Surgery day 7


Trigger warning: meta and phallo complications, top surgery, dysphoria, pain, suicidal ideation

Home means sleeping uninterrupted. It also means all antibiotics are going into my stomach. It’s impacting my appetite and general feeling of nausea. I have to push through it seven more days. It would be awful to get an infection so late in the game.

I know it’s going to take weeks before the nerves start waking up so right now there’s no pain in – ok I didn’t think I’d be naming it but for the sake of eased communication lets do something conventional like “Buddy”. I’ve read quite a few other guys experiences and I am just now beginning to appreciate what they were saying about trying to become more aware of – and bond with their new buddy. Right now it’s just a chore – something I have to think about often. I can only see it. Is it propped up to reduce swelling? What if I turn over and lay on it and cut off blood flow? Is it turning blue or cold? The list of patrol questions go on and on.

I fight hard to not have all the negative stuff folks have written and said about phalloplasty run through my head now as my insensate phase – as I call it – is so vulnerable for me. And I have it easy because my surgeon could do everything in one phase. He did incredible work. I see a phallus with a glans. Some guys have multiple surgical phases to just get to the point I am now. They are amazingly resilient.

I mistakenly watched the Buck Angel documentary on Netflix the night before surgery. Please don’t get me wrong. He’s done great work for the FTM community and we each are entitled to form our own opinions and do what’s best for our unique mental and physical experience of dysphoria. But I have made a different choice and perhaps have a bit more faith in medicine. I need to remember that now and not get hung up on second guessing myself – especially as any complications come my way.

Perhaps some of my vulnerability is rooted in the fact that I “backed into” phallo – I had hoped meta with scrotoplasty and urethral lengthening would’ve been enough. I’ll never know. A failed fistula repair and retraction led me to this decision. If I hadn’t had those complications could I have been ok with meta? I’ll never know.

All I knew was I was still not comfortable in the locker room and stuck in line in bathrooms where urinals outnumber stalls. I still felt disconnected when I looked in the mirror. Yes I had balls and the v was gone. But I was still extremely dysphoric.

As large bits of dysphoria have resolved with each phase of my transition, for me the stuff that is left becomes sharper and I find I have less capacity to deal with it. I can barely remember what it was like before hysto and top surgery. All I know is I could never ever go back and live that way again. Why did I linger in such a disconnected fog for over 40 years of my life? How did I manage to stick around – and why do I still think of checking out as an emergency exit strategy when I hit unexpected turbulence?

Enough self reflection for today. I am going to go back to sleep and try to make these next few weeks of recovery pass by as quickly as possible. Yes I know I should try to stay present in the moment but sleep is a healthy escape for now.

11 thoughts on “Surgery day 7

  1. Hey Buddy,

    I’m so sorry to read you’re going through some rough times right now. Still have my number? Please call me, anytime, for any reason. I’d love to hear your voice.

    My email: mylifewithouttits [at] gmail [dot] com

    I’m sending good thoughts your way–

    -Eli

  2. Thank you for writing honestly about your experience and allowing me to bear witness to it.
    Take it easy in your recovery. I’ve had several surgeries (hysto, knees, and top surgery coming up) and and I know that I get severe depression from the anesthesia (and the lying around helpless part). It takes a long time for the drugs to work their way out of your system. Take care.

    • Thanks Jamie – I could so relate to your last post as well. Dressing for work was always a huge trigger for me too! Now it’s just an incredibly boring khakis and oxfords deal. 😄

  3. Totally understand all that you are feeling right now. We’ll outside of meta I didn’t back into mine I planned it this way for money’s sake. But as complications come along its all this worrying that goes with it. I should not have been talking to guys who literally lost a penis or in the process of such. That freaked me out and stress added to it. Hut having Crane so accessible stopped a huge complication from occurring for me and I am appreciative of that and will be writing about what’s going on as I go back in for a smaller procedure tomorrow to correct some of the issue. But that cut off of blood flow is very real and I didn’t per say do it on purpose but I am a fast clotter and for once in my life it worked against me. Have to take the tip of my urethra and redoing as it became necrotic. So word to the wise keep him Hugh, keep him warm, and watch for color and smell changes. That’s the one that that saved my ass adopting Cranes “smell it all” techniques lol. Hang in there man were healing together and we will get through this together. And definitely take a moment and marvel over tour buddy it took me about two weeks until I just stopped and had a moment. Looked down and grabbed Thor and for the first time I felt pressure and I cried for the first time in months hell probably years. That moment of connection will uplift you. And you will be surprised how fast sensation returns. I can already feel pressure in 3/4 of my shaft and it’s only 34 days out! Give it time and the biggest of all give it patience. We’re in awesome hands man… Feet to the floor and chin up… You came way too far to turn back now my all turbulent nature has a clear after it. We’re in the hurricane now moving towards the eye it’ll be calm and smooth sailing soon! Call me if you need to talk

  4. Nothing much that I can say to help here but I just wanted you to know I appreciated your honesty about the surgery and your feelings. I’m pulling for you and sending you healing thoughts.

  5. I’m only just starting out on this journey and haven’t had any surgeries yet, so I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now. All I can do is send healing thoughts. Stay strong man!

  6. I’m pre-any surgeries, so I won’t even pretend to know what you’re going through. All I do know is that any surgery, and the recovery process, is often scary. Trust that you are doing everything right, and imagine how elated you’ll be when you look at yourself in the mirror and see yourself healed and whole. Love and light to you!

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