Ow. Yay.

May. 1st, 2013 03:10 pm
sacredchao: (Default)
It’s now May although in my head it’s still just barely April because as far as I’m concerned it’s still Tuesday night even if I did start typing this at 2:45 am.

So just over a week ago, I regained consciousness and vomited weakly into a bag. That was my first conscious memory with no penis. Except that it really wasn’t. Sure, at that point there was nothing I had which could be pointed to and described as such but I was so swollen and swaddled that it made no difference whatsoever. It would be nearly another six days before I cried tears of joy over that fact.

I should have been typing something every day but I was sore and muzzy-headed enough that the simple lack of being able to just type it all directly into a blog made me give up and either sleep or, latterly, read lots of Terry Pratchett. So let’s see if I can’t remember enough now while I’m still in my hospital bed that my future self doesn’t quite want to throttle me.

I got it together enough the next morning to post on Facebook (and the love I bear my smartphone over this period of otherwise total internet blackout probably doesn’t bear repeating and might be slightly creepy). The resulting tide of love I got from that one post alone makes me realise how ridiculously lucky I am. 80 “likes” and thirty something comments is nothing for a FB post but this didn’t go viral or otherwise get shared, that was entirely from my friends. I got message after message that day and in the days since via Facebook, Twitter, email, text, a couple of different chat clients and in a couple of truly weird instances, phone calls. This is a theme I will probably return to again and again. It bears repeating because that paragraph nearly didn’t exist. I nearly just said that the first two days consisted of me trying to sleep through the discomfort, in between medical needfulnesses and the astonishing physical challenges imposed by eating awful food when you can’t sit up.

The first two days were in fact, discomfort, intermittent sleep, medical needfulnesses, physical challenge eating and unremitting love and support.

Friday brought the first day of elevated temperatures. This meant that food went from boring to nauseating and apart from white bread and simple dairy I couldn’t face food, the smell made me want to gag. The lowering of discomfort from surgery was countered by that non-specific grubby malaise that comes with just fighting off a bug. The drain, catheter and IV conspired to keep me flat on my back and I experimented crazily with bed settings to find one that minimised that and ease my lower back. This was basically me playing with the recline setting. For some reason I couldn’t just raise my feet – that option seems to be mechanically disabled on this bed. Electric motors complain but nothing happens so there are locking pins in or something. This continued on and off over the weekend. In that time I got visits from my parents, the genderqueer and trans community and of course, derby people.

Cut for way too much talk about blood and body parts in amongst the funky self-actualisation thingies. )

The catheter came out the following morning and since then I’ve not been tethered to anything (the IV came out on Sunday) and it turns out that most of the restrictions on my position in bed have been related to the internal form and swelling. So I’m still either laying flat or gently reclined on my back at this point for my most comfortable sitting position. The fact that I can sit upright more or less comfortably on the toilet makes me look forward to the inflatable doughnut cushion Mum says she’s bought me. All the hoops have been cleared as far as I’m aware so I should be headed back to Mum’s tomorrow. A combination of concern for my cat (I dragged her into a strange house and then disappeared 36 hours later – from Bonnie’s reports though she seems happy, but I just want her to see *me* back there again) and the fact that I now have the Amazing Japanese Shower of Extended Joyful Features may see me home earlier than planned after that. From there it’s not quite business as usual but back to real life.

There has been no inkling of regret in this but there have been ponderous, crashing surreal (that’s been a favourite word lately) moments when I’ve contemplated the irreversibility of what I’ve done. Contemplating exactly why this is actually such a big deal might be a whole other blog post because while I’m not going to dispute the idea that it’s a big deal, exactly why warrants more teasing out. Later. So while I could characterise a lot of my thought processed as “Oh god, what have I done.”, that reflects the seriousness and irreversibility of it all rather than the good or bad aspects of it. I’m getting sensations which are either actual phantom sensations or bits of skin so radically relocated that I can’t make sense of what they’re telling me and this reinforces the weirdness of everything. For the most part I’m just enjoying tripping on this. It’s fascinating and surprising and at the same time the culmination of a goal that I’ve been pushing towards for about three years now.

I still stand by what I said earlier about surgery not being the be all and end all of transition. Even disregarding all other trans people who don’t want or can’t have surgery and talking soley about myself, I’d already done a substantial portion of the process of transition well before surgery. But in addition to what I’ve described surgery as before, it’s essentially the last big goal for me to work towards as part of transition. That doesn’t mean I’m finished, not by a long stretch. But it does mark a change to a point where my primary focus might not actually be transition and I can get on with my life.

[edit:]

Now at Mum’s place with real internet.

This morning my surgeon burst into my room which he did every time he saw me in hospital. Now this isn’t an entirely fair description as the man does knock, but then so does everyone else. So at 7:30am which is apparently when he visits post-op patients I get a polite knock at the door which just barely suffices to wake me. “Is that breakfast?”, I think, “Or does the nurse want to do something to me?” (never as good as it sounds) So I cheerfully invite whoever it is in except that I’m not awake so a series of noises emerge that mean nothing except “I’m awake.”, but that’s enough. The nurses and kitchen staff understand this. They crack the door open and explain who they are in gentle terms and then let me catch up. My surgeon doesn’t. I don’t know when he wakes up nor what he drinks when he does but he’s got a full head of steam by the time he gets to me. He breezed in, breezed at me, patted my knee, called me dear and breezed out. My half of the conversation was approximately “Whuh? Uh? ... Home? Yes...today... unh...salt...appointment...?...” Followed by me being functional enough to remember what he wanted to talk about five minutes after he left. Good enough though. Everything was written down for me anyway and I remembered the important bits regardless.
I think it shows how pleased I am to be out of hospital that I sat uncomfortably in the car going down the Southeastern Freeway towards Berwick through the driving rain and genuinely enjoyed it. Then after dropping stuff off at Mum’s we made a quick trip to the shops for a few things. It turns out a supermarket run after sitting in a car for a bit is about the limit of my physical reserves for the moment. I shouldn’t be surprised though, really.

I have liquorice allsorts though.

Ow. Yay.

May. 1st, 2013 03:10 pm
sacredchao: (Default)
It’s now May although in my head it’s still just barely April because as far as I’m concerned it’s still Tuesday night even if I did start typing this at 2:45 am.

So just over a week ago, I regained consciousness and vomited weakly into a bag. That was my first conscious memory with no penis. Except that it really wasn’t. Sure, at that point there was nothing I had which could be pointed to and described as such but I was so swollen and swaddled that it made no difference whatsoever. It would be nearly another six days before I cried tears of joy over that fact.

I should have been typing something every day but I was sore and muzzy-headed enough that the simple lack of being able to just type it all directly into a blog made me give up and either sleep or, latterly, read lots of Terry Pratchett. So let’s see if I can’t remember enough now while I’m still in my hospital bed that my future self doesn’t quite want to throttle me.

I got it together enough the next morning to post on Facebook (and the love I bear my smartphone over this period of otherwise total internet blackout probably doesn’t bear repeating and might be slightly creepy). The resulting tide of love I got from that one post alone makes me realise how ridiculously lucky I am. 80 “likes” and thirty something comments is nothing for a FB post but this didn’t go viral or otherwise get shared, those responses were entirely from my friends. I got message after message that day and in the days since via Facebook, Twitter, email, text, a couple of different chat clients and in a couple of truly weird instances, phone calls. This is a theme I will probably return to again and again. It bears repeating because that paragraph nearly didn’t exist. I nearly just said that the first two days consisted of me trying to sleep through the discomfort, in between medical needfulnesses and the astonishing physical challenges imposed by eating awful food when you can’t sit up.

The first two days were in fact, discomfort, intermittent sleep, medical needfulnesses, physical challenge eating and unremitting love and support.

Friday brought the first day of elevated temperatures. This meant that food went from boring to nauseating and apart from white bread and simple dairy I couldn’t face food, the smell made me want to gag. The lowering of discomfort from surgery was countered by that non-specific grubby malaise that comes with just fighting off a bug. The drain, catheter and IV conspired to keep me flat on my back and I experimented crazily with bed settings to find one that minimised that and eased my lower back. This was basically me playing with the recline setting. For some reason I couldn’t just raise my feet – that option seems to be mechanically disabled on this bed. Electric motors complain but nothing happens so there are locking pins in or something. This continued on and off over the weekend. In that time I got visits from my parents, the genderqueer and trans community and of course, derby people.

Cut for way too much talk about blood and body parts in amongst the funky self-actualisation thingies. )

The catheter came out the following morning and since then I’ve not been tethered to anything (the IV came out on Sunday) and it turns out that most of the restrictions on my position in bed have been related to the internal form and swelling. So I’m still either laying flat or gently reclined on my back at this point for my most comfortable sitting position. The fact that I can sit upright more or less comfortably on the toilet makes me look forward to the inflatable doughnut cushion Mum says she’s bought me. All the hoops have been cleared as far as I’m aware so I should be headed back to Mum’s tomorrow. A combination of concern for my cat (I dragged her into a strange house and then disappeared 36 hours later – from Bonnie’s reports though she seems happy, but I just want her to see *me* back there again) and the fact that I now have the Amazing Japanese Shower of Extended Joyful Features may see me home earlier than planned after that. From there it’s not quite business as usual but back to real life.

There has been no inkling of regret in this but there have been ponderous, crashing surreal (that’s been a favourite word lately) moments when I’ve contemplated the irreversibility of what I’ve done. Contemplating exactly why this is actually such a big deal might be a whole other blog post because while I’m not going to dispute the idea that it’s a big deal, exactly why warrants more teasing out. Later. So while I could characterise a lot of my thought processed as “Oh god, what have I done.”, that reflects the seriousness and irreversibility of it all rather than the good or bad aspects of it. I’m getting sensations which are either actual phantom sensations or bits of skin so radically relocated that I can’t make sense of what they’re telling me and this reinforces the weirdness of everything. For the most part I’m just enjoying tripping on this. It’s fascinating and surprising and at the same time the culmination of a goal that I’ve been pushing towards for about three years now.

I still stand by what I said earlier about surgery not being the be all and end all of transition. Even disregarding all other trans people who don’t want or can’t have surgery and talking soley about myself, I’d already done a substantial portion of the process of transition well before surgery. But in addition to what I’ve described surgery as before, it’s essentially the last big goal for me to work towards as part of transition. That doesn’t mean I’m finished, not by a long stretch. But it does mark a change to a point where my primary focus might not actually be transition and I can get on with my life.

[edit:]

Now at Mum’s place with real internet.

This morning my surgeon burst into my room which he did every time he saw me in hospital. Now this isn’t an entirely fair description as the man does knock, but then so does everyone else. So at 7:30am which is apparently when he visits post-op patients I get a polite knock at the door which just barely suffices to wake me. “Is that breakfast?”, I think, “Or does the nurse want to do something to me?” (never as good as it sounds) So I cheerfully invite whoever it is in except that I’m not awake so a series of noises emerge that mean nothing except “I’m awake.”, but that’s enough. The nurses and kitchen staff understand this. They crack the door open and explain who they are in gentle terms and then let me catch up. My surgeon doesn’t. I don’t know when he wakes up nor what he drinks when he does but he’s got a full head of steam by the time he gets to me. He breezed in, breezed at me, patted my knee, called me dear and breezed out. My half of the conversation was approximately “Whuh? Uh? ... Home? Yes...today... unh...salt...appointment...?...” Followed by me being functional enough to remember what he wanted to talk about five minutes after he left. Good enough though. Everything was written down for me anyway and I remembered the important bits regardless.
I think it shows how pleased I am to be out of hospital that I sat uncomfortably in the car going down the Southeastern Freeway towards Berwick through the driving rain and genuinely enjoyed it. Then after dropping stuff off at Mum’s we made a quick trip to the shops for a few things. It turns out a supermarket run after sitting in a car for a bit is about the limit of my physical reserves for the moment. I shouldn’t be surprised though, really.

I have liquorice allsorts though.

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