Sunday, 26 November 2006

Dial Eight

I've had a lot of queries via e-mail and other means about dilation. It's nigh impossible to answer with any delicacy, so I'll just say what's involved using as objective a medical terminology as possible.

First, clean the area with hibitane antiseptic soap. Plump up the pillows, put a stainproof cover on the bed, and some absorbent sheeting over that. Get out the computer, good book, TV remote, or manuscript you'll be working on, or just decide to have a short nap.

Take the dilator, put on a rubber glove, put a condom on the dilator then a fair amount of surgical lubricant using the gloved hand. The stuff they use to put stomach tubes down throats is better than KY jelly, but don't stint on the stent.

Using a mirror to guide you into the area, smear some more lubricant on the neovaginal entrance. Now relax, straighten out the legs, and insert. If you meet resistance, stop, relax, continue. Keep on doing this until you've reached either your threshold of pain (it's like constipation), or the desired depth.

Now use a bottle or other object held between the legs to keep the pressure up, and the stent in place. Do something useful for the next 90-120 minutes. Sleep is good, if there's no pain.

OK, the timer goes off, and it's time to stop. Withdraw the stent, get appalled by the quantity of bloody goo that comes out at the same time, clean up the area using a tissue and go to the bathroom. Try not to leak on the carpet!

Now use a large syringe full of clean water to repeatedly douche till the water that comes out is clean. Follow up with a 10% betadene douche.

Finished yet? Nope.

Spend a while drying out the area, then use cotton swabs and neat betadine to wipe all stitches and visible wounds. Use burn cream on any necrotic tissue, scabs and so on.

THEN clean up the mess, and make preparations for doing it again in about 10 hours time.

Look, it's just a post-operative surgical procedure, similar in many ways to any treatment to avoid post-operative infection in any perianal region. After a few months, the mess will be less, the blood will go, I can use soap instead of antibacterial solution, and the whole thing will take 45 minutes a day not 4 hours. Maybe less as times goes by. Something you can do in the bath.

It would be easier if I had a boyfriend, then there's no need to dilate after a few months, but I'm not ready for even thinking about that concept yet.

Tomorrow I get an examination to see when I can move on to the next size up. You see the one in the picture is only 31mm in diameter, that's "medium" not "large".

Thinking about that, I am going to get myself a good cup of tea.

But you know what? I'm still so very happy that things feel right now. Not as right as they will do when things are healed, just far righter than they've felt since I eas 4 years old.


Calamity Jane said...

Oh Zoe, what a palaver! Sounds like you're making up for getting away with being a woman without having the 'curse' every month.

Alan Kellogg said...


You think the stent is bad, our Zoe now has to down enough beef liver (iron etc.) to make a hardcore carnivore sick of the stuff. Gender correction surgery is not recommended for diehard vegans. :)

Zoe Brain said...

Jane, that's exactly what I'd been thinking. 35 years, 13 times a year, yes, it's going to be about the same.

The women I feel sorry for are those with radical hysterectomies, who've had both the monthly curse, and if they've had vaginal reconstruction, have to go through exactly the same procedures.

Never mind, at least it's not dialysis...