Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Surgery part one: the surgery itself.

It has been 12 days since my surgery and I am healing well. I'm feeling well enough to attempt to write a blog. I'm not sure if I'll be able to finish it in one go but we'll just have to wait and see.

First things first: how was the surgery?
Scary. No matter how well you prepare and how ready you think you are, you get scared. Even if it's just for a few seconds. I knew I would and I knew it was okay. A wonderful friend drove me to the hospital at 6 in the morning and waited with me until they wheeled me to surgery. I had to be at the hospital at 6:30 and would be brought down to surgery at 7:30. This meant they had an hour to check a my vitals and some data, give me painkillers, and let me get nervous. You sit there in your blue gown, waiting, and you have time to think. Am I making the right choice? Do I really have a choice? What if something goes wrong? What if they do something I didn't sign up for? What if there are complications and the results are horrible and I would have been better of not having the surgery? And a ton of other similar questions. But they're not real questions. It's not real doubt. There is no way back. I  passed the point of no return two and a half years ago when I realized I had to go into transition if I ever wanted to be happy. In for a penny, in for a pound. I knew I had to do this.

At some point someone told me I would be fine, after all, this was what I wanted. This comment really bothered me and still does. A lot of people think that, being transgender, you want to have surgery. Actually, you don't. You want the results surgery can give you. You don't actually want a bunch of strangers knocking you out, laying you out on a table, naked and completely defenceless, cutting you up. Nobody wants that. That was one of the scariest bits about it all. I didn't see her again and was glad. The anaesthesiologist I had recognised my Terry Pratchett tattoo and that immediately put her in the category of good people so that helped a lot. Everyone was really nice and they asked me several times which procedures I was having to make sure I knew what was happening and it reassured me we were on the same page and they weren't going to do things I didn't want them to.

So now it's 13 days as a friend stopped by and I didn't get around to finishing this yesterday. On with the story.

They didn't ask me to count down from whatever when they put me under. They gave me oxygen and told me to take deep breaths while the drugs were pumped into my veins through the IV. And then I woke up again. So that was that. It had been done.

You don't feel yourself falling asleep or anything. It's like a light switch. One moment you're there, the next you're gone. When I woke up I was not in pain. I was mostly just dizzy from the morphine. I felt like I really had to lie down, even though I was already flat on my back. I felt like I had smoked bad weed. Not very comfortable. A nurse asked me something and I tried to respond but my throat was sore and I could barely talk. She told me it was from the tube they had used to breath for me. This came as a bit of a shock as no one had mentioned this to me. I had read it in one of the many brochures they had given me but it was so much information I hadn't registered it. The thought of not having been able to breath on my own is a scary one but I didn't have time to really think about it. They were pushing more morphine into my IV and I felt too dizzy to comment on anything. My heart rate and blood pressure went up. Looking back I think it was caused my the morphine. I'm a very independent person and am terrible at not being in control of my own body. The morphine pretty much paralysed me and my brain gave off a fight or flight response. Luckily I had been given a PCA so after the first shots I could regulate the morphine myself. I cut back to one tenth of the allowed dose and felt better quickly.

Both surgeons stopped by to tell me how things went. The gynaecologist was very happy. He said everything went really well and blood loss had been minimal. I should make an appointment for a check up later on. He is going on a holiday for 3 weeks mid July and if I didn't manage to get an appointment before then it was fine to come see him when he was back. If he doesn't see any need to see me sooner then in 6 weeks time or so I feel like I have nothing to worry about at all when it comes to the hysterectomy. This was very comforting.

The plastic surgeon stopped by as well. She was also quite happy with how things went. She was able to leave the blood vessels and nerves to my nipple in tact so this means in time I can actually get some sensation back. I was very happy to hear that. And that was pretty much it. All that was left was waiting until they would let me go home so I could start recovering.

If you want to see some photo's of my chest and how it's healing you can check my tumblr.

1 comment:

  1. I just checked out the link to your Tumblr and there's a lot of non-surgery-recovery stuff - did you tag your surgery pics so I can skip right to them?