Germaine’s Top Surgery & Recovery

Update posted by Germaine de Larch On Mar 29, 2017

l'm still, since September, looking for any kind of work based on any of my skills, as my main client fell through.

Anything that my LinkedIn bio qualifies me for - but specifically consulting, documenting through writing and/or photography, teaching, speaking, editing (MAs & PhDs) as a person specialising in mental health, gender, transgender, LGBTQIA+ and selfcare.

Freelance, contract, part-time or full-time. Please and thank you. #selfcare #topsurgeryrecovery #learningtoaskforhelp My top surgery crowdfund still open.

Or please share.

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Update posted by Germaine de Larch On Mar 15, 2017

I'm out and done, and it's done (1pm yesterday) It's done! 2-Hour surgery and all went well. It's done! Thank you, thank you, thank you. (Universe, me, ALL of you, including the 10 or so people observing or participating in the surgery, Dr K Chauke and the incredible theatre team and ward nursing staff). Staying overnight. One of the drains is draining everywhere except into the bag. But all good, and more of distant aching pain than pain. No pain meds because:

a) the double incision with no nipples top surgery (and short T-anchor, apparently) is just a MUCH easier and less painful surgery, which is true, but they still took 4kgs off my chest - literally and metaphorically a weight off, and/or

b) adrenaline and excitement, and/or

c) "I don't feel pain, bro" toxic masculinity is helluva infectious.

No words. Just joy. The joy of walking around in the compression and shorts only last night, with the nurses asking why I don't put my gown on - because, for the first time in my life, I don't feel naked without a shirt on; no body shame. HUGE. And to see my flat chest this morning in my own clothes... No words. Just joy. Bowling ball in my stomach from bloating. But hey! I can see my stomach!!! One drain still draining everywhere but into the drain, but third doctor, my surgeon, will see me this morning about it and, according to the (lovely!) nurses, discharge me. So much gratitude. Thank you again for overwhelming support. 🌼🦄💜🕉


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Update posted by Germaine de Larch On Feb 17, 2017

And latest news: surgery booked for 14 March! Thank you, thank you. This would not have happened this soon without you. <3

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Update posted by Germaine de Larch On Feb 14, 2017

Personal trans healthcare crowdfunders are a relatively new thing in South Africa. International crowdfunders in the trans community take months and months to fund. Mosts US and UK Instagram siblings saving for top surgery take to printing t-shirts and selling them to the rest of the trans community on Instagram, and this too takes months and months. So believe me when I say, to have raised 90% of my worst case scenario goal (in terms of surgery cost) in just two and a half short weeks, is nothing short of miraculous.

What is so beautiful and heartwarming and profound about this outpouring of love and support from people is:

  1. Most, if not all humxn beings, regardless of who we are, are so used to life being difficult and having to stoically, and stubbornly, rely on ourselves without ever asking for help of any kind, not just financial. Asking for help, in a world where support from others is an integral part of one's emotional wellbeing, is one of the most difficult things we as humans struggle with, and because of our upbringing, asking for help is associated with feelings of extreme shame and guilt.
  2. Me as a minority group (trans) asking for support and being helped by other trans people, all in the same (gender-affirming surgery) boat, or working up to being in the same boat, or having been in the boat and now out of it, all of whom I only know from Instagram and Facebook, some of whom struggle financially, some of whom told me they would pay me when their disability cheque cleared, some of whom I've never even interacted with on social media. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The trans and queer community is THE STRONGEST in the "community" sense of the word. We will do ANYTHING for each other, and more often than not do, because we empathise with each others' struggles and joys as intensely as if they were our own. The Instagram trans community has been my greatest source of support within the trans community, and I will love you brothers, sisters and siblings forever.
  3. The other miraculous thing is that 65% of this funding came from hetero cisgender and queer cisgender folx! (Let that sink in). And most of these were people I've met once, or are good social media friends, or social media social acquaintances; and some I don't know at all. (Will that section of the trans community in the back who say cisgender folx are always fucky just for being cis please take a damn seat). I've always maintained that allies are essential to the trans community, and you peeps more than proved me right, because even though I knew it, I now KNOW it. The incredible-ness of these donations from people outside of the trans community is this: while they can never know what it means to be trans, they are incredible enough, emotionally mature enough, "decent humxn being" enough to realise the importance of this step for me. I don't have a word for this feeling. But, it feels like shock and surprise, first of all, but then as acceptance, being seen, being loved unconditionally. And how many of us humxns, and especially those of us in one or more minority grouping, could EVER have believed that was possible... Well, it is.
  4. In the age where there is so much to be said about how social media is making us less human, less sincere and psychologically ill, when I say "I love you" to people on social media I have never met, I mean it as much as when I say it to my blood family; and in most cases more. While the relationships on social media are virtual, the relationships formed with like-minded people are very, very real. Never forget this. Never underestimate this. I haven't for a long time, and never will again.

So while I take my selfcare hiatus to recover from the mental and physical exhaustion of the last year and the struggle that it has been to get here, I will hold onto these feelings, this gratitude, this unconditional love, and I hope you have some idea of how much that means.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. While I have ALL these words above, I know that the enormity of this outpouring of unconditional love will only hit me on the morning of the surgery, and only really fully once I'm lying flat (excuse the pun) in bed afterwards. So, so grateful, blessed. Love you all.

(I will be using the money raised to pay for surgery, which I did last week!!! and for the recovery period of 8 weeks following that, which will help HUGELY to keep my stress levels down about unemployment and the wolves at the door. So the money raised over the surgery and hospital fee will ensure that the operation is a success as I'll be able to heal and recover without complications).

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Update posted by Germaine de Larch On Feb 06, 2017

Beyond grateful. 18% to go... Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to get even 1/4 of the way. Thank you ALL

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Update posted by Germaine de Larch On Jan 27, 2017

I can't begin to explain how humbled, overwhelmed, blessed and grateful I feel. A third of the way there in only the first week, and before payday! What really touches me is how all but one donation has been from people who are not trans; all but two donations from people I have never met; and a few from complete strangers. I really am at a loss for words. Thank you!

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Update posted by Germaine de Larch On Jan 22, 2017

Wow... I have already reached 14% of my surgery fee in less than one day, all from people I have never met. The kindness of strangers. Overwhelmed. Love really does trump hate. Thank you! 💜

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Edie Jo

Backed with $200.00 On Mar 11, 2017

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So happy I could still donate brother! You are almost there!!!! Only like 4 more days! I cannot wait to see you after recovery!!! Heal well my friend!

Skully Jones

Backed with $50.00 On Mar 09, 2017

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Dane Schnittman

Backed with $50.00 On Feb 14, 2017

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I hope all your dreams come true, in a safe and healthy way.

Karen Jennings

Backed with $30.00 On Feb 09, 2017

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From Little Chuckies : Instagram.com/littlechuckies based on the fundraised painting "Trans Love Flag" - Bought by @tintinflynn painted by artist Charlie J. Meyers <3

Charlie J. Meyers

Backed with $14.00 On Feb 08, 2017

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Anonymous

Backed On Feb 08, 2017 Amount Hidden

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Isidingo Stubbs

Backed with $55.00 On Feb 08, 2017

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Jonny Violette Skye

Backed with $50.00 On Feb 07, 2017

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Anonymous

Backed with $160.00 On Feb 06, 2017

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Anonymous

Backed with $15.00 On Jan 28, 2017

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Germaine de Larch

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Artist, writer and transgender activist

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