Author Topic: After a lifetime of waiting - this time next week, I will be recovering!  (Read 1671 times)

Offline Glj570

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Hi,

I am Jeffrey – a successful man living in the DC area.  I am 38 years old and all my life I have had Gynecomastia.  I have read the stories of so many people on this site for the past several weeks.  I can recall many of the stories about how we “hide” our chests to fit in/not be noticed.  I have to say, that by this time, next week, I will no longer have this issue to deal with.  I am having my surgery on March 4, 2014.

I have always known that I had a “secret” – that secret, in many ways has sheltered me from being my greatest yet to be.  I can recall many times where a colleague or friend have laughed with me and reached out to touch my chest….and, I cringe.  Fearing, what if they joke about my breasts?  What will I say, what will I do?  I have sat in meetings and strategically adjusted my shirt/sweater to cover my secret.  Has it been hard – well, I say sometimes more so than others.  I know that for me I have covered things up for so long that I don’t think twice about my actions.  I just cover the “secret” and move on.

When I met my husband (13 years ago), married over 5 years now……he has always been my biggest fan in everything I set out to do.  Ever since we met, I have always wanted to have "the surgery".  He has loved my unconditionally and I couldn’t have asked for a better husband.  This year we both committed that in 2014 we would focus on better health and do those things we have both been putting off.  So he, has been doing his thing and for me, mine. We couldn’t be happier in this approach.

Interestingly enough – when I knew I was starting to interview Doctors – I wasn’t quite prepared for what I would hear.  The first doctor, knew I had a typed list of questions but once “he was done” with the office visit (which cost $75.00 US) he showed us out the door.  Then, when I met with my 2nd Doctor, the one who will do the surgery, Dr. Bitar – I was so impressed.  From the moment I walked into the Institute – I was made to feel at home.  We spent about 3 hours in the office – what turned out to be a consultation turned into my pre-op.  That was all my doing – I travel for my office and have an upcoming trip I wanted to be ready for, if possible.  So, they were able to get me confirmed for surgery.  I left the office with all the things I knew I would need to do – shopping for protein drinks, getting all of my medications filled and ensuring that I knew how to sleep at a 45 degree angle.  Luckily, most of the pre-op was easy peasy….then, our friends, Kati and Leslie loaned me their sleeping pillow/wedge which puts you at a 45 degree angle to sleep on/in.  This was one minor thing that was making me go “hmmmmmm”.  I am still not for sure how long I will have to sleep this way – but since I am a tummy sleeper I would like to start counting down the days. 

As I said, I have done most of the things, if not all on the “pre-op” checklist.  I received my compression vests yesterday and TIGHT, they were.  I quickly ordered the next size to have them shipped over to me.  My goal is to take them in on Thursday of this week and have them looked at by the Institute team.  I looked a ton of sites but thinking I went with Design Veronique.  I like the company story, the reviews I have found and while they aren't the cheapest, I feel most comfortable with their product since I can't touch it etc.  I have drafted a checklist in excel of all the things I need to do starting 5 days before the surgery, the "no alcohol" thing I will do but......5 days?  I went to Nordstrom to get some zippered sweatshirts as I realized, I didn't have any.  It was so fun looking at those lighter weight shirts etc., that I would never eyewear fearing people would discover my secret, I told Sam, once this is all over I see a new wardrobe happening - I got the "rolling eyes" reply....more to come but if anyone has questions please reach out to me, happy to talk more. If the meantime, Namaste to all!!!! 

PS.  I plan to upload pics etc, as I go into the surgery and of course – post-op.  But the site keeps telling me my files are too large.  Need to see how to reduce the iPhone pics.


Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/forum/index.php?topic=29016.0

Offline rhyno18

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Congratulations on your surgery and starting the next phase of your life!!

The only advice I would give is to remember it's the first step.  Though we've all read the posts and nodded when the doctor told us it would be up to a year before the final result, it's natural to go through an emotional roller coaster after surgery.

My doctor had a great visual in the post op packet that talked about the natural phases of - second guessing, nitpicking and worrying in the weeks after surgery and it being awhile before the final results revealed themselves.  

You'll go from counting down days of getting the surgery, to counting days to you can be done with the compression garment. 

Take care of yourself, be patient and enjoy your new chest.

Offline Glj570

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Thanks for the reply! 

I can tell you I am already counting down the days to stop wearing the compression vest.  I got a slightyy  larger size in the mail today and it fits much better.  That said, wow, what a relief it was when I took it off.  Trying to rationalize wearing it 24x7.  My doctor said approx two weeks or a ittle longer.  I know on this site some people say, much longer than 2 weeks.  I am embracing it and ready for the ride.  Qin- how long did you sleep at a 45 degree angle?

Tonight is the last night of wine ......for a while.  If I an handle that, I hold be good. But your comment about nitpicking.....totally me.

Cheers,
Jeffrey

Offline rhyno18

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I used a recliner- that was easier to sleep in early. 

The vest is just one of those things you fight through.  Keep telling yourself it's just a few weeks.  I wore it 24/7 the first 3 weeks.  Then my doctor moved it to nights.  I usually out it on sometime around 7pm.  4 days left.

The nitpicking is natural.  But counter productive. The first week I had an event one evening and was conscious about how the vest looked under what I had to wear.  So I decided to forgo it a few hours.  Ca,e home and one side had swollen up a bit and I was convinced I'd botched the whole thing.  Never came off except for showers the rest of the 21 days.

But looking back, my chest looks a bit different every day.  Don't get caught up in the immediate result- look for the long term. But it looks so much better than before already.

I was with a group at work and an old colleague was telling a story and said 'then this guy' and playfully patted me on the chest.  I internally flinched out of 20+ years of freaking out if someone was going to touch my chest.  Then I realized it was no big deal.  They could have all rubbed my chest for all I cared. 

Enjoy the ride!  Oh and your doctor may suggest compression t shirts when you have your garment on part time. Definitely look at the champion brand- half the price if Under Armour and fit tight wash after wash.  They look cool too. I never would've worn something this tight out of the bathroom.   I'll probably keep wearing them as an undershirt for a couple more weeks or at least at night.

Offline Glj570

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HI there!  Appreciate the reply again.  QQ - how long before you were up and walking / off the pain meds?  I know they say it is different for each person.  Getting excited - this time, less than 48 hours I will have had the procedure.  :-)  They are predicting a snow storm tonight/tomorrow - trusting the roads are cleared by time for us to head to the dr.  Cheers, J

Offline rhyno18

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My surgery in January was at 8am on a Monday.   I felt pretty good that evening- a little sore, but getting around the house fine.   

I called into a conference call on Tuesday and was back at work on Wednesday.  I only used the pain medication at night. 

Though my January surgery was done by a doctor who did excision and lipo through a small incision on the side of the chest.  My original procedure used the 'half moon' cut and drains.  That recovery took a couple of days. 

In both cases I didnt use the pain medication much after a couple of days.  Occasionally it would get sore- but not enough to need the pain meds.

Offline Glj570

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Offline s00ntobe

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can you post the pics?

Upload them to tinypic.com or imgur and give us the link! much easier

Offline Glj570

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Hi, sure let me try that.  I tried again using the iPhone pics but they said the were too large.  Will try the site you recommended.  I go for my post-op this afternoon and will post pics if I can.  I know having pics on this site helped me out a lot. This morning I am groggy, due to the pain meds. Don't really have an appetite. But am eating none the less and getting my protein,  all in all since my surgery I have slept for about 16 hours.  Guess my body needed it.  ;).


 

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