A new room, a new roommate, and a new life stretching out in front of me. It feels real, it certainly hurts like its real. I still can’t tell what lies beneath all the gauze and ice packs, it will be the better part of a week before the final debut. Until then, when asked, I respond that it is like living with a basketball between my legs.
Have I told you how much I hate sleeping on my back? I mean I really hate sleeping on my back. I don’t think I’ve slept more than an hour or two in a stretch since the day of the surgery, it is definitely starting to wear on me. Lots of changes to look forward to, but they will all have to wait a little bit longer.
In the mean time, dressed in the uniform of the day of pajamas and slippers, there isn’t much to do but rest, and get to know my roommate, a very enjoyable part of my stay in Montreal. Christine and I share much in common and later in the week as we practice dilating while having a philosophical discussion will prove to be a unique bonding experience. I hope to count her as friend for the rest of my life.
Then three times a day I navigate the stairs down to the dining room for meals, my fear that stairs would be so painful did not turn out to be true, but sitting was another story entirely, I had to learn how to sit on a rubber doughnut, I have also learned that sitting on a dining room chair without arms to ease yourself down, could lead to an absolutely excruciating crash landing, the result of which will throb for at least an hour. Aside from unintentional self inflicted pain I am absolutely shocked at how good I feel. I haven’t had anything stronger than Tylenol for the first two days after surgery and took actual pain killers only two or three times in the whole ten days that I was there.
Right now I’m looking forward to the end of the week. Starting on Friday, each day is scheduled to unveil a little more of the finished product. First they will remove the outer dressing, revealing my brand new anatomy in all it’s swollen glory for the very first time. That is to be followed in succession by the removal of the stent on Saturday and then finally the catheter on Sunday which also happens to be my birthday. That’s right, the final act is to take place on my birthday, which also happens to be the first day of spring. What a perfect symbol, the time of renewal which for me will mark forever the moment of my rebirth.
I walked along the river one day, then sat watching the sea birds on the solid ice sheet along the bank. Winter still holds sway here for a bit longer, but watching the broken ice flow by in the current of the Prairies River, its obvious that it’s only a matter of days before the anticipated change of seasons comes to this place. Of course as if to prove to me how little I actually know, the following day I woke to a thin blanket of snow sparkling in the morning sun, it was beautiful and prompted me to think about how each of these moments is a first. My mind is rewiring itself to my new reality and as strange as it seems, even those things I have done hundreds of time before, seem different now.
All that remains is to learn the aftercare for shiny new vagina, which will be no small task for the next two or three months and then a bit each week for the rest of my life.The trade off for the pain, the money and the ongoing commitment to care is a profound sense of completeness, an absence of the unease that I have felt my entire life when standing in front of a mirror.
The rest of my life is going to be much different,
I do believe I am ready to fly.