Thursday, February 5, 2009

Noo Boob

Spelling the title that way accentuates the fact that I pronounce "new" as if it rhymes with "goo" instead of "few". I suppose this is an example of my flattened Pacific Northwest dialect. And the previous sentence is an example of my almost-vestigial linguistics nerd-dom. Who am I kidding. My linguistics nerd-dom is hale and hearty.

Anyway, yes, today I replaced my right breast prosthesis. The process is actually quite lovely—Nordstrom has a service fitting prostheses and mastectomy bras, and they accept many, many insurances, and besides that, it's Nordstrom, and their customer service is renowned.

My current prosthesis (sometimes referred to as a "turkey breast", although I suppose mine is really more the size of a chicken breast . . . or even a quail breast) doesn't seem to be aging at all quickly, but I have, somehow, put on about 15 or so pounds since I received the original prosthesis. It's not actually a surprise that I put on 15 pounds—I was a lean, mean fighting machine two years ago when I had the mastectomy. I had a lot of restless energy leading up to that appointment, and I used up as much of it as I could on the treadmill. I liked the resulting body . . . and at the time I liked spending all those hours on the treadmill. But it turns out, when I'm not full of fear, I'm also not full of excess adrenaline. And so my extant boob grew a little.

Also, I think I was in the habit of bra shopping more than once every two years. All my bras now have to have a pocket sewn into the right breast to hold the supplemental boob (actual mastectomy bras come that way . . . but actual mastectomy bras look like the bras your grandmother wears with her parachute panties), which is another great thing about Nordstrom—if you buy a bra there, any bra, they sew in the pocket for free. So I've been wearing the same four bras for the last two years, and they were becoming threadbare and the elastic had definitely lost its zing.

Anyway, my size actually went up and down. The cup size grew from a B to a C, but the band size fell from a 36 to a 34. I'm guessing that that's related to the lack of rock climbing that I've been participating in for the last year, and so my back is just a little squishy instead of taut and rippling.

The most interesting part of the morning, however, was that the prosthesis itself has pretty much completely changed shape. In the old boob, there's a taper from the center of my chest to under my arm, to simulate the appearance of actual flesh. In the new boob, the taper actually goes the other way, to simulate the appearance of actual flesh. Also, the real squishy part of my old boob is on the inside, nearer the skin; the real squishy part of the new boob is on the outside, so it feels even more boob-like when you poke it (which I like to do, although usually I manage to not do it in public).

Here's a question, though: I have only ever seen a sort of peachy-beige prosthesis (except for my swim form which is clear, and which I didn't replace), which isn't too surprising since that's the color of my skin. But do they make brown ones? I suppose it doesn't really matter, since it's inside your clothing . . . Okay, just did some quick research. Amoena, the company that made my boobs, does claim to make darker tones for people with darker skin. I haven't been able to find a photo of those tones, but at least they're available. What's far more titillating (forgive me) is this: Nearly Me Attachable Nipples. I suppose if I had two replacement boobs (which begs the question: why bother?), I might get them matching nipples. As it is, though, I buy a lined bra that camouflages my real nipple pretty well.

In the below pictures, the old boob is the one on the right, and the new boob is the one on the left. Pretty weird, huh?

No comments: