Tag Archives: open heart surgery

Sitting on the Fence

It is hard to lasso Androgel.

Getty_Images  It is hard to lasso Androgel.

Donna caught me by surprise. She said “Stop saying that you’re not taking testosterone because I’m against it. I don’t want to be in that position anymore. Make up your own mind. Do whatever you want.”

It would be nice if Donna had said this lovingly, with the caveat that she will support me whole heartedly. That I will always be her Jamie no matter what path I take. Whether I am butch or trans. That I should do whatever I think is best for me. But that wasn’t exactly what she meant.

In January Donna had open heart surgery to replace a heart valve. The outcome, according to all her doctors, is excellent. The valve took, she didn’t get an infection, her heart is pumping properly, her heart rhythm is good, she doesn’t have atrial fibrillation. Continue reading

The Sex Life of Sponges

Donna is back home with me. The hospital discharged her eight days after open heart surgery; four nights in the ICU and four nights in the cardiac step down unit. The evening before they discharged her, the Physician’s Assistant told me he’d spoken with the social worker and the physical therapist and they all agreed Donna would do better at home with me than in residential rehab. Medicare is providing a visiting nurse and a visiting physical therapist. We went home with a shower chair, a commode, a walker, a drug regimen, and an exercise plan.

It caught me by surprise. The original plan was for residential rehab, and I thought I had at least two more weeks of bachelor living before Donna came home. I had some straightening up to do. Her first night back I cooked a simple dinner. We ate at our dining table, and then sat on the couch and listened to Beethoven Piano Sonatas. It was very sweet.

Our new sea sponge.

Our new sea sponge.

Donna’s nurses in the step down unit gave us a lot of information and advice for a healthy recovery. Mila explained to me how to bathe Donna in the shower. She told me to use a soft sponge and clean the wound area first, keeping the incision out of the direct line of the shower spray. And to give Donna a clean towel every time she showered.

I may be an oblivious butch, but I usually give my towel the sniff test before I use it, and keep reusing it until it is close to funky. I consider this part of my reduce, reuse, and recycle lifestyle (i.e. lazy, procrastinating, and cheap). We only own six bath towels (two for me, two for Donna, and two for house guests) plus two old towels for drying Gracie off after it rains. Loads of laundry are in my future. Continue reading