Today marks one week. I’m pretty much back to normal. Whatever that means. I’m not taking Percocet anymore, so i should be safe for blogging. I went for my post op appointment on Monday. I was anxious all day, feeling every twinge and stretch under the bandages. I had this unbidden, vividly terrifying image keep flashing through my head – of the doctor removing the bandages and having my nipples hit the floor with the barely audible, yet sickening sound of a gumdrop landing.
Back in September or October of last year I was trying to decide which surgeon to choose. I had consults with two. One who is very involved and well known in the trans community, does top surgery as a large percentage of her work, and required a letter from my therapist before she would consent to operate on me. The other doctor was the one who had performed my reduction 27 years ago and had admittedly never done “top surgery”. It seemed a no brainer to friends who wondered why I would even consider the second one.
On the day of my surgery, the doctor asked my height and weight. I’d missed the questions because I was so caught up in my own anxiety. He put a calming hand on my shoulder, “How tall are you?” “In my mind?”, I asked. “let’s start with the reality.” he said without missing a beat. Once I’d answered him he said, “and in your mind?” When I told him 6’2” he smiled, “6’2″ is over rated”.
So on this first visit to him after surgery, even though I was anxious (and hey, let’s face it, anxious is my baseline), I felt confident about the care I’d be given. The bandages came off and everything held. The doctor decided to take the drains out and when I winced, still remembering even after 27 years, the yucky feeling of having them pulled out. He looked at me and said, “aw come on, you can do this. piece of cake.” And with that, he came around to my side from behind me. He leaned down so he was speaking directly into my ear. He whispered
“You just took a decent pass. Now skate it up the ice. Use the boards! Use the boards! Cut in across the ice. Beat the defender. Come on, you can beat her. Now take the shot. Take the shot! Aw, how did you miss that?!” he said with disbelief.
And then he laughed, showed me the drain he’d just removed and told me I’d have one more chance to make the goal as he moved around to my other side.