Well, I've only been and gone and done it.
I'm back home again and recovering from..............ta da ............... breast reduction surgery. I'm a little sore and creeping round unable to lift anything or raise my arms. Roles are reversed and, with a week off work, my daughter is dressing me every day, doing all the cooking and answering to every click of my fingers! I'm meanwhile getting used to the new me, the new wardrobe that awaits and the stranger I see in the mirror.
All my life from teenage on, I have had an ample bosom. It's fine for the heroines of romantic novels to have ample heaving bosoms, but in real life they are so blimmin impractical. Why I was "blessed" with such a large rack, I don't know. My mother was so flat she never bought a bra in her entire life, so she never owned a bra to burn. Both grandmothers were of average size. However, I researched the family photos and discovered my father's great aunt had stunning projections and my mother's grandmother was also huge (although to be fair she had borne 12 children, so had good reason or excuse!)
Why fate had to pick me to be huge in that department, I curse the day. I have always eaten modestly and healthily. I am not a big person and have small bone structure. My arms and legs are stick thin. In fact, one of the doctors last week, called me petite. I could have kissed her!! I am a size 10 from the waist down. From the waist up a size 16/18. Marks and Spencer (for foreign readers this is a national chain store where a good percentage of Brits buy their underwear) don't even stock my cup-size in their stores and there is one bra to choose from online which looks hideous, as if my breasts have had an argument with one another and gone their separate ways. I've always chosen clothes to minimise my size and never ones I would have loved to wear. Usually dark colours, no horizontal stripes. Spaghetti straps or bikinis were definitely a no-no. I've always felt "matronly".
All my life I have been unhappy with my shape. I have always felt self-conscious and that in turn has made me always want to be in the back row of life, lacking confidence to put myself forward in jobs and in social situations, missing out on countless opportunities. In mid-life I did consider surgery, but Greg persuaded me that it was silly, as he put it, to mutilate myself for something that the media would have me believe was the ideal woman. He loved me for me and couldn't see why I should want to put myself through all that pain. In some ways, the feminist in me agreed that I should be proud of what nature had given me and to hell with the idea of nipping and tucking, but still it gnawed at my confidence and made me miss out on so many things career-wise and socially. My one pregnancy made no great changes, as it often does, and, as menopause came and went, I only seemed to get bigger, if that were possible, although benign fibroadenomas were diagnosed as the reason.
However, the last twenty years or so have seen medical problems come to the fore. Chronic neck pain which even physiotherapists could not solve; breathlessness when walking on the flat; the sheer weight of carrying the equivalent of a heavy rucksack on my front; the inability to do any kind of sport, which in turn meant I had the tendency to put on weight, unless I was careful, and was therefore unfit.
In January 2017, I made some new year resolutions. With absolute determination, I found myself sitting in front of my GP and asking for breast reduction surgery. When she had picked herself off the floor, she scratched her head and spent a good six months playing hard to get. Finally she referred me to a plastic surgeon in September 2017 only for me to discover that she was a mole expert and not remotely interested in the two enormous "molehills" I was there to discuss! More time-wasting months followed until May 2018 when my case was eventually put to the local NHS Health Commissioning Group. Backed with a strong medical case and even more explicit photos, they passed my application without hesitation and I finally got referred to the appropriate surgeon in July. My operation was booked for last week and here I am out on the other side.
When I pass a mirror, I cannot believe it's me. I'm probably a size 10 (or even smaller) all the way down now and a puff of wind might blow me over, as opposed to the tree-trunk look I sported all my life. My weight has crashed by eight pounds overnight (yes, that is what they removed and the equivalent of half a baby each side!) moving my BMI reading out of the borderline overweight category and putting me slap bang in the middle of the normal healthy range. My daughter is threatening to take me on a spending spree to buy me new clothes and dress me like a catwalk model. I may have waited fifty years to do this, but, at the grand age of 67, I am glad I have done it. Already, within mere days, I can feel my confidence is growing and the world is my oyster. I can now choose the clothes I want to wear rather than the ones I have to wear. I can breathe too and there is less strain on my neck. I might even join a gym. A storm in a C-Cup indeed.