Its not until you see things down in black and white, sometimes, that the enormity of what they involve quite seeps thru. So it is with my op.
I have for some while now been circling ever closer to taking this forward. I am aware, in general terms, what it involves (well, its obvious, innit?) and I know a) that it can go wrong, with potentially disastrous results and b) that it can be very painful. But those are still abstract considerations.
I know they apply. Have known about them for a long time now. Last week, though, I signed a letter of consent. Nothing more, so far, than consent to move on to the next stage, which is a formal referral to Brighton, talking to the surgeon, starting electrolysis.
And it’s a long letter. The first third sets out in medical terms what I understood would be done already. Various bits would be removed: vagina and clitoris created; plumbing re-plumbed.
Then come the warnings. First, there is a danger of damage to rectum or utrethra and, I guess, incontinence. Ouch: I knew that one – have read about cases where it happens –just a shock seeing it written out.
Next, the new vagina may not take, may heal, or may prolapse. Yep: knew that, too.
There may be difficulty in future passing urine or “the stream may be at an odd angle”. Hmmmm. Hadn’t quite clocked that last one, but it figures. Comedy potential, even though it is a serious complication.
The clit may not work. Yep. Have heard that one discussed ad nauseam on forums.
Otherwise, this is big surgery (knew that), possible complications post-op (yep!) and its pretty well irreversible (er, yes).
Interesting. So little new information – yet the process of setting it out in this way is so.. . intimidating.
I shall ponder. More research needed on my part – although I’d say that it doesn’t in any way change my basic desire to move forward. More like a sharp intake of breath and a loud and theatrical “gulp” following.
Some ops go wrong. Period. This would be particularly galling if it did, given that in the eyes of many it is “unnecessary”: except it isn’t. I NEED it: more now than ever before. Just wish it was easier.
Anyone who knows the stats.. I’d be interested. Though if you’re going to send me horror stories, please don’t. I will be probing as much as I ever do when I visit Brighton: I need to understand risk, outcomes, that sort of stuff. I don’t need to be frightened.