I’m bringing this list back a little over a month after my phallo surgery last June (first part found over here: [Tumblr link broken] ), ‘cause there’s a few more things that’ve happened in the meantime that I *also* didn’t see coming. Keep in mind, these may not happen to you, but make sure you know going in that they *might.*
11.) THERE’LL BE WET SPOTS IN YOUR PANTS FOR A WHILE. Once your catheter is removed after two or three weeks and (joy of joys!!) you finally get to pee out of your phallus, your new meat is going to be totally inexperienced at what it’s doing– even moreso ‘cause the urethral tissue will be inflamed while it’s still healing. Urine will often be trapped within the urethra after you *think* you’re done going, only for it to slip out when you’ve already zipped up and walked away.
My way of getting around this has been to keep my dong cradled upon what’s called an “adult shield liner” (basically, an adult diaper, but just the crotch section) that I’ll stick between my legs, but even with that on my side, I have wet spots drip out after a bathroom visit and into my pants more often than I don’t.
I’d stress that you should take regular showers and change your clothes often, ’cause otherwise you are going to *stiiiink* after a couple days.
12.) SLEEPING ON YOUR STOMACH WON’T WORK ANYMORE. This one’s fairly obvious, but I still didn’t think of it. I’m a stomach sleeper– or at least, I *was,* until I had new sensitive bits down there I’d be crushing if I did. Sleeping on my side has been the go-to option so far, though it was harder than I’d like to admit to adjust.
13.) YOU MIGHT NEED A WARDROBE CHANGE. I used to be a boxer-briefs guy all the way. That was when I only had a 3-inch silicone packer to deal with. Bring that sucker up to a flesh-and-blood, not-so-squishable 5 inches, and space in the front of my drawers got dangerously tight in a hurry, if it didn’t poke out from the bottom seam altogether.
I went from Large boxer briefs to XL boxers, and had to start my underwear inventory from scratch (which ended up being 7 boxers, laundered twice a week– remember all those wet spots I mentioned having?). Count this as around $50 I didn’t think I’d have to spend.
14.) YOUR DONG MIGHT GROW HAIR. Again, this result varies from person to person. But I had electrolysis for a year before phalloplasty, and apparently that wasn’t enough to stave off *all* the hair from my arm. Right now, the head of my phallus has a layer of peach fuzz on it. I don’t mind it, and it doesn’t seem to have grown into the urethra or anything nasty, but it was a surprise after a month to realize I had hair sprouting down there.
15.) NOTHING WILL PREPARE YOU FOR HOW YOUR DONOR SITE IS GOING TO LOOK, THAT FIRST MONTH. I seriously didn’t think this would be an issue. I *love* horror movies – the gorier, the better. Bring on the Cronenberg arm, I told my surgeon team.
But when it came to unwrapping that section of my arm from its layers of bandages and gauze, and having to change that gauze, and wind everything back on again, every day, for 30 days… I had no idea. You can see your every heartbeat *moving* under there, that first week out of the hospital.
It’s going to look way, *way* better over time, even after just the first month. It really will, I promise. Deep breaths. You got this.
[EDIT, in 2018, including above photo: Heck, I had tattoos put around the scarring after it healed, because this scar was from something *happy*, and I wanted people to smile at it, instead of flinch and ask what in god’s name happened.]
But. It’s… *A Lot.* at first. Just be aware of that, going in. Gore hits a little different when the gore is part of you.
16.) WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GO THAT FIRST MONTH ALONE. I am living proof that a person can technically make it through the first month of post-phalloplasty healing without having someone there with them. I stayed the whole month in a rental hotel room. Video chats with friends on a borrowed iPad and TaskRabbit and DoorDash drivers were my only human contact with the outside world.
DO NOT. DO. THIS. TO YOURSELF.
Bring a friend to stay with you. Bring a family member. Even if they’re jerks. I’m not kidding. If they won’t pose any physical threat to you, please, show yourself enough kindness to have somebody else there.
This is the reason why, to this day, if I hear a person has to go that first month alone, I will *immediately* hand them my contact info, so they can reach out when they need to. I do it gladly. I wouldn’t wish the hell that month was on *anyone.*
17.) NONE OF THESE THINGS MAKE THE PHALLOPLASTY FEEL ‘NOT WORTH IT.’ Seriously. No matter how many complaints I’m bringing up here, feeling whole for the first time in my life has made all these hurdles and quirks *combined* seem like no big deal. I’ve been all but euphoric since day one, to the point where people I know have mentioned how happy and calm I am now, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one who feels this way. Bring it on! >:3
Another from the main blog that belongs here just as much.