Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Some Good Times and a Setback, 5 Weeks Post Op Update


In my last post and 3 week post op update, I told y'all how much better I was feeling and that recovery seemed to make a big improvement between days 18 and 20.  I also mentioned that I had company coming later in the week and I was looking forward to some long awaited good times. Well, the good times rolled and I did indeed get out of the house that Thursday for an afternoon and evening on the town in Raleigh.  More friends came to town Friday evening for a nice dinner here in Rocky Mount, and Mitchell came in later than night to spend the weekend with me.  Yes I had a really good time that week, but unfortunately I overdid it and am still paying the price.




Lisa and Teri actually came to spend the night with me Thursday and we had our hair appointments for that afternoon booked before I went to Canada.  I'd planned on going if I felt good enough and rescheduling if I didn't.  Mitchell warned me not to overdo it but I felt like getting out, and going to the salon to get my hair done sounded like a nice treat after the medical ordeal in Montreal.  It's also hard to turn down a chance to spend some time with good friends, so when Lisa and Teri arrived we had a little lunch then hit the road for the hour ride to Raleigh.

This day involved a lot of sitting for me and you may recall me saying that sitting isn't exactly my strong point right now.  I brought my Kabootie seat and took my medication (including pain meds) so I did stay fairly comfortable on the ride up and in the salon.  While my hair color was processing I walked over to the other side of the salon and visited Lisa and Teri who were working with a different stylist.  Getting up and walking around helped but I was already spending more time seated than I needed to. 

After we left the salon we headed to downtown Raleigh to meet a couple more friends and have a nice Mexican dinner complete with my current favorite condiment, margaritas.  My friends Charlotte and Carla had both been to Montreal for GRS with Dr. Brassard, so it was good to catch up with them and compare notes now that I'd also had the experience.

Lisa, me and Teri after getting our hair "did".
Steaming Mexican camarones.
The food and drinks were good and I was really enjoying the company, but while we sat at the table I began to get very uncomfortable and started hurting. When I went to the restroom I saw bright red blood and thought, oh no what has happened.  Except for some low level stinging pain, I actually wasn't feeling that bad and had taken some more medicine so when my friends wanted to check out another bar I tagged along.

I was really enjoying talking to everyone, and getting on my feet and walking provided quite a reprieve from the pressure and pain of the prolonged sitting. We ended up having a couple of drinks at a big bar/restaurant I'd never been to, then 4 of us went to yet another bar for a nightcap.  It wasn't late by any means, about 10 pm, and I had an awesome chocolate martini that served as dessert.  I'd forgotten all about any pain or discomfort by this point and decided to call it a night mainly because I had one more dilation and sitz bath to do when I got home.  It had been a fabulous night!
      

Lisa, Teri, me, Charlotte and Carla after dinner.
Having a little pre Halloween fun.
Having our last drink of the evening.
Yes I had fun on my night out, maybe too much fun.







   











The morning after our big night in Raleigh, Lisa and I walked Buddy and Nightingale around the City Lake.  I'm still not walking both dogs because of Night's propensity to pull on the leash, especially if she sees a squirrel or another dog.  So when I get someone to help me I walk Buddy and let my friend walk Nightingale.  The dogs aren't getting walked as much right now but I believe I will be able to walk them both again pretty soon.
         


Back in form, walking Buddy around the lake.



















Lisa and Teri drove back to Raleigh after our walk.  Neither of them had been to the State Fair and they had a beautiful day to check out all the rides and exhibits at that fabulous annual event.  I really wanted to go but I had my grueling dilation schedule to attend to, and I was beginning to feel more irritation in my surgery area after the big night out.

They came back to Rocky Mount after their Fair day and we met up with local friend Christy, Stephanie (who made the 2 hour drive from New Bern) and Carla (who came down from the Raleigh area).  We had another good crowd for a nice Mexican dinner and a couple of margaritas, right in my neighborhood.

Friday night's dinner.
Mitchell didn't make it down from Virginia in time for dinner, but he did come down Friday night to spend the weekend with me.  He actually had to drive back to Danville, Virginia for work Saturday and stopped over in Raleigh on his way back to look at cars.  He didn't make it home until midnight Saturday night but he had good news.  He'd found a car he liked, and he bought it!
 

After another night of cuddling with my baby, we picked Mama up and the three of us rode to Raleigh on Sunday to pick up Mitchell's fantastic new car. It's actually a 2012 Dodge with low milage but it is a "muscle car" and with Mitchell being a true car guy, this was the perfect ride for him.  I even had to ask him if he was going through a midlife crisis, buying something like this.  :)
My baby and his new ride.


The trip to Raleigh and back Sunday was grueling for me.  Unlike Thursday, I was in a lot of pain sitting in the car for the one hour rides up and back.  My general pain level had also risen and the constant burning sensation had gotten worse.  I began to be concerned that maybe I'd damaged something. Thursday night, when the pain set in while sitting at the restaurant and I'd noticed all the blood when I went to the restroom, is when things started going downhill. Maybe all the sitting on such a sensitive area at such a sensitive time wasn't such a good idea after all.

After that weekend I took some new pictures of my surgery area and sent them to Dr. Brassard's nurses.  They confirmed that there was a concern, as the pictures showed that redness and irritation had gotten worse between days 22 and 26.  The nurse advised me to see a local doctor for a "wound assessment" and that I might have a condition known as granulation. This is something that is fairly common after GRS but treatable.  It's also a condition that women sometimes get during childbirth.

It will be this coming Monday before I make it to the doctor to get this assessment and a general post op check up.  The doctor I'm seeing has experience with transgender surgery and is actually training to perform GRS herself, so I am hoping she will be able to help me.  Things have gotten a little better since this problem first arose but it has not gone away.  It may or may not have come from me overdoing it but at least I will be able to get checked out and receive whatever kind of treatment I need.

I have to admit that I've been a little down since suffering this setback.  I missed posting an update last week because at that time I just didn't feel like writing about things getting worse, especially if my over activity had something to do with it.  In the last few days I've started feeling better mentally and physically, and I've again realized that this is a long, tough recovery.  There are going to be ups and downs.


Dilation has gotten easier and I am on the verge of being able to cut back from 4 dilations a day to 3.  I've really been taking it easy since that big weekend, spending more time laying around and almost all my time at home.  In fact I am lying on the couch now typing this update on my laptop.

Mitchell is coming in tomorrow night to spend the night with me.  Friday morning we will walk the dogs around the lake, have lunch and then he will go spend the weekend with his kids, for Halloween.  I can't wait until I can spend time with his kids but we are riding it out until after his custody hearing.  That whole situation is a story unto itself that I will have to tell you one day.  We are beginning to get impatient with things, but the courts move slowly down here so...


Sunday night Mitchell will come back to sleep over before heading back to Virginia Monday morning.  Monday is also my day to see my new doctor so I'm looking forward to my check up and hopefully getting some resolution to my condition.

I've been lucky so far to not have any major complications with this major surgery.  If I may be so blunt, sex change is a tough operation and recovering from it is every bit as tough as I'd expected.  I can't say I've experienced any post op depression but the past week or so has been as rough mentally as it is was physically, more so really.

When things are progressively, if slowly, getting better and then there is a setback it can throw your whole mood down in the dumps.  Thank goodness I've been able to pull myself out of it and if my report is not tragic when I go to the doctor Monday, I will be back on top of the world again.  I will say that some feelings are coming back, some good ones, and this is lifting my mood even more.


It's been 5 weeks now since my surgery.  One feeling I've had since then is a sensation of the blade, of being cut.  That feeling is subsiding finally and I'm beginning to physically feel more like my new vagina is part of me and not just something that has been sewed on.  It's hard to explain but it's like my body is assimilating it's new part, in spite of any setback or minor damage I may have experienced.

Mentally it's been great since day one but physically its like the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place.  It's a big puzzle and it's going to take a long time, but the signs are there that it's starting come together.

Late night selfie on my big night out.  I will be getting back out soon, so look for me.