I should've done this yesterday, but Jessie and I have been having some strange undiagnosable computer problems that appear to be related to hardware failure on the laptop. I hope the drive doesn't die on us; I'll be very upset if it does.
The surgeries all appear finished, so now of course I have the indignity of stomach flu or food poisoning or something to add to my discomfort. I haven't been able to keep down anything but water for the last thirty-six hours, and the aftertaste of some kind of weird salad dressing on the "salad" I got with dinner from a local restaurant a day or so ago, probably about the time the migraines really started getting bad, so I wouldn't be surprised to find out that I'd picked up some ptomaine or something else of the like.
I've given some samples to the nurses here and they said they could find out what was wrong and give me something for it, one advantage to getting sick while staying at a hospital. Now I just have to wait for them to do it and hope that it happens sooner than later. I don't want to be sick on the flight home.
Events transpired so fast today that it scarcely seems like we've had time to process them all, but at the end of the day I've had a little time to think about everything.
First, Dr. Sanguan came to the room this morning to make a last-minute inspection of the surgical site, and he said that one of the grafts was looking very good, and the other had a few problems but they were minimal and that I wasn't going to lose the graft, only the outer tissue around it, which means I have what looks like a crescent-shaped gouge around it. However, that won't take surgery to heal, only time and antibiotic ointment, which I'm to apply after dilation and showering. Further, he said I was in his medical opinion ready to leave the hospital and could check out tomorrow.
Pim then came to the room to collect the money for everything, the stay, the procedure, et cetera. The total came to USD5,500, almost half of what I had been expecting to pay at the outset. This puts me far ahead in the money
game, which means when I get back to the U.S. I can afford to pay off one of my credit cards almost immediately, and more importantly that when I get back to England, I can afford to take my sister and her friends out to a really nice meal somewhere.
Pim also said she'd take a look at our tickets and see what arrangements she could make to get us back to England as early as possible. I can arrange the onward transit from there to Newark by calling Continental's offices, but Pim's the expert in getting the out-from-Phuket routes hastened, and Jessie and I are both eager to get home, or at least out of Thailand. We've had our fun here, as it were, but now it really is time to go home. We'll probably have to spend a few days in a hotel here waiting for our flights, but that's far preferable to two weeks of delays.
I got up and about for real today for the first time since getting the first surgery, and Jessie and I got dressed and went to the local Tesco/Lotus market for lunch, and we picked up some tidbits here and there for other people,
which I hope will be well-received when we do get back home to deliver them. I of course overtaxed myself thinking myself to be Ms. Marvel, and by the time we made it back to the room I was on the verge of collapse, but it just felt so good to be mobile without that damn catheter that I was willing to push things, even if I shouldn't have done so.
I then came back to the room and handled dilation, by myself, for the first time from beginning to end. Unfortunately, I can now only handle Borodir; Aaden is just too big for me. I seem to have lost some diameter in the few days I wasn't actively stretching myself, but I'll get that back with reinforcements. I'm going to need it if I ever intend to put my new body to its intended task. It still feels a bit like a chore, three times a day every day for at least half an hour, but I'd rather do it and get used to having something up there of the appropriate size than not do it, lose more depth and diameter and then get torn the first time Jessie and I try to make love.
Then for dinner, we got dressed again and went down to the Big C, the other major shopping center in the area. This one doesn't involve a taxi, just a short walk down the road behind the hospital. We ate at the Japanese restaurant, during which we had a rather interesting talk that led to a few odd conclusions. I've often made the statement that what someone has between zir legs was unimportant to how that person should be perceived and treated socially, and thus Jessie has presented me with with challenge, or perhaps the order would be more accurate seeing as it did come from my master, of telling people "does it matter?" when asked if I've had the surgery yet. Having made such a big deal of my transition, now to work to elude the question of whether I've taken the "final step," or to avoid giving a direct answer, will be challenging.
Of course, I say "final step," when really the final step of my social transition was several months, perhaps even a year ago. This is isn't even the final step in my physical transition; I have much more electrolysis to do, and I anticipate more changes from the hormones now that I don't have the testosterone to fight. So, why then is this called the "final step"? What is it about the surgery that makes it the all-encompassing conclusion to the process? It's not the only irreversible step. It's not even the last in many cases, including mine. Why does it matter so much
what one has between one's legs? Others before me have said that we live in a society that intertwines the notions of sex and gender, and others after me will say it, and doubtless I won't be any more loudly heard than they
have, but still I feel the compulsion to point it out and decry it, even knowing that my protestations will be futile.
At any rate, everything for me to do in Thailand is finished, at least for now. Perhaps in the future I'll feel ready and interested to come back for the optional hardware upgrade, but for now the trip is finished, and in my
opinion, not a moment too soon. It's a wonderful place, but I'm ready to go home.