Sunday, January 27, 2013

Simple Gifts -- or -- The Exclamation Point (Part 9)

I received an unexpected surprise yesterday.  No sooner had I finished writing then there was a knock at the door.  In walked one of our nurses together with a delivery boy carrying a beautiful planter of flowers to brighten our day and our recovery.  It had been sent by my friends at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest.  I was taken by surprise but should not have been.  Our family of Foreign Service Officers in Bucharest really does feel like a family, and this is not the first time that I have been delighted and impressed by the kindness and acceptance shown to me.  It began the day I first told Kyna of my intent to transition gender over two years ago and has continued ever since.  I owe so much to so many friends in Bucharest.

OD had a difficult time yesterday, and having the flowers in our room brightened her day as much as it did mine.  OD has run a temperature of over 38C almost every day since her surgery last week.  By the end of yesterday, it had reached 38.9C.  She had no energy and felt that her entire body was aching.  I was alarmed enough that I insisted on speaking with Dr. Sanguan by telephone.  Although he had been aware of OD's fever even earlier, I was very happy to see that he asked one of the doctors on duty to come immediately to our room and examine OD closely.  He ordered a stronger antibiotic and gave other medications and orders to break the fever.  Thank goodness, OD's temperature was normal this morning, and she looks and sounds entirely different.  As I write, she is blow drying her hair with a fan loaned to us by one of the nurses.

My day yesterday was spent in enjoying the freedom of the hallway as much as the nurses would permit.  The rest of the time, OD and I watched Russian language films and documentaries.  Even still covered as I am with bandages and tubes, the joy of sensing that there is no longer an unwanted bulge between my legs is beyond words.

OD had her vaginal packing replaced yesterday, and I follow suit today in about four hours from now.  Dr. Sanguan's method of performing vaginoplasty is different from that of almost all other surgeons in that it is a multi-step procedure.  The replacement of the vaginal packing is the halfway point.  Come Tuesday, Dr. Sanguan will remove OD's packing entirely and put her vaginal lining in place.  My turn will come the next day.  Although this method entails a longer hospital stay, I like the slow approach that allows for discussion, modifications, and adjustments along the way.  For example, after step one of creating the vaginal cavity, Dr. Sanguan preserves the penile and scrotal tissue that will become the vaginal lining.  He is able to remove any remaining hairs in the interim and assess just what will be the vaginal depth.  If necessary, there is time to think calmly about a skin graft, usually from the leg, to have greater depth.  How much better that is than to go through a single-step procedure only to wake up and find that one's depth is woefully insufficient.

Thank you, everyone, for the wonderful comments and for the continuing stream of congratulatory letters and notes on Facebook.  I sit in my bed and look at the lovely flowers and think of the simple gifts that continue to brighten our recovery this day.

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Follow these links for more of The Exclamation Point:
Previous entry -- All in the Zadnitsa
Following entry -- Collapse of the USSR

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