10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4…

…and no, the title isn’t supposed to end with the words ‘blast off’! Nope, this is MY final countdown, to the culmination of my medical journey that stipulates me as being a transsexual woman, and I suppose the reason that I originally started this blog. This coming Tuesday, in only FOUR days, I am scheduled to have the operation of my lifetime  that will finally fix me physically so that between my legs I will look like the woman that is the rest of me.

I have been living full-time as me, the woman I now know I should have always lived as, for almost exactly three years, and so I suppose it is quite timely that the operation is so close to that anniversary. The main reason though for having the operation early in the new year is that it is most convenient time of year for me, in that I am not able to indulge much in my main hobbies because they are of an outdoors nature and in January in the UK/Ireland the weather is at its most unpalatable… not that it is particular marvellous most of the time in Northern Ireland! So I asked the hospital concerned (the private Nuffield hospital in Brighton) for an operation date some time in January and they were able to oblige.

Getting to today however, over the last few weeks, has not been the easiest part of my journey. I have been off hormones for almost six weeks (which is required to reduce the possibility of clotting during/immediately after the operation) and although I have been lucky in that this has not resulted in the moodiness that some women in my position encounter, I have had quite a time of it with hot flushes many times a day with increasing frequency… which I actually find quite ironic, and perhaps flattering, considering that some cis-women go on HRT for PMT, which does address a primary symptom of hot flushes for them. For the last week and a half I have also been off alcohol (which is to reduce the possibility of bleeding during the operation), and although that has not particularly been a trial, especially as I am not much of a drinker or a fan of those who think it’s clever to drink a lot, I do miss a half glass of red in the evening which does help me wind down.

10 days ago I had to undergo several pre-op tests, including things like height and weight (to ensure my BMI is under a stipulated level of 28… which it is well under), my blood pressure, several blood tests, and also a couple of MRSA swabs, one nasal and the other one (perhaps obviously) for the groin area. Alas the swabs have caused me significant stress because last Friday I rang to check all of my tests were fine and was told that they were… and so I thought no more of it, rather foolishly… until Tuesday when I thought I better check that the test results had been forwarded to Brighton hospital… and they hadn’t!!! :-O So eventually the results were faxed over… and then it turned out that some incompetent individual had screwed up the swab tests because although they were a pass (i.e. no reading), the wording had been messed up so as not to indicate the proper area being tested – so Brighton rejected them… and ten minutes later I was hurtling out of my office at 3pm, hurrying back up to Newry on the train and then down to my doctor to get repeat swab tests done! I actually took the tests up to the hospital myself, but the doctor told me that they take 48 hours to turn around and so it was going to be a very nail-biting portion of the countdown because I had to book my travel on the same day as the revised results were due. I thought I would chance my arm and check the results yesterday afternoon, just supposing they had already been completed… and surprisingly they had, I was told they had been forwarded to Brighton, and I even got them to read the actual result text to check all seemed okay… which it was. Then I rang Brighton but nobody answered the phone… and so I left a voicemail and also an email to be contacted ASAP to confirm all was okay. By 10.30 this morning I had heard nothing and so I rang Brighton myself… and was told the nurse concerned was doing rounds on the ward and I would hear back from them. Two hours later I still had heard nothing and so I rang again… and got hold of my designated nurse… who claimed she was just about to ring me; yeah, sure! So I asked for an update… and was told she hadn’t received the new test results! AGGHHHH! She offered to ring my doctor for me, so I left her to do that… and then three minutes later she rang back to say that someone else had picked up the results and filed them. So FINALLY, literally in the nick of time, I got confirmation that it was all systems go for my op. Phew! So this afternoon I booked my outward flight and rail ticket for Monday.

The last few days I have also been doing handover at work. That has been fine, apart from my boss realising he would have to be picking some of my work up and then suddenly figuring he would get me to do some extra, new stuff before I went… sigh. Most people have no idea why I’m heading for an op, which is just the way I like it. As I have always done, and continue to do, I travel this journey in stealth… and not just because I can (as I fit in very well as a woman… as time has told), but because I choose to… albeit at the risk I suppose of revealing all through this blog which, after all, is potentially available for anyone to read… but I took this risk at the start in the hope that my blog helps at least someone out there. But otherwise stealth it is, I won’t tell anyone who doesn’t know my history about it unless it is absolutely necessary, and I won’t be making any broadcasts on Facebook either about where I am going or what I am doing… and hope that others won’t mention it either – for me, this is a very personal thing, I am a very private person, and something like this I only directly tell friends who have supported me on this journey.

So considering all of the above I have had a significant amount of stress over the last couple of weeks and been tearing my hair out at times; at least I have been able to alleviate this somewhat with lots of hugs from my boyfriend. Yes, I have a boyfriend!!! 🙂 This is the same guy who was “boyfriend for a week” as per my blog post back in September… and this is actually the third time I am girlfriend – third time lucky, hopefully, for this time things are looking pretty good… and he has told me that he LOVES me! Maybe I’ll tell you more about it on the other side, for I’ll have an awful lot of recovery time to fill, about three months of it altogether.

I’ll leave it there – thank you for reading, thank you for being part of my journey (even if you no longer are in one way or another), and good wishes for 2018!