Sunday, 30 October 2011

666 miles for lunch with Lucy.

The trip meter read 666 miles as we pulled into the car park, we were about two minutes earlier arriving than we had said we would be.

I have met a few fellow bloggers since I started and each one has been a joy to meet and Lucy was no exception. Somehow I had formed a mental image of Lucy from her blog and the few emails we had exchanged and here she was exactly as I had imagined her. If I had learned anything about Lucy it was that she was not afraid to enjoy a decent lunch and that is what we had met up to do. The walk from the car park to the restaurant in the Lanes of Brighton was a only a few minutes so we had the best part of three hours to sit and sip a glass of Tuscan wine and chat about life the universe and everything. It was a fun time which passed in a flash and I can hardly wait until we meet again.
Having come so far is only seemed sensible to pop into the local hospital to see if they could do anything about my small birth defect. We found the place on the outskirts of town overlooking the rolling chalk downs with the sea not far beyond. Heck, this was more like a  smart holiday hotel. They seemed to think it was past it’s prime and renovation was soon to commence to bring the accommodation up to a state the state hospitals could not hope to reach.
No grubby car park with horrendous charges and the reception was exactly like a smart hotel with service to match. A little formal paperwork was soon dealt with and a short walk taken to a comfortable waiting area. Shortly the person who had dealt with the appointment details a month previously found us to ensure that everything was understood then The head nurse who supervises each patient through their whole treatment came to explain about the tour of facilities and meeting with medical staff. Everyone wanted to ensure our comfort and provide drinks while we waited. I was tempted to find a sharp instrument and test wether this was all a dream, everyone was so helpful and friendly and seemed to enjoy the work they did…
Liz, the personal assistant to Mr Thomas and clinical nurse specialist stays in touch with each patient throughout the whole process and she gave three of us her standard introduction to the process and explanation of all required by each patient and then a run through of their procedure with the aid of a cutaway model of the alien structures we were born with. After all my years of interest there were still a few interesting facts which came up that I had never come across. Two of us were all ears but one did not seem to want to know exactly what was going to need to be done, just wanted to wake up fixed! Two of us were somewhat shocked by her attitude as was Liz!…
Julie joined us for a tour round the facilities which normally you would be thrilled to get to use but they start next week to update every room and ensuite facility, those lucky enough to look out to sea will think they are on holiday!
Countless apologies were made for the lateness of the surgeon who had a 12 hour work load before seeing a small group of us. Those with slightly later appointments were former patients returning for checkups and three of us were to see about our birth defects. One of the group had failed to understand that a surgeon can’t expect to be on time and had made some arrangements for soon after the notional time given for her appointment and  Liz asked two of us if we minded letting her go first, she gained no points for not giving full attention and seriousness to the matter! And looked none too happy as she left after her consultation… I got second spot having the longer drive back to my bed for the night so with a good luck message from the other girl I stepped in to meet the surgeon who could decide my fate. Julie joined me for this interesting interview. Liz, and Mr Thomas, a quiet introverted man as she had described him, worked quickly and efficiently through my notes questioning intently all the time and I added information when I felt it relavent. In no time I was ushered into an adjoining room for a close inspection of the defect. Half my clothes were soon on a chair and I was half naked on a couch, something which never bothers me, not really my body!  Another few questions while the defective parts, well those which remain, were man handled and assessed. A cool conclusion was given as to the potential of the remaining material and more than confirmed my intention to opt for a cosmetic procedure. 
Hands and voices are now probably being raised round the world in shock and horror at such a decision. How could you come so far and not get as much as you could? What if you find the perfect playmate in the future? How, why…?
I have my partner of half a lifetime still with me through all of this and she will not be expecting me to be playing away from home and after a lifetime of being unattractive romantically or lustily to more than a couple of people on this planet It is realistic not to raise  my hopes to high that an invisible alteration is going to make me hot property and highly desirable to pounce upon. A recently opened play in London was written by a woman in her late sixties who stated that she had not been touched for over thirty years but wished to have sex with someone she could like as often as possible in the time she still had. I have vague memories from the last century of physical pleasure but know this one will not see a repeat no matter what form I take. I find joy in just being as I am now and hope for more of that when mind and matter are more congruent.
I also want to recover in a reasonably short time since I am the shopper, driver, gardener, half or the partnership and Julie is the brains and not as physically able as she once was. If she remembers she will bring me the occasional hot drink while I recover, unless she is reading a good book then...
At this point I expected a demand to loose weight especially since I have regained some of the summer losses whilst testing the current menu choices in France, I was anxious that I was not going to be really accepted by some of the French family so comfort ate for a while then acceptance grew! No demand for weight loss was made and it would have been so much easier to do if ordered upon pain of refusal to operate! So which parts need hair removal? None!
Then I heard the words “I think we could possibly do this in the first half of next year…”!
I must have had a smile on my face when I returned to the waiting room and the girl who was to follow me asked the rhetorical question about it going well and I could see that it had given her some hope too as she set off for her chance at being repaired.
Now returned home and not looking forward to the darker evenings after the clocks change tonight. Some time in the very near future Liz is going to be telling me exactly how their timetable is for me but already my mind is racing trying to get organised. I still feel like I am in a game like snakes and ladders and will suddenly be flung well back. Just my pessimistic nature based on previous life experience. I will believe it when the stitches come out…
Still feel low writing when I know this is the post Melissa was waiting for and would have enjoyed and shared my joy.


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  2. Such a lovely lady, such a shame not to be able to share the joyful news with her. Lets hope she already knows.

    As hospitals go, I have been to worse. The delight of a sea view room has yet to be bestowed (perhaps one day) but I have had the pleasure of meeting Dr T and Liz. The former, later showing his skills with the knife (sadly not as deeper cut as I would now desire) and the latter who provided much needed reassurance. I know you are in good hands.

    As for the decisions you have made - your journey, your choices. Good for you.

    I hope time flies for you.


  3. I am shocked - they did not ask for the weight reduction that you were expecting!!!

  4. Caroline, you are much too fulsome in your praise of my lunchtime company! I admit that I'm reasonably easy to get on with, and never at a loss if a good lunch is suggested, and I have been known to enjoy a glass of wine or two. But the real stars of the show were yourself and Julie.

    I'm struggling to recognise the photo. It isn't Jamie's Italian (where we lunched) nor the Brighton Nuffield Hospital. Do let on.

    It all sounds highly promising for an early operation! You can have it faster, because if you go for the purely cosmetic version, there is no need to spend time clearing your penis shaft of hair. And afterwards your healing will be a much simpler affair, with no lifelong dilation to keep up either. And yet those alien male bits will be gone forever.

    Most people decide to have a vagina created, as I did myself, but it involves more in the way of potential healing problems, a lot of ongoing daily maintenance, and at the end of the day it could turn out to be a white elephant. Certainly, if the possibility of penetrative sex is nil, what practical use it it? There is the psychological angle, of course, if you have one: the fact that you have a functioning internal female feature, and even if you don't intend to have any sex, it might nevertheless represent a comforting bit of extra 'authenticity'. But most of the feminine thing is in the mind, and surely one can feel adequately female without a manufactured vagina.

    I'm astonished that the Nuffield needs to upgrade and refurbish. Well, I look forward to visiting you post-op, and enjoying caviare-on-toast with you!


  5. Two amazing blog posts have greeted me this morning! I'm so pleased for you. I expect that you're still pinching yourself. Like Becca,I hope that the time passes quickly for you

  6. Still smiling, despite the clock change.

    @ Lucy. If I had been younger and a free agent I am certain my choice would have been different. I am nothing if not pragmatic an fortunate that Mr Thomas is one who considers this choice a suitable and valid one to make. The picture represents how I thought the front of your house would look..... It is actually the Vyne, a National Trust property which we visited on the journey south.

  7. Thanks for that, Caroline. A useful summary of what to expect from the consultation... :)

  8. Well, Caroline, first things first...

    I so envy your having lunch with Lucy. It has always been fun to meet fellow bloggers. Unfortunately, some of my best friends are thousands of miles away. Nevertheless, I am bless to have many here in my neck of the woods.

    As far as the other subject goes, it's body and who cares what anyone else thinks? I'm happy for you.

    As a student of the subject, dating back to my high school years, I did want to ask if your prior surgery resulted in a loss of material to work with for your final surgery. Early in my life, I had come close to doing the first surgery myself and I would still consider it today, albeit having it done by a surgeon.

    Cali xxx


Many thanks to all who ever joined in the conversation and to those who took the time to follow my zig zag to a new life..

I can be contacted on the email found on my profile page.