I'm in constant pain and desperate for a breast reduction... By Sheridan Larkman, 23

Crossing my arms over my chest, I tried not to let the boys see me cry.

But as soon as I got home from school, I burst into tears.
‘Why do I have to be different?’ I sobbed to my mum, Sharmain.
My breasts had started to develop when I was eight. Now 10, they were an enormous DD-cup.
While the other girls in my class wore pretty crop tops under their uniforms, I needed adult bras.
‘Give us a look,’ the boys would tease. It was mortifying.
‘Everyone hits puberty differently,’ Mum soothed. ‘You’re just early. They won’t get much bigger.’
But they did. In high school my boobs ballooned to an F-cup… and then a G.
Self-conscious, I’d wear a T-shirt over my swimming costume and have to restrain them so I could play football and dance.
That should stop them moving, I’d think, pulling on two bras and a crop top.
It didn’t stop them hurting though. The straps dug into my shoulders and my back ached from carrying around all the extra weight.
When I turned 16 and my breasts reached an H-cup, I couldn’t take it anymore.
‘Is my body normal?’ I asked my doctor.
‘Yes, it’s all part of being a woman,’ he said. ‘They’ll settle down.’
But just six months later, they were a double-H.
Red raw rashes appeared underneath each breast when the weather was hot.
People often gawked at me in the street and men shouted rude comments.
Clothes shopping was a nightmare. If I bought a size-10 to fit my waist, my boobs would spill out over the top.
‘It looks like I’m trying to flaunt them,’ I told Mum. ‘I don’t want people getting the wrong idea about me.’
In an attempt to look more conservative, I got size-18 tops, which hung down like a dress.
Now I look like a sack of potatoes, I thought. I couldn’t win.
When I met my boyfriend, Beau, he made me feel beautiful no matter what.
‘I hate that you’re in so much pain,’ he’d say, rubbing my back.
With his encouragement, I made another appointment with my GP.
‘There must be something you can do?’ I asked.
The doctor explained I could go on a waiting list to meet with a specialist to talk about having my breasts reduced for medical reasons.
Medicare would even cover some of the costs of the surgery.
Relieved, I agreed.
But in the meantime my breasts continued to swell. I had to order special J-cup bras from the UK. At $120 (70GBP) each, plus postage, they weren’t cheap.
‘And they’re so ugly,’ I moaned to Beau.
I would’ve loved to treat myself to lacy lingerie, but I needed scaffolding to hold my enormous boobs in place.
Then, at 18, I fell pregnant.
How big are they going to get now? I panicked.
Sure enough, as my bump grew, so did my breasts.
By the time our daughter, Alaska, was born, I knew
I needed a double-J bra.
But with only Beau’s wage to support us, I couldn’t afford one.
One day, I was picking something up off the floor when there was a pop. A wire had burst out of my bra from the weight of my boobs!
I tried to sew it up but it just split again. The wire dug into my flesh, and wearing the wrong size meant I wasn’t properly supported.
‘I hate living like this,’ I groaned.
After our second daughter, Kaliese, came along, Beau and I started planning our wedding.
I knew the exact dress I wanted – something strapless that made me feel like a princess. My mum and mother-in-law, Jenny, came shopping with me.
‘This is the one,’ I said, admiring my reflection in a beautiful satin gown.
There was just one thing I couldn’t ignore.
‘It’s so booby,’ I sighed. ‘What if they fall out when I hug people? And I’ll never be able to pick up the kids.’
‘We could take some material off the bottom and make a strap for a bit of support,’ Jenny suggested.
It was perfect, and on the day I felt so comfortable.
Afterwards, I went back to the doctor but there was no update on my case.
Now a K-cup, I was still on the waiting list.
If I stand up straight, the pressure on my lower back and neck is agony, so I constantly lean forward.
‘I look like a hunchback,’ I say to Beau.
Feeling desperate, I looked into getting a reduction done privately, but it could cost around $14,000 (8,500GBP)– money we just don’t have.
Going abroad would be cheaper, but I won’t put myself at risk.
More than anything, I want to be able to run around with my girls, Alaska, now four, and Kaliese, three.
Instead, I’m in constant pain. No-one should have
to live like that. 

Sheridan wanted to share her story with women across the world when we spoke to her from her home in Australia, to sell her story to media outlets here in the UK. If you've got a health issue you'd like to raise awareness of, contact Sell My Story to find out how it works.


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