The Verdict is in

It has been 10 days since Wolsey’s surgery, and things are looking good. Don’t get me wrong, he is uncomfortable, on a pain management regimen and still home from work, but having a hysterectomy, oophorectomy, vaginectomy (the three of those are commonly referred to as HOV), in addition a metoidioplasty and scrotoplasty were performed. Overall this was a major undertaking.

The surgery itself went really well, as was detailed in the multiple smaller posts earlier. We met the two main doctors, Dr. Meltzer and Dr. Ley, but in addition we met the person responsible for the HOV itself, Dr. Webb. A very entertaining man to talk to. He chatted us up more about the nitty gritty of the surgery than either of the metoidioplasty and scrotoplasty surgeons.

At the surgery I met Jeff, the most absolute fantastic nurse I have met. He was fabulous with a capital fab. He was sure to inform me every two hours by phone how the surgery itself went.

When Wolsey got out of the surgery, the doctors all contacted me directly and relayed to me that he had lost less than two tablespoons of blood total. The surgery went textbook and there were absolutely no issues. I picked him up two days later, and then the ordeal began.

He looked great. Don’t get me wrong, he was swollen, stitched and not able to move well, but it was in pretty darn good condition considering. The whole time he kept being in awe of having the changes. I am sure it was partially the pain meds, but his glee was pretty overpowering.

The five days at the hotel room were cool and cavelike. With temperatures of about 107 degrees, it really wasn’t a place I wanted to go outside in (but I did to retrieve him food). Over the course of those five days he was starting to heal up just fine.

Sadly, our flight home that Friday did in all that progress. The fact we were held up for over an hour, the plane didn’t have AC and just the pain meds giving up on him resulted in Wolsey being in pain for most of the flight. It has taken about four days to recover.

So here we are four days after getting home, and ten days after surgery and the swelling is going down, and he is ecstatic. I am ecstatic too. I am sure I will have more anxiety in the future, but the joy he has, the running around exclaiming how mighty he is, is more than worth it.

So I can say as of now, the verdict is in, and the surgery was a great success!

 

 

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Update (mostly Phoenix) 6/7/17

I felt there were a couple little things to update today.

Phoenix Trip Confirmation Number: The first thing I wanted to tell you folks two weeks ago was how ironic the confirmation #GAYZWS was for our trip down.

Last Minute Information about Your Trip

Yes, we were both 12 year olds when we say “GAYZ” in the confirmation and we giggle.

We realize people see patterns everywhere, but thought that was absolutely fantastic what this was, especially because of the reason for the trip. We had wanted to talk about it, we just didn’t want the info to go public before we flew down and back, just so someone else couldn’t mess with it.

Book Update: The publisher contacted us yesterday. They are still aiming for a September release. There was some sort of issue (not with us) that slowed them down. They didn’t realize that Wolsey was getting the bottom surgery and asked if we were going to put that in the book. We said we definitely could, we just need them to confirm if they like the format the current chapters are in.

I suspect it won’t actually be released by September, I am thinking end of the year (nothing goes as fast as everyone seems to say). However, it is still nice to know they are looking at the items.

Phoenix Stuff: I have more stuff coming, just observations on Phoenix/Arizona/Out Trip. Not all of it will be directly relatable to LGBTQA, but since the trip was about that I will still cross post it here.

In addition I have a ton of more stuff to talk about for the next several weeks, so be prepared :).

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Surgery Trip: Final Day

Well the final day of the surgery came and went. It started out hopeful, the hubby woke up feeling pretty good, the swelling was down, our hopes were up and life was good.

The pool looked beautiful, too bad it was too hot to use it this week.

It was almost 95 degrees when we left at 9:30am

The checkout went smooth, took a final couple of pictures and then we went to Dr. Meltzer’s for our final appointment with him and Dr. Ley. It went very well, both doctors thought the hubby was looking very good for the time in healing he had. It was about now that being up and moving for the first time in almost a week, he was feeling sort of rough.

so very tired, and sore.

Once he was given the full approval by both doctors we headed to what would be the trial for the day, our flight home. We arrived almost three hours early just in case. In that time we encountered the following issues that started by dropping the car off at Alamo. It seemed to take forever, then it was a long ass walk for the husband over to the bus, then to the terminal. Especially with his need to utilize the restroom frequently due to spasms from the surgery, and his first time walking in a week it was so rough for him, I felt really bad.

that car rental building is huge

Once we arrived at security things just went downhill from there. We got pulled over for TSA inspection. We forgot in the journey to the empty his water bottle, and of course the couple in front of us threw a fit and because of that fit, they got hauled to the side and inspected by the officers. The TSA agent behind the scanner then seemed to pick out the next three groups in retaliation, which included us and two people in wheel chairs. All of us got scanned, and thats where the TSA agent found our water bottle and we had to throw it away. It wasn’t a big deal, but we lost a nice $14 water bottle because of that dick.

There was a lot of waiting, so caffeine was in order.

We then arrived at the gate and waited almost two hours, to find out our flight got moved to a different gate. When they landed they couldn’t board because they had to wait for maintenance to refill an O2 canister for a medkit. AN HOUR LATER they announced we would be almost 90 minutes late boarding. I don’t blame the pilot/crew, they were arguing with maintenance over getting it done quick enough, but damn it sucked.

This was how we felt for that time.

Once we got on to the plane (over 90 minutes late) we settled into a super hot plane that had been sitting on the tarmac in 107 degree heat. Evidently the battery used to power the AC when the plane was powered down was missing, so there was no AC when we got on board. Poor hubby was suffering really bad, all of this, plus the exertion had hit him hard, also his pain meds had worn off.

Yes, we stared at this plane for over 90 minutes so they could figure out how to fill an O2 canister right.

Stuck in a hot plane, for another 20 minutes.

Just starting to move along the runway.

We flew back to Seattle, with W and I watching Cuthroat Island on his iPad. It was a great distraction, and nice to bond with the hubby even when everyone else was around us. We landed after having a semi-decent cold dinner.

Arriving in Seattle, how we have missed those trees.

upon takeoff we did get to see downtown Phoenix.

Once we landed, we immediately found a cab available (Lyft had too long of a wait, and I won’t give a dime to Uber). The cab took us home, but it also didn’t have AC on and we almost died in that car from heat stroke (ok, that may be hyperbole, but you will never get me to admit it).

Once we got home, we had to spend about 30 minutes with the cat, he thought we had abandoned him. He hadn’t gone without both of us for that long ever. However, he was quick to fall back in love with us. While W bonded with the cat, I went and got us some Panda Express, because dear god I am not cooking when it was almost 8pm and we were exhausted.

Someone missed us.

Didn’t take long to get better.

Then it was a journey of food.

We ended up the night in our bed for the first time in 9 days. It was glorious, although the trip itself was definitely worth it as well. Also, the hubby and the cat spent some important time together.

The hubby and cat are one.

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Dream: Corner Store

As a rule I don’t normally post dreams here, but this is so obviously transitional related I had to.

I woke up this morning with not a horrible dream, but there was something urgent to it. I think it was mostly me processing the hubby’s surgery.

The hubby and I were wandering around, getting him dressed in new clothes. This was post bottom surgery in upcoming November (2017) and he was looking good. As we wandered around the store the looks only got better. I am not sure, but at some point it time I realized it was a bodega that sold clothes he liked. Which is ironic since he hates bodegas.

After a lot of walking and talking that I don’t remember now that I am posting, we wandered up to the cash register. Before we got there to pay, I heard a car pull in and looked out the window to see a pickup truck come rolling in to a stop. It was a rattle canned Mazda pickup that we owned in the mid 9os, but it was the color of our GMC pickup we gave to my dad 10-15 years later. The truck was a conglomeration of two different time periods that we owned a truck (we have owned a truck three times in our relationship).

Out of the car stepped the hubby, pre-transition. He (appearing as a she at the time) was wearing boots, a red dress and had bleach blond hair. I looked back at my hubby and was really confused, as was he. It at least reassured me that my hubby was still beside me, and that he saw “her” as well. The young lady form of him walked up to the counter in a spastic manner that the hubby does even know, paid for something and walked out. I grabbed my current incarnation of a husband and said something about a time loop, or maybe a parallel world (yes, I guess a gamer might think that).

This is what he looked like age wise, including the hair.

 

This dress was the focus with combat boots.

I stepped outside yelling one of Wolsey’s old names (the dress was before our mobile home which means it was 2000 but he looked like when he was 34, which was 2005-6, both of these facts were when he had different names, the dress was before he had taken my last name, the person inside the dress was before he changed his first name to what it currently was). 

We ran out there, but that is when the dream sort of fizzled out. I felt like I couldn’t catch up with my pre-transition husband to tell him something important, and it really was making me anxious.

I think it was to tell him it was ok. Not yet determined specifically what “ok” was, but now I get the impression it was to tell him it was ok to transition. This would be about 10 years earlier then he did judging on how he looked in the dress. I felt like I was failing that person in the dress by not catching up to them, thus failing the person beside me. That is when my eyes opened up and I was awake.

It wasn’t a bad dream, I am sure it is me processing his surgery, but I woke up anxious. Not angry, scared or upset about how he is looking currently, he looks great, I find him hot. It did wake me up though anxious that I am not able to run quite like I did 20 years ago to catch up with him.

The red dress was one of two dresses he wore that have always stuck with me. The red dress in that picture above, and a purplish/tie-dyed sort of effect krinolin dress he wore when we originally got together. Both of those dresses always stuck with me in dreams when he appeared as himself pre-transition.

I guess I still have a whole lot to unpack.

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How does Phoenix rank for LGBTQA Experience?

survey-checkbox-istock-580

I have to admit it, right now my experiences in other cities dealing with the LGBTQA thing hasn’t been super good. Philadelphia was good, Denver kind of sucked, Atlanta really sucked, so coming to Phoenix I was pretty sure it would be the same.

It wasn’t, overall it was a good experience, barring one funny negative experience that really wasn’t negative.

Our arrival in Phoenix was marked by a rare homophobic event. We were in line at Alamo Car Rental, and ahead of us we watched a couple get harassed by an Alamo agent. He was pushing the “walk away” insurance, and all the extra things. He was pushing it hard enough that it made the rest of the line nervous.

clueless-alamo-rollin-with-the-homies-in-an-alamo-rental-car

It was our turn, as we stepped up I braced for the selling pitch. He began a long spiel of why we needed the walk away insurance, that Arizona law lets them claim for lost days if the car was damaged, etc etc. It was then my wonderful husband spoke up and asked me a question, but used the term “sweetie” for me.

The guy froze, his head went back and forth between us, and without any further mention he has me sign off the contract and we walk away without him saying a word. So while it sucked he obviously had a problem that two guys were together, it worked in our favor and the spiel stopped.

i-hate-the-word-homophobia

Our next encounter was at the Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Once again most of the staff were older people, so we were prepared to get a hard time. When our tour guide Judith arrived to give the tour, my fears blossomed. She was an older, conservative appearing woman.

However, she realized fairly soon into the tour (followed by a second tour for a different subject) that the hubby and I were together. Instead of any homophobia, she just talked to us even more. She seemed overjoyed that we liked listening to the tour, and wanted to know the history. It was definitely a great experience, and Judith is a great lady.

Dr. Meltzer’s office of course is super accepting, so we don’t need to go into that, but the Greenbaum surgical center was an unknown. However we arrived there and ALL of the staff were great, accepting of me arriving at any time day or not to visit the hubby. At no point did I not feel welcomed. It was impressive.

The rest of the time there was spent mostly in the hotel room, so the only other people we really saw were the hotel staff and they didn’t blink an eye at us. I don’t know if they were ok with us, but they kept their professional cool if they did.

That means Phoenix ranks a close second behind Philadelphia in my experience in accepting LGBTQA. I am not addressing the governmental/legal standpoint of transgender people here, just my experience with individuals

Of course I am posting this Sunday, a day early from our trip ending, hopefully that won’t change in the next day.

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Surgery Trip: Day 6, 7, and 8

I am posting this as a combined post for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That is because all we are doing is huddling in the hotel room, hubby is sleeping a lot and we are just waiting for the healing.

I did end up going out to get him food in the 105 degree heat, yes that is how much I love him :).

So all I really have are a few pictures to share.

Friday Morning, someone is sleeping.

Panera bread, so different looking, still so tasty.

More Panera

Friday night was rough for ghost

Saturday quest for food for hubby.

the heat sucked

Saturday night is still not good for Ghost.

Sunday morning

There we go, that was the boring three days. More to come

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Fears Volume 2: Grief

I think my article titles should have been thought out better with Volume 1. I should have probably named it Emotions, or Issues or something since I don’t think this quantifies as a fear.

For the last year or so I have been shoving emotions down inside. The focus was on Wolsey’s recovery from top surgery and our exodus to get him bottom surgery. This has been so much the focus I really haven’t talked about all the little things I am dealing with.

It has taken me a long time to even consider it, and I may not have done anything without the urgings of Wolsey to talk about it. The large gorilla (or elephant as the case may be) in the room is the actual results of the surgery, or rather what the successful transition of bottom surgery means emotionally to me.

I am completely, 100% supportive of Wolsey’s transition. I love him more than anything and at no point in time would I advise him to veer from his course. In addition, I find him just as attractive, just as great as a spouse, and I am never leaving him.

The problem is that the bottom surgery is the final physical bits of my wife disappearing. I don’t mean to imply that my spouse is only made up of the fun bits. It is however the last part of Wolsey, that looked like what he looked like when he married me and was my wife. Twenty one years as my wife, almost 2 years as my girlfriend (before and after a breakup) before that, and my best friend before that.

Yes, he is still the same person, absolutely true and he still feels like it. Sometimes though, it feels like there is a dog or gerbil inside me keening in mourning. Like something is missing. I look around and nothing is different, I have a spouse who is also my best friend who loves me and I love back. Every once in awhile, in the half light when I see Wolsey doing something I can almost make out my wife. This has changed over time slowly, but it sometimes rears its head.

Then the realization will hit me, that all traces of my wife are gone. Now, the actual soul is still there, but none of his physical appearance remains the same. He is more like my wife’s brother in physical appearance.

It feels like I am watching my ex-wife undergo a terminal disease. It slowly moved its way up on the calendar, and finally happened. So I have been working on coming to terms not with his changes, but with the loss of my wife’s image.

His breasts are gone thanks to the surgery, now he has a chest that is definitely masculine with no sign of the large DDs that were there. Thanks to hormones and newly acquired muscles, his shoulders, arms, ass, thighs and legs don’t resemble anything like he used to be.

His hourglass waist, was liposuctioned away and then altered by hormones after that. His face isn’t even close to what it was before, the gelfling, girly face long since changed into a broader, muscular guy with a beard.

His lower bits were the last vestige of him from before, and now they are gone. The elvish, slender body with big boob feminine form no longer has any trace of my wife’s visage, except for his eyes. His eyes still sparkle mischievously (or angrily depending on if I had awaken him too early).

I guess I could still touch his eyeball and it’s the same eyeball, but that is not practical.

I am incredibly happy he had the surgery, with his medical problems in that area, along with his transition this is the best possible thing that could happen. There will be a party for it.

I suspect I am a little more sensitive about it because my parents are gone, and this is the first time I have had any sort of grief or situation that I couldn’t go to them about (of course this isn’t including their deaths, but that is its own thing). I don’t open up to most people, I have a hard time being like that with someone who isn’t related to me, or who is dating me.

This probably makes me sound like a dick. I don’t have regrets that he transitioned, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about his old self sometimes. I just thought I want to be honest on this blog, and it would be disingenuous to imply that there wasn’t any sadness, or grief.

Maybe that will help others to realize they aren’t alone in grieving the loss of their spouse’s old form, even while they are loving their new form.

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