My Pre-Op Afternoon in Cleveland

Our day in Cleveland started this morning with my pre-op visit to see Medalie.  K and I took the subway to the bus, and while standing at the bus stop saw this piece of work:

The fourteen year-old in me couldn’t resist–what a big gay!

Once we got to the office, things were running on-time, so we only waited a few minutes or so.  This was our first time meeting Medalie face to face, and he was very pleasant.  We basically immediately got to business: he said, “do you want an ugly gown, or would you rather just undress here?”  And I, appreciating his candor, said, “no need for the robe.”

He took a look, felt me up (he should get an award as the only man to ever lay hands on my tits), and we talked about my options. As it turns out, I find myself in the not-uncommon situation of having one breast that is slightly larger than the other.  The problem for me is that Medalie would preform the DI method on one, the Peri- on the other.  And thus he has left the decision up to me.

I also find myself in the strange position of having a substantial scar, one that looks almost hypertrophic, from my hysterectomy.  However, my body has never scarred like that from any other cut throughout my life, nor does anyone else in my family scar hypertrophically.  Ugh.  So, I risk some pretty substantial scarring, which might dissuade me from the DI method, but with the peri-areolar I lose the best contour option.  Again, Medalie has left this decision up to me, and I appreciate that ultimately it is my choice.  I just wish this was an easier decision to make.

My gut says “scars be damned, you want the best contour, so go for the DI,” but then my brain comes in and says, “remember going to the beach in August?  Do you really want that kind of extensive scarring to look down at forever? ”  The contour difference between DI and peri-areolar I don’t believe to be substantial, but again, I do want the best results possible.  And with peri- I risk extensive scarring around the nipples.

I need a break from thinking about this.  Here is a picture of Lula the Cleveland Chihuahua sitting in my lap:

I have no chest dysphoria.  Please, enjoy scratching my abdomen.

I think I accept the long scars of the DI method, with the understanding that I never treated my hysto scar with anything, (I can get cortisone injections to minimize the DI scarring, for example).  They might not even be as bad as the hysto scars: I take better care of myself now, this surgery is of a different variety, and I do believe the panic I was feeling in every cell of my body about the cancer related to the hysto affected my body’s healing process.  I feel much differently about this surgery: I am healthier and not nearly as worried.  And if these scars get just as bad, a sweet chest piece will cover them, and I have always considered getting a tattoo there, even before realizing I might have excessive scarring.

For those of you considering this surgery, I asked Medalie the following questions:

-Do I need to sit up to sleep for any period of time? (No, but sleeping on my back is important)

-Is a nausea patch necessary? (No, they give me meds in my IV to combat nausea)

-Do I need the anti-phneumonia breathing contraption they gave me after my hysto? (No)

-I hear some people have a hard time waking up the ol’ bowels after anesthesia, should I take a laxative? (Yes, post-op)

-VIcodin can make me feel a bit nutty, can I take Advil for the pain instead? (Not within the first 48 hours)

He then gave me an outline of sorts of the day of surgery, and we were done.  In the waiting room when K and I came out there was another butch, or previously butch id-ing person in the waiting room.  K approached him as I finished up my paperwork and they had a quick chat.  She asked if he was here to see Medalie; he unzipped his hoodie and showed us his grenades. He was really sweet: today was the day to remove his drains!  He was very friendly and was happy to talk about his experience, but we chatted for just a moment then he was called in to see the doctor.  Shortly thereafter K and I saw him leave the office as we were sitting outside.  He smiled widely and waved.

I am a week away from that smile.

K and I hopped on the bus and made our way over to Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood and had lunch at Ohio City Burrito, where we split an enormous naked burrito (a burrito with no tortilla) and shared an horchata.  Then we went two doors down to a little vegan bakery and shared a chocolate cupcake that was too big for our bellies:

You’re not trans enough…for this enormous vegan cupcake. (Cupcake held by K)

On our walk down the road to the historic West Side Fruit Market we came across this nice piece:

Your letters here!

When we arrived at the market, this gentleman greeted us:


With some T, my banana might get that big someday.

We bought some strawberries and blackberries (the strawberries were devoured with tonight’s dinner, and the blackberries will likely be part of breakfast tomorrow.)

How am I feeling, two days away from surgery?  I’m stoked.  I’m ready to heal.  I’m ready to meet my new chest.

Be nice to yourselves and dogs much smaller than you,
Your Pal Eli

8 thoughts on “My Pre-Op Afternoon in Cleveland

  1. (Loving the pictures. I’m glad I got my touristy visit to Chicago out of the way during the consult so I didn’t feel like missing out when I was knocked out).

    Personally, I would have gone for peri, had I had the option. My scars – regardless of their appearance – make me very self conscious in public, and are just not the ideal dream for me. It is what it is now.

    But it sounds like you don’t mind the DI scars, like you might even want them. Which is uncommon, but some people are actually really proud of their scars. It’s personal preference really.

    In times like these, I make lists of pro’s and con’s, dividing it into best/worst case. Ask yourself questions to untangle the big issues, such as “assuming my scars will not be hypertrophic, would I opt for a DI?” It’s a lot to take in, but in the end you will make the right decision because it’ll be what you want. And in the end, it’s a pretty big step that will put a smile on your face.

    • It’s not that I want the scars, it’s that I accept them as part of having the contour that I want. I would dislike the peri- excessive scarring around the nipple more than the DI excessive scarring because the DI scars can be covered with a tattoo, the peri- nipple scars cannot be.

  2. That’s a toughie… I don’t know what I would have done in your situation. Maybe peri but I don’t think I will mind the scars from the DI once they’ve healed completely. Like you mentioned, they can always be covered.

  3. Whatever you decide you will make the decision that is best for you. Thank you for taking the time out to document this I really enjoy reading your posts, somehow they just pragmatically deal with the business of being trans without becoming dour or draining. Great pooch shot.

    • I love “dour” and “pooch” came up so gracefully in your comment. As a lover of the language, I appreciate your avoidance of the overused “boring” and “dog.”

      At this point, the morning before, I am really leaning very hard toward DI, but I have a few things to look up before it becomes my “final answer,” as it were.

  4. Following along and sending many good thoughts. It sounds like you’ve got the decision worked out, but it is hard when you don’t get a really clear best direction from the doctor.

    • Agreed, but there is something freeing and positive about the decision being in my hands. This opportunity comes at a good time for me, as I am believing more and more in myself as I get closer to a more appropriate physical manifestation of myself.

      Thanks for your comment, and for dropping by the blog!


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