Journal

Welcome to my online journal, which I started in December 2002 after several very persuasive hints from friends. Although I obviously don't write about everything that happens in my life here, I hope it'll provide an insight into who I am and what's happening in my life - whether good, bad, happy or sad.

A surprise visit

Posted by Anna at 19:01 on Tuesday, December 30, 2003
It's been another busy day - we've again had visitors. Helen arrived late morning, and shortly afterwards Patrico (one of my housemates from Basingstoke) and his girlfriend Rosalind dropped in quickly on their way to Dover. The visit came about because yesterday lunchtime I went online for an hour or so and ended up chatting to him via IM - when I jokingly suggested they should wave to us as they drove past (we're only a few miles from Dover here) Patrico decided to drop in on the way.

He'd told Rosalind only that they were stopping by to visit a friend of his (and not that it was me) and you should have seen the look on her face when she saw me - talk about a huge smile!

In the short time we had we chatted about how things had gone and I gave them a quick look at some of the pictures we took out in Thailand.

Another wonderful day.

A wonderful Christmas, despite being ill!

Posted by Anna at 00:23 on Sunday, December 28, 2003
Well Christmas Day is past once again, and with it the first anniversary of my transition. A year ago I certainly never expected to be post-op by now (I was expecting it to take a couple of years)...but that's how it's worked out. Incredible.

Ironically, on Christmas Day itself I was laid up with a 24 hour bug - I couldn't eat or drink a thing, and spent most of the day sleeping or trying to sleep it off!

How I spent Christmas Day - I didn't even open any presents!
What I missed while feeling ill on Christmas Day!

Thankfully it passed quickly (although it was not until late in the evening when I was able to drink water and eat even a light snack), and by Boxing Day I was back on my feet again, and able to open the presents Susie, Amanda and Paul had bought me. I still feel very guilty because I haven't been well enough to go shopping for presents myself, although the others tell me I'm being silly every time I mention it.

After not being able to drink even water for most of the previous day I was dehydrated and as a result had a headache most of the day, but it passed eventually and I wasn't about to let it spoil things.

Susie and I on Boxing Day. I'm wearing one of the outfits I bought in Thailand, in case you hadn't guessed!

Three of Susie's friends (Kirsty, Charlotte and Emma) also visited during the day. I haven't met them before, and I always enjoy meeting new friends.

Yesterday afternoon I had an absolutely wonderful surprise when my friend Sarah dropped by to visit. Although we've known each other since October 2001, we've only met once before (in February 2002 - 6 months before I appeared in public as female for the first time), and yesterday was the first time she's met my true self - and a post-op me at that!

Since that first meeting I've been in the position she was that evening (i.e. meeting another trans woman who hadn't transitioned yet and still presented as "male" several times, and I can appreciate how difficult it must have been for her to see who I really was then. It was a real pleasure to be able to see her without that act in the way, and to hear about other friends I haven't talked to in ages who live near her. I hope we'll all see much more of each other next year.

To round off the day Emma (who stayed with us for a few days), Susie and I went out to a local pub yesterday evening and enjoyed a truly wonderful meal.

Emma, Susie and I enjoying munchies with style!

I'm in very good company here, and I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be right now. In fact, I'm feeling rather sad that a week from now I'll have to go home back to Basingstoke, but of course then I'll be able to see friends there, albeit briefly! Two weeks after that I'll be back on my way to Thailand for my FFS. Amazing.

On the medical front, each week I can see a steady improvement in my condition. Not only is the amount of pain I'm feeling steadily reducing, but I'm getting less nervous of exploring my new anatomy - how it feels, where the stitches are (both externally and internally - they dissolve naturally and don't have to be removed) and how I can contract and relax old muscles in new ways. It's truly incredible that a surgeon can perform such a transformation - not only does everything look right, but it feels right too...even now the sensations I can feel are much stronger than ever before and the muscle control I have within my vagina is nothing short of amazing (it's not only far stronger than I expected to be possible, but I can clamp muscles in different places too!).

I'm still going to need a prescription for painkillers (probably tramadol) from my GP in the New Year though. The pain you get from nerves waking up can be rather excruciating at times, and it does help to take some a short while before dilating just in case there's any internal pain.

Finally, something that certainly made me giggle when I found out about it. If you stay with friends for any length of time sooner or later there's always the chance they'll catch you in a "compromising" or funny pose with a camera, and I'm no exception to the rule. Most of the time I've been dilating downstairs on the couch rather than in bed (it's more comfortable, and means we can watch movies or chat while I'm immobilised doing it), and inevitably one evening I fell asleep afterwards while the others were awake and feeling mischievous...and the resulting picture is comical to say the least (please don't click on the link if nudity offends you!).

Recovery

Posted by Anna at 13:04 on Wednesday, December 17, 2003
After my completely OTT spurt of writing while in Thailand (do a search for "Dr Suporn" in Google and you'll see what I mean! ) I've not much written much since getting back.

I'm recovering well, although still pretty weak and suffering a lot of pain as the nerves wake up. Even a short trip to a supermarket is quite a challenge at the moment!

It's good to be back home, although I must admit that I do miss Thailand and all my new friends there. It's quite a place...although still a developing nation (poverty is so apparent if you open your eyes) the Thai culture is amazingly friendly and I coudn't get over how well staffed and clean Aikchol Hospital and the Clinic themselves were.

Last night before starting my evening dilation I finally worked up the courage to do a little gentle exploring of my new anatomy. All I can say is that it's an amazing feeling - everything feels so natural and right, although it's a bit odd feeling stitches inside yourself (they come out naturally by the way - you don't have to have them removed). Wow!

I'll be booking an appointment to see my GP when I get back home in January. The clinic have given me a letter detailing the medication I've been taking, and I've pretty much worked out what prescription I'll need to ask for. It's all pretty commonsense stuff.

I'm back!

Posted by Anna at 14:10 on Sunday, December 14, 2003
Firstly, I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who's sent me messages of support over the last few weeks. Today is the first time I've checked my email since leaving Chonburi and I'm truly stunned by what I've read. Thank you so much, all of you.

Until New Year-ish I'm staying with my friend Susie in Ash (near Canterbury) to recuperate. I was 4 weeks post-op on Friday, and I've a lot of recovering to do - I need to rest a lot at the moment, and I'm still quite weak and in a fair amount of pain at times. Even going to a supermarket to do some food shopping (as I did with Susie and Amanda early yesterday evening) is a tiring and difficult experience. We just don't realise how much we take for granted in our daily lives.

This morning while Susie and I were both dilating we (together with her friend Sally who stayed over last night) watched my favourite movie - What Dreams May Come and believe me the tears were flowing liberally on all sides. If you haven't seen it, I strongly recommend it.

Susie and I have extended an invitation to all of our friends (regardless of whether we've met face to face or not yet!) to visit over the Christmas period. As she's said on several support groups:

"Anyway, May I confirm Anna's comment about welcome visitors!!! If you fancy calling down to Ash for a visit, you can expect a warm and welcome reception! and I am sure Anna would love the company while she convalesces here! I am lucky in that I am now off work until the new year... (lots of holiday left after having my own op earlier this year). So that I can take care of her hopefully!

Drop me or Anna a priv-email if you fancy visiting!"


So there you have it. If you fancy coming down to visit, please let us know.