Blanket Content Warning: This blog may include mentions, descriptions, or other media with information involving menstruation, pregnancy, sexuality, breast care, abortion, and anything else generally considered relevant to inhabiting an assigned-female body, but centering a genderqueer trans male experience.

In addition, please make sure you read the disclaimer at the top of the site policies page which has important information about how health information on this site should be used.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

My First Shirtless Event (in the General Public)

So I've been publicly shirtless before... at clothing-optional Pagan events it's normal for me, and I have been out in my yard and my household, but yesterday I had my first time shirtless in public.  I didn't get any smiling photos feeling titillated at the beach with all my friends... instead, I was told to start swimming to get exercise, and got a Y membership.

It was anxiety-inducing... I reverted to some of my older behavior, holding my arms in strange ways over my chest and draping a towel over my shoulders in the locker room.  Since this is such a highly populated establishment it wasn't like at Planet Fitness where I had very little issue changing in the group changing area even without surgery... if you know the Y, you know it's stereotypically populated by hundreds of naked old men all the time, and it turns out that stereotype is pretty accurate.

People stared at me, but I suspect it wasn't the scars, it was just that I am new there.  My scars are actually somewhat hidden as long as I keep my arms down... they tuck into my chest rolls.  I've found generally that because I have a large beard cis people tend not to read me as trans no matter how many clues I give them, so if they do notice the scars, they probably think it's something else.

Once I got out of the locker room?  Then I was fine.  Maybe a little awkward, but I was able to have a conversation with somebody telling me the lap swimming etiquette without feeling like I had eyes on me, and I was able to get my laps in.

Now that I broke that seal, it'll probably just get easier to go there, which is good because I really need that exercise... and I really like swimming.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Three Month Top Surgery Update

A while ago I had my follow up for three months post op (I kind of expected them to schedule a six month but apparently I don't need to go back until my one year).

Healing is going pretty well... well enough that I actually forget that I had surgery.  When I look in the mirror I don't really notice the scars, even though they're quite obvious, or really any of the flaws that I would have expected to bother me forever.

According to the doctor, there is still a lot of swelling, and I can see and feel it.  My activity level is starting to go back to normal and although I wouldn't say there is "pain" most of the time, moving certain ways (especially if I haphazardly lean on my armpit) reminds me that there's still pretty fresh surgical work down there.

Because my brain has turned it into "this is just how it is now" it's a little hard for me to remember to do scar care, so they're probably a bit bigger than they would be if I was diligent about it, but again, as far as my own feelings about it?  So far they aren't a big deal at all.

The surgeon does have some plans for flattening it out more if (the way he talks, "when") I lose weight (he didn't even once bring up my weight before surgery but keeps bringing it up after, as if he's bewildered that getting my breasts removed didn't naturally result in fat loss elsewhere).  I'm also pretty sure he forgets I'm not on hormones every single time we meet because he talks about it as if I'm still going to be experiencing regular changes to my body that reverted years ago.

Although I'm happy with how the surgery turned out, I'm wary of actually recommending this surgeon to anybody without a lot of heavy disclaimers, because so many people in the top surgery forums I've posted in were specifically looking for doctors who weren't going to fat shame them.

I haven't taken my shirt off in public public yet, although I have a YMCA membership now specifically so I can swim so we will see how that all turns out.

Anyway, not a huge update today, but wanted to get what did happen in there.
Happy trails,
-- Setkheni