Wham BAM: Week 2

This update is a little late, but the pictures were taken on time!

Things I did not learn from being a plastics nurse taking care of BAM patients– How tender and “knotty” the incision area feels. Also, how much it hurts to peel off the surgical tapes.

As a plastics nurse, I never palpated patients’ incisions. I cleaned them, yes, with gloves donned and using damped sterile gauze, but never truly felt them. For my own, I can literally feel every knot of my sutures underneath the skin. They look pretty unsightly, but I trust the sutures will dissolve fully in time.

Also, surgery has spurred my skin to flare up my latent eczema. I haven’t had a flare up since I was a child. So, that hasn’t been fun. The flare up occurred right around my surgical area and in my cleavage, luckily, it’s not that severe. I also developed little water blister “bumps” where the surgical tape has been. I notified my surgeon and was advised (to my assumption) to no longer wear the tapes. Slowly, this has been getting better.

All things considering, my post-op outcome has been very good! My breasts have been proceeding just as planned. Slowly, my breasts have been dropping. In a week’s time I’ll allowed to begin stretching and massaging in order to help them “drop” into the “pocket.” And, my cleavage training is going well. Most people don’t know, but choosing to get breast implants is a life decision. You must wear a supportive bra to help keep them in place. If your get your implants placed beneath the muscle, the pectoral muscles naturally want to pull the implants “into your armpits.” So, it’s very important that when your scar tissue capsule pocket is maturing, you train your implants to be in the correct spot, and support them (just as a retainer would support post-braces teeth) to keep them in a proper area for the longevity of the implant. Also, interestingly enough, so far my nipples have MORE sensation than they had pre-op. Most people fear that they will lose nipple sensitivity, and/or the ability to breastfeed. However, if you have the IMF insertion (at the breast fold), you will rarely have any interference with the above mentioned.

At week 2 I was able to start sleeping slightly on my side, but still having to sleep elevated.

The biggest challenge out of this recovery is how tender my skin has gotten. I believe from the 2 weeks of wearing the surgical bra 24 hours a day, my skin has literally felt raw to the touch. I had to buy a softer bralette to wear underneath my surgical bra, to help prevent the seams from rubbing. It made it slightly better, as did rubbing coconut milk oil on my skin. However, I DID have to be noncompliant (nurses are notorious for this, we think we know all the in’s and out’s of our select area of expertise,) and sleep braless for a couple of nights.

Anyways, until updates at week 3, here are week 2’s post-op photos!

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So! All-in-all, much lower, and much rounder than Day 2 Post-Op! Can’t wait to see what happens after I begin massaging and stretching!

Wham BAM: Post-Op Day 2

Hey all!

It’s my 2nd day post-op and I can’t wait to share with you the experience I’ve had thus far.

If you missed my first pre-op post, you can find it here!

So truthfully, the last two days have been a druggy haze, but I do remember parts here and there. Upon first waking up I don’t remember much pain or discomfort at all. Really, all it felt like was a hard “chest day” at the gym. I didn’t feel pain, as much as just the type of soreness you get from working out your muscles.

So being a nurse, I knew that the first 12-24 hours after surgery would be easier than Post-op Day 2. I knew that I had plenty of local lidocaine numbing the area inside the pocket as well as around my incisions, as well as the lingering heavy duty pain meds given to me through the IV. Anyways, I was able to sit up and stand quite easily with minimal help. I would rate my “pain” a 2 out of 10.

I felt fairly lucid after anesthesia; however, I couldn’t stay awake for the life of me. I kept drifting off to sleep, even mid-sentence! Also, we’re always told to tell our patients to start out slow with food so you won’t get nauseated, but I jumped straight in to a fully loaded pizza with only delicious results! Of course, everyone is different and must be aware of their own nausea level and tolerance for anesthesia.

So, the remainder of the first day after the surgery, the following night, and the complete following day was pretty much a breeze on the “pain” scale. However, on the 2nd full day after the operation I noticed that if I moved my left arm certain ways I would get a “shooting” pain in my armpit– pains like these are normal after BAM’s as the brachial nerves have been irritated and are waking back up after the trauma of surgery. When these occur I just stop what I’m doing, and hold light pressure to the area with the shooting pain and it subsides. Those transient shooting pains I rate a 6 out of 10 scale.

It wasn’t until the 2nd night after surgery that things got a little more painful. I just noticed the swelling became more obvious, and my skin was getting tender. All of which happens when the body is healing after surgery. I also had weaned myself off of the Morphine Sulfate after 12 hours and switched to the less potent Loratab because the MS was making me itch so badly. Anyways, the 2nd night after surgery has been the worst so far. I feel it’ll all be downhill from here, of which I’m thankful!

Without further adieu, post-op day 2 pictures!

(Now remember, when the body is put “to sleep” with anesthesia, it also turns off your digestive tract. Between that waking back up, not eating a lot due to surgery, and narcotics on board, girl has retained a little bit of water weight and bloating. That should come off in a day or two. ūüėČ )

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There you have it! Extremely high and tight, just like the majority of breasts after BAM’s. I like to call them “Spongebob Squareboob’s” because of the square shape the pectoral muscle takes on while it has been traumatized during surgery. Right now, all of the implant is being held above my nipple. In a couple of weeks once I’m healed enough and allowed to start stretching and massaging, the implant will drop into its “pocket” and it will begin looking more like a real breast once more.

I tried to scrub off as much as the marking pen and Dura-prep as possible during my shower– I found using acetone (nail polish remover) did the best at taking off the markings. That being said, my limited range of motion still prevented me from getting all of the pen off.

Hopefully each update will show you progress and help you determine if a breast augmentation is the right choice for you.

Wham BAM: My Perspective of both Sides of the Augmentation Looking Glass- Pre-Op

Hey, all!

So, this next series of blog posts will be my favorite to date. I hold this topic very near to my heart.

Let’s paint a background, shall we? I’m a registered nurse. I have been so for over two years now. Whilst working full time on a cardiac floor in the hospital (3- 12 hr shifts,) I figured I’d like to pick up a PRN (as needed) job for a little extra cash money. So, I started working at Vinings Surgery Center for Plastic Surgery. It’s a very nice outpatient clinic, equipped with a fully accredited OR. My gig at VSC eventually became my full-time job, and I was exposed to an ever-growing array of plastics procedures. However, breast augmentations (BAM’s) and Lift’s were always the most performed. Usually my role was just to be an RN, but starting in early July I started training to become a surgical RN where I actually assisted in surgeries themselves.

So, I’ve longed for breasts ever since I was in the 5th grade, trying on my trainer bra, and putting my brother’s baseballs in the bra to get an idea of what it would look like to have boobs. (Embarrassing, I know!) However, to my dismay, I never really developed any breasts all throughout puberty (and even college!) I was an “A” cup at best. For whatever reason, I really identified having breasts with being a woman, so this was a big source of psychological discontentment for me.

However! Working for Dr. Colgrove at Vinings Surgery Center has been such a wonderful learning experience. I’ve really enjoyed soaking up everything there is to know regarding plastic surgery and esthetics. And of course, since I worked in a plastic surgery center, I knew this would be the best time to have my own breast augmentation.

I’ll be using this series to compare what I perceived having a breast augmentation was like as an RN taking care of breast aug patients, as well as documenting my own personal journey of receiving a breast augmentation. From here on out, I’ll be referring to a breast augmentation as a BAM (Bilateral Augmentation Mammoplasty.)

As a nurse, I have seen and heard it all. All of the different shapes and sizes of breasts. All of the reactions after waking up from the procedure, etc etc. I also know in depth everything that could go wrong, all the risks, etc with elective surgery and breast implants. I also have a very thorough knowledge as to how and why implants are sized, and the pro’s/con’s of picking saline, silicone, or “gummy bear” implants.

The majority of the patients I’ve cared for have described the discomfort afterwards as “tightness,” “hard to breath,” or “like an elephant sitting on my chest.” Some patients acted as if they had no pain at all, others writhed and cried and acted as if it were the worst pain they’ve felt in their entire lives. Pain is such an interesting perception from person to person– I’ve always found that fascinating. So I was a little apprehensive as to how I’d feel after waking up.

There’s a lot that goes into picking the right “size” for you. Your height, weight, body frame, and of course, personal preference. For me, I wanted to just be the size my padded bra made me, of course though, without the assistance of the bra. My frame is considered “medium,” and my shoulders and ribcage are much broader than my hips. So I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t look “top heavy” or too broad up top. That was my largest deciding factor in choosing the “right” size for me. I also wanted to be able to keep most of my clothes I spent years acquiring, so I tried to remain conservative there as well. (Who has the $$ to spend on a whole new wardrobe on TOP of a BAM, anyways??) Other factors that helped me decide upon size were how heavy they would be and how much they would bounce during exercise and other activities. And I didn’t want my areola to stretch out, nor did I want to aid in them “sagging” too early.

The way I went about choosing my size were several different avenues. I used LoveYourLook.com¬†to see endless before-and-after pictures of many patients. You can plug in the size you are currently, and the size you want to become. As an RN, I always suggested for my patients to find someone the same height and weight as you, and as close as you possibly can, find someone who has similar sized and shaped “before” breasts as you have. Another aspect of choosing what size you should be is actually trying on sizers during your consultation. Also, if your plastic surgeon has this technology, using 3D simulations is a great way to predict what you will look like post-op. At Vinings Surgery Center, they have this high-tech machine called the Vectra which constructs a 3D image of you in order to simulate what different sized implants will look like on your own body! And lastly, I performed the “Rice Test”¬†at home so I could try on the size I was contemplating with different tops/dresses/etc.

It took me a minute, but I realized that I would have to give up all of my beautiful bra’s and swimsuit tops that I’ve collected so meticulously over the past 10 years!

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Some bras were a part of beautiful lingerie sets, and now I’ll have plenty of swimsuit bottoms with no matches! (Luckily mix n’ match swimsuits are popular these days…)

IMG_7161So that being said, let’s move on to the type of implant and size I picked, then we’ll look at some before photos!

My Stats:

Height: 5’4″

Weight” 123 lbs

Ribcage measurement directly beneath my breasts: 29″

Measurement across the fullest part of my breasts: 32″

SS Right/Left Nipples: 19 cm (the measurement from your Suprasternal Notch to each nipple)

Initial size: 34a/32b

My final decision on implants were 325CC- Moderate Plus Profile- Silicone gel

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So there are my “befores”! Can’t wait to show you step by step the progression of my implant journey.

Please feel free to ask any and all questions (I’m an open book) about surgery, etc. As a plastics nurse for the past 1.5 years I’m pretty familiar with the in’s and out’s of breast augmentations.

See you on the other side of the knife!

!preop

Current Obsession: Pinkish-Purple Ombre Lippy

Wow.

Truly, I’m terrible at capturing moments of my life. The fact is, the majority of my week is just like any other twenty-something professional working gal. I’m my own #girlboss (holla!) and I have to hustle to make the dough. So really, throughout the week, my life is pretty non-glamorous. To give you a glimpse dans la vie de Susane, I’m an RN. I work at an outpatient plastic surgery center. So, the majority of my days I spend in unisex surgical scrubs that are too big for me, with my hair in a surgical cap. It’s quite the opposite of what a self-proclaimed fashionista would like to wear. But, on the weekends, I love to glam it up a little bit!

The other day we had a patient come in wearing this rad, bright pinkish-purple lip color with a navy dress. Immediately I knew that I would have to set out to recreate such an eye-catching lip color. So on this sunny Sunday, I set out to M.A.C. to do such a thing.

I ended up playing with a couple of lip-liners and one matte lipstick to find the perfect combo.

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As a base, I use Bite Beauty- line and define- lip primer and plumper. This helps fill in the fine lines of my lips, gives a slight little plump, and keep the lip liner from bleeding outside of where I want it to stay.

So, I used M.A.C.’s Nightingale liner to do the outermost parts of my lips. I fill in a little outside of my top lip, accentuate my bow, and then add a little depth and shading below the middle of my bottom lip to make my lips appear fuller.

Then, I used M.A.C.’s Magenta liner to blend some of the Nightingale line, but mostly fill in the middle of my lips. I love using liner as a base color because it stays so much longer than regular lipstick!

Lastly, I applied M.A.C.’s Flat Out Fabulous matte lipstick. Again, I blended the Magenta filled portion, and filled in the innermost parts of my lips to create depth and an ombre look.

I then pressed (not rubbed back and forth) my lips together a couple of times to get everything nice and even. And, voila!

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Hope you enjoyed the little Beauty Blast this Sunday evening! Below you can find links to everything I purchased.

Bite Beauty- Line and Define Lip Primer

M.A.C.- Nightingale Lip Pencil

M.A.C.- Magenta Lip Pencil

Forever 21- Heart-Shaped Makeup Sharpener

M.A.C.- Flat Out Fabulous Matte Lipstick

Operation: Lingerie Shower :: Phase 1

Oi. It’s been a while since I’ve had the motivation/inspiration/etc to create a blogpost! My life has been an erratic swirl as of late. I was laid off from my full-time nursing position, which was the little *bump* out of the nest I needed to really pursue a career change. Luckily, I had already been researching and networking before the layoff happened, so I was readily equipped to leave the nursing field I dislike so much and into another industry that better fits my personality!

I’m pleased to say that I’ll no longer be working as an RN, but I am now an Inside Sales Executive at a blossoming Tech company! I’m terrified and thrilled as to where this door will lead me, but I’m going to work my little toosh off and be the best I can be in this new endeavor!

But! Back to the blogpost topic at hand.

This will be a little different, because I have to reveal aspects of this project in increments so I do not ruin the surprise for the Bride-to-be! So, I’m throwing a Pure Romance/Lingerie Shower for my good friend here in the next couple of weeks. Like I said, I have to share the details as things occur so I don’t ruin any surprises for her on the day of her party! I have a lot of fun ideas (thanks, Pinterest) and I can’t wait to put them in action for this lovely friend of mine.

The first reveal are the invites! I know this might not make some as excited as they have made me, but they truly were my creative babies and I put a helluva lot of work into them.

So, I had been trying to learn how to make foil print art for a while now. I finally found the right technique to achieve the results I wanted, so I went ahead and invested into some toner-fusion foil from buy101.com.

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Then, I decided I wanted the invite to be square in format, just because it’s super trendy right now. (Thanks, Instagram.)

Even though I achieved the text format on Adobe Illustrator all on my own, I needed a little help on constructing the Diamond image I really wanted to use. So I solicited a help from another friend’s boyfriend. Thanks, Robby! This would not have been possible without your tutoring and help. He helped me with creating the image for the front of the invite.

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I had to take into consideration formatting for being printed on a 5 x 7 piece of cardstock, and then I later had to trim them all down to 5 x 5.

So, creating foil print art is quite easy after you work out the kinks. First, you must print your image with toner,¬†not¬†ink.¬†That means you must use a laser printer, not an inkjet printer. I just went and had mine printed at Office Depot. I also used Office Depot’s heavy duty laminator. So, in order to fuse the foil to the image, you must put the foil metallic side facing up on top of the image. Then you place both in a laminator protecting pouch and send it through the laminator without any actual laminate on the two items. I found out the hard way that at-home laminating systems usually do not get hot enough for this fusion process to occur. The settings I used at Office Depot¬†were 300 degrees temperature and the slowest roller setting (1.)

After you send both items through the laminator, you must allow them to cool off fully before very slowly pulling the foil off the image. If you do it correctly you end up with a beautifully foiled piece of art! I may actually end up creating foil art and putting it on my etsy shop later!

But, without further adieu, here is the invite front and back–

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I also researched the 5×5 sizing before committing, and I found that Ikea has a matted RIBBA frame that works perfectly for this size! So I created these invites with making them be a piece to add to a gallery wall in mind. That was my favorite aspect of these invitations.

Here’s mine framed and on display in my accessory nook.

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But! Back to the final details of the invitations. Packaging!

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I used my LePen pens and my new calligraphy pen for the notes and addressing the envelopes. I didn’t realize until after I bought the “pretty pink flower stamps” that they were in fact, poinsettias. A little out of season. Whoops!

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Last final touches– Washi tape to help seal the envelope, and pink star confetti on the inside. I’m sure the recipients loved that touch! Who doesn’t love snail mail the requires clean-up at the end?

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Well, I hope you enjoyed Phase 1 of my Operation: Lingerie Shower! I can’t wait to reveal more after the event takes place in two weeks!

XoXo.