12 Days after #topsurgery #SouthAfrica #PublicHospital

12 Days (yesterday) post top surgery.
Top left: bloating has gone down a lot. Middle and bottom on the left: where drains are inserted (come out on Thursday – 2 weeks; 1 week is more usual – they took 4kgs off my chest)
Bottom right: with the compression I have to wear night and day for a month after surgery; straps are bags provided by hospital to hold drains.
Top right – VERY happy with the way pecs are looking. I’ve had VERY minimal swelling, so this is good idea of the pecs I have left after weight-lifting for two years and boxing for one.
Couldn’t exercise for 6 weeks before surgery due to physical and emotional exhaustion (nervous breakdown). So I’m feeling a bit dysphoric about the mass I’ve lost in arms, shoulders and pecs, but after two months post-surgery I’ll have all the time in the world to keep modifying my body.
Still not ready to share incision shots; still ALL the emotions. And I just want to say, to me and you: that’s ok. It’s normal. Having two emotions at once is actually possible, peeps, so having 10 at once is too.
So the pure joy you see in my photos is real. As is the exhaustion, the sadness, the loneliness, the fear, the worry, the impatience to heal, the bouncing off the walls excitement, the relief. All that and more. We’re complex creatures. Expectation is the mother of all fuckups, as the saying goes.
So I’ll continue to work through them until I’m ready to really look at and then share the incision photos. And that’s ok.
But, this: the happiness feels like my heart is a sun, expanding and burning brighter and blazing through my pores.
And everyone can see it.
I’m FINALLY recognising me in the mirror, AND the mirror that others hold up for me. Others see me as I see myself.

And isn’t that the definition of a transgender journey and the abatement of dysphoria? That the you you are becomes physically manifest so others see it too? 

No words. And that’s ok too. The most beautiful things in life are beyond words.

Maurice Blanchot

More info about the process to follow, top surgery and other gender-affirming surgeries at Helen Joseph and resources to find more info, support and Drs, therapists, etc.:

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