I posted this initially in my top surgery support group on facebook, but posting it on here for archival purposes.
So… it has been 10/11 days since I scheduled the surgery, and I’m finally coming to the point of being able to look at what sort of support I will really be needing.
Tbqh, loves, I’m terrible at receiving.
It is really challenging for me. I’m so used to taking care of myself, acting like everything is okay when it isn’t, and taking care of others. So, it took me a few days after scheduling to even post about it, and then was completely overwhelmed by the amazing and wonderful outcry of support and celebration on here from all of you and the other folks who commented on the post on my wall (not a bad problem to have, let me tell you, but still overwhelming to this queerdo).
I’m so incredibly grateful and humbled by the support, and also terrified of it. I don’t exactly know how to receive it or take it in, except as I have been: in small doses. This experience is already working to stretch me in useful and important ways. It is a practice in taking up space in an uncomfortable and necessary way.
What I have done since scheduling includes a lot of moving slowly and letting myself feel a whole lot of feelings (about surgery, transphobia, self worth, and receiving support, to name a few). I have also begun acquiring items I might need during recovery, so far including a couple grabber hands and an extending back scratcher (extending or lifting my arms for the first few weeks is verboten).
What I am planning on doing, after some advice from friends and reading some surgery prep things:
- set up a meal train thing (sub tasks include writing out my dietary restrictions, gathering together and/or writing recipes of my favorite meals for ease of making, and writing a list of favorite snacks and treats)
- writing out a “how to care for the tai” manual of sorts, including many lists of things like comfort movies & shows to watch, activities and things that make me happy or comfort me, best practices for supporting me in vulnerable/emotional states, and whatever else I come up with (suggestions of types of info that would be useful to you as a caregiver are welcome here)
- continuing to move slow and give myself permission to prepare in whatever ways I need (and can afford)
- continuing to gather supplies I may need (I have many of the things need already, but currently on the list is arnica montana, slippers, emergen-c, and probably other things)
- developing a simple surgery blessing & healing ritual of some sort that I will post on here beforehand for myself and any of you who would like to engage in it
- a caregiver schedule thing for the first week or so post-surgery
I am already counting on a few folks to be support people day of and day after, at least, but also do not want to tax any of them too much. I would especially love in person support/hangout time the first few days after surgery from other trans folks who would be up for that.
20 days to surgery!