The first week after March 25 surgery I was a blob on the recliner waiting for pain meds to kick-in before I would attempt to get up and pee. At the end of the second week I felt almost normal. The only pain I had was when I stood up; the incision in my abdomen felt a little tight, but nothing too bad. The skin on my chest stated tightening. It all still looked very gruesome and Frankenstein-ish. My nipples and areola looked exactly like granny had taken some extra skin and made them for me and left the thread long, like a felt toy. I had little bristles, in neat little tufts all around my fake nipple.
NSFW (not for the squeamish) images next…
After my first follow-up with the nurse, (to take out some of the padding around the nipple) I was told to buy some corn cushion pads to put around my fake nipple. I need to do this at least for 2 months. I found large cushion sizes and small sizes, but nothing that looked like it would fit snug and hold the skin in place. Apparently there is a middle size, but I gave up looking; I couldn’t even find anything on the Internets! I did find blog posts about people complaining the small ones were too small – I was not alone.
At week one my nipple looked like a worm trying to escape. It was a little scary, they were huge! I had been told they will shrink considerably over the next few months, but still it is a shock to see such a huge tube of skin sticking out there. By week two the bruise where I had a fat transplant (to fill in a crease) was yellowing and not so swollen. I wasn’t sure if I was getting used to the nipples/fipples, or they had shrunk a little. In any event, they were big and I stated to have some feelings of remorse. Had I done the right thing?
When I wear a bra I can see erect nipples though a sweater! I really don’t have the exhibitionish personality to pull off the “excited chest” look. Also, is the right one hanging a little low?
The third weekend after surgery I was so over the 15 lb. arm limit and ready to help cook and tidy up the place. That weekend I cleaned bathroom sinks and changed the bed sheets…it wiped me out!
While getting undressed I noticed Righty was red from the areola to my cleavage. The skin was was also hot. I panicked and took a handful of antibiotics. I have a stash of amoxicillin that I need to take when I see a dentist…some rule about implants and infection. The next morning the redness had gone, but I still felt some burning on the surface and was having some weird needle/nerve pain on both sides. I went to work on Monday as usual.
After lunch at work I went to the bathroom to take a peek. Goddammit, Righty was red again. I called the doctor’s office and got an appointment for 4:30pm that day. The doctor looked at me and said they look fine. He couldn’t see the redness. I was confused, I was standing in front of him looking down at a raised red patch of skin with dark red streaks leading from the areola. Why could he not see it? This is the anal-retentive perfectionist (with no personality) that I had chosen because everyone said he was a freekin’ artist! Shouldn’t he have an eye for detail? He said he could see some slight red lines and gave me a prescrption for antibiotics. Holy crap, I walked out of the office thinking I was losing my mind. I think he only gave me antibiotics to shut me up. I hate antibiotics, I do not want to clean out my gut flora (again)….but I don’t want an infected wound site. May be I’ve heard too many stories of people dying of septicemia; a lecturer I had in Strathclyde died 3 weeks after minor surgery.
Four days later I had a checkin with the blind doctor. He said they looked fine. To me, I looked a little swollen on the right side and I mentioned that just this week I had just noticed my right fake-areola looked bigger. He said they looked fine. I said its bigger! He measured horizontal diameters; Lefty was 39mm and Righty was 41mm, I can see the difference (and he was too chicken to measure the vertical diameters). He told me to stop looking at them! But he wanted to see me in 10 days.
I understand that I will not see the full results of this surgery for 8 months to a year, but holy smokes Doc, throw me a bone! Some sympathy and reassurance would go a long way. If it changes 2mm in less than a week, what should I assume; its not going to get any bigger or it’s going to keep growing? Did I move my arms too much? should I go back to wearing a tight bra overnight? What? Telling me to stop looking at them is NOT THE RIGHT ANSWER! A friend on Facebook said I should have told him that I could see his dick was 2mm smaller
Two days after my doctors appointment I was a little sleep deprived. My mind was still racing trying to process the whole situation. Am I going mad? Am I too impatient? Had I made a terrible mistake? Should I have opted for the no nipple look and had smiley faces tattooed there instead?
My conclusion at this point in time, you can regret decisions, but you have to remember the decision process; sometimes it was good, sometimes it was bad, but it seemed a good idea at the time, or you know you’d be saying “what if…” if you didn’t do it. So you can’t beat yourself up over making a bad decision. I can’t beat myself up over what now seems a very bad decision. I need to live with it for a few months and then reassess the situation.
I know my mother would have made the same decision had reconstruction been available when she had breast cancer.