Post-op depression

I recently had female to male chest reconstructive surgery and I’m over the moon with my results. My scars look amazing. Not having to wear a binder everyday is life changing and I honestly couldn’t be more grateful. However, 3 weeks post op and I’m starting to feel the effects of post-op depression.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so so happy with my results. I couldn’t be happier with the shape and size of my scars. I do not regret having surgery in the slightest. It’s just I feel kind of sad at the minute.

For me, I don’t think it helps that I’ve been off my antidepressant medication for about 6 months because I just decided I couldn’t be bothered with it. So I went from a high dosage to nothing over night, which isn’t healthy and you shouldn’t do it, but for me I didn’t experience any negative effects of it so I was fine. I’ve been the happiest I’ve been in a long time but recently I’ve been kind of low.

I think there’s a few reasons I’ve been feeling like this.

Reason 1

For the first week post surgery I was at home, I couldn’t drive or go out anywhere and loads of my friends said they would come and see me and they just didn’t. My dad was home which was amazing because he kept me company and my brother and his girlfriend came over to visit me which was lovely, but not being able to see my friends sucked. I just wanted to be able to chill with my mates and have a catch up and a few of them said they would come round so I had my heart set on it and they just never came and that was tough.

Then the day I was able to drive again, I arranged to go out with a friend and they cancelled and then I came back to uni so I’m nearly 3 weeks post op and I haven’t seen any of my friends apart from my uni friends but they don’t know I’m trans so I can’t be happy about surgery with them because they don’t know what surgery I had!

Reason 2

I can’t do things I’m used to being able to do!

I can’t lift heavy stuff, I can’t stretch too far, I can’t go to the gym. I know this is all part of recovery but I’m fed up! I just want my life to go back to normal and it’s taking ages. 3 weeks isn’t the long I know, but it’s 3 weeks of not being completely independent. Now I’m back at uni, I have to be careful about what I buy from the shops because I know I have to lift it up to my room and if it’s too heavy I won’t be able to.

I’m also a lot more tired than usual, so I will go for coffee with a friend but I’ll come home and be exhausted. Again, I know that’s recovery and it’s because my body is working hard to repair itself so everything is a lot more tiring but it’s so irritating and it’s getting me down!

I also can’t sleep how I normally do! I usually sleep on my front but I obviously can’t do that so that’s annoying!

Reason 3

I’m not healing properly, I know everyone heals differently but there’s a 2-4cm section just under my arm that isn’t healing. It’s still open, I’ve been to the doctor and they sent me to another place who have put a dressing on it, I have to go back again in a few days for them to look at it again but it’s annoying. I don’t get why it won’t just heal! The rest has healed and I just want this little bit to heal because then I can start my scar treatment. I can try and get on with things but this wound and the dressing and things is just an inconvenience. I feel like I’m constantly worrying that I’ve pulled it too far and opened it again or I’m scared to wear certain things incase my top gets stuck to the dressing, I can’t wander around topless because I’ve got this stupid dressing on it.

My back is also really dry and I can’t moisturise around where the wound is because of the dressing, but the dressing keeps coming off because my skin is so dry! It’s so irritating!

Reason 4

I have nothing to “look forward to” since I was about 16 and realised I was trans I’ve wanted top surgery. It’s been this thing I’ve been working towards. Everyday I was one step closer to surgery. In recent months I’ve had a countdown. “X days till surgery” but now I have nothing.

I don’t want lower surgery at the minute. I’m not too keen on any of the lower surgery options and I’m still young. I feel like I’m 10 years time there might be a better surgery, they may be able to transplant penises (or is it peni?) or they may be able to grow one in a Petri dish.. I just feel like medical stuff is improving all the time and I don’t want to go for a surgery I’m not 100% find of when I could wait ten years and they may have a new type of surgery I would prefer.

So now I have nothing to look forward to, I’m “done” in a way and that’s difficult to come to terms with and I’m struggling with that.

I know I should be happy about it. But it is strange because for 5 years I’ve had a goal and now I don’t and I’m not really sure where to go from here.

I guess it’s frustrating and that’s what’s getting to me.