Quick Post Op Update

I’m a week post op as of today. Oh how time flies when you’re doing nothing, haha. I’ve actually had to force myself to not do too much. It’s kind of hard. This surgery and recovery has been really easy for me. I started taking Harry out for his walks about 24 hours post op with no problems. I’ve gradually been increasing the distances we go on our walks.

I honestly feel like I could go back to work tomorrow if I really wanted, but I don’t. Work has become kind of unbearable lately – not because of the work though. But that’s a story for another time.

Anyway, I think I’ll just stick to taking my three weeks off so I can take care of some stuff I’ve been putting off. Also, next week is the first week of school, so I can use my time off to get off to a good start.

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Oh yeah, the bloating is pretty much gone. Still waiting on the steri-strips to come off, though.

Hysto Complete

I made it home last night at about 7:30 PM. The short version is that it actually wasn’t that bad, not that I was awake to know, haha. I mostly just feel sore. I had a laparoscopic total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries).

I got to the hospital and started checking in at 9:45 AM. I spent most of the morning waiting around to be taken to the back to get prepped for surgery. Once I got back there, things moved pretty quickly. Various people (the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and a couple of nurses) came and talked to me before hand. I got asked several times which procedure I was undergoing.

When I got to the operating room, someone asked if I wanted to listen to music. I told them I wanted Hamilton, of course. I was out pretty much soon after that. I only remember a couple of words from the opening song. (I think this was around noon.)

Next thing I know, at about 4:15 PM, I’m waking up in the recovery room with the urgent feeling of needing to pee. I had a catheter in, so there was nothing in my bladder. Apparently that sensation is somewhat normal when you have a catheter in. In all my research, I didn’t see any mention of it though. There are a few different reasons why someone might feel the urge even if there’s nothing there: the body may not like the fact that there’s a foreign object in the urethra, the balloon that keeps the catheter in place could be putting pressure on the sphincter, or the bladder is just having spasms. The surgeon mentioned that she was planning on looking around in the bladder.

This was my biggest complaint really. It was just really uncomfortable. Every time someone asked if I needed anything or how I was feeling, I’d just say that I really needed to pee, haha.

After about an hour, they wheeled me off to another room to prep me for going home. This is where I finally got the catheter out! But first, they filled my bladder up with 300 mL of saline. Then, the nurse deflated the balloon and removed the catheter. The whole experience was pretty unpleasant. Before they would let me leave, I had to be able to void my bladder of half of the saline they put in my bladder. I think she intentionally made me nervous saying that if I wasn’t able to pee it out, they’d have to send me home with a catheter in for a few days. Fortunately, I successfully voided more than half of the saline. I probably would have done a dance if I hadn’t just had surgery.

On a side note, they also made sure I had three stable blood pressure measurements before sending me home and disconnecting me from all the wires and such.

After that, I was able to get dressed while they called my roommates to inform them that I was ready to go. The thing I was most worried about was making it up the stairs to my house. We live on the third floor, and my room is up an additional set of stairs. It was actually not bad at all getting up the stairs, though.

They sent me home with 600 mg ibuprofen, tylenol, and oxycodone. I only took one ibuprofen last night because I had a headache and was feeling slightly feverish.

All in all, I actually feel pretty good. Yesterday, it felt like some soreness with a crampy feeling (similar to like period cramps with pressure on the anus/rectum), but today it’s mostly just soreness and a bit of bloating. Oh, I should mention that I was expecting to experience a lot of bleeding, but it’s been pretty non-existent. There were a couple of spots yesterday, but that was about it. It goes to show that everyone is different.

I’m very grateful this is something I won’t have to think about anymore.

 

 

 

Looming Surgery

My hysterectomy is happening in less than a week. I’m currently making a list of things I need to do before Monday, January 9. So far, I’ve got that I need to buy pads (ugh) because there will be lots of bleeding, buy groceries, and move anything that’s semi-heavy, just in case. I’ll also probably need to do some meal prep this weekend, so I don’t have to feel like I should cook or feel the temptation of ordering out.

I live on the third floor of the house we live in, so I’m concerned about getting up and down the stairs. My living space is actually on the fourth floor in the loft area, so there’s that too. We’ll see how it goes, but I still plan on taking Harry out at least three times a day. If I’m not feeling up to it though, I’m sure my roommates won’t mind.

I’ve got three weeks scheduled off for work. I technically only have 66 hours of sick leave right now, but I should be able to apply for disability after seven days. Then, I’ll get paid half by disability and half by my sick leave. If it works out how I think it should, I’ll only be out six hours worth of pay for the three weeks I’m taking off.

I feel unprepared, but am not sure what else to do to be prepared.

Surgery Scheduled

A really short follow-up to my post last week: I have been playing phone tag with the surgery coordinator for the last week. I finally just wrote a message through Kaiser’s secure messaging system letting them know what my availability is for the next couple of months. They responded today and let me know they put me down for January 9th!

3.5 Years on T + More Surgery

In my last post (which was about 2 months ago), I mentioned that I had an appointment scheduled for Kaiser’s mental health evaluation and a consult/examination with the gynecologist who primarily deals with transgender patients. Well, the appointments had to be rescheduled because one of them had to cancel, but I finally had my appointments last week.

Everything went really smoothly. I spoke to the mental health person first, and he basically asked questions about my history, coming out, transgender stuff, etc. and about my support network here in San Francisco. Then, I was passed on to the gynecologist who had information from the mental health person and my primary care physician. She knew why I was there already, so we talked about my options for a hysterectomy and the risks of removing my ovaries, as well. She was basically ensuring that I knew that I would not be able to have biological kids if I had my ovaries removed and would have to stay on testosterone until at least 50 years old. All of this I’m completely fine with.

So, basically now, I’m at the stage where I need to talk to her office to schedule my hysto! Her office actually called me twice last week, but of course, I was at work. I’ll have to find time next week to call her office on one of my breaks from work. But, I think my surgery could be as soon as sometime next month! We’ll see how it all works out. I’d love for it to be next month, but I may end up going for the beginning of January, depending on if I can get approved for short-term disability from work or not.

Not much else is going on as far as transition stuff is concerned. I am looking for a new job or internship. I had to do a video interview last week and decided to shave to look more presentable. Here’s a couple of pictures of my face after a week of growth:

New Insurance

I feel like it’s been ages since I did a transition update. I’m finally getting settled into some semblance of a routine here in San Francisco. I just finished my first semester of my computer science education. Work is going. It felt routine after about a week or two. I’m not happy with that fact, but it is what it is. I’m hoping there will be a chance to learn new things in the near future, but only time will tell.

One of the really great things about my job is the benefits (and stability). I don’t pay a penny for my health insurance, though there other ways in which they take my money (10% for retirement, yikes). But, that’s besides the point. The insurance plan itself is fantastic.

A few weeks ago, I got in to see my new physician and got set up with my testosterone prescription and lab work. I got a supply of 100 syringes, 2×100 needles, and a 10 mL vial of 200 mg/mL testosterone for a really low price and no cost for the visit.

I should mention that I was thoroughly impressed with how knowledgeable, considerate, and genuinely caring my new physician was during my exam. It made me really happy and comfortable to know that I didn’t have to explain anything. She knew what I was talking about and knew the steps that needed to be taken to get my prescriptions and whatnot.

I mentioned my desire for a hysto and told my new physician I was still on the fence about bottom surgery (though I’m leaning heavily towards a metoidioplasty if I do. I have no desire to have a huge scar on my forearm or any other donor site). Anyway, she instantly gave me referrals to their mental health services and a gynecologist.

Bleh. I feel like I shouldn’t have to jump through these hoops, but according to Kaiser’s online treatment cost calculate, I’d only have to pay $35 for a hysto and my plan will pay the remaining $25,429.

So, I’ll gladly do their little dance for that kind of savings. Under my old insurance (that I was paying for myself through Covered California), I would have had to pay quite a bit more.

I couldn’t find anything about what my out of pocket cost for a meta, but I imagine it would be along the same lines as a hysto. In fact, I think they work with Dr. Crane’s practice here since Kaiser likely doesn’t have any doctor’s themselves who’d perform the surgery (or surgeries).

I’m set up to go see both of them on the same day in less than two weeks. This is all moving a lot faster than I had imagined. I don’t even have sick days  accrued at work yet or PTO for that matter.

But yeah, my job isn’t exactly what I thought it’d be, but after struggling to find one for so long and with the added benefit of their insurance plan, I’m definitely not complaining (too much). It also gives me a chance to focus my effort on my studies, so I can get a better job at some point in the future.

Solidarity

Today marks two years since I had top surgery, but it seems so wrong to talk about my life when so many lost their lives. There have been so many mass shootings, and while they are very sad, nothing has quite hit me like the one at Pulse. I’m not going to talk much because so much has been said and in a much better way than I could ever express.

This one is the one that has spoken to me the most.

I moved to San Francisco a few weeks ago. About a week after I got here, I noticed that Pride colors were up ALL over the city, including right in front of where I work. Yesterday and today, the flags that are flying at Civic Center are half mast.

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