April 29, 2002

SRS diary

Woke up feeling amazing. I slept the whole night through. I still had weeping but not enough to be messy. I even slept on my side.

Got up and after dilating for 20 mins - yup that's five more minutes with the big one - and engaged Chris and a Connect sysadmin on work till lunch. Realised around then that despite my newlykindled vitality I should probably go back to bed - I was bleeding slightly from a new spot, the bottom of my right labia.

Having finally had a good look at 'the site' yesterday, using the dvcam light, I could definitely see an improvement. still sw ollen but better.

By the afternoon I'm tired again but Tamara, then Michele and Niz drop round. I get very stoned and don't sleep. I'm confused. Am I actually in pain or is this just an intense sensation? I received an SMS from Pat saying 'didn't bother me at all. Kinda enjoyed it in fact'. She's probably bullshitting but I make a resolution to try and relax into it. I can lie on my side now which is good.

Posted by .M. at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2002

SRS diary

Woke up to brilliant blue sky. Mich cooked an awesome cooked brunch of eggs sausages mushies. At midday Rose arrived with a couple of acupuncture tomes and gave me a lowdown on what she was planning to do to me.I'd been warned by Mich not to broach the subject of money.

Rose chose seven needle points to open up some stagnant channels of chi, making an effort to pass through the groin area. Feet, leg, wrist, forehead, hips. I dutifully took notes, a little apphrehensivedly, especially as Rose admitted it may hurt AND had previously pummelled me into mush delivering the most awesome massage ever (just prior to SRS).

The accupuncture was however amazing. In some cases,as soon as she inserted a needle (guide tubes) I could feel sensations elsewhere in my body, eg. needle in my foot and my coccyx tingles.

When she started 'stimulating' the needles it was intense. Energy shot across me, sometimes painfully, othertimes blissfully. A twist of a needle in my wrist sent chi exploding down into my fingertips, overloading my senses.

After 25 mins the needles were taken out and I stood up and walked out of the room. Mich goes 'Youre standing upright!' and so I was... I'd lost the oranutang pose and felt vitalised.

Rose explained how the ear contained points corresponding to most of the body and showed me a chart, called the inverted foetus, to show where genitalia resided. She was going to put studs in either ear but to her delight, and my surprise (felt like I'd discovered magic again) there were identical scabs on my ear in the exact segment of her chart.

In the afternoon Fiona, Bonnie, Simon and Christine came to visit. They all sat around me in bed and we talked,laughed, drank red, smoked green, and ate dips for hours. Fiona looked really good, suntanned from Thailand, slimmer,lessmanic, sparky as always.

Fell asleep after watching 24 x 2.

Posted by .M. at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2002

SRS diary

Woke up to clear blue sky and smiles allround. Mich and I plannedto have a picnic brunch in Paddington Gardens. I hobbled over to the gardens and lay down on the lawnwhile Mich went shopping. It got too cold for comfort quickly, with open toed shoes,and after about half an hour I went back. Funny how people's eyes are drawn to you by the way you limp. I felt very self conscious with my wild dry hair.

Mich and I spent the rest of the day in bed talking, eating and laughing. We worked out a few monumental decisions. One - look for two more days work. One day's work experience. One day on music to complement DTI.

In the evening I took my first shower since the op, shampoo stung my bits a bit. Washed hair, got made up and went to Liz and Matt's housewarming. Mich had woken up crabby and we fought while getting ready. Glad we made up before arrigving. I felt nauseous in the 10min cab ride even with my newly arrived post-natal rubber cushion "air ring".

It felt good to be out in public again. I couldn't do much though. I lay on Liz's bed and got people to sign my ring. After a few hours, and a few drinks, I was off my tree and feeling achy, ready to go home. I'm glad we left when we did. By the time the cab got back to Dorset St. I was feeling raw and in agony.

Posted by .M. at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2002

SRS diary

Woke up from worst sleep so far this recovery. No plans for today luckily.
Dilated before my bath which made it heaps easier to douche. However I was in pain after removing dilator which was a first. Sloughed off skin came off in the bath but little ikky stuff. No blood.

Slept most of the day. Read Jack issue 1. Booked in a treatment with Rose for Sunday. Discussed the bug list with Chris and fretted about savings.

Posted by .M. at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2002

SRS diary

I wake up exhausted... again. I can barely stomach breakfast in bed that's how zonked I am. I do though - getting into a feeding routine of ecanacia, hemp oil, and hemp seeds on muesli.

Bath time and I'm still finding it hard to insert the douche probe. No reason to risk hurting myself though, I'm being conservative in my prodding.

I find a length of white string at least 4 inches long floating in the tub. It isn't as first thought the lump that's been visible for days at the bottom of my left labia (the end that looks chewed). Who knows where this is from.

I sleep all morning.

Chris L gives me a copy of 24 hour party people at lunchtime. It's mad, I read for the rest of the day.

Chris P drops in with a huge bunch of flowers after work. Such a sweetie.All my misgivings float away.Wechat for ages. He's just bought out AVC for 25K and is going to rebrand it as Extra Mile.

We tried our first video diary session. I sound highly clinical and remote. I abuse Mich for her dry questions and some henpecking about wiping my arse the wrong way. I know,I know...

Finished 24HRPP. Inspirational book. Stoner goes after dream and realises it. Even when the dream collapses, his friendsare still there, mostly...

Laughed hard through parts of the 'Annual Barfta Awards' on C4. Found other bits tacky before being bowled over in confusion and dissmay by the awarding of 'Best Man/Best Woman' to a TS wearing bondage gear who had been hauled out in front of the cameras on talk shows as a boy genius... complete with blond afro and giant bowtie. The line 'this award is being given to you for all the mess you've made of your liife and provided us with entertainment allthese years.' A bit chilling. Controversal as fuck.Maybe that's whyit'sagood time tobe a trannie on the rise. All I could think was how carefully I intend to manage my image when doing anything to camera.

Dear Channel 4
I found your Barfta Award spoof show highly offensive in declaring Best Man/Best Woman "fuck up" (in your presenter's own words) to a transsexual talk show guest. I appreciate that this programme was trying hard to be 'alternative' and controversal but you crossed the line between bad taste and ugliness by sending up someone who does not appear to be a media personality.

POSTSCRIPT: I subsequently find out that this trannie is more than a little notorious for PR and was a regular on the chat-show circuit. My indignation subsides somewhat.

I didn't sleep. My clit was throbbing, almost agonisingly. My head was pounding. It was hot.
I tried to reach organism withot touching myself. More pain but no luck. It's so weird, the throbbing sensations I have allaround my groin are not unlike the feeling of gaffing, constricting the testicles and flaccid dick so that they lie flat in morefeminine fashion. The painful throbs are similar to that neuseating feeling of testicular tubes being crushed. I recall a dream a week ago where my surgery was botched and from the sense of contriction (which was no dream) my old penis burst out of stitching inside the vulva. All they'd done is hide the damn thing.

It is the freakiest feeling to feel aroused and feel instead of one thing moving, there's at least two moving parts, control surfaces for a neo-vagina that's barely out of its wrapping.
Speaking of wrapping, I'm pretty sure that there is string in my clit. Can't be helping with pain.

Posted by .M. at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2002

SRS diary

Slept really badly despite a joint b4 bed. Throbbing headache, cold limbs, then sweaty limbs. Throbbing pain from stitching.

Woke up feeling drained but noticed that the latticework of indentions in my front, above the vulva, have now filled in with bloody soft flesh. After my bath the reddnes goes but there is still new flesh, blurring the previously symmetry of stitches and holes. I'm healing.

Slept all morning. Got up to have lunch, too tired to make anything proper.
Panicked when HfC copy I'd made for Cinefeel turned out to be terrible. Eventually realised it was something to do with iMovie and I still had the original. I feel helpless. I need to chill out.

Mich comes home looking drained. We eat lebanese takeout and smoke in bed. Mich starts remenicing about good times, a beautiful smile growing with each hour.We laugh, cuddle,and sigh with the collective memories we have to-date.

I fall asleep as she talks.

Posted by .M. at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2002

SRS diary

Quiet day. Only a little bleeding. Had a great sleep the night before after getting quite stoned.

Got ready 'quickly' in case Connect tech support needed to use the bedroom.They didn't. How on earth I'm going to manage going back to an office in four weeks. That said, I'm definitely healing.

Today's big development was the sprouting of string from my clit and bottom of my labia, a big clump there. Either JB is a terrible seamstress or my body is starting to clean up around the building site. There doesn't seem to be as much oozing from mucus patches either. Sitting upright hasn't gotten easier. I was in agony by midnight, the pain mainly coming from the external stitching of the labia and the clitoris.

Mich is completely exhausted. I feel bad because she's doing my books for tqc, as well as the house books, nursing me,andholding down her full time job at BTCV. I couldn't be getting any more support.

Posted by .M. at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2002

SRS diary

Saturday after coming home from hospital. Once again, little sleep. I'm going to save up my pain killers for the evening, it's the only way I can rest.

I had a panic attack late evening.

I spent the entire day lying down only to emerge to lie down on the living room floor to watch Seven Samurai at night. Even though all I was doing was lying on cushions I was in agony by the end of the film. I think it might have had something to do with the underpants I had on, rubbing against the labia. I freaked out. Will I ever be able to function normally again?

Posted by .M. at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2002

SRS diary

Had a hard time sleeping last night.Very painful. I've overdone it trying to get my family commission piece ready in time. I can only sit upright at a computer (no matter how many cushions) for an hour. After that my tush feels rubbed and raw.

I woke up as bloody as I've been to-date. Losing a bit of blood from the aggravation.

The dilations are no sweat now. I even extended the large one to 11minutes as a test. The pattern seems to be: the little one goes straight in, the big one hits the pelvic muscle and is painful to push through. If I keep the pressure on and take a deep breath then second or third time it goes through. The muscle spasming is now actually worse at the start, calming down after a few minutes.

After dilating, I leave about 2sq cm patch of blood at the base of my arse, this I think is dribbling out of my neo-vagina. I get tired very easily and I'm getting mild headaches from concentrating. I need to take it EASY.

I'm so unfamiliar with my own body. I'm yet to conclusively identify my clitoris and urethra. Do I have a hood? I think I do but I'm loath to probe around just yet, the stabbing pains I get are bad enough as it is.

Mich suggested that i air "the wound" as much as possible. It's been a good idea and I feel better for it.

Posted by .M. at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2002

SRS diary

Dilations are definitely more bearable, still no doddle but I'm not groaning anymore. I'm finding it difficult to get the large one through the pelvic muscle now, it feels very tender, and it's usually only onthe third or fourth attempt. Perhaps I need to go slower.

Chris pops in.

Posted by .M. at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2002

SRS diary

Slept fitfully, sweatingand groaning.

Finally had a bowel movement, a BIG one.I exertedmyself a little more than I should have and the results were a bit bloody.

First dilation of the day and I'm pleasantly surprised to find it is almost bearable. I don't start to spasm until the 8 minute mark. I'm also able to function immediately afterwards.

After the last dilation of the day, I venture out to chat to Catherine and then Christine popped by.

Posted by .M. at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2002

SRS diary

One week after the op. Feeling exhausted and dreading the dilating I have to do three times a day. It's not painful to insert and hold the small one but the large one isa different story. Sometimes I can't get the dilator through the pelvic muscle and I need to pull back, try and relax, and start again.

My catheter came out first thing in the morning.

I've begun to notice a sickly sweet odor that I can't get rid of.
Liz Dex, Bellringer's assistant, came and said I could go home. She is training to be a surgeon. She said the penile inversion technique used on me is more common in the US but was introduced to Charing Cross by the latest surgeons as an option for reducing the riskof a prolapse and hair in the vagina (if the patient has sufficient foreskin to work with).

I'm still feeling very weak but anxious to get home. I manage to pee on the second attempt and surprisingly it streams downwards and not in a spray as I'd been warned to expect. I'd been dreading the carpeted toilet back home.
Mich picked me up at 6 and we got a minicab home. Great to be back
I've also got something new to worry about - urinary infections. I pee in the bath and it stings. I won't do that again in a hurry.

Dilating is still horrible..I groan with more freedom in the comfort of my own room.

Posted by .M. at 01:53 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2002

SRS diary

The vaginal pack came out today and with it all my post-op comfort. The pack itself resembled a very large dildo made of gauze. It came out completely blood-soaked at the knob end. Not a sight for virgins...

Immediately afterwards I had my first dilating session.This one done by one of the nurses. It didn't hurt much and I was filled with false convidence that this would easy.

Lunch-time was different. Through four interruptions "Tea? Coffee?" "Can I take your blood pressure?" I tried to dilate but couldn't get the thing in.I panicked a bit at the sight of fresh blood coming out but was reassured that this was normal.

By this time the hole had already begun to close up and after a very sweaty fifteen minutes all I did was collapse asleep... until being woken for dinner, and another dilation.

This time, after an altercation with the 'nurse' who answered my call I ended up breaking down into tears with Ferdalizza, the pilipina who'd taken me up to the theatre. I felt immediately better,aware that part of my feeling was the unresolved spit I'd had with Mich the night before.

Like clockwork, Rose appeared, giving me a gorgeous card and a lump of purple amethyst. After talking for a bit, Mich popped her head around the drape. I felt so happy. Once Rose had gone I finished dilating with Mich there.
We cuddled and watched TV together way past visiting hours.

Posted by .M. at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2002

SRS diary

The day of the op. I wake up early and go shave myself in the bathroom. I'm feeling so weak that by the end of the process I'm nauseous. I'm not sure if it's the prospect of the surgery reflected in the safety razor or simply that I've been on laxatives for two days.

Back in bed as quickly as possible. James Bellringer, the surgeon, comes in around 8:30 with the consent forms. I inquire about the filming of the surgery and he shrugs it off. He hasn't received my letter and so no, no filming. I'm disappointed but hope that the hospital is better at operations than filing.

I'm feeling so weak that I linger over the signature on the consent form. There are two spots on the form, one for "with clitoris" and one without. I don't want to slip up here so I re-read the form a few times. Why they bother to ask is beyond me.

After that, things go even quicker. One minute I'm being wheeled through the ward, smiling at the other women and then it's smalltalk with the theatre staff and then... I'm being wheeled back to the ward.

The day goes by with only two thoughts. Whenever I wake up Mich is there sitting besides me. I'm wearing what appears to be a nappy at first.

The nappy goes after a few hours. The nurses remove it and start oohing at my "wound". I'm so lightheaded.

Posted by .M. at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2002

SRS diary

Here I am lying in ward8 south.The sun is shining out the window but it's scarf andgloves weather. I slept really badly, the unfamiliar noises, the lights on and off, the groans and perceptible discomfort of the sufferers aroundme. I feel like a phoney. Apart from a snuffy nose, I'm fine.

I'm feeling more and more nervous as each new problem breaks out on the ward. No need to overexaggerate but after-care is clearly not the best. I'm on free fluids, then clear fluids, (no difference) and yet I keep being offered food.

Rose, the elderly lady with the thick welsh accent, the lady near the window who is almost skeletal with the deflating Get Well balloon attached to her TV, Peggy the friendlist lady in the room who had a vascestomy and has picked up a chest cold. I woke up to hear her catologue of complaints being dictated to a nurse. Then there's Lianne who I thought was in for my op but actually she's KF (Klinefelder's syndrome), has been here two weeks, and is being treated for cancer and who I can hear bitterly complaining right now about something botched.

With every hour I'm feeling more and more like a patient. Whether it's psychosomatic, the laxative I've been living on for twelve hours now, or just nerves I'm starting to tingle and my heart rate went up. My fun all starts tomorrow.

For some light reading I've just devoured Chuck Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters.
Quote from p. 223: "Bad cheap vaginas with hair-growing scrotal skin used inside, still growing hair, choked with hair. Picture perfect, state-of-the-art vaginas lengthened using sections of colon, self-cleaning and lubricated with its own mucosa."

Lovely. Being easily influenced,I read the above and freak. Shit! Should I call this whole thing off? Save up for some decent after care? A ward without infection? A trip down to Hertch and his colon transplant technique? I finish the book and reflect on the fact that there's nothing new coming out. Chuck's a bloke, hell he wrote Fight Club didn't he? I'm the one with the real-life test under my belt. I'll persist with my high faluting notions of being the fullest woman I can be.

Vigilence will be key after the op. Dilate with extereme prejudice.

Today is going to drag on forever I can tell.

Lianne is a nurse and very reassuring about the procedure and team, although a little less so about after-care.

Day passed quicker than expected thanks to Mich,Christine andSimon. SpoketoLiz on the mobileand later on the whole famapartfrom Nonna.Was feeling completely relaxed until Lianne comes over slagging JB. The penny drops. Peggy remindsme to stay positive and remindsme that
Debby, last bed occupant was all happy. Look forward to it. I am positive.

Posted by .M. at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2002

SRS diary

Dreamt of wearing pants last night. It's 3pm, I'm in Charing Cross Hospital awaiting Gender Reassignment Surgery (all capitals, this a Big Deal!) and I'm waiting for the doctor to come and admit me.

Posted by .M. at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)