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I have no idea what to describe here.

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Day one Post Op:

Pain  and Mobility Expectation - To be too sore to live and need help with absolutely everything.

Reality - I have taken my pain meds every 4 hours, and I am not in much pain, just a little sore. It's more of a discomfort.I am able to lift cups of water and pillows. I can't lift my arms higher than my chest muscles, but turn on lights using my head. I couldn't twist bottle caps off yesterday but I can tonight.

Comfort (sitting, lying) Expectation - I wasn't sure, but was expecting it to be miserable and hard to get up and down.

Reality - I first have to use my LEG muscles to sit on the edge of the couch and slowly scootch back. I have a "dead" neck pillow behind my low back, two firm pillows propping up my legs and a pillow under either elbow, plus a neck pillow. My caregiver needs to add these to my sitting situation. Bed is the same except I have a regular pillow under my back and a leg pillow sits slightly under my butt. If it's not there, I am not comfortable at all.

Sleeping Expectation - I thought I'd be out cold for a week!

Reality - The most sleep I have had in one batch was 2 hours and 16 minutes. Oddly, I am not that tired. As soon as I watch tv, I doze. I hear the show with my eyes closed, but not sleeping per se.

Burping Expectation - None.

Reality - OMG OUCH! Also,last night I thought I was going to vomit prior to every burp. I got the bucket ready, and just burped into it (Except once, which was just from eating an orange)

Drain Tube Expectation - Not sure, but assumed there would be some.

Reality - None.

Bruising Expectation - Lots and dark.

Reality - Minimal (but I guess it could get worse over the next few days)

Recovery isn't as terrible as I thought it would be. I don't know what would happen if I wasn't taking my pain meds though. I saw my surgeon for follow up today, and the car ride sure sucked with all the bumps. My left nipple is still bleeding, she said thats normal. It also appears that I do have nipple sensation still, which was very important to me. She asked if I could feel my nipples, and I said no, so she came over and scratched me harder than I was doing and I felt  a tiny sensations. She said that would most likely come back stronger with time.

The most odd thing about this experience is that a small portion of my bottom lip is numb, still 46 hours post op. It's from the ventilation tube.

Honestly, the worst part about this entire experience was getting the IV put in. I have small  and curly veins, so they pricked me a few times. I was also expecting my hand to be bruised because if it, but nope, not at all.

I guess if I had to give advice to anyone having (top) surgery in the future it would to be to work your core and leg muscles, because those are the ones you'll use to get up and down. Also, have a wide variety of sizes and firmness in pillows on hand.

 

pre_post_op.JPG.b2f9167f6d953871aa130acdf5c1dfcc.JPG

I had surgery today and everything went better than expected. 

I wanted the anchor-t or inverted-t method so I have an extra scar, but I'm alright with that. That's a whole other can of worms.

i do find if I am trying to stay awake for a prolonged period of time, I get nauseous.

Also if you have surgery in the future- stay away from oranges and orange juice, you will regret it!

My family still have no idea I went under the knife today. I haven't spoken to either of them in a while. 

I'm tired. I wanted to add pictures but don't know how. Could someone tell me how?

Thanks.

I am having chest surgery in four weeks. I am super excited, and a little terrified.

Nobody in my family knows.

They're not supportive, and I don't want any passive-aggressive comments to bring me down.

I'm sad that I feel I can't share this milestone with them.

(Because this is too long to get to the point, I added the end at the top, and the rest can be considered background information. Sorry it's all over the place)

Basically, the reason for this post, yesterday my mom wanted to go out for dinner. She told me to be there for three so we could have an early dinner. By six, we still hadn't left for the restaurant, and at 6:30 my sister, bro in law and niece show up, for dinner too. Unexpected by me. By 8, we still hadn't left for the restaurant because they had a late lunch and weren't hungry yet.

I am done with them, and their BS.

I have tried to let go of all the negative memories from the past but I don't know how. And every time I see my family, I feel so drained and upset for days afterwards. I feel like I keep having the same discussions with them, and they change for a bit, but then it gets back to where it is just the same as when I was 10.

-------------------------------------

My whole family exists of three people: Grandma (who lives a few hours away), Mom and Sister (who is married and has a daughter). My dad died 4 years ago, and he was the glue that held us all together as a unit.

When I was a kid, my mom was pretty crazy, throwing things at people for no reason, beating all of us, name calling. I am pleased to say she has mellowed out now with her crazy antics.

My sister and I were never close. I always looked up to her, but she never wanted me around. She always belittled me, embarrassed me, beat me. As adults, we rarely talk. My sister still refuses to call me by my new name because it's "not legal" and sees nothing wrong with that. This was a few months ago, and I told her I wanted nothing to do with her until she apologized.

Before my dad died, my parents, sister and brother in law would always go to ball games, go on "family vacations" and always had BBQ's. I would never receive a call asking to join them in anything. I would always hear about all the fun they've had together at Birthdays or holidays, or those rare times I was actually invited over.

All of the birthday and holiday plans are planned around my sister and brother in law family schedules, and mine aren't even considered. I work with a different schedule every week, and that makes it difficult to plan things. Especially when I go out of my way to make sure I have the Monday off then all of a sudden, the in laws need to have that day, so family plans get cancelled, and I don't get to go after all. Or travelling with the baby is so inconvenient, but then they do anyway. Or the bro in law has a sports game he needs to watch/attend or play.

The next "story" is one example of many similar situations.

The Thanksgiving when I was in 10th grade, my brother in law's mom invited my parents to their house for dinner. My mom just said, "we've been invited to go, so you have to come up for something on your own." A few hours later his mom called me and asked if I wanted to join them, as she didn't realize I was by myself.

I came out to my family as trans shortly before my dad died. Mom and Sister have a hard time respecting my trans identity,  they keep up the tradition of excluding me in planned "fun" things. We even made a plan to show up at the funeral home to view my dad as a family, and when I showed up 30 minutes early (to be sure I wouldn't be late), they were already in there. Two years ago, I had enough and completely cut them out of my life. Mostly, I just didn't answer the phone or show up for my mom's birthday, my birthday or Christmas.

My mom had called me after midnight sometime in January and I told her how terrible I felt with the way they treated me. I got a lot of stuff off my chest. She "didn't remember" the bad things she did when I was a child. In fact she called me a "little prick for lying"

The next week, she had a heart attack, and me being me, I showed up to the hospital for support. My mom and I made a plan to start fresh. I thought it was going pretty well too. I made a post here about when Caitlyn Jenner came out and her interview, and my moms reaction. Things started to look up.

My mom has this thing where she will make plans with me to visit Grandma, but then cancel them for my sister. Mom doesn't drive the freeways, so she would need to be driven. She has made multiple plans to come to me, then I drive the 2 hour drive. We have never actually done it, because she tells my sister, then all of a sudden, sister is driving. Sister has no room in her car because of the baby seat. Did I mention, I don't have a car, so I can't get to see Grandma as much as I would love to.

The last time this happened the bro in law had a baseball game on the day mom and I planned to go, and because of that they switched days completely, and my mom didn't want to go two days in a row (which I understand that), I blew up and told her I had enough of them dictating the dates of these events, especially since we already had plans.

Basically, the reason for this post, yesterday my mom wanted to go out for dinner. She told me to be there for three so we could have an early dinner. By six, we still hadn't left for the restaurant, and at 6:30 my sister, bro in law and niece show up, for dinner too. Unexpected by me. By 8, we still hadn't left for the restaurant because they had a late lunch and weren't hungry yet.

I am done with them, and their BS.

I have tried to let go of all the negative memories from the past but I don't know how. And every time I see my family, I feel so drained and upset for days afterwards. I feel like I keep having the same discussions with them, and they change for a bit, but then it gets back to where it is just the same as when I was 10.

I live in Ontario. We have a provincial insurance that covers doctor visits & surgeries (medical necessity, not cosmetic) Called OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). In order for Gender Reassignment Surgery to be covered under OHIP, you need to go through the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

In order for ANYONE in Canada to have GRS covered by their provincial health plan, they have to go through the GIC at CAMH, and the only ONE centre in the country is in Toronto. Yes, that's right, all of Canada has only one building that you must go to, in order to get assessed by a psychologist and a psychiatrist two times (4 visits) in order to tell if you are stable enough to qualify for GRS. Needless to say, the wait time is upward to 19 months - just for that process.

I waited and went through this process. I didn't want to initially, because the CAMH program has horror stories of the way they treated patients, that asks invasive questions about your masturbation habits and kinks and other messed up stuff. My endocrinologist assured me that the GIC had an overhaul of doctors and the program standards had changed (which threw me off when I was asked these types of questions after all - which sent me into a two month depression spiral).

There really is no public available information about the whole process and what to expect. The impression I had, was that you go through the 4 visits for the assessments, then they have a meeting and decide if you are stable. Then if you're approved, you get your funding letter. Then you find a surgeon, wait on their wait list and get the surgery. It used to be that only one doctor in Montreal (Brassard - who has now retired from FTM surgery and passed on FTM to Belanger) is the only doctor that performed surgeries in all of Canada that was covered through all provincial health plans. I'm not sure when this changed, but Ontario had made it so you didn't have to travel to Montreal. You could go ANYWHERE to any doctor who accepts OHIP.

I was told on the phone that I had unofficially been approved a month before my final visits, I needed to attend the last set of appointments to finish the process. Excited, I called a lot of doctors (12) in Toronto, all of which told me that they do not accept OHIP coverage (but if they did, there would be a $7,400 privatization fee), or never returned my calls. I wanted to find a surgeon right away so I had a name to give CAMH, and was shocked that in the biggest city in Canada, zero doctors accept our provincial health plan benefits.

At my final appointment at CAMH (last summer), the doctor said something along the lines of, "so you're going to Montreal then?" and that's when I told him my disappointment  of not being able to find a surgeon in Toronto, and the fact that I felt like I wasted my time, and that transparency is a huge problem because there is such a lack of information on what to expect going through the GIC (I actually recorded this appointment on my iPhone because after the questions about how often I masturbate, what I think about when I do, what fetishes I had, positions in which I have sex, I wanted proof of their treatment. I do plan on putting the audio on soundcloud when I no longer need my funding).

So then, CAMH doctor told me that OHIP  has a list of out of country surgeons that they accept in the past, and if I find a doctor who isn't on the list, they need to make sure they can be approved. I asked if I could get this list, and no, I couldn't, it's not available. So I posed the question along the lines of, if OHIP has a pre-approved list of surgeons, why aren't they sharing it? CAMH didn't know. Long story short, I left super disappointed.

So after about 4 months of being depressed and calling more surgeons in my area (that I could find through Google), I called CAMH back and said, sure, send me to Montreal, even though in my heart I didn't want to travel that far, I don't have the money to travel that far, and don't feel right about not having a physical consult because pictures aren't sufficient. This was in March. I got my OHIP funding letter and a package from the doctor in Montreal. I haven't filled it out yet.

Last month, I *magically* heard about a doctor that *might* accept OHIP 20 minutes away. I had a consult with her, and she was disgusted with my story. She said she would submit the paperwork to OHIP so she could do the surgery. I told her that my worry was that OHIP would decline me because they already approved Montreal and I would have to wait until that letter expires, in two years. She looked me straight in the eye and said something like, "they're (OHIP) going to have to accept that this is unacceptable and the wait list is too long for that doctor in Montreal, nobody should have to go to Quebec for procedures." I don't remember her exact wording.

I got a call yesterday confirming that the paperwork has been sent off, and it could take 3-6 weeks for a decision.

For the first time in a year, I feel like I have a hope of actually getting surgery close to home, but I am still worried that it's not going to be for a while.

 

BECOMING US (ABC Family) STORY LINE (From IMDB) In this unscripted drama, a teenager named Ben learns to live with his dad becoming a woman. The series will follow Ben, his family and his friends as they support one another through this unexpected journey and navigate their new world with Charlie now living as Carly.

I'd like to know if anyone who has lived something of this experience has seen Becoming Us? I just want to know if this is like reality, or some fabricated show that spreads untrue stereotypes to people who are unfamiliar with the trans narrative.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to see the show yet (I am Canadian, so I can't watch it on the website, and can't find an external link) - but wanted an opinion, other than vile comments I've seen on their advertising, from people who can relate to this show.

It seems to me, that trans masculine representation is vastly lacking, in the media, in activism, in resources, and I am sure other areas.

I guess what this rant is, is about one person.

I used to follow a prominent trans woman feminist activist, but for my sanity, needed to distance myself. Since she gets a lot of media coverage, she's hard to avoid. As a whole, I don't really have a problem with her views, but there are things that piss me off.

The main one is that she claims she's "one of the biggest trans activists" yet she fails to mention trans men for the most part. She'll quip that trans men receive little attention from time to time, but doesn't mention them in the media.

Yesterday I asked her if she was going to mention trans men in a piece about poverty. Her reply was that an inter-sectional lens is space for trans women to discuss trans women issues.

I'm sorry, but no. Trans men face poverty, housing issues, voice problems, discrimination, lack of dignity, harassment, violence, surgery, hormones, fear of using public bathrooms and many other issues as well.

As an example, you know what trans men do not face - health issues such as prostate problems. The next point in my head was "facial feminization" but that negates pre-t trans men.

By no means am I saying I believe this world provides equal treatment, and these issues are systematically to the same extreme for trans women, trans women of colour, trans men and trans men of colour. I am just saying that all trans people, have hurdles that need to be navigated and using the guise of an inter-sectional lens to silence trans masculine experiences is unacceptable. Especially for a trans activist.

Just my opinion though. What are your thoughts?

People have asked for my opinion about Caitlyn Jenner, and the Vanity Fair magazine, and all that stuff.

First off, I am I am happy she can finally be herself.

Secondly, I think she is beautiful on the cover of Vanity Fair.

Ultimately though, I don't care and have no opinion. I didn't know who Bruce was before. The first time I heard that name, it was when they got into a car accident in Jan/15. That fact that Bruce won a gold medal or that he is associated with the Kardashians was something I just didn't know.

I suppose if I had any other opinions, I don't think her journey reflects the average transition. She has money and can use it to pay for any surgery she wants without waiting for funding or saving up for it. However, the media doesn't care about that and tabloids are some people's only source for information. I think most cis people wouldn't do their research about transitioning to see what the true struggle is.

Exposure isn't necessarily a bad thing, even if it's not completely accurate information because it at least gets people talking, and conversation opens minds to people who are not exposed to the topic at hand. Of course I would prefer it if accurate trans representation was more in the public view.

I had to do some banking in the actual bank, at the teller desk today. I have to deal with a physical person only a few times a year, but I get nervous every single time.

My name is still my birth, and extremely female name.

I have never had issues in the past, but today was a different story.

The lady who called upon me was new, and still didn't know the major procedures so she asked "Tony" to come over to help. He looked at me, at the computer at me again, and announced my name in a loud-ish and questioning manner. I replied with my deep male voice, "yes, that's right."

After "Tony" answered the teller's questions and left, I confirmed his name then asked to see the manager. She said sure and asked if everything is ok. I said, it wasn't, but not because of her.

The manager seemed genuine with her disgust, and has said to talk to the other manager in the branch as well as "Tony" and to provide a memo to staff that transgender people are not to have personal information disclosed.

Honestly, I am not shocked that this happened, I am shocked that it has taken this long for it to happen.

When I was in HS, I was thin as twig at 89lbs even though I ate a lot of food, all the time. I was often mistaken as an anorexic because of my size. Come to think of it, I don't know if I was hungry, or ate to gain weight - which never happened. Fast food was only a treat, about 3 times a year, or if we were on vacation driving two days to get to our destination.

I walked all the time, mostly because my bus stop was the last stop before school, and it was extremely crowded.

When I entered college and moved out on my own, I discovered fast food. For all of my meals. I was pretty much living that "Super Size Me" documentary, before it was made. I remember being happy that I was finally gaining weight and looking healthy.

Then looking healthy went into a little chubby, then fat, then... ugh, size 24 (women's,  which is around a 46 men's, I think). Although I was probably bigger but refused to buy any bigger.

It's been many years since I changed my diet and lifestyle and started loosing weight. My goal is to fit into a 34 comfortably. I have been stuck in between 36-38 (do men's pants come in a 37?) for close to three years, and I'm pretty much stuck at 180lbs, no matter how much I work out.

I'm just getting so frustrated with putting in all the effort and not seeing results!

I just learned my sister, who I thought was the most supportive and understanding about trans related things in my family, is not as accepting as I thought.

She called me by my birth name over text (because she doesn't like to hear the truth when she asks my opinion, apparently). I corrected her, and her response was, "well it's not official yet!"

This is the most shocking because she has actually had diversity and sensitivity training with her job, which included an LGBTQ section and focused on transgender discrimination.

I told her, "well, I'm done for now"

This was a few days ago, and I am not sure how to approach/re-approach the situation. She is usually a self-absorbed b****, and does use low blows to use against me, but this is the first time she's used a trans related low-blow.

Although I had been masculine for most of my adult years, I have been officially out to my family since Jan. 2010 and I have been on testosterone for close to three years. I put off my transition because I didn't think I would have a family if I did. After many of my mom's abusive comments towards me, I finally said, "screw this" and started it.

I was right. Our relationship was pretty non-existent, and when I thought I would try to rekindle a familial dynamic again, my mom plain refused to acknowledge my identity, referring to me with female pronouns even though my voice was deep and had facial hair.

The day after the Bruce Jenner interview, I ended up seeing her for a family function. She has watched 20/20 and Dateline and like shows for years, so I assumed she saw it, but didn't bring it up. Later in the afternoon, she asked if I watched it.

It sparked about a 3 hour conversation, one which I feel was long overdue. Nothing negative was said. It was all positive. She even cried. I don't know if the tears were the realization that being trans is real, and she reflected on the things she's said and the way she treated me in the past, or something else, but I don't care. She actually showed an emotion instead of hiding it and hurting people.

At this moment, I feel like she is now supportive, and this is something I have NEVER had from her.

Thanks Bruce Jenner for sharing your story.

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