Saturday, May 16, 2015

pics or it didn't happen



this video has changed my life. such a simple thing that NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT!!!! the fancy pants at the running store didn't tell me to do this! and i was about to return their fancy pants shoes too. until i tried this and immediately all my issues were gone. my toes stopped hitting the front of my shoe. my left i.t. band and sciatic nerve are now getting better. A MIRACLE! and so simple. 

note: i didn't tie mine down quite as tight as he has it in the video, cuz ouch, but pretty damn tight.


sunday, distance 3.12


monday


tuesday


thursday


friday


just now... i'm off to pilates

average pace: 12:22
average time: 38:15
total miles: 18.72

still doing one rest day until my left leg is back to normal or until i change my mind. happy caturday!

Friday, May 15, 2015

my breast reduction

i had a breast reduction last fall. this post is looooooooong, so i've added headings to the sections so you can navigate through to find what you need and get out if you wish. yes, there are pictures toward the end; don't make it weird.

i am posting my experience because when i was trying to decide if this was right for me, i relied heavily upon information available online and found it helpful. i hope that someone finds this post helpful for them someday. questions may be directed to llpauseblog@gmail.com or left in the comments.
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the reason

for several years now, i've been experiencing pain in my left forearm, wrist, and pinky and ring fingers. the last few years it had been getting steadily worse. i see a massage therapist who does magical things and really helps a ton, sleep with a special pillow, never wear jewelry on that wrist or those fingers, carry my purse on my right shoulder, etc. (the list is actually pretty long), but i still felt (pre-surgery) like i was just barely ahead of the pain and would still have many "bad days" in a week. i forget who it was to suggest that my breasts were likely to blame for ulnar nerve impingement, but once that information entered my brain, it was the most obvious thing in the world to me. the weight of my large breasts was causing me to hunch my shoulders forward and only an inhumane amount of pilates posture correction exercise was going to be able to help that.

sometimes, it's all about knowing what questions to ask.

the referral

i asked my primary care physician at kaiser about a breast reduction for the pain in my arm and she asked me a couple questions about my current pain management procedures (see above), made a few suggestions, and gave me the referral to the plastic surgeon. she recommended i see an occupational therapist just in case there was anything they could do to help (not mandatory), so i went and was not impressed. the physical therapist said i am flexible, fit, and strong and there's no reason for me to be having this pain. she was nice about it though and gave me stretches to do, for her c.y.a.

the consultation

the wednesday after my half marathon in september 2014, i went in for my consultation with kaiser plastic surgeon, doctor patricia sandholm, with giant gashes on the sides of my breasts from my sport bra, perfect. she took one look at my h-cup breasts and was very sympathetic. we immediately started discussing the benefits and risks of the surgery and when i'd like to have mine. she answered all of my questions and was lovely. funny story, she had actually tried and didn't make it in time to sign up for beat the blerch... and obviously is amazing.

the gashes had been happening on every run over ten miles, but i didn't have time before the race to start aaaaaallll over trying to find a bra that could handle over ten miles so i put up with it, using tons upon tons of glide and goo and slip and slide to keep it to a minimum.

the red tape

the brief discussion with my p.c.p. and dr. sandholm's nod of approval was all the red tape i had to deal with for kaiser. they get a bad rep, but i am absolutely in love with them. everything is so damn easy and everyone is so wonderful.

the restrictions

from there, it was only a matter of scheduling with work and my caregiver, j. they told me i would need to be babysat for 24 hours after the surgery, then i'd need to stay as incapacitated as possible and sleep sitting upright for one week (the pain meds helped). then three weeks of being suuuuuuper careful (no lifting anything if it can be helped, keeping my elbows at my sides, not really bending over too much or too far, light walking only, etc.). then three weeks of not doing anything crazy (can do most things, but no lifting anything over ten pounds, no lifting anything over my head, no excessive stretching with arms over my head, etc.). after that, it would be over and i would be free to do as i pleased.

sleeping sitting up for a week sounds pretty shitty, and it was, even on the meds. it was mostly shitty for my back. i didn't have trouble actually sleeping because of the pain meds, but my back was sore after and required some t.l.c. and pilates. i also couldn't get my massages for three months until everything was one-hundred-percent all cleared because you can't really lie face down for a while either, and getting smooshed into a table lying face down isn't really worth it. the face down stuff is at your own comfort level and i feel like i was okay quickly enough to do the things i wanted to do other than the smooshing into the table for a massage. i had my therapist do side-lying pregnancy massage instead and it worked pretty well.

pre-op and risks

everyone i met with for pre-op appointments was really great and supportive.  all of them mentioned how breast reduction surgery is the number one in patient satisfaction in all of plastic surgery and that everyone they see come and have one is super happy they did. most lament not having done it sooner, and i'd have to agree. they also told me that my doctor is known as "the breast whisperer" around kaiser and is the best in town. ftw.

there was a one hour video tutorial that i was required to watch to make sure i was sure about my decision. the video included all the gory things that can go wrong with the surgery and the scars. the worst of the risks being loss of blood flow to the nipple causing it to "die" and it having to be removed completely. i was never really concerned about that because they did mention that for those who smoke, have diabetes, are overweight, or just have poor circulation issues in general seem to experience these kinds of complications, and i've never had problems with that, don't smoke, and am diabetes free. i was told that stopping birth control one month prior to surgery and not resuming until one month after is best to avoid these issues as well, something to think about. not that you're really supposed to be having sex after, but one month before might be a deal breaker for someone. knowledge is power.

funny story mentioned in the video: one lady who was on the chubby side, had the surgery and loved her new breasts, but was very unhappy with the look of her abdomen now that she could see it. preach.

on many women's minds is the risk that breastfeeding a baby won't be in their future. i have no desire to have children, so that was a non-issue for me. it is a risk though and all of the same factors listed above for loss of the nipple come into play. the healthier and more active you are, the better your chances of retaining all function and feeling. i did retain all of my feeling, but i obviously can't say about the function. for my purposes, function is just fine *winkyface*

timing

i opted to have the surgery over the christmas holiday week not only to maximize time away from work with holiday pay, but to maximize j's time since (a) he'd be off of work with a.j. visiting and (b) he'd have a.j. to keep him company while i drooled on myself for a whole week. it worked beautifully and i even got to do a few fun things between percocet dreams.

i only missed four days of work, but was "out" over a span of ten days, including weekends. because we get christmas eve and christmas day as well as new year's eve and new year's day where i work, my first day back was the friday after new year's day. it was really great to ease back into things, but i was definitely able to handle a full week and wouldn't have minded if that had been the case.

tangent about my experience with percocet

percocet is elebenty million times better than vicodin for my body. i asked them if i could try percocet instead this time because vicodin isn't nice to me. i have had to use vicodin three times in my life and all three times i got off of it as soon as humanly possible. at one point i was in the hospital and asked if i could "just get some motrin or something instead". they had to check with the doctor to get it changed and he said no. wtf. anywho, percocet was still icky, but a MUCH better experience than vicodin. the dreams were much fluffier and the drifting off was much smoother. with vicodin i feel super fucking horrible for every moment i'm awake and it's in my system trying to take me under, then when i'm under, the dreams are the most stressful dreams i've ever experienced in my life. i wake up from it feeling anxious and nauseated every time. but that's just me.

the big day

day of surgery went smoothly as well. the only hiccup was the nurse checking me out ignoring the SHE IS SO SUPER PRONE TO MOTION SICKNESS, YOU GUYS! warning on my chart as well as j's reiteration of that warning and didn't give me the patch that helps with coming out of anesthesia for motion sickness sufferers. i couldn't keep anything down until the next morning, including my pain pill and water, but i was still so out of it from the anesthesia, it was fine.

post-op and pain

the pain was completely tolerable and almost easy the entire time i was recovering with three exceptions: (1) we went to a very super extremely crowded house party for new year's eve. we didn't know it would be that crowded, but navigating such a tightly packed and dancing group was very painful; (2) being winter time, there were frequent chills and goose flesh that would send lightning and sparks to my nipples. it wasn't quite the "shockers" that come as the nerves to your breasts and nipples start healing and waking up. those are a different thing and i never really had them. this was that tingle you get with the goose flesh and the hard nipples, but to a painful level. it was kinda awful, but not the worst thing i've ever experienced; and (3) the kitties! ohmyfuck. they did NOT understand that their mama, who normally allows them to climb all over her in attempts to lay on her neck at all hours of the night, was not having it for some reason out of nowhere. yeah. awful. love them to pieces, but fuck, ouch.

the feeling was more strange and uncomfortable than painful overall because you're just so swollen, it's ridiculous. it feels uncomfortable and you're all wrapped in gauze and a giant ace bandage that you leave on for three or four days. then they want you to take it off to take a shower... lolwut? i absolutely dreaded the shower, but i persevered holding in my mind dr. sandholm saying "that first shower is going to feel so amazing". and she was right. that was the most wonderful shower i've ever had in my life. trust.  after the shower is when you start wearing sport bras. they need to be supportive, but very little compression. bouncing is not fun, but neither is squishing or having the band be too tight around any anchor scars you may have. (there are two scar shapes, lollipop and anchor. lollipop is a circle around the nipple and a line down the bottom of the breast. anchor is a lollipop, but with an anchor across the entire bottom of the breast into the abdomen. the original breast size dictates the amount of incisions needed and therefore the type of scar you'll have. i have an anchor scar.) the swelling starts to go down after about two weeks, but isn't fully over with until three months... which is when you get to go bra shopping, woooot!

the one sorta complication i had was a minor leaky point on my wound. the nurse said it looked like one of the stitches didn't dissolve in time for the scab to be comfy, and the area got irritated and started oozing. it oozed for about two weeks, then went away. i wore a gauze with bacitracin on it to help it heal and didn't really think about it otherwise. it didn't hurt or feel weird or anything.

the price tag

the whole thing, including all the visits pre and post op, everything, every single thing, cost me $15. total. that was it. i didn't even have to pay for the percocet separately. i love kaiser. always and forever. with a nod to my firm's robust plan with kaiser, thanks lane powell.

the fun part, before and after pictures!

the images are black because they are hover overs and only work on the blog website. anyone who would like to see is welcome to (i give zero fucks), but i didn't want to force it on anyone or create a nsfw situation for anyone who gets these posts in their inbox. they don't work in e-mailed copies or in readers like feedly, but they're fully functioning on the blog website if you're interested. 

before, 32H:



after, 34D:



bra talk and stats

the band size, which shouldn't change because that's the measurement of my rib cage, did change because i was using the extra cinching of the smaller 32 to help hold up giant breasts. a 34 would never work, but was always my true size. i was constantly uncomfortable and couldn't breathe, but they weren't flopping all over the place and my bra stayed put, so it worked. plus, i couldn't really breathe without a bra either from the weight. now i can breathe, sit up straight, and run in a normal bra that doesn't cost a bagillion dollars or tear my flesh. plus, now that i'm not stressing the band to the absolute max, my already cheaper bras will last me longer.

they took about half of the mass from each breast, about three pounds total. the left was larger than the right to begin with, so it got cut back a bit more. they checked the removed tissue for abnormalities associated with cancer and found nothing. i've now reduced my risk of breast cancer to half of what it was, which is nice.

reaction and outcome

i am over the moon in love with my new, cute boobies. i have boobies now, not jugs. it's amazing. i'm not "the one with huge tits" anymore. i never resented the title; i never gave it much thought actually, but now that it's gone, it's kind of nice to be more than just big tits and a smile for some. i never truly appreciated the attention my large sweater puppies received. i didn't resent them or do anything to prevent their display, but i probably didn't use them to my advantage as much as i could have or some such nonsense. it's like that scene out of superbad.


my posture is already one thousand percent better. i can do things in pilates that i never thought possible. my shoulder is no longer hunching forward and pinching my ulnar nerve. i still have a bit to go as far as repairing the damage that's been done, but my arm hardly ever bothers me any more. i can still feel the shadow of the pain when i do some things, and i still can't wear my watch on that wrist, but my day to day interaction with it is as good as my right arm now.

the best part is no one really noticed. i feel like the doctor did an amazing job at reducing the "carat weight" while maintaining the "table weight" (yes, i'm using a diamond metaphor to describe my breasts, d.w.i. carat weight is the actual weight, table weight is the ratio of top visible diamond to the portion underneath. so if you have a small carat diamond with heavy table weight, you might be getting a one carat that looks like a two. the opposite of that would be a really tall two carat that looks as small as a one carat from the top.) and they look really proportional to all my other curves so it wasn't really very drastic for those viewing the outside of my clothes, especially from the front. the change is most obvious from the side view.

i would absolutely do it again without a moment's hesitation. i would do it one hundred times if i had to. not only no regrets, complete satisfaction and elation. i feel like i am the person i always should have been.



this has been the tale of my own experience, as always. i am not providing medical advice or trying to sway anyone. i am a young, fit, active, and healthy individual and had a lovely experience. everyone is different and everyone's medical history is different, sooooooo... results may vary, obvi.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

pics or it didn't happen

i was fighting with my left i.t. band all this week which ended up jacking up my sciatic nerve, but i managed to only take one rest day. warming up my leg with the running so i can roll it out and stretch really well was helpful so i didn't take a ton of time off for it.


SUB 40! sunday


monday


tuesday


SUB 39! wednesday


thursday (peak of left leg disobedience)

friday off


this morning; then i vacuumed and went to pilates.

average pace: 12:43
average time: 38:78
total miles: 18.72

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

pictures of the kitties, nuthin special

just some recent kitty pictures i'd like to share with the interweb:


conchord lookin' all suave


they almost don't fit up there anymore.
gotta take turns.


zoot was playing gate keeper after lights out the other night. 
scratches were given.
but she's too damn cute!

Monday, May 4, 2015

pics or it didn't happen

running every morning, week one: *note* of course i didn't run three point eleven miles every morning the first week. i don't want to injure myself immediately, gosh! i took two rest days.  also, to make the effort more like running outside, i set the incline to at least 0.5.  0.5 or 1 are good for simulating the same effort, according the the googleweb.

sunday 4/26

monday 4/27 (blister city)

tuesday 4/28 (new shoes)

thursday 4/30 (incline 0.5, distance 3.12)

friday 5/1

average pace: 13.15
average time: 41.1
total miles: 15.62

may the fourth be with you.

Friday, May 1, 2015

SCHMOOPSIE TWOOOOOOO!

you may have asked yourself, hm, wonder how she did that cool gif of her cat.

dear reader, i had nothing to do with that cool gif.  my schmoopsie two did it for me because she knows how amused i am by my cat and by gifs and put them together to impress me with her skills.

to kick off my birth month and showcase all the cool shit i already bought myself in preparation, let me introduce you to my schmoopsie two.  


my galaxy s six in "gold platinum" (make up your mind! shoulda called it "clean C3PO" and gotten disney to pay you for advertising or something) is nothing short of marvelous.  

some background.  my schmoopsie was a lovely machine, seemingly built just for me and my needs. i loved every bit of that phone and felt like i could truly settle down with it forever and never be tempted by the latest and greatest again.  cut to combining the wireless accounts of j, a.j., and me last year and moving from verizon to t-mobile, fast forward through cdma vs. gsm, accidentally skip over the part but then rewind and see that at the time, the galaxy s three was still almost twice the price of the google nexus five that was brand new and produced by my generous google overlords at an affordable price, scan through the turmoil over losing my schmoopsie, but revel in the excitement over a google loyal device... and now you've been caught up on the switch enough for the review of my nexus five:

it sucked... it was NOT my schmoopsie; it was not the latest and greatest; it was not an upgrade; it was not what i needed or wanted in a phone; it was just sad.  that phone made me sad.

then, as we all know, the iPhone six came out and was a beautiful phone that made me jealous, but not jealous enough to switch from android, that will NEVER! happen. i only mention because then the galaxy s six was released and is basically a samsung iPhone.  i'm sure there will be litigation about it later, but for now, i'm over here enjoying my gorgeous new phone with a very most lovely camera that helps me take pretty pictures without having to worry about things like light and stability.  oh schmoopsie two, you just get me.

i am so very glad to be reunited with samsung and their clever interface with things like "close all" on the open apps screen.  nexus five seriously doesn't have something so very basic as that.  though, with all their thoughtfulness comes some overbearing care giving.  

funny story:  i dove right into using my schmoopsie two, seamlessly transitioning with my google overlord's intelligent planning of android.  all i had to do was log in to my google account and it was like nothing happened.  i was listening to pandora in the car and on the bus with my earbuds as i always do, but my usual spot on the dial wasn't doing it for me anymore.  it was so bad that i thought maybe something had happened to my hearing and i needed to see a doctor or something.  i was worried.

low and behold, schmoopsie two was actually trying to prevent any damage to my ears by limiting the maximum volume on playback, which was not allowing the car to override it when i turned the nob.  just by chance, i happened to have the app open on my phone while setting the station in the car (parked after pilates, of course) and saw a little message pop up stating that i would have to force it to blow my ear drums out if that was my desire and that it in no way was responsible for any delayed after affects.  

done and done.  back to my ear-bleeding like normal, thanks schmoops. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

zooterwoot is bettered



her new diet and time spent in her penthouse has her looking like a snake that swallowed a football, but other than that, she's been up and running like nothing happened for a few weeks now.  she seems so well, in fact, that we've let her roam free during the day to help work off some of that delicious football.


we're still going to take her back in for follow up x-rays in june, but for now, the snugglepuss is doing well and just as snuggley as ever.