Thursday, 22 March 2012

Seven weeks on...

Seven weeks ago I was calmly going to bed ready for a momentous following day.
Six weeks at home now but recovery did not go quite as planned with a small piece of skin graft failing on my inner labia. Hardly the best place to choose to have a wound which you need to constantly dress and keep dry. I have marvelous help from our local district nursing service who have kept me well informed as to progress and have been encouraged that progress was better than expected. I miss their visits and happy demeanor, they were surprised how calm I remained even through some desperate moments. 
I guess I am back on track. I have been out driving short distances but the swelling is a bit uncomfortable still to make longer trips enticing. The swelling makes peeing interesting and random in direction, perhaps that is enough information…
I am coming  back to life and so is the world with longer light and some bright sunny days. The camera came out with me to see what was happening in the garden since I saw the magnolia buds starting to burst open, evidence below.

I am still trying to put into words what it feels like to have a coherent identity. All that buzzing in the head is a distant memory as is the presence of the old equipment. I look down and it all seems so normal, I know that there was something else there before which was a great annoyance but it is starting to feel like it was simply a bad dream… Something which I know used to have me in the depths of misery especially when it mockingly and pointlessly activated itself for no reason! Many others have written about how they did not hate the old bits and even got some pleasure from them and have even written thank you and goodbye letters to their old bits. It is decades since my brief moments of pleasure mixed with disgust so all I can say is good riddance. Naturally my partner thought I was crazy to be exchanging a handy and convenient waste disposal unit for the sleeker hidden version and she has some truth there, after many decades it had not long since finally provided a perfect stream of waste! Still think the exchange is priceless…
For some reason for these last seven weeks music held little interest, iPods lay unused even most of the time in the hospital, books took over and silence was preferred. Music is coming back into my life at last but I have enjoyed my hours of silence. I too am coming out of my tight wound bud and blossoming...


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mother's Day...


Not much finds it’s way into my inbox these days, google has really messed up the comments thread following as if it wishes to kill off bloggers!
In the UK today is Mother’s Day. I was very young when I decided that I would never have anything to do with bringing another soul into this hellish world, it was a few more years before I found out that I was much weirder than even I had thought and had no place in the regular society into which I had been born. I survived the best I could with little enthusiasm for life. This did not mean that if sisters or friends had children that I would not engage with them, in fact I made a point of being more of my true self with these small creatures than at any other time. When it came to my telling them of my transition I was told things like “we never did have an uncle!”, they became some of my biggest supporters…
My one email today was a Mother’s Day e-card… A friend’s daughter had long ago started sending father’s day cards to remind me that she had chosen me as her emergency backup parent should disaster strike. We have much more fun together now! Just a couple of weeks until she flies back for Easter and we can hug again…
It is very hard for me to imagine how I would have felt about creating my own children had I been born female, being a lesbian in the sixties would not have really made my life much easier than being transsexual in the eyes of the rest of society! At least I have got to feel a small part of the emotional bond parents must have with their children and I have to admit it feels good.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Spring and new shoots...


Suddenly I find myself moving out of invalid mode. The discomfort and time dealing with discomfort  have both reduced to the point where real life is starting to gain a foothold. 
Friends were invited for Sunday lunch, one of the reasons for such invitations is to get the house in a tidier state which after five weeks of neglect was long overdue. I finally felt able to tackle a vacuuming session while Julie cooked up a chicken curry which could mature overnight and be easy to serve with minimum time away from guests, this has become more of our style as age creeps on… Think I know where my ache in the shoulder comes from, so out of condition.
Interesting the subtle differences even in those who have been totally behind my change, Having gone to the limit and had the operation any lingering doubts have clearly melted away and they have stepped a pace closer, often literally as when a friend of over forty years finally finds that he can offer a warm hug. His wife who designs and makes knitwear arrived with lots of bags which I assumed were for taking care of their new charge, a guide dog for the blind puppy. Recently the passing of their last dog left them with a dilemma because they did not feel it wise to commit to the lifetime of another dog but missed having one in their lives.

Out of one bag came a soft toy dog which she had found at one of her trade fairs and even found a manufacturer who’s bags had my name on it! Clearly she thinks my life requires a dog but knows that I can only cope with a stuffed one…
After lunch we settled down for coffee and some chocolates when she produced another bag for me containing two of her latest cardigan designs, designs which we had talked about the when I last visited them just before the Brighton trip and I was very encouraging and complementary about several elements of the design and which I had tried on for comfort, she said they were seconds which I somehow doubt… 
We had a great time but could not face washing dishes, not back to full fitness just yet.
Now that I find I have more time free to be me I am spending a lot of time reading or in silent contemplation while Julie has taken to playing music quite loud at the other end of the house, a sort of role reversal.
I have a lot of free time because while I was disabled from sitting at the computer I decided to pull back from my f***b**k presence for a while. I had to edit my timeline incase it was published while I was unable to deal with it, I spent a lot of time working through old posts and mostly deleted them. It was the old me there with a small interesting group of “friends”. While I have been away nobody has been seeking me out and many are posting the sort of angst which I want as little as possible of in my future. Old fiends will not be abandoned but my time there will now be minimal. 
My heart is in blogging which I plan to carry on with, I continue reading all those I follow and will be posting myself for the foreseeable future. Strangely Blogger comment boxes more often than not do not have a follow by email box to click anymore so my email inbox is pitifully empty these days. I am not sure if the problem lies with blogger or individuals having to reset their preferences, if you are not getting as many comments back have a check. The other factor is that so few of the blogs which I have followed for so long have stopped or vanished and because I have added so few in the last year or so my comments have not been so far ranging and fewer followers have found me. All in all this has left me with a very quiet and daily brief net presence, after four busy years this is very strange, not intended, just happened!
I know that I am in limbo for some weeks to come, not able to do as much as I would wish. It is interesting feeling myself coming to terms with the new situation free of the remaining tensions from that pre-op period. The world is still the mad place it always was but I feel quite serene and find some old enthusiasms  starting to re emerge. I have not had the interest, the driven interest, in photography for these last four or five years. I had bought a number of very fine books on the subject in that time but just not felt able to do justice to breaking the plastic shrink wrappings! The first one has been opened, one which I purchased in a museum in Germany last year after I had been telling those I was with that the exhibition of Greek sculpture and ruins was lacking some work by Herbert List. There was his book on the subject in the shop, quite honestly they should have cut one up and pasted the prints on the gallery walls! Yes some interest is returning.
I have been using some of the new free net time to explore some sites about France, I am itching to get the wind and sun on this new body on my favourite beach exactly back where my blog began over three years ago.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Five weeks on...

Five weeks ago at this time I was unconscious thankfully and being rearranged in to a more acceptable form. 
Before the operation I was in a state of complete and utter calm. In the weeks prior to then I had experienced brief bouts of emotion when thinking that I was so close to my goal whilst conscious that chickens should not be counted early… On arrival at the hospital I had expected something of a great emotional out pouring on actually being on the brink of my final step. I almost wanted that affirmation in tears to mark the end of a life long struggle but what I got instead was the utter calmness of knowing that I had arrived and it was the right thing to be doing.
I had signed up for the equivalent of a small car crash and was prepared to put up with any pain and discomfort which came with it. There was pain but nowhere near where I thought it would be! Guts groaned night and day for three days whilst trying to reactivate with a great squeeze every few minutes, it was a distraction from the back pain tall patients get from lying flat… At the operation site little feeling until the numbness set in. A week later, the evening before my departure I lay for nearly an hour staring in wonder at the bruised and swollen miracle between my legs.
By the time I had reached home I was more swollen and it was only a few days before I had to call upon the local nursing services to deal with a small area of skin graft which the surgeon had said had a small chance of failure. The nurses have been marvelous, one is due son to check on progress before the weekend, not really worth being ill at weekends in the UK now… The wound is about a week off having healed over, some swelling still to subside and suture lines to fully heal over, otherwise I am now nearly back on track to recovery.
Ruth has just declared a great result with the healing, just another week or so with the gell dressings to help it along. She was mightily impressed with my five sheet long graph of pee output since the catheter came out and an infection cleared up. Could be a star patient and they will not be back until the middle of next week. Almost starting to feel free.
Many have voiced views that this is something which practically nobody will see and perhaps not so important. I certainly have always thought help with facial problems should be a higher priority but the only help I have ever heard of anyone getting by our health service was after having their nose broken by thugs! 
I am still trying to formulate exactly how different I feel after the operation. Many vanish from the blog world soon after their operation and I am starting to see why they would do that, I am staying on to show that life does go on. 
It is like the calm after the storm, for the first time ever I really feel like my true and complete self, something nearly everyone else on the planet has taken for granted and never even had to think about for their whole lives. Hopefully words will eventually come to let me describe properly this new feeling but that will have to do for now.
I have taken a few photographs these past few weeks but I shall spare you that! I still have nearly two months for everything  to heal up properly, swelling to subside and scars start to fade. I am in no rush, I feel better every day and get to do more and more so should soon leave invalid mode far behind.


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Time to get out...

What strange creatures we are… I have considered the idea of a leather jacket for six decades. Very one which I ever saw that got my juices flowing was always far too soft and so obviously too girlie even for my then androgynous look. The post has just arrived with a beige jacket which tempted me in a catalogue, it is several months since I bought anything for the new me so I have no guilt.
We have been offer a lift to an exhibition opening by my friend Lys, I think it is time to break out of my sick room haven and give my new look a whirl.
Naturally the photographer gets no credit on the web site! c'est la vie…
Phone just rang and an offer to go to the movies. Looks like I am coming alive again, jacket will be worn out before I know it.