FTM

11 Weeks Post Hysto

So, I never did have my post op appointment, unfortunately, and now I’m on the East coast. Nothing happened since the last time I updated. The spotting is entirely gone now! I theoretically would have been cleared to lift at 8 weeks post-op. Fortunately, that timeline worked out well with my move to the DC area. I had to move quite a few heavy boxes of books. I didn’t notice any discomfort or pain.

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13 Boxes of Books!

I start my new job (internship) on Monday. I just arrived to the area on yesterday afternoon. My road trip didn’t work out quite as I had planned, but luckily I left enough time for exactly that reason. My mom was supposed to drive with me, but something came up on her end, so I ended up making the drive by myself (with Harry, of course). It meant that I drove fewer hours per day.

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My copilot sleeping on the job

Anyway, my new job is covering health insurance for me, so I may try to find a doctor that will do a post op examination, but I’m not really sure it’s necessary. I’m not a medical expert though, so I don’t really know.

I am going to check out two gyms this week, on Thursday and Friday, so we’ll see how lifting goes. I’ll have to ease back into it since I’ve been out of the gym for 3 months now.

In other news, I finally get to live with my husband, after spending about a year and a half apart. I’m not really sure about living in this area of the country, but only time will tell on that front. I’m going to be a Federal employee, and the news that came out of the Trump Administration regarding anti-discrimination for sexual orientation and gender identity has me really wary. I’m pretty visibly trans on my social media profiles, so I’ll have to really scrutinize any future co-workers who try to add me on Facebook and Instagram (since they’re connected). I don’t want to be stealth, but I also don’t want to be discriminated against.

I’m still hopeful though! Even though I lived in San Francisco which is pretty liberal, I didn’t like my job. I felt like I was wasting all my hard earned education and experience, so I’m glad to have this opportunity. At the same time, I’m nervous that I may not perform well. I’m fairly new to computer science and programming. I’ve done programming over the years, but for a class here or there, or small projects in labs that I’ve worked in. I’ve never done it as my sole job or within a team of other programmers, so it’ll definitely be an experience. I’m just going to work hard and do the best I can.

Speaking of, I need to get back to doing my homework. Another unfortunate thing about driving across the country by myself is that I didn’t get to work on my school work as I had planned, so now I’m a bit behind, but I have a few days to get caught up and hopefully get ahead.

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My face after the end of my road trip (finally)

3 Weeks Post Hysto

(Trigger warning: blood mention)

I’m three weeks post-op today! I was supposed to have a post-op appointment on Friday, but something came up and my surgeon had to cancel. I think I’ll be scheduling an appointment for two weeks from now.

I did, however, have an appointment with my primary care physician. I got my T levels checked out. It turns out that my T levels doubled from the last time I had them checked in August. So, it seems like the hysterectomy was certainly effective. My levels haven’t varied that wildly during my nearly 4 years on testosterone. I reduced my dose by approximately half (it’s hard to gauge exactly because the syringes aren’t graduated that finely – the particular syringes I have are only graduate 100 microliter/.1 milliliter intervals) starting this week, so we’ll see how that turns out in a few months, I suppose.

Back to surgery recovery, everything has been pretty great on that end. I will note that I was slightly freaked out due to the amount of bleeding that occurred. Up until now, I’ve only had very minimal spotting. However, last night, I did my normal nightly routine of taking Harry out for a 15 minute walk, then taking a shower. When I got out of the shower, I dried off and noticed some blood on my towel after wiping off. It was bright red too, so I knew it was fresh. At this point, it only started getting heavier. I spent like the next hour reading forums on my phone while I laid in my bed. I got up several times to see what the quantity of blood was. Fortunately, it died down within an hour, but I was kind of panicking about whether I’d have to go in to the ER and/or have emergency surgery to close up some sutures that opened up.

I’m back to “normal” now. It gradually reduced down throughout the day to what it had been previously. The best guess from what I read is that the internal stitching is beginning to dissolve, and that’s what caused the bleeding. I’ll definitely bring it up during my post-op appointment. If anything else comes up before then, I’ll likely write an email to the surgeon as well.

Given everything though, I’m still really grateful that I’m in a position to do this, and my recovery has been really easy compared to others I’ve heard/read about.

School started back up last week, and I returned to work today. I guess that means it’s time to get back into the swing of things while lifting less than 15 lbs for the next 5 weeks.

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.

 

 

 

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.