I dont think you know this about me but I have large breasts. This may seem weird and and odd thing to bring up but its a fact of life I cannot ignore. Trust me, I wish I could. I have struggled with these naturally heavy things strapped to my chest for far too long. They make it difficult to run, stretch and exercise. Its hard to reach weight loss and athletic goals when you have to weights that you cannot seem to rid yourself of. Contrary to popular belief these are not fat they are pure genetic demons.
I first went to the doctors to ask about a reduction when I was 17. Seriously. I hated them at that age. I was an aspiring ballerina. If you have ever watched ballet or seen a ballerina there is absolutely nothing to them but muscle and bone. I was self conscious, I hunched over and over compensated with my hips causing many problems with my back and hips. All to hide the fact that I am well endowed up front. Of course the doctors said I wasn't ready, have children first think about it YOU ARE TOO YOUNG.
So I wait, years, of people staring, having difficulty finding clothes that fit, wearing baggy clothes to hide the body I am ashamed of, years. Finally, I gained 20 pounds and became victim to the ever popular "chronic back pain". I tried running, it only made the back pain worse. How can I get the weight off comfortably? I saw physical therapist who gave me a few exercises to strengthen my hips. Then I meet with a chiropractor. We work on stretches, he recommends returning to Yoga but absolutely NO HIGH IMPACT SPORTS ie. running. We get my desk ergonomically pleasing for my back. Still minor improvements. In the back of my head I know the chest is holding me back but I fear that if I get them taken off my extra pounds will only show more. I make a promise to myself "when you are skinny you can have the boobs taken off". Then my mother says "well, why not get the reduction then get skinny, your chest might be what is holding you back". Lightbulb. Of course. Having huge boobs doesn't encourage one to run it stops them. I can't fit into a bikini anyway so why even bother getting in bikini shape? Also my insurance stopped covering reductions 12/31/2011 so it seemed like a lost cause.
Then the stars aligned because my husband got a job and their insurance covers the procedure upon prior approval of course. So we enroll!
Let me tell you, I was excited but the process seemed to take forever. Here is a timeline:
(8/22) I meet with a primary care physician who refers me to the plastic surgeon.
(9/18) I meet with Dr Webber. Super excited. He tells me the Schnur scale is usually the deciding factor. Schnur scale is the actual mass in grams your breasts are and takes into account body weight and then if they can remove at least half of the grams from you then you are most likely eligible. He makes it seem positive and quick. I can google Schnur scale and enter my information in 5 minutes and determine my eligibility. They take pictures (!!) just in case.
(10/8) I receive a letter dated 10/1 stating I was pended for pictures and clinical information due 11/20. I immediately call the insurance company and ask what this is. They say I couldn't possibly turn in clinical information as I am not a doctor. So I call the plastic surgeons office and they tell me I need to gather paperwork from my physical therapist and chiropractor (Take that insurance company I do have the ability). I went to an HMO for the physical therapy so they have a standardized process where you send in a release of information to a central location and they submit paperwork to the appropriate place. My chiropractor wrote me an amazing letter supporting my decision.
(10/15) I receive a letter dated 10/8 stating I was denied due to many reasons most importantly no pictures had been received. Well what the heck? So I call the plastic surgeons office and ask why no pictures were sent? She who shall not be named (Lindsey) says insurance company never asked for them. I beg of her please, you took the pictures a month ago please send them in. She says "ok I will mail them out"
Can you see how challenging and tiring this process can be?
Fast forward a few more calls between insurance and Lindsey. Insurance company states photos can be faxed. I beg of Lindsey again to fax over. She says she will fax clinicals but not pictures. At this point I am about to take my own nudie pictures and send them in myself!!
(10/29) Insurance states they still dont have any pictures and the super storm Sandy has closed their pre certification offices. Darn.
(10/31) I call back and insurance says "ohh pictures aren't going to help at all, your doctor needs to do a peer to peer review". How can this be? I have been calling almost every other day and this is the first I have heard of this? Insurance really is a joke isn't it? I immediately call Lindsey to ask for the peer to peer and she says she will pass along the message. She asks if insurance had called me to give me this information. I explain to her I am calling daily to get information (isn't that her job?). She says she will call me once the doctor has done this.
(11/1) As she hasn't called me or followed through with a single thing that has been requested - EVER in the month and half I have been working with her I do not trust this statement.I call insurance to see if plastic surgeon completed the Peer to Peer. Success! He has. The verdict = "Sounds like it will get approved once pictures are received". In the worlds of Liz Lemon "BLERG!"
(11/2) I call insurance to see whats going on. Janet lets me know that no pictures have been received. So I call the doctors office and as soon as they find out whos calling (ME) and what I'm calling about they state that "the pictures have been sent".
(11/12) Veterans day I didn't imagine the doctors would be open but I decided to call at 3:30 anyway. Success. They were open and had magically received my APPROVAL LETTER via FAX!!! Woo hoo! Sad new though I had to speak with the surgical scheduler so Lindsey wouldn't be able to do anything for me(thats nothing new now is it?).
(11/13) I get the best call scheduling my surgery. Oh glory day. The big day = 12/26/2012. Yes ladies and gents the day after christmas. Yes, another month and a half. Yes, it is cutting close to the time where my medical ends. But oh goodness I don't care its happening.
As a state employee I dont have many days off so I had originally hoped that I could have surgery 11/7 so I could take veterans day off and thursday of thanksgiving and the furlough the day after so I could take the least amount of personal days possible. dreams squashed. Thats not happening. I blame Lindsey.
But all is good. Let me tell you. Today 12/18/12 exactly three months after our initial meeting hubby and I went to Dr. Webbers office. Got my pre-op guidelines and information about what to expect post surgery. I am quite disappointed that I don't get to burn my bras because I will wear my old ones still for 3-6 months post surgery. So June I will be UBER excited for new Bra's, swim suits and clothes. Joyous clothes. I haven't purchased any new clothes since September. Gosh it has been hard. But totally worth it!!!!
I have never heard of someone dissatisfied with a breast reduction and I cannot wait to be part of those amazing testimonials. It is going to be a VERY MERRY Christmas in the Carey household this year.