It’s now 15 weeks since I had top surgery. Almost 4 months. No regrets about it at all. This is just a small blog chatting about what I thought of it, my tips and general stuff really.
It’s hard to picture in your head pre-top surgery how you will look afterwards, how it will feel, etc. I used to look down at what I had and just try shift it and pretend it was not there, or squish it down thinking “maybe this is how it would be?”, “would I like this?” “will I miss these?”. And you can never know 100%, cause let’s face it, nothing is 100%. Which is also why it’s silly when people want you to say “yes this is what I will want permanently for the rest of my life”. Who an earth knows that about anything? It’s more a long term feeling that this is who you are.
Building up to it the procedure grows in significance and seriousness. You really have to be head strong and know what I mentioned above. But the process is managable, and to any transmen or non-binary people thinking about it, I would say don’t be put off by it seeming too scary or big to handle. Take your time thinking what type of top surgery you want and ask yourself the difficult questions direct “can I cope with scars across my chest?” “can I cope with a drawstring look?” (both of course will fade to an extent), “is it impossible for me to think about loosing nipple sensation?”, or simply “is this the right time in my life to do this? Should I wait?”.
I found the pre-op process on the NHS really good, pretty speedy, and staff were aware of and sensitive to trans stuff. Compared to waiting to go on testosterone this was a breeze.
Get swept up in the process and let yourself go to the flow. I found being busy with doing stuff, signing things, dressing in stuff and answering questions helped to stop anxiety building too much. I have not heard of anyone who has gone the NHS route and not had a private room with ensuite. Found it quite surreal how many people are all concentrating on YOU before/during surgery. It’s strange, even if you know your just another person on the conveyor belt! I had that last moment i’m sure loads of transguys/NB people have just before, looking and feeling moobs one last time and trying to let your body know whats going to happen. Although of course your body is all chill and thinking, “eh? nothing is happening now, i’m fine, loosing body part?? haha, right”. Decision has been made, now all the hard work is down to the surgeon (that amazing being).
Healing is a long process, and as it goes on and the excitment wears off, you can become bored and fustrated with it. It feels like a never ending repeat of “just a little bit longer until I can…”. Results can looks raw and lines everywhere and stitches and it’s not what you want to see. And at 4 weeks its not, and at 8 weeks its not, and at 12… and you might have to face the fact you need revisions, or to live with your new chest not quite how you envisaged it.
But eventually you should see improvements (most likely the older you are the slower this is) and things start looking up. And then you have to build a new relationship with your chest (the stage I am at now). It feels natual and great, yet still hard to remember that its flat now.
- I have to remind myself I can stand up straight now without risking moobs showing.
- All my T-shirts and tops are high neck, so its going to take a while to slowly buy in some new gear that is not gripping my neck.
- Swimming will take a while to get comfortable with.
- I still feel scared to brush hard against my nipples, just generally or washing etc. because I feel like they might rip off – again, time.
I have learnt to let go and not worry about the pace of healing. It just is what it is, i’m content with that.
Handed in my assignment! So having a few days respite before tackling next module and dissertation. At my parents place for a few days, nice to get away from the tension of my house share. Had one of my wisdom teeth out yesterday, was damn quick. Literally booked an emergency appointment (it hurt) at the dentist, went in, and came out 20 mins later minus a tooth. Just had to put up with the dentist cranking at my tooth like he was trying to change a flat tyre. No transition news this week. See you in April 🙂
Comparison Pic: Day 28 vs day 434 (week 4 vs week 62)