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pandamom

Mom Here, Need Advice

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pandamom

I am the mom of a 19 yr old trans son and we both live in Texas. I recently took out a substantial loan for my son to get FtM top surgery. I thought that this would make my son happy, but he picked out a surgeon in Florida, and I would like for him to choose a doctor in Texas. I know that this is a life-changing and life-affirming change for my son and I would like to get him the surgery that he needs. The doctor in Florida would add an extra two grand to the total bill. I am really torn about this. I know his surgery shouldn't be about the money (which he has accused me of), but I am also worried about the logistics of getting from Texas to Florida and back again during a pandemic. I know this is a long post and I'm sorry, I just need some advice from the trans community on where to go from here. Thanks.

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Jackie C.

Yikes. I guess the question would be, why does he prefer the surgeon in Florida to the surgeon in Texas?

 

Personally, I got bottom surgery in Philadelphia because:

 

(A) I didn't trust the doctor available locally. If I'm going under the knife, I want to be confident that I'll wake up with an approximation of what I was expecting when I came in. The doctor here operates a general plastic-surgery practice. I wanted a specialist.

 

(B) There were medical considerations unique to me. I needed a surgeon who's procedure included an extra step not available locally.

 

(C) Less of a consideration, but for my procedure I really wanted a female doctor.

 

If your son has good reasons, then you should absolutely respect his wishes on this if you can. I would not want to be in a hospital right now with COVID doing it's thing though. If it's possible (I don't know how bad his body dysphoria is), he might want to wait until it's safer.

 

Hugs!

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Susan R
47 minutes ago, Jackie C. said:

he might want to wait until it's safer.

If you’re worried about Covid, I think waiting is a good idea. I heard florida is being hit hard with this. You might want to see when the surgery might be scheduled if you waited awhile. I would not like to be in the hospital anywhere right now. I’m hoping things calm down soon but who knows. This disease is unlike anything we’ve experienced in recent history. Hopefully, just knowing a surgery WILL BE scheduled soon will help your son with his dysphoria and/or depression.

 

59 minutes ago, pandamom said:

I know his surgery shouldn't be about the money (which he has accused me of)

It shouldn’t be about the money but we all live in the real world. Money is a major consideration especially if it is at a cost in the thousands of dollars. If your sacrifice is going to put you and your family at a high financial risk in any way, it’s a a consideration that should be taken seriously.

I wanted to transition medically back in the 1980’s but I had to make the same choice that faces you and your son. I was not able to transition due to the extreme cost (and severe gatekeeping) back then. I’m still torn on whether or not I actually could have successfully navigated through that time with such a financial burden.

 

Best of luck on making the best decision for you and your family.

 

Susan R🌷

 

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Pallas

It's great you are such a supportive mother. I think he can consider himself lucky in that aspect! Especially if it's being all paid for him. 

 

I too wonder, what is his reasoning to go have the surgery done by this specific doctor in Florida? 

How did he find this person and did he take a look at the doctor you've been looking into? 

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pandamom

Thank you all for the great responses. My son says he wants the doctor in Florida because of their gender (female) and their experience. We don't have a specific doctor in Texas, but we live in Houston, which has the Medical Center. I'm also willing to travel to Dallas or Austin or San Antonio for surgery. What started the conversation was that I asked him to look at surgeons in Texas as there has to be one that he is comfortable with. I am even willing to spend the money (that word again) for several consultations with different doctors so he can find one he likes and trusts. Basically, I'm letting him make his own choice of doctor's, with the caveat that it be a doctor in Texas. Am I being unreasonable for wanting to stay close to home? Or should I just give in and let him see the doctor in Florida?

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Susan R
4 hours ago, pandamom said:

Am I being unreasonable for wanting to stay close to home? Or should I just give in and let him see the doctor in Florida?

I think as the parent paying for the surgery, I don’t think it’s too much to ask of your son to work together with you to find a surgeon acceptable to you both—one that is within the cost you’re willing to pay.  There are other costs associated with travel so be realistic about the total cost to have a surgeon so far away.  If there aren't suitable choices after a reasonable search in your area, then you could go with the surgeon he researched and chose. That’s how I’d play it but ultimately it’s your choice, not his.

 

My 2¢,

Susan R🌷

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Tori M

I agree with @Susan R.  Your son is very lucky to have your unusual level of support, emotionally and financially.  IMHO, he should try his best to make a compromise.  The consultations might reveal someone unexpected.

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Pallas

See, what I see is that so far everyone thinks similar on this aspect: Your kid is lucky to have you, not only are you supportive mentally, but financially as well. I think if he demands the other doctor after(!) at least considering/researching your suggestion, then may I suggest an alternative solution?

 

The cost is quite a lot, but if he wants it, then I'm sure he can help contribute. 

Are there any hobbies he has that can bring in some pay? If he can draw, then he could draw (even if it's only doodles) for (small) amount of money. If you need/want any advice where to start with that just let me know!

Alternatively if there are no specific hobbies, then perhaps doing odd jobs here and there (washing cars in the neighbourhood, mowing the lawn, etc.). He can do these things while taking precautions (always staying outside, keeping his phone with him, letting you know where and by whom he is), in case anyone is concerned about his safety. 

Or even setting up a kickstarter.

 

Hope that helps. Don't feel guilty for being financially sound. Again he should count himself lucky you're even willing to pay for surgery! 

Good luck. 

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Jackie C.

No, you're being fair. You need to factor in recovery time as well. You'd need a place to stay if you're not in driving distance, take time off work, etc. I recall my grandmother being absent for about a week after her mastectomy. While hers was quick and dirty, I imagine there will be a hospital stay for at least a few days with frequent check-ups to make sure everything is healing properly. 

 

Hugs!

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TrIIIy

You’re doing a great job already in supporting your son. My parents wouldn’t dream of taking out a loan to pay for top surgery. It is not too much to ask for him to seek a more local doctor as long as he can find one with which he is comfortable. Some surgeons are better than others in top surgery, and you should work together to find the best option for both of you. Kudos, mom.

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Ronin82

I live in Houston as well, and am currently researching top surgeons. We do have several specialists here in town that I personally would consider going to. Your son is soooooo lucky to have you, my parents are totally unsupportive and I have to figure out how to get everything done on my own, with no financial help. Finances and logistical considerations being what they are, in a pandemic, I don't think you're being unreasonable to check into local surgeons first. I mean, we do have a world-class medical center right here, there's no reason to leave the city unless there are some very special mitigating circumstances. Just my cheap 2 pennies' worth.

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pandamom

Thank you all for your wonderful advice. After talking with my son some more, and getting advice from his doctors, he decided on the Crane Center in Austin. We will be registering with them soon, and hope he can have top surgery sometime this winter (here's hoping that the pandemic will have slowed by then). I really hate the physical pain that binding causes him, so I would like the surgery to be sooner than later, but I am not willing to expose my child to this nasty virus. I am grateful to all of you who responded to my post, and be well out there.

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Jackie C.

I'm glad you could come to a compromise that makes you both happy! Wish him luck from all of us!

 

Hugs!

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StrainAsylum

I've only just seen your query and would have said all that everyone else did.  Additionally, how very lucky your son is to have a caring and supportive mother.

 

I'm very glad you were able to reach a compromise.  One suggestion that I have would be to make sure and research reviews from those who have had top surgery with the surgeon (or any surgeon for these procedures).  Also look at before and after photos, not just those that the surgeon has.  You will often find videos on YouTube with experiences, some stating the surgeon's name.

 

Best of luck to your son for his surgery and hoping that both of you (and all of us) stay safe.

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Mmindy
On 6/27/2020 at 9:24 PM, pandamom said:

Am I being unreasonable for wanting to stay close to home? Or should I just give in and let him see the doctor in Florida?

I"m so proud of you pandamom, you are not out of line to do comparison shopping.

Your support both emotional and financial are through the roof greater than most trans people experience. It's good that you asked for him to compromise on the Austin, TX doctor.

 

Best wishes, stay positive, and safe,

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

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