Woman’s chest agony

Woman tells of phys­i­cal and men­tal an­guish that led her to de­velop an eat­ing dis­or­der

Evening Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY AFTAB ALI

A WOMAN with a 32GG chest claims she de­vel­oped bu­limia af­ter be­ing re­fused a breast re­duc­tion and told in­stead to lose weight.

The 27-year-old says she suf­fers with chronic back pain.

A WOMAN liv­ing in agony be­cause of her size 32GG boobs claims she has been re­peat­edly de­nied a breast re­duc­tion by the NHS.

Jenna Todd suf­fers in ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain and says she has been the “tar­get of ev­ery lad joke” be­cause of her big chest.

The nurs­ery prac­ti­tioner says she has spent the last 12 years beg­ging medics for re­duc­tion surgery.

But af­ter hav­ing more than 100 doc­tors ap­point­ments in the last 10 years about her breasts she has been re­jected for the life-chang­ing surgery twice.

The 27-year-old says doc­tors have con­tin­ued to tell her her chest will get smaller if she keeps los­ing weight – de­spite be­ing only 5ft 6in tall and weigh­ing a slim 9st 9lbs.

And af­ter docs said she had body dys­mor­phia and sug­gested her back prob­lem was “all in her head”, Jenna says she went on to de­velop an eat­ing dis­or­der.

Jenna, who lives in Glas­gow with boyfriend James Har­vey, 27, said while some girls dream of hav­ing big boobs, it’s not the same as hav­ing “nat­u­rally l arge breasts”. She said: “The back pain I ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery day is ex­cru­ci­at­ing but I have been left to feel like this is how I should feel. I have been the tar­get of ev­ery lad joke from the age of 13 – leav­ing me em­bar­rassed and in­se­cure.

“I just want to have a day where I have no pain and don’t change my out­fit over and over again be­cause I can’t hide my chest with­out mak­ing my­self look larger mak­ing me feel even worse.”

Jenna says she was bul­lied at school and was even given the nick­name “T-O-Dou­bleD” by cruel class­mates.

Be­tween the ages of 17 and 18, Jenna went on a diet and dropped down to just 8st 5lbs – but her chest stayed the same size.

She added: “I lost over two stone and never dropped a cup size – it was like I couldn’t do any­thing right. Af­ter that, I went back to my GP to try again and told him my back pain had got much worse.

“But I just kept be­ing given strong painkillers, like codeine, co-co­damol, and naproxen and told to try physio and go to the gym to help my back. I started go­ing to the gym a lot.

“My dad was a body­builder so he helped me try and do ex­er­cises to strengthen my back, and I used to get sports mas­sages too.”

When she was 18, Jenna was fi­nally re­ferred to Glas­gow Royal In­fir­mary to see a plas­tic sur­geon but says she was told to talk to a psy­chi­a­trist first.

She said: “I ex­plained I had tried to lose weight as the doc­tor said, how I felt about my chest, and the pain I was in. Af­ter half an hour she had de­cided I had body dys­mor­phia.

“I knew I didn’t – I felt happy with the rest of my body, it wasn’t in pain. I just wanted to have my breasts

I have been the tar­get of ev­ery lad joke from the age of 13 – leav­ing me em­bar­rassed and in­se­cure

re­duced to help with the pain in my back.

“So I was de­nied the surgery be­cause they claimed I had body dys­mor­phia, yet they didn’t of­fer me any help or coun­selling for it.”

Dur­ing this time Jenna de­vel­oped bu­limia – an eat­ing dis­or­der char­ac­terised by binge eat­ing fol­lowed by a purg­ing of the food.

Jenna said: “I was try­ing to bring up ev­ery­thing I ate, and once my mum and dad caught on to it I started tak­ing lax­a­tives – around two a day.

“I be­lieve I got an eat­ing dis­or­der be­cause no-one would help me. I suf­fered on and off my bu­limia un­til I was 25 and I never got any help from any­one other than my mum and dad. At my low­est, I was about 8st.”

At 21, Jenna was re­ferred back to Glas­gow Royal In­fir­mary and got to see plas­tic sur­geons this time.

She says they took pic­tures of her with­out her bra on to see the size dif­fer­ence in her body and no­ticed her right breast was sig­nif­i­cantly big­ger than her left.

But de­spite not­ing this Jenna claims they re­fused her for surgery say­ing her body is in “per­fect pro­por­tion”.

She said: “An­other cou­ple of years went by and I was still go­ing to the GP about my back pain but they just kept say­ing it was all in my head and I had an ob­ses­sion.

“I’ve had about 100 doc­tors ap­point­ments about my chest in the last 10 years.”

And Jenna, who strug­gles to find bras to fit her, says it’s her dream to be able to walk into a “nor­mal shop like Pri­mark” and buy a bra.

She said: “I have been left with dents in my shoul­ders from bras that don’t fit and it’s a night­mare to find any that do.

“When I find a bra that fits me I wear it to death, so I end up spend­ing be­tween £50 and £70 each month on bras.”

NHS guide­lines on breast re­duc­tion surgery say that it can only be car­ried out in cases of mas­sive dis­pro­por­tion, in­tractable in­ter­trigo and asym­me­try be­tween the two.

A spokes­woman for NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde said: “The NHS does not un­der­take pro­ce­dures which are re­quested for cos­metic rea­sons.

“This does not in­clude back pain as breast re­duc­tion is not a use­ful pri­mary treat­ment for breast, back, neck or shoul­der pain.

“This pa­tient was re­viewed by the vet­ting panel and un­for­tu­nately did not meet these cri­te­ria for surgery.”

Jenna Todd with her boyfriend James Har­vey

Jenna, 27, has suf­fered crip­pling back pain for years be­cause of her breast size

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