Last post (!)

Nah..not exactly the LAST post…but, i can never resist the slightly punning headline. So. Here goes.

One hour to go, give or take.

A sleepless night

Its been a broken night. I tidied my room. That felt important. Just looking around and seeing the mess that one day’s occupancy had already reduced it to, i decided i would not want to come back from theatre and be unable to do anything about the state of the shelves and such for days to come. So we’re neat and obsessively organised.

Attempts at tv and reading were a failure. I drifted off, eventually, around midnight, and was conscious of waking every now and then to check the clock and wonder if it was time yet.

At 4 – or maybe 4.30: i wasn’t wholly conscious at the time – the dehydration nazis paid a call! A bit like the tooth fairy – only this lot remove your jug of water “just in case”. Huh! As if…

Although, the very fact that you know you CAN’T grab a sip of water makes you even more conscious of that fact.

An hour or so later, was soken again by the bloody kestrel: i think its laughing at me!

Rude awakening

At half six, as promised, the lady with the enema turned up. That was…not quite as bad as feared. I rolled over. She inserted something cold and hard inside my posterior…and minutes later i felt the urge to go. Still, as she said at the time: “from here on in, there’s not a lot of dignity to the process”.

Which feels about right given the nature and extent of the surgery involved.

An hour or so later, the surgeon was due to turn up for a last word or two. However, consent forms are now signed, so unless he has any serious last words, i guess there won’t be much to hear i haven’t heard already.

Am i still happy to go ahead? Er, yes. Decidedly.

Decision time

One last-minute wobble, before i went to sleep, had me worrying at the fact that i was worried. Or maybe that i wasn’t worried. I’ve said, over the last couple of weeks, that i feel increasingly divorced from the decision to go ahead.

It feels right. Utterly right. And when it comes down to it, that’s how i work much of my life. I don’t deconstruct. Or rather, i do – but it isn’t the detailed deconstruction that i use in the final analysis. Just the gut feel after i’ve processed everything i feel needs to be processed.

Going forward with this op has felt so right for so long that its hard to imagine not doing it. Which in turn sets me wondering whether i am capable of rational decision, which leads me to wondering if any decision is valid, which leads me to… Oh, for heaven’s sake!

I know what i’m doing. I’m over-rationalising. I know what i want, what’s right…but after so much worrying and intellectualising at the decision, i am left almost paralysed by fear that i could make the wrong one.

So late last night i stepped back. Literally. I did something i haven’t actually done even once since i began to transition. Which was to disrobe and look at me in the bathroom mirror. Not just “look” – but REALLY look. Take stock and ask myself: Jane, what do you want…what feels happy?

And most of me looks good now. I like my top half (and no: we’re not just talking boobs, which sadly have suffered from hormone withdrawal). I’m not altogether pleased with my tum – but that’s something that diet and exercise will, in time, sort out.

And then there’s “downstairs”. No. It won’t do. Its utterly ridiculous! I don’t like my below-waist anatomy. Did i say “don’t like”? I despise it. It doesn’t belong any more (ever!). Could i, would i, want to live with that the rest of my life? No. That’s the simplest honestest reaction i have.

With one hand, i reach down and tuck. That looks right…feels right…makes me smile.

So? I may be a touch saggy and middle-aged. But i’m a saggy and middle-aged woman. And all this fuss…all this consternation is because i’m revoltingly conscientious. The last week has seen me assailed by all the arguments from all the people who don’t want me to proceed. Its “wrong” or perverted or not approved of and…i’m trying to argue back. Which is itself silly of me.

There is no cast-iron guaranteed intellectual answer: if there were, we wouldn’t have the continuing fuss about whether trans is right, wrong or something else entirely.

So. jane. Time to stop with the self-torture. You know, deep down, what works, what’s right. You have only to look in the mirror and you can see.

So now its sit back: await the anaesthetist…and pray that the final, final test (a cytoscopy, if anyone is interested) turns up nothing at all of concern and next time you wake, you’ll be a 100% new woman.



2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Lucy Melford said,

    You’ll be ‘done’ by the time you see this, Jane, so it’s a bit late to wish you good luck. However I hope you’ve woken up feeling emotionally euphoric, even if they have trussed you up so severely that it nearly hurts!

    Expect VERY tight suture lines, and believe me, they won’t ease off for weeks ahead. Expect some bleeding from your new urethra – I bled a lot – but it’ll be sorted before you leave. You will get apprehensive about having your first pee, but that’ll be all right; and here’s a tip: it might be more comfortable on your sutures if you didn’t sit down, but pee’d standing in the bath. You will get fed up with lying around in bed in perhaps just one position, and maybe not being able to sit up properly. You’ll get fed up with the ‘low-residue diet’, and long for buttered toast and a roast dinner.

    But a week from now you’ll be a proud woman in a way you weren’t before, and what a difference it makes!

    Please give my love to Liz Hills, and nurse Carla if she’s there.


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