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Hellooo Nurse! … GRS continued…

NurseOK, before I continue on my thrilling tale of my surgical experience, I need to set the record straight. It seems some think that I had some kind of unusual terrible experience. This is not at all what I’m trying to say. I don’t do a lot of whiney “oh heavens, cry for me” type posts, and when I do, you will know about it. You’ll bawl like a kid who dropped his chocolate twisty cone into a pile of dog poop. At least with vanilla you can pick the gross bits off if you like. I am, however, trying to set realistic expectations so no one has a mental picture of the bandages coming off and pretty little butterflies fluttering out of there. As for the title of this post, your geek cred is hereby revoked if you don’t remember the Animaniacs.

Last we left off, I awoke from surgery with a terrible sore throat and lots of well wishers calling me. I love them all dearly, but was praying for some kind of disaster to take out the cell towers and let me suck tiny ice chips in peace. For the first 2 days I was not allowed to even sit up, so had to find ways to entertain myself. I figured out the exact timing on the morphine pump and tried to hit it the very second it turned back on. If I jumped the gun, I got a heartbreaking ‘ur-uh’ sound, but practice got me good enough to hit that sweet ‘bleep’ every time. Three times in a row, and it would put me to sleep for up to 20 minutes. After 48 hours of this, I was incredibly tired. There was a TV, but it was one of those LCD dealies that only works right when you are looking right at it. Laying on my back, I could only look up and to the left, making all the images a negative view. I can’t believe fucking ‘Charmed’ is still on like 3 times a day.

Many people describe waking up for surgery and saying it was the happiest they ever felt. I love the idea of that, but I have to be honest here; it wasn’t the happiest I ever felt. I was much happier the day my son was born, the day I got married, and really even the time two bags of cheddar and sour cream Ruffles fell from the vending machine. I was very happy it was done, and felt a sense of calm relief, but in terms of feeling different, it was impossible to tell yet. For all I knew it was just a big gag and someone worked me over with a crowbar for a bit, then packed the area with a shitload of ice and bandages. Besides, I always looked at this operation as a means to achieve future happiness, rather than being the answer to all my prayers in and of itself. It’s like new car elation. At the beginning it seems very exciting, but eventually the thrill of going to work and home wears off. It’s the potential of taking that epic road trip or Wallyworld vacation that makes it all worthwhile.

On Thursday I experienced vast improvements. I was finally given food in the form of the ‘not so clear’ liquid diet. Hot tea, milk, juice, weird tasting “vanilla” ice cream, and something just plain nasty labeled ‘strained cream soup’ that I think was meant for toddlers as it tasted like a mixture of paste and boogers. Ironically, after all my aching and griping, I was no longer hungry. They also took me off of my sweet, sweet morphine pump and replaced it with stupid Vicodin. I was finally allowed to sit up and hate ‘Charmed’ from a better view. Best of all, my mom and aunt finally arrived after being lost in the wilds of Pennsyltucky for many hours, fastidiously following the directions of a malevolently erroneous GPS that they borrowed from my sister. I warned her not to use it to scrape ice off her boots, but whatever.

The nurse gave me fair warning early on that they were expecting me to attempt getting out of bed and standing later on that day. I made myself ready. Prior experience with nursing staff taught me that once a doctor, even one that didn’t see you in person, decided you were ready for something, it was going to happen. The easy way is to do whatever is necessary to comply and maintain a friendly, positive relationship with the staff. The hard way is to listen to your body and offer complaint or resistance and invite irascible prodding with escalating urgency. I took the easy way, and even though it felt like I was straddling red hot iron saw horse. I grit my teeth, rolled over, and stood on shaky feet. “Do you think you can take a few steps for me?” You bet your ass I can! My call button was always answered immediately when that damn machine started its beeping again. This is definitely going on the list of hints and tips I’m putting together. Work with the nurses and life is sweet.

I received a trans visitor not long after my first walk. Cynthia popped in to say hello and it took me a day and a half to figure out that she wasn’t a patient, even though she probably told me. I was super impressed that she was in real person clothes and walking around unassisted. I later found that her wife was the one who was Dr. McGinn’s other patient of the week. There is something very heartwarming in encountering one of your own in challenging situations, though I felt terrible that her wife was having a harder time getting up and probably getting a bit more of the pissed off nurse routine that I was so much trying to avoid. I got a little something that maybe there was some underlying irritation that I was zipping up and down the corridor like some fancy pants show off, but even so, she could not have been sweeter.

Friday came and they were ready to give me the boot, and in grand hospital tradition, at some undisclosed time. I truly doubt our military keeps the timing of critical operations under wraps half so well as hospitals. Could be this morning, could be after lunch, could be tonight, tomorrow, next month, or never. Who really knows? I was given my first solid breakfast and devoured it. I’d say the bacon was the best I’d ever had, but I say that about every piece of bacon I cram in my pie hole. At the specified time, my mom and aunt were ready and waiting. A few hours later, I managed to get myself dressed and was wheeled down, along with my humongous suitcase (Really? You aren’t going to move that yourself. No. ~ Dr. McGinn), to my aunt’s car. Several acrobatic moves later, I was seated uncomfortably in the passenger seat on my donut pillow and off to the bed and breakfast.

Coming soon, or when I get around to it: Why a donut pillow does jack shit on a bumpy road; the worst night; I cry; and why a B&B is a gorgeous and insanely ill advised place to try to recover in.

About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

11 responses »

  1. Any tips on having a passing voice?I sing bass in choir so it’s harder to pass.Also,what was Dr.McGinn’s personality and voice like,if you don’t mind me asking?Im 15 if it makes a difference and I’m not sure if I will transition MTF

  2. I am so glad I cam across your blog! I’m looking at surgery with Dr. McGinn in. 8 months.

    Speedy recovery ma’am!

    • Thanks Rikki! If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line from the ‘Contact Michelle’ tab above. 🙂 Later on I’ll be doing a hints and tips post that should summarize lessons learned.

  3. It was so nice to see and hang out with you! I’m glad everything went so well for you 🙂

    • Thanks Cynthia! It was such a pleasure to meet you! I’m sorry we didn’t hang more, but honestly, I was just not in a state to be very social feeling all disgusting and all. I hope Alicia is recovering well and that is all is great for you both! 🙂

  4. Jayden Alfre Jones

    Lady Wolf,
    Thanks! Again. You have delivered informative, and real life experience with forethought and a somewhat skewed sense of humor, that has entertained me and your countless number of rabid fans in a way that is uniquely, ” Michellelinna “!
    I’m curious,, if you are aware of the little sadistic streak you may have?,Is it unconscious, or conscious? Oh the pain that we drooling, hungered, fans, must endure and suffer, while waiting for the next offering from what we all know is just a fraction of the world spinning around in that pretty head of yours!

    I must think positive and believe instead that you are just a bit of a tease. As a true southern bell, I know that is a natural and necessary component that all great ladies possess, It makes it a little easier to endure the pain! GIGGLE!
    If my constant harsh criticizing gets to much for you, It is easy for you to fix. Just give me more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Just saying!
    Always with the most sincerity and admiration, Jayden

    • Thanks Jayden! Actually it’s a lack of a masochistic streak that kept me away from my writing desk. It was a long while before sitting here for more than 30 seconds didn’t hurt like a mo-fo. 🙂 I am, however, a bit of a tease and freely admit it. Somehow your “criticizing” ends up sounding like the best compliments ever. Hm, maybe I do have a masochistic streak after all? More is coming soon. Promise. And thank you so much as always!

  5. Good to hear that your doing better Michelle.
    I enjoy the way you describe what some people think is a stupid, drastic and unnecessary procedure.
    Little do people understand is that this drastic move will bring comfort and relief to your mental state of being complete.
    When I share your blogs with friends (all genders) they eventually come to understand that GRS is a selfish, self motivated but necessary move on our part to finally achieve harmony within our minds.
    We do not look for fame or recognition for this accomplishment, nor will it be view by others on the internet or national news papers, but only to ourselves, I guess this is the point that most are bewildered by, raising the question “Why would you”
    I am so pleased with your success, although I had to cancel my government paid surgery because of my never ending cancer condition, your success feeds my mental state.
    With tears of joy in my eyes, I find my own happiness thru your happiness.
    Always at your side.

    • Kimberly, thank you so much for getting me! Sometimes my descriptions are a little bit, um, negative, but all in trying to reinforce to the world that no one, sane or otherwise, would do any of this unless they 100% absolutely HAD to. I’m so sorry to hear about your surgery! I pray your cancer condition is treatable and that you continue fighting with tenacity and great courage to the best of all possible results. My thoughts are with you sister; I’m right there by your side as well. My best and love, Michelle

  6. You are a brave soul to endure serious body-altering surgery like you had. I could not imagine doing the same and perhaps that makes Dr. Mazur’s evaluation of me easier. 

    I do like reading these blogs, as you suggested I do, because it gives me a perspective of the issues I will surely face and also guides me as to what to do and not to do as well as define the boundaries of my transition. 

    I hope the “maintenance” of your new architecture is getting easier and less troublesome. 

    One day we shall be regular’s at a coffee shop drinking coffee and discussing politics. Or a bagel place of which there is not a single good one in Buffalo. LOL

    Hugs and sometimes kisses

    Marcia Leah

    On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 5:07 AM, Michellelianna

    • Honestly, I had a hard time imagining it all at the beginning as well. The idea of coming out was terrifying, as were electrolysis and surgery. I simply couldn’t imagine it. That said, I’m gong to echo Mazur here. Only do any of this if you absolutely have to and only if the alternative is somehow worse than going through the pain and cost of it all.

      Thanks for reading! I try to share every which way I manage to step in it, which is frequent, in the hopes that someone else will have an easier time because of it.

      Maintenance continues to be a big onerous bear, and with increasing dilator sizes, is akin to being plowed by one. 🙂

      I’d still love to meet up. I’m back at work now, but have a winter break coming up at the end of the year, so that might be the best time. Totally agree on the bagels. It’s sad when Manhattan Bagel is the very best of the lot. Ugh. 🙂


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