Monday, November 20, 2006

Finding Heather again

I wrote the following in the days since the surgery last Wednesday.
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Thursday, November 16:

It’s done.

Out with the old and freakishly huge; in with the new and decidedly perky.

It looks like I swiped a set from a 20-something chick.

Well, for now, more like a 20-something victim of a bloody, breast-related hate crime.
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As expected, it wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience. Right now I’m sitting bunched up on the couch trying not to breath too deeply.

I don’t regret it. But I’m not entirely sure about it yet, either.
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Wait a minute. This is what you wanted. Thirty years of uncomfortable, blah blah, boo-hoo, you said.

I know.

It’s only been a few days. It’s odd, but I’m feeling a little melancholy.

I’ve been known as Heather with the Big Boobs pretty much my whole life.

I ain’t her anymore. I’m still me, for sure.

But I ain’t her.

And that makes me just a little sad.
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Speaking of odd: Receiving well wishes for a breast reduction.

I feel a little guilty about it.

I got flowers. Beautiful flowers. And lots of love and support from all over the place – this was among the best, from my dear friend Lisa in Florida:

So--tomorrow is the big day--I mean the not-so-big day--I mean the not too big, but not too small day--I mean tomorrow is the "proportionate to your body" Day!!!!!
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Saturday, November 18:

I saw the movie Finding Neverland for the first time today.

I cried like a baby through most of it. I have no idea why.
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Sunday, November 19:

The surgery took four hours. Two hours per.

And the surgeon removed nearly 2.5 pounds from each side.

Yep. Five pounds.

Jim came home from the grocery store yesterday morning and said he almost picked up one of those ginormous 5 lb. packages of hamburger just because.

“That sure is a lotta meat,” he said.
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Will you have scars? Yes. Remember, this was not so much about how I look, but how I feel.

I have a vertical scar from each nipple and a horizontal scar along the crease under each breast. Here’s a graphic of how the surgeon did it – commonly known as a keyhole breast reduction.

Will you have…feeling? Yes. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

What size were you/are you now? I’m not going to answer that. Again, this is about how I feel more than anything.
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Here’s what I like so far:

All my shirts are baggy. I look like less of a mutant; there’s nothing unusual about my appearance any more. Almost immediately, I noticed a difference in how my neck and back felt. I can sit Indian style without any pain at all. My Dad says I look 10 years younger. My Mom says Wow. Our good friends Steve & Judy say I look fantastic. For now, these new boobs appear to be impervious to gravity. It’s strange, but breathing is a lot easier, too.
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Is Indian style politically incorrect? Should it be Native American style now?
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So when we see you, what do we do? What should we say?

It’ll be extremely obvious that something is different. So here’s my take at a little Post-Breast Reduction Etiquette:

DO:
Keep remarks general like “You look good!” – but only if you really mean it
Ask how I’m feeling
Maintain eye contact
Stay positive: “I bet you can’t wait to go shopping!”

DON’T:

Comment directly on them, i.e. “I liked ‘em better when they were bigger.”
Stare at them any more than you did when they were huge and obnoxious
Ask what size I was/am now
Say “Nice little tits ya got there. But now your ass looks HUGE.”
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Monday, November 20

"Are you going to work out this morning?"
"Yes," replied Jim, still half asleep next to me.
"I wanna go."
"No."
"I'm going," I insisted. "I need to move."
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I woke up this morning really feeling the need to get out and get moving.

I promised myself I'd just walk slowly around the track and sit down if I felt tired or weak.
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On my second lap, I walked through a sliver of sunshine and caught a glimpse of my shadow.

And then I caught my breath.

It was like looking into the past. At the little kid I used to be. The kid who could run faster than most of the boys in gym class. The kid who loved running more than anything, but stopped when things got too slow because other things got too big and jiggly.

The kid who started looking like a woman before her time. The kid who didn't really want to ever grow up but did way, way before she was ready.

All of a sudden it was overwhelming and like a big dork I was crying. Walking and crying.

It's hard to explain, but I feel like there's so much more healing here than the cuts from my surgery.

I feel like I'm getting back to who I was. The person I was meant to be, but lost long ago.

I’m still me, for sure.

More me than I've been in a very, very long time.
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I am listening to: Joe Cocker - Feelin' Alright
I am reading: All kinds of new blogs
And I am: So good

5 comments:

You know who... said...

So, are there others involved here, or was the DON'T section penned exclusively for me.....

Rhea said...

Again, congratulations. I think it is a scary decision but obviously the right thing to do! It's great to read your account of the surgery and the results.

Hedy said...

You know who: Stop flirting with me! I'm a small-breasted, inconspicuous chick now.

Hedy said...

Rhea: Thanks so much! Now we can get back to writing about more important things likes cussing.

Drib said...

Sounds like this was one hell of a great thing for you Heather.

Or, besides the melancholy moment in your post, the rest seemed to be filled with a more rounded and confident future.

Now, by all means, get back to cussing.