20 February 2019
Well, maybe not the saddle but definitely the stirrups!
10 days after surgery, Valentines Day to be exact, I had my surgery post-op examination. I was met once again by Dr. Gast, Dr. Block and Physician’s Assistant Clare, who has been involved in this surgery from my initial visit back in April of 2018 to the present.
I was and still am quite swollen, but I learned that that it completely normal at this stage. Some things I learned at this appointment are that the sutures should start to dissolve at 2-3 three weeks but can take up to a month. I was also cleared to start sitting up for short periods. I had driven myself to this appointment by sitting on a doughnut pillow, the type used for hemorrhoids or tailbone injuries. I had also split the hour and a half drive up into two segments.
Since starting my transition I’ve had many firsts or rites-of-passage, not just into womanhood but more so into femininity. It took a while for me to use a public women’s restroom, but that was a milestone.
Another very meaningful experience was being a bridesmaid in my BFF’s wedding, not just walking down the aisle holding a bouquet of flowers, but also being with her and the other bridesmaid’s as she had her makeup done and donned her gown.
This post-op visit also gave me another first of womanhood, stirrups! I know this may send shivers down the spines of many of my cis-gender female readers with the thought of cold medical implements and non-compassionate doctors. But this was very different in that these woman who were examining me, helped create the very essence of my new femininity. They were kind, compassionate, extremely intelligent, and most of all nurturing. I have had more than my fair share of good doctors in my life, but having these women who weeks prior used very intricate medical techniques surgically to transform part of my body that had caused emotional trauma into something that now brings me comfort and serenity, and then at this post-op visit to treat me with such warmth and care gave me such a lucid rebirth into my body. There’s no amount of gratitude I can ever show to equal what I feel for and about these people.
I don’t know if every transgender woman experiences what I have felt when and if they have bottom surgery. I feel like I’ve been born and also given birth. I feel renewed into my aging body. Every step I take to becoming the “real” me gives me more life. It makes me want to “be.”
Fast-Forward to today…
Today is Day 17. It has been two-weeks since the compression bandages came off. Swelling continues to very slowly go down. I’m still very tender in spots, but I am able to finally sit upright for longer periods. I am still not allowed lift more than 10 pounds so I’m relying on my spouse for quite a bit.
I think I’ve put on a few extra pounds as I am doing nothing but eating, laying around, and sleeping. I’m sure I’ll be able to walk this off and am returning to work in 5 days. I still, however, won’t be able to lift much for another month.
The idea of lying around for 3 weeks (6 if you’re having full bottom surgery) sounds good at the outset, but when you have restrictions it can be torturous. I’m actually looking forward to getting back to the office and into some routine. I am so grateful for all the support I have received from family, and friends old and new.
I will continue to update on my journey as things progress and heal. I had hopes of starting to video blog while I was recovering, but that will have to wait until I am able to get back into my regular routine.
So for now, stay tuned. Sit back. And um, ma’am, feet in the stirrups, please!
A NOTE: This blog chronicles my experiences and my journey. I am not an expert or medical professional. I am learning as I grow and my experiences may differ from other transgender people. Everything is correct to my best understanding.