I’m now one month (actually five weeks now) out from surgery and, I think most of my friends will be relieved to read, probably at the end of my semi-regular talking about my surgery. At the beginning of this journey I said I had more to offer the world than my tits, and I’m ready to get back to proving that.
I think things have progressed as far as they’re going to for awhile. Now for the long (and much more glacially paced) game of minimizing scarring.
I’m almost sad to be ending the updates, as I’ve been enjoying an unexpectedly international popularity, and my stats page looks like an Olympic leader board. I wish I knew who you all were visiting me. Did you see there’s a Like button at the bottom of the page? (hint, hint)
So, where I am now. For almost the whole month postop my nips looked kind of grotesque, black and crusty, not for lack of me caring for them (I’m also a terrible picker, but the thought of accidentally tearing off a nipple was an adequate deterrent). Every day I dutifully slathered them in antibiotic ointment and bandaged them up again. When I ran out of the sensitive skin tape I tried switching to extra large horizontal Band-Aids, which, while dramatically simplifying my regimen, almost immediately gave me rashes under all the sticky parts. I never considered myself such a delicate flower, but I guess Tery was right. Either way, I was thoroughly over having things stuck to my chest.
I was starting to worry maybe I was losing the grafts and maybe I should ask the doctor; again, I suffered from a compete lack of reference material online. But I would see him in about four days so I decided to hang in there.
The next morning after my shower, to my enormous relief the scabs came off on their own to reveal, well, if not the nicest-looking nipples, at least a damn sight less dubious and necrotic-appearing ones. I made the executive decision to discontinue covering them, and also saw no point in using more antibiotic ointment since there were no open wounds. I hoped this didn’t go against the doctor’s (unhelpfully vague) orders.
He was visibly pleased though. He reminded me how large I had been by pulling up a before picture (thank you. I’ve been looking at them most of my life. I remember them like it was a month ago), implying I think that such a good outcome wasn’t a given with my starting size. In which case I suppose he deserves his kudos.
He told me I could move to scar massage and begin “showering more aggressively,” which I took to mean I no longer had to huddle with my back to the spray like a vampire avoiding sunlight. What a relief. He also assured me the swelling would go down eventually; I didn’t think I had any. I’m still not sure if I do, or if that’s just a stock assurance he gives everyone. I hope he doesn’t mean my “pecs” because I quite like those.
So now my routine consists only of a layer of Bio-oil, followed by silicone lube (I’ve upgraded to this stuff because it’s even more economical and my smaller bottle is almost done). Let me tell you, I never spent half as much time playing with my nips when they were “real.” The new keyword in my house is “unguents,” which is almost as unpleasant a word as “moist,” the state my chest is perpetually in now. I can tell when I dry out, I feel tight and itchy, like a huge piece of scotch tape is covering me.
(Pro-tip: I noticed when applying the oil that most of it soaked into my fingers (or slipped between them) before ever getting to the scars. I solved this problem with an eye dropper, that lets me apply it with pinpoint precision.)
So, some (hopefully) last thoughts on my transformation and then I’m moving on to other things.
First, some very tiny complaints: you never hear men bitch about their nipples rubbing against the inside of shirts. I used to go braless all the time, but I guess I drooped so much my nips were pointing down so spared this discomfort. Not enjoyable, at all. I need a layer of Body Glide before I leave the house. I almost (almost) wish we’d skipped the nips completely. It’s not like I’ll ever be able to show them off outside anyway.
Second, as I discovered today: I have a handful of shirts that I love again, but the vast majority of my wardrobe is big enough to accommodate my now absent passengers. Everything is all now comically huge on me. I wore a biking jersey today I’d been saving for post weight loss that now fits me like a muu-muu. Well, DAMMIT.
But the good: every other minute of the day. Realizing I’ve already forgotten what boob sweat feels like. Every single time I go to the store and throw a shirt on, and feel like I’m forgetting something by not wearing a bra–then remembering all over again that no, this is my new reality. And I wouldn’t go back for anything.
Lastly, because I couldn’t find this information anywhere and had to ask around: cancer screening. Dr. Steinwald repeatedly made sure I knew I was still at risk (still have estrogen, the silent killer) but no suggestions how to test. Mammograms are out of the question with my flat profile and there’s evidently no equivalent for men since male breast cancer is so rare. So, from two different sources: one said self-exams and biopsy if anything seems abnormal, and another said ultrasounds are also effective. I had hoped to be done with the imaging center, but I suppose an ultrasound is a pretty noninvasive price to pay.
Now for the pics! (I think not gross enough anymore to need a warning):
Coming soon: Something other than my chest!