Short answer: OH EM GEE THIS HAS BEEN *AWESOME.*
Long answer: I’m not sure how much of our experiences would change with you having an ALT donor site and me having RFF, but here’s what I can say:
– Everything is going to be unbelievably smelly, beyond gross-looking, and covered in stitches and marker lines for more or less the first two weeks solid. That’s perfectly normal.
– That said: if there’s any foul-smelling pus buildup, *call your surgeon.* Yes, even the direct cell phone line you’ll be given, if need be. There’s going to be all kinds of bodily fluid alchemy going on to start with, but pus shouldn’t be a part of it.
– You’re not going to get much rest for the first leg of your progress. Round-the-clock nurse checks to make sure blood’s flowing everywhere it should will do that. I suggest making a playlist of calming songs, so you can at least *trick* your body into feeling rested while you’re still in the hospital, if you’re not an easy sleeper.
– Tasks that feel like they shouldn’t be a big deal will be a HUGE deal in those first couple weeks after surgery. Technically, I managed to take a taxi to a Gays Can Get Married Now Pride party six days after my phalloplasty, but SHOULD I have gone? No. Noooooonononono. I was flopsweating like a fiend and THIS close to fainting the whole time I was there. Be the Gallant to my Goofus. Take things slower than you think you’d need to, for a couple days longer than you think you’d need to.
– YOU CAN DO THIS. I wasn’t sure if I could do this, at the start. Turns out, when I needed to, I did. And man, if *I* could plow my way through the healing process, you *definitely* can. :3
No sugar-coating: I had three initial fistulas right under the ridge of my head, all of which sealed up perfectly with a good slathering of Medihoney gel. Since then, several months after the fact, I’ve had two strictures, the first of which was so bad I couldn’t force any pee through it at all. If it’s at all possible for you to set aside the money for at least one more trip to San Francisco and back– my complications were rare, I’ll stress that part. But if you’re one of the “lucky” ones like me (and there’s really no way to know beforehand, until you’re there), you do *not* want to have to end up staring down the barrel of an unforeseen complication.
But oh, man. Oh, MAN. I can’t even describe to you how amazing it feels to feel *whole.* To step up to the urinals, and hear any uneasy murmurings from anyone else there fade to nothingness as I haul out Spot and start pissing away.
Either way, best of luck to ya! Spot and I wish you both an easy and happy trip. :3