February 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
This is the conclusion of Bras: Optional and Juggs McGee. The past two weeks had been filled with topical distractions, such and canceling Valentines day (you’re welcome) and watching the little Russian girl who falls (I hope the best for her family). I apologize in advance for the length of this post, I just couldn’t drag it out one more week.
Anyway… back to my real assets, and other boob related injuries.
During the height of the Juggs McGee scandal (it wasn’t really a scandal, but wouldn’t that be a good name for one?), I began to notice my large bosom hindering more than just my social integrity. I was dancing almost 20 hours per week with an underwire bra (with the straps held together with a safety pin) underneath a sports bra or a leotard with the straps equally tight. I had to hold those suckers in.
It was my sophomore year of high school when my left shoulder started to feel the pressure of carrying the weight of my knockers. I couldn’t lift my arm above my shoulder. My parents took me to a specialist on a hot tip that it was a pinched nerve. The tests came back inconclusive to the pinched nerve theory, and it was becoming quite clear that the consequences of my heavy breasts would more than just a pain in the neck. But for now, as an otherwise healthy 16 year old, I continued to do my thing.
For three years I thought I was just “sleeping wrong” until my double duty bra binding came back to bite me once again. I was on the Michigan State Dance Team, it was the summer before our regular season, I was living at home with my parents (30 miles away) and going into school every day for practice. One other girl on the team had about the same sized juggs as me, but for some reason she didn’t have to wear two bras, just one really good sports bra. I thought she was crazy, especially because running was part of our training.
Now for two very large obvious reasons, I was never a runner. So running was very new and horrible for me. I wanted three bras on running days. With my boobs strapped in so tight they were practically popping out at my chin, I ran. One day after practice I was driving home. It was only about a 30 minute drive, it was summer, I had the music blasting with the windows down. Now, I’m a neck cracker. Before you judge, consider the weight placed upon my shoulders by my boobs. While driving I cracked my neck and it stuck that way, on the highway going 75mph. My face was looking out the passenger window as my eyes craned to see the road. I just needed to make it home. I was three exits away (and then a whole shitload of country roads cause my parents live in the middle of no where).
When I pulled into the driveway I just yelled. My dad came running and picked me up, brought me into the house, and laid me out on the floor. It felt like my muscles were fused. The best course of action they could come up with was to drive me back to MSU to see an athletic trainer. Great. Couldn’t have thought of a solution in our own county?
My mom drove 30 miles to the school. I bet she was glad my head was cranked to the passenger side or I would have been staring at her judging her driving skills for 30 mins. My head was stuck to one side. I couldn’t move for almost an hour and a half. Once we saw the trainer, they applied heat and massaged me back to mobility. But this wasn’t a sports injury, this was a boob injury.
Another girl on the Dance Team told me she had a reduction. I was starry eyed. My dream. She told me all the gory details about the anchor scarring, the breast feeding question, and how if I was still on my parent’s insurance, it could pay for the surgery. I was! My folks were totally against it. My mom asked, “what if you regret it?” I assured her hand picking my perfect cup size would not be laced with regret. They shipped me off to Boston to complete my undergraduate with a “no, but not never” answer.
On the east coast my life was different. I was running far less. I stopped dancing, and despite having a job as a part time towel distributer at a corporate gym, I gained 10 pounds. Once spring broke, I needed to do something about my ponch, so I got to dancing again. I took a ballet and jazz classes at the Boston Conservatory, and some how ended up teaching a regular hip hop class at a local gym. This hip hop class (because I’m the whitest girl to ever hippity hop) was canceled for lack of enrollment, but I gained a few other classes at the gym because my killer ab routine. Shortly after I became a gym rat teaching 10 classes a week. I wanted to be a cinematographer at this moment in my life and that meant not being a wimp. One of the trainers set up a program for me to strengthen my camera shoulder. Soon I was back to the phantom “pinched nerve” and went to the clinic to see what the hell was wrong. Tendonitis. In my shooting shoulder.
Once I graduated and moved to LA getting regular gigs as a Camera Assistant and Operator, my shoulder got worse. I was 24 years young with chronic pain, still on my parents insurance. I couldn’t sleep through the night (because of the pain not because I felt like a failure or less of an adult for still being on my parent’s health insurance). With my mother on the other side of the country, I started shopping for a surgeon.
Of course all the surgeons who are good for anything are in Beverly Hills, a place far fancier than me which I am terrified of. Trying to find my way to one consultation on Rodeo Drive, I stopped into a boutique to ask for directions, but was turned away because I was wearing chuck taylors. I ended up finding a surgeon in Bev Hills I liked and her parking attendant only charged me 8 bucks during my visits because he knew I couldn’t pay the $25. I basically told my mom this is what was how it was going to be and all she had to do was provide me with the insurance. I told her she didn’t have to come take care of me during recovery because I just plain didn’t want to hear her disapproval for the whole ordeal.
Upon waking up from surgery I immediately felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. A lot of people who get breast reductions describe it like that. I felt like for the first time, I could sit up straight. The tissue was still swollen and I had drainage tubes coming out of me, so I wouldn’t be able to tell the real size of my new bosom for another couple of weeks. I was supposed to go home that night, but they kept me under for over 4 hours so I had to stay the night. I didn’t care. I felt great.
I got my tubes out a week later and my surgeon told me the treacherous tale of the 4 hour de-boobing process. Apparently, my breast tissue was so thick it broke the needle when they were first beginning (she didn’t really elaborate on this, so I don’t know exactly what it means). Consequently she took out as much tissue as she would normally if she was reducing the size by 2 1/2 cup sizes (I was going from DD to C). This was a little more than what we had talked about before the surgery.
If you ever get a reduction, they make you sign a bunch of forms saying that you won’t sue them if they don’t come out exactly like you wanted. Think about it, you are laying on the table, they cut your nipples off and open you up, once they sew you back together you are all swollen. They can’t tell. They can sit you up, and see how they fall, but it’s not the same. This is why my surgery took 4 hours. She wanted to make sure to curb my expectations incase they didn’t turn out to be the perfect Cs I wished for. My breast tissue was abnormally dense. I honestly didn’t know. No one could have known until they cut me open. But the tale doesn’t end here.
Later back at my house watching Six Feet Under (my recovery series) relaxing on the last of my narcotics, I felt tension on my left boob. Then it looked a little bit bigger. Then a lot bigger.
I rushed out of my room to my roommate (I was living with 3 dudes at the time), “does this boob look bigger than the other one?” He nodded, stunned at the question. I grabbed frozen peas out of the freezer and called my doctor. She asked me if I had a ride to the hospital and my roommate obliged. On the way I called my best girlfriend to come meet me so my dude roommate could be relieved. I was going back into surgery with a hematoma on my left breast. The people in the emergency room joked, “This is the opposite of what you want them to do, huh?” It was not funny. Not at the time.
6 months of no underwire, I finally went to the dreaded Vicky S. to get sized. I had not been given the perfect Cs I had hoped for. I was still a D cup. At first I was upset, I would still have to wear a bra with just about everything. I would still be Juggs McGee. I would still have big boobs. However, I could fit into off the rack clothes, run with a single sports bra (one with thin straps!), and live without chronic pain in my neck.
At first I had gotten the surgery for almost 63% vanity. But now, who cares about vanity, I can sit up straight! It used to be taking off my bra was the best part of my day. Now I am far less consumed with what my boobs are doing. They feel light, and still look pretty great so I have zero complaints. I will always have the occasional shoulder pain as a reminder, but the scars have faded so much, I can barely tell I was once a rag doll.
After my full recovery, I had to take a desk job. Partly because I had been advised to let the shoulder heal, but also because I couldn’t get insured.
Two years later, I met Mister Red and was upfront about my juggs. Before we got hot and heavy, I said, “Hey I had a breast reduction, there are some scars, so… if you aren’t cool with that, sorry.” He was cool with it.