Author Topic: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021  (Read 3101 times)

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Offline sarahc

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #60 on: February 24, 2021, 05:33:38 am »
I’m back in Maryland. Too far for a Katz’s run. Also...I am physically unable to eat one of those sandwiches. Look, I like a nice corned beef sandwich, but the amount of meat on Katz’s sandwiches...I just don’t think I’m physically able to eat that at this point.  :)

Sarah

You're sounding very positive :-).

If you're in New York and need enough foof for a small army, I can suggest Katz's Deli, amazing!

Don't pressure yourself on sizing up, but if you feel ready, go for it! X

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Offline Megan.

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #61 on: February 24, 2021, 05:36:51 am »
I’m back in Maryland. Too far for a Katz’s run. Also...I am physically unable to eat one of those sandwiches. Look, I like a nice corned beef sandwich, but the amount of meat on Katz’s sandwiches...I just don’t think I’m physically able to eat that at this point.  :)

Sarah
Devlyn will attest I was GREEN after cramming a whole of one of their ruebens down, I should have stopped after the first half, but it was soooo good! X

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Offline sarahc

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #62 on: February 26, 2021, 09:29:09 pm »
97 DOWN, 71 TO GO

I had my first "busy" work day today, as I had two Zoom meetings in the morning and two in-person client meetings in the afternoon. I had been doing the Zoom meetings ok, so I wasn't really worried about those.

I got through the in-person client meetings ok for the most part, but at the end of the second meeting, I had to transition from sitting to standing up for a few minutes, because the seating was a stool, and it just got too difficult. But before that, I had done a lot sitting, and I got through it ok - a lot of that is due to me being better about managing my tylenol / ibuprofen dosing throughout the day, which really helps a lot with pain management.

And then when I got home at the end of day, I was pooped, which was understandable because I had also been dilating between meetings. I took a little nap after some supper, and then I just relaxed the rest of the evening, because my brain was still pretty fried.

My dilation schedule today got way off because of all the meetings, and I'm doing my last dilation in a few minutes at 10:30pm, which is not ideal, because I'm really an early-to-bed, early-to-rise type.

Anyway, it was good to push myself at this point, but I think that two in-person meetings in a day is probably too much at this point. Need to give it a few more weeks before I try that again.

Only 2 1/2 weeks left of this brutal 4-dilation-a-day routine!

Sarah
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48 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Offline Megan.

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #63 on: February 27, 2021, 01:15:36 am »
Take it easy girl! Better to build up slow and get back to 100% sooner than hit a bump. X

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Offline sarahc

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #64 on: February 28, 2021, 01:04:01 pm »
Cleared a big emotional hurdle today, which had nothing to do with my physical recovery...

As people in the US are well aware, even if you have insurance and even if your surgery gets pre-clearance from your insurer, there is always a risk that something gets fouled up and your insurer denies your claim. Then you're on the hook for the entire cost of the surgery. This is particularly a problem if you go to an expensive research hospital for your surgery like NYU-Langone.

I had done everything possible to mitigate the risk of having my claim denied: I live in a state (Maryland) that mandates insurance coverage for GCS, I bought a fairly expensive health insurance plan that allowed me to go to out-of-state and out-of-network doctors, I made sure that the the pre-clearance went through prior to the surgery (which was a little dicey timing-wise given that I had my surgery at the beginning of the policy year), and I pre-paid my premiums to make sure that I was going to be covered during the surgery period. I was so paranoid about potentially getting jammed with the full cost of the surgery

So it was gratifying today to see that after all of that planning, my claim went through and that despite my surgery costing a small fortune, my out of pocket will be a couple thousand dollars. Phew! That is a huge relief. All the planning (and paying for the more expensive health plan) was worth it.

 :icon_cool:

Sarah
----
48 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Offline Megan.

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #65 on: February 28, 2021, 03:05:11 pm »
Cleared a big emotional hurdle today, which had nothing to do with my physical recovery...

As people in the US are well aware, even if you have insurance and even if your surgery gets pre-clearance from your insurer, there is always a risk that something gets fouled up and your insurer denies your claim. Then you're on the hook for the entire cost of the surgery. This is particularly a problem if you go to an expensive research hospital for your surgery like NYU-Langone.

I had done everything possible to mitigate the risk of having my claim denied: I live in a state (Maryland) that mandates insurance coverage for GCS, I bought a fairly expensive health insurance plan that allowed me to go to out-of-state and out-of-network doctors, I made sure that the the pre-clearance went through prior to the surgery (which was a little dicey timing-wise given that I had my surgery at the beginning of the policy year), and I pre-paid my premiums to make sure that I was going to be covered during the surgery period. I was so paranoid about potentially getting jammed with the full cost of the surgery

So it was gratifying today to see that after all of that planning, my claim went through and that despite my surgery costing a small fortune, my out of pocket will be a couple thousand dollars. Phew! That is a huge relief. All the planning (and paying for the more expensive health plan) was worth it.

 :icon_cool:

Sarah
Very happy for you, a big relief! Sleep easy tonight :-). X

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Offline ChrissyRyan

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #66 on: February 28, 2021, 03:09:50 pm »
Cleared a big emotional hurdle today, which had nothing to do with my physical recovery...

As people in the US are well aware, even if you have insurance and even if your surgery gets pre-clearance from your insurer, there is always a risk that something gets fouled up and your insurer denies your claim. Then you're on the hook for the entire cost of the surgery. This is particularly a problem if you go to an expensive research hospital for your surgery like NYU-Langone.

I had done everything possible to mitigate the risk of having my claim denied: I live in a state (Maryland) that mandates insurance coverage for GCS, I bought a fairly expensive health insurance plan that allowed me to go to out-of-state and out-of-network doctors, I made sure that the the pre-clearance went through prior to the surgery (which was a little dicey timing-wise given that I had my surgery at the beginning of the policy year), and I pre-paid my premiums to make sure that I was going to be covered during the surgery period. I was so paranoid about potentially getting jammed with the full cost of the surgery

So it was gratifying today to see that after all of that planning, my claim went through and that despite my surgery costing a small fortune, my out of pocket will be a couple thousand dollars. Phew! That is a huge relief. All the planning (and paying for the more expensive health plan) was worth it.

 :icon_cool:

Sarah

Sarah,

I am so glad that your claim went through with insurance paying a good share of the costs!  That is good news. 

Chrissy
Be a good example of good behavior.  Always be kinder than needed.  Be tender to others.  You are as beautiful as the thoughts you think and the words that you speak.   Always stay cheerful, be polite, kind, and understanding.  Knowledge and action shown without love is not impressive.  If you look for the good in people you will find it. Healthy relationships are so important to good living.  Serve others.

Good living, joy, unity, love, and happiness can come from following these practices: Never let selfishness or conceit motivate you.  Regard others as more important than yourself.  Do not limit attention to only your interests, but include the interests of others

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Offline Emma1017

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #67 on: February 28, 2021, 03:21:59 pm »
Sarah I am so glad that you are doing so well and I am so sorry to be late with my wishes.

I am scheduled for surgery with Drs. Bluebond-Langner / Zhao next year.  It is great to hear that you have experienced everything that I have heard to date.  I was very happy when I had my consultation with them.  They were both personable and professional.

Your progress is amazing!

Warmest wishes as you continue to recover,

Emma

  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

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Offline sarahc

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #68 on: February 28, 2021, 04:14:29 pm »
@Emma1017

Congratulations on locking down a surgery date. You will be in good hands. It can be hard waiting for so long to get through the queue at NYU-Langone, but at least based on my experience, I think that it’s worth the wait.

Sarah

Sarah I am so glad that you are doing so well and I am so sorry to be late with my wishes.

I am scheduled for surgery with Drs. Bluebond-Langner / Zhao next year.  It is great to hear that you have experienced everything that I have heard to date.  I was very happy when I had my consultation with them.  They were both personable and professional.

Your progress is amazing!

Warmest wishes as you continue to recover,

Emma
----
48 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Offline Wendi

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #69 on: February 28, 2021, 04:14:39 pm »
I just read the whole thread. Wow you're doing amazing and it sounds like you're doing exactly what you need to do. Congratulations

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Offline Jane.Shannon

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #70 on: February 28, 2021, 11:34:16 pm »
This is wonderful news, and I absolutely love that all your hard work and planning came together successfully.


Cleared a big emotional hurdle today, which had nothing to do with my physical recovery...

As people in the US are well aware, even if you have insurance and even if your surgery gets pre-clearance from your insurer, there is always a risk that something gets fouled up and your insurer denies your claim. Then you're on the hook for the entire cost of the surgery. This is particularly a problem if you go to an expensive research hospital for your surgery like NYU-Langone.

I had done everything possible to mitigate the risk of having my claim denied: I live in a state (Maryland) that mandates insurance coverage for GCS, I bought a fairly expensive health insurance plan that allowed me to go to out-of-state and out-of-network doctors, I made sure that the the pre-clearance went through prior to the surgery (which was a little dicey timing-wise given that I had my surgery at the beginning of the policy year), and I pre-paid my premiums to make sure that I was going to be covered during the surgery period. I was so paranoid about potentially getting jammed with the full cost of the surgery

So it was gratifying today to see that after all of that planning, my claim went through and that despite my surgery costing a small fortune, my out of pocket will be a couple thousand dollars. Phew! That is a huge relief. All the planning (and paying for the more expensive health plan) was worth it.

 :icon_cool:

Sarah
July 2020: Full Time
Aug 2019: Started HRT
Dec 2019: Hair Feminization Surgery

Offline sarahc

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #71 on: March 02, 2021, 06:33:55 pm »
113 DOWN, 55 TO GO (67% Complete)

Four week check-in with the surgeons via video today.

Dilation continues to be smooth sailing - still on the green dilator - I think I’ll try going up to the orange a few days before my six-week check-in.

Everything is going fine except the frequent urination issue. Dr. Zhao reiterated that it can take several months for the urination issues to improve. At this point, it’s more annoying than life-altering. The worst part is that I have to get up twice in the middle of the night. But...I do hope it improves over time. Even going from two urinations a night to one would be a big improvement. But patience is required...

I really want to get back to exercising...but again, patience is required. Two more weeks before I can start doing some jogging. For now, still walking only.

I haven’t noticed a lot of improvement in the general soreness down there in the past week. I think this is to be expected based on reading others’ experiences. I have noticed that many post-ops have a bit of lull in their recovery in weeks 3-7, and that’s where I’m at. So I just need to remember that little progress at this point is normal.

I did pull out the hand mirror a couple days ago and took a peek. At least from the outside, things are swollen, but definitely a significant improvement in the last couple weeks. Everything looking good! I did notice the the left side is a bit more swollen than the right side, which matches what I’m feeling. I getting a bit more of a rawness feeling on that left side.

Onward...

Sarah

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48 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Offline Wendi

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #72 on: March 02, 2021, 09:24:21 pm »
Great progress Sarah keep it sailing smooth girl.

Hugs

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Offline sarahc

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #73 on: March 07, 2021, 09:47:09 am »
131 DOWN, 37 TO GO (78% done)

Rounding the turn and heading for home on this intensive 6-week dilation period...

In the past couple of days, dilation is starting to get just a bit easier than it used to, especially in the evening session. I wouldn’t say yet that it is getting too easy, but it might get that way in the next few days. Which all is to say, that I think I’m approaching the time to step up to the orange dilator. It still looks massive to me. Probably some time in the coming week, if I feel like the dilator went in pretty easily, I may try the orange.

Depth is still pretty good, especially by the end of the day. I’ve probably lost a half inch of depth but I’m still going well past the last dot and almost to the front notch.

As I said before, I feel very fortunate about the width / depth results. The surgeons did say that my anatomy made it very conducive to creating a long neovagina. So as much as I hate my long torso from a fashion/styling perspective, I must admit that it has provided a medical benefit.

Sarah

----
48 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Online mm

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #74 on: March 07, 2021, 08:53:16 pm »
Sarah, good to hear you are doing so well with your recovery. To be ready to start the orange dilator at this point is great. Good luck.

Offline sarahc

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #75 on: March 09, 2021, 06:09:32 pm »
141 DOWN, 27 TO GO

Today at five weeks post-discharge, I noticed that my pain levels went down significantly. Because of the reduced pain levels and the suddenly springlike weather on the East Coast, I went for a two-mile walk today which is longer than what I’ve been doing recently, and towards the end of the walk, things did start getting a little sore down there, but not nearly as bad as before. So that’s encouraging. I still need to take it a little easy though...although I’ll likely be cleared to run starting next week, I’m going to be pretty cautious about ramping up. But I am going to target starting to play some social tennis in mid-April.

One week left of the four-a-day’s!

Sarah
----
48 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Offline Megan.

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #76 on: March 10, 2021, 01:01:11 am »
141 DOWN, 27 TO GO

Today at five weeks post-discharge, I noticed that my pain levels went down significantly. Because of the reduced pain levels and the suddenly springlike weather on the East Coast, I went for a two-mile walk today which is longer than what I’ve been doing recently, and towards the end of the walk, things did start getting a little sore down there, but not nearly as bad as before. So that’s encouraging. I still need to take it a little easy though...although I’ll likely be cleared to run starting next week, I’m going to be pretty cautious about ramping up. But I am going to target starting to play some social tennis in mid-April.

One week left of the four-a-day’s!

Sarah
Doing great girl, keep it up. Spring will be here just in time! X

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Offline Wendi

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #77 on: March 10, 2021, 11:52:10 am »
Beautiful and sunny here today. Temp up to 54 degrees. Love it!!

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Online mm

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #78 on: March 11, 2021, 10:29:00 am »
sarahc, will be much better for you when you go to 3-a-day next week.

Offline sarahc

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Re: GCS, Bluebond-Langner / Zhao, January 2021
« Reply #79 on: March 13, 2021, 05:58:54 pm »
157 DOWN, 11 TO GO

In the final stretch...

This evening, I decided to try out the orange dilator. The green dilator is getting to be fairly smooth sailing, especially in the evenings, and I thought it might getting a bit too easy. So I took the orange dilator out of the bag and...wow, it still seems big. It's hard to believe that it's just a 1/8" difference in diameter.

Anyway, I started with the green dilator for about 10 minutes and then took out the orange dilator and lubed it up. It definitely did not go in smoothly. I had to push decently hard and it went in stops and spurts, and but it did go in eventually. It also was not particularly comfortable, and it also didn't go quite as deep as it does with the green dilator. The green dilator goes almost to the front notch, but with the orange dilator, I only got to the last dot. (I know last dot is still really good.) I kept the orange dilator in there for eight minutes.

So I did it...and based on my results it seems like I should start doing orange regularly. I do think I will need to start each session with the green before moving to the orange.

I head up to New York on Tuesday for my 6-week check in. When I'm there, I'll get more guidance on the best way to proceed with stepping up to the large dilator, in particular how to gradually cease using the green dilator.

Sarah
----
48 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

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