Back to the story...we headed home from the Cocoon House after picking up some extra meds. One of my pain killers made me very very warm and caused my heart to race, so I stopped using it, and only used the other. I think they were both "triple script", so Mira wasn’t about to give me either of them, which led to her prescribing the Vicodin, which I’ve never used until now.
We got home on Thursday, and one of the first things I did that afternoon was to see how much weight I lost. I tipped the scales at 141 on the day before surgery, and weighed in at 134 eight days after surgery. I was probably less while at the Cocoon House, and for a few days, really noticed some ‘curves’ forming with a sore left bum (they probably dropped me during the bed transfers at some point...or poked me with a needle) and a shrinking waistline. I don’t have a big waistline, but with all of my muscle, it just isn’t a female waistline even though I don’t have that much fat there. Anyway, things looked cool at that weight...which will probably come over time as I lose the boy muscle....uh, well, one can dream, at least.
So, Thursday night Mom made up some mac’n cheese for me. Friday I had eggs again in the morning (Yeah! I had peppers, tomatoes, AND onions in them), and my roomie picked up some Chinese food for us for that night. I had Hot and Sour soup, but it didn’t taste quite the same....something I’ll talk about soon. Saturday, I had pasta in the city with Claire and Amy, and then leftover soup and fresh eggs for dinner. Today, I had eggs again for breakfast and Mom made up some angel hair pasta with tomatoes and garlic tonight. Yummm! She even made up a ton of it for me to eat later this week after she leaves. Oh, she’s been great out here, and very patient with me. At times, I just prefer to do nothing, but she’s still kept herself busy. She made a cake on Friday, and we’ve eaten it on and off, along with some ice cream. She’s made runs to the grocery store for me, and cooked up all of my meals. I’m going to miss her when she leaves.
Brooke, Susan x 2, Michelle, and Ally have all visited. It’s been nice to have visitors, but in the end, I usually end up booting them when I get tired. Prerogatives!!!
So, the results so far? Well, I actually feel very comfortable with the forehead and placement of the eyebrows so far. The hairline position in the middle of my forehead is fine, and I can live with the position on my left side, but the hairline position on my right side is about 1cm further back than the other side, which is not so livable.
The nose I do not like so far. It feels big in some areas, and way out of proportion on the tip, which also seems to be ‘squatty’ toward the bottom. I asked for a straight nose, but it doesn’t feel that straight so far. I was mainly concerned about a straight transition into the forehead, but it just has the standard Dr. O scoop nose transition. That sucks. I basically should have just told him to blend the forehead into the top portion of my nose, and I’ll go somewhere else to have the nose done...BUT, I could also be premature in my evaluation of my nose. Yes, I realize it’s swollen, but it just looks way off...and if it doesn’t come down in swelling to a position that I like, then I have to wait for a minimum of 6 months before I can even attempt to have another surgery on it. And, of course, who wants to have more surgery? My nose also feels like it was sewn back down onto my septum area off about 3mm, which makes it feel like it’s pointed over to the left due to that. OK, I looked at my before picture, and although I was fairly symmetrical from straight on, the nose did slightly bend to the left due to the deviated septum. He fixed the deviated septum, but I’m still having issues with my Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, perhaps since there is still considerable swelling. I really hope it goes away in time.
I’m also still having trouble smelling, and for that matter, getting the full sensation of taste. If I get right up on something, I can smell it, but otherwise my sense of smell is limited to those odors which are rather strong.
The upper lip has healed up pretty nicely, besides the incision for the nose flap. The chin is still very very swollen, and I have two huge knots along the jawline about halfway along each side. I believe this is the area where he reconnects the bone to the jaw. The incision on the inside of my mouth still hurts due to the swelling of the surrounding tissue, but the incisions on the back of my mouth for the back jaw flair are pretty much healed up. The back of the jaw looks pretty good, and I can’t detect any huge problems with symmetry with that portion. The bumps are of different size though, and hopefully they will subside in a fairly reasonable fashion.
The trachea shave was pretty good, although the area around the incision under my chin is still rather swollen, but the actual incision doesn’t look that bad. I also think he might have been able to shave a little more off, but I think I can live with the results, plus if there is any swelling there, any reduction of it will just make the results better.
The top of my head is numb from about the actual crown of my head to the front incision. The area from my bottom lip to the tip of my chin has half sensation, and is close to the feeling you might have as you are recovering from having a dentist numb your mouth. I can feel it, but it’s slightly tingly. The tip of my nose is fairly numb, but I can feel all of my upper lip. The mobility of my upper lip, however, is fairly limited. I can’t quite pucker, such as when applying lipstick to both top and bottom lips. I also have this weird pain that shoots down from the teeth located directly above the large knot on my left jaw whenever I move my head in a weird manner to stretch that area. It’s almost as though the nerve in that area is surrounded or runs over swelled tissue, and it’s aggravating it when I stretch it further.
So, overall, I’m generally pleased, except with the nose, which I knew going in would probably be my most likely concern afterward. I’ll give it time to heal, though, and hopefully I will come to like it.
I went into FFS scared that the nose packing would really freak me out. It didn’t. I had the oxygen mask the first two nights and was basically so drugged up, that I didn’t have time to really think about it. Once I was over to the Cocoon House, I just made sure to take my Valium to ease my nerves and take away any anxieties, and everything came out well with it.
Tricia and Mary-Lou also draw up a little matrix of what drugs you took and when you took your last one. It helped to remember when I needed to take my next one, or when I should wait to take another one.
One of the hardest parts is sitting up while trying to sleep. I think I would make it about 4-5 hours on the good drugs, and then I would wake up with the pain. It’s not horrible pain, but it’s enough to prevent you from sleeping. At the Cocoon House they basically have you sitting up at a 50 degree angle. I threw a bunch of large pillows together when I got home, and I started out sleeping at about a 25 degree angle. I’m down to a 10 degree angle now, and will probably try to sleep in the configuration for a while because it keeps me from sleeping weird on my nose. I have sort of a little valley created in my pillows to keep me pointed up.
The baby toothbrush worked well at enabling me to brush my teeth the Dr. O recommended 3 times a day. I've been using Q-tips, and sometimes tweezers, to clean out my nose, and itch it on the front surface.
Dr. O is the best in the business with the boney work. He’s good, and hardly anyone else is doing anything like it. He’s secure in his work, which is good, but he’s basically set on one formula of how your face should be. When I talked about going over different features, he basically said he’d be doing his homework the morning of surgery. When I relayed where I would like my hairline, he stated that my ideal was right along the lines of where he would be placing it. I also asked for the straight nose. As I mentioned, I will have to wait to see how it ends up. The jaw and chin I wasn’t too concerned about as I knew the job there usually turns out pretty good. The only thing you have to watch for is if you get extra baggy skin. I was hoping that I was young and thin enough that my skin would rebound with the missing boney material. It’s hard to say how it will turn out, but at 33, I may have been pushing the limits of youth for my skin. I’d hate to have to have a facelift at 33 just to look 33. That’s pretty sad, but again, I’ll wait to see after the swelling has gone down.
Ahhhh...prune juice. Well, face it, pain killer medication causes constipation. It’s just a fact. That’s why it’s really hard for me to understand how all of these celebrities get hooked on pain killers. Anyway, I took along some laxative medication, but I figured I’d try the fairly natural method of prune juice since they had it at the Cocoon House. Prune juice actually tasted pretty good to me. I was amazed. And, it had a lot of flavor. So, well, prune juice does it’s thing, and WHAM!, It’s supposed to get you to go potty...#2 style. Well, it sorta got to me, except, well, it started giving me gas. And since I couldn’t really smell....well, you know. What was really funny, though, is that sitting there in bed with gas I noticed that it smelled like prune juice. Hmm...it tastes like prune juice going down, and smells like prune juice coming out. How wonderful???
Where do we go now?
Gwen Smith emailed a few days back, and I sent her a response talking about the local transgender community...it’s politics, direction, and my place in the whole grand scheme of things. I feel I have a year to give...in that I have a year to tweak out who I fully am as a female. That’s why I ran for Ms. Transgender San Francisco...so I could give back to the community and help with outreach during that year. I obviously didn’t win, but I still want to help in some manner. TGSF is the largest transgender group in the area, but it’s intermixed with a large number of middle aged cross dressers who need a place to go while all dressed up. The transsexual minority at this time, which actually puts forth more effort in my opinion, is lost in the ocean simply because she/he doesn’t associate with being a cross dresser. The thing is, TGSF is seen by the rest of the world as the transgender/transsexual outreach of the area because there just aren’t any large groups out there. But in reality, TGSF’s outreach sucks. Yes, it sucks. I can say that...I’m on the board. So, with all of these thoughts running back and forth on what and how I should conduct my next year, I asked Gwen if I could give her a call today and discuss the whole situation with her.
So, this afternoon, we chatted for close to an hour or so. We talked about TGSF, the politics, the power struggles, who freaked me out, who didn’t, the recent laughable shows on transsexuals and transgender individuals this past week on both CBS and NBC, and just where she saw me fitting in. I’ve debated about running for president of TGSF and turning the focus from the social side of it, to letting the social group handle that, and turning a larger focus to the outreach side of it....or, just running for the Outreach Chair in the upcoming elections. A lot of it comes down to energy. It takes a lot of it to be president, and I don’t know if I have all of the energy that it takes to be effective in that position. I mean, I plan on working on my own development over the remainder of my life...getting back to living a fairly normal life...if indeed a transsexual can live a normal life. I’d like to take another dance class. I’d like to take some art classes. I’d like to learn how to cook a little better. I’d like to have to stop worrying about being a transsexual and just go back to living.