Well here we are again,
It’s always such a pleasure.
Remember when I tried to
I dropped the ball on that account and seem to have reverted to yearly update. No matter, i have some incredibly exciting news! Tomorrow I am having my orchiectomy! That’s right, no more spironolactone and no more pesky balls to drop. I have been incredibly lucky to have access to a wonderful team of doctors in Boston who have come together to provide care for transgender patients. Likewise in Massachusetts in most cases insurance is required to cover gender confirming surgeries.
I am excited and nervous at the same time, which I think is to be expected. The fact that I am finally having one of the surgeries I’ve longed for is unbelievable.
For anyone who doesn’t know what an orchiectomy is, it is the removal of the testicles. The benefits to this are that you no longer have to take testosterone blockers, they are no longer physically in the way, and the obvious psychological benefit of being closer to how you feel inside.
All in all I am doing pretty well. My mood has been mostly stable and I’ve been working full time, keeping myself busy. Tomorrow or this weekend I will be sure to post another update about how things went. Wish me luck!!
Also.. 100th post, woo!
Greetings and salutations my fine denizens.
I’ve been AWOL for a literally 5 days short of a year. Honestly things have been up and down pretty frequently but I am in a pretty positive state right now. Aside from work and the occasional social engagement I have been spending much of my time playing video games. There really isn’t time for much more when you work in theater. The good news is I am making several dollars more than I was last year and that means a lot when the owner is kind of a scrooge.
But I digress, I just wanted to let y’all know that I am still alive and kicking, I hate to make empty promises but I am going to try try TRY my hardest! *fingers crossed* To make more frequent blog posts. I think it will help get the thoughts out of my head and relieve some of my stress.
In conclusion here is the most recent Ask Abbey question I received, I think it addresses some legitimate concerns many of us face/have faced at some point in transition.
Q: So as we all know you get constant messages, I just wanted to ask a couple questions which I feel no TRANS chat site have answered or anything, I am currently going through electrolysis on my face, I’m about 20 hours in, I too am a red head so laser didn’t work and I wasted 10 months doing it to have little effect and it has put me at a broken point as now I am doing electrolysis 3 – 4 hours a week. I don’t have the confidence to present fully female like I used to due to my facial hair having to grow for treatment.
I have been on HRT for 7 months now so in my mind I feel I’m falling behind and it will affect my chances of SRS on my one year mark of HRT incase the Doctor feels I am talking steps backwards due to dressing in less feminine cloths for electrolysis but still present as SHE and BROOKE etc, if that makes sense.
I feel I’m in a bad state of mind. Will the hair go away? Will I be hair free? Am I going to be able to go back to presenting full time as myself?
A: Hello Brooke,
Those are all understandable concerns in your current position. First off since you are on HRT and actively going through your transition, there is no falling behind, When I was doing electrolysis I was only doing 1 hour per week. it is okay if things don’t go as fast as you expected them to.
When I started HRT I was gung ho to get on a full dose. As you may or may not know I had a set back and had to go off estrogen for a number of months and it felt like an eternity; but I got through it and looking back it really didn’t make that big of a difference. I also wanted to have had breast surgery, an orchiectomy, changed my SS, and change my passport by now but I still haven’t done those things. I get really upset about it and beat myself up for not motivating myself to get these things done but it is scary to make those unknown steps. It really is. Lately I have been trying to push myself and move forward with my goals, one step at a time.
Fact of the matter is I think having SRS after only one year of being on HRT is a bit soon, especially with all the changes you are going through. Waiting a little longer is not going to hurt your quality of results. But regardless of time frame you will absolutely be able to present and be yourself. Nothing can stop you.
Honestly it took me a long time before I was confident enough to present as female when I was alone in public. Hell, I still get nervous going into public restrooms and it’s been over 5 years. I don’t think you need to worry about falling behind.
I hope this gives you some peace of mind!
p.s. I really don’t get that many emails 😛
Hey babe, come here often? 😉
Because I apparently don’t HAH!
But really. I hope everyone out there is having a healthy transition into fall(see what I did there?) I know the change of seasons can bring wonderful things like pretty leaves and apple cider, but also the bittersweet goodbye kiss of summer, and the frosty embrace of winter. I usually get a pretty stong dose of the SAD(seasonal affective disorder.) A lack of vitamin D from the sun does some serious damage to my mood and often leads to emo hermiting in my room all winter. Not something I look forward to.
For that reason I have decided just now(15 minutes ago) to reach out to friends and potential new friends to forge new bonds to get through the winter months and improve my life in general. Being alone all the time sucks.
Something interesting that I have been contemplating is the idea that I am actually an extrovert with severe social anxiety. The topic came up in conversation with the girl I have been dating recently and it challenges a pretty basic thing I though I knew about myself. But apparently not.
I am going to go take a nice hot bath and shave my legs, you may hear from me sooner than later! ^-^
This is me on a trip into Boston shortly after dying my hair again. Even though I am a natural red head I like to make it extra red from time to time. My brother and I went into Boston to see our old High School perform “On the Verge” at the state finals of the One Acts Drama Festival. The theater teacher who works at the high school had a huge influence on both me and my brother as we passed through high school.
I am trying to get bits and pieces of my website updated as many of my pages are outdated. For example I haven’t touched my gallery in a year or two. Today I finished a much needed update on my breast development page. You can see my updated breast development timeline here (WARNING: Partial Nudity). I was pretty discouraged with my development until I saw my most recent pictures next to the images from when I first started. My breasts have grown a TON! Looking at my other timelines reveals that I have changed in many more ways than I thought.
I looked at this image of my facial hair before starting electrolysis and hormones and I cringed remembering what all that facial hair felt like. I still get facial hair, but I only have to shave every 2-3 days. That mustache and goatee are horrrrrible!
Anyways, I have been trudging through life without really doing anything. Weekly therapy, video games, netflix, and visiting friends is pretty much my whole existence right now. I have been selling collars on my etsy shop, which I got my business cards for! I am impressed by how well they came out. The cards themselves are durable and the detail looks wonderful. I am very happy with them. I opted for the premium double sided cards and it costed around $20-30, which isn’t too bad for 250 cards. You can get 250 for free from Vista Print. Check mine out below.
I am going to focus on my timeline pictures next and should have that up by the end of the week. In the mean time I am going to look at jobs and think about where I want to go from here. Depression has been beating me down lately and it is time I pulled myself out of it. The beautiful weather outside will definitely help. 🙂
Welcome! God bless everyone!
And as she began typing that overdue post, she looked up and it was no ordinary post she was writing…. It was….
Can you tell I’ve been listening to and seeing musicals? I recently helped load in A Christmas Carol at the theater where I work and it really is a great show. The theater has been showing it every year in December since 1989 (the year I was born). It has the most set pieces, automation, theatrics, special effects, & Pyro than any other show each season. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Anyways, I have been spending most of my time working on myself and setting goals for the future. Since I am not taking classes I am going to start working and putting some money away to put towards surgeries. I am really not sure I can get insurance to cover anything, so I have decided to take things into my own hands. It won’t be too hard for me to save enough for a breast augmentation. That is one of the first things I am going to get.
My consultation with Dr. McGinn went well. I will just run through how the meeting went. We talked about FFS, GRS, and of course breast augmentation. Most of it was going over basics and expectations as well as the risks. I was impressed by how down to earth she was. I could easily see myself hanging out with her like any other person. She was impressed by how feminine I already look, which was pretty humbling. She also took photos of my various features as a reference for any surgeries I do get with her. The area her office is located in, New Hope, PA, is a beautiful quaint little town right on the border of PA and NJ, split by a river. I was really comfortable in the area and it reminded me of the area I live in New England.
As for my face the only things she would suggest is rhinoplasty, trachea shave, some brow bone contouring, and possible a lip lift with Juviderm injections. There really isn’t a whole lot I need, just a little bit here and there. The biggest thing I think will be my nose and brow. I already have a great natural hairline and she seemed to think it would be a mistake to mess with it. I already have a fair amount of tooth show already so a lip lift isn’t necessary, the Juviderm would give them more volume though. She does not do any jaw or chin surgery because it is a very risky area to be cutting into. Some surgeons will shave the angles down on your jaw/chin bones to lessen the sharp angles. I admit I do kind of want to have my chin rounded out a bit. I have a dimple in the middle and it is fairly wide; I am very self conscious about it. The main risks are A: damaging your jaw, and B: ending up with an uneven chin.
We talked about the different options for breast augmentation. Over the muscle or under the muscle, silicone vs. saline, incision location, size, etc. Dr McGinn suggested that I get high profile silicone implants places above the muscle via an incision in the crease beneath the breast. She said I would need about 600cc in my left breast and 550cc in my right to account for the difference in size and the be roughly a C cup. Having had a breast reduction when I was younger I do not have as much breast tissue in my left breast which will make it difficult to have a perfectly symmetrical result. Her reason for choosing above the muscle is that when you place it below the muscle they sometimes get pushed up to an unnatural position on your chest. If you have limited tissue surgeons tend to put them below the muscle to give a more natural look.
Once I got home from my trip I did a little experiment (for science!) by making mock implants using dry rice and two balloons. I filled one with 600ml of rice and the other with 550ml. One cc equates to the same as one ml. The size isn’t exact due to the air gaps between the rice while measuring, but for all intensive purposes it did the job. I then proceeded to put them in my bra and walk around with huge boobs. They seem pretty large, perhaps a little too large. I am undecided though since they will obviously fit & flow with the contours of my body with actual implants. I intend to consult with at least one other surgeon in MA for augmentation to get a second opinion and perhaps have the surgery up here. It doesn’t make much sense driving to PA to get a boob job when there are dozens of them in every major city. The important thing is finding one with experience in treating transgendered clientele. The frame of a biological male body IS different than that of a biological female body, and experience will lead to the best result.
Dr. McGinn charges $6,000 for the procedure + $1,400 for the implants bringing the total to $7,400 for breast augmentation. A good BA seems to be running between 5k and 8k so I believe it is a reasonable price.
Now, onto the pictures!
As you can see they are of moderate size and do look pretty good.
They look a little big in profile.
And finally the rice implants themselves (complete with nipples!)
I think the experiment was a success, it gave me right understanding of the potential size. Chances are I will end up somewhere between 450cc and 600cc.
Bottom Surgery (aka Vaginoplasty)
(Graphic surgical descriptions below)
This part of the consultation was the most in depth. We talked about the procedure itself as well as the risks, results, and preparation involved. It would be hard for me to describe it in my own words so I will transcribe the description she gave in the appointment summary the office gave me.
“We do a one stage inverted penile technique using the scrotum as a skin graft to make the back of the vagina. We reduce the glans penis to make a sensate clitoris. The nerves of the clitoris are in the Mons pubis. The labia are made from the penile foreskin. The urethra is shortened and wrapped around the clitoris to make a clitoral hood. The hood provides protection and lubrication to the clitoris. The areas that have the most sensation are the mins, clitoris, and the g-spot inside the vagina. The surgery takes about 3-4 hours.
Logistics: Vaginoplasties are generally done on Tuesdays. We operate out of Lower Bucks Hospital in Bristol, PA. We ask that you come into the area the day before surgery in order to complete informed consent and a bowel prep. You will be in the hospital from Tuesday through Friday. Please be prepared, you are on bed-rest for 48 hours. Friday you are discharged from the hospital to New Hope, PA. You will have a Foley catheter and vaginal packing in place. You will return to the office for two visits the following week prior to going home. You should plan on being in PA for 2 weeks total.
Hair removal: We recommend a full clearing for 5-6 months of genital electrolysis or laser hair removal. it is not required, but highly recommended.”
Dr. McGinn covered much more than just what is here, but the rest is more specific to the patient. You are required to stop taking estrogen/progesterone 2 weeks before surgery and remain off it for several days. I think that genital electrolysis will be a must for me because I am very particular. Having any sort of hair INSIDE would both annoy me and skeeve me out.
The cost of Vaginoplasty is $19,500 and covers all hospital fees, your hospital stay, surgery costs, anesthesiologist fee, as well as your new dilators! That is another thing, dilating. Dr. McGinn has her patients dilate more often than other doctors because it is crucial if you want to maximize your depth. Her average depth is around 5″-6″.
For most procedures they require a $2,500 deposit when you schedule a date.
It is quite a lot to take in isn’t it? I am pretty confident that Dr. McGinn would be a great surgeon for bottom surgery and at the moment she is at the top of my list. One of the most important things I feel next to skill is the level of comfort you have with your surgeon. That way you will be more comfortable asking questions and expressing concern. I tend to be more comfortable around women (it seems many transwomen are), and there happens to only be a handful of female GRS surgeons including Marci Bowers and Christine McGinn. There may be several others I haven’t hear about, but those are the two big names.
I have started rambling and I am running out of things to say, so this seems to be a good place to stop. I have pictures to update my breast timeline that I keep forgetting about, I promise to get to it soon. I also let my facial hair grow for a week to get an updated reference for electrolysis effect. I will be updating that soon as well.
In case I don’t post before the holiday,
I hope everyone has a wonderful wintersday and new years! 🙂