Author Topic: Lost teen looking for guidance...  (Read 6284 times)

Offline Jared S.

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Hello everyone, my name’s Jared and I’m 17 years old. I know that you have probably heard every version of men having Gynecomastia, but I would like to share mine as well. For as long as I could remember I have kept this a secret from everyone around me and I hope it helps me feel a little better if I can get this off my chest (No pun intended). A little info: my parents are divorced, and barely speak to each other.

I remember first noticing my gynecomastia since I was 8 years old, I noticed when I took gymnastics and wore tight spandex, and i didn’t look like everyone else. After the initial teasing from the other kids I quit gymnastics. In third grade I moved away from my home town, became depressed and got really heavy. This only made the breasts larger, and by the time I moved home I was very self conscious about my weight. So I took action. In 9th grade I went on a diet and thinned out to 142 lbs and grew to 5’6”. I thought by losing all this weigh most of the Gyne would vanish also, but I was wrong. Now, with my stomach flat, and the breasts still there they are more noticeable than ever, and it has only lowered my self esteem. I started to seclude myself in my room, only coming out to eat, go to the bathroom, and go to school. I rarely left to go outside, or make contact with my friends. My friends were always the best, they made me laugh, and have always been there for me, but even still I couldn’t get myself to stay in contact with them outside of school. While at school no one would ever suspect me to be suffering in silence, they treated me no differently than any other group of friends would. I’ve had girls confess their feelings for me, that I felt the same way about, but could never date them because I was afraid they would reject me as soon as my shirt was off, so I have never once had a girlfriend.

Last July I finally got to visit a Dr. with my dad to see if I was eligible for the surgery. After a series of tests he concluded I was eligible, and could have the surgery for a minimum of $10,000 - $20,000, but hopefully the insurance company could cover it. We accepted the price and went away feeling good that it was going to get taken care of eventually. It was then I found out my Father and Grandfather also had Gynecomastia. My dad had it removed when he was 20, and my granddad still lives with it today. It felt good to know he knew what I was going through, and I was not alone. But, as the time went on and we found out that the insurance company had denied our claims TWICE, I started feeling like I was the only one in the world suffering through this. The depression fell back into place, and the suicidal thoughts came back. I began to think about getting a knife and cutting them off, but have always restrained myself from doing any from of self harm. It was then that I was admitted into the hospital after I couldn’t shake the thoughts. We all hoped that mentioning the depression and self harm to the insurance company would reconsider the claim.... they didn’t.

After months of my depression growing worse my mother stepped in and took me to a new doctor that was a head surgeon a Uconn medical center. This man saw the other two claims, and told us that the last doctor stated everything wrong. In fact the surgery would have been $5,000 MAX and that my level of Gynecomastia was so severe that there should have been no reason for us to get denied.

Again my hopes were restored, and I thought that the surgery was back on track. Unfortunately as time dragged on, we got no reply from the insurance company, and no one in the family seemed to have the money at the time. My hopes were dashed AGAIN and now i feel that this is completely hopeless. There have been fights between my parents and me, and no one seems to remember that this whole thing was originally to make me feel, and look, better as a man. But, what I thought was supposed to be a simple process turned out to be nothing more than drama.

I guess my reason for joining this forum was to seek guidance from other people that may have gone through the same thing I am so I won't always have the feeling that I'm alone.

P.S. I will post my pictures hopefully later tonight so you have an idea to what the second doctor was talking about.

~Jared

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/forum/index.php?topic=14778.0

Offline seeking_relief

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Hi Jared, just want to let you know that your not the only one out there that has these kinds of feelings and the severe depression from your gyne. Im hoping by sharing my story with you that you won't feel as alone and in the closet about it. To start off, im a 23 yr old skinny guy, about 6'0, 145 lbs, pretty much flat chest, but with a really bad case of puffy nipple gynecomastia, which has effected me emotionaly on so many different levels. I first noticed, and became self-conscious about it when i was 12 yrs old and my parents pointed it out saying it didn't look normal that my nipples were so large and puffy when i had my shirt off one night. Ever since that night, and i remember every detail specifically to this day of that nite, my life has been a total emotional wreck. I used to love sports at a young age, but eventually quit participating in em cause i was so scared to take my shirt off in locker rooms and of course, the dreaded, 'shirts n skins' team. The horrible memories of going through high school with gyne. I used to be quite outgoing n very socialable at a young age, but throughout the years became more n more cutoff from friends and family and just started isolating myself from being outside and meeting people. I have never had a serious girlfriend either, because im too insecure and self conscious about it and very scared of rejection and the girls reactions to it. Im not exaggerating when i say this either, but i have thought suicidal thoughts every single day of my entire life from when i found out i had gyne up until now. The emotional pain just will not go away, ive thought about seeing a therapist or going on anti-depressants, but im still not comfortable enough to open up about it to anyone. Ive done my best to keep this a secret my entire life, and plan on keeping it that way. Now, being 23 yrs old, i feel like ive had half of my life taken away, like theres been this huge void in my life, when i should have been having fun and enjoying life, and its all been taken away because of gyne. Its terrible that insurance companies don't look on how serious the emotional and depression effect a sufferer of gyne. They say its a cosmetic procedure to have surgery, but in the same token, how is it cosmetic when all we want to do is just feel like what we are, men! Insurance companies wont cover something that makes people want to take there own lives and causes severe mental problems to the sufferer? Its quite ridiculous. I have finally taken it upon myself though to do everything in my power to have this surgery. Im working 2 jobs and am pretty much slaving my life away to work for the next few months, maybe even a year, to save up enough money to get this done with. Ive already felt like ive lost half my life, and i cant go on living the rest of my life like this. Im glad that at least your parents know about your condition, and are open about it and support you with surgery. I dont think i could ever brave up enough courage to tell my parents about it. I just hope by sharing this with you that you dont feel so isolated and like your the only one out there with these kinds of feelings, there are many people your age and older that go through this everyday of there lives. I hope that someday you will eventually be able to have the surgery and can finally feel free. Just try to keep your head up and try not to let it get the best of you. Best of luck with everything man  :)

Offline Jared S.

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I’d like to take the time to personally thank you seeking_relief for shedding some light on your situation. Like you said I know how hard it is to talk to people about it, and I admire your bravery for living with this for so long.

I have also recently started working two jobs this summer just to try and get enough money for the surgery, or at least to the point where my parents would pay the rest. But this seems impossible for me for I am only 17 and can work so many hours and make so much in that time before I go back to school.

Not long ago I started wrapping up my chest in Ace Bandage trying to suppress the breasts, and it seems to work during the winter, but once summer hits the heat becomes almost unbearable. Like you said, I too wish the insurance companies would see how severe this condition is. I mean I was admitted into the hospital a couple of times just for having panic attacks before starting a job. How do they not see this. If a boy can’t even WORK how is this just something to look over?

Offline seeking_relief

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No problem Jared, i hope my long message was of some bit of support n help for you. Now that you said it, i too have recently started to get really bad panic attacks, where i worry a lot about it, become extremely confused and depressed, and have a bad shortness of breath. These panic attacks have only started coming within the past year or so, before when i was younger, it bothered me quite a bit, but i always tried putting it behind me n not thinking about it as much, but now it seems like i worry about it more and more, and it makes like so stressful, and yes, at times makes going to work almost impossible. Sometimes to the point where i cant even communicate with people. Gynecomastia doesnt just effect the sufferer on a physical level, but causes them severe mental problems, at times, i feel like im going insane. I really need to get this taken care of, before i end up submitting myself to a mental institution. I just feel like the worrying and panic attacks are getting worse. God i wish i could have this surgery soon!!!  :-[

Offline Allhopeaside

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I admire greatly admire you both.

Sometimes it's like were all leading the same double lives. If you look at most every story on here, you will see that you can identify with almost every single one of them. I've been heavy all my life until i finally decided to do something about it. Even heavier i noticed the boobs, but mostly just thought it was from being heavy. To lose 60 pounds is something amazing and should be celebrated. To only realize that they are still there, and aren't going away can be the darkest day of your life. Thats what happened to me. But you can't do what i did and try to self medicate with drugs and alcohol, or constantly think about suicide. While sleeping face first in the couch all boozed up will help you sleep, it does nothing for anything else. You cannot under any circumstances give up.

I realized I needed to have it done after I had been kicked out of my moms house. With bills and college loans to pay, i gave up before i started. But after walking out on a girl one night because I didn't want to take my shirt off I hit rock bottom. I felt like a complete loser. And that life was always going to be that way.
But i made a change. I took every opportunity I could to make money. I did whatever I had to. And even with the little i make at work, bills always coming in, and no financial help I achieved my goal and now have enough for surgery and than some.

Yes it is like a curse. But it can also be a blessing in disguise. Conquering this is a huge milestone, especially at our ages. (17, 21, 23) or even any age. But the fact that we don't make very much money of have a whole lot of financial help teaches us discipline, dedication, and so much more. This will make you a stronger person when you are done, and I know it does not seem like it now but it will.

I was were you guys were at 7 months ago. Never think for a second that you cannot beat this. Just pick your teeth up off the ground and keep pushing on.

Don't give up hope. You have already started the process of destroying this. You are half way there. If you made it this far you can make it the extra couple miles and get whatever you have to get to beat this. The day you decide to beat it is one thing, but the day you make a plan of action and give it all you have is really the moment when you shine. I wasted my last couple years hiding this. In secrecy. But when you look at how much of your life has been taken away so far, you can finally start to see how a few months of dedication and pain can easily pale in comparison.

Some tips: I work an intense labor job. I feel your pain on the layering. As sad as it sounds, under armor can be your best friend. It breathes easier and really truly helps hide any puffyness, and if its mostly fat it secures it in place and just makes you look a little more muscular chested. And if you don't like the fact that the collar can show through the top of the shirt i can give you some site for cheap spandex material tank tops that makes it look like you're not wearing any thing under your clothes at all and breathe a whole hell of a lot better than ace bandages. And if you have any questions feel free to ask me, through my experiences over the past couple years at hiding this I feel like a "hiding your gynecomasita in perfect secrecy" handbook.


and BTW seeking relief I never told my parents either but i finally told my dad. (not sure how i worked up that courage) but it turns out his dad and my uncle both had it and had it removed. And after I finally told my best friend ( not sure how i worked that one up either) he actually offered to drive me to and from surgery. You arent always as alone as you think, just keep that in mind.
AM I NOT A BETTER MAN?
A MAN WHO HAS GROWN SOUND AND STRONG
A MAN WHO HAS LEARNED FROM HIS MISERY
AM I NOT A BETTER MAN?
A CLEVER MAN WHO TAUGHT HIS FLESH THE WAY OF STEEL THIS LASTING MAN OF RESOLVE AND WILL
AM I NOT A BETTER MAN?
OR JUST A BITTER MAN
THAT ROTS WITH MEMORIES AND ONLY GROWS COLD

INDEED I HAVE GROWN COLD

Offline PhillyPUFF

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Just as many others on here, I know exactly what you guys are going through. I've had gyne from age 11 to 23 (im now 6 days post op :) ) I did all the same sh*t - no more sports, avoiding friends, no girlfriends, no swimming, layers of clothes, etc etc etc....

You might want to look into finding a surgeon that offers financing for the procedure. My father co-signed, and I got approved for financing through Capital One Healthcare Finance (http://www.capitalonehealthcarefinance.com/). My payments are $260 a month for two years. Its worth every damn penny.

Good luck with everything man

Offline Allhopeaside

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Hey by any chance are you from Philadelphia? Not to be nosey but im in desperatly in need of assistance in finding a quality surgeon in that area didnt know if you could recommend any or who did yours. Everyone i see thats really experienced with the surgery wants like 6000 to 8000 for it and im just not ready to shell that out if i can get it done for less and not travel up to NYC. If not oh well ill just keep paging through. and i thought getting the money was going to be the hardest part....

Offline PhillyPUFF

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Hey, yeah I'm from Philadelphia. I got my surgery done by Dr. Lo. The total cost was $5,500. I'm only 6 days post-op, but so far I'm very pleased with my results. He does about 100 gyne surgeries/year. He also offers a free consultation. http://www.dradrianlo.com/

Good luck man
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 12:31:08 AM by PhillyPUFF »

Offline Allhopeaside

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You mind if i PM you or whatever its called? I just got a couple questions. Cause seriously it's like a shot in the dark sometimes getting some advice on a more local scale on this site being that its a global deal and what not and your help would be greatly appreciated. Plus i don't want to cram up this guys thread with questions about surgery and stuff.

Offline PhillyPUFF

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Sure. Feel free to PM me  ;D

Offline Grandpa Bambu

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  • 31 Year Gynecomastia Victim...
Jared...

Thanks for sharing your story!

We all know your pain brother... Keep you head up, there is a light at the end of the tunnel dude.

As PhillyPuFF mentioned, you may want to consider financing surgery. $260 a month is just under $10 a day. How can anyone not be able to handle ten bucks a day?

You do have 'options'.... ;)

GB
Surgery: February 16, 2005. - Toronto, Ontario Canada.
Surgeon: Dr. John Craig Fielding   M.D.   F.R.C.S. (C) (416.766.8890)
Pre-Op/Post-Op Pics

Offline Jared S.

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Wow, you guys are great. Each one of your responses lifted my spirits a little. Truly thank you. I know how good it feels to know that other people had to go through the same thing I do (Not that I would wish it on anyone, or that I laugh at other peoples situations), since it makes me feel less alone.

Well as an update I currently have no jobs. I was working at F.Y.E. doing register and customer service, while at my other job, a deli, I was sweeping the floors and packaging meat. While working at Fye I had just finished helping a women find a few CD's with her (what looked to be 15-16 year old) daughter when I was walking away I heard something that I had never HEARD in my life. While walking away the daughter said to her mother something along the lines of: “Mom was it me or did that boys chest look large?” It was then that I realized though I wore a loose shirt that was rather inconspicuous she had obviously seen through it. Maybe when I had reached up to grab a item, or something. In any case I was mortified, ready to break down right there in the middle of the store, but I kept everything cool. Well after I made sure they were out of the store I went straight to the back an found the manger and quit right on the spot.

As hard as I was trying to keep this from effecting my work I just couldn't face going through that again so I also quit my job at the deli the same day. I'm going to skip the entire emotional trip I went through while at home, but I will end this by saying that my mom came home to find me holding a rather large butchers knife close to my body, just staring at the floor.

ANYWAYS.... Time for the good news. If I can get one last check up in the next week or two I will be able to get my surgery THIS Aug 14! I'm really excited that my mom got the money since I know that I will be able to get rid of this before I start my Senior year. 

Offline PhillyPUFF

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ANYWAYS.... Time for the good news. If I can get one last check up in the next week or two I will be able to get my surgery THIS Aug 14! I'm really excited that my mom got the money since I know that I will be able to get rid of this before I start my Senior year. 

Congrats man!   ;D :o :D ;)

Offline seeking_relief

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Congrats dood, im really excited and happy for you, that you can finally get rid of this awful thing and live your life like a normal person! You'll finally be free of gyne!  ;D

Offline Paa_Paw

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Don't lose track of how fortunate you are.

You have this forum with the ability to share information and the understanding of many who are in the same situation.

You live in a time when there are are real alternatives, The modern surgical methods simply did not exist much more than twenty years ago and they improve almost daily.

In the past, your suffering would have been greater because there were not the surgical options which are now common and because you would have suffered alone. Not knowing that your condition was common, but believing that you were some kind of freak.
Grandpa Dan


 

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