So there’s been a lot of me talking about GRS already. Or SRS or GCS or whatever you want to call it. I typically refer to it as GRS, which is “Genital Reconstruction Surgery” but GCS sounds very positive as “Gender Confirmation Surgery.”
I’ll be honest, it’s the only thing I can focus on right now. To me, this is the final step in my transition. While the hormones will continue to do their thing long after the scalpel is gone, the wounds turned to scars…. this is the last step. The point at which I feel like I can relax and just kind of be able to get back to living life. As the one year of being out as trans is rapidly approaching, I consider all the things that have happened since 12/13/14. In some ways, I can’t imagine fitting much more into a year.
People ask me if I’m excited about surgery. The answer is not so easy. It’s complicated. Of course I’m excited but also I’m scared, it’s a major surgery. I could die or any number of lesser complications. I could end up numb for the rest of my life, and I don’t mean mentally. But still, I gotta. Because reasons. To steal a quote from a friend on Twitter, who said it better than I could:
“To me, GRS is an undesirable necessity. Like having a gangrenous limb removed. It’s traumatic and has downsides but I can’t really not do it.”
She’s right. I have often lamented to friends and others that I wished I could live as a “non-op” trans woman. That is, there are plenty of trans folk who never undergo any type of surgical intervention. Or something less drastic like a orchiectomy. It would be less expensive, less painful and ultimately easier in every shape form and fashion. However, I’m not that lucky. I’ve always intended to go all the way. “No more half measures, Walter.”
So what I still don’t know is who’s doing the surgery. As I mentioned in the previous post, I am nearly double booked. At this point, Dr. Schechter’s office has submitted a request for pre-approval from my insurance company. We should have that back sometime in the next week or so. At that point, his office will go ahead and lock in a date for me.
However, in the meantime and in between time…. Megan and I attended the Transwomen National Banquet, for which Dr. Bowers was the keynote speaker. After the dinner had ended, I had a brief moment to speak with Dr. Bowers. While I didn’t come out and say that I was going elsewhere, I let her know that she was my pick forever and always, but that I wasn’t sure if I could wait until 2017. While non-committal, she said she might be able to add a day to her schedule or something like that.
With that glimmer of hope, I did email again to her office manager late that evening relaying this conversation. I was hoping for a reply this week, but based on their past email reply timeframes compounded by the fact that it’s Thanksgiving week, that reply has not yet arrived. I’m fully expecting that when Schechter’s office calls to schedule I still won’t have an answer from Bowers. At that point, I don’t know what I will do. I don’t want to put down another deposit and then maybe lose that money too.
I was doing the quick math in my head the other day regarding the expenses of GRS for me thus far and they tally up to $2200 out of pocket, excluding travel expenses and lost of wages from taking time off work. To which none will probably count against my deductible or out of pocket maximum for insurance. Keep in mind, this is just for GRS. This doesn’t count the costs of just getting on hormones which was over $1000 between therapy, lab work and actual doctors visits. Being trans is expensive. Laser hair removal is super expensive too.. Ugh.
I had my 8 month endocrinology follow-up this past week. My blood work revealed that my body really would rather run on estrogen than testosterone. My T level is sufficiently suppressed. Per the lab, the normal range for adult females is 8 to 55, I’m currently a 10. The only 10 I’ll ever be, sadly. 😉 Estradiol levels were in the mid 200’s, I don’t have the numbers in front of me…. and the Progesterone levels have dropped from being off the scale high even by fem standard to middle of the range. Poorkay says keep doing what you’re doing, come back in 4 more months. That’ll put me back there the week before the tentative date for surgery and a week past my 1 year HRT anniversary.
253 Days on Hormones. ~122 days until GRS.