Thinking Out Loud

I’ve come to the conclusion that I use this blog to think out loud. Forgive me for my ranting and raving, but if you read this thing, you must be along for the ride, right?

I don’t know where I last left off on my top surgery debacle, but I had written Dr. Sinclair a last-ditch-effort letter about giving me straight incisions and snail-mailed it to his office in hopes I could get him to change his mind. 

I received a letter back from him, and while it was heartfelt, it sorta confused me a bit more as to what he would do with me in the operating room. He did say what many other doctors have been telling me though–that he can not guarantee the incisions will be straight because of my body type. He said he’d do his best to give me what I want, however. 

There was one thing about the letter that bugged me–a little detail about how the scar would curve into my underarm. He misinterpreted what I had said as the exact opposite, so it worries me that he’s not totally listening. Hmmm.

I like him so much, and I want him to be my surgeon, dammit. He’s great at what he does. I have seen dozens of examples of his work, and it’s all very good. And what’s the best part? My insurance will pay for it–probably even a revision if I need one later on.

He’s also the only doctor in the network who’s competent. 

So what’s the problem? I don’t know if I can deal with angled scars, or curved scars, scars that look like boobs, or highlight where boobs used to be. I don’t know what kind of mental shape I’d be in if I looked in the mirror at that. 

YES, it would be a whole lot better than looking into the mirror at what I see now. What I see now has made me want to DIE for many, many years. But do I settle for better, or do I go for what I really need?

Today I met with Dr. Champaneria in San Diego. He is also an excellent surgeon for trans folks. Even he suggested I get what I needed and honestly told me he would not be able to provide me with the incision I wanted because of my body type. He said a lot of things today that are giving me much food for thought. Bottom line, he said that if the Gender Confirmation Center in San Francisco has the know-how to give me what I need, I should go there and get it.

I have been doing so much research–speaking to every trans surgeon in a 200-mile radius, and so far, I’ve had no luck. I’ve had no “guarantees” from anyone. Not that the doctors up in SF have used the word, “guarantee.” No doctor can absolutely guarantee that scars turn out exactly as I want them to. In fact, I have to accept the fact they may turn out crazy for all I know. 

I could wind up shelling out $15,000, exposing myself (and Hannah) to Covid on a trip up north, recuperating in a fucking hotel room instead of my house, and it might be all for not. I could turn out exactly as I would have if I just stuck with my surgery with Sinclair in three weeks. This is a Truth. Am I prepared to take that risk? I’d be incredibly tormented with regret. I’d feel so betrayed and angry, mostly at myself! And I’d be in amazing debt.

To try to get there without paying is also extremely difficult. I am in appeals with my insurance company to pay for SF as I type this, and it’s not looking good. I have to submit more “proof” that I need to go out-of-network because they don’t have anyone IN-network who can help me. They really don’t, but they are trying to tell me that if I haven’t established a relationship with the doctors up north for more than a year previous from the time I started with the insurance company (IEHP), their hands are tied and I will be denied. Of course, they keep reiterating how they are not discriminating against trans people. Ha ha ha.

I have to prove that my gender dysphoria (and the fact that they can not treat it within their network) supersedes their fucking policy! They have to pay for it because it’s federal law. So, I have to submit all this paperwork from my doctor and the federal government as evidence. 

Fucking bureaucracy!

Is all this worth it? They may still deny me, and I’ll have to pay out of pocket regardless of them breaking the law unless I want to keep taking them to hearing after hearing, fighting with all my might–forever!!! Or, I can just pay, like people buy cars and pay them off. 

Either way, it’s a risk.

Or I can play it “safe” and stick with Dr. Sinclair. But is that safe? Is it the safest for my mental health? If I’m asking this question aloud, do I know the answer? What’s the real answer? Why can’t I pray to a Jesus and have him tell me what to do? I’ll tell you why. Because Jesus is transphobic. 

Anyway, I want to now take this opportunity to thank you for reading this horseshit. I still don’t know what I’m going to do. I only know that I’m going insane. Thank you and goodnight.

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