A day in the life of a trans guy

I’ve not written on here for a while, mainly because I’ve not really had anything much to say and partly because I’ve not had the concentration to be able to sit down and write, so I thought I would write a bit of an update regarding my transition.

On the 20th Feb was my 18 month post op top surgery! Which is so crazy, time has flow so quickly and I am still so pleased with the results of surgery, the scars look fab and its healed so well. I am beyond grateful and still just so happy with how my chest looks.

And on the 22nd of Feb was my 3 years and 6 months on testosterone which is just so crazy, can’t believe its been nearly 4 years already! Still trying to grow my beard in lol! but its getting there. Testosterone and surgery saved my life and I will be forever grateful for access to trans healthcare.

One thing I have been thinking about for a long while is my pronouns, I have been going by he/him which is cool that fits me fine but I’ve recently been thinking about going by they/them as well as he/him. Because I’m not out here trying to be a cis guy, I’m just trying to be me and for me I feel that he/him is just too restrictive and that in order to be he/him I have to be a certain way, which just isn’t me. I still identify as a trans masculine guy but I have a much softer, far more sensitive side and I don’t feel like who I am fits into the narrow view of what it is to be masculine and that’s totally fine with me, I definitely feel like they/them gives me more room to breathe and continue to explore myself, without such restrictions. It feels far more freeing already.

Being trans isn’t just hormones and surgery, its a constant journey of self discovery, for me it has been anyways and I think a lot of that is down to my growing confidence within myself and free from toxic/negative/gaslighting situations and free from others judgements so I’ve been able to really look at the things I really love and enjoy and not worry about what other people think about it because I AM happy and that’s all that matter and I am looking forward to continue to explore this part of my journey.

Always be yourself and if the people around you don’t like it or don’t respect you, get rid of them. If someone cannot respect you for who you are, they don’t deserve to have a place in your life. We all deserve to be treated with love and respect and we shouldn’t accept anything less.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a Trans guy

Time is flying by super fast, I am now 2 years and 8 months on testosterone and 8 month post op top surgery. It feels like I spent an eternity waiting and waiting to start testosterone and have top surgery and now that’s all a reality, which sometimes still feels unreal but I feel so blessed and so grateful that I’ve been able to be living my life as my true self.

I’ve spent so much of my life not liking myself, especially certain parts of my body, its hard to start loving myself again. It’s all a continuous journey and I’m trying to love my body again, after all it’s served me well over the last 35 years, it doesn’t work as well as it could do, but I am still alive, despite the years I’ve spent not looking after my body.

Unfortunately because of the current pandemic the appointment for my second yes for lower surgery has been delayed, which is super frustrating as I am becoming more aware of the dysphoria I have around that area. But I am trying to remain grateful for where I am right now in my transition, as the dysphoria I experienced around my chest was just unbearable and made life so miserable. I was so self conscious of my body all the time, I couldn’t relax or even be myself.

I’m still trying to find my authentic self, who I truly am on the inside, still trying to keep on speaking my truth but some days its so hard. I struggle to connect with my emotions, I’m always worried about being myself as that hasn’t won me friends in the past but I can’t blame that all on myself. I know I’m not perfect but I’m not a bad person, I always try my best but for some its not good enough. I think because of this I struggle to connect with myself and feel my emotions as I’ve been conditioned to think that my emotions are bad because they can be intense at times. Unlearning all that is really hard, especially at the moment with the social isolation and the strange situation we’re all in.

Well that’s it for now,

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – How I prepared for top surgery.

I thought it might be helpful to write about how I prepared for top surgery, as I don’t think there’s enough information out there about it. There’s lots on the surgery itself and not much about post surgery, especially if you don’t have family to support you.

As soon as I got my date for surgery, I wrote a list a big list of everything I thought I would need and what I would need to do running up to surgery. I’m a bit of a control freak, so I’m pretty good and planning and organising myself and being over-prepared.

I also have 2 cats and 2 dogs, who are my absolute world so I needed to make sure not only was I prepared but they were also going to be cared for and had everything they needed.

LISTS! cannot express enough about how helpful lists are and also feels great when you finally get stuff ticked off. Plus they are a great visual aid to see how much you need to get and for me its just a great way to help organise my brain and figure out when I need to get things and in what order.

I belong to a great facebook group called TMSA social and support, they have two separate groups. They have files for surgeons which is where I picked mine from and everyone is super friendly and were so helpful when I asked for advice about what I needed post op top surgery. Highly recommend this group.

So here is what I bought and organised for top surgery pre and post op.

One of the hardest things was asking for help, I created a FB group chat with friends asking for help, I needed a lift to my pre op appointment and back, then a lift to hospital for surgery and a lift home again. I needed someone to stay at my house and look after my fur babies. I needed people to come over and help me take the dogs out, help with housework etc.

Everyone was amazing I got the support I needed, which was amazing. I had friends who took me back and forth to the hospital for my pre op appointment, surgery itself, post surgery and post surgery check up appointments. I also had friends stay at my flat and look after my fur babies, who had the best time.

Unfortunately I didn’t really have the support once I was back home, which sucked but I managed. I did have a couple of friends who came over and cooked for me, which was great but I was hoping for a little more help. Maybe I expected a bit too much, but I’ve made my peace with this all now.

I bought myself a amazon fire tablet, heaphones and microSD card, so I could download films to watch while I was in hospitals. I’m glad I bought it, it came in real useful, I watched quite a lot of films.

After surgery you aren’t allowed to shower for a while, so I bought some Clinitex body wipes from amazon and man am I so glad I did they were amazing, they made me feel pretty clean. I definitely recommend them.

I bought slippers and a dressing gown but I didn’t actually end up needing them, as they were provided but if in your paperwork they suggest them I’d buy them just in case, that’s if you don’t already own them.

I bought 2XL vest tops to wear after surgery, as it was in August and they were easy to slip on and off. I wore zipped hoodies as they were easy to get on and off too, as after you have limited movement in your arms for a few weeks. I bought the vest tops from Primark as they were only £2 each.

I am on lots of different prescribed medications and over the counter medications. I asked my GP for 2 months worth of all my meds so I didn’t have to worry to much about them and then I made sure I had enough of my over the counter medications, paracetamol, sinus rinse and vitamins.

I am on a key meter for my electric, so over the weeks running up to surgery I kept adding more then I usually put on my electric, so I knew I would be covered, same with my rent, I made sure I put extra money on my rent too.

I stocked up on basic household stuff, toilet rolls, washing up liquids, you know the boring adult household stuffs lol!

(NOTE I did a lot of stocking up no stuff! lol)

I stocked up on dog/cat food, cat litter, poop bags, treats.. again general stuff I would normally get to care for my gorgeous fur babies.

As I had a few friends stay over, I made labels for all the cupboards so it was easy for them to find stuff. I also made a list of instructions for the fur babies and just general information…yeah I said I was a bit of a control freak, which stems from anxiety.

I love my incense sticks and candles so I made sure I had them in.

I have a battery pack I took to charge my phone at tablet whilst I was in hospital, I made sure that was fully charged the day before I had surgery.

I made sure I had snacks, drinks and easy to make food in the flat. I mainly ate snacks and takeaways lol!

I bought these great hydration tablets O.R.S hydration tablets from amazon, they were great and I still use them now, especially for days I don’t drink enough.

These last few things were probably the most helpful of all.

So after surgery you aren’t meant to lay flat for a while, so I bought two V shaped pillows, two regular pillows and a memory foam neck pillow.

The neck pillow came in handy whilst I was in hospital after surgery, I used it when I was sleeping and it made the whole experience more comfortable.

The V pillows and two other pillows were great for when I was at home recovering, I spent 4/5 weeks sleeping on the sofa, as it was just the most comfortable place for me.

I honestly can’t say enough at how much those 3 particular pillows helped so much.

So for me that was is really, I’m pretty good at self care and looking after myself, so that part wasn’t too hard.

I couldn’t have done it without spending months of organising and planning, without the people who helped me.

If you’ve found this helpful, please feel free to share and use this as a guide to going through top surgery.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – 10 weeks post op

This Tuesday was my 10 weeks post op, it still seems surreal but it feels so right. Its so hard to explain how it feels to finally have had top surgery, after having spent so many years feeling so uncomfortable with my body, I no longer feel as self conscious about my chest area when I’m out.

I’m still occasionally getting misgendered when I’m out and every time it happens it just feels like another chunk taken from my already low self confidence. I don’t know if its because I’m only 5ft 3 or if its my voice or what, but its soul destroying. Very occasionally I’ll correct someone, but most of the time it just knocks my confidence I just don’t say anything.

Healing side of things is going well, the scars are looking good. I haven’t been covering them with the micropore tape, I am meant to be covering them 4 days a week, just to help them heal and keep them strong. I think I’ve just been enjoying not having to wear a binder, I didn’t really want to wear the tape but I put it over my scars today and I will try and remember to put the micropore tape on my scars at least a few days a week.

The puffiness on the right side is going down slowly, its not as puffy as it was. I still have loads of areas around my chest which are still numb and I’ve been trying to touch those areas every day to wake it up. My skin isn’t as hypersensitive as it was, still sensitive but I can touch my skin without it making me feel weird lol.

I’m still struggling with post surgery blues and anxiety. Everyday is different, some days I feel ok and I’m doing fine but other days all I want to do it just hide away in my flat. Tomorrow morning I meet my (hopefully) new counsellor, just to see if we gel and talk about what I want from the sessions etc. I feel like I’m going to get more from private counselling then the mental health team.

I’m doing my best to take responsibility of my journey and moving forward and just my life. Its super hard and exhausting and I’m trying not to beat myself up too much about not being where I think I should be in life and just trying to remember I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.

^ 10 week post op pics

I’m still struggling with my fatigue, this week I’ve slept in the afternoon a few times and have gone to bed pretty early a few evenings because I’ve been so exhausted. The weather has been pretty grey which I don’t think has helped a whole lot. But again its a case of self care/self love and just trying my best to listen to what my body wants/needs.

That’s all for now,

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a Trans guy – 7 weeks post op Top Surgery

These past 7 weeks have gone so quickly, my head and emotions still haven’t quite caught up with everything yet, I’m just trying to take it easy and be kind to myself.

The one thing no one tells you about post top surgery is that you no longer have two bags of fat on your chest keeping you warm! I’ve been going out in what I would normally wear for certain temperatures and I’ve been really cold, that’s going to take a while getting used too.

Also when getting dressed, I feel like I’m missing something because I no longer have to wear a binder/bra under my tops, so that feels pretty weird, feel kinda naked lol!

But I am loving the fact that my clothes all fit better and I don’t feel so stressed out while getting dressed because nothing looks or feels right. Now clothes sit properly and feel good, I look forward to getting dressed now, rather then it being a stressful event.

I went and had a massage on Monday, as after wearing that compression binder for nearly 6 weeks my back was so tense and stiff, I knew I needed a massage to help loosen my body up again. Plus a little self care goes a long way. It was so good! my shoulders were so knotty and I was so tense in so many places, I felt great afterwards, it was very much needed. I decided to have one once a month, as I think it will do me good in many ways.

I’ve spent a lot of time not being connected to my body and I still don’t feel quite connected with myself, so I think having a regular massage will help me feel more connected to my body and myself in general.

Now I’ve had surgery, I feel like I want to look after myself and my body better, although it all feels a bit overwhelming right now, so I’m just starting slowly. I’m still getting pretty exhausted most days, so its going to take a while to build myself back up. I think starting with having a monthly massage, will help set me on the right road.

7 Weeks Post op Top Surgery

I bought some Bio oil today to put on my scars and help heal these scars up. My body sometimes over heals and my scars turn out bumpy.

That’s all for now,

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – 6 Weeks post op Top surgery

Today marks 6 weeks since I had top surgery and its still feels a bit surreal and kinda dream like, but its the dream I’ve been dreaming for so long and it feels amazing.

I am really fussy with clothes and one of my concerns was that I non of my top would feel right after surgery, but so far I’ve not had any problems, in fact today I tried on a t-shirt that I’ve not worn in a while because it was tight across my chest area and it now fits perfectly! which I’m so happy about, its an Adventure Time t-shirt and its one of my faves.

I can finally sleep on my side properly now! which feels great. I don’t sleep well on my back but I’ve had too. So I’m hoping I can get my sleeping pattern a bit better and hopefully I’ll be able to sleep a bit better now as well.

Now my scars are healed and I have no scabs left I can go swimming! which I am beyond happy about, I love swimming and I love being in the water, near the water. I’m such a water baby! So now I need to get myself some swim shorts and find somewhere to swim. My local pool is always chilly which hurts my bones, but I know another pool close to me is always warmer. But I know the thought and actually doing it will be 2 different things, it will be scary but so freeing!

Apart from like once or twice, I’ve mainly been seen as male when I’m out and about which is amazing! Especially when out with my dogs and people are calling me their DAD! instead of mum, which used to really kill me each time, it was like a dagger through me. I’ve also noticed I get spoken to differently, it’s often quite nuanced but some occasions its more clear.

I’m starting to feel like I’m finding my place, like where I’m meant to be, who I’m meant to be. I don’t think in the 34 years I’ve ever felt like my real self or like I belonged anywhere, I’m slowly starting to feel who I am on the inside. I always felt trapped inside my head, inside this body but now I feel like its all starting to come out and I can live life as the real me and it feels good.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – Top Surgery

I’ve not posted anything in a while, I always think I have to be ‘in the right mood’ in order to be able to write a good post, but I realised that was just me being lazy and procrastinating. I decided I just need to get over myself and WRITE! I enjoy writing, it always makes me feel better, so I’m not sure why I stop myself.

A lot has happened in the last 2 months, since my last post. The main big news is that I’ve finally had top surgery! I had it 5 weeks ago 20th August! Everything went really well, my scars and new nipples look amazing! I am beyond happy! I’m still having to wear a compression binder..Urgh! But hopefully another week longer and I’ll be free!

I have a check up on Thursday, as I have a clot of blood sat on my right side of the chest, that they just need to drain and hopefully after that I won’t need to go back again. Wearing the compression binder has been pretty brutal, as I’ve been wearing it for nearly 5 weeks straight. I’ve had a few days where I’ve taken it off and given my chest a break. My skin is a bit sore where the binder has been rubbing on my skin and my ribs on the left are a bit swollen and this is exactly why I didn’t wear a binder in the first place, because its just too painful, uncomfortable and hot.

I have had a handful of good friends who’ve been so great during this time, I was so grateful to have people take me to the hospital before my op, bring me home, friends looking after my fur babies and friends taking me back and forth for check up apps and a couple of people coming over. It was one of the things I was worried about but I got there and back and my fur babies were look after, those were the most important things. So that made things easier.

Recovery has been a bit more difficult, its been pretty lonely and boring. I think week 3 of recovery was when I went out on my own, as I was so bored and I just needed to get out and then I also took the dogs out for the day which was great but man did that put me on my ass for the next few days. I’ve been trying to walk and get out as much as I can to start building myself up again, but still gotta take it easy and there’s still things I’ve got to be careful doing. I can’t reach my arms over my head yet and I can’t lift anything heavy still either.

Just been trying to occupy my time with different things, reading, meditation, gaming, playing inside with the dogs, napping, Netflix, colouring in. I keep I suppose its disassociating and just sitting staring and hours pass by and I haven’t moved or done anything. I also keep getting bouts of really bad anxiety, like anxiety I’ve not experienced before, it’s been so bad that I can’t move, I can’t tolerate noise, I’m just frozen and I felt so exhausted. Some days I was able to push through and make myself get out of the house, even just to walk to dogs, but even that was a massive effort. So things haven’t all been great just because I’ve had surgery, like it doesn’t solve all the issues, that I previously was struggling with. I think loneliness and isolation has really made it worse, as usual. It sucks not being able to volunteer and not having the energy to be out as much as I would like to be. It has had a huge emotional toll and I still haven’t really processed it and I think that’s another reason I’ve put off writing, because it means I don’t have to empty my guts out onto a page and examine what the fucks going on in that crazy brain of mine. I suppose this could be the start of the process but who knows.

So yeah its not been all flowers and rainbows, its been hard. I think the first 2 weeks after surgery, I kept having moments of feeling so blissed out, which was incredible. But then like I said the issues I had already before surgery reared their ugly heads again. But I mean I’m ok, I’m just frustrated, I miss not being in a routine and just doing things, I miss volunteering and seeing people. Kinda feels like a bit of a step back with the isolation… but I mean yeah.. I’m sure that will get better once I can do stuff again.

Above are pictures of my hospital room, me before and after surgery. I’m pretty impressed with how incredibly well my body has healed so far. The body is an amazing thing! I’m so blessed not to have had any major complications and everything has gone relatively well.

Just before surgery I had to have a ultrasound scan of my womb, as I was coming up to two years on testosterone, so its something they do. Results came back to say the lining of my womb is still thick and it shouldn’t be, so gotta go to gynaecologist in Dec, not overly looking forward to that, but its good they are looking into what might be happening.

2 days after surgery was my 2 years on testosterone anniversary 22nd August! I can’t believe it! It’s gone so quickly! I look so different too! In spite of all the mental health stuff I have going on, I do feel better on a more spiritual level, I feel more me, I just feel right now, well getting there, but I do feel more comfortable being me. I’m sure as more time passes the better that will get. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and I still have a way to go, but I’m finally on the road I want to be.

Well that’s all for now, I hope whoever read this, enjoys it.

Peace out,

Zak