Susan's Place Transgender Resources

Community Conversation => Transitioning => Facial feminization surgery => Topic started by: Laura1951 on October 15, 2019, 11:46:05 pm

Title: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on October 15, 2019, 11:46:05 pm
I've been here before, but since I had deleted my profile several months ago, I'm repeating this post now. You can catch up with my story in the introductions section.

Last May, I made the 2 1/2 hour drive to Kaiser Oakland for my FFS consultation with Dr. Shih. As written about by others, he and his PA are very helpful and respectful.

The procedures he’s recommending are:
Hairline lowering
Frontal cranioplasty with orbital contouring (Type 3)
Browlift
Rhinoplasty
Lip lift
Jaw contouring
Laryngochodroplasty (tracheal shave)

In addition, he recommended cosmetic cheek injections and talked about fat injections in my lips. However, given the before/after pictures from other’s lip lifts, I think the effect will sufficiently enhance my lips. I will opt for the cheek injections though.

As far as a timeline, he said they’re looking at a 12-14 month wait. However, they are bringing on a third surgeon, so that might speed things up just a bit.

He also recommended a face lift, but only after the initial FFS so we can see if those effects are enough. He said the cheek injections would cost around 3K and the face lift might cost 11K. Both doable….

Last week, I received a call from their office and we’ve scheduled my FFS for June 16, 2020.

And now the wait.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 15, 2019, 11:59:24 pm
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
Thanks for sharing you good news about getting confirmed for surgery next summer...  the time will fly by faster that you might realize.
Please keep us all updated as your special day approaches.

On the first thread that you recently posted I provided in my Welcome Back message to you important and informative LINKS that will help you to get the best experience here on the forums.

Again, Welcome to Susan's Place,

Best wishes to you,
Danielle


Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on March 16, 2020, 01:55:09 pm
It looks like COVID-19 is halting all FFS at Kaiser.

I belong to a FB group, Transgender Care via Kaiser, where one person said their March 27th FFS with Kaiser had been cancelled. The surgeon's office didn't immediately reschedule, saying they were on lockdown for 3-4 months.

After waiting more than a year for my FFS, it looks like it will be at least October for my date.....I've not yet heard from Kaiser, since my current date is June 16th, but the dominoes are falling.

Frack.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on April 06, 2020, 09:29:22 pm
Six Months

I have two questions for those who are reading this, and I hope to hear from many of you.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve reached the six month mark, particularly since it’s taken me four years to get here.. yes, I first started HRT nearly four years ago and then stopped more times than I can remember. When i began this current six-month journey, I’d previously stopped for five months. Given that I’d never gone six weeks without stopping, I’m particularly proud to be this stubborn.

And yet, I’m troubled by my progress. As I’ve detailed in my month four and five posts, I’ve experienced a pause in my progress since I changed from the Climara, once a week, patch to the twice a week Dot. I did experiment in mid-February by increasing my dosage by 50%, a period where I felt my breasts resume their fullness. Sadly, when my Estrogen level came back as 275 (US), my physician asked me to return to the normal dosage and retest a few weeks later. That new test came back at 126 (US) and because I’m 68, she’d rather not see my levels in the 150-200 range, which she considers high.  I’m disappointed.

So, my first question is in regards to the Climara patch vs. the Dot. For those of you who have used both, was your progress relatively the same when you compare them, or was one method more effective than the other? I ask because given that my progress seemed on track with the Climara patch, I was surprised when it stopped when I began the Dot.

My second question is regarding growth. By the end of December, I’d achieved just under an “A” cup. Now I realize that many women don’t achieve an A by the end of the first year, but since all the female members of my family have a C cup or better, I’ve been expecting that a B would be in my future.

I’ve experienced no growth in three months and while I’m aware that YMMV and our progress is dependent on many factors, I’m also curious about periods of stasis versus periods of growth. What are your experiences regarding your growth? What is the history of your growth versus no growth?

Two months until my scheduled FFS, although I fully expect a call delaying it until at least October due to COVID-19.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on April 06, 2020, 09:48:54 pm
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
Thank you for posting and sharing your update... while I understand  your disappointment, it is very true that HRT will work differently for every body... it is up to your genes and physical makeup as to what HRT will accomplish.
Yes, I am glad that you are aware of the saying here on the forums.....  YMMV
   Your Mileage May Vary   

One thing is for sure, body changes with HRT almost never happen quickly.  Patience is definitely required.
What you read about another member's results will most likely not be your own.... you are unique.

I am pleased to read that your doctor has been monitoring your HRT blood levels ....  things can get out of control very quickly so it is best to not experiment with altering dosages.   Higher is not always better, and as your doctor indicated it can be dangerous to your overall health.

In the end, what HRT doesn't do can be mostly corrected with surgeries....  expensive but very helpful.
Surgeries for non-life threatening issues are certainly being delayed at most medical centers.... it is for your own safety... and that is good in my opinion....   with the Covid-19 thing going on I try to stay far away from hospitals and  medical clinics.

I feel your disappointment, and have no words to make feel better or to solve the problems you stated....   I will volunteer one  thing however, from my non-professional medical viewpoint, I don't think that stopping and restarting your HRT regimen is helping your final progress.... slow and steady without interruption in my opinion is the best way to handle this.

I am wishing you well an I am eagerly following your posts to keep updated on your progress.
HUGS and best wishes, stay safe, stay healthy,
Danielle

Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on May 15, 2020, 06:58:46 pm
As anticipated, Kaiser called today to confirm they're delaying my FFS, which had been scheduled for June 16th. They stopped surgeries in March and have not yet decided on a date for restarting, although it sounds like they may begin next month. I fully expect a four-month delay, which puts my FFS sometime in October. At least this will give my HRT more time to affect my face before they do their magic.

And so it goes.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on June 12, 2020, 05:23:04 pm
Well, this is another fine mess. I called Dr. Shih's office (norcal) to see if they have begun rescheduling FF surgeries and indeed they have. The bad news is that they're just trying to "work us in", meaning that those with appointments in the mid-june and later time frame, won't have their surgery dates changed. Those of us in the March-June timeline, whose surgeries were postponed due to COVID are apparently just going to have to settle for whatever dates they can find for us... That pretty much means we'll be scattered though the next six months or so, or perhaps later. People previously scheduled to have surgery several months after me will probably have their surgeries before me.

I'm pretty disappointed. OK. Pissed.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: AllieSF on June 12, 2020, 06:23:41 pm
Laura,

Let them know that and keep calling to see if they can move you up into a vacated spot or even bump someone.  Your level of dysphoria does not necessarily diminish over time.  It tends to increase especially when hitting road blocks to a gender confirming surgery.  I had a friend who had her FFS at Kaiser Oakland and she was a pain in the ass to the scheduler and her main contact person and they eventually moved her in front of other people.  She was suffering a lot of pent up dysphoria and need this cure as part of the overall treatment.  Good luck and keep at it.

Allie
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on June 12, 2020, 06:27:45 pm
@AllieSF

Thanks Allie. I'm thinking I'll have to nag my way into surgery. It shouldn't have to be this way. Are they too lazy to reschedule all those people who were to come after us?

I plan to call every two weeks until they block my number. LOL

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: AllieSF on June 12, 2020, 06:36:30 pm
In my opinion, they should just slide the schedule out for everyone so everyone shares equally in the disruption.  Everyone except maybe a few special cases where mentally and emotionally they can be justified moving in front of others.  The doctors will still be very busy having that backlog.

Allie
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on June 12, 2020, 06:41:13 pm
@AllieSF

Thanks Allie. I'm thinking I'll have to nag my way into surgery. It shouldn't have to be this way. Are they too lazy to reschedule all those people who were to come after us?

I plan to call every two weeks until they block my number. LOL

Laura
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
Well.... shucks!!! For sure this is very disappointing for you.   Yes indeed, keep calling, as the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.... but be super nice on the phone so that you don't get blocked!!!!

Please continue to keep me and the rest of your followers updated.... I will be anticipating a good news report.
HUGS,
Danielle


Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on June 12, 2020, 06:41:38 pm
@AllieSF

Silly me assumed the same, Allie. That everyone's schedule would be pushed back an equal amount so the first person to be cancelled would be the first person rescheduled. It's not working that way though.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on June 12, 2020, 06:44:06 pm
Well.... shucks!!! For sure this is very disappointing for you.   Yes indeed, keep calling, as the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.... but be super nice on the phone so that you don't get blocked!!!!

Please continue to keep me and the rest of your followers updated.... I will be anticipating a good news report.
HUGS,
Danielle


I always appreciate your encouragement, @Danielle. Thank for for the positive thoughts.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Ellie_Arroway on June 13, 2020, 04:25:05 am
Silly me assumed the same, Allie. That everyone's schedule would be pushed back an equal amount so the first person to be cancelled would be the first person rescheduled. It's not working that way though.

That's absolutely the way it should work. It's not fair. - E
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Another Nikki on July 08, 2020, 04:53:47 pm
i called today and asked to reschedule my september ffs with dr. kleinberger for next april.  so there’s one spot open!
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on August 10, 2020, 01:54:52 pm
OMG, OMG, OMG!!!

Received a call from Dr. Shih's office offering me an August 18th surgery date, one week from now...I had been thinking my surgery would be postponed four to six months, so this comes as a welcome shock.

More to come.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 10, 2020, 02:01:14 pm
OMG, OMG, OMG!!!

Received a call from Dr. Shih's office offering me an August 18th surgery date, one week from now...I had been thinking my surgery would be postponed four to six months, so this comes as a welcome shock.

More to come.

Laura

@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
This is absolutely unexpected and good news with a surgery date scheduled next week on Tuesday August 18th!!!!

Hurry up and get prepared and get ready to go....  I am rooting for your success.
Please continue to keep us all updated as you feel comfortable doing.

HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on August 10, 2020, 06:06:57 pm
Thank you @Danielle,

Kaiser's call this morning came as a complete surprise and now I find myself scurrying about to pull all the parts together: post-surgery meals, care of my cat during surgery, traveling to and from the hospital (which is about 70 minutes away), medical supplies, and a variety of appointments this week. All that in addition to making sure all my chores are done so that my house and yard are clean and ready to be ignored for a few weeks.

All good problems to have. LOL. I've not had time yet to be nervous (or scared), which I probably should be since this is potentially life-changing surgery. People I'm not out to will notice something is different once I return to tennis and real life.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Another Nikki on August 10, 2020, 11:44:30 pm
Congrats and good luck!!!
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on August 11, 2020, 01:28:31 pm
Thanks @Katie76 and @Another Nikki.

Went into Kaiser for an EKG and got a call to schedule a CT Scan tomorrow. It's all a whirlwind right now as I try to think of everything I need to do beforehand as well as have on hand afterwards.


Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: AllieSF on August 11, 2020, 01:48:19 pm
Congratulations Laura!  Do you need any help?  I live near Concord and could possible assist you in some way.  Just let me know.  If yes, PM me with your cell phone number.  Good luck with everything,

Allie
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on August 11, 2020, 02:01:47 pm
Congratulations Laura!  Do you need any help?  I live near Concord and could possible assist you in some way.  Just let me know.  If yes, PM me with your cell phone number.  Good luck with everything,

Allie

Thank you @AllieSF. I'll be taking the bus from Modesto to BART in Pleasanton and then taking an Uber to a hotel by the hospital. That way I don't have to fight the morning commute to get to the hospital at 7am. A good friend is picking me up Wednesday morning to take me home and look after me for the first few days.

None of this has really hit me yet.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: AllieSF on August 11, 2020, 03:41:09 pm
After your surgery remember to sleep sitting up.  That way you can get less facial swelling.  My stupid doctor, who I actually like, forgot to tell the nursing staff.  My face swelled up a lot and I got bruising under my eyes.  However, all that subsided and faded quite quickly and by the end of the week the bruising was basically gone and the swelling was way down to what I expected for the longer term recovery.  I also had to stay an extra day because one of my blood tests was not right.  As to the pain, get that pain killer prescription filled right away and for the first 2-3 days always stay ahead of the pain, i.e. take your medicine when scheduled and not when you start feeling pain.  After that it gets a lot better.  I think I took a total of 8-9 hydrocodones over 3 days.  Then I switched to extra strength over the counter tylenol.  I recover very quickly and have a high tolerance for pain.

Just take it easy and let your body tell you what not to do and what you can do.  Take naps, read, and enjoy the recovery as best possible.  The normal daily routines, chores and work will return soon enough.  I did my recovery at a friends house in Novato and they treated me very well!  Then I drove home by myself.

My procedure consisted of brow ridge and eye orbital grinding, hairline lowering and brow raising, fat transfer to cheeks and both lips and some minor chin grinding.  I found out that I was in the rare 5% group of people that have no sinus cavity in the brow area, more solid bone, so instead of the take out, grind and then replace (level 3) procedure, they had more than enough bone to grind away.  I also had only a small, probably normal male brow ridge.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you need help.  I am about 15 minutes away from Kaiser.

Allie
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on August 11, 2020, 07:29:17 pm
After your surgery remember to sleep sitting up.  That way you can get less facial swelling.  My stupid doctor, who I actually like, forgot to tell the nursing staff.  My face swelled up a lot and I got bruising under my eyes.  However, all that subsided and faded quite quickly and by the end of the week the bruising was basically gone and the swelling was way down to what I expected for the longer term recovery.  I also had to stay an extra day because one of my blood tests was not right.  As to the pain, get that pain killer prescription filled right away and for the first 2-3 days always stay ahead of the pain, i.e. take your medicine when scheduled and not when you start feeling pain.  After that it gets a lot better.  I think I took a total of 8-9 hydrocodones over 3 days.  Then I switched to extra strength over the counter tylenol.  I recover very quickly and have a high tolerance for pain.

Just take it easy and let your body tell you what not to do and what you can do.  Take naps, read, and enjoy the recovery as best possible.  The normal daily routines, chores and work will return soon enough.  I did my recovery at a friends house in Novato and they treated me very well!  Then I drove home by myself.

My procedure consisted of brow ridge and eye orbital grinding, hairline lowering and brow raising, fat transfer to cheeks and both lips and some minor chin grinding.  I found out that I was in the rare 5% group of people that have no sinus cavity in the brow area, more solid bone, so instead of the take out, grind and then replace (level 3) procedure, they had more than enough bone to grind away.  I also had only a small, probably normal male brow ridge.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you need help.  I am about 15 minutes away from Kaiser.

Thank you @AllieSF.

You and I had largely the same procedures, but I opted not to have the fat added to my lips. I know that FFS mostly just makes small adjustments to our faces, but I do hope to see less of <deadname> and more of Laura when I look in the mirror.

I'm resolved to sleep on my back with my head inclined the first two-four weeks. I do hate this, though, because I've been a stomach sleeper all my life, until two months ago when I began to have back pain upon waking up. Now, I'm a side sleeper. It's impossible for me to sleep on my back in bed, so I'll be on the couch for the foreseeable future. oh, the pain we must endure to become beautiful. LOL.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on August 14, 2020, 11:33:36 am
Four days until surgery. EKG, COVID test, and CT Scan all completed, although I still have some shopping to do for post-op food and supplies. Everything is on track though.

I should be nervous at this point, but it feels like I'm on autopilot. Perhaps the short notice is the cause. One thing is certain, life will be different after next Tuesday.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on August 16, 2020, 06:31:47 pm
August 16, 2020

Two days until FFS. In 24 hours, I’ll be on my way to the Bay Area, where I’ll stay overnight at a hotel two miles from the hospital. At 5am, I’ll awake, take the magic potion I’ve been directed to drink, and at 6:45am, the hotel shuttle will take me to the hospital entrance. Around 8am, two of Kaiser’s best will spend 10 hours making me look like I got run over by a truck. For the week afterwards, I’ll wonder “What the hell have I done?”, “Will this actually help me look more feminine?” And “Everyone’s going to know that something’s up”.

And so it goes.

This path has been tread my many others and their stories will encourage me through the hellish first few weeks as I wait for the swelling to slowly go down, the incisions to heal, and Laura’s new face to appear. I have supportive friends, a great network here, and time.

Onward.
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: AllieSF on August 16, 2020, 06:44:49 pm
Good luck Laura.  You are in my prayers and thoughts.  You are also in good hands because at least one of my friends had her FFS done there, with Dr. Kleinberg [??], I think.  See you on the flip side.

Allie
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on August 17, 2020, 06:26:34 am
Thank you @AllieSF. It looks like both Kleinberg and Shih are performing the surgery.

Four years after coming out to myself and 15 months after my consultation, this is finally happening.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: AllieSF on August 17, 2020, 12:53:33 pm
Laura,

That is fast by many standards.  See you on the flip side and please let me know if you need any assistance.

Allie
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: davina61 on August 17, 2020, 02:34:41 pm
Wishing you well for tomorrowXXX
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on August 22, 2020, 11:31:35 am
Post-Op Day Four

I am alive and because so many of you have detailed your post-op journeys, I have a wonderful perspective to judge against my current experience. This has allowed me to stay calm as my face transitions to the new Laura.

Surgery was Tuesday, August 18th, which went quickly. The worst day was the next day, Day One of my recovery where my left eye swole shut and my right eye came close to it. Beginning on Day Two the swelling around my eyes began to disappear and my bruises began to subside. Swelling, which is part of the process, wlll continue for some time but will get better.

Pain has been manageable. I’ve avoided taking Oxytocin, but advice from others to keep taking your other drugs, regardless of your pain or lack of pain, has been important. Both Motrin and Tylenol are taken at regular intervals to ease headaches and I’ll continue these for awhile. Otherwise, I’m pleased with our pain management.

A good friend, a retired nurse, brought me home from the hospital and cared for me through this morning. I’m at the point where I feel comfortable changing my dressings, but having a nurse around has been a blessing.

Probably the hardest part for me was that my cat didn’t recognize me the first two days and was quite unfriendly. Now on day four, everything is back to normal, as Cessna (my cat) sees who I am.

I’m not sure what I’ll look like when this is over, but I feel calmness knowing my doctor is an expert, that the incisions are healing well, and that eventually Laura will appear. It’s all good.

Onward.
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on August 22, 2020, 12:04:03 pm
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
As you might be, I will be waiting IMPATIENTLY for the results of your surgery.  It does take quite a bit of time for any swelling and bruising to go down and for the healing process... all of that can not be rushed.  It can be difficult to wait and have patience!!!!

I am glad to read that you have a retired nurse friend to help you while you are healing.  I am also glad to read that your pain management is going well.

Have lots of "cuddle time" with Cessna, now that they recognize you !!!!   :)

Be patient, heal well and as always I am wishing you the best outcome and good success..


HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Another Nikki on August 23, 2020, 10:41:40 pm
Laura, so glad to hear your recovery is going well.  Fingers crossed for continued good healing and results you’re happy with!

-n
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on August 26, 2020, 10:51:24 pm
Post-Op Day Eight

I drove into the Bay Area today for my one-week follow-up where they took out the staples in my head, the stitches below my nose, and my nose splint and cast. Oh, what a relief to be able to breathe through my nose again.

My nose and face are still a bit swollen and several bruises are still working their way out, but Day Eight certainly feels much better than Day One.

For the next week, I'll continue to sleep with my head elevated and eat soft food, but knowing I'm about three weeks away from resuming full activities is motivation enough. My face is healing well. Patience.

Onward.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: AllieSF on August 26, 2020, 10:53:57 pm
So happy that you are healing well and quickly. Keep up the good work and updates.

Allie
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on September 01, 2020, 02:44:29 pm
FFS Post-Op, Day 14

Things are getting back to normal. I've been walking about three miles a day in the early mornings and I'm finding my energy level feels equivalent to pre-op levels. The bruises on my face are mostly gone although a few stubborn ones will take more time to fade away.

I've been religious about taking care of the incisions, applying ointments in twice a day and using a mist in my nose to keep it moist. The stitches in my nose and mouth are softening so I expect they'll give way in the next week, if not sooner. there's still some numbness in my lowercase and my forehead and the top of my head are fairly numb. This will improve as nerve endings reconnect in the next few months. Hopefully, most of the swelling will be gone in the next two weeks, although I can expect my final results may take a year to reveal themselves.

I've been sleeping on the couch the past two weeks, given that I must sleep on my back with my head elevated. I'm NOT a natural back sleeper so my sleep patterns are all over the place. Daily naps help me catch up, but I can hardly wait unto the 30 day mark so I can return to side sleeping. Until then, I'll do what I have to, to protect my new nose.

onward.

Laura

Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on September 08, 2020, 03:50:06 am
Post-Op, Day 21

Recovery seems to be on schedule, and I've been fairly loyal about doing all the things the doctor recommended to heal the wounds. I actually placed a dresser drawer on my bed to creat a small sleeping area so I don't accidentally roll over and injure my new nose.

Still, several things weigh on me. Sutures in my mouth and nose have yet to dissolve, although I'm hoping they will soon. Several bruises are still present and one of them has yet to show any indication of fading. Yes, parts of my face and most of my forehead and head are numb but I know it will take time for nerve endings to reconnect.

My larger concern, and I'm postponing panicking until the two month mark, is that I don't see any difference in my face. I don't see how the fat that was injected into my cheeks has changed anything. In fact, I don't even see that it's there. Yes, my nose looks a bit different, but the remainder of my face and forehead look exactly the same. My friend who took care of me the first few days has confirmed this as well. I do know that swelling takes time to lessen and I'm hoping that during the next month I'll see some differences emerge.

For now, I'm just waiting for my next appointment, which is in two weeks.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on September 13, 2020, 04:00:14 pm
Top Ten Reasons FFS is a Pain

1. Waiting 12-15 months between my consultation and the operation.
2. The incredible swelling and pain the first 2-3 days post-op
3. Ongoing headaches the first week due to the staples in my head
4. Walking around outside with bandages circling my head and from my head to my chin the first week, and continued bandages around my head during week two.
5. Continued headaches for weeks 2-3, probably due to sleeping on my back.
6. Making sure you dress the incisions in your nose and head twice a day and applying Scar Away for months 2-6.
7. Taping my glasses to my head the first month to make sure they don’t touch my nose.
8. Mouth breathing the first week because the nose plugs make it impossible to breath through your nose. You’re guaranteed waking up with a dry mouth.
9. Numbness in my jaw, chin, forehead and head, which hopefully will subside as nerve endings reconnect in several months.This makes shaving a bit scarier.
10. Waiting for the swelling to go down so I can see what the new Laura looks like.

Would I do it again?

yes.

Onward.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 13, 2020, 04:03:30 pm
@Laura1951
thank you for sharing your Top Ten Reasons FFS is a Pain.   Great first hand information for those considering FFS.

I will eagerly be looking to read your newest post  Post Op Day 28  when you are ready to share.
Hugs,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on September 15, 2020, 03:38:52 pm
Post-Op Day 28

Well, it’s much better to be at the four-week mark than the day after FFS. I’ve returned to all my normal activities, and I’m being a good girl about dressing my incisions to make sure they heal well.

Not all bruises have disappeared. Small areas on both cheeks have a faded bruise that is visible and I still have one stubborn one beneath my left eye. It’s a quarter-moon shape and while it’s shown some sign of getting smaller, it’s still prominent. I can wait until my follow-up appointment in 10 days before complaining.

The dissolvable stitches in my mouth are still present, although soft, and they often irritate my gums. Having thought these would have broken up by the three-week mark is disappointing, but I’m willing to wait for my next appointment. Numbness along my chin and jaw, as well as my forehead and head is still present.

While the doctor’s instructions say I can wear my glasses normally now, I’m going to continue sleeping on my back for two more weeks as well as taping my glasses to my forehead. Given that I’ve read that it takes six weeks for the nose to fully heal, I don’t want to do anything to mess up this new and expensive nose.

Hoping some of the swelling disappears at the two-month mark.

Onward.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 19, 2020, 10:59:36 pm
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
Thank you for posting your 4 week post-op FFS update.
As  you know healing takes it's own time... patience and rest is required...   
...healing takes place when we rest and when we sleep..

I am glad to read that you are doing OK.
Again, thank you for sharing your update.


HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on September 22, 2020, 11:36:16 am
Post-Op Day 35

First, thank you to @Danielle, @AllieSF, and @Davina61 for your encouragement.

Other than the pain caused by the staples in my head the first week, the sole source of pain the last four weeks has been from the stitches in my mouth as they constantly irritated my gums. Last week, the stitches finally began falling out and the last one disappeared yesterday. It’s quite amazing how quickly my gums recovered. Now, brushing my teeth is much more comfortable.

The bruising I’ve written about has gotten better as the small areas on each cheek have all but disappeared and the 1/2 moon bruise below my eye is fading fast. Thank goodness. I’m finding that now that I can wear my glasses normally, they don’t fit the same, since my nose is shaped differently. Fortunately, I have an eye doctor appointment tomorrow so I’ll have both pairs (one for tennis and one for everything else) adjusted to my new nose.

I’m certain there’s still some swelling, particularly on my jaw and chin, but time will take care of that. I’ve been pretty loyal about applying the ScarAway roll-on during the day and the strips at night so my incisions heal with minimal scaring. The only other concern is the numbness I feel in my jaw/chin line, my forehead and my head. This, I know, takes much longer to heal so I’m being patient. I do have a follow-up appointment with my surgeon this Friday so I’ll have an update with answers to some of my concerns next week.

Onward.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Another Nikki on September 22, 2020, 07:42:20 pm
That’s really positive Laura, glad to hear you’re doing well!  As the swelling has subsided, have you noticed more changes?

I got a call yesterday asking if I could have surgery in October!  I had to pass to work with my wife’s schedule, but it’s getting real!
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on September 22, 2020, 07:52:53 pm
That’s really positive Laura, glad to hear you’re doing well!  As the swelling has subsided, have you noticed more changes?

I got a call yesterday asking if I could have surgery in October!  I had to pass to work with my wife’s schedule, but it’s getting real!

@Another Nikki
To be honest, the only change I can see is to my nose. Before it was slightly larger with a bump where I'd broken it many years ago. Now, it seems a bit thinner and the tip is slightly raised. The doc says it is still swollen which was news to me.

Several friends have mentioned that my face is a bit more feminine, but I'm not really looking that hard at my face right now. Knowing it's still swollen, I'm withholding putting on make-up for a new profile picture until I'm feeling more confident. Hopefully, I'll post a new pic during my one-year HRT update in a few weeks.

I'm glad you're getting calls for FFS dates. I only had one week's notice, so the whole week was a blur with activity. you have more time to get ready, although that also means the anticipation/nervousness has more time to work its magic too.

Hope you'll chronicle your progress for us.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Oldandcreaky on September 22, 2020, 08:49:14 pm
Laura, I said I wasn't going to post again at Susan's, but I think I can be of use. I had FFS with Dr. Suporn in Thailand. I didn't have as much surgery as you. Mine was mostly a flattened forehead. However, that's still major, gruesome surgery and when I reached up and touched the bone above my eye, which had once protruded, I was stunned and pleased to find my forehead was in the same plane as the rest of my face. So, there was massive change, but returning to work, which put me in front of thousands of kids and hundreds of adults every week, I was read two times as male and that hadn't happened for decades. So, the FFS had made me more masculine in the eyes of two children, even though my flat face was more feminine. However, that disturbing change didn't last. Over time, everything settled and even though I'm plain, in the right light, without any makeup or doodads, I can be a bit pretty. I expect the same for you. Decades prior, I had a rhinoplasty and I had to wait about nine months to see the nose I now have and enjoy. So, wait, wait, wait. In surgical recovery terms, your surgery was merely yesterday.
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Dorit on September 23, 2020, 04:11:47 am
I had a rhinoplasty and I had to wait about nine months to see the nose I now have and enjoy. So, wait, wait, wait. In surgical recovery terms, your surgery was merely yesterday.

I could not agree more.  It took six months to notice the change after my FFS which included a rhinoplasty.   
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on September 23, 2020, 05:23:06 pm
Laura, I said I wasn't going to post again at Susan's, but I think I can be of use.

Over time, everything settled and even though I'm plain, in the right light, without any makeup or doodads, I can be a bit pretty. I expect the same for you. Decades prior, I had a rhinoplasty and I had to wait about nine months to see the nose I now have and enjoy. So, wait, wait, wait. In surgical recovery terms, your surgery was merely yesterday.

I'm glad you chimed in @OldAndCreaky. I've learned so much from those who have come before me, so thank you for giving back. I hope you keep coming back. I agree with you and @Dorit that time will reveal the new me and not one minute sooner. LOL.

Thank you both.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: sarahc on September 23, 2020, 05:40:11 pm
Post-Op Day 35

I’m finding that now that I can wear my glasses normally, they don’t fit the same, since my nose is shaped differently. Fortunately, I have an eye doctor appointment tomorrow so I’ll have both pairs (one for tennis and one for everything else) adjusted to my new nose.


Had to laugh at this...this has happened to my reading glasses as well! Keeps slipping down my nose - annoying!

Fortunately, it has always been part of my post-surgery plan to spend some money and get a couple pairs of nice looking reading glasses with the anti-glare coating from an optician. I hope to do that in the next couple of weeks.

Everything else you mention is similar to where I was two weeks ago. It’s pretty slow going from here to month 6, I think.

Sarah
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Oldandcreaky on September 23, 2020, 06:06:11 pm
Quote
I'm glad you chimed in @OldAndCreaky. I've learned so much from those who have come before me, so thank you for giving back. I hope you keep coming back.

Thank you. When I transitioned, there was no Internet, so I transitioned alone. I think it helps to have scouts, albeit cyber.
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on September 23, 2020, 06:42:46 pm
Thank you. When I transitioned, there was no Internet, so I transitioned alone. I think it helps to have scouts, albeit cyber.

I could not agree more, @OldAndCreaky. I know I'm standing on the shoulder of giants who forged the path before me. Knowing I'm not alone and hearing how many of our stories share common highs and lows makes the journey easier.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on September 23, 2020, 06:44:37 pm
Had to laugh at this...this has happened to my reading glasses as well! Keeps slipping down my nose - annoying!

Fortunately, it has always been part of my post-surgery plan to spend some money and get a couple pairs of nice looking reading glasses with the anti-glare coating from an optician. I hope to do that in the next couple of weeks.

Everything else you mention is similar to where I was two weeks ago. It’s pretty slow going from here to month 6, I think.

Sarah
@SarahC
Fixing our glasses is one of the little known effects from FFS. Had a great appointment with my eye doctor and both pairs now sit comfortably on my face. chose new frames too.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Oldandcreaky on September 23, 2020, 08:43:30 pm
Laura, here's what I remember about my rhinoplasty. When the surgeon removed the bandages, I was stunned by how slender and feminine my nose was. That lasted minutes, as it started to swell. It looked like an A-frame house, thin on the ridge, but flaring to my face. I figured that was simply my new nose. However, after months and months, one day, the flaring deflated and that thin nose I first saw when the bandages were removed was back. It was as if someone had jabbed an ice pick into a tire and deflated it. That deflating was elating!
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on September 29, 2020, 08:20:00 am
Post-Op Day 42 (Six Weeks)

At six-weeks post-op, bruising has finally disappeared, although swelling continues and will take another 5-6 months to return to the new normal. Although I had started to wear my glasses normally, I’m finding some pinching on my nose, so I’m continuing to tape my glasses to my forehead (quite attractive) about 50% of the time.

Last Friday, I drove into the Bay Area for an appointment with Dr. Shih. I had debated going as Laura, but was cautious because my nose was still sensitive, but in the end, Laura won out. After I dressed and did my make-up, I took a few pictures so I could compare Laura Now to Laura in July. (I've placed the Laura Now picture as my new profile pic.) When I placed the pictures side by side, I really couldn’t see any difference. Now, I know FFS results in subtle changes, but as hard as I’ve been looking, I’ve not seen any difference. Most likely, this is due to the swelling,

The doctor was really nice and heard my concerns. He pulled up the pictures they had taken during my consult last year and showed me the work they had done. Given that my nose, chin and jaw are still swollen, it will take awhile for the final results. He said it could take a year for my nose swelling to go away and up to six months for my facial swelling.

So, of course, I’ll wait.

Waiting is what we MTF’s do.

Next appointment in six months.

Onward.
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 29, 2020, 09:17:17 am
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
Your "Day #42" update is wonderful to read....
.... and your NEW Avatar/Profile picture is terrific and shows a beautiful woman.

Yes indeed, the swelling will eventually go away with time and if your latest picture is any indication, I think that you will be very, very pleased with the results.

Again, thank you for keeping all of us updated....


HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: sarahc on September 29, 2020, 07:50:02 pm
Post-Op Day 42 (Six Weeks)

When I placed the pictures side by side, I really couldn’t see any difference. Now, I know FFS results in subtle changes, but as hard as I’ve been looking, I’ve not seen any difference. Most likely, this is due to the swelling,


Did you look at before-and-after profile pics? My doctor showed my before and 10-day post-op after pics from the profile view and the effect of the type 3 forehead procedure was abundantly clear. Huuuuuge difference, even only after 10 days.

I think it is harder to see front facing changes...especially because the swelling takes so long to subside and because it is hard to perceive the boniness of the face looking head on.

I agree that it really does take months for swelling to subside...everything you talk about has been consistent with my experience.

Sarah
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Dorit on September 30, 2020, 12:59:55 am
Post-Op Day 42 (Six Weeks)

 Last Friday, I drove into the Bay Area for an appointment with Dr. Shih. I had debated going as Laura, but was cautious because my nose was still sensitive, but in the end, Laura won out. After I dressed and did my make-up, I took a few pictures so I could compare Laura Now to Laura in July. (I've placed the Laura Now picture as my new profile pic.) When I placed the pictures side by side, I really couldn’t see any difference. Now, I know FFS results in subtle changes, but as hard as I’ve been looking, I’ve not seen any difference. Most likely, this is due to the swelling,

Onward.

Laura, the two avatar pictures before and after are light years apart in appearance! You are well on the way to being a beautiful woman.  I believe what happens is that our brains are so imprinted to our old face that we are the last ones to see the difference.  Be happy, you did it,  Laura is coming out!
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: AllieSF on September 30, 2020, 01:14:12 am

Laura,

I definitely agree with Dorit. Your chin/jaw line, mouth and maybe your cheeks scream woman.  Let it all settle down.  Your nose will be the last to do that and from what I have heard from others, it will shrink down quite a bit.  Congratulations on your new look and what may come in the future.

Allie
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Oldandcreaky on October 04, 2020, 06:31:16 am
You pass, Laura. Congrats!
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on October 05, 2020, 10:51:36 am
Laura,

You’re Looking more beautiful each day as your healing progresses. For me It’s been a year since my FFS and as more of your swelling reduces, you be even more amazed at your face. BTW I asked my surgeon to reduce my “Mr. Spok” like ears and large ear lobes. Very pleased with the results😊
Thank you @Katie76. It's only been two months now, but knowing I need to wait about six months for my face and one year for my nose gives me hope. Glad yours turned out well. I'm looking foward.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on October 05, 2020, 10:52:47 am
You pass, Laura. Congrats!
Thank you @OldAndCreaky. I'm getting "clocked" when I go out, but hopefully time will change that.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on October 05, 2020, 10:55:51 am
Had to laugh at this...this has happened to my reading glasses as well! Keeps slipping down my nose - annoying!

Fortunately, it has always been part of my post-surgery plan to spend some money and get a couple pairs of nice looking reading glasses with the anti-glare coating from an optician. I hope to do that in the next couple of weeks.

Everything else you mention is similar to where I was two weeks ago. It’s pretty slow going from here to month 6, I think.

Sarah

Good to know we're on the same track, but that you're a few weeks ahead, @SarahC. So much easier to be at this point than the first week. Oh, staples in the head were a strange feeling.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Oldandcreaky on October 05, 2020, 04:34:44 pm
Thank you @OldAndCreaky. I'm getting "clocked" when I go out, but hopefully time will change that.

Laura

Laura, please tell me more. Who said what and when? Do you still have facial hair? Arm hair? A deep voice?
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on October 05, 2020, 06:56:36 pm
Laura, please tell me more. Who said what and when? Do you still have facial hair? Arm hair? A deep voice?
@OldAndCreaky
The good news is that no one said anything to me. In the first case, where I was eating lunch outside with a friend, two people turned their heads and stared at me for a second. It's entirely possible my voice, which I'm still working on, gave me away. I was close shaven and my beard takes quite a bit of time to grow, so I know it wasn't that. Still,after the initial stare, they didn't look back later.

In the second instance, the person who stared at me was about 100 feet away, but the couple always sees <deadname> playing tennis on Fridays with my group.I suspect they knew is was me, which is why the male stared for long periods of time. It made me quite uncomfortable.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Oldandcreaky on October 05, 2020, 07:03:20 pm
Hmm, Laura. In the second anecdote, someone who sees you in male mode one day and female mode a few days later might connect the dots, but I wouldn't count that as being clocked.

In the first anecdote, who knows.

Even a close shave isn't the same as no facial hair.

You look cute in your photo, cuter than me by a two lengths and a half, and I pass. Good times are coming. You'll see.
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on October 05, 2020, 07:55:34 pm
ou look cute in your photo, cuter than me by a two lengths and a half, and I pass. Good times are coming. You'll see.

@OldAndCreaky.

You're so sweet. thank you.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Oldandcreaky on October 05, 2020, 08:49:04 pm
@OldAndCreaky.

You're so sweet. thank you.

Laura

 ;)
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on October 13, 2020, 08:26:46 pm
FSS Post-Op, Eight Weeks

Things came falling down last Saturday.

First, all bruising is now gone and while numbness continues on my forehead, head, jaw and chin, I can feel slow (ok, very slow) progress. Some feeling is returning, but I'm certain it could be a year before things return to normal.

On Saturday, I was playing tennis with a large group of friends as <deadname>. (I only play as Laura with the four people I've confided to, so this week Laura gets to play Wednesday and Friday. Yippee). During the third set, I was standing at the net while my partner (a woman) was serving. We were playing two men, both whom can hit the ball fairly hard. After she served, the player opposite me stepped in the the ball and hit it hard down the line. Unfortunately, he missed. The ball headed so quickly towards me that I couldn't get my racket in the way to deflect it. As a result, the ball hit me squarely on my nose, digging my glasses into my nose and opening a small cut. Worse, blood instantly began coming from my nostrils and my nose felt numb. I was certain it was broken.

I apologized to the group as I decided to leave for home immediately to begin icing my nose while I called Kaiser. With COVID, they don't just let you waltz into the ER without screening you, but after a bit, I got permission to go in. The ER doc took some pictures, sharing them with the Ear, Nose Throat doc who replied that the nose didn't seem distended and that I should continue icing and to contact my surgeon on Monday.

Not exactly calming or reassuring. My nose had bled for an hour and felt (and continues to feel) numb. I'm certain it's broken, but because it doesn't look deformed, I could only wait.

In an exchange of messages with my surgeon, I shared pictures of my nose and was told that I'm doing the right thing and that it's best to wait.

So easy for him to say.

I guess I should feel fortunate that it doesn't look broken at this point, but because I'm certain it's broken, I've returned to the pattern of sleeping on my back and taping my glasses to my nose.

This event scared me. Worse, I cried so much on the way home from tennis and on the couch as I iced it and talked to Kaiser. Think of all the time I waited for FFS and all the care I've taken in the past two months to make sure the surgery was successful. To imagine that some of that work was ruined, that my new nose could be disfigured, was depressing. It was a very hard weekend for me.

I'm fortunate that one of my female friends that I'm out to was also playing with us. We were part of group of 12 players that were rotating between sets. She texted me many times that morning asking about how I was doing and providing me support. Her daughter, who also knows about Laura, sent me her good wishes as well.

so, I'm still a bit scared about how my nose will heal, and fortunate to have many wonderful friends.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 13, 2020, 08:41:22 pm
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
After reading your last update:  "FSS Post-Op, Eight Weeks"
I am so very concerned as certainly you are... but at some point, sooner instead of later I would hope that you can get an in-person appointment with your surgeon.  It could easily be better news than you are thinking....  I am praying for you and for a quick diagnosis from your surgeon and a quick recovery. 

The guy that hit the ball hard down the line and missed and then it hit your nose must feel badly I would think.... if not, give me his phone number and I will have a "little talk" with him.

Hang in there sis, be positive, keep icing, and report anything that you feel you need to report to your surgeon or at least the PAs and nurses there in the Surgeon's office.

I will be eagerly and anxiously waiting for your update when you feel inclined to share it with us.

I  am giving you "gentle" HUGS, HUGS, HUGS, HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle       
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Oldandcreaky on October 13, 2020, 09:25:38 pm
Laura, that's awful. Hope for the best, but brace for the worst. I'm thinking good thoughts for you.
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on October 13, 2020, 10:50:16 pm
Thank you @Danielle and @OldAndCreaky. While I am still concerned/scared, that the outside of my nose still looks the same does help alleviate some of my anxiety. The damage is most likely internal since I continue to feel a soreness and numbness in my nose.

I think that because my surgeon is a two-hour drive away, he was satisfied with my self-assessment and the multiple pictures I sent. In reality, they really can't do anything if the nose looks the same. I'll continue babying it for the next month or so.

And, yes, the player who accidentally hit me immediately felt bad, as we all would if we injured another player. I've played doubles with and against him many times the past eight years and while I'm not out to him, he did contact me later asking how I was doing.  These things unfortunately happen.

I do appreciate your concern and your good wishes. I'll say again that I could never have made it this far in my transition without our community at Susan's.

thank you.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Another Nikki on October 13, 2020, 11:58:18 pm
Oh no!!!  Fingers crossed it’s ok and it’s just a small hiccup.  That’s definitely on my list of worries for the surgery- getting into a car crash or othe calamity just after.  Good luck!!!’
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: sarahc on October 14, 2020, 05:06:00 pm
Oh, I am so sorry that this happened - ugh! I'm sure that you must be distraught.

I actually feared this exact scenario when I played tennis this past weekend for the first time since starting transition, especially because I am an aggressive net player. Definitely was in the back of my mind when I stood my ground on a couple of short balls.

I hope everything heals ok...please keep us posted on how things progress in the coming days.

Sarah
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on October 14, 2020, 08:57:35 pm
Thank you @Another Nikki and @SarahC. The weekend was quite traumatic for me. We put so many of our hopes on how FFS can erase parts of our male past, that the idea of ruining it never really entered my mind. Sure, I was careful in tending to the surgical wounds and religiously did everything the surgery staff told me to do, but having our faces injured afterwards endangers some of that progress.

I'm fortunate that I'm not seeing physical damage outside my nose, although I know inside there's some re-healing going on. The cut on top of my nose, where my glasses dug into my skin, will heal and hopefully this will just be a good story I can laugh at down the road.......FAR down the road. LOL.

Thank you again.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 18, 2020, 11:35:38 am
@sarahc @Laura1951
Dear Sarah Laura:
I have been thinking about you constantly since you reported your tennis "accident"...

Hopefully many days later you are recovering and that there is no or little damage or any kind of a setback.
Please, but only if you feel so inclined, give me and all of your other followers an update.


HUGS and best wishes as always,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: sarahc on October 18, 2020, 08:01:47 pm
@Northern Star Girl:

As I wasn't the injured one, I'm tagging @Laura1951.

Sarah

@sarahc
Dear Sarah:
I have been thinking about you constantly since you reported your tennis "accident"...

Hopefully many days later you are recovering and that there is no or little damage or any kind of a setback.
Please, but only if you feel so inclined, give me and all of your other followers an update.


HUGS and best wishes as always,
Danielle

Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 18, 2020, 08:21:51 pm
@Northern Star Girl:

As I wasn't the injured one, I'm tagging @Laura1951.

Sarah

@sarahc    cc: @Laura1951
Thank you for the correction .....   
Forgiveness please.
I have been making errors like that a lot lately,,, 
I need to slow down a little.

Hugs to both of you.
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on October 19, 2020, 11:00:36 am
Thank you @Danielle and @SarahC for checking in. A week after the accident, my nose seems to be recovering and I'm not noticing any undue swelling. I still have some numbness and while I'm taking steps not to aggravate my nose, things seem on the mend. My surgeon looked at several pictures and said that it's best to wait.

In the meantime, I'm finding that now that I'm. recovering from my FFS, some people are beginning to ask questions about my status. that worries me a bit and I've chronicled my concern on my blog. I've decided to not wear my earrings when I play tennis to eliminate one of the clues, but I suspect that my coming out timeline is being disrupted. More to come later on my blog.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Oldandcreaky on October 19, 2020, 11:29:48 am
Laura, because you're a teacher, i.e. one of my tribe, and because you have a pragmatic approach to transitioning, I too cheer for you.
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Wendi on November 05, 2020, 11:00:16 am
Hello Laura, I just read your thread and was wondering how you are doing?

Hugs

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Northern Star Girl on November 05, 2020, 11:04:21 am
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
I agree with the comment reply from @Wendi ...
I and the rest of your followers of your thread "need" an update, but only if
you feel comfortable sharing.

We are all concerned for you and as always, we are wishing you the best...

HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on November 05, 2020, 04:08:44 pm
@OldAndCreaky, @Wendi, @Danielle, @Katie76

Thank you all for asking.

The challenge of having so many threads (FFS, HRT, and others) is that my real progress and thoughts can get lost between threads. I expect to update this thread on the 18th, the third month anniversary of my FFS. (but so far, not much change since month two.)

The real changes to my life, and there are many, are being documented on my blog, One New Life to Live (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,253460.0.html)

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on November 17, 2020, 11:27:20 pm
FFS Post-Op, Three Months

It's a relief to reach the three-month mark for my FFS, although little has changed the past month.

First, regarding my nose, which was injured by a swift tennis ball a month ago. Swelling and numbness from that event seems to have subsided and while i've reported that i didn't think there was any damage, i am feeling little bumps along the sides and on top when i run my fingers up and down my nose. This may just be being too cautious because i see no visible effects when i look in the mirror. For now, i'm content to wait for my next follow-up appointment in 3-4 months to ask the surgeon's advice about my nose and any recommended revisions.

Because swelling is supposed to slowly lesson over the first six to 12 months, it's difficult to report on how my face looks now compared to a month ago. I do know that the top of my head still has no feeling, although i often have phantom itches that i can't scratch. Numbness along my jaw, chin and bottom lip seem to be improving, although it still feels like i've just been to the dentist and the Novocain is slow to wear off.

One effect of my FFS is that i'm now feeling more confident about being Laura in public. i can't say i pass, because i still see <deadname> when i look in the mirror, but i'm humbled when my friends here, and in RL, say that i am. i hope i can begin believing that soon. LOL.  Of course, hiding my face behind a face mask doesn't hurt.

Onward,

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: AllieSF on November 18, 2020, 02:32:05 pm
Laura,

I like your new avatar, you definitely look different and more female now, cute and attractive.  I had the similar itchiness on my scalp along and around the suture lines, but not on the forehead suture.  My FFS was in January this year and my center scalp, between the sutures that go toward the back of my head is still numb. The area along the back of my jaw and cheeks has regained most of its feeling.  As my doctor said, it just takes time and the scalp may not recover all of its feeling, which I am finally use to now.

I say, do not worry about your looks now and just enjoy being you doing you things.  Thanks for the updates.

Ally
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Oldandcreaky on November 18, 2020, 03:51:28 pm
Quote
I do know that the top of my head still has no feeling, although i often have phantom itches that i can't scratch.

Ally nailed it. A scalp is slow to recover. On 90% of my scalp, I have 100% sensation. On 10% of it, I have 85% sensation. I expect I'll never have 100% everywhere as it's been about nine years.
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: sarahc on November 18, 2020, 05:44:36 pm
Laura:

Everything you discuss (besides the nose injury) continues to be very consistent with my experience. Also, I am definitely more confident now going out and about.

Sarah
Title: Re: Laura's FFS Journal
Post by: Laura1951 on November 18, 2020, 08:14:42 pm
@AllieSF, @OldAndCreaky, & @SarahC

First, thanks for the nice words about my appearance. i'm still somewhat cautious when Laura goes out, but COVID masks work wonders for passing.  i've reached the point where i'm taking more pictures, possibly because i'm feeling more secure. FFS isn't a miracle operation, but it can help us reach a tipping point in our ability to pass.

It sounds like scalp numbness is fairly common and i may or may not achieve feelings over 100% on top. I can live with that as long as i can regain full feeling in my jaw, chin, and lower lip. Some progress is being made, but i understand this can take some time.

Thank you again for replying.

Onward.