Suporn GRS Diary – Day 5: Emotionally depleted, arrival at hospital and ending on an incredible high

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I woke feeling empty. Like an shell of a human. Like a robot. I felt depleted by the emotion from yesterday and the lack of sleep.

I made coffee and checked my email.  I had received an email from a friend overnight. She’s having facial surgery the same day as I have my lower surgery.  I had done some nice things for her. I’d bought her a nice pillow case for her hospital room and written her a different card for every day she will be there. Her email was because she had arrived at her accommodation and didn’t like her room or the bathroom and was upset that the makeup mirror wasn’t lit and there was only one plug by the bed. It all seemed so out of perspective – she is doing something that should help her affirm her true gender; The makeup mirror is not fucking important. She’s having facial surgery – she won’t even be wearing makeup! I suppose if I’d had more capacity to be a supportive friend I would have wanted to explore whether this was all anxiety or a genuine loss of perspective. I was also hurt that she hadn’t even bothered to ask how I was doing especially after all the love I’d poured into the cards. I bashed out a somewhat brief response suggesting that these things weren’t a priority and that she will be OK – it’s a minor surgery and not at all painful. I felt sad at my friend’s insensitivity. I went down to breakfast feeling further depleted. I just felt hollow and numb.

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Miranda and Vivian were there. I unburdened on them for a few minutes. I could hear my voice was monotone and flat. Talking made it a little better, but there was still no feeling – the emotion battery was just empty.

I have been worried about the risk of this surgery because I had a complication when they tried to wake me up after my last surgery. I’ve had this worry that these might be the last few days of my life. I got some paper from reception and hand rewrote a new will. Vivian and Miranda witnessed it. Later I emailed it to key members of my family. I also specified what I wanted done with my body in that eventuality and was hit with a wave of tears – but no definable emotion – it was just raw.

One final thing to do before leaving for hospital was get the gel removed from two of my nails. There is a nail bar next to the clinic, so I went there.

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I realised I’d be looking at my toes for a week and the old polish looked awful, so I got a mini pedicure and my toes painted in my favourite blue. Unfortunately it all took longer than I thought and so I ended up getting out of there fifteen minutes before I was due to leave the hotel.

I hadn’t packed. There was a frantic 15 minutes and I was down there only a minute or so late. On the bus to hospital I met another woman on her way for the pre op day I’d experienced a couple of days before. She was radiantly positive. I just felt dead inside. Still empty. I tried to explain to Nok how I was feeling and she seemed sad for me.

We arrived and checked in, which consisted of signing many similar forms all of which absolved Dr Suporn, the Clinic and the hospital of anything. I was then weighted and my blood pressure was taken. It was fine because I got the standard “you may go”, but this time with a positive nod.

I checked into my room and immediately started putting up cards and photos on the wall opposite my bed. This is something I did when I had Facial Surgery in Marbella and it made a huge difference having something to stare at other than my feet.

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I was weighed and had my blood pressure was taken again. I was apparently no heavier than fifteen minutes ago. Lunch arrived and it was Pad Thai. I’d heard very bad things about the food. Honestly it was pretty decent. I think the people that don’t like the food might be trying to order the approximation of western meals.

Suddenly I was whisked away back to the clinic to have my consultation with Dr Suporn. Unlike the previous times I’d been there, the clinic was full. Everyone waiting for their moment with the great man. Dorrie enjoyed the massage chair while we waited & I was presented with a little bunch of flowers.

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Eventually I was called in. I already knew he was so busy that he has two rooms and he would flit between them. I entered and was told to remove my knickers and climb on the bed. I got on the bed and pulled up my dress and they covered me with a cloth. I waited for the Dr Suporn to finish next door. Then the door opened and he strode in and simultaneously, the lights kind of came on. It was slightly bizarre. He flicked a millisecond glance at me, but then immediately focused on some other paperwork on the desk that was awaiting his signature. He focussed on it intently. Suddenly he was finished with that and he turned to me and rose and said: “Hello Amy, you have your surgery tomorrow”. He examined me very briefly, with a few stretches and tugs. It felt a little like when a contractor comes into your home to size the job, but with a savant air of brilliance about him. He discussed that he had less to work with because of my circumcision, but there was plenty there for a “very good result”.  We sat and reviewed the presentation on his website. I have poured over this many times, but still with his broken english I learned quite a lot of new things. He impressed upon me the importance of dilation “I can be sure of my work, but I cannot guarantee the work you will do at home, once you lose your depth you cannot get it back”. I left feeling that this man was truly an artisan at what he does and will give me the best outcome I can hope for.

Back at hospital, I finished my room and just tidied up really well. I said my goodbyes to Dorrie (who is now known as Mum to the nurses as it’s easier and not far off the truth).

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Home making was very restorative and I could feel myself returning and there was a flicker of excitement for the first time in days. For me though, writing is cathartic, so I wrote yesterday’s blog and another about why I’m not scared anymore and how I feel like an astronaut and a message to my daughters. I felt more like my normal self; Recharged by introversion.

Supper was very early (thankfully given what was coming up). I’d chosen another thai dish and it was fine. Knowing there would be stuff to eat made me feel better. Maybe i’ll be laughing at my own hubris in a day or two.

All this time something had been looming. The dreaded Enema. Every post operative woman seems to mention it with anything between a wry smile or an outright statement that “it was worse than the surgery”. The nurse arrived wheeling in a formidable looking cart of implements.

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I’m not going to go into too much detail, but honestly it was the least worst thing that’s happened of stuff that’s happened to me since beginning transition. I’m not saying I loved it, but it was completely fine. Just odd. After that bizarre experience I showered and washed my hair. I felt so much better. I was ready to do this.

I had a call with my friend and it was so wonderful to talk to them for a few minutes. Finally I felt unbroken again.

I am sat here and realise I don’t really emotionally believe any of this is really going to happen. Intellectually, I know that in the morning they will come for me and we will do the final preparations and I will be taken to the operating theatre. I know that after that I will wake with pain, but my penis will be gone forever and I will be whole. I have wanted this for many years and spent so much time thinking about it, but I don’t really believe its really going to happen. In a few hours. This was my childhood “if the genie gave you one wish” fantasy. It is literally a lifelong dream. I know if asked at the age of six, I would have answered the genie without skipping a beat “I want to be a girl”.

I’m typing through the tears of joy now.

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See you in another life.

Amy x

GRS Diary: Extra Post – Why am I not terrified?

I feel strangely serene. Actually I feel like an astronaut waiting in those final few hours. This metaphor may seem cliched and obvious, but it really does have this kind of feeling.

Maybe one of the later Apollo missions; Apollo 16 perhaps. Not the last not the first. Others have gone before, but so few. It was an extraordinary act; To step on the surface of another world. The later missions were regarded by the public as almost routine. And yet… still in reality utterly extraordinary.

Long before the Saturn 5 left the launch pad, the astronauts were in a system. They were scrubbed and cleaned out and tested and poked. They were given special low fibre food (usually steak). Eventually when the time comes, they are dressed by the others around them. Then they lead are to the bus that will take them to the foot of the immense rocket. They are guided and helped into the lift and ascend to the top of the structure. There they walk a few final steps and are helped into the command module. There they are strapped in and made ready for departure. There is a count down and eventually the incredible machine truly begins their remarkable voyage.

In the period before the launch, they of course have not really left… and at any point could (as unlikely as that might be) say “Actually I’d rather not go to the moon”, but the reality is the launch process begins days before and they have surrendered themselves to a process.

Before boarding the plane to come to Thailand, I was acutely scared and anxious of what comes next, but once I arrived I have felt like one of those astronauts. Now in a process that would begin my extraordinary journey that so few will ever appreciate.

Like those astronauts all along the way before and during their voyage, I have a large team of the best people in the world watching over me.

Like those astronauts, I will be forever changed by my experience.

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