Friday, May 21, 2010

Chicago: The Trip

Now I am going split this into two parts.

First the Doctor.

He was great. I really liked him. My only concern is that by trade he is not a maxillofacial surgeon, so if he will be able the change the few stronger bone structures that I have adequately is on my mind.

Having said that, his nose work is fantastic. The book I looked through was incredibly impressive. It never seemed that he did too much. All of them had just subtle yet natural changes. (The exception would be the really large noses or damaged ones.) I should also note that my nose is going to require the most work. Not so much visually, though he will make those changes but structurally it is a mess.

You know it is a mess when even the doctor notes how much noise you make when trying to breathe through it before examining it.

My septum is almost completely dislodge and extremely bent. I also happens to be missing cartridge in a key spot.

Basically he told me while the size and length were really nice, which I agree, some major work is going to have to be done to correct the innards as they support the outer portion. Plus I would like to breathe through it again.

I was expecting this as I had spoken with an ENT earlier this year. She was going to fix the structure but not do anything cosmetically. Which was fine I just wanted an ENT to verify this so that when I talked to a plastic surgeon I could find out if they could do both.

He really just confirmed what I suspected.

Knowing all that we move on to the next thing. Hair and hairlines.

Now my first impression was the work he does regarding that exceeds what he does with noses. Truly the restorations I saw were phenomenal!  If I use this Doctor for nothing else he will do the altering of my hairline and repair.

Really I saw repaired and moved hairlines from men, women, and trans patients and every single one of them was simply astounding.

He also gave a lot of good marks for having excellent skin (I take darn good care of it). Along with really strong hairline (for what I have) with healthy hair. Moving it should not be an issue nor would it take a lot. Plus with the donor hair in excellent shape it should be really easy.

He hinted that he often has to do much more with far less.

My only concern as I mentioned above was the work on my chin. I have requested a few photos if possible even if they are just chin shots. Plus I need to speak with him about possibly splitting them in to two groups of surgery as I mentioned here.

I discuss this with him once I have a quote in hand for the cost. Which I am supposed to have by weeks end. I would think that I will see it by the end of the day today.

The thing that sits most heavily on your mind about all this, is this the right surgeon(s) to do the work that you want. It is scary to consider what you want to do to yourself, but I am comfortable with doing that if I can feel comfortable with the person doing the work is going to an excellent job. Not to mention be able to adequately make the changes needed.

Big scary step when you thing about it. It does take a considerable leap of faith.

I have a couple of other surgeons I have talked to and there is still a lot to consider. I'll figure it out and I hope to soon.

Part 2

As for the trip to Chicago, I cannot thank my two new friends, Julie and Julie enough(I'll refer to them as Julie #1 and #2 since they even have the same last initial, lol). These two were amazing not to mention extremely gracious. Julie #1 was the one who referred me to this particular doctor. She even had some work done by him so I did get to see some of the possible results first hand.

What has me thanking them so much was the fact that they took time out of their day to not only pick me up at the airport, but to kindly cart me around for lunch, the consult visit, dinner, and back to the airport.

I at least did buy them lunch to thank them for all they did for me. I am sure they got tired of me thanking them so darn much.

I also appreciated the frank discussion we had about being trans, without the whole 'woah is me' attitude that I hear a lot. The impression I get is that they hear that a lot too. I understand this is a difficult life and there were going to be questions from both sides as we go the chance to get to know each other better.

The thing I seemed to notice while they both had tough journeys was that there was no regret about where they are at now.

I do hope that I also gave them the same impression, at least with the nature of my decision. I know I still have a long road to travel, but I didn't want them to think I need someone to hold my hand on this. I know where I am going I know what I have to do to get there, just as of now I need information to help try and make the right plans so that I can proceed forward.

In the end though I promised to come back out and visit them again. Which I really want to do since they really didn't get to fully meet me.

The reason for this, which I haven't told you yet, was that I had traveled in boy mode for this trip. For a few reasons, one I am still nervous flying, two I did want to switch back and forth on what was going to be a really long day. Lastly most importantly I didn't want to cover up anything for the doctor. That makes the Julies part of a very small and exclusive club. As someone who knows Kelli, yet has also met 'him'.

All in all it was a great trip, I learned a lot and I have to wait for some more data before I can make a final decision but he is pretty high on the list now.

I also hope I can grow this new friendship with Julie #1 and #2. They seemed like two people worth knowing and a lot of fun.