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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Two Week Top Surgery Update

It's about two and a half weeks since I got top surgery, which according to a chart I stole from another trans man off the internet means I'm in the "critical and nit-picky" stage.  I wouldn't actually call myself critical or nit-picky, but the original rush of "holy shit this is finished" is gone now, and with the end of the painkillers there's a lot of discomfort to attend to.

First, the good stuff:  Because I went for a year thinking I did not have top dysphoria, I had come up with a hypothesis as to why it seemed to go away and come back.  I discovered that my main source of top dysphoria was due to the way clothes fit... I wasn't distressed by seeing my breasts when they were bare, but seeing the way clothes warped over my chest did cause distress.  Anyway, looking at the mirror now when I am wearing clothes, seeing that everything fits better, noticing that the print on my shirts is actually visible, it makes me smile every time I see it.

Anyway, yeah... the discomfort.

I wound up modifying a post-op binder so that it fits better... I'd measured my chest before buying it, but these things aren't made for fat people, so I wound up having to cut it off below the chest and then modify it so I could choose between four tightness levels.  Now I can wear that throughout the day, but it's still too tight to wear at night without waking up in a panic, so I wear a right sports bra instead.  All of week two this went fine, but starting at the beginning of week three, sleeping is extremely uncomfortable; I have been sleeping on my side since getting the drains removed with the help of a big pile of blankets to hold onto, but throughout the night I'll feel random pains that cause me to want to switch position.

I'm very tired all the time.  I had this lofty goal to blog a lot at a different blog, and have not even gotten one post done because there's just too much thinking involved in that particular subject!  The transition-related stuff isn't difficult to write about because it's all stuff I'm feeling right now, but anything needing more brain-power and I just stare at the screen and want to go to bed.  I did have an "incident" yesterday where my roommate's dog decided to run away; without thinking I sprinted for a short distance to get him, and subsequently felt like I was going to die.  So he's going to be on a leash now, and I've been just chilling.

I also have been having a lot of nipple pains and grossness.  They scabbed around the edges, and those scabs are now gradually falling off (I'm relieved that my dermatillomania has been easy to control through this experience and I haven't been clawing those scabs).  The right nipple is still bunched up, although the left is now unfolded and looks relatively normal.  Both of them are the same color they were before surgery, outside of some lighter areas where scabs used to be.

There are still waterproof dressings over the incision lines; once that gets taken off I'm sure I'll get a better idea of how my chest is going to sit.  As it is now, it feels like they're kind of providing support and pushing things up.  Some areas are pulling up and I can see kind of where there are some "puckers" where the skin came together; they are small and probably will go away as I heal over the next year; if they don't, it'd be a very easy revision, if I even feel like I need it.

At the outer edges there is some solid... stuff.  I'm not sure what it is, whether it's some kind of swelling or buildup or what.  They are not painful and are shrinking, so we'll see at my next appointment in a week and a half what the doctor thinks.

So that's it for now.  Happy trails,
-- Jackson

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

One Week Post-Op Results

What could be beneath these bandages?
It is after the jump!
So I was going to write about things as they happened, but then I went and lost my computer cable so you get an after-the-fact update instead of a during-the-fact update.  Anyway, I had my top surgery on November 26th.  This is that story.

I had a pre-op appointment two weeks before the 26th in which I locked in a nipple-sparing surgery (also known as pedicle-sparing, pedicle graft, etc.).  I was warned there would be more tissue left over because of the breast tissue on the pedicle, to which I responded that I'm fat and so some extra tissue will just look proportional.  I was also warned there would be a vertical scar; basically, I was supposed to get what trans men usually call a "T-anchor" or "inverted T" procedure.  When I was still trying to go to a top ten doctor, this is the procedure I wanted, so I said "let's rock and roll" and we locked it in.

The week of Thanksgiving my roommate got sick and I had a little freak-out because I had been told I would need to postpone surgery if I got sick.  So I wound up cutting off my deer hunting early (I went three days instead of the six I expected) and basically hid in my room the whole week, desperately trying to avoid every sneeze I could.  This mostly worked and that Monday I was at St. Liz's getting prepped for surgery, with my girlfriend (who would be caring for me that week) and later my roommates (well, they showed up while I was under).

Everybody at the hospital was super nice, and the nurses were enthusiastic about having a trans patient because to paraphrase one of them they are so used to having to work with people who are there for some horrible reason and it's nice to work with somebody who wants to be there.

There's a jump here because there is a picture of my before breasts; click on it to read the rest of the story.