2 weeks post-op


Inspired by the midday heat, today I removed the binder halfway through my workday. I was surprised to find such a difference in tolerance within a day; aside from slight uneasiness due to an unshakable concern that someone might notice my breasts, it was an immediate relief in regards to temperature and brought only vague discomfort. After nearly 12 hours of activity without it, however, I find that I am extremely sore; particularly near my underarms at the edge of the incision, almost too sensitive to touch. Although today marks the end of my medically assigned binding period, I worry for both the pain and the exposure and may wear the binder during the night for some days more at least.

The removal of the surgical tape was also to take place today. I had peeled away a small portion from each incision at the front some days past, it having become saturated and, as well, for my own curiosity as to the appearance of the developing scar. Some slight scabbing was peeled away with the tape, leaving an evidently pink line from sternum to side. Having not been washed nor even touched since the surgery, the skin surrounding the incision was dirty and sticky. Although it is not recommended to wash the area, the crumpled skin was unsightly but did seem to improve after several minutes of patting with a warm washcloth. The edges both at the middle and at the underarms are distinctly raised and somewhat pinched, leaving me with concern of their healing ability; having a disposition of developing slightly keloidal scarring.

“It looks so…. real.”

My brother observes my chest with a touch of mirth for the first time this past Monday, eager to see how nearly $12,000 has transformed my body. “Is it worth it?”

“I can’t tell yet,” I say. My nipples dark and scabbed, my incisions obscured with tape, I have not yet seen the final result. Only after I emerge from the shower, expecting somewhere in my mind the femininity which has been ever reflected back to me, am I presented with the image that will redefine how I perceive my body.

I am horrified.

The lines cut in vivid angles beneath my breast, bunching in small areas where the muscle within tender tissue has been severed; not in a smooth semicircle as I had, for whatever reason, anticipated or hoped for. The incision surrounding my nipples seems to jump out in striking colour the more that I stare. As I acknowledge the fact that I have given everything I have to afford completely and utterly irrevocable plastic surgery, I cannot help the revulsion that I feel as I realize that the image in the mirror is not someone else’s body.

Perhaps it is the obvious masculinity that conjures this thought. While my body has changed dramatically in the past two years, the ever-present appendages, despite how I chose to perceive them, projected an undeniable female shape into my subconscious; and, perhaps, continued to fuel the childhood allusions that my body did not in fact belong to me. Without them, and with the crafted appearance of male, there is nothing to disprove possession of my body. I realize that I am seeing myself for the first time, and in realizing, I am unable to process what I have created. I can only stare as media coverage of Michael Jackson’s death cascades uncontrollably through my mind, projecting images of disfiguring plastic surgery to the result of an unrecognizable body. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to look. I put my shirt on.

Hours later, as I observe photos, I am struck with the impressive result. It does not feel as though the body in pictures is the one that I will see when I look into the mirror — they are, merely, as the countless other post-op photos I obsessed over for years in anticipation, never expecting to arrive at the other end.

I feel ruined.

Is it worth it? The question reverberates in my head as I attempt to disassociate my revulsion, forcing myself to look past the scars. Then it is worth it. The flatness when wearing nothing but a shirt is a sight so surreal I can hardly comprehend, and I cannot believe what luck I have had. But the horror that I cannot help but see when it is removed, when I tend to the areolae each morning, when I take a shower, when I undress is far too reminiscent of the childhood feelings of utter wrongness that took so much effort to overcome. I feel as though I am beginning my transition from scratch all over again.

I do not know how to cope. The overwhelming agony of being unhappy with the body that I so recently learned to accept, and indeed to enjoy looking at, is almost too much to comprehend. While the shock of the initial view has worn off, still I can hardly stand to look. I should have left the tape on.

The thought tortures me.

Today, 14 days post-op.

Also today, slightly different lighting.

From the side.


~ by geekbynature on July 7, 2009.

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