Sunday, 31 May 2015

Two weeks at home

Its been two weeks since I was discharged from hospital and three since my surgeries. Its been an interesting time at home and I'm looking forward to being able to get back out into the big, wide world, even if its only for short periods.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

To Hell and Back

Or what its like when you sleep on your front and then have to spend days sleeping on your back.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Out the other side

I have another post that I'll write about the last few days but I'm going to need a bit of time to get to the point where I can look back and put fingers to keyboard.
But things have gone well. I've not suffered any bleeding which everyone is pleased with so that means I've not had to have the dressings changed.
Pain relief has kept everything as pain free as possible.
The liquid diet has changed to the low residue diet and after having some tea and toast as my first solid meal I've opted to stick with chicken at mealtimes so far.
Rice Krispies have been added to breakfast but I've stuck with dry toast. I'm not a huge butter person and I'm not interested in jam and marmalade at the moment.
Today I'm expanding my food horizons and plan on having chicken with pickled vegetables and later beef stroganoff. I'm even going to venture into the land of more interesting puds (although I still like the sorbets and they have been a blessing).

Today has been the first time I've been allowed out of bed and it didn't go brilliantly. For a triathlete you would think that I would be used to going from a flat position (swimming) to an upright one (bike and run). Well I got upright and managed to stand for a few minutes but then it was a case of sitting down again as I felt lightheaded.
I did get to have a bit of a laugh with the nurse helping me and who gave me my bed bath as the charge of the light-brigade was  on an we got talking about it and old movies.

Just doing the simplest things is very tiring, and I know that when I get home its going to take me a while to get my strength back. I see lots of rest after doing just the simplest of tasks over the next few weeks. Even eating breakfast saps the energy from me and I find myself needing to close my eyes for a while.

Feeling tired in hospital is something I know all to well, its just I've never been on the receiving end like this before.

Anyway, I have two more attempts at getting up today and then its the big day tomorrow when the catheter comes out and so does the packing, then the fun and games begins.

Like I said above, I do have another post in progress, its a hard one, a very emotional one for me to right. There have been bright spots throughout this journey and those that have followed my ramblings will have read about them, there have been some really bad spots, and I've shared those with you. This week I have plumbed depths of darkness that were beyond any of my previous experiences. All I can say is thank goodness for diazepam, codeine, paracetamol and morphine but more importantly some truly amazing and patient nurses who have looked after me all around the clock. Without them I'm not sure how I would have coped.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The day has arrived

and its a lovely sunny day outside, I can see across the fields to the sea today. Birds are singing. It really is a beautiful day. I'm so glad that its not dark and dingy or raining.

I managed to get a decent night sleep thanks to a sleeping tablet. Not a solid night sleep as I woke a couple of times but enough to get me through to 6am without tossing and turning all the time.

Wash, clean teeth and the other things I needed to do and then wait for the nurse to come in with my phosphate enema. Yet another new experience. Some lubricant, the feel of a tube being inserted and then a cold sensation as the phosphate solution was injected.

I managed to hold out for 10 minutes, probably could have gone longer as a result of long experience waiting to use the bathroom in our house some mornings!! It really is amazing just how much can come out of a human body when you encourage it.

With that out of the way it was time to have a shower with a special sponge that they give you. Its impregnated with something that makes it foam up when it gets wet and I assume it has some antibacterial properties to make sure that the skin is really clean.

On with the disposable knickers and hospital gown then dry hair.

All of that was done by 7.

A little while later the Health Assistant came in and measured me for my TED stockings. These are the things that will help to prevent clots while I'm bed bound. They are incredibly fashionable, I just wish I had some glitter and sequins to bling them up.

Shortly after that Mr Yelland came in and made some marks on my chest that will enable him to get my new breasts to look as natural as possible. As he left he said that he would see me later and that if I saw him that I should speak up.

 I hope I don't need to speak up.

Mr Thomas and Liz then came in and I signed the all important consent form that allows him to perform my surgery.

Now its just a case of waiting.

I'm scheduled for 10:30am, so in a little over 2 hours I'll be wandering through to the operating theatre and the time will finally have arrived to become physically me.

Monday, 11 May 2015

And finally

It's here, it's finally arrived.

One more day

Its 6am, Monday, 11th May 2015. I've just to nipped upstairs to give my son a Ranitidine tablet before he has to have a feed through the NG tube he's currently having to put in every night.

In the hallway sits my case. I've packed and repacked it, checked and rechecked to make sure that I've got everything I need for the next 8 days. All my electronic gadgets are fully charged and just need putting in the case of my handbag.

I've got a couple of last minute things to do, a trip to the dump to get rid of a couple of bits of rubbish from the garden which will leave us able to sit outside and enjoy the now, very much tidier, garden during the summer. Rather than lots of empty containers and plant pots sitting around we have a much tidier area with a lawn that just needs to be cut regularly and a border that needs weedkiller applying to it this year in preparation for sorting it out next year so that it is the way that we want it. There's just one thing that I need to get for it and that's a huge garden parasol affair that I've seen in our local Homebase.

Once I've been to the dump I need to get to my GPs for when they open so I can ask them to print off my blood results from the other day. I did that on Friday. Yes, I know it was very last minute but I was so busy last week that I completely forgot about the results until the middle of the afternoon and when I rang them, although the results are all fine, they would send them to Brighton. When I opened the results in the evening, after getting my other half to pick them up I found that the results that had been printed off were from August 2014 and of no use to me. So into the doctors it is this morning to get the right test results.

9:41am this morning I'll then get on the train to Brighton and begin my last journey as the person I've been since January 2012, when I return I'll be a different person.

Friday was interesting.  I ended up working until 5pm, far later than I've worked on a Friday for a long time. Being off work I needed to leave everything in as complete a state as I could. I'd also gotten into work late because I'd been to see one of my closest and dearest friends.

5pm came and I finished work. By that time my other half had gone to work herself so I had to walk home. As I left the building I found myself thinking back to December 2011 and the day everyone found out for definite that I was transitioning. That time I walked out of the building as him. Less than a month later I walked back into the building as her, a person who outwardly appeared female but who still had a male anatomy, had a predominantly male hormone driven body and who was very inexperienced in what it was like being a woman 24/7.

Last Friday I again walked out of the building, this time it was as her. Although the body still has some male anatomy there is now a mixture as some female anatomy has developed. The body is now controlled by female hormones more than male ones and she has a lot more experience of being a woman 24/7. She's also so much more confident in herself and isn't worried about things that would have been scary back then. She's got a lot more friends and sees a future where she finally gets to do the things that she's wanted to for so long, even before that December.

When I finally return to work in a few months time it will be as a different person again, the third one that has walked through those doors. This time though it will be as a person with the body that matches her mind and spirit.

That day is going to be Perfect.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Pre-op Assessment

On Thursday I had my pre-op assessment. Fortunately I didn't have to go to Brighton as it could be done over the phone.
It wasn't very exciting. Lots of questions about my medical history based on the forms that I'd completed when I was in Brighton.

Liz then preceded to go over some points I needed to be aware of.

In no particular order, just the way the piece of paper I wrote my notes on is facing me right now, visiting on the day of my operation is not until late afternoon and on pack removal day there is no visiting at all. Neither of these are going to be a problem as I'm not expecting any visitors. My wife and son aren't going to travel the 3 hours there and 3 hours back to visit me, my Dad isn't able to travel by train from South Wales to Brighton in order to visit, it really would be too much for him, and my sister lives in Northampton and has the twins to look after, and I can't see any friends making the round trip to Brighton to visit either.

I need to go through the list that I was given and make sure that I have everything. I've used the list to do get everything so its just a case of going through it again to make sure I have everything packed ready to take with me, at least those things I don't need up until Sunday.

I did think that I would just need an outfit to wear back from Brighton but it seems I need something to wear if I want to go down to the Costa or to sit outside once I'm back on my feet. Its a bit more respectable that just wandering around in a nightdress and dressing gown since there is no restriction on who can come in to use the Costa there.

For the first 2 weeks after my return I'm going to be housebound so that my neo-vagina gets a chance to stick in place. After that I can go for short walks or trips out to a pub or somewhere.

For the first couple of days after the operation I will have some back pain and also trapped wind but these will ease. I can expect some bleeding but this will not be a problem as they can deal with this, especially if it is very bad.

And finally, at some point after I get back from Brighton I need to try penicillin under medical supervision. When I was a child I had an allergic reaction to penicillin and as a result I've avoided taking it. I have no idea if that was a one of reaction or whether it was something that will stop me from ever having penicillin based antibiotics. I suppose its time I found out.

And that was that. I've picked up some packs of paracetamol and ibuprofen as pain relief for when I come home. I've also got some stuff to make going to the toilet a bit easier for a while.

Nails have been trimmed and I'll have to make sure that I have nail clippers with me so that I can keep the nails on the fingers I need to use to guide the dilators into my neo-vagina short and easy to keep clean so that I don't end up transferring germs where I don't want them to go.

The countdown continues and as I sit here writing this, in one weeks time I'll have just dropped my son off at college and be driving to the train station to catch the train that will be taking me to the next stage of this journey of mine.

Sunday, 3 May 2015