One of my toughest weeks yet

It’s been some time since I put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard as it were but the last week has been one of the toughest I have endured since beginning my journey some 18 months ago. There have been some incredibly low and dark periods but also some highs.

The week’s problems started last Saturday when dilation became very difficult again. I stood in the shower after enduring considerable pain and felt the warm water running over me. Having a nice shower with perfect temperature water and just the right amount of pressure is one of life’s little  luxuries as far as I am concerned, a bit like getting into a freshly changed bed with perfectly ironed, crisp sheets and pillow cases and that lovely smell of fresh linen. For some reason I looked down and to my dismay there was a pool of blood in the bottom of the shower rapidly increasing in size and two streams running down the insides of my legs. I have been loosing blood after dilating for some time but not to this extent. As the blood ran down my legs tears ran down my face. This just can’t be right I said to myself. After a while it stopped, I completed my shower and got out of the cubicle quickly grabbing some tissues so as not to leak all over the carpet in the bedroom. I dried myself, folded the towel on the bed and sat down contemplating my next move.

The week was always going to be challenging as I had a number of appointments to attend. The first was Tuesday and a visit to the Radiology place in town for an ultrasound of my mons area. This was always going to be tough as I can hardly stand any pressure on it at all and she was going to want to press pretty hard on it. My GP also wanted an ultrasound doing from inside as well which was going to really hurt but the sonographer explained that it was not possible due to the small space inside. I was pleased to hear that!. The ultrasound confirmed that there is no sign of an abscess or any collection of fluid and it is most likely a mixture of scar tissue and other material which should have drained away after the surgery but didn’t so has gone quite solid. So after all that and a bill for $200 I was really no further on. We returned home, thankfully I had been chaperoned by my best friend and soulmate Denise who dropped me back home and went off to work. Sadly the afternoon went down hill from there, I somehow just couldn’t get off the downward spiral which plunged me into deep depression, it was like September was happening all over again and before I knew it I would be back in Philadelphia’s Hahnemann hospital under the knife for the third time. I tried lots of ways to busy myself to get out of this dreadful state of mind but nothing worked. I just went further and further down until I sat on the bed and took all of my various medications out of the drawer, put them on the bed next to me and stared at them wondering how many I would need to take to cut the thread. It’s a horrific place to be. As I sat on the bed looking, thinking and sinking a miracle happened, my iPad started ringing and announced that I had a FaceTime call. It was my first wife calling from the uk to tell me her good news. She took one look at me and asked what was wrong, I could hardly speak but managed to convey my state of mind. She was quite stern with me to start with but eventually managed to get me to talk about what was happening and somehow brought me round for which I am very very thankful. What made her call at that very time I don’t know but it stopped me doing something very stupid.

Wednesday’s appointment was with my GP, hopefully to discus the results of the ultrasound and talk about the next step. Unfortunately the results hadn’t arrived from the radiology place so there was not much to talk about but I think she could sense my feeling of despair. We discussed the option of stopping dilating and just allowing the vaginal passage to close up, it’s not what I really want to happen but as I never intend to use it as it were there comes a time when quality of life becomes more important and having lived with various levels of pain for the last nine months or so I have to say I am close to that point. Chronic pain just grinds you down and and eventually consumes you like it almost did on Tuesday. My GP was very caring and persuaded me to keep going at least until I have seen the gynaecologist on Friday, we discussed lots of options for if and when I need further surgical attention but came to the conclusion that Philadelphia is too far to go and too difficult to communicate with. I am truly blessed by the medical support I receive locally, I was disappointed when my previous GP left the practice but I am warming to my new one.

Thursday’s appointment was a little different but with just about as much pain, it was a visit to Chelsea who is attempting to rid me of my facial hair and hair from various other places. Even though it is painful I know it is necessary and at least she does it with a smile on her face, I guess that could mean she likes administering pain but I think not as she says “sorry” after just about every zap. There was a lot of zapping this visit as she is now attending to my  white hairs as well which are very stubborn indeed. One thing that makes it better is that she gives me a hug before and after the treatment which somehow helps! The general pain level had subsided a little by then and I was hopeful the the new painkillers, antibiotics and my anti inflammatory tablets were doing a job even though I realise it must be temporary thing taking all the tablets.

Through all the pain and disappointment this week there was one very enjoyable event. My good friend had planned a test ride on her Triumph Bobber, I had a very brief run on Sunday but we intend to ride in the pride parade on the 24th from the City of Busselton offices to the bottom of Queen street and as I haven’t sat on a motorbike for the best part of 15 years we decided that a longer run would be a good idea. I so enjoyed it, the Bobber is more powerful than anything I have ridden before or certainly feels it anyway but with some kind and encouraging help I was good with it. There really is nothing like riding a motorbike and it has certainly wetted my appetite to get on two wheels again so watch this space?

Friday’s appointment was always going to be the worst of the week, it was a visit to Southwest Gynaecology in Bunbury. I have not seen a gyno before and I was just about petrified but once  again my best friend was by my side the whole way, even getting a front seat position to watch the gyno treating my ever increasing amount of granulation tissue. The silver nitrate treatment sounds worse than it actually is, when I tell people that I’m going to have the tissue burned away most people are horrified but as there are very few if any nerves in it I don’t actually feel anything until the day after when it is a very sore. The gyno was very king and gentle with me, I was his first ever transgender patient and we talked a lot about my journey. Unfortunately as he has had no experience there was little else he could do but gave me a script for yet more medication and wished me well.

Troughout all the trials and tribulations the week contained there is one constant in my life. She was the one who knew that transitioning was the right thing to do back in August 2016 and has been there for me throughout my journey. I am of course talking about Denise. She is my rock, my soulmate and my best friend and I could not have got this far without her help and love and I am forever grateful for having her in my life. Thank you so much Denise, I love you dearly.