I haven't blogged in the last few days, because really, tales of bedpans, bowel movements, catheters and the like aren't exactly rivetting reading.
Yesterday was the first day I could move about - with assistance - and see some of the other patients who I'd gotten to know. I also sampled a peculiar Scots Drink, Irn Bru, about which more later.
But walking around with vast quantities of surgical packing in your abdomen, and carrying a bag half full of urine friom the tubing is as unpleasant to describe as it is to experience, not to say undignified.
Today though was the Big Day. The day the catheter was removed - with the prospect of it having to be re-inserted if the urethral plumbing was too swollen. The day about 200 metres of packing was removed from my new improved anatomy. And the day of my first dilation.
I better explain that last part, and there's no particularly delicate way to do it. Until things have settled down,scar tissue stabilised, blood supplies re-connected etc the tendency for a neo-vagina is to close up. Natal women with vaginal dysgenesis or having had reconstruction after radical sugery have the same problem.
That means a um, rather phallic object must be inserted in the neovagina and pushed in as far as it will go until the discomfort is too intense, then held there for several hours every day, at least for the first few months.
Dr Suporn thought he could guarantee a depth of about 15 cm - 6 inches.
Well, at the first attempt - which always over-estimates by 2cm or so due to the swelling - it hit 8 inches. And I think it could have gone a bit further if I was willing to tolerate a bit more discomfort. It will eventually settle down to about 7, though 8 is possible with extra effort and more pain.
Anyway, should I end up being attracted to guys, as everyone seems to think that I will, including my partner, Carmen, it looks like I'll be physically capable of accomodating all but the very largest.
(Is it OK for me to Freak Out now? It is? Good)
But the best thing is that I'm lying back now, dilating, and still able to use my laptop, blog, and do research on my PhD, despite having fully 8 inches of perspex... well, dilating me. So the 4 hours a day I have to spend doing this can still be productive! As well as feeling kinda nice....oh heck, it's obvious I was born for this, my hindbrain set up for a female body in every respect.
And emotionally, intellectually, the whole gestalt adds up to a common-or-garden Geek Girl, just one whose sexuality has been mightily mixed up by having a boy body for so long. Now whether this will change (as everyone seems to think it will, and I'm finding that mildly irritating) or whether I'll remain happily asexual, I don't know.
Whatever, the future is, er, pregnant with possibilities now. And my respect for Dr Suporn's technique is even higher than it was. Yes, it's very invasive compared to all others, longer healing times, more discomfort. But the results are optimal.