Hey all. I want to step in and mention one last rocky patch of ground that might come up once all the surgery and recouperation time is done, *specifically* if you’ve had a bunch of complications pop up along the way like I did. You should know before going in that this is a thing that may happen. I’ve taken to calling it the After Everything’s Okay Again Blues.
I got *horribly* depressed, the day after the final urethroplasty was a success. It didn’t help that, in a lot of cases, you won’t get sent home practicing how to hold your bladder muscles– they kinda toss you out of the nest and expect you to learn how to do so again (read as: buy diapers for a few weeks after). So I was *still* wetting myself, weeks after everything was “fixed.”
But beyond that, keep in mind, I’d had something go wrong, one thing after another, on and on, for almost *two years* after the initial phalloplasty. I couldn’t shake a sense of dread creeping over my mind; I was merely waiting for the Next Wrong Thing to happen.
What do you do when this happens? You gather friends to you, or at least those folks who’ll offer an ear without judging. And you slog through those days, until the fog starts to lift, and you start feeling hints of joy every time you pee standing up with nothing catastrophic happening. You learn to hope that the future will be okay again, even if it’s a small, wincing, skittery thing at first, like a fawn still learning to trust human touch.
Gosh. I’m standing looking back, seven surgeries since the start. I’ve been asked so, so many times, by naysayers and folks on my side alike, if I think it’s all been worth it.
Yes, I say. But there’s a pause before I say it now. It’s no longer the courageous, naive YES! that I shot out without thinking when I first signed the paperwork at Dr. Crane’s office. Now I know what all can go wrong, through no fault of his or mine whatsoever.
I no longer laud phalloplasty as a silver bullet. It’s not the flashy solves-everything punch that fells the titan of our own gender battle. Now, I see it more as an extended mythical Greek trial one has to endure to make it home to Feeling Right In Your Body Again– one made up of long, droning, dull chapters like the Trial of A Week Not Moving In A Bed, or the Trial of Wrapping the Withered Arm And Leg Over A Fortnight, the Trial of Carrying One’s Fluids In A Bag, the Trial of A Million Nights Wondering If This Is the Last Complication Or Not, and so on.
It’s not for the faint of heart, and I don’t mean you’re at all a lesser person for acknowledging you’re not willing to risk some seriously scary odds. You *must* go in being ready to lose so, so much more than you expected, and if you can’t do that, then I can’t in good conscience recommend it to you.
But in the end, almost two years after, and (fingers always crossed!) capital-d Done with it all, I still maintain it has *absolutely* been worth the journey to me. I mean. I feel *whole.* At peace. At calm in my own skin. I’d never thought this was a feeling I’d be able to feel. And yet, here I am.
I don’t have much more to say past this. I’ll still be around to answer questions, sure, but I wish all you followers the best on your journeys, wherever they may take you. I hope I’ve helped make the road ahead a little less scary and unknown for those who want to follow the path I took.
Stay sparkly, everyone, yeah? For Spot and me both!