2.14.2013

Hysterectomy Post-Op Update #2


So it's been almost two weeks since I went under the knife for my hysterectomy. Things are progressing but not as quickly as I hoped. I am trying hard to restrain myself from over-doing it which is far too easy when you aren't in a lot of pain. I tried shovelling the sidewalk last week (not a great idea) and though I didn't encounter a lot of pain my bleeding certainly increased which is apparently the biggest sign of overdoing something. I tried a small bit of vacuuming yesterday and seem ok so far. More than anything my mood is what is needing some TLC.

I was still pretty unsure about removing perfectly good organs. Even now I am not sure if I have done the "right" thing. I suppose because there is such a lack of research and therefore evidence of what the future holds with respect to cancer risks, hormone therapy, osteoporosis or other health issues, I am still unconvinced that removing something that wasn't broken was necessary.

You are probably asking why the hell would I go ahead and have a surgery if I wasn't 100% sure? I can't honestly answer this. The reasons I had for going ahead were more important than the ones I had for leaving it alone. I can't predict the future.  Whether or not I developed ovarian cancer or cervical cancer didn't feel like a solely good enough reason to proceed. So if I wasn't having surgery to prevent cancer why was I undergoing a potentially risky surgery to remove something as benign as an unused pair of ovaries and uterus?

My reasons may not make sense to anyone else but I had to be able to justify this to my doctors and to myself. I never really experienced any sort of dysphoria from my reproductive organs. It wasn't as if they were visible or misrepresenting me in any way. I didn't have to hide them and being single meant that no one was interested in getting in my pants except me. Despite experiencing some pain and cramping  everything was as normal as it gets for a trans guy.

I wanted to be able to reduce my testosterone intake and hopefully stop any confusion or conflict created by having both ovaries and testosterone in my body. I found out afterwards that my ovaries were all shrunk up as if they had come out of a menopausal woman. I had my suspicions that estrogen didn't have quite the stronghold on my system as it might in a regular female. It took only one shot of T to shut everything off. It was as if my body was finally relieved that the "true" hormone finally showed up to do its job and estrogen had merely been a temporary solution for survival. The relief was real.

But I suppose the biggest reason to have the surgery was to make it real. I had to make a decision and I had to own it. I had to have faith in that seven year old who knew exactly who he was. I had to beat the fear, the doubt, the what if and just do it. More than anything that was the scariest part. There is no going back. There is no undo button,  no way those pieces back if for any reason I felt I fucked up. I needed to do it or not do it but not paralyze myself with indecision.

So I went through with it.


2.05.2013

Hysterctomy Post-Op Update #1

Well here it is three days since I had my total laparoscopic hysterectomy. I am feeling pretty good, taking things easy, recovering at home in the company of my three cats. For the most part, the surgery was exactly what I expected: pain, drugs, sleep, aches, lots of fluids, television and naps.

I am not sure how long the surgery was, I don't remember being in the recovery room at all and only remember moving from the surgical bed into my hospital bed. I do remember making a fuss about the pain and mistaking the pain of the vag packing for the catheter. Once the packing was removed I could finally deal with the catheter and get comfortable enough to sleep for most of the rest of the day.

One of the side effects of T is an increase in haemoglobin which put me at higher risk of developing blood clots. This meant that I had to be on blood thinners before and after surgery. Unfortunately nothing as simple as an Aspirin would do so instead I had shots of Heparin injected in my stomach before and after surgery. Along with the Heparin I wore pressure socks that were hooked up to an air pump to massage my lower limbs, also to help reduce the risk of blood clots.

Anaesthetic has never been a friend of mine and I usually puke at some point after being put under. This time the anaesthesiologist gave me extra anti nausea meds but I still found that I was nauseated. I think there's a chance the sick feeling was a side effect of the morphine as I felt really dizzy after the shot they gave me. My night nurse hooked a little bag up to my IV which made all the nausea disappear and finally I was able to eat without feeling sick to my stomach.


I had great care at the hospital an the doctors and nurses were all really great. No one made me feel awkward or weird about being the transsexual on the floor, and the care I got was really fantastic. I returned home the day following my surgery and honestly probably should have stayed the night. The second day is always worse than the first and I spent most of the day sleeping and re-regulating my meds. I have no doubt that with continued rest and diligent care I will feel much better and need to remind myself to take it easy.

Will post another update soon.