I’m helping my Y6 kid with her maths homework. Had to look up what oblong was!

Maths can be tricky, especially if you haven’t done it for 28 years. Eeeek!

Wishihng you all the happiness the Universe can bring,


My breast reduction surgery – continued

It is now 19 days since my surgery. I’ve spoken about a lot of things already but I’m not sure I’ve truly covered what you need to be aware of before you go into it.

This is not me, but it’s actually pretty close to how I was looking and how I will look (from flyhealth.co.uk).

flyhealth uk breast

The first seven days

Physically, you will be recovering from surgery. Follow all the instructions from your surgeon – mine gave me at least six documents to read on what might happen, what I needed to do. Don’t even think about doing anything in those first seven days except for sleeping, eating and staying cool. The dressings required not getting wet, so showers were not an option. Be prepared to feel really vulnerable because you are going to need help with washing you and your hair.

You are going to be emotional. You can see from my previous posts that I was really disturbed by the swelling and the look, not thinking that they took enough. I know now I need to wait many months – of course they tell you this, but it doesn’t sink in until it’s ready to.

You may feel that in fact they are too small. My surgeon tells me people come back to him for enlargements as they have lost weight and now feel too small! I said that ain’t gonna be me!

Manage the pain – I was pretty good with this but also conscious that I didn’t want to be on the strong painkillers too long. I managed to get largely off them until my first trip into my surgeon for the dressing change. Then I was back on them again regularly for a few days.

You will probably get constipated. It took me four full days before my first small bowel movement and I felt crappy (pun intended) all that day. Prunes, yoghurt and fibre help.

The compression garment will probably start to annoy you after a few days. The pressure on the bruising is what I found the most uncomfortable, and it tends to roll up around the bottom. To help a little bit, you can release that bottom hook as the support is for your breasts, not around your torso (nurse approved activity).

The next seven days

If you are anything like me, feeling Ok enough to do stuff but not actually really being OK to do stuff is a little frustrating! I spent time reading and studying. I walked the garden. I usually needed rest periods after sitting up for a few hours. A 40 minute phone call from my work colleague caused pain and fatigue. Not yet ready for work!

The dressing change was slightly painful but also a relief. You might have read that my skin, as do many others, gets really nasty and irritated underneath those dressings. It was a relief to have them off. I needed some steroid cream to help heal that up and it took at least five more days of application before it was settled.

The bruising will start to disappear but will still be there, especially if you had liposuction along the sides of your breasts and under your arms. This swelling seems to be the bit so far for me that is staying around.

Things are still tender and there are points of pain and jabs which my friend at brjourney calls zingers. I recommend her blog for another, further on down the line perspective!

Nipples can have no sensation or all sensation at this point. It can be 18 months before everything is all healed up again. Mine are still encased in the second lot of dressing tape. I’ve got another week of this before it is likely to fall off. It seems to be keeping on quite well, but I’ve trimmed off some lifted edges as instructed by the nurse at the surgery.

Emotionally I feel a lot better. You may or may not. After the first dressing change I accepted that the swelling would take months and I would just have to be patient. People laugh at me when I tell them that I have to be patient – it’s like they know me or something!  However, it is still quite a Frankenstein sight every time you look in the mirror at your new breasts and takes a little time to get used to that!

That compression garment is getting really annoying and probably a bit stinky since you’ve been wearing it 24/7. However, once OK’d (post dressing change) you can swap it with a supportive sports bra for some of the time. No under wires! I’ve got one that I wear to bed and it’s more comfortable for me to sleep in. I get up and change back into my compression garment first thing. Plus it allowed me to finally give it a wash!

Week three

Low key exercise is allowed after two weeks – I’m walking around my local area and popping into the shops, which I did this morning. The main issue for me is the body heat and bouncing produces intense stinging sensations, especially around the nipples. It doesn’t really encourage me to get back to it! Suffice to say, don’t do anything that will interrupt the healing of your new boobs! It isn’t worth the potential damage to go back to your fitness regime too early. Lucky I’m not a pro athlete!

I’m mentally and emotionally ready to go back to work – physically is still slightly tentative. At this point, I’m looking to go back a day earlier than planned, but just for a half day. The next day will also be short as I have a massage appointment and then Friday I work from home, so the travel is zero. I’m fortunate that I have a number of four day weeks coming up with the Easter break this year at the end of March, so that will also help if there is still fatigue. It sounds a bit weak, however, you cannot anticipate how much energy you physically need to move around an office, be involved in meetings, talk to people, concentrate on tasks – especially if you have been doing pretty much nothing for the last few weeks! This would no doubt be doubled if you have a job that requires you to do lifting or standing for long periods (such as someone working in retail or food service) or helping people all day (doctors, nurses, teachers).

There is still tenderness to touch all around but generally no pain. I can still see some bruises, especially the really strong one in between my breasts. God knows what they were doing to produce such a bruise, but anyway, it is a faint triangle at this point.

I’m lifting a few more things now but still not wet washing or anything that seems too heavy.


  • I think it helps to read other people’s stories and perspectives. When things come up for you, you might have already read about it and that can really ease your mind! Look around the web for people who you can connect with.
  • Be sure about your surgeon and ask plenty of questions – this is not a light thing that you do! People at work called me brave for doing it and I really don’t see it that way, but perhaps it is always brave to do something for yourself.
  • Ensure you have lots of home help. If you live alone, you will want to go stay with a close friend or relative that can give you the personal care and support you will physically need. Getting out of bed in the first few days is hard. There is a lot of pain. You can’t lift a single solitary thing and you’re not really that hungry but you will need to eat properly and keep hydrated.
  • Be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster ride, especially in the first week. Even if you feel mentally prepared before the operation, because you don’t know what you are going to see until you see it, it is a shock. Surgery, anaesthetic, painkillers and pain can mess with you. Suffice to say if someone upsets you, you will have zero reserves to deal with it. Just try to be kind to yourself and go to bed!
  • Be prepared for some nostalgia for your old boobs from your partner. Even though she is fully supportive, the lovely misses my old boobs (just a bit, she tells me).  Ultimately her support has allowed me to make this change for myself and have a better life because of it, so I’ll cop the nostalgia! Note that there should not be any negativity from your partner about your new boobs – they have to accept you have made this important decision for your health (and whatever damn reason you like). If they need help, recommend they speak to a professional who can talk them through any emotions they might be having so you can get on with healing.
  • Think about what you can do with your old, good quality bras. There is hopefully an organisation nearby that helps women less fortunate or homeless that need bras just as much as we did when we had our fuller breasts. Make sure they are clean and in good condition.
  • See this post  for previous blogs on my breast reduction surgery journey.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,

Breakfast and other experiments

Since meeting the lovely and her many children I’ve changed a few things. One of those things is breakfast. It often looks something like this –

Believe it or not, this is an under-serve of natural yoghurt (110 instead of 150grams because whoa, that’s a lot of yoghurt), a medium banana and 50 grams of Gran OH laaah from the Byron Bay Bakehouse. I could therefore work out the calories involved but I’m not really interested in that.

It’s a massive feed. I used to not eat that much at breakfast, especially during the week – a hot cross bun, a piece of café loaf fruit bread, a couple of slices of white toast. Which then meant I was having morning tea snack in between breakfast and lunch. This rarely happens now. AND it means I get my piece of fruit in early!

Also another change – I used to eat fruit periodically and now I eat it almost daily. That my habits have changed are down to a few things – some hypnotherapy, the lovely and her many children, the imperative to do better for myself and my daughter. They eat a lot of different things for breakfast – namely leftover curry or tuna and rice or a yoghurt, muesli and fruit combo similar to this one. Since I’m not much for curry at breakfast, the combo it is! Of course we often have different things on the weekend like eggs on sourdough or pancakes.

Why do I tell you this rather uninteresting information? To preface that another experiment is about to take place! I’m all up for experiments but this one has a purpose and it is for the lovely’s B1 (20yo female) and B2 (14yo male), who have some skin and tummy issues that persist. The lovely has been talking to a naturopath who suggested a 30 day wheat and dairy free period to rest the body and see what happens.

Such a dietary change will have an impact on the whole family, and in solidarity the lovely and I are bringing everyone else along, kicking and screaming. It won’t hurt any of us to go without dairy or wheat products for 30 days and who knows, we might even enjoy it! That bit will probably be a step too far for my daughter, who with Asperger’s will probably struggle with some of the food changes.

Meanwhile, what exactly is the point of dairy and wheat free?

Firstly, is wheat free and gluten free the same? No, it’s not. You can be wheat free and still be eating food that contains gluten. We do know B2 seems to react to Vegemite, which contains both yeast and gluten. He could be in for some big lifestyle changes if this works out for him. This article from CSIRO but mostly the comments are worth a read.

Meanwhile, do you know how hard it is to find information on what the point of going dairy and wheat free is aside from the general statements of ‘feeling better’?!

Note that we are not doing this for weight loss. Yes, a few of us (but actually not B1 or B2) could lose a few kilos and if that happens, well great. What I’m interested in is how ‘well’ we feel, if we sleep better, if we feel more alert. To that end, I want to develop some sort of measurement for myself and anyone else who wants to do it to see if we have had any improvements in said areas of our lives over the 30 days, which starts in April. So Easter fun can happen in the first half of the holiday and then that will be it!

I think one of the many reasons (and each individual has a different reason DNA) that humans are currently the most obese and unhealthy that we’ve been is because there are so many commercial interests keeping things suitably confusing for most people to really understand, and of course, making food that is bad for you taste really, really good (and addictive).

I might explore that further offline, as I suspect this is a long enough post considering it’s taken me two hours to write so far!

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,

My breast reduction journey – links

Here is the first post about my breast reduction surgery and links to the others so far.


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The rest is up to you! Of course you can always search the tags.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,




My breast reduction surgery – continued

It is now 17 days since I had surgery.

I am pretty much pain free at this point – the ache in my right breast stopped a couple of days ago.

Now it is all about the healing itch, especially my nipples but also, weirdly, on skin that has healed from the previous dressing damage.

I also have this weird thing where my old stretch marks seem to be hard. This was evident from the start, just after surgery but has mostly disappeared. There is no pain attached but it is like they have been filled with something, making them rigid and now there are still a few bits of them with lumps and bumps. I presume these will dissipate as well, since it has mostly resolved. Not something I was aware might happen though!

It’s still hard to know how much to do. I’m up to hanging washing on the line this morning on the bottom line (we have an old fashioned line with three lines) so I don’t need to raise my arms at all.

I’m not lifting too much heavy stuff at all yet but feel like I should start building up again soon. Not weight lifting, but just things like slightly heavier grocery bags or our cats – who weigh between 5-8 kilograms each (there are three, I might start with Rosie as she is the lightest!).

I do feel almost ready to go back to work but am still wary of the driving. I haven’t yet driven at all and the lovely is very insistent that I not just yet. Only because she is protective and not really because I don’t feel like I can, because I’m pain free and that is the main issue with driving (needing to take sudden corrective action or limiting your movements due to pain) from a legal perspective. From a boob perspective, it is about that bounce, bounce, bounce on the road! Short trips I just hold them (like three minutes up the road to my parent’s house) but longer ones I’ve still used a pillow.

We have a show on in town tomorrow, so I’m going to catch the bus in (a bit over an hour) to go to that and then we will drive back afterwards. Dinner and a show sounds nice, especially since this one is a comedian called Ursula Carlson and she is SUPER funny.

So that will be another test, as I haven’t travelled that far in a car since the dressing change nine days ago.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,

My breast reduction surgery – continued

Today I went for my first proper walk. Probably about 1.8 kilometres around the river near our house.

I haven’t walked since the 26th of February and it was like everything is new around the river.

The lines of the old railway bridge.

The butterfly hovering over the river, which was flowing again, just gently. Before it was still and messy and dirty with stuff.

Then we had rain – big flooding rain that has its stamp on the riverbank still. Metres of soil and gravel on the path underneath the bridge. Crunching under my feet.

The sun is hitting my black t-shirt but I’m not hot yet and I’m walking as if I usually walked. I want to know how I really feel. At the moment it is good and I can see the wrens with their tails waggling about. I wish I could capture them on camera but they flit away.

The flood has washed the hillside flat and grass is softly returning upright, making the scene look like a magical place.

Rabbit, with its soft brown eyes looks at me and then bounds up the hill. I see two more as I walk the path, seeing all the grass, all the thistles turning into fluffballs.

My breasts are starting to feel. I adjust the compression garment as it rubs against the skin under my breasts. There is a stinging to my nipples.

I’m half way there. The little critters skimming on the top of the river surface leave ripples through the reflections of sky and trees.

A duck cleans itself on the bank.

The reeds are high, so very  high.

Everything looks different. Fresh. The grass has been mown sometime in the last few days so it is green and soft.

The stinging is intensifying around all of my breasts. I adjust the garment again and hold them for just a second, for comfort. I am three quarters of the way there but I don’t want to do this again tomorrow. The stinging is too much.

I’m hot now and I wipe damp from my brow under my cap.

I try to be consciously straight as I walk. I’m used to slouching.

Grasshoppers, big green ones are defiantly in my way and jump at the last minute into the grass.

I’m nearly home, the stinging is uncomfortable and I want it to stop. There is no real pain though, as I walk up my street.

I have noticed all the things, I have been conscious of my body and the way my feet hit the path and my shins hurt slightly and my new breasts sting and bounce slightly.

They don’t drag me any more.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,

My breast reduction surgery – continued

So I just wrote about how my breasts and I were feeling two weeks post-op.

But what do they look like?

They still look swollen, although somehow slightly less so.

I can see through the current dressings to the dark stitches underneath.

There are a lot of dressings – glass ones they called them at the surgery (although googling it I couldn’t find anything similar so they must be called something different in reality) – around my nipples, which are there for better scar healing.

The other cuts (plus the nipples) are covered in a breathable tape to keep it all together. This is supposed to last for two to three weeks (if possible).

There is still plenty of glue from the previous dressings stuck close to the tape, as I’ve been unwilling to disrupt it and it doesn’t seem to be bothering my skin at the moment.

There is also still plenty of purple texta lines over them as well! Also far too close to wounds to try to wash off!

Some yellow bruising in the body of the breasts.

My right nipple pokes out of the tape relatively erect in a soft way and is incredibly sensitive to touch – not in any pleasurable way.

My left nipple is completely flat – a product of a lot of tape and dressing I think. It has zero sensitivity – I can’t feel it at all.

I was a little worried about this as I’m conscious of nipple death being a risk, so I rang the surgery to ask a couple of questions. Always worth asking and not sitting around worrying! The lovely Tran reassured me that as long as the nipple was pink it was not dead, and that in the four years she’d been with the surgery, there had been zero nipple deaths. A comforting thought!

She also reassured me that it is quite common for nipples to be either quite sensitive or quite numb due to the operation itself and that all the nerves have to heal. It could take up to 18 months for them all to get themselves sorted.

So there is the nipple nitty gritty at the two week mark!

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,

My breast reduction surgery – continued

Today is two weeks post operation.

I’m almost able to side sleep again, since the bruising on my sides has pretty much gone. Last night was the first night that I’ve been able to spoon the lovely for two weeks and it was very nice!

I’m still not sleeping great but it’s getting better – more about the cats disturbing me than the pain!

The pain is periodic and sometimes intense. My right breast is especially likely to complain – I suppose because I’m right handed and do a lot of things with it. It gets a deep ache inside and also pain around the cuts – especially nipple.

Fatigue is still an issue, so no going back to work for me for another week at least. I hope that it will be just another week though, as I’m keen to return. Just not too early that I have to go back off again.

As I explained to my colleague who called me yesterday, the bouncing of the car makes a big difference to the pain levels and after 50 minutes of that, an eight hour day and then 60 minutes home (afternoon peak hour is longer) is a bit much for me at the moment. Especially since I sat holding my boobs as I spoke to her on speaker phone for half an hour and then had to take paracetamol and lay on the couch for a while afterwards!

Being so feeble is not very fun for me. I hate that I can’t lift anything – and yes I tested it on a bag of cat food and had to quickly put it back down. I’ve still a couple more days to go before I can go for a proper walk. I’m a bit nervous about the bouncing but anyway, we will see about that in a few days!

The lovely is doing a wonderful job of looking after me but is back at work now, so I’m left to my own devices. The flowers she bought me when I got home from hospital are still looking fresh.

It will be interesting to see how things progress in the next week. The body is an amazing organism!

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,


I haven’t been out to take many photos as I recover from surgery but here’s one just outside my bedroom door…

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring