Big News!

I’ve got a surgery date: May 25th with Dr. Medalie in Cleveland!  All systems are go for this: the good Dr. M is ready to write me a letter, and so today I am checking out plane tickets! Also, last night I sent out my mom and dad’s letters: I’ve not heard from dad (likely he hasn’t checked his email) but mom was incredible: teary over “how hard this must have been for [me]” to hide being transgendered growing up and feeling different and not having anyone to talk to about it.  She was wildly supportive and reminded me many times of how much she loves me. And called little sister S and told her the story as well: she too was very supportive and said many kind things.  The most touching of which being that she is proud of me.  I recognize how lucky I am to have such a loving and accepting family. So now!  On to the planning!  My checklist includes: -Purchasing plane tickets -Contacting HR and getting part-time disability set-up for June.  I plan on taking four weeks off work, as my job is labor intensive (I am a ground level shelf-filler for a wildly popular groceries store chain) -And so if I am taking a month off I suppose I should tell my supervisor about this too.  K and I talked this strategy out during a long bus ride along the Connecticut river: I plan to tell my immediate supervisor and the store manager.  I will also tell a few close friends at work, and let the news make the rounds organically.  My workplace is full of people who “enjoy their privacy” [read: can be cold and uncaring of others, but also just enjoy their privacy, which I respect] and so I see no reason to share my private life with them.  I will tell my friends, and will not force them into a closet: they can tell who they want, and I trust them to not share with malicious intent. -Investigate whether or not my insurance company might pay for some or all of this surgery: since I had uterine cancer at such a young age and have a few other contributing factors, it is plausible this could be considered preventative care.   Then, all the little things: setting myself up for post-op care, including the purchase of steri-strips, getting some sweet reads for while I’m laid up, and removing everything I love from the top shelves.  You guys have any advice for post-op care?

Be nice to yourselves, Your Pal Eli

10 thoughts on “Big News!

  1. Congratulations. Haven’t had this procedure yet, but am currently recovering from another surgery, so my advice is: when the doctor tells you to rest, do exactly what s/he tells you. No matter how good you feel. Take the full recovery time and heal right the first time.


    It is so awesome to watch this journey from the outside; you’re exactly where I was a year ago. I am so, so, so fucking happy for you, dude.
    Medalie is a great choice; I am very happy that I went with him. If you have any questions about my experience with him, please don’t hesitate to email me at

    Things I brought that I found helpful:
    A husband pillow — this was extremely helpful and I highly recommend it. It literally made everything easier. It allowed me to sleep sitting up in a relatively comfortable position, and the armrests were surprisingly helpful for just lounging around.
    A camelbak– This is a great way to keep yourself hydrated. Just have your caretaker refill it occasionally, and you are good to go! Just position it next to yourself, that way all you have to lift is the straw.
    Snacks– I found that the hydrocodone was difficult for me to take on an empty stomach. Having a protein bar on hand that you can eat every four hours when you have to wake up to take your meds can be helpful.
    Entertainment– Books, movies, handheld video games, etc.

    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope it helps! (:

    • These are great suggestions. Thanks so much for them–especially the camel pak and husband pillow–those are things we hadn’t thought of at all!

      • Of course 🙂

        Also, on the less glamorous side of things— colace. Painkillers do tend to back one up (but you probably already know that from your hysto!).

        And for a bit after surgery– loofa on a stick. When you are showering alone, this will help you clean places you can’t reach due to limited mobility.

        Pajama pants are always good, too. I was surprised to find that the simple act of buttoning my pants could be a bit challenging. Slip-on shoes are also great for the same reason.

        Oh! And bendy straws for any non-camelbak drinks.

        I’ll add more if I think of anything else. 🙂

    • Tam,

      This is great news! As I wrote, I think a fair argument can be made for preventative care for me, so I think I’ll call Valerie on Monday and have a chat.

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