When I sat on the bench in the evening Sun dreaming of my future, nothing could have prepared me for how it felt in the hours & days preceding my surgery last November. I will never ever forget how lucky I was to have my surgery via the NHS at a place of my choice & have an outcome I am very happy with. One month after surgery I was able to trudge through the snow getting modest amounts of shopping in & taking our doggy for his walks.
Physically it has been quite demanding but I feel I have been very fortunate. I seemed to get all the slightly scary stuff out of the way in the hospital & could not have wished for better care. In honest truth from the first day I came home, so kindly delivered to my door by my kind friend Lucy, fatigue and thankfully not too much pain, continues to be one of the biggest challenges. That & the hormonal changes. A kind of second puberty at a million miles an hour which randomly slows & then takes off seemingly with on a mind of its own. At first post op there seemed to be an emergency back up mode which sent what remained of my testosterone producing organs crazy. Facial hair texture seemed briefly much coarser. Thank goodness that phase seemed to subside after a month. Being off hormone therapy for six weeks before my surgery sent me even more batty than usual. It may have been imaginary but felt real.
Joy of joys other positive physical changes started gathering pace after a couple of months. May be also due to a little inactivity but I began to put on weight for the first time in four or five years. Stress had caused me to be too skinny. Not a good way to diet. I have put on nearly a whole stone in weight. Thankfully most of it seems to have gone on, in all the right places. The biggest surprise was that the hair on my head appears to be a thicker texture & may even have started regrowing in follicles that had been dormant but not completely dead.
Emotionally; at first the peace & tranquillity was unbelievable. It still is now. It’s not been the crazy, loud manic times since, when I tried to push myself too hard too soon but the quiet times of reflection I am so grateful for. To realise that nagging dysphoric condition which had once engulfed my every thought was now largely silent but for the occasional whisper, has been the most wonderful experience. The surgery was never going to be a magic cure all but my life is so different & largely so much more positive now. I still have the challenge of my anxiety to conquer but my depression is thankfully much more an infrequent unwanted visitor. Worries & insecurities still remain but they are I can only guess quite common place for every one.
I do wonder if I will ever find a life partner. That was not my reason for surgery at all. I have been adjusting to the awakening of feelings I had suppressed since the confused pain of my teenage years of long ago. Can a woman with my past still be friends with a man who was once a "mate"? I think I will save that for another post.
Saying Good by to the life I thought I used to live has its euphoric happy times but also some heartbreaking losses of a few very dear friends. Thankfully one very very special friend is very much back in my life again.
A good friend is better than any pills. You certainly find out who your friends are on this journey. Saying Good by to the world I existed in when I was perceived a man & lived a lie has been easy. Saying good by to some of the worlds I lived in very hard. Sometimes it’s been hard to shake off the past & move on or indeed be allowed to move on.
I still have my demons, I may occasionally have sleepless nights where my brain goes into overdrive but the inner peace of finally being comfortable with my skin & having the continued love & the support of my family & friends has been both life affirming & humbling. “The greatest events aren't the loudest, but the most quiet hours” has a much greater meaning to me now.