Moving forward with the process of getting top surgeryPosted: October 22, 2015
I have two consultations within the next two weeks with surgeons. I can’t believe I made it this far – I didn’t always know I would get top surgery. Even now, I’d say I’m about 99% certain, but I’m still hesitant to talk about it or write about it. I’ve never written about it here other than just quick, vague mentions.
There were some hang-ups I had to work to get past (and I’m still working through) in order to allow myself to feel like I can do this:
It is a want, not a need. I don’t need this – I’d say it’s been a persistent nagging feeling for years and years and years, but never an intolerable feeling of disgust or revulsion. If my chest is not a source of gender dysphoria in a way I can’t live with, can I still get top surgery? Yeah, why not? It will definitely improve my quality of life. Throughout adulthood, I have fantasized about wearing t-shirts or tank tops in the summer, without a binder. I avoid binders when I can, which leads me to another hang-up…
My chest is small. My chest is so small that it seems like I could just live with it how it is. Can’t I just live with it? It’s not cumbersome; I don’t have to do much to hide what I have. In the winter, it’s not much of a problem. I can just layer and I don’t have to bind. In the summer, I think about it all too much. Sometimes I bind; other times I just attempt to layer and be hot.
Ultimately, my chest doesn’t look how I think it should look, and if I have the means to change that, I don’t see why I shouldn’t. Urgency (and my lack thereof) plays a role in whether I think I get to do this, but I can get over that. I think. I have a lot of shirts I’d like to wear, but don’t. Because they don’t look right. I spend a lot of time thinking about how my body could look different.
For a very long time, I thought I would get top surgery one day, but I had no idea how to make a first step. Which just tells me I probably wasn’t ready yet. It seemed so daunting as to be impossible. Finally, this summer, I was corresponding with a trans-guy I know locally, and he said he got surgery in our city. That blew my mind – I didn’t know there was anyone here.
I started looking at a Facebook group where others had written about their experiences with her, and I could suddenly wrap my head around moving ahead. I called and booked a consultation for a month away. As soon as I did that, more doors opened up. I could suddenly envision traveling, meeting with other surgeons, all the stuff involved in getting top surgery, usually. I did minimal amounts of research (I already know a bunch of surgeons by name – I’m sure I will do more research. It’s going to be a long process) and called Dr. Rumer’s office, about 5 hours away. I’ll be traveling just to meet with her. That seems huge. She waived the consultation fee because I have been to the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, one of the many places she presents at. That’s pretty cool.
These consultations happen to be only 3 days apart – it’s going to be a busy week, coming up.