Consultation Day!

Had my consultation today and it went very well!

It was up at the University of Utah Madsen Surgery Center with Doctor Cori Agarwal. I made the appointment with a super sweet over-the-phone coordinator named Haley, who informed me that it would be in the Womens Health Center and made sure to add the disclaimer, "But don't let that scare you. We're welcoming of all gender variations!", which I thought was adorable.

So this morning my mom and I got up all excited for my big consultation day. And my mom, as always in her mega supportive way, accompanied me.

We found the Madsen Surgery Center up in the cobweb of a mess loopty loop road situation up at the U of U in time for my morning appointment which was, in fact, at the Womens Health Center and was, in fact, full of women. As we waited to sign in, a nurse behind the counter, addressing my mother, said, "We'll be just a moment!" Once that moment had passed and sign-in time had arrived, again addressing my mother, "Alright, who are you here to see?", to which I replied, "Doctor Agarwal." The nurse didn't act surprised and was all friendly cute and handed me some paperwork to fill out and turn in.

In no time at all I was called back by another nurse who was also super nice. She explained to me that the doctor would be in shortly and that I had a little bib gown situation to put on later. I dinked around on a monster-tetris weird block game on my itouch until the doctor arrived who, as I've heard through the grapevine, was incredibly friendly and understanding. She asked me to talk a bit about my experience and why I was there. As a matter of routine she asked that I provide a letter from my doctor and/or therapist saying something along the lines of, "This is the next step in his transition", which I told her was just fine by me. When she asked me questions about my breasts, I honestly couldn't answer them, seeing as I haven't intentionally looked for years. I figured that during the whole gown check out my breasticuses situation she would get all the info she needed.

So she asked me to put the gown on and left. When she returned, she looked at my chest and commented that I would need a subcutaneous bilateral mastectomy with nipple grafts. She explained the risks of the surgery - that scars would be noticeable, but that my chest hair growth pattern would likely cover them up down the road. That with the nipple grafts, the odds that I will lose sensation there are very high. She also went over realistic expectations for results aesthetically and about what to expect with the healing process. She emphasized that during the first week, I should be an unmoving schlub and not exert myself. That I will need to plan to have someone (ma!) take me to my appointments and follow-ups and that I will for sure need to take pain relievers.

Once she finished, I explained to her that I'm not worried about scars or having my chest appear all male-typical "perfect". I think every dude has his own, individual chest and so do I - and my scars will just be a reflection of my own experiences and history. They'll be bad ass. And all will be fine n' good as long as I won't have breasts there triggering my male-wired brain anymore. My biggest concerns are just over having the surgery go safely and not having infections and healing properly, which I'm hoping that I will.

She also explained to me some exciting things in regards to anatomical stuff that works in my favor for top surgery. Apparently since I don't have a cleavage situation going on and my breasts are "further apart", this helps prevent any necessary scarring in the sternum area. And since they're not all perky high, I also don't have to worry about my main chest area being altered at all which, apparently, also works in my aesthetic favor.

Oh, and then she took photos of my chest from different angles after explaining to me that my head wouldn't be in any of the shots and that if I wanted copies of them to let her know. I told her that I would, once I had my top surgery so I could throw my photos up on some trans surgery sites along with her name and the cost for future trans dudes to check out down the road so they at least know there's a top surgeon here in Utah.

Anyway, once Agarwal was done with me, her coordinator who I spoke with on the phone to make the appointment, Haley, came in. She warned me that - due to my particular chest and the surgery I need, it's a bit on the "higher end" of the cost scale. So she went over the estimate of surgical fees, leading up to the grand total of $5,779.00. Which is still much, much less than it would have been to go to Florida for this.

She also brought me a little step-by-step guide on how to apply for a cosmetic surgery loan, with little pictures and everything to boot. Awww!

So, once the mom and I got home, I immediately applied for the loan through two different institutions. I'm nervous, though... I have $2,100 saved up currently for it that I could use to make the down-payment - but this is assuming I get the loan. I have no credit history, which is where I'm worried that I won't be approved. I've never had a credit card and I've never owned a car or anything huge I've had to make payments on. I always save up and pay for things upfront and bicycle around all over, so if worse comes to worse and I'm not approved for these loans, I'll first try to ask for a lesser amount and, if that doesn't work, will then try to find a co-signer.

Or just continue to save and plead for donations from all of you adorably supportive and extremely appreciated peeps.

Which, now that I have a total and speaking of donation pleading, I'm throwing my button back up now that I have a new cost estimate. I took it down temporarily due to having no idea how much I was saving up for now that I've decided to go to a local doctor - but, it's approximately the same $6,000'ish amount. So button up! Thank you!!!!

I can't wait.

Update: Declined already on the loan from one institution and waiting to hear back on the other. I'll try applying for a smaller amount if this second one is declined, also. I shot for the full $5,779 amount so I could use the $2100 right off the bat to build some good credit (since I have no credit currently) - but, on round two, I'll apply for $3679 remaining and see how that goes.


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