April 12, 2004

Two years since SRS

Last week it was two years since I had SRS, something which in hindsight was pretty life-changing. This may sound glib but at the time it was not something that I gave myself a huge amount of room to consider. With something as drastic as gender re-assignment a huge leap of faith is required. Faith in the medical system, faith in your perception of self, faith in what appears to be the goodwill of others. I challenge anyone to know for sure whether or not they are doing the right thing in such circumstances. For me, I went with what felt right.

Two years later and the memories are receding. Body mods aside, life rolls on, full of surprises and new discoveries. My transsexual identity is less of "an issue" these days as a virtue of which I am quietly proud. Being "made", once such a big deal, is now a subject which has little bearing on my life. If anything, since SRS, I feel more free to express male personality traits more openly. I have the luxury of not having to choose. Playing with dress sense, voice and general intonation, it is possible to play up and play down gender. If only more people understood how successfully gender cues can be manipulated. You are what you do.

Posted by .M. at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2002

SRS diary

Surgery feels like a distant memory now. Seepage has reduced to next to nothing and I'm feeling fit. On Monday I went in to Charing Cross for another blood test. This was to get a base hormone level before recommencing pills. It's good to be back on them. A new chapter awaits...

Posted by .M. at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2002

SRS diary

7:30am and I'm back at Charing Cross again for surgery. The procedure, by Phil Thomas, is going to widen the entrance to my urethra and fix the granularities which have weeping consistently since SRS four months ago. At around 2:30 I am taken to the operating theatre.

I wake up quickly after the half hour procedure, a catheter in place. I don't accept any pain relief because I don't have any. I sleep for the rest of the day, only stirring when I realise that I need to start passing urine to get out of here. I drink about 4 litres of water overnight and feel ready to go in the morning.

Unfortunately the nursing staff have other ideas. Thomas wrote down '24 hours' for my catheter to stay in and hospital policy is to not remove them in the afternoon in case complications emerge that evening. I'm going stir crazy at this stage and feeling nervous about being healthy in hospital (it doesn't always last that way). The fact that there is a nurse from the hospital with TB in the bed two down from me does little to ease my mind.

James Bellringer pops by to tell me that the operation went well and that I shouldn't have any problems from here on. I convince him to let me out of the ward on the grounds that I'm "sensible". It works and I'm home free.

The trip home on the tube is torturous. Having drunk bucketloads of water, I need to go to the toilet every five minutes and get caught in between stops. I barely make it home before wetting myself.

The difference before and after this surgery is immense. The oozing dirty yellow liquid has cleared up overnight, and I can clear my bladder almost instantly. There is a slight raw sensation each time I finish peeing, as if some internal surface is exposed to the air.

Posted by .M. at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2002

SRS diary

I had acupuncture with Rose again today. This time it was for my dodgy knee. i've never had a dodgy knee before but I've turned 30 and look at me now. As Rose activated the needles I could feel the bottom of my left labia tingling like crazy. Other than that, things have settled down tremendously. I went to see Doc Bellringer on Thursday last week. Only a minor complication. I'm fine again.

He had the other SRS surgeon, Phil Thomas, in with him. The poor guy has a horrible looking skin condition on his face and arms. I was in and out quickly as per usual but there was a slight complication. Bellringer frowned when I mentioned still having a pussy discharge. He had a look (my first gyno examination, yay...) and then there was some discussion amoungst themselves and the diagnosis was granulation. That's right girls, a new word. A granulation is a point where the flesh is not completely joined together after re-constructive surgery. The solution dispensed was... sodium nitrate?? HAVE TO CHECK.

He daubed at the inside of my vagina with what looked like a giant matchstick that you'd use to light a BBQ. It was highly unpleasant, a little painful but mercifully quick. "Come and see us in a month's time, ok?" OK indeed.

The good news is that it seems to have done the trick and although some really horrid smelling discharge came out over the next 24hrs, the matchstick seems to have dispelled the pus.

Posted by .M. at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

SRS diary

This caught my eye today and I'm being truly punished for not concentrating on my work. Living with a rectovaginal fistula describes how a small fistula may only be identified by a brown discharge on a pad. I think I've got one. Wrote to Bellringer but it'll probably be a few days before I get a response.

Of course, now I'm feeling every little tiny movement down below and every twinge is scary. No more blading for now.

Posted by .M. at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2002

SRS diary

You're supposed to wait three months beford doing any aerobics but the book says nothing about rollerblading. I decided to give it a go, taking it relatively easy though. It was heavenly to be back on my feet gliding again.

I seem to have a new sensation around the clitoris every since though. It's not painful.

Posted by .M. at 03:11 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2002

How to insert a dilator

It doesn't appear in any of the notes or documentation I've found so here goes a little practical advice on inserting a dilator. It seems obvious in hindsight but I could have done with a little in advance...

Start by angling the dilator straight down into the vagina, and gently push it in. The angle of your artificially created vagina may differ slightly from that of a GG's. After inserting it a little way, drop your hand, about 45 degrees, so that the dilator is aiming further up your body. The point at which to start doing this will become obvious as you start pressing against the pelvic bone otherwise. If the angle isn't right you aren't going anywhere, so don't rush yourself and put yourself under pressure. I found that it was sometimes easiest to pull out and try again.

Posted by .M. at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2002

SRS diary

Received letter from James Bellringer to GP:

I saw this patient in my outpatient clinic on the 17th June 2002. She is doing well following gender reassignment surgery. There was some florid granualation tissue over the urethra which I have treated with silver nitrate and I have asked her to come back in a further month.

The letter is actually slightly out-of-date. Went back to Charing Cross on Monday, had a full inspection by Phil Thomas and I'm booked in for a minor procedure on 5th August that will enlarge the urethra slightly and hopefully deal with the granulation. Phil said that it may have cleared up by then but that the urethra narrowing was unlikely to reverse by itself. I need to pee quickly so I'm up for another op.

Posted by .M. at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2002

SRS diary

It's officially seven weeks since the op and here's the score card.

Pain: none. I get the occaisional muscle spasm when inserting the smaller dilator but nothing unbearable.

State of body: I've still got secretions but the sick smelling liquid is long gone and the volume isn't enough to even bother with napkins over. I've been out clubbing a few times and I have noticed however that the more energy I expend the more mucus comes out. Nature's way of telling me to settle down I guess. I don't feel like I've been overdoing it.

State of mind: ask someone less biased {;-) I feel fine. The depression of the last few weeks has subsided, probably not uncoincidentally with some scheduled paid work arriving tomorrow and generally starting to sort out my affairs.

Horizon: I don't go back to Charing Cross until the second week of June so I have to wait until then to ask my burning questions.

Q) How little exercise should I be doing? I want to run, jump, blade and dance.

Q) What can I expect from my clitoris? Is there normally more sensation than this?

Posted by .M. at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2002

SRS diary

Getting lazy. This is bad. It's only been seven weeks and I'm already starting to slack off dilating. It's not that it's unpleasant, well it's not great either, it's just that I can't sit still. I'm running around the place like a lunatic and I should really just be looking after the body. Dilating calls...

Posted by .M. at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2002

SRS diary

Six weeks and a few days after surgery and I've been weaned off the ring. Funny to think that only a few weeks ago, aving an inflatable rubber ring, the kind that some post-natal women use, was an absolute godsend. Sitting on a hard seat was impossible. Now I'm over it. Once your bits are solid enough to take some sedentary pressure there is little incentive to use the ring.

Posted by .M. at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2002

SRS diary

I wake up feeling energised. I've had my third full night of sleep.

Richard from connect arrives with my laptop. Of course it isn't completely fixed but at least there's an operating system again. I'm not really in the mood for using computers in bed any more - i want to get out in the sun - but it's nice to know if I go through another major surgical event I can now watch DVDs in bed.

Posted by .M. at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2002

SRS diary

I get up early and go to see a man about a morgage. No dice. Luckily I run into Liz in the street and we go for coffee. We're both walkers from way-back so I end up accompanying her on a half hour walk to work.

I catch the train back home by which time I'm feeling energised and happy. I must do more walking.

I stay up late watching Ring 2, cute but creepy, and smoke the last of my convalescence weed.

Posted by .M. at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2002

SRS diary

Do I have a clitoris? That is the question. I had a pretty good day. Sat in front of the stupid macchines and tried to fix problems. Re-learnt how to do basic programming, the cut 'n paste then tweak kind. Even that took hours. And what for? To remove from view one of the only things I've ever done that was on the right track for me.

Don't mind me, the two fingered one-handed typist. With my other hand i'm holding a glass rod up my snatch. It used to be so the hole won't close. Now it's comforting. OK sure I'm not out of the woods yet but I'm feeling better. Sudden sharp switch as some suture pulls loose. the guy's handiwork seems to be holding.

The clit area, under suspicion that it is, has cleared up since yesterday. Not much pus and encouragingly there is a construction which could resemble a sensory organ. We'll see but not quite yet. The thought of inadvertently dislodging my surgery is too much. I'll play it safe like the good little dodgy white girl I am.

A pause for somber reflection, JACK readers may consider how easy it would be to just run on and never experience what I'm going through right now. And they'll bloody love it. Courses for horses or something like that. i'm trying something different but yup, less accurate piss targeting ahead. Here's one to being a boy and what all us MtF trannies throw aside. Enjoy!

Posted by .M. at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2002

SRS diary

Rock bottom. Today I felt like I'm on my way down. Had a tiff with Chris when he arrived and hed stormed off after about five minutes. He came back, we hugged, and I was shaky for the rest of the day. Mich said "Make yourself some lunch, take it easy for a bit and then go to electrolysis." Instead I drank two cups of coffee and restored Chris's email.

Eunice said I looked pale when I arrived at the Beauty Place. She was right. On the tube I'd felt weary and queasy. Ive been spending not a helluva lot of time in bed this week. I'd pretty much forgotten I'd had surgery.

I'm becoming a technology casualty. Mich suggests that I need an acoustic analog life. She's right. It's doing my head in.

Everything I try to do is complicated by some thing or another. Digital perfection does not exist. Digital admin is becoming the bane of my existence.
I canlt think. I can't type. I can't sit. I can't talk to anyyone. I've got no idea what i'm going to do next and yet I know I've got it in me to be a star if I so choose to be. I've got enough originalattributes to make the exotica grade. I can shimmy in close-ups and be athletic in the wide shots... or can ? When was the last time that I sprinted? Since my tits? I can't remember . I can remember Fiona running full-tilt in grade 5, bouncing them so hard they almost rebounded off her face. How we snickered after she ran past. And how bad did I feel when I ignored her love note that I found tucked in my school locker. Poor thing. How was she to know that it wasn't a simple case of rejection. I wouldn't have known one end of self-awareness from the other at that time. Frantically cross-dressing in every spare minute, resenting the girls at school most of the time without realising it. It was too easy to slip into follow the boy mode back then. I remember taking Anne onto the dance floor alongside Brett and Courtney. SHe like the way i danced, it was the firt time I'd done it. It wasn't like I spent time looking at myself in the mirror apart from wearing Mum's clothers.
I've decided that I am a try-hard but not a particularily effective one. I can't pace myself. I'm good at doing some things and yet I beat myself over the head trying to get things working that would be best left to others.

Oh dear... I hope I feel better soon.

Posted by .M. at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2002

SRS diary

I wake up refreshed, only the second full night's sleep.

Tried to work all day without much success. Thick pus coming from the clitoral area but doubt is seeping in that I've even got one. This thought sends me into a tizzy for the rest of the day.

In a panic I try stimulating myself lying on the bed. I quickly give up, all I'm doing is aggrivating things further. Not a good idea. I'm wondering if I'm going to be a sexual casualty once all ishealed up. For the first time I feel as if I'm left with a stump.

I go to the Strand for electrolysis standing on the tube. The thought of the hard seats is too much. I manage the trip there and back without problems.

I keep fiddling on the computer, somewhat awkwardly as I can't sit for long. We have dinner in bed.

Posted by .M. at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

May 07, 2002

SRS diary

I spend most of the day trying to sort out my laptop. No luck. I can't even find my email.

Dilating is fine but pus is coming out from the clitoris.

Mich and I go out for indian. It's not very comfortable even on a padded seat. I prefer to walk.

Posted by .M. at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2002

SRS diary

Urinary tract infection or something which makes peeing really slow and uncomfortable. In hindsight now i'm not sure it was an infection because I didn't get a burning sensation.

Easy dilating. Not much mucus.

Nostalgia for sexual intercourse as a man. Have I done the wrong thing?

Watched movies all day. Feeling burnt out and useless. Computers conspiring against me.

Posted by .M. at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2002

SRS diary

Wake up worried that my wound may have closed. False alarm. A little tighter but the passage opens up again alright.

Mich and I go shopping. I find Waitrose a little tiring and I'm sore over brunch in la galette afterwards. Too cold to wander around. I lie in bed after that and sleep.

Inserted my first pessary, and my finger. Felt weird to be fingering myself as a girl. Positive thoughts. I've only had a few moments like this. Like going to tuck my dick down after sitting on the loo; an unconscious movement born from living with a tiny, prone to poking upright, impediment.

I'm enjoying pee'ing as a girl. I wasn't expecting that. Isn't that one of the great male privileges? I'm learning something every day.

Posted by .M. at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2002

SRS diary

Fiona comes in at 6am. Sleep in. Wake up for an acupuncture session with Rose. Less tension I feel, "Less stagnation" says Rose. I get two additional needles, one in each hand between 2nd and 3rd knuckles, the stimulation of these points sends my hands numb.

Fiona and I meet Christine,Simon and Bonnie and go to the Cannibus Day festival in Brockwell Park. This is my first major outing. Better than last year, there are slivers of sun. I feel fine on the hoof, and manage a pretty good pace leading a stoned party back home so that Fiona can catch her flight.

I miss my first dilation, the last one of the day. I'm too zonked.

Posted by .M. at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2002

SRS diary

No luck with the laptop. I stress but go out to Piccadilly, first bus ride, to pick up my new glasses. Feeling so good on the way out that I think about going in to DTI next week. A few hours later I'm not so keen. Things are starting to throb again. Chris buys me lunch. I try to get my laptop sorted. Irrational panic setting in. I hate this feeling.

Chris buys me a drink after 5pm. I go out with Fiona and friends to innecto for cocktails. I'mstarting to get uncomfortable so I miss dinner and head home. Watch Bamboozled from an armchair. Either the movie was too intense or I'm healing - no great discomfort.

Posted by .M. at 02:53 PM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2002

SRS diary

SRS Lesson 32 - don't fuck with technology at the same time.

I can't believe it. So much for working from bed. I've stuffed up my laptop and can't log in. Dodgy Mcafee privacy service. Then strike two: my email/contacts disappear. I start to have conniptions for all the wrong reasons.

Posted by .M. at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2002

SRS diary

May Day. Didn't sleep well. Bathing and dilating is less of a chore but nothing is coming out of the wound, no string at least.

Felt ok. Spent the morning liasing with Connect linux support. Looks like we may get our admin problems sorted out at last. Bright and sunny. Hobbled out to get a sandwich at lunch. Felt too uncomfortable to sit in the park so went straight back.

Lay in bed with a laptop all afternoon. Reasonably comfortable. Stopped wearing napkins, more comfortable just in panties and weeping isn't too bad now. Walked down to video store late with Mich. Throbbing has subsided. Main discomfort is in the chewed labia again.

Posted by .M. at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

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)