Traditional women’s concerns

I absolutely love the results from my surgeries on my face via FFS. The bone work laid out by Dr. Ley, and the skin/muscle/fat work done by Dr. Mangubat have left me for the first time in 50 years finding I love how I look, and not looking at myself so hatefully.

While I have had over a year to ponder about my face, and while I really love who I am and what I look like, there is still something that bothers me, and probably bothers me far more now than it used to, due to the fact I got rid of most of my dysphoric looks. That would be the wrinkles and lines around my face, and my relatively thin lips.

At the age of 50, I realize I am doing really, I look younger than I am and I know others might be completely satisfied look like this. This is not meant to take away from that at all. I also did know that I am older, and transitioning from a very masculine body. I never cared for my skin, I never made sure to eat, drink or moisturize (although I did stay out of the sun because of allergies).

The hubby and I in 2015, 3 years before my transition and never considerd skin care… me on the right.

I have found though that the wrinkles really do bother me. I couldn’t tell you if it’s partially a reaction that it isn’t until I am 50 that I can be who I was supposed to and maybe I am trying to regain some time I should have had as a woman, or if this is just something I would have felt even if I was female from birth. Either way, that thought is just fluff to outline that I wanted to do something about it. I am fortunate, I have a husband that wants me to be happy and didn’t balk when I brought this up. I am fortunate that at this moment we can afford to do these things, even if it slows down repayment of debts.

I have been gauging what I wanted to do to address this for over a year. The wrinkles bothered me before surgery, but I knew better than to try and address those things before I did the FFS. Someone who gets FFS doesn’t know where they will end up, so trying to fix it before made no sense.

The most important picture, my hubby saying hi while taking me to Mexican after my botox/lip filler. I love him so much.

I also had considered using my electrolysis clinic in Phoenix I go to for face clearing. I didn’t do that not because they aren’t awesome, but because the electrolysis is temporary and eventually I won’t travel down there when the hair doesn’t grow back. I wanted a place I could go to for treatment that wouldn’t require a flight and overnight stay.

So when I went in last Friday, September 10th to Mangubat’s spa I had a good idea of what I wanted, but I was going to let the Nurse who is in charge of this guide me so I could read how much I could trust the spa. I was impressed with how patient and kind she was to me, a trans woman who had never been through this. I realize this is a no-brainer for customer service, but medical clinics often have bad bedside manners, but not here.

Heading out to get it done in this pic.

She was fantastic, in fact, she went out of her way after looking me over to tell me not to get some of the stuff I wanted to be done. She recommended going to Mangubat for blepharoplasty to take care of the bags under my eyes (which I am going to do). I was incredibly pleased though that she didn’t try to make money for something that wouldn’t help, or might even make worse. This is a key factor in wanting to stay with this medical spa. I have talked to others and they recommended a ton of items, but she explained that it might help long term after I had the surgery, but it wouldn’t get the look or the skin in the right shape without far more money than the actual surgery costs

So I ended up with some botox and lip filler (the names elude me, next time I will track the names and let you know). The lip filler I always knew I wanted because I had very masculine lips. Dr. Mangubat definitely feminized them (and they do look cute) but they are still thin. So I went in there and they gave me a single vial and now 10 days later I think it looks great. We went small to avoid having duck lips, but looking at it now I think I will get a little more next time. What did surprise me is that lip filler lasts about a year, I had assumed it would be every 3-4 months like botox.

The botox was even more of a surprise. I grew up and in the 80s/90s the whole botox making you look like a doll situation was going on. I had always doubted it could help you and yet not make you look like you are perpetually surprised. However, I believe in trusting the professional I go to (with the correct amount of skepticism of course). She didn’t lead me wrong. She said it would take about 2 weeks to see the final treatment, but within a few days most of the wrinkles had lessened dramatically and in some areas disappeared around the outside of my eyes.

I am excited about how it looks, and I think next time I will be more easy going with how much she uses. They have already proven they are careful, and to be honest, even if it was too much, none of it is permanent. The lips will lessen and the botox wears off.

No Regrets!

I am definitely going to keep doing this, and I might get a little more experimental. It is really nice though that I can participate in a traditionally feminine thing like this and feel like my being trans really doesn’t impact it. I am also glad I found a good place to go and will keep going for as long as I have the money and it is working.

Oh… (dream)

I always hate it when I sit to write out the specifics and the details area already drifting away like smoke you can’t keep in your hands. I also hate that in order to capture as much of the dream and not change things I need to post it ASAP.

Wolsey and I were in my parent’s living room. I don’t think it was the one that my parents had last for the last twelve years, I think it was our old place I lived at on High Street when I was 18/19 and when Wolsey and I first started dating.

I think I was my current age and I was sitting there talking to someone I wasn’t very familiar with about my nieces and nephews. I can’t remember which of them it was specifically that it was about, but I was telling someone else that they needed to watch over the kids in case something happened to us (me?).

The dream kept flipping to another scene where the hubby and I were walking through a set of alleys and I kept carrying them. I say them because I don’t know if Wolsey looked like a boy or a girl, but it has never mattered. There were some large mud puddles and I carried Wolsey across them and kissing him while walking him and after we got across (not sexy kiss, just the habit I have of kissing him softly, randomly for no reason, I am sure he gets tired of that after multiple a day.

I just remember how light Wolsey was, but I don’t know if that meant Wolsey was still presenting as female and I was as male with how easily I carried him, or if he was sick or something. Although I think it had more to do with him just being much smaller than. me, so maybe it was just a memory of how I used to be much stronger before transition?

I would then be back at my parents living room, with Wolsey sitting beside me just out of sight, Monica my sister in-law (well they never officially married and she and my brother are no longer together), so I am not sure how to reference the mother of two of my nephews/nieces. I get along with her well, she actually has treated me better than my blood sister so maybe I should just refer to her as my sister.

I would be talking to that new person each time it flipped back to the living room. Meanwhile, my father was sitting on one of his old chairs, drinking his coffee and eating one of those powdered and raspberry-filled donuts from Hostess that he loved, while he listened and occasionally made a comment like he would.

It kept flipping back to that alley and for whatever reason I was worried. The last full semblance of the dream was back in the living room, smiling at my dad in frustration because I don’t think the person I was talking to was listening to me and I was getting frustrated.

I woke up and immediately knew that something about the alleyway had been important, but was already disappearing from my memory. I found my head was shoved under my pillow (with Tally up against my back and hubby up against my front, facing away). I laid there for a moment and kept thinking as I tried to do the math that my dad wasn’t really that old, that is until I realized I had miscounted the year and he should have been 73, not 63.

That is when I felt like I got kicked in the gut as I realized he was dead, and had died in his 60s. I then realized that my cheeks were cold and damp, with that tacky feeling. It occurred that the breeze was from the fan on the window, which was also causing the coldness, my tears which had been flowing while asleep were causing the dampness. It was a surrealistic feeling and I didn’t understand what was going on.

I laid there for a moment longer when I realized I was crying. I just let that happen with the pillow over my head, my face sticking out slightly shaking. Eventually I could feel Tally had shifted her weight and a cat paw was resting on my back as she listened and waited. Part of me hopes it was in worry over my silently crying, but the realistic part of me is fairly sure it was waiting to see if I got up because that makes it closer to her feeding time.

Realizing that Wolsey might wake up I got up and came out here to write it. I wish I could remember what kept happening in the alley that the dream kept flipping to, or why I was telling the stranger how to take care of my niece and nephew in case something happened to us.

Now I just have this unease at 2am as I sit here typing, frustrated that the reason for the unease is just drifting off like smoke from a fire already gone out, leaving behind just the ash of me trying to figure out what that was about.

Expectations

It is funny how you can go through the first 50 years of your life and not realize how fucked up things are. Mostly today I am referring to expectations, and especially with expectations, I have placed on myself.

The last couple of weeks or so I realized that most of my life is based on expectations of what I do when I do it and how I do it. The sad part is most of these expectations were not given to me by others in my current life, the expectations started when I was young that were explicit, implicit, and self-made that no one made on me.

I grew up with the expectations to support my family when I was 15. I gave my full paychecks up to my family and sometimes that was the only reason we had food or a place to stay.

Along with that, I grew up in a very toxic masculinity type of environment (1% MC and Vietnam Veterans), Somehow in all that, I had adopted the whole idea and expectation to take care of everyone else around me and do things for them without thinking about myself.

That includes taking my friends out to eat and paying for the whole bill. Refusing when other people offer to pay. The fact that I would give 100% of any effort to a friend, or even an acquaintance if they looked like they needed it (they didn’t even have to actually ask for it).

Sadly I know this probably even comes off as patronizing to some people, my assumption they need to be taken care of isn’t just a habit obtained for martyrdom, it does take away from the agency of others and I realize that as well.

So I decided last week to start removing my own self-placed expectations. I am not going to let myself feel obligated to pick up and drop off people, pay for their food (if they ask of course I will consider it), I will definitely not ride in other people’s cars nor be a taxi when they have one. There are two big things though that were weird to decide not to put before me.

The first is group roleplaying games. For decades I worried about my friends and the gaming group’s opinion of me. I would spend literally 20-40 hours working a week on that game, and I had a whole slew of gamers just sort of blow off the game, or blow off the work I did. I found that I don’t think they deserve that focus. Now I will work on the games when I want, run them for who I want and focus on the story I want to tell (that I want their help to work together of course). I wonder how that is going to work out.

The other expectation on me is my youtube channels. I love doing youtube, I love my Things You Should Know channel and its history (with other bits of stuff). I love my two Video Game LP channels (one for military games, one for everything else). What I found I hated was this self-expectation that I have multiple videos a week going out.

I love making videos, but I would stress if I got behind, or if I saw there might be a dead time. This isn’t ever going to be a “Youtuber” set of channels. I don’t promote myself, I play and record what I want. However I decided I don’t have to abide by two videos a week on TYSK if I don’t have time, and I definitely don’t have to abide by daily videos on my video game channels. My thought in going forward is to just put up what I want, when I want. If it ever picked up I would consider making it more of a job that way, but for now, I think I am going to cool down and just do what I like.

It is weird to say that, just do what I like. I know I am still going to beat myself up for it, but fuck it, I think I am going to do what I want to do. Everyone else can fuck right off.

I guess that is my rant for hte morning, we will see how it pans out. 😉

50

This is it, I turned 50 today and I am not sure what to really talk or consider about it.

The first photo of me in my 50s.

I can tell you I don’t feel bad, I feel really good. I am in a great marriage of 29 years this year. I am happily working my way through the transition to be who I truly am, and we are financially stable (albeit in eternal debt). All of this is far beyond what I pictured at the age of 20.

I do think I look better now than pretty much any other time of my life. Not necessarily just because of my physical looks in general, but because what I see is more closely aligning with what I feel. That plus I have kept my 100+ pound weight loss off for two years now, I am feeling comfortable letting loose a little, I think I found a good set point.

getting ready to head out for breakfast

That is it, no big insights today, just wanted to say I turned 50, my husband spent a wonderful day with me, and I am an incredibly happy woman. Here are some pics of the day of going out to breakfast with my hubby, then getting home and running him a game while our daughter attempted to get his attention for hours 🙂

A tangent about books

I don’t know why, but the last few days I have had an urge to read some of the books I read when I was a teenager. I am sure it is slightly a nostalgic thing, but moreso I am curious how they held up… meaning I doubt most of them do.

One of the books was an action series book about bad ass mercenaries (this was in the 1980s) along with probably the first sex scene I had read in a non-porn specific book. I don’t really recall much of the book or the scene, but every so often I want to read it.

So I am going to do something dumb and start combing through the 1980s military romance novels and see if I can find it, if nothing else I guess I will get a dose of toxic masculinity that the books exude. I am not even counting the misogyny or racism (I suspect transphobia isn’t in them because it is too far removed… I hope).

I am going to start with Phoenix Force, 58 books (all under 200 pages so actually not much at all) and then move on to other series… Unless I get a few chapters in and can’t stomach it.

The worst part about all of this, I know it is going to suck, but I can’t resist it.

After this, there are a lot of other books I only vaguely remember but want to try again. One of them had something vaguely to do with an ocean world (book was probably written late 70s or early 80s). I think I will have to look into that as well. However, for now I guess I am reading a lot of toxic masculinity romance novels.

Throwback Thursday 7-22-21

Today I wanted to post a picture of my paternal grandmother and myself, and being in an ornery mood I thought I wanted a more unusual Throwback Thursday.

Here is me visiting my grandmother at the age of 1 or 2, sometime late 1972 or early 1973 at “Purdy”, aka Washington Correct Center for Women in Pierce County, one of two women’s prisons in Washington State.

I will eventually post a real post about her, but here is a spoiler, I loved her very much, and there is a reason why my dad was like he was, at least from his starting position.

I was happy to see granny, evidently she really liked me back. It worked out well.

Hard recovery is mostly over.

I look back and I notice that the last post I did was the beginning of May, here it is the middle of June and now I am just getting around to posting. I suspect that is because this was a lot harder recovery from surgery the normal. I think it resulted in me having a huge disassociation for a few weeks and to be honest I am still coming around. Who would have thought a tummy tuck, liposuction and fat transfer to my waist/butt/thighs would be so intense.

Don’t get me wrong, my skull surgery was definitely more “invasive” but that was the only one. This last surgery was about liposuctioning off around 1.5-2 liters of fat around my mid-section (that is all he could get out of there) and putting it around my thighs, ass and hips. He did very well with that.

Combine that with removing a twenty inch wide, and at least 6-8 inches wide set of skin, and then using a plasma device to seal it down the wound recovery was far harsher then I had anticipated externally, not even counting the suck of wearing a compression suit for 30 days. The scar is pretty big, but already starting to retreat.

That being said I think the hardest part was going through two full doses of anesthesia for my March surgery with the thyroidectomy and my April surgery and recovery. I am doing well now, and I am fairly excited that I might get my GRS (is that the correct acronym now, it feels like it keeps changing) within 18 months, then that will be the end of transgender surgeries… unless of course I want to get a little vanity work done around my eyes, or get a thigh/butt lift after my GRS/GCS, both of which are options, but are more for my personal aesthetic then trans related.

Even with all this though, I haven’t pulled at my belly once and I feel like I look really good on my abdomen, thighs, butt and hips. That will be its own set of posts though, I just wanted to share here that I am alive, functioning at almost normal and feeling really good.

It is true, I end up pacing everywhere.

Seems I am coming out of my funk, that makes me feel better. Also will mean I hope to write more, sorry about the communications silence. I hate it when I do that.

It looks like my hard recovery is mostly over.

Surgery Post-Op

Went to post-op yesterday. The fat transfer to my hips/thighs/butt is doing really well. Swelling is gone, we will see how much fat keeps. He said he could have used another liter of fat to finish what he wanted to do.

HAHA never wished I was a little fatter before (he stripped everything he could reach out of my mid-section and back to put it down there).

The tummy tuck incision (approximately 20″+ across) is healing well. He removed the packing with only one spot that needed air (and it is already better this morning). Evidently, he removed a tremendous amount of skin from my abdomen that was leftover because of the weight loss.


The swelling will take a long time to go down, but it looks good even now. From my understanding it takes about 2 months for the first 80% swelling to go down, then the rest over the next 4 months. He said it is swollen so much because they were extremely aggressive with the lipo and tightening the skin so when it’s done it will have the best look possible (I do not like the idea of a follow-up surgery so that is good).

I got home, went to bed, and woke up exhausted. Bleeding from my left hip a little, I probably twisted in my sleep and with it not packed, if formed a small tear. It is normal, especially for such a long wound line. Fortunately, I have a hubby who was a nurse for more than a decade, he fixed it up and it feels good.

Other than some pain, the worst part of this is immobility. I have to sleep on my back, in a compression suit (which honestly doesn’t bother me anymore, it is mostly the on my back). I forgot how much I hate only sleeping on my back when I got my breast augmentation last year. At least I don’t have 10lbs of new silicon on my chest I guess.

When I went to pre-op, one of the staff told me I will need to take 4 weeks off and it will be still a little rough. I took four weeks off (still have 2 to go on that) but I was sure I would be back early. I was wrong, LOL I don’t think I will be going back early at all.

Damn, I hate admitting I was wrong haha. That being said, I am healing well, and thank you to everyone who sent me messages ❤

Funniest Photo of the Surgery (so far)

I haven’t taken myself overly serious in a long long time. Before my transition that was because I just didn’t care anymore, after my transition I think it is because I have found myself and I don’t sweat silly looking things (not to be confused with dysphoria inducing things, that is a different kettle of fish).

My goal overall is to not shy away from the bad as well as to show off nice images of my life. So you will never find me artificially filtering my photos (other than maybe make them black and white, or if I am wearing makeup). I am who I am. Even if I am feeling crushed hard from surgery or something else.

Continue reading “Funniest Photo of the Surgery (so far)”

Day of the Surgery

Well it happened finally, on April 21st I went in and had “waist feminization”. This is a fancy way to say I had an Avelar Tummy Tuck due to massive skin left from losing 120+lbs. While the epic Dr. Mangubat was doing that, he liposuctioned all the fat he could and produced 1500ccs of fat he then transferred into my hips/thighs/buttocks. The fat transfer is a once in a lifetime possibility when removing the skin/fat on my abdomen, so I jumped on that.

Surgery morning, no hormones, no food, just tired

This would give me a more hourglass shape. Currently I had a very rectangular shape (minus the boobs of course). From the side/back it was a rectangle with no real butt to talk about, no hip or waist. He was redistributing the area to give me a curve in the back and an actual hip/waist. Up until now, the only reason I appeared to have a waist was that apron of skin from weight loss.

The hubby waiting patiently, like all the other surgeries.

Dr. Mangubat and his staff when we got there was AWESOME!!! He sat and talked with me for awhile, we did a little thing for his social media and he then drew out me in dozens of lines that I didn’t understand, and to be honest I am so impressed with plastic surgeons. It is an art of sculpting along with the whole surgery skill aspect.

Me, waiting to be marked on.
Looking cute in my “keep warm” cap.

The surgery went fantastically, but was brutal to get me home. The hubby had to get me into bed by himself and with me being 6’2″ and him being 5’6″ that must have been a funny thing. Although evidently it went way better than FFS 2 last year.

Not a pretty image, but I put up my truth here, this wasn’t pretty.
Regaining consciousness
Awake for late dinner, well bread at least.

By the end of the first day, I woke up and tottered into the bathroom and saw in a mirror and saw I am bruised, battered AND SWOLLEN like the Michelin Tire person, but you can already see curves and I realize the swelling takes up to six months to go down. I also know that it is natural that your body won’t retain all the fat transferred, and the results should still be close, but may not be nearly what you think. It especially won’t be that size because I went in weighting 221lbs, and came out weighing 248lbs from the Tumescent fluid and inflammation.

Editor’s note, today exactly one week out I am back at 221lbs and swollen still like a mostly michiline tire person. Means I might have actually lost a couple of pounds since I am missing 50+ square inches of skin in my abdomen, not a recommended way to lose weight itself, but I will take it.

Final selfie of surgery day… savaged but happy.

I figure I will stop with my post here at the first day, and upload as I can the rest of the recover (still only 1 week out so I have a lot of recovery to do).