sup! I was just wondering, what was the healing journey like for the site your skin was taken from for the surgery? (sorry if you’ve already answered this, also, I think you’re lovely!)

D’aww, kudos for the compliment! :3

As for the skin donor sites, if you go far back enough, there are photos of the sites from the first week through about half a year– but a year’s worth of posts are a lot to scroll through, so I’ll do the best I can to describe it in text form.

They took the skin to make my new dong from my left forearm (I got to pick which one they used), and there was a fair amount missing once they took the graft– enough to need to cover that site with *more* skin from the upper part of my left thigh. The forearm was wrapped with a small sheet of healing plaster called Xeroform, with a small roll of gauze and a hard cast needed over that, and then I had to unroll everything to change the Xeroform and gauze every day for the first week, every other day for several weeks after that. As for the leg, it was covered in a sheet of Xeroform and taped down, with that forming a giant scab that eventually formed new skin underneath, until the Xeroform crusted and fell off. (There may or may not have been some impatient tugging on my part near the end.)

To sum up the experience in handy ‘too long didn’t read’ form: *EWW,* for about two months. Then it got better and better over the next six months, and its appearance has more or less stayed the same for me after that.

Longform version: no sugarcoating it, seeing the donor sites fresh was hard to deal with at first. Like, they may not feel all that sore while you’re on the hospital’s painkillers, but damn if they’re not really painful to look at. They are straight-up RAW, and you still have to tend to them for at least a few minutes on a daily basis for the first couple months, no matter how much they may freak you out.

The thing is, my arm site wasn’t *gory.* It bled some at first, sure, but it was more… it’s hard to describe, but the best way I can put it is “unsettlingly shrink-wrapped.” It was cleanly stitched, clinically fit together, and *so much thinner* than the rest of my arm. Like a vice had squeezed it tight about nine-tenths of it around, and it stayed that way, with a regular-sized stripe of skin down the end seam. The thin section was red-purple, and you could see heartbeats calmly pulsing through the skin. It was a David Lynch movie kind of disturbing: something in your brain keeps saying things don’t look *right.*

The leg wasn’t nearly as much trouble. More annoying than anything else. About a week in, the Xeroform helped new skin grow back enough to relearn how to sweat. And that’s all that patch did for the next two days: ooze sweat. To the point where it was messy to sleep under bedsheets. Then it dried out! Woo and yay! Only for the Xeroform to get so hard and dry that it itched for one more day of not much sleep.

With that said, don’t let that first horrorshow stretch scare you off. Believe me, the difference after even just the first month is like night and day, and the sites WILL end up looking so, *so* much better than they begin, even if you want to hide for those three minutes a day you have it uncovered to change the dressings at first. Heck, the whole patch on my leg? Looked like a mild sunburn a few months in.

The arm site looked worlds healthier and regular-skin-toned by three months in, when I could take off the hard cast, but even now, it’s still… kinda awkward, because the smaller sized part will always be that way. Some folks stare when I’m wearing a T-shirt, and I’ve invested in some fashion sleeves to avoid the occasional “What HAPPENED?” Though by now, it doesn’t bother me. Most people don’t care what answer you give them; they just want *an* answer, even if it’s a smart-aleck Joker-voiced “You wanna know how I got these scars?”

The best advice I can give at the beginning, which is when you’ll need the most reassuring, is: it’s not going to look like this for long. It really won’t. It heals. It just takes time.

My next advice is for after the first couple months, when things are looking healthier, and the hand/wrist/arm exercises start to not seem so important. Keep doing them until your doctor says you can cool it. My hand on my donor arm still looks swollen over a year in, specifically because I didn’t wear a compression sleeve for nearly as long as I was told I should. Please, folks who decide to use your arm as your donor site: be the Gallant to my Goofus. Your hand will thank you.

And overall, even if 99.999% of them will never see your junk or know why your arm looks like that, more random folks than I would’ve ever expected respect a badass scar. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s