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Month: May 2016

Out there and back

Out there and back

I don’t even know what I want to write. I just know I wanted to put something in text. Things are weird in my mind right now. Megan and I are talking about our futures apart and I’m trying to imagine my life, moving forward from here.

I’ve gone through the five stages with the marriage thing… I’ve been angry, I’ve been in denial. I tried bargaining. There’s certainly been depression, but for now, I’ve just accepted it as an inevitability. Something that’s kind of been drawn out maybe longer than it need be. There were reasons, like her being able to come with me to California as my spouse, my medical proxy, my caregiver.  However, we’re more like besties than lovers at this point. She says she wants to still be able to come over and have sleepovers and whatnot. We’ll see.

As for me, I have sort of a rough idea of what I’d ideally like to do, to simplify my life and get back to basics. The broad strokes are:

  • Sell the boat.
  • Take that money and finish the Jeep.
  • With the Jeep running, sell my car. (eliminating debt and lowering insurance.)
  • Sell the house.
  • Take that money and buy or build some form of tiny house. (No more mortgage.)

At that point, all I’d have left is credit card debt, land lease cost, utilities and child support. Getting rid of that extra overhead might allow me to explore other options for work, location and my overhead quality of life. I’ve spent so many years working to buy stuff, chasing happiness through possessions. Shit that didn’t make me happy (for long.) I have owned 18 different cars/trucks in about as many years. Plus the boat, the jet ski, the scooter, etc, etc. It’s fleeting.

I want to get back to basics. I want to be able to cook, listen to music, and relax. Spend more time enjoying the company of others. Less time lying about.

At the same time, I’ve also considered moving somewhere else and starting over. Somewhere a bit more trans friendly than Kentucky. I’ve looked at options to make my tiny house mobile. My biggest concern is, of course, my children. I want to be in their lives. There’s nowhere geographically close to Louisville that’s more trans friendly. Indiana – No, Ohio – Nope, Tennessee – HAHAHAH. No. Chicago is probably the closest. For the really decent places, you have to go far west, or to the northeast.  As it is, I have a newfound interest in the northeast. My interest is less of the place and more because of the people. Of course when I say people, I mean a person. However, from where I’m sitting, she might as well live in freaking Narnia.

I try and convince myself that the ideas in my head are probably better than the reality. I truly am a pragmatist in the brain. However, my heart is a hopeless romantic. There’s not much I won’t do for someone’s affection. With my marriage, the only thing I could do to save it was the one thing that was going to kill me in the long term.  So here we are.  From out there and back.

Ok, this is total drivel and I’m going to stop now.

Post-op: A 20 Day Review

Post-op: A 20 Day Review

Sidenote: I started this a couple days ago and fell asleep while writing it… Woops. I incremented the days in the title to reflect this.

I’ve been home for about 12 days now and I keep intending to write something… However, sitting in my desk chair is uncomfortable and I don’t really like typing on my laptop keyboard for any length of time, but whatever. I feel like the longer I wait, the less likely that I’ll write anything.

As a bit of fore-warning, I am probably going to be a bit graphic. As such, proceed with caution, depending on your comfort level.

I’m exhausted. Just all the time. Severe lethargy. It seems like the less I do, the more tired I am. Likewise, my pain levels have elevated as well. I guess healing is energy intensive. Who would have thought?

From a healing perspective, things  seem to be mending well, with only one notable exception.  Last Saturday, I popped a stitch. I had noticed the end of the thread had been hanging out since the hotel stay in California, however it didn’t seem to be a big issue. However, the evening, it was totally out.  With the stitch out, the seam of the wound separated.

Monday, I scheduled an appointment with my primary care physician to have her take a look at it. She examined it and she tried to calm my nerves. She said that it has a bottom and it’s not tunneling inside my body, which is a good thing, she also mentioned that the area couldn’t be restitched due to the fragileness of the tissue.

Her suggestion was to stop doing so much. Which she was right. The problem is,  I had been feeling good and I thought I could do more. With that feeling good, the body had not been as responsive as maybe it should be. I can only describe it like getting a sunburn. You really don’t notice until it’s far far too late.

Additionally, she attempted to take stress off the tissue by pulling the skin together and securing it with SteriStrips. The problem with the strips is that when I pee, because everything is kind of swollen still, my pee runs everywhere before it falls subject to gravity. The bulk runs down my labia on either side and then follows that path towards my butt. The wound is at the entrance of the vaginal canal, where it meets the perineum. So when the strips get wet, they lose their adhesion and they come loose. Walking will do the same to a certain extent, especially with a little bit of sweat mixed in with some discharge.   My solution has been to just keep my butt in bed as much as possible.

However, by Wednesday evening, the wound looked like it had gotten larger. I was scared, I was crying… I was inconsolable. Terrified that I was going to ruin everything or end up with some sort of flesh eating infection in my vag, I was just a mess. So I emailed my PCP and explained that it seemed to be getting bigger. Her medical assistant, who’s awesome, called me the next morning and told me to come back in so they could take another look.

So I went in and she was relieved when she saw it, because I guess I had concerned her that it was much larger. She did confirm that yes, it was bigger, and the split had actually gotten into the vaginal tissue. However, she also said that it had tapered itself in such a way that she didn’t expect it to continue to separate further.

Since then, aside from a couple of trips out for food and then Hunter’s 1st Birthday Party, I’ve stayed in bed, on the couch, or sitting on the patio (as I am now). Even the party, I spent the majority of it in a lazyboy with my feet up. This has led to some fairly dramatic healing of the area. I’m sure it’ll be weeks to a month before it’s fully closed. Which is concerning if I’m supposed to go back to work in 2ish weeks. I don’t move much at work, but I have to walk nearly 2 blocks each way to the parking garage and walk up and down 4 flights of steps.

Likewise, the 3x daily dilation regimen will be difficult to maintain with some duration between the 2nd and 3rd. If I get dilate before work, that’d be around 9am. I wouldn’t be able to dilate again until about 8pm and then again around midnight. Basically means I’ll lose 1.5-2 hours that I could be spending with family/friends in my already short evening.

As for the pain, I’m still in a lot of pain most of the time. One would think that the pain would be between my legs, inside the actual vagina, or the wound separation. However, the bulk of the pain is in the pubic area. There’s no visible bruising, but deep down in the tissue, it’s miserable. I’ve just finished my 2nd bottle of percocet since being discharged and I haven’t been taking as much as I would like. I’ve tried replacing it with high dose ibuprofen and it only takes the edge off. Might bring 7-8 pain to a 4 or so.

Still waiting on my surgical declaration letter from Dr. Bowers. I want to get my birth certificate updated before Governor Bevin realizes that it’s legal for me to do so. My luck, he’ll repeal the law in an emergency special session.

More later, stay tuned.

Summer Skin

Summer Skin

As the dressings were removed, I felt the new life I’ve been leading had been validated. In reality, it was the same life. It just looked different to everyone else. I felt like it wasn’t me that radically changed, but the perception of me. Yet, we all changed in some ways; as we struggled to evolve and adapt to our conditions and environment. I desperately wanted everything, yet nothing to change. Likewise, while the unveiling was something that I took in with satisfaction and joy, not everyone shared that sentiment.

In any event, while grooves were being worn in the waiting room floor, cuts were made, stitches placed and the scalpels washed and put away. Just two days later I stood for the first time on wobbly knees, nurses on either side. She sat on the couch in front of me, watching on as the staff attempted to wrestle panties around the catheter bag and line while simultaneously keeping me from teetering over onto my face.

During this spectacle, I noticed a drop of blood hit the floor, followed by another. When I looked up, she had averted her eyes; her hand shielding her face as if to protect it from the sun. My concern immediately turned from my own predicament onto her, asking what was wrong.

“I can’t look,” came her reply.

My heart sank somewhere beyond the pit of my stomach. A rush of emotions fueled by hormones and Percocet convinced my brain that this was it. The moment where she could no longer look at my body or me. As the nurses finally wrestled my undergarments into compliance, tears crept from duct to cheek. As I waddled out of the room and down the long corridor, I considered how it had gotten to this place.  How I could be so blind, so stupid.

Once I had completed my victory lap of the 4th floor, I returned to my room. I mumbled through my emotions, asking if it was me, the vagina or the blood. She assured me that it was simply the blood and that she was squeamish. I felt somewhat relieved, but my confidence still shaken to the core.

Somehow, I feel a little more alone now. No matter the proximity. Nothing will ever be like it was before, not for anyone. Everything changes. Just somethings more drastic than others.

‘Cause the seasons change was a conduit

And we left our love in our summer skin



I tried to think of an appropriate title for this entry.. Like I’ve had this window open for about 30 minutes trying to come up with the a title. In the end, one word was all it took, and it fits perfectly.

So yesterday, I woke up at about 6am. Still partly wired for east coast time and also just being a whole ball of nerves, feels, and other emotions. The day that I have been dreaming of for years and decades and lifetimes had finally arrived. Overcoming all adversity in my way, I had arrived at the finish line and all that was left was to step through the ribbon.

I don’t know that a non-trans person can ever fully understand what this means for someone like me. I don’t know that I could ever articulate it in such a way that would convey the complete story.

Finally getting out of bed at around nine after dozing in and out of consciousness, I bathed for the last time with a special antibacterial soap that hospital had provided.  I shaved my penis, scrotum, and pubic area; forgoing my legs and armpits for once.  I brushed my hair and dressed in a light sundress. I decided that I no longer needed to tuck, for in a couple hours I would no longer have anything to tuck.

We arrived at the hospital just before 10:30am. I checked in at admission and she directed me to the surgical department on the main level. We waited about 10 minutes here, before we were led out of the waiting room. From here, I was weighed and moved into a post-op room and put on my surgical gown. I signed all my final releases and we waited. and waited. and waited. Surgery was originally scheduled for noon. We were notified about 11:55 that we were going to be moved back to 12:30 due to a delays. Dr. Bowers came by, as well as the OR nurse and the Anesthesiologist. My pre-op nurse told me that Dr. Bowers makes the prettiest vaginas and my wife was going to be jealous. I said, “I’m ok with that”.

At, 1:14PM pacific time, I was rolled into operating room #2 at Mills-Peninsula Hospital. The OR nurse, whose name was Megan, introduced me to a couple other people who would be assisting. They had me verify why I was there and what surgery I was having. Being caught off guard, I said GRS, Genital uhhh rea-re-uh-reconstructive surgery. Close enough, right?

They pushed my gurney up against the operating table and had me slide over. The table had a oval hole/indention in it and I was instructed to slide my butt down to the edge. The put arm boards out and then strapped me down to the table. At that point, the anesthesiologist started to run his IV line into my left hand, where it still remains at this time. He hung fluids and then proceeded to administer a sedative to relax me. He said “This is going to make you feel really good.” I closed my eyes for just a second…

And I woke up in the recovery room. It was just after 5PM. A brief panic rushed over me, and I couldn’t really get words out because my throat was so dry. But I managed to ask the nurse if the surgery happened. She confirmed that it had and everything was fine.

At that moment, the euphoria rushed over me. I smiled a huge smile, and some tears welled up in the corners of my eyes. It was as if every wrong in the universe had been righted, the stars had aligned and I was complete.  I pulled back the blanket and lifted my gown and peered down at my crotch and it was perfectly flat. I knew I had made the right decision and that this was what I needed to live my life fully.


Deep in my own feels, I wanted Megan to be with me, but she wasn’t allowed in the recovery room.  Eventually, around 6PM they brought me to my room where I’ve been ever since. I’ve not been able to get up and walk. I’ve been playing on the internet and having ice packs on my crotch.

This afternoon, Dr. Bowers came to see me. She said that everything had gone well. Since I was not overly endowed, and due to some atrophy from lack of use, she had to be creative with the tissue in order to achieve adequate depth. She also said that the aesthetics are beautiful and that I’m going to be very happy with the end result.

So tomorrow, I will be able to unwrap my birthday present.  I’m pretty excited to see it, even in it’s swollen and bruised state. I’m hoping to get a shower in and maybe shuffle around the nurse’s station. While this bed is comfortable, I’m ready to be free of it’s pillowy bonds. Monday, I will head back to Dr. Bowers’ clinic for packing removal (the magic scarf trick) and instructions on how to dilate.  Provided no complications, I’ll be released from her care. Life goes on and I hope I to be part of it for a long time to come.

I apologize if this is rambling or incoherent. I think it’s time for me to take a nap.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

The day has finally arrived. I can hardly believe it. Yesterday, Megan and I met with Dr. Bowers at her office in Burlingame. She was very friendly, asked questions, answered ours. She examined me and said that she didn’t think there would be any issues and that she expected the results to be very good. 

After that, we went down to the hospital and had my blood drawn one last time. From there, we picked up my bowel prep prescriptions as well as dropped off my post op prescriptions for antibiotics and pain killers. 

The rest of the afternoon I spent holed up in this hotel room, drinking a gallon of something called Go Lightly. I will tell you right now, that it is false advertising at best. A god-damn lie, I would proclaim. I’ll spare you the details, but food poisoning is about the same deal. 

Currently, it’s about 7:30 pacific time, and we check into the hospital in about 3 hours. I’m not nervous at all, not any more. I feel totally at ease with my decision and I’m comfortable with everything that’s about to happen. I suspect that as they’re starting the IV, I might get the jitters, but they have drugs for that. 

I don’t know when I’ll feel up to posting again, but I’ll try…