There it was again. That gorgeous dress. I had looked at it a dozen times wishing I dare go into the shop and try it on. My colours. My style. Probably not my size!!
Replay this scenario a few hundred times and yes, you”ve got it.
Big boobs at fifty, even bigger at 60 (not to mention pointing down instead of up) they come with constant back pain, a shoulder ache and a longing to throw off my bra at 6.00pm every night and sink into the sofa with a Smoothie and a remote.
At 68 I joined a Health Club. Three or four swims a week and a bike ride on Sundays. Yes I got fitter. Then I met Sue. We met in the specialist Bra shop.
She had just had a breast reduction and was buying a new bra. She had met a new man and the whole of her life had changed.
“I”ll take the balconette – it”s four sizes smaller than before” she said happily.
That could be me, I thought. Only thing was she was 52.
But meeting Sue was the kick that I needed. Something in me took a huge leap forward. My sympathies now were with the poor surgeon who would have to come face to face (I mean face to boobs) with a 70 year old and nipples which had slipped 9 inches below where they should be.
The next day I zoomed to the internet to find that there are literally hundreds of clinics who specialize in lipo suction, breast enhancement, breast reduction and numerous other bits and pieces which people like to have surgically removed. If you think tits are embarrassing – you should look in the men”s department.
I phoned for an appointment at my nearest cosmetic clinic. A week later I met the surgeon who was soon to become very familiar with my body parts.
“Am I too old?” I said reaching for my hankie.
“Your age is irrelevant .You are a healthy lady with a wish to improve your life. It will improve not only your breasts, your back pain and shoulder problems, posture, tiredness problems but also your own self image.” I liked that.
He gave me another six months to try and lose a little weight so that my BMI was lower and to get comfortable with the prospect of major surgery. I celebrated my 70th Birthday with a wow of a party and told none of my friends or family what I had decided.
My mind was entirely made up. I had known five years ago that I should consider a breast reduction, but failed to do anything about it. Call me scared but that”s what I was.
If I bottled it now I would have to settle for a double J Cup size for ever and if I lived to be 80, then I would have to carry this huge weight up and down the stairs for another ten years. Trying clothes on in shops had become a nightmare. I always had to look for the largest size on the rail and then some. My dress sense has been called hippy, ethnic, elegant and bravely colourful. I have to wear full make up. I love to dress in floaty tops and scarves, beads and earrings and if I can get away with it - dangly ones. The word fashion is not in my vocabulary.
Putting all my confidence into the surgeons, I went under the knife at a cost of £4950 at a private clinic. Three and a half hours later I was back in bed with new boobs, new nipples pointing upwards and a smaller bust size. Even with the dressings on, I held myself different when walking to the bathroom –and when I looked down I could see my feet. I didn”t care which bits of me had gone, but I felt like I was walking on air.
Travelling home with my husband two days later, he agreed that I looked like a different person. The fact was that I felt “normal” – can”t explain it but I felt as though a burden had been lifted from my shoulders – literally.
After a few days of rest my women friends started to arrive. Everyone was wowed with the new me. The specialist bra shop lady embraced me when I returned to her shop to order a D Cup satin sillouette job. I put all the bras I used to wear in the new Bra Bank to be sent overseas to women in third world countries.
For the first time since my op I went down to our village market. A dear friend caught sight of me and let out a loud eeeck! “You look wonderful” she said with a look of disbelief on her face. She didn”t stop there.
By the time I left, the man who ran the fish stall, the vegetable man and all the ladies on the WI stall all knew where I had been and what I had done! I felt all eyes were upon me but I didn”t care. Half an hour later, spending money at the dress shop on the High Street never felt so good.
They say it will take at least a year before the healing is complete. Yes I am still sore and when someone wants to give me a hug it has to be a gentle one- but six weeks after the op I still feel lovely inside. Having a breast reduction at seventy has definitely changed my life.