Today things came into focus for me. Through a series of conversations, as well as some deep self-introspection. Some time sitting with my body and asking without judgement, what I really need through this process. I pulled out my electric trimmer and buzzed the long coarse hair from my right thigh, from hip to knee. Brushed the hair away and then went and laid down on my bed. I pull up the leg of my shorts and flexed my thigh muscle, pinching the skin and looking at the overall integrity of the tissue. The skin is supple, healthy, both scar and tattoo-free… And all of a sudden, there it was – I could clearly see my future penis!
Ever since my consult with Crane in January when he told me that I was a great candidate for both donor sites but suggested RFF, I’ve been trying to visualize my penis coming from the skin on my arm. I have had multiple wrist surgeries with lots of scarring and still experience pain upon flexing the wrist as well as weight baring at times. It doesn’t really effect my day to day life, but it’s annoying and has had me worrying about what further trauma to the area would do to my already pre-existing lingering issues. The other issue which is just as important is that I have extremely skinny arms, especially my forearms. Bird-arms, yeah, lets just call them that. I have had this huge anxiety about ending up with a penis that was super skinny or that would not retain the little bit of fat that is already there, or wouldn’t tolerate an erectile implant as well as tissue from my thigh. I’ve been worried about girth, but also the density of my future penis. Crane seemed to think that it wouldn’t be an issue, and I trust him. At the same time, I trust my gut more than I trust anything or anyone else in this world. And lots of decisions concerning these choices that we have to make about surgery are really personal ones that can take some teasing out to get to the answer that is most true for each of us. There are more angles in all of this to consider than I ever could have ever imagined, and I imagine pretty big!
When I imagine my penis, (the penis that I will have during my everyday life, as well as during sexual experiences) it’s not so much of a visual that comes to mind, it’s quite literally the sensation of my hand holding my penis. I can already feel it in my hand, and when I’m honest with myself there is no way that I believe that it’s possible to achieve that from RFF. There feels like there are too many variables involved with RFF that I’m not comfortable with given my weight and the size of my arm. The idea that I will likely end up with a 4 inch girth (if I’m lucky) and that at most 5 inches length MIGHT be possible but not guaranteed feels like too much of a risk. I’m looking to achieve a generous 5×5 inches and it seems like the only way to actually guarantee that is to go with ALT.
I know all the pros and cons. I’ve run them in my head a thousand times and a thousand more. And everyday I still feel myself thinking: “BUT WHAT ABOUT ALT?!?”… Seven months have past since my consult and I just can’t let it go. The two things deterring me from that donor site have been initial size immediately following surgery from ALT (too big for my personal taste/comfort) and the lack of immediate glansplasty upon waking up from stage one. I know guys in other countries typically have their surgeries staged out a lot more than the RFF process in the US. But I’ve had this romanticized idea of RFF being this amazing 1 stage procedure, and I think that’s a big part of what’s kept me clinging to using my arm… To be able to go to sleep and wake up with the end result of your penis (albeit a bit bloody, swollen, and stitched) you essentially see the final result immediately! ALT is different, there is more waiting, stages, and an overall more in-depth and potentially complex process depending on how fatty your thigh is. Plus, you know, that teeny tiny little factor of it being thought to possibly have slightly less sensation compared to RFF. Yeah, that old thing!
All things considered, my plans are to take steps to start clearing the hair from my thigh immediately, and then the final 6-8 weeks before surgery planning on eating as clean as possible. For health reasons, but also to drop 10-15 pounds to aide in even less fat residing on my thigh at the time of the operation.
I think being as realistic as possible about outcomes and following your gut are two of the most important things through this process. As much as it sucks that I’ve spent the past 6 months doing hair removal on my arm, I can’t, even for a moment, let that be the deciding factor in all of this.
For the past seven months I’ve been trying to focus on all the pros of having RFF and on the cons of having ALT. I realized today that I had been doing the same thing with donor sites that I had been doing about the decision to have phallo. For so long I focused on all the things about phallo that weren’t ideal for me, and all the ways that it wouldn’t be the penis that I should have been born with. That mindset locked me into a pattern of thinking that didn’t allow for much needed change and transformation. Once my mindset changed and I accepted that no I’ll never have the penis I was suppose to be born with, but that I CAN indeed have something pretty close to it, the world opened up and things looked a lot different. Now that I’ve accepted that ALT is the best option for me, I’m seeing all the resulting pros of choosing it as a donor site over RFF, and it feels really good. It reassures me that whatever decision I make, it will all work out.
Tonight I sent an email to Kelly at Crane’s office updating her of my change in donor site and also inquired about specifics surrounding hair removal. I also left a voicemail for my laser technician. I told her there’s been a change in plans and asked if I could bump my next appointment up to next week because I needed to be seen ASAP…
Moving, changing, shifting, and shaping.
One step at a time.