I found out about The Binding Health Project. For some reason, it won’t let me take the survey, but I wanted to talk about my experiences binding anyways. I already posted this on my tumblr, but I’m posting it again here.
It says it’s not accepting additional responses at this time.
I was never evaluated for specific problems, well nothing came back showing problems, so I don’t know for certain. It’s possible that in the future I’ll end up having problems brought on by the binding. I bound from late 2007/early 2008 until getting surgery in spring of 2010, many people bind for far longer before they’re able to get surgery.
I tried the ace bandage method but was never able to get it tight enough. It instead just led to a lumpy looking chest and I needed a sports bra to hold it in place.
I don’t remember what company I got it from now, but I got a proper binder not long after that. Because the binder was too long, if I tried wearing it in a single-layer, it rolled up my hips and seriously hurt them. I was also large and soft, so needed more binding than just the single layer. I doubled it up, pulling it up over my chest. The bottom edge (which was on the top, due to folding it over itself) rolled, creating a very tight line of pressure around the top of my chest and back. I tried safety pins and all sorts to fix it to no avail. I considered cutting it, but they were expensive and I couldn’t afford to throw one away and didn’t know how to re-finish the edge.
This roll hit a nerve and would send shooting pains down my arm. This didn’t start until over a year of binding, worsening as it went. As I write this, I can still feel a twinge of pain in my back where the binder hit. To this day, occasionally a muscle/nerve in my back will twinge and cause incredible pain- even taking in a breath is excruciating, I can’t move. I don’t know for sure if this is due to binding, but given the location I suspect that it is.
When I started working out, the growth in my chest muscles caused my binder to become too small- leading to inhibited breathing and chest pain.The only binder company I knew of at the time took at least a week to get to you, and not everyone could afford new binders. I don’t actually remember what I did, because I’m almost certain I didn’t buy a new binder.
I needed to wear an undershirt beneath it, as the material aggravated my skin. I lived in North Carolina, wearing 3 layers (one of which is a doubled-up binder) in the height of summer was miserable.
I started getting pain in my breasts. I don’t know what it was, the mammogram and ultrasound didn’t show any problems.
I have no idea what would have happened if I hadn’t been able to get surgery when I did. Nothing good.