Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Smells like fish...

...rotten fish, anyway.

Two weeks after surgery, I learned that the area needs more detailed cleaning than it used to, and it's actually kind of tricky while taking a shower. Aside from washing the surface like before(since that's all there was), you also have to part the labia and wash the inside, otherwise you'll get that rotten fish smell and it WILL become noticable to yourself and others. It's a little difficult to part the labia while water is running down, but it has to be done.

There Will Be Blood

Part of a series of "better late than never" posts. This week's problem has been blood and sutures. The sutures started surfacing on a grand scale about two weeks after surgery, and they're about as annoying as they were with step 1. As for blood, I've been occasionally getting small limited blood supplies getting released when I BM. There's also still blood from dilation. It's not very pleasant...

Friday, January 1, 2010

10 days later, finally got the 3 again...

Ugh. Scary.

I've finally healed to the point where I can get the 3 in again. I won't try the 4 yet, but I figured out a technique: Take a deep breath, hold it briefly, push (oddly enough) with the PC muscle and try to slide the dilator in while slowly exhaling.
What a pain...

Oh yeah, may as report the state of things:
At this point, the labia is very rigid, almost comically so. It'll diminish over time as the scarring softens and the swelling reduces, but right now it's a little ridiculous. That's what will continue to interfere with dilation for some time to come.
However, pain is almost gone at this point and I have, more or less, a full range of motion. For example, I can do high kicks into the air now. Definitely easier than SRS/BA was.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Post-LP dilation problems

So I started with the 2T as per someone else's advice, and then I tried to get the 3 in...and it wouldn't happen. Dilation is tricky in general -- first I have to find a way to set the mirror down and have it stand in place on its own. One hand (using two fingers) has to open up the lower part of the labia, and the other hand has to bring in the dilator. Luckily, the vagina is easy to spot. Inserting the 2T is increasingly painful as it's further placed in. Getting it past the PC muscle is no problem, but with the labia as bloody and swollen as it is, the dilator not only sticks to the labia, pulling it in as it's inserted, but it also has to fight with the swollen labia for space. Trying to get the 3 in is simply impossible. Even putting up with the pain, the swelling takes up too much space and can't be contended with.

I'll probably end up losing some width in the end, and have to fight again to get it back. Oh well...

Friday, December 25, 2009

More notes!

So aside from all the ew's of day three, I noticed two things...I can now tell where the telltale SRS scar will be. I see it stitched up on me, and I've seen it in another post-LP pic. Luckily, scars take more than 4 months to heal, so it probably won't be so noticible in a year.

The other thing is, all grossness aside, it looks way more correct now than it did pre-op. I guess that's mainly because I had so much extra skin. I'm a little worried about it healing with asymmetry, as the left side is more swollen than the right. Only time will tell.

So as for my physical state, because I've been painkiller free since day 1 post-op, I'm pretty much at full capability. I could drive (albeit painfully), I can do physical tasks that don't strain my midsection, and I'm fully lucid. I can't really use this as a slam against painkillers in general, as I'm a sufferer of chronic headaches (and had to stop taking my headache medicine 3 weeks pre-op) and I had some horrific pain after the BA/Vaginoplasty, but I'm now thinking: avoid them if you can.


I've read other Meltzer patients' blogs and information pages about SRS, but I never really read much about labiaplasty until today, and that explains what I saw when I went to dilate. In a nutshell, it is: WTF?

What I see is one big colorful mix of various stages of swelling, bleeding, and hopefully not infection. I'm definitely going to schedule an appointment with my GYN for a week or two from now, because I'm not really sure how I'll identify problems if they arise. Supposedly the sheet says to resume dilation 3 days after surgery, which I read in the literal sense (22-23, 23-24, 24-25...3 days!) but sometimes they really mean 4. Since it won't kill me to wait another day or two, and I already got "dilated" by Dr. Meltzer's speculum when he looked for granulation tissue, I'll put it off until the 27th.

Not to mention, I can't even figure out where the dilation is supposed to go in. The vulva is just one big ugly swollen mess of...WTF?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Labiaplasty, the list(s)

So I found out the list of what got done. It was short, but intensive:

  • The hood, obviously.

  • The extra skin was worse than I thought. I think Dr. Meltzer spent most of his time working on getting rid of the excess. It currently looks like there's too much there (lower part of the vulva), but I'd imagine the swelling would be worse there because so much surgery was done.

  • Urethra got moved down a bit. The difference was pretty noticible, but I already feel it's for the better. I had directional issues up until the LP, but now it seems smooth and clean.

  • Apparently the runaway granulation wasn't there anymore? Weird. I guess my GYN just happened to get it the last time I saw her, after missing parts of it beforehand. Seems I'll be prescribed something for the post-dilation bleeding...

So that's that. Now I just need to wait for it to heal. My simpler regimen includes:

  • Optional painkillers (Vicadin) but I don't seem to need them.

  • Bacitracin on the location of the incision, 3x a day.

  • Keflex (antibiotic) twice a day.

  • Arnica

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Well, here's the experience:

  • Go to hospital, do paperwork, minor physical, then go to the bed -- same as before.

  • A few nurses come by, chat, explain that it'll be local anesthesia with sedation. I take some pills to relax. (I forget precisely what they are, but I didn't need the blood pressure dropper because mine is naturally on the lower end of the spectrum)

  • Dr. Meltzer comes by, I point out my primary concerns.

  • I get wheeled away into a room with large lights (1-1.5 feet in diameter) pointing at where my bed is situated. I move from one bed to another.

  • I go in and out of consciousness, spending part of my time in dreamland, only to wake up occasionally, continuing dream conversations in real life, then quickly realizing I'm in the middle of surgery. I have mild sensations of the surgery going on as it happens. I think I briefly felt a speculum within me, presumably for the granulation treatment. (which is step 1 cleanup, not related to the labiaplasty) I vaguely remember speaking to the sedation lady, but the details are about as fuzzy as most memorable dreams would be 24 hours later.

  • I briefly remember being wheeled into my recovery room and here I am now.

I wasn't as chipper the day after as I was post-SRS. I spent most of the rest of the day sleeping, occasionally interrupted by nurses or eating meals. I spent about 9pm-2am watching TV and parts of my video collection on my laptop, then went to sleep until 6am breakfast.

No complications. The area looks terrible, but not as bad as post-op pictures I've seen -- I guess not much had to be done. Haven't really needed much in the way of painkillers.

Now it's just the waiting game. Here's hoping that the fully healed region will look more or less normal.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Haven't written in forever, but not really much to write about.

I'm now in Scottsdale, 5 hours from a hospital visit for the step two Labiaplasty. I don't know how people can not want this step, though I can understand why people might financially decide to skip out on it. It's not going to be as game changing as step one Vaginoplasty was, but it'll be nice for everything to look normal.

There's three reasons for my visit this time around:
  • Need clitoral hood, which is a normal reason for the LP

  • Labia majora badly needs tweaking. There's too much of it -- it droops.

  • Unrelated to the LP itself, but my GYN wasn't able to stop the granulation tissue from growing inside the vagina. (which means that I see red every time I dilate, and left unchecked it can be a serious problem)

The hardest part of this trip, honestly, is waking up at 5am, with a late-pushed internal clock and losing an hour from west coast to Arizona. I expect little sleep, and I'm thankful we live in an age where it's easy to set up three alarms -- one of them is bound to wake me up!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dilation now once a day. Hooray!

Not much to report anymore. I'm finally able to dilate ("safely") once a day, though I was doing that for a couple weeks now. The BF thing is going really well, and because of that I had opportunities to see that missing a dilation wasn't going to do any damage, and it didn't. Anyway, one session per day, 40~50 minutes, first the 3 then the 5.

p.s. Holy crap, no July entries. Time flies...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June thoughts, randomness

Not much to blog about these days. It's about a month since I told the BF and things are going well. The whole T issue has been less and less prominent in my mind. Dilating with the 5 is showing little progress, but no regress either. I'm finding that even though I'm still in the twice-a-day period, once-a-day might be enough at this point. In some cases, twice-a-day may be detrimental...it doesn't give me enough time to heal.

As for healing, it's all still swollen but slowly getting better.

That's it...really...not much to talk about until the LP draws near.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The BF reacts.

I thought it was too easy.

So the BF reacted today, asked a couple questions. Nothing devastating or anything and we're still together. Two of the questions I expected, one was a little odd, asking me something "if I feel solely like a woman" and "are you happy like that". But I guess it's how he's coming to grips with it.

I'm aware that it could always go kaptusky at any time, but this relationship will go south fast if I have that kind of attitude. One of my T friends had 5 or 6 relationships before getting one that survived the news, so I'm aware the odds are against me...

Monday, June 1, 2009

My first SRS complication!


I now have fodder for future SRS complication oneupsmanship!
Ok, in reality it's a minor complication that according to my GYN, happens to 80% of SRS patients.

Apparently there was granulation in the graft area in the back of the vagina. Since what was the head of the penis got tossed out, except for part used for the glans clitoris, some internal tissue is grafted to close the vaginal canal. (which used to be the shaft) So when they're stitched together, it eventually heals, but sometimes it overheals, causing excessive tissue (granulation) to form. My GYN has to kill off the excessive tissue with sodium nitrite. (I think that was the chemical, not 100% certain)

So apparently this is why I had trouble reaching full depth when dilating. Go figure.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The bomb was a dud?

In an anti-climactic event, we met at the nearby mall, while he was finishing up his food court meal, told him I'm T (and incidentally, that I DIDN'T injure myself skating) and...he was surprised first of all, but said specifically "we're still boyfriend and girlfriend" and within 30 minutes we got it out of our system. Life continued on as normal for the rest of yesterday and today.

WTF? I seem to have a gift for dumb luck in my life, and this takes the cake.

Not complaining, though!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dropping the bomb

Going off on a tangent, but it's been almost two months since the big day. I've had a sorta-boyfriend for over a month now, and since he's started getting on the kissy side, I have no choice but to a. drop the bomb now, or b. keep it secret longer and drive myself mad with stress.

Never told someone before. Not quite sure how it's going to go...

Monday, May 18, 2009

"My new dilation routine" or "Having a life, finally"

Since I'm well over a week into "2xDay" territory with dilation and I'm managing the 5 alright, I've dropped down to two sessions per day. One in the morning and one in the evening. No, they're not 12 hours apart and that doesn't seem to matter.

The 5 is improving much slower than the other sizes did. I doubt I could fit a 6 if it even existed. This morning's was the first time I was able to get it in within 2 minutes of the previous size. There's a little amount of bleeding caused by the introduction of the 5, but not nearly as much as when I introduced the 4.

My routine goes 3-4-5 right now. In a few days I'm going to attempt 3-5 so I can save on time and lube. I'm going to keep the 3 around for some time because I can reach maximum depth much easier with the 3 than I can the 4. I think around the 4th dot I hit something solid, bone maybe? Anyway I can jimmy the 3 around it and reach the 5th dot, but the 4...nope.
I only reach maximum depth once per day. The main object is still to keep the PC muscle from closing up.

One other thing worth mentioning: Last night I had a T-related nightmare and discharged a noteworthy amount of goop. Ew. I'll soon stop wearing pads during the day but having them at night is probably a good thing. I seem to discharge more at night.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm a proud new inductee of the #5 club

First thing I need to say...I'm glad there is no #6.

The 5 sutures of death came out a couple days ago so I went and risked it just now. In fact I'm working it as I write this blog. #5 is a unique experience unto itself.
First of all, it pulls skin like crazy.
Second, getting it in the first time was harsh. I couldn't 3-5, I had to 3-4-5. Period.
Third, once I got it past the PC muscle I was met with heavy resistence the entire way. The whole trip is like trying to get that last dot on a smaller size.
Fourth, I seem to have annoyed my urethra by doing this. D'oh.
Fifth, getting it out was almost as hard as getting it in.

Geesh. I can't wait until it's all over and I can plop the 5 in there as I initially did the 1.

Just a note on pre vs post sensation

I'm a natural born skeptic, I have a hard time believing anything I can't experience myself, including things that are to the political benefit of the T community. That said, here's something wicked cool that I keep forgetting to write down.

- Before surgery, I was able to pretty accurately mentally simulate many of the physical feelings of post-opness or normalcy, if I may. The sensations and the surface area of those sensations did not match the actual physical form of my body at the time.
- After surgery, on a larf I tried to focus and mentally simulate the pre-op sensations that I always identified as "wrong", and I couldn't. Even though I experienced them for 20something years, I couldn't map it out in my head.

How about that? Personally I see that as another layer of much needed validation. My brain was never wired for said annoying sensation and once the body bits were remapped (some gone altogether), not even a piece of it could be simulated mentally. I can still visualize it because it's stuck in my memories, but I can't feel it.

On another note, my dreams no longer have anything pertaining to post-opness/normalcy, but that's no surprise whatsoever.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gradual changes

This entry is merely to point out some gradual changes I've been having:

- In the last week or so, the labia has gotten considerably tighter. Nowhere near end result but it looks and feels closer to that.
- In the last several days I haven't been able to push the dilator straight in, it does a little stop-start-stop-start when I push it in. I wonder why? Douching all the goop out yesterday hasn't changed this.
- The urethral opening, except when the dilator is in, is covered up. (but there's no bladder problems because of this)

Funny how this works really, it's all slowly starting to come together. Looking at most vaginas it's often hard to tell what's what and now mine's getting to be that way. (though it still looks way off)

Monday, May 11, 2009

What is transexuality?

So as an indirect result of a party I went to, my internal clock is haywire and I'm up at 1am. Clown'll eat me etc. etc.

I almost got into rant mode on a trans mailing list today. It was a rant against psychology. (no I am NOT a scientologist) It went on about how I feel that psychology, along with psychoactives, are forcing us to bury or drug away parts of us that have been tolerated by society since the dawn of civilization. Said parts of us having both negative and positive qualities, and how I felt we should go back to learning how to channel/control it properly as they did in the late 1800s and earlier.
(now to be fair, psychology has become important because our society has become a welfare state. if we don't keep the misdiagnosed who need to just learn self-discipline from dropping out of the workforce, our society will crumble under their pressure)

After writing that, my mind wandered further. I'm not going to try and claim mental disorders exist -- they do, but not in the scale that we diagnose them today. That said, I'm starting to seriously question if transexuality is a mental disorder.
Consider this: I had the intense urges caused by the wiring of my brain and my body not being the same. At first, it appears to be a mental disorder, but I contend that it is actually a physical disorder that manifests itself mental disorders to the outside observer, because they can't comprehend the physical realities of it. Depression is a good example because we all pretty much get it from this wiring/actual situation mismatch. But depression is not limited to this particular situation. Other disorders can result from situations surrounding the physical disorder and the means necessary to fix it along with society's tendancies as it is today. Paranoia and agoraphobia are two common examples.
I'm not really sure there's such a thing as GID either under these circumstances, though GID would be a great blanket term for the individual's inability to cope with the physical disorder, and the mental disruptions that come with it.

For a mental disorder to be truly a mental disorder, it needs to persist in an undrugged individual for the rest of their lives, though it can be buried, perhaps even permanently, through the individual's self control. Trying to bury transexuality has yielded poor results, but getting things put in their proper place fixes everything. So why is this not classified as a physical disorder?

If a person is blind, or born with a leg missing, or some other physical disorder, they often show signs of awareness that something is wrong. But there's no Sight Identity Order or Bipedal Identity Disorder or whatever. The individual might end up depressed, but since everyone around them is sight capable or bipedal, they're easily classified as physically disabled.
Furthermore, a blind person gaining sight through technology or an individual born without a leg getting a state-of-the-art prosthetic that is wired to their brain (and being able to use it) who once suffered depression may very well lose said depression, unless the cure was somehow botched. (as is the case with transfolk who get shoddy surgery)

As for why transexuality is so debilitating past a current point, it's because as much as we love to deny it as a society, reproduction is perhaps our most powerful driving force, while our senses (and our limbs) are just a means to that end. Thus we're constantly reminded throughout the day, every day, how wrong things are. Stumpy on the other hand is just sad that he can't run. (though that doesn't necessarily mean he's not searching for a cure either, it's just not as advanced/mainstream as SRS has become yet)

So there's my two cents, but I have a feeling it'll inflate to about $200 when my mind finishes pondering this one.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gaining weight? D'oh...


There's a scale in the ladies' restroom at my workplace. Gee thanks.
Anyway, I weighed myself a couple weeks ago. Then weighed myself again. Gained 4lbs in two weeks.
Holy crap.
Confirmed it in inches when I grabbed the trusty old tape measure. Gained an inch since I last used it.

I'm by no means sedentary. I've been posting about how I've done x, y, and z physical activities early on in my post-opness, but sheesh. My diet's been mostly the same as before, calorie-wise, but since my overall activity level is still less than two months ago, I can see why I've been packing on the pounds.

This sucks. I was going to go on a diet anyway in hopes to look nice by July, but now I've bumped it ahead in my priorities list. This can really creep up on you if you're not paying attention.

My labia's trying to kill me

On the left side, right by the opening, there's not one...not two, not even three...not even four...but FIVE sutures, all close to each other, in a ripe position on the labia majora to be crushed by the dilator. I kid you not. I have no idea why five sutures have collected in that spot...if it even is five and not three with two overlaps and one with the other side buried, but I have to take care not to let it be crushed, or end up in extreme pain.

Luckily I can get the sutures out of the way (if I did nothing they'd be crushed) but I'm hoping such a nightmare scenario doesn't happen in a spot I CAN'T adjust...

Next day edit:
Not surprisingly, moving that area out of the way several times has caused some sort of tear near my perineum. Now I bleed below the suture cluster, around where the labia and perineum meet, when I dilate. Fun.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Number FoOWur

I just got the #4 in. With my suture issues and the pain when it gets shoved into the skin, it really seriously sucked. I think I'm making decent time, at least. #4 is pretty good for not even week 5. Took me a LONG time to get it in, but it's in. I'll be working that, and then only have the #5 left. I look forward to dilation becoming a time consuming chore and not a time consuming chore that hurts like hell.

Just a next day edit note, the trend hasn't stopped with #4 in that if you get it in once and leave it long enough, it gets easier the next time and in future iterations as well. I've also started rotating the dilator (both 3 and 4) from time to time to help loosen the skin.
Oh, and moving up a size has once again upset my bladder pathways. It seems like that can't be avoided.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dilation and constipation

I know, attractive topic huh? Well I'm still struggling to get the #3 in without the aid of the #2, two days later. I imagine that this'll be a lot worse when I work up to the #4, and if #5 (it arrived today) becomes feasable, I will probably have to 3-4-5. Even the last time I did the #2 it was never as easy as using the #1 on my first dilation day.
What the struggle is: Getting it past the Pc muscle. The rest isn't so bad, though that's tougher now for the #3 than it was originally for the #2 when I dropped the 2T.

There's another thing that seems to correlate with my #3 problems, it's the fact I've been constipated for a couple days. It went away though, after I got a headache today and took the appropriate meds (painkiller) it must've relaxed whatever muscle (also the Pc muscle, I wonder?) is responsible for bowel pushing. I haven't dilated since taking said meds but I'm curious as to how easy the #3 will be now that muscles are forced to relax.

I'll edit in a few hours with the answer.

[edit: several days later]
So I'm not really one for punctuality.
Anyway, it does indeed seem that it got easier when under the affects of the over-the-counter headache medicine I took. Just something to consider.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

La la la la labia baby, you got something for me

That one will surely get me excommunicated from the community.

I scheduled my labiaplasty for the Christmas break. Optimal timing because I get much of it off from work anyway. I'm glad I was able to acquire such a time, I've heard it fills up fast.

In dilation news, I've started working in the 3 without the 2. It's extremely tough. It took me 6-8 minutes to get it past the Pc muscle. I have to relax more than I'm likely capable of doing. (have I mentioned that I'm REALLY HIGH STRUNG? hehe) It took so long I had to relube because the lube was drying on the dilator. So much for saving lube this way.

I'm going to try to work the 4 in on either Saturday or (more likely) Sunday. Have plans on Saturday plus the extra day can't hurt. In fact it'll hurt just that much less. Hehe...

Oh, and I'm getting a #5 from Dr. Meltzer's office. Setting me back $95 due to S/H, but at least I'll have the set completed. I say this as I contemplate how even the #4 is going to fit into that itty bitty little hole that closes up when it's not used.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sitting down has been thwarted, by a teeny tiny little bump?

Ugh, I don't know what's happened here, but sitting has gotten to be a real pain. Sutures have been coming out of me like mad during the last few days. A couple were nice enough to exit fully, but most of them are sticking out of various parts of the labia majora, it's getting really annoying. Probably related to the sutures is a bump that's formed on the lower part of the right side of my labia majora, near the perineum, which really hates any sort of pressure whatsoever. This is making sitting down, even on my bed, difficult. At work, I need a footrest so I can position my legs in a way that doesn't FUCKING HURT after 30 minutes. At home, I pretty much have to sit in the same way, legs bent at about a 110-120 degree angle.

I saw the OBGYN again. She called me "boring", but in a good way. :P Everything seems to be going really well, and my last two weeks of considerable activity have not affected that. She gave me some instructions for maintenance, including:
  • edit in later when I actually buy the supplies and do

So this officially ends the interesting parts of my blog, now that I'm boring to my therapist(self-declared, she didn't say that :P ), my OBGYN, my electrolygist, and my blog since I'm making infrequent entries now. But I guess it's for the better.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I got the 3 in and I now know the meaning of pain


My vajayjay is not liking this.

I don't normally blog while dilating (one hand typing) but holy crap, this was way tougher than the two. I still struggle with getting #2 past the Pc muscle but I'm impatient.
(the rest of this entry written after the session)
Ok, maybe not so much impatient, but weekends are the best time to get stuff like this done. I don't want to try to move up in size during my mid-work-day sessions where it's been 10 hours since my last dilation. This one was a 5-6 hour difference. That's the difference between "hurts" and "fucking hurts".

Since I have a life now I will probably have an 8 hour delay between now and my next session, but hopefully the presence of #3 in there once will make it slightly easier next time.
Hopefully it'll be easier for #2 too, since I plan on using that as an aid for at least a few days.

So yeah, it was much rougher than going from 1 to 2T. I thought my Pc muscle would give better because of the #2 being in for about 15 minutes but I had to really relax before I could get it in. Almost gave up in fact. Took several minutes before I passed that point, the rest wasn't so bad.

I also noticed it seems to be common to be unable to achieve full depth in a new size (except 2T becaust it's tapered) for several days. I don't really want to eliminate the 2 altogether until I can get the 3 to the last dot. I eliminated the 2T when the 2 was getting pretty close but I have a feeling the 3's going to take a little longer.
(of course, the lack of a 3T is probably why it's so damn hard)

later edit...
Third session with the 3 was strangely more difficult than the 2nd, which wasn't so bad. I think the culprit may be sutures. I'm having sutures coming out left and right, all over the place. One was really close to the vaginal opening so I cut that one. I hope doing so isn't a problem, heh. I think my suture expelling has increased greatly with the introduction of the 3. Maybe one of them caused said additional pain...
Or maybe it's too much of a "good thing". Maybe I need to do three-a-day on weekends so my poor pc muscle gets a rest.

next day edit...
Fourth session was bizarre. I struggled a little with the #2(stress maybe) but the #3 was much easier than yesterday's last session. I'm definitely going to just do three-a-day today. I think giving everything time to heal is crucial, 4-a-day might be overkill when trying to work a new size.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Always sucks, and three week update

First of all, I tried Always pantiliners and I must say, at least for us, they suck. They stick to the panties but they sometimes stick to your skin, and because of this they could get stuck in nasty places when sitting for extended periods of time. In my case, the pad was pushing into my perineum after a couple hours of sitting with them and it hurt like hell. I was sore for long enough to make my next dilation kinda suck. The Always sticky pads can't be adjusted on the fly.

On to the three week update...
  • I'm finally able to resume most of my pre-op physical activity. Wish I could be more specific but one of my hobbies is very uncommon thus self-identifying.

  • Wednesday (4/22) morning I managed to skip the 2T in my dilations entirely, with a bit of struggling. Will edit this post when I try again after 8 hours working.

  • My breasts are still a bit swollen/firm and they still seem a little far apart. The swollen/firm doesn't surprise me much because I started with so little. My implants merely bumped me up to "normal".

  • I don't have to douche anymore.

  • I've discontinued the outer bacitracin as per instructions.

Life is slowly getting more and more boring as far as t-stuff is concerned. I expect to make far fewer entries from here on out.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Back to work

Just about three weeks later, I'm back to work. It actually feels good. Aside from the fact I like my job, being disconnected from the real world for too long is just weird. Getting back to various routines in my life feels a bit surreal. Work was pretty much okay -- I have a desk job and sitting in my chair felt fine for about 5 hours, then I went out and bought something soft for the other 3.
I also find that I should probably just ditch the Oxycodone. It's a painkiller and I'm not really in enough pain to justify it, and taking it in the morning just makes me a zombie around 12-1pm. (after which I'm fine)

As far as dilations go, I think I've finally outgrown the #1. I've changed to three-a-day extended sessions of 30-45 minutes. I apply Bacitracin outside for morning and midday, and inside for evening. The worst is the midday one. I live close to work but still, roughly 8 hours working, 30 minutes usually between end of session and getting out the door, and 15 minutes per way travel, so 9 hour difference. In spite of that, I don't really need the #1 anymore. I slowly work the 2T in, takes 5-7 minutes, leave for a few minutes, then do the 2 for the remainder of the session. The hard part with the 2 is getting it to full depth. I wasn't able to until today's midday session. Maybe this weekend I'll graduate to the #3. Everyone's been telling me to move up ASAP, that my skin is more pliable this early on, so I'm going to take their advice. I'll post about how well that goes.
Oh, and one more dilation note: Getting to max depth with the #2 is still quite a challenge, but it'll be worth it in the end. I guess this is why I hear about so many people losing depth in their dilations. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to get #2 from the 4th dot to the 5th and final dot.

Finally, I should mention that by no means have I been forced to sacrifice my life over this. Just yesterday I went to an amusement locale with a friend and rode a couple roller coasters and other mid-tier rides. As long as the ride doesn't pressure my midsection, I'm fine. The bouncy roller coaster was a bit annoying though. I had an 11 hour dilation that day, but no sweat doing the 1-2T-2 thing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No pain, no gain. Also, the...uh...Q-bomb?

So FINALLY now that I'm back here in [censored], I'm moving up the dilations. Yesterday and this morning I did the 1-2T-2 thing (so much lube...) then for my second session today I did 2T-2, skipping 1. It's a bit rough, mildly painful, but I'm on my way. I think I'm physically capable of #5, Dr. Meltzer didn't indicate I had a two finger pelvis, so if I can get there in a month to two months, why not?

But moving up in size feels kind of like that first session where I had an 11 hour gap. My body wanted to reject the dilator but I just had to bear it until it didn't feel so bad anymore.

Oh, and another note...the kind of note I feel like if I mention, people will ship me back to Dr. Meltzer and ask him to change me back, but I have to mention it in a so-called "uncensored" blog, especially in light of a recent South Park episode. Queefing. Yep, apparently we do it. They weren't discharges, they were pockets of air escaping the new equipment with that distinctive sound. I just found it strangely amusing for some reason. It happened a couple times -- first after douching this morning, then again before my second dilation. I'm guessing the physiological reason is I pushed in some air caught in the "syringe" when douching. It's easy to do because I only make 60ml of the soap solution but the "syringe" can really hold about 70ml.
I'm mildly tempted to learn to control it, would make an interesting party trick. Haha.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

SRS? What SRS?

I don't know what the X-factor here is. Maybe it's my age, but my healing has gone remarkably well. I went on a REAL vacation for three days and on none of those days (except a little day one) did I really feel like a recent receiver of two simultaneous major surgeries. I was walking around a lot, doing a certain mild-to-moderate physical activity a lot, getting way too little sleep, eating fast food almost exclusively and here I am today -- no complications or anything. I got what I wanted out of that vacation (validation/feeling of belonging/friends with the same rare interest I have) and having a life. I'm glad I did it.

Dilation really really sucked though. I had to seize every possibility I could to dilate, plus making some of my own. I'd duck out for periods with "something I need to do", I'd take long showers where 15 minutes were just dilation with the shower running on cold, I'd wake up earlier than the girl I was sharing a hotel room with, even added a fake injury to the mix to give me something to work off of. I'm so sick of lying. Seriously. But I didn't want to out myself because of dilation needs.
The worst part was getting home. I dilated at 10am before check-out at the hotel. My flight got delayed severely and didn't leave until near 8pm. Got to the airport near 10pm, rushed a cab to the train station for the last train heading home. Arrived at my stop around 11:30, got home 11:40, and then had a very grueling dilation session. (14 hours between sessions!) It took me nearly 20 minutes to get to my full depth, then I went another 15 minutes just for good measure.
Fortunately my morning dilation went well. Getting to full depth was much easier again.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Good words from the OBGYN

I saw an OBGYN Dr. Muller today. She's pretty well known in the local community. She has broad ranging experience with transwomen, apparently even having experience with the famous 70's tennis player Anne Iforgorherlastname. That said, I got more or less a clean bill of health from her. Aside from a couple sutures she has minor concern over, everything looks really good. She even went as far to say that I'm "one of the best" that she's seen. Yay!
For a worrywort stress machine like me it's a welcome sentiment.

It was a pretty quick deal, going to the GYN. Obviously going on day 13 is early and not much she could do. She cleaned off some of the dried blood trapped in the creases, all the kind of things that wouldn't get cleaned off in the shower. She told me to apply a little Bacitracin to the urethra area after I shower, after doing some sort of test or cleaning in that area. Other than that, not much to speak of. Inspected the breast area and had good words for that work as well.

I'm glad I went with Meltzer. Seems like I'm on the good end of "get what you pay for" for once. :D

My masochism (Part V) plus good news

Tomorrow I fly off to a vacation destination. For privacy reasons I'm minimizing the details, but the worrysome part is I'll be sharing a hotel room with someone who doesn't know my backstory, and probably wouldn't be too thrilled about it. I have to dilate 4x a day in that situation, but I'm going to try and do a 3x30 minute schedule to minimize the issue. Still, I'm going to be hogging the bathroom for a long time.
Plus, I've never tried dilating on the john. It'll be a grand experiment for me tomorrow. :P

Onto the good news! As of this morning and confirmed again but 10 minutes ago, I'm finally just about peeing normally! Woohoo! Only took 6 agonizing days. It's not perfect but the flow is finally reminiscent of my pre-op flow and I don't really have to push anymore. That's a huge load off my chest.

And finally, speaking of my chest, I'm about to go to a Nordstrom's that's within walking distance and hopefully find something that will solve my nipple dilemma...unless it's online only...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Challenges of everyday life

Well, I tried preparing for this before I left and it didn't go so well. Aside from completely misestimating the amount of space I'd need (and losing even more of it because a roommate moved a bunch of his clothes into my room...) I didn't have all the supplies I'd need.
Though for obvious reasons I cleared out my food before going on vacation, so I had to replenish that as well.

Protein bars(which I'd have 1xday preop anyway), yogurt, OJ, and various fruits were among my latest purchases. Related to dilation and the endless blood spotting -- a 12 pack of Brawny and 3 packs of thin pads. I spent $100 in groceries today. I usually don't buy so much in one sitting but I won't feel like shopping as frequently as I used to so I stocked up.

Getting around post-op is a real chore. My old cheap car is biting me in the end because it has poor shocks and the seat is not soft. PAIN as I drive to the bank a couple blocks away. I had to use an old winter coat in my trunk as a cushion for until I get something a little less unsightly. Getting in and out of my car comfortably looks like a contortionist's act. I'm now designating myself as a WTFcripple, because while some muscles and joints are perfectly healthy and capable, other muscles and joints are irritated, inflamed, and weak. That contrast is going to make me look very weird, because I know precisely where I need to take it easy and where I don't.
I also need to figure out a way to wear my old clothes with the no-bra rule. I'm thinking of chopping up my old bras and finding a way to wear the cups but not the binding. (which is the problem)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Home sweet home. Sort of.

Been back home for about 5 hours now. Dilated twice, just finished a 45 minute session. Still bleed a lot after dilation, though this time I actually bothered to look the area after pulling out the dilator. It's pretty interesting, the hole remains open for awhile because that skin is so slow to retract.

Now onto the "sort of". I still have the "number one" problems, though it's not that I have to push so much these days, it's just that the stream is so weak. It's a bit annoying, and I'm losing faith that it'll ever be normal.
Also, the little bladder hole seems to be a regular source of blood...
Elsewise, I'm discovering my room to be a little small given my current state. I'm finding it to be too easy to bump into things, and I'm taking everything way slower than usual. I thought after my orch 4 years ago it would not be an issue ever again, but basically I'm just waiting to bump my midsection into something hard. It's inevitable, it will be painful, but odds are it will happen.
Sigh. :/

I miss everything about the hotel room except paying for it.

So at day 11, I did a test run for that physical activity I mentioned in a couple other blogs. It went shockingly well, I'm finding myself more capable than I thought and I've worked on methods to make it even less physically demanding than I knew was possible. Only thing is, I realize now that it's best to be physically inactive for about 30 minutes after dilation, that includes walking. It just causes me to bleed more otherwise.

Dilation and Douching, a how-to

I've made a new "information" category for things like this, to separate this from the more stream-of-consciousness nature of the rest of the blog.
Note that this information is simply intended to supplement the information provided by Dr. Meltzer. Your mileage may vary with some of these tips.

Now that I've been doing it for a few days, I've more or less come up with a system to get it done with minimal mess, and minimal walking around bottomless. :P My next project is to figure out a way to dilate in the bathroom (I will have to in a few days) but here's my bedroom method.
PREP: Be sure to empty your bladder and bowels before dilating, otherwise dilating may trigger either and you'll have to interrupt the session with a potty break 3-5 minutes into your session. I actually time my liquid intake to ensure I'll be able to go around dilation time.
1. I'm using paper towels because chux pads are hard to find. I initially set up a layer of 2-long and 4-deep (8 total) full-sized paper towels. On top of that, in the center, I add another layer of 7 deep (7 total) full-sized paper towels. For me, this is enough to keep the blood from reaching the sheets. You may need less or more based on how much you bleed and the absorbency of the paper towels. (I use store-brand) Here's what it looks like for me right before I dilate:
Click for full size (hosted by TinyPic)
2. On the side of that, I set down one more paper towel and put all my dilating equipment on it in advance -- the mirror, lube, bacitracin for the 3/4 daily sessions I need it, and the dilator(s) necessary for said session. I also include a sanity napkin (pad) for convenience.
2.5. Optional step, but this is when you'll want to prepare your entertainment. Either put a book by your side or try something like Hulu. Sites like Hulu are why having a laptop is awesome. :D
3. I strip, aligning my derriere with the edge of the 7x1 layer of paper towels, then start dilating.
4. When I'm finished dilating, I make sure the dilator is on the 7x1 layer of paper towels. In total I get 11 layers of paper towels protecting my bed, but the discharge from the vagina is what sinks the deepest and is why I need all those layers. I wait for a few minutes because that's how long it takes for the majority of discharge to happen.
5. I take the pad out of its wrapping, then use that one paper towel on the side. I lift my midsection up and hold that paper towel under myself as I maneuver out of bed, then I put my clothes on with the pad. Doing this prevents any blood from dripping (and it will) in the interrim.
6. Once dressed, I clean the dilator and then dispose of the dirty paper towels. My bed and the surroundings show no signs of my dilating session.

This one's way easy. What I do is...
1. At the end of my shower, I switch from shower to faucet, make sure it's providing warm water, and fill up the bottle Dr. Meltzer provided to 60cc's, which is the same size as the syringe-type thing provided. (there is no "douche bag")
2. I add the drops of soap Dr. Meltzer provided to the bottle, close, then shake up the bottle.
3. I fill the syringe-type thing to 60cc's using the bathtub faucet. You must do this with the extender in place, though it won't go to the 60cc line because the extender holds about 8-10cc.
4. I easily find the vaginal opening (seriously, learn to find it without the mirror), insert all the way up to the blocking muscle and then slowly push down on the "syringe".
5. I rinse the bottle out, then fill up the bottle as much as I want. (it doesn't matter since I'm not mixing anything)
6. Repeating 2x, I fill the "syringe" to 60cc's with just water, insert, and slowly push down on the "syringe". That's it, it's that easy. Only takes a couple minutes and I'm not freezing my butt off because the warm water keeps the area around me warm.

Locked in a headache cycle?

As a victim of frequent headaches, I thought this would be worth mentioning. Since surgery, I've been getting headaches roughly every 2 days. Starting with Day 3, I've had one on days 5, 7, 9, and now 11. (today) [edit 4/13, day 13 too] Each time I've taken something for it.

[edit: after day 15, I went weeks with no headaches at all. go figure]

Friday, April 10, 2009

Morning dilation sucks

After my burnout last night, and considering I woke up at 5am the day before, I got a whopping 10 hours of sleep last night, which meant my dilations were 11 hours apart. I didn't have any particular difficulty getting the dilator in, but I felt it this time, and had to just stop for 30 to 60 seconds just to get past the weird, difficult to describe pain. I almost felt like the canal was just itching to push the dilator out this time around...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Guinea pig

I freaked out again. Being a perfectionist in this situation is not good. I'm on day 9, I'm walking around the mall and I feel that gravity feeling, where there's kind of a pull in the midsection. Then I go to the bathroom later and could swear my labia's lower than it was before, and it was already droopy and weird. (but also normal if you compare to day 8/9 post-op pics)
(later edit: Though on the other hand, it seems to close when I stand straight now, which is what a labia should do ultimately, but is it supposed to on day 9? it's a bit of a complication because there's barely any opening for distal purposes either...so much extra skin right now it's closed when I'm sitting straight too...)
(even later edit: Yes, I fully admit to overreacting now. I think the illusion was brought on by the position of the toilet seat and the position I sit in public stalls is different. Sigh. :P )

Before I continue, I'm making the following declarations:
I am neurotic.
I am a perfectionist.
I have a culturally warped view on how the ultimate (post LP) result should look.
I do not operate on faith.
I am a drama queen to some degree.

This uncertain period is utter torture for me. Being aware that my actions now could have long term ramifications and not having a roadmap is utter torture for me. I need this to go right. I don't want to be a freak.

So since the kind of resource I need doesn't exist, I've decided to be the local guinea pig. I've already taken some progress pics but I've decided to take one picture per day to catalogue my progress in greater detail than what's out there already.
No, I'm not going to post them publicly. Nor will I ever release them in a format that I can't control the distribution of, but I'll have it on hand for others in real life to be able to see, and get a sense of progression. (even though it's different for everyone) Plus maybe I'll learn something from having this.
Neurotic perfectionist faithless drama queens in the bay area rejoice! :P

Bladder and pain meds

Just a side note: I learned from my next door neighbor that there may be a link between pain meds(Percocet and Dilaudid) and bladder problems. So this might make #5 "things no one ever tells you about SRS". I'll compile a list and put it on a static page someday. :D

Left Greenbaum, and "number one" improvement at last

I'm going to admit it -- I freaked out last night. With the onset of my 4th headache in 7 days (!) and still having potty problems, I just completely lost it when I realized I forgot to bring my Arnica (swelling reducer) and cried more liquid than I could expel distally in one setting. The weight of everything just collapsed on me.
Though one cool thing before I rant: I left Greenbaum a day early and got around $480 back. Woohoo!

This recovery phase has really been eating at me. The notion of being handicapped for so long is hard for me to bear. Last night, I went shopping with my SRS buddy who had her labiaplasty done two days prior. It was me who was getting tired and wanted to go home first. I'm not used to that, I'm used to being active and healthy and going on 5-6 hour shopping sprees in San Francisco and not regretting it in the morning. My good health is as much a part of me as being trans. I've vigilantly lived an active lifestyle for years. I've been weak before -- once so much that I had serious trouble walking back during my agoraphobia days. I added daily exercise so that I'd never be like that ever again.
Maybe I'm being a drama queen? But being weak is really depressing. I'm not as bad now as I was in said agoraphobia days but back then I never left the house so...
One funny thing about being essentially handicapped is I feel less guilty using the handicapped stall in bathrooms. The ones in Scottsdale Mall's food court area are great. Not only lots of room/privacy, but they have paper towels/sink in the stall, and those paper towels were great for blocking my out of control spray. :/

About 30 minutes ago I finally got major improvement with my number one problem. (pun intended) I still had to push a little hard but for the most part it came out straight, and the pushing required wasn't that bad. Please, please let that improvement stick around and, dare I say, improve some more. :/

Now another thing that's kinda depressing me is the vagina, though I've upgraded that from Stumpy McCupid a few days ago to Swelly McWTF. Seriously, it's in a WTF shit stage right now. I'm not TOO concerned because Dr. Meltzer says it's fine and I trust his judgment more than anyone's, and it looks like other day 8-9 post-op pictures I've seen, but it doesn't look like a normal vagina yet. Recovery sucks. When it's all over it'll be totally worth it, but right now...

All that aside, the one other problem I have to face now is finding some clothes that are work-friendly yet not too different from what I wore pre-operatively. As a software engineer in a liberal silicon valley company, my options are plenty but too much of a change would draw too much attention to myself. This is tough because I wore jeans a lot, and I'm told to expect swelling for some time. I'm particularly concerned about nipples outlines in my clothes because I can't wear a bra. I wonder if there's any alternative (i.e. pasties with weak adhesive) that'd work...

hours later update: Ok. Bladder problems are back. Could it be because of the asprin/acetaminaphen I took this morning for the headache? I actually made progress briefly then lost it after the headache stuff kicked in.
Damnit. I'm sick of this.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You have to fight! For your right! To pottttty!

I still stand by dilation schmilation and that bladder stuff is worse. Seriously, it is...and Dr. Meltzer today confirmed it.

On the bright side he tells me I've passed the 24 hour stretch and more or less will be ok in the long run.
On the brighter side, I know exactly what the problem is. There's basically blood/scabbing blocking the flow from being any semblance of normal.

What sucked was I had to push HARD at first, and still have to push...not as hard, but I'm still pushing harder than I ever needed to for over two-dozen potty-capable years as a pre-op, so that should give you all an idea of how much it sucks. And I've had bladder issues pre-op before.

One other thing I learned: Literally, you have to fight to be able to pass liquids or get the catheter back on. The nurses told me not to push -- WRONG. Meltzer tells me a good percentage of his clients should and need to push at first, and it gets easier over time.
Just some words of wisdom, I'm glad I'm such a defiant individual sometimes...

On a side note, I started douching today. I'm quickly learning to find the opening of the vagina blind so I can get douching done as quickly as possible. It's not too hard really, I already know where to locate it with dilation so I know how it feels.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

T-plus 7d 8d. More bladder hell

So it seems that for some reason, no matter how I push, I can't get all the contents of my bladder out. A decent portion, yeah, but I find myself going once every 1-2 hours.

Also, this bladder crap is severely interfering with dilation. My 2nd session today had to be restarted because the dilator pushes too much on the bladder. I have to make sure to clear my bladder to a reasonable extent to pull off a 15 minute session, but I still battle the still-somewhat-full bladder when I dilate.

Damn it, damn it, damn it. Lesson #4 for you preops: Bladder training can be total hell. (edit update: my next door neighbor had no problems, lucky :P )

I don't want the catheter back in, and I'll fight tooth and nail for that to not happen. I don't know where the blockage is but there has to be a better way to clear it out.

T-plus 7d 6h. Dilation schmilation, bladder stuff SUCKS.

I'm in hell.

The bladder stuff has turned out to be the worst of everything.
This morning around 10pm I spent an angonizing painful fruitless hour trying to get anything to pass. Yeah, the normal problem isn't liquid passing too easily, it's getting liquid to pass at all.
It wasn't until I called the nurse hoping for advice when she came and dropped the C-bomb, and I'm not referring to the 4 letter one. My heart sunk and I asked for some anti-anxiety meds. I was pretty freaked out by then. After she left, I don't know what happened but some semi-involuntary convulsing was happening in the area under my stomach and a little liquid finally did pass. I wasn't able to reproduce this so I resorted to my base instincts: Push. I pushed hard and after 20 minutes I emptied my bladder.

Of course, then I learn this isn't good enough and I have to show improvement or Mr. Catheter comes back. So a little over an hour later I went again. Still had to push but not so badly. I'm not out of the woods yet.

I'm really nervous about this. :( I don't know if the blockage is a clot, muscular, or just anxiety-related...

T-plus 6d 19h. Zzzzzz....

Well, I'm stuck awake now. Haha. I made it through all 4 dilations for the first day but now I'm tired.

I opted to do extended sessions for my second, third, and fourth dilations...about 25-35 minutes each. Any longer and what my "big sis" refers to as the "PC muscle" (no idea what its technical term is) starts to get sore. That's the lovable muscle that will close up the vagina if you don't dilate. Incidentally, it's also the one you have to relax and move to get the dilator all the way through.
I'm also finding it takes two to three hold-and-pushes to get the dilator past the "PC muscle".

The only real nuisance with dilation right now is it does make me a little sore. I keep thinking it'll be worse than it really is when I'm about to do it because there's a little soreness that lingers until the next session. It probably doesn't help that I'm a little sick, though. This cold type thingie just really wants to rear its ugly head. I need to spam Vitamin C again...

Monday, April 6, 2009

T-plus 6d 9h. "Grand Opening"

It's the sixth day, which means the packing comes out. So people have told me I won't be able to describe the sensation of when the packing comes out and they're right. On one hand it feels like anything being retracted from that area, including the dilator. (oh yeah, that started today too) But there's something else in the sensation I couldn't quite my finger on at the time, and it's kinda fading from memory somewhat because of that. It's a little treat I suppose, after all I've been through.

Getting the packing taken out is great. I no longer have to deal with those piercing sutures. Ouch. Ouch I say. There's still a level of chronic pain in me and it's the same 3-4 I experienced this morning, but it's easier to sit and walk around and I can 100% identify the sutures as the reason. After first dilation I did a quick feel of the sutures (which were lying on the chux pad) with my fingers. They're not too prickly to the fingers but they're firm enough to irritate an area that underwent 4 hours of surgery.

Dilation is interesting. It's not so annoying now but I expect it to be when I start trying to have a life. It's not really as bad as everyone makes it out to be, but I have little pain/trouble inserting #1. I take a deep breath and hold to get a muscle, one that blocks the dilator around 2", out of the way, allowing me to insert the dilator all the way.
Another one of those thing no one will ever tell you: Dilation plays mind games on your bowels. When you insert the dilator it puts a tiny (almost negligible) amount of pressure on the bladder but a lot on the colon. After my first dilation I had the feeling of a bowel movement when I probably didn't need it. It was very minor. Then after the second dilation I had a more considerable one but I'm feeling a bit funny right now. (either minor cold/flu symptoms or a side-effect of the Dilaudid) I'm worried that I may be taking too many painkillers, I may be developing some kind of dependancy.

So how does the vagina look on day 6? I'd recommend looking for post-op pictures (mine is in line with the ones I've seen) but I dub mine the zombie vagina. :P It's so obviously wounded in so many places that it'd look fitting on a zombie chick. In that way it's a little hard to look at but you have to when dilating. At least it looks way more normal than the psychotic mental patient vagina of day 1, but I guess it'll be a long time before it looks indistinguishable from that of a natal female.

A little tired now, but I have two dilations to go before I can sleep uninterrupted. Sigh...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

T-plus 5d 15h. Self-validation.

So the downside to painkillers at night is the state it puts me in makes it a little hard for me to sleep. I think quite a bit. I finally got a dose of self-validation as I've been paying more attention to my sensations. At times I'd mis-identify my midsection sensations because they familiar. At times I'd worry that because it uses the same nerve endings as the old equipment and because it seemed familiar, that nothing really changed, and yet that didn't bother me. Well I decided to relax, pay more attention to said sensations, though the position of everything was external pre-srs which caused said confusion, the position of them now is internal. I can actually feel that vividly if I limit my senses to that area. The familiarity is because it's how I always imagined it, it was present in both T-related and non-T related dreams, and it just comes naturally to me. This pretty much provided me with the final bit of self-validation I needed. This whole time I was at peace even though my brain wasn't 100% sure what was going on because it's been righted by surgery.

It's happy day in my little corner of the blogosphere. :) (spheres have corners now)

So yeah, you people who claim there's no such thing as gender dysphoria, go spend the night alone with a turkey baster and have a nice day. :)

Painkillers give me a goddess complex :P

After talking to my friend on the phone, and observing myself over the past few days, I think both Percocet AND Dilaudid give me a goddess complex. I feel so invincible right now because I'm no longer at a 4-5 in terms of chronic pain. Haha. They also reduce my inhibitions. I was a bit nervous about calling my mother a few days ago. She was my first supporter ever though we don't talk much which makes her somewhat hard for me to read, but but after the Percocet I got the courage to do so, and was rewarded with the same loving mother I've had all along. I haven't shown her this blog because I don't want to gross her out, but I'd like to send her my love.
<3 <3 <3 <3

Maybe tomorrow I'll call some relatives I haven't spoke to in 12 years. I might find more that are on my side now!

One more thing. One of the older nurses caught me watching Family Guy when she came to take some vitals. She commented "maybe some good TV will be on tonight" in obvious disapproval. I desperately tried to hold back my laughter as she was getting my heartbeat/blood pressure and failed miserably. :)

T-plus 5d 10h, optimistic

You know, I just keep dropping hints left and right in this blog and this might end up being the big one. If anyone in my stealth life discovers this blog, I am so screwed.

I'm feeling optimistic because I'm recovering so quickly. I'm glad I kept myself in such good physical shape before surgery and I'm glad since I've gotten surgery done so late (2009, transition in 1996) that I've gotten maybe 11 years worth of advancements in Dr. Meltzer's techniques vs. someone who actually has money. :P That said, I had plans to do some mild-mid physically demanding activity in a little over a week and I'm feeling more optimistic that I can actually pull it off. One of my friends who's T and post-op thinks I'm crazy for attempting it but it's important to me, and it's not something I'd get to do very often so I'd really like to, you know?

Still, I'm not going to be near 100% in that time so I need to think of some kind of excuse to explain my obvious physical weakness relative to normal...that, and dilation privacy could be a bit of an issue. I might be stealth but I feel it'd be better to lie to these friends than refuse to answer and outwardly be an asshole...
(D'oh :/ )

I'm still a 5-6 down there but I'm still feeling good. :D

T-plus 5d 8h. Parole for good behavior?

Hehe. :P

So I saw Dr. Meltzer again today and it seems like I may be able to get out early because my healing is going well. The cool thing is there's $500 in it for me if I do, apparently that's what it costs me every day to stay at greenbaum. I have to say, that's really tempting. There's a lot I could buy with $500. I know I'm going to need a whole new wardrobe, and I could get 5 decent Macy's tier outfits for that. My clothes are just jeans and tops that look very nipply if I don't wear a bra.
As I've mentioned many times, I can't wear a bra for THREE MONTHS after surgery! Three months!
It makes sense though. Boobs are weird immediately after surgery. I'm wearing a brace intended to push them down, whereas a bra exists to support them from below. The combination would suck.

But another thing is for so long I've desperately felt like I needed a change, and with something big like this I may as well change other things I've wanted to as well. I've never had the time to do it before, nor the inclination because I felt so down as a pre-op.

I also got the re-re-re-re-reassurance from Dr. Meltzer that I'm healing just fine. Even though I've been taking pictures, and no I'm not going to be posting them here, but I look at the vagina's progress from day 2 to day 5 and it is not reassuring. THIS IS IMPORTANT for those of you going into this. You have to realize it's going to be a long time before it looks right. I prepared myself for it to look wrong and now I know it's going to look wrong for probably a couple months. All swollen and extended, but it'll unswell/retract and look right over time -- no longer looking like a pre-op scrotal tuck.

And yeah, I know a number of pre-ops who have expressed interest in buying intimates and such after surgery. Take it from me: No. Haha. Expect to buy much cotton for awhile, and expect to throw much of it out when you can't get the blood out anymore. Pads can only do so much. Recover ain't pretty, luckily I never really expected it to be.

And a direct quote from Dr. Meltzer, "if something was to go wrong, it would go wrong during surgery."

Boring day, Star Trek! and power...

In our wonderful world of instant everything, a geek like me resorts to the following on the boringest day of recovery, day 5:
Just when you thought I haven't dropped enough hints as to who I am in real life.

There's literally nothing that happens today. I'm still in pain and stuff, in terms of chronic pain it's more like a 5 or 6 today instead of a 8 or 9 like it was yesterday. So I'm just taking it easy and passing the time.
Don't expect much blogging from me.

It's funny to witness the 1960's views on women in Star Trek. The show was so progressive, it was the only haven in entertainment where blacks were treated equally, in fact all races were treated equally. It was one big melting pot, yet women somehow got left behind. The last episode I watched, a female Romulan captain ended up being a liability, costing the Romulans the secrets of their cloaking device. I'm now watching an episode where a woman ("Dr. Lester") switches bodies with Kirk. On one hand it's turnabout for Kirk's infamous sleeping around, on the other hand it talks down to women in many ways.

Gender and power has been on my mind for awhile now. I never experienced much of a shift in power because I never lived as an ADULT male. This can be a common issue with older transwomen because the dynamics of power aren't 100% uneven. They are still skewed in favor of males, but the methods males and females use to obtain power are different, and those who transition as adults often flop because they haven't picked up on the different dynamics, and come across as weird, or end up becoming too submissive to avoid being read.

I'm not sure if there's any point to this entry. No one in my life except the few who know of my past life will see me any different as a result of this operation. I'm not really the power-obsessed type, I prefer to have just enough to manage and protect my own life and lifestyle. I just find it odd that with women in general, but especially transwomen, there seems to be such a stark contrast in terms of power, and there seems to be a bit of a bias against holding power, and the majority of problems women have today result directly from ceding too much...
Fin. (lol)

Ok, un-fin. Yeah, today is one of my headache days. I didn't think I'd get two, but I'm using the medicine that works again. So I'm a little on the loopy side right now. Power is something that's often on my mind because early in my adult life I had zero power. I did suffer abuse because of it, and it guides many of my decisions today. My mind is also floating around where my life will go next. What will my relationships be like? How can I have a lasting, mutual relationship without ceding a dangerous amount of power? I already plan to work to, probably, the day I die, but I just wonder how I can let someone get close and not put myself in danger again?
I know this entry still seems silly and pointless, but so is today so :P

Saturday, April 4, 2009

T-plus 4d 15h. Taking it easy.

After the nacotics episode from earlier, I seem to have the whole painkiller scheme better managed. I'm also able to manage the less severe side-effects of the Dilaudid better already. I'm more alert and coherent while under its influence. I had my first meaningful outing as my SRS buddy finally arrived in Scottsdale today. She was a sight for sore eyes, first familiar face I'd seen in awhile. (except for those of Meltzer's staff I'd seen for my consultation in September) I'm learning to be a bit less self-conscious with my new and yet not fully settled breasts. Sticky outty things in my midsection are more manageable and the swelling must have subsided somewhat. We didn't really have time to do much today but time should be opening up around Tuesday or Wednesday, ironically it depends on how her Labiaplasty goes! :D

I'm actually looking forward to dilation day on Monday. It means I get the packing and sutures out which means none of the medieval torture sutures from hell anymore and hopefully more comfort sitting down. The massive loss of free time extending from dilation day 1 to 3 months when I might be able to reduce my schedule a little is worth it. :P

Afterwards, my SRS buddy had to scoot so I spoke with Dr. Meltzer's wednesday patient for a few hours about various things. Through her I'm also noticing some cultural shifts in the t-community and so on and so forth, and I'm stopping myself there because I'm walking down a road best not travelled in a blog intended for SRS experiences. I will say she and her partner are nice and we talked about other things too!

T-plus 4d 7h. Calmer and cleaner

The Dilaudid finally kicked in about an hour ago. I'm still annoying to be around right now, but I'm not in constaint pain anymore so first thing I did was take a shower. I envy those of you who can take showers with a catheter sticking out of a bloody, still somewhat ambiguous mound with two foreign feeling mounds on your chest. It's going to take some time to get used to, and I hope the foreignness of the breast implants go away soon. For now, showers are one of those things where I wish I could fast forward time and get the results. Normally, showers to me are long bits of me-time where I can more or less relax, with the light pitter patter and the aromas enough distraction to keep me from boarding the wrong train of thought. Oddly enough they didn't bug me much as a pre-op either, I simply did not focus in offensive areas.

So I've decided I'm a Dilaudid fan, and I've made a little side-by-side comparison of Dilaudid vs. Percocet with various issues:
Dilaudid - Takes about 1 1/2 hour to kick in.
Percocet - Kicks in in less than 30 minutes.

Dilaudid - Not so bad. My typing's a little iffy here and I shouldn't drive, it's like you've been awake for 20 hours straight.
Percocet - Do not operate anything. It makes me loopy and my judgment isn't so great.

Dilaudid - Nope...
Percocet - Kicks in about 45 minutes. Great time to call old relatives who dis-approve of this and say how great SRS is while a tube helps you pee :P

Dilaudid - Nope...
Percocet - You betcha. I imagine it varies on the individual. I don't get lows from booze or pot but I do from this

Painkill factor
Dilaudid - Best test so far, it reduced my "8-9 pain" to "quite bearable." I felt like doings again, including eating.
Percocet - May vary on the base pain. I took it last night expecting more pain to come but I ended up in a euphoric pain free bubble where I felt over 100%, though 30% was where I really was...other episodes were less crazy

With all this talk about painkillers, I'm declaring it my official "second thing no one ever tells you about!" Which is detailed pain management... I'd gladly welcome other perspectives on this because it seems to be a subject no one's willing to bring up --- maybe it's because narcotics are involved?

T-plus 4d 4h. More pain, less percocet

Percocet is out, at least for now. I've switched to Dilaudid which is also a morphine derivative, but hopefully doesn't have the side-effects of Percocet. I told the nurse the problem is it makes me high, but what I should've also mentioned is it makes me low too. I was freaked out this morning because of the pain and the fact I was going fairly often and it was all because of that stupid "macro-microbes spewing out of my midsection" dream. I'm a worrier, and I don't need to invent my own worries during my lows. It'll just make me really annoying to be around.

I'm worried about the fact there's so much pain in the vag area even on day 4. It felt a bit on the burning side before I panicked and asked for painkillers, but an inspection made it out to be fine. But right now I just feel a chronic pain in that area, and it's really annoying....\and it doesn't help that I defy logic in that I get more pain in the vag area than the breasts. Any time someone tells me I'm not normal, even in a seemingly benign way, I worry...i.e. maybe it's not one that's doing well but it's the other that's doing poorly.


40 minutes later I get a visitor, a friend of a friend. I'm in tears as she enters because I'm in so much pain, so much so that it took me a little time to realize the pool by the foley bag was all tears. It hurts. It fucking hurts and it's not going away. It's a burning sensation, everyone says it's fine but it's there. I'm totally formulating this sentence like a crazy person because that's how I feel. It hurts like hell but no one wants to acknowledge it.
Today is completely pointless to me. I don't feel like I'm going to accomplish squat. I've been in chronic pain for hours now. I'm going to be for hours to come. The dilaudid is extremely slow acting or it just doesn't work on me. I don't feel like eating, showering, moving around, catheter plugging is pointless because I can't tell pain from pressure, even typing this blog but I have to get out how I feel. This sucks. I just want to sleep the rest of the day off. Next opening I get I'll just take the percecet, drop, and make it midnight after a series of more screwed up dreams. Now I know why euthenasia advocates do what they do. At least this pain will eventually go away for me. If I were to suffer it for the rest of my life, I don't know if it's be worth it.

All that can cycle through my head today is what complication are we going to find out about after I've suffered enough, will it ever look right, will it ever feel right, will this ever stop hurting. Damnit today sucks. :(

The only thing that made me feel better was my visitor said she had extreme pain on day 4 too. That's all I need to hear right now, I need to know it's not just me and I'm not hiding some ungodly terrible complication.

T-plus 3d 21h. "Freaky nightmare" or "I'm not invincible."

Ok, I think I walked around too much yesterday.
I was starting to feel a little invincible last night while I was on painkillers, now I feel really foolish. My body feels really stiff, but I'm not all that surprised.
Though I will say painkillers do something strange to me. I might want to avoid them from here on out. They're like what one might casually refer to as "drugs" in some regards.

Then there's the freaky dream I had last night.
I was taking a shower, not really pre- or post-op in said dream -- my midsection was ambiguous, when an oddly colored liquid started gushing from my midsection. I remember being embarassed especially for some reason but that aspect of the dream made utterly no sense. Within this liquid were a few microbes and a couple sperm-like beings, but they were all visibly sized. i.e. 3-inch long "bacteria" gushing out of me. I gazed at the scene in horror, tried to clean it up (it was EVERYWHERE in the bathroom) and eventually woke up, sleeping in an uncomfortable position. I checked my catheter first thing and it's fine. hehe. Definitely feel a bit on the weak side though.

Ugh. That's what you get when you overexert yourself.
But it's probably all in the Percocet.

A couple hours after posting this: I get what I swear is a continuation/hole filling dream that's very frantic, and set in the world of Heroes. Yeah, I need to lay off the Percocet...

Friday, April 3, 2009

T-plus 3d 12h. Still self-conscious as ever

So yeah, even three days after surgery, the surgical area is still swollen and weird. I brought loose fitting clothing on account of I knew there'd be swelling, but it dawned upon me a little too late that the swelling is so severe that it looks like a really lame tuck. Argh. The skin is quite raised. Enough so that I keep thinking "geez, I hope it doesn't heal like this." This has presented problems with clothing because even skirts will look funny with the amount of swelling present. Not to mention the capped catheter that sticks out quite a bit. My solution for this kind of issue: If you can't be discreet, be so non-discreet that no one can figure out what you're trying to hide and just think you're weird for different reasons.

So I spent much of today running around Scottsdale in a bathrobe over my clothing. Haha.

I guess you could say I did a little pre-shopping, after checking out a tourist location. Went to fashion square and looked around, but I'm in no condition to be trying stuff on, heh. Even with the sanitary napkins I feel -- well -- unsanitary. :(
Then I left my sunglasses in the bathroom which led me back there, meaning I did just a little too much walking today. I'm going to be black and blue tomorrow.

At least I think I will be. I don't know. A friend of mine was after a long excursion shortly after being allowed to walk again, but I don't know what she did. With me, I simply walked. Not too quickly or anything, in fact I passed a staffer downstairs who quipped "escaping, eh?" and replied dryly "you can't stop me, I'm going 0.5 miles an hour." :D Not Peggy Bundy slow but some healthier oldsters were gaining on me. I just did a lot of it.

It seems like I'm at about 30% of what I was as a pre-op right now, healing-wise. I was able to walk around a ton and I would. I'd walk around San Francisco, through the various shopping areas, once even walked to and from Coit Tower via the 4th St. Caltrain. So I don't think there's any kind of set mileage in terms of healing, it's basically a percentage of your pre-surgery peak.

I'm pretty optimistic now that I'll get back to my peak within a decent amount of time. :) I'm so happy that I'm comfortable doing stuff. I wouldn't feel like myself if I weren't.
(post was fleshed out at 20:29, seemed a little dry)

T-plus 3d 6h, a wave of self-reliance, self responsibility.

I'm about to really explore for the first time post-op, but I've also been hit by a wave of feeling that it's time to be more self-reliant and self-responsible. The nurses and staff didn't bring it on, I just never liked me seeing myself as a dependent. It brings out the worst in me, and...well then there's all the stuff that comes along with being dependent. It sucks.

So I'm doing even little things like getting up and walking around the bed to pick up the phone, meeting staff half-way, cleaning up my own dishes, plus restarting mundane tasks like doing my hair and make-up. It's nice to see those dark circles disappear again. (now if I could make them disappear permanently, that would be great!) I already feel gobs more capable than I did yesterday, and it's a wonderful feeling. I'm an energetic person by nature, to not be sucks as much as being a pre-op did.

Got more flowers today, those who sent them read this blog so I send my love back to them. <3 {{{{{{{{{{}}}}}}}}

Speaking of gifts, I still need to name this teddy bear. I'm terrible at naming things though, help!

T-plus 3d 3h. Om nom nom.

My appetite is back in spades. I just had a huge 1200 calorie breakfast, a record for me. I needed it badly. People often mistake me for something like an anorexic due to my eating habits but given I have the whole once-a-week reduction or loss in appetite and dietary restrictions, it's more the fact I have trouble finding safe things to ingest. Not at the hospital! I have to say, I love hospital food. There's very little here that I can't identify the ingredients of, so I know if something is safe or not.

I'm still quite hungry and it's not even lunch time. I expect to gorge all day.

I'm also feeling way more mobile. I can almost skip -- in fact I probably could, I'm just nto going to risk it. I think I messed up the instructions re: painkillers and going out. Perkeset's making it a litle hard for me to keep my eyes open while writing this. It should fade almost completely once the 3 hour mark has passed. Somehow I misheard the nurse and thought painkillers 3 hour before going out was a requirement. Dur...

I love feeling energetic again, and I love that the vagina is finally starting to feel more like I expected it to. First couple days I could only feel things on thr outer layer but now the inner layers are becoming sensate and clearly identifiable. That's cool, and it's nice to have that kind of reaffirming now because it still looks a bit off. It's swollen and raised right now, there's certain types of clothing that just won't work becasue fof this.

I might stop taking painkillers after this. They're good for nothing these days and just keeping me down.

p.s. I still love my TEDDY BEAR. :D When I get home I'm bringing stuffed animals back into my life, age be damned!
p.p.s. Back on hormones, but at a half dose.

T-plus 3d 1h. Headaches gone, sutures and drains removed, off to explore...eventually.

So the headaches are gone. I'm not really ashamed of yesterday's blogs. That's how I feel every week I can't cover up my headaches with Excedrin. Untreated they just more and more unbearable. I had to do tough out three of them pre-op but didn't blog about it. Never again! Getting the OK for Asprin this week means I never again have to avoid covering them up. WooHoo!

Another bit of good news is the drains and more painful sutures have been removed. You know, those sutures that prick you when you try to sit down? Good riddence. Donut wasn't helping much yesterday because of that, and I often prefered to stand or walk in circles.

I've gained some exploration rights, and I'm going to use them. Until my SRS buddy gets here tomorrow I'm going to be bored, so I'm going to use google maps to find places to go. I guess this means the first time wearing normal clothing as well. There's some interesting rules with exploration:
- You must take pain meds 3 hours before going out.
- No operating/driving of vehicles. (no shock there)
- You cannot be away from the facility for more than three hours. Exact words "If you fail to return to the Facility within this time period your absece shall be considered a discharge and you will not be readmitted."

I haven't decided where to go yet but I have three hours to think about it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

T-plus 2d 11h. Headaches suck. Suck. SUCK.

I sit in my bed in a darkened room crying my eyes out waiting for the Zanex (sleeping pills) to kick in. My routine headache has completely screwed up the entire day for me. I lost my appetite. I couldn't have taken in more than 600 calories and I know I need to be eating a lot (i.e. I had a lot yesterday) but I couldn't force it down me. One side effect with my headaches is I end up with nausea, and the gatekeeper gets a lot more strict.

The one big consolation for me is I can't sink any lower than tonight. I tried to talk to Dr. Meltzer's wednesday patient in the next room and I couldn't after awhile. I was just too knocked out. I feel like shit even now but for whatever reason, typing is just second nature to me, so I can at least blog about it real time.

The way headaches progress for me is pretty simple. Unmedicated it goes:
1. Starts off with discomfort.
2. Loss of appetite often creeps in before I realize I have the headache. Today it did. I wasted most of breakfast, skipped lunch, and only had a small portion of dinner. I slipped in an Ensure shake but that's about it. Loss of appetite makes it hard for me to down liquids too, and I know I need to keep the toxin% in my urine low. I hope I don't get a urinary tract infection from this.
If I take medication at this step I can usually get some of my appetite back but I had to get the OK from Dr. Meltzer first.
3. Start to get mildly disoriented. This symptom sticks around whether or not I take something for it. I get a bit on the klutzy side but it has the added benefit of reducing my inhibitions. And because catheter games started today, it was a bit on the messy side all day. Sigh...
4. My motor skills start going south hours into the headache. I don't feel like moving much anymore and I have to take it slow whether or not I'm recovering from SRS.
5. Eventually I completely succumb to the headache more or less and at this point I have to sleep it off, which is what I'm doing now. My brain has officially told me "fuck you" and is more or less putty. I medicated it at stage 4 but that was way too late. The pain's gone but I'm just out of it.

Not to mention my judgment goes south. Stumpy McCupid the anatomically incorrect vagina is officially scaring the crap out of me. I know it looks normal for day 2 and I know it'll eventually heal properly, but with all this headache stuff going wrong my fear is getting the best of me.

This day just needs to end. :(

T-plus 2d 5h. Going Mobile.

I haven't eaten much today but I'm out and about a lot now. My appetite is more or less lost for most if not all of today because of my headache. Headaches do that to me oddly enough. The perkeset seems to be working decently enough. My normal meds for headaches works better and I got the green light from Dr. Meltzer to use it (it has Asprin) so if I get another while I'm still in the hospital, I'll have some relief.

The lower hypersensitivity seems to have subsided a lot. I'm not sure what was up with that. My body's making nice headway in terms of handling the considerably remapped and irritated nerves. It probably would have performed better overall if sensation started trickling in slowly like with for most people. The pain seems to be subsiding and it's considerably more pleasant now. I slept pretty soundly last night.

On another note, it seems I have a neighbor. I haven't met her yet but considering Dr. Meltzer does SRS surgeries on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, I'm not surprised. I'm pretty bored right now so I hope to get a chance to meet her.

So here are my mobility limitations, bearing in mind I'm 2 days post-op SRS and breast augmentation: (personal observation, NOT an official list)
  • Obviously, too much streching out the legs is off limit. The vagina is sutured shut, I even joked with Dr. Meltzer it doesn't seem quite anatomically correct. ;) Spreading is asking for trouble.

  • I can pull pretty well so long as my midsection isn't the anchor.

  • I have to push monkey style, with closed palms and knuckles facing whatever's being pushed. For whatever reason, traditional pushing puts too much pressure on the breasts.

  • Donut is helpful when not sitting on the bed, but I sit best if a little bit leaned over, between the legs slightly raised.

  • I can bend in fairly well, I start feeling discomfort if I'm bent in at an angle of 40 degrees or less.

T-plus 2d 4h. This is where you can only depend on yourself.

So I had a little misfortune where after speaking with a nurse to confirm the proper catheter instructions, I must've misplaced the drain end of the catheter. I unplugged the end connected to myself and reached for the drain end. I couldn't find it, the nurse had already left, and then I started to panic. Since this is a family blog (lol) I'm not going to go into anymore detail. It sucked.

Feeling like a complete idiot, still having this headache, hungry but with no appetite, I had to reboot myself in "self-reliant" mode. This is where they wean you off the constant assistance and you need to get up and do something. So I got up slowly, closed the door slowly, removed my hospital gown slowly, put on a courtesy robe Dr. Meltzer provides all his patients, making sure to attach the pin with the drains on them to said robe, and just started walking around. It felt good. I'm already better off than peggy bundy walks but nowhere near my typical stride, which I feel might not work so well this early in the game. I did have some extra perkeset in me as well as an attempt to deal with the headache, but there wasn't as much pain to think of as I thought there'd be.
Getting up also gave the staff time to replace sheets and hospital gown.

But yeah, day 2 if you consider SRS day to be day 0 can be rather depressing. But it's all the more motivator to get your independence back...

T-plus 2d 3h. I'm hurting like hell right now.

No euphemisms or cultural references. I'm just hurting like hell right now. I started moving around a few hours ago and had bowel movements twice including the first time I got up and 20 minutes later. I can tell solids and gases apart no different than I could pre-op, which is great...but three in an hour...which is not so hot. Catheter plugging has begun and I'll be releasing that in 25 minutes. The short of catheter plugging is it involves sticking a plug into the part of the catheter that's normally connected to the tube. Leave it in for 1-2 hours letting your bladder fill and then take out the plug and reattach the tube. I'm nauseus and I've completely lost my appetite, partially because I don't want to be expelling food all day long. But the real reason is my headaches, which only go away with this one cocktail substance that contains Asprin, can't be healed because of the ban on Asprin. Today is going to be very, very miserable.

Though getting a little independance back is nice. I still need help getting up otherwise I have sharp pains in the vag area.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

T-plus 1d 14h. Ow...

Remember those sensations I was gushing over a few hours ago? Well now they've turned to pain that's keeping me up. For awhile it was just oversensitive and pain meds weren't doing shit. Now the oversensitivity is gone and I'm getting occasional shooting pains. And these leg compressors are now my mortal enemy. They must die.

With these going off every 30 second and the shooting pains...yeah, I'm not sleeping tonight.

Oh, and according to the staff this is normal. So we now have the official "things no one (except me) ever tells you about" #1! Enjoy!

p.s. With the breasts all out sideways the way they were, there's another reality check there. Those take awhile to look right too...

T-plus 1d 9h. Trippy sensations.

So anyone who's done 5 minutes of work on the vaginoplasty procedure knows that everything just gets remapped, if you want to oversimplify it. I consider the procedure to be astonishing, there's so much detail that goes into the procedure and I've seen enough results pictures to be in awe of how much detail goes into Dr. Meltzer's work in particular.

That said, I'm experiencing the weird, trippy feelings of sensation returning. I can actually identify a couple the nerves that have been moved around. I can already tell I have sensation back in the clitoris because I'm feeling what my mind once could instantly identify as the glans. (tip of the penis) The weird thing is where it's coming from. It's so used to being higher that my body doesn't yet know how to fully recognize it being at its lower position, so it's kind of broadcasting from both locations. I imagine the glans being out for a couple dozen years, my brain is probably trying to correct what it thinks is an inaccurate signal. A little from the old type position but mostly from the new position. If I hover my hand over the old position, that sense from my body goes away because it realizes my hand -and- the glans clitoris can't be there simultaneously.
Also, after I hovered the hand there the "ghost" feeling weakened considerably. I think that's helping my brain become accepting of the permanent change.

That's just so trippy. I'm sure it'll correct itself soon enough, but I'm misidentifying other areas as well, like the shaft. It doesn't feel like an erection like some have claimed to feel after surgery, it just feels really stretched out. From a nerve standpoint, I can tell the erectile tissue and the shaft skin apart so I can make the distinction easily.

I'm amazed I can feel all this stuff so soon. Wow. Maybe it's because I have lots of hypersensitive nerves to begin with? (i.e. ticklish)

About 30 minutes later, and seems like my brain is finally starting to process more below-ground location signals, which means it's adjusting to the changes. I still expect it to be hugely skewed by the packing, with the below-ground and crushed/stretched feelings probably overlapping. This is pretty cool.

An hour or so later, still fixating on the sensations. It's funny how they resemble some of my dreams. The vividness of my dreams fall into a range which can sometimes include tactile sensations, most typically the waking dreams, which I'd been inducing by setting my alarm clock early. Some of the early sensations actually do resemble those in the dreams, though in the dreams everything was perfect, my brain didn't need to adjust.

About two hours later, having trouble sleeping because of said sensations. They seem to be mingling with the motion caused by the leg compressors, which is stimulating the area a little and making it hard to sleep.
Just something to consider, though it seems most people don't get sensation back this early...

T-plus 1d 5h. I can has teddy bear. :D

I just saw Dr. Meltzer for the first time since surgery. Well, technically the second time. The first time I was taken off the gas, surrounded by several people in a hallway or something, woke up with memory unexpectedly. That doesn't really count because I was so disoriented though!

So first I just confirmation that no skin grafts were used. No shock there, since I knew where they'd come from anyway. I forgot to ask the depth, d'oh! It had to have been at least 4.5 inches since that was the cutoff I gave for skin graft.
Another funny thing is even though he knew from my September consultation that I had the orchie done, I said on Monday that I didn't have surgery done before. Whoops. I guess my mind was on surgeries that involved general anesthesia. Haha.

I just got my breasts unwrapped. I ended up getting 400cc's. They look really swollen, raised, and weird right now. Dr. Meltzer showed me how to massage them properly. The goal is to ensure that the implants set properly. Massaging is pretty easy, it just involves squeezing them together then gently (but firmly) pushing down on them 2-3x, 3x per day. Also, I'm wearing some wrap that pushes the implants down. Right now they're really high.
Nipples are numb right now, but it was an areolar implant so I'm giving it time.

As for the vagina, still haven't gotten a full peek yet but it seems the nerve endings are doing well. In my pre-op consult I was ticklish down there. When Dr. Meltzer inspected it just now, it was still ticklish. Definitely a good sign! I won't be able to say anything about inside until the packing is removed and I start dilating.

Oh and I got A TEDDY BEAR! :D

T-plus 1d 1h. Cocktails begin.

So it seems the drug cocktails have changed since 3 years ago or so. (which is where my original info came from) No shock there. Arnica seems to be 5x, 3x per day now. Arnica is intended to reduce swelling, though it's one of those funny remedies that hasn't been evaluated by the FDA. The other meds I'm taking (will edit this when I get more information):
  • Celebrex: Painkiller (200mg, 2x day)

  • Colace: Stool softener (3x day, one per meal)

  • Bacid: Digestive aide (3x day, one per meal)

  • Keflex: Antibiotic

Also taking Perkeset from time to time for pain.

I also met one of Dr. Meltzer's staff today, a nice woman named Debbie. Since I'm on major painkillers due to the vaginal swelling I can't remember half of what she told me though, haha. Seems that today's another day of bedrest, she made it clear to me that my body hates me today. :P Tomorrow I'll start moving around but I'll also have to start massaging my breasts. She also gave me some pointers like using the donut as a neck rest, since that's all it's good for since I'm on bedrest.

I think I got a brief look at the neo-vagina though it looked more progressed than I expected it to be today. May've easily been an optical illusion or my doped up self putting whatever I felt like in that obfuscated region. (there was some see-through material in the way) I'm expecting the next day or so to be a bit of a mindfuck. The lingering anesthesia and painkillers do weird things to you.

T-plus 24 hours. Peace of Mind. :)

I haven't been so happy in such a long time. In fact I'm not sure if I've ever been this happy in my life. It's so strange. I still have so much to do, healing left to do, minor complications could still pop in, and I haven't even been debriefed by Dr. Meltzer yet. (if I'm not mistaken he does major surgeries on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It blows my mind that today is only Wednesday!) And yet I have such unimaginable peace of mind. I don't think I've ever felt as good as I do now. I used to dread periods of time where I have nothing to do, where I only get to think. My thoughts would always take such a turn for the worst but not today. Today I don't feel like anything could bring me down. I actually feel like my life could only get better from here on. Such a huge weight has been lifted from my chest. (while different weights have been added, hahaha) All my irrational fears are fading away. I no longer have to dread basic tasks like using public restrooms ever again. I could wear virtually everything I want without worrying about lumps. My body will finally make sense. All the stupid male shit is gone forever. I won't have to worry about falsies falling out. I can start having a sex life eventually. My health will surely improve because I won't be so stressed out all the time anymore. I could fill up 100kb worth of space listing all the ways this has made my life better and still be missing a lot.

Even bizarre fears that stems from society's rejections of us are fading. There was a rather unpleasant South Park episode where Garrison got SRS + aug, and a number of follow up gags in future episodes to this. It kind of gave me an identity crisis similar to the Jerry Springer trannies, like I'm not them. And you know what, no one is. I respect Parker and Stone, they get a lot of things right on South Park but they're dead wrong about the T community. But what can I say? They're just as ignorant about it as anyone who doesn't have gender dysphoria. You just can't understand it if you aren't it. I still don't 100% understand it myself. I just know that I did the right thing.

In any case, I'd be a hypocrit if I stop watching the show because of their portrayals. I laugh at all the other groups they poke fun of (often unfairly as well) so what can I say?

Funny thing is I really didn't resolve...well...myself! until maybe a week ago. Being in the wrong body for so many years after transition is a total mindfuck and you just don't know how to interpret its effects sometimes. I had this funny dream a few weeks ago where I had srs already. It was a waking dream in that it didn't last long, and when I re-woke up I was back to my old self, and it felt like a burst of electrity flowed through my body. Like I was confused again. I wondered if I'd feel that after surgery as well, but I didn't. Everything feels right.

I'm glad to be alive in the 21st century, for so many reasons...

Wow. I forgot to describe my room/myself.

Some diaryblog writer I am!

So lets see...
  • There's a clock on the wall directly across from me.

  • To the right of me is a device that automatically takes my vitals every so often. My bags and the table + windows are also there.

  • To the left of me are more vitalreading devices, plus some supplies primarily for the nurse and tech. My IV is also over there.

  • My bed itself is pretty comfortable. It leans more toward firm than soft, and while I tend to prefer soft, it's more or less just fine. There's buttons to control its position, as well as littler stuff like music and lights.

  • The bed also has remotes tied in for TV, painkillers, paging the staff, and telephone.

  • I still have the leg compressors that got put on me pre-operatively. Every 30 seconds one is compressed, then the other 30 seconds later, etc and I think it feels pretty cool, though I know other people sometimes don't like it.

  • I seem to be wearing some kind of compresser or something to surround the breast area. I don't know if it ties to the bed or anything, I haven't tried to get up or anything. (I'm not supposed to)

  • As for the vagina area, it's the direct opposite. I just have some blankets on top of it, and of course the catheter is in there, and that's about it.

  • As for the rest of me, I have some funny little bear paws socks on which I get to take home, and I have various things draped upon me. One's like this sky blue hospital gown thingie, there's a fairly heavy blanket, etc. On my thumb is something clear plastic and attached to some opaque white line that says NELLCOR MAX-A and there's some red light contained within. I don't know what it's for. Have the IV in of course. My left arm has my name tag and list of allergies. Apparentl it's best to get these as loose as possible, like it might swell after surgery? I didn't get any swelling myself though...

Greenbaum's a great facility and all the staff has been very nice. I can strike up a conversation pretty easily for someone with a sore throat!