I don’t know what part we’re on. Not 36, but I’ve been talking about it so long in my head that’s what it feels like.
I wasn’t even going to write this, but of course I want a complete account, and there might be someone else out there who is just as hungry as I am for new content, no matter how dull or irrelevant (I will endeavor to be neither, as always).
July was rough. It felt like August would never get here. Then August 3rd was my preop appointments.
The first was with Dr. Steinwald. I assumed we’d check in, he’d get new measurements and reassess the plan. I was wrong. He was a little perplexed as to why I was there. He’d been told I was a new patient but then he recognized me in the waiting room (I took that as encouraging). He said “So, it’s coming up pretty soon, huh?” (Not soon enough for me.) He asked if anything was different. I said “Actually, I’ve lost about 20 pounds since I saw you last, not sure if that changes anything.” He said “I was going to say, thought you looked smaller…” GAH. Doctors. Men. If you have even the tiniest suspicion a woman looks thinner, say something. Even if you’re wrong, she won’t be offended, I promise (unless she has some deadly wasting disease, in which case I would hope the difference is fairly obvious). He mumbled something about, “Good, on the right track then. We’ll try to avoid that nipple graft if we can.”
He’s talking about the graft technique which, as I understand it, is the only option for big saggy breasts like mine. If he thinks weight loss can change that then he doesn’t understand the evil thing about boobs. I have in the past lost a whopping 60 pounds. All it did was make the ladies look even more monstrous in comparison to the rest of my sleek frame. Boobs are nothing but fat, with no muscles you can exercise to shrink or tone them. All you can hope for is a stronger chest wall to support your glutinous bags (and if you want bigger boobs for some incomprehensible reason, put on a bunch of weight and then lose it again. No surgery needed).
He may have also muttered something about attending a wedding and wanting to do the surgery sooner, but his wife changed her mind (it’s out of the question anyway. The moratorium on time-off requests has already begun in earnest, so my dates are pretty set in stone. God, PLEASE don’t let something interfere on their end, because my only alternative is to go later, and I might not be able to stand that).
Then I was off to Golden to the surgery center to meet the nurse. This is apparently where all the swank missing from his downtown office is stored.
I hope Tery likes it, she’ll be spending most of the day here waiting for me.
I couldn’t help surreptitiously eyeing the other clients, wondering if any had transitioned. Which is silly, I’m sure there are lots of other services the center provides. Well, if any of them had, then this place did damn good work.
The nurse was a personable woman about my age. She walked me through all the informed consents without much to remark on. She did constantly tug at the hem of her dress, which was entirely too short to sit in. I hope she remembers this the next time she considers wearing it.
Altogether I spent about six times longer with her than I have with Dr. Steinwald. We went over the risks of surgery (I’m not bothered) and what to expect during different phases of recovery (I don’t really remember it that well , but it’s all in my packet). She talked about drains, which from all reports are the worst part, and falsely (possibly) raised my hopes by always preceding it with, “if he uses them. But he usually uses them.” Argh! Then don’t say “if,” woman. I’m sure no one would be disappointed to discover they weren’t getting them, so err on the side of “he uses drains.”
She then gave me very good news indeed: I was to be the first case of the day. Which means with luck, I’ll be home by lunchtime (not that I’ll want to eat. After my gallbladder surgery I felt like sleeping for a week). That makes me really happy.
Anyway, she took pictures of the ladies from four (I’m sure equally unflattering) angles, and I gave permission to use them on their site. My contribution to science. She asked, “So have you wanted this a long time?” and I admitted technically only since April, but really my whole life. She wasn’t the least bit judgey. I said it didn’t seem common for someone to want this procedure without transitioning, and she claimed I was the third woman she’d met in a month doing it. I find that a bit hard to believe, but I wish these others would speak up online. I would love to hear their stories.
Then I gave them my check for $9000, which was a relief; I wasn’t comfortable either carrying that around or having the money sitting in my account knowing it wasn’t really mine. They cashed it the following day, putting to rest my slightly irrational fear that Dr. S would get disillusioned with the lack of patients in Denver and go back to Chicago before I could get done.
By the time this is posted, I’ll be in the single-digit countdown. I vacillate from hour to hour between a slow stomach twist of excitement and still feeling like it might not happen. But I did clean out my closet and revisit my collection of t-shirts that don’t fit me quite right now but I like them too much to give away. Soon, my babies. Soon.
As an added benefit, my recovery period will be the first time I’ve had a two-week vacation in a few years. I’m almost as excited about that as I am my new chest.
Meanwhile, I discovered Tig Notaro. She’s a deliciously deadpan comedian who had bilateral mastectomy for breast cancer. It may be a little sick, but she is EXACTLY what I hope to look like.