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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Boobies and Caffeine
an unusual PSA

My nipples have been sore. They started off merely tender and a bit chafed, so I applied Vaseline liberally. The greasy stuff offered some relief, but soon it wasn't enough to apply it only before bed. Before long the girls were so itchy and pained that I began applying morning and night.

The morning applications had an unfortunate side effect: leakage. Yes, the grease would run on through my bra and, if my shirt were a nice, breathable fabric, such as cotton, right on through the shirt, leaving me with stylish grease marks over my nipples. I was mortified upon seeing myself in this state in the bathroom mirror at work. For a second, I wondered how I could be lactating. Then I realized that I was "lactating" petrolatum. I scurried back across the building, arms folded awkwardly over chest, to my desk and blessed sweater. During my lunch break, I ran out to TJ Maxx for a few new shirts--it was too warm to wear my sweater all day--then changed when I returned to work. (Turns out I look very good in cocoa brown, by the way.)

Thursday night the pain morphed into a burning, searing torment, radiating outward from the nipples through the breast tissue; I woke throughout the night, pained by the weight of a light sheet across my chest. As soon as morning broke, I called my gynecologist.

She had room to see me at noon. She examined the girls and pronounced them fine, and then (somewhat to my surprise) forbade me ever to have caffeine again. It made sense that caffeine is the culprit: normally I'm an herbal tea devotee, but with all the stress and busy-ness lately I've been imbibing the hard stuff, black tea, and the extra-hard stuff: coffee. It turns out my boobies are very sensitive to that bitter stimulant compound, but I never knew, because I've never had enough of it to affect them.

My gyn also gently suggested that with all the stress I'm under, I really don't need a stimulant. She has a point.

Then it was off to CVS for some super-emollient, non-leaky lotion for my poor breasts. Scanning the shelves and contemplating the choices, my eyes fell on tub decorated with cow print. It was udder cream, formulated to soothe chafed cow teats. I thought, hell, if it's good enough for bovine udders, why not mine? Ladies, this stuff is wonderful. I can't say enough good things about it.

Then I went shopping for a bra with a cotton cup. Why aren't more bras made with cotton cups? Nylon chafes the sensitive nipple. I found one, and so far, I like it.

3 Comments:

Blogger Eric said...

Hee hee. You said "boobies."

10:47 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Very good information on all fronts. I'd like to add that a change in birth control forms--specifically, from the pill to an IUD--can result in nipple soreness as well (though I suspect it's related to changes in one's PMS symptoms brought on by the new chemical combinations). And also pregnancy.

4:47 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Eric: yes, boobies!

Ann: Good points. Personally, I'm wary of IUDs; they may be linked with uterine cancer. AND they look like Medieval torture devices.

Pregnancy will usually bring a darkening of the aerola along with tenderness.

Nipple soreness can also be a sign of breast cancer. My gyn didn't seem too concerned about this: no lumps, no discharge. Still, I'm visiting a breast specialist (a "breastalist", perhaps) on Thursday to be certain.

7:28 PM  

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