It has now been over four months since I had my breast reduction surgery on January 14th. I am still getting questions about how it went, how do I feel, and would I recommend it.

I feel great! Like everything, healing takes time. My incisions are healed and healthy. In fact, the incisions were never a problem. They were clean and dry the whole time. I need to work a little harder to help the scars fade, but they do not bother me. The healing that is taking longer is the years and years of compensating my neck and shoulders have been through as an adult. That pain has changed a lot in the last four months. What used to be a more widespread pain in my shoulder, neck, and head is more focused on smaller areas of muscle fibers that are healing and relaxing.

The whole recovery process was much easier than I had feared. With some forethought on how to take care of everyday life, it was a snap. I was back to work a few days after the surgery.

Initially, I was worried about my body image going from an E cup to a B cup. No problem there! It turns out a B cup is more than enough...if you know what I mean. I have had a great time this spring shopping and getting some new things to wear since I can find more clothes that fit me now without having to accommodate my boobs.

There was one issue that has to be addressed. I found a lump in my right breast. THAT freaked me out. Thank goodness for my doctors. I had an ultrasound, and it appears to be nothing serious. Lumps post-surgery are not unheard of; it can be a stitch that gets some scar tissue around it or a bit of fat necrosis that can happen after an injury to an area of fatty tissue. It also turns out that the breast tissue removed is sent to pathology to ensure there are no bad cells in there. That was clear, the ultrasound was unremarkable, so I think I am good. I can not have a mammogram for a few more months because of the surgery, which will happen later this year.  Thank you to my doctors and nurses at Central Maine Healthcare and MaineGeneral for their support and efforts to address this within hours of my finding the lump.

The more challenging part of the healing has been the weird sensations I have. The feeling has gone from feeling like my chest felt like a separate piece of me to feeling more natural. I still wear a sports bra most of the time. The nerves are still regenerating, so most of the time, things can feel different. The sports bra provides a slight compression to the skin, so I do not notice the other mild healing sensations. But I have gone for hours, days even without the bra to become accustomed to and get over that feeling.

Would I recommend it?  I will never tell you what to do with your body but if you have large breasts and suspect it might be causing you issues...check it out.

I am an advocate for self-care. I have this back, neck, shoulder, and head pain for decades, and NO ONE ever suggested this surgery as an option for my chronic pain. I had to ask, I had to follow up, and I had to advocate for myself. I know when you are in pain, that is hard to do...but on your good days, take those steps, ask those questions and be your own best advocate.

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Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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