Still hangin’ in there

Well, I came home yesterday, Saturday, the day after surgery, both exhilarated and exhausted. I spent Friday afternoon, post-surgery, drunk Facebooking and texting and it was totally awesome. Luckily the meds made me a happy drunk, not a sad or menacing one, and for once in my life I had an appropriate excuse for being a smart aleck. It felt so good that it continued well into Saturday. I even held an informal contest for people to guess how much Lefty Lucy weighed.

Now, before you go judging me for being heartless, understand that Lefty Lucy’s alias could have been Hefty Lucy, because I am somewhat amply endowed. (I guess Righty Tighty’s alias would be Righty Rotundy. I never had to worry about what to call them besides The Girls until just a few months ago.) Between the fact that everyone who knows me knows I have Bodacious Tatas, as a friend dubbed them, my friends also know I’m on a quest to lose some weight. I must say now I don’t recommend a mastectomy as a weight-reduction option, but, hey, you take it where you can get it. So…3.3 pounds. Not what I’d hoped for, but then again if I’m being honest with myself I knew I wouldn’t shave 35-50 pounds off with this surgery. And a 3.3 pound loss in a single day is nothing to sneeze at.

So far the uneven boobelage has been…ah…interesting. I’d been warned to get some front-opening sports bras to wear for the duration, and that I’d be sent home from the hospital wearing a compression bra.

I do most of my clothes shopping online, more so now that I live in a small town with limited resources. Online purveyors of fine support undergarments lump sports bras into a category with leisure bras. This is a bit ridiculous. Sports bras keep The Girls from wandering around unsupervised while you exercise; leisure bras keep The Girls from sliding completely off your chest and filling your armpits when you sleep on your back. Leisure bras are readily available in my size; sports bras, not so much. But I found one I liked–a dashing fuchsia and black that I envisioned had a future of coyly peeking out from under a fashionable, but functional, tank top as I sweat to the oldies at the gym, wiping my brow, and guzzling water. Sexy. Like a commercial. Not like a middle-aged morbidly obese woman, but it’s my vision so let me enjoy it.

Which I did, until the bras arrived and I attempted to try one on.

Now, sports bras are snug. They are, in many ways, nothing more than elastic bandages with cute designs and shoulder straps. They have to be snug around your rib cage so The Girls don’t look like they are bungee jumping while you jog. One, however, has to consider what to do with The Girls while one is actually getting the sports bras fastened around the rib cage. They won’t stay in the bra without it being already fastened–they either ooze out or flop out. They are in the way if they hang outside of the bra while you are trying to fasten it. And they certainly cannot be shoved in as the last step because once you get a sports bra on, it takes on many tourniquet-like qualities, and there is no amount of finesse that’ll get those babies in there.

So back in the package, not for return, but to wait until I can get that sexy tank top to go with them, and I ponder getting a larger size for post-surgery.

After all of this bra-wrestling and anticipation, I was a but surprised to wake up after surgery without the promised compression bra. I thought maybe they’d “assign” it to me before I went home. But I was wrong. As the name indicates, compression bras do just that; they compress. Like sports bras. And my surgical team was unable to contain Righty Tighty as they tried to get the compression bra on me so…no compression bra.

One thing you must know about my surgeons–they are young, attractive, vibrant women with sparks of wit and intelligence in their eyes. These are the kind of people you trust upon meeting them and want to hang out with because you are so certain that their “polite conversation” is going to be interesting. I adore these two women. They are not-however, well-versed in chasing large floppy boobs around and trying to contain them. I will forever carry an imaginary vision of these young, dynamic medical professionals trying to corral Righty Tighty, diligently protect the sutures where Lefty Lucy used to live, and get the dadgum band fastened around my midriff. There is a certain dignity in knowing when to retire gracefully from the struggle. They, thankfully, possess that dignity.

I must say, though, that I can understand the need for a compression bra, so if you are offered one, take it and take it seriously. If I were able to wear one, it would hold up the remaining Girl as well as offer some firm support for my surgical site as we wait for the next step. Truly it will aid not only your healing, but also your comfort and self-esteem. I’m going to go with a leisure bra, I think, and hope for the best. At least Righty won’t be hanging out in my armpit while I sleep.


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