I thought I'd finish off my Brighton trip by covering what I'm expecting when I go for the surgery and afterwards.
V-Day minus 1
I'll be admitted to hospital the day before my operation. The usual type of observations, weight, height etc. will be done as well as bloods if necessary. I'll also be measured for the rather fetching stockings that people get to wear now-a-days to help stop blood clots forming.
After a last meal I'll settle down to hopefully get some sleep before the big day.
This is the day I get my new vagina and breasts.
I'll receive an enema to clear out my lower bowels so that there is a reduced risk of any problems in this area during the surgery.
A shower using a special sponge which I assume will make sure that I'm especially clean ready for the surgery should follow.
Last set of observations, putting on the anti-clotting stockings and a final meeting with the surgeons and anaesthetist with me signing the final consent form.
Then its off to theatre for 4 or 5 hours of surgery and recovery before returning to my room.
Post-operation observations and monitoring of the operation area will begin.
I wont need to go to the toilet or eat or drink as I'll have catheter for the former and an IV giving me fluids and antibiotics.
Within my new vagina will be a vaginal pack that helps everything to stay in place. This will remain in place for 5 days.
V-Day plus 1
The first two days post surgery are spent lying flat. IV fluids and antibiotics will continue to be given.
The first day is spent on a clear fluid diet but this will be very welcome.
Pain relief will be given as needed.
V-Day plus 2
Another day spent lying flat but today will see tea and toast added to the diet.
During surgery two drains will have been inserted in order to stop fluid building up around the operation site. These come out today.
V-Day plus 3
Today I'll get to start sitting up. The low residual diet continues.
Day 1 and 2 after surgery I'll receive a blanket bath from one of the nurses. Today I get to wash myself with their help.
V-Day plus 4
Finally I get to sit in a chair. Not for long, half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening but its a start. I'll be able to start on a light but normal diet today.
V-Day plus 5
The diet is back to normal from today. Yay!
Today will be the big day. This is when the vaginal pack gets removed. It is also when I start to dilate. The first dilation will be done by a specialist nurse. The second dilation the nurse will teach me how to do this. From here on out I'll be doing this 3 times a day for the first 3 months, after that it will be twice a day for at least a year before dropping to once a day and then eventually less.
The catheter also gets removed today.
V-Day plus 6
From this point on I'm dilating 3 times a day, first thing in the morning, after lunch and then after dinner.
V-Day plus 7
Breakfast, dilate, bath and then get ready to go home.
Collect any paperwork and medication then begin the drive home stopping regularly during the journey.
V-Day plus 6 to 8 weeks
Return to Brighton for post operation check-up. I might decide to do this as an overnight stay depending on if I can get someone to take me there and back or not. Will see, don't think I'll feel up to driving myself there and back.
V-Day plus 3 months
Return to work.
So there you have it. A very brief and simple overview of what I'm expecting from my surgery. I've not gone into any details about the operation itself. Mainly as I've not read up on the actual mechanics of the procedure and there are plenty of websites that will cover all of that. I'm sure that as the time gets closer for all of this to happen I'll start to get nervous. I might find myself asking myself if I'm doing the right thing. Once I've taken this step I wont be able to undo it. Up until now, everything that I've done has been reversible. The surgery wont be. Will I regret it. No. Is this the right thing for me. Yes. I just need to remember that when the doubts start to creep in.