Archive for the ‘ Daily Progress Reports ’ Category

8 Weeks Post-Op

Today marks eight weeks since I had the metoidioplasty, scrotoplasty with implants, vaginal closure, and urethral lengthening. All things considered, I think I’m healing very well. I’ve been back at work 5 days now and I’m doing alright with occasional mild discomfort (I drive a truck about ten hours a day so the discomfort isn’t exactly surprising).

I will continue to give updates here if something changes but for summarized reports I’ll be transitioning to monthly reports rather than weekly reports. I’ll be making a two month report in a few days and I’ll get all the details down with that post.

Until then I hope you all are enjoying the holidays and I wish you well.

Third Day Back at Work

My job is driving a truck. For once I sort of wish I worked behind a desk. At least for the next few weeks anyway, haha. Well, maybe not. I’ve been there and I don’t care for it. I’d much rather be alone in a truck.

Work:
Three quarters of the day isn’t bad. No pain just a little odd now and then. The last few hours become more and more uncomfortable. The difficult part is that I can’t stay in a comfortable position. If I’m driving longer distances on the highway it’s easier but shorter distances with a lot of turning and stopping wear me down because my jeans keep riding up.

Even then, I don’t end up in pain. Just really uncomfortable by the end of the day. I’m a little uncomfortable starting out this morning which is unusual. I hope it’s a fluke. Otherwise my discomfort might grow as the work days accumulate and that would suck, lol. I’d hate to spend my three days off in bed recovering from six days at work.

I’m still taking antibiotics and should finish Thursday or Friday. I haven’t seen any discharge for a few days but the left side of my scrotum is still larger than the right. A lot larger (and the right side is deflated with the implant very deep). The left isn’t sensitive, really, but it feels like there’s either scar tissue or caked up gunk in there. After the infections I’ve had I really don’t know which is the case. Naturally I hope it’s scar tissue from where Miro took tissue for the urethra.

7 Weeks, 3 Days: Back At Work

First: Last night I woke (twice) to find myself on my side in a loose fetal position, legs together, without discomfort. I moved into a different position anyway only because it seemed strange.

Now: I started back to work today and I spent hours sitting behind the wheel (driving) so my scrotum is a bit offended. Operating a clutch wasn’t a problem at all since I have only a small amount of swelling (left side). But the hours of sitting in a very upright position made me a little tender – not painful, just a little uncomfortable. Nothing bad or worrisome, and so far not long-lasting. I’m lying in bed now and have no pain and only very, very mild discomfort.

If I had been able to wear track pants or sweat pants it would have been better for me. Sitting upright caused my pants to pull up fairly snug in the crotch. I wore blue jeans but stuck with my baggy carpenter’s style jeans (I don’t usually wear them at work). Mid-way through the day I began to unbutton and unzipped them while driving. This enabled me to pull them a little further away from my crotch and it helped a lot.

All in all it wasn’t a bad day. I was a bit uncomfortable at times but never had any real pain. Now we’ll see how it goes over the next couple of days and whether the discomfort is cumulative. I sure hope not.

Oh, I haven’t picked up any discharge today from the little hole left at the vaginal closure. Hopefully I’ve seen the end of that but I’m continuing the antibiotics until they’re gone.

Doctors, Infections, and Stitches

If you’ve been following my recovery you know that I have had some yellow-colored discharge from the hole left at the end of the vaginal closure. I also had some stitches along that line which were relatively loose and knotted. I suspect those knots were causing some irritation and even a very tiny amount of bleeding.

E-mail exchange with Miro
I emailed Miro, my surgeon, and specifically mentioned the stitches and some swelling and discomfort I had a couple of days ago. I asked if it would be alright have the visible portion of the stitches along the closure cut away. He said that was fine. He also mentioned that while six weeks is enough time for capsules to form around the testicular implants, it is not enough time for complete healing of the scrotum. He thought the new swelling was caused by my activities a few days ago and wants me to continue to be careful while sitting, walking, and driving. I assured him I am doing so.

My Local Doctor
Yesterday I saw my general doctor about the stitches and the yellow-colored discharge. He cut away those loose stitches and the tugging made me pretty sore. He also took a close look at everything else and was happy with my healing progress (he last saw me 9 days previously). He told me that I needed to do a better job of cleaning the folds on and around my penis and to take care to keep them dry. I thought I’d been keeping everything clean but apparently not clean enough. And, frankly, there are folds and crevices I didn’t know about (I’m not a contortionist and it’s difficult to find and see everything while holding a mirror with one hand. I have, however, worked it out – I think – and am keeping things more clean and dry).

NOTE: There are a lot of details about post-op care that are left out by the surgical team. Typically we are very well-informed about the surgical procedures and risks – and I think they expect us to be just as well-informed about aftercare. The team also seems to have a general outlook of, “Don’t worry, it’ll be alright…” and they don’t worry about crossing a bridge until they actually get to a bridge. Sometimes getting information, especially speculative information, is challenging.

My doctor did not see any discharge until he dabbed a bit of gauze at the small hole at the end of the stitch line. It came away with a tiny amount of yellow fluid. While I was in the doctor’s office they also checked my urine for signs of infection (which has been a concern since the catheter came out). The urine test showed that I have a slight infection. Considering that and the yellow discharge from the vaginal closure my doctor prescribed more antibiotics (generic for Augmentin to take twice per day for seven days. I have been taking only one per day for the last several weeks). He also gave me a prescription to help avoid yeast infection (Diflucan). He asked if I liked yogurt and I told him I’ve been taking a probiotic on a daily basis. He was glad to hear it and recommended I continue (oh, and I bought more yogurt).

Soreness and Discomfort
Before my appointment with the doctor yesterday, which was at 1310, I stopped at the bank and a couple of stores. After the appointment I stopped for lunch and at a couple of other stores. All of the stops were relatively brief and didn’t really involve a lot of walking. But by the time I got to the last store it was about 1600 and I decided to skip it and go home. I’d become fairly uncomfortable by then and there wasn’t anything on my grocery list that couldn’t wait a couple of days. So I went home and about a half hour after I got there I took a Norco. I guess between the walking and driving, as well as the doctor pushing skin and tugging stitches, my scrotum was just over it. My pain level was at a 4, pushing a 5.

This morning I was alright and my discomfort was closer to a 1 on the scale. Naturally, I had high hopes of a good day and taking it easy. I left home about 1100 to drive 40 minutes to my grandmother’s house (she has an early appointment tomorrow and I’m driving her). I stopped on the way and picked up a couple of grocery items for her as well as my antibiotic prescriptions. By the time I got to her house I was becoming sore again. My mom joined us shortly after my arrival and we all had lunch and played dominoes. We were probably an hour into the game, about 1400, when I gave up and took a Norco. The pain had crept back up to what it was yesterday evening and I decided against ignoring it.

By the way, sitting at the dining room table wasn’t the problem. I was no more comfortable sitting in the recliner than on the dining room chair. It’s just the same old story of paying the price for activity the day after I’ve been moving around.

That’s it for the last couple of days. I’ll be out and about tomorrow until early afternoon. I have a feeling I’ll spend the remainder of tomorrow and all of Saturday on the couch. We’ll see.

5 Weeks, 6 Days: Twinges of pain

I’ve had some twinges of pain today and they’ve all been in the left side of my scrotum. I know I have a bit of swelling on that side but I’m not sure why. Fluid build up of some kind, I’m sure, but I don’t know what. The right side is still “deflated” and has been for several days.

Yesterday I was pretty active in the earlier part of the day. I thought (hoped?) I was beyond having pain after activity. Well, at least after only moderate activity anyway. I really didn’t do a lot or do anything heavy. I’ve been walking more closely to normal in recent days but today I’m giving the boys a little more space. That swelling doesn’t make for comfortable walking.

The next few days are going to be relatively busy so we’ll see how it goes. Nothing particularly taxing just some shopping, some time away from home, and a bit of driving. I’ll keep you posted.

5 Weeks, 5 Days: Drainage less but ongoing

I’m still feeling pretty good. I have arranged to return to work on the 18th (in 12 days) and I’m looking forward to it. I might have been able to go back later this week and been alright but I feel confident that I’ll be good to go by the end of next week.

I still have a tiny amount of yellow-colored fluid draining from the hole left at the vaginal closure but I’m hopeful that it will stop soon. I have a couple of antibiotics left so we’ll see what happens. If I still have yellow-colored drainage in a few days I’ll go see my doctor. I’ll be emailing an update to Miro (my surgeon) on Wednesday so I’ll see what he says.

Feeling better; Thinking about my job

Just a quick update. First, the discharge continues to lessen. With any luck it will stop completely in the next day or two. Since the swelling went down so much in my scrotum I’ve been pushing that tissue around and feeling the implants. It doesn’t hurt at all and I hope it will help prevent more swelling.

Speaking of almost no pain in my scrotum, I was able to sit on a wooden dining room chair today and play cards for almost three hours. It was nice to be able to sit upright without discomfort. I can sit on a cushioned chair but there is still just a bit of discomfort from the cushion pushing up on my scrotum. Even then it isn’t bad but a hard chair is even better because there is no pressure at all.

All of this makes me think about going back to work so I have to think about shifting gears and sitting for extended periods of time. I could go back to work on Thursday (December 9) but I’m going to extend my time off until December 18. I think I could go back this week but I’m not sure how I would hold up. Since I have the option to extend I have decided to play it safe. I’d rather take too much time off than too little.

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