or maybe because my breasts are only the center of my universe right now.

Went to the doctorâ??s on last Friday. He removed some of the stitches, but still there are allot left. I also did not realize there are stitches on the inside too, which are dissolvable. Did you know that dissolvable stitches leave larger scars? I didnâ??t either.

I talked to him about my concerns (see phase II). He told me the only thing to worry about in this stage of recovery is that my nipples and area surrounding them were breathing, and the skin was healthy. In that case, I was doing great. My nipples looked sort like a sewn up Frankenstein doll. My left nipple looked like raw meat, that some one had accidentally dropped on the floor (I am a bit concerned).

Also, starting to get sick of wearing a bra to bed for shape and protection. Tonight I am going bra less. Although, it feels weird and unprotected especially on the bottom where the stitches are, it feels better on my ribs. My ribs and sides are still feeling sore. Just been taking Tylenol to help with swelling.

Walked to work to get some exercise, since I have to keep jostling to a minimum. Few more weeks before I can go back to gym but otherwise I am enjoying my life.


Wednesday, 26-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Breast Reduction - PART II

PRIOR BREASTS
PRIOR BREASTS
POST BREASTS
View all 7 photos...
I am still recoverying, but the recovery has been easier than I expected. I have been able to be pretty mobile but have been black and blue, and sore. Not too mention I have needed allot of sleep.

Today, was the first day I felt up to take post pictures and critiqueing a bit.

FIRST THOUGHTS:
==============
- Breast still too big
- wow look at all that bruising
- There is an extra lap of fat on my right breast
- My left boob is saggier than my right
- Not symetric in the boobs sizes

Now remind you I am taking this all with caution since I am still recovering, and have been told that much change will still happen as I heal.

Made my follow-up appointment for Friday.

I am still ecstatic that I had the surgery, and can feel myself lighter, and standing up much straighter. NO REGRETS!

Just can wait to be healed, I can't watch any more movies so I have bought some books to catch up on my ScifFi reading and fiction reading.


Tuesday, 25-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
GRE - Kaplan vs. Princeton Review

Kaplan
The Princeton Review
Thinking about taking the GRE's. Ok, been thinking about it for a while and had decided since I was not 100% sure what I wanted to study that maybe I would wait. I have decided since the score is good for five years, it is time to take some action.

The next thing is should I take a Kaplan or Princeton course?

Kaplan Vs. Princeton Review

Here is the review I have read about both...
For those of you seriously considering dropping close to a thousand dollars on a review course, here's the break down on Kaplan's method vs. that of the Princeton Review. For all the sections Kaplan always insists you get a crack at every question. Princeton Review follows the slow down and work at your own pace method. They would rather you attack two games and get every question right. Kaplan would rather you attack all four games and get half of the questions right. Who's method is right is up to the individual to decide.
Both companies emphasize heavy scratchwork. Princeton review teaches students to make a chart, a continous diagram like a table or a graph that is used for every question. Kaplan prefers instead to make spaces next to each question. Princeton Review is very symbol heavy, leaning on arrows, abbreviations, while Kaplan insists on spelling everything out.
As you can see, the fundamentals are not that extremely different. I feel the biggest difference in the proccesses come from the organizations themselves. Princeton Review seriously underpays their teachers and therefore has a harder time keeping them. This leads to classes often being taught by first timers. Kaplan's teachers have much stronger loyolty (they make about $5 more per hour). But Kaplan is so centralized that there is very little room for a teacher to improvise. Class 2 has to be taught the same every time. Princeton Review is so de-centralized that a really good teacher has a lot of room to work and help the students, conversely, a really bad teacher is a tragedy for which there is no remedy.
If you are like most people though, you will pick your test prep company based on proximity and schedule. We wish you best of luck with which ever company you go with. One last word. Beware of those really cheap two day courses that promise huge improvements with very little work.
.

In the end what it will come down to is how much time I put into it, sure luck, and my higher power intelligence.

So another words allot of sweat!

I decided since I can't surf for the next six weeks maybe I should put my brains to use.


Monday, 24-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Breast Reduction

Prior Surgery Breast Reduction
Prior Surgery Breast Reduction
Prior Surgery Breast Reduction
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It has not been an easy decision. When I say it has been easy I have struggled with wether it is right to manilpulate one's body with a scapel. I am a recoverying Catholic god gave me these breasts. I struggled with the idea that I didn't have a right to change what god had naturally given me, besides there were lots of women who would love larger breast. After thinking it through, I believe it to my body and my right to be happy. I have been thinking about serious for about four years, and have wished for smaller breast even longer this was no quick decision. I tried diet but even though I got smaller my breasts did not. Growing up my breasts were pretty "normal" until the age of 23, then my breast decided to bloom to size DD.

My breasts have become a separate part of me. I don't see them connected to my body. My large breasts have made physical activities difficult such as running, and jogging making it difficult to exercise. It is not much fun to see your boobs in your face when you are running. Not too much the physical objectification of the male and female species. The straight males ordeal of phenomenon results it isn't right, it isn't fair. The power of persuasion that exists with large breasts. Listen the boobs are not the Mona Lisa.

Then there were the physical pain of back pain, and shoulder pain. The mildew rash smell under the breasts. The engraves due to the shoulder straps. Shopping for a bra was always a traumatic experience. Forget about finding a Nike sports bra if you are over the size 36C, not happening. Most importantly it was about how I felt about myself. It really effected my self image.

I did allot of research prior to the operation on doctors and techniques. When choosing a doctor it came down to a few critieria:
- reputation of doctor (ask around, then ask around again)
- technique the doctor uses
- cost (do they except your insurance?)
- how comfortable was I with the doctor (did I feel the doctor listened too me,
did I feel a good vibe from the doctor)

I visited several doctors but decided on, <a href="http://www.perfectyourself.com/members/createMsg.asp?sid=1889">Dr. Robert Harvey</a> because of the reasons listed above. He is great! I would recommended him to anyone who is considering plastic surgery, especially breast reduction. The procedur.e could take anywhere from four hours to eight hours (four hours per breast). I decided to have the procedure at <a href="http://www.saintfrancismemorial.org/index.asp?catId=au&pg=stfrancis_outpatient">[url]St. Francis Hosptial[/url]</a> "come and go" unit which meant I would go in the am of the surgery than stay over night just for recovery, going home the next day.


3/18/04

Made appontment for consultation with Dr.Harvey.

2/26/04
Day of appointment with Dr. Harvey. I am a bit nervous. As a heterosexual doctor I thought he might have the perception that I wanted to look like a barbie doll.

Dr. Harvey put me at ease right away, asking why I wanted the procedure and asking what some the physical symptoms I was suffering from. After this, he asked about what size was I interested in becoming. At first my answer was as small as I can get. He remarked that many women feel that way when they first come in, having had to deal with over sized breast for many years, but in reality what they really want was to stay femimine looking yet have a size that was more appropriate to their body size.

In my case he felt a "C" would be an approproaite size considering my rib cage size. I was not convinced I thought I still might want a "B". He also stressed that he wanted me to be happy with the results so if a "B" was what I wanted then he could definitely do that. Since no decision had to be made on the subject of size today, we continued the conversation.

Procedure:

Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure undertaken to make breasts smaller. Breast lift or mastopexy, is to uplift the breasts. There are many different techniques to accomplish the same goal. The more traditional technique uses an inverted T approach, leaving the breasts with an anchor scar along the horizontal crease. Dr. Harvey possibl utilizes the vertical technique that leaves the breast with a single vertical/lollipop incision. I am told this procedure leaves the breast with a rounder more naturally appearing breast with less scarring. The nipples are cut around and moved into the new postion. Stitches are located around the areloa, and veritical line extending downward like a lolipop.

The lollipop name refers to the shape of the scar after the surgery. Dr. Harvey makes a circular incision around the areola and then extends the cut downwards in a V-shape toward the lower fold of the breast. Earlier techniques required a horizontal incision in the breast fold, but with the lollipop technique this horizontal incision is eliminated. Next, Dr. Harvey sculpts the existing breast tissue with internal sutures, raising the breast and molding it into a more attractive shape. When this is completed excess skin is removed to conform to the new breast shape. Dr. Harvey further minimizes scarring by using sutures under the skin to close the incision. Thereby, eliminating suture marks. These sutures also prevent the scars from spreading.


SIDE EFFECTS:
- skin remains excessively loose (can be fixed with liposuction)
- infection (as with any surgery, chance of infection - but small chance)
- skin discoloration (again rare)
- reoccurance of droopy breasts (in a few years gravity strikes again)
- asymmetry, one breast may appear bigger than other (can be fixed if noticable)
- fat necrosis, if blood doesn't get to tiissue, tissue death will occur (rare)
- nipple postion, one nipple may be unaligned to other (can be surgically fixed)
- areolas differences, one areolas may be a larger than other (can be surgically fixed)
- areolas sensation, loss of sensation in arealo area
- breast feeding, unable to breast feed after surgery
- regrowth of breasts, if I can allot of weight I my breast will grow


Armed with all the information, I needed to make an informed decision I was ready to make a date for the operation. However, before we made a date for the operation we had to make sure that my insurance would cover the operation. In many cases if there is a medical need such as listed above, they will approve it. It takes an average of a month to find out if they will approve. My doctor took some pictures of my breasts, then wrote an explanation explaining what symptoms I had discussed. Additionally, I wrote a letter to my doctor to send on to the insurance re-iterating my physical symptoms. We said good bye until we found about the insurance.


3/18/04
In about three weeks, I received a letter from my insurance and a call from Dr. Harvey's office stating the insurance had approved 100% coverage of the operation. In deciding a date, I tried to balance what was going on at work with my own personal needs. I had a goal of getting it done before my birthday, as a present of self love to myself. So I picked a date of 3/29/04.

The doctor sent me some information stating the expectation I should expect from the operation, along with outlining the possilbe side effects. Additionally, there were medical papers to make sure I got my meds of vicaden, and sleeping pills for after the surgery.

3/11/04
A project I am working on gets extended, and I am asked if I could change the date of my PTO. I do, which means my surgery date is now changed to 4/21/04. Oh, well just need to wait a bit longer, and my birthday present will be a little belated:)

4/21/04
OK, the day is almost upon me. One of the things I need to do that I haven't is go to the hospital for the pre-admittance, and a blood test. I was pretty impressed the whole thing took less than 20 minutes.

My partrner Cynthia is preparing for the operation by cleaning the house, doing the shopping, and laundry (we she is nervous she loved to clean). I am trying to wrap things up at work to be ready.

4/22/04
Pre-surgery day. It is on my mind all day at work making it difficult to concentrate. I am excited the day is almost here. I have an appointment with Dr. Harvey at 4:00 PM to talk about the final size, and for him to draw the needed marks for the procedure.

We first talk about size. I am really stuck on a size "B", and he feels a size "B" might look like a mysectomy or worse a "freak". This is not the look I am going for but I am also not going for the barbie doll look that I expect that many heterosexual males think women want. I felt like we understood each others view, and so Dr. Harvey suggested instead of talking in terms of size size it is hard to guarantee a shape or size how about amount. So he had me look at my current breast size and point out how much I was expecting to be removed. I pointed out almost half. This would be a pretty drastic change but would still leave me with allot of breast. This seemed agreeable to both of us.

So he begain measuring with a ruller, and drawing. The lines were not all ones that would be used in surgery but were marks also for symmetry. My left breast was an inch lower than my right, and a few inches bigger. He would try to fix the symmetry, and remove the mole under my left breast as a bonus;)

After all the measuring it was one last chance to ask any questions. I just asked that he didn't go out "clubbing" that night since my surgery was scheduled for 7:45 am. He promised not too (although I really don't think it was his style being that he was in his mid 50's).

4/23/04
No liquids or food after 12pm. Not a problem, who eats that late? I needed to be at the hospital at 6:15 AM, so I woke about with Cynthia about 5:30 am. I was greatful for such an earlier appointment, I didn't have allot of time to get last minute jitters.

At the hospital, I was checked. I saw the anesticiaologist and asked him to tell me to have a good and quick recovery before putting me under.

7:30 am - I am rolled into the surgery room, as I get closer you can feel the air get cooler as if you were heading toward the morgue. With in five minutes, they have the IV in my arm and less than a few minutes more I am a sleep.

12:45 pm - I am rolled into the recovery room. A couple of hours later, I started to struggle to wake up with the realization the surgery is over. Wow, it felt just moments that it was all beginning.


Thursday, 20-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Dylan's Visit

Dylan
Dylan
Dylan
View all 6 photos...
Dylan is my very good friend, and my sanity when I am feeling "insane". Yesterday, we hung out and went to shoot some pool at the Cafe (on market/castro). Then we decided that since Dylan was looking so cute we should take some photos.

So here they are. Isn't she cute? She is single and looking for a date (male or female). She is attracted to people who read, and are fun loving. Materlistic people need not apply. Well if you know any cute butches or some interesting guys looking for a great, smart girl let me know.


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