Some transgender individuals have the option to transition with or without hormones or surgeries. For those who are going down the hormone replacement path, some may or may not choose surgery. Those folx choosing to go down the different surgical roads, there are a few things we need to prepare for prior to our surgical date.
I like to think of these as my pre-flight, in-flight, post-flight checklists. Just as a pilot may have checklists to guarantee a safe and comfortable flight for them and their passengers. We as individuals can do the same thing.
- Can you get the time off from work that you need to heal fully without rushing things?
- Do you have a living will? In the state I lived in, the hospital has a really simple one. There are more extensive professionally living wills. They are WELL worth it when multiple assets come into play. Please seek out professional advice from a specialist.
- Do you have a Medical Power of Attorney? I feel this is just as important as a living will, if not better. This gives a family member, partner, loved one medical power of attorney.
- Who is your caregiver’s? Do you need a caretaker for a week or two?
- Be flexible: With Covid and all of its variants, many procedures and “elective” surgeries are postponed. When my first procedure was postponed it killed me. Sad, angry, but the worst is, I was not expecting it. Expect things to go wrong, so roll with the punches. It is easier said than done, at times. But planning for things to not work out as expected can go a long way. Even when we are in the mid flight of healing.
- A safe place to heal? Often in the medical field you have been asked if you feel safe at home. This is vital and very important. If you are healing around toxic individuals maybe you find another place to complete your healing process.
- In my particular case I sought the professional advice of a colleague and fellow Chinese Medical practitioner to prepare my body with a herbal prescription from a licensed professional herbalist. Every little bit helps is how I was thinking.
In Flight Checklist:
- Healing and compassionate care, there is so much information out there on the power of positive thinking. Well this goes the same with healing, Sending light, positive thoughts and or images of how healing looks to you can go a long way.
- Listen to your body, often I find an individual giving a horrific story about their recovery, rushed their return to work. We need to ask ourselves, did they give themselves enough time to heal?
- Boredom: video, gaming, books, magazines, music or pick up a musical instrument.
- Give yourself 14 days of complete down time.
- Check in with yourself.
- Healing foods:
- Following it, rather than pushing it.
- Listening to your body.
- Healing foods: Pineapple also known as bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory, turmeric, and curry, have also shown to have healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Cut out sugar as it is like poison to the body. If you have a trusted Chinese herbalist contact them and ask for ways that this ancient medicine may assist in healing.
Now that we are about to get back into the swing of things. Everyone is different at healing than others. Measuring your healing next to someone else’s can be a recipe for disaster. Pace yourself, seek medical advice when needed. One thing I like to ask my doctors is “Have I missed anything?” Personally I wish I knew more about postponed surgeries. I also needed more knowledge around life those first few days post surgery. Thankfully I had a few friends give me some ace advice.