Monday, August 21, 2006

will be back in NYC on Wednesday, with real internet access once again, so expect a slew of posts as I try to pour out everything that's been in my brain for the past two weeks. and hoo-boy, have there been a lot of thoughts bubbling to the surface.

also, check out story on transguys in Sunday NY Times Style section from yesterday. I've got very mixed feelings about it. More on that later.

Also, I've been getting tons of comment spam, so I'm turning on word verification for commenting. Hope it's not too annoying!

Monday, August 14, 2006

alive, well

in San Francisco, doing well, recovering nicely. today i'm going to the doctor to get my drains out and get unwrapped for the first time- very exciting! i'm stealing a few minutes of internet on the hotel computer, so i'll be in better touch when i'm back in PDX> for now, suffice it to say that things went very well, that i'm looking forward to the big unveiling this afternoon, that my family has been taking spectacular care of me, and that i'm looking forward to being more fully recovered.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

only just out of reach, down the street, on a beach

Less than a week. Only six days til I get up early early early in the morning, head to the surgery center, meet Dr. B, get some lines drawn on my chest, and close my eyes on this body for the last time. The last time I was put under general anesthesia, they gave me a relaxing drug first, which made me loopy and amnesiac. I don't remember it, but I'm told that I took a swing at a resident who jokingly suggested that I got good grades in school through cheating, and later I was riotously calling for the doctors from that tv show ER when they wheeled me down the hall. Perhaps I'll comport myself with rather more decorum this time?

I had dinner with a friend last night, and she gave me some advice about preparing for surgery. Visualization! Creative and positive visualization is key. She suggested that I spend time imagining excellent results, visualizing a well-healed and perfectly executed chest- there's a strong connection between mental exercises and physical health. I believe it, and I certainly am invested in focusing positive energy (mental and otherwise) on myself for a while in an effort to make this event as easy and successful as possible.

But the visualization part...well, that I've been having some trouble with. I think it's because I really don't know what I'm going to be like, not on an emotional level. I've never really had a good self-image, good here in the sense of accurate. I'm not very good at picturing myself, because I've never really liked focusing on the reality of my physical self, and so I don't think I have a strong mental image to begin with. Add to that the "anything could happen!" factor, and my efforts to picture what I'm going to look like a few weeks from now are pretty stilted.

I mean, I know what trans bodies look like. I've spent enough time scouring Transster (and other online picture-sharing resources) and pestering my friends to have a pretty good idea what post-surgery chests look like. I can visualize a transmasculine body, but it's surprisingly more difficult to visualize MY male/transmasculine body.

I've always been...not surprised, exactly, but slightly disappointed whenever I look in the mirror. It offers up a little reminder of what I actually look like, and I'm always a touch surprised when it's still not what I want. Lately, that's been changing- I'm enjoying ever more frequent and longer-lasting spells of comfort. I've been thinking of these changes more as "adjustments" to my own self which, while I don't feel terribly comfortable in it, and do have flashes of surprise/disappointment when I remember it (ah, dysphoria), at least is familiar.

And now I'm doing something radical and sudden! I think for a while, I'm going to be surprised again when I look in the mirror. A good surprise, now, rather than a disappointed one, but surprise nonetheless. A fresh start, I guess.

Also, there's a little part of me that doesn't quite believe yet that I'm going to be able to make this work, to effectively shape my body the way I want it to. I'll believe it when I see it, I guess!