Ek tha Raja, ek thi Rani..Raja ne tyaga bimar rani..Khatam Kahani
Your long distance BF wants you to do nude video calls with him. You say 'No' because you are uncomfortable stripping on camera and the internet is not safe. Besides, you have a rare medical condition on your breasts. One of your breast has been continuously bleeding for the past two years and the other has visible scars from medical procedures. You try to explain to him how these medical conditions have broken down your confidence, how his love for you has brought in happiness in your life and how he has been unknowingly helping you rebuild that lost confidence and revive your self-esteem. You even forward him your medical records so he doesn't think that you are making any excuses. In reply to that, he sends you a text with a thumbs up emoji. As soon as he realizes that you are of no 'sexual-use' to him, he breaks up with you.
And, you always thought love gives hope and when you are in love everything is okay? Duh..Real life is nothing like the movie 'Dil Bechara'. You begin thinking if he has left you because you have scars on your breast or is it because you refused to strip on camera? Same difference. You start blaming your illness for losing the one you have loved the most. Your break up takes you three years back when it all started.
2017, June: After working in LA for 6 years, you have just moved to Chicago for your new job. But before you join you want to go for that long-awaited holiday which you always wanted to take- a drive through the US-1 Pacific Hwy from Oregon to LA. On the last day of your vacay, you take a dip at the Hilton Lax airport swimming pool before taking that long flight to the other side of the country. You come back home, join your dream job and everything is going so good in your life.
2017, July: A week later, you wake up with excruciating pain on the breast all the way to your armpit. You think it is a muscle pull and take Tylenol for the pain. The pain is gone for a few hours, but comes back again. After a week, your breast is swollen and reddish pink in color. You feel a hard mass (about 10 cm diameter) there. The skin is extremely sensitive and hot to touch.
You apply ice, have Tylenol but nothing is working. According to Google, you have either have breast cancer or mastitis. You are scared. You also check up on some home remedies such as applying cold cabbage leaves, eating raw garlic, but nothing helps. You rush to the nearest urgent care center. They think it is a bacterial infection and prescribe Erythromycin (antibiotic) for 10 days. You start wondering if you got infected from the swimming pool or was it because you didn't wash your bra during the three weeks of vacation. Your condition is only worsening. You go back to the urgent care center. This time, they ask you to consult a breast specialist. For those who live in the US know how hard it is to get an urgent appointment with any specialist. You somehow manage to get an appointment with a breast specialist in the next month.
2017, August: The specialist performs Ultra-Sound-Guided needle aspiration (as seen in the below photo) without anesthesia to withdraw the fluid from the mass. Ever imagined the pain of a 18 gauge needle piercing multiple times on the areola? Thick greenish pus is collected and sent to the lab for gram stain and culture. You are prescribed Augmentin (antibiotic) for 10 days and you are asked to reduce any strenuous physical activities until you completely heal.
All bandaged up, you return home. Now you have 2x pain- the already existing pain and now the pain from the needle aspiration. The pus continues developing and you end up going to the doctor for needle aspirations every second day. You are now running 102-103F fever, the pain is still the same and the breast is looking worse day by day. No bacteria were found in the pus culture. The doctor changes your medication to Ciprofloxacin (antibiotic) since you are not responding to Augmentin. He said that not all bacteria show up in the push culture report. Initially, the doctor was suspecting non-lactational mastitis but now he was suspecting chronic subareolar abscess (as seen in the below photo). It is a rare condition and can happen because of a weak immune system.
Unable to come up with any solution, the doctor recommends surgery to see which ducts were infected. He also suggests that you wear a catheter (as seen in the below photo) for about 2-3 weeks to let all the pus drain out. The thought of a stent attached to your breast and a container hanging by your side that is collecting the pus freaks you out.
With every passing day, your condition is only becoming worse. You want to take a second opinion before booking the operation theater. By now your breast is starting to look different from the other. Your nipple is inverted- indicating breast cancer. You are only 35 with no history of cancer in your family. Yet, you are scared. You have no choice but to turn down your new job.
2017, September: You visit another breast specialist. The lump was now protruding out of the skin as if it would burst out of the skin any time, the pain was unbearable and the skin was sensitive to touch, water, clothes. Your skin has a burning sensation as if acid is being poured on it. You undergo the same procedures under the new doctor for nearly a month but nothing helps. You are now on Clindamycin (antibiotic) until your culture report comes. This time too, your culture and blood test reports are all normal. The doctor refuses to perform any more needle aspirations as you are not responding to anything. You are sent for MRI with contrast. Your MRI reports show ducts filled with fluid. The doctor thinks that the symptoms are comparable to idiopathic granulomatous mastitis, but it is not mastitis. That is the closet medical term the doctor could come up with. Your illness is unknown to medical science. Since you are not responding to Clindamycin, the doctor puts you on Bactrim (antibiotic) for 10 days. After a two weeks, the skin bursts open and the pus starts coming out from there. It leaves a 1 cm opening/hole on the skin. You clean up the area with antiseptic and put a gauge on it until you see your doctor again. Your breast looks creepy. Your reflection in the mirror has altered. However, the doctor is satisfied as all the pus came out at once. She irrigates the ducts with saline by inserting a stent through the opening area into the cavity. Note that all these procedures were done in OPD without any sort of anesthesia- one can only imagine the pain. You come back home all bandaged up. You are asked to remove the dressing after 18 hours and until then put cold/ice compressions on it. You are in pain but you cannot take any painkillers as they will interact with the antibiotics. You are happy thinking that you are healing and the worst times are gone.
2017, January: You feel a mass in another location on the same breast. This time it is worst. You go through the same procedures all over again. However, in addition to the needle aspirations, the doctor recommends that you get a core-needle biopsy done followed by a mammogram to eliminate breast cancer. Note that mammograms are not done for patients below 40 but you are an exception. The biopsy is done at both locations. While nothing alarming showed up in the biopsy report, at the time of mammogram about 80cc of dark-brownish liquid comes out of the other breast. You are shocked. What is this now? The liquid is sent to the lab for culture. You are again on antibiotics until the pus report arrives. Nothing shows up in the reports. Anymore the doctor doesn't know what to do with you.
2018, January: The pus comes out from the second location. This time the opening was 2cm diameter. The doctor cleans up the ducts with saline and puts a bandage on the area. Same procedures followed for the new wound. However, your other breast continues to bleed non-stop and you are always wearing a gauge there to avoid staining your bra.
2019, January: After one year, your wound on the breast has healed, the pain is almost gone. The skin is still sensitive but not like before. But now you have permanent scars and keloids on your breast. Your other breast is still bleeding. In the past year, you have consulted a dozen doctors who don't know what's wrong with your breasts. You keep searching for doctors. You are feeling a loss of self, loss of feminity, anxiety, depression and not feeling sexually attractive or sexy.
2019, October: You come across a doctor who does your full blood count and finds out that your prolactin levels are very high which is making your ducts produce milk. Since you are not breastfeeding, the milk is unable to come out. As a result, bacteria are forming inside the ducts which are converting the milk into pus. You are given Cabergolin 0.25 to reduce your prolactin levels along with eight other medicines (multi-vitamins, vit-D, vit-B, folic acid, omega3) that you have to take regularly for one whole year. The combination of medicines was working like magic and your bleeding was reducing over time. The discharge was now light brownish as opposed to the dark red blood. You are healing and trying to get back to normal life. The doctor also does your gene mutation test to see your chances of having breast cancer in the future. The results confirm that you do not inherit cancer but that doesn't mean that you won't get cancer.
2020, April: You meet this handsome young man online. He convinces that he loves you madly. He brings a ray of hope with him. You were enjoying his flirty messages that gradually turned in to sexts. He was making you feel important and sexually desirable. He hasn't seen you for real and yet claims to have fallen in love with you which makes you believe that his love is pure, selfless and unconditional. He was loving you more than anyone else has ever loved you. Your confidence was coming back. You start building your world around him. You have a wish-list of 25 things to do before dying and you think you can fulfill all your dreams with him. You want to grow old with him.
Fast forward to the present: Your BF demands nude video sex. You tell him about your breast condition and scars and he immediately breaks up with you. His exit breaks you apart. You are sick again with lost confidence.
Whether your scars are from injuries or scars from a breakup, it can impact one's body image, intimacy, confidence, and mental health. But as the famous quote goes:
Your guy broke up with you, he has moved on. This relationship is over, it is finished. It's time for you to heal now. You should close all doors tight to protect yourself from hurting. Your man hasn't made any contact with you, he has clearly blocked you on all communication channels. You are the one going through lots of emotions. If he wanted to give a chance to your relationship, he would have done that in the relationship. Since he hasn't done that, he will not do it after the break up. NO CONTACT has been implemented from his end. So, you need to heal in silence and move on now. Don't keep any hope of his return.
That person had his chance. He had every opportunity to show all he needed to and change whatever needed to change, do what needed to be done but he hasn't done it. If he cannot love you with scars and that is his prerogative. Don't judge him.
But imagine, if you were married to this person and developed these scars after your marriage? At that time, he would have either left you or asked other women for doing nude videos with him. You would have had a disturbed married life with such a person. So, whatever happens, happens for good. You deserve someone who will love you with your scars. As far as love-making is concerned, it is the most heavenly expression of love and has nothing to do with your breast scars. By rejecting you, your BF has missed out experiencing the purest, deepest and most meaningful love ever.
Breast augmentation or reconstructive surgeries are different options to eliminate scars but one doesn't have to shy away from it. I think anybody who has gone through a medical procedure that has left a scar behind is no less than a warrior, and a warrior has scars. It is a sign of fighting and winning the battle of life against death. A scar is just part of your amazing journey through life and can be embraced as such. Remain optimistic, and look beyond the physical changes. Learn to love yourself- you don't need a man to acknowledge your love.
You need a good diet to heal, not a man
Remember, if you can heal once, you can heal again.
1. First and foremost, cold cabbage leaves do not work. Ice packs give temporary relief from the
burning sensation. Do not apply heat. It will aggravate the pus formation.
2. Stress is another big contributor to any medical ailments including mastitis or bloody nipple discharge.
3. Most ductal dilations occur due to high levels of estrogen or prolactin. So, ask your doctor to do a complete blood test.
4. Weight is another factor that contributes to such type of ailments. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is important.
5. Know drug interactions and allergies thoroughly. For instance, NSAID cannot be taken with certain antibiotics.
6. For the bleeding breast, bandage it with sanitary pads.The anti-leak properties of the pad will soak up the blood- it won't stain your bra or clothes.
7. Wish your undergarments after every use. During mastitis, do not wear tight clothes or bra.
8. If you are susceptible to keloids and scars then tell you doctor before procedures that involves piercing such as biopsy or FNAC. Lotions like Scar Guard Repair gel or silicone sheets may work or may not work. If at all you want to give them a try, please do so while the scar is healing and not when it has completely healed. These things work the best when applied at the early stages of a wound. Like wise, a lot of people recommend Tea Tree oil. But again, that may or may not work. It all depends on your skin type, wound type, etc.
What to eat and what not to eat?
Avoid food that increases estrogen, inflammation and acidity. Basically, avoid eating animal products and diary, red meat. Include cruciferous vegetables (think broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, arugula, cabbage , radishes, turnips) as they have amazing anti-cancer, anti-inflammation and estrogen-blocking properties. Include greens, citrus fruits, soy, mushrooms, fiber (avocado, blueberries, oats).
You also add the below supplements to your diet such as:
1. Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (with mother tincture)- 2 tbs with 8 oz water on an empty stomach (first thing in the morning) 2. with a small pinch of cayenne pepper.
3. Echinacea tincture- as directed on the bottle/ by your physician. This is an immunity booster.
4. Turmeric capsules - as directed on the bottle/ by your physician. Curcumin in turmeric is a great immunity booster.
5. Fish oil or any other Omega-3- as directed on the bottle/ by your physician.
Prolong intake of antibiotics can affect your gut and cause high levels to acidity. So make sure you include these probiotics in your diet:
1. Kefir, Yakult beverage, yogurt.
2. Lactose free: Natto (fermented soy bean- popular Japanese breakfast. You will find it at any Asian store like H-Mart), Kombucha, Tropicana Essentials probiotics juice.
3. Ginger water- boil ginger in water. Drink it after cooling as many times as you want in a day. You can add honey, if you like it sweet.
4. Also, ask your doctor to prescribe antacids and stool softeners incase you are experiencing constipation and acidity.
Light exercise is important for the purpose of mobility. Do not do strenuous exercises as it will slow down the healing of the breast tissues. Healing time of external wounds is 3-6 months and internal wounds is 1.5-2 years.
Disclaimer: The article is on Mastitis and how to deal with it. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.