whats been your experience with top surgery? did you like your doc and all
Yeah! Top surgery went well for me! I mean, I would have liked a friendlier doctor - the guy I went to was pretty dull and quiet and was all business so at times I felt kind of uncomfortable with him. But he knew what he was doing. He seemed shady when I asked him to show me pictures of past patients’ results, but I realized that the reason he was hesitant was because almost all of the photo comparisons he had were of patients who had far more complicated chests than mine so it wouldn’t have been an accurate reference for me anyway. A couple of them had previous damage from improper binding so their results didn’t look too good but it was not the doctor’s fault, it was their fault for binding with tape.
So here’s the story of the actual surgery: My surgery was done at around 7:30 AM on October 3rd 2016. I was honestly pretty relaxed going in there. It wasn’t too busy or noisy at the little surgical center I went to (which was connected to a larger hospital) so I didn’t have to lay there on the cot waiting and waiting and waiting to go in. I went in the little curtained room thing, answered some questions, they had me change, the doc marked up my chest, they hooked me up with an IV, sat for a couple minutes, and then they pumped that happy drug in and rolled me through the doors. I remember getting into the surgical room. I was too high off that relaxant at that point to even be bothered by the fact that they’d already started strapping my arms down like Jesus on the cross. I remember looking around and seeing like 20 people which was not what I expected at all. Then I was out like a light. The surgery took about 2 hours, and I woke up high as a kite in the same curtained room. There were two nurses. I remember being so fucking happy looking down at my chest and seeing it bandaged up. I lifted up the lip of the bandages and honestly couldn’t see anything underneath because it was so tight but I knew my chest was flat as a board. Nothing hurt (yet). I didn’t even notice the drains. I was just chilling there all loopy and I kept waving at people when they passed by the open curtains. Pretty sure I asked the same nurse how the surgery went like 10 times. Then my doctor came in and said everything went well and that he did need to put drains in (he told me to plan for them but it was never a promise that I’d need them.) At that point, I was awake enough that they moved me over to a big chair, switched me from the johnny to my flannel shirt + sweatpants, and gave me some water. I wasn’t nauseous, thank god. And I wasn’t loopy anymore either. I could feel the drains now that the hospital-strength pain meds were wearing off. Then I was literally ECSTATIC when I saw my Mom, Dad and (surprise) Grandma coming towards me. (Yes, Grandma was a surprise. I did not know she would be visiting. I guess my Mom and Dad went to hang out with her at her house nearby until I was done, and so she figured she’d come visit.) I was so excited and showing them how flat my chest was even with the bandages on and showing them how weird the drains looked. I’m really chill with my family. They were nervous about me getting the surgery, obviously, but there was definitely a good vibe in the room now that I had made it past the ‘big’ part. My Grandma impulsively bought my family the biggest party tray of cookies I’ve ever seen. After my Grandma left, the nurse showed my parents and I how to empty the drains and measure the drainage. They gave the little drainage chart and a little study guide about how the drains worked. Every 12 hours I would have to empty the fluids from the drains into a little measuring cup [PHOTO - blood warning] Then my parents helped me get my sneakers on and the nurse wheeled me out to the car. I was given my cell phone back at this point, of course, so I spent the whole ride home messaging my friends that I survived, lol. One unusual thing that happened though is that my seatbelt was too tight on the external portion of my right drain. About 5 minutes away from home, my right side started feeling very warm. And then I didn’t note anything of it until we were parked in the driveway and I unbuckled my seatbelt to find a gigantic patch of blood on the bandages. I went into panic mode thinking I broke the drain (I didn’t think something was wrong with my chest because there was no obvious pain). But after figuring out that nothing was actually wrong and that the blood was just unable to travel downwards through the drain (therefore traveling back into the drain port and leaking out from there), I was fine and just mildly pissed off that my ace bandages had a blood stain. [PHOTO] Thankfully, my Mom had foot surgery 3 months before and she had extra ace wraps that I just used instead. Be careful with seatbelts, guys.
So once I was in the house, I basically stayed there for the next 5 days. I was upstairs 24/7 pretty much. The only time I went outside during that time was when my rat Ozzy died 3 days after my surgery and I went with my Dad to bury him in the yard. That fucking sucked. But aside from the dead pet, those 5 recovery days were aesthetic as fuck. Since it was October, I made sure to decorate the shit out of my room while I could still lift my arms. I had Halloween lights up every where [PHOTO], and I had a bunch of Halloween candy to pig out on [PHOTO]. I ate like a fat ass when I was hungry, but I wasn’t very hungry due to to percocet (oxy) that I was prescribed for pain. I actually ended up losing 5 pounds in 5 days due to not eating big meals (plus my high metabolism) even though I certainly ate a lot of cookies, candies, and Frostys (my aunt kept calling me and insisting she come visit and bring me Wendy’s, lol. She’s an occupational therapist and so she was very intrigued by how I was recovering and visited almost every night to talk with me). I’d also bought a new TV a few days before the surgery too. So I had my TV and PS4 set up right in front of my bed so I wasn’t ever lacking entertainment. I watched Breaking Bad during the day and then Bob Ross before going to sleep. The pain meds made me so sleepy so I usually would just pass out watching Bob Ross, haha. I made a habit of it too. 10/10 would recommend passing out while watching Bob Ross. Usually the end credit music would wake me up and remind me to turn the TV off, haha. Also, @xrdpan gave me this very cute little guy as a gift - [PHOTO] And yeah, this is getting a little off topic. But I definitely had a memorable week of recovery. Sometimes I wish I could do it again for another day or two. Cause despite how uncomfortable the drains were and how much weight my scrawny ass lost, I was so relaxed and got to watch a LOT of TV.
So back to post-op care - I was not given a binder after surgery. I had to use the ace bandages while I still had the drains in, and then I was given a prescription for a compression tank top (that i literally had to go to this lingerie store to get) once the drains were out. That was kind of annoying. I had hoped for a decent surgical vest like what most people get, but yeah.
My drains were in for 10 days. They were uncomfortable, but I didn’t have any bleeding complications or any complications at all so they definitely did their job. It didn’t hurt when they came out either. It felt awesome once they were out and I could really get a good look at my chest. The drains caused snake-like lumps all throughout my chest and it looked weird. Drains in - [PHOTO] Drains out - [PHOTO]
And as for sensation, my chest was very numb for about 1 month including the nipples, and then was half-numb for another couple months. But after the 3 month point (which was around the time I didnt have to wear anymore compression), the sensation was coming back on it’s own very well. I’m 7 months post-op now and have all sensation back except for my right nipple which isn’t 100% numb but doesn’t really react to touch. I have a couple small fleshy spots, mainly on the left side, where they almost have too much feeling and are tender if pressed down on. It feels like a muscle thing.
Uhhh so that’s an essay if I ever saw one! Hope you got something useful from it! I’m always down to talk about my experience and make everything more clear and possibly less scary for everyone who’s interested in top surgery. I had a good experience overall! No complications!
Hi Nikk~ my partner is transitioning MtF and checks themself in the mirror EVERY day obsessively cuz their disphoria is that bad and is very disheartened when they can't tell if there's been any progress. For once being in a similar situation yourself, what would you say I could do to make her feel better? xoxo
The advice i give to ANYONE transitioning is DOCUMENT IT. You do not have to share it online but to just HAVE it to look back on. Record the transition cause it’s hard to see all the small things change when you’re looking every day, but when you have a 6 month old photo to look back on or a video to look back on, it does wonders.
It’s my 1 year diaversary, or more specifically a year since I was diagnosed as Type 1 Diabetic. On April 6th, 2015, I was admitted into the hospital for Diabetic Ketoacidosis after 6 months of symptoms (photo on the left). It was kind of a relief finally having a name to what was going on with me, and knowing I could manage it. But it was hard, and scary, and still is. Diabetes is a lot of numbers and math that can lead to frustratingly different outcomes that directly affect my health. But while I’m not a fan of the disease itself, I have not once been ashamed of being Diabetic. Being diabetic has opened up a lot of opportunities to me; I’ve met amazing diabetics, made amazing connections, and I am inspiring people and cheering them up with my art like i’ve always wanted to do. On the right is a picture of me this past saturday at the JDRF one walk in Tampa, wearing my Type 1 superhero outfit to cheer on all my fellow diabetics and diabetic supporters. So many people were so happy because I was calling them superheros, so many kids were excited to see my dexcom out in the open.
I live in a day and age where this is not a death sentence and I don’t want to let it be one. As a creator of stories, I think bad things in life just make a person and their story more interesting. So today I’m happy; I’m alive and I’m using my illness to my advantage. (And extra good news, tomorrow I get celebratory macaroons) Here’s to year 1 of being T1D!
My name is Danica Watson I’m 22 and my fitness goal was to lose weight and tone up. Also eat better
Before: 179 pounds After: 147 pounds. I am 5'10". Wearing the same pants in both photos.
This is 6 months in between photos
I would do at least 30 minutes of cardio before every weight training session. I also ate less candy and carbs and started eating more healthy. I did Yoga and meditation. I would occasionally eat something bad but I did not beat myself up over it. Kept going to the gym regularly and improving.
— Submit your fitness and weight loss progress pics HERE