Actually, nearly 5 months. 141 days later. Whatever.
Right. So, I have a vagina. Which is weird, because I didn’t always have one. For near as makes no difference, the first 36 years of my life were spent with a penis. It wasn’t all bad. In fact, I said before surgery and I’d say it now, I wish I was comfortable being non-op. Or maybe just an orchi (think castration), if only to avoid the lifetime of anti-androgens.
However, I wasn’t that lady. I survived the tucking game for over a year, and it was all fine and dandy, but I never quite felt whole. I remember when I first came out as trans, people would ask me if I was getting “the surgery.” Kind of a rude question, but at that point I was just glad people still spoke to me. I wasn’t sure if that would be a thing when I posted the letters.
In any event, everyone inevitably asked about “THE SURGERY.” At first, I was coy about it. Even to my psychologist. I said “maybe, if finances allow.” However, in my inside voice I was screaming, “FUCK YEAH, BUST OUT THE SCALPELS AND LET’S DO THIS DAMN THING!!!” Or something like that, I can’t recall actual verbiage, but I’m not faking the sentiment.
In fact, when I sent in my application to Dr. Bowers, I was less than 2 months on HRT and being “full time.” I’d been in therapy for just over 5 months. I had been researching the surgery since I was an early teen. I already knew what it entailed. I was ready, or so I thought.
Fast forward to today. I’m still learning as I go. I still hurt. Dilating sucks. I’m not sure if I’ll ever quite fully understand the flora and fauna of my vagina. I don’t get a period, but I suspect I use more “feminine hygiene products” than any cis girl I know. I’ve been through a whole case of lube and I’m into my 2nd case now. Also two tubes of Metrogel. All the lube is not for happy happy fun time. It’s for dilating. If anyone implies that dilating must be like masturbation, please slap them in the face.
Dilating sucks. Mostly because it’s just a time suck. But then there’s the messiness and the discomfort. For the first 12 weeks, I was supposed to dilate 3 times a day for 15 minutes each session. However because I went back to work after 7 weeks and my workplace couldn’t accommodate my needs…. I just went to two times a day. As far as I can tell, I did lose a little depth from the missing sessions, but everything else seemed to do all right. So I have to continue to do this twice a day for the next 8 or so months, until I hit the 1 year mark. Even then, my surgeon still recommends dilating once a day for the 2nd year, then going down to like once a week at a minimum. This is something I’ll have to do for the rest of my life. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Oddly, the pain is interesting because a lot of the skin and tissues down there are still numb or only have limited sensation. That seems to be continuing to improve over time, but some parts are like the exclusion zone. DEAD. I’m constantly exhausted as my body continues to heal. I have to remind myself that this was a major surgery. It doesn’t seem like it, but it took Dr. Bowers nearly 5 hours to carefully craft and that kind of detail doesn’t heal over night.
So with all the whining, you might think I regret doing it. But you’d be wrong. No regrets, none at all. Even though my vagina ultimately cost me my marriage, I still knew that I had to do it. I remember the anesthesiologist telling me he was going to give me something to relax me. I was already relaxed. I never had the jitters that morning. I was oddly at peace. I wasn’t scared about things going wrong. I was just ready. The recovery has been rough, short of a friend that came down from Michigan to stay with me a few days, I didn’t get many visitors. No one seemed too awfully concerned with checking on me. I don’t know if it’s because they see it as a cosmetic surgery or what. It’s also cost me a lot of time at work that I could have been making money. I’ve missed out on a lot of fun summer time activities…. but despite it all, I’m happy. I’m more comfortable with my body than I’ve ever been in my life. That’s worth a lot.
I’m not going to proofread this, I’m too tired. (insert dealwithit.gif)