September 15, 2012

In which I am not brave, I am a pathetic kitten

Okay, it's top surgery story time!

I've actually started to kind of dislike telling these stories because they tend to make people coo at me over how brave I was. This is mostly annoying for the same reason it's always annoying when people tell me I'm brave: transitioning is seriously the path of least resistance for me. But it is also annoying because these stories are meant to be funny; my woes are not pitiful, they are hilarious!

Therefore, please refrain from reading the following anecdotes unless you are prepared to find them amusing. Ready? Let's go.

I spent a week in Florida recovering from surgery. A good friend came with me, and then let me continue recuperating at her house in Georgia for an additional week. You are about to learn just how good a friend she was.

So, post-tits, I couldn't raise my arms. I thought I was prepared for the implications of this, but I was not. I could only drink through a straw (expected), from a glass lifted to my mouth (unexpected). I could brush my own teeth, but only if my friend handed me a prepared toothbrush-- and then took the toothbrush from my hand and cleaned it for me. I could sometimes get out of my chair by myself, but never out of bed-- so several times a night I would mewl my friend's name into the darkness until she woke up and lifted me upright, to let me toddle to the bathroom. Then she'd tuck me back into bed.

I couldn't get the bandage wet, so when I wanted to look presentable for an outing with a friend, she washed my hair by using all the cushions and pillows in the room to construct the perfect support for me to lie on the floor of the bathroom with my head over the tub. (Pictured: the deeply ridiculous ice cream which was my reward for flopping about on the tile.)

I repaid her by being truly terrible company. Mostly I slept and marathonned Mad Men while she… kept track of my medication schedules, I'm not really sure. (I told you I was terrible!) Never before has the phrase 'weak as a kitten' been more accurate. My first meal, I got tired halfway through and had to be spoon-fed the rest. My friend tied a piece of string around me so I wouldn't forget myself and reach too far, but it was a moot point.

I did get better, but the healing process was equally a process of adjusting expectations. It felt like genuine independence, the first day that I was able to finish putting on my own underwear after my friend had held them out for me and lifted them up to my knees. And once we'd returned to her house, I could even get out of bed all by myself! (Mostly by letting my lower body fall onto the floor, so I could get into a sitting position and then stand up from there, but it still counts.)

But for those first two weeks, I was so distracted by the unexpected absurdity of my situation-- and so removed from any of the social contexts which might reasonably have been affected by the change in my appearance-- that it was actually a bit difficult to remember that I wasn't just binding too hard. It didn't start to sink in until the day before I wanted to drive home to NC, when I grabbed a bra to put my tits on for a trip to the mechanic and… had no tits. I still get a little cheerful surprise every now and then, when I wake up and realize they're still gone. I'm not sure I'll ever stop being chuffed that I can leave the house without any ridiculous torso undergarments-- it's just so much easier!

And I guess that's the moral of the story: I am incredibly lazy, but I have folks looking out for me and that makes my life pretty good. Also: 'cosmetic' surgery, my ass.

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