double mastectomy

5

A boy’s first time shirtless at the beach. 2 years on testosterone, 11 weeks post-op. 

Tank by @flavntstreetwear, shorts by Chubbies. 

2

(5 days post-op). I got the sponges off today, so I finally got to see my nips, and I couldn’t be happier with the placement and the size. I’m still experiencing minimal pain, I’m only a little sore in my chest and my arms. Hope that the rest of my recovery will go just as flawlessly. ✨

My Timeline of Top Surgery & Recovery with Dr. Raphael in Plano, Texas.

This is just a master post of my top surgery experience & recovery. I had double incision mastectomy with nipple grafts in Feb of 2016. I also had lipo. The total was $6,750 ($6,000 for the masc and $750 for the lipo on the sides.)
Pictures will be made available at request.

Pre-Op:

  • Because I do not live in the Plano area I drove 5 hours to Plano the day before my surgery and had my pre-op apt that same day.
  • At pre-op I met with one of the nurses and with Dr. Raphael. This is your opportunity to talk to him about your chest, incisions, to bring up concerns and so on. In my case, my mom asked all the questions because she wasn’t as versed as I was on what was going on. 
  • At pre-op they give you a lot of things to sign, they take before photos, and just go over the basic run down of everything you need to do before surgery.
  • Try to plan your pre-op apt as early as possible that day. You will have to go get your prescriptions the day before your surgery and you don’t want to run into the pharmacy closing on you or any issues with the pharmacy not accepting the scripts. I went to Walgreens to get mine filled and they gave me a hard time which led to an hour run around between Walgreens and the doctors office.
  • I was prescribed extra medicines because I had issues with nausea in previous surgeries. If you have concerns about nausea tell the nurse at your pre op and they will get you what you need to prevent you from getting sick. They will walk you through possible medicines you may need based on your medical history and/or allergies you have.
  • The anesthesiologist will call you the night before your surgery. They will tell you not to eat anything too heavy for dinner and to make sure it is pretty bland. I couldn’t eat any dairy either. Also, clear liquids for the most part. Of course they advised me not to eat after 10pm for safety. 
  • Make sure you have a support system with you. First of, you can not have surgery without someone to be with you but I took my mom, my best friend and his brother with me. The surgery center also will not let you have surgery without people to care for you afterwards.
  • Pack or get yourself some button up shirts. You will not be able to get into t-shirt well if at all that first week or so. If you are trying to get into t-shirts that first week you will more than likely pull something as you are not supposed to be lifting your arms at all. (Think about the arm range of a T-Rex. That will be you.)
  • I am a pretty hairy individual so I shaved my chest a couple days prior to surgery. About a week before surgery you should start prepping your body for surgery. You will wash your chest with Betadine Skin Cleanser. You should get this information when you set your surgery date. If you don’t get it, email the office.
  • You will take 500mg of Vitamin C daily in addition to any multi vitamin you may be taking. DO NOT take any extra Vitamin E because it may cause some bleeding.
  • Do NOT take any aspirin or ibuprofen one week prior to surgery and up to two weeks after surgery. (i.e. Bufferin, Anacin, Advil, Motrin, Datril, Excedrin, Anacin-free, etc.)
  • NO SMOKING. Especially 1 week prior and two weeks after surgery.
  • Also, you will have to stop testosterone 2 weeks prior to surgery.

Surgery:

  • My surgery was at 7am and lasted about 3 hours according to my best friend.
  • When you get there you will check in at surgery check in desk on your right after you go through the doors.
  • When they call you back you will change out of your clothes into the hospital gown and socks. (I took this opportunity to take my last selfie in my binder.)
  • You then will be escorted to your surgery bed. The nurses will get you all cozy and warm (I personally overheat easily so I had to have them cool me down a little bit) and start your IV. The anesthesiologist will make an appearance to just walk you through some things. Dr. Raphael will also come in and draw the incision marks and other surgery related things on you.
  • After everything they will use your IV to put you to sleep and start wheeling you to the surgery room. I remember being wheeled to the back and everyone being all smiles. I knocked out right when then they put me on the surgery table.


Post-Op:

  • I woke up and I only remember them asking me if I wanted something to drink (sprite? ginger ale?). I also remember being wheeled out to the car and my best friend and his brother getting me in the car. I remember being placed in the bed in the room. I remember taking a post op selfie and being able to use the restroom by myself.
  • Wearing sweat pants and/or athletic shorts are a must after surgery.
  • My first meal after surgery was mashed potatoes and gravy. Something pretty light is always best.
  • You can only sleep on your back and you have to sleep elevated.
  • I personally had a problem staying awake the first 3 days after surgery or so. I would fall asleep in the middle of doing things. 
  • You will have a post op the day after surgery. Here they will teach you and whoever taking care of you how to care for your dressings for the next week.
  • Your chest is dressed with pads to soak any blood from your incisions. If you had lipo you will have a half pad on those entry points below incisions. Over that is 2 ace bandages that are wrapped tight to deal with swelling. (They are meant to be tight but if you have trouble breathing then loosen them. They are there for support.) The ace bandages will be wrapped over your chest and your lipo points. The ace bandages stay on majority of the time unless you are changing the pads. DO NOT MESS WITH YOUR TAPES OR ANY OTHER BANDAGES! Only change the pads once a day.
  • Dr. Raphael does not use drains.
  • I developed a minor rash around my lipo points because I had to much moisture there from the neosporin. If that happens to you stop putting the neosporin there.
  • At your one week appointment they will remove the dressings and you will see your chest for the first time.
  • Reveal day is very emotional for most people and I knew that I would forget everything that the nurses told me in terms of my continued aftercare. My tip is to have someone record the entire exchange so you can re-listen to the aftercare instructions later.
  • At one week I was told I could drive again, I could sleep on my sides, I could shower again, and that I could wear t-shirts again. (I personally waited to drive longer than that though because I did not feel comfortable at all.)
  • You will continue to wear the ace bandages for a month. It’s hard to think about binding after surgery but its to contain swelling, so don’t cheat your recovery.
  • For your nipple care, you will be given Adaptic (non-adhering dressing) that is meant to keep your nips moist. you will apply some vasoline to the Adaptic. Then you cover that with a gauze pad and medical tape or fabric tape. (All things you can find in the first aid aisle at the store. The nurses will give you some to get started.) You will do this until you run out of the Adaptic they give you. Which should be about a month to 6 weeks.
  • The tapes on your incisions will fall off on their own. Don’t pull them off. They should all fall off on their own around 4 weeks to 6 weeks.
  • After they fall off you will place provided silicone strips for your scars for a while.
  • At the time of surgery, I was delivering pizzas for a living. I will admit that I jumped the gun on returning to work too early. I ended up going back after 3 or 4 weeks. When you can go back is determined by what kind of work you can do.
  • At 6 weeks, my left nipple looked to have healed wonderfully. I pulled the last of my visible sutures, as instructed, that day. My right nipple still had a little spot to heal but seemed to be healing just fine.

Random Tips:

  • If you have a hard time taking pills like I do. You can try taking them with apple sauce.
  • Make sure you have Miralax and Fiber. Pooping after surgery is really important because the pain meds will stop you up.
  • Don’t over do it. Sit down and rest. I am the type of person that will do everything but I can not stress how important it is to sit down and rest and not try to be Superman. Watch your range of motion, even if it feels, “just fine”. It will have effects on your healing.
  • Netflix. Netflix. Netflix.
  • I don’t hear this referenced too much but for those of you who play instruments, I play violin among others, I would suggest waiting the entire 6 weeks before playing again. 

The nurses will honestly give you everything that you need for recovery. There is no need to worry about recovery supplies. They really give you everything. Make sure you read all of the paperwork they give you in terms of pre op and post op. I did have surgery in Feb of 2016 so things make have slightly changed. This is also MY experience and MY experience alone. My health is different than yours so please listen to the nurses and doctors. I shared my experience to help others have an idea on what to roughly expect.

If you have any questions, feel free to message me or send me asks!

Top surgery day 1 & 2 - unexpected things, some tips, and photos

So I had double incision with Mr Yelland yesterday (21st July). There are some photos of my bandaged chest under the cut, but first there’s a few things that were different to how I thought things would go:

  • Pain was worse than I expected yesterday, but much much better than I expected today. Yesterday morphine was barely helping, and today I’m only taking paracetamol more in case of pain than because I need it.
  • I’m exhausted. It’s really really tiring, and the difficulty sleeping on my back isn’t helping.
  • It is much flatter than I expected (I was worried because I’m not skinny and all the photos I’ve seen are of skinny people [I’m 5ft 7″ and weigh 145lb] but actually its really really flat, photos under the cut).
  • Walking around was easier than I thought it would be.
  • A physio gave me exercises to do every day. They’re extremely simple and easy, but I was just surprised.
  • I have much more movement in my arms than I was expecting.

I also have some tips that I’d not heard before but were really important for me/I wish i’d done:

  • Bring bottled water. I can’t stress this enough. Small bottles. Then you don’t have to sit up soon after surgery to drink, and you dont have to risk spilling water all over your bandage. You can lift a small bottle much easier than a glass, and it’s harder to spill.
  • Pjs - elasticated shorts that were almost too big were a great asset. Easy to put on and take off and pull up and down. Shorts were super useful because they weren’t falling all around my feet or getting tangled, and you’ll have to wear surgery socks anyway.
    • Make sure your PJ top is either short sleeved or very thin because they take your blood pressure regularly during the night (and button up obviously).
  • Shave your armpits. And any hair on your chest. I did on a whim and I am so glad because it hurts pulling on just my skin I can’t imagine how much the tape would hurt hair.
  • Make sure you’re wearing the most comfortable underwear you have
  • Practice sleeping on your back the month or two before,
  • Travel pillow might help you sleep on your back.
  • Pee immediately before you go to surgery so you don’t have to soon after.
  • Get a radio app or podcasts to listen to afterwards. I’m too tired to even read or play animal crossing. Even texting my friends is hard. But music gets boring after 5 hours.
  • Chocolate. The easy sugar is invaluable.
  • Similarly, fruit juice or fruit smoothies.
  • Try to bring your own food. My hospital food isn’t too bad but I really just needed something soft and easy like a croissant or bread.

Photos!

Keep reading

How I got insurance to pay for top surgery

I live in a state that does not have laws requiring insurance companies to pay for transgender health needs. So how did I get my insurance company to pay for my top surgery?

Long story short, I got pretty lucky and kind of cheated the system a bit, but for anyone out there that might be in a similar situation as me:

I was eligible for a breast reduction because of my size. I was a 30E, but anyone who has large breasts and have experienced shoulder/back pain or any other problems stemming from your boobs might be eligible!

There was a MINIMUM amount that needed to be taken off for insurance to cover the procedure. BUT THERE WAS NO MAXIMUM. So, I was lucky enough to have a really cool surgeon and I explained my situation to him. I told him that I didn’t want ANY boobs because I didn’t even identify as a woman in the first place. I told him that I would like a man’s chest and showed him some pictures and he felt comfortable that he could give it to me.

So I ended up getting a double mastectomy COVERED COMPLETELY BY INSURANCE. Even though they really just think that I got a breast reduction because of my back pain.

Feel free to share so that anyone in a similar situation knows that this is an option! Let me know if you have any questions :)

youtube

so I made a video going in to detail about my experience of booking and having surgery with Dr Garramone, travelling from Scotland to him for surgery was difficult but so worth it. if anyone could take the time to check the video out and subscribe to my channel it would mean the world, thanks everyone ✌🏼️

Haven’t done one of these for a while, so I figured it was about time. Top left: pre-t. Top right: the day I got my referral sent. Bottom left: somewhere between 5 and 6 months on t. Bottom right: about 2 weeks ago, about 1 year and 9 months on hormones. It’s crazy to see how much has changed physically, but what I can’t show you is the emotional and mental changes that have happened during these times. On a side note, I can’t stress the importance of taking care of your mental health enough. Each day I am learning more about myself and I am that much closer to becoming who I was meant to be in the first place. We are all on this journey together, and thank you for being a part of it.

Things to take to the hospital: top surgery

Post op binders: you’ll need to buy two of them. You can use back supports from sports direct etc but also buy them from the nurses at the pre op.

A pillow: to put between your chest and seatbelt going home.

Change of underwear and socks

Change of clothes: button up shirts only as you can’t raise your arms for t shirts

A book: I wasn’t able to concentrate on reading after so you might not need this

A folder: to keep paper work in

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Slippers: to go home in

Wet wipes: for a little wash down after. Its easy to feel oily after surgery

Throat sweets: you can get a sore throat after surgery

Someone to be with you: surgery is very taxing so friends or family being around after will help. If you’re like me and find it hard to ask for help, asking your family or friends for things is easier than asking a nurse (my mum helped me eat/drink after surgery)

If you were to ask me a couple of years ago if I thought that this day would come, I would have said, “no”. Today, I stand on a beach, embracing myself for all that I am. It gets better. 🌊

How many FTMs out there want metoidioplasty or phalloplasty? It doesn’t seem common, at all, and I was wondering why? I only want a top surgery, personally, and most other trans guys do too, but does it get to the point where gender dysphoria is so bad you get those surgeries? Just curious. 

anonymous asked:

Hi River! Can you link us to some meta, analysis, commentary, or basic evidence of Sherlock being trans, particularly in BBC Sherlock? I just haven't really read anything in depth about this so I'm interested to know more. Thanks!

hey! i’m just going to compile my own list of things i’ve caught but you can certainly go to @marcelock‘s trans sherlock tag for more!!!

so firstly, most of the canonical evidence is in s3 and tab but i thought i’d start with something that caught my attention in the great game

here, sherlock is excitedly giving his deduction about the golem

and john, pressed about the earlier confrontation he had with sherlock about moriarty, and impatient, replies with this

which leads sherlock and lestrade to have these reactions:

now QUITE obviously sherlock and lestrade know something here that john does not. lestrade looks down and away immediately after john’s comment and sherlock looks at lestrade with a look which vehemently reads “don’t say anything, he doesn’t know” 

to me, this is an extremely obvious misgendering of sherlock that john does ignorantly and unintentionally because he honestly doesn’t know, and i can adhere to this personally because it has happened to me on multiple occasions 

now, throughout the next 10 minutes of the episode sherlock distances himself from john by telling him that they should split up to get more done, which isn’t an unusual occurrence but it is DEFINITELY unusual when john is doing something that only police should be doing (interviewing the dead man’s roommate) 

i see this as sherlock needing to distance himself from john for just a little while because of the earlier instance. he’s obviously not mad, just a bit upset and jarred but as you can see by the end of the episode everything between them is completely fine again

in s2 there isn’t much in the way of physical evidence like above, it’s more subtextual, in asib it is brought up at least twice that i can remember that sherlock is a virgin 

“sex doesn’t alarm me” “how would you know?” 

“he calls you the ice man and the virgin” 

this can be attested to that sherlock is just a genuinely awkward person and uncomfortable with contact as such but it can easily be read that because he is trans that he experienced and experiences body dysphoria which would lead to him not being comfortable with his own body, let alone allowing someone else to be with it so intimately 

“but what about top surgery scars?????” you may ask

not all trans people get double mastectomies!!! some of us don’t ever get surgery! but sherlock could have easily had the key hole operation which would not leave the double incisions on the chest that you see on many trans men 

sherlock having little to no body hair is also incredibly telling, as many trans men, even on testosterone, are unable to grow it and if they do it’s usually patchy

in both thob and the google maps of 221b, there is an injection gun sitting on the table

injection guns are used to inject medication accurately and frequently, and, sherlock constantly on the move for cases, would need to administer his testosterone quickly and efficiently

now, in The Trans Sherlock Show (s3) there is so much evidence that he’s trans it makes my head spin

the VERY first scene we see sherlock in, he has absolutely no facial hair, yet, the hair on his head is literally down to his shoulders

where did he find the time to shave yet not cut his hair??? he didn’t

sherlock was unable to have access to testosterone in the field for 2 years is what happened, so it stunted his facial hair growth 

there is literally no other explanation for this like

moving on to tsot

sherlock loves dancing and always has which isn’t that unusual for men anymore, but his love for dancing does not explain the fact that he can do a pirouette perfectly? he would have had to go through extensive training to complete such a move, and many parents put their “little girls” in dancing lessons

during the stag night and sherlock and john’s drinking game, sherlock drunkenly asks questions that john answers to validate him, not the person on his head

“am i human?”

“am i a man?”

“tall?”

“nice?”

“clever?”

“am i important?”

“do people like me?”

sherlock is obviously seeking validation from john, and he just wants to know what he is to people and how people see him

later in this scene sherlock also says “beauty is a construct based entirely on childhood influences and role models” which is a really… trans thing to say. he’s talking about beauty and looks but those are as performative as gender, gender is literally performing a look, how you want to be perceived and how you want others to perceive you

hlv now!!!

as a little aside and a line that i always laugh at anderson asks sherlock if he has “one hole or two” and sherlock abashedly says “sorry?!” and obviously they’re talking about the gunshot wound but it’s just a funny trans joke to me

anyway! “how can sherlock be trans if he is clearly a little boy in his mind palace!!!” sherlock can imagine himself however he wants in his mind palace folks and children are mostly androgynous in formative years so this could have been how he looked or he’s picturing himself as such

now the 2 hospital scenes, one with janine and the deleted scene with magnussen 

first the janine scene: 

“you lied to me, you lied and lied” 

“just once would have been nice”

sherlock, awkwardly, “i was waiting until we got married”

“you shouldn’t have lied to me, i know what kind of man you are. we could have been friends”

now this can be read as both a reveal of sherlock being gay AND trans

“but it can only be about him being gay!!!” you might say

then explain the magnussen scene:

magnussen, a man who blackmails people for money, is blackmailing sherlock about his “musician’s hands”

but this comment quickly turns into calling them “woman’s hands,” and sherlock looks at magnussen in fear - he knows his secret

this deleted scene completely explains sherlock’s vehemence toward mycroft near the end of hlv when mycroft asks sherlock why he hates magnussen so much

and finally the tarmac scene, when sherlock says “sherlock is actually a girl’s name”

this can be interpreted a couple of different ways in terms of him being trans

sherlock could be saying here that sherlock was his birthname and he wanted to keep it, but needed a masculine name on legal documents, hence william sherlock scott holmes, because sherlock is quite an androgynous unusual name

or, he could be saying that he was born a “girl,” and that his being carries along that sentiment even though he had chosen sherlock during his transition. either way, he’s literally saying he’s trans

onto tab, 

sherlock has no facial hair at all, yes he could be cleanly shaven, but as this is the 1890s hrt doesn’t exist yet so he wouldn’t be able to actually grow it

sherlock, perhaps having noticed, or not caring to notice because hooper is in the same predicament as him, has not said anything about the fact that hooper is, for lack of a better term, “a woman dressed in man’s clothing”

hooper could be a trans man just like sherlock, hence him not saying a single thing because he himself is trans as well and would not dare to out hooper

I LITERALLY HAVE NO COMMENT????? THIS IS THE MOST TRANS LINE I HAVE EVER COME ACROSS IN CINEMA 

in the end scene, when sherlock tells john that he “would be very much at home in such a world” and that he’s always been a man out of his time, it’s fairly obvious that sherlock knows he could better himself in current day, that he could be the man he wanted with access to what he wanted in the 21st century (testosterone, surgery, etc) 

and finally after all of that! the big doozy of yesterday in which we all learned that sherlock literally leaves his t needles all over 221b! a major thank you to @sidryan for that!

anyway that’s all! sherlock is trans thanks for coming to my ted talk

These past couple of months haven’t been the easiest. I have been at war with myself and as a result, I have been hard to love. I had a very pivotal moment last night and decided that instead of wallowing in what I cannot change, I am going to focus on what I can. This is my life, and I am in control. Maybe the journey really isn’t about finding yourself, but rather unbecoming everything you weren’t meant to be in the first place. I can’t speak for tomorrow, but as for today, I couldn’t be more proud with how far I have come.