Reflections on 2019

Grayson Bell
5 min readDec 27, 2019
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Personally and professionally, 2019 has been a very eventful year for me.


A large part of my year has been taken up by various surgeries and recovering from them. The fact that I’m transgender, it may not seem surprising that I’ve had a lot of surgery. However, out of the five surgeries I’ve recovered from in 2019, only one was for gender affirmation. All the rest were for other medical issues.

I began 2019 in recovery from thyroid surgery that I had in December 2018. Thankfully, the mass they removed proved to be benign, and I have required no further treatment. I also began the year experiencing intermittent pain in my lower abdomen. That led to a string of doctors’ visits and a diagnostic surgical procedure in April. One source of my pain, an abdominal adhesion, was discovered and repaired during that procedure.

Unfortunately, I continued to have abdominal pain with increasing severity. So, in June I had a total hysterectomy after my gynecologist finally convinced my insurance that it was medically necessary. That surgery went very well, and I went home the same day. However, four days after the surgery, I began to feel ill, and had a lot of discomfort from four days of constipation. By five days post-op, I was running a low-grade fever. I managed to get the fever to go down, but it returned a few hours later. At that point, I began to fear the onset of infection or possibly sepsis, something a friend of mine died from.

I went to the ER, and at the hospital they decided to put me through a CT scan to see what might be causing my constipation, discomfort, and fever. When the results came back, even they were surprised. I was suffering from appendicitis. It hadn’t gotten bad enough to cause localized pain, but it’s what was causing my epic level constipation. So, five days after having one surgery, I wound up having an emergency appendectomy (lucky me).

Finally, once I was healed up from those surgeries, I was able to start thinking about the one surgery I actually wanted to have: FTM Top Surgery (the removal of my breasts, male breast reconstruction, and free nipple grafts). I’ve never liked having breasts and now that I was transitioning my gender, I was even more eager to get rid of them.

Grayson Bell

An autistic, gay, transgender man writing about LGBTQ issues, focused on the transgender community. (He/Him)