I spent the entire long Labor Day weekend in my favorite sweat pants and a cotton t-shirt with cut-off sleeves and socks. It really doesn’t matter that my shirt sleeves were gone but their absence did create a bit of balance with the long pants I wore despite the weather being plenty warm enough to wear shorts. Since most of my interaction with nature in recent days has been through glass windows and brick walls I opted for comfort over sensible in my wardrobe choices.
A few days ago, as I checked most of my self-assigned coronavirus projects off my list I took advantage of a free offer to watch a documentary for which I’d neglected making time to see in the theaters last year. As much as I knew I needed to see it and wanted to see it, I also thought it would be a difficult 95 minutes of viewing. I can’t remember any other film that I ever had the same hesitation. Watching it at home seemed a better plan since I could pause the show whenever I wanted.
As with most surgical procedures, one must have follow-up
visits or therapy to improve the healing and overall outcome. My vocal cord
surgery was no different. I had made the decision to switch vocal therapists in
the department and met with the new therapist. She explained her background as
an opera singer and her plan to work with me to strengthen my voice, try to
reduce the raspy sound that resulted from the surgery, and see if she couldn’t
return some of my singing ability. She advised me that she could give no
guarantees and that it would be a long process. She taught me the first series
of exercises and sent me with instructions for alternating the process with
some vocal rest to prevent a repeat of my first attempt at therapy exercises.
It was the first Friday of October. Surgery day! The wait
for my throat surgery was not nearly as long as the top surgery. It was also
nice to know I would be able to recover at home rather than a hotel like after
my top surgery. As with most procedures, the hospital required that someone
accompany me and be available to drive me home. I asked the friend who had previously offered
to go to Kansas City with me and she gladly said yes. I had a 6 am arrival
time, so I arrived at her house early that morning. I’d attended my pre-op
appointments at the hospital and followed all of the instructions I’d been
given for the night before surgery. I was thirsty and kind of cranky, but ready
to head to the hospital.
Shortly after the top surgery it was clear that there were
people still misgendering me. While I’d most often been addressed as “sir”
before surgery, I was finding that “ma’am” was creeping into the picture a
little more than I liked. Frankly, I didn’t like it one bit. I’d always had the
issue over the phone but in person it hadn’t been so common in the past. I
thought that if my voice pitch was lower – more masculine – this problem would