This is a quite embarrassing (not for me but maybe for readers) story and deeply personal and yet recent conversations have inspired me to write it. If you are modest and/or blush easily…please skip now.
As I have touched upon before, I got very sick when I was 13 and as such had to be put on very high doses of prednisone. I am not talking about the doses they give to asthma patients. I am talking about doses as high as they gave Mickey Mantle post transplant. Many of you may not remember, but post transplant with all that prednisone (a type of steroid) he ballooned out. Need a visual? Think of Violett in Willy Wonka.
So there I am at 13, gaining 45 pounds on my very tiny frame. People actually stopped recognizing me but I will get into that story later.
Fast forward a couple of years and all of that weight had come off, I was my petite self again and back to dancing. Except one thing. My freaking boobs were gianourmous! You know those anorexic looking models or porn stars with HUGE boobs and you have to wonder if they might topple over if the wind picked up even the slightest? That is Rachel Heather at the age of 15.
I hated it. OK girls I know what you may be thinking (“is she nuts” comes to mind) but picture a 4’11” (ok fine at that time I was more in the 4’9” category) who was 90 pounds with melons that might look normal on a girl of the 5’7” variety but looked quite “odd” on me. Factor in that being a competitive dancer ain't a good thing if you have large jugs.
Age 16, I finally convinced my mother to let me get a Breast Reduction. I called it a very expensive conversion back to tiny tank tops with no bra.
Was I nervous? No.
I was not nervous when I went in for my consultation and had to disrobe for my dad’s college roommate who happens to be the best plastic surgeon in town.
I was not nervous when he took pictures of my breasts.
I was not nervous when he grabbed a red marker and starting drawing on my boobies making me look like a porno version of a circus clown.
“What size do you want to be?” he asked me.
I immediately liked and trusted him because he did not ask my mother that question, he asked me. I also had seen pictures of him drunk, flipping off the camera, in the old UCLA dorm so I had blackmail just in case he fucked it up.
“I just want to be the size I was supposed to be, as if I were never on the meds,” I explained to him.
Much to the shock and awe of my friends and fellow dancers I went ahead and scheduled the surgery.
As I walked into the hospital on the morning of my surgery the nerves finally set in. Though, I was determined not to show it I secretly just wanted to hold my mothers hand through the whole damn thing.
It was one thing for my doctor to feel my Cha Chas but quite another to have a room full of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, interns and residences' all staring at my naked body while it was being cut to shreds, prodded, poked, maneuvered, and sewn back together again. I had not even gotten naked in front of a boy yet and here I was putting on a whole show!
See when I put it that way who would not want to shit their pants?
I sat in the pre-op room and took off my clothes and Dr. Vladamir (yes my plastic surgeon was named Vladamir….I see your smirks) came in to discuss the procedure and do my pre-op clown markings.
I handed him a size XS pretty purple tank top with no room for a bra or anything besides a b-cup.
“Just in case you forgot the size"! I told him, trying to use humor to deflect my feeling of impending doom.
By now you all probably think I am totally nuts. Stick with me.
I am wheeled into the operating room and a friendly (almost too friendly..like the kind that try to smile really big when they tell you that you are going to die) nurse walks in. She is too enthusiastic and it makes me want slap her except she has drugs in her hand so I would rather play nice so she can share the wealth.
“Would you like something to relax?” she asks me
“Hell yeah,” I say, “I will take whatever it is you got”
She inserts a needle into my IV while telling me this would help with the nerves.
I don’t even remember falling asleep. All I remember is opening my eyes, feeling heavy and glancing at the clock to see that it is 6 hours after I first went into the operating room.
Holy shit! That witch tricked me!
OK at this point I am on drugs so the thoughts coming out of my head will have to remain classified for I don’t want any readers to judge my sanity.
The surgery was a success. I was given my own suite in the hospital (benefits of having a dad that is one of the head honchos) and was catered to by many nurses including one very handsome man who I think I made a bad first impression on.
I didn’t do much; I just threw up on him…no biggie right?
Everyone made a big deal about it. It might have been the exquisite morphine but, honestly, nothing really fazed me. I felt pain (pain like I cannot even describe so I won’t) but then it went away and I was floating up in the air and laughing. Or I was sleeping. When the pain was not there, I only felt pressure.
They told me I could not dance for six weeks. I was back dancing in four.
When I head back to the dance studio my dance teacher takes me into the backroom and asks to see my new boobies. No, this is not odd. My dance teacher has known me since I was three; she was just excited for me. So I went and showed her my boobs along with some fellow dancers. I got big huge hug (as much of a hug as you can give someone with a big bandage and stitches)
From then on out, I did not give two flying shits who I showed them to. Friends saw them. My best guy friends saw them. I was so proud I might as well have walked around topless shouting to the world, “Hey look at these! Look at how perky they are!!!”
When I went to visit my plastic surgeon for my post surgery check up his response was, “Gorgeous. Just perfect.”
To this day it does not bother me. I have gone into the bathrooms at nightclubs to show complete strangers because after hearing that they want to get one, and I confess I have had one, they promptly want to see if I have any scars and judge my boobs on whether or not they should get one.
So that is how I lost all my modesty at the age of 16. People saw me naked. People saw me throw up on them. People saw me ramble about God-knows-what while on morphine, people saw my breasts with stitches…and when that happens, how can you remain modest?
I loved my Cha Chas after that. Occasionally I would accidentally find myself grabbing them. Even to this day sometimes my trainer has to nudge me while at the gym because I forget I am feeling myself up in public.
Sometimes people ask me if it was worth it. Yes it was horrifically painful, more pain then I have ever felt. (I glossed over the pain part because hello, blog has been depressing lately). Yes I had scars. (Though they are so so faded now that you have to get real real real close to see them. How close? Well put it this way, if you are not my boyfriend you probably won’t notice. In fact one boyfriend never did...not very attentive that one)
So when anyone wonders, why I like my body so much and why I am not modest in the least about being naked, I always tell them, “Well my dad’s college roommate saw me naked, I figure everything else is just gravy.”
Besides, I have ten thousand dollar boobs and how many women can say that?!?!
Wait, I live in SoCal..so I guess a lot huh?