changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

The difficult bit July 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 10:08 pm
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I knew this bit would be the worst… again like having a baby everything was focused on the ‘big event’ and nobody tells you the reality of the grinding hell of coping once you get home.

I guess if you live alone, and stocked the fridge and freezer up (as the hospital advised) and have a friend or two to come in and lend a hand it could be a peaceful healing time.

But in a household consisting of two adults (one of whom is only allowed to ‘mobilise’ and little else and is towing a catheter stand round the house), two teenagers (one of whom when left in charge of an invalid for a day managed to only make one beverage all day as a concession to ‘caring’) and a small bouncy boy (who has actually been an actual star and along with the other teen given now to moments of thoughtful and spontaneous helpfulness)…probably isn’t an ideal recuperative environment.

But we’re doing ok.

I make a really really crap nurse…. I managed for a day at home – I think I had my anti-nursing Damascene moment about four a.m the first night home when I found myself  half way to the toilet carrying a bowl of someone elses piss.

I know how crap it is when you’ve had surgery…. but mobilising has to include taking yourown piss to the toilet 🙂

I can do nursing the old fashioned way… where the patient stays put (except when dealing with their own bodily fluids), eats what they are given (ie MY version of a roughage rich diet [brown rice… brown rice and grapes] not theirs [some boiled to buggery frozen veg from the freezer])… and definitely no patient autonomy… most definitely not.

Unfortunately what Jane thrives on is modern nursing… touchy-feely-what do you feel like? nursing and so makes a very poor patient when faced with my style of nursing. (But I was amused today when the district nurse as much as told her to  go away and no you can’t have your catheter out early).

My concession to giving patient what she wants has evolved around revisiting her nursery palate. A smorgesbord (?) of polish delights… kszanka and pierogi et al. A beef and onion suet pudding, sausage and mash and a desire for kidneys and tapioca. (not together)

Other than that… she’s now dilating alone (thank goodness… I do need to wipe the vision of the frankengina from my memory…especially the bit where we realised the stitches that had been threatening to go – had gone)… it would be nice one day to make friends with my partners genitalia without remembering it as a bloody oozing gash.

(have you noticed I’m not good with nursing yet)?

Other than nursing duties I’m trying hard to keep the house at an acceptable level of clean and tidiness it doesn’t usually see (especially the kitchen) and doing all the shopping (Jane seems to have memorised all Tescos prices and I fear I’m a total disappointment in not always being able to spot or work out the special offers and god forbid I sneaked into Waitrose and bought some stuff).

But as the week goes on I can feel Jane getting back to normal… still tired…still in pain…. but getting more chipper by the day.

She’d better hurry up as my back is threatening to go again with all this activity. 🙂


Dilation for dummies July 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 1:55 pm
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When I first found out Jane had to dilate I thought it was something like a speculum that you had to jack up inside your new fanny.

What it actually is is a couple of dildos (but you have to call them dilators)… three times a day for the first 6 weeks (and then at lessening intervals until it becomes I think once a month 2 years post op) you have to lie down relax and coat the dildo in lube and insert it into your new vagina for a set amount of time. This stops the new hole closing up…. expecially as to make the new hole they had to drill through pelvic muscle and muscle as a rule tends to like to go back where it used to be.

This has to be done regardless of catheter, bruising, blood loss, and pain.

At first it appears to border on the traumatic… it gets easier quite quickly… and i guess the sooner you can find some pleasure in it the easier its going to be to have a decent relationship with your fanny at a later date.

I know women who have had an episiotomy in child birth who havn’t wanted to put anything near their bits for months later (certainly way beyond the 6 weeks recommended when you have one). But a trans woman has to gird her loins and start almost immediately…. pushing a blunt object into a new and unknown void.

Anyone who has gone through grs deserves a medal… and cake…and flowers and all round absolute kudos.

There were times when I had my babies where I wanted to stop and go home (and with the first one actually cried out for my mum)… until the moment the babies were laid in my arms i would have quite happily reabsorbed them.

But transwomen are driven…. if they get this far they really really need it.

After all Janes pain…. and through all the pain she still has to come she says its worth it.

I pity the next fool to say she may have done this on a whim.


Surgery for dummies… April 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 10:00 am
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I’m going to sort of explain the surgery Jane will hopefully be having in the summer sometime… it won’t be totally accurate medically…and it may well have gaps in it (as I admit that sometimes when people talk about surgery I suddenly start hearing the Monkees  in my head and it drowns out all the icky stuff).

Basically the timing of the operation depends on hair removal… no… not the chest, face, back, leg, tummy, underarm, toe hair. (Trans women contrary to tabloid presumption have to deal with all that hair the same as any other woman does… )

What we thought would need to be paid out for was the entire scrotal area to be zapped in one way or another to burn out the follicles to stop regrowth.

And why do you need to stop regrowth you may be asking? Becuase some of your outisde bits end up as inside bits and you really don’t want hair growing inside your vagina. no no no.

But as it happens the method they use in Brighton doesn’t really involve much scrotal skin (its more of a Thai thing and can lead to your new fanny dropping out… which i’ve been scaring Jane with for months and now the mean old surgeon has spoiled my fun).

So there is just a bit of hair removal around the base of her penis [holy moley…that phrase needs a blog all of its very own] to be done. And when thats done the surgery can go ahead… rough estimate seems to by July sometime.

They then, shorten the urethra and replumb…create a body cavity… remove the balls and stuff from inside the penile shaft… invert whats left of the penis and stuff it somehow up the new cavity…and hope it sticks. Theres then some lips to make…. oh and not forgetting the ‘peanut sized’ bit of flesh from the glans of the penis will be transferred nerve endings and all to make a (hopefully) working clitoris.

And no I can’t bring the bollocks home in a jar for a conversation piece…I did ask.

After a few days the ‘packing’ is removed and one has to start the lifelong routine of dilation and doucheing.

This is the bit that hadn’t occurred to me.

The new vagina is basically an internal sack of skin… it doesn’t lead anywhere (duh!)  and needs two bits of maintainance.

First it needs dilating…at first three times daily..but this lessens over time. Now I thought this might involve things like speculums or other scary sorts of fanny-jacks. But no! It involves a couple of rather lovely clear acrylic dildos one larger, one smaller with which to exercise ones new vagina.

The nurse told us you can shine a light up the shaft of it and see into your vagina…. this sounds like fun science!

The question I didn’t like to ask was…


Women need to learn to orgasm….any woman (or so i read)…I guess part of that is training your brain to link sensations in your ladies paraphenalia together in your brain. So is playing with your new clitoris a good plan when dilating ones new vagina?

If you damage nerves in your arm…you just keep repeating the movements your arm needs to make until the brain retrains the nerves to make sense.

Isn’t this the same theory for tying together clitoral nerve endings and penetration? (answers on a postcard please as Janes banned me from asking at the hospital).

Anyway…all this dilation isn’t about enjoyment its to stop the skin sack sealing up or over tightening so it can be used.

The second bit of daily maintainance is with a douche. The exact model (which you can buy in pink) was written coyly on a piece of paper for us…I’m not sure that was to prevent advertising as the camera was running or becuase it comes from an ‘adult’ website. (Love Honey in case you want to rush out and buy one).

This bit of kit as any fule nos (or actually it hadn’t occurred to me at all) is becuase the new vagina does not self lubricate or clean itself….so it needs to be flushed out with warm water.

And that pretty much is that.

Its actually quite fascinating…. so much more interesting than her last years hernia operation.




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