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I'm suffering because of vanity 😫

It's more than that, really, but that's what it boils down to.

I had surgery for gynecomastia yesterday morning. And more. The office talked me into getting additional lipo since gynecomastia surgery already involves that.

I developed asymmetrical breast tissue growth suddenly in the fall of 2020. It was most likely induced by a drug I took (cimetidine/Tagamet) to control my mast cell activation syndrome. However, I told my dad when I made the decision to do this and he said he is happy for me and he wishes he had had it done 30-40 years ago...! I didn't even realize he has this condition.

The left breast was close to twice the size of the right, primarily breast tissue and not fatty tissue. I had to have a mammogram and an ultrasound when it suddenly appeared to make sure it wasn't inflammatory breast cancer.

So anyway, here I am now, wearing two very tight compression garments (medical Spanx, basically) and feeling like I have the worst sunburn of my life.

I am 5'11" and I weighed in at 167 yesterday morning when I arrived at the surgeon's office.

They were really surprised that they were able to suck TWO LITERS of fat out of me, and today I weigh 176 from all the swelling my body is doing to cope with the trauma.

Posting here because why not.

If anyone has questions about gynecomastia surgery or liposuction, feel free to ask.

by Anonymousreply 91May 18, 2023 10:46 AM

Reddit has good support subs for gyno

by Anonymousreply 1March 11, 2023 1:18 AM

R1 It was very uncomfortable. My left boob felt heavy and it woild go through periods of a throbbing soreness and aching. It took me a few years but I decided it had to go.

by Anonymousreply 2March 11, 2023 1:19 AM

Why don't you talk more about your menstruation OP? Everybody [bold]loves[/bold] that topic on Datalounge.

by Anonymousreply 3March 11, 2023 1:38 AM

Sorry, OP. This sounds painful and unpleasant.

by Anonymousreply 4March 11, 2023 1:40 AM

Don't be so hard on yourself, OP. IMO, doctors understate to their patients how long / painful recovery will be. It's not "vain" for a man to not want womanly breasts. If anything starts feeling infected, especially on a Friday, get in there for a follow-up appointment. (You don't want to be suffering or in the ER over a weekend.)

Take care of yourself and feel free to post in this thread.

by Anonymousreply 5March 11, 2023 2:40 AM

Sorry you've had to go through this,OP. I do hope you recover fast. 🐱my cat Barney sends you love too!

by Anonymousreply 6March 11, 2023 3:01 AM

You do sound like you are suffering terribly. I’m sorry. Miserable time for you and I hope you get to feeling better soon.

by Anonymousreply 7March 11, 2023 3:05 AM

Today is day four. Less pain, lots more itchiness. I've lost about five pounds of water weight.

What a strange adventure.

by Anonymousreply 8March 12, 2023 2:18 PM

OP, I had the same condition and a mastectomy to fix it. But I had lived with the one boob thing for maybe 18 months. This was when I was twenty, in 1980. Always very self-conscious when tricking with someone. And at the tender age of twenty, I was very self conscious as it was anyways. This just made it worse.

The area around my left nipple where the surgeon had made an incision was numb for years. Five years in, I accepted that it could be a permanent numbness. But I was wrong about that. It went away appx three years later.

by Anonymousreply 9March 12, 2023 6:03 PM

My surgery was last Thursday at 7am, so it's now five full days post-op...wow, this has been rough in a lot of ways.

I knew it would be unpleasant, but not exactly like this. I was really dumb in that I invested a lot of time researching gynecomastia surgery, but I didn't read much about liposuction surgery.

I'm sure it was a form of denial. The surgeon's assistant 'upsold' the lipo and I bit. I'm sure that's relativelg common.

The gyno surgery recovery is almost an afterthought because—this should not be a surprise, but it caught me unawares—the lipo surgery was really fucking traumatic to my body.

I am packed into compression garments that I will have to wear for six weeks at least. The doctor put me in a medium one and then decided it was too small so she gave me a small one to take home and change into. I obviously have to change between the two. I ordered another small via Amazon but it will take days to get here.

I'm wearing the medium one and I feel like my body has spread out to fill up all the extra space, although thanks to waking up in absolutely drenched clothes and bedding, I have finally lost a lot of fluid weight and now am a couple of pounds heavier than what I weighed before the surgery.

I woke up with one of the worst (non-cluster, anyway) headaches of my life, in the front of my head. It felt like my skull was being crushed. After Tylenol and coffee and changing out of my wet clothes, I feel better.

My left breast has a sharp pain sometimes depending how I move, which concerns me. It also seems more swollen than the right side, which worries me. My left breast was close to twice the size of the right to begin with, which was the primary reason I had the surgery in the first place. Is it going to regrow? Or what is happening?

I am so dizzy/lightheaded this morning and I feel like there is pressure on my brain. I have no idea why that might be.

I'm also very sad, actually feeling full-on depressed. I worry I made a poor decision. I am looking down and feeling a kind of body dysmorphia, so strangely. The whole point of this was to remove breasts that I felt do not belong to my male body and now I feel like I have abused my body.

This is all so weird.

I am documenting all this here for my own record and in case it is ever helpful to anyone.

by Anonymousreply 10March 14, 2023 10:47 AM

Sorry, OP! This all sounds traumatic and scary, but one day you will look back on this, healed and healthy. Rest and take care. Find something good to watch, an old movie or something, and drink some nice tea. Tea is healing.

by Anonymousreply 11March 14, 2023 10:58 AM

You had the tits removed. Darn, you were so close to becoming a Reddit Sissy.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 12March 14, 2023 11:41 AM

Middle of the night update no one asked for or cares about.

Saw my surgeon for my one-week follow up today. She said everything looks perfect, I am healing perfectly so far and everything that is happening is normal. I told her I feel like I paid someone to butcher my body and I am really having a hard time dealing with it psychologically and she was very kind and understanding and told me that liposuction is "a really hard surgery with a very long and difficult recovery," and she assured me everything that's happening is as expected and she promised I will be very happy when the swelling settles—in three to six months.

It's my fault, and I know it. I considered the gynecomastia surgery for several years before I decided to do it.

I was 'upsold' the liposuction by the surgeon's assistant. It was discounted because I have this bizarre health issue called mast cell activation syndrome that makes me physically allergic to exercise, and she said the doctor said since I would be put under anyway for the breast reduction, she could do this and balance out the proportions of my upper body for something that would make me a lot more confident. I bit.

I am kind of obsessive about medical shit because I've had so many major health complications and this is the only time in my life I made assumptions and did something on a whim.

I'm going to have to call this my poorly considered mid-life crisis.

Since gynecomastia surgery involves liposuction to remove fatty tissue from the breasts, I assumed the recovery would be the same everywhere. So wrong.

The abdominal surgery aftermath is so disturbing to me. It feels disgusting in a way I can't really describe. The only way I can describe it is that it feels like a five-pound Italian cheese has been sewn into my lower abdomen and is just trapped there as a solid block. This is the swelling that will take months to go down. It is painful, like a bruise, but the really awful part is how dense and heavy and solid it is, and in the shower the sensation is nauseating because it's partially numb and partially not.

Aesthetically, with my shirt on, my torso looks *so much better.* I'm also being challenged psychologically to look down and see a totally flat chest. It feels alien to me. But the swelling of my lower abdomen is so pronounced that it sticks out under my shirt like a baby bump. It is so fucking weird.

I have to wear a crotchless medical-grade version of a Spamx bodysuit for five more weeks, 24 hours a day. This obviously adds to the discomfort, especially when sleeping. And I have to sleep at at least a 30-degree angle, again, for six weeks.

Supposedly, I will continue to swell until the three-week mark and then it'll gradually decrease, noticeably by six weeks and then much more noticeably by three months, rounding off between six months and a year. I cannot believe I didn't research the fuck out of this. Liposuction is a very traumatic surgery physically, and results take a very long time to show.

I'm writing this mostly for personal therapy to process what I've chosen to do to my body, and so others who may have some levels of curiosity will have a reference because I weirdly have not found any other detailed testimonials of this experience online.

by Anonymousreply 13March 16, 2023 7:43 AM

OP, I hope you’re feeling at least a tiny bit better every day.

Even if people here on DL are not posting asking for more info, I suspect others are wondering—like I am—what you’re going through and how you’re managing. So keep posting.

I also wanted to say that you shouldn’t beat yourself up for how/when you’ve made these decisions to have surgery.

The reality is there’s no such thing as a perfect decision; you weigh the pros and cons but, no matter what doctors/consultants tell you, an awful lot you want to know in advance cannot be known.

How much pain and discomfort will I feel? How long will the pain last? How successful will the procedure be? Even knowledgeable doctors are only making educated guesses.

My point is I think you’re brave to have decided to take action. Try to be gentle with yourself now as your body (and your emotions) experience so many changes. I’m sure most of us here—except for the most intractable bitches—wish you an ever-speedier recovery. ♥️

by Anonymousreply 14March 16, 2023 8:29 AM

People also find me vain and arrogant. My moobies are not the problem. It's deeper than that.

by Anonymousreply 15March 16, 2023 8:36 AM

Moobies, moobies, moobies! Who needs 'em?

by Anonymousreply 16March 16, 2023 8:50 AM

R14 Thank you. ❤️ That is all very sweet and kind and I appreciate it.

I will keep posting updates because of the reasons I mentioned above, personal documentation and putting this out into the Web for others to come across. One thing about Data Lounge is that it is very well indexed online and so I feel like posting this stuff here will make it discoverable to people who may be considering doing the same.

I am going to be happy about the gynecomastia surgery in the long run as long as there are no medical complications, no doubt about it. Looking in the mirror, I see the chest of a guy and not small, differently sized breasts that do not belong on my body. It's such a good feeling, even though it feels really, really bizarre to have hacked off body parts.

I have to say that this experience has made me feel so much more empathetic with transgender people. Because I am not transgender, and yet I am a man who randomly sprouted small but protruding breasts and it was just fucking w-r-o-n-g and I had to get rid of them since doing that is an option medically. I just had to. It was *not* a body part that matches my psyche. So I can totally relate now to people who feel that way about their body parts. I just happen not to be transgender and to have lived most of my life in a body that did fit before morphing parts that didn't fit.

Anyway. So that part already feels like it was not a bad decision.

The liposuction...I don't know, man.

If there were some way to describe how *disgusting* the feeling of this block of inflammation in my abdomen feels, I would. It's heavy, it's solid, it doesn't move, it feels weirdly cold and half numb, it protrudes both inward and outward. It is without a doubt the strangest and grossest physical feeling I have ever experienced in my lifetime.

It's also very tight feeling, like I bent forward and had my stomach stapled together. So when I am sitting or lying down, it feels like I have a five-pound mass pressing into my lower abdomen, but then when I stand up, it feels like I am about to tear open my stomach because it's been tightened.

Because of the denseness and the semi-sensation, I just have this obsessive feeling that it's not healthy and not living tissue. The doctor assured me it is entirely normal, and a nurse examined me after the doctor and said it's completely normal and expected and so I have to take them at their word.

ChatGPT is one thing, but to consider how medical science like this has developed over time *really* freaks me out.

by Anonymousreply 17March 16, 2023 8:53 AM

r3 Men get gynecomastia too.

by Anonymousreply 18March 16, 2023 9:09 AM

R18 only men get gynecomastia, don't they? 🤔

[quote] Gynecomastia is an abnormal enlargement of the male breast, but the histopathologic abnormalities could theoretically be present in female breasts as well.


I ignored R3 because they clearly didn't understand what gynecomastia is or that the OP is implicitly male.

by Anonymousreply 19March 16, 2023 9:13 AM

Thanks for sharing your experience, OP. Please keep us posted and try to get some rest.

by Anonymousreply 20March 16, 2023 9:55 AM

OP, you will feel better very soon. Have you seen any videos of liposuctions? They basically violently stab you after they fill you up with a kind of solvent so no wonder you are in pain. I never had any liposuction but talking from the experience to have a c-secfion: one week is absolute hell and when you think it never gets better it, it does. Slowly. Please keep us updated and get well!

by Anonymousreply 21March 16, 2023 10:08 AM

I'd never heard of mast cell activation syndrome. It sounds awful.

by Anonymousreply 22March 16, 2023 10:13 AM

Thank you, R21.

A friend of mine had an unexpected C-section this summer and she was stunned when I first saw her after she had the baby. There was something off about her and she told me she was totally preoccupied with the trauma of the surgery and it was distracting her from the baby and she felt guilty about that. She said she will absolutely never give birth again and it was the most brutal and disturbing experience she can imagine to be cut open while awake and lose so much blood.

by Anonymousreply 23March 16, 2023 10:16 AM

R22 It's surreal, I guess, although I have had time for it to become just normal life to me. I take three antihistamines and an antileukotriene every day and I get monthly shots of a biologic drug that plugs up my allergic receptors and altogether, I am pretty functional. It took a looong time to figure out what the fuck was happening to me, though. I could have died from countless anaphylactic episodes but, hey, still here. And my immunologist did clear me for the anesthesia and the surgery.

I'm lucky in a way. Mast cell activation syndrome and mastocytosis have entirely different causes but they manifest in the same ways with the same symptoms, except that people who have mastocytosis live absolute nightmare lives a lot of the time. The diseases are grouped together, but some people who have mastocytosis are allergic to almost all foods and have to get IV nutrition or feeding tubes.

I had Lyme disease for years before it was diagnosed and treated and I ended up with MCAS. Now it's known that long-term infections can aggravate the immune system until it goes haywire and develops MCAS. It's basically an overactive immune system, but unlike an autoimmune disease, it's specifically the mast cells that go crazy.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 24March 16, 2023 10:26 AM

OP, maybe you should see a therapist. Seriously. My mom went into a deep depression after some elective surgery. She was upsold, as you were. She wasn't prepared for how long it would take to heal. There seemed to be no follow-up. In reality, a short, comforting phone call from him would have made her feel better. Sounds like you have a nicer doctor, though. My mom's doctor was like a car salesman.

by Anonymousreply 25March 16, 2023 8:38 PM

I am scared of anesthesisia.

by Anonymousreply 26March 16, 2023 9:40 PM

Today's addition to disturb those of you who know nothing about the effects of liposuction.

The left side of my chest, the side that was larger, must have had a lot of liposuctioning because it is now hard and leathery. And it will remain this way for up to three to six months because that is the effect of lipo.

But it's much worse. My lower abdomen and my left flank have bubbled out and turned hard and leathery/plasticine. The texture is hard to describe, but it is like hard rubber. It doesn't move but it is pliable. I haven't looked at it but it literally pokes out from my lower belly and the left side of my body. It is alarming. It is disfiguring. When I saw my surgeon this week, she assured me it is totally normal; the fluids inside the body drain downward and collect around the waist. After a week or so, the fluid that has not dissipated on its own turns SOLID in large bulges, and slowly, over the course of three to six MONTHS, the lymph system draws the solids away and the hard swellings soften and disappear.

It's so disturbing. I have to go back to work next week and I'm going to have protrusions sticking out from my stomach and left flank for months.

I've now looked this up and found descriptions of this on a lot of websites, but not a single photo of this fucking weird phenomenon. I can't believe they don't tell you "a lot of people are visibly disfigured for up to six months, but after that, it looks great."

by Anonymousreply 27March 18, 2023 1:28 AM

Thank you for describing this. Lipo always seemed like a little cheat to be jealous of. Who knew it was so brutal? Be kind to yourself, though. Vanity plagues all of us. It’s why the world is filled with retail!

by Anonymousreply 28March 18, 2023 1:57 AM

R28 It's not a quick fix AT ALL. And it's not a weight loss method. It just rearranges fat placement to change proportions and contours. They're not supposed to do it on people who have a lot of weight fluctuations, actually.

by Anonymousreply 29March 18, 2023 2:22 AM

Two days from being two weeks out from the surgery.

I am itching to an INSANE degree.

My chest remained very flat through the first week. A few days ago, it began to swell—especially the left side—and now my breasts are very swollen, extremely itchy and very tender.

But it's the iching of my stomach that is *killing* me right now. Oh my God.

My skin is also still burning like I have a pretty severe sunburn.

I am trying to view all of this as 'what fascinating things the human body does to recover from trauma!' but the truth is, I would probably do the gyno surgery again and I would definitely not do the abdominal liposuction again. I can't believe I made such a cavalier decision and thought it wouldn't be a big deal. As it turns out, liposuction is "a very traumatic invasive surgery."

by Anonymousreply 30March 21, 2023 10:08 PM

Relax, hun.

Don't get your bitch-tits in a twist!

by Anonymousreply 31March 21, 2023 10:10 PM

I'm waiting for OP to mention his puny cocklet.

by Anonymousreply 32March 21, 2023 10:14 PM

Something about a grown man saying he got a Mastectomy is just so odd. If trannys call it chest surgery and top surgery than so can you, OP.

by Anonymousreply 33March 21, 2023 10:19 PM

R33 It's called gynecomastia surgery, or male breast reduction. Not a mastectomy.

You can laugh. Just remember what kind of person karma is. :) Certain medications and illnesses can cause this. Good luck to you. I hope you never have to go through it.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 34March 21, 2023 10:24 PM

Op 2 yrs ago I had 7 hr surgery on my torso and button. It involved plastic surgery without liposuction. I spent 5 days in the hospital. During the first night of my stay an attending overnight nurse let the strong IV painkillers I was being given run out. I was to be given them every 4 hrs. At the 5th hour I was writhing in my bed screaming in intense pain after nearly breaking the call button to alert the nurse. She was very non caring and slow to help. I begged her to hurry with my painkillers and told her I was being tortured and I was begging God to help me while she was in the room. After I was put back on my IV medicine, the next morning I alerted my doctor and my plastic surgeon what transpired the night before. They were very concerned and reported her to the hospital. A head nurse came and listened to my story assuring me she wouldn’t be allowed to repeat her negligence to me or anyone else again. I spent 6 months at home recovering. Given Norco then Tramadol for pain. Compression tanks and underwear for 1 year. I’m fully recovered now.

by Anonymousreply 35March 21, 2023 10:46 PM

^^Torso and butt

by Anonymousreply 36March 21, 2023 10:47 PM

Mary O. P. "Big Tits No MO" Richards,

We can excuse the false or misplaced notion of "vanity" as being the impetus behind not wanting to look like a chub who finally lost the bowling ball on one side of his (we're assuming here) chest but kept the fat surrounding it. Who wants to look like terrain with a crater with glop around it?

by Anonymousreply 37March 21, 2023 11:00 PM

After nearly 1 year recovery I tracked down that negligent nurse on fb and told her I hope she burns in hell for making me suffer so she could have an easier night on my floor.

by Anonymousreply 38March 21, 2023 11:04 PM

[quote] gynecomastia

We know what it is. The Seacow has bitch tits.

by Anonymousreply 39March 22, 2023 12:00 AM

^^ How this post migrated here from the "Klangerine may be indicted yet" thread, I have no idea. ^^

by Anonymousreply 40March 22, 2023 12:55 AM

Is op A man or woman

by Anonymousreply 41March 22, 2023 1:03 AM

That's been answered R41

by Anonymousreply 42March 22, 2023 1:05 AM

Sending you all the good vibes, OP. Hope you are well. Your medical journey is fascinating, please keep us updated as you recuperate.

by Anonymousreply 43March 22, 2023 1:20 AM

Hey, OP?

How about having them suck out the fat part of your head that thinks posting emojis is something that adds, rather than subtracts, from everything you say intend to convince us of whatever.

by Anonymousreply 44March 22, 2023 1:21 AM

The fuck are you even talking about?

by Anonymousreply 45March 22, 2023 1:23 AM

I'm having really bad pain on top of my abdomen tonight. It's becoming more severe. I'm getting freaked out that it could be an infection.

by Anonymousreply 46March 22, 2023 2:17 AM

Oh God, R46. I'm just sorry that you're suffering like this. Dealing with physical pain and the mental part of what you are going through sounds very hard. Being up in the middle of the night dealing with this, must be hard too.

by Anonymousreply 47March 22, 2023 3:08 AM

Thank you for your compassion, R47.

The pain in my abdomen was *so* bad last night but I eventually fell asleep, and it's much better this morning.

Until last night, I had completely avoided looking at any part of my torso because of fear of what I would see. I had to look last night to make sure I don't have a major infection taking root in my belly. I was shocked to see that I am not nearly as bruised as I imagined (as I feel—my whole torso feels severely sunburned and/or bruised, and especially my abdomen), and there is no discoloration or discharge where the pain is.

I can't imagine what the cause of the pain is; however, I have read that severe itching especially and also some pain is normal two weeks out as the nerves that were damaged re-awake and begin to repair themselves. The itching is the feeling of nerves reactivating and resetting themselves, which I have to say is quite an interesting thought that does make me think of the human body in terms of some kind of meat robot.

The itching is insanely uncomfortable but I know it will pass.

The abdominal pain last night was a 6-7/10, and that's considering cluster headaches and the worst toothache of my life to be a 10, so that's pretty agonizing pain. It scared me, and based on what I read while panicking, the two week mark is when itching discomfort and some tenderness may become slightly heightened, but pain is supposed to diminish significantly at this point. Tomorrow will be the two-week mark from the day of the surgery.

I'm still in awe of some aspects of this experience:

1. I didn't put a huge amount of thought or research into the liposuction, and that is entirely uncharacteristic for me. It really makes me question my judgment and my behavior pattern. I've never gone into anything so poorly informed in my life. That makes me think this was some kind of midlife-crisis decision made subconsciously and overriding my typical risk-avoidance personality.

2. I don't know how liposuction is *such* a common procedure—I believe it is the most common cosmetic surgery—and it doesn't have a reputation for the longtime, extraordinarily uncomfortable recovery. Three or six months for disfiguring swelling to go away, three months for hardened flesh to soften, severe pain, severe itching, disrupted sleep for months. I have never heard any of this discussed. That seems so strange since I have heard a lot about the horrific trauma and recovery of deep-plane facelifts. Two doctors now have told me that abdominal liposuction is an invasive and 'very traumatic' surgery with one of the most challenging and uncomfortable and prolonged recovery periods. How is this not common knowledge? Crazy to me.

There was a bizarre woman at my job for 10 years who seemed to have had multiple personalities or something, and she certainly lied a lot. She randomly told me in confidence (and I quickly found out she told many others in confidence—they told me; I didn't breathe a word) that she was going to have liposuction over a weekend. She was very heavy and had diabetes. She came in on Monday and acted completely normal (for her); she took no time off and seemed to be in no pain, and she asked if I could notice the lipo. All of my coworkers agreed she was crazy and didn't have liposuction because she had zero downtime, and I knew she was off kilter but could not imagine why anyone would lie about that of all things, and so I assumed she did have it done. But now I know she didn't because this is no fukkin joke. So bizarre.

by Anonymousreply 48March 22, 2023 10:15 AM

I never imagined lipo to be such an horrendous ordeal either, OP. I'm fascinated by your experience. I'm sorry that you're in so much pain though.

I have always assumed certain celebrities get routine liposuction, but after reading what you've been through I seriously wonder how they are able to handle it. No wonder Madonna is loopy, she must be dosed up to the gills on pain meds to deal with her botched surgeries of late.

by Anonymousreply 49March 22, 2023 10:55 AM

YES, R49. I hadn't thought about that, but yes, definitely Madonna.

I had thought about Kim Kardashian, though. There's no way that she has not had lipo around her abdomen and probably her arms to appear thinner and maintain enormous 'curves.'

It now makes sense to me how 'sculpted' people with extreme curves are, because I used to imagine liposuction as a gentle procedure that slightly alters the contours of a body, and I've now learned it is an absolutely brutal, barbaric and extreme operation that vacuums huge amounts of tissue out of the body all in one go. I had such a completely different idea of what it is and how it works than the the reality. I don't know, I guess I never would have imagined that MDs would be allowed to much less would want to do anything so violent and traumatic to a body.

by Anonymousreply 50March 22, 2023 11:01 AM

Those Kardashian gals must have a high pain threshold - all that lipo and all that BBC. You're right though, when you really think about it, it is totally barbaric. This might sound really silly, but do they show you the fat they've sucked out? I think I'd want to see it. I get a strange kick out of that sort of stuff. I wanted to keep the wisdom tooth I had extracted last year, but I was too embarrassed to ask. My little twink dentist seemed slightly shocked I asked to see it.

by Anonymousreply 51March 22, 2023 11:07 AM

I'll also acknowledge that this has been a shock in part because of a weird combination of knowledge and ignorance.

I worked as a health writer for the first decade of my career, and I continued doing some freelance health/medical writing for many years afterward. I also have had a really complicated medical history due to a variety of issues. Altogether, I have a much better-than-average understanding of a lot of facets of medical science and practice. I can generally speak doctorspeak and doctors usually are surprised and seem to respect me more when I understand things they wouldn't expect a patient to understand.

BUT I only know what I know. I know certain things. I know basical medical practice, I understand how blood and imaging labs work and I understand all common and some obscure labwork, I understand a lot about neuroscience and immunology because of personal experiences and an innate curiosity. But I do not have a comprehensive medical education, I don't know much about how most organs actually function, and I have learned that I knew nothing at all about some of the surreal things that the body can do to heal itself.

Itching being a symptom of nerves reengaging makes perfect sense to me and I find that interesting.

Asymmetrical, seemingly random swelling in such large areas, and those swollen areas turning rigid? Entirely new to me. I had zero knowledge that a body would do such a thing. I still can't make sense of exactly why this rigidity happens or exactly how the body resolves it. The mystery of it makes it scary to me.

That said, I do understand what signs of surgical site infection look like and I was a little heartened not to see any signs of that when I looked last night, but I am still freaked out by the intensity of the pain in my abdomen coming two weeks after the surgery.

It's curious that having partial knowledge may be more alarming than having little to no knowledge. I have certain expectations of what 'should' happen, and the body has done some things beyond my imagination or comprehension, and those things feel like red flags because they don't fall within my scope of understanding.

by Anonymousreply 52March 22, 2023 11:15 AM

R51 No, they don't show you the fat. You can google it and see containers of it if you're curious.

They did tell me, both the nurse and the surgeon, that they sucked two liters of fat out of me, and they told me to imagine a two-liter soda bottle to visualize how much that is.

That was one thing that raised concern for me: The doctor—who is very experienced, has very high patient ratings, and who splits her time between private practice and doing reconstructive surgery at the VA hospital in DC—told me she was really, really surprised that I had that much fat available to suction out.

I would have expected a surgeon who does this routinely would be able to assess upon physical examination how much to expect to come out, and so her surprise surprised me, and it made me wonder if she may have been overzealous in removing it.

But I think I did/do have a high proportion of body fat on a slighter-than-average frame, and being tall and small-boned (literally, my bones are quite thin and delicate compared with most men), I think, makes me look skinnier than I really am. Because of my exercise sensitivity, walking is the primary exercise I get, and otherwise I have been more or less sedentary for a decade since I became very ill, and that's a lot of time to slowly acquire body fat, I guess.

My breasts—which were the ENTIRE point of this whole endeavor—were swollen from glandual tissue/unusually high amounts of breast tissue for a man, but I think they also had unusually high amounts of fatty tissue for a man, as well. I wonder how much of the two liters of fat came from my chest vs my waist.

by Anonymousreply 53March 22, 2023 11:23 AM

Journaling time.

Two weeks and two days post-surgery.

Tuesday was insanely uncomfortable—new swelling, unbearable itching and excruciating stabbing/searing pain in my abdomen when I went to bed that kept me up for hours. I really thought that I might regret not going to the ER.

I woke up feeling almost fine on Wednesday after only a few hours of sleep, aside from sunburn-like sensation all over my torso.

My surgeon saw me on Thursday. She said I am healing very well, and she said the sudden random swelling and sudden sharp, severe pains are completely normal and could continue to happen sporadically for up to three months or possibly longer.

She said after the three-week mark, I should get lymphatic drainage massage twice a week for a while to bring down the swelling.

And come back in two months.

I have been feeling totally fine since Wednesday, three days ago, other than that sunburned feeling and itching that comes and goes.

Tylenol doesn't help much with any pain associated with this, strangely. It usually stops my headaches.

by Anonymousreply 54March 25, 2023 3:16 PM

[quote]Tylenol doesn't help much with any pain associated with this, strangely. It usually stops my headaches.

Tylenol isn't an anti-inflammatory, which ibuprofen and aspirin are.

by Anonymousreply 55March 25, 2023 7:10 PM

R55 I can't take any NSAIDs because of my mast cell activation syndrome. They cause anaphylaxis.

by Anonymousreply 56March 26, 2023 1:37 AM

Captain's log, stardate three weeks after surgery today.

I've been much more comfortable for days now.

Primary discomfort is a constant sunburn-like stinging all over my abdomen and sometimes-severe itching I don't notice when I am busy but that drives me crazy when I am still, especially at bedtime. The antihistamine hydroxyzine helps.

There's a 'knot' in my abdomen, a very tight area in the center, just to the right, that spasms when I bend at too steep an angle or lean forward too far, and that causes a charlie horse-like throbbing pain, which leaves persistent pain for hours afterward but that only happens when I forget not to move that way.

My chest area, especially the outer edges of my pectorals and my nipples are very sore when touched, which means whenever I get up and walk because the compression garment presses into my flesh and aggravates those areas. The pain can be pretty uncomfortable but bruise-type pain is a lot more tolerable than other types.

The left side of my chest swelled up and hardened last week, and I have hardened swelling on my left flank and my lower abdomen. It's a very bizarre sensation but *I think* the swelling already has gone down a little bit, particularly on the left side and my chest. The lower abdomen swelling seems not to have gone down much.

My surgeon told me to begin getting lymphatic drainage surgery next week, which should reduce the swelling considerably. She said I could start it immediately technically but that it would be too painful and so I should wait. I've watched a bunch of videos and read tutorials of how to do it and I've been doing my best approximation of the techniques in the shower every morning this week, which may or may not be helping.

Psychologically, I don't feel butchered or disfigured any longer. At this point, even regardless of the ultimate outcome, I'm sure I would do the gynecomastia surgery again if I had a do-over option. I'm sure I would not do the add-on liposuction just because of the serious nature of the surgery I was unaware of, the painful and otherwise uncomfortable and long recovery period. However, since I did do it, I must say that despite the discomfort of the sunburn feeling and itching and the freakiness of the swelling, I do feel less uncomfortable moving around in the sense that there is less jiggle and less of a bloated feeling.

I also began a calorie-restricted diet about two and a half months ago because I weighed 182 one day (5'11"), which is the most I have ever weighed. On the morning of my surgery three weeks ago, I weighed 167. They removed two liters of fat, which weighs about four pounds. The day after the surgery, I weighed 178. I increased my caloric intake a bit during the week and a half after surgery for the sake of my body's ability to heal and then more or less resumed the lower-calorie diet. I've been weighing in at 163-164 over the past several days.

I'll be 45 in about a month, and realistically, this may be a mid-life-panic manifestation, I don't know. If it is, my hope is that this is the whole of it and I won't do anything else uncharacteristically rash.

by Anonymousreply 57March 30, 2023 7:13 AM

I had lipo & gynecomastia surgery in 2001, a few days before 9/11 in fact. They also took 4 lbs of fat. They removed my breast glands but didn’t do lipo on my chest or waistline, just the abdomen.

I didn’t experience anything like the pain you’re describing. The day of the surgery I was completely mobile & took the bare minimum of pain meds. I had some bruising & remember feeling a bit of pain when I would go to stand up or sit/lie down but nothing major, maybe a 2 on a 10 scale.

My nipple numbness is permanent but I don’t care, the dr warned me about it & I hate touching my upper chest because I’d hated it for so long. I think I made more of a mo7 rain out of a molehill with my breasts, they looked enormous to me but no one ever said anything, even in-shape guys I’d had sex with.

Oddly, I find mild breast enlargement on muscular guys to be the hottest thing—not full on breasts of course, just slightly larger than normal, yet I detested my own.

I remember my dr telling me not to Jack off for like a week or my scrotum would turn black, so I did it just to see, and sure enough it did! The color came back to normal a few days later, bruising I guess.

I had to massage myself immediately after surgery for like 10 mins a day, to aid with swelling, but it doesn’t sound like you had to. Also, my procedure cost $8k back then, I wonder if it’s any cheaper, now that plastic surgery is so much more common. I’m also in the Bay Area which could be another reason it was so high, for the time.

by Anonymousreply 58March 30, 2023 8:30 AM

R58 Thank you for sharing that! It makes me feel a little less weird to know someone else has done it.

My gynecomastia bothered me A LOT, and I dressed every day in such a way as to try to conceal the swelling. My left breast was very significantly larger than the right, with much more glandular breast tissue.

I think one of the reasons it upset me so much was that it seemed to have happened almost overnight during the pandemic lockdown. I just noticed one day that my breast was SO much bigger, and I had lost about 15 pounds at the time and it really stood out as looking like a boob, and the other one did too but to a lesser extent. I saw my doctor and she was alarmed and worried it could possibly be inflammatory breast cancer because of how quickly it happened and because one was so much larger than the other.

On top of all that, it ached about 50 percent of the time and it flopped around, and just annoyed me physically. So the vanity plus discomfort but I guess emotional trauma of how it 'sprouted' made me so conscious of it that I just desperately wanted a less freaky body.

I do have nipple sensation as of now but it is unfortunately pain and itching.

I had a lot of fat in my breasts, as well as glandular tissue, which surprised the surgeon. I look relatively thin, especially for a middle-aged man, and she said she was surprised how much fat she was able to take both from my breasts and my abdomen.

She has told me all the pain and discomfort and swelling are completely normal, including the total randomness of them. Pretty much everything I have read and videos I have seen from other doctors say the same. I was initially worried that my left side is so swollen and the right is not but a lot of doctors' advisory materials specifically tell patients that the body heals asymmetrically and this will probably happen and they should not freak out. I wish my doctor had told me this before I found out myself.

I didn't jerk off for over a week because I was not supposed to lift or reach at all and I figured the action of jerking could affect my upper body, so I would not risk that. Nevertheless, the night of the surgery, I went to pee and my penis was literally the color of an eggplant and my balls were black-black. I freaked out.

As you said, and as I now have read and seen in videos from many surgeons, the easiest and most comfortable and painless day is the 24 hours after surgery. There are reasons for that: 1) during the surgery, a fluid is injected throughout yoir tissue as part of the lipo process, and the fluid is a solution mixed with lidocaine, which numbs all that tissue for 24 hours or longer; 2) nerves are damaged by the lipo and they only itch and burn days later as they begin to reconnect and repair themselves; 3) inflammation begins 24+ hours after the shock of the surgical procedure, and inflammation causes a lot of the discomfort.

In total, I paid $12,000. The gynecomastia surgery was around $8k, the lipo $3k and the anesthesia $1,200, I think.

That said, the first person I met with told me "we're not the cheapest" for gynecomastia surgery, but the surgeon specializes in breast aesthetics, and my longtime psychiatrist knows both her and the anesthesiologist and vouched for their abilities and bedside manners and reputations among doctors; they work together at the VA hospital, where the surgeon does reconstructive surgeries on injured veterans and active-duty military officers.

by Anonymousreply 59March 30, 2023 11:46 AM

Four weeks post-op now.

The majority of swelling has gone down now. The lower abdomen is still most swollenby far but it's barely noticeable under clothes. The left lower side and left breast also are swollen but not freakishly so.

The itching subsided a week or so ago. The pain is very mininal, mainly nipple stinging/burning but it is not terrible pain at all, just very sensitive,

I am wearing a relatively fitted tee shirt today and the way it fits me is exactly how I would have hoped. I haven't worn a tee shirt comfortably for years because of projectile boobage and I am really satisfied with the way this is looking as of now. It will definitely make me more confident.

I still feel (honestly) (very) traumatized by the liposuction aftermath. It was like waking up partially dismembered in a horror movie. Honestly. But the surgeon promised I would be very happy with the result and at this point, I think I will be. Even so, I can't bring myself to admit I would ever do abdominal liposuction over knowing what I know now because it was psychologically horrifying and physically traumatic. I would do the gynecomastia surgery over, no question.

I am still wearing the compression garments. I think that as of today I am allowed to wear them only 12 hours a day but because the left breast is so swollen, I will probably continue to wear 24/7 up to the six week point.

by Anonymousreply 60April 8, 2023 1:30 AM

You’re gay. Gay men are decadent.

by Anonymousreply 61April 8, 2023 1:35 AM

Alrighty then.

by Anonymousreply 62April 8, 2023 1:37 AM

OP glad all seems well so far, and wishing you a speedy complete recovery. You've clearly been through a harrowing ordeal, but come out the other side with the results you wanted, so that's the positive to hold on to.

R.e. vanity and body issues, I know what you mean. Lately I've been getting really self-conscious about (sorry, tmi for some of you) one of my inner labia that is stretched and sticks out of the outer lips. It looks so fucking weird and a bit unsightly to me, though I'm aware and trying to keep in mind that all pussies are asymmetric and look different, and the 'industry' standard of a tight neat packed-away slit is not reality.

Tbh I probably won't get surgery, because I'm terrified of sepsis or the like as well as anaethesia (I had invasive risky surgery as a newborn, that's plenty for one lifetime), I do not want to feel pain down there for weeks or months (my threshold is low--I once had a fistula and almost threw myself off a building because of the agony), and also I don't sociopolitically agree with females changing their bodies cosmetically over medically. Still, it makes me feel a bit ugly sometimes, and it's one of several impediments I have to getting intimate with anyone. I just feel like a sexual partner might be put off.

by Anonymousreply 63April 8, 2023 1:40 AM

Were you not offered better pain killers post surgery?

And, I think you also needed some Valium to help with your stress and anxiety.

by Anonymousreply 64April 8, 2023 1:59 AM

Another update just in case anyone is curious about how this stuff goes...

Two months out now.

My chest is much flatter and I am much more comfortable and self-confident in clothes now than I was. I feel like I look normal again. And I am relieved not to have the weight of heavy breast tissue hanging from the left side any longer.

However, I have a very hard and significantly sized lump of scar tissue directly under rhe left nipple. It's about the size of a marble and it feels like a marble to the touch. It doesn't hurt except when I massage it, which the Internet says I am supposed to do to try to break up the scar tissue.

I stopped wearing the Spanxlike garment after about six weeks. My abdomen mostly has retracted and the pain and itching stopped weeks ago. However, from a couple inches below the navel up to about three or four inches above it, my stomach is protruding outward about an inch and it's very hard. This is supposedly normal swelling that should go away on its own between 3-6 months, possibly as long as 12 months. There's also some swelling on the left front side of my abdomen/flank, and that area is almost totally numb. The numb area and the front of my abdomen feel like I have a thick, heavy and tight weighted object under the skin. It's very weird.

I've lost over 20 pounds since I decided to do this. I lost the first 10 pounds before the surgery, gained some weight after the surgery and gradually have lost more afterward. I now weigh 160 pounds. My pants are all too large by a couple of inches and shirts all fit me better.

I go back to the surgeon in one month and I am curious what the resolution will be to the internal scar tissue. I have read that usually massage is the first course of treatment, and then they try injecting cortisone or some kind of steroid.

That's the update as of today.

Just in case you've ever considered either surgery...

Gynecomastia surgery is definitely worth it if you are very self-conscious and uncomfortable. It involves liposuction and lipo recovery is painful and really bizarre, but the lipo for this surgery is minimal (unless you have a huge amount of fat, I guess).

Abdominal liposuction recovery is a horror if you don't know what to expect, I have discovered. Proceed with caution. It's an invasive surgery and the recovery is very painful, long and extremely strange.

by Anonymousreply 65May 13, 2023 12:54 PM

OP/R65 tell any future tricks that the nipple scar tissue is an old bullet entry or exit wound that just missed your heart, and elaborate no further. It will make you seem rugged, tough, a bit dangerous and mysterious.

by Anonymousreply 66May 13, 2023 1:25 PM

R27 reads like Cronenberg.

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by Anonymousreply 67May 13, 2023 1:26 PM

R66 LOL, I couldn't pass as tough if I were riddled with bullet holes. I am rugged looking because I am weathered and scarred, though. But gay gay gay.

by Anonymousreply 68May 13, 2023 1:32 PM

[quote] Abdominal liposuction recovery is a horror if you don't know what to expect, I have discovered. Proceed with caution. It's an invasive surgery and the recovery is very painful, long and extremely strange.

Makes me feel less hateful of my little flabby belly :)

And my enormous tits. I'm a woman and not too old/menopausal yet, so there's still no incentive for me to downsize unless I want to up my sports playing. I do worry though that they're going to fuck up my posture and age really badly, as anything above a B/small C usually ends up looking sad and deflated and droopy with natural age.

Surgery (either augmentation or reduction) terrifies me, however, and I agree that it should only ever be a last resort because of the risks and recovery and such. Breast implants particularly are a horror-show of silicone inflammation etc. So idk.

It's been interesting to get the male perspective on breasts and gyno in this thread, it's not something culture talks about much.

by Anonymousreply 69May 13, 2023 1:38 PM

R69 It's weird that so many people get cosmetic surgeries so casually. I wonder what breast-implant surgery recovery is like.

I feel a bit like I was tricked into getting liposuction without being properly informed of what I was in for, but I also acknowledge that I am responsible for my own decision and I definitely should have thoroughly researched it.

I did thoroughly research the gynecomastia surgery and made that decision knowingly. The surgeon's office offered to "throw in" liposuction of the abdomen since they would be doing lipo on my breast tissue already and I would be unconscious already. It was said so casually that I just had the impression it would be no big deal. Oy. So so dumb.

The aftermath was truly a traumatic shock and I thought something went horribly wrong, but the doctor, while sensitive and compassionate, was like, "Liposuction is a very invasive surgery with a very painful and prolonged recovery. You're healing normally and will be thrilled with the results in six months." She was so nice that I didn't say it, but inside I was screaming, WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THIS BEFORE THE SURGERY???

by Anonymousreply 70May 13, 2023 1:56 PM

OP, glad you’re on the upswing. These after-effects sound manageable. That’s an insane reversal by the Dr. Maybe at the time she was thinking, “Some day he’ll thank me.”

by Anonymousreply 71May 13, 2023 3:26 PM

'Scar tissue that I wish you saw; sarcastic Mr. Know-it-All...'

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by Anonymousreply 72May 14, 2023 8:02 PM

I had my second lymphatic drainage massage yesterday and the massage therapist said that I am healing very well. She said the scar tissue under my left nipple should go away, as well as the swollen/thick tissue under my abdomen, over time. She recommended applying "cross fiber" (or something like that) pressure—basically pushing opposite sides of the breast together—to break up the tissue to accelerate it being absorbed.

by Anonymousreply 73May 16, 2023 10:20 AM

Wait, you had liposuction but you are 5' 11" weigh 167? That's not overweight for a male, that's kind of lean actually. You must really be vain after all.

by Anonymousreply 74May 16, 2023 10:58 AM

R74 I was 180ish when I first went in for my consultation. And I only went in for a gynecomastia surgery consultation. They offered to 'throw in' abdominal liposuction for the spare tire.

That was not technically overweight, but it was just a hair under overweight. I thought, "I could probably lose this if I tried," and then I thought, "Eh, why not? If I am already going to be knocked out, may as well." And that was ignorant and cavalier because I didn't look into the seriousness of the surgery.

I told the person in the surgeon's office I would think about it and in the meantime I would try to lose weight. And yes, I was down to 167 by the day I went in for surgery. And the surgeon told me she still sucked out two full liters of fat, and she said she was very surprised by that because I didn't look like I had that much excess fat.

by Anonymousreply 75May 16, 2023 11:05 AM

I worked with a woman who died from that kind of surgery. She went in over the weekend, came back about a week later not looking so well. She dropped dead a few days after that. They fucked something up. Maybe internal bleeding? Not sure. Anyways, the worst part was because it was elective surgery, the cunt in HR broke protocol whispering to me that here family will get NOTHING in terms of company life insurance.

by Anonymousreply 76May 16, 2023 11:11 AM

Uh, you cant ever go back and gain weight OP. Once you have Lipo it's not like normal YoYo dieting. What happens is the fat cells that normally shrink or inflate with your diet are no longer there where they were removed. So if you let yourself return to your old ways and gain weight, it will go to other places where it can still be stored.

You see this on a lot of older woman who have had that done, flat stomach but big flabby arms. In men I have seen huge pumpkin size faces that look like they belong of a 400 pound man.

by Anonymousreply 77May 16, 2023 11:17 AM

R77 Yep, I have since realized this, as well. I am...welp, it may be the dumbest life choice I have ever made. I think it must have been motivated by a midlife crisis associated with my 45th birthday. I have always avoided drugs (except ayahuasca, which I took for therapy/healing when I was very ill), I've never had unprotected sex, etc. I've made conscientious, conservative life choices all my life. And then I did this thing, which was probably incredibly foolish and which I did not put any real thought into. I can'd deny it.

by Anonymousreply 78May 16, 2023 11:38 AM

🤔 I saw your story on an episode of Doc Martin.

Is your husband/partner also the village whore?

by Anonymousreply 79May 16, 2023 11:41 AM

R77 btw, I have already noticed that my thighs are 'thicker' than they used to be, and it's not muscle. I think some fat has redistributed down there.

by Anonymousreply 80May 16, 2023 11:50 AM

OP/R78 you’ve done aya? I’ve been looking into that as an alternative way to help my severe social anxiety/fear of intimacy/codependency issues (therapy hasn’t helped). Tell me more about your experience with it.

by Anonymousreply 81May 16, 2023 12:07 PM

R81 I've written about it quite a bit here over the years. It's...a lot. There are a lot of different facets that can be discussed. What in particular would you like to know?

I always get in trouble here for being too long winded, so I feel like I should say the bare minimum to stave off attacks for not limiting my thoughts to single-sentence paragraphs and monosyllabic words.

by Anonymousreply 82May 16, 2023 12:10 PM

R82 oh please don’t worry about that with me, I like detail (autism yenno🐣) Besides, this is your thread mate, you should be as verbose as you want.

Mainly what I’d like to know is what to expect from drinking it—typical effects, how long they last, best/worst case scenario, any risks of choking/passing out etc.—and what sort of prep one should do in order to increase likelihood of a productive affirming trip. I know as an experience you have to surrender to the medicine and that dark visions may be part of that, but I also don’t need to be further traumatised in my life. So am weighing up the risks and benefits I guess.

by Anonymousreply 83May 16, 2023 12:25 PM

R83 As I said, I had never taken any kind of recreational drug before I took ayahuasca. I spent 18 months researching its effects, and if you are considering doing it, I would *very strongly* suggest that you do the same for your peace of mind.

I read scientific journal article abstracts about its safety, the safety of psychedelics in general, and their effects on mental health.

I watched videos and read accounts of people who had taken ayahuasca and high doses of psilocybin so I would have some idea of what to expect. The most interesting account to me was Jonathan Narby's short anthropology book "The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge." It relates his personal experiences with ayahuasca, some theories that are considered pseudoscientific, and also discusses how ayahuasca is used and regarded in mesoamerican cultures.

I also looked at art and digital simulations of the effects of ayahuasca and DMT. I'd recommend that you do that. People have created reasonable facsimiles of DMT experiences especially that you can find on YouTube, and the art of Pablo Amaringo and Shipibo textiles are regarded as faithful interpretations of ayahuasca visions. The art of Alex Grey is also in part inspired by ayahuasca and other visionary psychedelics.

Finally, I read translated explanations from shamans about their worldviews and their understandings of what ayahuasca is, and its benefits and potential dangers. Those require an open mind because their worldview is entirely different than ours is. They believe that the ayahuasca vine and other plants are wise plant spirits that commune with human beings and impart higher wisdom of the world and self. You can choose to see it as woo-woo ideas of a "primitive" culture or you can choose to consider it a valid spiritual perspective of life.

Next, I'll describe the effects you asked about as I experienced them, but you need to consider that different people have different experiences, sometimes radically so.

by Anonymousreply 84May 16, 2023 12:40 PM

[quote] Mainly what I’d like to know is what to expect from drinking it—typical effects, how long they last, best/worst case scenario, any risks of choking/passing out etc.—and what sort of prep one should do in order to increase likelihood of a productive affirming trip. I know as an experience you have to surrender to the medicine and that dark visions may be part of that, but I also don’t need to be further traumatised in my life. So am weighing up the risks and benefits I guess.

One of the nicknames of ayahuasca (which means "vine of the soul" or "vine of the dead") is "la purga." Inevitably, the first effect of drinking ayahuasca is physical purging: it causes somewhat violent vomiting and/or diarrhea. In my case, it was always diarrhea. It seems that almost everyone else vomits. I never did, although I did retch. As part of the process, during several of my experiences, I also shed a lot of tears and liquid ran from my nose. This purging, believe it or not, can be physically healthful, particularly in places like the Amazon region, where people ingest a lot of parasites through food and water. The purging actually can purge parasites from the body--so as unpleasant as it is, it's healthful. Many people think primarily of the vomiting and are put off by it, but having taken ayahuasca five times, I can tell you that it's very uncomfortable when it happens, but it happens pretty quickly, and then it is over, and it is entirely insignificant compared with the lasting effects of ayahuasca.

"La purga" is both physical and spiritual/psychological/emotional. The profound effect of ayahuasca is the psychological and emotional purging, which people have compared to "10 years of therapy in one night," and which I would attest is true.

People experience different things. Some people experience visitations by dead relatives and friends. I never have, but I have revisited/reviewed/witnessed past events that were traumatic enough to profoundly affect my personality and how worldview, and I experienced them in such a way that felt like I was watching someone else experience them, and I was "standing there" being comforted by some maternal-feeling presence (the ayahuasca spirit) that wanted me to see what happened more objectively, to question my reactions to it, to understand it, and to move past it. I felt loved and supported throughout by some presence, which I interpreted as the spirit of the plant because somehow it just presented itself to me that way.

In my experience, this is almost always the order of events:

1. Drink ayahuasca.

2. 30-60 minutes later, purging. Usually about 45-50 minutes.

3. Slow onset of closed-eyed geometric visuals.

4. Depending on the dose or depending on whatever determines this (it only happened to me once, but it seems to happen to most people every time), open-eyed wild visuals that you just can't be prepared for. You may feel alternately more terrified than you've ever felt, or you may just experience a joyful feeling of wonder. Likely, you'll alternate between the two. A lot of people encounter giant neon serpents that communicate with them telepathically. I never did. I did see geometries turn into beings that felt like they were alive and observing me, and I found that unnerving.

by Anonymousreply 85May 18, 2023 10:19 AM

5. The visions pass. In my experience, I always at this point went into a trancelike state. I don't know how long this lasted but it felt like hours. I would lie there, and my body would move involuntarily, one part at a time. Meaning that my right foot would wiggle and then my lower leg, and then my whole leg, and then my hips would begin lifting and gyrating, and so on. It felt like my body was possessed by some intelligent being that was inspecting me part by part. It wasn't scary at all. It felt to me as if it was inspecting me for maintenance. This happened every single time I took ayahuasca. I still had control to move or not move, but when I relaxed, my body moved automatically. After moving upward and reaching my head, my head bobbed and wiggled side to side and so on, and then I felt like there was something fizzy in my brain. It almost tickled. And then my nose spontaneously would begin to run for a while and then stop. And then tears flowed from my eyes and then stopped. I didn't feel like I was crying. The first time this happened I was baffled, but I came to expect it and it occurred every single time and I always felt like I was being taken care of like a car undergoing maintenance.

by Anonymousreply 86May 18, 2023 10:19 AM

6. Sometimes this part happened and sometimes it did not happen: I would slowly realize that I was no longer moving and now felt like my body was getting heavier and heavier to the point it was challenging to breathe. And then in an instant it felt like my chest literally cracked open and I was launched out of my body to some other place. That place was always blissful feeling. The first time, it felt like I was flying through space alongside other starlike "people" at hyperspeed and it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. Other times, I would lift up toward (yes) a bright light that I could physically feel, and it was warming and welcoming and it made me cry because it was just such a beautiful feeling.

(6a. The last (fifth) time I took ayahuasca, this did not happen. I had wild open-eyed visuals, my body "downloaded" an almost infinite number of colors that I get overwhelmed even remembering--those colors don't exist here and they were so overstimulating I thought I might explode--and then I was launched into a timeless vacuum. There was no color of any kind and no temperature, but the only way I can describe it is as a black, cold void. I was there, nothing else was there, and I was completely alone there. It felt like I was there for months, and at some point, I accepted that I had died. I died, and there was no way to go back. I failed. I was in such despair because I knew my family would find me dead and think I died of a drug overdose. I had been suicidal for much of my life. They knew that, and they would think I killed myself. But I didn't. I wanted to live. As I said, this truly felt like it lasted for months even though there was no way to track time. The despair eventually began to wane and I felt like I was beginning to accept what had happened. But then I became incredibly angry and began to "scream" into this void that I didn't want to die this way, I wanted my life back, I deserved a chance to live my life's story to its completion. It felt futile, but I kept screaming "give me my life back" or something like that. And then in a split second, I felt another presence, and then I saw this terrifyingly dense ball of electromagnetic energy coming toward me and it felt like it was going to obliterate me. I'm not religious at all, but I really felt "the fear of God." I now understand that term. And then I literally fell through reflections of past and future life experiences and suddenly my eyes opened and I was back in my body, fully conscious and sober, and I cried for a LONG time. I wasn't sure if I really was alive or if that thing was tricking me with some kind of hallucination of being alive, and that did make me think in a pretty crazy way for many months afterward. This only happened once, the last time I took ayahuasca.)

6. After 6, I always would then go within myself. This is where you enter into a dialogue with your psyche about your past traumas, how you treat yourself, how you treat others, how objectively or not you interpret interactions with people and life. This is where most of the psychological healing took place. I could go into detail about various of these experiences, but I think these will be entirely different for every person.

7. Then I would lose consciousness/fall asleep and eventually wake up both at peace and shaky, knowing I would need a lot of time to process what had happened.

by Anonymousreply 87May 18, 2023 10:19 AM

We're suffering because of Vanity, too.

by Anonymousreply 88May 18, 2023 10:30 AM

So, R83, in summary response to this part of your post:

[quote] Mainly what I’d like to know is what to expect from drinking it—typical effects, how long they last, best/worst case scenario, any risks of choking/passing out etc.—and what sort of prep one should do in order to increase likelihood of a productive affirming trip. I know as an experience you have to surrender to the medicine and that dark visions may be part of that, but I also don’t need to be further traumatised in my life. So am weighing up the risks and benefits I guess.

To prep, you should follow a pre-ayahuasca diet. That is actually very important because of potential chemical reactions. You CANNOT have any antidepressants in your system, meaning you have to have weaned yourself off of them at least six weeks prior. And then you should have a 'clean,' fresh-foods diet for at least two or three days before, ideally. If you don't, then your experience may be physically uncomfortable. If you combine certain types of antidepressants and ayahuasca, you could go into serotonin shock, and that could potentially be life threatening.

This is one reason why I STRONGLY recommend you learn as much as you can about it before you try it.

Don't worry about the purging. It is uncomfortable, but it comes on quickly and it resolves quickly. And it is an integral part of the healing process.

Regarding your concern about traumatizing visuals: I wouldn't be too concerned about the visuals themselves, although, yes, you may see things that are terrifying, or even impossible to process, and which will leave you bewildered and questioning the nature of reality. That's possible. It may be likely. But I think that unless a person is prone to psychosis, the visuals themselves should not be a major concern because they can ultimately be accepted as psychedelic visions or "hallucinations" if you choose to interpret them that way. That gives your psyche the ability to effectively dismiss their significance to your real life if you need to do that.

by Anonymousreply 89May 18, 2023 10:46 AM

But certain other effects may be more traumatizing in a way than the visions themselves. These are experiences that I can't really describe with words, and which would be entirely unique to you. They would likely relate directly to your past traumas and past insecurities, and that is why they'd potentially strike you at such a deep level. They may also call into question the very nature of reality as you understand it. This is a common outcome for any 'breakthrough' psychedelic experience that involves a phenomenon known as 'ego death.' This happened to me the last time I took ayahuasca and it really was traumatic in a certain kind of way, but it no longer feels traumatic and I now am grateful for the experience.

And that's the most important effect of ayahuasca or any breakthrough psychedelic experience, which both shamans and secular people who are familiar with psychedelics both emphasize: The actual event of experiencing ayahuasca (or iboga or a 'heroic dose' of psilocybin or peyote) will be moving and dazzling and potentially feel overwhelming. And as incredible as the experience is, it's the months and years that follow the experience that are truly important. This is the period referred to as "integration," and this may make more sense after you do it. You may have such a profound experience that it will call into question the nature of many aspects of life as you have always understood life. You may experience things that you're certain are revelations, and you'll want to discuss them with people because you will *know* that they are true, and you'll want to share what you know, and talking about it will help you process it. As time passes, these revelations will not lose significance but they will become part of your normal understanding of everyday life, and you'll "chill out" and be less dazzled. And you'll be more balanced than you were before.

To me, this phenomenon really has felt like being born again. I know that's a terrifying Christian phrase used by insane people. What I mean by it is what I wrote immediately above. I felt in a way like I left this world and all I knew about it, was rebooted in a sense, and then came back to this world and reexperienced aspects of it in the way a newborn/child does. Colors now appear brighter. The phenomenon of gravity was *interesting* after spending what felt like way too long in a place with no material reality. You know how you see babies looking at their own hands with wonder, pushing something off a high chair and laughing at how it falls, and so on? They're so entertained by it because these things are phenomenal when you are new to this world. And there's a major aspect of that. Going away from it and coming back can have the effect of appreciating the smallest things that we became used to and don't pay any attention to anymore.

Last thing I'll say that relates to that: I mentioned earlier the vision of seeing more colors than I can really even conceive of right now, and how overwhelming it was. The places that I went through ayahuasca were effectively unlimited. It was just "everything everywhere" at times, and that was really overwhelming. It was sensory overload. Coming back "down to Earth" made me grateful for how relatively simple everything here is. It actually doesn't seem complex or complicated at all by comparison. The rules are pretty straightforward.

by Anonymousreply 90May 18, 2023 10:46 AM

And human behavior really isn't very complex, either. Having had some access to such immense complexity made me understand that human beings ultimately are innocent, no matter who we are. We're animals just like any animal. Animals do cause harm to one another, almost always to survive in self-defense or to eat, but sometimes also to jostle for position and power. We consider all animals innocent compared to us because we see them as simpler. But we're looking at them from the outside and don't know what drives them to do what we watch them do. Well, we are the same. Looking at humanity from the outside, from above and beyond, we're kind of adorably simple and totally innocent in the same way dogs or guinea pigs can be. And having learned that is heartening. It takes down the stakes of everything in this life and it took away a bit of bitterness I have developed. I still feel all the resentment I ever felt toward all people sometimes and certain people sometimes, but simultaneously, I always can remind myself of the memory of having learned how simple we all are and that gives me a reassured feeling that the harm caused by people usually is done relatively innocently, and it just doesn't really matter all that much in the big picture.

And the final, BIG life lesson I came away with is that life is an adventure story. Period. There is light and dark, and both of those are ingredients necessary to create joy and dramatic stakes. All of us opted into our lives here. We effectively all agreed--because we really wanted the experience--to throw ourselves into a deeply immersive virtual-reality-type game of life, which is to say a story in which we are the main characters. No one in the history of human language has ever been at all engaged in a story in which "bad" events don't happen. No story can be told without the protagonist encountering obstacles and challenges, including unfair ones. That's life. It's not BAD that we have obstacles, challenges, or crises. These are 100% necessary to make the stories of our lives worth living. One day, each of us will take off the headset and within a few seconds, our vision and minds will clear, we'll look around, and realize that this was one hell of a story--it seemed so real. And no matter whose story it is, it will be worth sharing with other people. So in the end, all of this is worth it just because every life is an incredible epic adventure.

The end!

by Anonymousreply 91May 18, 2023 10:46 AM
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