Its not just loss of dignity at various points throughout this process, though that definitely happened.
Loss? Perhaps not quite the right wordOne thing that maybe has carried me through transition and so much else over the last year or so is the fact that my embarrassment threshold is very low. Or maybe high.
That is: where others stay put and worry at the very idea of putting on a skirt and heading out to the shops, i just do/did. Early days, i knew, every step of the way, just how much i stood out: how every appearance was accompanied by sideways looks and comments and sometimes very unkind words.
But whilst it never had no effect, it mostly flowed past me. Probably helped also that i have been doing media stuff for years: mostly radio, a little TV. ANd before that on the stage politically and very occasionally on stage doing stand-up. That teaches you, as nothing else, what its like to be the focus of attention for a crowd that may not be actively hostile but is distinctly unamused and happy to have a go without a second thought for your feelings.
So on the scale of things, painful bowel movements and enemas and urinary issues are up there along with dying on stage and addressing the Liberal Party Conference: uncomfortable, but manageable.
Which brings me to the latest of my newfound unladylike habits.
I really am not the sort of woman who pees in the shower (partly because i am not a great fan of showers). Give me a good warm bath any day, over a splashy, messy shower.
However, i can’t actually remember ever peeing in the bath either. Oh: maybe as a wide-eyed five-year-old there were odd incidents…but never since. Its just so…ugh! (A reason why i am so disapproving when the boy does it…another boy thing? or do girls do it too? Whatever: he seems more than happy to lie back and top up his bath at the least excuse).
But things change. Peeing is still highly uncomfortable, mostly because the swelling means everything runs back towards the one remaining open wound, which stings. Oh, how it stings!
Solutions advocated by the nursing staff include: taking a jug of warm water to the loo with me, peeing in the shower – or ditto in the bath.
See above. Since i don’t shower much, that option really isn’t on. I take the water jug, but, for now, the one and only comfortable pace to pee is – you’ve guessed it – the bath!
I grit my teeth and do what i must. I am sorry to admit that it is a not unpleasant experience. I trust, however, that when the need is gone, it will not be a habit that stays with me.
Cause that WOULD be cause for regret. 🙂