Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Girls Need Help!

by Leann

I suppose getting older has many pitfalls to come. This one started about eight years ago. I began to have a pain in my back--right side, middle. I soon learned it was actually my gall bladder. I thought after I had that little beast removed, the pain would leave. But it didn't. It's more generalized now. So what's the reason? It's my bra.

If I take it off, problem solved. But showing up outside the privacy of my home without the proper foundation is almost as uncomfortable as no bra. Not that I go out that much, but still. You get the picture.

These days, there are all sorts of online tools to measure properly. I even had myself measured at a department store. Okay, I am between band sizes and between cup sizes. That does make things a little difficult. But I have probably 25 bras and NONE OF THEM are comfortable. Some of it is probably caused by the changes created by gravity. (Thank you aging body. I never counted on THIS being a problem.)

I've tried various solutions. Bra extenders, wearing a tight T-shirt under my clothes, bralettes, camisoles. I do have quite the collection. And still my back hurts. I did read an article about ladies of a certain age and how they need a more "structured" bra.

Doesn't that sound comfortable? I think not. In my search for a solution, I did find something very interesting. According to www.brafree.org I learned this: "We believe there are no known health benefits from wearing bras - but there are disturbing parallels between wearing bras and the incidence of fibrocystic disease and breast cancer."


So, tell me readers--do any of you have this problem? Is there a bra out there for "us?" Or, do you think it's time to give up? I just want to be comfortable and perhaps bra-free isn't so bad after all. Next problem? Shoes ... and then there's the hair products, shampoos and soaps that make me break out in hives. Sigh. Getting old is all it's cracked up to be. Changes you never anticipated keep popping up.

37 comments:

Allison said...

If you find a solution, please let me know. I can't go without a bra, but I also cannot find a comfortable one.

Joan Varner said...

I wear a small cup size but I need a "larger" band size than the bras with the small cups usually come in. I can go without one as long as I wear a camisole with a "shelf" in the winter time because I'm wearing sweaters or sweatshirts. But in the summer it's not possible because of the thinner fabrics. If you find a solution, let me know.

Lynda Turpin said...

I gave up bras with underwires a few years ago. I still shed the bras the minute I get into the house, but at least when I go out it is a bit more comfortable than the ones with the wires that cut into me. When the bras are too tight I get indigestion like I did before I had my ball bladder removed. But, going without one in public is not a comfortable solution. I did read that it is healthier to not wear a bra, but it is ingrained. The other day I was at a KMart and saw these little rubber circles that adhere to the breast so you can go braless and it won't be noticeable. I almost bought them to try.

Leann Sweeney said...

Sounds like it is a problem for lots of us! I'll bet I don't get any comments that say, "I love my bra!" LOL.

Leann Sweeney said...

Exactly. The thinner fabrics are needed now that the weather in the South is warming up. And the problem remains. I'd love to write a blog about solving this problem!!!

Leann Sweeney said...

Lynda, I think I've tried everything but those rubber circles. Because my skin breaks out in hives if I just THINK about doing something like that, I won't be going that route. Society has doomed us to torture, I think!

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

I, too, have had my gall bladder out. Wonder why we even had that thing. I have often said that when God put me together, he mixed up my height with my breast size. Being large breasted is a BIG problem. No way can I go out without a bra! If I live long enough I will be stepping on them. I have worn all kinds and have to wear underwire. I have some Wacoal ones that I like but I think all bras are uncomforable. If you find a solution please let us know.

Zena Weldon said...

I couldn't stand to wear a bra after my breast cancer surgery and radiation treatments and used one of those snug tubes under my shirts. It was tolerable, and there was no bounce or see through. I ignored any social consciousness because I wanted to get out and live. That was 16 years ago. Bras are still uncomfortable and only worn outside the house. In the winter I can manage braless if I know I'm going to keep my coat on inside. I tried sports bras under a shirt. However that look was odder than braless. Most women I know would like to find a solution to this problem. Ah.................home and braless..............

Thank you, Leann, for bringing up a topic dear to many of our hearts and most often left unspoken.

Anonymous said...

As soon as I get home, I shed shoes and the bra...freedom! I gave up underwires, too, but gravity/age means "the girls" aren't perky. I can live with that! The elastic, in bras, irritates me, after only a few hours. I have to be careful with deodorant and toiletries, too. When you find solutions, PLEASE let us know, Leann!

Leann Sweeney said...

I was hoping SOMEONE knew a solution. I have one Wacoal that I can turn to if I need to be out all day, but it STILL hurts my back. Thing is, I gave away an entire large plastic garbage bag of bras that were impossible to wear and I still have a drawer full. It's hopeless, isn't it? :-(

Kate Collins said...

Leann and ladies,
For the most comfy walking shoes ever, try Skechers Performance Go Walk 3. They come in all kinds of pretty colors, are so light you don't know you have shoes on, have support, and a cushiony sole that's like a pillow. I can't believe how comfortable they are.

For a bra, look up the Bali Women's Comfort Revolution Shaping Wire-Free bra. I bought some in bright colors to wear under my yoga tops but love them so much I wear them a lot.

And for shampoo, I bought a little round "cake" made of natural oils, nothing chemical, and a matching conditioner cake at the Naples Soap Company, out of Naples, FL. Check out their amazing products at www.naplessoap.com. I can't believe how much better my hair looks and feels.
Hope that helps.

Leann Sweeney said...

SO glad you are okay 16 years after breast cancer! Yes, home and braless. It's good.

Leann Sweeney said...

I have no answer! I have to use the crystal deodorants, soap without any nut butter in it, and Lycra is the worst thing ever invented. Some male "guru" said you cannot be allergic to it because it's inert. I BEG to differ. It's a hydrocarbon. It's not "inert." And it gives me major hives. If you find a solution let me know Pat!!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Kate. I have an awesome pair of shoes made by Naturalizer that are similar to Sketchers. I don't know I'm wearing shoes and they breathe. I tried on the Comfort Revolution bra on Friday at Kohl's. Didn't work for me at all. I left the changing room thinking, "Why are you putting yourself through this again!" Maybe those things will work for others, though. Seems we all have "issues!" LOL.

Harbinger said...

I'm afraid I have no answers for you but do sympathise. Because of chronic back pain, gall bladder attacks, and fibromyalgia, I worked backwards from very structured, underwire bras to a stretchy pullover type.

Earlier this year I had shingles. Since then, even the stretchy pullover is painfull and I have been functioning without a bra but with enough layers of clothes to hide behind. Now that the weather is turning warmer, I don't know what I'm going to do.

If you find an answer, I'd love to hear it, too.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

So sorry you are having to deal with these issues, my friend. I found the discussion very interesting and the products to try as well. Hope you find some solutions. Bras (or lack of them), shoes and shampoos are important considerations.

My daughter Victoria has some skin issues and she finds natural coconut products really help her. We both love Reiker shoes and I love my Fitflops.

XO

MJ

XO

MJ

Shirley Layne said...

I have never been able to find a comfortable bra. I am small chested and nothing fits right, But then in 2012 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had the tumor removed by lumpectomy. Although just a small portion of one breast is missing bras are not comfortable and even more so now than ever. So I just wear the cami's under my clothes, winter and summer. In the summer I do have to make sure the top is not cut too low. I do fine with this set up. I also could care less what people think. I am decent and that's all that matters.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried a fitting at post mastectomy bra stores? They might have the solution.

Now if I could find shoes that would allow me pain free walking, we'd both be winners!

Kathleen Bylsma h5apby@yahoo.com

Rachelle21 said...

I am unable to wear bras that fasten in the back. I have found sports bras without fasteners to be comfortable. I also wear camisole tops, some have some support. I did need to wear a front closer after having a lump removed (not cancerous). But I love my camis especially some that are fancier.

Liz Straw said...

I have the added attraction of being allergic to latex. Most elastic contains latex, so bras have to have no elastic.
No bra at home and sports bras when I go out. They change sports bras frequently. So when you find one that you like, by several. Who needs padding in a sports bra?

Anonymous said...

How about having one or two custom and hand-made for you? Years ago on one of the talk shows, a very lovely lady who had her own store in New York came on and fit the hostess for a bra. It was spendy, but if you have 25 bras you can't wear, the price might be better. The post mastectomy store might have seamstresses who can make bras, and, if Frederick's of Hollywood is still around, it might have referrals for your neck of the woods. Cordella

Mama Cat said...

Wearing these jewels has never been a big need for me until weight gain from wonderful husband's cooking and meds. I love bralettes, especially in summer if they cover the essentials, but have tried various sports bras to help my back, which is another story, A couple that I am trying now are from DreamProducts - the magnetic posture one (on sale when I bought it) is comfortable so far; need a little time to see if I feel better with it consistently. Also picked up their perfect posture zip front, but haven't tried it yet. Sorry that you are having pain from yet one more thing! And hope you find the perfect solution.

Leann Sweeney said...

So sorry! I have all of those things too! But the gall bladder is no more. Same here with the warm weather. Another season of getting creative and not being miserable! I will continue to seek an answer but I know it won't involve buying anymore bras. I have tried them all. Sigh.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks MJ! I love Reiker shoes, too. And Keen are also very comfortable! Coconut and I do not agree. I've had that allergy a LONG time. I am always giving things another try--like chocolate. So maybe coconut will be my next try.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thank goodness you survived that cancer scare. And you're right. At some point who cares what other people think!! Go you, Shirley! That makes me feel better.

Leann Sweeney said...

No, never tried that Kathleen! Rieker and Keen are my two favorite comfort shoes. I cannot wear any shoe that even has a hint of a heel or my back AND my feet hurt. We all have the same problems!!

Leann Sweeney said...

Those are the easiest thing--the camis. And some of them are very pretty!

Leann Sweeney said...

I'm the same with latex or elastic or Lycra which just compounds the problem of the bra making me hurt. Liz, I think my bra days are over!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Cordella. Good ideas!!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Mama Cat. It's just one more thing in a whole complicated mess. I went outside this morning to feed the fish, the turtles and the birds, I had a great time. I am now left with very itchy insect bites on my hands and ankles--all the places where my skin wasn't covered. But I enjoyed every minute! :-)

Terry Parrish said...

As for the bras, I wear Playtex 18 Hour #4159. That number is important to get the right style. No underwires with a pad built in on the shoulder. Most comfortable bra I have ever worn. Most of the time I forget I have one on. Comes in lots of colors, too. And as for shoes, well, I wear Birkenstocks all summer. OMG, once you get them broken in you do not want to take them off.

Lynn in Texas said...

Am taking notes from all these wonderful tips. I go braless and barefoot/sock feet/comfy slippers around the house all the time. Lately had problems with my left leg and foot (injured a few times & swells) so I'll definitely look into the shoe recommendations, but I have to actually try them on and walk in them to see how they feel. (Tho' have bought a few pairs from Zappos, Land's End, etc. Also had to return some, for discomfort!) I have some sports bras and camis, too, tho' not always flattering to the figure, depending on what outfit I'm wearing. Always something, huh?!

Kathy Colgan said...

The best bra is the Barely There Microfiber Bra, now marketed as Bali. amazon has the best selection. Kohl's carries a limited selection. Don't buy too small a size and don't dry in dryer. I wear a medium/large and wear XL. Hope this helps

Leann Sweeney said...

My sister is a Birkenstock girl, Terry! She has so many different pairs, it's unbelievable. My feet are different than hers and my go-to brands are Keen and Rieker Anti-stress. I'll have to check out this Playtex 4159! Thanks!

Leann Sweeney said...

It's true, Lynn. What a literal PAIN, huh? I went to the chiro this morning and had to wear a bra because there's a waiting room full of people but I could just feel it making the back pain ten times worse. This one goes in the trash!! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Kathy! If I was sure what size I really wear, I'd go for it. You'd think by this time, I'd know. That's what I get for being between sizes. The best fit has been Wacoal but even it doesn't really work. I am doomed! :-)

Kathy Colgan said...

These bras are cheap. Buy a couple of sizes and return the ones that don't work.