This is the week of my one year breast reconstruction anniversary. To celebrate, I’m telling it like it is. In today’s article I’m giving a no-holds-barred account of why I had the initial surgery that led to losing my breasts and the subsequent reconstruction.
This isn’t an easy article for me to write. I’m definitely not the same person I was then. Not by a long shot. Of course something like having my breasts basically rot off was going to have an impact. I would like to believe that it changed me for the better.
Now I’d like to take you on a trip in the Way Back Machine (My thanks to Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman) to 1981. I was either 13 or 14 and in Junior High. That is, of course, the time when little girls start developing breasts. I was no different.
I had no idea that I was developing. I just didn’t notice that anything was different. Neither did my parents. I had to be told by a friend of mine that I shouldn’t wear a sheer dress shirt because boys could see my boobies. So because I didn’t know what was going on and neither of my parents paid attention to my development, I went without training bras for much longer than I should have.
Fast forward to 1983. I was 16. We were at the only decent women’s clothing shop in Powell, Wy. My mother had dragged me there to go bra shopping. The woman doing the fitting said I had pendulous breasts. Of course I had no idea what that meant then and there was no real way to look it up. There was no internet and research materials were really limited in a town no bigger than a hiccup. But that stuck with me. Somehow I knew from the tone of her voice that there was something wrong with me.
Fast forward to 40 years old: Two children and two decades later my breasts looked like flat wedges of flaccid flesh and my nipples pointed at my toes. I HATED my breasts. So I started looking for a plastic surgeon to give me perky boobs. I had two consultations and both said the same thing. My breasts had degraded as far as they could go. They weren’t, at least, going to get any worse. Both gave me a presentation about the anchor lift type of mastopexy because of the degradation level of my nipples. After a few days to research and review the information, I showed it all to Ken. Along with the price.
Here’s where my judgement went south and obsession set in. Ken said he didn’t think we could afford it. I told him the stories that I have written down above. He told me if I could find a way to do it for less, than I could do it.
That’s when I found the guy who did the initial surgery. He was part of our barter network. He offered his surgical fees on barter. All we had to pay for was the implants and the clinic fees.
Yes, I was so desperate and so obsessed that I went against all advice and had the surgery done by a doctor on barter.
I DID have the forethought to investigate him and there was nothing negative in his record. There was no indication aside from his abrupt, borderline-rude bedside manner that he was inept.
I say this with tears in my eyes: I just wanted pretty boobies. Every woman I had seen in magazines and on TV had pretty breasts and I just wanted that to be me for once in my life.
So I did something insanely stupid and it cost me dearly.