Last week I was preparing to see my surgeon, Dr. Crane, to discuss my challenges with the salami, from here forward known as "Sal." I was having unusual swelling and quite frankly, it was making me depressed. It's like getting a Christmas present that requires 50 batteries, and I never got the batteries. Dr. Crane said as much.
He said, "You are at the three month mark where you want to get back to your life and be done with this process. It takes about a year for everything to work properly, sometimes longer."
Let's be clear. This is what I have done:
- June 2008: Breast reduction from DD to A size breasts, pre-official transition
- May 2009: began official transition, shaved my head to have male-pattern baldness, lived as a man even though I still had a high voice, a female chest, and an enormous lady-ass
- May 2012: Hysterectomy and Oophectomy
- November 2012: Chest surgery; double mastectomy
- October 2014: Chest scar revision
- November 2014: Vaginectomy, urethral lengthening, making of phallus (November 10th is Sal's birthday, awwwww) and scrotum from thigh donor site, skin graft from other thigh
- Weekly injection of testosterone since July 2009
On the horizon I have yet to get my testicular implants and my erectile device, most likely in December 2015.
Two great things happened at Dr. Crane's office. He said that I could fold Sal and wear him sideways or up and that it would not cause any damage. This was of GREAT relief to me, because it was extremely embarrassing wearing Sal in the dangle position. Also, in the dangle position, he acted like a sponge, collecting fluid and increasing in weight throughout the day. Dr. Crane dilated my urethra to make sure I had enough flow for urination.
The other thing that happened is that the BBC was there making a documentary on trans people and I got interviewed. Sal might be featured on the billboards in the UK! Oh my gosh, I have tears welling up in my eyes!
On the down side, I am still struggling with getting off of my narcotics. I wake up with dread every morning which is very unusual for me. Recovering from these surgeries has left me feeling quite exhausted and vulnerable. In fact I feel more vulnerable now than I ever have which is an odd experience. The more complete I become, I am more aware of my feelings. I wish I was in a bravado mood, but I am not.
A few years ago I participated in a Lenten series discussion and was asked to present on Repentance of Sin. I didn't ask for the topic it was a card I drew. I thought "Oh, great. Why me?" But it turned out that in my heart I saw the connection between changing the course of my life from female to male as the turning at the core of repentance. I was living in sin by being a woman. Moving into integrity is my journey to becoming fully male; in thought, word and deed; in my physicality and in my soul.
My transition is my sacred journey. It is what calls me and connects me to the divine. It is my connection to God. In order for me to stay sane I have to stay in touch with each step and treasure it and be grateful for each experience.
Thank you for sharing this journey with me.
In Love and Service,