Who knew that summer could be so dangerous? Who knew that this danger only applies to certain people? Who knew that the danger could be my prosthetic form (breast)? Until my own experience, I didn't know.
It never occurred to me that I could get trapped in my house because of a perfect storm of factors (time, weather, and bra technique).
I work at home every day and I don’t leave the house very much. I am one breast down because of a mastectomy and now I wear a prosthetic form (breast) on my left side…at least, when I leave the house. And there lies part of the problem. Since I don’t wear my fake boob all the time and I don't go out very often, I wasn’t aware it could be problematic to get my boob in place. It never occurred to me that I might be staying home.
The second part of my perfect storm was the weather. On this fateful day, it was hot and humid. In fact, I don’t have air-conditioning, so even my clothes felt like they were sticking to me. Add something heavy and silicone into the mix (my prosthetic breast) and you have something difficult to move and very clingy to my back and side. Not the best place to have a boob.
Possibly the biggest part of this storm was the fact that I had never learned to do my bra up at the back. I’m a spinner/rotator. I have to do my bra up at the front and then spin it around until my bra cups (including my prosthesis) are positioned at the front of my chest. Let's be honest. Spin might be the wrong word. It implies some sense of speed and that certainly wasn't the case.
Another factor, as if there needed to be one more, was the fact that I was just diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) so my fingers were not working their best.
Take a second now to see if you can fit the pieces together. How was I housebound?
And the answer is….
The story of my prosthetic form
I was supposed to go out with my husband and went to put on my bra for this special occasion (getting the groceries, but still an outing of some kind). I ran upstairs to get dressed. Shorts in place, I reached for the pre-filled bra with a prosthetic breast (foob) on my left side. As usual, I had the hooks at the front, and tried to slide/spin my bra around. I say tried, because physics was against me. My bra experience was demonstrating inertia, where anything at rest tends to remain at rest.
Thankfully, I remembered that you can overcome inertia. I tried to jump it around. I pulled my bra band outward with my stiff and painful fingers at the same time as I tried to get my foob to MOVE. With all this ineffective arm movement, I was working up even more sweat, which only made matters worse.
I feared all hope for my humble outing was going to be taken away.
I finally gave up. With my foob partway around my body and hanging somewhere around my ribs, I put on a shirt and walked downstairs to see if I could achieve success with some help from my husband. I felt ridiculous for not being able to dress myself and now I had what looked like the world’s biggest tumour sticking out of my side. My husband didn’t know quite what to expect as I approached him.
Lifting my top, he was still confused. I’m sure he was wondering why I was dressed that way. I’m not a snappy dresser, but I still knew where my breasts were supposed to be.
They (whoever they are), say that half the battle is admitting you need help. I asked. In a shorter time than it took me to struggle, rest, sit down in disbelief, try again, and then admit defeat, everything was where is should be. I’m so glad he was home. My son or a neighbour were just not options.
And there, on the day I almost got trapped in my house, I finally realized why you should celebrate the little things. I will never again take getting my bra in place for granted. I will learn from my mistakes.
Remember. Celebrate the little things. Realize that you can weather any storm. Never give up. Ask for help when you need it. Why struggle when you can get to where you want to be with just a little help?