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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Why have Surgery

This is something that happened the night before surgery.  I never doubted or questioned what I was doing.  I knew this must be done.  But there was a piece of the puzzle that was missing.  Now I know why.

The night before surgery, it all came to me.  I had spent so much time on the mental aspects and removing the layers of learned male behavior some of which disgusted me (the testosterone fog).  The piece that was missing was physical part.  “Why would surgery matter if you are already living as a woman?” type of question.

But the night before, my early childhood came back to me.  The memories of something wrong – it was supposed to be smooth down there, I was not supposed to have this thing sticking out.  This was long before I know anything of the sexes – I just knew it was supposed to be smooth.  In fact, I remember wondering how I could possibly urinate if it was smooth!  Then my sister was born and for the first time I figured out what ‘smooth’ was supposed to be.

Fast forward to the night before surgery and my discussion with the psychiatrist, my mind had pushed that out of the way so completely, yet the extreme dissonance remained all my life and caused just as much grief as the mental aspects.  But, just like the mental aspects, there were many layers of this physical part that also had to be removed – and that night before surgery it became clear.

After surgery I have to use a mirror when I do my ‘maintenance’ and the feeling of not only completeness but of wholeness is almost overwhelming.  It’s like being back to what I was (even though I never was this way) but that is the feeling – being correct and true and just ‘me’.  It is so wonderful, so incredibly ‘natural’ – I’m running out of words to describe this.

I’ve mentioned before about a body map, a part of the brain that sort of knows what you are, what you have, and where and what these parts are doing.  The example often given is of an amputee who not only still feels their arm but can tell you exactly where it is in relation to their body.  This body map for me is what tells me I’m female, both in the physical and the mental aspects.  The memory from my childhood shows this clearly – I didn’t know what I was supposed to have down there, only that this didn’t match what my body map had.  This is the HUGE relief I have now, when I do my dilation, etc. having to use a mirror and in contact with ‘me’.  It is what was missing, it is what inside me says is supposed to be there.  Now it is!!!!

With much aloha,

Sifan

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GRS and Recovery

On September 11, I had my Gender Affirmation Surgery (as I and many others prefer to call it).  It was a 7 hour long surgery, followed by a 7 day stay in the hospital where I could not leave the bed.  I’ve now been back in the hotel by the clinic for 3 days.  They send nurses here to the hotel to keep track of our progress.

If there ever could be a pain free experience, this was very close.  The most inconvenience I had was my butt on that bed for 7 days and not being able to move except to turn partially to one side or the other.  That was bad but hardly anything to complain about considering this type of surgery.  I have a seat cushion (donut) that is probably the most important item in my possession at the moment!

One of the most valuable parts of this experience is of all things breakfast.  All the woman, pre and post operative usually come done at 9 am for breakfast.   It’s a large family and ‘everything’ is discussed – which is extreme TMI (too much information) for anyone else.  But for us it it invaluable.

The camaraderie, just being with others like oneself and learning of both our commonalities and our differences.  This is very international, I know I now have life long friends in Germany, England, Australia, France, the US and many other locations around the world.

Hearing the experiences of those that are further along then us is invaluable as well.  I have learned a lot and am able to be prepared for what comes next.

Hearing about and sharing issues and problems has also helped alleviate concerns.  For example, I had a bruise appear a day after leaving the hospital, but it turns out many do and it’s just a normal result of the surgery we had.  But without the other’s input I would have been much more concerned.  This extends to other medical and ‘mechanical’ issues as well with lots of helpful advice.

I have created a private FaceBook page that I’m using as a sort of diary with input from others here.  I’ll be distilling this information and creating additional posts here in hopes to help others.

With Aloha,

Sifan