On the other side!

It’s been a few days since I last posted on my blog, and for good reason.  Thursday, 11th December 2014 I finally had the surgery I had been waiting so long for.  Finally I have the body to match the mind.  I can not express how I feel in words at the moment, but they would all equate to the same thing.  I am so happy, I could cry!

It all started early morning on the Thursday, with my dear friend Stewart taking me to hospital for 7am.  We arrived in plenty of time, and after Eric made sure I was settled in, they departed.  Before anything happened, I met with Mr Fenton again to confirm what he was doing, and for me to sign the consent form (like I would have refused to do that), followed by the Anaesthetist to explain what they would be doing from his point of view.

10:30 comes, and I’m sitting in my room in the ‘fashionable’ hospital gown, and one of the nurses comes to fetch me.  This is the first time I have walked to theatre, which is located on the ward.  I’m lain down on the bed there, and then the first problem rises.  I have problem veins!  Whenever I have blood tests, whomever does them has problems in locating a good vein.  This time was no different.  After 4 attempts to set a cannula up in my arm, he finally sites it.

Then the fun part.  In order to help with pain management post op, they want to set up an epidural.  Now, this I don’t mind.  I don’t know about my readers, but whatever I can do to reduce pain, I will try.  However, I was to swallow those words.  Unfortunately, it took 3 attempts to get the epidural located.  By the time I was laid down again, I was getting quite sick of needles.

This passed quickly though as the Anaesthetist set the drugs flowing, and then….nothing.  The next thing I vaguely remember is waking up in recovery for a moment, and then for a moment back in my room, where I slept off the operation for the next few hours.  The night was long due to the pain and discomfort, but there is one single overriding thought through all of this.

IT’S DONE, I HAVE A VAGINA!

Gosh, I am so happy now.  The tears, the worry, the pain, it was all worth it.  I have exactly what I want now!

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And then there was one

This is it.  This is the day before the big event.  The day before it all happens and makes me whole.  To be honest, I feel very much in an emotional flux today, kind of like a sensory overload.  All the emotions and feelings that have been with me are in the background, and I’m relaxing slowly.  Everything that needed doing is done, and all I have to do is hang on for the journey now.

Admittedly yes, my routine today has been somewhat different from normal.  Without that first mug of coffee, I don’t know how I managed to get going, but I did!  The first sachet of Picolax was taken within plenty of time, and that has worked already.  I didn’t quite what to expect from that, but oh my….I’ll leave that to my readers vivid imaginations!!

I think the only hard thing I am finding today, as I said to Eric and Dave, is *not* eating.  I’ve been doing Slimming World since February, and they encourage you to eat, and to eat the right things.  However, with the bowel prep needed in preparation for tomorrow, I have a very limited list of what I can eat, and at what times I am allowed to eat and drink.  So yes, it was very very hard to resist sneaking that little bit of beef off of the plate whilst preparing lunch.  You never know, I could even come out of all this with a weight loss, something which wouldn’t be expected over Christmas!

The rest of the day seems easier though.  One more picolax between 2 and 4, and supper between 7 and 9pm, and then that is it.  Well, barring the fluids I must keep drinking.

So, hopefully the next time I post my blog, the operation will be over and done with.  Fingers crossed!!

Nerves and Fear and Excitement, oh my!!

Well, the Thursday just gone marked the entry into the last week before the big day for me.  No longer was it ages and ages away, but a week.  Today is just 4 little days to go.  The nerves that were quietly bubbling away inside of me, have kind of erupted into a huge massive lava spewing volcano that almost seems like it wants to consume me.

I’ve had surgery in the past.  I tried to count how many times I have been under the knife in 36 years.  Now, including last years gallbladder removal, tonsils, 3 mastoidectomies, and more sets of grommets than I can count, I exceed 20 surgeries.  However, none of them prompted this kind of nervous anticipation.

I know, I know, the previous operations were not life changing to the extent that this one is, but I really didn’t expect to be quite this nervous and excited.  Combined with the hot flushes, which *ARE* a nightmare, I’m barely sleeping and nervous eating far far to much because of this.  Admittedly, I am taking prescription sleeping pills every other day to help, but even these do not take the edge off.

4 days though.  Well, 3 days, 11 hours, and 27 minutes according to the app on my smartphone.  And each of those days right now seems like an eternity.  I’m desperately trying to keep busy, and keep my mind focused elsewhere.  I’ve got something to do Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday…..well, Wednesday is now called bowel prep day.  Yes, it’s the picolax treatment in preparation for the day after….oh joy!  I think I’ll spare you all the gory details on that day.

The way you act…

A recent event has prompted the subject of my blog today.  There are many people in this life that just do not understand how their actions and words can have a drastic affect on the person they are aimed at.  Myself?  People have looked at me before, and said ‘You have it easy, you know nothing of hardship’ and so on.  Maybe not in the way that they mean, but..

I am 36 years old, and for most of my life I have been subject of bullying in one form or another.  Growing up, my biological Dad rejected me.  This is the man who left my Mum when I was around 3ish.  I remember little of him, like the way he used to ignore me if he saw me whilst I was out with my Mum.  Going on from there, like a number of people, I was mentally and physically bullied throughout school, which left me with a very jaded outlook on life.  And most recently, I was subject to ridicule and humiliation when working for First West Yorkshire.  Something they did nothing about.  Oh, and lastly, the person in Burger King who took great delight in humiliating me when I ordered food there.

I look back on all of this (and there is so very much more I could add, but I digress), and as I said at the start of today’s blog, people do *not* realise what a profound affect their actions can have,  They just do not care, or just are plain cruel.

So why the blog today, I hear the masses (maybe) crying out.  Well, I own two cats (or maybe they own me, never managed to work that out).  The youngest is a tubby female called Chantelle, who is a very aloof feline.  And then there is Clay.  He is the clumsiest and daftest cat I know, but so very loving.  Both of my cats came from a rescue centre.  It has taken a lot of time, care, and love to get them to the way they are now.  And then some person ruins it.  How?  Well, Clay loves to spend time outside the house, on the pavement and greet passers-by, trying to get petted.  It so happens that someone took exception to this.  From the witness who knocked on our door and reported this, a ethnic minority type, decided for whatever reason to aim a kick directly at my poor defenceless feline!

Clay run off around the house, to cower under the planter in the back garden, and the person in question sauntered off.  Needless to say I was a little tiny bit upset.  Trying to coax him back into the house so I could check him over took some doing.  In one thoughtless action, he undid 13 years of love.  Clay is fine now though.  He has no lasting injury, barring those of old age, and he’s mostly back to his exuberant self again.

Moral of all this though folks?  Treat those how you expect to be treated! To quote a famous duo of film ‘Be excellent to each other….and….PARTY ON, DUDES!’

Keeping busy

So, officially today I can finally say that my surgery is next week!  10 days and counting, but believe me, I can do that time more accurate thanks to a little app on my phone.  As the big day gets closer still, I cant help but be filled with a mix of nervousness, worry, fear, and of course, excitement.  It’s a mix of emotions that keep me awake at night with thoughts running through my head.  Last night for example, I think I managed a whole hours sleep.  One of my dear friends today joked with me about how that was a luxury!

I kind of anticipated this happening.  I know what I’m like when really looking forward to something, so I’ve done my best for the next few days to make sure that my days are somewhat full.  Like yesterday.  Admittedly, it was an oversight on someone else’s behalf that lead to hubby and I booking places on the North York Moors Railway for their Christmas Moorlander lunch special.

Yes, it was booked for his birthday, and the 2 hour drive each way was a little hard, but it was so very enjoyable.  It was exactly what was needed to keep my mind off of things.  Who knows, we might do it again next year, funds allowing.  However, it’s when I’m not doing anything that it’s not so good right now.  Don’t get me wrong, I *know* this is so the right thing for me, but I am plain scared.

I guess some of it is nervous anticipation of what is going to happen.  Yes, this is a procedure that has been done time and time again, but I can not help worrying about it.  And about hubby…and all the other things.  This is my nature, inherited from my Mum.  She always said that if she had nothing to worry about, she would worry about that instead.  But still, 10 days and counting, and they can not go quick enough for me!

Things are amoving!

Things for me have just become so much more real.  I had my pre-operative assessment yesterday (Friday).  Now, I have had a bunch of surgery in my 36 years, so have been through the process a number of times, but none as big as this.  I’m sure those who have had surgery before know what a pre-op consists of.  You know, height, weight blood tests etc.  So yes, vital stuff, but nothing to make you nervous.  And yet, walking through those doors at Methley Park, you would have thought it was ‘the day’!

I did find out a whole bunch of other stuff as well.  Like, the day before I have to do stomach cleansing (eww!) which involved 2 sachets of something called Picolax and a limited diet.  Apparently, this is needed as, and get this, following the op, I have to have 5 days of bed rest.  Yes, that is right, 5 days in bed.  God, that will drive me banana’s.  I’ll have to make sure to take lots of films, and maybe a project to do in hospital!

I have to say, I walked out of that hospital with my head spinning with things confirmed that I’d been reading about, and with the new information.  However, one thing I do know for sure.  This is the right path.  Yes, there are nerves and worries, but that is natural.  But this feels so right.  It will be worth the pain and tears (and epidurals and stomach cleansings!) to finally be the person on the outside, that I am inside!

And yet still closer..

With 2 weeks left today, things seem to be heading into high gear for me.  There is so much to get done, and it just seems so little time to do it all in.  There’s a house to be cleaned, the last few bits of Christmas shopping…oh geez, and the list goes on.

Saying which though, with the pending big day approaching, and the need to actually *be* organised this year is actually a good thing.  I have to admit, that normally at this point the shopping would have only just been started, and not nearly finished as it is.  That is not saying I want this to happen every year, but it seems there is some good things about it!

The thing I am happiest about having completed though, is getting Eric’s and mine bedroom painted and the new carpets done.  We said we wanted it done before I went in to have my surgery, and as of today, the final bit of decorating has been done, however unexpected the last bit was.  However, I admit I was worried about doing the woodwork on the doors, as yesterday I had an early Christmas present from Mum.

I spent a glorious relaxing 2 hours at Impressions hairdressers (thoroughly wonderful people who do a wonderful job) having my hair styled in preparation for my stay in Methley Park Hospital.  My hair is now shoulder length (again) with red highlights.  I am so pleased with the results!  All I need to do now, is to have it done more often!

16 days to go (not that I’m counting)

So, finally I get around to put my mind to virtual paper.  I’ve got 16 days to go before the big day arrives.  at 7am on the 11th of December this year, I will go under the surgeons knife and become in body, how I know I am in my mind.

This is has been such a long journey for me.  I have known all my life that I am a trans woman, even if I have been unable to express that into words.  It has just been in these last few years that I have been able to articulate who I am and how I feel.  I owe so much to people in my life for giving me the confidence to do so, as well as the love and care I have needed, and will need in the coming days.

You know, when I first ‘came out’ as it were, I was terrified of losing everyone I hold dear.  Yes, there have been people that have walked away from me in the last few years because of who I am now, but the people I love the most are still with me, and supporting me.  You know who are you, and I love you all so much.

So, 16 days….16 days to the big day, and how do I feel?  It’s so hard to put into words.  On one hand, I am so happy and excited about this.  This is what I have wanted for forever.  The change to make me physically how I see myself mentally.  On the other hand, god am I scared and worried.  It’s not because I think it’s the wrong thing to do, oh hell no.  It’s the worry about what if it goes wrong.  What about my husband Eric, and dear friend Dave, both whom I care for.  What about the pain.  And the list goes on.

Despite this, despite the worry, the fear, the excitement, the whole mix of things, I AM HAVING THIS DONE!  This is who I am, this is for ME!

Just, thank you everyone who has stuck by me, for supporting me and caring for me.  Thank you, and enjoy this ride with me