Saturday, September 10, 2011

Psychological impact of surgery and other news

I am out of hospital today, and have written about my surgery and hospital stay elsewhere so will leave that out of this post. Instead, here I want to focus on the psychological aspects of my surgery and the ramifications. 
 First clue that things were not going to be a "standard" surgery/hospital stay was the fact that I, the ABSOLUTELY NOT A MORNING PERSON UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES lol, got up at 4am and left home at 5:15am in the dark and cold to catch a bus and train to the hospital, and was smiling and polite to everyone all the way there. At the hospital, instead of my usual pre-surgical nerves (every other time I have had any sort of surgery I have been EXTREMELY nervous and stressed) I was laughing and joking with all the staff and they were all surprised at how laidback and relaxed I was :) I was a bit impatient for all the pre-op stuff to be done with because it seemed to take FOREVER lol, but I was laughing and joking with the theatre staff right up till I blacked out from the anaesthetic (literally, the last thing I remember was laughing with the surgeon about the anaesthetic starter - the anaesthetist said it would make me feel like I had had a gin and tonic, and the surgeon said "oh nice, can I have one of those while you're at it?" And I said "Oooh, PARTAY!" and we all laughed and then the next thing I remember is waking up in recovery) :D Even in recovery while still groggy I was apparently smiling, and then when I went back to my room and had a cup of tea I was still smiling! Even more so when I got up at 4pm to walk around the room (the nurse was stunned that I felt well enough to do this so early, usually they don't ask you to get up till the next day). The nurse was also surprised that I wasn't dizzy or lightheaded and didn't need her to lean on, and that I was cracking jokes right out of recovery!

All this and the fact that I have been really relaxed, happy, in no rush to go home till today (well I was offered the opportunity yesterday to go home but in the morning I just wasn't quite ready, but by last night I was all "let me OUT!" LOL and this morning I was watching the clock and it seemed to crawl till I got picked up at 10am) and have actually really enjoyed my time in hospital - even the hospital food wasn't bad, although I got a good deal there because being vegan, they make my food specially from scratch so I don't get quite the same premade stuff as everyone else - tells me that psychologically, this surgery has ONLY been the best thing that I could possibly have done - I thought going on T made me a lot happier and more relaxed, but this surgery has done that even more so (and tbh I'm a little surprised at that but in a good way). I have no doubts that my positive frame of mind and being relaxed has contributed a lot to me feeling so good post-op and to having no pain and being able to get up and move so soon after surgery, too.

But the real kicker has been the letter that I got from the resident confirming that I have had my hysto for gender reassignment - I seriously cannot describe the feeling I got when I held that letter in my hot little paws, I was so excited I was literally shaking! I read it and something just *settled* over me like "wow, you finally did it, this is it, now you're on your way to being legally recognised as a man!" I wanted to get up and do a James Brown LOL because that feeling was SO damned good! With this letter I can now take a letter from my GP confirming that I have been hormonally reassigned for over 2 years and have been living in a male gender role for over 2 years, and get my gender changed under Medicare (but possibly not yet get a GRC because of the tricky wording and the latitude taken with interpreting the requirements by the Board, but I'll see on that one). I hadn't planned to apply for my GRC just yet, I was going to wait till I get my chest done - but now that I have the letter, I can get my chest done as a man under Medicare for free, and may possibly be able to legally be recognised for who I really am :D

I can't describe what that does for a man, to feel so.....validated and affirmed and to know that I am so much closer to where I wanted to be, that place that only a year or so ago seemed so impossibly out of reach :D

In other news (just briefly), while I was in hospital, we had an explosion of silkworm babies - we now have somewhere in the vicinity of 30+ of both zebra and white silkworms that have hatched over the last 2-3 days while I was away, and the bigger ones are doing well. I also received a huge fluffy parcel of fibre while I was away - I opened it and FOOF, it exploded into a big pile of bright fluffy colour that is the Whorled Domination! spindle club fibre for the first shipment! :D I'm excited, this is one of my favourite fibres and very soft, and the colours are just beautiful - it is a custom dyed colourway exclusively for spindle club, too!: D I'm not up to splitting it into appropriate sized portions just yet (it wore me out just re-braiding the 15 braids of this fibre after I undid them to have a bit of a play with it!) but I'll do that as I feel up to it - I'm still struggling with the whole "you have to slow down and NOT do things" concept lol because I have no pain and feel so good and forget that I have just had very major surgery, but I do get tired very fast so I guess that's my body's way of saying "hey! enough already, quit while you're ahead!" lol. Tomorrow after a good night's sleep I am hoping to start splitting the club fibre up and labelling it all so that it will be ready to box up with the spindles and send. 
But in general, everything is going SO well at the moment, recovery from surgery included :D


  1. Congratulations on a successful surgery. It's wonderful to read about how happy you are and what a great experience you have had. I hope the legal side goes as easily for you. Also, thank you for sharing your experiences as a transman. You're helping to change the way the world things :)

  2. It's been amazing to see if finally all coming together for you. There were times it looked so bleak...but here you are! Congratulations!

  3. Thanks Lindsey, I made a conscious decision when I first came out as trans that I would be open about it and share as much of my journey as possible in order to educate others who may not be aware of what a difficult road it can be or of how seemingly simple/innocent things can affect transfolk quite intensely, and I'm privileged to be able to do so :)

    Thanks Linda, it has been a long time coming for sure, but I'm finally getting somewhere and it all seems to be coming together now, so it's all good! :D

  4. I'm so glad things are finally looking up, mate!

  5. Thanks Shaylin, it's about time huh? :) I just feel like everything is coming together so perfectly and powerfully - it's an exciting time! :)

  6. congrats! glad to hear it all went so smoothly and happily

  7. Daniel: I am so thrilled that your surgery went so well. Just remember, like I told you, that you will feel fine but you need to pace yourself and follow doctor's orders about how much you can do at a time....Yeah, You! Hugs from America!

  8. Thanks Dylan, I'm really happy with how it all went :) I had Queen songs in my head the whole morning of my surgery lol, and woke up with them in my head again when the surgery was done - not sure why, but meh, if I had to have a "surgery soundtrack", I can live with it being Queen ;)

    Thanks Sally :) I'm trying to remember to slow down and only do a little, and to get lots of rest! I am getting tired very quickly, so I guess that's my body's way of telling me "enough!" before I hurt myself lol.


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