It’s the eve before I hit two weeks until I go in for top surgery – a double masectomy. In a fortnight’s time, two Sundays from now, I’ll be making the final preparations for the short drive up to the hospital.
I’m still scared. I’ve never not been scared about this; it’s a new experience and I’m nervous. I’m nervous about nothing in particular, which is something that confuses and frightens me. I’m nervous about delays and complications – I’ve already booked the time off work, and in theory everything should be alright. I have my pre-op assessment this Thursday where I meet the incredibly lovely team at the Nuffield who will be looking after me. My friend just had his done a week ago, and I have to say the pictures of the room and food were less ‘NHS down the road’ and more ‘brief stay in the Hilton’. It’s a private hospital with a surgeon who works takes on NHS patients – the Gucci of trans masectomies.
So I’m here contemplating what to do. I went out for a bit of a party on Friday, so that was that done and over with – no more drinking. I’ve got all my documents ready. The op comes in just before payday, so I’ll be able to set my financial affairs straight a few days before, as well as tying up work issues when my manager gets back from holiday. As a part time worker, I have four days before my surgery date to not do stuff and to try and relax myself, and afterwards, most of my recovery has been planned. I’m half-heartedly drinking more water and trying to eat as well as I can manage.
But, to be honest, this doesn’t feel real. At all. It’s just been a date in the calendar where hypothetically somebody would cut me open. I’d never really realised that… actually, in two weeks, it’s going to be me in the operating theatre. I’d never dwelled on it apart from the occasional 3am panic about it all. It’s a new, scary, and life-changing thing that I’m going to go through. It could be difficult. Really, really difficult. But none of that has registered, not even as I’m writing this.
I expect that the coming weeks will either race or drag past. The months since I got the call in January flew by – I swear it was only February yesterday! What I can do as a religious person is pray, and put trust in the fact that I’m getting damn good treatment. Even the pictures of hearty private hospital food do something to make me a little less anxious – beef stew, bowls of fresh fruit, cake and custard for pudding, tea and toast for breakfast, served on a silver platter.
Update after Thursday!