Hey all - So I thought i would update before i return to work. i’ll post pics sans K tape at the 3 week mark.
I will however post what Ive been doing pre and post surgery, Its extensive , so here we go!
I am a physical medicine doctor so i treated this like i would any patient who is prepping for surgery. I put myself on a “detox” ( i eat really clean any way i just reduced my “cheat” days ) diet for 4 weeks pre op. This basically entailed eating really clean ( no sugar, limited wheat, dairy, and processed food no alcohol) and a juicing a whole ton. I refused to give up my coffee. I also followed a pre/ post surgery nutrition protocol by Dr Gaby MD- i will post that as well. Also, If you smoke. Stop. Seriously. Besides all the health repercussions, it will and does severely limit your bodys healing ability. Think of it as a nipple preservation campaign.
Day of surgery : I DID NOT take any of the pain meds. This is mostly because i have an unusually high pain tolerance ( i fractured my hip at 30 and walked into the clinic to have it x rayed. ) so if your pain level necessitates pain meds - DO take em. I didnt; i did however pop Arnica 200c like candy for the first 24 hours every 20 minutes when i wasnt sleeping. The most uncomfortable part of this day were the drains and feeling faint every time the blood bombs were emptied. Otherwise i just wanted liquids and tortilla chips.
Day 2: rinse and repeat the above except i started using Calendula 30c in place of the Arnica 200c 3 times a day. My appetite is back to normal, i met my father in-law and took a nap next to my son while my partner and he visited.
Day 3: we drove to Columbus ( she’s from ohio) and hung out with the rest of her family - many of whom i hadn’t met. Im still taking the Calendula 30c, and have started/ resumed the pre / post surgery nutrition protocol.
Day 4 : still in Columbus Rinse, repeat, Calendula and nutrition.
Day 5 : Cleveland and Drains out!! they have been the most painful/ awkward/ limiting part of this experience. I felt i couldnt even have my son on/ near me for fear of him catching/ tugging on the drains. ugh its the worst pain ever! good bye drains! First thing i did in Dr. Medaile’s office was pick up my son and hug him. I know, Y’all are saying ‘pick up!?!? isnt there a 10# lifting limit ?’ - yep. I still did it. love my little bean. AND Medalie said as long as i dont flex my pec, use only my arms- delts, bis and tris - that holding my 20# squirming monkey was fine. so i did it. :)
From Cleveland we drove alllll the way to Cincinnati- where, most importantly her best friend lives, and I took my first shower in 5 days. Eeep i had some kind of detox, anesthesia, funk that i’ve never smelled out of my body ever. Post shower i put K tape on all the areas that were swollen, and bruised. [I do this professionally and have been trained so i CANNOT give advice on your particular case unless you come to see me as a patient. (so please dont ask) You CAN find a K tape certified practitioner and see them for post surgery re-hab. ] On another note the funk will not leave my binder and i feel like that guy on the bus who you wish would discover deodorant.
Days 6- 10 are all about the same. We drove some more( ok a lot), took a plane back to the west coast, our son woke up at 330 ( EST 630) every day after arrival and because i still had time off i got up with him. I continue to take all the supplements, and tape my chest. I figured out how to get the stink out of the binder.- soak in vinegar for 10 minutes and then RUB the detergent into the offending areas, wash , i also pre treated with spray n wash.
So here we are at day 13. I have full range of motion(ROM), its slow when reaching overhead a bit tight and tugging - not anywhere near the incisions, i feel like its mostly fascial- but full. Dr. Medalie said that I could move my arms - gently- restoring ROM was important and i agree.
At 3 weeks I wil start K tape ON the incisions, begin Acupuncture and Gua Sha ON the scars to reduce appearance.
Ok so here’s the Gaby Protocol: ( Italics= me )
by Alan R. Gaby, M.D. and Jonathan V. Wright, M.D.
Purpose: To increase the rate of healing following surgery and to minimize scar and adhesion formation. Individuals who follow this program typically heal much faster than normal, with less pain and swelling and fewer complications.
Suggested Protocol (begin 2-4 weeks prior to surgery and continue for 4-6 weeks after surgery):( i stopped all supplementation 2 weeks pre op because i didnt want ANY Hematomas)
1. High-potency multiple vitamin/mineral formula: Should provide at least 20mg/ day of thiamine and 300mg/day of magnesium. The dosages of the other nutrients listed below may be reduced according to the amounts present in the multi.
2. Vitamin C, 1000 mg, 2-3 x day, The dosage should be reduced to a total of 500-1000mg on the day before surgery so as to to risk interfere w anesthesia.
3. Citrus Flavonoids ( Bioflavonoids), 500-1000 mg, 2-3 x day
4. Vitamin A,(not beta carotene) 25,000 IU/day. The dose of Vitamin A may be increased to 50,000 IU/day for 1 week before and 2 weeks after surgery, although high doses of Vit A should not be used by pregnant women.(THIS is a variable for each surgeon, Vit A and E have possible clotting influences - so listen to what your surgeon recommends!)
5. Zinc,30-50 mg/day picolinate / or citrate
6. Copper, 2-3 mg/day
7. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), 400 IU/day (See above about clotting and surgeon recommendations)
8. Proteolytic enzymes, to reduce inflammation and swelling at the surgical site and to promote resorption of fibrin and other tissue debris.
Choices include (choose one): ( I used a combination called Proto-Zyme by Priority One)
1. Pancreatin: 1,400 mg, 2-3 caps, 3 x day
2. Bromelain: (2,000 mcu/g), 250mg, 2-3 caps, 3 x day.
Proteolytic Enzymes may be started 1-2 days before surgery or immediately after surgery and should be continued for 4-7 days after surgery. The dosage may be reduced by half after the third postoperative day. Take away from food ( 20 minutes before, 2 hours after eating)
1. Arnica Montana 200C: 4-5 pellets every 3-4 hours while awake for 2-3 days after or until the pain is substantially lessened. Take one dose before surgery.( if allowed)
2. Calendula Officinalis 30C 3x’s a day
Comfrey as a salve ( with Calendula / Calendula gel )
L- Arginine 1000 mg 3x’s day
L - Glutamine 500mg 3x’s day
I officially submit my resignation from the itty-bitty- tittie committee
mIts done. I am now 2, 3? days post op.Top surgery was on Friday, and after some bouts of fainting for the first 24 hours, I am feeling mostly normal.
So this thing - pain .. well it never really hit me. Well except for the first time my partner stripped my drains and tugged a bit too much so that i FELT my right drain site. Overall its felt like a deep muscle ache. Like i worked/lifted out WAY too much last time at the gym. I havent even felt like i needed the narcotic prescribed. I have however been taking homeopathic arnica 200c as recommended by my homeopath.
I’ve slept a good amount and had a really hard time NOT picking up my son. Today i had bleeding at my left drain and had to do a bit of “vigorous stripping ” of the tube, which actually looked like my partner staring and digging around in my armpit for a long time, ending in bloody fingers, a wash cloth tucked in the binder and unclogged tubing.
I will write up a more complete account once i post pictures after my drain are removed.
Top surgery at the end of this month -!
My first tumblr post. Few things : i dont like to capitalize/ hate the shift and apostrophe key. so I will make attempts to be “grammatically correct” with the up and lower cases but it will be a minimal attempt - you’ve been warned. i am 36, father to a 9 mo son, partner to a lovely diesel femme, a physical medicine doc, cyclist, personal trainer, nutrition nut, and super nerd when it comes to puzzles/ how things work ( this includes bodies) suppose i should include the trans tag. I was born female and if there were a socially acceptable third gender would inhabit that space happily; instead i chose the one that created the most ease within me. I chose the one that was a close fit . Not the perfect fit. okay so thats out of the way… here it is.
I feel weird. I have never had a high level of dysphoria, kind of like a low level discomfort with my assigned gender. I’m tall, thin/muscular/fit and have been on T for over 6 years. People never question my gender, I am stealth at work and was really “comfortable” (complacent?) with my body until I began this whole process of scheduling, booking flights/hotels, planning on 2 or more weeks of immobility and all other related possibilities. Now my body dysphoria is turned up full volume. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been a pragmatist all these years or in denial. Either way … I have top surgery with Medalie in 4 weeks. Peri-purse string style. I keep searching the inter-webs looking for an answer to some unknown questions. Like i want to find my recovery/ reveal blog, video, to know how it turns out. Why cant the inter-webs predict the future also?
I will be able to just wear trunks to my sons swim lessons like the other dads, not worry about being outed at yoga when the instructor touches my back and feels my sports bra, and finally I will be able to not wear a shirt outside ! So many pluses, so why do i feel sad, and scared? maybe because im chopping off a part of my body ?(well Medalie is). It’s weird to think of it as ”I am chopping off part of my body” - but that is the essence of it.
So Tumblr - Are/have any of you felt this way ?
Im curious if any 30-40 or older trans folks have felt this way?