I have once again hit the point at which no matter in which position I put myself, something's going to hurt, so I might as well hurt sitting up at the computer. Getting sleep consists of putting my arms under my buttocks to try to relieve some of the pressure sores and then getting between fifteen and thirty minutes of nap until my arms go numb from the weight on them. Then I remove my arms, shift onto my side and crush the packing between my thighs for a few minutes, shift to the other side to do the same, then lie back again on my back, return my arms to beneath my rump and start the whole process over again. This worked remarkably well for the first day. It hasn't
worked since.

Tomorrow, hopefully, Dr. Sanguan will clear me for short walks out of bed, and at that point I can stand up and move around some and take the pressure off of my rump so that when I do lie down it isn't an instant muscle cramp with numb soreness along my buttocks. I haven't had weight on my feet in the last three days, give or take, I think. I was still walking around on Thursday. Today is Sunday morning, so it hasn't been that long on
recollection, but it feels like it has been.

The packing is, in and of itself, a minor demon sent from some level not quite hell to torment me. It's wedged up into the neovaginal canal, which isn't lined yet with anything, to ensure that the opening heals properly while the
skin which is to line the neovagina is in the skin graft bank, being carefully stretched and measured. Every time I shift positions, I can feel the thing rubbing painfully against the exposed nerves within, and it's needless to say
an unpleasant sensation. 

In the interest of completeness, I'm doing my best to keep these diary entries as genuine as possible, but if I keep typing on this one, it's going to degenerate into unpleasantries. I know when all is said and done that I'll have considered this whole experience worthwhile, but as it stands now I can't help but wish in some small part that I'd never started down this road. I know that's the pain talking, not my true feelings, but at the moment, there's a
lot of pain and it wants to have a say.

I've been out of bed three times now since Dr. Sanguan came around to check on my recovery. I'd managed to pop the covering to the packing, and he came in on his day off to check on my packing, tape it closed again and then clear me for short bouts of standing on my feet and walking around the room. I still have to be exceptionally careful, and my balance isn't too good because I still have the packing in place, but it has been wonderful just getting out of bed again, even if only for short bursts.

Tomorrow morning I go back to the OR for Dr. Sanguan to change my packing, which should be only under an epidural. The anaesthesiologist put in a special tube for that when I had the vaginoplasty performed, so with any luck I won't ever be totally unconscious again for the rest of the time I'm here, except when I'm sleeping, and that should become easier as well as I continue to heal. I'm really not in that much pain any more, despite what I was saying earlier today. A lot of that, I think, has just been from the ability to get off of my butt for short stretches, something I've been doing a lot lately. 

As I type this, we've had yet another brown-out. I say yet another because it's been the fourth since our arrival. Jessie was asleep for the first one, so when the second happened during dinner a few nights ago and zie noticed,
being able to say "You missed the first one" generated the most beautiful expression on zir face. I didn't say it to be mean, though; at the time I was pretty doped up on painkillers and in the middle of enjoying the first meal I'd had in several days that actually tasted good.

I said at one point that the worst thing about this place was the food. I lied. The worst thing about this place has been the company. Dr. Sanguan has his own ward in the hospital where all of his patients stay, and the general
attitude of everyone within the wing seems to be "We're a little family here," which I'm sure most of my extended family will realize doesn't sit well with me even under the best of circumstances. One of the girls in the group looks like she's had one too many facial reconstructions, her breasts are too large for her body in my opinion, and she claims to be an expert on the process because she came out as female at age nine and has been in treatment for twenty years. I managed to put up with her coming into my room for a brief visit while she detailed her experiences, but it was only by supreme force of will that I didn't ask her to kindly shut up and leave.

I'm probably going to have to speak with Pim about getting our return tickets changed. We're almost certainly not going to be here the full five weeks at this rate. I probably won't be able to extend the trip to England by much since I have to be under a doctor's care at all times or else I'm no longer on medical leave, but I can justify some amount of travel time based on the fact that my hospital stay took less time than expected.

I just hope when I get back to work that it hasn't all blown up in my face and that I'm not out of a job.

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