Month: June 2014

10 Days Post Op

I just wanted to give a quick update on my recovery. All the pictures I’ve taken have different lighting and are from different distances, so it’s hard to make a comparison. I took the last picture myself (the first two were taken by Alex), so they should be more consistent from now on.

There is still quite a bit of swelling on my left side. I think it has gone down some, but I’m not really sure. It is getting slightly easier to move that arm though, so I think that’s a good indication. Also, the bruising seems to be going away. My nipples are looking more pink every day. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. I also think the pictures make the scars look darker than they really are too. Everything seems to be coming along really nicely… I’m just really impatient about how long it seems to take the swelling to go down. Most post top surgery photos I’ve seen across the internet make it seem like they have no swelling at all. I don’t know if they make it seem that way to make it seem like they have perfect results or what.

I’m still having trouble sleeping. I think that will only get better when I can go back to my normal way of sleeping. I’m just glad that I’m not in school or have to study a lot for anything. That’d definitely make it more difficult.

In 10 days, I’ll get to go most of the day without the surgical compression vest. It’s getting pretty smelly. I mean, it was already smelly after 5 days of no showering and wearing it all the time, but I think it gets slightly worse. I’ll be really happy when I can wash it and not have to smell it all day.

10 Days Post Op

10 Days Post Op

7 Days Post Op

7 Days Post Op

6 Days Post Op

6 Days Post Op

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14 Months on T

Yesterday was my 14 months on T. I’m a day late because Alex and I were on our way home, finally. I’m glad to be home. I’d do my normal photo update, but as I’m wearing a compression vest full-time (not to mention, I think there is still some bloating/swelling), it won’t really show much. Next month, I should be able to resume my regular photos. I’ll probably be posting more frequent photos anyway to show my healing progress.

Speaking of healing, my nipples are already looking noticeably different. They are gaining a more flesh colored tone, rather than looking purple. The swelling seems to be the same to me. It’s only been three days that I’ve seen my chest, though. I’m just impatient. When I push on my chest with my fingers, the right side is firm, while the left side is squishy. The only part that is itchy right now is where the holes for the drains were. The compression vest digs uncomfortably into my skin as the day goes on. I’m ready to be healed up and back in action. I’m hoping this time goes by quickly.

I’m feeling pretty exhausted after a week of getting crappy sleep. I’ve been waking up several times a night and not falling back asleep right away. This morning, I woke up around 6. I laid in bed trying to get comfortable enough to fall back asleep, but by 6:30 I got gave up and just got out of bed. Dr. Mosser said I could start sleeping on my side at 3 weeks. That should help some with my sleeping issues. He just wants to make sure the nipples have fully set into their positions. It makes me paranoid about any perceived movement I feel. The compression vest is pretty tight, so I doubt they move at all, but still. The lack of sleep wouldn’t be too bad, but it makes me concerned for my healing. I feel like I would heal faster if I could get some restful sleep consistently, but there’s not much I can do about it.

As far as transition updates, not much is going on beyond more hair. I think my acne is starting to calm down, with the exception of this past week. I think surgery and not being able to clean myself very well caused some minor break outs. I’m sure that will go away once I heal up some more.

Anyway, here’s a face comparison!

10 days on T

10 days on T

 

14 months on T

14 months on T

 

5 Days Post Op

Yesterday was my 5 days post op, and I had my first post op check up. It was nice to have the compression garment off after 5 days of wearing it. My fluid drainage was low enough to have my drains removed. Yay! I was expecting that process of removing the drains to be painful or strange feeling. They were stitched in place, and I felt the doctor cut and remove the drain on my right side. Then, next thing I know, he says it’s time to remove the other side. I didn’t even know he had removed the first one. Then, he removed the nipple bolsters. This took a little bit longer and was a little weird feeling, but painless.

After he removed them, I finally looked down at my chest. I was trying to suppress a huge smile, but Alex noticed and smiled at me. Everything looks really great. There’s a bit more swelling and bruising on my left side compared to my right, but it’s not too bad. It does make it feel a bit more numb, though. Dr. Mosser said that my nipples look really good, and the grafts are healthy. I’m really pleased with how it looks so far.

Finally, Dr. Mosser showed us how to change the dressings on the nipple grafts, which will have to be changed every day for 7 days, and sent us on our way. I was told to wear the compression garment full time for about 2 more weeks, and then part-time (at night) for another 3 weeks.

Alex and I spent some time wandering around in the city. I picked up some more button up shirts since I’ve grown out a few of mine that I bought earlier in my transition, and I won’t be able to wear t-shirts for some time. I’m going to try not to lift my hands above my head for at least another 5 weeks. I want to minimize as much stretching in the scars as possible, at least until I can start working out again.

It was really nice to walk around without the drains in. Since they were stitched to me, it sometimes felt like they were tugging on my skin. It wasn’t painful, but it wasn’t comfortable either.

When we got back to my cousin’s apartment, I took my first shower in almost a week. It was kind of strange. My chest is numb in a lot of places, which makes it feel oddly heavy. It was also concerning because I didn’t want to accidentally jostle my nipples, but I made it out safely without doing any damage.

I was planning on taking some photos, but it was late by the time I got out of the shower. I just wanted to get back in the compression garment because I feel more secure moving around with it on for now. The numbness makes it feel really strange to move around without it on. Hopefully the feeling will return quickly. I’ll also feel better when the nipple grafts have fully taken at around 3 weeks post op. Dr. Mosser keeps emphasizing to take extra precautions with them, and it’s better to be safe.

Hopefully I will get some post op photos tonight or tomorrow to share!

Oh, and I just want to say that I highly recommend Dr. Mosser. He has done everything he can to make this as easy and pain-free as possible. He is super friendly and you can tell that he cares about the outcome. I have not seen any reviews out there for him on the internet, but I know three other guys personally that have gone to him. They are very happy with their results.

3 days post top surgery

After reading and seeing accounts of others’ top surgeries and their recoveries, I was expecting recovery to be a lot harder than what I’ve experienced. I have not really experienced any fatigue, even on the day of surgery. I’ve had no pain, just soreness. I didn’t take any pain medication yesterday, and I probably could have gone without it the first two days, but I did just in case to prevent extra stress on my body. I think eating paleo and working out before surgery has really helped a lot. I haven’t been eating super strict since the surgery, but hoping to get back on track once I get home.

All bodily functions seem to have resumed to normal. I’ve been drinking a ridiculous amount of fluids and some pedialyte for extra electrolytes. The first couple of days, it seems like I wasn’t urinating as much as I was taking in, but it seems to have balanced out now. I was kind of swollen and bloated the first couple of days as well. That’s mostly gone now. Sleeping is getting a little better, but I’m definitely looking forward to when I can at least roll onto my sides.

Alex and I went out to lunch and a movie yesterday. It was nice to get out of the apartment, but it was hot out. I ended up sweating some. Now I have a little rash just below the compression garment, and it itches some along the slides underneath the compression garment. I don’t think it’s because of the stitches, since I don’t think they go that far back. Though, maybe it’s because of the drains. I guess I’ll find out on Monday. I’m not sure where anything is really located, at the moment, except for my nipples. I can’t wait to see what it looks like.

I don’t know how people can sit around watching TV all day. It’s a huge change from being so busy with school just last week to doing almost nothing this week. I’m planning on going back to work in about 9 days, but we’ll see how I feel at that time and what Dr. Mosser recommends.

I feel like I can move around a lot more than I probably should. My only concern is stretching the incisions or having my nipples move around. I’m probably being overly cautious. Hopefully, Dr. Mosser will alleviate some of my concerns.

1 day post top surgery

Everything is going really well so far. I have no pain, just a bit of soreness in my chest area and my back aches a little from having to wear the compression vest full time. My compression garment was irritating me a little bit. Apparently, it got folded in on itself. Alex was able to fix it for me. Yay.

I had a hard time sleeping last night. I tried to fall asleep propped up with pillows, but I gave up on that endeavor. I ended up sliding down into a mostly flat position with my shoulders propped up on the pillow. I was told it would be better to be more upright by the nurse to reduce swelling, but the surgeon said I didn’t have to. I’m also not much of back sleeper, at least when I’m trying to fall asleep. I’m sure it will get better.

I’m feeling a little restless. I think I’m going to try and go out for a walk tomorrow and see how that goes. I did make it down to the pool with my cousin for about 15 minutes today.

My first post op appointment is on Monday, and the surgeon will determine if the drains will be able to come out then.

Here’s to not pushing myself too much in the next few days and weeks.

Top Surgery Complete

My top surgery was this morning at 8:30 AM in San Francisco with Dr. Scott Mosser. For my first surgery, it was a really good experience. I don’t even remember being taken into the operating room.

All the nurses, anesthesiologist, and staff were super nice. It was kind of bizarre. I remember commenting on how I only had 10 minutes until surgery, and then next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room. I only felt slightly dizzy when I was standing up to get my clothes on so we could leave. Other than that, I’ve felt pretty good. The drive home was much better than I expected, and I thought I’d have problems with the stairs outside of my cousin’s apartment, but I ascended them with relative ease.

Since we got back, I’ve just been sitting on the couch watching shows on Hulu, texting on my phone, and reading random stuff on the internet. I thought I’d be more tired since I didn’t sleep enough last night; maybe it will hit me more later.

I just wanted to make a quick update. Surgery went well, and recovery is going well so far. I’m not in much pain, just a bit of soreness really.

I will try to give more updates over the next couple of days, and if anyone has questions, I’d be glad to answer.