Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Archive for March, 2009

Day 13: 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.]

6:21 AM:

~Don’t~ wanna be up this early. I am tired, and I am not looking forward to the very long day ahead of me. First I have to go through the whole rigamarole of getting ready, then the two-hour drive to Colorado Springs, flight to Dallas, two-hour layover, flight to Boston. I won’t be home till midnight, and the first thing I’m gonna have to do when I get home is dilate. No wonder I feel exhausted already.


12:10 PM (MST) – Colorado Springs Airport:

[I wrote some frustrated stuff, and I’ve decided not to print it, but I did feel I should acknowledge the big edit.]

An interesting thing happened when I dropped off the rental car; I asked the guy if I could get a receipt inside, and he said, “Yes, sir.” And then immediately corrected himself (he was obviously embarrassed at making the mistake, actually). Something is different even just since surgery about my confidence. I noticed that he did that, but it didn’t bother me at all – at all. I’ve been gaining confidence over the last couple years, but it seems like I might finally be “there.” Whatever, I’m a woman, all women are occassionally mis-gendered (as are all men); it happens, it’s a mistake on the part of the person speaking. It no longer feels like I’m being “read,” it feels like the person made a mistake.

Something completely unexpected is that I’m actually feeling very well rested. The drive was long, but not bad. Checking in at security was interesting. I had to declare my prescription vaginal gel, and my bag seemed to take a little extra time – I wonder what they thought of my dilators. 😉


5:15 PM (CST) – Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport:

Nice flight from Colorado Springs to Dallas. An interesting thing I noticed was that adjusting my position while sitting is tricky with my current level of healing. I ended up sitting pretty much in the exact same position for the flight; my right hip got very tired by the end of the flight.

I called my mom and Tim when we got to Dallas; I miss my boyfriend a lot.


1:29 AM (EST) – home:

I was right, I really wasn’t in the mood to dilate when I got home, but I did. Wow, I am really quite tired. It feels nice to be home. I feel like there was something profound I wanted to say, but it has left me, and I’m much too tired to hope for it to return this evening.

Good night, and the Adventure has come to an end (I’ll probably do a redux in the next couple days).

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me, kept me in their thoughts, or however you want to describe expressing positive energy toward another.


Day 12: 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.]

8:51 AM

Okay, on my blog there’s a feature that lets me see the search engine terms people have used to find my blog. My absolute favorite was this morning: “pee after srs.”   lol

So, this morning I had to do, like, ~everything~: pee, poop, dilate, shower, apply ointment. Whew, I am exhausted and I just got up!


2:55 PM

So, even though I’ve moved out of the Morning After House my roomie and I are still hanging out. I brought her some flowers, and she treated me to a massage. I think I got the better end of the deal. I’ve never had a proper massage before; it was pretty damned awesome. I leaked through onto my bed pad last night, so the whole time I was on my back at the massage I was worried about leaking. even though I had just put on a new pad (I didn’t leak – thank god!). Once I got on my stomach I was in heaven.

Said goodbye to Carol and my roomie, and now Sarah and Wendy and I are going to go eat Mexican food, then we’ve got to basically pack up all our stuff tonight, as we’re off by 9:00 AM. Part of me is excited to come home, but part of me will always stay here (stop the dirty-mind; that’s not what I mean  – a piece of my heart belongs to Trinidad).


6:31 PM:

It seems like I’m already increasing my depth ever-so-slightly when I’m dilating. I’ve only done it four times, and it seems pretty easy. I’m certain it’ll get annoying and I’ll get sick of it, but so far so good. I think I’m getting boring. I feel like the interesting parts of the journey may be pretty close to over; it seems very appropriate that I’m flying home tomorrow morning. I am looking forward to my own bed and my own shower.


9:13 PM:

So, basically packed. How the hell did I buy so much clothing while I was here? My suitcase is brimming with stuff. In twelve hours we’ll be on the road to Colorado Springs Airport, and in just about 24 hours, we’ll be back in Boston. It’s amazing that for so long I thought I would be stuck with the wrong body, and now I’m going home from Colorado with my vagina. This certainly has been a dream come true and the trip of a lifetime.

Day 11: 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.]

7:22 AM:

So, it seemed like the bleeding from the j-tube drain had slowed considerably before I went to bed last night, and the swelling also seems like it’s gradually getting better. When I met with my surgeon before surgery, she told me that the thing I would need the most of during my recovery would be patience; it seems like that’s proving accurate.

Today I finally get my catheter out – yay! Also, the packing in my vagina gets taken out. There’s something like 30′ (that’s thirty ~feet~) of packing inside me; no wonder I’m still waddling.

So, I get to actually see how much of a mess I make when I pee today (I’m going to make a mess until the swelling gets considerably better).

I also have to start dilating today. Since my vagina was surgically constructed I have to dilate it to help keep its shape and depth and width. They gave me the dilators the other day, and all I can say is that I’m very intimidated – even the small one is ~big~. Like, ~big~. So, I’m very excited to get the packing out, but I’m kind of nervous about how dilating is going to go, especially at first.


7:57 AM:

Okay, so I’m rotten, but I’m pretty glad that I’m out of Boston during the crazy snow today. It’s not like I’d be able to shovel anyway, but a foot of snow? Damn.


8:00 AM:

Hmm, gonna be a busy writing day apparently. The tears are getting crazy; I can’t stop crying tears of joy; I am just so happy. There is peace and joy and bliss and … and … I have ~never~ felt like this before – I feel magnificent.


9:25 AM:

All showered and ready to leave the Morning After House. I’m definitely riding mood-swings; for a few hours I’ll feel like I’m doing great and right on track, and then I’ll feel like it looks horrible and is too swollen and taking too long. I’m thinking this is pretty normal for this process, but it’s kind of emotionally taxing.


3:49 PM:

Back at the hotel. I’ve been to the doctor, been “un-packed” and de-catheterized. The dilating process was so not as bad as I was fearing. There is enough swelling that the doctor made that “concerned doctor” face, but she settled down pretty quick and essentially said that patience should resolve it, and within three weeks the swelling should be way down. I actually got up to the middle dilator and didn’t feel pain at all. I mentioned the blood to the doctor, and she said, “You’re a woman now, get used to it.” And I said, “Hey, no making fun of the new girl.”  😉  Yep, I really like my surgeon (she said that she likes me too).

After the doctor Wendy and I went to lunch and then to the Social Security office in town where I changed the gender marker on my Social Security file. Big, big YAY!


4:28 PM:

I forgot that while I was on the table at the doctor’s office dilating I was using my hand mirror to see what I was doing. I turned the mirror just a little so I could see my face, and I said to myself in the mirror, “You have a pussy; and you have a dildo up your pussy.” I confess that it made me feel pretty awesome. I’m such a goofball sometimes.



6:38 PM:

I peed! It was easy! It was definitely a bit of a spray, but it was much less messy than I was expecting. An interesting thing that I noticed is that when I used to pee with a penis, there would be the pee that would come out when I relaxed my muscles, and then that would stop, and there would be a few drops left that I would squeeze out. Well, now there’s nothing left to squeeze; I just relaxed, and the pee came out and then it stopped, and then it was done. I knew that was how it would be now, but it was still an interesting thing to actually experience.


11:01 PM:

So, my first time dilating without the doctor’s aid was a little trickier, but I still managed to pull it off, and again I’d say there was no pain involved. I even would say that I enjoyed it (like, really, I wasn’t trying to get excited or anything, but I was definitely feeling some very nice sensations, even while just sitting there trying to stretch); yay. When I was cleaning up I got a really good look at the suture line that’s opened up a little, the swelling and all the structures. At this point it looks like most of the blood is actually coming from the open suture line. Even swollen and red and bruised I’d say that I’m pretty damned pleased with my vulva.

Day 10: 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.]

8:00 AM:

Yay, just took my first “real” poop since surgery. When I went the other day in the hospital it was mostly gas, this actually had a little volume to it (I know you were all dying to know!).

I still have a little more bleeding than I would like, but I think it’s mainly from where my j-tube drain was (that’s the internal drain that lets blood flow to the outside – they removed it Thursday). My roomie says that she’s still bleeding from there too, so. They’re going to remove my packing tomorrow and teach me how to dilate, so someone that knows what they’re talking about will be looking at it tomorrow, which makes me feel good. My left labia remains ~big~, but it doesn’t really seem all that pissed-off besides being pretty swollen.


11:35 AM:

So, my butt is definitely further back than it used to be. I don’t know what the hell the exact plumbing reason is for it, but my room mate said that hers is too. That’s just weird.

I’m feeling a bit better after my shower, the bleeding seems to have slowed considerably, and it definitely seems focused on the j-tube drain.

Have I mentioned my roomie is awesome? Well, she is. (I’m being a lot more vague about her than I often am about people to respect her privacy; so pretty much all you’re gonna get is that she’s wicked cool.)


12:25 PM:

So, I was chatting with Tim online and I told him how swollen my labia is, and he ran with it:


Tim Lopez:

a new kids book:

Penelope and the Magic Labia

gather round kids

i have a tail to tell

come hear the story of a labia as big as yer hed

it dwarfed all others

even the rose of Tralee

but this Labia

was a magic Labia

for when she thought of it

and said the words


Labia Oxtavia from Scandanavia

it would grant wishes

and sing songs of days of yore

And then he sent me this link:

Oh my.


3:07 PM:

Definitely a little concerned about the blood.

I’m very tired after doing several trips up and down the stairs.


10:13 PM:

Just wrote this message in the guest book at the Morning After House:


“Carol + Marci,

      How do you thank someone for granting your heart’s most desperate wish?

      I honestly have no idea how to thank the both of you. The very fact that this surgery exists still feels like a miracle to me, and the warmth and support that are provided as part of the care both at MSRH and the Morning After House has made this entire experience feel like a dream.

      I will never forget either of you; even though I was here for a short time, the impact you have both made upon me can not be over-stated.

      I could fill the rest of this book and not feel like I said enough…


      Thank you for my body…

      Thank you for my peace…

      Thank you for making me whole + complete…


                       Mad Hugz, Luv, Blessings, + Laughs,

                                      ~~Penny Larson”

Day 9: 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.]

7:08 AM:

I’m officially ready to get out of the hospital; I slept like crap last night, even on the Ambien.

In good news, my Blood Pressure finally seems to be inching toward normal, it was just 103/53 (the top number had been under 100 since my surgery). I’m feeling better everyday, and I’m having my petulant, impatient moments, but overall I am pretty blissfull.


8:26 AM:

Just had a pretty good breakfast for what should be my last meal in the hospital. I stood with my room mate and had a nice chat before breakfast. She’s a very nice woman; I definitely will try to keep in touch with her after this. I firmly believe that shared struggles forge strong bonds, and it seems like we already have a nice rapport. Who knows what the future brings, of course, but I’d definitely like to try.


7:07 PM:

So, I’ve been at the Morning After House (which is sort of a half-way house) since about noon. It’s a really lovely house. I took a shower earlier; ~damn~ my left labia sure is swollen. I think everything looks pretty good, just a little swollen on the left. I guess I’m settling into the routine of healing. I feel very boring.  lol


10:30 PM:

Sitting in the living room, watching Jurassic Park 3 with my roomie. It’s been a long and tiring day, but I feel very good. I know that my full recovery will take quite a while, but I am so excited. My roomie, by the way, is a wonderful woman. She’s the same woman I shared the hospital room with, and we just have been getting along great.

I had to have Sarah and Wendy pick me up some chucks (bed pads), but the store was out of them, so I ended up with “dog training pads” to sleep on to make sure I don’t mess the bed.

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