OldDogNewTits












My appointment with doctor number four was today … and it was very good. So, you know, I feel kinda bad about the maybe-he’ll-wanna-add-a-third-boob joke I made a few days ago. He totally rocked … to the point that I’m already considering him for round two.

But here’s the deal. Contrary to what this batty blog might lead you to believe, I do actually have a life with other things going on.  Things that honestly have absolutely nothing to do with boobs.  So, give me a day to organize my notes and my addled brain … and run everything by Vanessa who came with me again today (Thanks, V) … and I’ll give you the whole scoop.

Until then, I’m leaving you with a little placeholder to keep you happy. Actually, it’s two freakin’ gargantuan placeholders!

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Norma Stitz (nee Annie Hawkins-Turner) has held the Guinness World Record for largest natural breasts since 1999.  Her bra size is said to be 102ZZZ, with each breast weighing in at 56 pounds.

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A few days ago, some of you may remember seeing a reference in one of my reader comments to yet another plastic-surgery-gone-wrong news report. (Thanks, Stephanie.)

Long story short, a woman named Dinora Rodriguez, 40, went in for what she thought was “routine maintenance” on her breast implants and came out with one of the worst botch jobs in recent history.  (See news video below.)

The technical term for it is symmastia … but you and I would call it a … uniboob.  (Horror movie scream!!)  Her “surgeon” cut across two pockets of breast tissue allowing the implants to join together and create the mammoth single entity.  The stay-at-home mom woke up from her surgery to discover this nightmare.

“My breasts looked really bad,” she told MSNBC. “It looked like I had one big breast instead of two. And the pain was terrible.”

And, if that wasn’t bad enough, the “surgeon” also took it upon himself to operate on a scar near her eyes and give her a little lift there … without her permission.  After that surgery, Rodriguez was no longer able to close her eyes completely.

Holy shit, would I be mad!

She went to this “surgeon” … I’m sorry but I just cannot NOT use the quotes here … on the recommendation of a friend. (I’m thinking that “friend” now deserves some quotation marks, too.)  Unfortunately, she failed to confirm that this “surgeon” (let’s just call him an assclown from this point forward) was board-certified.

Big mistake for her boobs … I mean boob … oh, whatever.

And, yes … of course, she sued the assclown.  With her settlement, she’s been … for lack of a better word … rebuilt. She’s also now featured in an ad campaign by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to promote the dangers associated with using unqualified surgeons.

There really needs to be a WAY better system in place to check in on these (so-called, in the assclown’s case) doctors for the protection of the wide-eyed consumer. Can you believe that only four states have laws on the books requiring that physicians disclose the specifics of their medical backgrounds? And … even more implausibly … Louisiana is one of them! (I know, right?) Go, typically underdog home state! Kudos also go out to California, Florida and Texas.

Appointment number four is tomorrow. Guess what question I’ll be leading with?

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{September 28, 2011}   When TITS is part of your blog name

When I set out to name this blog, I bounced around a lot of different ideas with a lot of different people. Most of these ideas were too lame to remember, much less post, but I do recall clunkers like ‘Making Mountains out of Molehills’ and ‘Two Boobs are Better than None.’ Alright, calm down. I told you they sucked. They’re too obvious .. and limited.  Too boob-centric, if you will.  And I’m not all about the boob, you guys. I am an interesting, colorful and multi-layered human being.

So, one night while my husband and I were out having drinks (and some sinful culinary creation called Gouda Beignets), we played around with a lot of these different ideas … including the crappers above … and happened upon Old Dog, New Tits.  We both busted out laughing … maybe it was the booze … and decided that was it.  Even though it would have to mean my being cool with calling myself an ‘old dog.’ I decided to hear it in my head as its streetsmart cousin …  ‘dawg’ … and ran with it.

So, I bought the domain and got to work.

And I remember telling my friends about the name and getting the same initial reaction from them. Laughter. (That’s good, right?)  Except for one friend who seemed concerned with using the word ‘tits’ in my blog name.  “Aren’t you afraid it might turn some people off?” she asked me.  And I responded with “Well, my MOM likes it.” (She’s a pretty reliable hash mark on the prude-to-offensive yardstick. Right, mom?)

Of course, I will give my friend this credit. Having ‘tits’ in the title has prevented my inclusion in certain blog directories. But … I’ve learned that those directories are not so much the ones in which I want to be listed anyway. (Whatever, blog directories. I won’t bash you over it. Here. In writing. Where there’s proof.) Oh, and ‘tits’ has navigated many a colorful Googler to my website. It’s actually one of the primary words that leads ‘Googlers’ to me. (I so wish I could see the disappointment on their faces when arrive at ODNT.)

And, seriously, let’s take a look at the tiny little word ‘tit’ for a minute.  As some of you may already know, it’s one of the original Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television, a groundbreaking comedy bit made famous by George Carlin.  Remember?  Well, if you don’t, I’m posting it here.

BUT WAIT! DON’T WATCH THE LINK WITH YOUR KIDS IN THE ROOM! OR ANYONE ELSE’S KIDS!! OR EVEN A GOAT KID!!!

George said the same thing that I’ve been saying all this time. ‘Tits’ soooooo should not be keeping the kind of company it’s keeping here. The other six are killer words that you’ll only see on premium cable. Or maybe a Tarantino film. (Is he still relevant enough to mention in a blog post?) My point is … “tits” is harmless word. It sounds like a skin condition a dog gets or, as my friend George said, even a snack food. New from Frito-Lay!

‘Pass the cheese tits, please.”

Tit. It’s a cute little word.  A palindrome. And it’s only three letters.  How bad can it be? Right? … RIGHT???

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It’s Tuesday and that means I should have been flashing my boobs at a specialist somewhere around town today. I mean, that’s how I spent my last two Tuesdays, right? And, for the record, it’s how I was supposed to be spending today until ‘something suddenly came up.’ (Did anyone see The Brady Bunch movie besides me? Gratuitous movie poster pic below.)

 

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But never fear. Consultation number four is taking place this Friday. And I will again be accompanied by my trusty sidekick, Vanessa. (V, wear another stretchy top so we can compare ‘notes’ again. Or maybe you should be wearing a cape and tights this time … since you’re a sidekick and all.)

Anyway, if you’ve been keeping up … and you really should be as there are boobs at stake here … you know I’ve now been to three different doctors. And I’ve gotten three pretty different opinions on the subject … or subjects, as it were. I’m looking forward to seeing if this specialist locks in his vote anywhere near the previous three. How many more freakin’ opinions can there be? Aren’t there only so many options available?

Maybe this doctor will try to talk me into adding a third boob somewhere … or maybe he’ll want to just move everything to my back since I am a steadfast stomach sleeper. Or maybe he’ll incorporate an air pump into the implant so I can size up a little for special occasions like weddings, beach trips, class reunions, bar mitzvahs, parent/teacher conferences, dental appointments, jury duty, laundry days, oil changes, tax audits and stuff like that.

Just remember, I am neither a doctor nor a scientist/boob engineer of any kind so, until these innovations are made available by the real professionals, we’ll just have to wait.

So, I just wanted to let everyone know I have not forgotten about boobs here. I enjoy writing about both of them (one more than the other really) as well as all of the other half-baked, screwball eccentricities that occur in my life … and I’m betting yours, too … every day.

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Not unlike most days, my intended plans for today versus what actually happened resembled each other about as much as a vending machine and a spider monkey. And it’s Monday, right? That means everyone in my house is drag-ass tired from pushing ourselves all weekend and not saying no nearly enough to all of the activities and invitations that come our way. I guess there are worse problems, but still … I’m freakin’ tired.

We managed to get up on time, dress and have breakfast pretty quickly, never mind the fact that my kids have now decided they don’t like grits anymore. The balking ended when I pointed out that MY breakfast was the “yucky brown banana” and I’d be more than happy to organize a trade with anyone interested. Radio silence.

And then, there were the inevitable school lunch menu complaints from my daughter. Sorry, dear, it’s just a nasty fish sandwich kind of day. This is a crazy morning and I actually have to go to a classroom of my own … which means I can’t bring you to school in a t-shirt and pajama bottoms today. (Sidenote: Sunglasses and gum are great substitutions for make-up and toothbrushing at this hour.)

Anyway, with my kids finally on their way, I headed to the nearby community college for the first day of a two-session ‘Blogging for Beginners’ class I just signed up for last Friday. It seems like a good fit for me these days … and I figure MY gain here is YOUR gain, right? A friend of a friend of mine (Amanda, after today’s colorful chat, I’ll now be eliminating that first ‘A friend of’ part) signed up with me and we were meeting in the classroom.

And, dude, was I prepared! I brought not only my faxed registration form but also an old padfolio (remember those?) for notetaking, two reliable pens and even a jacket in case it got cold. (Don’t judge! This is what motherhood does to you.) I haven’t been on the receiving end in a classroom since 1997 so my geek tendencies were high.

On my drive over, I called the college from my cell to find out where I was supposed to park and decided also to go ahead and confirm my last minute registration. Which turned out to be a really good idea since the damned class was canceled! Not enough registrants. (Insert your favorite explevatory word here.)

I was really looking forward to upgrading my tech knowledge and feeding my inner nerd. She’s starving!

I called Amanda immediately who, of course, knew nothing of the cancellation of the class that was to begin merely ten minutes later. And she was just as bummed as I was. So, we did what all women do in the face of a crisis. We met at the nearest coffee shop to eat away our troubles and have our own informal ‘blogchat.’ (If that word catches on, I totally want the rights. Hang on … a quick Google search shows some techgeek already beat me to it. Wait … what about ‘techgeek?’ … searching … Damn it, also taken! Guess I’ll just stick with ‘explevatory’ for now.)

Amanda and I had a good visit. A productive one. She’s gearing up to launch her own blog, which I’ll spill about as soon as she’s ready. In the meantime, in the interest of ‘higher learning,’ I motored over to the nearest bookstore and picked up a copy of ‘Blogging for Dummies.’ This series of books has always been helpful to me … which really should be telling me something.

If I was smart enough to figure it out.

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Saints  40   ……………………   Texans  33

I spent the afternoon at the Superdome today watching a pretty exciting game with my friend, Holly.  (Thanks again for bringing me.  I’m glad to see I broke my bad luck streak with you.)  Of course, the fun started before we even entered the stadium as we navigated ourselves through the throngs of Black-and-Gold-bedecked fans to get to our gate.  I’m so sorry I didn’t get a picture of the six-inch gold glittery stilettos that prevented one woman from walking with straightened knees.  And I am not exaggerating.

We were both pretty hot by the time we reached our entrance and … although I knew it would open the floodgates (almost literally) for me with bathroom trips … I was really glad I had chosen to make a drink at the tailgate stop we made on the way in.  Seriously, I think I went six times today … and that was with me trying to be good for the men in the aisle seats.  They’re going to really appreciate Holly’s one-pee-per-event husband in my stead at the next game.  (Maybe I should really be pursuing a bladder augmentation. Hey … I might be on to something.  Anyone?)

But back to outside the stadium.

When we finally got to our gate, we got threaded into different lines to get in. It only took a minute for the guys in front of us to point out that there were separate lines for men and women to enter.  I mindlessly complied with their instructions, assuming the segregation was due to the fact that women took longer because of purse checks.

Little did I know.

If you think the pat down at the airport is a big deal, you really need to go to an NFL football game this year.   Your constitutional rights are NOTwhat’s violated here.  And that’s why I needed to have a female employee.  This poor woman left no boob, armpit, stomach, back, butt, or inner thigh (yep, all the way up) untouched.  And remember, everyone was sweating from the heat.

There’s just not enough Purell in the world for me.

Of course, the upside is, unlike the airport where you have to submit to all of this crap without uttering a syllable, this experience allows you to make all the comments you want. I think these unfortunate individuals were either complained to or hit on (by “hilarious” fans) the entire day.

I sure hope they’re paid well.

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This week has aged me seven or eight years, so I think it’s time to take a day off from all of the boob talk and just enjoy the weekend. With fall creeping in, it’s all about football around here and, thanks to a good friend with an extra ticket, I’ll be at the Saints game getting my Who Dat on at the Dome tomorrow. (Thanks, Holly!)

So, in honor of the occasion, I’m reposting an old favorite – an article I wrote for New Orleans Magazine online almost five years ago when the Saints finished up their first season after Hurricane Katrina.  We didn’t think we could ever match that excitement again.  Little did we know what was waiting for us just three years later … 

Good luck, tomorrow, Saints.  I’m expecting a good game. 

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A Converted Soul … or should I say Saint?  (January 2007)

All my life I’ve been one of those people at football parties who help to prepare the food and clean the kitchen. I keep an eye on the kids in the other room. I catch up with old friends who dare to dart to the bathroom during the commercials or take a risk by running over to grab a snack between plays. I’ve learned to have conversations with people who aren’t making eye contact with me but rather looking over my shoulder toward the television. And I know that there’s a really good chance that I may be suddenly interrupted by my listener’s screams of joy or frustration at whatever just happened during the big game.

Yes, that’s me. I’m that pain-in-the-butt person who attends the weekly football parties for the engaging company, the always delicious game day spread and the exciting atmosphere surrounding it all. I do my best to blend in by cheering when everyone cheers and booing when everyone boos. I’m neither a big fan nor a big student of football. I get that touchdowns are 6 points with a possible 7th point coming from a kick. I know about the three point field goal. And there are points from safeties and other things like that. I also know that for every one second of football time that it’ll really be about three seconds of actual time. That’s all I really need to know. It’s gotten me this far. I’m good.

Of course, I’ve taken plenty of ribbing from my family about it. I’ve always been more of a theater person. You know, one of those ‘Imagine-if-all-of-the-money-spent-on-just-one-football-game-could-be-put-into-a-theater-company’ kinds of people. Football people hate that and I’ve come to learn to just keep my mouth shut and “enjoy” the game.

But this year was different.

I’m a New Orleans native. I was born here, attended school here and, except for a brief stint traveling only as far away as LSU for college, have spent my full adult life here. I completed graduate school at UNO. And I have lived in the neighborhoods of Algiers, City Park, Lakeview and finally Old Metairie. I brought my husband here from Baton Rouge and we are now raising our kids here. I love New Orleans.

So, when the storm came through and took away my whole lifestyle and daily routine in Lakeview, I (like everyone else within a thousand mile radius) was completely devastated. Would we come back? And, if we did, what would we do? Where would we go? Would we rebuild our home or sell it? And while everyone in the city was floundering over these many questions as well as Guinness Book spools of red tape in which we all found ourselves entangled, in marched the Saints!

Remember them?

I’ve been watching these games for years with the rest of New Orleans. We’ve never been a strong team, but we’ve always been a proud team, one of the proudest in the league. That’s New Orleans for you. We know we’ve got our warts; some of them we even embrace.

But … again … this year was different.

I think on some level everybody knew back on Monday, September 25, 2006 that things were changing. U2 and Green Day were performing together in the Dome for Monday Night Football, for God’s sake. I remember watching the beginning of the game from my rented “home” on that historical night and crying. Me. Crying … about football!

But it wasn’t about football. I mean, for many people it probably was about football, but it was also this feeling of victory in overcoming a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. It made me feel as if everything was going to be okay. Astounding. All of that from a football team.

This past season, I found myself watching every game. I read parts of the Sports section to keep up to date about the team. I even listened to AM talk radio about the Saints when nobody else was in the car!!! I think my family would agree that that may well be the Seventh Sign of the Apocalypse.

I was so excited that every Sunday felt like Super Bowl Sunday. I dressed my kids in their new team clothing every week and found myself even selecting my clothing to support the team and wear the colors on game day.

I never thought it could happen but I got just as caught up in it all as anyone. It was an amazing ride and I for one will be tuning in next year. We may not have made it all the way this year, but that’s what 2008 is for. For me, “I believe” “the Saints Are Coming” and they will forever be “Marching In.”

Thank you, Saints, for a wonderfully uplifting and enlightening year!

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{September 23, 2011}   A Slap in the Boob with Reality

It’s been a taxing week.  For me … and I’m sure for everyone.  For that reason, I thought we could all use a good laugh right about now so I’m sharing a story that was just sent to me by my friend, Vanessa.  (Thanks, V)

Over the course of my three appointments so far, I’ve learned a lot about breast enhancement techniques that all seem to involve general anesthesia, some healing time and chunks of cash large enough to make me take pause.  Perhaps instead I should just be hopping a plane to Bangkok to seek out Khemmikka Na Songkhla, the sole proprietor of the first-ever boob-slapping spa (which, for those interested, apparently also services the face and butt).

I like Thai food.  Maybe I could make a weekend out of it.

Songkhla’s clients are drawn in to the spa (a term I’ll use loosely) to have their breasts slapped repeatedly by this woman with the expectation of increased shapeliness and size.  This “procedure” actually sheds a whole new light on the pain that women … and I’m betting a few men, too … around the world are willing to endure in the name of beauty.  Although, I guess we really crossed that line years ago when we started injecting poison (the rat variety, if memory serves) into our faces to stave off a few unsightly lines, didn’t we?

I’m sure her clients leave the spa with reddened faces, either at the repeated strikings of Madame Songkhla or perhaps due to fact that they’ve just been royally screwed.  Of course, we do apply reddening blushes to our faces.  And I remember Scarlett O’Hara pinching her pre-Maybelline era cheeks in pursuit of pink youthfulness.  So, maybe there’s something to it. But I really think all that slapping would just serve to piss me off. Still, I would imagine that over the years I have ticked off my fair share of people.  Some of them might even be reading … right now.

Tell you what.

If you have any interest in beating the crap out of my boobs and maybe saving me a few pennies, send me a message.  We can make a day of it … and even do lunch after. On me.

Click the arrow below to see a subtitle-riddled video of this mind-boggling technique.

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{September 22, 2011}   The Mammogram Results

“NORMAL, NORMAL, NORMAL!!!  I’ll bring you a hard copy of the report so you have it for your surgeon when you make your choice.”

This was the text I received today from my friend and, more importantly, my OB/GYN regarding the test results sent to her this morning.

I can’t hide my smile but I’m not going to lie. The first thing I did was cry. I had decided that everything was fine, would be fine, would always be fine … and I believed it. Still, there was this crappy little nagging feeling in the back of my mind that was nervous as hell.

I knew my mom was nervous as the subject came up a lot. She’s had a few of her own scares so she was a good resource to have around and also, you know, my mom. I knew my husband was scared as he’d become a prolific texter … warning me not to overgoogle anything … and then yet somehow quoting statistics and percentages that he could only have discovered through his own excessive online research.

But let’s go back in time a little. When I first heard the news on Tuesday, I knew that my aggressive nature had to kick in and I needed to nip this concern in the bud as soon as possible. Which is why I texted my OB/GYN as I was leaving the doctor’s office. Poor thing does have a life of her own and was probably trying to deliver someone else’s baby as I called both her office phone and her cell phone. And then I texted her.

I managed to reach her quickly and we discussed two places where I could have the tests done. The first place was very highly regarded and would be able to give me my results instantly. Instantly after the first available appointment on September 29, eight days away. I would have no hair or fingernails by then.

My doctor knew that … which is why she called the second place, a reputable one located closer to home for me and already in possession of the results of my last mammogram. Comparing these test results is one of the best ways the technicians can detect changes and, sometimes, problems in their patients. They could see me late the very next day. That was yesterday.

I’m sure you can guess which option we chose.

So, I left my house for my mammogram at the same time I’d normally be picking up my kids. My doctor (remember also a neighbor and good friend) even offered to get my children for me and have them start their homework alongside hers. Sooo sweet, but my husband was able to make himself available to me and the kids for the afternoon. Which I really appreciate.

I walked into the imaging center and signed in. Then, I found a decent magazine. Then, I was called up to go through all of the insurance and registration rigmorale. Then, back to my People magazine. (Did you know that Kim Kardashian wore three different gowns on her wedding day?) Then, they called my name.

As instructed, I went to the back area, women only, and changed into my stylish pink paper vest, which I nearly ripped in half exiting the ‘dressing booth.’ I made a nervous joke about it to the lady sitting in the same small waiting area as me. She just stared at me with a blank look. I thought a nasty thing or two about her in my head … then felt like a jerk when a translator finally came over and gave her the same instructions I received. In Spanish. Well, at least she didn’t hear what I said in my head. Which was in English anyway.

Armed with my now crappy Karma, I was escorted down the hall, first into the room where the mammograms are done. The technician there was very nice and patient with my nervous shell of a self. She maneuvered and manipulated my body to take the images she needed. This was my third mammogram. I had my first at age 35 and my second less than a year ago.  And, for whatever reason, this one hurt the worst.  Some of my friends hypothesized that they need to be that much more thorough when a problem is suspected.  Who knows?

While there … and thinking so much about breasts and lumps and implants lately, I asked the technician her thoughts on the impact that implants can have on the accuracy and efficacy of a mammogram.  And then I explained how my lump had been detected and why I wanted to know.  She said that, while there are arguments stating that under-the-muscle placement does decrease the odds of an implant causing a visual obstruction in a mammogram, there are still no guarantees that a problem couldn’t form behind that implant and thereby be invisible to the technicians.  Cancer cells, tumors and other problems can occur anywhere in the breast tissue so no placement is one hundred percent foolproof.  Then, we finished up the procedure and our informal teaching session and I was returned to the internal, ladies-only waiting area … until I was called again for my ultrasound.

Apparently (and this is not hypothecized), when there is a suspected problem, an ultrasound is also ordered to accompany the mammogram to rule out any issues. I haven’t had an ultrasound in years.  Do you know they actually warm up the ultrasound conductive gel these days? It was a welcome change from the frozen system-shock of years ago.

The ultrasound technician was just as lovely and soft-spoken a person as the mammogram tech.  The lighting was dimmed, decor nice and new age music was on.  I honestly felt a little like I was going to a spa for a massage.  And then, of course, I remembered that I wasn’t.  Still, I lay on the table and tried to relax completely, appreciative that there was no pain or discomfort associated with this test.  The tech commented on the fibercystic tissue in my breast, inherited from my mother.  Then, she moved the wand around over my left breast in search of any problems.  I tried to read her face for any signs of concern.  Just a poker face with a positive demeanor.  I didn’t really know what to make of any of it. She took a few pictures and said she wanted to run them by another tech elsewhere in the facility so she left me in the room, alone with my stupid thoughts, for a few minutes.

I lay there on the table while she was gone and thought about everything I’d learned during the last day as well as during the last month (ODNT is one month old today) … and thought about all the amazing people I’d heard from in the last 24 hours.  I had literally gotten inspirational messages from friends from grade school, high school and college, friends from former jobs, parents of my children’s friends, new friends and even people I’ve never even met. Incredible. I felt completely and suddenly very moved ….and then a little panicked.

I hadn’t really thought this plan through.  I had brought a buddy with me to every consultation appointment so far which, with one small exception, provided only general information to me and never any kinds of bad news.  And yet this time, partly due to the last minute nature of everything, I’d chosen to come alone.  What if she came back into the room with bad news?  How was I going to drive myself home? My imagination ran a little wild for a few minutes until she came back into the room.

No bad news. No real news other than that there was no bad news.  She couldn’t comment too specifically on anything and said they’d send everything over to my doctor who would then be contacting me. And, unfortunately, it was past closing time now.

Still, I left that office feeling pretty good.  For whatever reason, I knew this wasn’t going to be an issue. I have no idea why and I won’t deny that I was still a little nervous up until the point when my personal doctor contacted me with the good news today. Maybe it was all the prayers, good vibes, rain dances and other positive energy the universe sent my way yesterday.

Thanks, everyone. I feel loved. :)

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Remind me never to schedule my breast consultations two days in a row again.

(I wonder if anyone’s ever uttered those fourteen words in that order before.)

It’s really too much breast manipulation, medical jargon and complicated reporting for me (and my shrinking brain) to tolerate in such a short time frame. So, I want to write everything down as quickly as I can before it disappears into a black hole somewhere in my mind after I sort through the junk mail, curse out a telemarketer or something.

Today started off just fine. A nice change from the last two days. After I got everyone out the door and threw myself together in yet another two-piece ensemble (never realized how many dresses I had until they were off limits), Ashley was already outside in the car waiting for me. Again, I would be prompt today since I was not the one driving. We dropped her youngest off at his little school and headed out to meet doctor number three.

We found the office quickly and got to work on my third set of paperwork. I’m always amused at the subtle differences in the forms from office to office. These forms asked me if I was on Facebook.(He better not be planning to tag any damned pictures of me.) I said yes and assumed that maybe I would just be recruited for a fan page of his work somewhere. But who knows?

The waiting room was a nice one, very contemporary in design. And there were abstract paintings here and there of the female form. Seems appropriate, yes? The plasma wall-mount TV was there purely for the purpose of running a tape loop of their best breast augmentation products. My dentist does the same thing. Well, his tape loop emphasizes teeth, of course.

Ashley and I passed the time by flipping through his before and after book. Impressive, as most have been. It didn’t hurt that he seemed to have a lot of particularly gross patients with which to work. (They’re all headless, so I can say whatever I want here!) There was a lot of particularly saggy skin not to mention a whole array of nipple piercings and tattoos (some with their own piercings worked into the design) to help us arrive at our clinical assessment of “gross.”

It wasn’t long before the nurse came out and called my name. She escorted us into the first examination room and seemed surprised that I had a buddy with me. She said she often serves in that role. Do other women usually go by themselves??? (Thanks, Ashley, for coming today.) I took off my shirt and threw on the robe without really even thinking about it, getting infinitely more comfortable with my toplessness lately. (Yeah, that’s probably not a good thing.)

The doctor came in pretty quickly and asked a few questions. I think I had the robe off within two minutes of his arrival. I couldn’t help but notice that his examination included not only my breasts but also my stomach. Immediately, he was able to offer his recommendations to me in a choice of two options:

(A) I could get a lift (the same full lift described at the first doctor appointment) in one surgery and then have implants inserted in a second surgery. Like my first doctor, he strongly urged that these two procedures be performed separately … but for a different reason than the first doctor. He said that, during the combination surgery that includes both procedures, 90% of the blood flow is cut off from the nipple and therefore there is a chance that (look away to the faint of heart) the nipple could die. So, two procedures it is, then. Moving right along …

Or

(B) I could get the same lift and use a grafting technique that injects fat from another area of the body into the breasts to increase their overall mass. He said not everyone is eligible for this procedure and again asked to see my stomach. (Now I get it!) Oh, and yes, I have enough spare fat to move it upstairs. Yay?

I kind of like this new B option.

The upsides? My stomach would be a little smaller and apparently “contoured” following the surgery. Bonus! And there would be no foreign objects in my body.

The downside? It costs more than the lift/implants combo as it involves more actual surgery. The incisions for what I’m going to call the FRP (Fat Relocation Program) are very small and hidden in the bikini area. After time, they and the anchor incision are expected to be barely visible.

And Ashley did point out one significant fact to my now-swimming brain. Yes, option B (the lift/FRP combo) would cost more than option A (the lift/implants combo) … but … there would be no maintenance. With the lift/FRP combo, I would never have to worry about replacements, leaks, explosions or any other ‘natural’ disasters that could ever befall an implant. So there would be no further (unknown) costs associated with this pay-more-now-but-no-more-later option. Definitely food for thought.

Concerning the implants, he said he uses both saline and silicone, the latter of which costs about $1000 more. He said, in his opinion, they are both equally safe and durable but that his patients are typically more satisfied with the authentic feel of silicone. In either situation, problems can occur and replacements are generally required after ten or more years. He added that, with his implant patients, he likes to see them annually to check in on everything. Concerning mammograms, he said there are two schools of thought. Some say the implants obscure a full view of the breast tissue and therefore can be very detrimental in detecting a problem. Others argue that the implant actually pushes up on the overall breast thereby propping it up in its entirety and making it easier to get a full view of everything. So, the score there is still 0-0.

But, despite providing the implant information to me, it really seemed like he was favoring the fat injection method. He made a pretty strong case to Ashley and me about the whole thing. And we saw some ridiculously impressive before and after pictures of mastectomy patients for whom he literally created entire breasts (and sometimes nipples) for these women from their abdominal tissue. They looked incredible. Lovely breasts and a flat stomach was the consistent end result. I can’t think of a category of women who deserve it more.

I have so much to think about. And still a mammogram to attend. What a day …

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et cetera
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