FTM transition

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.

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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.

3 days until top surgery!

I am just 3 days away from top surgery. Last Thursday, I got blood tests to check for clotting factors. Tomorrow is my pre-op appointment, and Wednesday morning will be when it finally happens.

I was wearing my binder all day today, and it has gotten so tight from mass gains that the hooks on the side stab me every time I take a deep breath. I’m so ready to be done with it. I’m ready to not have to worry about how my chest looks while I’m working out.

It will be nice to not even have to think about it. It will be one less thing I have to worry about.

Speaking of freeing my mind, my time in school has finally come to an end. I have spent nearly a decade in school (seven years to be exact). And except for last summer, I’ve taken summer classes every summer. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to come home and not have to worry about homework assignments, reading, and preparing for exams. What will it be like to do activities that I enjoy without having this nagging feeling that I should be working on school work?

In addition to that, the last year has been awkward for me in the school setting. I only came out to people I felt it was absolutely necessary. Then, I just attempted to avoid any old professors or classmates that weren’t informed of my transition. Needless to say, it made me slightly paranoid anytime I was on campus or in an area where someone might know the “old” me. I’m glad that I won’t be in that environment anymore. It was definitely wearing me down mentally.

I’m ready to begin my recovery and spend my time looking for jobs and enjoying some much needed free time.

Acne and Epsom Salt

Back in February, my gym put on this Whole30 challenge. which I mentioned some in this blog. Part of the challenge was to get in 20 minutes of relaxation with no technology. For the most part, I would read a book. However, at this time, I also really began to focus on my recovery and working on my muscle tightness/mobility issues. I looked into soaking in a hot bath with epsom salts. I’m not sure the epsom salts actually help with muscle relaxation, but I’m sure the hot baths do. That’s a topic for a fitness/science blog. One benefit I wasn’t expecting though was that my acne began to improve!

The acne on my face had gotten somewhat better when I changed the way I was eating, but the acne that had developed on my shoulders/upper back lingered. Once I started using the epsom salt baths though, I noticed that it seemed to be going away. Since then, I’ve been using the epsom salts more for the fact that it helps with my acne. My skin isn’t as clear as it used to be, but it’s definitely better than it has been since it started breaking out from the testosterone use. Hopefully, as time goes on and my body reaches some sort of equilibrium, my skin will go back to pre-T status with regards to acne.

I should note that I wash my face 1-2 times a day depending on if I worked out.

I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has used epsom salts for acne after testosterone.

Catching Up With Past Lives

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I spent the weekend at my mom’s house this weekend because one of her old friend’s that I haven’t seen in about 5 years or so was visiting. I thought it would be nice to see her and her daughter.

It was actually really nice, but one of the downsides was that because she hasn’t seen me in such a long time, there was a lot of my birth name and female pronouns coming out. I think it made my mom even worse than she already is. My mom’s friend’s daughter would correct them though, so it was nice that there was at least one person on top of things. Even I corrected them a couple of time, and I never do that.

I do think it’s especially hard for others to change the way they think about someone who has transitioned particularly when they are talking or remembering things that happened in the past. I’m not sure there’s anything that can really be done about this. They may see you how you are now, but when they think about you in the past, it’s like you’re a different person to them.

Changing Perception

A few weekends ago, my friend invited me out to an event at the lesbian bar. It’s been a while since I went out to a mostly gay and lesbian space. Last time, I was feeling extremely dysphoric due to the fact that I was misgendered the whole time.

This time was completely different. I actually felt pretty invisible. The lesbians pretty much ignored me, not so much of a smile or even a nod. It was pretty much the same with the gay men, too. It was very strange to feel like an outsider in a community that I used to feel so comfortable in, especially while I was in the military.

I have mixed feelings about this. One one hand, it’s nice to know that I’ve progressed so much in my transition that I’m pretty much seen as a guy now, but on the other hand, I feel like I’m not a member of that community anymore. I don’t get that silent acknowledgement from lesbians anymore when I’m out and about. I’m not sure if that’s even a thing among gay men.

I don’t really feel like I fit in with straight men, either. Ever since I joined the CrossFit gym, I actually feel more comfortable with the women in the gym. Whereas before transitioning, I used to feel more comfortable hanging out with the guys. I’m not sure if it’s just a numbers game. In the military and in most of my classes in school, there have been more men than women, so I had more friends that were men. But in the gym, it seems as if there are more women than men at the times that I am there. So maybe that’s why I am more comfortable around them?

It’s interesting the path that life leads us. Maybe as I continue further into my transition, this will be a non issue. I think sometimes (or a lot of the time) I’m still really self-conscious about how I am perceived by others. I still have this picture of myself in my head of me pre-transition. When I look in the mirror, I’m reminded of how I really look. But, I don’t see myself all the time, so the old image of myself is still there most of the day. I think my own perception of myself is taking longer to change than anyone else’s perception of me. It’s something I never thought about before as an aspect of transition. I haven’t seen any others talk about this either in blogs or vlogs.