Nerve Damage

So I guess something I wanted to talk about a little more, that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, um, I guess, in terms of reality checks about what, what surgery might end up being like.

Um… nerve damage. That’s not fun. It really did not seem like that big of a deal to me, when I was, um, looking into surgery, I read all my side effects, signed all my papers, went to the doctor… I did everything right, everyone told me what was what gonna happen. Um, but, if you don’t have, like, nerve damage… I mean any medical thing, anything you haven’t experienced yet, you don’t really know what it’s like. But specifically right now, I’m talking about like… if you don’t have nerve damage, you don’t really know what that’s like, you don’t know what you’re signing up for. Um… it’s pretty distressing to have an area of your body where you  used to feel something… feel dead. I mean, it feels the same as like… when your mouth is numb. Sometimes. Sometimes it hurts like hell.

And that’s the other thing is it’s like, it’s all over the place? Um, it’s really really weird to go from having normal sensation on a part of your body, to be, you know, drugged to sleep and wake up, and then going forward, for years going forward, you have no sensation, or pain, or no sensation mixed with pain, or like dead and pain, it’s just, it’s crazy! It’s really hard to describe. In terms of like what sensation feels like, nerve damage kind of feels like it’s like, off the sensation spectrum, like it’s not really a kind of feeling I had considered existed before.

Um, and you know… when I was with someone else who was trans, who I felt really comfortable with, who was getting a mastectomy, like, my chest was able- I was able to experience my chest as a part of our like, you know, intimacy together. A lot of other things went wrong in that relationship, but I did experience my chest, as a a part of my sexuality. And that’s very weird, to go from having something… potentially, with the right person you feel really really comfortable with, in terms of those issues, be a part of my sexuality, versus feeling dead, it feels dead, or painful.

Um… so yeah, and you know, I thought anything was better than what I had. But you know, I wasn’t super realistic about how top surgery turns out when you’re not, you know, the “right” size. My surgeon… my surgeon told me, the same as if someone was much smaller than me- or you know, whatever- if someone was- the “right” size for a surgery like this. Um… I really, I really didn’t know what that would mean.

Not that I think I’d feel any better about my chest, if it looked super symmetrical and everything. I don’t think that I would. But I mean, it does kind of strike me that, you know, I wasn’t expecting this, even though by any reasonable measure, I should have been. I’d seen pictures of people who had had surgery with, you know, I’d like, like, 32DDs, and I wasn’t super really thin, you know, kind of… regular. So… I don’t know. I think that’s another element that demonstrates kind of how, you can go into this and sign everything and say all the right words, and not really have it be real to you, what the actual results might be.

And my nipples- whew! Oh my goodness. Yikes! Um… they still look like scar tissue, it’s been like three years, and they still are like… you know they’re not really perfectly round, they’re kind of…tore up, you know, they kind of look… I don’t know. They don’t look… nothing looks the way I thought it would. And I didn’t have any real good reason to think it would look that way, either, I was just, you know, I wasn’t being realistic with myself. I would say all the right words, but inside, I wasn’t really realistic with myself.

And you know, nipple sensation. Whew! You know, that’s… I don’t think that’s coming back. Um, I have almost no feeling and what I do have is pain, and it feels, it just feels nasty, it feels crazy. And it just brings up, you know, all the other feelings about my chest.

Um… like you know, there’s little pockets on the front of your shirt? When I’m wearing TWO shirts, I love putting shit in my front pocket. Super convenient. I work at a job where there’s a bunch of keys, so I can keep my keys in the front pocket. Uh… keep my phone in the front pocket. And then summer comes and I’m wearing one shirt, and I put, and I try to put something in the front pocket on my tshirt, and it’s like oh shit, because it’s like on my nipple, and it just feels horrible. So then every time I go to put my phone away, I’m like- I’m attention deficit, real attention deficit, and so I just forget all fucking day. So I’m constantly being reminded that you know, you can’t use the front pocket of your shirt, or else you’ll have to think about your fucking chest all day.

Um… yeah… um, you know… it’s not symmnetrical. I’m off testosterone now, I have been for like a year, and tissue’s kind of coming back there a little bit, you know, because whenever- it doesn’t generally come back until your weight starts shifting around, but I guess mine is now, a little bit, because my chest has a little bit more, like, breast kind of tissue, and then… um… and it’s super weird, because the new tissue has normal feeling, but the old tissue doesn’t… like, a lot of it is still nerve damage-y… I don’t know it’s just! It’s crazy! I don’t know how to describe nerve damage. Super weird though. And if you know, it turns out that this isn’t something you have… easy feelings about, nerve damage sure as shit doesn’t help with that, damn! It so super does not help!

Um… so yeah, I guess, just wanted to talk about that, basically. Um… just wanted to talk about how things can turn out, because this is a reality, is that, there was nothing before I transitioned that would have clearly distinguished me from anyone else. That’s, I mean, my gender therapist is, was experienced, and had a lot of, you know, had a lot of experience with this stuff, with a lot of people, and we’ve talked about how this all turned out for me. I don’t see a gender therapist anymore, whoo, I don’t see any therapist, damn, hoo. Um… but I email with my gender therapist, and we talk about this, and I don’t think my gender therapist knew this was something that could happen to me, either, I don’t think anyone knew.

And that’s kind of the problem. I mean, at the very least, people should be aware that this is how it can turn out, that you can end up- years into it, years into it, you can realize… hey, um… I’m a fucking lesbian, and I really fucked up. And now, you know, I have to live with that. And that’s, this is where, you know- and there’s, you know, there’s ways to move forward from it, there’s talking about your feelings, there’s connecting with other people, there’s plenty of things you can do, but… I would not wish this on anyone. It would have been a LOT easier to not have that surgery. I really would have done myself some favors with THAT. Um… so yeah. Um… well, bye.

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3 thoughts on “Nerve Damage

  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with a post surgical body. My best description of *part* of that weird nerve damage feeling is an itch deep under my skin that I can’t ever reach. Weirdest post op experience for me was when a woman with breast cancer needed someone with whom she could process her own post op body.

    Our bodies are so filled with meanings other people lay on us. And both of us, for different reasons, had bodies that were altered in ways that require a *lot* of processing.

    I think surgeons should be required to have videos about post surgical bodies – the pain, the itch, the rubbery, dead feeling. All of it. I am now relatively at peace with my body – but that struggle took decades, and having a scarred up chest so didn’t help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. maybe I’ll check it out… it isn’t constant, only when it’s touched, just still really screws with me to have these weird sensation issues when that part of my body is already such an intense feelings deal

      Like

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