Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Day 3: Penny’s Excellent Adventure

[This is part of my ongoing diary about my SRS experience in Trinidad, Colorado with Dr. Marci Bowers. See the main page here: Penny’s Excellent Adventure.]

8:29 AM

Up and getting ready for Capulin Volcano. I’m feeling a little fatigued, so I think after the volcano hike I might try and take it easy for the rest of the day – maybe actually explore Trinidad a little before going into Mount San Rafael Hospital on Tuesday morning (tomorrow will be spent largely at the doctor’s office and in the hotel room doing bowel prep {how exciting}).

Climbing the volcano was the thing I was most excited about doing in the “tourist” fashion as soon as I found it. How cool is that? I’m climbing a volcano?

12:38 PM

Jayme and I just climbed the volcano. I should be clear that we circled the rim and descended into the crater; we di not not scale it from the bottom of the hill (that’s not allowed, actually, and I think it would have been beyond both of our levels of fitness at this altitude). This was just magnificent; the views were stunning, and hanging out with Jayme is always special. I am so grateful to have her in my life, and to have had her in my life; Jayme is a truly special person (to quote a mutual friend: “Jayme rocks”). My fear of heights got to me a little as we were circling the rim, because there are points where there is very little seperating the “paved flat path” from quite a tumble down a very steep volcano. But we trudged on, and it was an absolutely incredible experience; I will never forget my trip to Capulin Volcano.

5:57 PM

And now we’re back at the hotel after lunch at K-Bob’s Steakhouse and Salad Wagon. I had barbacued chicken and sausage; it was okay – certainly better than dinner last night.

We drove around Trinidad a little, checked out Main Street, on which everything was closed, and the Dr.’s Office and hospital. I’m really spoiled living near Boston, one of the medical capitals of the world. Mount San Rafael Hospital is ~tiny~. Like, really tiny. Like, seriously, really tiny. But I have faith in my surgeon and I have heard nothing but positive things about the hospital and its staff, so, it’s tiny. Oh well. I’ll try to let go of my “Big City Girl” prejudice. 🙂

8:43 PM

Well, that was an interesting dinner. The food tonight was excellent. We went to Rino’s, for my last meal before surgery; tomorrow I will be on only clear liquid, and then on Tuesday I have surgery. I had a Ribeye steak that was cooked perfectly and seasoned just right; Mom had a pork shank (there was some sort of Italian name for it that I forget) that was amazing (Jayme and I tried a little of Mom’s); and Jayme had Chicken Florentine, which she said was good. 

The dinner started to get interesting when my mom accidentally called me “he” for the first time in I can’t remember how long. Let me say that my mom has been incredibly accepting and supportive about my whole transition; but to have her slip two days before my surgery just sort of sucked. And at the same time, I have to understand that my mom doesn’t believe in actually “dealing” with things, and so it wouldn’t be surprising if she had some unresolved issues regarding my transition that would surface as I approach surgery.

Dinner got more interesting when the owner of the restaurant (who was also one of the “Singing Waiters,” and was generally lovely and quite gregarious) came and sat down with us and asked, “So what brings you to Trinidad?” Um, take it mom. So my mom bullshitted with the guy a little, but it felt really awkward. I don’t really care about outing myself to people, I just didn’t feel like it tonight.

But what really put dinner over the top was when one of the singing waitresses decided to sing “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera. My first dance at my wedding with Jayme was “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera. Jayme started crying during “Think of Me,” and I felt like crawling under the table. I’m not even sure why this made me feel so completely like an absolute dirt-bag, but it did. And it got worse, becuase they did exactly work to “Think of Me,” though no one sang it, it was just instrumental; and then the CD skipped, so we were spared the full-length version of the tune. I don’t know, I’ve pretty much always said that Jayme was collateral damage in my transition; I never meant to hurt her, and yet I did – probably as much as she could have been hurt. I guess I don’t feel “guilty,” but it sucks. Here’s this woman, who at this point has re-become one of my absolute best friends, supporting me through my transition like no one else could, and I just have to have the hurt that she went through thrown in my face two days before surgery.

It sort of feels like tonight was much more of a “trial by fire” than I was expecting for my last per-surgery meal. I guess nothing can ever be easy.

The food was good, though.

I’m really looking forward to just get on with surgery at this point.

And I miss Tim like fucking mad!

I really didn’t want to include this in a blog post during this week of all weeks but…



  Corrvin wrote @

You know, there’s a perfectly good and supportive explanation for your mom’s slip up. Regardless of her acceptance of your inner chick-ness, of your outer identity and presentation and stuff, she is still accompanying you halfway across the US to deal with, you know, parts that are typically known as boy bits. Most of the time, when we’re clothed socially, those bits don’t really wave a great big picket sign– but if people are thinking about them? Yeah.

Anyways, all that will be over with very soon now! And then recovery, and then on with the rest of your life 🙂

  DDA wrote @

“K-Bob’s Steakhouse and Salad Wagon.”

I have to say, I love that name!

Best of luck tomorrow; we’re all keeping you in our thoughts. 🙂

  Amanda wrote @

“Salad Wagon” cracked me up… 🙂

I’ve been to a volcano before, in Nicaragua… just be happy you didn’t have to take in a horrendous amount of sulfur fumes with the beauty. I was so ill!

I’m sorry to hear dinner was so rough. I’d imagine Jayme is super emotional (some happy, some sad) and that just tipped it over the edge. It’s probably hard not to feel guilty, but you deserve to be happy- especially now, where you are giving yourself the ultimate gift.

I will be thinking about you m’lady!

I hope all goes well!


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