December 3, 2007


Posted in surgery, transgender at 2:19 am by Michael

It seems so strange to think that a week ago at this time we were just arriving here at Cocoon house after our super wacky airline adventure. Now, here I am, and all the surgery is done, and I’m feeling nearly human again.

The results of the surgery on my chest are great, and I’m not having any pain at all. I have no problems lifting up my arms or with mobility at all. Less than a week post-op on that, its pretty fantastic.

Clearly, still a ways to go on the face. 

3 Plus Days Postop

But, I felt like there was tons of progress today. I put in my contacts (but I don’t dare take them out yet – maybe tomorrow night, I created some extra bruising on the way in the first time). As I wrote about earlier, I got the best hairwash ever… and was even able to take a shower on my own (but no getting my face wet yet). Anh I’ve learned besides being the love of my life, is a rockstar at making milkshakes. (Oh, sorry, time for an aside. Being born in Boston, but growing up mostly in RI, there’s a whole complex terminology about milk+flavor+ice cream that varies regionally, and can take up entire family gatherings with debate. So, I can’t simply use the word “milkshake” and let it pass without futher ado. Since blogging is all about “ado”, here we go. In RI, a “milkshake” is milk + flavoring. In fact, the state drink of RI is a “Coffee Milk”, made with milk and Autocrat coffee syrup. Yes, it true you can get a “Chocolate Milk” which would be milk + chocolate syrup. Other variations include strawberry milk, but that’s an aberration. All of these things would be rightfully called “milkshakes”. Now, if you happened to want some ice cream in with that, you need to specify how much. A “Cabinet” has some (drinkable with a straw before it melts), but a “Frappe” has more (initially not straw-able). However, cross the line into Massachusetts, and milkshake now has ice cream, and the distinction between cabinet and milkshake is lost on me. So, from a RI point-of-view, what Anh made for me was a Cabinet (not to thick, drinkable initially). End of aside. 🙂 )

Anyway, the breakthrough today was how normal I felt. Even with the crazy face dressings still on, I felt normal – I felt like me.

I look forward to the day soon, and I hope really soon that all this trans-stuff is just over, and we live our lives as a family (and a great one!), and we do all the stuff we did before and life is just great (because it was before!). I saw that day coming today. I felt it, and I saw it in Anh too, and that was the best feeling ever. I guess that was the whole point, huh? Being true to myself, and living my life as I felt inside…

Today was a good day.

December 2, 2007

Lazy Sunday

Posted in surgery, transgender at 11:29 am by Michael

Surgery was all day Thursday, so this makes today the 3rd day post-op. Wow, what a difference 48 hours makes.

Lots of firsts today – I put in my contacts – super fun as I couldn’t get my classes on and with about 20/200 vision, there’s not a ton that I can see without some sort of assistance.

Anyway, this wasn’t quite so simple as just poppin’ em right in… oh, no, not that simple. The right eye was pretty straight forward, but my left eye was still a little two swollen. With some cajoling, and an icecube, after about 15 minutes of trying, I was able to get it in. I can see!

Samwich is feeling better this morning – not pukey, but still not 100%.

Anh made me a vanilla milkshake for lunch, and it was just damn yummy. That’s the only way I can describe it!

Here’s what was looking like then:

Surgery Post 3 Days

Tricia came down to give me a hairwashing, then help with the shower. This was quite a sight. She has what can be best described as fish-monger pants. She ends up standing behind you while washing your hair, in order to not get water onto the nose dressings.

When we finished that , I got to take a shower, which was fabulous, and I’m just relaxing watching TV (Anh went out with Tan and the Samwich to get some lunch….)

I’ll post some post-hairwashing pictures soon.

After all this “stuff” that I’ve gone through now, the question may be – how are you feeling, did you do the right thing… and the answer there is really unequivocally yes. I just feel like me… which is fantastic.

December 1, 2007

Out of the Hospital!

Posted in surgery, transgender at 2:32 pm by Michael

I just got back to the Cocoon house just a couple of hours ago… wow, it feels so much better to be out of the hospital. While the hospital is nice and all, just the feeling of *hominess* and the greater degree of control is just much more comforting.

Yesterday Anh went to Seattle to get Peri and John, and then flew back down last night (they got back at about 8). My mom and sister stayed with me yesterday. I was a bit of a wreck. Basically, every three hours, pain meds, sleep for two, one hour of suckiness – repeat.

Our friends Alex, Kat, and Fen came down last night too, and are hanging out with Peri and John today. Part of what we wanted to achieve was that even though that this is a “A BIG CHANGE” – lots is the same. Our friends are still around, I’m still the same person, Anh’s still the same person, etc. Just hearing about others who in going through this lost everyone – friends, family, children, work – I feel incredibly fortunate.

Fen brought me down a gift (he’s almost 9) – a Star Wars X Wing “Transformer”. Even in my super hazy state, I completely loved it. What a thoughtful gift – I’ll keep it right next to my “Lunch Lady” action figure.

It was great to see Anh last night when she got back…as you might be able to tell, I love her a lot. But she soon had to leave to head back to Cocoon house.

Here’s the picture of me last night, about 24 hour postop. There was very little change from this picture from anytime before – all wrapped up its somewhat hard to figure out whats going on.

Postop 24

Samwich unfortunately had a bout of vomiting, and is having a hard time keeping stuff down. He’s almost better now, but we are trying hard to limit his intake.

Last night at the hospital was pretty much a repeat of the day, although I decided to try to limit the pain meds after 3am. To get through this, there’s some degree of sucking it up required.

One of the problems I was having yesterday is that my left eye was swollen shut. There wasn’t a particular reason for it (no particular complication), but it wasn’t great. However, by putting dry, cold compresses on it, the eye opened up again pretty quickly.

This morning was the big unveling – Dr. O came it about 9am to remove all of the head bandages, and quite a few of the chin bandages. Here’s the result:

The big remaining bandage to remove is the nose packing – once that comes out, I’ll be able to breathe through my nose again. That all comes out Tuesday. I can’t wait. This whole breathing through your mouth thing, it sucks.

Postop 36

So, just before noon today Anh and her Aunt Tan and of course Samwich brought me home to cocoon house – it was so great to see everyone. Tan had gotten me a lovely purse – thanks Tan! Anh gave me the new ring that we’d been looking for… I love it.

So… we are getting there. I’m feeling better, more alert, and a little better every day. It funny, the easiest way for me to tell if I’m out of it is how my typing is. As it gets worse, I fee worse, etc. Also, if the blog gets a little slow, factual and less interesting, that’s not as good. My typing is getting better, the blog content, well, I don’t think I’m there yet.

Even though this has been more painful than I thought, I feel great. It’s been an amazing transition.

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