Gory details

Everyone’s said that they need the gory details – well no actually they haven’t but here they are anyway.

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OK then, where to start..
So there were a few things that had to be done before hand – a mammogram to check everything was normal and a blood test to make sure I wasn’t pregnant or had any nasty blood type things (hep, HIV etc). Also a measuring for the ‘garment’ – more on that later. Also I wasn’t allowed to have any pain killers other than paracetamol for a couple of weeks and had to stop my EPO and Omega 3 supplements  -but nothing too bad there. The night before I washed in this liquid that smelt vaguely vinegary.

Thursday morning I got up early and took the ‘relaxer’ drug with breakfast and then took Kiwi for a short walk as she wasn’t going to get another for a couple of days unless I could twist Nick’s arm to do it. Then we put her in her run and Nick drove me to the clinic where I washed in the same stuff before putting on my tracky bottoms and their traditional hospital gown thing. By this time I was feeling quite fuzzy, especially as fuzzy is fairly normal for me anyway.

I might have been measured and weighed again and then we had to take the volume measurement. This involved lowering each breast into a full jug of warm water – each time leaning well into it to get the whole thing in – and then (I assume) measuring the displacement. I do remember Liz (the nurse) saying that they had tried all kinds of more technical ways of doing it but this way remained the most accurate. Once dried off the Dr came and drew lines and circles and maybe dots.

After that the nitty gritty began. First the hole sites were anethestised (injections) and once numb they insert fine knitting needle sized needle in which squirt a liquid into the area – this is to anesthetise the rest of it and also break up the fat so that it can be sucked out. Once both breasts were ready then its all sucked out again. This all took about two hours I guess. Mostly it wasn’t too bad but there was a bit in my right which was hitting a nerve and it felt like my nipple was being pinched hard from the inside – I jumped and squirmed a lot and they injected something else in to calm me down a bit. It was a bit rougher than I expected – there was lots of pushing and pinching. Actually the Dr had to have a bit of a rest and he said later that it was quite dense.

Eventually though it was all over and the nurse was wiping me down and putting pad, seriously like sanitary pads, on all the holes and then I was helped into my garment. The garment part one is like a crop-top made out of bra material which hooks and eyes right up the front and has velcroed shoulder straps. Actually its very comfortable. Over that goes an heavy elasticised band about a foot wide that wraps right around and overlaps and again velcroes up. It will be fantastic if I ever want to dress as a boy for something as its very flattening. Between them they function much like a good cloth corset, holding everything in place and flat, but not all pushed up and squeezed. And that was it. Nick took me home and I really don’t remember anything else about that Thursday – I expect I slept most of the day. I slept with a baby cot under thingy just in case I leaked but there was no leakage – yay.

The next day Nick had also taken off work and good thing too as I was still pretty groggy. He drove me into the clinic and we took off the ‘garment’ which was pretty painful (I was only taking paracetamol although they’d given me stronger stuff). The nurse cleaned all the holes and showed me how to clean them and dress them and then on with the still bloody and stained garments and home again. Actually we didn’t go straight home, we went to Merivale and did some shopping and bought some CDs and DVDs. Nick got Best of Joy Division which has sent him on a music and iPod buying frenzy.

It was really Saturday afternoon by the time I felt normal. Nick took the garments and washed and dried them while I lay on my back in bed but I still wasn’t allowed to shower – not until Monday which was why I worked at home on Monday. Yay for working at home. The bruising on my right breast was pretty bad and as all deep bruises do it got worse before it got better. But that week and the next its been noticeably better and less painful every day.

Most of the bruising has gone now, at least on the surface. There are hard lumps underneath and almost constant sensations – I guess of the bruised material moving and breaking down. The right breast feels like there’s a bar of soap inside – a big hard area, and for the first weeks it hurt to let them out of a bra.I am still sleeping in a soft ‘sports’ bra (no wires) for that little bit of support but a proper sports bra is enough on my walks with Kiwi – no running yet though.

They say up to three months for everything to sort itself out and I go back then for a final check. But its already very noticeable. I’m still wearing many of the same bras but they fit quite differently and there’s simply less there when I look down. So I think very successful. The clinic staff were great by the way – very matter of fact, pleasant and competent. I’m kind of amazed how quickly everything has gone really, from when I decided to ask my G.P. about it everything went pretty quickly which was good. I’m really pleased with the results.