Weight Off My Chest

CW: Surgery, Dysphoria, Post-Surgery Pictures

It’s done. All of the stress paid off and the surgery came and went.

I had top surgery on Monday the 24th and it has been four days since then.

Yknow, I thought that it would never come, honestly, and it still doesn’t feel real despite all that’s happened. I’ve never had any kind of surgery before, so this is some strange shit for me, doesn’t help that I’ve been dissociating through all of this.

So, because I’ve never had surgery, I had no idea what anything was going to be like. We had to wait a long time in the waiting room and then an ungodly long time waiting for everyone to be ready. Arriving at 10:30 and having the appointment set for 1:30 was great for my nerves. I will say, seeing my preferred name, Asher, on everything was very pleasant and relieving for me. I don’t have any regrets getting my name changed first, it’s given a lot of confidence with my name. After I filled out miles of paperwork, they had me change out of my clothes and into a gown (I could keep my underwear on! This was the subject of a lot of debate between my mom and I) and get into a rolley bed. The IV was also very scary because I haven’t had one of those either! The nurse had a good sense of humor, though, which eased me a bit.

My surgeon, Dr. Turkeltaub (yes that is his name), is quite a character. He’s got the driest sense of humor I can imagine in a person and the thickest caterpillar mustache to match it. I figure all surgeons have weird or quirky personalities, but he was the most interesting and also did trans-specific top surgeries before. My mom had never met him and trying to point him out to her wasn’t hard because of his distinct gait and very specific choice of facial hair. After waiting something like two hours for the anesthesiologist, the nurse, and Turkeltaub, all while sitting in my undies with an IV in my arm, they finally come to me in a whirlwind of ‘Okay Here’s What We’re Gonna Do’s. The surgeon marked up my chest with a purple marker with eyes like a hawk and I’ve never tried to stand more still in my life as he was mentally carving my chest up like a Thanksgiving turkey.

My mom was whisked away and I was suddenly rolled out of my little niche room and into this freezing chamber of operating rooms. I felt a little nauseous, when I was pushed into a too-bright and too-cold sterile room. The nurse put on a hair cap over my head, saying something like, “now you can join the party!” reassuring me that everyone here had a sense of humor. Wiggling onto the operating table was the last thing I can remember, the anesthesiologist injecting me with a cocktail of something so warm and comforting it had me out in seconds.

The next thing I remember was being dragged back into a reality of pain and suffering by the surrounding nurses, calling my name out over and over again. I couldn’t open my eyes, everything hurt so much, and the feeling of being wheeled somewhere was making me dizzy as fuck. The thing that pulled me into consciousness the most was the pain, because tears rolled down my cheeks. The nurse crammed Percocet down my throat and it only started helping later into the night. I must’ve looked a mess by the way my mom was staring down at me. I foggily remember getting myself into some clothes and being dumped into the car, not seeing anyone else in the surgery center, like we were the last ones there. I felt like I was barely hanging onto my own skin the ride home and my dad later told me I was a pale yellow color when I managed to finally lay down at home.

After the nap and the Percocet finally kicked in, I felt much more human, and managed to get this picture of myself:

18156916_10206923823694472_4241537018717484972_nFor the next three days I was so out of it because of the damn medicine and I continue to be, but I’m healing. On Wednesday I got the ace bandage off my chest and saw the results for the first time.

(Yes I know I’m fat, I’m going to work on that later, lmao. No hate please, it’s hard posting it as it is)

So yeah. That’s my chest. My tattoo looks fantastic still, which I’m very impressed by. That appointment, I was up and around for way too long because I got dizzy from the pain and I had to go to this cancer support store next door to get a bra to keep those little yellow cauliflower things on my nipples. It took thirty minutes for this woman to find the right size for me and no one made it clear to her that I was trans because she kept referring to us as “ladies” and called my obviously-a-man’s-shirt a BLOUSE. The nurse with me kept giving me sympathetic looks as she understood my position, but I don’t blame either of them, I am a weird case!

It is now Friday evening and I get my drains out on Tuesday, so if I can just make it to then, I’ll be okay. It’s really uncomfortable and the pain flairs up if I’m not careful, but it’s definitely worth it. My chest looks … really right. Like how it should look. Shirts fit so much better on me, too, it’s incredible. I’m so thankful for this happening, but I keep having nightmares about the surgeon doing some reverse repo on my chest, giving them back to me or something. But that’s not going to happen, it’s all over and I can’t believe it. I’ll post more pictures when I get the cauliflower and tape off, but this is really incredible.

Thank you everyone who’s supported me on this journey so far, I can’t tell you how blown away I am.

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