Sunday, July 20, 2014

Recovering from surgery: week 2.

The second week after my surgery I felt much better. The drains were gone and I regained a lot of range of motion rather quickly. I still needed some help but less every day. Slowly I started picking up chores around the house. I would manage making myself a salad for lunch and then I would lie down and take a break before eating it. I always want to do everything myself but I'm also quite capable of listening to my own body and after something like that my chest would clearly give off a sign for me to slow down. Everything took a lot longer then usual but at least I managed. That was the most important thing. If you just sit down and do nothing for 6 weeks it will take longer to recover. You need to keep the blood flowing to supply building blocks and to get rid of the rubble. You need to keep moving to keep the muscles and tendons from shrinking. If you don't your body will get stuck and it can take a lot longer before you can do all the things you used to do again. You have to be a bit bold every now and then. Of course, that's not a problem in my case. I was actually more surprised to see myself holding back and not pushing things too much. The first time I went for a walk again I just went around the block instead of just heading off for a longer distance. Pretty quickly I managed a whole hour again but I didn't force it. By the end of the week I felt like I could do pretty much anything again. as long as I didn't lift anything too heavy.

I got really lucky with how quickly I recover. I still have some time to go but I improved much faster then I had expected. I thought I would still be drinking through straws by now. Turns out it's really not that bad. I guess a lot of your recovery depends on how fit you are when you go into surgery. I don't smoke any more which also helps a lot and I eat very healthy stuff. Plus I heal pretty well in general. My body seems to be quite resilient. I'm just lucky that way. I know I'm not a standard case and most people aren't able to sleep on their sided or stomach even in the second week. I'm not complaining.

One thing people tend to forget is that when you take out your ovaries and don't produce much oestrogen any more your body changes. This is usually called: The Change. But in transmen the testosterone should replace most of the functions of oestrogen. Testosterone and oestrogen are not the same though and you do have some effects of menopause. How much is very different for people. I know one transguy who had horrible night sweats and all of that. Some people hardly notice anything. I got a few hot flashes for about 3 days and that was pretty much it. The only thing I really noticed was how unhappy my bladder was. Your fluid balance changes when you go from oestrogen to testosterone. They simply have different set points. So you lose some weight because you lose some fluids. A lot of women get bladder infections during this period because of the ridiculous amount of fluids that pass through. Three cheers for cranberries. It wasn't just the hormones though. With my uterus gone everything in my belly had started to move around. The first week this was really uncomfortable but it settled quite a bit the second week. Still, it felt weird. And my bladder probably needed to get used to the new neighbours as well. This might take a few weeks but it's not something I need to worry about. It would be nice not to have to get up 3 times at night to go to the bathroom though.

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