Geesh Deanna! Where have you been?

It’s been almost two months since my GRS and I haven’t posted anything on this blog. It is time to get back to it, kiddo bambiddo, as my late beloved used to say. I still think of her often, sometimes with a smile but more often with crocodile tears. Still, it was she who posthumously made Deanna’s Awesome Adventure possible. The last time I wrote was just before my op so without getting into too much story I will summarize what has happened.  My surgery on went perfectly. No complications such as a blockage in my urethra. In fact, after they removed my catheter on,  I had to call Deanna and two trans sisters-001housekeeping  twice to come mop the bathroom floor because I didn’t make it to the toilet quickly enough.  I have a few selfies I took before and after the catheter was removed but I’ll spare you. Here I am on post-op day two with two of my trans sisters who had their surgeries a few days before me. The one on my left, your right, commented how energized I seemed to be so soon after surgery.   WP_20140307_032-1I was discharged after five days and remained in Bangkok until I came home on March 9. I got to do a lot of shopping, visit to the Grand Palace and the Friday before, the same driver who took me to the Floating Market, the Elephant ride, took me to Pattaya Beach on a small Island in the Gulf of Thailand where I fell into waist deep WP_20140307_029 - 3clear blue waters and ruined my camera. I was able to recover the last pictures I hadn’t yet downloaded by removing the memory chip and getting a card reader to transfer those last pictures to my laptop after I got home. I still had my cellphone camera and had my driver take a picture of me in my underwear while my dress dried out in the sun. I ended up buying another dress for 250 baht, about $7.70US. I also released a baggie of ashes of my late wife, Carol into the water, the other baggie I had left at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. So I’ve been home almost two months and I found myself getting angry enough to break things, so I went to my therapist who told me to see my PCP because she surmised that I had a hormone imbalance.  It turned out that I hadn’t been taking my testosterone blockers or my Bupropion (anti-depressant) which I stopped two weeks before surgery as instructed by Dr. Burin and which I should have resumed after surgery. Oh well, a lesson learned the hard way. Deanna Giving TalkI resumed my meds last Thursday and today is Tuesday. I gave my talk, called “My Own Vagina Monologue at The Celebration on Sunday,  using the Nonviolent Communication model to help clear the air of any previous misunderstandings we’ve had in the past.  I also introduced them to Genderbread Person v2.0 to explain the four continuums of Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Physical Sex and Sexual Orientation. My therapist had suggested I postpone my talk but she didn’t know all the history of trying to schedule my talk. I was to give my talk on the Sunday following my return from Thailand, March 16, 2014. It had already been postponed because the place where The Celebration meets was closed that weekend unexpectedly because of some trouble with the wiring. I did great, if you ask me. Thanks to Sam Killerman for Gendbread Person v2.o for which I gave proper attribution and left contact info about it for those interested to learn more. I’m also grateful to my housemate, Baji, for taking the pictures. The one above was the only one with a partial smile. So today, five days after resuming my meds, I woke up feeling depressed. After my morning dilation I checked in on Facebook, which depressed me even more. I decided to put on my black lace bra from Vickie’s Secret which my beloved had left and which fits me now, along with a black lace trimmed bikini I had. Over my lingerie I put on a silk robe I had purchased at the Chatuchak Weekend Market. “Dressing up” as I used to call it in my journals was something I did to live my fantasy as a woman which I had begun in some form since High School days. Looking at myself in the mirror, I was aroused which I could only describe as phantom penis.  Need I say more?  I drank my coffee and smoked half a cigarette, something I am now in the process of ending soon, thanks to the resumption of my Bupropion. I went to my laptop to write for the first time since before my GRS and now I have brought you up-to-date. To all of my trans sisters who are having GRS in the near future, I would like to caution you to keep taking your testosterone blockers for at least for another year.  I forgot to ask Dr. Burin about that and I am taking full responsibility for playing doctor, as my PCP put it. I had resumed my Estriodol which I have been taking in pill form rather than a skin patch, which I will continue for life to remain healthy.  My PCP checked me under the hood last Thursday, her first post-op examination ever and was quite impressed with the results. She said Dr. B. did a damn good job. I never knew until then that those examination tables had built in stirrups which can be pulled out. I learn something new every day.WP_20140223_004 Me and Dr. BurinOh, by the way, my unending gratitude goes to Dr. Burin, the Preecha Aesthetic Institute and the staff at Piyavate Hospital for my successful Surgery and TLC, both before and after my surgery. I must also mention the staff  of my home away from home, the Green Bells Hotel, New Petchaburi branch, where I stayed in Bangkok when I was not in the hospital. I especially want to thank the hotel for the sumptuous Japanese Style Bento Box breakfast presented to me with a bow and which I would devour every morning and which would keep me going all day.Breakfast

One more thing before I go,  People have asked me if the surgery hurt? I jokingly reply “I was under anesthesia and didn’t feel a thing, ” LOL;). I know what they meant to ask, but I’m also me and sometimes like to “pull people’s chain.” I wonder how that idiom would translate in Thai, if it can at all.

Sawadi-ka*

Deanna Joy

* a lovely Thai salutation and valediction, often spoken with a prayerful bow.

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About Deanna Joy Hallmark

I am a post-op transgender woman who has now completed transition and living my life as the woman I was born to be. I have been writing my blog, now titled "A Spy in the Enemy Camp - A transgender woman’s perspective from having lived as a man among men" since December 2011. Originally a record of my process and feelings in transition, last summer in 2013 it took on observations from both sides of the gender binary and now will also be looking at my past life pretending to be the man I never was and how it finally brought me to where I am today, the beautiful intelligent woman I had always believed I should have been since I was little.
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17 Responses to Geesh Deanna! Where have you been?

  1. It’s great to hear from you again and wow, you do look great! I’ll bet being able to wear that swimsuit feels great too! Before I began my transition I kept telling myself I was too old to do this but now that I’ve started, I’ve met many older transitioners, both online and in person, and every single one of them gives me hope and inspiration going forward. That includes you too, Deanna. Thank you for your story. Thank you for sharing it. I’m sure your story touches more than just me. 🙂

  2. Lesboi says:

    Glad to see everything went well. Congrats and welcome home.

  3. Kira says:

    So glad to see this update; I was hoping everything went as well as it did for you. Congratulations!

  4. April says:

    I’m so glad to hear from you, and even more to hear that surgery went well! But no more playing doctor, okay? 🙂

  5. Congratulation to Ms.Deanna.

  6. Allison Granted says:

    Hi Deanna, i’m so glad to see this post! I’m so happy for you. I wish you all the best going forward.

    I wanted to point out that the Genderbread person was actually Plagiarized by Sam. Here is a link explaining what happened. https://storify.com/cisnormativity/the-genderbread-plagiarist

    Take care!

    • Wow! I skimmed that blog which was over 5 pages long with many comments. All I can offer in defence of Mr. Killerman is that I wonder if anyone took into account that although the graphic had sources going back I don’t know how many years, calling so much attention to the possibly improper misappropriation of intellectual property and the fact that he is cisgender speaking for the transgender community does not forward his attempt to educating the public on a very touchy subject, I also wonder if anyone noticed that he is offering copies digitally free of charge and a paper copy is being offered through Amazon.com at a price that barely covers the cost of printing, much less the cost of promotion.That alone speaks to me a challenge to any possible profit motive, don’t you think?

  7. Welcome back, Deanna!

    As one who has had to put aside writing for a bit due to outside commitments, I was very happy to see that you have resumed writing and have given us an update! How well I remember those first few months after GCS when life seemed to revolve around dilation. That part does get better, and all-in-all I think you will find the months to come to be an entirely upward experience.

    I am a bit curious, however, as to why you had to resume testosterone blockers (spiro?). The last time I took spiro was in January 2013, a few days before my surgery. That was the end of it. After that there was nothing to block. If anyting, my T level is significantly below that for women my age, leaving me to wonder if I might not need a T supplement at some point.

    Once again, welcome back! Forward!

    All best,
    Robyn

    • I am not a medical doctor, Robyn,, so I really can’t answer that question. I presumed as you did that testosterone production ceases with the removal of the gonads, but apparently T is produced by other organs such as the liver.Dr. Burin in Thailand didn’t recommend one way or the other that I resume T-blockers and apparently left that up to my own physician back at home. She will test my hormone levels in a month to see where I am and go from there.. All I know is that before I saw my therapist and my PCP, I was having extreme mood swings and wanted to break things and hurt people and now I am getting back to being myself.

      • It will be interesting to see where you go hormone-wise in the coming weeks and months. One thing I do remember vividly were post-menopause symptoms in the days following surgery. I would have hot flashes so strong that I had to sleep at night under a fan with the air conditioning turned up. The good news is that those symptoms disappeared quickly once I was back on low dosage estradiol, about half the dosage (gel) that I used prior to surgery.

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