Christine's SRS Diary

My SRS diary began two days before I left for Portland, OR. The following has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity. Also because I was at times medicated or in pain, I made dozens of grammatical errors, switched tense, etc. I have opted to leave it mostly as is. Also, some of it was written a day or two after it happened, so I moved passages around to keep it linear. Essentially, though, it's true to the entries in this leatherbound, little green book I've carried for eighteen years.

Monday, 10/28/02, 11:30 PM
      The end of an eighteen year path. I count, as the beginning of that journey, my very first trip to the Spirit Club in the summer of 1984: my public debut as a woman. And here I am, SRS but two days away, and this journey is finally coming to a happy end.
      I've been battling this cold for a week, afraid it may delay my surgery. However, the fear has been mild and periodic instead of deep and constant. My 12 Step program has given me a faith in God and Her plan for me, that I know all will be all right if my surgery is postponed. I waited 14 years, so a little longer won't kill me. Yet I do have faith that God will see me through to my date on Thursday. It feels right. Time for bed. Dozens of things to do tomorrow, including packing for Portland!

Tuesday, 10/29/02, 11:59 PM
      It's late, I'm packed, I have taken care of everything I need to, and I am so excited! I hope I can sleep. Wakeup in 4.5 hours!

Wednesday, 10/30/02, 4:45 PM
      I'm starting this in the waiting room of Dr. Meltzer's office. The entire trip has been flawless so far, no delays, hassles or problems. Even my transfer at Sacramento: the other gate was only fifty feet away! What are the chances in a terminal that big? This day feels like one continuous God-shot; everything going my way, like an omen.
      Waiting for the nurse in the exam room. Dr. Meltzer just left after checking there's enough tissue to not require a graft, and discussing some refinements he's made in his technique. He recounted his remarkable track record of few complications. As I sit here waiting I have every confidence in Dr. Meltzer. My only complaint is the headache that's coming on.

Wednesday, 10/30/02, 9:30ish PM
      Back in the room. I'm drinking this foul bowl prep laxative. It tastes like sour Rose's Lime Juice. Thank Goddess I chilled the bottle with motel ice; even cold it's still very intense. This afternoon's headache is even worse, probably from the cans of broth I had for lunch and dinner. This will be the last time I ever eat anything with MSG in it.
      I am so touched, I want to cry. My mother just gave me an heirloom, a dress watch handed down from her great aunt to her mother to her. My mom said she wanted her eldest daughter to have it. I can't express my gratitude that now even my mother accepts me as a woman. My ex Greta is here, too; she drove down from Seattle to support me through this.
      My guts still gurgling with laxative, my headache still throbbing and yet I go to bed filled with excitement and gratitude.

Thursday, 10/31/02, 6:15 AM
Surgery Day!
      Started with a hot shower and my morning prayers, then a short yoga routine, waiting for the driver to take me to Eastmoreland. I write this in the Admitting area, waiting to be shown to the room where they'll prep me. My headache is quickly ebbing, and I am so grateful to God for getting me here.

Thursday, 10/31/02, 11:00 PM
      I write this 16 hours later, now that I'm semi-coherent. Had no dreams when the anesthesiologist put me out, no recollection of anything 'til I woke up in the recovery room and Mom was there. An acute but dull pain down there, but it hurts more to move my hips. The Demerol PCA was not working right away so the pain worsened, but they fixed it quickly. There are these compression stockings around my calves that alternately inflate to keep the blood moving in my legs and prevent a clot that might cause an embolism. It feels weird and sometimes uncomfortable. Got my first "meal" around 6ish: broth (yuck!), gelatin, apple juice. Cranked on the TV and dozed off and on. Mom has been wonderful, stroking my hair and being very motherly. She finally left around 10PM to go back to the motel.

Friday, 11/01/02, 2:00 AM
      Woke to the sound of the PCA beeping: out of Demerol. This pretty black nurse named Yvonne came and changed the cartage; she handed me my diary then summoned my nurse to refill the icebag over my vagina. WOW! Though sleepy and in pain, those two words make me feel so good: my vagina!

Friday, 11/01/02
      [my ex-wife] visited a couple of hours, returned to Seattle around noon. My mother showed up at 11 and stayed the whole day again. Dr. Meltzer's nurse Cheryl came over in the morning to check on me, and the doctor himself stopped by in the afternoon. Both remarked how well it was looking down there. The swelling was normal and so far the bruising was minimal. Mom ran to Walgreens to fill the prescriptions for when I'm transferred out of here to the TLC unit at Merdian Park. She also brought me a fancy balloon, a butterfly. The significance is apparent; I have shed the last of my cocoon.

saving the rest for my book: Not Your Average American Girl