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My breasts were chronically infected because of their size

dana vento

Lots of my friends often joked with me about how I could easily kill a strapless dress or work a bathing suit that had cutout cleavage, but no one really understood the downside of my big boobs. My big boobs were my constant kryptonite, as they kept me out of some of the cutest fashion and strapped into over-the-shoulder boulder holders that were far from sexy looking. In fact, most of what I wore was to conceal my heavy chest because clothing never hung right.

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How having big boobs affected my life

If I wanted to wear a style that was strapless, first I had to find a large enough size, and generally, my breasts took me into plus-size clothing while my body was nowhere near the same sizing. Clothing never fit properly, and dresses bought to fit my chest left the rest of my body lost in a tent. My body got lost in translation between fitting into the top and not in the bottom.

Depressed as I selected clothing for each occasion we would attend, disheartened by buttons that simply popped at the bosom and finally insulted when one lady said, “Hey doll, you really got some knockers on you!” How much more could a gal take? After all, I was carrying the weight of the world on my chest already.

Childbirth simply made the big boob situation more trying as they increased in cup size and never went down. It didn’t seem to make a difference with how much weight I lost. My boobs just seemed to increase in volume and weight, making each day a battle.

Each shirt clung to my chest, and the lighter rayon materials slid between my cleavage, defining what looked like mini watermelons, making me feel like a show clown with huge tanks. Taking a bra off was like letting an eggplant plummet down my chest as they fell from the chest to my belly button. There was just no relief, and they were stretched out, fatty masses that had overtaken my life.

For years after childbirth, I struggled with the thought of having a breast reduction because of not being able to wear the styles I wanted and because I had to wear a bra no matter where I was — even at home and bed.

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Recurring infections pushed me toward a breast reduction

The issue of getting a breast reduction was that I had no one to take care of my kids and me. We had no one to help us with the kids and me at the same time, as my parents were far away for a while, and we needed to do this when my husband could also help. The thing that pushed me over the edge was an issue that I battled constantly: the ‘gift’ of continual breast infections.

Each breast was held up by supportive bra material and underwire, and underneath my breasts was a savage, red, blistering rash that increased with summer heat and/or exercise. The heat of the fatty breast area (under the breast) never allowed me to stop the infection because fat just brought on the heat.

The breasts just lay atop the crease, and as the heat built up, so did the rash. The rash was fiercely itchy and crossed from the left side of my left breast to the right breast (the rash had no containment area). Antihistamines were of no use, powder did not help and there were no pills to take this beastly infection away. In fact, it decided to travel inside of my body to my armpits.

Biting the bullet of a breast reduction

I could no longer take the pain, burning, itching, heat of the rash and the inability to wear a bra. I sought help as a final attempt to stop the insanity. I headed to my dermatologist who advised creams but had no other solution.

The dermatologist had seen this before, and it would never stop recurring as long as the breasts were as large as they were and continued to sweat out the skin beneath. The consistent, constant heat inflamed the rash, and it spread. Sleep was not an option because I just wanted to rip my breasts off from the pain and itchiness.

Exhausted from the situation and upset that there was no cure, I again turned to my dermatologist, who told me to get to a breast surgeon because a reduction would surely stop the rash when creams and pills could not.

My next phone call was to the breast surgeon, and my next appointment was the life-changing decision: a breast reduction to combat the rash, stop the infection and take charge of a situation that had taken away my self-esteem.

Although the breast reduction was hardly a simple recovery, it is by far the best thing I have ever done for myself. There is no crease between my breast and my skin, nor is there a huge breast cup. There is no more rash, no more infection and no more wet creams. In fact, there is not even a need for a bra unless I want to!

The downside of big boobs is that I was missing out on my life. I could not wear clothing that I loved, and I felt bad about myself. I could only wear large bras, and the underwire often cut into my skin. The weight on my back from the size of my breasts caused me to slouch forward and never stand straight. The person I once knew before the big boobs had long since disappeared, but the breast reduction brought me back to life. It revived me.

My new loves are for camisoles with shelf bras and sports bras that I can buy in a retail store, not special-ordered bras. Bedtime is bedtime, free of bras, and I don’t slouch; I stand straight. I sport my cleavage because I can. The downside of big boobs is that no one knows the trauma and the inner battle I went through, but I am telling the world because a breast reduction got rid of my infection and gave me back my life.

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