What They Don't Tell You About Top Surgery

What They Don't Tell You About Top Surgery

Top surgery was anything but rainbows and sunshine.

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November 23, 2016, the very day before Thanksgiving, the day I seemed to have waited for my whole life was finally here; I was getting my top surgery. I got my top surgery date 3 months or so prior and every day I would jump out of bed eager to change the countdown I had going on a whiteboard.

Once it got down to single digits the days seemed endless. But it was finally here, it was finally happening. I remember laying on the gurney waving goodbye to my nervous mother and best friend as they wheeled me away. I burst into an extremely brightly lit room, the light hurt my eyes and caused me to squint, when I opened them back up I was directly underneath the largest light I had ever seen, it was blinding and intimidating. Suddenly a nervous rush washed over me as a nurse instructed me to count back from 10 while she was giving me anesthesia.

This was it, it felt as if someone had stood me up and slowly dipped me into a warm bath of water. Here we go, my last breath, my last thoughts as a man with a chest. As the water began to consume me, everything went black.

When I wake, I'll be free.

I woke up to the same nurse patting my cheek telling me I "really needed to stay awake this time, Logan." I couldn't grasp consciousness. I kept sinking in and out. Everything was groggy and I was completely unaware of everything that was going on in my world. I felt different, I couldn't open my eyes or come to reality but I knew, I felt free. I felt like I could breathe for the first time and I hadn't even looked down yet. When I could finally stand on my own two feet I braced myself for the uncomfortable 3 hour car ride home from Albany.

Uncomfortable is such an understatement, but I didn't care: I was free.

I remember snapchatting all my friends selfies of my doped up, post-op surgery smile letting them know I made it out the other side. Any time I caught a glimpse of myself in the car door side mirror I had a smile permanently stamped on my face. This was beautiful, this was living.

After arriving home, the first thing I did was unbutton my shirt and look at my new body in the mirror. The reflection looking back at me was finally starting to align with the thoughts that clouded my head and screamed at me every day. I was elated, the drugs I was doped up on helped a little bit. I made my mom take a picture, I don't even need to pull it up to see the goofy smile that stretched from ear to ear that's been engraved into my memory. I posted it right away captioned "I waited 19 years to post a shirtless picture." I had never been so proud. I inspected my bandages and my drains for at least an hour, still so far in shock; was this real life? Did this really happen?

But what they don't tell you is that recovery is hell.

I've never opened up about my recovery process before, but it was far from rainbows and sunshine. My recovery would last a week; a week of not doing anything. When I say not doing anything, I mean nothing. I was trapped in a recliner for the first 2-3 days before I went stir crazy and then the only movements allowed were walking for shorter periods of time. I couldn't lift my arms, I couldn't go to the gym, which if anyone knows me knows is my second home. I couldn't even comfort myself with a warm shower. I was going insane. It was driving me mad. The first night was smooth sailing- until the drugs wore off. My mom had woken me up in the middle of the night to empty my drains and when I woke up I was in a world of hurt. She practically had to carry me to the bathroom because I was too dizzy to stumble my way there without assistance. She had asked if I was okay but I was in too much pain to even speak the words. Something was wrong, it wasn't just painful but it was uncomfortable. It felt like my chest was fighting itself from the inside out. I looked in the mirror and got scared at the extremely pale and sunken face staring back at me. I stumbled backwards onto the closed toilet and that was all I can remember of the first night. The rest of the week had me feeling like I was trapped in the same dull loop.

It wasn't that I was being overwhelmed with emotions all week like I had expected to be, it was more of being emotionless. One of the last days before I got my drains out, I made a Walmart trip with my mom where we ran into someone I knew and she asked me how I was feeling. I threw on a fake face and attitude and told her I was elated, happy, lucky, blessed, cliché stuff. The truth is I was, absolutely I was, the emotion and feelings in my body just weren't confirming that. I felt empty, like a shell.

When we finally made the trek back to Albany for my reveal, I was so excited to see my bare chest for the first time, I couldn't contain myself. I had a complication with the left side of my chest that caused a lot of swelling. It looked like I had only gotten one breast removed. Dr. Rockmore (highly recommend by the way) numbed my chest just to cut me back open and vacuum the fluid out. You know those spit suckers at the dentist that takes up too much space in your mouth? Picture that, except larger. Imagine feeling that move around inside your chest, feeling like a huge spider was just dancing around trapped inside my body. It was the most uncomfortable thing I've ever experienced, just thinking about it right now makes me cringe. I had to have my left drain in for another week because of it. I could shower this time now, thank God.

I was standing in the bathroom, drain wrapped up (my mom helped me and almost fainted at the sight of the entry spot for my drain tube) and ready for a shower, letting the steam roll out and the water run. The chest I expected to see was nowhere in sight, instead, I was left with a chest that looked like I had just gotten steam-rolled. I was completely black and blue until mid-rib cage, my stitches looked horrific, I got scared. I expected tears of joy and overwhelming happiness when I saw my bare, post-op chest, but instead I felt anxious, nervous. I was so glad I went through with the procedure, I knew I hadn't regretted it, I don't know where these feelings were coming from. I was happy but my mind was not allowing me to be, instead, it pointed out everything that was wrong, it was trying to convince me I had made a mistake.

The last week droned on and I finally got my second drain out along with my stitches. Nothing else was weighing me down, just a bare chest. Every time I went to the bathroom I would take my shirt off, button downs because I still couldn't quite lift my arms, and examine every square inch of my new chest. As I started to heal, the negative thoughts did too. A chest that looked and felt so foreign to me was now the most beautiful part of my body. The first time I applied cream to my scars, I did it with such pride and had tears in my eyes. Finally, my mind was letting me enjoy the body I had just gone through hell and back for. My scars are the greatest accessory I have and I never feel the need to try to hide them. Every time I see them I am reminded of how hard I fought to get them.

Post-op depression is real and I believe I experienced it for a good portion of my recovery. Thankfully it was only temporary, and now I flaunt my chest at every possible moment.

I love my chest, I love my scars, I love my journey. Its been anything but easy, but it's never been a question of "is it worth it?"

Hell yes, it's beyond worth it. You are beyond worth it.

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100 Instagram Captions You'll Want To Use Right Now

Quotes, lyrics, sayings, and other ideas for Instagram captions!
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When it comes to Instagram we are often thinking about what to use as a caption for our photos that we take that we really want to post on Instagram. Sometimes we post the photo without a caption and sometimes we just use an emoji because we're stumped on finding a good caption to use for the photo. So we go the short route and just put an emoji as a caption for our photo. Well whether it is a selfie, a friend pic, group pic, or just need a caption for the photo, here are 100 captions to use for a photo. Some are lyrics, some are quotes, and some are just a quick caption to use on your photo. Also here are some accounts that are worth following:

-@brandonwoelfel

-@tess_and_sarah

-@brandymelvilleusa

-@goldenretrievers_

-@cats_of_instagram

-@zodiac.signs

-@thegrilledpineapple

-@jazzjennings_

-@chipper_thegolddog

-@llauratheleo

-@heyshalice

-@sailorhaley

-@sandcloudteam

-@photosabss

-@sharkbaitblond

Here are Quotes To Use As A Caption/ Lyrics To Use As A Caption/ Quick Little Sayings To Use As A Caption: for your Instagram photo that you wish to post!

1. Life goes on, with or without you.

2. Don't Worry Be Happy! Bob Marley

3. Be Happy.

4. Be Confident.

5. Be Positive.

6. Don't be a liar, everyone hates a liar.

7. Chillin' with my peeps.

8. Go big or go home.

9. What's the deal?

10. The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it's all that matters.

11. Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

12. Life is a gift.

13. You couldn't handle me even if I came with instructions.

14. Forgive, yes. Forget, never.

15.There's a hole in my heart where you used to be.

16. I don't need any part-time people in my life.

17. Get the gist.

18. Boy, it's the 21st Century, get with the program.

19. Hey, I just met you, this is crazy!

20. I woke up like this.

21. Keep smiling because life is a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.

22. Beauty is power, a smile is its sword.

23. Last day of class!

24. I donut care!

25. Got my donut and coffee today.

26. Happy as a clam

27. Beach days are the best!

28. A friend will always make you smile, especially when you don't want to…

29. Always classy, never trashy, and a little bit sassy.

30. If only we could turn back time...

31. With you, I forget all my problems. With you, time stands still.

32. Life's a climb, but the view is great.

33. "Ohana, means family, family means no one gets left behind or forgotten." — "Lilo & Stitch"

34. We come to love by not finding the perfect person, but by learning to see the imperfect person perfectly.

35. If I ever write a story about my life, don't be surprised if your name appears a billion times.

36. She's got that red lip, classic thing going on.

37. I don't know what's tighter, our jeans or our friendship!

38. Best friends make good times better and hard times easier!

39. Not sure what I did to deserve you as my best friend :)

40. I don't need your approval to be me.

41. So call me? Maybe?

42. "I am who.I am, I am what I am, I do what I do and I ain't never gonna do it any different. I don't care who likes it and who don't." — Buck Owens

43. Take me as I am, or watch me as I go.

44. "Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars." — Ed Sheeran

45. Cause you're a sky full of stars — Coldplay

46 . I keep dancing on my own — Calum Scott

47. Can't keep my hands to myself — Selena Gomez

48. I just want to look good for you — Selena Gomez

49. Kill em with kindness — Selena Gomez

50. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. But when I say sorry… I mean it!

51. Me? Weird? Please! I am limited edition!

52. Turn that frown upside down.

53. Smile, it's the best thing a girl can wear!

54, Stay true.

55. Laughing is the best medicine you can ever get!

56. "You're the king, baby I'm your queen." — Taylor Swift

57. Best Friends Forever!

58.Throwing it back to the good ole days!

59. Ugg Life.

60. I know you like, first-name-basis.

61. *Sends selfie to NASA cuz I'm a star*

62. Basic white girl.

63. Frisky Friday!

64. My thoughts are stars that I cannot fathom into constellations. — "The Fault In Our Stars"

65. "Maybe our okays will be our infinities." — The Fault In Our Stars

66. So hold onto me because I'm a little unsteady — Unsteady

67. This has got to be the best day of my life.

68. She's the beauty and he's the beast.

69. "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." — Walt Disney

70. "If you can dream it, you can do it." — Walt Disney

71. "Hakuna Matata, it means no worries for the rest of your days." — "The Lion King"

72. "The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it." — "The Lion King."

73. "Remember you're the one who can fill the world with sunshine." — "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

74 ."The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all." — "Mulan"

75. "You don't have time to be timid. You must be bold and daring." — "Beauty and the Beast"

76. "All it takes is faith and trust." — "Peter Pan"

77. "A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference." — "Winnie the Pooh"

78. "If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead." — "Ratatouille"

79. "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." — George Bernard Shaw

80. "A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart." — "Hercules"

81. "Life's not a spectator sport. If watchin' is all you're gonna do, then you're gonna watch your life go by without ya." — "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

82. "The things that make me different are the things that make me ME." — "Winnie the Pooh"

83. "Giving up is for rookies." — "Hercules"

84. "Happiness is the richest thing we will ever own." — Donald Duck

85. "Change is good." — "The Lion King"

86. "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." — Abraham Lincoln

87. "An unexamined life is not worth living." — Socrates

88. "Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." — Rabindranath Tagore

89. "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." — Helen Keller

90. "The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire." — Pamela Hansford Johnson

91. "Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." — Swami Sivananda

92. "Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain... To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices. Today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity, but embrace it." — Kevyn Aucoin

93. "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'," — Audrey Hepburn

94. "Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you." — Walt Whitman

95. "My power's turned on, starting right now I'll be strong." — Rachel Platten

96. "Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." — Buddha

97. "Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf." — Rabindranath Tagore

98. "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'" — Muhammad Ali

99. "Why don't you be you, and I'll be me." — James Bay

100. Life is like a camera, we focus on the positives and develop from the negatives.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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But Seriously, Self-Care Is Like Brushing Your Teeth

Minty freshness and all.

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So, I don't know about the rest of the universe, but I brush my teeth twice a day: when I wake up and when I go to sleep. Weirdly enough, though, I tend to follow this mouth cleansing with a wonderful, teeth-staining cup of coffee within 10 minutes.

Many people will wait until after they've had breakfast to brush their teeth, and another group will take it a step further and brush after every meal.

Well, not to be gross, but I am not in those groups. My almost 23 years of no cavities or braces have told me that brushing twice a day is perfectly acceptable. Nor do I have the time or patience to brush after every meal, especially considering that literally, all times have the potential to be meal times in my mind.

Regardless, it's safe to assume that we all agree that brushing our teeth is good for us (I won't get into the whole flossing debacle). Dental health is all that and a box of crackers, and especially good for preventing halitosis and mouth cancer.

Even so, some people may doubt the necessity of brushing one's teeth so often. It's probably the least consistent of all daily routines. I know I've just grabbed a stick of mint gum when I'm running late as opposed to taking the two to three minutes to actually clean my teeth.

Okay. Before I lose you entirely with my confessions of inadequate hygiene, lemme let you on a secret: this is all just as true for self-care as it is for brushing teeth.

Stick with me here. Self-care is that thing that's supposed to help you through the stresses of life. Essentially, it's care for your self.

I know, I don't make this stuff up, kids.

Self-care can be anything from getting an extra five minutes of sleep to canceling Friday-night plans when the week has you emotionally drained to treating yourself with a steak dinner instead of ramen for once.

However, because it looks different for everyone, it can be hard for us to validate actually doing self-care. It's much easier to pretend plaque is a big ol' lie when you can barely tell it's even there.

Plaque, like stress, builds up, though. You can only chew so many sticks of mint gum until you start feeling like you've french-kissed a bowl of lard. Your dentist's face when you finally get around to meeting with them, too.

Yikes.

Same with self-care. Stress can only build up so much until your entire life is consumed by stress. Your teeth might not rot and fall out, but your hair might fall out and the panic attacks might set in.

Also yikes.

Self-care brushes away stress like a toothbrush gets rid of plaque. Do it too much, and you'll have sore gums and an extreme tendency to avoid responsibilities. Do it too little, and you'll have cavities and stress for days.

Now, I'm not here to tell you what to do. I'm not a licensed anything, and I'm a beta adult, at best. However, I have interacted with the human race just enough to know that we're all unique; therefore, we all need different routines to help de-stress.

Revolutionary work here, I know, but seriously. Take a bit to find a system that works for you. Whether it's brushing your teeth right when you wake up and taking yourself out to brunch or it's making yourself a kick-ass breakfast at home and then brushing your teeth, each person is different and each person needs their own method.

For me, I run outdoors, read for fun, and treat myself to good food with good friends. I also try to wake up with enough time to brush my teeth before I have to get to class.

Moral of the story: Self-care is essential for life. Find a routine that works for you.

And, most importantly, brush your teeth.

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