Giving Thanks . . . In 2 Sizes
Last year at this time, I gave thanks that I didn't have breast cancer after a zillion trips to the Imaging Departments (what a charming euphemism!) at two local hospitals, plus plenty of poking, prodding, needles and so much squishing that I didn't eat pancakes for months. Although it was good news in the end, I did, however, need some surgery to remove stuff that might cause problems in the future.
The surgery left me---and I feel I can say this openly only because it's Thanksgiving and I'm counting on our male audience watching football and if they're not, they'd better pretend because they're gentlemen--it left me lopsided.
"You should have reconstruction!" everyone cheerfully told me.
Because I only needed it on one side. The other side remined healthy and plump--plenty of plump!--and still, uh, relatively youthful. But the operated-on side looked kind of deflated. Not National Geographic deflated, but a little, you know, disappointing.
"It should fill in with fluid," the surgeon said before he closed my chart and sent me on my way. Good thing he didn't promise, because I'd be collecting on that malpractice insurance of his and thumbing through the real estate section in a warm zip code.
The breast implant procedure looked pretty simple at first. (Admit it, ladies. Who among us hasn't watched at least one episode of that Beverly Hills plastic surgeon guy who loves exotic dancers so much?) Pick a size, the flirty doc pops it in, you wear a bra around the clock for a little while and--poof!--your rack is back.
Emboldened, I did a little more Googling.
Health issues aside--because really, once you're seriously considering "breast augmentation," you're pretty much brain dead when it comes to warning labels--I decided saline implants were a little . . . jiggly. They're too liquid, you see. So when you walk, your breast/breasts tend to bounce like Jello salad in Bill Cosby's picnic basket. Which is okay when you're 22. (If I'd known my body was going to turn out the way it did, I would have made much better use of the 22-year-old version, let me tell you.) But 30 years later, you want the bounce in your step, not your boob(s).
Recently, I heard silicone implants made a comeback (after being outlawed by the FDA or something because a few fussy customers were whining about some minor thing called auto-immune disorders) and I started getting interested again.
Until I saw The Operation. Video footage of a surgeon who sliced open the underside of a woman's breast, reached inside and started scooping out great handfuls of glop. The silicone casing had ruptured (a word that should be reserved for fuel lines, not the insides of a human body) and the goop had leaked. Like The Blob, it oozed. It was worse than any slime you can imagine--sticky and yellow and disgusting. You could almost smell how disgusting. Here are some photos, but I'm warning you now, they're not to be viewed with a tummy full of pumpkin pie.
You can rupture your implants in a car accident, by falling off a horse, hitting the handlebars of your Harley-Davidson, rough sex (which I'm not commenting on because my daughters sometimes skip their second slice of pie) and other kinds of trauma that are easy to imagine, especially if you're a writer.
Plus, I realized when I got to the really important piece of information, inserting one breast implant was only going to make the plump one look less than wonderful.
But a double breast implant? At my age? I mean, I'm not planning on working with a pole and pasties anytime soon, so what do I need with a set of honking big hooters? Does my husband even notice? (He doesn't see that I get my hair cut every couple of months or when I wash my car or when I re-paint the living room.) And anyway, we've reached the stage when the lights are off most of the time, if you know what I mean.
Yeah, I sometimes feel silly with one side bigger than the other. (We do enjoy the beach on Aruba.) But I think I'd feel a lot sillier with a pair of perky 38DDs at my stage of life.
Plus I hear it's tricky to get a decent mammogram with implants in the way. The silicone is "radiopaque" which means it blocks the mammography X-ray beam.
So . . . nope, no implants for me. I'm going to invest in what's called the cutlet and keep the lights off at crucial times. And I'm just going to give thanks for what I have.